1 hour 57 minutes
SAME [Bryan Fuller]
A big thanks to our sponsors. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and company have been on board here from almost the beginning. Shopping with them helps us and supports good dudes. Check out 100years.moe for the rich history of Michigan's oldest apparel store.
Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, Liz Crowe, Tailgaterconcierge.com, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, and TiqIQ.
SO THAT HAPPENED
No idea what you're talking about
Gimmicky Top Five List: Things That Are Nice
We like things.
Regent Mike Behm
We mostly talk serious things. What being a regent entails, issues with transparency, instate enrollment.
Steve Lorenz of 247
Things went very well on the recruiting trail despite, you know, that.
Catch us Mondays 5-7 on 1050 WTKA.
THE USUAL LINKS
Buckle Up: Jordan Poole Announces Friday
Michigan waited longer than most programs to hand out offers to 2017 basketball prospects, but their selectiveness may help them land a commitment—and very soon, at that. Four-star WI SG Jordan Poole picked up his offer when he first visited campus for the BYU game; at the time he told The Wolverine's Chris Balas that the distinction of being M's first offer recipient in the class wasn't lost on him ($):
"I thought it was great," he said. "I really didn't know they hadn't offered anyone else until I got there. It shows they look for certain people and qualities as far as basketball and personality.
"For me to be the first …. Coach Beilein doesn't just give out offers. Some schools give out offer after offer. Coach Beilein really takes the time thinking about the right fit, if a kid really likes school and is thinking about going there. Being the first in the 2017 class is amazing."
Poole visited campus again last weekend; he told Scout's Brian Snow it was a "great" trip ($). Yesterday, he set his announcement:
Four-star 2017 SG Jordan Poole will announce his decision Friday at 5:30 CT at his school https://t.co/NMMKxikYOX
— Brian Snow (@BSnowScout) October 20, 2015
All signs point to Michigan. Poole would be a nice pickup; he's the #92 overall player in the 247 Composite and holds offers from the likes of Auburn, Illinois, Indiana, and Marquette.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
You have been granted access to a DeLorean time machine and one round trip's worth of plutonium to go to any date in Michigan history. What would it be and what would you do? Back to the Future rules apply.*
* (So for example you can't go back and hire Harbaugh in 2008 unless you are actually Bill Martin or something. And you can't run into your former self, else risk causing a major paradox.)
David: Again, there are a handful of appetizing options here -multiple OSU games come to mind, along with the '98 Rose Bowl, The Burke Shot, or even some of Yost or Crisler's teams- but I will have to go with the defining Michigan moment of my life: August 26, 1995.
|This baby's over!|
Michigan was trailing the Virginia Cavaliers 17-0 with 12 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The game came down to the final play, as Mercury Hayes beat Ronde Barber on a corner route and dragged his foot in the corner of the endzone on a 4th down pass from Scott Driesbach to win the game 18-17 as time expired. I was ten years old, sitting alone in my Grandma's living room.
As the referee's arms went up, I screamed and went absolutely bananas. People came running down the hall to see what had happened and if I was ok (my family had no previous connection to Michigan and were not big sports fans, when I wasn't around). The next few hours, I really don't remember, but I do know that I decided that day that I was going to have to figure out a way to get into school at the University of Michigan. I had rooted for Michigan for a few years, at that point, when I could manage to see games, but after that Virginia game...it was done. I knew that I wanted to be a part of Michigan forever. As I got older and people would ask me about college and where I wanted to go I would always answer, "I'm going to go to Michigan." And it all really was affirmed in me that day. So, to be in Michigan Stadium (or in that corner of the endzone on the field) for that game would have been pretty cool.
[After the jump: If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious shit.]
Bye week, remember. UFRs are delayed as I take the annual breather from the grind. These might be a little later than usual (Thurs/Friday in non-Hoke-doom-spiral years), but it's on its way.
