Man this hurts, and hurts bad! Michigan outplayed OSU yesterday in all three facets of the game, and even with the three turnovers, were right there (again) with a chance to win the game.
I am not going to go into the officiating as there is nothing more that I can say that hasn't be said already.
I am usually not much for "Perspective Posts" after a loss, but in this instance I think it might be helpful.
24 months ago Michigan was sitting at 5-7 overall, and 3-5 in the Big 10. Let that sink in for a moment ... and if it doesn't, continue reading.
Michigan started out with a hopeful 52-10 blowout of FCS App. St, only to follow it up with an embarassing 31-0 loss to ND in the last game of that storied rivalry. Following this humilation, Michigan returned home to face the Miami (OH) Redhawks, whom they dispatched 34-10. Ok, the ND game was an anomoly, just a bad game, we can overcome it, right? Nope, the Utah Utes march into the Big House and promptly laid a 26-10 beatdown upon our beloved Wolverines.
Just went we thought things could not possibly get any worse, it seemed Hoke (and likely Brandon) had been listening to the fanbase's collective uproar for Shane Morris to replace Devin Gardner, and well ... it did not end well ... a 30-14 loss to Minnesota and of the oldest trophy in college football, Concussion-Gate, and another complete embarassment to the once proud program.
This was rock bottom, right? Could it get worse than 2-3 and having Concussion-Gate splashed all over the media? How's about a 26-24 loss to Rutgers (I mean seriously, FUCKING RUTGERS!!!!) in which we make the Scarlet Knights' inept QB look like freakin' Joe Tom Brady Montana as a salve for those wounds? This HAD to be rock bottom, right? Sitting at 2-4, and 0-2 in the Big 10, a ray of hope appeared through the clouds as Michigan was (somehow) able to knock off PSU 18-13, in kinda-sorta-not-so-much convincing fashion. Hail, Hail ... a conference win!
3-4, and 1-2 in the Big10, and a bye week for the team to lick its wounds and prepare for MSU. A bad spot to be, but with a big win over Sparty, it could all turn around, right?. Michigan drove up to E. Lansing, drove a tent stake into the natural turf, and promptly got their ass kicked up and down the field 35-11. Sparty, our one time whipping post, was laughing at us, calling us soft, and just when many of us wanted to pain to end, our coach decided that it would be a good idea to publically apologize for the tent stake thing.
Ok 3-5, and 1-3 in the Big 10.was rock bottom, right? Well, for first two weeks in November it seemed like it might be as Team 135 reeled off its first two game win streak of the year by beating Indiana in Ann Arbor 34-10, and then winning a miracle finish vesus Northwestern, in Evanston, 10-9. Michigan then went into its second bye week sitting at 5-5 overall, and 3-3 in the Big 10. Bad, but with underwhelming Maryland coming to Ann Arbor, and the bye week to prepare, becoming Bowl Eligible seemed like a real possibility -- oh, how the bar had fallen. Welp, that didn't work, and Maryland marched into the Big House and delivered a 23-16 beating and thus making Michigan's only chance to play in a bowl going to Columbus and beating OSU.
We all know how that worked out, and what has transpired since. 24 months ago on this coming Wednesday Michigan was 5-7 with wins over App. St., Miami (OH), PSU, Indiana, and Northwestern. Today, the day after The Game, as painful as the loss is, Michigan is sitting at 10-2 having won 10 games in back to back seasons for the first time since 2002-2003, and will likely be playing in a New Years Day bowl. Yes, we didn't accomplish our goals of winning the Big 10, and getting into the Playoff. Yes, its sucks, and yes I am crushed, furious, etc. But my fellow Michigan Men and Women, just a short time ago we were down on the edge of the abyss, looking down into the hole of college football irrelevency.
