at least it's not just us?
This is the final installment of the Kevin Grady story, and also the final time this feature will be posted in the MGoBlog diary section - beginning with the next edition you will be able to find this (with pretty pictures and more profanity!) at http://wolverineliberationarmy.blogspot.com, the vanguard of the Rodriguez Revolution.
MyFairGrady: coach, what do I have to do to get back on the team?
WizardOfRod: I just don't know Kevin. If I let you back, and believe me, I want to, then I'll be ravaged by the press!
MyFairGrady: thats bullshit coach mcguff threw up on me
WizardofRod: I'm not sure I can take that type of chance. I'm new!
MyFairGrady: a chance?
***The Michigan Dance Team has entered the room***
MyFairGrady: if u change ur mind
im the first in line
im still free
DanceTeam: take a chance take a chance
MyFairGrady: if you need me, let me know
If you got no place to go when you're
If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
WizardofRod: I do enjoy musicals.
MyFairGrady: fuck yea u do
WizardofRod: Well Kevin, this is a tough decision
WizardofRod: I’ve been cheated by you
since I don’t know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn?
I don’t know how but I suddenly lose
There’s a fire within my soul
Just one look and I can hear a bell
One more look and I forget everything,
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, now I really know,
My my, I could never let you go.
***TheBarwisAidMan has broken through the office wall***
TheBarwisAidMan: WHAT IN THE FUCK IS THIS PUSSY SHIT
MyFairGrady: hey coach whats up
/puts down feather boa
TheBarwisAidMan: WHATINTHEFUCKWHATINTHEFUCK – PUNCH EACH OTHER IN THE BALLS RIGHT NOW
***MyFairGrady has punched WizardofRodin the nuts***
***WizardofRod has punched MyFairGrady in the nuts***
TheBarwisAidMan: GRADY, YOU GO DEADLIFT THE CRANE THAT FELL OVER IN THE STADIUM PARKING LOT WHEN I PUNCHED IT AND KEEP DOING IT TILL I SAY STOP
TheBarwisAidMan: RODRIGUEZ, GET YOUR JIGGLY ASS DOWN TO THE WEIGHT ROOM AND GIVE ME 100 BURPEES TILL THE GAY IS OUT OF YOU
***TheBarwisAidMan is staring wistfully out the hole in the wall to the lonely Ann Arbor sky***
THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THE AIR THAT NIGHT
THE STARS WERE BRIGHT FERNANDO
THEY WERE SHINING THERE FOR YOU AND ME
I'm going to stop screaming like a little girl about mike barwis for a moment and play devil's advocate. My personal opinion is that he's a godsend and exactly what our program needs to break through to the next level. But I was reading some comments on the ESPN articles and realized that every story has two sides. So let's take a closer look at why we think he's so great and why fans of other teams might not agree.
Ryan m'fckn Mundy
- What we think: If Barwis can change this guy from someone we were practically shoving out the door into an NFL draft pick, just imagine what he can do with players that don't inherently suck!!
- What skeptics might say: Mundy wasn't really that bad before. He sucked because of bad coaching.
- Upon Closer Inspection: In 2006 he had a whopping 25 tackles, 1 int, and 1 sack. I can't even find his name for 2005. (In other words; Antonio Bass had one more tackle than him in that year) In 2004 he's credited with 51 tackles, 2 int, and 1 pass breakup. And he got 10 tackles in 2003. After one offseason of training with Barwis he had 62 tackles, 3 int, and 3 fumble recoveries. His sophomore year showed some promise, but the complete regression during 2006 might lend some weight to the bad coaching theory
Gittleson was ancient
- What we think: If your S&C program was designed in the 1970's and only two programs still use it, and the other one is grandpa paterno at penn state, then you are behind the times. Barwis is bringing a modern, cutting edge program, so we're no longer going to be decades behind the rest of the country, we're going to be decades ahead.
- What skeptics might say: One S&C program is just as good as any other. What really matters is how much effort the players put forth
- Upon Closer Inspection: Michigan has had several players taken in the first round of the NFL draft, including Jake Long who was #1 overall this year. But there are quotes floating around the internets (citation needed) about how Michigan players getting ready for the combine were in for a world of hurt because of the backwards training they were used to. Nothing speaks louder than results, and if its true that Brandon graham was only doing 315 but is now maxing out at 475, well brian said it best. EEEEEEEE!!!!
Ninja Offense Scoring
- What we think: Better conditioned players means more scoring!!!
