Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
Note: The data is from Rivals; I recognize that they have some different class (fresh, soph, etc.) info than I expected on some players, but for consistency, I used their data as published.
I am no Steve Sharik or gsimms, but after watching Iowa play defense Saturday night, I have to report back to Houston that there is a problem, and it’s not just our players. I just don’t buy Brian’s comment in his “Soaring” post that “Michigan's recruiting was wildly deficient in more than one area and will be an anchor going forward.” We may lack depth, but the guys on the front lines are supposed to be studs. Individually, many look like studs – Graham and Warren and Martin and Roh and even Brown this year – but put them together and Indiana shreds us.
Iowa's defense is better than ours. A lot better. This doesn't surprise anyone reading this, but the point I wish to make is not that they are better, but how in the name of Shiva the Destroyer is such a thing possible?
Let's look at the two defenses:
The Iowa defense is younger than ours overall and features a less-experienced secondary that averages 5.3 for a Rivals Rating, or a middle range two-star. Brian says about Michigan, “There is exactly one junior and no seniors at both safety and cornerback.” Iowa has less experience. Yet my gut tells me – with absolute certainty – Darryl Clark will have a far better day against our secondary. Who wants to take me up on that bet?
In general, their players are more lowly rated at every position (possible exception of one LB), often significantly so, with players converted from the offensive side of the ball (a TE turned DL) and one playing out of position.
Now one of two things is true.
- All our studs coming out of high school were overrated and we can say things like Cissoko isn’t good and Van Bergen isn’t good and our LBs aren’t good with a straight face and a shrug towards our bad evaluation of talent over two coaches, or
- Our coaching/scheme is flawed. The front line talent is there (no depth, I know), but they either haven’t been developed or the system hurts their performance.
Occam’s Razor makes it difficult to accept that our stud HS talent was pretty much collectively overrated, and Iowa’s meh HS talent was pretty much vastly underrated. Ferentz would have given a kidney to have Cissoko or Warren or Graham or Brown or Mouton or Martin. He doesn’t have enough organs to bargain with the devil to get those types of players with mega-hype coming out of HS, yet he easily is fielding a better defense that probably would have consumed Indiana whole without any sauce.
As for the “new system” argument – that switching from Shafer to Robinson has resulted in our guys being at the start of a new learning curve – I accept some of that, but not all. Now, I will defer to Sharik or gsimms to tell me whether a new system can transform studs into non-studs, but it would seem to me that stopping Eastern in the first half or stopping Indiana at all would frequently be possible with raw stud talent playing by instinct.
Please understand that I am not traditionally negative, and that I am really seeking an answer from people who know more about football than I do. Is our system/defensive coordinator sound? Are most of our players overrated? Would Iowa's starters on defense playing for Michigan and GERG be playing at the same high level? Or would Brian be observing that an unrated player (a walk-on, I assume) was playing in the secondary?
Last week I gave a link to the individual ballots of all of the AP voters. I thought it was interesting to see what the individual ballots were of each voter. What I found is that I would estimate only half of these guys actually watch college football games other than the team that they are covering. In my opinion many of these guys just throw a team at the top, give some love to their home team, and love to vote for the conference that they primarily cover. Now I know that the AP poll does not have a direct relationship with the BCS anymore, but I do feel like it effects the voting culture of the Harris Poll and possibly even the Coaches' Poll.
Why do I say this you might ask?
This topic was discussed on ESPN's College GameDay by a couple of guys that have votes in the AP Poll, Kirk Herbstreit and Craig James. FWIW I would qualify them as competent voters, because they watch national college football as a job. Both of them believed that there were/are voters in the poll that do not do their diligence in producing a quality, non-bias ranking system.
So why am I doing this?
I feel like there are people on this site that love college football, and watch a lot more of it than the so called "expert" voters from the AP. If you have the sports package from Comcast, than you can watch 8-10 college games at a time on Saturday Afternoon, not to mention some during the week, and my opinion is that you cannot have to much college football. So the answer is that I feel like I am just as qualified to vote as these guys, and so are most of you, and I wanted to give you guys a place to discuss the entire Top 25 every week.
OK, a couple quick things to before my Top 25. 1) I chose the AP Poll because I feel like it is the most debated/discussed one during the week due to ESPN featuring it as their ranking system of choice. 2) I know we have the blog poll on the website, but we all do not vote on that, and I want to know what each of you think individually, because you can never have to much college football debate/opinion.
My TOP 25
- Virginia Tech
- Boise State
- Oklahoma State
- Miami (FL)
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Georgia Tech
- No Cal- You cannot lose 42-3 and be a Top 25 team
- You get some credit from me for being undefeated, if you have played anyone at all. I will never think it is easy to win football games.