Yesterday we played for something more than pride, and more than bowl eligibility. We played for a chance to be in the Big 10 Championship Game, and the College Football Playoff -- hard to believe, in a way, isn't it? Yes, we fell short, and yes that is unfortunate, but yesterday's game will undoubtedly be the most watched and talked about football game of the 2016 regular season. College football fans of all inclinations (and hopefully the Committee) saw what happened yesterday, and know that Michigan was robbed of their chance to prove to that we're back among the elite. As angry as it makes me, if someone has to thumb the scale to beat Michigan in Harbaugh's 2nd year, considering where we were just a short time ago, I'll take it.
I know people in here will debate whether we're "back" and dig into the most minute detail of play calling, etc. But, is there anyone among us who believe that Michigan is anywhere near its ceiling? Keep cheating us if that's what you need to do to keep feeling good about yourself and your position. Everyone sees and knows what you had to do to win, that the engine that is Michigan football is just getting cranked up, and that it's just a matter of time.
I'm warning you up front, this is going to be like therapy for me. You want cogent analysis? Come back Monday for Brian's column. It'll be fantastic, I'm sure. This diary? It's going to be one big scream into the void.
Worst: What Do You Think?
I'm broken. I mean, not in a real sense: I'm a grown-ass man with two kids, a beautiful wife, a fulfilling career, and my health (largely) still intact. I don't have to worry about violent uprisings, disease, radioactive mosquitos, or alien invaders. In the grand scheme of things, I'm doing fine.
But in sports terms, I'm as broken as Jeff Jarrett's guitar. I guess I should be used to these types of games against OSU, but I'm not. Games decided by last-second stands, crucial penalties, and terrible officiating are the norm in college sports, but it's only "chaos" when your passive bystander; when it's one of your teams, it's heartbreak.
Initially after this game, I was full of piss and vinegar about the officiating. Even though I'd deny it in front of child protective services, I dropped a "fuck" in front of my two kids and in-laws the minute Samuel sprinted toward the sideline on the last play. I've seen this horror film play out a million times before, and the good guys never win. I accept that there will be uncalled holds and PIs in big rivalry games, even though you'd think human beings with pride would be able to call a football game consistently regardless of the context. But whatever.
And UM was not without fault; Perry roughed the punter by the letter of the law, and that Cole penalty was right even though the spot was questionable. Harbaugh had a right to lose his mind and he deserved a penalty for it, though I honestly don't think OSU was going to be denied on that drive after the second Speight interception.
But when an official is goaded into throwing a defensive holding flag because the crowd called for it, you get sick of it. Or when an extremely shaky PI is called on Hill even though OSU was basically mugging receivers all day, you get sick of it. Or when OSU, a team that gave up 8 sacks and 13 TFLs, somehow escapes without a holding call even though you see multiple OSU guards just sitting on Glasgow and Charlton and Wormley choked by tackles, you get sick of it. When, at best, it's a questionable call on 4th down if a player somehow got the first down on a play where he ran into the ass of the guy blocking for him (who looked like he was behind the line), and they don't even come out to measure it but instead scurry off to the replay system for a series of inconclusively bad angles, you wonder if the pie we call fandom is worth it.
Now, I should preface this all by saying OSU played well enough to win and UM played badly enough to lose. UM basically gifted OSU 14 points with their 2 interceptions. The first I put at least partial blame on the offensive playcalling; asking a QB on the road to throw deep in his own endzone, under a heavy rush, is asking for trouble. The second was all on Speight simply not seeing Baker and trying to throw a ball in tight coverage. For what feels like forever, UM couldn't consistently run the ball against Ohio State (they only had 100 yards on 40 carries if you throw out sacks), and in the second half they only had about 100 yards of total offense. Like they did against MSU and Iowa, the offense seemed to turtle a bit with the lead, unwilling to take too many risks but in the process leaving the defense out there to defend 46 plays in the second half. And in that 4th quarter, Barrett asserted himself running the ball and OSU had multiple opportunities to tie the game/take the lead. The fact they missed a couple of easy FGs absolutely mattered, and UM's defense failed to tackle Samuel prior to that 4th-down conversion despite having him dead-to-rights yards behind the line.
Yardage was about equal (OSU had 15 more in OT), and UM had a decided advantage in field position (their own 35 versus OSU's own 23). The time of possession was actually in UM's favor, though OSU holding onto the ball for about 11 minutes to 3 in the 4th is pretty telling, and UM was much better on third and fourth down than OSU (10/20 vs. 5/19). It was a close game where either team could win, and in the end, the analytical part of my brain can see how OSU pulled it out.
But I'm sick of that. I'm sick of OSU (and MSU and, weirdly, Iowa) pulling horseshoes out of their asses to beat UM. I'm tired of terrible officiating affecting games either way, the fact I can see a couple of these numbnuts stroll into frame and my heart immediately begins to burn because I know I've got another couple of hours listening to these guys screw up their jobs.
I'm tired of OSU being so fucking good, of being the class of the conference for what seems like most of my adult life. That UM was stuck with an aging Carr, an overwhelmed RR, and an incompetent Hoke while OSU had to deal with one whole year of Luke Fickell before Urban Meyer's heart started beating right again and he set down in Columbus. And they'll be good again next year, really f*cking good, while UM will be trying to replace most of their defensive line and secondary, plus basically all their receivers, offensive line, and leading rusher.
This isn't a rivalry anymore; it's a yearly execution. It's every scene in a spy movie where the hero is captured and the sinister doctor rolls out his various torture devices, except nobody escapes and it looks like an Eli Roth movie at the end. UM is 3 and 13 versus OSU since 2000, with 1 win in the past dozen years. We make fun of Notre Dame fans and their echo stirring about the past, but there's a whole generation of recruits who see OSU-UM the way we used to look at UM-MSU; one dominant team with a couple of close/fluky losses intermixed. Off the field, in the classroom, in the boardrooms, UM is an elite school that OSU can't touch, but when it comes to football, UM is a class below. Maybe Harbaugh turns it around, maybe Meyer gets bored/health reasons/scandal(s) and the tides turn, but right now I don't see a world where UM makes this any better than a 50/50 game in the best of years. I mean, this could well be the best defense in the school's modern history, a unit that basically swallowed up one of the best offenses in college football for 3 quarters, and they still gave up 30 points. And next year OSU will come to Michigan with senior versions of most of this team, probably shooting for another top-4 finish, and we'll do it all over again.
This despair you're reading, it's real. Call me a bandwagon fan, call me a whiner, question my faith, whatever. But this was supposed to be one of those years, and it ends yet again with a missed opportunity at a conference title and a bitter loss to OSU. Penn State, a team Michigan trounced by 39 points, and Wisconsin, a team UM choked out for 4 quarters and should have won by more than the 7 they did, will get a chance at a conference title and a playoff birth. Michigan will await their fate, likely going to some BCS bowl because they're a "good draw", and I'll cheer them on and write some 5,000-word diary after their game and convince myself 2017 will be a great year. But right now, in this reality, I'm settling in for a lot more of these games than I ever wanted.
Reddit is terrible, or at least exposes some of the worst traits of humanity. If you have ever visited its popular message boards, or seen a bunch of 60-something news reporters/pundits argue over "the internet", you have sense that it can often devolve into a stew of crass pseudo-intellectual debates, stark displays of basically anything terrible that ends with "–iny" or "-phobia", and sometimes outright threats of violence of "doxing". But I've been pleasantly surprised by the discussions over at the r/cfb domain, where game threads and breaking news typically feature thoughtful analysis and discussion from knowledgeable fans. You've got your trolls, but it's a place where people who really follow their teams will drop off nuggets of wisdom, and as someone who legitimately likes watching college football it's nice to hear about other programs beyond the talking heads on ESPN and a brief look at a box score.
But the one part of the subreddit that drives me insane is the tired-ass "saltiness" meme that pops when a team loses a close one. When you can't be creative or intelligent, or because you are likely quite young, male, and "digital", you call out anyone who disliked the outcome as super "salty" and incite mini flame wars. The issue with it is that it's a non-starter, a dead-end for meaningful discourse. And in the process, it casts all future debates in this binary model that all nuance and context is stripped away.
Jim Harbaugh came out and was "salty" with the media after this game, pointing out that the officials made some, at best, questionable calls/non-calls, and it sucked to be on the receiving end of it. And the response was the same mealy-mouthed bullshit you see nowadays, with reporters and fans saying it's a uniquely raw take by a coach but lacks "class" or is too "bitter", because pointing out consistent incompetence doesn't jive the with the usual PR-laced gruel these goobers are used to being shoveled. Nobody needs to hear Harbaugh sit there and say "OSU played a fine game, our guys fought hard, this is a great rivalry, blah blah blah" while Jim Delany wacks off behind the curtain.
I'm fine with Harbaugh trying to stump for his team, to say that they got a raw deal. He pointed out the numerous uncalled holding penalties MSU got away with in their game against UM; the next week, MSU is called for a bunch of them and the Illini pick up 10 TFLs and 3 sacks along with a dozen "pressures". I understand refereeing a game is extremely difficult, but at the same time a bunch of janky 50- and 60-year lawyers trying to keep track of college kids moving as fast as Olympic sprinters is a recipe for bad results. Technology has made it easier for fans to see when referees mess up, and instead of using the tools available to improve the overall product and how officiating is done, the leagues have doubled-down on obfuscation and confusion to cover these flaws up, figuring that if nobody knows what targeting, pass interference, or "control" of a catch is, they'll be golden.
A wonderful reminder that football’s tool of measurement is some shit your dad put together with what he had in the garage.
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) November 26, 2016
So yeah, tell it like it is. You've got the money, so pay the inevitable fine and point out that the old men who keep wanting to see their faces on TV are fucking up some games for you. And throw in a little something else to drive the point home.
Best: The Defense, Again
They really deserved to win this game. Going into the fourth quarter, OSU had 153 total yards on 51 plays. They had held the ball for a total of about 18 minutes, and were under 100 yards rushing for the game. But you give OSU enough chances, enough 3-and-outs by the offense (UM had exactly 9 offensive plays in the 4th quarter), a bad PI on Hill to keep that final drive alive, and you are bound to break. Before OT, UM's defense had given up 10 points to one of the best offenses in the country, and even the one TD was set up on a super-short field after the interception and all of the penalties. I read a couple of people call out Don Brown as overrated for not stopping OSU in the 4th quarter, but at some point you'd expect your offense to put some more points on the board and give you some breathing room. OSU's first drive was for 72 yards, and their final 2 of regulation were for 61 and 77. In the middle, OSU had 10 real drives for a total of 106 yards, and that includes penalty yardage. Any other game, UM is winning this game comfortably, maybe even laughably.
The defensive line was again dominant. 8 sacks on Barrett thoroughly rattled him, and even with his runs in overtime Samuel was mostly held in check. Mike Weber could barely get going on the ground, and no Buckeye receiver had more than 40 yards receiving. Barrett looked rattled throwing the ball all day, but he rushed the ball 30 times and had one huge 41-yard run that flipped the field late. He still throws the ball terribly under pressure and seems to have regressed a bit in that department under Meyer, but he's terrifying in college and (ugh) will be back next year in all likelihood.
I thought Glasgow and Charlton were as dominant a pair against OSU as I've seen in my life. Charlton ate up whomever OSU sent up against him; he had 2.5 sacks and probably should have had a couple more. Glasgow was consistently pushing into the backfield, giving Gedeon and McCray even lanes to fill. And there was a series toward the end of the 3rd quarter where Glasgow was just being tackled on every snap and he was still forcing Barrett to bounce around. Wormley was mauling guys as well, and even though he was tripped by OSU's guard I think he was the one responsible for Barrett's pick. Gary also had a fantastic play in the second quarter where he beat two blockers and surprised Barrett in his endzone, nearly causing a safety.
The secondary was splendid as usual. Lewis was beat on one play, Stribling might have as well, and that was about it. Peppers got his first pick, and Hill was absolutely boned on that pass interference call in the 4th. He played a great game otherwise. You could tell OSU wanted to exploit the linebackers in coverage and I thought both McCray and Gedeon acquitted themselves well; there weren't too many breakdowns and McCray even picked up 2 PBUs.
