Special thanks to Black Shoe Diaries for hosting this week's Roundtable.
Pretend for a moment you're the little Japanese guy on Heroes. You can close your eyes, clench your fists, crap your pants and go back in time. If you could go back and change one play for your team this season, what would it be?
Not that it would change the beatdown we received from Oregon, but if crapping my pants meant I could correctly position Shawn Crable on that fateful field goal block against Appalachian State, well, it would be worth it. Unfortunately the fates aren't to kind to time changes. So even if I got him to block the right guy the kick would probably bounce directly off the uprights.
We're now two-thirds of the way through the season. Everyone likes to debate who will be the Big Ten Coach of the Year. I want to know which Big Ten coach is a complete moron that should be demoted back to fullbacks coach on a team that runs the spread offense?
With apologies to Black Heart Gold Pants, Kirk Ferentz need to go. Right now. He's gone from Iowa's savior to its executioner over the last five years. Exhibit 1: this season. Good lord, no Michigan, no Ohio State, and your team (which does have talent when its not stealing credit card numbers) plays like this? Exhibit 2: Drew Tate. A kid with all the talent in the world who regressed every year under his tutelage. Exhibit 3: The credit card stealing morons he had to boot off the team.
I've never been a Ferentz fan. I thought he got way too much credit for doing mediocre jobs with good talent. The Hawkeyes are 7-5, 6-7 and currently 3-5 in their last three seasons. No, it doesn't erase three straight 10+ win seasons, but its fair to say the luster is gone from his golden boy image. He was living well when he could pillage Illinois and the neighboring mountain states, but with Illinois' improvement and the MWC becoming more and more competitive Ferentz' recruiting well seem to be running dry.
His in game calling is questionable and he doesn't seem to have the ability to prevent his teams from imploding as the season goes on. This is from the Iowa website:
Not the best way to describe a season. When you're picked as a Big Ten favorite and crash and burn the way the Hawkeyes have, you get nominated for worst coach.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. But the Bible doesn't say anything about your rival. Which current Big Ten player do you most wish played for your team?
Toss up, Dan Connor or James Laurnitis. Michigan desperately needs help at linebacker and the void at that position can be directly linked to our losses to Appalachian State and Oregon. Either linebacker would solidify Michigan's defense and possibly make it one of the best in the country. Right now Michigan is solid up front and in the backfield. The middle of the field is a nightmare.
It's probably too early to start thinking about next year. Well, unless you're Minnesota in which case you've been thinking about next year for a month or so already. Assess your team's future. Was this year your chance to make a run or is this just a rebuilding year with greater expectations in 2008? Or do you plan to suck in 2008 just as much as you suck now?
As everyone is well aware, this was supposed to be Michigan's MNC year. Stacked O, decent D. Yeah. w00t! How'd that work out?
Next year is going to be bizarre. We get our front defensive line back intact. Both corners and almost all of our linebacking corps (ugh) are back, but the strength of the defense, our safeties, are gone. On offense we return 6 linemen with starting experience but lose Jake Long and Adam Kraus. Mallett takes over for Henne, but he doesn't quite yet seem ready for prime time. The same can be said for Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor. Lots of talent is coming in but we don't know who their coach is going to be. Basically, I don't have an effing clue what's going to happen.
We'll probably go 8-4 or 9-3 next year with a shot at 11-1. The talent's there, but I don't know how it will be employed. So, basically, it'll be this year without an inexplicable loss to a D1-AA team.