Sun & Bluesday: You Just Got Ferentzed

By Johnny Ginter on November 26, 2013 at 11:15a
61 Comments
PUNT FROM THE 38-YA

At this point Michigan is basically like a terminally ill patient in a Lifetime Network movie, begging their bed nurse Ohio State to put them out of their misery. "Be my angel, Urban. I need you now more than ever." And then Urban Meyer turns around and grins an evil grin as the lighting gets all scary and dramatic violin music plays (it turns out that Urban really wanted the gold buried in the Big House, and needed power of attorney to get it).

Anyway: Michigan lost to Iowa this past weekend 24-21 despite building a 14 point lead in the first half. The second half was filled with three and outs, sadness, and Michigan just being really, really bad at football.

This was definitely not the way that the Wolverines wanted to perform going into The Game, but it is how they performed, and it does not bode well for them on Saturday. Also it's nice to know that after a season of this I can still feel things, because Michigan's semi-competent first half induced a brief panic in me that they might've kind of figured something out. They have not, and as always Ace from MGoBlog joins me to talk about it.

Quarter 1

On the very first Iowa play, QB Jake Rudock got pick sixed by Brennen Beyer. After some stupiditiy, Iowa responded with a touchdown drive of their own, and I started to internally groan after consecutive three and outs from both teams. 7-7.

Johnny: This might get lost in the wailing and gnashing of teeth that made up the majority of the second half, but Jake Ryan has had one hell of a comeback story and played pretty well this past weekend especially.

Ace: He's definitely rounding into form; we've seen his trademark explosiveness only in fits and spurts since his return, and this was his best performance in that regard. There was the hit on Jake Rudock that forced the pick-six, obviously, and he made a few impressive stops on the edge. If the offense could even be half-competent this would give me a sliver of hope for Saturday; that is decidedly not the case.

Also lost amidst the smoke and flames of the offense's implosion is the emergence of Frank Clark as a very solid defensive end; he had 2.5 TFLs in this one, giving him 12.5 (with five sacks) on the season, and 9.5 of those have come in the last six games. Not only is he making plays in the backfield, he's been much more responsible as the contain man on the edge, which had been a major issue for him previously. He's not the world-beater many had hoped he'd become before the season; he's worked himself into a consistently good player, however, and he should garner all-conference consideration next season.

Quarter 2

Competence?? A Blake Countess interception set up a relatively easy Michigan touchdown on a short field, and the Wolverines took the lead. After forcing consecutive three and outs on the Iowa offense, Michigan took over with a scoring drive that might best be compared to a baby giraffe taking its first steps. Another touchdown, and woah hey up by two touchdowns? How does that happen!? 21-7 Michigan.

Mmmmm ennuiThis is what came up when I GISed "sad Hoke"

Johnny: What were your thoughts going into halftime? I mean, at this point Devin Gardner is something like 9-16 with a couple of touchdowns, you've got a 14 point lead, and Iowa just completely borked a chance at pulling closer at the last second.

Ace: Very, very guarded optimism—it's tough to be too excited when your team has 113 yards on 34 plays in the first half regardless of the score, and that goes double when the only touchdowns are either scored directly by the defense or after they've set up the offense with short fields (the offense's touchdown drives in the first half covered 28 yards on seven plays and 47 on ten—not exactly explosive). The hope at that point was that Al Borges could tread water against GERG Davis, and [world's biggest sigh] he couldn't even muster that; even worse, every Michigan fan expected as much. I mean... back-to-back reverses! He called for this! In a real football game! And got paid to do it! What a country we live in.

Quarter 3

Iowa started the second half by promptly scoring on a long bomb to Tevaun Smith, which Michigan heroically responded to by going three and out three times in a row, gaining one first down on a reverse, and then subsequently punting again. Neat! 21-14 Michigan.

Johnny: Devin is hurt, and I think going 1-6 to start the second half kind of cements that idea. How hurt is he, and what happens if Michael Bennett sits on his arm next week?

