Saturday was tough.
That was a brutal way to end the regular season. Michigan got absolutely dominated in every phase of the game. They looked predictable and boring on offense. Their top ranked defense was absolutely shredded. The special teams couldn't get off punts and settled far too often, trying to play the field position game. The coaching was not good. It was horrendous on every level. The team was unprepared, feeling themselves way too much, blew a golden opportunity and played how they have played in every big game since Lloyd Carr retired, poorly. They weren't up for their biggest game of the year. They weren't ready. They thought the University of Ohio State was just going to roll over for them. They figured they were going to walk to the Big Ten title game and the College Football Playoff.
None of that happened.
The University of Michigan was embarrassed on a humongous stage in what should have been a big win for them. On paper they were the better team. On paper they had the better players. On paper they have the better coaches. But when it came to actually playing the game, they got the ass whooping they deserved. Karan Higdon, who I adore, didn't live up to his guarantee. Shea Patterson was flustered, pressured and mediocre all afternoon. The line couldn't open a hole against a team that let Minnesota and Maryland gash them for multiple big runs.
What was most frustrating for me was the defense. They could not stop anything on Saturday. What made it even more frustrating, they refused to deviate from their man coverage game plan that has worked so well all year. They stuck with it, and they got gashed again and again. I saw it in person last week, where Indiana was killing them with crossing routes. Well, the University of Ohio State has much better players than Indiana does. That much is a fact. But Michigan, Don Brown and Jim Harbaugh, also Greg Mattison and Chris Partridge, and the entire defensive staff for that matter, refused to make changes. They are usually so good at making adjustments, but for some reason on Saturday, they were too stubborn or dumb or arrogant or whatever to change. It was truly a terrifying watch for any Michigan fan.
I have been holding all this in until today because my wife and dad and brother didn't need to hear me gripe about this game. It was a disaster. It turned what was such a promising season into a massive disappointment. The one unit I have been able to count on all year really blew it. They had a major letdown at the worst possible time. It was awful. This was worse than Penn State crushing them last year. This was worse than the muffed punt in Harbaugh's first year against Michigan State. This was worse than most games from the Rich Rodriguez or Brady Hoke era. This much is true. They gave up a massive amount of yards, 62 points, probably could have been 70 plus, showed they aren't ready for primetime, were far too arrogant and got smacked in the mouth for it and got embarrassed. That is the best word.
Okay, got that out of my system.
Now for the other half of my blog today. As I stated above, Saturday was terrible for all Wolverine fans. But the talks of firing Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown need to stop. These guys are great coaches. I know Harbaugh hasn't beaten the University of Ohio State yet, but he has beaten Penn State twice, Wisconsin twice, Michigan State twice, and he is now getting to coach his recruits. Michigan was in a bad place when they hired him, and he has won 10 games three times in 4 years, and has won 38, with a chance at 39 games, in 4 seasons. While they are not a title contending team, they have gotten much better. Jim Harbaugh should not be fired. That talk is insane. The people saying that are fair weather fans. They are probably the same people that clamored for him 4 years ago. And, to those that want him fired, you just want to start over again? You want to go back to being even more mediocre again? Are you ready for more Brady Hoke style football? I'm sure as hell not. I can get just as annoyed and frustrated with Harbaugh and his stubborn play calling, but the guy is a hell of a college football coach, no matter what Tim Tebow and Paul Finebaum say.
To those calling for Don Brown's firing, they make me more angry than the people calling for Harbaugh's head. Don Brown has turned this defense into a unit to be feared. Saturday was a major aberration. It was harsh. It was an embarrassment. It was awful. But it was a one time thing. The defense had a horrible day. He called a bad game. It was bad. But what about the rest of this season, and the past 2 seasons under him? They are a fast and aggressive and solid defense. Last year, when this team was dreadfully awful on offense, the defense was why they won 8 games. His first season as the defensive coordinator, he turned Jabrill Peppers into a Heisman finalist. He has coached some of the top linebackers in college football. The guy knows defense, and he knows it well. If Harbaugh were to leave for the pros, he is not going to get fired, nor does he deserve to, I have stated to my father many times that I would want Michigan to just name Don Brown head coach. I feel like it would be a seamless transition. Sure he would need an offensive minded guy to run his offense, and I feel like being the offensive coordinator at Michigan would be a coveted job.
None of the coaches deserve to be let go. It was one very, very, very bad game. But it was one game. The talk of letting coaches go is stupid and reactionary and uncalled for. Stop it. For the people calling out the players, they need to chill the hell out. One, it is a game. Yes I was mad, and I may have said some things during the game, but after it was done, I was done being mad. The kids playing are just that, kids. They are also playing a game. I am not going to let one bad game ruin my week, month or year like I used to when I was a teenager and in my early 20's. After finishing this blog, I will have gotten it all off my chest, and I will move on. Some people are going way, way too hard on these kids playing a game. Yes it was rough, but let it go. They played pretty great in almost every other game this year. No one was bad mouthing them on social media when they were trouncing Wisconsin or Penn State. This was one game, get over it. Also, if you are in your 30's like me, think about the fact that you are yelling at kids that could be your own. That is sad.
Finally, ever the Michigan fan in me, wants to say that the coverage on Fox was atrocious. The 2 guys calling the game were clearly pulling for the University of Ohio State. They would only say kind words about them. And while I know nothing really good happened for Michigan, the announcers made sure it was even rougher on Michigan fans with the way they called the game. They were terrible.
What made all the sports media worse was all the love they were giving Urban Meyer. The fact that companies like Fox and ESPN are going to spin this one game as some kind of redemption for him is disgusting. Jemele Hill, who despises Michigan by the way, tweeted during the game something along the lines of, "the media will try to spin this as a redemption story for Meyer, but let us not forget he tried to cover for a domestic abuser. No one win will ever heal the pain that the abused family is going through". I couldn't agree with her more. Urban Meyer is a liar. He is a cheater. He has vouched for Aaron Hernandez. Everywhere he coaches, the moment he leaves, the program is left in shambles. Also, people love him while he is there, but the moment he is gone, they seem to hate him. All the shots of him trying to quell his "headaches" were nauseating. He is an actor. He wants people to feel bad for him. He wants people to talk about his "health problems" so when he leaves, that is the reason why. Also, if he really does have this big of a problem with his health, why is he still coaching? That is wrong. Shame on him for risking his health and family so he can look good on TV. His actions on the sidelines this season have been laughably bad. Even if he really does have this "headache" thing, I feel zero sympathy for him. He is a loathsome human being.
With all this being said, Saturday was bad. Michigan got smashed. They got the beating they deserved. But, don't paint Urban Meyer as some kind of hero. He is a disgraceful human being. Also, Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown and the entire Michigan staff, I am still behind you guys. Things will turn around soon, hopefully. As for the Wolverine players, you had one bad game. Let it got and get ready for your bowl game. Try to go out and get a win, especially the seniors, to forget about Saturday's disaster. Don't let this game beat you twice. That is what makes me most excited, to see how you respond. You have had an okay season. You have a chance at 11 wins. You can set the tone for next year. Go out and do it after you find out what bowl game you get. Make it count. I have not lost faith, nor will I ever. I love Michigan, I love the Wolverines, I love the staff and players. I still, and always will, have faith. This can all be turned around. I truly believe that.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Why does Ty care som much about a football game. Check out the X Millennial Man Podcast to learn how technology, and irrational love, makes a fan feel sick about their favorite team.
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