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Entries in Michigan (12)


At Least Michigan's Wideouts Have Had Cool Names

Picture of Mario Manningham

One Great Season

As expected, Michigan suffered a thorough L in Columbus Saturday, but there's some significant consolation for fans of the maize and blue. Wolverines wideouts have had cooler names than Ohio State's over the years. Here are some of my favorites, listed in alphabetical order:

+ Adrian Arrington
+ Tyrone Butterfield
+ Braylon Edwards
+ Mercury Hayes
+ Junior Hemingway
+ Desmond Howard
+ Mario Manningham
+ Roy Roundtree
+ Tai Streets
+ Amani Toomer
+ Marquise Walker

Whose name is your favorite? Did I leave anyone out? Participate in this urgent conversation immediately.


Michigan Fan Is Ugly, According To ABC Cameras

Ugly Michigan Fan

The picture isn't very high-quality, but I couldn't help from noticing this freak from Michigan during Saturday's game against Michigan State. Enjoy your weekend.


OGS Spotlight Game Of The Week: Michigan State At Michigan

Picture Of Denard Robinson

One Great Season

Sure Alabama's game at South Carolina looks like a dandy, but Michigan State-Michigan appears, on paper at least, to be more evenly matched.

Sparty and Big Blue are both 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten, but neither squad plays exceptional defense. In fact, Michigan's pass defense is ranked last in the FBS, allowing 308 yards per game through the air.

The Wolverines, however, have perfected the ever-baffling formula to overcome a porous D, and it's called Denard Robinson. As long as he stays healthy, which will become an increasingly larger if as the Big Ten season wears on, Michigan has a chance to win every game it plays. Every game.

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VIDEO: Pure Michigan Gag Is Pure Comedy

Funny clip sent in by a reader:


College Football Notebook: Week 1 Review

College Football Notebook

One Great Season

Here are a few takeaways from the first weekend of college football:

+ Don't get me wrong; I absolutely adore the Mark Herzlich story. So great to see the Boston College linebacker suited up and flying around on Saturday. But do you think his story would get as much attention if he was, say, a Miami wideout?

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ET Phones Home With Buzzer-Beater To Beat Michigan

Evan Turner

One Great Season

I just spent the last, very frustrating hour on the telephone with US Airways. But as the call was wrapping up and I was nearing a resolution, it was Evan Turner who took flight and led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a first-class win over Michigan in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal in Indianapolis Friday afternoon.

When I called Thursday night, the fine customer service operator gave my would-be reservation a courtesy hold. A one-way flight to San Francisco in two weeks would cost me 25,000 miles, the same as a round-trip ticket. That's pretty steep, but hey, for this broke dude who hasn't worked since July, it's better than actual dollars.

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I'd found a cheap flight back from SFO a few days later, so I was just finalizing the outbound trip with US Airways this afternoon. But the gal had me on the line for more than a half hour before she told me there would be $135 in fees, down from the original $180 she'd previously quoted me. I demanded to speak to her supervisor, who broke down the charges this way:

+ $75 - expedited reservation fee (less than 14 days advance purchase)
+ $30 - reservation service fee
+ $25 - processing fee
+ $5 - security fee

What is the difference between a reservation fee and a processing fee? And with what's available and possible with technology these days, is either necessary? Are processing and reservation servicing two acts that require significant manpower?

Funny how I thought I'd be able to just make this call during the under-16 timeout.

So there I was, confirming the reservation and telling my long story to a supervisor, just minutes after telling my long story to her subordinate. I got what I wanted: an Ohio State victory.

I mean, I got $35 taken off the total fees, but along the way, shades of Ron Lewis popped into my head as the Buckeyes were about to inbound the ball after a timeout. They trailed by two with just 2.2 seconds left, and I thought it was odd that Michigan would lay back and not contest the pass to Evan Turner.

I couldn't stop thinking about Lewis, who drilled a three at the buzzer in a second-round game against in-state rival Xavier in 2007. After Lewis' heroic shot sent the game into overtime, the Buckeyes took over and ran away with the win, ultimately earning a spot in the national championsip game two weeks later.

And Friday, I had a funny feeling that Turner would take two or three dribbles and pull up just after the midcourt line and for some reason I knew that thing was going in. About 10 seconds after it did, I asked the woman to repeat herself.


No. 6: Michigan vs. Seton Hall, 1989

Glen Rice Cuts Down The Nets After Michigan's 1989 National Championship

Each Monday until the national championship is played in Indianapolis on April 5, One Great Season will count down the Top 10 National Championship games since 1979, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson squared off in Salt Lake City. Today's No. 6 is the 1989 overtime classic between Michigan and Seton Hall in Seattle.