Ace: I'd be more worried about Bennett sitting on his ribs, which have taken such a beating over the last month I'm honestly surprised Gardner can still raise his arms over his head. We might never know the severity of the injury (or litany of injuries, which is entirely possible) given this coaching staff; it's not bad enough to keep him from playing, and I'd still take a severely hobbled Gardner out there over Shane Morris—throwing a true freshman out there for his first major game action against Ohio State defines Bad Idea Jeans. Now, if Michigan is getting blown out and Gardner still needs help from multiple teammates to peel himself off the turf, which has been the case since the Michigan State game ... at some point you have to take the decision out of the player's hands (Gardner is not going to voluntarily take himself out or he would've many times by now) and mitigate any further damage to his body, let alone his very soul.

Quarter 4

Jake Rudock carved up Michigan's secondary on another touchdown scoring drive to tie the game up at 21, and with over six minutes left Iowa took the lead on a field goal as the Michigan offense managed nothing on the ground or through the air. The next sequence, a four minute minute, SEVEN PLAY drive ended in a Gardner fumble and Iowa sealed the deal. 24-21 Hawkeyes.

Johnny: There have been poorly substantiated rumblings on the internet about discontent in the Michigan locker room. How seriously should these rumblings be taken, in light of how the game ended?

Ace: Not at all. This team has many problems, certainly; effort is not one of them. The easiest, laziest possible analysis is to say a team didn't try, or quit on their coach, simply because it takes some level of critical thought and analysis to explain the actual football-related problems that are the real cause of their woes. Devin Gardner, beaten to shit the entire month, was willing to run a quarterback draw and put his body on the line during Michigan's last drive; he didn't fumble because he didn't care, he fumbled because his body is failing him, and yet he's still willing to go out there and take a brutal beating every weekend.

Call me crazy, but I take that as a sign the team still very much believes in their program. Might there be individual players who aren't happy? Sure. That happens everywhere, though, and I haven't seen anything close to a real sign of a team-wide mutiny, something Michigan fans witnessed first-hand at the end of the 2010 season—that isn't happening right now.

Overview

Johnny: Part of me hates to watch this. Michigan is beset by injury, incompetence, and a coaching staff that seems utterly baffled how to manage a team filled with directionless talent. They're supposed to be our eternal rivals dammit, not a poorly coached JV team.

Another part of me says screw that, this is what you get when you let hubris and nepotism catch up to you with little to back it up. Every single thing that Ohio State fans told Michigan fans would catch up with them in terms of coaching and personnel has in fact caught up with them, and whether it was borne from actual analysis or just OSU fans being douchebags isn't really the point anymore.

All I want this coming weekend is for Ohio State to blast away the last vestiges of pride that Wolverine fans have ferreted away in whatever dark recesses of Ann Arbor still have not been exposed to the light of failure. Maybe then the program will truly take a good hard look at themselves and realize that they're becoming a Minnesota or an Iowa, and take steps to turn that around.

And hey! Minnesota's 8-3 and was kinda ranked there for a while. It'd be an improvement.

Ace: If you think there's a trace of hope left in this fanbase by now, you're going to be sorely disappointed this weekend. Aside from the few perpetual optimists that represent a portion of any group of fans, I don't think any Michigan fan even expects them to be competitive this weekend; beating this team will, I imagine, feel a lot like beating them in 2008—congrats, I guess, but we already knew we were dead. The fact that Ohio State and Michigan fans are both hoping for the same thing—that this season will cause this program to re-think their current direction before they doom themselves to an even more extended period of mediocrity—says it all. That said, I don't think this is the game that's going to cause a change one way or the other; if Hoke and/or Brandon weren't convinced after the pathetic showings of the last month/season/3-year-period, a loss to one of the nation's best teams isn't going to do it.

61 Comments

Comments

Bucksfan's picture

Johnny, your overview is the sickest burn I've read all week.  You win the day, good sir.  Suck it, Michigan.

NicktheLaw13's picture

I think deep down we all want Michigan to be successful. This would make beating them that much sweeter. Michigan has to be good in order for the Conference to get back the respect it used love. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

I'm torn about this. Part of me honestly doesn't care if they're successful. They could lose every game and I'd be okay with that. But another part of me wants them to relevant so OSU can be their spoiler and so The Game is compelling each year.
But as far as making the conference more respected, other teams could step up and take their spot, it doesn't have to be them. Johnny said it best, perhaps they are what they are; just a mediocre program that will continue in mediocrity for the foreseeable future.

45OH4IO's picture

Agreed, TennBuck. _ichigan doesn't HAVE to do anything for the conference to be respected. We just need the B1G teams to win some relevant bowl matchups and regular season games for respect. Quality from them does make The Game more compelling and fun, though.

InvertMyVeer's picture

Yea Nick you're probably right... but i refuse to acknowledge said feelings during hate week!!

Football is complicated...

Unky Buck's picture

Michigan being good is good for the rivalry. It doesn't do much in the long run for the conference as a whole. Two teams doesn't make up for the other 12. In order to gain respect again, we need Nebraska, MSU, Michigan, and Wisconsin to all pick it up, along with the rest of the league stepping it up a bit too. At least 2 of them are currently doing that, but Nebraska and Michigan have been mediocre at best. So yeah, you're right in a way as they need to be part of the group that needs to step up the game, but it's not just them anymore.

...

45has2's picture

It's a new day, bros. New divisions, new teams and bigger fish to fry. How sweet is it to be fuming about not getting respect on a national basis versus an AACC player stating "it's not even a rivalry anymore?" The 90's sucked. The weasels can either step it up or become the perpetual whipping boys for Sparty, Nitzy and The Ohio State Buckeyes. Actually, having lived just outside "the whore" for several years, I would be completely ok with seeing those Arrogant Asses wallow in mediocrity for several decades.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

millertime2011's picture

Ace,
Thanks for doing this. I know it's probably hard for you, as it's always hard for me to say good things about UM or admit when OSU isn't great, but I do appreciate the dialog. I think this is one of the big differences between OSU-U* and other rivalries: we hate each other's guts, but have a mutual respect for each other based on history and tradition.
That said, I've never gotten a good answer from UM fans; why does Hoke get a free pass? Everyone blames Borges but no one seems to blame Hoke (or at least not nearly as many people do). It's always thrown around as a joke, but I think the lack of Hoke wearing a headset most of the time is starting to actually show something. Shouldn't he put his hand in the offense more? And if he is, and it's still struggling, does he deserve to be head coach? This reminds me of last year for OSU: the defense was struggling mightily, Meyer got sick of it and became more involved, then the defense improved.
I'd really appreciate a civil response from you or any other *ichigan fan!

GoBlue91's picture

I'll take a shot.   Here's my personal take, followed by my feeling of the general fan base.
1) Dumping Hoke seems like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.  He's got good recruits coming in, and if we lost those recruits, we basically have to start all over.   
2) Before the ND game, we thought this year and next year would be rebuilding years, but we didn't know how bad it would be.
3) Next year probably isn't going to be much better, but if recruiting stays good, it's possible that Hoke's plan works in the long run.   Borges's history is that he's very effective with good teams, and very bad at compensating for weaknesses in unbalanced teams.   I don't think Hoke is a better offensive playcaller than Borges, so running down to the control room and throwing a bunch of levers probably doesn't help.    We're all hoping for that.
4) There's a huge debate over whether there is an easy fix.   The core of it is whether Borges is making bad play calls because he's just not set up to playcall an unbalanced team, or whether he's making bad play calls because the players are young and haven't mastered a consistent set of more rational play combinations.   
The first idea is that Hoke should just tell Borges to spread the field, take more slant passes, etc., and then things will be somewhat less awful.   
The second idea is that the flaw is much earlier in the season - Michigan's lack of pass rush and/or coachs'' mistake caused Borges and Hoke to overestimate the team's development, and they spent the off season developing an offensive package that teams have now figured out how to blow up.  If so, at this point, flailing about trying to change what they run just makes things worse.   If true, that's still on the coaches, but it's too late to do much about it this season, especially as Devin's injuries add up.
I guess the bottom line for me is that I'd like to see Hoke on a headset just so that he can hear from Borges, but I'm not sure it would do any good.   Any adjustments we've made work for a play or two, but then get blown up once the other team counters.   We probably need a few more months of work and a few months for Devin to heal.
As for the other fans, I think they're divided between (1) very frustrated with Hoke; (2) mildly frustrated, but cautiously optimistic that things will get better; and (3) serious homer support-the-team types.   

