- Starts off with some comments about being disappointed in the 1-3 start, but encouraged that the losses have been close. Also is very complimentary of Tate; the "big playmakers on the offensive side of the ball" in Denard Robinson, Carlos Brown, Brandon Minor, Martavious Odoms, and Greg Matthews.
- Comments that we're on our 3rd DC in 3 years, so learning curve and all that but, again, complimentary of our "very good players," citing specifically Obi Ezeh, Brandon Graham, and Donovan Warren.
- On the Defense: need to be aware of the deep ball, as well as tackling better. He mentioned something about being better structurally, which I take to mean coaching and calling formations on the defensive end.
- On the QB situation: doesn't commit to one QB. Suggests it's a momentum thing and that he'll play the guy who gives them the best chance to win. Says there is no sense of frustration that one QB has not emerged. (For the record, it seems sparty fans are calling for Kirk Cousins to take over.) Also has 10 positions on the depth chart with "Player A or Player B" listed as the starter. He says it's a competition thing. Here is the link to the Depth Chart.
- On their OL: says the starting C being out the last 2.5 games has affected their running game negatively. Current guy, John Stipek, was recruited as a DL. A bit of a revolving door on the right side of the line (RG, RT). Also had an injury at LG. Says that although their technique is lacking, they haven't missed many assignments.
- On the DL: have had a couple minor injuries and youth affecting level of play. Basically need to get better at everything - "provide more pass rush, get off blocks and use our hands better, and apply four man pressure a little bit better."
- On Greg Jones: great player, but in a new position this year (Mike, was Sam last year) and can still improve.
- On punt/kick coverage: this question was probably asked with Daryll Stonum in mind. Dantonio responds that punt coverage has been good, but that they lost their kicker (Boleski), who could kick it deep. Other than a long return last week to the 40 (on which he claims there was a clip), they've generally contained the returns.
- On the rivalry: they, too, are in a little more of a bunker mentality with closed practices, etc. Intense focus because this is an intense rivalry. The reporter mentions the "bow down little brother" thing and Dantonio basically validates that feeling. He says every team needs a rival, and that this is it for most people in the state, "at least if you're green." (note the subtle dig)
- On the WRs: Blair White has been emerging, with a solid 2nd half of the season last year. (He is their go-to WR at this point, leading the team in yards, receptions, and TDs. Dell appears to be their big-play guy, though)
Oh real quick...Give a big positive point bang to Bleedin9Blue. He was AWESOME with the sheet. This would not be possible without him. So mad love to you sir!!!
Thank you as well to all of those who voted...great first week, way to help me get this off the ground. I am going to lock you in to the poll so you have a spot every week.
1) Do not vote until Sunday. Right now we can only accommodate so many people on the ballot (I believe that it is around 140), so please do not waste a vote by voting before all the games have been played.
2) Leave the bias out of it. I actually believe Michigan could be put in the Top 15, but not #1 Overall.
3) I promise not to change your votes, unless you are ranking teams in a way that is just crazy. It is hard to monitor over 100 people, so help me out with this.
4) You do not have to put your name on there, but it would be cool if you did so that I know who has been voting. I appreciate those that do and would like to give people a shout out if they have been doing really well.
5) Do not kill each other if you do not agree with the rankings. There will hopefully be enough people to balance out the few really high/ really low ranked teams.
6) Have fun with this. I think that our poll is a more true example of what is going on in the world of college football, because we can leave the pre-season stuff out of it. Vote based on WHO HAS THE BEST RESUME SO FAR. Do not try to predict the future.
OK...For our first poll we had almost 20 voters. A team ranked 1st got 25 points, a team ranked 25th got 1 point. We are working on a way to auto-compare it with the AP and Coaches' Poll, but for the first week I will just write some notes to do the analysis. So without further ado...the first annual MGoBlog Members Blog Poll
|Member's Poll||Coaches Rank||AP Rank|
Some observations. This week we seem to have most of the same teams as the experts, but it a different order. I think that this will eventually change, and will lead to some better analysis.
LOVE 'EM (Teams we have ranked substantially higher)
HATE "EM (Teams we have ranked substantially lower)
ON THE BRINK (Teams 26-30)
HEAD SCRATCHIER (Team where people had no idea where to rank them)
Oklahoma- The Sooners were ranked as high as 5 and were left off of one ballot entirely.
