I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
While watching a pretty entertaining, albeit frustrating game between Colorado and West Virginia (Colorado pulled the upset, 17-14 in OT), I saw a hilarious Lowe's Coaching Award commercial that drew a lot of thought.
As I understand it, Lowe's has a regional coach of the year award that they give out to, uhh, regional coaches that do well. Lloyd Carr won one of these trophies during his last year here at Michigan. I think Mangino from Kansas won the national coach of the year award from Lowe's. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
The tagline for this commercial was something along the lines of "this award goes out to the coaches that show character, integrity and strive for excellence on and off the field." I thought it was utterly hilarious that some of the coaches featured in the montage were the following:
Gee, can we think of any three coaches who deserve this coaching award any LESS than these three? (Obviously, yes is the answer, but we can save that for another time, a.k.a. the end of this post).
Weis absolutely berates his players when they don't do something well and then takes all the credit in the world when they do. It's as if he takes credit for them being fast, beacuse obviously, he's had experience with that in his life. Maybe at a buffet or something. I remember during the ND - SDSU game, they went to the sideline reporter after Tate missed a TD pass that was overthrown by The Emu and she said that Weis was quoted as saying "Tate, that's a great example of how you not running the correct route costs us points." If you watch the replay, Tate cuts and heads out to the corner of the endzone, causing his man to fall and he's open, but Emu overthrows him by a little bit. He had a shot and laid out for the ball, but it wasn't good enough for Weis. I hate defending Notre Dame in any way, shape or form, but that's horrible, especially to a young kid and then having it called out on national TV. I wish Tate had some more drops against us.
Saban? That's obvious, too. We can start with the recruiting hijinks that he has made and somehow he got his huge clas to fit into NCAA guidelines by pretty much giving people the boot and helping them along, so to speak. Also, he has no sense of discipline, like removing someone's suspension IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME BEACUSE THEY WERE LOSING. I get a lot of joy that they STILL lost to Lousiana-Monroe last year. At home. Also, let's not forgot his penchant of leaving teams, i.e. Michigan State, LSU, the Miami Dolphins. How long will it take for him to leave Alabama? I'd say, oh, within three or four years or so. For Auburn.
As for Paterno, I can see why they used him in the commercial. He's a venerable old guy and finds a soft spot in your heart. A very small part, but nonetheless, he's in there. However, he's had SO much turmoil this offseason and even during the season with players getting in trouble with the law. Evans, who should be terrorizing quarterbacks right now is suspended until duly noted for some chronic problems. He's slowly losing control of his program, but I believe he's earned the right to go out on his own.
Seriously - why couldn't Lowe's used the coaches that won the damn award? Carr? Grobe? Mangino? Either they're not big enough names or they just wanted to go with the big name coach. Specifically, THREE coaches who represent the clear cut opposite of what that trophy represents.
As for who DOESN'T deserve this trophy?
Bobby Petrino : sort of a Saban clone.
Greg Robinson : how long until Kiffin coaches the Orange?
Phll Fulmer : because EVERYONE (except maybe UCLA fans) hates him
Thanks for reading.
Just to give you some background, I played football through college. It was div 3, but we had a lot of success, and I learned a lot about the game. I played wide receiver so I mostly know technique and route combinations. I don't know as much as a full time coach, but I'll give some of my insights after watching the game again. Maybe somebody will find it interesting.
- I think the illegal chop block was a bad call on our first drive. Coach Rod said this in his presser, and he was right. Right after the snap, Molk went for the cut. Mooseman did not engage the DT, the DT just put one hand on Mooseman's shoulder. It really should not have been called.
- I watched Matthew's TD catch about 30 times on my DVR and was lucky enough to pause it right before he hit the ground. His hand was under the ball, and it was a catch. It was hard to see on the replay though. I'm still not surprised the call wasn't reversed.
- On ND's long TD, Graham may have sacked Clausen if he wasn't getting bear hugged by the TE. It was pretty obvious holding. I'm not sure how anybody misses a call like that.
- On ND's other long pass play, Warren got smoked at the line. Tate didn't even give him much of a move, but it put Warren on his heels and allowed him to go open on the slant. He still caught up to him and slowed him down. Brown should have made an easy tackle.
