Miss me? Yeah I haven’t done one of these in a long time as other matters took precedence and reader-generated content came in at a pace slow enough for you to keep up with it on the sidebar. That all changed with the basketball team’s turnaround, so let’s bring back the Best of the Reader Contributed Content feature to highlight that stuff (and get me called out on Reddit for aping Brian’s Unverified Voracity writing style).
BEILEIN’S BEST AND WORST
By Monkeyknife in the Beilein Photoshop thread
It was 10 years ago this week that Michigan fired Tommy Amaker and went searching for a guy who could take this Amakerized program to the next level. It was barely seven weeks ago that the next guy got as close as ever to finally losing the fanbase. Bronxblue picks up the details and the Michigan zeitgeist, which is all about “I’m sorry I doubted you Johnny!”:
It’s why when the anonymous coaching quotes came out about this team a month ago, the money line was “[t]hey get guys eight or 10 points who don’t deserve to score.” It sounds like an insult, but it’s more a compliment to Beilein’s philosophy. It’s how he got WVU to have 3 straight top-25 offenses per Kenpom with mostly cast-offs, or how he’s had exactly 2 teams (2010 and 2015) finish outside the top-40 in offense the past 9 year.
I mean, he’s right. Walton doesn’t have the horizontal wiggle to be an elite defender, so he’s had to get really crafty at steals, and that’s Michigan’s most complete player. The in-season development curve is astonishing this year, but massive development has been a constant under this regime. Glad we got to see it pass Orr for winningest in M hoops history.
The Beilein Effect, by the way, was the topic of a short diary a month ago by Mercury Hayes.
Last year at this time, Moritz Wagner was in the middle of a stretch where he played one minute across five games. Michigan lost four of those games. Two weeks later, he scored nine points in a BTT win over Indiana before logging 22 minutes against Tulsa in the NCAAs.
It’s a good start, but I’d love to see this in numbers: how do Beilein players start/finish seasons versus, say, the one-and-dones getting a year of Calipari or Self after high school?
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLANE
We now know what happened to the plane, via TheDirtyD via Avherald via the NTSB.
The elevators are those flaps on the back of the fin. One side got stuck in the “let’s make this plane go down” position while the other didn’t. That felt wrong so the pilots said “nope,” choosing to skid on the ground while going 199 mph (173 knots) rather than up go.
HOCKEY WAS HAPPENING
We sent David Nasternack to cover hockey games from the press box this year. Occasionally I went and he’d come down at halftime with a scoresheet showing Michigan badly losing Corsi even though the goalies were standing on their heads. I only read them when we won to be honest.
The not-Mel candidate rumored by Datsyuk’s agent is apparently Red Wings HC Jeff Blashill, who’s a real candidate, says Spath. Spath would be the guy after Red who’d know. Blashill was Western’s HC when they got good and was only plucked from college hockey when Mike Babcock ID’d him. He’s 43. Yeah that’s worth a look.
WHY DIDN’T WE CALL THE GIMMICKY TOP FIVE ‘FAB’?
If you only have time each week to listen to one podcast, it should be The British History Podcast—I’m so sorry people who pay my bills but Jamie is spectacular. If you have time for two, then do that and the MGoPodcast. But if you have the bandwidth for three, and it’s not one of those rare weeks when Dan Carlin put something out or the like, then absolutely check out the Dak and Dunc Show, a podcast by Michigan’s own Andrew Dakich and Duncan Robinson.
That it’s already rankable among general podcasts—no “for a podcast by athletes” provision—should tell you how good it’s gotten over just a handful of recordings. The first episode was done in the middle of the Big Ten Tournament this year and they’ve been doing one per game since, so everything is still recent enough to make every episode worth listening to now.
Positives: The hosts have great chemistry and presence. It’s also more insight into the team than we’ve had since Josh Bartelstein was blogging. The interviews (which they’re getting better at) are so far with current teammates plus Caris, and they push their guests to give non-press conference answers, so sometimes they can get really candid about things like how close DJ Wilson was to transferring or Wagner’s defense in the first part of the second half of the Minnesota game. You’ll learn a few Beileinisms such as what “wearing a tuxedo” means. Dakich tries to be the clown; Robinson the straightman is very good at reining Andrew in when necessary.