Others- Kansas, TCU and Miami
Here is your link to participate. You can go there now to check out the ballot. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THE FORMULAS IN THE TAB MARKED CHARTS, ONLY ENTER THINGS INTO THE VOTE SHEET. If you are sure that you are going to vote, you can fill your name in for the information...again just please do not vote until Sunday and do not put in your information if you are not sure if you are going to vote at all. Copy and paste the link below into your browser, and we will have this up and posted on Tuesday of next week. Thanks again to those of you who voted this week.
Because really, having football teams win or lose doesn't change our lives. But having a brother does. Being the parent of brothers does. And sometimes the metaphor teaches us a lot more about the subject than looking at the subject alone.
There used to be a site called "Bitter Rivals dot com" that was about the Mich/MSU rivalry.
I wrote a thing for them, which if it was still online I could show you, which was written a lot better than what follows, and which called Mich/MSU a sibling rivalry back when Hart was deep under recruiting radars at some upstate New York high school.
The analogy didn't come from me -- I heard it first from a fraternity brother, and when I asked where he first heard the analogy, it was an older brother in the house, and so on... It's older than Hart. It might be as old as the rivalry itself.
Every relationship is different. Rivalries are relationships. The sibling analogy helps explain this one, because the two players act the way that rivalric brothers act, each fulfilling stereotypical roles of elder and younger.
I have two little brothers, one of whom is barely a year younger, and went to State (barely didn't get in to M, which was his first choice). He is my best friend. He will be my Best Man when I get married (in A2) next year. When I have an extra Tigers ticket, he's my first call, and I have spent enough time in the front seat of his 2000 Ford Ranger that my ass has left a permanent imprint.
And many, many, many times in my life I have wanted to rip his fucking testicles off.
Brothers fight. Brothers compete. Brothers piss each other off. If you have a brother that is close in age and you never fought each other, then that is really really weird, because this is primal shit.
If you want to delve further into the analogy, then yes, it's a juvenile fraternal relationship we're talking about.
M/MSU isn't about brothers who are late 20s through 40s and make their kids play together while talking about if the wives will ever come around to Mom. It's about brothers who are 10, stuck in the same house, the younger measuring himself by the elder, who measures himself against the big bully kid up the street, when fall Saturdays mean hours spent outside doing things that end up with one boy or several on the ground, which as winter onsets, hurts more and more.
It's one thing when the big kid up the street calls you "scUM" or "Walmart Wolverine" -- he's trying to start a fight, and, lo, the fight will come to him when it is time (and that ground has grown hard enough that he won't be cushioned when you knock his ass on it).
But you can handle the bully -- what's really irritating is when Little Brother starts picking up on something the class bully says and repeats it again and again.
And you hear it, because Little Brother is always there -- going to the YMCA, camp, the bus to school, soccer practice, a friend's house -- you can't get away from Little Bro.
Whether you got your degree at Michigan or Michigan State really matters very little in my current world. The tangible, universal difference between The University of Michigan, and Michigan State University happens at 18: one group of in-state kids got to run around the house with their parents beaming, the other had to choke down the lump of rejection and embarrassment, and then learn to become comfortable with that.
And eventually, both will learn that this measuring stick didn't matter as much as they thought.
This rivalry takes place between those points. It's about one program that has ridiculous, permanent institutional advantages put in stone by Fielding Fucking Yost, and another that needed to take advantage of the middle 20th century South's dumb-ass-ness about skin color to ever be nationally relevant.
It's about one side that is introspective and intellectual, and another that acts like a meat-head when you know damn well that he isn't as dumb as he pretends. It's about one side that values intelligence as if it's the only judge of a person's worth, and how his brother knows damn well that he's not as smart as all of his pretensions.
Getting from childhood rivalry to grownup relationship with your brother is a trial. For those of us in the State of Michigan, we at least have this annual war-by-proxy to serve as a metaphor for it. Really, by whipping each other into a frenzy over this, we're acting like 10-year-olds. The thing is, that's an important thing to do -- by framing your feelings into juvenile arguments, you get to see exactly where you might be wrong, or in this case, pretension, or an inferiority complex.
It's not something that started with a tailback from Michigan, or a tailback from Michigan State. It started with Cain and Able. Or more precisely, when someone had the idea of putting two extraordinarily good universities in one state, and then one also happened to have the premier football team in all the land as soon as football meant something to the prestige of an extraordinarily good university.
If you have nothing but hatred for MSU, then I say go to your room and cool off, because so long as you live under this roof, you are going to live with him whether you like it or not.
Happy MSU week. Now let's put that little shit back in his place, eh?
|Player||Team||G||Value||Yards||TD||INT||Rush Yards||Rush TD|
|Daryll Clark||Penn State||4||5.61||241||2.25||1.50||12||0.00|
|Kirk Cousins||Michigan State||3||3.91||222||1.33||0.67||2||0.00|
|Terrelle Pryor||Ohio State||4||3.28||173||1.25||1.00||62||0.50|
|Keith Nichol||Michigan State||3||2.40||84||1.00||0.67||18||0.00|
QB stats don't include sacks or fumbles. Denard only listed for 3 games because he didn't attempt a pass against ND.
|Player||Team||G||Value||Rush||Yards||TD||Rec Yards||Rec TD|
|Evan Royster||Penn State||4||2.11||15||71||0.75||25||0.33|
|Brandon Saine||Ohio State||4||1.36||8||45||0.00||21||0.00|
|Larry Caper||Michigan State||3||1.14||8||35||0.67|
|Caulton Ray||Michigan State||3||-0.21||7||24||0.33|
|Dan Herron||Ohio State||4||-0.87||15||53||1.25||17||0.00|
Not noted on the stat detail, but any passes from running backs are included in the total value figure.
Player - WR - Season
|Mark Dell||Michigan State||2||6.59||3.52||5.50||97||0.50|
|B Cunningham||Michigan State||3||6.42||3.37||6.00||79||1.00|
|Keshawn Martin||Michigan State||2||5.47||3.35||2.50||76||1.00|
|D Sanzenbacher||Ohio State||4||5.31||5.13||3.00||69||1.00|
|Derek Moye||Penn State||4||5.22||3.05||3.75||63||0.50|
|Blair White||Michigan State||3||5.07||3.49||4.67||62||0.67|
|Chaz Powell||Penn State||4||4.27||3.60||3.75||53||0.50|
|Devier Posey||Ohio State||4||3.46||1.85||3.75||40||0.25|
|Graham Zug||Penn State||3||3.22||2.66||4.00||51||0.67|
|Mickey Shuler||Penn State||2||1.08||-0.53||1.00||4||0.50|
Value column is on completions only, Value+ column is all in, catches and targeted incompletions/interceptions. Not noted on the stat detail, but any runs (Tandon Doss) or passes from wide receivers are included in the total value figure.
Wide receivers' value numbers will always skew high because they don't have much for negative plays working against them, they just don't get the ball if they make a bad play, so even with the adjusted numbers, the totals are generally a self-selected group.
The subject of that diary was about how Cissoko looks to be the second coming of Todd Howard. In some ways that will give you nightmares and in others it might leave you feeling mildly content a couple of years from now. But that wasn't what struck me when I read that Diary.
What struck me was that in the past 15 years Michigan has always had a lock-down corner on the field in every year but three. Here's the rundown:
- '92 - '94 = Ty Law
- '95 - '97 = Charles Woodson
- '98 - '00 = ???
- '01 - '04 = Marlin Jackson
- '03 - '06 = Leon Hall
- '07 - ?? = Donovan Warren
The two primary corners during that gap in '98-'00 were James Whitley and Todd Howard. Whitley was supposed to be a stud recruit and I remember a quote from Woodson where he talked about Whitley potentially being better than he was. Well, that obviously didn't happen. Whitley will forever be known as a guy with decent speed and size who could run step for step with recievers but never make a play on the ball.
You'll also remember this era as when Plexico "Rikers" Buress dominated Michigan to the point where Carr desperately put David Terrell in the game at CB in an attempt to slow him down. This did not go well:
So why am I bringing this up? Well, there was an interesting Detroit Lions Notebook today in the Detroit News:
(Sidenote - Who knew that Carson Butler was only now being cut from an NFL practice squad? And who knew that he is still considered a defensive end instead of a tight end? Ahh Carson, what a weird trajectory your life has taken.)
But the shocking thing to me from this notebook is that the Lions starting corner named Will James is the former Will Peterson of the 1997 Michigan National Championship team. He left the program for reasons I can't recall (academics?) and went to Western Kentucky. Since then he's been in the NFL for 8 seasons and has been a starter for part of that time.
If you look at that original chart I put up you'll see that he would have been on the team during that post-Woodson void of a lock-down corner. Maybe he would have been that guy? It made me wonder what would have been different for Michigan had he been able to stay on the team. Whitley would have been a good #2 CB and Howard would have been an excellent nickel back.
So I end this diary with a challenge to the readers: What other former UM players can you think of who ended up having solid careers but didn't last at Michigan? Imagine how things could have been different if these players had stayed a full four years. I'll get you started with some classics:
- Trevor Pryce - He turned into a dominant NFL pass rusher after leaving Michigan. If you look at the lack of elite pass rushers in Michigan history you have to wonder how great he could have been had he stayed.
- Justin Fargas - Probably the most memorable Michigan defectors of all time, he's had a solid NFL career at RB after he could never figure it out at Michigan and actually spent time at safety before transferring to USC. I still can't figure out what happened (besides the injury) with his inability to be an effective RB for us.
- Jon Ritchie - Despite being somewhat of a tool (personal experience from living in West Quad at the same time as him), he became an excellent NFL fullback and would have been a valuable asset for Carr had he finished his career there.
First of all, I want to state the obvious: Yost is awesome. The building is beautiful, the crowd is crazy, the team competes for championships year in and year out, and the only times we have seen a sports atmosphere like it are a select few football games (2003 OSU, 2004 MSU, 2005 PSU, 2009 Notre Dame). I have been going to games for almost fifteen years, first as a kid whenever my neighbors had extra tickets, and now as a student. I love Yost and we absolutely do not want anything about it to change, but I think it can be even better.
Last winter, after traveling to several road games and NCAA Regionals in Bridgeport, my friend and I decided that there should be a hockey student organization equivalent to what Maize Rage is for basketball. Our intention is not to change the Yost experience or impose ideas on the student section in any way. We are not trying to script the cheers because, let’s be honest, nothing beats a clever cheer that starts spontaneously (“Potato famine” against Notre Dame for example). However, there are some easy things we can do.
Our primary goal is to make it easier for students to travel to road games, CCHA playoffs, and NCAA playoffs. Last year when we went to Bridgeport, our friends were the only active students in the crowd. We know there are plenty of fans out there who would love to make the trip given a more obvious opportunity. There is no reason why we couldn’t fill up a charter bus or two, get a cheap rate for a block of hotels, and have an unbelievable weekend. Similarly, CCHA playoffs are less than an hour away and almost half of our conference opponents are within two hours of Ann Arbor (MSU, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Western). We have discussed our plan with the athletic department and they are fully on-board. There are logistics to work out, but they want to provide buses to games in Detroit and potentially others far away. They want to work with us if we can make this happen.
In addition to road trips, we want to try to make the student section more cohesive. In my experience, nothing makes a group closer than traveling together, but there are plenty of things we can do in Ann Arbor. The athletic department has told us that they have plenty of money for promotions and events. There could be pre-game tailgates, like the preseason hockey barbecue. One idea they had was a tricycle race tournament before the game in the parking lot, with the semifinals and finals on the ice between periods. They also want to do more t-shirt giveaways and other promotions. Not only does the athletic department want a student group to work with and bounce ideas off of, we can serve as an outlet for student ideas and facilitate a dialogue with the athletic department.
Although we came up with the idea and are working to get it off the ground, this group will not work without popular support. The last thing we want to do is impose our ideas and our will on the rest of the student section. We are open to any ideas and, more importantly, we are looking for other students who want to get involved. Although we have an idea of what our goals are, we want as much input and help from other students as we can get so that this becomes a group for all of Yost and all students, not just the two of us and the athletic department. There are several ways to get in touch with us and become involved. Join our facebook group called Michigan Hockey Student Section, send us an email at [email protected], talk to us at our table at the student ticket hockey barbecue this Thursday, or, most importantly come to our mass meeting in the Union Tap Room on Tuesday October 6 at 7:00 PM. Go Blue!