This defense should still be good next year, but this was special unit. They'll be littering NFL lineups for years going forward, but it sucks seeing a really good effort coming up just short in a game like this.
Best: Speight Playing
You want a hot take? I think Speight played pretty well in this game. OSU has a great secondary and enough young talent up front to give passing games fits. Speight missed last week and clearly was still a bit injured in this game, and yet he completed 64% of his passes for 219 yards, 2 TDs, 2 picks, and a respectable 6 ypa. Yes those picks led to 14 points, and his fumble delayed a UM TD, but (a) he was the whole offense for most of this game, (b) the playcalling and offensive line did him no favors at times, and (c) his receivers were being manhandled at times. I mean, he had a ball to Chesson (?) where two OSU guys tackled Jehu before the ball seemingly got past the line of scrimmage. Multiple times you'd see a UM receiver basically carrying an OSU corner on his back, including on that fateful 3rd-down in the second OT. He was only 50% in the second half, and too many drives ended with incompletions to survive on the road. But he also completed a great pass to Darboh in the first OT on 4th down, and had PI been called on the next drive might have scored again. He wasn't amazing, but considering what were the alternatives under center, Speight deserves a lot of credit for his play.
Worst: The Second-Half Offense
I know above I said the offense turtled in the second half, and that's maybe not the best term, but it's weird seeing a Harbaugh offense just close up shop with a lead. I got it somewhat against MSU because that was a game UM had in the bag, but 10 points against OSU is nothing, and expecting your defense to shut down the Buckeyes for 4 quarters is a near-impossible task.
I'll miss Peppers for his dynamic playmaking, but it was like setting downs on fire every time he came into the game; if there was some special plan for him, some trick, I hope they aren't saving it for the bowl game. The offensive line struggled to get much push, and as everyone sort of expected before the season, settled in as "okay" as a unit. Against most teams that's enough, but against OSU you need to be able to consistently get a push up front, not 2 yards a carry. Speight wasn't sacked an immense amount, but he was under pressure and getting hit semi-frequently, and other than Smith none of the packs could get any traction running the ball. Chesson almost broke a couple of sweeps, but the longest play from scrimmage for UM was a 22-yard reception by Butt, and expecting to just march up and down the field against OSU's line wasn't in the cards today.
Darboh had some great grabs, and both Butt and Perry had their moments. This is another unit depleted by graduation; here's hoping they have a couple of guys emerge to take their places, or else this offense is going to struggle even more against the better defenses in the league.
It wasn't a terrible offensive performance by any means; again, this isn't a unit talented enough to steamroll good teams on the road. Maybe OSU downloaded UM's playcalling a bit, but in the moment it didn't feel like they were doing all that much different. The second half was just disjointed, and maybe on a second watch-through it would be more obvious. But UM let themselves get slogged down in that second half, and if they have any hope of winning games in this series they need to figure out a way to overcome this malaise.
Best: Kenny MF Allen and the Best Damn Holder in the Country
Kenny Allen was fantastic all day. He made his FGs, consistently pinned OSU back in their own redzone (5 of his 7 punts were inside the 20), and was a major reason UM enjoyed a significant field position advantage. Again, it's killing me looking at these stats and realizing UM blew them all. But whatever, Allen was the boss and whatever #collegekicker thing that went on in the middle of the year is long gone. And Garrett Moore had a great recovery of an errant snap for one of Allen's kicks, which should definitely be added to the highlight reel. And while kick returns were minimal, Peppers had a great kickoff return that set UM's first TD.
- OSU came into the game averaging about 7 penalties a game for 53 yards, while UM was toward the lower end at 4.7 for 45 yards. Guess who had 7 penalties for 59 yards and who had 2 penalties for 6 yards? My daughter hasn't lived in a world where a fucking hold is called at OSU stadium for UM, and she probably won't until she goes to college. Either put away the whistles completely or call the game according to the rulebook, but you can't just mix the two together, let it sit in the sun for 2 days and curdle, then pick the top layer off and feed it to people. For fucks sake.
