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Spring Preview: Michigan Wolverines

May 13, 2014, 12:09 PM EST

Notre Dame v Michigan Getty Images

September 6, 2014. Mark the date in your calendar.

Notre Dame’s last shot at vengeance against Michigan, the foil to the Irish over the last handful of seasons, with almost every loss being more painful than the next. Because just as the modern “kinda rivalry” escalates in hatred, it will take a break.

Athletic directors Jack Swarbrick and Dave Brandon couldn’t find common ground to continue the series, so it’ll take a break until at least 2020, far too long for football fans getting used to seeing these two programs duke it out in early September.

While Brady Hoke and the Wolverines have had Notre Dame’s number in early September, they’ve struggled once the calendar hit October. After winning 11 games in his first season in Ann Arbor, Hoke has stumbled in his next two seasons, losing 11 games the last two years. He’s made changes on his coaching staff, letting go of veteran offensive coordinator Al Borges this offseason, though he’s still got question marks all across his program.

To get us up to speed on the Michigan program, Adam Biggers from Maize N Brew was kind enough to give us a spring update. In an offseason of critical importance to the Wolverines, Biggers gives us a really interesting look at a program that appears close to a tipping point.

***

After winning 11 games in his first season, Brady Hoke has put together disappointing back-to-back seasons in Ann Arbor. He made a big change in the offseason firing Al Borges and bringing in Doug Nussmeier.

Can you give Notre Dame fans a “Hot Seat” check? Is it possible Hoke gets fired after this season? 

This season is without question a make-or-break year for Hoke. Some have viewed Nussmeier’s hiring as Plan B—should things go south for Hoke, who probably has to win at least eight or nine games, including a win over a rival (ND, MSU, OSU), to save his job.

Hoke’s a likable guy who treats his players well, according to what I’ve seen and heard. But Rich Rodriguez was a nice guy, too. Wins matter. But so does development. If the team doesn’t mature—particularly the O-line—and fails to notch victories over quality competition, then we could easily see Hoke depart. Michigan fans are getting restless.

Doug Nussmeier’s hiring was one of the biggest splashes of the offseason, though some reports had him leaving Alabama regardless. What’s expected out of Nussmeier? Is this Hoke doubling down on the power football that he promised to bring with him to Ann Arbor?

Honestly, I think the hiring of Nussmeier was a bit premature—but it was necessary. Al Borges (OC) couldn’t get a hold on the running backs, and an awful O-line didn’t make things easier. Really, it’s a wonder that Darrell Funk (OL) didn’t lose his job before Borges got canned. But that’s how it goes. Dave Brandon, the AD, and Hoke needed someone who’d bring the familiar smash-mouth attitude.

Nussmeier proved himself at Alabama and, believe it or not, has similar talent to work with in Ann Arbor. Unrealistic, maybe, but Nussmeier is expected to get this show on the road TODAY. Blame his past success for that. He can’t fall into the “youth” excuses, which have been quite common with Hoke. Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith are too talented to rot in a dreadful backfield. Nussmeier won’t let that happen.

It’s tough for Nussmeier to do anything without his quarterback situation figured out. Is this Devin Gardner’s job still? Is Shane Morris a viable option? Was it an open competition during spring practice?

Gardner is competitor and intelligent student of the game. But he’s far from ideal for Nussmeier’s system. He’ll get his shot, but don’t count on his senior status being enough to cement the job. Morris could easily press for the role. That being said, it’s obviously Gardner’s job to lose. The future seems bright for Wolverines quarterbacks. Michigan and Gardner are probably hoping the “future” is next year. Morris got the nod in the BWW Bowl, but that’s been about it. After him, it’s Wilton Speight, a true frosh, and Russell Bellomy…

The offensive line will need to replace Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield. The running game was a mess last season. What’s going to make it improve?

Well, that’s the big question. Any suggestions on your end?!

