Arrogance is at the Heart of the Crumbling Blue Wall

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For more than forty years Wolverine football has dominated the state. From the time Duffy Daugherty left MSU and Bo Schembechler arrived at UM, winning has been synonymous with Ann Arbor. Sure there have been times that the Spartans have woken from their slumber only to relinquish their dominance in the pecking order to the Wolverines. I believe for the first time since Duffy left MSU, the Spartans have put a hole in the “Blue Wall” that cannot be fixed. The years of arrogance may have finally caught the Wolverine faithful.

I have done little talking this year. It is hard to be a Spartan and not take happiness in the Wolverine fall from glory. Dantonio would not go on record this past weekend and proclaim his victory was “the fall” he spoke about following the UM loss last season. Mark has too much class and respect to drive a cheap nail into the Wolverine coffin. I will go on record as saying that I am not that nice.

This goes out to every Spartan and every Wolverine (Wal-Mart or otherwise)… THE FALL IS IN FULL EFFECT!!! Here are some things that are truly worth stating.

•The media has done everything it can to preserve the integrity of the “Blue Wall” and yet it still appears to be crumbling each and every week. The desperate cries and attempts by those blue homers are sounding more and more like Rosanne Barr singing the national anthem.

•The transfers from last season left the cupboard rather empty and the talent gap will take at least three years to replace. M-Rod won’t survive three years.

•Michigan used to own metro Detroit recruiting. The years of dominance in the state’s best recruiting market appears to be going MSU’s way. For years Michigan has loaded up on out of state talent while slow playing kids in metro Detroit as their fallback. Those days are over. MSU holds a decisive edge in metro Detroit recruiting.

•The coaching transition was supposed to be seamless from Lloyd to Les. Somewhere in the Wolverine football manual the chapter on audibles was not covered and Les Miles slipped back to LSU with a bigger check in hand. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, the Jim Harbaugh pissing match was the stupidest display of Wolverine arrogance. He was the one guy that had the name and the “Big Blue” mentality that could have kept the Wolverine engine running smoothly when Les left them hanging in the breeze.

•The Appalachian State loss was the first major dent in the Wolverine armor. The second came compliments of the Toledo Rockets and the Spartans delivered the third this past weekend. Michigan has a serious problem… MSU’s psyche appears to be mended. Michigan State now knows that it can win this rivalry game. Most importantly, MSU knows it can win this game in Ann Arbor.

•M-Rod has done a horrible job this season. The most basic rule surrounding an offense is to adapt your offense to your personnel. You don’t try to adapt your personnel to fit your offense. If M-Rod had utilized what he was given, dotted the I-formation and played traditional Wolverine defense, Michigan would be looking at seven wins and a bowl game. I’m not sure they will win another game the rest of the season. They will be the nation's most talented 2-3-win team. The nation’s longest bowl streak has come to an end.

•Ohio State owns the Wolverines. Jim Tressel has set the table beautifully for his good friend Mark Dantonio. Any Ohio talent that OSU doesn’t have room for tends to take a strong look at Michigan State. Do you think this is a coincidence?

•While Michigan goes out and loads up on out of state talent, MSU continues to plunder the crop at home. Kids that grow up watching football in this state tend to have more to play for in an instate rivalry. This is going to spell disaster when October rolls around for the Wolverines each year.

•WJR is the most powerful AM radio station in the Midwest. When Hollis made WJR change allegiances, MSU got a huge win. The radio exposure and the presence in metro Detroit are irreplaceable.

•Mark Dantonio’s system is firmly in place. Michigan State is poised to win eight or nine games in the regular season with a New Year’s bowl likely. Michigan State has two very talented quarterbacks on the roster that have run the MSU system. Michigan will likely start a freshman quarterback next season and expect him to run the ball week in and week out into the teeth of Big Ten defenses. It is one thing to run your QB against Rutgers, Connecticut, Pitt, Cincinnati and South Florida. It is another to run a freshman QB against the likes of Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa. I don’t believe M-Rod’s system will work in the Big Ten; I don’t believe a running QB can stay healthy as MSU learned running Drew Stanton. I also believe that M-Rod is looking at another loss to both MSU and OSU next season and repeat of the affair in 2010. You heard me say it first. We will beat Michigan three years in a row.

•When “The Big Sister’s of Southeast Michigan” get their way and M-Rod is shown the door, it will take three to five years of rebuilding just to get back to the same level as the Northwestern’s and Iowa’s of the Big Ten. If I were UM, I would start repairing that Harbaugh relationship right now, but arrogance just won’t let you do it.