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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Site note: There appears to be a pattern and cause for the intermittent site issues for some viewers. The browser affected appears to be Firefox on a Mac. The cause is excessive youtube embedding. I'll cut back on the Wolverine Historian embeds and try to keep the flash down in the future. Also, sorry about the late and flimsy content. I am way behind this week and have to spend the day in intensive UFR mode to get them up tomorrow.

Thought you might find this interesting. I'm enjoying the ND losses so much I decided to plot the cumulative winning percentage of Michigan and Notre Dame over time.

(click for big)

Pretty sure it's accurate as I've compared my database with Stassen's at various times.

That margin looks small, but I believe it's at 6.5 games after this weekend's results. You can see the Bo bump in the early 70s and then a very slight upward trend since; Notre Dame has been in decline since the 60s with brief bursts of competence.

Many of yesterday's comments echoed this:

I read your blog daily and most of the time thoroughly enjoy it. Your in-depth coverage is entertaining and informative. However...

Your constant nit-picking and general negativity is wearing a little thin on me. A win is a win, and therewere extenuating circumstances that I believe make this a great, repeat, great Michigan victory. In a season filled with ridiculous results, I think it's time you opened your eyes a little and drank a bottle of perspective. You still seem hell-bent on writing off this season after the early losses. They lost two games. Get over it already and move on.

I however, am truly enjoying each and every game. Football is not a science. And it's not life or death. Relax a little and enjoy being a fan of Michigan football.

Respectfully yours,

Roger Greenspan
I admit being surprised at two things: the generally uncritical reaction to the shoddy nature of the win and the often extremely critical reaction to the game post yesterday, which I thought would be uncontroversial.

First: I am capable of independent thought even in the presence of other people with opinions, and if you are theorizing that the person adjacent to me poisoned my view of an excellent road win you must consider the possibility that Brent Musberger, a mobile hagiography, may have distorted your view of an ugly win against an incompetent team coached by a guy who many consider a dolt.

Second: Of course I am hung up on the first two games of the year. I would remind you that we went from national championship contenders to national laughingstocks in two quick weeks in the senior years of Jake Long, Chad Henne, and Mike Hart largely because the team was woefully ill-prepared to stop a I-AA team that could not throw. The horrendous coaching breakdowns that led to the parade of mistakes do continue to color my opinion of the team and the year and will do so until the sun expands and consumes the earth. Given Carr's well-established track record it would be silly to do otherwise.

Third: Was it really that negative? I mean:
This was slightly annoying. I, of course, still had my arms above my head, signaling touchdown, and Person Accompanying Me was busy criticizing impending victory moments after an audaciously successful trick play. She was basically right -- Illinois handed us the game, but only after we had attempted to hand it to them and then they had attempted to hand it back and then we had attempted to hand it back back -- but, like, come on now. Sure, this had all the beauty of the Soviet Bloc interior of Memorial Stadium, about which more later, but victory was likely ours. Eventually that counts for something.

After the thing had finally come to its disjointed end, a sense of relief filtered in. Michigan survived a potential minefield. It was ugly and sordid and dirty but it was a win, and now Michigan is going to play Ohio State for the Rose Bowl unless the roof caves in against both State and Wisconsin. This is a long way from 0-2 and being a national laughingstock; Carr has once again picked his charges up off the mat and driven them towards respectability. We can wish this peculiar talent of Carr's was less firmly established, but we should be thankful for it at the same time.

Let's try again: November 17th for all the marbles, at least in Bo's world, and a chance at a happy ending for Carr and Henne and Hart and Long and us.
In a nutshell: this is that Wisconsin game where a punt bounced off Brett Bell, it was ugly and let's get out of Dodge, I'm happy we won, let's go beat Ohio State. I am looking for the part where I lose touch with reality and turn into a crabby old man demanding cranberry juice and hating life.

Four: Please keep in mind that I was in the endzone and everything looked one missed tackle away from a touchdown. I reserve the right to change my mind in UFR.

Five: I withdraw the bullet about the Henne substitution. I was not aware of the situation. Also...
As for Hart, who traveled to Illinois and was on the sideline in sweat clothes, it appears it could be a game-time decision whether he can play.

Now to something we can all agree on:
"People better enjoy it now," he said, shortly after his team's latest new low, a 38-0 home loss to previously staggering USC. "Have their fun now."--Chuckles

Is this guy serious? They are now 1-9 over their last 10 losing by an average of 24pts and this is what he has to say? I know you get heat sometimes for talking about ND too much, but this has gotten out of control. I can't imagine ever having to go through that. Losing to App State does not come anywhere close to comparing to what is going on down there. And then this fat bastard has the stones to say that we all need to have our fun now, because they are going to become some juggernaut. Anyway, I can't get enough of seeing him flame out and seeing their program hit such a low level and was hoping these new quotes from CW would turn into an anti-ND post sometime soon.
I wish; during the season the day-to-day column-tuesday-UFR-UFR-preview thing really cuts down on available time to be mean. And I've said it all before. So little bashing except what hits a UV now and then.

The picture of J Leman is sweet and all, but have you checked out his profile on Illinois' site? Scroll down and check out the sidebar:

The Apostle Paul? Awesome!

J Leman is 100% pure Colombian awesome. That is all.

You know who I'm talking about. [Email titled "James Laurinitius (sp)" -ed] I know you have previously taken the position that he was simply the beneficiary of the over-hype machine. Yes he had big turnover in big games, but his overall play was average at best to those of us who actually watched the games. I always felt the "sock puppets" simply wanted to anoint the next Big Kat, Hawk, Carpenter, etc. I haven't had the chance to watch much Ohio St. this season because their competition has been a joke so far. I've been reading a couple of mock drafts and some mid-season all-American lists, and he is a constant. What am I missing? Has he really become a can't miss, above average linebacker?

This is not quite the position espoused here. Laurinaitis was on the All Big Ten team I put together last year, albeit on the second team, and in the Ohio State preview I recounted the Litany Against Laurinaitis, then made an allowance:
Depending on how much he improves he could warrant the breathless Musbergerisms he receives; I still would like to see it before believing it. My theory on Laurinaitis is that he's great in space but easy to block and my theory on the OSU DTs is adequacy at best -- no double-teams demanded here -- so I am compelled to predict a significant step backwards in Ohio State's run defense. Like... not awful or anything, but thorough averageness is a possibility.
It appears he has made this leap, though I haven't seen much of OSU yet and couldn't tell you for sure. The assertions about a potentially questionable OSU run defense appear to be wrong -- currently #2 nationally -- and he has something to do with that. Complaints about Laurinaitis being overrated belong to last year; I have no position on him yet this year.