things go poorly
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
Do NOT taunt the CK Award. It is truly wroth this year. Last week's winner, Journorock, chose to spit in the face of Angry Iowa Receiver Hating God upon receiving the award, titling a post "Why Brian is full of shit: Journo Rock and the CK Award" and highlighting the times previous when he won the award...
Winner, CK Award, Week One, 2005
The next game:
Alabama 26, Middle Tennessee 7
Winner, CK Award, Week Two, 2006
The next game:
Alabama 13, Vanderbilt 10
So there. Bitches.
...as if a three-point win over Vanderbilt isn't thorough proof of the fell power of the CK Award. (Not even the CKA can compel a victory or close game against Middle Tennessee... the only thing that can do that is Louisville's secondary (ZING!)). Anyway, the result:
Do not taunt the CK Award. It will fucking kill you.
Anyway... not much movement in the poll. LSU remains number one and picks up a few extra votes for solidly handling South Carolina; Penn State plummets, as does 'Bama; South Carolina isn't punished too hard for dropping a game at LSU, Georgia-- wait.
Is Georgia seriously above South Carolina? A brief resume recap:
- One meaningless I-AA hammering each.
- Blowout win for Georgia over bleah Okie State team that would lose to Troy; two touchdown victory over ULM for SoCar. Advantage Georgia.
- OT win over 'Bama for Georgia. Regulation win over frickin' Georgia for SoCar. Both on the road. Advantage SoCar.
- Loss to frickin' SoCar at home for Georgia; loss at #1 LSU for SoCar. Advantage SoCar.
Perhaps you're thinking "but what about the projection!", but in this case we have very little to project. There was a head-to-head matchup that South Carolina won, and they didn't even do it via fluke. And yet. And yet. Ooooh... it's time for...
Wack Ballot Watchdog:
First, an apology to The Hoosier Report, the lone pollster who hung on to Miami; the Canes did indeed cane the life out of A&M. Wackness retroactively retracted. Now onto the business of this Georgia thing.
Our biggest offender is Bruins Nation, which ranks the Dawgs a stunning eighth and shoves South Carolina down at #21. I mean... why bother even playing the games? Frank McGrath leaps UGA up to #10 and leaves South Carolina #19, also shoving 'Bama down to #21. Falcon Nation drops SC just two, to #11, but bumps UGA up to #10. RazorBloggers bumps UGA five and slides SC five, ending up with UGA #11 and SC #17. PittBlather never even bothered to put SC above UGA in the first place. Now they're #12 and #19. MountainLair: #13 and #20, respectively. 44::Orange: #13 and #19. Losers With Socks has UGA #14 and SC #15, something that could be repaired by switching the two and leaving the rest of the ballot completely alone. Corn Nation has UGA #14 and SC #21, Dump Dorrell #14 and #18. The Sports Frog also has an infuriating side-by-side with UGA #14 and SC #15. Dan Shanoff leaps UGA up to #15 and drops SC down to #22. The list goes on. You get the point.
Anyway, you all suck. I am ashamed of all of you and want you to think very hard about what you've done. Go sit in the corner. You suck. Other minor notes:
- Double Extra Point must have missed Thursday: Texas A&M #16.
- Similarly, 50-Yard Lion slides Texas Tech up four after their loss to Okie State, who I would remind you just took the pipe against the Troy Trojans of Troy (We're From Troy!)., up one slot.
A final reminder: anyone who put UGA above the OBC sucks. You suck.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.
Ballot math: First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.
This week's Mr. Bold. has been wrested from the hands of the resume-rankers as the difference between resume ranking and projection ranking slims; our victor comes from the opposite end of the political spectrum, as it were: Falcon Nation, a consistent winner of the Mr. Stubborn award who is very chill about having these "events" things affect his ballot. So he has things like Penn State #9, down only two, UGA #10, up two, South Carolina #11, down two, etc.
Mr. Numb Existence is poll n00b and Clemson blog Danny Ford is God with an impressive <1 average differential in a time of significant uncertainty. Welcome. (Ballot.)
