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Tuesday Happy Hour Drinks The Pain Away

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Tuesday Happy Hour Drinks The Pain Away But not in the way you think. The cold I picked up at the Michigan Ohio State game has me downing fluids (water and tea) at a record pace, but doing so is making me feel better. There's a lot to cover so lets get you up to date.

It's Official, Carr to Retire - It comes as no surprise after the last few days of announcements, but Lloyd is hanging up the whistle and stepping into an office job with the Athletic department.

Let the Rampant Speculation Begin! - Now that Carr's future is set in stone it has allowed those of us who write about college football to do what we love the most, speculate. Brian is all over the "Miles is/isn't Coming to Ann Arbor" speculation and Jim Carty has already pieced together a list of probable candidates. To borrow from Jim's work:

LES MILES - LSU HEAD COACH
Why him?
Miles played and coached under Bo Schembechler at Michigan and currently had led LSU to a No. 1 national ranking. He has NFL experience, is an excellent recruiter, and is one of the hottest coaches in the country.

URBAN MEYER - FLORIDA HEAD COACH
Why him?
He's one of the best young coaches in the country, winning the 2007 national title, and has previously said he'd like to be the Michigan head coach some day. Might want to get out of the toughest football conference in America.

GARY PINKEL - MISSOURI HEAD COACH
Why him?
Has Missouri undefeated, ranked third nationally and in the hunt for a national title, strong Midwest ties after building Toledo into a Mid-American Conference power, runs the kind of no-huddle spread offense that has given Michigan fits.

KIRK FERENTZ - IOWA HEAD COACH
Why him?
Ferentz is a nationally respected coach who has rebuilt Iowa from scratch and rebuffed repeated NFL coaching offers. He has ties to Michigan's president, Mary Sue Coleman, who hired him at Iowa.

MIKE TRGOVAC - CAROLINA PANTHERS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Why him?
He's a very solid NFL coordinator, but more importantly because he played for Bo Schembechler and Michigan has, in the past, had an obsession with Michigan ties.

BRIAN KELLY - CINCINNATI HEAD COACH
Why him?
He's won a national title at Grand Valley, rebuilt Central Michigan, and now has Cincinnati in the Top 25 in his first season with the Bearcats.

RON ENGLISH - MICHIGAN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Why him?
He's a talented and respected young coach, beloved by Michigan's players.

While I agree with a few of Jim's selections, Urban Meyer, Gary Pinkel and Kirk Ferentz aren't candidates. Meyer will never leave Florida unless he's forced to. Gary Pinkel, um, before this year had anyone heard of Gary Pinkel? He left the MAC to play in the MAC (i.e., the Big XII North. Do you really want to debate this?) and his Tigers were handled by an Oklahoma team that got shellacked by Texas Tech. So, er, no. Kirk Ferentz? Are you friggin serious? No. No. No. No. NO! Iowa's fallen back into brutal mediocrity and has a Tommy Amaker like reputation for player development (see: Tate, Drew). When Zook and Hep took over at Illinois and Indiana respectively, the pipeline talent Ferentz built his program on dried up. Finally, more than a dozen incidents of players crossing the wrong side of the law this year. As much as I love the Fulmer Cup, I don't want to win it every year. Decent coach, bad recruiter. Again, no.

Putting English in the equation makes little sense too. I know it's there because of the remarkable numbers the defense put up last year, but the same flaws that have driven the Michigan fanbase to the bottle the past 13 years failed to change under his tutelage, despite losses to Oregon and Appalachian State. Anyone associated with the ASU game is gone IMO.

SI gathered a list of people they think should be considered, apparently without regard for whether, you know, they'd actually ever be interviewed (Ferentz) or have any interest in the job (Bob Stoops?). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for baseless, wanton speculation in the face of hard facts and logic, but seriously, think these damn lists out before you publish them. Don't read Stewart Mandel. Ever.

Goin' Bowling - As always, Mike over at Black Shoe Diaries is well ahead of the curve on looking at the upcoming bowl season. He's put together a great piece on the likely Big Ten bowl selections along with couple of great charts on the whole bowl picture that are worth borrowing here:

Big Ten Standings
Team Conference Record Overall Record
Ohio State 7 - 1 11 - 1
Illinois 6 - 2 9 - 3
Michigan 6 - 2 8 - 4
Wisconsin 5 - 3 9 - 3
Penn State 4 - 4 8 - 4
Iowa 4 - 4 6 - 6
Indiana 3 - 5 7 - 5
Michigan State 3 - 5 7 - 5
Purdue 3 - 5 7 - 5
Northwestern 3 - 5 6 - 6
Minnesota 0 - 8 1 - 11

Big Ten Bowl affiliations.

Big Ten Bowl Affiliations
Bowl Game Selection Order Opponent
Rose Bowl Big Ten Champion PAC-10 Champion
BCS At Large Big Ten #2 Other BCS Team
Capital One Bowl Big Ten #2 SEC #2
Outback Bowl Big Ten #3 SEC #3/4
Alamo Bowl Big Ten #4 Big XII #4
Champ Sports Bowl Big Ten #5 ACC #4
Insight Bowl Big Ten #6 Big XII #5
Motor City Bowl Big Ten #7 MAC

Bless Mike for his optimism in stating:

Assuming the Capital One takes Illinois, the Outback Bowl will have to choose between Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly Penn State. I can't see them taking Penn State since the Nittany Lions played there last year. Wisconsin looks like the better team than Michigan lately with their 37-21 win over the Wolverines. But here again I think the temptation to take Lloyd Carr's last game is going to be pretty strong. I think the Outback is going to jump on Michigan to grab the story lines of Henne, Hart, and Carr all playing their last games.

I'm not holding out hope for a January bowl unless Illinois ends up in the Rose Bowl or other BCS game. Don't laugh, it's a serious possibility. Of the teams ahead of them, eight play one another, and in some cases, twice. Illinois finished the season with wins in its last two games and gave 11-1 Ohio State its only loss, in Columbus. Don't think the Rose Bowl isn't well aware that the Illini fan base would travel better than any other Big Ten school in the event OSU heads to a higher bowl game. Illinois, even with three losses, could end up in the BCS. And unlike Notre Dame last year, Illinois has the wins to prove they belong there. In that scenario, Wisconsin goes to the Capital One bowl and Michigan has a legit shot at the Outback bowl following PSU's collapse to an 8-4 record.

The most likely scenario is Michigan ends up in the Alamo Bowl for the second time in three years. You are allowed to cry about this. In some ways it will be a fitting end to a dismal season. A season of infinite disappointment capped with a trip to San Antonio, the site of one of Michigan's greatest Bowl collapses.

Bloggers Unite! - Despite the disappointment of the game, good times were had afterwards. My friends and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Doug of Hey Jenny Slater for a few drinks and some much needed food. The one thing about college football on a rainy November night, no one wants to go out and party afterwards. After dinner we mutually bailed on our planned boozing, but rest assured, when Maize n Brew visits the Classic City in will be when it is warm and sunny and the rain check for a bar crawl will be cashed in full. Go to HJS and read up on his trip. Go Dawgs!

Thanks Coach - I will save my final thoughts on Carr until after the season, but Yost over at MZone has a wonderful letter to Coach Carr that is worth your time. Please go there and read it.