- I didn't think the LB's were very good. I'm not sure what they were reading, but they bit on several ND counter plays. They also allowed the lead blocker to get into their body and push them back. They need to work on keeping the correct shoulder free and shedding those blocks. Ezeh also has a bad habit of dropping his head and lunging at tackles. The could be bad news against a back like PJ Hill.
- I thought the DL actually played pretty well. They got a pretty consistent push. When Johnson or Taylor got doubled, they held their ground and freed up the linebackers. Jamison threw their tackles around like a rag doll. Van Bergen and Mike Martin are going to be outstanding players for the next couple years.
- The passing game seems to consist of fader routes, bubble screens, slant bubble combos, and routes to sell four vertical. On the 4th and 6 after the fake punt, Stonum ran a route where he sold the vertical seem and stopped. It was like comeback, but to the inside. I think Matthews was on the other side and ran the same route. Butler ran a TE delay sit route. All three of these guys were open, but Threet threw the fade to Odoms. He thrwos it to anybody else, and its a first down.
- On Threet's fumble, Stonum put a nice move on the press corner and was running downfield wide open. The safety was rolling to the middle of the field to take the place of the safety rolling down. This was the touchdown Rod was talking about at the presser. It looked like Threet was rotating the ball to find the laces and just dropped it. This could have been a huge play.
- Our receivers do not do a very good job of staying vertical on fade routes. If you stay vertical, the qb puts the ball over your outside shoulder. It is very hard to defend this way. Our receivers seem to fade to the sideline during the route leaving almost no room for a pass. Maybe they are coaching it differently than what I know, but it looks much harder to complete.
- On Sheridan's first interception, he probably sould have thrown the slant to Matthews. He was open, and I would think the slant would be his first read. Butler also should have got his head around and caught the ball.
- On Sheridan's second interception, Babb did not run his seam pattern enough to the inside. If he takes his pattern closer to the hash or inside the hash, the corner cannot come over and make that interception. It was also a bad pass, but I don't think the route was run correctly.
- On our zone running plays, the O-line does a pretty terrible jobs on their cut blocks. Severa times, it was back side DT's running down the play from behind and making a tackle. They are lunging on the these blocks instead of getting their head across and driving their shoulder pads through the defender's legs.
Overall, I think we look pretty good going forward. The O-Line play was much better, but still needs to improve for Big Ten play. The LB's also need to improve. Of course thats just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Editor's note: Last year I sort of shoehorned Alan Weymouth's useful analytical posts into my game previews; this year I've been encouraging him to make them into diary posts. He hasn't gotten around to it, but I think they're good pieces of analysis so I'm posting it here. This one is from the Miami game, so it's old, but better old than moldering in my inbox.
I've watched the Miami game several times from the offensive POV. I thought the OLine made huge strides, though it still has a ways to go. Molk and McAvoy both did a much better job this week..Molk especially. I saw fewer instances where Molk turned his shoulders to the LOS rather than keeping them square. He got into his man much better and was better able to wall off and hold his ground. That little dude is pretty quick, and if he can play with the proper technique, can make M a good center. McAvoy let one blitzer inside of him, but on the whole had a much better day.
The loss of Ortmann has me a little concerned. Nowicki is slower and does not "stick" to his guy like he should. He just doesn't have the agility IMHO to play against some of the better DEs. According to RR, Dorrestein will move over, and Omameh will also get a look. I'm not real worried about the OLs against NDs defense as I'm not sure it's a whole lot better than Miami's at this point.
I thought the blocking of our SEs and TEs was really up and down this week. At times, they were good..at other times horrid. Having Butler against 190 lb DBs should be a huge mismatch, but it doesn't always come off that way. Getting good blocking from those guys can often mean the difference in this offense. Case in point, Butler and Odoms missing on a Miami DB when Threet ran option left. Threet was fine, and made the right read, but Odoms didn't block the DB from the inside, and Butler whiffed from the outside leaving the DB to come up in force and make the tackle..to me, Butler often looks lost when asked to block in space....or any other place for that matter.
I'm pulling my hair out over Threet, so I know RR must be too. The guy is making the right reads..even in the running game with the zone stuff, but his inability to hit open receivers is maddening. It's been said that he has mechanical flaws that lead to this, and I think Andre Ware touched on it during the game Saturday..siting Threets "all arm" throwing motion..which leads to an improper release point for the ball and the "sailing" of the pass. If Threet doesn't throw off his front(left) foot as he should, the tip of the ball is up, and therefore tends to sail.
The QB play will decide who wins the ND game. If Threet or Sheridan can just get it going a little (I'm thinking Threet starts) with the passing game, we can move the ball enough to score. I watched some of the ND game, and thought that Jimmah looked a good bit better than last year. He made some nice throws. Our defense can keep us in this one, but SheriThreet has to be able to:
1. Eleminate turnovers.
2. Lead us to at least 17 points..I.E 3 good solid drives. Maybe pick up a cheap TD off a turnover.
3. Execute the short passing game...ND is vulnerable here.
It's the third point that might lead me to think Sheridan might get the nod this week. He's looked better in this phase than Threet.
Will not be at all surprised to see Brown or Minor at QB a good bit this week. IMHO, it gets alot of your best offensive talent on the field and could really give ND fits. I'm not entirely sure its coincidence they are both getting healthy just in time for ND.
I'm curious as to what other people think about Ohio State plummeting about 10 spots in the polls this week - and completely out of some of the blogpoll ballots.
Frankly, I think a large majority of people expected USC to win pretty handily - especially considering that OSU was playing without Beanie Wells. That said, I still feel like Ohio State is easily the best all-around team in the Big 10 (although Penn State might give them a run). And the way the Trojans' offense looked in that game, I think they would have beaten almost anyone in the country pretty badly, especially at the Coliseum.
Personally, I would still have OSU ranked in the 5-10 range. I would have to drop them behind Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, etc., but I just can't justify having Wisconsin, East Carolina and others ahead of the Buckeyes.
The only argument that could be made at this point is that if Chris Wells is unable to play - or far less than 100% - for a majority of the season, their offense could definitely have some issues.
This might be more of an argument about the polls in general - basically, if you lose to a team you're expected to lose to that everyone now agrees is the CLEAR No. 1, I don't see how that suddenly makes you a much worse team.
Another weekend of pulling my hair out watching coaches or players making the most amazingly stupid decisions. Ryan Mundy is my hall of famer for biting onthe 2nd and 1 in The Game in 06. This weekend was great.
Fat Bastard Genius Weis-Up 14-0 they stop Mich near midfield. Mich faces a 4th and 2 a place to be wary of the fake. We line up and ND calls time out, Mich still goes thru half their play before they hear the whistle so you see the roll out punt. The ND brain trust sees all this talks about it and they overload the formation to the other side Zoltan rolls out no one is there and 1st down. Simply amazing.
Not sure of the coverage I think cover 3 on ND's bomb. What in the name of Mundy is Harrison thinkin?? ND hasn't ran the ball in 2 years we have a great front 4 they don't need safeties in run support. How he can take a false step on 1 and 10 is beyond me just terrible. If it's the Lions and your front 7 is getting blown up yeah maybe, but the ND rush game in the 1st qtr come on.
Romeo Crennel last night is too much down 10-3 with 5 minutes at the Pit 30 he hands off to J. Lewis then huddles on 2nd down hand to J. Lewis then huddle. 3rd down incomplete pass. It's 4th and 6.....then he brings the FG team out??? Are you kidding?? Let's see what are the better odds make a 4th and 6 or make a 40yd fg in a slopped up field with wind and rain, kick off into the wind and don't allow Pitt 1 1st down then march 70yds with no timeouts and get a td which you haven't acomplished in the 1st 58 minutes of the game. Fire him now.
The decision which actually has some merit to debate was Shannahan going for 2 and the win. For the situation I love it. His D had stopped no one in the 2nd half so instead of letting your game rest on a coin flip he took matters into his own hands. Most times I 'm not sure I would agree, but given his d's perfoprmance I liked it. Then with 24 seconds and no time outs they allow SD to complete a pass and get out of bounds adn was an inch from getting into fg position. No idea how that happens...
So far from Rich Rod I did not like allowing Sheridan to throw against Utah at the end of the half and swinging a pass to Minor seemed kinda senseless on the 1st drive but so far not a lot of data in yet.
Rod did fall into the same thing I see a lot of coaches fall into when games are getting out of control. We should have went for it in the 4th qtr when we were way down. I think a lot of times coaches are worried about giving away points and getting blown out. Chances were very slim for a comeback, 3 scores with 7 minutes to go, but there is nothing to lose other than some meaningless scores just keep going for it.