One Great Season

Quite fitting it was that a great decade of championship games closed with the NCAA's first final in 26 years to reach overtime, where Michigan's Rumeal Robinson sank two free throws with three seconds left to turn a one-point deficit into an 80-79 victory over Seton Hall.

This game for some reason gets lost in the shuffle of the sport's great championship events. Perhaps it's because the side stories are the ones that endure more than the end result.

Particularly the one about Steve Fisher, the loyal assistant under Bill Frieder until Frieder told Michigan AD Bo Schembechler he was leaving to take the Arizona State job after the season. Schembechler, the legendary football coach at the legendary
football school, incorporated some legendary football logic when he famously said, "A Michigan man will coach Michigan." Frieder was fired and Fisher took over the Wolverines the day before the tournament started.

Or maybe it was the one about Glen Rice, whose 184 points (30.7 per game) in Fisher's first six games as head coach -- all tournament wins -- still stand
 as the most in an NCAA Tournament. Rice scored 31 points in the final, slightly outdone by Seton Hall's John Morton, who finished with 35 of his own. But it was Rice who celebrated like a king that night in Seattle.

Perhaps it's just as likely the sidebar we best recall is the one about Robinson, typically a poor foul shooter, who shouldn't even have been at the line in the first place, according to some.

Driving through the lane, presumably preparing to pass, Robinson's defender, an old playground buddy named Gerald Greene, was called for a questionable hand-check foul. Michigan's point guard, shooting 64 percent from the line, knocked down both foul shots to give the Wolverines the victory, making the brand new coach look like a great one. It was only two years later that Fisher would sign the greatest freshmen class ever. The Fab Five, headlined by Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, would lead Michigan back to the NCAA title game in 1992 and 1993, but would lose to ACC powers Duke and North Carolina, and after that, the Wolverines went back to being a football school.

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OSU-Michigan Rivalry The Best In All Of Sports

One Great Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- No clever lead-ins here. I'll just get right to the point. The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is the best in all of sports.

Yankees-Red Sox? Sorry, they play 18 times a year, which means unless it's September or October, most of the meetings have nothing at stake.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Which Is The Best Rivalry In All Of Sports?

Lakers-Celtics? That was a great rivalry in the 1980s when Magic and Bird led their teams, but the 2008 Finals brought none of the drama we remember from the Forum and the Garden.

Duke-North Carolina? This is probably the closest contender, but since college football is better than college basketball, Ohio State-Michigan wins out.

The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is a game played on a Saturday, and many plan an entire weekend around it and tailgate early in the morning and celebrate -- well, if you're in Columbus, you do -- until the wee hours of Saturday night. Thanksgiving usually follows five days later, and it's less of a holiday for the most loyal fans; it's just a continuation of the celebration of what happened on a football field the previous weekend.

GALLERIES: Hot Girls | Celebrities

A Duke-Carolina game can be played on a Tuesday in February and you're in and out in two hours. It's merely a game, instead of an event. The teams meet twice each year, which means an even split leaves no bragging rights. There's also a chance for a third meeting, which can solve the bragging-rights issue, but then three times in a span of two months is far too often.

When you mix scarlet-and-gray with maize-and-blue, you get cold November football, often with Big Ten and Rose Bowl implications at stake. You get front yards in Ohio, filled with kids emulating their Horseshoe heroes, one claiming to be Beanie Wells; another says he's Troy Smith. Up the road in Michigan, front-yard footballers think all the way back to Tim Biakabutuka and Charles Woodson, insisting no one will catch a pass on his side of the field.

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In 2006, you had a pair of 11-0 teams, ranked 1 and 2, playing for a berth in the BCS Championship Game. Ohio State won, 42-39, in one of the best games in the history of the great rivalry. There was no rematch on the schedule a few weeks later. The Wolverines, who haven't beaten OSU since 2003, would have to wait 52 more weeks for another chance at revenge. They're still waiting, actually, and after tomorrow's 106th meeting, the fans in Ann Arbor likely will hope 2010 will produce a more favorable outcome.

Like all things in life and in sports, Ohio State's current dominance is cyclical. Buckeyes fans will at some point suffer a stretch where Michigan is the superior squad, fighting for BCS cred while OSU considers a coaching change.

But I like to live in the now. All OSU fans do.


Pryor, Buckeyes Earn Key Win At Penn State

Terrelle Pryor

(Make sure you watch the video at the bottom of this story of OSU players and fans celebrating at Beaver Stadium after last night's victory).