- What skeptics might say: WVU only scored that much because they didn't play anyone once Miami, Vatech, and BC left the big east
- Upon Closer Inspection: I looked at the WVU scores for the past 5 years (since Barwis took over their S&C program) and found that the offense improved its per game scoring every year. In 2003 they scored 28.5 pts/game, 2004 was 30.0, 2005 was 32.1, 2006 was 38.8, and last year was 39.6. This is a good trend. It's true that WVU struggled offensively in the few games it played against the three teams that went to the ACC, averaging just 21.6 points against them. The one year WVU played all three was 2003 when they scored 20, 28, and 35 points against miami, vatech, and bc respectively. In bowl games, WVU scored just 7 and 18 points while getting clobbered by maryland and FSU, but exploded with 38, 38, and 48 points against much higher ranked Georgia, GaTech, and Okla in BCS bowls. Again, this a good trend.
- What we think: Barwis will make the players faster! Rich Rod's offense works because of the high tempo and speed of the players.
- What skeptics might say: You can't coach speed. Player's are either fast or they're not. We've recruited players who were designed to be in a slow plodding offense. No amount of running will change that. If you don't have Pat White and Steve Slaton you're screwed.
- Upon Closer Inspection: While it's true that genetics set the baseline for your speed, proper training can help you achieve maximum potential. You can't make a 5.4 guy into a 4.5 guy. But there is plenty of evidence to show that one or two tenths of a second improvement can be made. Especially for linemen who have not been pressured to run as much before. Many of the players we have recruited at the skill positions are already fast enough to run the spread but the incoming freshmen class and next years commits are even faster to begin with.
WVU winning BCS games
- What we think: This shows that RichRod/Barwis can compete with and beat the best.
- What skeptics might say: Those opponents in the BCS games were overrated and the scores were close. USC, Florida, and LSU would have killed them
- Upon closer inspection: Who can say. We couldn't beat USC either. But WVU beating the SEC champ, the ACC runner up, and the Big12 champ in successive years is still pretty darn impressive no matter what the score.
We lost games because we sucked in the 4th quarter
- What we think: Our crappy conditioning caused us to lose games in the 4th quarter. That won't happen with Mike Barwis on the job!!
- What skeptics might say: We weren't that bad in the 4th quarter before; in fact we had several comebacks, like 28 pts against Minnesota and triple OT vs. MSU. So even if we lost a few in the 4th, it all evens out, and there won't be much difference now.
- Upon closer inspection: In the last 5 years Michigan has lost 17 of 62 games, WVU lost 14 of 63, 9 of which were during Barwis's first 2 years as head of the S&C. In the 2nd half, Michigan was outscored 20 times, 8 of which resulted in losses after leading or being tied at the half. For WVU the numbers are 17 times, of which only 4 resulted in losing the lead (the others were games in which WVU was ahead by alot or already behind). But if you look at just the 4th quarter, the numbers become more interesting. Michigan was outscored in the 4th quarter 19 freaking times. 6 of those were 4th quarter collapses where we lost the lead, and 4 of them were double digit 4th quarter leads. These all happened in 2004 and 2005. (2005 only had 5 games where we weren't outscored in the 4th quarter or 2nd half, so it truly earned the name 'season of unending pain'). WVU was outscored in the 4th 21 times, BUT ONLY 1 RESULTED IN A LOST LEAD. One! One freaking game did they lose in the 4th quarter. It was Barwis's first game as head of S&C, against wisconsin of all teams. So when Mike Barwis says we're not going to lose games in the 4th quarter, he means it. Conversely, WVU only won 7 games in the 2nd half, 2 of those in the 4th. Michigan won 7 games in the 2nd half, but 9 in the 4th. I think this has more to do with coaching. LLoyd would sit on a lead, lose the third quarter and then open up a bit to win in the end. Whereas with RR he doesn't hold back. He's either going to beat you and put you away in the first half, or just trail for the entire game.
And lastly, Fire and Brimstone
- What we think: Mike Barwis is super energetic! His passion is contagious! It's his way or the highway! If he followed me around at work, I'd become CEO in no time!!!
- What skeptics might say: He's full of hot air. All S&C guys sound like that. He just uses meaningless jargon and doesn't really know what he's talking about. Anyone can swear up a storm, that doesn't make you a good motivator.
- Upon closer inspection: Having only seen and heard a few scattered interviews and not having had the pleasure (hell) of a workout with him, I can't really say. The energetic part is on display in every one of his videos and can't be disputed. Whether or not it is effective is probably best seen in how the people he works with respond to it. But the quotes from people who have met him are all pointing towards legitimate charisma. Even the recruits continually mention positive things about him after only short introductions and demonstrations. Having a young energetic guy around, who attracts NFL alumni back to campus can only be a good thing for recruiting.
