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Monday, November 19, 2007

Scheduling note: Light posting Wednesday; blog is off Thursday and Friday. UFR will be next week.

A clarification about this 1,000 word summary of the OSU game:


That screen capture comes from somewhere deep in the labrynthine comments of MGoBlog's tortured open thread, and may or may not indicate the reality of that specific play; the right side of Michigan's line looks like it could be charging downfield to set up a receiver screen, or it may just be doctored somehow to emphasize the larger reality it perfectly conveys: Michigan did not come close to blocking Ohio State, and though the Wolverine defense was significantly better the vast majority of the time, it was ultimately porous and beaten, too.
For the record, that was a handoff to Mike Hart, and the picture is not doctored.

Wooo! Michigan's likely bowl destinations:
Now Michigan's most likely destination appears to be the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio or Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

"At best, they'd be looking at the Alamo Bowl,'' said Frank Frana, an official with the Capital One Bowl. "At best.''


Ubiquitous. Yes, I have heard that Miles' wife bought a home in Barton Hills or Dexter or Chelsea or wherever, as have 80% of MGoBlog's readers if the email flood about it is any indication. It's always a friend of a friend thing, though, and no one has stepped forth as a primary source.

Our local Auburn fan has much more experience with crazy job searches and says that "Coach X's wife bought a home in tony area Y" is a standard opening salvo that doesn't really mean much other than "your team is looking for a new head coach." Advice: proceed skeptically.

Riposte. Friday I mentioned the rapidly-spreading meme that Carr announcing his retirement now either damages or entirely kills Les Miles' chance at the job. Stewart Mandel's got it, so you know it must be true! Carty responds indirectly:
And, no, the issue isn't that Michigan couldn't wait. If Bill Martin decided Les Miles was his No. 1 choice, he could certainly sit tight ... but every day he did that, the pressure on, and circus surrounding, Miles would grow larger and larger. I just don't think he could simply refuse to answer questions about Michigan as the job sits open and LSU gears up for the title game. There would be tremendous pressure on him to withdraw from consideration from an administration and fanbase that's still got a huge inferiority complex after being dumped by Mr. Saban.

Even if he did manage to hold out, he'd be blamed from coast to coast if LSU then lost in the title game.

Bottom line? It's a no-win situation for Miles and Michigan fans coveting him if Carr announces his retirement any time prior to late December or early January.
This is completely unconvincing, IMO.

One: This is a classic example of overrating the importance of the media. The "circus" surrounding Miles has been in full effect since the Appalachian State game and he has pointedly refused to come out and say he is staying. Result? LSU is #1. The marginal effect of a blizzard of newspaper articles on a football team is microscopic, if not zero. Glenn Dorsey isn't going to slack off because Miles might leave.

Two: The point at which LSU fans had any illusion Miles would be their coach next year has long past. Check any message board or blog: the opinion Miles is gone, gone, gone is virtually unanimous. They seem to be mostly okay with this.

Three: Carty says Miles couldn't refuse to answer questions about the Michigan job... and justifies that in no way whatsoever. He has already done so. Today he specifically told someone in his press conference not to ask him about other jobs. I wouldn't be surprised if some time in the next week he politely tells the assembled media corps he will not address any issues other than his team and their preparations for the rest of the season. End of circus.

Four: Carr retiring in late December or early January still gives the media enough time to get the circus up and going before the national title game... so what's the difference?

This entire thing is kind of ridiculous. There isn't a person alive other than Kige Ramsey who thinks Miles won't crawl to Ann Arbor over broken glass and bullet ants if he's offered the job. If Michigan has decided he's the guy, they should tell LSU's athletic department and allow the LSU AD to determine what course of action to pursue. Options:
  • Pull a Bo, dump Miles for interim HC Bo Pelini.
  • Keep it quiet, maintaining the existing status quo.
  • Make a formal announcement, removing all doubt and allowing them to get started on their search.
#1 would leave LSU short a coach and in the hands of a first-time head man on a national championship run. #2 is annoying but SOP. #3, IMO, would be the best way to proceed. LSU fans understand the "run home to momma" effect and don't seem peeved at all; the kids are still playing for their own glory.

One thing we can be sure of: whatever happens, Miles will get roasted by the same sort of columnists who love talking about gritty dirty gritful David "Grit" Eckgritstein should LSU lose.

Jebus. Yet another NYT article on the stadium renovations -- they're covering this more closely than Iraq. I only mention it to highlight another deceitful John Pollack quote:
“Clearly, the University of Michigan felt it is more important to accommodate millionaires in luxury boxes than it is to guarantee equal access to the stadium for disabled fans,” said John Pollack, who organized a group called Save the Big House.
Yes, of course, as if the two items have anything to do with each other.

Recruits. Time to start panicking? Maybe, maybe not. Instate commits Kenny Demens, Boubacar Cissoko, and Dann O'Neill all reaffirmed their commitments to Michigan today. PA LB/RB Christian Wilson, however, said something about re-opening his recruitment earlier, and PA WR/KR Cameron Saddler and LB/DE Shayne Hale have eliminated Michigan. (HT: Varsity Blue.)

Etc.: Best AA Gameday signs -- my personal favorite is "we can afford sleeves"; Angelique Chengelis talks about her interactions with Carr; GS says goodbye, Lloyd; MnB on the game; Braves and Birds diagnoses all the fail.