Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, September 02, 2005 at 2:22 PM

Weekend Warrior Returns.

That's right, the sports dude's back in full effect my friends, and the "Weekend Warrior" is ready to take aim at football. Here I will give my own (un)educated picks on some key college games, from the Big Ten and abroad, to yes, even our own lowly Lions. So sit back, relax and enjoy the picks and my attempt at (as always) some really bad humor.

Northern Illinois at Michigan.

Freshman no longer, Chad Henne and Michael Hart will try to survive the ghost of the sophomore slump and continue to build on their impressive freshman campaign. Alas, as always is the case at U of M, the Wolverines will look sluggish at times in the season opener, letting Northern Illinois stick around longer than they should. Also, the Wolverines will realize that Northern Illinois QB not only has an arm, but legs as well, resulting in total and wide spread panic for the U of M defense. The Wolverines will prevail, but will not blow the Huskies out of the water, prompting many to again call for Lloyd Carrs' head, as well as that of Jim Herrmanns', on a maize and blue platter. The end result will be U of M, despite the victory, dropping a few places in next week polls because they did not "run up the score" on the smaller opposing team.

U of M wins; 33-21

Kent State at Michigan State University.

With past failures such as Rutgers and Central Michigan University still fresh on their minds, this year MSU turns to Kent State to hopefully get a victory against a MAC team. That and the NCAA wouldn't allow them to play any local community colleges in fear of seeing the first ever Division One team lose to a Division Two (or lower!) team. That being said, the Spartans will again start off the season slow, with their combination of hold over talent no other school wanted and junior college transfers, but in the end the Spartans should squeak out a victory. That is, as long as John L. Smith puts Drew Stanton in his defensive secondary because he is the only athlete the Spartans truly have!

MSU survives; 27-24

Bowling Green at Wisconsin

It is the beginning of the end for Barry Alvarez as head coach at Wisconsin, and the guru of the powder puff schedule doesn't disappoint! Wisconsin again loaded up their non-conference schedule with the likes of Bowling Green, the ever dangerous Temple and the power house that is North Carolina. (Wait, that school has something besides a basketball program?) Not too let their coach down and spoil his last season opener, the Badgers again overwhelm an over matched opponent, because we all know the choking Badgers don't lose games until they get real in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin wins; 31-13

Miami (Ohio) at Ohio State University

Well, not to be over looked in this mess is the fact that the great sweater vest himself, Jim Tressel, has suspended his star QB Troy Smith for the season opener. Too bad, I mean, how are they going to beat the Hurricanes without him? What is that you say? Oh, the parenthesis there, I see... It is Miami (Ohio), not Miami of Florida. Well, even without their QB, the sweater vest should have it easy in this one.

Ohio State wins; 27-10

USC at Hawaii

As a parting gift to senior star QB Matt Leinart, the Trojans decided to open up on the road in his final season in Hawaii. That way, come half time when USC is up by 30 points, Leinart can leave the stadium, head to a local beach and enjoy a pig roast at the first luau he sees. That way it is just like his senior year back on campus at USC, where the "Golden Boy of College Football" is challenging himself with a class in ballroom dancing. Man, what a tough life, huh?

USC doesn't break a sweat; 48-13

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

The Charlie Weis era in South Bend begins with him asking one simple question, "Why in the hell did I leave leave New England for this crap again?" We don't know either Charlie, we don't know. But, if it makes you feel any better, I have a feeling your buddy in the NFL, one Romeo Crennel, ain't going to have it much easier this year either.

Pittsburgh wins; 23-16

And finally, the feature that I am most proud to introduce in my weekly "Weekend Warrior" post is the:


Rutgers at Illinois

Look, the fact that these two schools are playing football is funny enough, I really can't think of any jokes to beat it.

Illinois wins; 5-3

That is all I got for now, enjoy this wonderful weekend in sports! Damn, I love football season! Later, godspeed, god bless and tail gate responsibly - the sports dude.

at 10:24 AM

AHHHHH.... YES!! Wolverine Football is back.

Can you smell it in the air? The brats, the dogs, the burgers on the grill, the smell of beer mixed with the scent of nachos. Oh, and the grass, can you smell the turf? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about baby – college football season is back, and it couldn’t be a moment too soon. So, here I am today to talk a little about college football, well, who am I kidding, I’m here to talk about my Wolverines. Is this the season that we, as Wolverine fans, have dreamed about since 1997, a serious shot at another National Championship? Or is it just another one of those “Could have been, should have been” seasons that we all have come accustomed to?

Look, for once I am not going to make any bold predictions, yes, shocking I know right? I have no fears about the offense, I can not see there being any fall off what so ever. I am not too sure that they deserve the #4 ranking, in fact it honestly shocked the hell out of me! I think somewhere, in my honest opinion that anywhere from #9 to #12 would have been more justified. But, it is the “reputation” that is Michigan football sometimes, I feel, that gets them these damn rankings. That as well as the combination that you know the pollsters love to see Michigan fall, so they figured start them high and watch them drop like flies! So, let’s take a quick look at a few areas, what they have and what I expect it will all mean for them this season.


