Hopefully this well help you all get through your day, watch each video 4 or 5 times and it will be time to go home before you know it.
I hope you enjoyed that, I know I did.
Back in the late 1960s, Michigan picked up a new head coach, some guy by the name of Schembechler. His coaching style irritated a lot of the people at Michigan. He worked his kids like dogs. Players left the team in droves.
But Bo had a method to his madness. He was going to whip these players into men. In the locker room, he erected a sign that proudly read “Those who stay will be champions”.
And then he went out and made those men into champions. Bo Schembechler was the greatest coach Michigan football has ever known, and probably ever will know. Those players who left the team became nothing more than a motto for his newer players, and he used their weakness to make the rest of the team stronger.
It was brilliance and it drove Woody Hayes insane.
Fast-forward to today.
Michigan just lost two more players to transfer, LB Marell Evans and DL Vince Helmuth have both announced their intent to transfer and will no longer be with the team.
How many players have now transferred out of Michigan since Rich Rodriquez took over as head coach? 10? 20? Seriously, does anybody know? And does Justin Feagin count, since he was only kicked off the team for selling cocaine to UM students?
The second season of RichRod hasn’t even begun yet, and Michigan fans are touting their fourth “star quarterback” of his era (five if you count Ryan Mallett). Every position has been hit by transfer and dismissal, and very few positive things have been said by the outgoing players.
The point is that these kids are not being worked to death by a great coach like Bo. These kids are simply not being given what they thought they were getting when they signed on at Michigan.
Rich Rodriquez is no Bo Schembechler, and the evidence of that keeps piling up.
Yes, Michigan has a weak schedule this year. Yes, they will likely win more than the 3 that they won last year. Yes, they will get better.
But if anybody thinks that the mass exodus that we are seeing now resembles the 1969 Michigan team, you’re sadly sadly mistaken. Clinging to the “but RichRod had a history of awesome second seasons” is not going to cut it.
His players know it, and you know it. The rest of the college football world knows it too.
But for some reason, the Michigan fans refuse to see the writing on the wall. By the time Jim Tressel has won 8 in a row against Michigan, they might be angry enough to see it too. Let’s hope they cling to Rodriquez as long as we clung to John Cooper.
I’ve gotta admit, I’ve been on a bit of a tear against Michigan fans lately. I feel a bit guilty about it. Screw them, here’s more.
Today, MGoBlog posted a story about an old van painted to look like a Michigan helmet, that has been autographed by dozens of the greatest Michigan players/coaches you could ever hope to assemble. Judging by the looks of it, these autographs have been compiled over a span of at least two decades.
Bo Schembechler’s autograph is on this van. So is Lloyd Carr. Anthony Carter. Jim Harbaugh. Mike Leach. TONS more. Here’s a picture;
Apparently, the van had been on sale for as little as 2500 dollars recently, but had no buyers.
It’s gone unsold for a long time, and there are still no buyers. I’m completely shocked by this story. If this were a van painted like a Buckeye helmet and it had the autographs of Woody Hayes, Archie Griffin, and even HALF the numbers of players on it, it would already have been sold for at least 10 grand. The damn thing could have no engine in it, and it’s still going to bring in 5 figures.
I’m baffled as to why it’s still unsold. Even as a diehard Buckeye fan, I must admit – that van is pretty damn cool.
But the symbolism of the whole thing has escaped our friends in the Michigan blogosphere.
This is a picture of the aforementioned van, as it stands today –
Yes, that’s right – the wheels have come off.
And NOBODY up there sees the delicious irony in that??? Art imitating life, anybody????
To close it off, MGoBlog asks the following;
I don’t know what you do with a junked, wheel-less rusting old heap of bolts but if there’s anyone out there who can rescue this thing from its ignominious fate, my conscience would be indebted to you.
Ummmm, Brian? Isn’t that what you hired Rich Rodriquez to do? Rescue a junked, wheel-less rusting old heap of bolts?
I grew up with the name Chris Spielman dominating the news. When I was in junior high, he was a running back and a linebacker at Massillon High School, a mere seven miles from my house. He humiliated both offenses and defenses across the state week after week. Guys in this town still have nightmares from when they were 16 year-old kids and would get punished having to try and tackle him on Friday night. They don’t talk about getting tackled by him because the concussion took that memory away.
Dude was even on a Wheaties box before he turned 18.
