so much for that
ESPN Insider often has articles on betting. I was casually reading an article today, and I was shocked when I saw the first bet this Vegasinsider.com betting analyst liked was "Michigan - Under 7 Wins." Wow. I really hope he's wrong....
Michigan Wolverines, Seven wins
Edwards says: "With Michigan, the more losses it gets the more the chemistry will be messed up, and then it's a lame-duck situation for Rich Rodriguez and things snowball. They could lose Week 1 at UConn and then at Notre Dame to be 0-2. Even if they bounce back to win their next two games, which should be gimmes, they then have Indiana, Michigan State, Iowa and Penn State. Those could be two or three more losses. After that, this team could quit on Rich Rod. By the time they get to the Horseshoe in Columbus, he could be on his way out the door. UNDER."
MCalibur's post really got me thinking (which hurts a little on a Friday evening) about the Tate/Denard choice in a different light. Specifically it got me thinking about the obvious advantages Michigan might exploit if/when Denard shows that he is game ready. A few thoughts:
- I still am somewhat convinced that Tate has earned the starting role for game 1. Beyond that I think the best looking QB for the week leading up to the next game, including the game played last, should and will start the next contest. Tate was just a warrior for us last season and took a heavy beating. So even if it is only for a series or two, I would most like to see him get the starting nod.
- Having such divergent talents of roughly equal effectiveness (hopefully very effective, i.e. Tate-September-2009) will really allow Michigan a sweet opportunity to exploit the practice time of each upcoming opponent. They can start out trying one player out to see how well prepared the defense is for him, and if they seem particularly well prepared have some level of confidence that the other player will find success. Of course if the starter dominates from the beginning, we might be able to run away with any given game.
- Of course the QB is not the only skill positions that teams will prepare for, and that might yield another advantage. Each QB is likely to practice in large part with the same set of skill players (1st team vs 2nd team) and thus could produce entire platoons of playmakers in tune with their respective QB. Michigan's roster seems well equipped for this scenario, with many slots and backs of varying talents and even enough outside receivers to make it work well. There are even two very talented TEs to choose from.
So in summary, not only would the opposing defense have to choose their poison at QB, they would have to take a guess as to which platoon of skill position players would be with them and that could also be varied each week. All together, this should give Michigan the ability to find a very strong combination by around the 5th possession, or possibly just steamroll from the beginning. Even the worst case scenario there ends up keeping everyone of import both fresh physically and into the game mentally.
I am stoked thinking about this. Bring on the season.
Let's hope the boys are practicing hard with a little more than a month to go! The Huskies home field seats 40,000. I wonder if a raucous 109,000 will rattle them a bit?
Stevie signed his rookie contract. I wish him all the best. What are you're thoughts?
""Well, it uh, the impact is more of a ... you know ... anything, anything along the ... the uh ... the ... shore and those issues are very serious issues and there ... the impact is on the ... the uh (long pause)..."
Much more of Les's nuanced and informed take on the BP oil spill here:
I am not a man. I began as one, but now I am becoming more than a man, as you will witness.
– Francis Dolarhyde, Red Dragon
After the Iowa game last year, my nervous system instantaneously rushed to the precipice of meltdown every time Denard Robinson stepped onto the field. Mixing equal parts of anxiety and exhilaration yields a volatile cocktail. There were times when I couldn’t stand up because I was so nervous; only once or twice but, regardless of frequency, that ain’t right. Trembling calves, bated breath, dilated pupils, thumping heart. Then, a money Chewbacca impression; happy or sad, the reaction was the same. I can’t have been the only one.
There was good reason for such a strong pavlovian response. It seemed as though the outcome of a play with Robinson under center was the random result of the flip of a coin—tails: utter disaster, heads: spectacular success, on edge: just another play. Denard threw interceptions at a nauseating 13% rate on 31 passes. However, he also scored touchdowns 7% of the time on 100 total touches. Forcier only produced TDs a little over 3% of the time. Think about that for a second, Forcier had 399 touches last year and scored 13 TDs…Denard, theoretically, could’ve had 28. Those numbers are ridiculous to quote because Denard touched the ball so infrequently last year, but it isn’t fair to quote his turnovers without also quoting his TDs.
Anyway, eight months later we are faced with another batch of the cocktail, this time with a twist. A full offseason and a spring practice session have apparently yielded a thrilling prospect, Denard can throw. Maybe we can actually stomach the elixir and keep it down. That prospect sparks at least two questions. The first, how much could he have realistically improved? I mean, there’s improvement, and then there’s being good; the latter is not guaranteed. The second question is, who do you play, Tate or Denard? In this diary I hope to rigorously estimate an answer to the first question and hopelessly flail at the second.