- Harbaugh trying to put his obviously-broken headset back on was a bit of needed levity, even though it was during OSU's second TD. Harbaugh deserved that penalty because he let his cards hit the field, but the fact referees are so protected from criticism yet don't like to get shown up drives me insane. Nobody is here to see Dan Fucking Capron screw up another game, yet here we are.
- I know Michigan is one of the best rushing teams in the country, but this was yet another reminder how much they miss a truly dynamic back. Smith is great for grinding out yards, but he's never going to make guys miss, and you can't rely on a series of 4-yard runs to score. They are going to finish the year without a 1,000 yard back for the 5th straight year. Iowa is going to have 2, Nebraska may have 1, Minnesota has 1, 4 and 8 MSU has 1, IU as well. I'm all for a balanced rushing attack, but sometimes you also need to have one guy who can just smash a defense for 25 carries. Michigan didn't have that this year, and I'm not sure anyone on the roster fits that mold. Maybe Evans makes that leap next year or Walker makes a splash as a RS freshman, but it has to happen.
Next Game: TBD
We'll know in a couple of weeks. It'll probably be a good bowl. Yippee.
We need to do something about B1G officiating to make sure these problems are minimized in the future. It can be done. (NOTE: I've updated this thread to account for comments here and on the regular board.)
As a historical reminder, it was the Big Ten that introduced instant replay to college football. In the 2002 season, Joe Paterno was furious that blown calls on fumbles had cost Penn State several games. As a result, the Big Ten introduced replay in the 2004 season.
The same thing can happen again, if Jim Harbaugh and Warde Manuel make it a priority. We can improve the replay process and get the officiating subjectivity out of important parts of the game. Here are some areas that are relatively easy to improve. Perhaps you all have others?
1. Pass interference. In the CFL, coaches are allowed to challenge interference calls and non-calls. The Big Ten could adopt this rule, and also make any pass attempt on third or fourth down, or over 20 yards, reviewable if the replay booth wants to review the call or non-call. The replay booth wouldn't have to review the call each time, like with a fumble, but rather if the call was clearly worth reviewing.
2. Spots. The problem with the fourth down call was that the replay was at a bad angle, and therefore didn't produce what officials would consider indisputable video evidence (though it is geometrically obvious that he was short). There has to be a way to get better spots in situations where the linesmen can't see what's happening. Perhaps cameras can be put on poles at the first down marker and at ground level to look over and under the play on each side of the field—or perhaps from cameras with telephoto lenses higher up in the stadium. You could have a camera on one of those pulley systems directly above the ball's yardage line at all times, kind of like the goal line cameras in the NHL.
3a. Higher quality refs (pay them). As we've discussed on the board in the past, the B1G refs are part-time and don't appear to conform to a rigorous quality standard. The conference could easily afford to have full-time refs who are high end. NFL referees made $173,000 on average in 2015; the Big Ten could easily serve as a farm team for near-NFL quality referees by paying them.
If a full-fledged B1G officiating crew cost $400k a year, times 7 conference games a week times 9 conference games a year = $25.6 million annually. The B1G's latest television contract pays the conference $440 million a year, and that doesn't include bowl game revenues and other income sources.
If the conference feels that's too much to spend, the conference could instead have two full-time officiating crews that rotate through the conference's most important games each week. That would cost $8.4 million a year ($400k x 10 regular season weeks x 2 games/week + championship game).
3b. Higher quality refs (grade them). Furthermore, the conference could have a weekly, public, grading of the officiating teams in each game, giving awards to the officiating crew that did the best, and caling out the ones that made mistakes. It would be after the fact game-wise, but it would give fans confidence that the B1G takes officiating seriously.
