Black Shoe Diaries hosts Week 9′s Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable.
1. Pretend for a moment you’re the little Japanese guy on Heroes. You can close your eyes, clench your fists, crap your pants and go back in time. If you could go back and change one play for your team this season, what would it be?
Without a doubt, it would be this play:
On top of erasing the embarrassment and all of the crap I’ve taken and will still take for years, Michigan would have only 1 loss and believe it or not, would be right up there in the national title hunt. Let me say right now that I don’t think U-M would’ve been rated that highly, but considering they are playing very strong right now, I could see them in the top 10 if that opening game loss would’ve never happened.
2. We’re now two-thirds of the way through the season. Everyone likes to debate who will be the Big Ten Coach of the Year. I want to know which Big Ten coach is a complete moron that should be demoted back to fullbacks coach on a team that runs the spread offense?
I’m torn between the coach Michigan just played this past Saturday and the one that U-M will play this coming Saturday. The former is Illinois coach Ron Zook, who is quickly turning into John L. Smith. Sure, he can recruit (although Slappy never could do that), but the team he puts on the field is far from what it should be with the talent he has from those recruits. Switching your quarterback at the end of the game over and over is just plain dumb in itself, but also having a team that is so undisciplined in such crucial moments doesn’t help your case either, or it does in regards to this question.
The other coach that I was talking about above is Minnesota’s Tim Brewster, who will play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday. Brewster has turned a bowl-caliber team into a 1-7 laughing stock in just two-thirds of a season. I don’t blame him completely since Minnesota probably shouldn’t have fired Glen Mason in the first place and then definitely shouldn’t have hired Brewster, but going from a bowl to 1-7 obviously has a lot to do with the head coach.
Since I put more of the blame on the athletic department for causing Minnesota to go 1-7 and lose to a I-AA team (Who does that? Oh yeah, nevermind.), I’m going to go with Zook on this one since he just seems like a big moron when it comes to coaching.
3. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. But the Bible doesn’t say anything about your rival. Which current Big Ten player do you most wish played for your team?
This is a tough one. There are a few that really stand out to me, but the one that has my attention the most right now is Michigan State’s Jonal Saint-Dic. Saint-Dic has been an absolute beast this season when it comes to forcing fumbles as he has already set the single-season record for the Big Ten and is closing in on an NCAA record. Since fumbles can change a game so quickly and shift the momentum completely, I wouldn’t mind having Saint-Dic on Michigan’s roster, especially since we’ll see him in a week and a half.
BONUS: It’s probably too early to start thinking about next year. Well, unless you’re Minnesota in which case you’ve been thinking about next year for a month or so already. Assess your team’s future. Was this year your chance to make a run or is this just a rebuilding year with greater expectations in 2008? Or do you plan to suck in 2008 just as much as you suck now?
This was definitely the year for Michigan to make a run at a national title. Looking back to the start of the season, if the Wolverines could’ve just done what I said in the answer to question 1, then they would’ve been in discussion for the national title game simply because so many teams have 1 loss and by the end of the season it could be 2 losses that puts a team right outside the top 2. Regardless, looking into the future, we actually got to see what 2008′s backfield could look like on Saturday against Illinois. With Mike Hart out and Chad Henne leaving for parts of the game, it was Ryan Mallett and Carlos Brown in the backfield, which really is a preview of next year. Brown played very well, but Mallett did struggle. I think once Mallett becomes “The Man” in practice he will adjust and play much better, so there is great hope for the future.