Erik Magnuson generated a little buzz prior to injuring his shoulder—he actually played with a bad shoulder for the latter half of 2013. He’s expected to make a full recovery and compete for the LT position. He’ll probably win it, but Mason Cole, a true freshman, may push for the job. At the very least, he’d serve as a quality No. 2. As for Schofield at RT, the Wolverines have a few (hopefully) interchangeable parts: David Dawson, Logan Tuley-Tillman, Ben Braden, Ben Pliska, Kyle Bosch and a few others. I’m expecting a carousel this fall.

Improvement will come as continuity develops. I know it sounds cliche, but I these guys have to genuinely like each other in order to put their bodies on the line each week (during games and practice). I don’t believe everyone was on the same page in 2013, especially the O-line.

What’s Greg Mattison working with this season? He loses a few key pieces on his defensive line and in the secondary, but returns a lot of talent as well. Is this a group that’s expected to anchor the team?

If Jabrill Peppers is as-advertised, the Wolverines secondary will get a huge boost—and it’s already pretty solid without the 5-star super recruit.

The defensive backs will most certainly anchor Mattison’s defense, which has great depth at linebacker—and Jake Ryan making his return from an ACL injury—and two possible stars up front: Ondre Pipkins and Willie Henry. And then there’s always Brennen Beyer, who can play DE and OLB. Michigan’s defense was ranked No. 13 in total defense this past season (yeah, I couldn’t believe it either–but it’s true!)

Just how crazy do you think this year’s Notre Dame-Michigan game will be? After holding court and winning both night home games in Ann Arbor, both teams will get a very big test in the season’s second weekend. Does this one mean more considering the indefinite break in the series after this year?

This one is megalithic!

The end. Over. Done with. For college football’s sake, these guys need to iron out a deal and keep this seasonal rivalry intact. Saturdays aren’t Saturdays if you can’t watch Notre Dame vs. Michigan. I’m hoping that this game excites the powers that be to the point where they immediately announce the Irish and Wolverines will play FOREVER.

Jokes aside, this game is important, historical and a bit sad. Let’s hope it’s not the last.

***

For more coverage on the Wolverines, check out Maize and Brew and give Adam a follow on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

  1. domer77blowsgoats - May 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    This must be some sort of new record – article has been up for 44 minutes and no comment from Nude bashing TR!!

    • nudeman - May 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      • wisner74 - May 13, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        I don’t care how consistently, obsessively, and unfairly wrong you’ve been about TR over the years, Nude, anyone who likes the Dead as much as you do is OK in my book!

        (p.s. that was a Dead comment, not a TR comment. . . . OK, it was a backdoor TR comment, but you owe me at least this one.)

        (Note only to Nude and any other deadheads out there: Lately I have been really getting into a lot of their revived versions of old English folk songs. They’ve always been unique and excellent with that material. Jack-a-Roe has long been among my favorites, but recently I rediscovered Peggy-O. What a beautiful song, but good clean versions are hard to come by.)

      • nudeman - May 13, 2014 at 10:08 PM

        Well wis … I’ll have to reassess you. That’s some solid Dead knowledge there. By comparison Goat can only talk about the time he claims he played cards in a dorm with some unheard of ND player. Supposedly. If true (unlikely) he lost

        Peggy-O and Jack A Roe don’t make my top 20 list but no argument that they are nice tunes.

      • halincandenza - May 13, 2014 at 10:11 PM

        Wisner,

        There was a flurry of great Peggy-O’s 37 years ago –in May 1977. You can pick pretty much any show in May ’77 — the War Memorial in Buffalo, Boston Garden, the Fox in Atlanta, the Auditorium in Chicago — any one of them has a great version of the song.

      • nudeman - May 13, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        Auditorium ’77.
        Was there.

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        I actually have a couple of bootlegs from ’76 (?) and ’81(?) that both have Peggy-O on them. Probably the two best versions that I own. Both were in Chicago. I’m guessing the later one was at the Uptown, and I know I was lucky enough to score a ticket to an early ’80s show there, so that could’ve been the one. Who ever made the recording must’ve been allowed to set up close to the sound board. Excellent quality.