3c. Higher quality refs (eliminate conflicts of interest). As noted in this thread by Magnus, the official who called the personal foul on Harbaugh was in Ohio's officiating hall of fame. It appears that the B1G used to have a rule that refs from Ohio and Michigan couldn't ref The Game (h/t NYCBlue). While I'm sure that there are officials who can call the game fairly even if they are from the same state as one of the teams, there have been too many instances of poor officiating associated with this problem.
Another way to address this solution, suggested by researchers at Miami University (NNTM) and Florida State, is to nationalize FBS officiating. This is apparently done in most other NCAA sports. The researchers found that there is significant bias toward the home team in college football officiating, among other things, and suggested that officiating be run by the NCAA nationally rather than by conferences. Such a change would limit the likelihood of a local official or conference-associated official biasing the outcome of a game.
4. Replay booths at a neutral site. Instead of the booths being at the site of the game, have them in Chicago. This is what the NHL does with all replays being reviewed in Toronto. This removes the pressure on replay officials to play to the home crowd.
The Big Ten has an opportunity to be a leader in improving the integrity of competition in its flagship sport. It should take advantage of it. Warde Manuel, the ball's in your court.
Last week we were lucky(?) enough to end up under a good band of lake effect, wind, and brutal cold. It won't be nearly as bad in this game with any of those aspects! High pressure moving across Arkansas to Kentucky will keep the horseshoe dry, but clouds will be slow to move out. At least temps will be close to normal - actually similar to 2014 if you were at that game - and we'll have just a bit of a breeze. Hopefully you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Being able to do these forecasts every week is definitely one of the things I'm thankful for & I'm glad so many find it helpful or simply a light-hearted forecast read. Let's dress warmly & get ready to cheer extra loudly for the guys! C'mon blue, you got this!!
If you're traveling to Columbus... turn around! Just kidding :)
You'll want all those warm layers once again this week, including the gloves for setting up that tent! If you're up early, temps will be in the mid 30s, but a NW wind around 8mph (leaves move in the breeze) will have it feeling like the upper 20s. We'll begin our Saturday with overcast skies. By mid-morning we'll have the sun trying to break through some of the clouds, and attempting to warm us up a bit! Temps will be nearing 40 by then, but a WNW wind at 10mph (leaves and small twigs blow around) will give us a wind chill in the low 30s. It's another good game to have that hot chili before leaving the tent, and a hot drink walking towards the entrance!
Our game starts at a cool 41 degrees. Anyone wishing they had spiked that hot drink on the way in yet? Winds will be out of the WNW at 10mph, keeping us well-chilled in the mid 30s. The sun will continue to try to come out, but won't have a lot of luck against a solid layer of clouds.
The clouds are still winning out over some brightness, but A for effort sun, you're trying. And if you forgot the little pocket hand warmers last week, well, hopefully you learned for this week haha. We'll hit highs in the afternoon in the low 40s, but thanks to those WNW winds hanging on around 10mph, it'll still feel like the 30s. Yeesh. Anyone else skipping the halftime show for hot chocolate?
Walking out with mostly cloudy skies - prolly matching the spirits of the buckeye fans after losing. Temperatures will be in the low 40s with a 10mph wind out of the W, making that wind chill sit in the upper 30s. Last time I asked my friends if anyone wanted to go out in Columbus, no hands were raised, but hey to each their own! If you're headed to dinner, evening temps will drop into the upper 30s with a WSW wind at 8mph. We'll have some breaks in the clouds. By the late-night we fall to the low 30s. Winds will become light, to around 5mph, out of the SW - just enough to make it feel like 30 degrees. As that last call shout is yelled to you brave Wolverine fans, expect a temp near 30, a windchill in the upper 20s, & partly cloudy skies. If you traveled, you'll have a few clouds in the morning with light SW winds and temps in the 30s, hitting 40 around lunchtime.
If you're staying in Ann Arbor...