- If you lose you fall. If you lose to a team that loses to a bad team that hurts you. (See Ohio State)
- My 26th team would be South Florida
- Missouri is good and gets no love, same for UCLA
- You can "claw your way back" by winning games against good teams (Oregon)
- Credit for really good wins (Miami, Iowa, Houston, Boise State)
- If you win, no matter how you win, you still won and should not be punished, unless the win was really close and against a team that is so bad that it was embarrassing.
Yes, the title is in function notation. The increase in hoops ticket sales has been noted across the M interwebs. My question is, how has it affected hockey ticket sales for students and ticket sales in general? Concrete info and opinions are both welcome of course.
This was a bad game. Really bad. Really really bad. Did I say how bad? Quite bad. The defense, you realize, has basically gotten shredded every week since the opener. Can't stop the run, not good against the pass. If they invent some new third thing (e.g., skipping, rolling the ball forward to someone, etc.), this defense would be bad against that too, probably.
GERG, where are you? You and your white-haired glory somehow are not getting our boys into the mindset of a good big-ten defense. It has been SO LONG since we had a good defense! OK OK, 2006 was good, but then somehow that all went to shit in those last two games. I still wake up with nightmares of Crable flying headfirst into Troy Smith to gift them what would become the winning TD. After waking up, I vomit. My wife is getting tired of this, especially now that the kids are grown and don't throw up so much anymore.
The offense didn't look too great either. Tate F., who may become the goddamn clutchiest clutch QB we've ever had (he is that clutchy), didn't look super sharp. Lots of missed targets and lots of scrambling that wasn't super effective. By "wasn't super effective" I mean "sucked because he ran around instead of just throwing the damn ball." Is he hurt, you might ask? Probably. But get used to it. You think this kid is EVER going to get through a season of BIG TEN FOOTBALL without getting hurt, at least somewhat? I'm sorry, when you are 6'1" and weigh 170 lbs, you get hurt when you go to the bathroom, much less on the field of play.
Speaking of which, are those classic urinal troughs all gone now? Who doesn't enjoy taking a leak next to a bunch of old MICHIGAN MEN whose aim has deteriorated to the point where basically they are peeing on your feet? Admit it, you miss it. It was a piece of the charm that is now gone, forever lost to the annals of the time. I am keeping all the old shoes I have worn to games over the years, just so I can remember.
I didn't understand much of the player substitution pattern over this game either. Carlos Brown's hair was on fire and basically scored every time he touched the ball early in the game. The response: put other guys in. It was confusing. Here was CARLOS, ready to have the monster 400-yard GAME OF HIS LIFE and we kept going with other guys. I don't know about you guys, but I think: you go with what works. For me, what was working was that Hungry Howie's pizza they have at the game. So I kept going with it (4 or 5 pieces). For Michigan, it was CARLOS F'IN BROWN. But they didn't go with him, much. After-game stomach cramps tell me there may be another story here: don't go with Hungry Howie's, even if it is "working".
So where are we now, four games into this miracle of a rebirth? Hard to say after that one. Let's recap:
- Western: Clearly kind of sucks more than people thought. However, they did beat Hofstra.
- Notre Dame: Squeaks by both Purdue and MSU. Problem is: Purdue and MSU stink. Thus, ND, much like their coach, is not looking too pretty right now.
- Eastern: Clearly sucks.
- Indiana: Probably will not win a lot of games in the Big Ten.
But the overall feeling I got at the game yesterday is that we still have a long ways to go. Until some defensive talent finds its way onto this team, winning the BIG TEN and hopes of relevance on the national stage are pretty far away.
Just thought I'd tell ya'all that the band is mic'ed up today. I'm in section 26 row 26 and can clearly see a single mic reaching up about 12 feet above the brick wall facing the band. There appears to be a black plastic trash bag under the mic. I'd assume that it's there to protect the equipment under the mic from rain but it could be there to dampen ambient sound. I don't know what under the mic that needs protection but that's my guess. Any other more informed ideas out there?
I'd take a picture with my phone and post it but I don't think I can upload images to anywhere on the internet with my phone, but I'll try to remember to do so later tonight at a computer.
I guess this just adds more fuel to the "band, please be louder" fire. We'll have to see how much they use it today (if at all). Of course, I apologize if this had already been announced and discussed but I don't remember seeing anything about it all week.
Edit: I'm posting this because I'm 99% sure that the band isn't normally mic'ed. If I'm wrong in that I apologize and feel free to ignore this thread.
Public Service: While the availability of tickets for Purdue and Delaware State are no surprise...
Tickets are still available on MGoBlue.com for the Penn State game on 10/24. Single tickets only -- and most/all are in the endzone sections -- but given the trajectory of these two teams, I doubt many tickets will be available for face value as we get closer to game day.
That is all.