Areas for Improvement: Reining Andrew in is often necessary, and you have to get over Dakich sounding so much like his dad. And so far about half of each show is non-basketball stuff that might only interest other current students. There’s a lot of talk about head size. Also pro tip: if you’re in college, you really don’t want to know what your future wives are doing right now.
Anyway, start listening then head over to MGoBoard to discuss each ep. Latest thread is here.
NOW WITH MORE WALTON
Ace linked these earlier but Maize.Blue Wagner went through the old Hello posts for the current team to see what we thought of each. Later MBW tweeted at us and I pulled up our HTTV hockey-hoops point guards preview article, so if you already read it go add that.
THERE IS NO RESPONSE
Longtime contributor and MGoBlog community member Cali Wolverine lost his wife to cancer.
ETC. When your biggest rival is happy you’re finally firing your awful coach, you had a really awful coach. Guess what wins milestone Hutchins hit last weekend and the click to see if you were short (HINT: you are). Oregon primer, that in addition to Ace’s article today should serve you until the official preview later this week. MGoBlogger meetups in Kansas City. Our brackets. Recipes for duck. The Bubble that was. TBT with Rich Strenger. Fresh Livers highlights.
YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN:
They deleted the video of every three so here’s a shot chart of Michigan’s offense vs. Oklahoma State:
Click for big. Thanks for bringing this home, Ace.
THIS MONTH IN MGOBLOG HISTORY:
Happy 10-year anniversary, Anthony. Anthony? You can get up now. Seriously you guys just scored or something I think.
I LIKE YOUR DISTRIBUTION
The conference win probabilities in Ecky Pting’s mid-season B1G Expectations say Michigan is likely to make it to The Game undefeated and has a 37% chance of winning out. Also it’ll be an uphill battle for one adjacent rival to make a bowl according to S&P:
State’s expected conference wins is now at 2.7, meaning if they’re a little bit lucky they’ll finish this season 5-7. Everybody in the B1G West is mediocre except Illinois leans pretty bad and Purdue is awful.
PATRICK SEES RED, DAVID SEES BLUE
BlueBarron is Patrick Barron, whose photography was first featured in HTTV Hockey-Hoops several years back when he was on the Daily, and who’s now part of our staff. He went to Rutgers and wrote a photo journal capturing the electric atmosphere of a night game in Piscataway:
Okay surely they looked more excited AFTER the game started.
See? There are two dudes behind the field goal who even have their arms in the air.
Also David Nasternack, who’s our do-everything behind the scenes guy, wrote up the first hockey game.
As Brian mentioned in his game column after Rutgers, the last time a team got beat as badly as Rutgers by Michigan, it was 1939, and the University of Chicago (HINT HINT) shut down its football team shortly after. The grandson of 1939 Michigan player Fred Olds wrote a diary about his grandpa’s team and how the OP became a fan. Those pre-War teams do still get together, though there are very few of them left.
MGrowOld has continued his own historical series, the badly titled “Forgotten Blue”, about Michigan greats that nobody has forgotten. The latest was mono-paw pitcher Jim Abbott. Fellow pitching great Jennie Ritter was before that. Rudy Tomjanovich was before that. Who’s that?
And finally on Wisconsin week we were treated to a trip down Badger Memory Lane, which was quite pleasant thankyouverymuch until 2005 ruined everything.
EARLY SPEIGHT vs EARLY RUDOCK
Blue Indy earned undying MGoRespect for coming up with a statistical comparison of Speight’s first half versus Rudock’s last year. Remember when we thought Rudock was miserable, and that put a hard cap on how good the year could go? It’d be nice to have some way to compare those. I thought to take Indy’s stats and chart against opponent pass defense:
Good pass defenses are on the left
The big differences came early: even if UCF ends up much worse than they look to S&P+ right now, that game and the Hawaii one were more efficient than any Speight played in the first half of last year. Rudock got two really bad pass defenses and was middling; Speight blew his away. The rest are non-opponent-dependent meh performances.
I’ve been waiting for this series to come up with some good ones before throwing them all out there.
Unfortunately Rutgers players mostly look like Rutgers, all Wisconsin players look the same, and Penn State players…we’re not going there.
REDSHIRTS REMAINING: Redshirt tracker is down to Peters, Walker, Spanellis, Ron Johnson, and Quinn Nordin. Keep your eyes out going forward for some of the burned shirts who might yet get a medshirt if they didn’t see the field against Penn State or after. Candidates include Davis, Nate Johnson, Eubanks, Dwumfour, Uche, Kemp, Gil, and Mbem-Bosse.
Your Moment of Zen:
Remember kids, if your team is full of super humans, game theory doesn't really matter. pic.twitter.com/dQNxqxjhcw
— Red Lee (@BDJargon) October 7, 2016
Courtesy of Red Lee.
It’s been awhile since we last did one of these best of the user-generated content articles so there will be a bit of catchup. I’ll use this opportunity to introduce you to some of my favorite regular features that the MGoReadership has been producing.
EXTRA FRONT PAGE CONTENT
Stock Watch: This is really front page content we forgot to bump in the craziness of preseason. It’s Mathlete’s 2016 preseason “this team is going to win +/- Y games” guesses based on his every-play metrics.
Best and Worst: If I ever remembered to bump it on Sundays, bronxblue’s postgame assessment of Michigan fans’ current zeitgeist would be regular front page content. You don’t need to understand professional wrestling references, but it helps.
B1G Expectations: Ecky Ptang needs to create his own tag for this relatively new series that tracks the conference-wide total win probabilities and upcoming schedules. It’s great for knowing who’s got what opponents next and backing up thoughts like “Penn State is a 7-win team,” and the graphs make it a quick read. Here’s week 1. Here’s last week. At right is a nice looking mountain.
KNOW YOUR HISTORY
Throwback Thursday: ReadYourGuard was a linebacker who played with Harbaugh, and a lot of other interesting guys. This offseason he told the stories of a bunch of them. These are not media interviews—they’re real stories of guys who played for Michigan that they’re only sharing with another former player. Any random click here will be more rewarding than reading the rest of Dear Diary: Todd Plate. Clay Miller. Tim Williams. Mike Dames. David Key. Mike Reinhold. Brent White. Ken Higgins.
Forgotten Blue: MGrowOld recently started this 25-episode miniseries on old Michigan greats, even if a Hall of Fame shortstop who was nearly as good as Alan Trammell over relatively the same era hardly qualifies as “Forgotten”.
This Month in MGoBlog History: Maize.Blue Wagner is running 10 years back, which was still in the blogspot days. Now that we’re into the 2006 season it’s fun again; this week was all about the time Brady Quinn’s Heisman campaign became a Bennie Hill video.
Lanyard Program: Both the name of the series and the author, LP makes a quick printout program that’s handy to have at the games. I keep getting requests for him to put our FFFF diagrams on there each week.
Weather: MGoweather is our meteorologist. Posts go up Friday evenings before gameday so there’s no excuse for reading them when you’re already half way to Ann Arbor on Saturday like I always do.
Best of the Board
WHO IS FREDDY P SOFT?
Man explains his invisible enemy pic.twitter.com/9cGihZCQri
— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) September 15, 2016
Now you know. The man apparently has a history.
ALL THE DAILY! I will give you a link to a thread that goes to a link to the complete archives of the Michigan Daily, but ONLY if you promise me that you won’t look up anything I wrote because my editors sometimes sucked and changed the entire meaning of my stuff (also: I sucked).
We are promised?
Okay here you go.
NOT GOLD. Our sponsor just bought the house across from the stadium on Main Street and since it’s last minute they asked our help to sell spaces there. I forgot to mention that besides the tailgate they also just sell plain old parking spots there too.
THE WORST. I can’t even bring myself to talk about it. As of this writing it had 43 upvotes: Read it.
THE SALUTES MARCH ON. Catching you up on the Catching Up With series, ReadYourGuard is still talking to his old teammates. Lately he’s profiled Brent White, Clay Miller, Tim Williams, Mike Dames, David Key and Mike Reinhold.
A taste of what you’re missing, from Reinhold (goofy looking fellow at right-above):
When the film played this particular punt play and the guy came through the line unblocked, Bo came unglued. He stopped the film, flipped on the lights, and barked out, “Who is this man?” as he smacks the screen with his pointer. Mike was sitting in the back of the room with the rest of the freshman and the assistant coaches standing behind them, against the back wall. He raised his hand.