Next we have the Coulter/Krugman Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
The CK Award hardly has to try this week: Michigan State blogger The Enlightened Spartan isn't bothered that they appear to be the only team in DI capable of giving up an 80 yard Notre Dame touchdown drive. He ranks State #14; this week the Spartans take on Wisconsin, whereupon their sketchy run defense will be exposed and t
heir battlements stormed by the Badger D.
During the season, the Straight Bangin' Award is often the property of blogs covering a highly-ranked team coming off a dispiriting loss. It's no surprise, then, that PSU blogs finish 1-2 here; Run Up The Score takes the prize for totally omitting PSU.
Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.
Mr. Manic Depressive goes to Badger Sports... probably because said blog totally forgot to include Florida. You know, Florida? Winners of the last like billion national championships in everything? Quarterbacked by an Ewok? Etc? This is why you should always post your draft ballots, so people can say things like "hey, idiot, where's Florida?"
Gopher Nation wins Mr. Stubborn. A remarkably placid ballot that had most teams right around where they go on the poll this week, this is more an anticipation of future events than anything else. This is another UGA-SC offender, though: #18 and #20. You suck.
When dinosaurs ruled the earth.
A set of clips just showed up on youtube that ask for their own post. Before...
... during ...
... and after ...
... the 1997 Penn State "Judgment Day" game that catapulted Michigan to #1, an eventual national championship, and inspired ESPN to name various college football weekends all sorts of dumb things like "Separation Saturday."
Remember that I don't look at previous ballots in an effort to reduce poll inertia, so some of the up-down stuff may not make complete sense. I much prefer arguments that don't consider the previous poll to be some sort of holy gospel: it was last week's guess and this is this week's guess, which may or may not be accurate.
Points of issue:
- UCLA? Yeah. I mocked Orson for including them last week but I watched their game against Washington and they were fairly impressive even without their starting quarterback. Chalk the Utah thing up to Dorrell being Dorrell.
- Oregon still has no D. They might not need one, though.
- Do not fuck with the CK award. GT took the pipe and so did Alabama. Just don't do it.
Comments and such will be considered; I have been adjusting my ballots this year but haven't had time to post the revised editions.
Posting is light today since I have to UFR the entire game now so it can go up tomorrow.
I've yet to figure out exactly what to do with Alan Weymouth's contribution... this week it goes here. Editorial comments interspersed.
An outstanding performance by our defense. I mentioned that my biggest concern was our secondary and I must say, they answered the bell this last week. Our tackling was crisp (Morgan Trent might be the best tackler on the whole team) and coverage in general seemed very good. I was quite surprised that PSU didn't go after Warren more. You can bet your bottom dollar that Saint Sweater Vest will.
[Run Up The Score saw a lot of inaccurate Morelli balls and bad reads in his version of UFR; I have the game now but haven't started looking at it. Will be interesting to compare. I do think that maybe we shouldn't be getting too enthused yet... Morelli is not good at the football. -ed]
The game ball though, goes to the defensive line. He might not show up in the stats, but Will Johnson had an outstanding game. He was able to put pressure on Morelli up the middle and cause alot of problems for Penn State up front. We all saw how good Brandon Graham can be this week as well, but I can also see why the coaching staff rends it's clothing over the guy as he blew a couple of assignments that resulted in long PSU runs...the 19 yarder by Austin Scott, and I also believe he messed up on the long run in the fourth quarter. He was playing DT on the long Scott run, and "pinched down". It doesn't appear to me, that this is what was called, as it left a large gap that could not be filled by the LBs. On the 38 yarder in the fourth, Warren blitzes from his CB spot, and has outside contain...I think BG was supposed to take the inside gap, and if he does this is a 2 yard loss instead of a 38 yard near TD.
LB play was pretty darn good..and I take my hat off to Thompson and C.Graham this week. Again, the DL is making things, much, much easier for these two. My only beef here is, they didn't recognize those draws early enough to shut them down near the LOS. Getting hurt on those once or twice is understandable, but you need to adjust quickly. Same thing with screens. If our LB corp can recognize the screen developing, and get that shut down, we'll be able to let the front four loose a little more. Part of the reason we saw a decrease in the pass rush, was our inability to get these two plays shut down..so, the staff reined in the front four a little to help.