        That always was a big conundrum with the Dead. If you could get into one of those movie palace-type places with good accoustics, you were in heaven. But try to get a ticket for a 2,000-seat venue!

      • nudeman - May 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Loved the Uptown. Great, small venue.
        Saw them there several times. The balcony was right on top of the stage it seemed.

        The Uptown is in a “transitional” stage now; has fallen into complete disrepair and is owned by someone about whom it’s unclear if the financial wherewithal exists to bring it back.

    • 1historian - May 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      I first saw the Grateful Dead in February 1970 in California in February on the Gold Coast Highway. (The opening band was Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen.) I was impressed and in my youthful stoned wisdom bestowed on them the high compliment of ‘far out’.

      Over the next 6 weeks I saw them twice more – once at the Fillmore West when the opening band was Miles Davis, which was absurd, and then a few days before I left California there was another show at the Fillmore entitled ’3 bands for 3 dollars’ starring Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane and the Dead. The show started at 8 and went until 4 in the morning.

      3 bands for 3 dollars. I also saw Garcia on pedal steel in Menlo Park with the C&W band he was in as a side thing.

      For a while the Dead remained far out and then those memories, although fun to talk about, eventually became just memories. And then in 1972, the weekend after the Watergate Break-in I heard a band called Newgrass Revival and everything changed.

      The Dead, although admittedly cool, groovy, heavy, far out etc. were/are musical lightweights.

      For those of you who are seething with indignation at this I advise you to find a copy of the tape of David Grisman, Jerry Garcia and Tony Rice jamming. They play ‘Shady Grove’, sung by Garcia. Garcia takes the first guitar break, sings another verse, Grisman takes a mandolin break, Garcia sings another verse and then Rice takes a guitar break and it’s all over – Tony is so much better than Garcia that it’s embarrassing.

      Garcia was ok, but he was NOT all that good and he knew it. There is a story about when he was young and in the pre-Dead days he ventured south (with his banjo) to hear Bill Monroe and when he was in the same room with Monroe he was so awed that he couldn’t even take the banjo out of the case.

      GO IRISH!!!

      107 AND A WAKEUP!!!!

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        “My Daddy said ‘Son, you’re going to drive me to drinkin’, if you don’t stop driving that hot rod Lincoln…..”

        The Commander! One of my all-time favorite little-known bands. I could listen to them all day, but never saw them live.

        Beat me Daddy, eight to the bar.

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        I am an avid Dead fan 1historian, but you won’t get an argument from me about Garcia’s musicianship. I do think that you are selling their entire rhythm section short, though. Lesh on bass, Weir on rhythm guitar and vocals, Kreutzman and Hart on drums. Pretty damn good. Throw in a keyboardist or two who died to young and you have a hell of a band.

        But with the Dead it really had a lot to do with the vibe and the idiosyncratic way Garcia played and his sweet plaintive voice. Who cares if he occasionally was playing in the wrong key? I mean, really?

        And everything else aside, who ever came up with better lyrics.

        Was it New Riders of the Purple Sage that you saw Garcia play with?

      • nudeman - May 15, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Garcia won’t go down as an all time great guitar player. No argument from me there. I frequently thought he tried to do too much instead of just letting it flow. Frankly some of his best raw guitar playing was much earlier in the Dad’s history, specifically the album Live Dead. His acid style on St Stephen/Lovelight is Hendrix-esque.
        But eventually he devolved to a tepid, careful style with crap like on the Blues For Allah album. I think their best days as a band were ’68-’74. Some high points after that, but in my opinion they were never the same after they took that year off in ’75. Always seemed less spontaneous and more predictable after that.

      • nudeman - May 15, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        BTW wis, first show I ever attended was at Des Moines Fairgrounds, 6/74/ Garcia was at his absolute best then and there is a version of Deal that will “burn off both of your ears”.
        I have it on tape (yes, an old cassette) and would love to get it to you somehow.

      • 1historian - May 15, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        Wis – I had been in California for 3 days at that point, very little sleep in the last week, stoned to the bone and everything EVERYTHING was cosmic, far out and outtasite. If memory serves they originated in Michigan, did they not?

