Friday, September 14, 2007
This week we’re going to look at the Notre Dame/Michigan game. Obviously, not for the usual reasons. Usually, this is a matchup of two of the most historically powerful teams in the American college game (not to mention the most recognizable fight songs). But this week, the behemoths are reeling, both 0-2 and simply trying to save some pride. After this week, one of them will be off the schneid (most likely), so let’s see how the hometown papers are handling the unaccustomed position of underdog.
Ann Arbor News:
For one thing, they’re focusing on individual stories, because the big story is too painful. Here’s a little ditty about bad-boy receiver Adrian Arrington. After several previous incidents, he was suspended from spring practice and could have lost his scholarship. Arrington had to run stairs for 60 days straight in the heat of summer, but he’s back on the team with a new attitude.
Said Carr: "I like Adrian. I like him personally. He's had some challenges, but he's a guy who has a lot of ability in a lot of areas and hopefully he can do the things that enable him to fulfill his potential before he leaves Michigan."Hey, you too, big guy.
And Antoine Pitts is living in yesteryear:
With Notre Dame ranked No. 2 and promoting quarterback Brady Quinn for the Heisman Trophy, the Wolverines introduced some reality with a 47-21 defeat on Sept. 16, 2006. Mario Manningham had three touchdown catches and the Wolverines intercepted Quinn three times for their largest margin of victory at Notre Dame Stadium.Touchdown Jesus isn’t walking through that door.
And John Heuser is looking at the impact of the ASU loss on Big Blue recruiting:
Will players back away from verbal commitments if the slide continues, because they see a program in decline? Will others be enticed to come to Michigan because they see an opportunity for early playing time? And will anything that happens this season matter much if coach Lloyd Carr decides to make this year his last?And, in a sideline, an Oregonian reporter caught interesting reactions from Michigan recruits who attended the game:
(O)ur newspaper website is lighting up this week with action on my Sunday column from Ann Arbor on the Oregon-Michigan game. That piece centered around three Michigan recruits who left the Big House after the blowout, but not before saying, "I want to go to Oregon."South Bend Tribune:
Oh, look! They’re doing the same! Jason Kelly seems to be saying “Hey, we might suck, but what about them?”
Like a taste test to determine which milk is more curdled, the task here is to identify which program has it worse.And, also worried about recruiting, Eric Hansen quotes none other than Tom Lemming:
Michigan lost to a jayvee team, Division I-AA Appalachian State. That inspired a joke making the rounds among commiserators at a combined ND, U-M alumni club event this week in Grand Rapids.
What kind of batteries does it take to beat Michigan? One double A.
"Notre Dame is doing a great job of staying in touch and communicating, and that's key," Lemming said. "There's always a guy or two who could jump ship in any season, but with Jimmy Clausen starting off well at quarterback, that's a definite plus, especially considering with the guys who Notre Dame is still looking at.”This article has so many Lemming quotes in it, he should get at least a piece of the byline.
And, they’re blaming the previous week’s debacle on the playbook (wait, isn’t that still the coach’s fault…?)
Clausen will have more than the CliffsNotes from the Irish playbook Saturday to throw at a struggling Wolverine defense.Yikes… “game management”. Isn’t that what they hang on the lesser-talented quarterbacks?
"We had minimal (plays) in," Weis affirmed of the gameplan in last Saturday's 31-10 loss at then-14th-ranked Penn State. "I wouldn't say it was the least I've ever had, but it wasn't very much. And, well, we believed it was enough to manage the game.
That’s it for now. Read up, because by this time tomorrow, we’ll know which of these teams is still on OMDQ’s Reverse Survivor ballot.