Thanks to BOBBY for making us liveblog software. We are slowly rolling out more features and are working through the the priority tree of issues. Last week was the transparent aluminum, and quick thought: why did Scotty need transparent aluminum? Wouldn’t six-inch Plexiglass have been fine on that spaceship? It seems unnecessarily fancy to make a plastics manufacturer from the mid-’80s invent a non-polymer clear plastic instead of just dealing with some old fashioned heavy plastic windows. I mean, okay, if you need to give the guy a small leg up on his competition in payment that’s understandable, but then give him something you know was invented shortly after, like light-emitting poly-ethyne or something. And don’t give me “How do we know he didn’t invent it?” because these characters lived centuries after the invention of the internet.
That said, if you notice anything else missing, put them in the comments on this article so the liveblog stays clear of meta.
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Sending messages costs mana.
Messages cost more, the more active chat is.
The red dudes on the side bar are lives remaining.
If you break the Board Rules, you lose a life. Lose three lives and you have to insert a quarter into your monitor. No no keep trying it, it’ll go in. As always, the Liveblog Chaos Mitigation Post is The Law.
Enter the liveblog here: http://kibitz.io/#/wisconsin (will open in new window. Sorry no embed yet. Tuesday.)
By Bryan MacKenzie
You may remember "Wisconsin" from your childhood, but if you don't, here's a brief refresher: Wisconsin is a state just west of Michigan that somehow claims to be the one shaped like a mitten.
This is somewhat like Louisiana trying to claim the title of "the one shaped like the wang" from Florida, or Idaho trying to declare itself "The Great Rectangle State of the American West." But I digress.
The reason you may not remember Wisconsin very well is that Michigan hasn't played the Badgers since 2010. Both schools have gone through two coaching changes since then; Brady Hoke's Michigan never played Wisconsin, and Gray Andersen's Wisconsin played Michigan. The last time these two teams met, Wisconsin did to Michigan what Michigan just did to Penn State; they ran the same. damn. play. over. and. over. They ran for 357 yards at 6.2 yards per carry. Greg Robinson, who believe it or not was Michigan's defensive coordinator, rubbed a stuffed beaver in Kenny Demens' face on the sidelines. Remember 2010? 2010 was weird as hell. 2010 sucked in a lot of ways.
A lot has changed since 2010. Gas was $0.27 per gallon, but we didn't notice because cars ran on Arcade Fire and Four Loko. Our computers SUCKED at playing Jeopardy. We hadn't seen Anthony Weiner's Florida a single time. Rutgers still sucked, but they sucked WAY THE HELL OVER THERE. Global warming was still called global warming, and hadn't produced a single Sharknado.
2016 is emphatically not 2010.
2016 Wisconsin is not 2010 Wisconsin. You can see a family resemblance, of course. But those old Wisconsin teams always had a massive, immovable, road-grading offensive line consisting of three-star corn-fed midwesterners. 2016 Wisconsin's offensive line is fine, but they are far from the mass of murderous thunder-flesh that blew those RichRod teams three yards off the ball on every play.
2016 Michigan is also decidedly not 2010 Michigan. 2016 Michigan is the Michigan that runs the same play eight times in a row, because the opponent can't stop it. 2016 Michigan is the team that can throw "rock" on every snap because the rock is Wormley-shaped. 2016 Michigan is the river carving the canyon through simple operation of physics over time. And this game is when that really becomes clear. Michigan's defensive line will simply overwhelm Wisconsin's line, and they force Wisconsin's young quarterback to put the ball up and pray for rain. Meanwhile, Harbaugh uses a combination of crazy wizard magic and Jabrill Peppers (admittedly, these are related fields) to put points on the board against a stout defense.
Welcome to 2016, Bucky. Michigan 31, Wisconsin 7
by Nick RoUMel
Last week Michigan fans came tantalizingly close to the exceedingly rare “quad-fecta.” Michigan trounced Penn State, Sparty was crushed by the Badgers, Notre Dame lost at home to Duke, and Ohio State did not win (drat … only because they didn’t play).
We also enjoyed two bonus games. Colorado, behind their second-string quarterback, won at Oregon - thus enhancing the value of Michigan’s win against the Buffalos. The other was 0-4 Furman’s 20 point drubbing by Coastal Carolina, a margin that exceeded Michigan State’s 28-13 home victory over the Paladins on opening day. Thus both of Sparty’s victories were significantly diminished Saturday.
(To be fair to Michigan State, as I must because I am married to a Spartan grad, it is looking like a rebuilding year for them; and I am certain they will come back strong behind their handsome and determined coach Mark Dantonio.)
I was curious enough to look up the last time we experienced an actual quad-fecta. You have to go back to September 12, 2009, when the Buckeyes lost to Southern Cal, MSU lost to Central Michigan [insert helplessly laughing emoji here], and Michigan stunned Notre Dame in the Big House, 38-34, on the legendary Tate Forcier’s pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds to play.
The last quad-fecta where none of these teams played each other happened on October 2, 2004. Michigan beat Indiana; and Ohio State (Northwestern), MSU (Iowa), and Notre Dame (Purdue) all went down ingloriously. No doubt Wolverine fans everywhere rejoiced long into the night.