One Great Season

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ohio State's win at Penn State wasn't as shocking as No. 4 Iowa's upset loss to Northwestern 800 miles away, but where the Buckeyes suddenly find themselves now might seem a surprise to some.

GAMEDAY GALLERY: OSU Handles Penn State, 24-7

Visiting OSU muscled its way to a 24-7 defeat of the Nittany Lions in a matchup of the Big Ten's elite, if there could be such a thing this year. In the process, the Buckeyes ripped control of the Big Ten race from Iowa, which saw its 13-game winning streak end at home Saturday. The Hawkeyes limp into what promises to be a raucous Ohio Stadium next week without its starting quarterback, Ricky Stanzi, as both teams have just two league games left. The winner goes to the Rose Bowl.

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After OSU's the-world-is-ending loss at Purdue last month, those Buckeyes fans still interested in following their favorite team to a bowl game were thinking an early morning game in Florida on New Year's Day.

But after thoroughly exposing Penn State in front of 110,000 of its loyals on a gorgeous afternoon that turned into a perfectly crisp football evening, Ohio State drives home with a full tank of confidence to go along with a nasty defense that shut down the Big Ten's top attack.


+ GALLERY: The Hot Girls Of College Football
+ GALLERY: Celebrities Who Have Nothing To Do With College Football
+ DISCUSSION: The Top 10 Coaches Of College Football
+ GALLERY: Fans Rock Costumes at USC-Oregon Game
+ VIDEO: FOX19 Morning Show Appearance
+ VIDEO: VaTech Fan Gets Belligerent On GaTech Fan
+ ARTICLE: Is My Boy Jeff An A-Hole?
+ VIDEO: Tailgate Recipes -- My Mom's Chili
+ QUIZ: Who Are The 30 Thousand Helpers?

Meanwhile, all eyes were on Pennsylvania native Terrelle Pryor, who said this week he was desperate to earn his first big win as OSU's quarterback. The nimble sophomore ran for a short touchdown early, then threw for two more in the second half when the visitors turned a tight game into a comfy one for the few thousand scarlet-sweatered supporters who made the trip from Ohio to Happy Valley. It was more like Empty Valley with about five minutes left as fans started to make their way out, knowing that a run at a Big Ten championship will have to wait until next year.

What won't have to wait until next year is Ohio State's push for Pasadena. After the Iowa game next week, the Buckeyes close with their traditional season-ender at Michigan, whose Wolverines have been embarrassed each of the last two Saturdays.


Monday Notebook

One Great Season

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here are some notes as I begin a new week in Baton Rouge, five days away from Saturday's heavyweight bout between visiting No. 1 Florida and No. 4 LSU:

+ Cal is not a good football team. I strongly doubt that in the history of college football polls, a team has never followed up a No. 6 ranking by going out and losing two games by a combined score of 72-6.

+ From the sideline, I've watched USC in a Friday walkthrough and twice during pregame warmups, and Florida once during pregame warmups, and in each case you can't help but just feel that you're in the presence of an elite football team. Swagger isn't necessarily something a team has; to me it's more like what that team stirs inside of you when you watch it.

+ I get that powerhouses like to load up on a creampuff or two before playing someone tough or getting into conference play. But we're into October and I'm still really curious about what Texas can do. Beating a mediocre Texas Tech team by just 10 points at home tells me more about the Longhorns than do lopsided wins over Louisiana-Monroe and the like. I really think Alabama is more of a No. 2 team than Texas right now. The Tide don't appear to have any weaknesses.

+ The same goes for Penn State. Easy wins over Akron, Syracuse and Temple -- and presumably another one against Eastern Illinois this Saturday -- are unimpressive. I don't really remember the last time Joe Paterno had a strong team that played a marquee game in September.

+ Boise State won Saturday, but played poorly enough to drop from No. 5 to No. 6 in this week's poll. But despite the listless showing against Cal-Davis Saturday, the Broncos gain street cred when the Oregon team it manhandled five weeks ago won by huge margins its last two times out.

+ My Cincinnati friends are a little nervous about our No. 8 Bearcats' Thursday night tilt at South Florida on Oct. 15. UC is off this week, and then will face a USF team, though now ranked, that's without veteran quarterback Matt Grothe for the rest of the season. I think it could be like the season-opener at Rutgers all over again. Easy win for Cincinnati, which will take a 9-0 record into its home date against West Virginia on Friday, Nov. 13.

+ Seven of the AP's top 15 teams have a loss, and we still have more than two months of regular-season football left to play. Please stop describing the Armageddon when USC or Virginia Tech or Ohio State lose in September.