Tanner's picture

At a school like _ichigan you don't (or at least you shouldn't) get to have rebuilding years in years 3 and 4 of your tenure. The thing should be up and rolling downhill by that point.

GoBlue91's picture

That's true, and Hoke himself will tell you that this season is unacceptable, but if year 5 is going to be good, throwing the guy out isn't going to help much.  
The biggest problem is that RichRod only recruited one offensive lineman in 2010, and 2011 recruiting was a debacle, so Hoke's first class are now redshirt freshmen or true sophomores.
The second biggest, but still quite serious problem, is that (1) there are a bunch of teams doing much more with equally young teams, and (2) the BEST case scenario is that Borges spent the off season coaching the line into a package that they're too green for, and is now trapped in suck.   (Seriously, that's the POSITIVE scenario, because it implies that with more experience on the line, Borges can deliver).
So yeah, it's totally not OK, but I'm not in the business of dispensing football justice.   If Hoke and Borges are going to be better than whoever we get to replace them, then we're stuck.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Sadly, the domers kept saying that about Charlie Weis - another year because he will be playing with all his recruits and in the end, it turns out that he is just not all that good of a coach!  I have a feeling this will play out with Hoke as well.  If you look at his overall career coaching record - he has always been a .500 coach.  In the beginning, I was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt given the other schools were not all that high profile... he may turn it around but I'm leaning toward just a .500 coach.  He had/has a decent base of talent on this team but they are floundering and that is the coach's arena.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

WC Buckeye's picture

I'm going to bypass the underscores honoring the best week of the year for sake of expediency. Sorry.
The locals here in San Diego gave Hoke the same kind of jive about the headset on the sidelines, and I don't know that it is/was entirely warranted. The guy's a good coach, and he's proven he can recruit. Much like John Cooper.
I think that his real failing, much as I thought it was Cooper's, is that he's not a good manager of the assistant and/or the coordinators. Hoke's got a great X's and O's mind, but a HC has so many other things to manage that if he's either not able to trust his assistant to take a strong role in running the show or to capably take that role on himself, he's screwed.
One need not look much further than our own exhibits A and B, Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer, to see that truth. By either sheer will or influence, somehow or another the entire staff is/has been on the same page, and at TSUN, that's not been the case. Until that's fixed, they'll continue to meh and disappoint.
I hope they figure it out, because as much as I like it when we beat TTUN, I want them to be undefeated coming into The Game.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

GoBlue91's picture

Ouch - I don't like either Weis or Cooper as comparisons.   Time will tell, though.

WC Buckeye's picture

I would vo_it in my mouth over the Weis comparison, too, but Cooper, despite his obvious struggle against your tea_, was really a good _an and coach. He set a great standard for recruiting, and as ti_e has shown (he's now in the CFB HOF) he could win so_e ga_es, too.
Hoke is a good _an and coach, too - I wouldn't let his tenure bu_ _e out too _uch at this point, if I were you. He's got to take a step back, though, and as the CEO of that enterprise, _ake so_e tough personnel decisions ASAP after the season. He's recruiting like crazy, but his inability to _anage his staff could undo hi_ if he doesn't see it in hi_self or can't correct it. It's weird, too, because in his two previous jobs, he either had the ti_e to do it or he inherited so_e terrific assistants who did it for hi_. That's clearly not going on for hi_ now.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Ace from MGoBlog's picture

I can see someone's already had a go at this; I'll add my two cents.
First of all, I don't think Hoke is getting a free pass; there's been plenty of discontent about his recent managing of the program, and if nothing changes this offseason I think that will grow significantly. For now, most fans understand that Hoke can't throw his offensive coordinator (or O-line coach) under the bus with games left to play this year.
The biggest reason more blame falls on Borges than Hoke—for now—is that Hoke is a defensive line coach by trade; the idea of him meddling with the offense potentially turning things around is akin to fans thinking it was a good idea for RichRod to foist the 3-3-5 on Greg Robinson—we all know how that worked out. There are personnel/depth issues with the offense that aren't the fault of either Borges or Hoke—like Rodriguez recruiting just one OL in 2010, a center who washed out before ever seeing time—and Hoke isn't going to overhaul whatever Borges is doing in the middle of a season; as a CEO-style coach, he's got to allow his coordinators the freedom to run what they're comfortable with or risk further disaster, especially on the side of the ball that's not his area of expertise.
Now, if Hoke chooses to retain Borges after this season and the offense doesn't improve dramatically, you'll hear a lot more calls for his job. Right now, fans understand that Borges had the right to show what he could do in Year 3; firing him last year would've been quite reactionary. The defense has improved so dramatically under Hoke/Mattison and recruiting is going so well that I think fans would much rather see a few changes on the offensive side of the staff than watch the program undergo another complete overhaul, further delaying any real chance at a return to being a year-in, year-out Big Ten title contender.
By the way, I think you left a stray 'M' or two in there. Just a friendly heads up.

Ace Anbender
Staff Writer, MGoBlog
@aceanbender

yrro's picture

Out of curiosity, did Michigan even try to bring in some Juco recruits to play O-line? Or was the plan all along to toss the freshman out there and get them seasoned?
What surprises me is that they're still shuffling the line at this point in the season. I don't feel like anyone has really grown to set up a more dominant performance next year.

Ace from MGoBlog's picture

Michigan has brought in two JuCo recruits in the last two decades or so (Russell Shaw, who started at WR on the '97 title team, and Austin Panter, who was a backup LB under RichRod) and they're very reluctant to do so, in large part because it's very difficult for JuCo prospects to have their college credits transfer over to Michigan. Hoke has made it a point of emphasis in recruiting to not bring in anyone who's an academic risk, and that includes the risk that a player doesn't pass through admissions despite having decent grades; I don't think the coaches ever seriously considered going the JuCo route.
It's also become quite clear that the coaches were caught off-guard by just how dire the situation is on the interior of the line; as you point out, they're still making changes without much in the way of progress (in fact, they regressed significantly from their original lineup with Glasgow/Miller/Kalis inside). I do think we'll see improvement next year since just about every interior lineman who's seen time is a freshman of some sort or, in the case of Graham Glasgow, a promising sophomore walk-on—he's the one interior lineman who's held a starting spot for the duration of the season. Most of these guys who've seen time—like 285-pound RS freshman converted tackle Erik Magnuson, who's started five games at guard—would ideally be developing for another year behind upperclassmen starters; instead, it's a trial by fire, and while the results are ugly they are getting valuable reps in game situations.

Ace Anbender
Staff Writer, MGoBlog
@aceanbender

millertime2011's picture

Thanks for the candid response. A few problem I have with this thinking, though.
First, Urban is known as an offensive coach (even though he played DB, he's very much so an offensive coach). So by your thinking he shouldn't have meddled in the defense. He did, and it got better.
Also, you talk about him being a CEO-style coach. With that, you do have to trust your other coaches. HOWEVER, if you're a CEO-style coach at a school like *ichigan, you better be INCREDIBLE at picking the right coaches. If you pick bad coaches, that should be an inidictment on you.
To say the defense has improved is true, but it's still 48th in points against at 52nd in yards against. Mattison may be good, but the player development HAS to be better, and this falls with position coaches (again, who hoke chose). 
Look at the young guys for OSU..they're MUCH more developed than the young guys for *ichigan. They were similarly rated recruits but are much better now. This either shows that OSU is better at judging talent, developing that talent, or both.
I only say this because I want *ichigan to be a lot better. I've never thought Hoke was a good coach, he was a .500 coach (which was inflated by 1 amazing year at Ball State) before *ichigan and ONLY got the job because he was "a *ichigan man." *ichigan needs to let go of this requirement for hiring head coaches or prepare to be mediocre. 

rosycheeks's picture

I want Michigan to suck until the end of time. I feel like we're getting close.

Seattle Linga's picture

Hoke will be confused on Saturday and not quite sure what to do in the second half.

TMac's picture

Spot On Ace!!  At a _ini_um doesn't Brady need to replace both Borges (OC) & Funk (OL)?
Johnny killin' it, per usual! "beco_ing a _innesota or an Iowa"!!

Ace from MGoBlog's picture

Right now I'm more inclined to give Funk a pass—he's working with almost entirely freshmen/RS-freshmen and walk-ons on the interior of the line, and while Taylor Lewan probably would've done just fine without him, Michael Schofield has really developed into an NFL-level player at right tackle—he's been moving up Kiper's board despite the general tire fire state of the line. That's not to say I'm still highly skeptical of him, but Michigan's blocking problems don't end there: the tight ends and running backs have been awful in that regard, too, and it seems to me that's an issue of constantly switching up schemes and running stuff that doesn't suit the available personnel at all.
Which is why I'd be very okay with Michigan letting go of Borges. The guy failed to properly utilize a once-in-a-generation talent in Denard Robinson, cited his being forced to have DENARD ROBINSON—this should be a good thing—as the reason this year should be considered Year 1 of him implementing his system (despite the fact that his "system" seems to change on a weekly basis), and in general has been awful at making week-to-week and in-game adjustments. I mean, you all witnessed Michigan's game plan against OSU last year; did the quarterback rotation make a lick of sense to you? And that wasn't one of the five or six worst game plans Borges has trotted out in his short time in Ann Arbor. Take care of the systemic issues first, IMO, and then move on to individual problem areas if they're still an issue.

Ace Anbender
Staff Writer, MGoBlog
@aceanbender

tennbuckeye19's picture

I don't know, the offensive gameplan for you guys was pretty hard to figure out last year.
Denard in game = Denard will get the ball
Denard not in game = Gardner will pass the ball

TMac's picture

Thank You for the "_" perspective! I hope they do let Borges go. It's _ore fun when it's co_petitive!

BamBamBuck's picture

Ace,
Given all you know today, and all you suspect Hoke may or may not bring to the program in the future, would you and/or the fan base up North be willing to trade Hoke and his staff for say a John Harbaugh or say a Les Miles level coach and his new staff. Meaning would you forfeit the headway (not fully proven by most accounts) Hoke has achieved for the potential a proven winner could bring to TTUN? Thanks in advance.

BamBamBuck

Ace from MGoBlog's picture

I'm very wary of any move that involves another total overhaul from the program; Hoke is bringing in enough talent that it's going to hard to get any worse than this, the defense has improved with many of RichRod's players and should only get better with Hoke's recruits, and I think there's more than enough talent on offense for things to turn around there in a hurry if the right coach and/or system is put in place.
Also, Harbaugh (won a Super Bowl last season, then signed an extension) and Miles (many reasons) are almost certainly not candidates for any potential job opening. Miles, especially, seems like more of the same: a CEO-type "Michigan Man" (I hate that term, for the record) who recruits well and delegates most of the in-game strategy to his assistants. I'd rather stick with the guy like that who's already in place and make sure he has the best available assistants, and he's already got that in place on one side of the ball.

Ace Anbender
Staff Writer, MGoBlog
@aceanbender

Stinson's picture

STATISTICS!   SPORTS!   FUN!

Offensive yards per play over the 2013 season:

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Tanner's picture

As much as it pains me to say this about a _ichigan _an, Ace seems like a pretty decent dude.

