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M Man

Member since 30 August 2010 | Blog

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Comment 1 hour ago

Well the numbers are the same.  Next year, our home schedule features Oregon State, BYU, Northwestern, MSU, Rutgers, and The Ohio State University Buckeyes.  You may have to wait in a line 10 miles long for a ticket.

Anyway, I gather that Michigan isn't giving tickets away.  Coca Cola -- a stadium vendor -- purchased a block of tickets, and it was a Coke promotion; that is the explanation at this point.  That's actually pretty close to my speculation that they were part of the Minnesota block of tickets. 

Comment 5 hours ago
Section 15, Row 89... Bob Uecker's seats.
Could be returned/unused Minnesota alumni-guest tickets.
In the photo below, Section 15 is just to the right of and below the south scoreboard.  Row 89 is almost at the top.  By the tip-top outline of the tree line beyond the top of the Stadium:

You guys keep making fun of our home attendance, and we keep drawing crowds/sales of 102,000-104,000; in other words about the same as Ohio State.

Comment 14 hours ago

No.  But of course that only makes ESPN a kind of a tool of your own collective freak out.  Or maybe the Leader Of The Freakout.  

Either way, congrats.  Slow news day.

Comment 14 hours ago

So I am late to this inter web hive mind freak out.  I coulda told you that there's a presser every Monday at this time.

But it's fun to watch the blogosphere in action.

Comment 16 hours ago

I'll happily "fight" about this; but in a separate thread, okay?  Also I have some legal-type work to do today.

Comment 16 hours ago

I was there, with a good view of what happened.  It was a weird, prick call by that unknown officiating crew.  For good measure, that crew called the same thing on Utah.

so my question is for Hoke; why yell at Mattison, even if it is a single angered one-liner, instead of giving it to the refs with both barrels?

one thing about Schembechler, and later Carr; they got good at intimidating refs and getting the crowd into the game to let the refs know what building they were working in.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

First, it wasn't a Big Ten officiating crew, and I don't honestly know what league they were from.  I'm going with The Bush League for now.

Second, it was a truly dipshit sideline interference call.  I have to admit; Michigan had gotten a sideline warning before the penalty.  But I haven't seen it called in about the last thirty or so Big Ten games I have been to.  And I have been to some wild ones, especially in East Lansing.  They called two of them in the game; the other one, as I said, went against Utah when the teams switched ends for the second half.  And the Utah coaches were as pissed as Mattison was.

Third; I didn't blame Michigan's loss on the refs.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

I know a lot of guys from that era, and most of them think of the OSU rivalry games as pretty special.  The thing with Bump is that he had to deal with Duffy Daugherty's Spartan teams of '65, '66 and '67; they were hellacious.  Those were the teams that Duffy stocked with kids from Texas who couldn't play for the (segregated) Southwest Conference.  Bubba Smith's real dream hadn't been Sparty; it had been to play for the Texas Longhorns.

Bump and Pete Elliott are two of the greatest figures in the history of the Big Ten.  Start with the fact that they were both two of the greatest athletes in the history of the Conference.  Both All-Americans in football, they played baseball, basketball and golf for the fun of it and became Big Ten starters in everything they tried.  Both subsequently head football coaches, and ultimately both AD's.

John U. Bacon tells one of the best Bump Elliott stories ever:

Bump Elliott earned just about every honor a player and athletic director can, but the greatest might have been a simple, private tribute after Michigan’s [1969] upset over Ohio State.

After the room quieted down, Bo asked Bump to come to the front of the room.

Bo said a few words of deep gratitude, then handed Bump Elliott the game ball.

Everybody got choked up, including Elliott, and more than a few of his players shed some tears.

Bo told me, a year before he died, “I don’t remember when I felt better about anything I’ve done in my entire life.”

The entire column by Bacon is a must-read, here:


Comment 21 Sep 2014

Dave Brandon fired Rich Rodriguez.  He didn't hire Rodriguez.  Bill Martin hired Rodriguez.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

There is an unprecedented falloff in attendance this year because of an unprecedented constellation in our home schedule -- Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State all on the road.  That has basically never happened in our modern history.  I have not yet had the chance to ask Brandon if he was caught by surprise, the way that loyal season ticket holders reacted to that change.  It is a huge deal, to people like me.  It doesn't get talked about enough; and while Brandon probably didn't want it to happen, I suspect he had no idea how bad it would be for him.

There is also an issue with Michigan student attendance that is common to almost every big football program; many students showing up late, leaving early, and some not showing up at all.  (How the heck do Michigan students complain about increased ticket prices, then buy season tickets and not show up?)  I say this is common to almost every big football program because The Ohio State University gets an amazing student turnout.

There's been a lot of grumbling about seat license prices at Michigan Stadium.  Nobody's gumbled more publicly than me.  But Brandon has a superb business case that Michigan's seat license prices are on a par with Ohio Stadium, and a whole lot of other top tier programs.  He's right.

Our home attendance this year looks like it will be a second-place affair.  Second, to Ohio State.  That will make none of us happy.  But it's not much of a falloff.

There was a famous exchange between Don Canham and Bo Schembechler when Bo was first hired.  They agreed on terms.  Then, Canham wanted Bo to keep most of the Bump Elliott assistants.  Bo said he wanted his guys from Miami.  Eventually, Bo got his way and the Miami guys came and became legends themselves at Michigan, yet two or three of the prior Michigan assistants were kept on anyway.  In the process, Canham and Bo merely had a handshake agreement.  They hadn't signed a contract.  Bo said to Canham, "What if we lose?  Won't I be fired?"  Canham replied, "If your teams are losers, we'll both be fired."

It's a great story, and I think it is true.  (Both Canham and Bo told the story at various times.)  But it also would have been a mistake.  Canham's Michigan career should never have been contingent on whether a risky hire of a MAC coach worked out for Michigan.  Canham was a genius.  He created Michigan football and designed the athletic campus as we now know it.  If Bo Schembechler had struggled, it would have been a tragedy to have also sacrificed Don Canham.

We'll see if Brandon's support for Hoke is "undying."  NOBODY backed Rich Rodriguez like Dave Brandon did, in the ludicrous NCAA Stretchgate debacle.  And yet Brandon's support for Rodriguez was obviously not "undying."

Comment 21 Sep 2014

MGoBlog is overflowing with "Fire Brandon" comments.

Can somebody tell me what Brandon has done to merit a firing?  Brandon doesn't coach the football team.  If a failed head coach caused the AD to lose his job, then Gene Smith should have been demoted along with Luke Fickell.  Which is absurd.  

There may indeed be some friction between Dave Brandon (a Republican who once sat as an elected Republican on the Michigan Board of Regents) and some of the Democratic partisans on the current Board.  (I'm looking at you, Larry Deitch and Mark Bernstein.)  But heaven help the future of Michigan football if the AD has to be a Democrat.  Might as well just turn everything over to Carr again.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Didn't Jack Harbaugh do just that?  Twice?  Coaching high school, then college, including as a Schembechler assistant (both Jim and John Harbaugh went to Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, across the street from the Big House) at Michigan, later to the NFL as an assistant, back to college, then the NFL and then back to college.

I always got the distinct impression that of all of the Harbaughs, the one who liked recruiting the best, was Jim.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

I should know better, but I'll play...

Exactly what is the colossal mess in Ann Arbor?  I'll stipulate that the football team is performing awfully.  But that is usually why a new coach is hired, anywhere.

There are none of the oft-cited problems with a coach going to a new job.  There are no sanctions; no NCAA violations; no bowl ban; no scholarship limits.

The Michigan Athletic Department is in very good shape, finance-wise, and our facilities are top-tier.  Michigan football recruiting has been pretty good.  Some would say its been fantastic but I'll settle for "not bad."  Certainly not "a mess."

On paper, Michigan's defense has played pretty well this year.  There have been some lapses.  Two drives versus Notre Dame, and one drive (to start the second half) versus Utah.  But that's it.

So if I agree with you that Brady Hoke has shown himself to need replacement, what else would make Michigan "a mess"?  Arguably, Michigan was a much worse "mess" in 2010.  And the team went 10-2 with a bid to the Sugar Bowl the next year.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

They REQUIRED everyone to leave the Stadium.  The Stadium announcer, Carl Grapentine, then made repeated announcements saying that yet another lightning strike had been recorded within eight miles and that the restart would be delayed another 30 minutes each time.  The last couple of announcements, he was laughing while making the announcement.

It would not have looked the same, if they had kept playing.  But after 2.5 hours, the Michigan fans went to their cars and went home.  The Utah fans had nowhere to go but back to hotel rooms.

I stayed until the official delay.  And I would have stayed to the end, but my guests didn't want to (and actually couldn't) stay as late as what finally went down.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Right.  And the decline of the Detroit PSL has led directly to a few things:

  • Concentration of talent at football-magnet schools like Cass Tech;
  • Exodus of black middle-class families to near-Detroit suburbs like Southfield and Farmington.  And so now we see families that might have been in the PSL sending their kids to places like Farmington Hills Harrison.  One Harrison class three years ago produced Michigan's Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia, and MSU's Aaron Burbridge.
  • Special cases like Devin Gardner, who went to Inkster instead of a Detroit school notwithstanding where his family lived.

It is still something of a tradition -- and there is no sign of it stopping -- that the best 3 or 4 out of the top 5 or 6 players in the state of Michigan go to Ann Arbor, and not East Lansing.  There are of course exceptions.  Some are Spartan legacies, HS coach connections, et cetera.  There are the odd recruits to Notre Dame, and to Ohio State.  USC picked off a couple of the top state of Michigan guys in the last dozen years.  And so has Penn State.  But Michigan totally dominates the best in-state talent.  It would get very, very complicated to try to prove that the state of Michigan's overall football level has declined.  Because the Michigan Wolverines are generally only concerned with the very best handful of all players in the state.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

It's too big of a hypothesis that you advance for me to agree or disagree.

You seem to be saying that Michigan (state of) isn't supplying sufficient resources and sufficient numbers of football players to Ann Arbor.  That much would not find support in the data.  Brian Cook at MGoBlog actually did an in-depth breakdown of Michigan's recruiting locales over the years, from Schembechler to Hoke.  Basically, what he came away with was that our golden era of stealing talent from Ohio was with Schembechler.  A little less so with Moeller, and even less so with Carr (who went more national).  It was a flat myth that Rich Rodriguez ignored the state of Michigan and Ohio (a popular anti-Rodriguez complaint back in the day), although he picked up more recruiting in Florida and a few other places.

The Detroit PSL is not what it once was, but lot of those kids from former-Detroit families are now playing for Farmington Harrison, Southfield and some of the charter academies.

It's not such a terrible theory on your part; I just don't think there'd be any considerable data to support it.

Michigan's Athletic Department is self-funded, self-sufficient, and its finances are almost indistinguishable (amazingly so) from Ohio State.

If a recruit flies into Detroit from BWI, or Newark, or West Palm Beach, or LAX, or wherever, they'd never see Detroit.  Detroit would be half an hour away.  And a light-year, conceptually.  They'd see the gorgeous Detroit Metro airport, I-94, and Ann Arbor.  And they'd be favorably impressed, apart perhaps from I-94.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

LOL.  They are going to reopen the Title IX investigation at OSU based on this comment alone.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

+1 right back to you for thinking that I have any hope of controlling damage at this level.

MGoBlog is unreadable.  I came home from the game last night and watched The Roosevelts.  The Depression and the Battle of the Bulge looked really good by comparison.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Hoke will be fired mid-season if they have another embarrassing loss or two before their game with MSU. Which right now, with the way they're playing, looks like a real possibility. 

I will bet that that does not happen.


  1. It would be a mistake to engage in that sort of disruption in the program; things need to go on.  Things like recruiting.  Brandon hasn't been afraid to fire non-performing coaches at Michigan.  But he does it at the end-of-season review.  You guys don't know all of the non-revenue sports where Brandon has laid down the up-or-out law.
  2. It isn't Brandon's style, nor Michigan's style, to fire anyone mid-season.  Somebody -- name a Michigan coach (in a revenue sport) who was fired mid-season.  Maybe, Bill Frieder's termination on the eve of the 1989 NCAA basketball tourney is the exception that proves the rule.  I would expect Brady Hoke to be treated like Bump Elliott.  To be kicked upstairs, when a new coach comes in.  Bump, by the way, was a very good coach (not so sure about Hoke) and a consummate gentleman.  Nobody knew that better than his successor, Schembechler.  None of that is new from me; I've posted the same here on 11W before.
  3. Michigan's problem is moving the football and scoring touchdowns.  Not an NCAA scandal; not a criminal probe; not a fight between the head coach and the AD or the university president.  You fire a coach mid-season when the program is out of control; not upsets or rivalry losses.
  4. Michigan will always judge itself on how things go in the Conference.  I'd be among the first to wonder how on earth this team will beat MSU, PSU or OSU.  I wonder how they'll beat Minnesota and Indiana.  But that is all going to play out with Brady Hoke as the coach.
Comment 21 Sep 2014

The MGoBlog assertion that will live in infamy was from Brian Cook (who, I repeat, I really like and admire).

When the name of Brady Hoke came up weeks before Rich Rodriguez was fired, Brian wrote, "the chance Brady Hoke is Michigan's coach in 2011 is zero point zero percent."

If you want your Buckeye minds blown, click on that hyperlink and read what Brian Cook was saying in 2010 about Brady Hoke.  Now, Brian has paid dearly for that post.  For those of you who lurk at MGoBlog, "Zero Point Zero" has become the meme of the moment.  Brian Cook was ridiculed for his comments for years after Hoke was hired notwithstanding the odds prescribed by Mr. Cook.  But to read that now; well...

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Who was the "first choice"?  Jim Harbaugh?  Harbaugh never interviewed for the job.  I spoke directly with Dave Brandon before Hoke was announced.  It was the day before Harbaugh was scheduled to travel to Michigan for a reunion of his team at Michigan's annual football banquet.  Brandon said, "Jim Harbaugh wants to coach in the NFL." Period.

I strongly believe that Brady Hoke was the only candidate who was interviewed, and that Hoke had the leg up on the job for about a year before Rodriguez was relieved of his duties.  I don't know that for a fact; only Dave Brandon knows and he hasn't told anyone publicly what he did and thought.

So what do you know?

Comment 21 Sep 2014

I think that both Hoke and Mattison were pissed off, primarily at the bush league ref who made the call.  It wasn't much of an argument; I don't doubt that both Hoke and Mattison were pissed and I can't think of a single Michigan or Ohio State HFC whom I haven't seen yell at players and assistants alike during a game.

That same line judge (although I think that curiously the Head Linesman and the Line Judge had flipped sides for at least part of the Utah game) called the same penalty on Utah immediately before the lightning delay, and the Utah coaches were just as pissed off.

The internet loves to freak out over video .gif bits.  I'd prefer to be at the game and see it for myself.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Thank you Mr. Green.  +1 for you sir.  It is almost unbelievable how these things get started on the internet.

Yes, it is a Michigan band tradition; they play a tune called Temptation (which is a Michigan Homecoming tradition, dating back to the Michigan Marching Band in the 1940's and 50's) on opponents' failed third down conversions.  In the 1980's, the students began to add "You Suck!" -- aimed at the opposition, of course, on their failed conversion attempts.

Comment 21 Sep 2014

I was there too.  TheTeam16 is right.  Didn't happen.  "The crowd" didn't chant much of anything.  There were a smattering of boos, and if you want me to swear to the fact that absolutely no one in the 100,000 crowd yelled that Gardner sucked, I won't do it.  

But the question/impression here is that a Michigan home crowd was chanting in some sort of substantial unison that Devin Gardner (or any of the players) sucked.  I assure everyone; it didn't happen.

There are few more reliable sources of hysterical, wrong, phony, mistaken information about Michigan football than a 247 Sports message board.