        “Selling the rhythm section short” – agreed.

        “The vibe and the idiosyncratic way Garcia played and his sweet plaintive voice.” Agreed again – if you bought into it. I did at first but as time went by I just didn’t anymore. They played for 4 hours at that 3 bands for 3 dollars thing I mentioned and a goodly portion of that they just noodled on not doing anything. I bought into it then but – no more. My philosophy – if you’ve got something to say say it.

        Yes it was the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Thanks for that – I had forgotten their name.

        Frankly I expected to get dumped on by Dead fans. The fact that that didn’t happen speaks well of you folks.

        Thanks

      • nudeman - May 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        The Dead for me were like that old girlfriend you just couldn’t tear yourself completely away from.
        You absolutely KNEW there was something limiting in continued association.
        She’d disappoint as often as not and occasionally completely infuriate you (like those damned drum solos)
        But scratch that itch and there would still be the occasional thrill.

        Over the years every time I thought I was out, she’d keep pullin’ me back in.
        I ended up marrying that one, btw.
        (“Well I married me a wife, she’s been trouble all my life;
        Left me out in the cold rain and snow”)

        Old and comfortable like a well worn Rawlings glove, a cold Budweiser, or Levi jeans.
        Sigh … where did the time go?

  2. danirish - May 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Preview! I just want to beat the crap out of them! No mercy! Kill kill kill!

    Nice work as always Keith

    GO IRISH!

    • ndgoldandblue - May 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Same here. USC may be our rival, but I really hate Michigan. I’m starting to hate Stanford too, but they haven’t even approached the level that Michigan is at for me. A really comfortable win over the Wolverines would make my year.

      • mtflsmitty - May 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        AGREED.

        For me, Michigan has always been the rivalry game I want to win most. If the UM game had the mid/end of year scheduling SC and Stanford share on our schedule the rivalry would be even bigger.

        I’ll miss this one a lot more than I would have missed Sparty. Understand the ACC moves required change. I just think we ditched the wrong MI team.

        Do it for Harry Oliver. Beat Michigan!

      • goirishgo - May 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        I agree Smitty. I hope the ADs can figure out a way to replace MSU with UM going forward. It’s a bigger and more relevant rivalry.

      • wisner74 - May 13, 2014 at 9:38 PM

        As an oldster/alum I respectfully disagree. USC is THE GAME.

        Michigan needed this game more than ND did, because it added heft to its year-in/year-out otherwise mediocre Big Ten/Appalachian State-heavy schedule. I don’t think this series has ever produced a game that is in the same universe in terms of importance as the ND/MSU game of 1966. That game may seem like ancient history to many of you, but if that’s how you view it and you’re an Irish fan you need to expand your horizons. History and tradition are an enormous part of Notre Dame.

        If ND had to lose a Big Ten match-up because of the ACC relationship, there is no doubt in my mind that they cut loose the right one. From my perspective, we can go without ever playing the Wolvies again. Want to add a relevant Big Ten match-up down the road? When was the last time the Irish played the Badgers?

    • onward2victory - May 13, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      No Mercy

  3. 25kgold - May 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Will the past once again predict the future?

    • ndfenian - May 13, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      I love that clip! Reminds me of Arrowhead. I went to the Michigan night game in 2012 but it obviously wasn’t 1988 loud. I went to the Oklahoma game in 2012 and that was very loud. Too often ND stadium is too quiet and Disneyland-like. Night games help with that.

      • kansasirish - May 13, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        I was at the OU game in 2012, 12th row in the north end zone……EPIC game!!!!!!

      • irishdog80 - May 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        I have been to many ND games both at home and on the road. I went to the OU game and will always be in my Top 5 ND games. I will never forget the stunned reaction by the OU crowd when Wood bolted up the middle for a 62 yard touchdown. The ND fans went berserk and there were a lot of us spread throughout the stadium. Add in the sound of “Tackle by Manti Te’o” echoing through the stadium and you have a truly epic win for ND on the road.