Henry was fierce Saturday [Eric Upchurch]
The difference. PFF grades the game:
–In a direct contrast to the Spartans’ signal caller, Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock (-3.0) struggled once again. He brought his grade down to -20.9 on the year, and didn’t look great even when he was completing passes. On 3rd-and-9 with 5:42 left in the third quarter, he underthrew wide receiver Amara Darboh on a go route, turning a potential touchdown into a play where the receiver had to save the reception.
Ouch. Another PFF article notes that they have Rudock the 7th-worst quarterback nationally in their grading system.
The Michigan defense has been on another level this year, with standouts on the defensive line in Chris Wormley (+25.3) and Maurice Hurst (+25.8), at linebacker in Desmond Morgan (+17.0) and at cornerback with Jourdan Lewis (+16.7). Before the loss to Michigan State they had posted three straight shutouts and yet, with Jake Rudock’s (-20.9) struggles at quarterback, they find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football Playoff picture. Our seventh-lowest graded player at the system, he has graded positively just once all year.
I don't think he's been that bad—I'm guessing PFF is dumping all of the collective WR/QB issues on Rudock since they must be going over these games as quickly as possible given the sheer volume of work they've given themselves. But he has not been good. We can definitely say that.
Not much more to do here than shrug at Hoke's QB recruiting and ponder the future.
In other PFF grade things. Both DLs grade every high, as did Michigan's LB corps. Ben Gedeon's most extensive playing time to date resulted in a solid +3.4 just behind Morgan. That's good for next year, and possibly the rest of this year.
Henry led the way for M despite the personal foul; you can see the implied struggles of Michigan's tackles in the grades of Calhoun and McDowell. Both Lewis and Burbridge graded out positively, which pretty much.
Still. "Michigan is not going to the college football playoff because of one glaring personnel deficiency" is a lot better than "Michigan is not going to the college football playoff because hahahahaha
what would that score even look like
they'd have to invent new numbers
they've already invented all of them
So we've got that going for us.
Finally PFF thing that doesn't really have anything to do with PFF. In the second article I learned that Utah State has a defensive end named "Kyler Fackrell" who I really wish played for BC.
Advanced stats. The Connelly box score is kind of amazing. Michigan and MSU had 13 possessions and on average Michigan had a 14-yard advantage in field position. That is a whopping 182 yards almost entirely due to special teams, and that's how you lead a team that's outgained you by 160 yards until that thing happened.
Another item of note: M brutalized the MSU ground game, which had a "success rate" of 23%. Michigan was at 40%; national average is 42%. MSU made up for it in the air.
Michigan's five man cover one pressures. M has been running a ton of man free blitzes this year. James Light with a comprehensive breakdown of them:
When you have the personnel to hold up in the secondary in man coverage, Cover 1 Rat is very tough on quarterbacks and offenses in general, which is why this is the favorite coverage of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, “Man free, rat in the hole is the best coverage involved, absolutely the best coverage involved. They can’t run the ball, the quarterback has to throw the ball outside, and he can’t make any easy throws like when you play zone.”
Michigan ran into a team that was very, very good at hitting those tough outside throws and still had to eat a 75-yard fancy play coverage bust to give up 21.
The Raiders will double that respect. Harbaugh on the usual NFL rumors:
Harbaugh was asked Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches teleconference if it "bothers" him to hear his name tossed around in speculative circles with regard to other head coaching jobs.
His answer was simple.
"I won't comment on it, it's disrespectful to the game," he said. "I look at it as disrespectful."
I wouldn't run to the Har-bank with that since it's pretty much what he was saying last year when the 49ers were approaching the end of their season. This got headlined as "Jim Harbaugh says it's 'disrespectful' to mention his name for other coaching jobs," which is not quite what he said. To me he's saying, its disrespectful to the game to talk about taking other jobs when there is a season going on.
I don't think Harbaugh's leaving. He's definitely not leaving until he feels he's done right by Michigan. But if it should come to that a comment like the above is no more than a slightly more aggressive version of the usual deflection.
