Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Volume 2, Number 28: Embarrassed at the Big House

(Note: I originally posted this entry to my Yahoo! GeoCities blog on September 4, 2007.)

I went to U-M back in the early '90s, and graduated in '95. I was there when Desmond Howard struck his now-famous Heisman pose in '91 and when the Fab Five went to the Final Four in '92 and '93. I have followed the football team for over a quarter of a century, starting with Bo Schembechler's first Rose Bowl win (1981 vs. Washington).

Even before yesterday, that football program had me worried.

A near-loss to Ball State last year…

Three straight losses to Ohio State…

Three straight bowl game losses…

And now this, the lowest moment in U-M football history. Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32. It’s like what happened with Michigan State vs. Central Michigan in ’91—if you can’t prepare for a non-conference game like that, don’t bother scheduling the game at all.

If I was U-M’s athletic director, I’d put my foot down and dump Lloyd Carr. He looks tired anyway.

Besides, there's a guy that I think could bring back the sense of urgency that the Wolverines have been steadily losing since Carr replaced Gary Moeller over a decade ago.

His name is Mitch Browning.

"WHO?!?" you may ask.

Browning used to be the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but was fired (along with Glen Mason's entire coaching staff) after the Gophers blew a 31-point lead against Texas A&M in the Insight.com Bowl. Personally, I would have just fired Mason and elevated Browning to head coach, but Minnesota AD Joel Maturi is proof that not everybody that has a higher-paying job than me is smarter than me.

Before Browning came on board, Minnesota couldn't even get to bowl games. After he came on board, the Gophers' offense improved dramatically. I personally think Browning had more impact on the Gophers' football program than Mason did.

I realize that Browning, having an offensive background, is unlikely to help a defense that a) got picked apart by Ohio State repeatedly, b) was dismantled by Vince Young in the 2005 Rose Bowl and c) coughed up a few TDs against Appalachian State. But Browning gets results. Lloyd doesn't anymore--much of the recruiting being done now is thanks to the media that pump up Michigan and Ohio State as "perennial national title contenders" year after year.

Still, I have to say it again: Don't you think Lloyd looks tired?

And don't you think it would be great down the road for U-M to tell Minnesota how much they blew it by not keeping Browning, and also Michigan State how much they blew it by not even considering Browning when they shopped around for their new head coach?

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