Death, taxes, Ohio State football beating Michigan. It's starting to become a routine for the Buckeyes as they waltzed into Ann Arbor and wrecked the Wolverines, 56-27. Once again, Jim Harbaugh can't find a way to beat Ohio State and ends another regular season without a Big Ten championship. Something has to give with Harbaugh, right? Or maybe Michigan's problems run deeper than Harbaugh.
Michigan is a program that LOVES tradition. Whether it'd be from the Fab Five or from the days of Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines can't get enough of that peer pressure from dead people. That is the problem. When a program is so entrenched in its ways that it refuses to change, it gets left behind. Case in point, the Michigan Wolverines.
The Wolverines and their fans adore Schembechler more than anything in their athletics department. They live and die by the "Michigan Man" mantra, believing that a "Michigan Man" should run things in their respective sports. But perhaps Schembechler's views are a bit... outdated. See, ol' Bo's never won a national championship. Lloyd Carr has won more national titles than ol' Bo. Schembechler chalked success up to "winning the Big Ten, making it to Pasadena, and playing in the Rose Bowl". Believe it or not, Schembechler's bowl record in his 21 years was a paltry 5-12. See, Schembechler is not Nick Saban.
As much as the Wolverines worship Schembechler, they need to let him and the "Michigan Man" idea go. Yes, the one time you tried to hire out of your program was a disaster (Rich Rodriguez). However, football teams in Michigan aren't the most adept and are out of the loop regarding current football trends (see the Detroit Lions). Still, it's time to let go of the "A MiChIgAn MaN iS gOiNg To CoAcH MiChiGaN" shtick and go for someone like Saban or Dabo Swinney. Unless you want the Buckeyes, who have surpassed you in recruiting and culture, to beat you every year, dump Bo's philosophies.
Schembechler is what my generation would coin as "a curmudgeon". A "Boomer". Someone whose philosophies and ideas are out of touch with the modern world. Striving for just the Rose Bowl and just making it to Pasadena isn't enough, especially when Ohio State is beating you year in and year out. Schembechler's attitude about not winning titles doesn't ring well in today's college football landscape, especially when coaches like Saban, Swinney, and Urban Meyer (a Buckeyes head coach) make it their number one objective. Don't just recruit at the IMG Academy in Florida or go fishing for five-star recruits in New Jersey. Get some dogs in the fight and go down to places like Georgia and Texas.
Braylon Edwards talked about Jim Harbaugh in early October and how Harbaugh wouldn't even be coaching the Wolverines. Harbaugh and the Wolverines seemed fixated on getting guys from "white picket fences". Getting some players with a chip on their shoulder will help the Wolverines and help them return to prominence. Also, letting Bo go will go a long way. Otherwise, the Wolverines will never win another national title again.
So my first month anniversary of leaving Michigan is fast approaching. Although there are some bumps in the road, I have enjoyed my time here. I got to get in depth with my new job with a boss who has offered up his own couch for me to come out here. I've also gotten the chance to travel to places like Los Angeles and Utah and take in the sights for these regions. Right now, I'm in a good place.
However, I have been reading Facebook posts about fellow Metro Detroit millennials and how they moved back to Michigan from states like Colorado and Arizona. Mainly, they ether wanted to be with their families or be a part of the Detroit 'comeback'. That's fine, more power to them. But would I be doing the same thing in the near future?
Seriously. Why should I move back? I love it out here. People are friendly for the most part and the weather is just as friendly. As an adult, I felt like I didn't fit in when I lived in Michigan, specifically Romeo. Besides, my birth state has various issues, stemming from the roads to gutted public education. Why would I want to go back to that? No disrespect to my family and friends, but I found a new home and I'm glad I did. Viva Las Vegas!
This week's bonus pick will be added to the record... if I get it right. If not, it won't count. Because the Thanksgiving season is upon us (so is Black Friday shopping), we will be taking a look at the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts. So, who will win this AFC South match-up?
After work yesterday, I tuned in to watch Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens curbstomp the Rams into oblivion. The MNF game turned into such a snoozefest that I channel surfed until I came across National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Good choice, right? After all, it is a holiday classic, up there with the likes of Elf, Die Hard, and A Christmas Story.
Sadly, it didn't appeal to me. Chevy Chase plays a suburban Chicago father in what is an ode to holiday consumerism and America. It was so unfunny that I honestly hoped that Reggie White would show up and tackle Chevy Chase through the ground while Aaron Rodgers threw footballs at Chase's head. Not to knock on Chevy; he's a funny dude. It's just felt like I was watching the Seinfeld of Christmas movies, only boring. OOOOH, CHEVY CHASE JUST USED A CHAIN SAW TO CUT OFF A BULB ON THE STAIRCASE! HOW HYSTERICAL! I'M DYING LOLOLOLOLOL.
The movie ends with a SWAT team breaking through the house and with everyone looking up and seeing some lights that manifest into reindeer shooting across the sky. As they look up, they hold their hands to their heart and start singing The Star Spangled Banner because the 80's lifestyle in the midwest and holiday Americana go together like peanut butter and jelly. Christmas Vacation just... sucked. At least Johnny Galecki was in it. He's lost some weight since then. Good for him.
Thanksgiving is this week, so there are some teams that are thankful for where they're at this season. Others, not so much. What did this week provide in the NFL?
A BIG Ten match-up went down today. Did it live up to the hype?
Other Losers: SMU, Penn State, Pac-12's playoff hopes
College Football Playoff Four
The last time the San Antonio Spurs missed the playoffs was 1996-1997. During that time, Mario Kart 64 was released for the N64 and the first Harry Potter book was written by J.K. Rowling. Then, San Antonio drafted some guy named Tim Duncan, who paired up nicely with David Robinson. The Spurs went on to win five NBA titles with Gregg Popovich as head coach and Duncan as their big man. Key players such as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (and his bat-vanquishing ways) followed.
But now, the Spurs seem destined to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1996-1997. A loaded Western Conference coupled with aging or listless players has left San Antonio behind. It's unfortunate because San Antonio has been fun to watch for all these years. Watching Tim Duncan quietly become one of the best players in the NBA and watching Tony Parker run the floor has been a treat. But it seems like all that is going to end this season, barring a miracle.
Everything the Spurs have done have been consistent and under the radar. From Peter Holt's hires to drafting the right players, the Spurs have done everything and have not been met with much fanfare. Their playoff miss this season will be met with the same fate as San Antonio will likely miss the playoffs this season.
For this week's bonus pick, I'm going to focus on the Bills against the Broncos. The Broncos have faltered again, with listless quarterback play and guys such as Emmanuel Sanders gone from the team. Will Buffalo's stingy secondary make life a living hell for Denver and hand the Broncos another loss?
The playoff picture is tightening as December looms large. For some teams, it feels like the eleventh hour is upon them (see the Chargers and Jaguars). Here's what I took away from the eleventh week in the NFL.
The Crimson Tide's season has taken a sudden downward spiral. A defining defeat at the hands of rival LSU coupled with Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending injury has sent Alabama into a bit of uncertainty. Some people are going as far to say that Alabama's demise is imminent. So which of these schools could take Alabama's place atop the mountain for years to come?
My life! Food, sports, school. It's what it is!