landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
I wanted to share a couple vignettes from Michigan fans in Ann Arbor, both based on conversations with co-workers.
- One middle-aged woman I spoke to lives about a half-mile northwest of the stadium. She always used to complain about hearing the crowd, the announcer, and the band on Saturdays while sitting at her home. Now, apparently, she doesn't hear a damn thing. She believes all the sound is trapped inside the stadium by the new luxury boxes.
- One older fellow I work with clearly falls into the "blue-hair" category. He's had season tickets since 1964, golfs about twice a week and speaks in a way that's eerily similar to Judge Smales from Caddyshack. He commented on how electric the atmosphere has been this year at the Big House, especially at the ND game. He almost lost his voice from screaming so much, which apparently has not happened . . . . ever. He loves the RAWK music! He's pumped!
So I'm stupid, and this is too early, etc. Anyways, I figured I'd do a season prediction thread based off of Brian's original analysis and my own opinions. I changed a few of the probabilities based on team performance so far. Numbers are vague approximations meant to show edges in favor of one team or the other.
9/19 Eastern Michigan
Chance: Must Win
Theoretically a trap game, but EMU is unlikely to play spoiler, although they did come close against Northwestern. They will bring their A game to the table against us (Ron English, Ypsilanti, we lost to a MAC team last year) and it will probably get uncomfortably close for a bit due to other QBs getting reps and whatnot, but we should win just fine.
Chance: Must Win
Nothing convinces me that Indiana will try to put up a fight, unlike EMU.
10/03 @ Michigan State
Chance: Tossup (50-50)
A big game of course. I think we are a better team that is playing on the road against an opponent that may be looking at this game to salvage their season. So, 50-50. The first road game tends to be especially hard on freshman QBs, and I'm sure Dantonio will be looking for blood, no pun intended.
If MSU goes to South Bend and beats ND as per usual, then this game looks a lot worse... but I doubt that'll happen. ND's loss was a respectable loss, not a season-ruining loss, and I'd assume that they'll respond by trying harder the next week.
10/10 @ Iowa
Chance: Tossup (55-45)
Iowa looked terrible in their opening game and really doesn't have a running game, but this is a nice trap away game right after MSU, so chances only improved to 55-45 from probable loss. Iowa actually beat Iowa State soundly, so that's something.
10/17 Delaware State
Chance: Must win
I read the Varsity Blue preview, and it seems that we picked a fairly bad 1-AA team this time. You see what I'm getting at...
10/24 No. 5 Penn State
Chance: Probable loss (25-75)
Yeah, don't see this one happening. We have a small chance though, and there's still a little Lloyd left in that old silk hat, right?
10/31 @ Illinois
Chance: Tossup (55-45)
I know Illinois looks like garbage right now, but they should have everyone back at full health by the game, and Benn can cause a world of hurt given a chance. Offense-heavy, defense-light teams are often good spoilers; see: Smith, John L., MSU coach. Considering that Armando Allen just had a crazily good game, the Illini could easily do the same with their superior running back.
Chance: Probable win (80-20)
Purdue hasn't looked terrible so far; as it is, Michigan should win with some chance for an upset.
11/14 @ Wisconsin
Chance: Tossup (55-45)
We've done quite terribly at Camp Randall, and Wisconsin has played quite terribly so far. This is also the week before The Game, so let's give Michigan only a slight advantage.
11/21 No. 11 Ohio State
Chance: Probable loss (40-60)
If you think Michigan is 50-50 in this game, you need to remember games that didn't happen last Saturday. Pryor's performance against USC was an outlier and I'm sure he'll be allowed to run against Michigan.
Nevertheless, RichRod will probably be bringing a lot to the table, and he's done quite well given preparation time for big games. The offense should be fully developed by now, but the defenses on both teams still bother me. In a close game, the edge goes to the team without dubious safeties and a questionable defense, but we still have a good fighting chance. All I can do is hope...
8.6 wins is what it sums to; rounding up seems reasonable to me, so I'll go with 9-3. We probably lose to PSU, OSU, and one tossup, but it's also reasonably possible we play giant killer and lose to one of PSU/OSU and two tossups.
If we lose to PSU and say MSU and Wisconsin, I'd be ecstatic; if we lose to PSU/OSU and maybe Illinois, I'd be happy in retrospect but still disappointed in an annoying way due to the damned losing streak. Our performance so far changes our apparent chances against OSU, but it will never change the importance of The Game.
As I'm sure you all know, Michigan upset ranked Notre Dame in mind blowing fashion. That in its self is enough to make an amazing saturday for me. As I'm sure you also know by now, MSU lost, also in mind blowing fashion to CMU on a late field goal. And, as I'm sure you know, OSU lost to USC in yet another mind blowingly good game that was won in the final minute. I really don't know how this Saturday could've been better. It was simply perfect. All three of our biggest rivals lost and one of those teams played us. This doesn't make the Big Ten look like crap either, except for maybe MSU slightly. OSU had a good effort but came up short to my liking. MSU had a close game, but they lost to a MAC school. All in all, it was an amazing Saturday and I only see a possibility of two weekends beating this one (MSU and OSU weekends?). Thoughts on the weekend?
I am a little confused about the names that have been given to the formations that our defense has been in. Looking at how we line up, the names of positions on our depth chart, and some of the posts on the blog/board I have some of this figured out but some of the information contradicts and that's what I want to get sorted out.
Our depth chart shows a DE (Brandon Graham), a NT (Mike Martin), a DT (Ryan Van Bergen), a SLB (Stevie Brown), a MLB (Obi Ezeh), a WLB (Jonas Mouton), and an OLB (Craig Roh). This would indicate a 3-4 base, but I have been seeing it described as 4-3. Am I right in thinking this should be called a 3-4 or is there a reason for the OLB to count as a down lineman as well?
Alright, so for this question I am assuming that the answer is that I am missing something and Craig Roh is actually a lineman. Stevie Brown was lining up at the edge most of the game and I have seen this as described as the 4-3 under, but wouldn't that be 4-3 over? I thought that the under indicated that the linebackers were favoring the weak side, but SB is on the strong side...
Also, it seems that if Craig Roh should be considered a lineman while standing at the edge, Stevie Brown should be considered a lineman as well, which would really put us in more of a 5-2.
Anyway, thanks in advance.
It was the Minnesota game. Our family had decided to see this one in person, as it wasn't too far away. Good choice, as it turned out: a rare win. One reason I will remember it: my little daughter, barely old enough to understand what was going on around her, was offered a Golden Gopher necklace by some nice old Minnesota fan. The girl wouldn't touch the thing. "Wrong colors!" she yelled at the befuddled old dude. My heart swelled.
The game went about as well as a game could go last year. The offense was moving the ball, chewing up yardage with one long run after the other. The defense looked competent, aggressive, even good (a new twist for the year: a good defense!). On the day the team would rack up over 400 yards of offense. We celebrated loudly with all the other Michigan fans tucked away in the corner of the Metrodome. That's another thing I'll remember: the camaraderie of the Wolverine fans. Even in that down year (perhaps because of that down year?), there was a palpable sense of togetherness. One guy even complimented my ratty old M hat, weather-worn and falling apart from too many years of outdoor usage. "Awesome hat," he said. I was pretty sure he wasn't being facetious.
There was a single play that stood out for me to this day. In this season full of mediocrity, what I saw filled me with a kind of hope, perhaps not for now, but for the future. It was on one of the longest runs of the day, by Minor (I actually don't even recall, it may have been Shaw). As he sprinted downfield and all eyes were on him, somehow I found myself watching what the other players were doing during this small miracle of a play.
My eyes came to rest on Martavious Odoms. 5' 8" if that, all of 170 lbs. But here was this little man, sprinting downfield, actually ahead of the play, blocking one Gopher after the other, creating more room, hustling, working, trying. In this miserable season, in this one exception of a game, here was a player who was putting all of himself out there, who at least for that one singular moment exemplified what Michigan football was trying to become. In a year, for him, that was mired by fumble after fumble, loss upon loss, along came something that I had been looking for the entire year.
A Michigan Man.
Go Martavious, and Go Blue.
p.s. that video is goddamn awesome.