+ Iowa has more trouble with non-BCS teams than it does with the Penn States of the world. The Hawkeyes, 5-0, pulled off a stunner two weeks ago on the road when they beat the Nittany Lions, 21-10, but their two  closest calls have come at home, where they defeated Northern Iowa and Arkansas State by one and three points, respectively. By that logic, look for Iowa to rout visiting Michigan this weekend. Actually, I believe the opposite to be true. The No. 12 Hawkeyes will bolster the argument that the Big Ten is weak when they lose to no-longer-ranked Michigan on Saturday.


What's Wrong With Lane Kiffin Being Confident?

One Great Season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- I don't understand why there's such a fuss about Lane Kiffin's most memorable quote from his introductory press conference when he became Tennessee's head football coach.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Were Kiffin's comments disrespectful?

Said Kiffin: "I'm really looking forward to embracing some of the great traditions at the University of Tennessee, for instance the Vol Walk, running through the T, singing Rocky Top all night long after we beat Florida next year. It's going to be a blast, OK? So get ready."

I don't think it was much different from when Jim Tressel took over as Ohio State coach, ending more than a decade of Michigan dominance in the best rivalry in all of sports. Tressel was introduced to Buckeye Nation during a break in the Ohio State-Michigan basketball game in Columbus in January 2001.

Tressel took the mike and proclaimed: "I can assure you that you will be proud of your young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan."

I think Tressel's comment was fairly ballsy, again because the Wolverines owned OSU for a decade, and because it is, again, the biggest rivalry in all of sports. And yet the statement didn't get hardly the amount of criticism that Kiffin and his proclamation have been getting this year.

Comments or gestures like that are intended to pump up your fan base and really nothing more. If the other side wants to turn it into bulletin-board material, then sobeit. Tressel has succeeded in walking the walk. We'll find out Saturday of Kiffin and his Volunteers can back it up at the Swamp when Tennessee takes on No. 1 Florida.

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The Superior Conference Conversation, Take 7,843

One Great Season

NEW YORK -- As you know, I'm not a big fan of the cheap and easy insults that fly around the blogosphere. Many, but not all, bloggers clamor for access to pro and college teams with little success, and while I'm a new member of the community, I feel like a 15-year news career means I'm qualified enough to assert that the mean-spirited nature of the genre doesn't help their cause.

Trash talking behind the safety of your laptop with somebody who you'll never see face to face is not a good look this fall.

An intelligent, or at least open-minded discourse is what I prefer, but then I have to remind myself that we're talking about college football. Fans of this particular entertainment form are not reasonable people. I'm not saying that to be cute; I really think fans of all sports can be idiots.

I once wore my Cleveland Indians cap to an interleague game at tradition-steeped Cinergy Field, Astroturf and all, against the Cincinnati Reds. It was sometime around 2000. It was a little later in the season, and I think the Indians were contending for a playoff spot. I watched a great battle between lefties Denny Neagle and Chuck Finley. Another lefty, Russell Branyan, came to bat with a man on first, two outs, and his Indians trailing, 2-1, in the top of the ninth.

Branyan lined a shot into the left-field corner that was an easy double. The Indians' third-base coach waved his guy home, but the left-fielder grabbed it cleanly, rifled a frozen walnut to Barry Larkin, who relayed home for the game-ending out at the plate. My squad lost, but more importantly, I'd just watched a great baseball game on a gorgeous Friday night in a playoff atmosphere at an otherwise boring ballpark.

And when trash talkers busted me for the logo they saw on my hat, it just sounded, felt and looked so juvenile. Does anyone's life truly get better or worse because a sports team full of people you'll never meet won or lost?

My point is this: root for your squad, for sure, but relax for a second and accept that you have nothing to do with your favorite team's success or the failure of its rivals.

I bring this up because although I've quickly become a fan of, the Comments section after a Big Ten preview post has devolved into that oh-so-tiresome-my-conference-is-better-than-yours shouting match.

When will people start to accept the cyclical nature of things? All things come full circle. Do we not remember that elites like USC, Oklahoma and Penn State, for example, were down for a spell before a recent resurgence in the last decade?

I'm all for a hearty and spirited debate, but don't change the rules after it's started. If you want to blast Ohio State for losing four or five big games in the last three or four seasons, or the Big Ten overall for its inability to win bowl games, go ahead and do it. But if someone fires a shot at your squad for its own shortcomings in recent years, don't talk about all-time winning percentages, because that's a conversation for which Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State will all be glad to pull up a chair.

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