[What I don't understand is why the WLB would even start chasing here. I know there's this eleven-hats-to-ball mentality, but your first responsibility has to be to the misdirection, right? Michigan in general and Chris Graham in particular have always been vulnerable to plays that exploit our linebacker's tendencies to go scurrying off at the slightest hint the play is going to one side of the field. See: That Goddamned Counter Draw. Once you verify that the ball is gone, go, but there seems to be little value in biting on a long handoff pump fake. -ed]
I know you had problems with the way our offense went about it's business last week, but I didn't. The run game was working..and though it was boring to watch, it was very effective. Mallett's limited knowledge of the playbook kept the staff from revealing some of what they could do until late in the game. Penn State's defense was very good, very fast and well coached. They will adjust to what hurts them, so as a OC, I think holding some of that stuff back a little, allowed it to be used in the fourth quarter when it was needed. They let loose the reins a bit at the end of the second quarter, and Mallett threw a frosh like pick that cost us a FG attempt.
The strategy at the end of the game was solid as well. I too think they might have allowed him to throw on first or second down, rather than force him into a third and long situation, but with the run game going decently I can't argue too much here. Toward the end, they played some man though, and any pass we attempted would have been either a slant with some risk of a pick-6 involved, or a longer throw that was less likely to be completed.
I would have punted also. The defense was playing well. They had Penn State backed up and without a T.O. Sure there was enough time to get the ball down the field, but given Morelli's performance and knowing that running the football was nearly completely out of the question, the staff knew it could turn loose our DLs and get pressure. For once, playing percentage football was the right thing to do.
I watched only a little of the OSU/NW game. If Henne is back (the real Henne, and not that impostor who appeared in the first two games) we shouldn't have much problem with the Cats. Our biggest enemy will be us. This team SHOULD understand that you have to prepare for every opponent..but will it? It's a classic letdown game opportunity for a staff and a team that is prone to just that. The goal here should be to have this game put away early and let Hart rest. Carr needs to allow Henne to throw the ball, even if it means we score an embarrassing number of points..I just don't know if Carr will do it.
[I believe Mallett will probably play this weekend. -ed]
I'm not too worried about the injuries at RG. I thought McAvoy looked very good for a guy who got thrown into the middle of a big game. Nowhere near as physical as Mitchell, but he agile and was able to get out on the LBs better than Mitchell or Ciulla. He got pushed around a little, but showed some tenacity, and the ability to lower his pads and hang in there. Once he gets some experience, I think he might not give the job back...we'll see. Schilling got some high praise from Carr this week, but I'm not sure why. Technique wise, we was good. He's got excellent agility for a OT, but he's not strong enough or physical enough IMHO. He's just a pup though and he'll get better. I thought he struggled a bit in this game, and basically forced Michigan to run toward Long. Some credit needs to go to PSU though.
[Weymouth ends here. On with other folks. -ed]
Considering Ball State's almost upset against Nebraska yesterday and at the big house last season, like it or not, you have to consider Brady Hoke for the Head Coaching search for Michigan, no? It shows he has the creativity and coaching ability to go against higher talents and out-coach the opposition.I would love to see a feature on him just like you had one for Jeff Tedford.
Thanks and keep up the great work.
Uh... wow. Though Brady Hoke has done more at Ball State than, say, Mike Debord did at Central, a Hoke hire would be the absolute worst-case scenario. Hoke was a defensive line coach for a half-dozen years in the late 90s and early... uh... 00s hired to be Ball State's coach primarily because he's an alum. At Ball State he's 15-31 in his fourth season and hasn't won much of anything. His biggest accomplishments are close losses to Michigan (a game that was out of hand despite a fluky safety and a pick six until Johnny Sears made his thrilling debut) and Nebraska. If we are going with a MAC coach, it should be Brian Kelly... even if he's not in the MAC anymore. Central before (under DeBord) == awful. Central under Kelly == MAC champions. Central post-Kelly == awful. Since there is a clearly more attractive candidate in his genre ("back-up plans who would obviously come"), Hoke is not a serious candidate.
