Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Thought this was pretty interesting. A few choice quotes:
1. Against Rudock, the Wildcats won't change their game plan: they'll hope to get pressure with their front four while allowing short yardage passes underneath and tackling consistently. Northwestern has been very good about not allowing people get behind the defense, and once the pass goes short, tackling has generally been solid.
2. [Quarterback] Thorson's biggest issues have been turnovers and short pass accuracy. But he's improving, and any Northwestern fan has to be optimistic for his future in the program. I would expect something like this from Thorson against a very good Michigan defense: 14-for-24, 155 yards, one touchdown, one interception.
3. I'm taking Northwestern, 16-13. There's something special about this team. They have a certain mental toughness that has been missing the past two seasons. At halftime, it's 10-7 in favor of Northwestern. Heading into the fourth, it's 13-10 and the Wolverines tie it up at 13 about midway through the quarter before Jack Mitchell (who's great in clutch situations and not quite as great in other situations) comes through with the game-winner. The Wildcats' luck finally changes on the back of another solid defensive performance.
Jim Harbaugh is making $7 million at Michigan this season, including a $2 million one-time signing bonus, and Urban Meyer is making $5.86 million for defending national champion Ohio State. USA TODAY Sports asked Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank what she makes of Big Ten peers who are paying their coaches so much.
“Those are the choices they make,” she said in an interview for a story about coaching salaries. “That really begins to threaten the whole sense that we are not professional athletic teams. I’m not terribly happy about the fact that they made those choices. That’s my opinion.”
Blank understands market forces. She was acting secretary of commerce in the Obama administration and holds a doctorate in economics from MIT.
Nevermind that Harbaugh has likely, through ticket sales and merchandising, already generated revenue in excess of his total contract. Also ignore the fact that paying Harbaugh his market value has ZERO impact on the Unversity's academic side of the coin.
If you can forget those two factors, she has a fantastic point.
Bear in mind the overall success rate is just above 50%.
But still nice to see S&P+ gives us an 83% chance of winning and projects a 16.5 pt. margin-of-victory.
Also nice: S&P+ predicts Navy will beat Notre Dame by 6.7.
I know we have several MMB Alumni (i.e. Bando Calrissian) on this board but wondering who is coming home this weekend to participate in the "Blast from the Past". I am making the trip in from Denver and looking forward to seeing old friends as it has been over 17 years since I last went on the field with the Alumni Band.
Which other MMB-MGoBloggers are making the trip in this weekend, where are you coming from, and how long has it been since your last performance with the Alumni Band?
EDIT: I played trombone from 1979 to 1983. First Schembecler Rose Bowl Victory amongst many favorite moments in the the Band.
I've done this for the last 2 opponents so thought it would be useful to show it for Michigan itself. Listed anything top 30 nationally as "good", and anything 70-127 as meh to bad.
No real surprises - defense leads the way, with passing game lagging. Best attributes on offense are improvements in sacks given up (rudock has much easier life than gardner) and TFL allowed (battering ram Smith usually at least gets you 0 yards rather than -2). Step 1 of a good offense is eliminating negative plays which is the 2015 goal. Doing much more than that is probably going to be a 2016 goal.
Turnover margin haunts due to # of INTs + inability to create fumbles.
2 areas that just missed the cut for meh were punt return defense and punt return yards - both ranked in the 60s. Probably somewhat surprising but Blake is not a boomer, more of a placement guy.... while Peppers (aside from one thirty yarder) has yet to break a huge one.
Things UM is Good At
|Sacks Allowed per game||17||1|
|Red zone offense||12||94.1%|
|TFL allowed / game||11||4|
|3rd down conversion %||1||19.4%|
|Passing Yds Allowed||3||112.6|
|Tackles for loss / game||17||8|
|Misc / Special Teams|
|Kickoff return defense||19||17.85|
Things UM Struggles With
|Passing yds per comp||108||10.74|
|Passes Had Intecepted||94||6|
|Red zone defense||71||83.3%|
|Misc / Special Teams|
|Turnover Margin / game||84||-0.4|