        Here’s hoping that 2014 yields similar results at Florida State and USC.

        Go Irish!

  4. onward2victory - May 13, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    While I enjoy this rivalry, I’m glad it’s ending for a while. If we want to consistently compete for a playoff spot, we have to have some easier games on our schedule. Obviously USC and Stanford are scheduling priorities, and then the 5 ACC opponents which is likely to consist of 2 or 3 top 25 teams each year. Add onto that other major schools that we want to play like Texas, and there just isn’t room for Michigan of we want a realistic shot at double digit wins.

    • wisner74 - May 13, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      As a relative oldster-alum here, I’ve never viewed Michigan as this big rivalry game that so many consider it. Good by, and good riddance, I say. As someone (I wish it had been me) said here several years ago: “Michigan is a nice regional power.” Nothing more than that.

      Now, I’m hoping that one of the few football side-benefits of this ACC partnership is that we will actually end up playing Boston College less. In my perfect world that collective of insecure, envious and crass Irish-Wannabees leaves the ACC and we never have to see the Irish play them again. That’s not likely to happen, so we’ll have to endure, I guess.

      • judelee34111 - May 14, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Michigan = not worth for Notre Dame.

        that explains the losing record for past 8 years, which they claimed to be their worst period for their football program.

    • ndfenian - May 13, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Well I’m pissed at BC these days for them turning over the IRA interviews to the British government. Interviews that are being used to criminalize Irish people for actions during that thirty years war. A terrible infringement of journalist integrity. So screw them.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - May 14, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        those people at BC should be run out of town for that. unbelievable. then again, our own government capitulated in the brits’ demand for those documents so there is some finger pointing to do here at home too.

    • judelee34111 - May 14, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      strength of schedule do not matter when you cannot win what you set up for.
      win cupcake schedule first like SEC schools do, and then they will have plenty of chance to prove how good they are like media and some rabid fans here portrays.

  5. irishdodger - May 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Something tells me, regardless of who the better team is; ND finds a way to lose this game. Other than 2012 they have had an uncanny way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. There’s nothing leading me to think otherwise.

    • goirishgo - May 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      I agree that ND has made a habit of losing to inferior UM teams over the last few years. Very frustrating. But I am an optimist and therefore believe that things will change in 2014!

      Go Irish!

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        If memory serves, we did beat them two years ago at our place. Does that game not count just because Denard gift-wrapped for the Irish?

    • 1historian - May 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      I don’t like what you said but I’ve got to give it a thumbs up – they find a way to lose it. When they stop doing that and stop playing down to teams they should be playing the 3rd string against in the 3rd quarter I’ll get confident, but not until then.

  6. mtheparrothead - May 13, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    @wisner,

    A regional power? Laughable

    Sadly that “regional power” has had your number for quite sometime.

    • wisner74 - May 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      mediocrebob, watch and learn: { }

      • mediocrebob - May 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        Ok. I’m excited. What am I watching…?

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        Don’t mix it up with trolls. You’re long and fruitless conversation with hargis, or whatever his name was, is a lasting memory for me.

      • mediocrebob - May 14, 2014 at 11:12 PM

        What are you talking about? Where’d that even come from?

  7. wisner74 - May 13, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Oh, and while I’m in the mood to rant:

    Old du lac is not above price gouging. Anyone get a look at the ticket application this year? $110 for the Michigan game. I’m skipping that one. There is absolutely no chance that it will not be a sell-out, but I would absolutely love it if there were empty seats in the stadium for that game. What a statement that would be!

    • wisner74 - May 13, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      Just to clarify: The statement would be about how UM is not that relevant or interesting and we don’t need to go out of our way to watch this last iteration of what is essentially a backyard pissing match. (Although for me it would it would also be a bit gratifying to see the good fathers brought up short for their opportunistic pricing. There’s a $40 difference between this game and the least expensive home games.)

    • bernhtp - May 14, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Price gouging?

      That’s laughable given that ticket face value prices are typically a fraction of fair market (e.g., Stub Hub) and always below. The stadium is always sold out.

      Why should scalpers get the difference instead of the university? In this case, the university doesn’t come close to capturing most of it – not even close.

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Laughable? Not buying it bern. I am well aware of the market economics. The scalpers have a field day with any “big game,” whether it is actually a big game or only a big game as a result of an over-hyped marketing extravaganza on several fronts. See last years UM game as an example . . . second night game ever at the “Big House,” nationwide TV audience, “Tom Harmon Night,” and their QB gets to wear Harmon’s retired number, Brent Musberger pulling out all the stops – and he has a lot of stops. In the overall scheme of the season, that game had little relevance and Michigan quickly sank back to mediocrity afterwards.

        This year it’s “the last one in the series” etc. I’m really tired of hearing about that already. UM has been relegated to being a nice regional power whose best days are behind it. It’s arrogance far exceeds its accomplishments in recent decades.

        And of course ND stadium is always sold out. (You and I had a conversation last fall about the ’73 Air Force game which was the last one NOT to sell out — you went to the game, I went home for Thanksgiving weekend.) That is a great thing, and I’m am delighted that ND has so many loyal and avid fans. As far as I can tell based on the away games on the application, ND is usually one of the more expensive college football tickets, but I’m betting that the University could sell-out even if they jacked the prices up to $110 or even higher for any game. By your reasoning, ND should jack its prices to whatever the market will bear, and little guy be damned.

        It just irks me for two reasons. First, by implication the $40/hike per ticket lends credence to the fatuous notion that this is some kind of “Big Game.” And secondly, I just don’t like it on principle. ND already makes plenty of money on football. Granted, it spends that money on good causes, but the school is not in the business of making a profit.

        Don’t get me wrong. I wholeheartedly support the University in its vision, its goals, its efforts and accomplishments as a leading Catholic university, and I send it a quite hefty check every year. But this just irked me, and no human institution on earth is beyond all criticism. My criticism of it here legitimate, whether you agree or not.

    • 1historian - May 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Enthusiastic thumbs up.

      Parallel – The L.A. Lakers were horrendous in the season recently concluded and they have a spot in the lottery draft, and this upcoming NBA draft is supposed to be one of the best in years.

      If they get a good (as in top 5) spot in the draft they can get a really good player and they can get back to being a force in the league (as they and the Celtics should be) in a few years.

      Or they can get a lousy choice and it will take that much longer.

      The lottery draft – where each team will pick – is Tuesday the 20th.

      The deadline for ticket apps. for the 2014-2015 season is May 19th.

      Conclusion – it’s a business.

  8. bernhtp - May 13, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Wow, Aaron Lynch obviously didn’t make a great impression on the coaches at USF.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-south-florida-assistant-suspended-negative-tweet-20140513,0,6289796.story

    • goirishgo - May 13, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      Wisner,

      The most expensive tickets of the year will absolutely sell out. What more proof do you need that this is a relevant and compelling rivalry? You’re entitled to your opinion of course but 80,000 + will be disagreeing with their wallets.

      I too am a “relative oldster” but we’re talking about current and future scheduling. 1966 was almost 50 years ago!

      One point we agree on – USC is the biggest game of the year.

      • goirishgo - May 13, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        Didn’t mean to reply to Bern…getting late.

      • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        I gave you a thumbs up, goirish. No doubt it will sellout and the crowd will be in a frenzy, especially if it’s a good game (I will be also in a frenzy in front of my or a friend’s TV). No argument from me, so in that sense there’s no disagreement.

        That comment above about empty seats was pure fantasy on my part. My point was — wouldn’t it send a great message that Michigan just isn’t that important in the overall scheme of things if the game were not a sellout: “Look! Michigan couldn’t even draw a sellout at ND stadium, and ND stadium as a forty year streak of sellouts!”

        Like last year’s game, this game will be “big” because of all of the ridiculous hype about it, not because it’s going to pivotal in the overall college football season of 2014. I think it’s time to move wean ourselves off the concept that Michigan is an enormous rival. I really couldn’t care if we ever play the Wolverines again.