Hey man, whats going on. You obviously know your michigan football, but I have a question
that I am dying to get answered. I have been to games up in A2, and have been to some buckeye games, I have seen both mich fans and osu fans wearing them. I am looking for a hat, it is like a hat an old irish golfer would wear. A newsie/ flat cap/ gatsby hat with a fuzzy yellow ball on top, and says "go blue". I have searched all over the internet and have found nothing. So I am on last ditch effort attempts to find one. If you know anybody that has one, or you know where I can get one, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Uh... I dunno. Can anyone help this guy out?
I was wondering, have you ever heard a version of The Victors and thought "hey! that was awesome." ? Obviously the Michigan Marching Band does a great job, and I love the song that plays in the background of those warm-and-fuzzy-feeling Michigan hospital commercials. Which is your favorite? Do you have any unique/cool versions? I love that song, but its so hard to find new styles of it online or through iTunes. (I mean, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir apparently recorded it, but thats about it for selection.)
If you could help me find The Best Victors Ever, that would be much appreciated!
I have no alternate versions of the Victors save the "Hoover Street Rag" thing they play post-victory, which happens to be on the MMB CD I own. This is also a "can any commenters help" situation. Can you?
Update 9/24: Added scholarship available due to Sears dismissal; now up to 19. Added FL S Karnell Hatcher, removed WA DE Kavario Middleton (dropped us), AZ CB Marc Anthony (Cal), KS LB Arthur Brown (dropped us), NJ S Will Hill (UF), PA QB Terrelle Pryor (dropped us). Linked to articles on NC CB Spencer Adams, TN CB JT Floyd, PA KR/WR Cameron Saddler.
Editorial Opinion: Slow week. Hatcher visited for ND and seemed to have a good time, so I added him. Personally I think it's doubtful he comes north but a visit means business.
The major news of the week: AZ CB Marc Anthony committing to Cal. That hurts. Anthony had declared Michigan his leader after camp and was looking like Michigan's best bet for a high-profile corner in the class to pair with Cissoko. Attention now focuses more heavily on Adams and Floyd. Adams just took an official visit:
"It went really well," he said. "I met with some of the coaches and the academic adviser. The game was great. It's the biggest crowd I've ever seen. It was a great atmosphere. I could see myself having a good time and playing there."
Clemson is also mentioned as a school of serious interest.
Floyd, meanwhile, remains the world's softest Tennessee commit, and with Phil Fulmer seemingly on the way out that can't be good for UT's chances. Status:
He has scheduled an official visit to Michigan for November 16th when the Wolverines host Ohio State. Floyd said he's very interested in Michigan. "They are near the top," he said. He also will set officials to Tennessee, Maryland and NC State.
PA WR/RB/KR Cameron Saddler is very good at what he does...
Saddler, a senior, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns Friday against Norwin to give him seven for his career. He had five last year.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the national record for most kickoff returns for touchdowns in a career is nine, set by Trevor Mote of Kingman, Ariz., from 1994-96.
...and opening up his recruitment...
A running back/defensive back/kick returner, Saddler has rethought his college decision and is now considering "probably 10 schools."
He had previously narrowed his choices to West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia and Syracuse.
"The coaching situations at some of those schools were getting a little scary," Saddler said. "I didn't want to be down to schools with shaky coaching situations."
Hopefully Michigan can get Saddler and Hale in for an official visit sometime in the near future; the package deal that once seemed so likely has faded as an option with Michigan's opening struggles.
PA WR Jonathan Baldwin on said struggles:
Aliquippa receiver Jonathan Baldwin has Michigan on his final list of six colleges. When asked if Michigan's start might affect his thoughts on the Wolverines, Baldwin simply said, "Ehh."
Uh... okay. I won't even try to parse that.
The three huge five star guys who went off the board were real longshots; Middleton apparently wants to play TE in college. We are obviously full up there.
Note: Banner above is the fine work of Fred Simmons. Given the ill fate of Baxter Allen's banner and the overarching awesomeness of Mike Hart, a change felt warranted. Thus ends the rotating bannerage. Blog: stabilized.
