Sunday, September 2, 2007

Memo to Lloyd Carr - Chumps not Champs

Appalachian State Stuns Michigan -110,000 fans wept at the Big House in Ann Arbor yesterday. Lloyd Carr, the Michigan football coach had done everything right. His squad of blue chip Big Ten beef was ranked and ready. The victim, strike that, opponent, was a IAA patsy. Strike that - the NCAA just renamed IAA - which sounded like something from minor league baseball - with the even more humiliating moniker "subdivision". How could a suburban housing development be expected to compete with a Division IA power. No IAA squad had ever beaten a ranked IA team. The Wolverines would win, elate the fans and donating alumni, let the stars build some Heisman stats, give the second string a chance to play and do absolutely nothing to jeopardize their ranking. Lloyd made one small mistake, he scheduled the two time defending IAA champion Appalachian State Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers took a 28-14 lead in the second quarter, but Lloyd was still more grumpy than really worried. It would look shaky to the poll voters, but the cream still had time to rise. Michigan finally grabbed the lead with 4 and a half minutes left in the game. Appalachian State threw an interception on its next play. 110,000 fans exhaled simultaneously. The Mountaineers had finally remembered who they were, minor leaguers, victory was secure, and the Wolverines could recover in the polls - there was a lot of season left. Turns out there was a lot of game left and the Mountaineers remembered exactly who they were, champions who were not willing to go away with a fat check for scheduling Goliath and a moral victory. Maybe it was the fact that they had real playoff experience, the kind where you get to the championship by winning games instead of polls. Maybe they were just pissed off about playing in a "subdivision". Instead of folding the Mountaineers blocked two Michigan field goals and kicked their own to pull off one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

Lloyd - winners are winners. Don't take a chance on a champ when you need a chump, find a IA program that's always "rebuilding" for your opener.
p.s. Don't forget to work on special teams in the early practices next year - oh that's right - you won't be coaching next year. If you change your mind about retiring maybe one of the schools in the subdivision will have an opening for a veteran coach.
Special note to As Good As News Readers in Columbus - Congratulations, this must be better than winning a bowl game. Celebrate safely and do not look past the ever dangerous Zips.

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