Johnny Ginter's picture

he is, can you imagine doing these things every week during the season they're having? dude's a pro

Ace from MGoBlog's picture

Thanks, all. I've really enjoyed doing these despite the nature of this season; they've been rather cathartic, actually. It's nice to get some of these questions from Johnny and realize that things really are as nonsensical/bad as they seem; sometimes I think I'm going crazy when I'm live-tweeting games or reading comments on game recaps and it seems like a small subset of Michigan fans have watched something entirely different. (I still love most of the MGoCommenters. The operative word being 'most'.)

Ace Anbender
Staff Writer, MGoBlog
@aceanbender

WC Buckeye's picture

Just hope for a decent showing on Saturday. Next, hope that Brady and the boys rally the troops to figure things out during the break leading up to whatever bowl ga_e you do. Then, _ost i_portantly, kick the SHIT out of who_ever you play. A strong B1G is good for everyone in it.
GO BUCKS - BEAT _ICHIGAN

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Breakawayspeed's picture

Yes.  One poor decision, prolly early in life, to hitch his wagon to the Piss and Blue and see what happens? 

Ace from MGoBlog's picture

Like many of you, I'm sure, I was born into this; my father graduated from U-M in '70—yes, he was at the 1969 game—and started taking me to games at the Big House when our family moved to Ann Arbor in 1993. I've attended every home Michigan-OSU game since, with the exception of 2005—my family decided to give up their tickets after the umpteenth price hike.
I never really considered attending another school. I've learned to have a (begrudging) respect for our Columbus-based brethren; having grown up in the '90s and then witnessed the past decade-plus of the rivalry, I find it much more fun when the teams are on relatively even footing.

Ace Anbender
Staff Writer, MGoBlog
@aceanbender

Johnny Ginter's picture

one thing i want to point out about this post that i forgot to add is that another part of the reason i want michigan to be good is that it makes it that much more sweet when we beat them.

i think the posturing "OH I WANT THEM TO BE 0-12 FOREVERRRRR" is more than a little silly tbh. you ever wonder why michigan fans weren't having this conversation in the 90s when they were doing the same thing to us? because they were manhandling really, really good teams on a near yearly basis.

let me put it this way: i would much rather see an OSU victory in a game like 2006 than an OSU victory in a game like 2008

rosycheeks's picture

I'd rather Michigan suck forever and lose every game to Ohio State than be a good team that wins even 40% of the time. I'm a child of the Cooper era. The losses hurt. I don't ever wanna feel that. I want Michigan to lose every game until eternity. So I don't see it being a silly argument.
You do a great job with these, so don't take this as super argumentative, but I definitely do disagree with you on this.

Jack Fu's picture

i think the posturing "OH I WANT THEM TO BE 0-12 FOREVERRRRR" is more than a little silly tbh.

Totally. Why would you want your primary rival to stink? Then what's the point? Beating them ceases being an accomplishment and becomes an obligation. I don't want my emotional state after OSU beats Michigan to mirror my emotional state after they beat Indiana.
Also want to echo the love for Ace. He and Brian seem like decent people, and they both do an amazing job analyzing games. I've honestly learned more about football strategy from them than anyone outside of Chris Brown. I'm looking forward to his Fee Fi Foe Film on OSU.
And well done on the "PUNT FROM THE 38-YA." God, I love BHGP.

throttlefinger's picture

Amen to that! I'd love every year that we are the one shit stain on the record. Seeing hope continually dashed is like country fried steak for the soul.

yrro's picture

Something like 2008 is a lot of fun occasionally just to point and laugh, but I agree that I'd be much happier if they were at least competitive.

Lumpy Rutherford's picture

All this over confidence makes me very nervous. Ryan coming back, an away game in a hostel environment, hated rival, long OSU winning streak - what a set up for a shocker. Can't we beat these guys FIRST before all the preening about terminally ill patients, Bucks winning by 30, etc.?

rosycheeks's picture

Hostels are traditionally pretty friendly.

rosycheeks's picture

But now that I think about it, hostels in Michigan probably suck, cuz Michigan sucks.