Presser News. Audio at The Wolverine. News: no Mitchell, Ciulla doubtful, MacAvoy likely to start. Savoy, temporarily off the team, has returned after his acquittal.
Corso's where it's at. If, by some chance, Hart runs for like 2000 yards and Michigan wins a bunch of games and Mike Hart wins the Heisman...
...it started with Corso and we should adopt him. (Is this going to happen? No.)
Carr embedded. Now on the tubes: Carr's Penn State postgame.
Schrodinger's awesome recruit. Do I overuse that metaphor? Maybe. But it's very apt in this case. Michigan has picked up a hockey verbal from Luke Moffat, a class of 2010 forward who is the slam-dunk #1 player in his class and very likely to be a top NHL draft pick. This guy is a Jack Johnson-level recruit. But NSFMF!
"I've just not made up my mind," says Moffatt, "the NCAA route is very exciting, but I'm going to take my time before making a decision."
And to Moffatt's credit, he admits that the school he commits to (that being Michigan), will know the situation right up front.
"Yes, they will know the drill, that it will be a commitment pending my decision to play either college or in the WHL. This will make things easier for me though. It will either be Kelowna, or (Michigan)."
So this is a quasi-commit. Moffat will be with the USNTDP this fall and may or may not show up in 2010 with an evil gleam in his eye. Here's an article from the Phoenix Coyotes' site (Moffat is originally from Phoenix, though he's playing for Detroit Honeybaked at the moment.)
No cheeseburgers in space! Varsity Blue highlighted this from the open thread comments:
Our space emmporer should start aiming for the corners.
Mike74 | 09.22.07 - 4:30 pm | #
There are no corners in space
KBlow | 09.22.07 - 4:31 pm | #
Awesome. Personally, I think our gunners should start doing something useful; Zoltan has been great.
This is the part where I pull at my tie in agitated fashion. Like that Billy Idol video. You know the one. Apparently, the open thread also contained some "helloooooo nurse" comments regarding the new, non soccer-mom-y uniforms in general and this upstanding young woman in particular:
Autumn Thunder compares this with last year's outfits; it's as lopsided as your typical Notre Dame game. A comment on that post says these might not be permanent:
Unfortunately, I've been informed that the unis we saw the last two weeks are "just for maize outs" ... perhaps given positive feedback, the thinking will change on this? Somebody e-mail the athletic dept / whomever runs the cheerleading program...
I maintain no opinion on this. You are all treating objects like women, man.
Uh... what? I can't find this on MLive to confirm this, but MVictors reports that Jim Carty reports thusly:
Let's say Michigan beats Penn State, Penn State beats Ohio State, and Ohio State beats Michigan. All three teams end up with one conference loss. In that scenario, the Lions win a tie-breaker over Michigan and Ohio State because those teams played I-AA opponents. That's right, playing a I-AA team can eliminate you from the Rose Bowl. It's a little-discussed Big Ten rule instituted prior to the 2006 season.
I find this impossible to believe, since this would be a huge change in the tiebreaker process that would basically preclude any Big Ten team that takes itself seriously from scheduling a I-AA opponent. The tiebreaker procedures haven't been updated since 2001 according to the Big Ten's website... anyone know details on this?
Update: article here. Still find this somewhat hard to believe.
Oy vey. Braves & Birds takes on the Lloydball win we just ground out:
Thus, Michigan got away with running almost exclusively on downs other than second and third and long. (Excluding its drive that started with 90 seconds to go in the first half and its kneel-down at the end of the game, Michigan had 34 first and tens in the game and threw on exactly eight of them. How Carr and Debord think it's a good idea to "protect" a true freshman quarterback by forcing him to throw mostly on obvious passing downs is beyond me.) Michigan also got away with forgoing the chance to kill the game off on its final offensive possession, mainly because Anthony Morelli is not a good quarterback and Penn State's offense is fairly easily defended.
I co-sign and will provide a fuller opinion in UFR.
Etc: Stadium and Main on the game; Adams is co-defensive player of the week. Dan Wetzel trashes the Big Ten and says Miles would be stupid to leave... didn't he write this exact article like two weeks ago?