Monday Skull Session: Michigan Wasn't Ready

By D.J. Byrnes on November 30, 2015 at 4:59 am
Sam Hubbard hunts down Wilton Speight as Kyle Kalis says "Oh no not again."

It's been 38 hours and I'm still high off Saturday's schadenfreude bender in Ann Arbor. No way I could legally drive a car right now.

But here we are. Makes you think. 

People said I was crazy for being thankful for Jim Harbaugh. I defy anybody to watch this postgame press conference and tell me beating a fading Lloyd Carr, a hapless Rich Rodriguez, or a bumbling Brady Hoke would be better:

*sips Loko* The defense rests, Your Honor. 

Oh, Michigan fans wanted this one. Better yet, many deluded themselves into not only thinking their team stood a chance (fair play) but they were a decisive favorite. 

And Ohio State reduced them to half-baked rationalizations like this:

(Only a Michigan Man's hubris allows him to look at a 42-13 scoreline and say, "Well actually, it's the guy up by four touchdowns that's duffed it.")

In the end, Ohio State showed them the wolfblood, and Michigan Jim Harbaugh's ego couldn't save them. For me, it's harder to say who quit more: Michigan's team or its fans.

Either way, Saturday was more fun than warding off a 5-6 Brady Hoke team not even Michigan fans expected to win. Thank you, Jim Harbaugh.

 SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE. Saturday's win was tempered, however, the second I stepped foot onto the Penn State bandwagon. I thought there might be a chance, but Dino put poor James Franklin through the wood chipper.

If Ohio State is going to hit that backdoor portal into the playoffs, it's going to need some help. But its chances are higher than one might think.


OKLAHOMA 100% 99% 41%
ALABAMA 74% 79% 25%
CLEMSON 56% 74% 13%
IOWA 38% 39% 3%
OHIO STATE 0% 22% 6%
STANFORD 48% 10% 2%
FLORIDA 26% <1% <1%

If North Carolina beats Clemson or Florida TKOs Alabama... I'll be shocked if Ohio State gets left out. Its #brand brings the ratings, and I'm supposed to believe ESPN and the Committee is going jump a golden-goose like Ohio State with a two-loss Stanford or North Carolina? I'm not buying it.

I love Undefeated Iowa as a meme, and I wouldn't be upset if the Hawkeyes won the whole damn thing, but they'd be doing Ohio State a favor by getting waxed by 30 on Saturday.

My forecast? I'm a lot more confident in Ohio State making the playoffs than "22%." This is CFB, so chaos will always reign. 

The other teams just better hope Ohio State doesn't make that backdoor portal.

 EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, BREAKER OF MEN. Hopefully the "people" who told Ezekiel Elliott to clean out his locker after his MSU postgame comments cleaned out their locker over the weekend. Those were embarrassing takes even before Elliott rolled over Michigan like a tank through a dilapidated crack house. 

We all know what kind of blocker Elliott is, but I wanted to give these two man-splitters the testament they deserve:

Give Peppers this: On a Michigan team with pedestrian talent at a lot of positions, he pops as its best athlete.

But he didn't stand a chance with Elliott coming through the door with the safety off.

It was almost like Elliott brought some extra motivation into this game for some reason:

That's why I laughed at the notion this team was somehow fraudulent or in disarray. Despite how the Internet works, it was always going to take more than a three-point loss to diminish what this group accomplished.

No matter what happens from here on out, I will always remember 2015 for how it responded in the Big House a week after a horrific juggalo home invasion. 

 R.I.P. TO O.G. WOODY HAYES. I missed this beautiful story last week, so it's a good thing there's no bad time to share Woody Hayes stories.

From Ryan Ginn of

On a freezing night early in the game week, Kern was struggling and his back was hurting. Hayes eventually asked his starter what was wrong and called upon Maciejowski. The backup had been standing on the sideline shivering for an hour and a half, and his first pass was high and outside – “Not a bad throw, just not complete,” he remembered – and bounced off the fingertips of Bruce Jankowski.

“As I turned to walk back to the huddle, Woody has thrown all his play cards in the air and they’re all floating to the ground,” Maciejowski said. “He goes, ‘Damn you guys! You just don’t understand it!’ Everybody just formed a circle around him, and he goes, ‘I just don’t understand why you guys don’t understand what this game is all about.’

“He tears his t-shirt down the center. He takes his watch off and grinds it into the ground. He takes his glasses off and jumps up and down on them. Then he tries to break his whistle cord – well you can’t break a whistle cord. He can’t break it, so he looks at us, stops, and hits himself in the eye with his left fist, and he’s bleeding. We’re all standing there with our jaws down on our chests. And this all happened in 10 seconds, 15 seconds.”

In retrospect, perhaps Woody Hayes punching an opposing player wearing a helmet (because Charlie Bauman's ancestors killed Woody's ancestors in the Civil War) was as benign as his career could've ended. 

But here's why sports are hilarious: Imagine our reaction if a video leaked of Kyle Flood (pour one out) going ballistic like that during a Rutgers practice? We wouldn't used tones of reverence, I'd wager.

 GET DUMPED THEN, CANCER. When I tell people my days start with reading internet comments and scooping hardened cat feces out of a box, they usually question my mental stability.

But when I tell them "Not all internet commenters..." I follow up with things like this:

 OHIO VS. OREGON, AGAIN. The MLS Cup Final is coming to Columbus. The Crew fell to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday night 1-0 (a last-minute Red Bull shot deflected off the post), but it was enough to secure a 2-1 win on aggregate.

The Crew will host the Portland Timbers for the one-game final on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

Even if you don't go, you should tune-in. It will be more fun than soulless NFL football.

 THOSE WMDs. Borrow $2,500 today, lose an $8,000 car tomorrow... Forger says he created £100m drawing attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci... Return of the Father of Self-Help... Hyperbole of internet speak... NBA twins can't live together because their cats hate each other.

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