*ps. if you're interested in the data I used you can get it from mgoblue.com and wvustats.com or you can email me at BlueSeoul at hotmail.com and I'll email you the spreadsheet since I don't know how to upload it to the diary.
Do your self a favor, when you are Michigan, switch to multiple front defenses... becasue if you think shafer is just gonna base out fo the 4-3 against spread teams, you are crazy.
So I get an email from a buddy today who is perhaps the most rabid, yet sane, WVU fan I've ever met. He starts into me about the new Addidas uniforms, especially the road unis.
He starts ripping on them because "they look like WVU's" road togs, and also look like Cal. He said a few other things of course pertaining to Rich Rodriguez that you could probably figure out.
Well, I guess this is to be expected. Of COURSE Rich Rod would want to look JUST LIKE the shop he came from, right? I mean things went SO well that he can't help but WANT to remember all of that! And I'm sure he had DIRECT input when these were designed and the contract changed from NIKE to Addidas. BTW, WVU and Cal use NIKE. So maybe Addias is guilty of ripping off NIKE! We have a crime here!!! Or not.
He even ripped on the home unis, which I can't figure out since they look pretty much the same as the ones before. I read about the "stripes" but I couldn't even see them.
It's better than the gold-on-gold "ensemble" WVU wore in the game against Pitt. Whoops! Shouldn't say that too loud around here! Remember? Rich Rod threw that game so he could sweep into A2. How could I forget? LOL!
Anyhow, as long as M doesn't wear Maize on Maize I don't care. And if that's the biggest criticism left over, then I'm fine with that too. It must mean real football season is getting closer!
With a HT to YOST
Most of us are hoping for at least a winning record this season, getting Michigan into its 5,000th straight bowl game and giving us hope for great things to come as the Rodriguez Era progresses. Well, my first shot at a diary entry will be a Notre Dame fan-esque outlook for the Utah game, with a similar entry to follow for each game leading up to our trip to the rural Mississippi of the north, the Horseshoe. Do I think this will be how it plays out? No, but I'll be trying to convince myself for the next month that UM can start 11-0...and convince you too, one game at a time.
Utah -- August 30, 3:30
Even after that game from last year, the Big House remains an intimidating force for visitors to deal with. Especially since none of these Utes have played in Michigan Stadium (2002 was the only meeting between the teams). Utah's current players have played tough road games against BCS conference teams at UCLA (L) and at Louisville (W). Michigan Stadium on Saturday August 30th has potential to be mentioned with some of the loudest games that we've been reading about on MGoBoard, and if Michigan grabs the lead, or makes a few plays defensively, the crowd will be an even bigger advantage.
It is also hard to imagine this team coming out as flat emotionally as it did last year. Barwis may actually eat a live Mormon child in the locker room before the game. Notwithstanding that display, these kids are going to be fired up. There will be a level of passion out there that we have rarely seen the past few years, and I mean from everyone, not just one or two guys trying to fire the rest up. Don't be surprised if Brandon Graham "aggravates" Brian Johnson's shoulder injury.
Speaking of the injury to the quarterback's throwing arm, we all remember the last time a QB tried playing through a shoulder injury at the Big House. Even if Johnson's injury is a non-factor by late August, Trent and Warren form one of the best cover duos in the country and it will be tough to pass on them. Utah seems to have a load of running backs led by Darrell Mack, a bruiser who ran for over 1,200 yards last year. With four returning O-linemen, the Utes will rely on the run to set up the pass. If Taylor really has bought into the new staff, he should be ready to start game one, rounding out (but not in the same sense as last year) our D-line. I think the line gives Utah's O-line fits and lets our young LBs run around and make plays.
Defensively, from the early scouting reports I've seen it looks like Utah is weak at DT and lost three linebackers from last season. The LB inexperience is bad news for them against UM's offense. Bite on a play fake and a slot WR will have one man to beat for six. The Utah defense was pretty good statistically last year, but it did give up 32 to Navy in one of the more exciting bowl games of the season. I'm not sure how athletic these new LBs are for Utah, and I'm no expert on defending the spread (God knows I haven't seen it done well recently), but I would think you need speed and good instincts as a LB against the spread. I don't think they'll have enough of either.
Overall, the defense will win the day against Utah. UM will make enough plays to keep the crowd going and this thing will be about a 10 point win, maybe a lot more if we catch some breaks early.
I know it's way early to get a good idea of how the game will shake out, but those are my thoughts as of today. Mr. Steele obviously disagrees with any rosy predictions I may have as he has Utah ranked 14th preseason. Wow.