The #7 ranked Michigan State Spartans were certainly impressive. They methodically ground down the #3 speedy Oregon Ducks. Surely, the Spartans will zoom up in the polls.
Wait a second.... Say what? That was only for the first half? Trailing by 6 at halftime, the Ducks came back to blister the Spartans by a 28-3 margin in the second half to win by a whopping 19 points, 46-27?
Well then. Nevermind. Despite their recent successes -- Big 10 championship, Rose Bowl victory, etc., it appears Mark Dantonio's boys aren't quite ready for prime time just yet. A nineteen point loss, even on the road to a good team, is a serious thumping. For one half, the Spartans were going up in the polls, but in the end they'll likely tumble several spots after such a spanking. But that's not nearly as bad as what happened to.....
The University of Michigan. Playing their last game, at least for the foreseeable future, against Notre Dame on the road, the Wolverines not only got spanked -- they got their Maize and Blue stepchild heads marched off to the woodshed and flogged for 3 hours. That's a lot of lashes.
31-0 isn't just a convincing victory. It's a beatdown, a total rout. In little league or softball, they would have invoked the "mercy" rule. Actually, at the end of the game, they did. As time was running out, Notre Dame intercepted a Michigan pass and ran it back for yet another touchdown. The final slap in the face to UM. But it was negated on a very questionable call. The score likely should have been 38-0.
Remember UM head coach Brady Hoke flapping his gums over ND opting out of future games? He called them "chickens". When UM prevailed at home last year against ND, the stadium speakers blared "the chicken song". A very low class, not to mention arrogant thing to do. Turned out, ND had committed to playing 5 games a year in the ACC. There's only so many weeks on the schedule. Some of their usual annual games had to go. UM didn't make the cut, and they didn't like it. How DARE somebody relegate them to second class citizens? Harummph.
That's one way of looking at it. Given what just happened in South Bend, an argument could be made the Fighting Irish wanted tougher competition than what the Wolverines have to offer.
But it appears second class citizens are exactly what the Wolverines have become under Brady Hoke. Watching Hoke himself, be it in press conferences or on the sidelines, is certainly enough to make one wonder about a couple things. When being interviewed, Hoke is all about rah-rah. We are Michigan. We are great. We are proud. Sounds more like a cheerleader than a head coach.
During the games, Hoke is the only head coach yours truly can think of that doesn't wear a headset. In other words, he has no idea what plays/formations, both offensively and defensively, are being called by his coordinators and other coaches. More than once during the Notre Dame game, Hoke could be seen on the sidelines yelling LET'S GO. Excuse me, but that doesn't exactly sound like a strategic approach in modern day football.
Idle thought: Given Brady Hoke's seat as a head coach was already warm after last year -- following the debacle at Notre Dame, it heated up several more degrees.
It would be no great surprise if the powers that be at Michigan weren't soon quietly seeking out their next coach, because Hoke is clearly not the answer to what ails them. And they have to play @MSU in a few weeks, with likely another beatdown in store. The "big brother, little sister" argument is over. We have a clear winner, and it's in East Lansing -- not Ann Arbor. To boot, UM has to play their typical last regular season game on the road @ Ohio State. Yes, their star QB Braxton Miller is lost for the season, and they appear to be struggling without him. But give head coach Urban Meyer a couple months to bring along a "new guy" and it would also come as no surprise if the Buckeyes weren't ready to take the Wolverines to the woodshed again towards the end of November. Meyer's track record speaks for itself. Where he goes, adjustments are made quickly and his teams win. If they smoke the Wolvernes, Brady can kiss his maize and blue butt goodbye -- if the handwriting isn't already on the wall.
Combined, the two major football programs in Michigan lost by a whopping 50 points.
Detroit's still bankrupt, the roads remain the worst in the entire country, and the Tigers lost again. Once thought to be shoo-ins as division champs, the Tigers are in a dogfight to merely MAKE the playoffs as a wildcard.
All in all, a dark day indeed for the mitten state......