THE HYBRID: THEY DIED IN DIFFERENT WAYS

By Bobby Loesch on September 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm
Michigan Was Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The Hybrid is a weekly Big Ten football preview, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate

To my knowledge, this tweet isn't even about college football, but it felt like a perfect way to start this shit heap disaster of a column you just clicked on. My only other lead was "Thirty two fucking points."

For those of you who do not know the struggle, I am an Iowa fan/alum who grew up rooting for Michigan and Washington State. With Iowa on bye last week, everything felt safer than it usually does rolling with these cursed ass three. Sure, I was worried about Michigan, but Wazzu was playing 0-3 UCLA. What was the worst that could happen?

/gulp

Yes, understood.

But if a million stunned fans is just a statistic, maybe one fan isolated would be the real traged--

If only we had some sort of warning.

Y'all. It sucked so god damn bad. I'm sure many of you know the Cougs blew that lead, but you know what else happened? They got the lead back. Yes, despite blowing a 30+ point second half lead, Washingon State rebounded, took the lead a second time, and got the ball back. With just one first down needed to salt away the game, Anthony Gordon -- who finished with a school record 9 passing TDs on the night -- completed a pass that was then fumbled. After UCLA scored for a final time, Wazzu had 60 seconds to get the ball down the field; certainly realistic given the dynamic of the game.

They fumbled on the first play and lost immediately. What made it even sadder was Minshew being in the house. Luckily ESPN made the decision to stop showing him as things went really south. All of this taking, like, five hours without overtime and ending at 1:30 a.m. did not help.

Came so god damn close.

College football is like "Game of Thrones" if it started with winter, and that... that was the show.

* * *

With that out of the way, let's talk about Michigan football; a terminal cancer that got terminal cancer.

It started off well enough.

(Saved this because I knew.)

Sure, I am just-not-dumb-enough to know the Sconnie game would be a loss. But like that? Lifeless, out-coached, sad injuries, a "reevaluate your love of this sport" concussion; it really brought everything to the table. Everything but expectation fulfillment.

It gets harder, doesn't it?

At one point, the cameras actually caught Harbaugh saying "Fuck me."

For those who rightfully tuned him out years ago, that's about as fiery as he gets these days.

It's hard to tell if he wants badly to die or is badly dead already.

MGoBlog:

That felt like a game of a bygone era, and not the one Jim Harbaugh constantly evokes. Michigan lost to Wisconsin in a start-to-finish debacle that'll shake even the most steadfast optimist's confidence in the program, at the very least until they can play on a big stage without getting stunted on.

"Stunted on" is such a wonderful expression.

Yahoo:

Harbaugh’s tenure is amid its fifth year as a $7.5 million dollar tease. There are no wins over Ohio State, three straight bowl losses and, still, zero signature victories. Michigan’s last three games against Power Five opponents have resulted in combined losses of 138-68, on average losing 46-23 to Ohio State, Florida and Wisconsin. 

Yahoo again:

Harbaugh’s most recent glaring negligence came with hiring the inexperienced Josh Gattis from Alabama in the offseason to both run the offense and overhaul the program’s pro-style DNA. The early results are a distinct failure, as Michigan managed just 14 points in regulation against Army and 14 against Wisconsin. By the time the Wolverines scored against Wisconsin, they trailed 35-0.

[...]

Gattis’ early struggles should be pinned squarely on Harbaugh. The offseason coronation of Gattis as a great hire included these delicious details in a story in The Athletic – “There was no interview. No face-to-face meeting. No get-up-on-the-board-and-show-me-how-you-run-this session. Not even a tell-me-about-your-offensive-philosophy discussion.”

Harbaugh basically put the future of the program on a 20-minute phone conversation, which is a bit like getting engaged after the first drink on a first date. And he did it knowing that Nick Saban had an opportunity to promote Gattis to the same job and declined. That’s impulsive and reckless even by Harbaugh’s standards, and was begging for more skepticism from an athletic director and administration who’d already seen a pattern of bad hires and dysfunctional offenses.

The only thing more bizarre about Harbaugh making a decision this important in this manner was bragging about it.

When asked directly after the game if he had any concerns about Gattis as a play caller, Harbaugh said: “Uhhhhh no.”

It's almost as if we're going to find out this was all a prank or something. As for me, I'm packing it in. This team has a 9-3 ceiling, and that's only if absolutely everything breaks right (narrator: it won't).

The good news is -- /puts on Iowa hat, lights all Michigan gear on fire and throws it into an orphanage -- they're vulnerable.

My guy Brett was one of four people to hit me with a T&P last Saturday.

What a sport.

The Hybrid

"I don’t understand the vagaries of the Internet."
"Post often, without thought, and you’ll either get cancelled or cancel someone else."

Thursday

N/A

Friday Night Lights

Penn State (12) at Maryland: Care so little about this; here is a thing:

Arizona State at California (15): Cal is, like, really, really undefeated. They take on our heroes, Arizona State.

