Carr Rides Off?

By Adam Caparell - November 16, 2007

Is this going to be Lloyd Carr's final game on the sidelines of the Big House? That's the big question on everyone's mind entering Saturday's Michigan-Ohio State meeting with the Big Ten title up for grabs in college football's premier rivalry.

Speculation has been rampant since the summer that Carr would retire at the end of the season and assume a position with the Michigan athletic department. Winning his final game against Ohio State might help Carr lean toward retirement - especially considering he's lost five of his last six against the Buckeyes - but he's given no indication either way what he's going to do when the season finallly concludes.

"The only thing on my mind is this game," Carr said earlier this week, typically revealing nothing.

The Wolverines have been asked about Carr's future and they have no idea either what their coach is going to do. There haven't been any special meetings, gatherings or speeches this week, just the usual hype and prep for the Buckeyes that comes with Ohio State Week.

But one thing's for sure, the Wolverines - especially the seniors who have not beaten Ohio State in their careers - want to send Carr out of the Big House with a win if Saturday is is last game. If it's his last game, of course.

"We want to win it for him," defensive tackle Will Johnson said. "He's taken a lot of criticism, but that's his job as a coach. But we represent him as a coach. So yeah, we definitely want to win it for him."

But Carr will have none of it. He may wryly smile when asked about his future and he probably already has his mind made up, but he's not tipping his hand. That's not Carr, the cantankerous Michigan coach whose answers are as plain as vanilla with insight as shallow as can be.

"For me, it's about Michigan," Carr said. "And I think for the guys on this team, on this staff, it's about Michigan."

Weekly Picks

Last Week: 2-3 | Season: 25-30

No. 5 West Virginia (-6.5) over No. 21 Cincinnati
Two highest scoring teams in the Big East, can Cincinnati knock off its third straight ranked team? We haven't heard much from Steve Slaton lately so it would behoove the Mountaineers running back to produce a big game. However, it also would be nice to see Slaton - and quarterback Pat White as well - hang on to the ball in big games. Kind of puzzling why they seem to have fumbling issues in the biggest games. West Virginia wins, but this one could be very close.

No. 8 Georgia (-7.5) over No. 22 Kentucky
Kentucky can't stop the run and Georgia's been running the ball as well as anyone in the SEC thanks to Knowshon Moreno averaging 160 yards the past four games. As long as he gets going, that should open up the deep threat for Matthew Stafford and he's been hurting teams deep the past few games. I think we'll see more of that and another big Bulldogs wins.

No. 15 Clemson (-7.5) over No. 18 Boston College
Important one in the ACC Atlantic because the winner is basically going to the ACC title game in a few weeks, but it's going to be the Tigers in this one because one of Clemson's greatest strenghts is getting to the quarterback and when Matt Ryan has to move around the pocket - and out of it - he's not nearly as effective. BC's been struggling running the ball as well and it looks like the wheels are coming off. Maybe the offensive line losing all that weight in the offseason season wasn't such a good idea after all.

No. 3 Oklahoma (-8) over Texas Tech
Like offense? Here's the game for you. Fortunately for Sooners fans, Oklahoma can actually play some defense. Texas Tech on the other hand, can't. So that's why the Sooners wrap up the Big 12 South and their sixth trip to the conference championship game. There are going to be a bunch of points in this one (O/U is 66), but Tech is going to give a lot more than they score.

No. 7 Ohio State (-4) over No. 23 Michigan
I want to pick the Wolverines because I'm sick of the Buckeyes, but we still don't know Chad Henne's and Mike Hart's status and if those two can't go then Michigan doesn't figure to have much of a chance against that Ohio State defense. Plus, the Buckeyes can exploit the Wolverines with the deep ball. The x-factor in this one is the emotional sentiment surrounding Lloyd Carr. Big Ten is up for grabs, but surprisingly the Buckeyes could still be in the mix for the national championship game if more teams lose.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 07:49 PM on November 16, 2007

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