The cord cutting is
coming ongoing. ESPN has started shedding high-priced talent as their six-bucks-from-every-granny-who-only-watches-Matlock model starts to implode. Now the cuts have gone wider:
Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN sports network, confronting rising programming costs and a loss of viewers, plans to eliminate as many as 350 positions, about 4.3 percent of its workforce, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
No, Stephen A. Smith won't be among them.
I hope the Big Ten enjoys this brief window in which the paltry Rutgers and Maryland fanbases are a net benefit to the bottom line—and only the bottom line—of the conference. It is not going to last much longer.
Louisville thing. It sounds not at all subtle.
A book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,"published this month by self-described former escort Katina Powell, 42, details nearly two dozen stripping and sex parties from 2010 to 2014 inside Billy Minardi Hall, the on-campus dorm for athletes and other students named for Louisville men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino's late brother-in-law. Powell, who first spoke to Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing, has said that McGee arranged the parties and paid her $10,000 for supplying dancers during the time period.
That is not a thing that you can reasonably say "I had no knowledge of X" about. If Rick Pitino was ignorant of five-digit payouts for dozens of sex parties that is also grounds for a firing. It should be obvious "lack of institutional control," but NCAA enforcement is a magic eight ball.
Very Harbaugh. One day after the MSU game he was at the White House. Obama:
He says Barack Obama watched Saturday's 27-23 loss to the Spartans and told the coach it "was a tough way to lose a football game."
Not yet please. Mike Spath talked to some NFL scouts and they are not blind.
At 5-10, 175 pounds, Lewis is smaller than ideal, but at least three scouts to have attended Michigan games this season told TheWolverine.com that the Detroit Cass Tech alumnus had earned a first-round grade from them.
"Some teams will shy away because they draft almost solely on physical traits but a kid like him, with that competitive fire, and an ability to make a play on the ball in the air, is really appealing," one of the observers noted.
Henry and Wormley are also attractive NFL prospects; the best shot Michigan has on offense is Jehu Chesson, if and when Chesson gets some polish. Hopefully they'll stick around for their senior seasons; if they do this epic defense will probably see a repeat next year.
A time-tested mantra I've found myself resorting to over my years of watching sports is a simple one, but resonant: Things happen.
Michigan completes a Hail Mary against Northwestern in 2012. Colorado completes a Hail Mary against Michigan in 1994. Yin and yang, a grand swinging pendulum of Fortune, karma, mindless spinning of a dimpled, brown prolate spheroid through wind and rain and snow and the sun's reaching rays in the Midwestern fall.
Would not have managed to go with "things" there. Good man.
Etc.: Brief Victor Viramontes video profile. Maize and Blue Nation on 100 Years of Moe's. Aubrey Dawkins was only recruited by Michigan and Dayton. Remember that this year. Accurate. Moritz Wagner is here, German. You can apparently vote TE commit Sean McKeon into the UA game.
LSU 35, Florida 28
Before the season, eight SEC teams were ranked in each major poll – now approximately halfway through the season, there’s only one undefeated team left: Les Miles’s LSU Tigers, who have leaned on Leonard Fournette, a strong offense line, and a characteristically stout defense. After a tightly-contested win over Florida – a classic Miles game that was won on a fake field goal in the fourth quarter – the Tigers look every bit the part of a playoff contender: they face Alabama in three weeks on the road in a game that will likely play an enormous role in determining the SEC West.*
Considering the context, Florida acquitted themselves well. With Treon Harris at the helm in place of suspended starting quarterback Will Grier, the Gators were forced to turn to a quarterback who’d proven to be erratic and ineffective in the past, but Harris played a solid game – especially for a visiting QB in Death Valley – throwing for two touchdowns and no interceptions. Even though Florida was completely unable to establish a running game (31 carries for 55 yards), the Gators put 28 points on the board, though half of them came on an LSU fumble on a punt return deep in Tigers territory and an electric punt return touchdown from freshman Antonio Callaway that tied the game late in the third quarter.
The most appealing game-within-the-game in this high-level matchup was Leonard Fournette and the LSU offensive line against their toughest test in a very solid Florida run defense: Fournette still notched 5.8 yards per carry on 31 attempts, though his longest carry of the day was just 25 yards. The big plays, surprisingly, were provided by a heretofore unproven passing game – a 52-yard flea-flicker to Malachi Dupre set up an early Fournette touchdown and Brandon Harris connected with Dupre again for a 50-yard touchdown in the waning seconds of the first half. Harris still hasn’t thrown an interception this season, allowing LSU even more comfort in their preferred style. The blueprint hasn’t changed for Les Miles: the Tigers want to control the game on the ground as much as possible.
Ultimately, it was a mostly even game – had LSU elected to actually kick the field goal, they likely still would have won – but Fournette again showed why he’s the most impressive player in college football, very possibly its best. Florida, which would have pushed itself squarely into the playoff discussion with a win, still remains in the driver’s seat in the SEC East – they can lock up the division with a win over Georgia this weekend.
*Also at the forefront in the SEC West hunt is Ole Miss. The Rebels may have seen their playoff hopes slip away for good with a loss to Memphis this past weekend, but they still only have one loss in SEC play (to Florida), a tiebreaker over Alabama, and a home game against LSU later this season. Things aren’t looking great in Oxford right now, but they’re in it as much as anyone at this point.
[More footbaw after the jump]
What, are you worried Spartans are gonna be all "Typical Wolverines, whining about the refs."?
[Interference on Desmond.gif] [Spartan Bob stops the clock.gif] [etc.] Things that happen happened. Plus can you name a Spartan anyone actually takes seriously?
Granted. But is this hypothetical Spartan in your life Vannini, or this Youtube commenter?
Wow. That's— uh, that is…
…a person whose opinion does not matter.
I was going to say my brother-in-law. But they outgained us!
Special teams matter.
Still can't we be above blaming the refs? Steel in the spine and all that. It won't change the outcome of the game. At most we'll get an apology from the Big Ten that's worth exactly as much as Rutgers in a post-cable bundling media landscape.
Nice one. I'm not making a "Michigan should have won…" argument, because every play matters. The last play had a huge effect on the outcome. Connor Cook throwing perfect back shoulder passes and Aaron Burbridge being an NFL-caliber receiver was very relevant. Jake Rudock being bad at deep balls was relevant. If they'd won, Michigan's stops on 4th downs were relevant. All of it is relevant, and the game, as they say, is over.
So then what's the point?
The point is to assess how good this Michigan team is at football. IE were they significantly better than a Michigan State team that nearly lost to Purdue and Rutgers, and was absent its Rimington-quality center plus half the legs of its bookends, and is fielding a pretty awful secondary. But I'm also doing this for some more personal reasons:
- For myself, and for posterity, I want a thorough canvassing of the things I saw and thought I saw.
- I want to point out where the refs are getting a bad rap. Not everything we thought we saw was a legit gripe, and some of the legit gripes may have been hard for human refs to see in real time. Since complaining is inevitable, let's get it right.
- Right now I feel like a truck ran over my dog and then half of the people in my life came over to gloat as if they were driving this truck. This is part of my healing process.
And you're going to show we got hosed?
Can't promise it. That was my certainly biased hypothesis in the stadium, but I'm not going to be able to find every incremental hold and would-be pass interference. I want to tackle the things people were talking about.
Clip the plays people bitched about, watch the hell out of them, gauge the relative expectations we should have for the officials on those plays, and use the Markov Drive Analysis tool to calculate a rough expected points swing.
This tool is based on NFL drives but it serves for what we're doing here. It gives you a basic expected points for every down, distance, and field position. For example if you have 1st and goal on your opponent's one yard line, the expected points is 6.32. A 4th and 10 on your 40 is about zero.
If I've left out any plays (including and especially those where something went Michigan's way) let me know and if I deem it worthy I'll add it to the post.
I'd rather not be part of this.
Then don't hit...