Thanks for your time, let me know your thoughts or other boneheaded play you saw this week.
Just like every Michigan fan, I sat dumbfounded for the first four minutes of the game against Notre Dame on Saturday. Throughout the offseason, Michigan fans were so adamant that Notre Dame is a horrible team. And they were right, to an extent. But none of us thought Michigan would be horrible-er. Michigan dominated every single statistical category on Saturday, except for the two most important ones: turnovers and the scoreboard. Based on this game, a few position battles are finally becoming clear:
QB: Steven Threet vs. Nick Sheridan
Threet started the game this week, and Rodriguez had said that Sheridan would probably get some snaps, too. It turns out that Threet played so well that Sheridan didn't get any snaps until late in the fourth quarter, when the game was already decided and Threet was hobble by a leg injury. In fact, not only did Threet outplay anything Sheridan has done so far this year - he outplayed Notre Dame's 5-star, all-everything golden boy, sophomore quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Threet was 16-for-23 for 179 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions. Several of those incompletions weren't his fault, either. A couple were straight-out drops by Martavious Odoms and Greg Mathews in the rain; one incompletion should have been a long TD pass to Mathews, but the referee erroneously said Mathews didn't control the ball before it touched the ground. Nick Sheridan entered the game in the fourth quarter and threw two interceptions. One wasn't his fault - it was almost directly at tight end Carson Butler's head, but Butler didn't turn around fast enough - but the other was a floater thrown into double or triple coverage.
Verdict: Threet will be the starter unless his injury causes him to miss significant time.
RB: Sam McGuffie vs. Brandon Minor/Carlos Brown/Kevin Grady/Michael Shaw
If any questions remained after last week's game against Miami (OH), McGuffie answered them this week. McGuffie broke tackles repeatedly on the way to his first career 100 yard game. He had a couple electrifying plays, including a quick screen pass on which he weaved through traffic and bounced off a downfield Perry Dorrestein block to score a 40-yard TD. He also didn't fumble, which was key on a day when Michigan's other players fumbled a ridiculous seven times. Brandon Minor continues to run the ball well - he had a tough 9-yard run - but he also continues to turn the ball over, even though his turnovers might not be his fault. In the Utah game, his "fumble" happened because his forearm hit the ground, which should have ruled him down. In the Notre Dame game, "his" fumble was a quick swing pass that Threet might have thrown too soon; as soon as Minor turned his head around, the ball was almost in his facemask. Minor probably should have caught it, but I think that was a combo effort. Carlos Brown continues to be nagged by small injuries and he's done zilch with his two carries this season. Kevin Grady produces more fumbles than a 16-year-old trying to unclasp a bra for the first time; even though he carried a Notre Dame linebacker on his back for five yards to score a TD, his ball security has been a career-long issue. Shaw has the best pure speed of any of the running backs, but he's currently fighting a groin pull.
Verdict: It's McGuffie's job to lose, but I expect everyone to continue getting an occasional carry.
FS: Steve Brown vs. ANYBODY
I'm not the world's biggest Steve Brown hater. I won't jump on the pile, because he seems like a decent kid and he obviously doesn't mean to make these mistakes (unlike Carson Butler, who ought to be kicked off the team for throwing a punch in the Notre Dame game). But I have a hard time believing that he is far and away the best option at free safety for this Wolverines team. He is probably the best physical specimen that Michigan has had at the position. He's 6' and around 205 lbs. and he has pretty darn good speed. However, anyone can see that he's uncomfortable playing in space. He misses way too many tackles in the open field, and that's exactly what you don't need in a free safety. He should probably move to strong safety and let Brandon Harrison have the free safety spot, because Brown is more effective as a tackler when he's playing downhill and attacking the line of scrimmage. If that can't happen, then the coaches should give fifth year senior Charles Stewart or redshirt freshman Michael Williams or sophomore Artis Chambers a shot. Brown has been neither a ballhawk or a solid tackler, so I see no significant reason to keep him on the field full-time week after week.
Verdict: I would not be surprised to see a switch or a schematic change for the Wisconsin game in two weeks. The coaching staff should know by now that Brown's slip-ups are habits, not flukes.