Then he chose Ohio State. Actually, his father told him to choose Ohio State or “never come home again”. Spielman was apparently considering that school up north.
In 1986 he was all over the field against Michigan, recording 29 tackles in a single game. No, that’s not a misprint. 29 tackles in one game.
So by the time I got to see him up close for the first time, he was a legend.
In 1987, I went up to Michigan Stadium to see the Buckeyes/Wolverines game. Four days earlier, Ohio State had fired head coach Earle Bruce and it was considered a travesty in every part of Ohio except the university president’s office. The players were pissed, and they were fully supporting Bruce.
During pre-game warmups that cold morning, we were right along the end zone wall, screaming for our Bucks. The players (who, in solidarity, had all put on white headbands with the name “Earle” emblazoned upon it in black Sharpie) were fired up and loving the atmosphere of the day. Hundreds of high-fives and hugs being exchanged between players and fans. It was electric.
Except for Spielman.
I have never seen a scarier sight in my life than when #36 came near our corner of the end zone. The look in his eyes was of pure anger and pure hunger. Nobody reached out to wish Spielman luck. They were too afraid of him. He looked as if he would literally plunge a rusty 6-inch shank in your jugular vein if you got in his way.
We were terrified of him and we were on the same freaking team.
And then we watched Michigan’s offense try to use only half of the field, constantly running to the side of the field that didn’t have a guy named Spielman on it. They clearly remembered the attack they had witnessed in 1986 (seriously, 29 tackles!) and tried their best to avoid a repeat.
That day, Spielman and the rest of the Buckeyes gave Bruce his final win at Ohio State, beating Bo Schembechler 23-20. Thanks, Chris!
36 days until kickoff!
This morning, our old friends at Eleven Warriors published a brilliant piece on John Cooper and his recent induction in the College Football Hall Of Fame.
Of course, you can’t write a Cooper-based piece with using the numbers 2, 10, and 1. 11W did that. Sprinkled around the article is a list of Coop’s accomplishments, and The BBC will not argue with the fact that these feats qualify our former coach for the HOF.
But our disagreements about Cooper end there. I haven’t yet forgiven Coach for many of his failures and perhaps I still hold too much of a grudge….but my frustration with him hasn’t faded.
My freshman year at The Ohio State University was 1987. Earle Bruce had a team with minimal talent and he caught a few horrible breaks that year (seriously, a TD on 4th-and-23 to Iowa….in The Shoe). But four days after the administration fired Bruce, his team went up to Michigan Stadium and beat Bo Schembechler. With Greg freaking Frey taking snaps, no less.
My sophomore year was Cooper’s first year, and the season hadn’t even begun before Cooper’s heart was being questioned. I recall an article in The Lantern in which Cooper was openly mocking students who had casually reminded him that he shouldn’t be wearing a blue blazer around campus. Rather than run to complain to the student newspaper, he should have pulled aside any one of his assistant coaches or players and asked them why it was so important to ditch the blue (and/or maize) colored apparel.
When the season began, the first three games would tell you all you needed to know.
The Buckeyes were schizophrenic under Cooper and when they finally captured some sort of consistency, it wasn’t the type of consistency we wanted to see.
John Cooper, during the off-season, was a brilliant recruiter and nobody could ever (and possibly will ever again) put together a team like he could. Every amazing player you saw in the 1990s was brought to Columbus through the charm and brilliance of John Cooper. Eddie George. David Boston. Orlando Pace. Shawn Springs. Joey Galloway. Etc, etc, etc.
But where we may have been the most talented team on the field every single Saturday, that talent was often wasted with poor coaching decisions time and time again. Let’s not forget…..
I could actually go on and on for a long time. I’m sure you could too. Cooper’s issues are a novel waiting to be written.
Eleven Warriors closes their article with “if you can’t at least bring yourself to recognize and appreciate the good that Cooper did at Ohio State, then you’re either clueless, or hold irrationally long grudges. Neither is healthy.”
11W is right….Cooper deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame. But let me be the first to stand up and say that while I recognize and appreciate the good that Cooper did, I am not at all prepared to forgive him for the shame and humiliation brought upon us by him.
To this day, I still can’t figure out why we haven’t hired him to be a recruiter for Ohio State, and then put a restraining order on him every Saturday afternoon in the fall to prevent him from showing up at Ohio Stadium.