OHIO STATE FANS WALKING INTO THE OFFICE WITH THE WINDS OF FORTUNE AT THEIR BACKS, FOLKS!
Not going to lie, those were a hectic few minutes to start The Game. I'm getting tired of wanting to burn my TV set in the opening quarter as Ohio State fails to line up properly or mark a tight end.
But that all changed when Josh Martellus dropped a J.T. Barrett pass intended for Austin Mack with the Bucks trailing by 14. Had Martellus housed that, we might not have survived the night.
Instead Michigan Men did what they've always done, get up on a high horse after even a whiff of superiority:
John O'Korn and Khalid Hill both said Michigan's offense got complacent and coasted a little bit after Wolverines took 14-0 lead.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) November 26, 2017
Understandably so. Michigan has won 15 of the last 17 and when it went up 14-0, it was only natural they'd think this was going to be as easy as every other Rivalry win in their career.
Wait, what's that? Nobody on that roster beat Ohio State, except Jim Harbaugh as a player? Man, that's wild. In that case, not sure why in the hell the blue offense thought 14 points was enough to win the game.
- Five things we learned from Ohio State's romp over Michigan.
- Quotebook: Seniors ecstatic about finishing their careers undefeated against Michigan.
- Debriefing: Dwayne Haskins comes in clutch, Denzel Ward flies around the field, and Jim Harbaugh goes 0-3.
- Yes, Frank in Toledo hit the Big House with another banner.
- Buckeyes undefeated against Michigan while wearing alternate jerseys.
- Men's basketball suffered a come-from-ahead loss to Butler in the PK80.
- Wrestling: Joey McKenna earns bronze at U23 World Championship.
- Help put a life-size statue of Woody Hayes in his hometown of Newcomerstown, Ohio.
Word of the Day: Dastardly.
ALL ABOARD THE DWAYNE TRAIN. Last week in the third quarter at Wisconsin, Michigan lost starting quarterback Brandon Peters to a concussion. The Wolverine offense, never known as a juggernaut but capable of making plays under Peters, wilted when John O'Korn strapped on that dumb winged helmet and took the field.
Compare that to Ohio State in Ann Arbor.
Trailing 20-14 late in the third quarter, the Buckeyes lost J.T. Barrett to an injury I'm not sure I still understand... an ongoing meniscus injury reaggravated by a rogue cameraman... but nobody seems to even know what kind of camera this assassin used in his attack??
Barrett was at least okay to make it to the third quarter and expects to play against Wisconsin. He might not have that chance, though, had his backup not entered like Dark Vader, ready to choke some dudes out:
"Haskins! You're in!" pic.twitter.com/qibXAoakwo— Great Writers Steal (@GreatWritersSte) November 25, 2017
Haskins didn't do it alone, but that was an NFL throw to Austin Mack, who you might not know rooms with Haskins. That was the best catch I've seen since Anthony Gonzalez broke Michigan's brittle spine back in 2005.
That play will go down in history and likely settled 2018's #QBgeddon2 unless Tate Martell looks like Steve Young in spring camp.
We know Meyer will start J.T. Barrett against Wisconsin unless he contracts gangrene and loses a leg. (And even then, he may still sew a wooden peg on his foot and run him up the middle 13 times.)
It's a shame Haskins won't get a chance to Cardale Jones the whole damn tournament. With a guy like Jones and Haskins able to stretch the field, it sure gets a lot easier for Ohio State to run the damn ball—which is when it's at its best. Plus, Haskins has better touch and accuracy than Jones ever did.
Still, it's good to have iron confidence in the backup quarterback, because stages don't get bigger for redshirt freshmen. Michigan Men capable of remembering the Cooper years would probably be willing to sacrifice some of their failed adult children to feel something besides molten death in The Game.
ON TO WISCONSIN. Wisconsin went undefeated in the regular season for the first time since the War of 1812 on Saturday when it laid the psychotic P.J. Fleck to rest under the frozen tundras of Minneapolis.
It almost can't go worse against Ohio State than it did in 2014. And to the Badgers credit, they know the only way to prove they deserve national respect is humbling the Buckeyes.
If they beat Ohio State, well, that strength-of-schedule skepticism will be reduced to a dull roar. The Badgers would be unbeaten, an impossible-to-ignore feat for the College Football Playoff committee.
"We just think about one more win. That's the only thing we can focus on," running back Jonathan Taylor said. "We don't know what the future will hold, but the only thing we know is we have one more game left and we've got to make sure we get it done."
With a 31-0 victory at rival Minnesota on Saturday, the Badgers (12-0, 9-0) finished undefeated in Big Ten play for the first time since a five-game conference slate in 1912. Losses by then-No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Miami gave Wisconsin more space to move up when the newest CFP rankings are released on Tuesday. The Badgers, who moved up from No. 5 to No. 3 in the AP Top 25, will play No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday at 7 p.m. on FOX 11.
I'm not one of these clowns saying things like, "I almost hope Wisconsin wins to save Ohio State the embarrassment of another rout in the playoffs." I'll never think like that. I'll roll the dice with the local team against all comers, thanks.
That said, I hope Wisconsin does make the playoffs if it wins. Jonathan Taylor is a baller, and an undefeated champion of the deepest conference in the country will have a better résumé than Alabama (as will Ohio State if it wins).
But I'm not thinking about the playoffs until the final whistle Saturday. It'd be best if Ohio State 69-0'd them, to be honest.
WHO HAS IT WORSE THAN US? The college football coaching carousel is always one of the wildest rides on the annual sports calendar. Poor Butch Jones, whom I considered to be the greatest coach in Vols history, didn't survive the season.
After weeks of viewing pornographic John Gruden rumors, word leaked Sunday that Greg Schiano would be the man to replace Jones.
Sources: John Currie is in Columbus finalizing deal to make Greg Schiano next Tennessee coach. Announcement coming tonight. https://t.co/qHKcbWcgF3— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 26, 2017
The entire state of Tennessee literally went insane. No, that is not a hyperbolic use of the word literally, either. LITERALLY THE ENTIRE STATE.
From state representatives:
We took an oath to do nothing which shall appear to me injurious to the people of Tennessee. If true, we will stand against the selection of Greg Schiano as Coach at UT.— Rep. Kevin Brooks (@RepKBrooks) November 26, 2017
@UTKnoxville if you hire him, the backlash will be insurmountable and devastating to the University and the state.— Jeremy Faison (@JeremyFaison4TN) November 26, 2017
To a gubernatorial candiate:
We expect the highest standards for our public institutions. The special few chosen to lead within those institutions should have a demonstrated history of integrity and character. I hope todays rumors are not true, because protecting children is more important than anything.— Bill Lee (@BillLeeTN) November 26, 2017
Im just going to say this if we hire Greg Schiano as our next head coach my options will be open to which college program I will Be donating my TIME and MONEY to. (No disrespect to GS) but if UT leaders dont take football serious then I will find the program that will!!!— Albert Haynesworth (@haynesworthiii) November 26, 2017
To some bros who definitely aren't faking moral outrage because they think their pitiful program is better than Schiano:
I had always wanted to visit Knoxville. That's no longer the case:
Goodness, check out The Rock on Tennessees campus pic.twitter.com/R9EwVGVGkh— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 26, 2017
Are you starting to get a picture of how insane Tennessee went yesterday?
Tennessee players unanimously asked for honesty from its next head coach.— Will Boling (@will_boling) November 26, 2017
Theyre getting Greg Schiano.
If thats the case, obviously the players werent heard whatsoever by the administration.
But hey, protesting works. After reports of Vols AD John Currie in Columbus to negotiate with Schiano, the tide of reports switched the other way as the cacophony crescendoed by the evening.
I am told Tennessee was going to have a press conference tonight to announce the hiring of Schiano but canceled it due to protests. Unsure if it will be rescheduled tomorrow or if the deal has fallen through. One prominent booster wasn't happy with Schiano hire.— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 26, 2017
And while that means Schiano is back in Columbus (for now), there's a possibility that this saga made him too toxic for anyone to hire. This moral crusade on two-year-old info is all based on bunk, too.
Not going to re-litigate the lengthy, complex Sandusky scandal but headline is very misleading. A document included non-specific allegation based on hearsay that attorney general (who investigated everything) didn't take serious enough to investigate. That's a big difference.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 26, 2017
You might be shocked to learn the famously big-brained Vols fanbase didn't have this same of outcry when a former player alleged Butch Jones called him a traitor in the locker room after he helped an alleged rape victim to safety.
These people are going to mess around and make it where only Saint Brady Hoke will be willing to take the job. Big ups to the Vols, though, for helping keep Schiano around Columbus (maybe):
Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick both consider Schiano one of the country's top defensive minds. That should carry a lot more weight than shock jocks and message board posters.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 26, 2017
The best part, though, is snafu could end up costing the Volunteers money:
Am told UT & Greg Schiano had a understanding of terms & now Schianos side is seeking compensation for breaking the agreement off. Wow https://t.co/ppxU2CWIrn— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 27, 2017
In more ways than one, too:
Just got off the phone with a prominent UT booster who said he has been furious all day over the handling of this and that the deal with Schiano now being called off does nothing to alleviate the anger over the whole situation.— Stephen Hargis (@StephenHargis) November 27, 2017
Oh well. Not my problem.
In another coaching candidacy news, venerable Bruce Feldman says Mississippi State could look at Ryan Day after Dan Mullen left for Florida:
Dan Mullen leaving #MissState for #UF, leaves behind a talented team for 2018.. Two names to keep in mind for the HC vacancy there: #Miami DC Manny Diaz (a former MSU asst) and #OhioState Co-OC Ryan Day (like Mullen, an Urban Meyer protege).. Both really smart coordinators.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 26, 2017
I'm more worried about Chip Kelly poaching Day than Mississippi State. Westwood is a lot more appealing than Starkville, and Day is a west coast guy.
WHO HAS IT WORSE THAN US? I tried to warn Michigan fans when their team hired Jim Harbaugh. Champions of Destiny are a helluva drug until it turns out you're worshiping a vagabond behind a 7-11 after a 72-hour PCP bender.
It's been three years, the same amount of time Nick Saban and Urban Meyer took to win titles at their second schools.
Harbaugh has a ways to go to get on that level, though:
In Jim Harbaugh's first 3 seasons, @UMichFootball is now:— Brian J. Manzullo (@BrianManzullo) November 25, 2017
- 0-3 against Ohio State
- 1-2 against Michigan State
- 0-4 vs. OSU, MSU at home
- 0-6 as an underdog
- 1-7 against Top 10 teams
All of this has to change starting in 2018.
Michigan fans, who you might have thought had an understanding of the grieving cycle after damn near two decades of soul-crushing losses, proved so intolerable Brian Cook turned off the comments before presumably drinking a liter of gasoline to feel alive again:
Comments are off at MGoBlog. They'll be back when I feel like it.mgoblog (@mgoblog) November 26, 2017
He was still mad online well into Sunday night:
The largest Michigan site on the internet shutting down comments because some adults can't handle some negative posts is about the lamest thing I've ever seen— Alex J Dull (@UMxwolverines1) November 26, 2017
why dont your gf fix her teeths— mgoblog (@mgoblog) November 26, 2017
We are reaching levels of Michigan cognitive dissonance where a whole generation is growing up wondering why even play Ohio State every year while the older generation fantasizes about bankrupting social security as one final middle finger.
It's a beautiful sight to see, just like Jimbo Fisher pulling the ripcord on his crumbling empire in the backwaters of Florida to cash in on Texas A&M's oil money:
Sources w/knowledge of TAMU search process tell me Jimbo-Fisher has a deal to be next Head Coach @AggieFootball .Fisher will coach 1 final game at FSU but not Bowl game should they become eligible. I'm told his TAMU contract will be at least 5 yrs/7.5 million per year. @KPRC2— Randy McIlvoy (@RandyMcIlvoy) November 26, 2017
After that one year where a crab thief led them to a title, it could be another era of impending mediocrity in Tallahassee.
BEST BOOKS OF 2017. Three years ago, I pledged to read more, and business boomed in 2017. If you're in the market for a new book this holiday season, here are the top 12 books I read this year.
Please note Stormlight Archive is actually three 1,200-page books.
|The Sympathizer||Viet Thanh Nguyen||Novel||Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction|
|Blood in the Water||Heather Ann Thompson||Non-Fiction||Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction|
|Warmth of Other Suns||Isabel Wilkerson||Non-Fiction||National Book Critics Circle Award Winner|
|The Blind Assassin||Margaret Atwood||Novel||Winner of the Booker Prize|
|Killers of the Flower Moon||David Grann||Non-Fiction||New York Times Bestseller|
"Silence I regard as a masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama."
— The New York Review of Books
|Stormlight Archive||Brandon Sanderson||Novel||New York Times No. 1 Bestseller|
|The Moor's Account||Laila Lalami||Novel||Pulitzer Prize finalist|
|The God of Small Things||Arundhati Roy||Novel||Winner of the Booker Prize|
|Library at Mount Char||Scott Hawkins||Novel||
“Wholly original…the work of the newest major talent in fantasy.”
—Wall Street Journal
|Death in the Haymarket||James Green||Non-Fiction||
"A powerful story of injustice, passion, prejudice and fanaticism."
– Chicago Tribune
|Never Caught||Erica Armstrong Dunbar||Non-Fiction||National Book Award Finalist|
My full reading list can be seen on my Instagram; a tradition I may continue into 2018.
THOSE WMDs. Greenland shark the longest living vertebrate on Earth... In South Korea, weddings and watches... Saving lives via text... Remembering the Thanksgiving in Hell... Secrets of the Scrabble masters... Schoolyard bully: A bedtime story of the Iran-Iraq conflict.