45has2's picture

Evidently you haven't seen the movies.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

81Alum's picture

To quote from Johnny "Part of me hates to watch this. Michigan is beset by injury, incompetence, and a coaching staff that seems utterly baffled how to manage a team filled with directionless talent. They're supposed to be our eternal rivals dammit, not a poorly coached JV team.

Another part of me says screw that, this is what you get when you let hubris and nepotism catch up to you with little to back it up. Every single thing that Ohio State fans told Michigan fans would catch up with them in terms of coaching and personnel has in fact caught up with them..."

This sums up my feelings exactly. Never forget the 90's, and how they were going on about how this isn't even a rivalry any more!! Dantonio was correct "pride comes before the fall" Muck Fichigan!

WC Buckeye's picture

Yes, exactly. But this really isn't any different from "knock the_ on their asses, pick the_ up, and knock the_ on their asses again the next play", is it? Whether OSU wins by 1 or 100, I hope the Buckeyes co_e out pissed off and frothy EVERY FUCKING SNAP. I think they will. I hope that Hoke figures so_ething out about his tea_ after The Ga_e, and then leads the_ in their bowl ga_e to a blowout.
Then, I want the TTUN to be undefeated co_ing into next year's ga_e. Their tears taste so sweet.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Bish45's picture

It does not help our cause one bit:
Colin Cowerd just spoke of the BCS and Ohio State's schedule. 
He believes an Auburn win puts them ahead of Ohio State.  I honestly think my head will explode.
It has almost gotten to the point that I can no longer watch ESPN, listen to sports radio (except Mike North), or pick up a paper.

Ethos's picture

doesn't matter what the "shock dj's" say, the BCS pro's all are saying the Buckeyes, as long as they keep winning, will not get jumped by a 1 loss team, no matter the conference or who they beat.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Hovenaut's picture

Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.
In.
Out.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

The Butler's picture

I quit listening to Cowherd over a year ago. Thanks for reminding me why.

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.

 

harleymanjax's picture

If _ichigan is what they say they are, you don't rebuild, you reload!
_ichigan is now just a step below Wisky, MSU, PSU, and Iowa/Minn

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

OSUFlash's picture

Do not fall for Ace's line of shit!!! He is in on the conspiracy and we're falling for it. This game is going to be a freakin nail biter to the bitter end and I can very easily see us pissing this one away if Miller is careless with the ball (and has been) we will lose period! This has 1968 written all over it.

osuflash

Jack Fu's picture

This has 1968 written all over it.

I ... hope ... you're right...?

Ethos's picture

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

cdub4's picture

Not sure what is funnier, your theory or having your Games mixed up LOL.

Seattle Linga's picture

WHAT WILL HOKE DO?
He kept his best player on the bench in the 4th quarter of last years game. What kind of buffoonery will he try this year?

zbd's picture

Just want Brady Choke to coach his usual way.

Metal Guru's picture

A while ago, someone who wasn't especially vested the the rivalry asked me if I thought the Game would be more entertaining if Michigan was more on an equal footing with the Bucks. My response was that, from an entertainment standpoint, I would find a 70-0 thrashing of Michigan every year the most entertaining game I could possibly imagine. The root of this attitude is the abuse I had to take from family, co-workers and Walmart Wolverines (I live in the Detroit area) during the Cooper era.
Here's to 20 more years of total domination!

45has2's picture

Amen, brother.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

The mood over on _goBlog is beyond dismal... I have a feeling that many will be having PTSD therapy after this weekend, though to Ace's point, they may already be there...
As my handle would suggest, I made it through the Cooper years, albeit scarred, battered, and emotionally abused by each loss we had during the 90s against TSUN - an experience I wish upon no current or future Buckeye fan/teams ever again.  I think I would seriously rather die than go through that again, and glad to see that the pendulum has swung the other way in our favor...
But this rivalry has always had hard-fought close games in the past 10 years with so much on the line, because the talent and coaching on both sides were comparable, and always competitive.  Even those who suffered Cooper would remember that at least Coop had good records and great talent... but this feels and smells different... the only thing they have left to play for is their pride, if they even have anything left to muster that...
 

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes