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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I generally like Stewart Mandel. But his latest mailbag is lazy, lazy, lazy. His piercing analysis of the Texas-OSU matchup is this:

"But I don't care who you are -- you don't go into the Horseshoe and win when Ohio State is good, especially not at night. Texas could conceivably turn around and win all the rest of its games -- yes, including Oklahoma -- but it's not going to beat the Buckeyes under the lights in Columbus, and neither would any other team."
Uh, unless you're Wisconsin last year. Were the Buckeyes "good" then? They finished 8-4, seems good. Come on, Stewart. That's the kind of sentiment you'd find a toothless 14-year-old pounding out in ALL CAPS on a message board where they think "scUM" is clever.

And then there's this analysis of the Michigan passing game:
"Now, had Gradkowski gone to Michigan or Ohio State (and assuming he even got off one of their benches), he'd be asked to run a conservative offense where he hands the ball off 35 times a game and, when he does throw, rarely gets the chance to go downfield (and if he does, he's probably throwing to some sick athlete like Braylon Edwards, who can turn poorly thrown floaters into completions)."
Oy. Welcome to 1990. How many guys like Howard, Toomer, Alexander, Terrell, Walker, and Edwards does Michigan have to showcase before it sheds its image as a run at all costs offense? Michigan's true freshman quarterback just threw for 2700 yards and 25 touchdowns. I could understand if this was Beano Cook talking, but Mandel seems like a guy who's actually watched football sometime after 1979.

The super weird thing is that paragraph came in the midst of a discussion about the MAC and how its lightly-recruited quarterbacks seem to outperform the Big Ten's. Mandel specifically calls out Navarre as an example of a guy who was "lapped" by the superior development of MAC coaching staffs, which is exactly opposite reality as I perceive it. Navarre's other D-I offer at quarterback was Northwestern and the man was a disaster as a sophomore. The fact that he evolved into an All Big Ten quarterback and an NFL draft pick (okay, by the Cardinals, so it hardly counts) was a tribute to Loeffler and Malone's coaching ability.

Michigan's offense is no longer old-school. I'd kill to see some old-school Michigan defense, though.