MGoBlog Ballot - Week 3
|1||Ohio St. Buckeyes||1|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||1|
|5||Boise St. Broncos||-4|
|6||TCU Horned Frogs||-2|
|17||South Carolina Gamecocks||--|
|20||West Virginia Mountaineers||3|
|22||Penn St. Nittany Lions||-4|
|23||Florida St. Seminoles||-8|
|25||Michigan St. Spartans||--|
|Dropouts: Virginia Tech Hokies, Oregon St. Beavers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Pittsburgh Panthers, Clemson Tigers|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
A few notes:
- I composed the ballot without looking at last week's offering, so some of the deltas may not make sense. Pay less attention to them this early in the year.
- That said, I'm uncomfortable with Michigan that high (obviously), but... who should be above them? They're one of the very few teams in the nation to take down two BCS-level programs, and they pounded one of them. Who deserves to be ahead of them?
- Boise State suffers from Virginia Tech's embarrassment. Such is the way of college football. The Broncos have a chance to move up if they can beat Oregon State next week, but that will probably be their zenith, barring unforeseen developments.
Also near the top of the poll, I'm willing to give Oklahoma the benefit of the doubt from week 1 after their performance on Saturday. There's also a chance that Utah State will end the season near the top of the
Mountain WestWAC, so the result may not be as bad as it seems.
- Florida has struggled in the first couple weeks, but they've still come away with two wins, both by convincing scores, and one of them against an up-and-coming BCS program.
- I don't like West Virginia moving up after their nailbiter against an apparently-bad Marshall team (or is Ohio State just really good?). Still, the teams behind them all got nuked in high-profilematchups against top teams.
- The last couple spots in the poll are reserved for a pair of teams that have taken care of business by getting wins against poor teams, but doing so unimpressively.
I haven't had a chance to watch many games other than Michigan-Notre Dame thanks to my travel to and from South Bend, but my opinion may change on a couple of teams as I roll through the DVR.
The biiiig torrent is up, a 19-gig uncompressed capture. The more manageable one's ETA is 3PM.
Goot bye 87 yards zing:
Fuller highlights from MGoBlue:
WMAX radio guy Ryan Terpstra's field-level video of Michigan's last drive, the final play of the game, and the aftermath includes some priceless shots of the ND student section right after they got Denarded:
Rodriguez and Denard postgame:
If you could bottle Denard Robinson's smile it would light up the universe.
Other bits after the jump.
Apologies if there are any typos, I'm trying to turn this around ASAP and get back on the road.
Both teams competed extremely hard, and a lot of young guys for Michigan's team were in their first road action, in a tough environment.
"I've got my shoes untied in honor of Denard." He made a few mistakes, but he'll watch the film and correct them for the next game. He's tough and physical for his size.
RR said last week that he didn't want Denard to run 29 times... so he ran 28 instead. Getting tackled by 2nd and 3rd level defenders is less dangerous than the big guys up front. Part of the reason he's having so much success is the way opponents are defending against Michigan.
On the final drive: "We had plenty of time, with all three timeouts left. I told the guys "We just have to get some first downs." At the end, they were actually trying to bleed a little bit of time off the clock so Notre Dame couldn't respond.
Michigan's mood didn't change when Crist went out. It stemmed Notre Dame's offensive momentum a bit. They expected a little more read-option when Montana came in, but that was about it. They just needed to execute.
The penalties and mistakes were big, because they prevented Michigan from getting any momentum, and from getting their defense off the field.
"I'd rather learn from a win that a loss."
Denard's yardage total isn't an issue (as an unbalanced offense) "As long as we win." All 11 guys on the offense are allowed to gain yards, and until that changes, Michigan's QB is going to get some yardage.
Rodriguez thought all the running backs ran hard. He'll have to review film to see why they weren't getting good yardage. It's a bit easier for Denard because they give him a lead blocker sometimes.
Kovacs's interception: "It was huge." He's a tough guy, and he plays at a high level every week. He has to lead a lot of the freshmen around him.
Denard is hands-off in practice, but the defense knew what he could do, through camp and practice. It's just his second start though, and he'll have some bumps in the road. The coaches are able to run him a bit more because they have two backups who can step in.
Brendan Gibbons and Seth Broekhuizen will continue battling for the kicker job in practice. Rodriguez was happy they didn't have to try a field goal at the end. Will Hagerup will be disappointed, but he's a true freshman, and RR isn't worried about him.
"My offensive line was ready to play."
On the last drive, the attitude was "It's time to put it in. It's time to put the game away."
"I don't know about myself... I know as a team, we played as a team."
The key on the game-winning drive was execution from everyone on the offense.
On Roy Roundtree's finals reception (to the one), "He winked at me before the play." The two were on the same page, and knew they could count on each other.
On carrying the load: "I've been training for it, I've been ready for it. I've been doing this training, so I guess I can." "I'm a team player and I don't worry about stats."
When Denard came out of the game, he had hit his head on the ground "I had to re-focus."
On the 87-yard TD run, all Denard was worried about was not getting dragged down from behind.
Denard might have been too amped up in the comeback attempt at Iowa last year: "This time, I calmed myself down a little bit more, and focused in."
Wide receivers have to go get the ball, and attack it.
"Last year, he really wasn't mature or leading the team, but this year you know he's going to lead the team."
After Notre Dame scored, everyone in the stands thought Michigan was going down again. "Until it's 0:00 on that clock, we're going all-out."
Denard's passing has improved a lot since last year, now he's making the reads.
Roundtree knew on Wednesday that he would be able to play. He didn't know if he would be picked to start until today.
