How Far the Mighty

Jonnferrell's picture
December 18, 2013 at 6:23a
80 Comments

During this time of recruiting silence and riding the high of great recent commits here at The Ohio State University, perhaps this is a good time to consider the status of football in the land of that girl of questionable reputation--Ann Arbor.  It is now the elephant in the room at Schembechler Hall.  It cannot be ignored that the program has fallen on hard times and from day to day it flounders, relying mostly on the glories of the distant past for any real joy and pride.  This status check is even more urgent for TTUN with the downward pointed graph of death from the time of Tressel to the dawn of the year 2014--because I believe that the hype of past glory of Michigan Football is at an all time low.  There have been a few bright spots for the hapless Wolverines in the past 15 years, but overall it has been dark and ugly.  A time of despair that threatens to place this once storied program into the pot-bellied midsection of the Big Ten Conference.  As far as the Game is concerned, the dreary days of yore that were Cooper has all but been erased to a foggy memory.  Even if you glory in those days still, Wolverines, you most often played the role of spoiler to an overall more successful team.  Then came a man with a vest, and Appalachian State, and Oregon, and losing in Ohio Stadium, and losing at home, and that happening most of the time.  The loss of the historic #1 vs #2 game was a devastating one and helped to cement your place as #2 to the Buckeyes for the 21st century--the century that counts, now.  Then came Rich Rod and greater discontent--so much that after a few years he was cut loose as a man that knew not Michigan.  Brady Hoke was then chosen, around #6 on the prospect list, and with a true Ohio man at the helm of the program, and a powerful plan--"call those guys down there Ohio and that will be sure to do the job," you find yourself in the uncomfortable position that you are in today--a football program with only the past to show for itself.  

The point?  I'm sure that there are many truths that can be drawn from looking at the condition of this ailing program, but I am more confident than ever that Michigan football has fallen, and look at how far the mighty has fallen.  It only has joy when something disappointing happens at OSU.  It only has joy when it gives OSU a good game.  It becomes petty and pathetic, perhaps no more telling was the quote from the current hero and leader, Taylor Lewan, who said that the team that won 24 straight games in the same conference that his team played in (including beating his team twice) is not really very good--what does that say for his team?  But the picture above with Zach Boren, the son of a Michigan Football player, wearing an Ohio State uniform and  dominating a defeated Devin Gardner is not only a picture of two individuals, but to me is a symbol of what the status of Michigan football is--a fall of the once mighty.  No longer a bad couple years, or momentary setback, but a sick program with a diagnosis of losing.  The prognosis is not good--hence the commits running away from Ann Arbor like roaches from a house fire.  There is a lot more to say here, but I hate long posts and I know that you all can do much better, so what say you?

Comments

InvertMyVeer's picture

Nice read, you had my +1 with the Boren pic. Definitely agree though, ttun has been a mediocre team that underachieves more often than not for a while now. I don't see Hoke turning it around either. Makes me hate the skunk weasels even more, it pisses me off because they aren't holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to the game.

Football is complicated...

Nutinpa's picture

Not holding up their end of the bargain in the GAME?  Hmm. Over the last 10 years? Yes.
OTOH.....since Chubby Mr. Hoke arrived, Michigan has:
1. Beaten us in AA
2. Lost to us by 4 points in the shoe with some of the worst play calling in the GAME's history by Al Borges
3. Lost to us by one point in AA on a poorly designed 2 point conversion while gashing our D for 600 + yards.
Yeah, they under-achieved this year, no doubt.  But to suggest that under Brady Hoke, Michigan is spiraling into the abyss is being a bit presumptuous....dontcha think?

Jonnferrell's picture

Nope.  I'm not basing this on just how they play us.  Though our hapless team almost beat them in Ann Arbor in 2011 (and that's sad).  They had better give it all they have when they play us, no matter what they do the rest of the year.  That being said, they are a bowl game and a good season away from saving themselves.  But if they don't pull it together, they will be in the abyss and even with winged helmets they're not flying out of there.  It will be a long, hard climb.  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Chestnut Ridge Buckeye's picture

Dear fellow Nutinpa,
Well, when you put it like that...I guess so!!
Seriously, I had not laid all 3 of "The Game" s out like that, all in a row, to ponder...
I'll waste no more tears on them skunkweasels!

Oyster's picture

One of the funniest things I read lately was after the bowls were announced and I was perusing a ttun forum.  One person wrote that they were disappointed about the chicken wing bowl because he felt it was beneath them.  That, my friends, is somebody who is living off of the past and is in denial about the present.

R.I.P. Otsego

Jonnferrell's picture

You know there is only so far that past glory thing goes and it doesn't mean anything anymore.  When everyone is dead or starts to die from the glory teams, and you don't have any more glory to keep it going, you're in trouble.  All TTUN has produced the last ten years is a lot of Mike Hart bravado and worse.  They desperately need to put a season together from start to finish.  If they don't, not only will they continue to get pounded by the guys in East Lansing, they will have trouble with Bloomington, too.  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

aabuckeye's picture

That's their problem: living in the past. Even the past they want to get back to -- the much vaunted Bo years -- never produced a NC. Not only that, but Bo was an unimaginative, predictable coach: decent but not top tier.
http://www.onefootdown.com/2012/7/25/3156643/those-who-stay-will-beat-some-solid-teams-bo-schmebechler-nearly
 

hansman's picture

The past they like even more than that one are the days of the leather helmet.....because it gives them their two things they can still cling to no matter how awful they continue to be in the present.....the most wins all-time in college football/overall series lead vs. us from back when they beat up on teams that high school teams of today could beat.

45has2's picture

Bo for 24.

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

buckeyedude's picture

they can still cling to no matter how awful they continue to be in the present.....the most wins all-time in college football/overall series lead

You're right about the series vs Ohio State, but every time a TTUN fan brings that up with me, I ALWAYS respond with, "at the current rate, OSU will take the series lead in less than a decade."
They usually respond with something like, "but our helmets have WINGS!"

 

 

Jonnferrell's picture

Well, Bo learned to be unimaginative and predictable from the best!  Woody Hayes.  Next to Woody, Bo was Hank Stram.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Oyster's picture

205-61-10 OSU
238-72-10 Overall
Predictable at winning.

R.I.P. Otsego

Jonnferrell's picture

So true, so true.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

aabuckeye's picture

Not true. Woody had teams that could pass. Bo lived in the past too -- like most ttun fans -- and never accepted the fact that the forward pass wasn't a passing fad. That's why his teams could rarely beat the good teams.
If you compare their records you'll see that the student never came close to matching his teacher.

Jonnferrell's picture

They could pass, but as I remember they didn't pass very often.  I'm not knocking Woody at all.  I just remember that T formation . . .  It was a really big deal when he started using the I.  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

BABuckeye's picture

Yes, but tsun's past is so glorious! They count wins against ann arbor high school and downtown athletic clubs when they quote their total wins! 

fanfarris's picture

Doestoyevsky.Hoke ,and Michigan in the "dream of a ridiculous man ".

you
 

Chestnut Ridge Buckeye's picture

I'll probably take a hit for this, but as a long-time Buckeye fan, while I think your assessment of the current state of the Wolverine's program is valid, it is axiomatically true that a victory over a depleted foe has less value. 
I know how agonizingly frustrating the repeated losses during the Cooper years were. I remember  driving to work and screaming at the radio post game analysis after the 1996 loss and wanting to just bag the whole rivlary thing if we weren't going to even show up any more. I mention this because many commenters here seem to have crystallized their hatred of TTUN during those years. But my formative years were during the late 1960's-70's, and I wish to emphatically state that beating Bo's best teams made our whole subsequent winters seem cozy and wonderful. Those games when both teams were ranked within the top 5 or so in the nation were sources of great anxiety and anticipation as the seasons progressed, and while the losses were bitter beyond my power to describe, the victories carried a savor and a warmth that seems lacking now. 
The other benefit to having both programs so highly ranked was that "The Game" commanded national attention and envy, and I maintain there has never been a better time to be a Buckeye.  
So I have mixed feelings about Blue's current malaise. There is undeniably some satisfaction in schadenfreude, but ultimately, as their period of mediocrity lengthens, I feel we're losing out on something too. 
And so I was heartened somewhat when this year's game came down to the final play. It brought back many fond (and not-so-fond) memories. 

Jonnferrell's picture

You are so right.  There is a real loss of satisfaction with TTUN slipping so far that it looks like they will need a couple runs through a 12 step program before they can get their life back.  The rivalry will always be a rivalry, but it's less of one when they are falling below Wisconsin and Minnesota in competition.  This makes the recruiting situation very difficult for them, but improves Michigan States recruiting immensely.   This causes a hole to be dug for TTUN that will be very difficult for them to drag themselves out of, unless they turn things around quickly.  A good bowl game win is an absolute for that program.  I agree that we do lose something as well.  They have to stop pumping their chests about what they used to do 15 years or more ago and start doing something now.  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Doc's picture

Chestnut, I'm not disagreeing with you, but this years game brought the focus back laser sharp.  I agree the yearly ass kicking they get was getting to be expected.  This year changed that for me.
  The dick move of starting a fight with Dontre and the subsequent chippyness of the rest of the game awoken the fire and hatred again.  This years victory was glorious, not because we played well(we didn't), but becuase we won.  We beat a team that is becoming more and more like a spoiled brat that doesn't get their way.  They still believe they are "the leaders and the best", when reality is something different.  Beating them is never shallow or sterile when their fanbase still acts smug and arrogant.  TTUN still thinks they are on par with us, they still think they are better than Sparty.  Beating them from now until the day I die will not be enough.  They will always bring up 1969, 2-10-1 and all the rest.  Marcus Hall and his double finger salute was exactly what I was feeling at that moment and many moments before.  I hate the skunkbears, and I always will.
So excuse me if I don't believe them being good is a good thing.  Fuck 'em.  Why do they need to be good?  Why can't it be Sparty instead?  I hope they become the next Purdont.

"Say my name."

Jonnferrell's picture

Doc, they couldn't even beat us when it was pretty much the focus of their year after the rest of it fell apart.  We were at their stadium, and they gave us a Northwestern game.  They played out of their league and had a chance to win, but just weren't able to get it done.  Then afterwards Lewan saying how we weren't the number three team--so good to brag about being defeated by a team that is not as good as everyone thinks.  LOL.  What a pathetic whiner.  That was the time to take it like a man, not whine like a girly boy.  Lewan doesn't have the character to be a champion.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Doc's picture

He reminds me of this little punk assed kid I grew up with.  He would always talk a big game about how good he was at basketball.  If someone ever played him and beat him he would always squack about how the they weren't good and shit like that.  Lewan is a spoiled brat not getting his way.  He didn't get what he wanted and finds the need to piss on us.  He's a twat.

"Say my name."

Buckabroad's picture

But why are you surprised? That is what TTUN is all about. Arrogance, sense of entitlement, blowing steam and trash-talking, then whining after defeat. Lewan is the quintessential Michigan man.
Success is not an accident. UM tells everyone how good they are, OSU shows it by virtue of their deeds, wins and titles. Which team has been more successful the last 2 decades?

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

buckeyerose's picture

Well said!  
I pitied them for much of the year.  But it was shear hate that twisted my gut during and after the fight.  So hell yes the win was the biggest one of the year for me.
I have that game saved so that when I feel the need for an uplifting of spirits, I watch it again.  

Just win!  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Doc - I enthusiastically gave you an UV in spite of the caverns of spaces you leave between sentences (do you hit the space bar three times after a period?).
Anyway, I'm in a very small minority - as far as I can tell - that roots for Michigan in non-conference games, yet who is not the least bit convinced that it's important for Ohio State that Michigan be an elite, or even a good, program (and thus I almost always root for Michigan to lose when playing Big Ten games).

Breakawayspeed's picture

I love the smell of Mich*gan bashing in the morning.

Jonnferrell's picture


. . . and hitting Ann Arbor

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

d5k's picture

Way too many replies before someone says that is Zach Boren, not his brother Justin.

Oyster's picture

Everyone was too keyed up to notice.

R.I.P. Otsego

Jonnferrell's picture

Thanks for the correction.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Hovenaut's picture

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Doc's picture

Hove, if you could photoshop this as Hoke instead of DragonMaster35 and a headset for the dropped disc it would be glorious.

"Say my name."

Hovenaut's picture

Kinda had that in mind...but my photoshop skills aren't lacking....they're pretty much non-existent.
Anyone wants to step up at Doc's request go for it.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Doc's picture

Mine too.  Please somebody make this happen.

"Say my name."

Jack Burton's picture

Like this? Didn't add a headset as that would be giving him too much credit.

It's all in the reflexes - Me

Doc's picture

Nicely done Jack.  I love it!

"Say my name."

Jack Burton's picture

Thanks DOC, I laughed while making it!

It's all in the reflexes - Me

Hovenaut's picture

This is a Christmas card, and it's going out to the M...igan fans I know.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Jonnferrell's picture

The block M on the belly was a nice touch, don't you think, Hov?  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Oyster's picture

He's thinking: "Damn, how am I gonna pick that thing up?"
 
"Honey, can you come here for a sec?"

R.I.P. Otsego

Hovenaut's picture

@JonnFerrell
Yessir, and he had plenty of space there to work with.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

aabuckeye's picture

A donut instead of the cd might work!

Jonnferrell's picture

Very appropriate--sadly.  But, at least Dragonmaster35 actually won at something for awhile.  He wasn't riding on Dragonmaster34's coattails.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

73buckeye's picture

I think Michigan spends too much time in the past. At the first sign of trouble, they pull out the tired old "we're the winningest program in history" retort. An appreciation for history is a good thing, but they take comfort today and use 20 years of beating everyone before 1915 to offset the current failings. The M fans seem to accept the current situation way too easily. Their displeasure seems to be directed more outward (toward the Bucks and MSU) than looking inward and demanding to know what's wrong and that it be fixed. They have the resources. I'm not sure they have the will. Their current malaise is not going to be cured till they stop leaning so heavily on the dusty past. Just "staying" isn't enough to make them champions anymore. 

ernie

Jonnferrell's picture

Yes, and also nobody cares if they bring out John Cooper's name anymore, or the Snow Bowl, or tattoos.  Tattoos never helped Ohio State win games.  Johnny Moneybags is caught dead-to-rights and now people say, "Who cares?"  Just work hard, play hard, win some games.  That's what makes champions, not whining.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

My response to the losers that bring out that argument is to recommend they join the Ivy League.  That way they can stay relevant to the other powers from that era.  If they are halfway intelligent, it shuts them up.  If they aren't, I get to laugh out loud at them.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

MN Buckeye's picture

A time of despair that threatens to place this once storied program into the pot-bellied midsection of the Big Ten Conference.

Two thoughts, JF: (1) despair.com is one of my favorite web sites, and (2) the metaphor to Brady Hoke is unmistakable. Great read!

Jonnferrell's picture

I had to check out despair.com.  Loads of great stuff there.  My new ammunition dump.  Thanks!

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Idaho Helga's picture

I  LOVE despair.com.  I just got their calendar for Christmas for the office wall.  Occasionally at our weekly meetings, I'll say "It could be worse!" and several coworkers  will chuckle.  Management is not in on this joke, lucky for me.  (we all wear headsets and are on the phone a lot)

causeicouldntgo43's picture

In College football, the head coach is everything. They are the "GM" and make all the decisions on recruiting, hiring assistants, what the philosophy of the offense and defense will be, they are "motivators in chief", and they have to be media savvy, and work well with the alumni and staff of the school the represent. It's a damn big job and they typically earn their pay (except for our own B1G captain Kirk F.)
One false move in this hire (just ask Alabama pre-Saban, or ND post Holtz, or Southern Cal pre and post Petey Carroll) and your program can languish for years. Years. So as far as our beloved nemesis to the North goes, RichRod and the Hokester were wrong turns. Perhaps if they'd 'a hired Jimmy Hairball we'd be at the start of another Bo versus Woody ten year war. And if Urban had not been available for us, there were certainly other choices, but would Gene the Machine have made the right one?
So when you look at TTUN, remember the old saying "There but for the grace of God".......
And then remind yourself that it's a great time to be a Buckeye!

Jonnferrell's picture

How true, how true.  It's a great time to be a Buckeye!

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Chestnut Ridge Buckeye's picture

To that, I can only say amen!

cinserious's picture

Taylor Lewan is the new Mike hart. Amirite? Its a shame Kyle Kalis won't be the next Lewan because he probably will have the brains to transfer out before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.
Lewan badmouthing the B1G is astonishing considering how many times the Whore-Verines were beaten by members of their own conference, let alone by the Buckeyes! No wonder Da'Shawn Hand, Jabrill Peppers, Malik McDowell, and  George Campbell ('15 WR) from Florida are looking around. 
Here's a .gif of Brady Hoke inviting 4 and 5* recruits to tour TTUN's facilities:

Gone ham, be back soon...

Jonnferrell's picture

Taylor Lewan said it best himself--all he has ever known at Michigan is failure.  We all agree with him.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Doc's picture

OOOOHHHH!!!  I thought he said he WAS a failure.  Thanks for clearing that up. ;)

"Say my name."

Oyster's picture

I see Tony Mandarich, version 2.0

R.I.P. Otsego

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Mandarich never threatened to rape a coed to protect a weasel.  He is a truly despicable human being and because a sliver of me appreciated Mike Hart's competitive fire as well as his epic fail of a career, I resent the comparison.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

Buckabroad's picture

Coach Meyer can sell recruits the program's success of the past year.
Coach Jones can sell UT's success from 2 decades ago.
Coach Hoke can sell UM's success from 1890.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

buckeyedude's picture

Coach Hoke can also sell them on the spring barbeque.

 

 

Buckabroad's picture

And by the way, JONNFERRELL, your post was brilliant. Only one +1 does not begin to do it justice.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Jonnferrell's picture

Thanks, Buckabroad.  I really believe that if Michigan loses its bowl game and had a ho hum season this next year it will be a long time before it lifts itself out of mediocrity.  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

If they continue to impatiently fire coaches like they did Dick Rod and some Michigan men want them to do to donut boy, they'll never hire a top tier OR up and comer for a long, long time.  That would put them on the same historical trajectory as Minnesota was in the post war years. (Which , by the way, is more recent than the last dominating era for the weasels.)
 
edit:  I just tried to down vote myself for using the "M" word.  The system wouldn't let me.  

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

45has2's picture

I love that picture of Zach getting in touch with his inner Ali. Can you imagine how good that felt for him given the crap ttun put his brother through and wouldn't even think of offering Zach a schollie? I imagine there were high fives all around the Boren house, except maybe dad. He could still be a little conflicted.

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

Jonnferrell's picture

There is a lot of significance to that pic, and that whole episode of the Borens (still continuing BTW) is great--actually Justin started it and how hard that must have been.  It must have been incredibly difficult coming to OSU, then lining up on the opposite side of the ball from his former team.  This is an important part of the history of the game that needs to be researched and recorded.  Probably a book there when you think about it.  I like the pic because it was taken a second after the other one you see with Zach's arms out.  I bet Dad takes some ribbing at the reunions.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

I picture dad attending a reunion, and getting treated like Chuck Connors at the beginning of the TV show Branded. My apologies for those of you too young to understand the reference.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

Jonnferrell's picture

I remember that show.  Quite a theme song as I recall.  "Wherever you go for the rest of your life you must proooooove--You're a man!" 

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

hetuck's picture

I prefer "The Rifleman" opening with that rifle that never ran out of bullets. Chuck Connors is noteworthy for playing in both MLB and NBA, BTW, for you youngsters out there. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

M Man's picture

As long as you guys keep bringing up the Borens, I'll keep clearing the record.

I love that picture of Zach getting in touch with his inner Ali. Can you imagine how good that felt for him given the crap ttun put his brother through and wouldn't even think of offering Zach a schollie? I imagine there were high fives all around the Boren house, except maybe dad. He could still be a little conflicted.

What "crap" did Michigan put Justin through?  Be specific, and be complete.  Please.
Michigan never put Justin Boren through any "crap."  He became a starter in his freshman year.  By the account of author John U. Bacon, based on too many interviews to count, Justin had a slightly different relationship with his Michigan teammates.  He often left town to drive back to Pickerington (nothing particularly wrong with that), and wasn't the closest of teammates.
But that isn't why he left Michigan, and it had nothing to do with anything that Rich Rodriguez did or did not do in practices.  To be absolutely fair to Justin Boren, the claims that he was fat and lazy and didn't want to run are also completely untrue.
Justin Boren left Michigan for the simple reason that his parents yanked him out of the program when Rodriguez failed to offer a scholarship to Zach.  It would have been nice if the Boren family had been honest enough to say that clearly at the time.  But they weren't.  Although I got a clear enough idea from Mike Boren's having said that "I won't have my two sons playing at two different universities."
Now let's just get it clear that Zach Boren got the last laugh for sure with a successful career at OSU.  So stipulated.
But in the winter of 2008, nobody much was thinking about a scholarship for Zach Boren as a fullback.  The Rodriguez offense didn't use a fullback.  Jim Tressel hadn't offered Zach.  Only after Justin became "available" did that discussion begin.  And nobody thought of Zach as a linebacker.  Not Michigan, not Akron, not Kent State, and not Jim Tressel.
So Michigan, with a lot of other recruiting needs, did not offer FB Zach Boren from Pickerington Central.  (Where he went to play when his dad yanked him out of Pickerington North.)  And with no offer from Michigan, the Borens went nuts and pulled Justin out of school.
Personally, I think that Zach Boren's on-field performance was exemplary and you guys were lucky to get him.  Perhaps it's too bad that nobody thought of him as a linebacker coming out of h.s.  I do wish that we had; it would have been one less big headache for Rich Rodriguez at the time, since the Borens' cryptic messaging left the local press -- already hostile to Rodriguez for reasons that defy good explanation -- to speculate about what was wrong with Rodriguez for the departure of Justin Boren and his defection to Ohio State. 

M Man's picture

http://books.google.com/books?id=PLSd0nHMMPwC&pg=PA99&lpg=PA99&dq=Bacon+...
Now, I want to go a bit further.  At the time of Justin Boren's transfer, Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press (who later attacked Rodriguez with the infamous 2009 "investigation" of practice-time violations; a newspaper story that was essentially debunked by the subsequent joint University/NCAA investigation) wrote that foul language in practices was part of the reason that Justin transferred.  Does anybody at 11W know the Borens personally?  That story beggars belief.  The Borens are not, let's say, monks.  It gets worse, actually, since Bacon later got Rosenberg to admit that indeed he had never, like, actually been to a Michigan practice where that foul language was supposedly occurring.  Rosenberg was reporting on practices he hadn't seen.  And to be sure, the Borens never complained about foul language.  It was a figment of Rosenberg's imagination.
Justin Boren left Michigan in a rush just a few days after the 2008 scholarship offer letters hit mailboxes.  The timing is rather obvious.  The Borens could only claim that they were upset about a loss of "family values" (i.e., legacy scholarships to younger brothers) and the notion of Mike's two sons "at two different universities."  Not once did the Borens offer a specific issue, event or complaint about Rodriguez or the program.  It was all vague references to "family" and the change in coaching staffs.  (Lloyd Carr might well have promised a scholarship to Zach before he retired; Carr might also have actively recruited Zach as a fullback for Carr's pro-set offense.)
You know, if the Borens wanted to go on the record about this and to defend their position (or, more correctly the position you are putting them in) they could do that.  They haven't. 
[Response to the post just below.]

Jonnferrell's picture

The record about the Borens is that TTUN missed out on some great players--and it came back to bite them in the a$$ when they enrolled at OSU.  The Borens are Buckeye family now, our family is all the richer for it and TTUN is the poorer.  Looks like TTUN made more room for recruiting lowlifes after that bunch surrounded Wilson during the game.  Their player selection will just get worse as they have to keep lowering whatever standards they have left.  

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Jonnferrell's picture

Maybe the white tape is covering up little wingies, too.  I wore some crappy stuff when I was a kid, too. 

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Justin Boren left Michigan for the simple reason that his parents yanked him out of the program when Rodriguez failed to offer a scholarship to Zach.  It would have been nice if the Boren family had been honest enough to say that clearly at the time.  But they weren't.  Although I got a clear enough idea from Mike Boren's having said that "I won't have my two sons playing at two different universities."

Just stop it. That story only exists in the minds of the MGO echo chamber.

bigbadbuck's picture

So specifically in your mind what was wrong with driving back to Pickerington?
You make the statement that there was nothing particularly wrong with it, but it sure seems you had an issue with it. Care to elaborate ?
 
 

M Man's picture

Right; it was a bit of shorthand, for people who have read Three and Out.  I was probably being too cryptic because there is absolutely nothing wrong, by itself, with driving back to Pickerington every weekend.
The Borens are not a simple story.  And since I've done a lot of it here previously, sometimes I get too shorthandish.  I think you'd want to talk to Justin's classmates at Michigan, about some of it.
So first things to get out of the way is that Mike (and his wife Hope) Boren was always pretty much a regular part of the Michigan football alumni group.  I think it is probably true, that for Mike, the idea of Justin going to Ohio State was never much of an option.  Bo was still very much alive when Justin was being recruited.  Lloyd Carr wanted Justin, and Bo helped him recruit Justin, with plenty of jawboning aimed at Mike.  Justin might have been pretty happy to stay in Columbus, and the reason is not so crazy.  Justin worked part time in the family landscaping/plowing/equipment business.  He made some good money, and had some nice toys, like a new pickup and a boat.  When he wasn't busy with school or football, Justin wanted out, so he could hang with his dad and the business.
Justin had some friends on the Michigan team, but not a lot.  Because he just wasn't around all that much.
So by itself, there was nothing wrong with Justin driving back to Pickerington at every opportunity.  But have a look at what Bacon wrote:
http://books.google.com/books?id=PLSd0nHMMPwC&pg=PA98&lpg=PA98&dq=%22Jus...
Michigan fans (wrongly) blamed Justin's departure on Justin being lazy and not wanting to run wind sprints or some damn thing.  That was never true.  When he went to OSU, I said that OSU got its best offensive guard in memory.  I think I was right.
I'll never understand why the real story of how and why the Borens blew up relations with Michigan was never told accurately.  I asked a very good writer for the Dispatch who shall remain nameless why he never did it; he said that he couldn't get good sources for the story.  I know why the Detroit Free Press didn't do it; they were running with the counter-narrative that Rodriguez was evil incarnate.  John U. Bacon, who may be the best-sourced guy doing any writing at numerous Big Ten campuses never had any doubt about the story.
It is all problematic for me; I am supposed to hate the Borens; at least Justin "Judas" Boren.  But I don't.  Justin was a great player.  Zach, whom we didn't offer, was an amazing college football story.  I have some real nastiness toward Mike (the former Michigan linebacker!) for having let Rodriguez take the blame for Mike's hotheadedness.  I am completely cold-hearted about outing their real story, because I am otherwise about 1000% more generous to Justin and Zach than anybody else I can think of in this state.

http://www.winsbyinc.com/franklin/test_site/media/franklin%20equipment_g...
Lastly, Bacon featured Zach in his latest book, Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football.  The Michigan blog MVictors asked John about that:

MVictors: One surprise for Michigan fans is that one of the heroes of the book is Buckeye Zach Boren.  Given the events with his brother Justin and Justin’s portrayal in 3&O, was there a process involved getting him to talk to you about for this book?   Did you address the Justin portrayal with him?  Did their old man (Mike, a Bo man of course) get involved and/or clear the way?
Bacon: Interviewing Zach Boren was actually very simple, and straightforward. He was clearly a central part of the Buckeyes’ surprising story, so OSU’s PR man, Jerry Emig – who was consistently helpful — set up an interview with him and several other Buckeye players, staffers and lettermen, not to mention lots of time with Urban Meyer. Zach and I had a very good talk – I was upfront about my books – but on the walk back to Coach Meyer’s office, he turned and said, “Wait, you’re the guy who wrote about my brother in the last book!”   He told me he disagreed with my description of Justin, and I gave him my card, offering him a chance to respond if he wanted to.  He ultimately declined, but I still respected both his loyalty to his brother, and his professionalism in our interactions, and thanked him accordingly in the acknowledgments.
  
http://mvictors.com/?tag=fourth-and-long
 

 
 

Ericgobucks's picture

I don't believe your premise that Mike could just "pull" Justin out of Michigan. Let's be clear this isn't 6th grade Social Studies class. He was a grown man who could make his own decisions. 

bigbadbuck's picture

I think maybe those pages that you linked me too aren't free pages because i've tried 3 times now and have seen nothing but blanks. I honestly don't know the Boren family but it seems your team was destined to lose those kids one way or another

Jonnferrell's picture

Well, since that BWW bowl game they are going to lose a lot more kids.  It's going to be a long year for TTUN in 2014.  They will finish in the middle of the division.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Jonnferrell's picture

After that Rose Bowl win, Dantonio and Michigan State are now a true national power in their own right.  They will be the team that we will contend with the most for the conference title for the foreseeable future.  TTUN will be playing second fiddle to Sparty for a very long time.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke