With 23 days between posts, I imagine our resident jester Goody is about half-way through a two-sentence post titled "the webmaster is lazy" that has a load of spelling mistakes and at least one misuse each of "too/two/to" and "your/you're." Alas, I do apologize for the long absence. For those unaware, I have been to the Land of the Rising Sun, where I thought I would have time to post every day...but didn't account for long hours, longer commutes, and ingesting pig's ear. You haven't lived until you've seen a 300+ pound man attempt to use Japan's public transportation system. I also figured that perhaps Johnny Cleveland or The Hammer would drop some knowledge on the group. It didn't happen, but let me tell you folks, it ain't easy posting in the offseason.
So much has happened since the last post, I don't know where to start. But allow me this brief diatribe...
I am getting a funny feeling about the upcoming season. There is a palpable feeling of indifference about the Wolverines. In fact, you're probably feeling it right now. Don't fret, it's not your fault, there are several reasons for this.
- The veritable home/away unbalance in our schedule coupled with a lackluster Big Ten conference left us with all of our marquis matchups on the road. This made it nearly impossible for the 2006 Wolverines to connect with the fans. Solution: Change the schedule around? Well the schedule tends to fix itself, through the rotation in and out of two teams on the slate...although it may take a couple years, and it only effects the Big Ten Schedule. It doesn't change Notre Dame and Ohio State both being at home or on the road. Penn State and Ohio State are also in home/home-away/away sync, at least through 2010.
- The last home game was against Ball State, and the home finale should never be against a team from the MAC. This was a result of the semi-forced 12 game season killing the bye week, not much we could do on short notice. Couple that with the fact that we came out so flat against them, leaving home fans with a lasting image of the defense having to step up on a Cardinal possession that could have resulted in the most embarrassing loss in college football history. Solution: Looks better for this year, as the odd non-conference game is early, an October 6th meeting with Eastern.
- Ending the season with two losses..again. 2004: Ohio State, Texas. 2005: Ohio State, Nebraska. 2006: Ohio State, USC. Ending the season on a sour note leaves you with a sour taste going into the next season. Not to mention the fact that we've lost three straight to the Buckeyes, which is sickening on so many levels. Solution: Must...beat...Tressel. Must...win...Bowl Game.
- Ohio State's success. Not just against us, but their appearance in the championship game and their Heismann trophy winning quarterback. And lets not even get into their appearance in the Final Four. Puke. Now. Thank god for Florida. Solution: Goodbye Troy Smith, goodbye Ted Ginn, goodbye Greg Oden.
- Off-season embarrassment. Carson Butler, the last hope for having a tight end, "broke some rules"...twice in a week in fact, and was booted with a couple of other players, Eugene Germany and Chris Richards. Adrian Arrington, the leading candidate to be #2 behind Mario, was uninvited to Spring Practice for also "breaking some rules." All of this activity put the Wolverines in contention for theFulmer Cup, which is not an honor. Now, according to an inside source, Mario Manningham has also screwed up...no word yet to what extent or what his status will be with the team...more to come in a future post. Solution: Stop acting like the Cleveland Browns.
With some big home games, including non-conference action against the Oregon Ducks and Notre Dame, things will be better from a fan's perspective, perhaps even exciting...in a good way, not the Ball State way. And while we must concentrate on a strong finish, an early or mid-season flub-up would be almost as devastating. Translation: beat Ohio State and win the Bowl Game, but tread carefully against Penn State and Michigan State, who are far beyond overdue to trip up the Maize and Blue. And let's not forget the late trip to Madison...
More to come before I head back...