A similar story but just a tad cooler here. After a few spotty showers/wintry mix overnight, Saturday morning will start off dry with cloudy conditions. It'll be chilly with temps in the low 30s - feeling like the mid 20s with a 10mph WNW wind. By gametime we're looking at 40 degrees with plenty of clouds. A W wind will also make it feel like the lower 30s. We could see a few gusts in the mid teens for the afternoon. Things are then pretty quiet for the evening with temps in the mid 30s, mostly cloudy skies, and a W wind around 5-8mph (wind chill low 30s). Sunday will have good travel weather with some sun, highs around 45, and a light S wind. Let's go blue!!
Christina Burkhart is the morning meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
(James Coller) The result of too many DZTOs and OMRs
- Michigan actually wins its first CORSI game of the season...I think? Lake State is also 44th in RPI. They got the puck deeper and between the circles more as the game went on. They also did not convert. This is the other end of the luck they have been receiving all season. Outplaying an opponent and not converting. Sounds like an inverted Michigan game.
- They did create chances and forced some penalties. That is a positive takeaway. Unfortunately, I'm more inclined to believe this is more because of the opposition, though...
- Wilton Speight will play, it seems. That would be encouraging. If he can hit something deep and stretch the field...sigh, that would be greeeeeeeat
- Maybe some of the better defense that M has played this year. Most of the 5v5 opportunities were pushed away from the circles and out towards the blue line...which is where you want attempts to come from. They did not give up TOO many chances, but both of the non-emptynetters were on the defense and not JLF.
- De Jong was beat behind the net and there was not rotation to the Laker in the slot on the first goal. That would be a DZTO The second was a hustle OMR...it will be touched on later.
- Peppers has to make a big play, right? Huge INT or forcced fumble. It's going to turn The Game
- Again, Michigan finds a way to score on the PP. Calderone took a quick shot from the slot, keeping the puck on the ice, and slipping one between Defiel's pads. That was it on the power play, however. 1 for 7 in total, tonight. Woof.
- Michigan mostly tried to go 1-3-1 with whatever lines were on the ice. That was new. Usually, they stay away from that after Line 1. It also came back to bite them because they did not have a 2nd defenseman to keep the puck in the zone...which lead to the turnover...which lead to the 2v1 on which LSSU scored the winner.
- On the PK, Michigan continued its great success, forcing LSSU to go 0 of 5. That's still too many penalties, though...especially for a team that struggles on offense.
- Kenny Allen has been solid since his early season hiccups. Converting on trips into OSU territory will be a must, tomorrow.
- JLF played lights out, tonight, despite letting a couple goals get by. He really couldn't do much on either goal. His overall ability and positioning were again on display all night.
- Michigan does not appear to be a very good team, overall. However, goaltending is not an issue. Neither is backup goaltending.
- He also momentarily saved the game as the PP gave up a breakaway.
- You know Harbaugh has been gameplanning for this since M was run off the field, last year. Hiring Don Brown was evidence of that. This is his time.
ODD MAN RUSHES
After not giving up many OMRs over the last few weeks, old habits die hard, apparently. Michigan surrendered four, tonight. The first couple were nothing of note as LSSU couldn't complete a pass or even get a decent attempt on net. The third was a Michigan PP breakaway conceded that JLF just stoned. The last, however, was a hustle 2v1. After a PP faceoff win, Kile couldn't keep the puck in and Piazza got back to shut down the break. However, the 3rd man into the zone was a Laker and he fired one past a bare JLF. OMRs up a man can happen in a 1-3-1...but this one lost the game for Michigan.
- Advantages for Michigan, tomorrow should be in pass defense, Peppers-ing, and general experience. If not now, when?
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 51, Lake Superior State 34
collegehockeynews.com said: Michigan 48, Lake Superior State 31
The Game. The Wallpaper.
Buckeyes are tough, toxic nuts (and people). The wallpaper this week features the only nutcracker strong enough to crack even the biggest buckeyes. I'm still working on a catchy name for the Harbaugh nutcracker, but it works great. Simply put a buckeye in the mouth and watch the strong jaw crush it. What should you do with cracked buckeyes? Toss 'em.
And just for fun, here's a GIF of the Harb-o-matic Buckeye Cracker 2000. #BeatOSU
— Joe (@joefedewa) November 23, 2016