Ohio blog "The Ozone" has their weekly "Michigan Monday" up early this week, due to the Ohio bye week. LINK: http://theozone.net/football/2012/Wisconsin/michiganmonday.html
Here are some quotes, and then a few bullet points. As always, this is a long column, and you can't cut and paste the whole thing. Go and read it yourself if you're dying for more analysis.
The point of Michigan Monday is to keep an eye on the Wolverines and then later extrapolate how their season of performances relates to how they will do against Ohio State.
After seeing the way the Wildcats ran the ball, and the way they had open receivers running around, it's hard to think the same shouldn't also happen for the Buckeyes when the Wolverines come to town.
The Wildcats' mostly moved the ball through hard work and patience. Ohio State has that same type of patience, and they have a much better power running game.
Last week, I asked how Michigan would defend Ohio State. . . . the budding brilliance of the Buckeye offense is that they can allow a defense to dictate what they do and be perfectly happy with that.
If a defense is intent on stopping the running game, then the offense attacks the edges and seams, forcing the defense to open up the middle. When the defense then spreads out, they leave their belly exposed for Carlos Hyde, who is quite happy to gash it.
I expect the Wolverine defense to play at their absolute best against the Buckeyes, but I'm not sure how well they will be able to contain the Ohio State running game. However, as we have already seen, just because a team can run on Michigan doesn't mean they can beat them.
Basically, I believe that if Michigan is going to win in Columbus, they will need to make sure that quarterback Braxton Miller has a poor day throwing the ball, which is something that he doesn't always need help to do.
- Gardner looks comfortable, and "his scrambling was fantastic."
- After seeing two seasons of jump balls favoring the Wolverines, it isn't just luck, but is something Borges must be coaching.
- Apart from one big run a game, Toussaint still isn't doing much.
- Michigan doesn't defend the option pitch well.
- Making Michigan play defense in space is a great way to attack them, if you have the talent. NW did. So does Ohio.
- Kovacs can be beaten with above average throws.
- Jake Ryan looks mortal when he has to react instead of attack.
- Michigan needed the speed of Ross more than the experience of Morgan.
- There were quite a few cutback lanes for QB Colter, as there should be for Braxton Miller.
Closing thoughts: there are a number of ways for Ohio to attack Michigan's defense. However, this fact won't help Ohio if Miller has a subpar game. Miller has to be able to pass in order to keep the running game going. Michigan has shown repeated ability to win games they probably shouldn't have won. Ohio has the same skill. Oh, and Michigan doesn't have anything to fear against Iowa.
Thujone faced with a huge dilemma when Longhorn's favorite whipping boy, Aggy, goes into Tuscaloosa and slays Goliath in his own house. This one has a kind of epic quality to it.
Warning: The usual thing about sophomoric drawings of certains portions of the male anatomy.
In a debate with ESS-EEE-CEE fans about the BCS standings yielded this.
Looking over why these super conferences (14+ members) will really suck going forward...the top teams in each division won't have to face each other that often. This is even more amplified than in 12-team conferences and will get worse with 16-team conferences. I'm using the 2012 SEC as an example because this really brought everything into focus. Taking the top 6 teams from the SEC this year...
Teams playing ALL of the other top 5 teams: NONE
Teams playing FOUR of the other top 5 teams: LSU & Florida
Teams playing THREE of the other top 5 teams: TAMU & Soufkerliner
Teams playing TWO of the other top 5 teams: Bama & UGA
BONUS FACT: These top 6 teams' record against the other 8 teams in the SEC: 26-0
Yet, despite that, Georgia wins the head-to-head tiebreaker with Florida in the East, even with an easier schedule than UF or USC. Bama will win the West even with an easier schedule than TAMU & LSU (and splitting with both).
Records versus Top 6 opponents (overall SEC record in parens):
Records versus bottom 8 teams (remaining games against bottom 8 SEC opponents):
The only thing that may knock the SEC myth of 2012 off its pedestal will be a surprising ACC uprising in two weeks. If Clemson, FSU and Ga Tech (apologies for inducing laughter) would beat SC, UF, and UGA, respectively, suddenly the shine is off the SEC dong a bit, allowing a less inflated BCS/Poll elevation of this conference in the nationwide consciousness due only to its ability to rotate wins among its top six.
This is not an [insert conference here] is clearly better than the SEC argument. (Winning X titles in a row gives a little leeway.) It's about how a single conference can inflate its standing without its top teams having to play each other enough once we move into the world of 14/16/18 team conferences. (And of course, "knowing" which teams would be the top six is impossible, so it's not about which teams have to play more games about better opponents but the fact that it's possible to have very uneven schedules determine division winners in these megaconferences.)
Bama & Georgia (likely division winners) = 25% of SEC games against top opponents
TAMU & SC = 38% of SEC games against top opponents
LSU & UF = 50% of SEC games against top opponents
for fun...Mizzou = 63% of SEC games against top opponents (welcome, third Tigers!)
NOTE: Only Bama & UGA played 1/4 of conference games against top 6 opponents, 5 teams played 3/8, 6 teams played 4/8, 1 team played 5/8.
QUICK B1G REALITY CHECK:
Michigan, Northwestern & Wisconsin = 38% of B1G games against top 6 opponents
Ohio State & Penn State = 50% of B1G games against top 6 opponents (both ineligible for division title)
Nebraska = 63% of B1G games against top 6 opponents (and likely to go 7-1 and win North)
NOTE: 3 teams played 3/8 against top 6 opponents, 6 teams played 4/8, 3 teams played 5/8.
NOTE2: Nebraska does play all of the other 5 teams, OSU/PSU play 4 of 5, and M/NW/W play 3 of 5.
In summation, the larger a conference gets, the more inflated its conference records can become. Small sample size, rabble, rabble, but it appears to be true. Some could argue that teams 7 & 8 in a 14-team league might be in the top teams one year and down in another year. True, yet seeing how the likely division winners in the SEC will have the easier roads to get there is striking, at least in 2012.
SORRY: thought I had this formatted correctly...will fix shortly, off to a meeting now.
10. Texas A&M
1. Harvard of course..
After seeing Gardner play twice now, I am taken aback by his presence on the field, and it is beginning to feel like the Michigan Qbs of old. One can feel it by watching him play, as he is a total gamer, is quite heady, and is very imposing. He is bringing athleticism to the pocket type Qb that is very effective and efficient. Evidence is the safety he avoided, and also the incredible td he ran when he tiptoed the sideline and got the pylon. While watching Denard it has often felt he was bringing Qb skills to an elite-skilled Rb, but watching Gardner its taking a true pocket passer and adding great ball skills and athelticism. Wow, the future is looking bright at Qb for next year.
Rivals released its initial Rivals 250 for the class of 2014. Michael Ferns is a 4-star.
Here's a list of Michigan offerees on the list: