Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Tweeted by Tania Ganguli, ESPN reporter covering the Texans. Small piece of good news to end 2013.
My favorite album of all-time...sadly fitting for the 2013 football season
I'm taking a brief break from grading the position groups to
comment vent about the Copper Bowl and the program in general. Brian's post today was alarmingly similar to my feelings (usually he is far more emo than I am) about the game and the program in general.
What Brady Hoke and his supporters (myself included) has always been able to hang his hat on is that his teams play hard. They don't always play well, but they do play hard. Always.
The Copper Bowl was not just a failure to play defense (we allowed 6.56 yds/play and let KSU covert 7 of 11 third downs) or score TDs despite a surprisingly efficient first-half offense (finished the game at 4.92 yds/play...but only had 53 plays), but it was a failure to show-up.
This sums-up our 2013 season
After spending the entire season trying really hard and not getting good results due to a variety of factors (youth, play-calling, missed assignments, etc) the team was in too much pain to try to crack another coconut. Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison's defense--for the first time--simply didn't appear to have the will to put up another fight.
Those who believe the guillotine would be too kind of a punishment for Al Borges after this season might not want to admit it, but the offensive gameplan was pretty effective. Shane Morris has an unbelievable arm and can make throws that no Michigan QB since Drew Henson could even think about, but his decision-making isn't there yet, as evidenced by what happened late when he was asked to read the whole field and make throws into 8-man coverages. Borges understood this and designed a screen game that let shane make throws but avoided forcing him to pick which guy to throw to. We moved the ball and even tried a fade to Funchess in the endzone...but couldn't score a TD. The offense appeared to be giving effort for at least a few drives, but couldn't get it done. Then they gave-up too: we didn't even hurry when we were down 24-6 with 8:06 remaining.
For the first time in Brady Hoke's tenure, the team simply didn't appear to try. This is sad, alarming, and needs to be addressed. Obviously, Greg Mattison did not become a bad coach between the Ohio game and this debacle. And Hoke did not lose his powers of motivation. But what is clear is that if you give your full effort over-and-over and get nothing but pain, at some point, your body might just say, "not today."
I am someone who believes in looking at the whole picture. The 2013 season's failures are not on the shoulders of just one person (or even two or three) in my estimation; rather a confluence of many unfortunate factors fused into a nuclear disaster. And while there are many reasons for the meltdown, there must be some accountability for what happened in that bowl game.
All that said, if we put together a 10-win season in 2014 and win one of the MSU/OSU games (or both) we will be right back in the hunt as a B1G contender, and the positive momentum could push closer to our goal or returning to national prominence. On the other hand, if we slog to an eight-win (or worse) total in 2014, we risk becoming solidified as a second-tier team...until we re-build again.
Make no mistake about it: that bowl game showing has very real consequences. For the first time, a Brady Hoke team didn't even show-up. And that means 2014 just became even more important to the future of this program and the job-security of everyone on the staff.
I've accepted the near fact that Borges will be back next year, but after the 2013 sports year (Detroit & UM fan) this research was strangely cathartic. It's like I need to quantify just how terrible the decisions being made actually are.
I am also of the mindset that changing the entire regime would be a bad move at this point. (Which was also my position following the 2010 Gator Bowl ... arguing at the time a coaching change wouldn't guarantee anything, and if made a regression over the next few seasons was likely. I wrote the italicized text below before Hoke was hired):
"2011: Sets up great for UM, say they go 10-2 ...
2012: Nightmare schedule. 8-4 is possible, with another loss to OSU
2013: Say there's under-achievement ... is 8-4 gonna [cut it]?
So in 3 years at Michigan, the new coach has "regressed". Of course no UM fan thinks this is possible ... But it's 100% possible, and even probable. In the scenario above, UM has won 0 Big Ten titles, 0 BCS games, and is 1-2 against OSU?"
Here are the statistics against retaining Borges. I'm sure I'll get the usual "oh, you're cherry-picking statistics for your own agenda" responses, but ... um ... there's a plethora of ripe cherries to pick here, and it's a slow Monday.
Median/Avg Yards Per Season:
2011 (Jr Denard): 418 / 404.7
2012 (Sr Denard): 389 / 383.1
2013 (Jr Gardner): 365 / 373.1
12 games less than 300 yards offense (2-10 record)
- 3 in 2011, 4 in 2012, 5 in 2013 (4 of last 6 games)
9 OT periods played in those 39 games
- 116 total yards, 3 TDs, 30 pts
Avg Offense, home:
· 466.5 yards per game (21 games)
· 7 games over 500 yards, 2 games under 300
Avg Offense, road:
· 314.6 yards per game (14 games)
· ONCE over 400 yards (2011 NW)
Avg Offense, neutral:
· 267.3 (4 games [Bowls & ALA 2012]
· High is 355 yards (2012 SCAR / Outback Bowl)
Black Monday is upon us; up to 7 coaches may be fired today.
ED: A semi-updated list of coaches who gone:
- Texans (Kubiak fired weeks ago)
- Browns (Chud fired yesterday)
- Redskins (Shanahan)
- Buccaneers (Schiano a bit of a surprise. But he's a tool)
- Vikings (Frazier was presumed gone for a while)
- Lions (Schwartz. I haz no shocks)
Being at the game and being able to see the entire field was an eye opening experience for me. There where a few plays i'm not sure translated to TV. I haven't actually watched my DVR of the game yet but, there where several times where you just couldn't beleive what you where seeing. The first play was the play after Funchess stepped out of bound and almost scoring. Michigan lined up with plenty of time on the play clock. to the left side of Morris, you had Lewan and AJ williams on the outside of him. Kansas state had one defender about 2 foot outside of Williams and nothing else. In my head i'm thinking If williams can seal that Defensive back this is a TD and an easy one. There was nobody on the left side of the field, both safeties had cheated over to the right. The ball is snapped and Michigan runs to the right side for a loss.
The defense substituted way too much. I'm fine with substituting here and there but there where alot of plays where Michigan wouldn't have Countess on the field. Ramon taylor played most of if not all of the snaps on the other side but Stribbling, Lewis and Countess all rotated on the other side way too much. I could say the same thing about Avery at safety. The defense played good enough to win in the second half.
I would say the most frustrating thing for me as a fan tho was 6'6 Funchess lining up on the outside in man to man coverage with a 5'6 - 5'8 ( he was the same height as Gallon) on him and no help. They had this match up most of the day. A few times they motioned Funchess into coverage. From my seat in the endzone it was hard to see run plays.
I wouldn't say play calling was predictable on our side, we just didn't take advantage of clear mismatches. Personally I had some pretty cool moments tho. Touissants TD at the end of the game was right in front of our seats pretty much and in the second half me and Brennen Beyer had a moment lol. it was during a timeout and Beyer was trying to get the crowd pumped and I was up at the rail yelling as loud as i could and pointing at each other. It was pretty damned cool in my book.
The crowd was heavily in favor of Michigan but most of the Michigan fans where extremely old. I was sitting in the "wild zone" and it was extremely quiet most of the game. I was the only Michigan fan on my feet and making any type of noise. The state police had to get me off the rail a few times hehe. The fans behind the Michigan sideline and the band where by far our loudest fans.
i do have a question for some folks who normally attend games. KSU fans seemed a lot more organized. After ever score they cheer Ksu offense, ksu offense, ksuuuuuuuu offense and things like that but honestly the only cheering i ever heard from Michigan fans where the generic Defense chant and once a Let's go Blue. Is that normal? i need to know this stuff because my next game will be at the Big House. i need to see how Home fans get down at games.
One of our own, Ed Muransky, holds the individual record for amount of prime rib consumed at Lawry's before the Rose bowl (8 pounds in 1978). Plus, I love stories of large men consuming large amounts of food.