Saturday

Texas Tech at Oklahoma (6): Ohhhhh, imagine actually rooting for a great team with a proficient offense.

Northwestern at Wisconsin (8): You can understandably trash this take and attribute it to sour grapes post-Michigan demolishing, but I am so convinced Jonathan Taylor isn't great. I am not asking you to join me on this. I am asking you to help me set parameters. Not saying the dude has to go for 200+ and 2 TDs a game the rest of the way, but what type of dud performance will it require to get this off the ground? Sub-50/no TDs in a big game? Will that be enough? You tell me -- let's work something out. Because I promise it is coming.

Middle Tennessee at Iowa (14): Oh, what the fuck is this game? I was ready to be entrenched in conference season. What a wasted god damn bye week. Eh, I guess it did give us more time to celebrate the Iowa State Sonics, so it wasn't all bad.

/scrolls Twitter

Bye week: redeemed. Now he's just gotta get lined up in the front, and we might really have something here. Still setting the pace: Ricky Stanzi.

Rutgers at Michigan (20): no

/thinks more

How much worse can it get? Is it possible they can't beat this?

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas:

These are my kind of people.

Central Michigan at Western Michigan:

Clemson (1) at North Carolina: When did college football become so preordained and predictable? (Not blaming Clemson for any of this, to be clear.)

* * *

Our sommelier, Clemson Tom, checks in:

Last week was a snooze fest. But then again, I told you we were gonna blow them out of the water. We played pretty much everybody and their brother. I’m sure we even picked your kids out of the crowd just to have a walk on spot to beat Charlotte.

This Saturday, we play the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. UNC got Matt Brown back, and for some reason, they think they might be competitive. I think we’re going to beat the brakes off them as well. They lost to Appalachian State last week. I don’t think we’re going to open up the playbook yet... we'll probably just run the ball and win.

I do think we cover the spread this weekend. Other than that, I just really hate UNC because they tailgate with bottles of wine and cheese. That’s not even a knock -- that’s actually extremely accurate.

Ole Miss at Alabama (2): When did college football become so preordained and predictable? (Somewhat blaming Alabama for this, to be clear.)

Virginia (18) at Notre Dame (10): Game of the Week. Aright, Virginia -- I'll bite.

  • You are 4-0
  • You beat (bad) FSU
  • You are the reigning NCAA men's basketball champ

I'm in. Let's see how this goes.

* * *

As for ND Nation... not buying any moral victory angle following that Georgia game. Any other team, sure. But not this outfit.

Haha.

* * *

Here is Z.W. Martin for this week's Zybrid:

If there is one play that accurately shows the gap between Notre Dame and, say, the Top 4-ish teams in the country, it was this interception by Georgia’s J.R. Reed. 

The Irish ran a flea flicker that was immediately disrupted by a corner blitz. Ian Book gets away from the pressure by scrambling to his right, where the pressure came from, and where an uncovered receiver is supposed to be. Book makes what appears to be perfect throw... until it wasn’t.

A superior athlete making a superior play. This is the new golden age of Irish football -- consistent double digit win seasons -- and it is still not good enough. College football is dumb. Liking the Irish is impossibly dumb.

Anyway, Virginia is for Losers.

* * *

...

Let's go back to the well one last time.

USC (21) at Washington (17): I do not know enough about Reggie Bush as an analyst... does he really think this, or is it a producer shouting "COME UP WITH A SPICY ANGLE" in his ear? Or is he still pissed about the Heisman?

All I know is the part with Brady Quinn at the end is definitely staged.

Indiana at Michigan State (25): Ranked again, Sparty? Real cute.

Minnesota at Purdue: No one asked, but my Big Ten-only college fantasy football team is 3-1, and I owe much of that to Rondale. Thank you, Rondale. We also have a certified QB controversy between Stanley and Wisconsin QB Jack Coan.

Towson at Florida (9): So gross/so bad.

Mississippi State at Auburn (7): Mehhhhhhh.

UConn at UCF (22): Predicted UCF to go undefeated for the next five years... and that couldn't even hold for 48 hours. Legit my bad, guys.

Ohio State (5) at Nebraska: Watching ESPN try to sell this as some hot conference night game should embarrass. Also embarrassed? Me, who had to look up how to spell embarrass (damn you, second r!).

/remembers GameDay is going there

oh give me a BREAK

Washington State at Utah (19): /stares with dead and unflinching eyes, refrains from blinking for several hours

* * *

There aren't a ton of even OK games this week, so I'm gonna dump some more (mostly SEC) stuff here...

LSU -- whoa.

Sure, we could give very deserved credit to Joe Burrow, but I'm giving it to this guy.

/genuinely wants to eat pancakes after watching this

Tennessee, you're crazy to think I'm gonna wait another week to post this.

Maybe they beat the knowledge out of him?

Georgia, I don't even wanna know.

Wrapping It Up...

/dumps barrel of toxic waste into a baby bird nest

Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.

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