Shake up season with night and nonconference games
To the Daily:
Our football program needs to update itself beyond Lloyd’s atrocious, predictable play-calling. Why don’t we play titanic nonconference games anymore? We used to: Miami in 1988, Florida State in 1991. It’s been a long time since we’ve played a nonconference game similar to the thrilling Texas-Ohio State game last weekend. What are we afraid of? We’re Michigan, damnit! Let’s truck in some lights and play one of these games at night. Can you imagine how big it would be to play a Southern Cal., LSU, Tennessee, Florida State or Miami game under the lights at the Big House on national TV on a September Saturday night? Instead, we’re stuck with boring noon games against whatever Directional Michigan/Mid-American Conference cupcake is on the schedule this week. I know that might upset some Victors Club members who like to be safely tucked into bed by sundown and remember when players wore leather helmets, but Michigan football needs to shake the dust off more than just Lloyd’s playbook.
It doesn’t get any better than Coach Carr
To the Daily:
I implore Aaron Johnson to think twice about his strong criticism of Lloyd Carr (An open letter to Lloyd Carr, 09/12/05). As a loyal supporter of Michigan football since the day I was born, there is no one I would rather have coaching our Wolverines than Carr. Why? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
In his first decade as head coach, Carr has coached his teams to at least a share of five Big Ten championships, as well as one national championship. He has led the Wolverines to nine consecutive New Year’s Day bowl games, winning five of them. Carr is fifth amongst active Division I coaches in overall winning percentage. His teams have averaged nearly 10 victories per year, and have never finished lower than 20th in national polling at season’s end. This includes four finishes in the top 10. Most importantly, during his tenure, Michigan has been free of the excessive disciplinary problems and NCAA scrutiny that so plagues our biggest rivals each and every year.
Carr is emblematic of the success and tradition of Michigan football. He is a man of integrity and character. It puzzles me to see a coach that has proven himself so successful over the entirety of his career subjected to such a staggering amount of intense criticism. There are plenty of teams nationally that would do almost anything to attain the kind of success Carr has had at Michigan, and the fact that fans like Johnson cannot appreciate and celebrate the University’s successful and clean football program gives me the impression that there is nothing within reason that would bring them the satisfaction they desire.
Yes, it is depressing to see Michigan lose, and I must admit I was extremely disappointed after Saturday’s game. The season, however, is not lost. We can still cheer our Wolverines to a third consecutive Big Ten title and a third consecutive trip to a BCS bowl game. And it’s very possible the Wolverines could once again be in Pasadena when all is said and done. Let us not concentrate on what went wrong in one game, and instead concentrate on what we can do to make sure our football team knows that we’re still behind it for the remainder of the season. This includes supporting our head football coach and his coaching staff.
Stale season plagued by low expectations
To the Daily:
Matt Venegoni (Did M’s loss ruin the day? It shouldn’t, 09/12/05) wrote that “even though the loss was a big, sad letdown, it was hardly shocking. Our expectations are so high at Michigan that any time we lose – the winds are taken out of our collective sails.” He’s wrong. The reason that the loss was “hardly shocking” is not because our expectations are so high, but rather because our expectations are low. After Saturday’s game, Michigan has lost three out of the last four games to Notre Dame, three out of the last four games to Ohio State and three out of the last four bowl games. That’s not an enjoyable statistic. This is hardly the Michigan program it once was. How far have we fallen if we have to tell ourselves before every big game, whether it be Notre Dame, Michigan State, Iowa or Ohio State that a loss shouldn’t ruin our day? Shouldn’t we be expecting to win? I guess not. This program has become stale. It needs a new identity. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if our current coach can give his program the vigor it needs.
Michigan ranks third, Lloyd is a ‘class guy’
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to Aaron Johnson’s silly attack (An open letter to Lloyd Carr, 09/12/05) on Coach Lloyd Carr in yesterday’s Daily. What do you want? Clearly, unless our Wolverines win every single game, you will declare the season and the program a failure. Since the 1997 championship season, Michigan ranks as the third most victorious program in the country. That’s better than the Trojans you so hope to emulate, and even the legendary (note the sarcasm) Urban Meyer or Kirk Ferentz, whom you claim as the archetypes to which Lloyd should aspire.
Nope, since 1997, it’s Miami, Florida State and Michigan. Last I checked, third out of 119 isn’t so bad. But I guess Carr and his staff should really go back to the drawing board and figure out what they’re doing wrong. I expect so much better than back-to-back Big Ten Championships! I’ve been so miserable spending my last two New Year’s Eves partying in southern California on the eve of the Rose Bowl! Come on, we’re all frustrated by the offense’s performance on Saturday, but during pregame, I bet you were telling everyone in sight how Chad Henne was going to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns. It’s just one game, not time to panic.
Michigan always loses a game that it shouldn’t. That’s part of the charm of Michigan football, but it all works out in the end. Again, last I checked, Michigan has played on New Year’s Day every year since 1997. Can you say the same about all the other genius coaches you listed? Nope, you can’t.
Lloyd is a class guy who represents our school incredibly well. And, oh, yeah, he wins a whole bunch of football games, too. More than all but two programs in the country. Clearly his performance needs improvement.
Saturday’s Big House turns to outhouse
To the Daily:
Watching the Michigan-Notre Dame game here in California, I was appalled at the behavior I observed near the end of the game. After two calls that were properly reversed by instant reply, the Michigan fans began to throw objects on the field – water bottles, cans, etc. – objects that could have injured players on both teams. For a team that inherently gets most calls from the officials and is often preseason ranked in the top five, usually without merit, I find it odd that they finally had the world’s biggest tantrum in Ann Arbor, just because the right calls were made. Grow up, its just a game!
Attorney at law