This is not a controversial observation: Brady Hoke should be fired at Michigan. There are those who question whether Jim Leavitt or Mark Mangino should have been fired for their behavior, but at least those people have the luxury of arguing that players should be tougher mentally and that football is not a cotillion. (Note: I'm not arguing in favor of this point, just noting its existence).
Brady Hoke, with the Michigan Stadium crowd actually reaching its highest volume level of the entire game as they screamed in outrage to get Shane Morris out of harm's way, placed a player at physical risk because he didn't want to waste a timeout -- a timeout he wasn't going to use anyway, as Michigan still ended the game with timeouts in their pocket.
And now, the Michigan administration seems intent on backing up their coach, which only serves to shine a spotlight on the real problem in Ann Arbor: the administration itself. Given all we've learned about concussions in recent years, the tone-deaf nature of Michigan's overall response to yesterday's criticism is nothing short of appalling. Say what you will about the stereotypical Michigan Man, but Wolverine fans are outraged, which along with their reaction during the game Saturday goes to their credit as human beings. They understand reality. They want to win games, but you don't win at all costs, especially when that cost is the safety of the young men wearing your uniform.
Some might argue that this is an unwarranted rush to judgment, and that the internet star chamber is once again working overtime to foment rage. I'm unimpressed. Brady Hoke has demonstrated that trying to win football games takes precedence over the safety and long-term well-being of his players. He can't be allowed to continue doing so; his removal is not a punitive measure but a protective one. Dave Brandon has demonstrated that he doesn't understand this, and is thus likewise unsuited for the task of administering a college athletic program.
And on that note, on to today's links:
Charlie Weis done got fired.
Late takes from Saturday: Miner Rush has five thoughts from Dom Lewis while Alex Nicolas is finding all the silver linings in UTEP's performance.
Kellis Robinett only has three thoughts, but since they're actually about K-State they're worth a little more. (No offense, Dom!)
Our last piece of business from Saturday: Ken Corbitt has his post-game observations.
Rankings and other such frippery: K-State moved from 25-25 to 23-22 yesterday as the AP and Coaches released their new rankings. Robinett offers up his AP ballot, and Dennis Dodd has his power rankings while USA Today's Dan Wolken compiles this week's Misery Index.
On a less expansive scale, David Ubben offers his week six Big 12 power rankings, in which an interesting editorial error seems to imply they can only beat themselves Saturday against Texas Tech. Speaking of which, Tech themselves provide our first preview of this week's game.
Finally, Blair Kerkhoff outlines a broken football program in Lawrence.
What's going on here? K-State's men are in Columbus, Ohio, for the Jack Nicklaus Invitational, and the team itself sits in 11th place out of 12 teams. But, propelled by an opening-round 67, sophomore Matt Green ended Sunday's second round in first place, holding a one-stroke lead. The tournament ends today