Hail to the Victors?!?!?

Monday, September 03, 2007

As an MSU alum, I should be gloating. Over the years, my anti-Michigan feelings have mostly gone away and I can enjoy watching Michigan win. This game was just stunning. It was not televised, so I didn't even know they were behind, nor did I even know who they were playing. To be perfectly honest, I didn't have a clue were A-State was located. They are already calling this the biggest upset in college football history, possibly even sports history. There are also calls for Lloyd Carr's resignation. I would think that U of M is considering this and he does bear a significant amount of responsibility. That being said, I think that a team that is this talented bears some of the blame.

I wish I could say that I know what this feels like. After all, MSU lost to CMU in the early 90's and received some well-deserved flak, but this is whole different kind of loss...the only time a I-AA school has beaten a I-A school.


B Mac 2:37 PM  

Oh, I was there. And I have some thoughts on the subject, which I will post tomorrow.

But for now, this was not the first time a 1-AA squad has beaten a Division 1 team... but it is the first time that they have beaten a RANKED team (let alone the #5 team in the country. At home).

More to come. I must go back to my alcohol...

steves 7:36 PM  

Oops, I should have read it more carefully. Didn't the U of M hockey team lose to a division II team back in the 90's? I am not saying it should never happen, but with all alumni donations, their athletes are paid well enough that the fans should expect better.

Andy 2:03 PM  

I have been giving this a lot of thought (as an alum and someone who has rarely missed a UM game until this year), and was gonna post on this myself, so here goes:

Michigan has flirted with a loss like this for years. We have a tradition of playing to the level of the team that we play (whether Wisconsin or Ball State). This is especially true in the non-conference scehedule. We just barely beat a non-so-great Utah team a few years ago 10-7. Last year we beat Ball State by a touchdown. We also should have lost to Washington a few years ago. Those are just the games I recall off-hand.

Michigan has also struggled against the spread and running QB's since 1998. Syracuse (Donovan McNabb), OSU (Troy Smith), Texas (Vince Young) all come to mind. They were able to overcome this for a while, but it never really went away.

And, for some reason, App State figure this out when no Big 10 team has. Mostly use of the spread. They watched OSU tape and USC taps and just did the same thing.

App State outplayed Michigan. True. I also think they could have beat most of the Big 10 on that day, and many other teams in D-I (Bowl Division).

I blame parity (Texas also almost lost to Ark State, and dropped in the rankings as a result). But I also blame defensive ineptness in the first half (for 28 points!), bad drive-killing penalties, and awful special teams. I would like to say that App State played a perfect game, but they didn’t. They missed a field goal, and they were intercepted with 6 minutes remaining in the game. They pushed through, though. Michigan fought back hard, but still gave up a big drive with 1:30 left. Then, after unbelievable plays by Hart and Manningham, screwed up the protection of the kick. No focus. No recopgnition of an overloaded side. Unbelievable. But kudos for the kicker for running down the ball carrier and not letting the game be 38-31.

Michigan flat out lost the game. I put Armanti Edwards on my Heisman list.

Now, the team needs to regroup. The whole season rests on Oregon. Michigan needs to beat Oregon and ND, and have momentum going into the Big 10. They must win the Big 10 (or at least do real well) to save the season. No national championship this year, but beating Oregon, ND, PSU, MSU, Wisc, and OSU would still be great.

If they can only find a defense and special teams (and Henne becomes more accurate)…

steves 2:27 PM  

Do you think that Carr should get the boot? I hear people bitching about him every year, but it seems worse now. OTOH, it seems that some people will bitch if it is anyone (except for Bo).

Andy 3:00 PM  

You know, I don't. I think that Michigan really needs to defend better against the spread offense and running QB's, and that seems to transcend defensive coordinators (Herman and English have had trouble). Both def coord's had great defenses (first in the nation most of the last two years) so they do fine most of the time. But the spread is still a problem. I think Carr needs to allow for a defensive scheme that is flexible to deal with the pro set when that is run, and the spread when that is run.

No new coach would have prevented many of the mistakes from last week.

That being said, I think this may be his last year either way. He won't be fired (he won a natl championship!), but I think he retires soon. My opinion, not based on anything...

B Mac 4:48 PM  

Andy, your thoughts on Lloyd's security are backed up from what I've heard from my (very VERY limited) sources within the Athletic Department.

I ran out of time today, and I didn't get a chance to post my thoughts on the game. Which was probably good, because I'm still mentally stuck at "HOW THE &*^$%$#@&^% did that HAPPEN???????"

steves 8:12 AM  

Good point, Andy. Wasn't Saint Bo 4-12 in bowl games? One good thing about Carr is that he runs a clean program, which can't be said of all college football teams.

Joel,  9:07 AM  

Lloyd Carr will always be able to leave on his own terms, which, in all likelyhood, will be at the end of this season. People were saying that BEFORE the opener. He's been to 3 BCS games in the last four years, is 16-8 against other top ten teams, has a national title and five big ten titles and has one 78% of his games. That's a college football hall of fame resume. You don't get the boot after that, especially not at Michigan where loyalty runs pretty deep. As Bill Martin said the other day, a lot of people out there have pretty short term memories about what Lloyd has done for Michigan.

Has he struggled against OSU recently? Yes, but there was a time he OWNED them. He's still beaten OSU as much as they've beaten him, which is a testament to how well he did against them in the 90's.

So much of college sports is cyclical. UM had their time against OSU for a while, OSU has their time now. UM will struggle in bowl games, then rattle off 5 straight bowl wins like they did between '98 and 2002. It all ebbs and flows.

And what Andy said was right. I was at the game too and that App. State team would have beaten MOST D-I teams that day, and would have beaten SEVERAL Big Ten teams. Does that mean Michigan should have lost to them? Hell no! But, it was the PERFECT circumstance for it... little fast guys who knew their offense, played to their strengths (which happened to be Michigan's weakness) executed very well, had all their starters (opening day versus 6 games into the season = BIG DIFFERENCE)... it all came together. Mix in errors by the Michigan offense which, going in, didn't believe it was going to need to be perfect to win and therefore probably wasn't prepared to be perfect... and their you have it.

Mr Furious 11:00 AM  

I'm not a big college football guy, I grew up in New England, but I live in Ann Arbor, and as such was compelled to post on this game.

Commence blogwhoring: My thoughts

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