On the last drive, what did Denard say in the huddle? "He just said 'let's go,' and once he said that, I was like 'big players make big plays,' and that's what we did."
"We've been fighting extremely hard, pushing each other all through the summer and fall camp," and it paid off today with a win.
"On Denard: "Nothing he does surprises me, man."
The defense always emphasizes turnovers, so getting a few today was a step in the right direction.
On Denard going into the last drive: "I had confidence in him... No one was afraid that he wasn't going to make a play."
Martin didn't notice they switched quarterbacks until Roh told him after a couple plays. Montana is more of a runner than Crist.
"It's a rivalry, and it's going to be down to the wire every game."
"We're going to fight, you know. We're going to fight to the end. What more could I say?"
"Notre Dame's a good football team." Michigan knew they weren't going to completely shut them down, so they had to make turnovers to help stop the Irish.
There are still areas that the linebackers can improve. "It's never as good as it seems and it's never as bad, so we'll watch the film and go from there." The biggest thing that needs to improve is tackling.
"Even though we make some mistakes, we're gonna come out swinging every time." The defense will remember what they did wrong, but look toward the future. It's much better to be able to make the mistakes this year and still win.
"Mistakes are made up through hustle and effort." "This year, these guys are so hungry."
I think we have a lot of work. There were too many missed blocks and penalties, and it's not good when the offense stalls after a hot start.
"I think we all owe the O-line. He's not doing it all on his own. He's very gifted, but at the same time that O-line is coming in and they're telling us 'we want to run the ball.'"
Before the last drive, the players were thinking "impose our will."
Playing on the road: "We embraced it." They want to be thermostats instead of thermometers, setting the temperature for the game and not just reacting to what the crowd gives.
"I think we're gonna have to" take some of the workload off Denard. "It's great that he can do this, but sooner or later we're going to have to step up and make big plays." For now, it's Denard's show, until the running backs are able to show something.
I am so tired. I went, and panicked, and then did that some more, and then did that some more, and then did that some more, and then Denard, and then Denard, and then Denard. Here are your muppets, which are very late but better late than never against Notre Dame, as Michigan quarterbacks can tell you the last couple years.
NOW THE MUPPETS:
And you can't have one without the other…
Also, how about JT Floyd and James Rogers? Mike Floyd did not kill Michigan. Other people did, but not Mike Floyd. Sleep now.
In retrospect, obvious. Shredder's latest and something I'm kicking myself for not putting in the preview:
Too bad it's a 100% guaranteed cease-and-desist magnet, or that would be a killer t-shirt.
Nacho dip. Obama's hard edge. Random seven minute video featuring Rodriguez and impressions of Rodriguez from his players:
This is never good. Remember Brent Petway's rap? Yeah… now there's a Michigan State version:
So they've caught up to us in that department. Let's not return the favor with team-wide brawls. Also, athletes: stop rapping. That is all.
Not that this is a surprise, but… John Pollack continues saying "it's just a flesh wound" in AnnArbor.com, further revealing reasons no one should talk to him ever again:
“What happened was that Michigan Stadium was a unique stadium,” he said. “With the renovation, it looks pretty much like every stadium in the country.” … “If you take out seat-license fees, the whole financial model collapses,” he said. “And what did the average fan get in return? A quarter-inch. It’s not even worth repainting the numbers.”
1. The bowl has not seen the seats expand to their final size, since that process will take the next three years.
2. The noise in the bowl has gone up 30-40%.
3. Handicap seating is considerably more extensive.
4. Seat license fees were instituted a decade ago.
4. He continues insisting that now Michigan Stadium looks like "every other stadium in the country," which good lord:
He also keeps saying that the "mystery and surprise" that Michigan Stadium was just a HOLE IN THE GROUND was an asset since surely no one knew it was called "the Big House" when it was a HOLE IN THE GROUND.
False. If I had a picture of this man I would lolcat it like that. just "FALSE."
On the crushening of Denard. A small amount of chatter in the aftermath of the UConn game has been about how the Big Ten rabble rabble defense rabble linebacker rabble Robinson's spleen rabble rabble rabble. Jon Chait points out a reason the 29 carry(!) outing is not likely to be repeated:
The seminal thing about Connecticut's defensive game plan is that it did not work. At all. Michigan had one punt and zero turnovers. Ask yourself this. If you were designing a game plan against Michigan, would your goal be to make Robinson carry the ball as often as possible? Or would you try to force less dangerous players to get the ball? I predict most defenses who have seen what Robinson can do pick door number two, and his rushing attempts per game drop.
Also as Robinson's passing gains the trust of the coaches, Michigan's run/pass breakdown will retreat from 75% run to 70%, maybe 65%. And probably 50% of his carries will be touchdowns anyway.
On secondary aigh. Notre Dame's got some of its own. Starting safety Jamoris Slaughter will not play this weekend, leaving this in the ND backfield:
Slaughter's injury and freshman Derek Roback's transfer to Ohio University earlier this week leave the Irish with only three fully healthy scholarship safeties for the Michigan game - [sophomore Zeke] Motta, junior Dan McCarthy and senior Harrison Smith.
Stop me if this sounds familiar: Kelly says he's not moving anyone to the position because there's a 5'10" walk-on who they're "not afraid to put in the game."
Motta will start his first game tomorrow. He was a pretty big recruit, albeit one the sites all ranked as a linebacker. May his judgment of angles be correct for humans, incorrect for Denard.
Etc.: Good news for people in Denmark: NBC will stream the M-ND game live. This message will be repeated in the liveblog post. Another Michigan blog: Dreaded Judgment. Rodriguez says he "hopes" Forcier stays and competes. Big Ten Network ad revenue increases 22%. And, finally: