I was recently looking at Bo's career numbers and just had to marvel anew at his dominance of the B10, and his consistently successful teams. A few things I noticed about Bo's 20-year tenure at Michigan:
*Bo never lost more than one game in the B10 until his 11th season at Michigan
*Bo only lost multiple games in the B10 four times in 20 seasons
*He finished outside the Top 20 only once
*He finished outside the Top 10 only 4 times
*He finished in the Top 5 seven times
*He finished lower than 2nd place in the B10 only 4 times
*Of course, there is the well known and very rare winning record against Woody Hayes
Here is a question though: does anyone know Bo's record against Top Ten teams?
I have tried to find this info via Google and have come up empty. However, I seem to remember that Bo's record against Top Tens was not very good, even apart from his well-known failures in bowl games (5-12 overrall record).
Searching for Bo's record vs. Top Tens, I stumbled across this article regarding OSU's chronic and long-standing difficulties against Top Tens, going all the way back to Woody:
This made me wonder...given that Bo is part of Woody's coaching tree, is there a reason that both men struggled against the best competition? Is it possible that both of them were master recruiters who got the best talent, then prepared and drilled relentlessly, then overwhelmed teams with inferior talent by sheer, brute force?
Hey, no complaints about sheer, brute force here. This is football, after all. However, you can't typically go to the Rose Bowl and overwhelm USC with your superior level of talent. When talent and preparation are equal, creativity, game planning, and adjustments come into play.
If this is true, then perhaps Rich Rod is the perfect man to lead Michigan football over the top, making it into more than a very good and storied program that wins significantly more than it loses. Maybe it is under a coach like him that Michigan becomes feared again, for this simple reason: over time, the challenge of facing Michigan won't be simply that their players are more talented and better prepared. It will be that, plus that fact that opposing D coordinators won't have any idea what Michigan is about to do next.
Imagine facing all that frightening talent, channeled through an unpredictable system with virtually limitless options. Will the QB run? Will he throw short? Will he throw long? Will he hand it to a slot receiver? Who do we double cover? How can I prepare my defense to react effectively to all the deception, counters, reverses, etc.?
This team's offense is frightening right now. Imagine what it will be when Tate has more experience, when true game-breakers are recruited at RB and WR, and when the system is fully, 100% installed. Can you imagine it when all the starters on both sides of the ball are juniors and seniors?
This isn't going to be merely a pretty good team with a storied tradition and cool uniforms. This is going to be an aggressive threshing machine that rips off people's arms and legs. People are going to fear Michigan again, not just respect them--all the way down to Columbus, the lair of the Hideous Minions of Evil and their Supreme Commander, The Sweater-Vested One.
As it should be!
The not-quite-GED-qualifying-because-the-world-needs-ditch-diggers-too-Danny fan base is up in arms down there, if a bit in disagreement, over one or more of the following: 1) Jim Tressel is the biggest loser to ever be associated with the Scarlett and Gray, 2) JT had better get himself a "real" Offensive Coordinator, (aren't all coaches employed by Ohio State "offensive", by definition?) because "college football has passed him by" and, perhaps most venomously, 3) Tyrelle Pryor will never - EVER - be a "real, big time, QB."
Here's my take on Tressel, Pryor and Saturday's game plan against USC, (since I have a hole in my ass, and its pointed at the ground, I'm entitled to my opinion, too): if it could have been possible for both teams to lose, that's what I would have rooted for. Admit it: you feel the same way. I could be all magnanimous and believe that, "I root for OSU when they're not playing Michigan because they're in the Big 10, too, and it counts."
Bullshit. I come from "Old School" Wolverine Football loving tradition: "I have two favorite teams: Michigan, and whomever is playing Ohio State."
I have to admit, though, I do have respect for Tressel. The man has had UM's number for the better part of a decade. He's not the most imaginative play-caller, mind you, but he's not about "three yards and a cloud of dust", either. He's won a BCSNC, and had won consecutive NC's at Youngstown State prior to his move to Columbus.
So, the limited imagination shown in Saturday's Xs and Os, and the week earlier against Navy, really had me scratching my head. The Buckeyes "D" made USC's offense look ordinary (and even less) for 95% of the game -- and that was with a bevy of new starters. But the OSU offense was beyond offensive.
Then, it hit me: it's Pryor. Lots of folks have commented about how he has got problems with his nerves. I think there's more to it. If it were all about nerves, Tressel would be designing plays that take advantage of his freakish physical abilities and what he does most naturally. Except for a couple of designed runs and roll-outs, though, the offense is plain jane.
I think the limitation is in his gray matter. He's been the starter for nearly a year already, over two seasons. Yet, he's still making simple mistakes, (a delay of game penalty ... IN THE TWO MINUTE DRILL?!? WTF???) Plays are taking to long to develop, he's getting rattled, he's not progressing through his keys and missing the coverages and open man. He may yet progress, a la Vince Young. But right now, he's singing that Zeppelin tune, "Dazed and Confused".
Which brings me back to the Word of the Day, (I'm glad you hung in there with me). In the play "Avenue Q", a character named Gary sings the song, "Schadenfreude". The opening lines are:
Right now you are down and out
And feelin' really crappy.
And when I see how said you are,
It sorta makes me happy.
Ahhhh, better already.
I wanted to find a picture perfect example of that play from our last game, but I didn't have the time, unfortunately (I'm not that quick at this video/picture stuff!). Instead, I'll post some pictures of Koger's TD catch, which shows the basic principles that SmartFootball discussed today, but also accentuates some great play by Tate and Koger.
So, here we are in our new shotgun ace base set with Koger lined up at H-Back, rather than as a TE:
As you can see, ND is either in a 4-3, or a nickle 4-2. I can't tell if the third LB over Koger is indeed a LB, or a Saftey. Doesn't really matter, anyways.
You also see a Safety walking into the box, for a total of 8 defenders in the box. (For clarification, I'm referring to the player on the "I" in "MICHIGAN" in the end zone)
Next, we see Tate receive the snap and read the backside. ND is running a variation of the scrape - so far, we usually have heard about the DE crashing the RB and the LB coming for the QB. Here, ND actually crashes the backside LB, and the DE is coming straight down the line looking for Tate.
Tate makes the read and decides to keep it. [EDIT - GSimmons suggests below that this is merely a play action, and not a read, which basically answers my own question that I possed at the end of this post] Also, notice that Koger is coming back against the grain - all the OL are blocking to their right, and Koger comes out to his left.
The unfortunate thing for this particular play is that the Safety walked into the box, as shown earlier. ND could afford to do that, since they're already back up against the end zone and Tate can't exactly go deep.
As a result, that Safety can (theoretically) easily pick up Koger, as seen below.
However, the Safety freezes and Koger blows past him. Tate has to wait an instance for the throwing lane to open, but he delivers a strike to Koger.
End result = Touchdown.
A remark about the play: This was a great play on both sides. First, ND had the safety in the perfect position. Normally I'd expect that Safety to be deep and Koger to be wide open. Second, the ND LB/DE did a great job of getting after Tate. One of them was responsible for crashing C. Brown (IMO that'd be the LB) but they both hauled ass and would have sacked 80% of all QBs. Third, Tate made a HECK of a throw. I have no idea how he managed to see between those two defenders. Finally, great route by Koger to get away from the Safety.
I have a question about the initial play call, however. Somehow running the zone read into the short side, with 8 in the box seems like an odd call. I wonder if Tate had any intention of handing it off to Carlos. Instead, I suspect this play was a roll-out from the get go, with the hand off used to keep the back side pursuit at bay.
This might have been a good situation to call for a fade instead, if RichRod thinks he has a good match up on the ouside.
Many of us have attended games at the Big House for so long and so often, we probably now take it for granted. Since I live out of state I feel tickets for a few games on this years schedule (EMU, Delaware State) will be difficult to sell since our opponent is not of major interest and there will be a lot of tickets available.
Remember when you first went to the Big House as a kid? It was like no other athletic event you ever attended. Pregame meals as a kid for myself were spent at the Pretzel Bell with my dad and brother and then we would get over to the stadium to hear the band and watch the team run under the banner.
I am sure there are a lot of kids in the Ann Arbor area who have never attended a Michigan game at the Big House and this year I wanted to amend that for at least one young man. As a result I have donated my tickets to the Delaware State game to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Washtenaw County (734-975-0933). I am sure there are many other organizations where a ticket donation can be made to provide someone a little less fortunate with a memorable afternoon at the Big House.
If you have tickets this year that you cannot use or sell, consider donating them to someone in need. If you do, you will be the conquering hero.
Thanks and Go Blue!
Jay Riemersma launches official campaign for HouseWhat is an interesting twist, however, is what is included in his emailthatireceivedidunnohowboopolitics:
By PEG MCNICHOL
The Holland Sentinel
Last update Sep 14, 2009 @ 10:13 AM
Holland, MI - Former pro-football player Jay Riemersma wants U.S. Rep Pete Hoekstra's Washington, D.C., job.
He chose a downtown Holland street corner to announce his plans Monday morning, kicking off a day-long stumping effort in West Michigan.
Hoekstra's 2nd Congressional District job has drawn the interest of several hopefuls, including state Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland; former state representative Bill Huizinga of Zeeland, and Bill Cooper, a Spring Lake businessman.
Riemersma played for the Buffalo Bills and now works for the Family Research Council. He said he will fight against abortion, taxes and big government.
In his announcement Monday, Riemersma all but said "game on" while criticizing Kuipers and Huizinga for their affirmative votes for the Michigan Business Tax.
He promised to sign Americans for Tax Reform pledge Monday afternoon and told the crowd of nearly 100 gathered before him at the corner of Eighth Street and Central in Holland "I will never vote to raise your taxes."
There are a couple of additional important events this week for the campaign. Former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr is visiting the district to campaign for me this Thursday in Holland and Grand Haven. I hope you can make it to one of these important events!Interesting to see Carr throwing in his hat for a former player. Disagree or Agree with the candidate's politics, it's a 'woot' to see another football player trying to follow in the footsteps of All-American Gerald R. Ford and make a place in Washington.
Oh and this quotable from a GR Press article I found while Googling Riemersma made me elohel
"The last thing we need right now is legislative experience," said Riemersma, 36.We beat Notre Dame. Woot.
My wife and I made a planes, trains, and automobile-like trek from Minneapolis (I know, I know, my handle is DCBlue, but we just moved to Minneapolis 5 months ago and I don't want a new, geographicly-correct handle) to Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game. It was pretty horrific, travel-wise. We caught a 10:00 a.m. flight to Chicago, rented an SUV, drove to Oak Park to pick up our tailgating stuff from the couple who we share our 4 season tickets with, and drove to Ann Arbor. Worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Some observations from Ann Arbor and the game:
1. It kind of surprises me, but it's easier to get into a decent restaraunt on Saturday night after the game, rather than the Friday before. There was a wait of 1 to 1.5 hours at all the places on Main Street on Friday night (we ended up heading to Red Hawk and got in immediately). On Saturday night, we went to Real Seafood and only had to wait about 10 minutes. Must be that everyone wants to wait in traffic. FWIW, my advice is to consider going out to eat and then getting out of town, if you have time.
2. I've been going to games since the late 80's as a teenager, and have had season tickets for over 15 years. The Notre Dame game ranks up there as one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I've ever seen in person. Not as consistently euphoric as the 1995 Biakabatuka game, as it was clear in 1995 from the beginning that Michigan was going to roll Ohio State. Not as much expectations as the 1997 Ohio State game with a shot at the MNC on the line. Penn State 2005 comes close, but I just didn't think that was as good of game. It ranks right up there on my personal list of best memories at the Stadium.
3. I'm previously on record HATING the idea of RAWK music. That being said, if it is inevitable then there must be a little more thought put into the actual execution of the play list. I mean, sweet Jesus, how hard is it to make sure the actual upbeat parts of the songs are played at the appropriate moments? There were a couple of times where the music started way to late and had to be cut out as the play started. Hint: If the song has an intro that the crowd must wait for before responding, don't use it. I also tend to agree with my wife that the Black Eyed Peas' Tonight's Gonna Be a Good nite would be a nice addition to the play list. Even as a traditionalist, and as much as I hate to admit it, the crowd responded to the music.
4. Not to sound like Charlie Weiss, but from my view in Section 6 (site of the Mathews catch, thank you) it was obvious that Brandon Graham was getting absolutely smothered in holds. I think the pic of the ND lineman covering his entire face says it all. As I recall, nothing was called on that played and ND connected on a first down pass play. I realize holding could probably be called on most plays, but some of the shit that was going on with Graham was borderline felonious.
5. The Stadium was loud. Not sure I'd classify it as "Oh my God, this place is so much louder" but it was noisy. Section 6 is largely a sit on your hands type of section, but I was proud of some of the Blue Hairs who actually were standing and yelling.
6. With #5 being said, I wanted to punch the 50-ish guy behind me who started yelling "down in front" at halftime so he could get a better sightline to watch the band. I refused, and told him, "It's halftime, dude, you can stand." I wanted to tell him that we should have been standing for the entire time.
7. Our seats are right in front of a handicapped seating area in Section 6, making it very unpopular when we stand up. You can maintain a good sightline to the field, even when the rest of the lower section 6 is standing below the reserved handicap area. This bums me out, actually. I'd much rather be standing. That being said, I can only hope that when I'm in my 90's, I at least have the option of being there in a wheelchair, like the guy I spoke with who was wearing an M hat backwards. Looked better than Tony Romo.
8. Most of the crowd stayed and cheered after the game until the team left the student section area and headed to the tunnel. It also got REALLY loud in the concourses after the game, with Go Blue and It's Great to Be A Michigan Wolverine. Good stuff.
9. Boubakar had a really rough day. You know it's rough when you're bailing out immediatley and the receiver's are still getting behind you. All that being said, he still was an aggressive tackler. I wish he would have held onto the pick he dropped (and likely would have scored on). I may be crazy, but I think he'll bounce back. The ND recievers were nightmarishly good.
10. Chad Henne may be a robot, but I'm not sure Tate Forcier is human, either. It's a quality I admire in Michigan quarterbacks.