If this is the end, then thanks for the memories, Lloyd.
Thanks for the national championship. Thanks for the five Big Ten titles. Thanks for not allowing impropriety of the NCAA variety to stain the program.
|Careful Wolverine fans, losing Carr may not be a blessing. (AP)|
WWL will never forget your raw emotion after losing that gut-wrencher at Columbus last season. A day earlier your mentor, Bo, had died. Not only did you get your team ready, you coached your ass off.
But if mgoblog.com is right -- and who can question a blog, right? -- Michigan's Lloyd Carr is going to retire sometime next week, win or lose Saturday against Ohio State.
WWL doesn't usually go to such places but let's hope he wins. No coach deserves the crap Lloyd has taken after delivering a .756 winning percentage over his 13 seasons.
It's the Phil Fulmer Syndrome. Unless a program falls off a cliff (neither Tennessee nor Michigan have) then the coach deserves a lifetime pass for winning a national championship.
Sure, Appalachian State hurt. So does a 1-5 record against The Sweater Vest but this is modern football. No one is safe. Fans who pay more attention to the jersey than what is inside the jersey have to realize that fact.
After that 0-2 start, Michigan is in position to play for another Rose Bowl. Doesn't all that count for something? It should.
Still, all signs point to the end. Lloyd restructured his contract to make it easier for him to leave. He got two-year contracts for his assistants (perhaps cushioning the blow in case the head coach leaves?).
Maybe that's why Lloyd got all mushy this week and began recounting how he beat up a bully when he was 11. Metaphorically there are bullies all around him right now.
"Like my dad told me one day after I got beat up, 'You got to go back on that playground and you've got to fight,'" Lloyd said. "I was afraid but I did what he told me and it was one of the great lessons of my life. I was not afraid again."
Not of Jim Tressel. Not of Ohio State. Not of bloggers. Not of anyone.
Yo, Michigan, be careful what you wish for. Your next coach is going to go for it on every fourth down. Let's see how that goes over in Ann Arbor.
In other words, be happy for what you have/had. WWL is on record as picking Michigan and rooting for Lloyd. There's too much revenge motive. Too much Chad Henne and Mike Hart (they have to both play this week, don't they?) Too much Blue.
If this is the sendoff it should be done right: A win against Ohio State followed by Lloyd being hoisted on the shoulders of the nearest linemen.
If the noon game goes into overtime, Lloyd Carr literally will ride off into the sunset.
Scouting the Nation
• After the Oregon loss, the Big 12 is now on the clock with three championship contenders.
- Kansas is likely to move up to No. 2 in the BCS with a win over Iowa State.
- BCS No. 4 Oklahoma can clinch the Big 12 South by beating Texas Tech.
- About an hour away from Lawrence, BCS No. 5 Missouri will be playing at Kansas State to set up next week's Armageddon at Arrowhead.
If the Tigers and Jayhawks win they will meet Nov. 24 in the biggest football game ever for each school.
|OK, Jayhawks, the ball is in your court, now don't screw it all up. (US Presswire)|
That's assuming LSU wins out, which is foolish at this point. If the Tigers lose? Hello, Ohio State, if it beats Michigan.
• OK, so why does WWL get the feeling this is setting up for an Oklahoma-LSU rematch in the BCS title game? Same bat time, same bat stadium, same bat teams four years after LSU beat OU in New Orleans.
• Leave it to WWL favorite Jim Rome to get inside LSU coach Les Miles' head with the most revealing interview of the week.
The syndicated sports talk-show host asked LSU's coach some blunt questions about his future.
On Miles' allegiance to Michigan: "I don't think there's any question. It's fundamental that we're rooting for the Blue."
Have you or your representatives had any discussions with Michigan: "Absolutely not."
Do you ever think in a situation, what would Bo have done?: "Maybe 100 times a year, maybe three times a week."
Can you say unequivocally that you will be back at LSU next season?: "You know, I love this place. I'm turning no attention toward any other opportunities."
Read between the lines, LSU fans. That was not a definitive "Yes."
• It wouldn't be Michigan-Ohio State week without the Dead Schembechlers.
The self-described "Best Damn Punk Band in the Land" made national headlines when Bo died the day of their annual Michigan Hate Week concert.
Lead singer Bo Biafra handled the situation with class. He said a few kind words about Bo. The band, out of respect, changed its name to "The Bastard Sons of Woody Hayes."
A year later TBSOWH still hate everything Michigan and are threatening to play Ann Arbor Friday night before the game.
• Even before Dennis Dixon went down, Tim Tebow was beginning to run away with the Heisman race.
The kid is becoming Herschel Walker with a wing.
After accounting for seven touchdowns against South Carolina, it will be up to Urban Meyer how much Tebow pads his stats this week against Florida Atlantic.
"I think that was a Heisman performance," Meyer said after South Carolina. "We're near the end of the season and I normally don't say stuff like that. ... Five touchdowns? Five touchdowns rushing and he threw for two. That's a pretty good day's work."
• Those of us who have suffered sinus infections have sympathy for Florida's Percy Harvin. The sophomore receiver missed the South Carolina game and is out for Florida Atlantic.
Let's hope it doesn't come to this for Harvin. WWL once had to take steroids to get over a bad sinus infection. That wouldn't be good for anyone.
• WWL wouldn't trust the Pac-10 to film my kids' birthdays at this point.
The league has a profound problem with instant replay.
First, there was the Oklahoma-Oregon debacle last season. The meltdown at Oregon State last week led the league to suspend the replay crew for one week and take away postseason assignments from the on-field officials.
• Two weeks ago Matt Ryan was the frontrunner for the Heisman. Now he's in a battle to stay first-team all-ACC.
|Cullen Harper is quietly becoming the best QB in the ACC. Sorry, Matt Ryan. (US Presswire)|
• WWL is beginning to think Mike Leach was right. Officials who live in a college town shouldn't be working games involving that team. It cost the Texas Tech coach $10,000 to get that point across that last week.
Austin resident Randy Cristal officiating the Tech game in Austin was bad enough. But there was a situation even more egregious. Former Nebraska quarterback Clete Blakeman was working the Colorado game (vs. Iowa State) last week.
If you haven't noticed, Colorado and Nebraska are bitter rivals.
• A blackout worked for Mark "The Prince of Darkness" Richt last week against Auburn. This week the Georgia coach has called for a "redout" against Kentucky.
"Coach Richt is coming out of his shell and I love it," defensive tackle Jeff Owens said. "Everybody says he's too conservative and this and that, but look at him now."
Yeah, great, auditioning for the Florida State job.
• Miles continues his bonus hunt this week at Ole Miss. He already has picked up $75,000 for winning the SEC West.
A clause in his contract states that if he wins the national championship Miles has to be among the top three paid coaches in the nation. That would be in a league that includes:
1) Nick Saban, $4 million
2-4) Charlie Weis, Pete Carroll and Bob Stoops who each make more than $3 million per year.
Currently, Miles makes a paltry $1.8 million per.
• And then there are the really underpaid guys. Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom is stuck at $975,000. A win this week at Arkansas would assure the Bulldogs of a bowl. They are currently bowl eligible at 6-4 for the first time since 2000.