Chad Henne should be better than last year, and I believe he will be, simply because he knows more of the offense now. He was even quoted as saying that last year, at best; he only knew 50% of the offense, mostly because he was a freshman rushed into a starting role. But, having an entire off season to prepare, study and watch film, he knows more now, has a better grasp of possible audibles to call and what defenses to look for.

Michael Hart will again be the featured back in a back field that, on paper, is the deepest and most talented bunch I have seen in a long time. If for some strange reason Hart hits a sophomore slump (which I highly doubt!) we saw enough of Max Martin (another sophomore) last season to know that he is no slouch either and could easily be a starter on any other team. Lastly, there is this highly touted, built like a truck running back by the name of Kevin Grady Jr. just waiting to get in there and show everybody what he can do.

Steve Breaston has to be the explosive cat that we saw in the Rose Bowl, not the often injured kid we saw during last years regular season. Jason Avant has the surest hands of any receiver on the team, is a great possession receiver and was dearly missed in last years Rose Bowl. With the loss off Braylon Edwards, those two should have ample opportunities to step up and between them help fill that void. There will be more balls to spread around this year without a true #1, so Henne should have his pick and the pickings all look pretty good to me. Throw in as a #3 receiver junior Carl Tabb, who has shown small flashes in limited playing time, as well as sophomore Adrian Arrington (whom Carr has said turned some heads this spring) and freshmen Antonio Bass and Doug Dutch, both of whom are highly touted young players. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, the two talented and big targets at tight end, senior Tim Massaquoi and junior Tyler Ecker.

The offensive line should eventually be steady, but for the first few games may look shaky while they learn to play together. Center David Baas will not be easy to replace, but again U of M always seems to have a strange amount of depth when it comes to the hogs up front. Seniors Matt Lentz and Adam Stenavich return to help anchor the line and open holes up front for the Wolverines stacked and talented back field. The sooner they gel the better for the Wolverines, because Henne will still need time to let plays develop down field for his receivers. Juniors Mike Kolodziel, Rueben Riley, senior Leo Henige, and sophomore Adam Kraus help round out the front five in some shape or form. Again, I expect Lloyd Carr to use the non-conference schedule as a sort of tinkering period, much like last year, until he finds five bodies he is comfortable with for the coming Big Ten season. The loss of talented Jake Long due to injury for an unspecified amount of time was a huge hit, but the depth U of M has seems to at least, for the moment, help them until he returns.


The big fella, senior Gabe Watson, anchors a strong defensive line with fellow senior Pat Massey and versatile and talented junior Lamaar Woodley. There biggest task this year is to not only finally put some pressure on opposing QB’s, but to not allow the running QB’s the Wolverines face to break containment. What we saw in the Rose Bowl and what we saw in the season finale last year against Ohio State, plus against MSU, can not be allowed to happen again this year. Yes the offense should be able to put up big numbers this year, but guys, you still got to play some defense.

The linebackers feature some familiar names in senior Scott McClintock and junior Pierre Woods, who both have to step up and help this defense erase the embarrassing games that I mentioned above. The secondary lost two key members, Marlin Jackson and Ernest Shazor, but returning starter Leon Hall has turned heads at cornerback this spring. Some other names to mention are juniors Willis Barringer, Ryan Mundy, seniors Grant Mason and Darnell Hood, and promising sophomore Brandent Englemon. Again the depth in the secondary will help U of M overcome the losses, but these cats, as well as the rest of the defense as a whole, needs to go back to the basics and remember to wrap their men up and actually tackle some people for a change.


I guess I should at least mention it because they are a part of the team as well. Adam Finley, who to me it seemed like has been U of M’s punter for the last decade, finally graduated and will be replaced by either freshman Zoltan Mesko or senior Ross Ryan. Junior place kicker Garrett Rivas returns this year, but his leg is suspect at anything beyond 40 yards it seems. However, he is steady and consistent within his range, so there really is not too much need for alarm there.


Look, I know there is always the contingent of Wolverine fans out there that want Lloyd Carr’s head on a platter either at the end of the season or somewhere along the way. But say what you want about him, last year was the best coaching job Carr ever had in all his seasons as head coach at U of M. How would you like to be faced with, on the eve of your season opener, losing your starting QB and only having a true freshman to turn to? All off season, all spring, you prep and game plan for Matt Gutierrez and lose him before he can even take a snap? Suddenly you are faced with a freshman, no matter how talented in high school, to lead your team on the field with maybe, at best, only knowing a minimal amount of your offense at the time? Then, after two games, you realize the senior running back you were counting on (David Underwood) was not going to get it done? So, you turn to another true freshman to help save the season? Talk about a coaching nightmare! Yes, Carr cost us that Notre Dame game last year because he refused to take the leash off of Henne, and yes I was pissed to say the least, like many a fan was. But you know what? He came out after that game, admitted he was at fault and realized that, like it or not, those freshmen were his only options so, sink or swim; he was going to have to let it fly with them. The end result? Eight straight victories before the embarrassment at Ohio State and, quite frankly, the most exciting bowl game I had seen in a long time at the Rose Bowl. Say what you want about Carr, but the job he did last year with what he faced speaks mountains, to me, about that man as a coach and a motivator for his team. Oh, and by the way, really enjoy him while he lasts because there is no clear successor in the wings and he is not exactly a spring chicken anymore. Lastly, don’t forget this, he did something Bo was never able to do, win a National Championship. Frustrated or not with him, he is a great coach and should be remember that way.

The defensive coach, on the other hand, is the one I have the beef with. For how many years now have we been screaming about Jim Herrmann's inability to come up with a scheme to defend a running QB? Like above mentioned punter Adam Finley, it seems like forever and a day now! What the hell happened to him after the 1997 National Championship season, when many said it was his defense that won the damn thing for us! Also, not to scare any of you U of M fans out there, but there was a time when he was considered the likely successor to Carr. His defense has been spotty, full of holes and confused looking at times the past few years. Yes, the players are the ones that need to remember to actually tackle opposing players, I understand that, but how about game planning? Preparation? Putting in the right players, calling the right plays, at the right times? And coming up with a freaking scheme that can stop the Drew Stanton’s, the Michael Young’s, and the Troy Smiths of the world? If he even let’s any of those guys, the ones we face that is, have big games against us this year I am sorry, it is time that he goes. The heat is on him more this season than any other coach, crap even any other player, on that team and rightfully so. It is time to play some damn defense this year guys and it starts with the coach first and foremost.


Look, I refuse to make a numbers prediction as far as how many wins and how many losses; I really can’t do that this year. The #4 ranking, to me, is way too high and it still boggles my mind. The offense is not the question mark here, it is that defense that I saw too many times last year (please see Rose Bowl, Ohio State and MSU game tapes for reference) that scares the hell out of me. I will say this, there is no reason they don’t go into the Big Ten opener against Wisconsin 3-0 and, after that, all bets are off. Northern Illinois, a bowl team last year itself, is not exactly a “cream puff” opener, but the Wolverines should be able to find a way to win. However, I don’t expect a blowout and that will probably drop them in the polls because that is just how it works. Notre Dame should be easier this year to handle, seeing how it is at home and Carr probably won’t have Henne on a leash again this year, followed by Eastern Michigan who, well, let’s just say they are just “happy to be in the Big House”.

After that 3-0 (the only concrete prediction you are getting from me!) the rest of the season is up in there air and I can not get an honest read on it. All I will say is this, damn the schedule makers if they didn’t want to torture U of M a little this year, don’t you think? Start off with Wisconsin on the road, a night game none the less and therefore one of Carr’s favorite things in the world (note the sarcasm in my voice!), followed by MSU on the road. Crap, that is one hell of a way to kick off the Big Ten season if you ask me, what do you think? Here is where I make my bold prediction, if U of M survives those two games they go undefeated in the Big Ten. Yes, you heard it here first folks, those two games will be enough of a confidence boost to get the Wolverines through the rest of the season. The only other game, after that, is Iowa on the road, but by surviving those two games? Come on, you really think U of M will be bothered by that? Something tells me probably not. Look, U of M has the toughest schedule in the Big Ten this year; Wisconsin, Iowa and MSU are all on the road. If they survive that schedule, maybe even with a loss to Iowa, they better damn well be in the hunt for the National Championship at the end of the year. But to guarantee it they need to go undefeated in the Big Ten which will be no easy task because it is the toughest conference in college football this season, hands down.

Well, the novel is over, the season is about too begin and I for one am geeked as ever! Hail to the Victors baby, let the football begin! Later – the sports dude.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 8:47 AM

Random thoughts.

This makes me happy, because it was whom I hoped the Lions would get in the draft. But he went earlier than I even expected and it was not meant to be. Alas, I guess we are stuck with this guy, whom should be all right I suppose.

This makes me beyond happy, in fact we are talking egstatic, over joyed, over come with laughter, there really are no words for it to tell you the truth. A thug is always a thug, a bitch is always a bitch and overrated is still overrated. So here's to getting what you deserved you over-hyped, wet, fat, stupid bag of shit. Man, this really makes me feel good - bust!!!!

This guy needs to go! Say all you want about his "effieciency", but the bottom line is he ain't getting it into the end zone. He has three regular season games and, after that, we are screwed anyway so you may as well go with Jeff (float me a ball) Garcia or Orlovsky, shit even Timmy Chang. But the bottom line is Joey doesn't have "it", whatever "it" is and the guys in that huddle are starting to see it. Better do something quick before it is too little too late... if it isn't already!

Off the sports beat for a second, this shit makes me sick. All the destruction, all the devistation, and you go and loot! Those people need to be shot, plain and simple. The sports dude believes in an "eye for an eye" and hates our justice (or lack there of!) system in this country. String those bastards up, put a bullet in 'em and let the flood waters take them away. Bastards, assholes, jerks... plain and simple.

Later, and on a happier note, my U of M preview will be coming later this week. Good-bye, godspeed and god bless the hurricane victims. Later - the sports dude!

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