      • mediocrebob - May 15, 2014 at 7:22 AM

        Wisner,

        Not sure I’m follow your logic on this one. If the game this year AT NOTRE DAME happened to not sellout, it would send some message to Michigan that they aren’t important?

        I think most would take the angle of something like, “Notre Dame can’t even sell out their one home night game of the year” and use it negatively towards ND. Not Michigan.

  9. yaketyyacc - May 14, 2014 at 4:58 AM

    Some coaches by default, inherit good players, that label the coach as very good. No, it is the players, not the coach. This is Hoke. Lately, he has gotten some good players, and because he is not that good a coach, has faltered. The only scenario worse then that is a coach that recruits good players and still loses.

  10. mediocrebob - May 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    He won with SD State

  11. irishwilliamsport - May 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    I remember 2011 we scored to take the lead and they get the ball back throw a wheel route to a wide open receiver and score a play or 2 later….it was ridiculous we weren’t in a 3 deep zone.

    Three mediocre years on defense and one great one over the last 4 years, and in those 3 mediocre years we didn’t have the QB play to make up for the D and try to outscore the other team.

    Michigan didn’t recruit well recently and had some major de-commitments but that really won’t affect this years game. Stanford has not recruited well the last 3 years and this year 4 for their head coach so we’ll see how that affects them this year.

    • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      I don’t think Hoke has it, so I’m hoping he performs just well enough to not get himself fired. I’d be happy to see him have a nice, long slightly above average career as UM’s coach.

      On the other hand, I think we’ve already seen that Shaw is the real thing. Maybe not great news that the Irish will year-in/year-out have a legitimate Stanford to deal with, but certainly a good thing for college football.

      • irishdog80 - May 14, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        This year should be interesting for Stanford. They were a heavy 4th and 5th year team last year and have lost a lot to the pros. They have had decent recruiting, but not Top 10 caliber every year. This year will tell the true tale for Shaw.

  12. packhawk04 - May 14, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Wisner is right. Michigan is a regional power. He forgets to mention that notre dame is not a power of any kind.

    • wisner74 - May 14, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      mediocrebob: once again: { } (that’s the sign for an empty set, if I have to explain it again.

      • mediocrebob - May 14, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        wisner,

        A: ill comment to whoever I’d like to.

        B: why are you so worried ? Find something more important to fret over.

    • wisner74 - May 15, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      m-bob – It might not have been you, and if it wasn’t I apologize. Several months ago there was a troll who showed up here named paulhargis (I think). He was a cut above your average numbskull who apparently has nothing better to do. But we couldn’t get rid of him because a few regular posters here — and I thought you were one of them — simply could not IGNORE the guy.

      I’m too busy right now, and I don’t actually care enough about it anyway, to do the work to scroll back and see for sure who regularly engaged with this guy. But if you were in fact one of them, my response to your points a. and b. is yes, I know that you’ll comment to “whoever” you want to and that’s exactly why I’m so worried.

      Again, if you weren’t one of them, I apologize.

  13. wisner74 - May 15, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Actually, m-bob, I got interested enough to go back and look. It was just a few months ago. No apology necessary on my part. Please, please, please ignore the trolls, even when they’re as clever as paulhargis. It just makes for lousy reading here.

    • 1historian - May 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      When I saw the word ‘hargis’ I immediately thought of ‘haggis’ or whatever they call that inedible Scottish food that is so popular in Australia. It’s a breakfast food of some sort.

      Ewwwwww

      We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

  14. mediocrebob - May 15, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Wisner,

    Thanks for the pep talk. And the motivation to respond to every troll that comes to talk to us from now on. Your comment was not only unnecessary , but really didn’t have anything to prompt it. I engaged with Paul for enjoyment. Not for your entertainment. GFY bud.

    • wisner74 - May 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      m-bob: Quod erat demonstrandum.

      • mediocrebob - May 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        True. Very easy.

  15. fnc111 - May 16, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    Hey Kelly, if you lose to these bums again don’t even bother showing up to work the next day. Just resign.

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