Can we have another today?
Let’s start with Ohio State, which hosts Rutgers, a 38-point ‘dog. Unlikely.
The Flailing Irish travel to Syracuse as a 10 ½-point favorite. Could be an upset special.
And Michigan State, distracted by those pesky Dantonio-to-LSU rumors, visits Indiana as a shaky 6.5 point favorite. The non-horrible Hoosiers will give it a good shot.
Which brings me to UM.
This one makes me nervous. The oddsmakers are too generous here, giving 10 ½ points to Wisconsin, which is rolling like the thunder Mother Nature has in store for us on Saturday. Those behemoths on both sides of the ball are going to battle in the trenches a lot tougher then Pederast State did last week, and lefty QB Alex Hornibrook showed a lot of poise against the Spartan defense. The weather could also be a factor to slow down Michigan’s offense.
But Wisconsin is vulnerable in the secondary, which was lit up by 0-3 Georgia State’s Conner Manning two weeks ago (20-29, 269 yards, 1 TD) in an upset bid at Madison that fell just short, 23-17.
So what’s the call, Counterpunt?
Say it ain’t so, Superboy … it’s going to be a Bizarro quad-fecta:
WISCONSIN 28, MICHIGAN 27
OHIO STATE 54, RUTGERS 20
MICHIGAN STATE 23, INDIANA 15
NOTRE DAME 24, SYRACUSE 16
[Insert stunned Bizarro emoji here]
1 hour 39 minutes
This was recorded before a live retail audience at Moe Sport Shops, 711 North University. Come by every Friday before a game to partake. For Homecoming we’re going to do it at the new Bo Store!
Special guests this week: Steve Lorenz of 247 sports, author John U. Bacon, who will have the afterword to Endzone very soon, Moe’s co-owner Rishi Narayan, and Liz Marek from Think Pink Go Blue with a word about Ann Arbor businesses’ work for breast cancer awareness month.
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 their new Bo Store on Main.
Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, Liz Crowe, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Tailgater Concierge, who’s throwing us a tailgate tomorrow at 1300 S. Main (across the street from the stadium) to benefit Marlin Jackson’s Fight for Life Foundation.
1a. Upon Further Review Recap
starts at 1:00
Penn State is pretty bad. Let’s talk to Steve!
1b. Across the Crooked Blue Line, with Steve Lorenz
starts at 10:15
Big recruiting weekend with a lot of top targets and most of the commits in town. May not result in instant commits but should move the needle and set them up for a good finish in February. Michigan hopes to flip two Don Brown guys, a BC commit with similar measurables to Luigi Vilain and a Khaleke Hudson-ish SAM who was committed to Penn State.
3. After Endzone, with John U. Bacon
starts at 34:56
He’s not Dave, for one. Neither is Ace. Also our very visual podcast discusses what happens to Brian’s hair when he puts a headset on. ALSO Bacon discusses how Les Miles was viewed inside Schembechler Hall under various administrations, and reveals Harbaugh’s plans to maybe explore an NFL job after he’s dead.
4. Gimmicky Top Five: Favorite Cheeses
starts at 1:03:11
Brian insisted. With special guest Rishi Narayan, co-owner of UGP and Moe’s.
5. Wisconsin Preview and Think Pink
starts at 1:14:54
The Legend of Three Sack Jack is told. Michigan faces the linebacker version of its own defensive line—minus their Glasgow—and a very good secondary so it might take some shenanigans to move the ball against them. But their offense isn’t nearly as scary.
Also Liz Marek joined us to talk about what Ann Arbor businesses are doing for Breast Cancer Awareness.
"Seas of Cheese"—Primus
"Hip Hop Saved My Life"—Lupe Fiasco
"Where'd the Cheese Go"—Ween
"Across 110th Street"
THE USUAL LINKS
We are recording LIVE at Moe Sport Shops, 711 North University. If you’re in town, come on down and see us. If you’re not, leave questions in the comments and we’ll try to get to them. Special guests: 247 Sports recruiting guru Steve Lorenz, acclaimed author John U. Bacon, and whoever’s dancing around upstairs.
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 the new Bo Store on Main.
Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, Liz Crowe, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Tailgater Concierge, who’s throwing us a tailgate TOMORROW before Wisconsin at 1300 S. Main (across the street from the stadium) to benefit Marlin Jackson’s Fight for Life Foundation.
M's Biggest Recruiting Weekend Is Here
Michigan has stacked this weekend with visits, many of the official variety, and it's shaping up to be their most important recruiting weekend of the fall. TMI's Brice Marich has a free rundown of the top visitors on campus, and 247's Steve Wiltfong has an overview of the major recruiting storylines. Here's a quick runthrough with some additional notes where applicable.
Five-star TX OLB Baron Browning: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, and UCLA appear to be Michigan's primary competition, and while the Wovlerines have been regarded as a fringe contender for much of Browning's recruitment, 247's Steve Wiltfong said this week his summer visit put M in better position than ND and OSU. Browning's brother played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, which can't hurt M's chances.
FIve-star FL OT Alex Leatherwood (Alabama commit): Michigan and Florida are trying to pry Leatherwood away from Bama, but Steve Lorenz has mentioned on our podcast that this is quite a long shot unless Bama OL coach Mario Cristobal leaves the staff after the season.
Four-star KY OT Jedrick Wills: Wills looked like he'd drop to Alabama before ever making it to Ann Arbor. While that didn't occur, Bama remains the favorite.
Four-star NJ OLB Drew Singleton: There's still a lot of optimism from Michigan insiders about Singleton—who's here for his second game this season—despite the buzz surrounding Clemson.
Four-star IMG OLB Jordan Anthony: Another linebacker prospect long considered a Michigan lean.
Four-star IMG OC Cesar Ruiz: As Lorenz said in this week's recruiting mailbag, Ruiz is arguably the most important target left on the board, and with Alabama seemingly out of the picture this is a race Michigan expects to win.
[This list is long enough to JUMP mid-section. As I said, it's a huge visit weekend.]
|WHAT||Wisconsin at Michigan|
Ann Arbor, MI
October 1st, 2016
|THE LINE||Michigan –10.5|
probably some drizzle
Wisconsin is in an odd place on Michigan's schedule, as this is the first time I can remember that there's a nonconference game after the start of—
what's that now
how many damn teams does this conference have now
Anyway. The Certainly Part Of The Big Ten Wisconsin Badgers come to Michigan Stadium for the first time since people rode dinosaurs to the discotheque. They're coming off two hot-hot-hot wins over Certainly Top Ten Teams LSU and Michigan State. They're riding high with a legitimately terrifying defense and... an offense. That's not bad, per se. It's good for one 17 play touchdown drive a game. Anyway, the defense!
Run Offense vs Wisconsin
Sheehy(94) is the star on the line
The loss of star OLB Vince Biegel is a huge blow to the Badgers. Biegel and fellow OLB TJ Watt are far and away Wisconsin's best defensive players; without him it seems like Wisconsin will move Jack Cichy, he of the three straight sacks in the bowl game, to OLB and bring in one of the backup ILBs they're already rotating.
That shift seriously dents what is probably the best linebacker corps in the nation. Wisconsin runs a 3-4, so there are four of them; PFF has all of them +2.5 or better, with Biegel at +7.4 and Watt at +8.3. UW's given four other LBs significant snaps so far this year, so Biegel's replacement won't be fresh off the turnip truck. Whoever it is will be a massive downgrade.
As far as the run game goes, Michigan has to be looking at planet-sized nose tackle Olive Sagapolu with some concern after struggling against Colorado's Josh Tupou. Ace doesn't think it'll be a thing, though:
Up front, Sheehy was easily the most impressive lineman. NT Olive Sagapolu is a massive 340 pounds, but I don't think he'll give Mason Cole nearly as much trouble as Colorado's immovable NT Josh Tupou. Sagapolu didn't hold up too well to double-teams; LJ Scott didn't have much opportunity to establish himself because of the score, but when he had success it came right up the gut:
That was also a rare instance of Sheehy getting handled one-on-one. The other starting DE, Chikwe Obasih, is undersized for a 3-4 at 267 pounds and looked it for much of this game. Even for a 3-4 DE, his production is really lacking—no tackles in this game, only three (two solo) on the year—and he was the lineman most easily taken on and moved out of his lane by single blocking.
Connor Sheehy is a very legit 3-4 DE, albeit a guy who offers nothing rushing the passer. The other two guys are just kind of there.
Despite this, Wisconsin battered MSU into meek submission and held Leonard Damn Fournette in relative check. This is because linebackers, mostly. TJ Watt is a fullback-destroying missile, and everyone in that unit grades out positively.
Wisconsin comes up against a Michigan run offense that got right in a big way against Penn State, with four running backs all ripping off big chunk runs en route to over 300 yards. Issues abounded before that, however, and promise to crop up once again now that Michigan is playing a team with (mostly) first teamers in the front seven. Previous versions of the Michigan run offense under Harbaugh have taken one step back for every one forward. Consistent production this Saturday would be a game-changer for season expectations, but seems unlikely. Michigan will get some yards. Michigan will get stuffed more than they care to.
Wild card: Jabrill Peppers. With Noah Furbush back and Wisconsin inclined to run on first down this is a game where you can buy Peppers a bunch of offensive snaps by running an actual 4-3 on some downs. Even if they do keep him out there all the time, this is a game where 8-10 Peppers touches could contain in them the seed of a critical touchdown.
KEY MATCHUP: MASON COLE versus OLIVE SAGAPOLU and MICHIGAN'S OL IN GENERAL against CHIP AND RELEASE ON ZONE RUNS. This is kind of the same thing. Michigan would like to mitigate the big damn nose tackle. Mason Cole had major issues against Tupou and needs to do better against a not as good version, and the line as a whole needs to actually hit guys before releasing to the second level when they run zone stuff.
[Hit THE JUMP for CERTAINLY AN OFFENSE]