“Stand up, son.”
“What the hell were you thinking?”
This is the absolute last place on earth you want to be; standing in front of the entire team with Bo asking you a question that has no right answer. The naïve 2nd year player responded with “I don’t know”.
Oooof. Wrong answer.
WHO GETS TO PLAY THE MOST B1G WEST OF THE BIG WEST, BASICALLY. MaizeJacket went through the cross-divisional threes for each Big Ten team this year and ranked them. As expected, the B1G East teams mostly had easier cross-division games due to playing those games against the B1G West. Not sure however that I agree with his rankings: Indiana has Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue, whereas Maryland swaps the Wildcats for the Gophers. Minnesota’s tougher than Northwestern will be I bet.
MAC’S LONG GOODBYE
In an offseason when we’re super excited about bringing in one of the best defensive coordinators in the country, some awful news about one of the greatest DCs in Michigan history was finally made public. Bill McCartney has Alzheimer’s. Mac (along with his brother) was a legendary high school coach in the Detroit area who joined the Michigan staff in 1974 after Bo made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
When Gary Moeller took the Illinois job, Mac took over the defense, beginning a run for “McCartney’s Monsters” that set most of the defensive records in modern program history (including the three-shutout streak the 2015 team tied). We have an article this year by Dr. Sap on the 1980 team and how Coach Mac invented the Dime (4-1-6) defense to stop Purdue’s early shotgun spread-to-pass outfit. Mac went on to win a national championship as head coach of Colorado. FYI everything he remembered for the article checked out.
MEET THE NEW NUMBERS:
Rasmus broke down the history of the numbers and what inspired them, and also suggested we call that a “Winged 4”. Co-sign.
PROJECTING WIN TOTALS. Ecky Ptang (Ni!) took the S&P+ and FPI preseason numbers and made them into those likelihood charts that are so useful later on in the season for comparisons. Michigan’s centered on…10!
Ecky did a good job breaking down what things mean.
A GOOD BET. Last time I did one of these posts I shared The Saturday Edge’s annual free betting prospectus. Tim contacted me after and asked if he could sponsor another DD in return for me finding more flaws in his Big Ten preview. Here’s some nits:
- Iowa’s Matt VandeBerg’s yards per target make him more impressive than his YPC. (Okay I know I’m supposed to be ripping on things but Tim uses the Hawkeyes’ too-lucky turnover ratio last year as a negative and I wanted to point out this is why the gamblers are smarter than the hot takers).
- He’s a bit too high on Nebraska’s offense (which I think has reached its ceiling) and Northwestern’s DTs.
- Who is this “Purdue”?
- Argh name an Ohio State secondary (this could go for Urban Meyer too)
- Too high on MSU’s OL and MSU in general.
Now that I’ve read all the others I kinda think I sold it short because of the missing Michigan details.
A SILVER AGE OF BIG TEN COACHING. Reader canzior surveyed the Big Ten coaching field in the wake of some apparently good hires the last few years and declared the coaching talent in the league to finally be catching up to the SEC.
I did my HTTV article a few years back on the dramatic difference between how most SEC schools were hiring coaches and Big Ten coaches were. The upshot:
All told the hires I filed as “Strong” at the time went 758-377 (67% winning percentage), the “Average” ones went 404-275 (60%), and the “Cheap” hires went 320-443 (42%). Strong hires totaled a 4% improvement from those programs’ historic average winning percentage; average ones met the school average, and cheap hires have been winning at a rate 11 points below what’s typical for their programs.
Coaching hires are crootin x 100 and give similar returns: the 5-stars require massive investment but work out >50% of the time, 4-stars hit less, and 3-stars are easier to get but are a quarter as likely to be great (at which point you're paying them like a 5-star anyway).
You should hit the link for two reasons: 1.) a comprehensive chart of current Power 5 coaches and their coordinators, and 2.) the thread is a fun discussion comparing coaching years.
For that I submitted 1998: Hayden Fry, Nick Saban, Barry Alvarez, Lloyd Carr, and Joe Paterno are hall of famers; Mason, Turner, Tiller, and Barnett were some of the best coaches in their school's history; and John Cooper won just about every game except The Game. The last guy is Cam Cameron, a Bo assistant who coached the Antwaan Randle-El era, currently coordinates the Leonard Fournette offense, and was an NFL OC and HC in between. The next year Fry and Barnett were replaced with Ferentz and Randy Walker, and the Big Ten had its best year ever. Good coaching: kinda important.
ETC. What happened to Jehu? MGoColloquialisms. Wallpaper will terminate you. Only Cazzie’s number is actually retired. Children exist so that the embarrassing things adults do can look cute (I taught my 2-year-old to do the GO!-> <-BLUE! cheer). Video of players speaking at Jordan launch. Game blouses: TRUE STORY! Brian, Rittenberg, Todd Howard and I will be in Chicago in 2 weeks from yesterday. For Draftageddon complainers: MGoBlog’s offseason content 10 years ago.
YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN:
Ace forgot to put Aubrey Solomon murderating a guy in the roundup so I get to do it:
— Kevin Pych (@pychke) August 3, 2016
Meet Raul Wallenberg, who did more with his Michigan degree than, well, anyone:
Wallenberg developed a system of Swedish safe-houses, and eventually worked to create a separate international ghetto for Jews under protection from Sweden and other neutral powers. He created a rescue team that worked to protect those under Swedish protection--in some instances, they would impersonate Nazi officials in order to demand Jews from death marches, and then return them to Budapest. For his actions, Wallenberg was a target of multiple assassination attempts.
Then he disappeard, but man that guy had some chutzpah. In Michigan guys who didn't save thousands of lives, ReadYourGuard, who played some football at Michigan himself, has started interviewing former players. His first is Clay Miller. His story includes Bo's first use of the goal line formation. It is very much worth a read.
The annual betting prospectus. Tim Tolman from The Saturday Edge puts out a free betting prospectus every year for the Big Ten. Again, I like to read the gamblers' takes because they're forced to be more realistic. On the other hand:
My biggest gripe is he expects Rashan Gary to replace Willie Henry at 3-tech; if Gary starts it's because Wormley is at 3-tech and Gary is at SDE. One man's guess at how the DL will shake out on competitive snaps:
|Anchor (SDE)||Tackle (3-tech)||Nose||End (WDE)|
|Gary (40%)||Wormley (40%)||Glasgow (53%)||Charlton (75%)|
|Wormley (45%)||Hurst (40%)||Mone (45%)||Winovich (20%)|
That has Wormley and Taco on the field most of the time, Glasgow and Mone rotating to stay fresh (Hurst is the NT only when they go Bear), Hurst getting a lot of play at DT, and Gary on the field about half the time, but all over the line. It'll probably change up from game to game as Don Brown decides which dude is best suited for his particular matchup.
Anyway Tim doesn't even say the name Hurst, even though Matt Godin and Brady Pallante(!) come in for mentions. If Pallante plays non-garbage time this year there would have to be a plume of green smoke where the DT two-deep once stood.
Part time blogger. Our mods don't get the appreciation they deserve. Sometimes it shows. Hit play at the bottom, skip the first 30 seconds, and sing along:
You are struggling to defend your dumb notion
It’s half-cocked, riddled with emotion
When the words don’t come you turn it all around
Throw out a “f---”, then run the ship aground
It's actually good.
First year QB: A problem? User unWavering wrote a diary that starts by showing you every national champion or runner up QB since 2000 and that half were first-time starters. If you extend that to the start of the BCS era you get Vick, junior Weinke, the guy who replaced Peyton Manning, and Marcus Outzen (Weinke was injured). None of them were coached by Jim Harbaugh. Quarterback will be fine; injuries to the offensive line, bad linebacker play, safeties regressing, and games when O'Neill's crew are officiating are my biggest concerns.
From Johnny Orr to Beilein. The helpful thread title is Michigan has now produced more 1st round NBA Draft picks than any other program in the B1G. Indiana has more first and second rounders historically but Beilein's national championship game roster alone had four first-rounders on it plus a second-rounder.
How can I help?
Seriously. And feel free to pass that along.
[After the jump: a good reason to thank the troops, a draw-a-Woliverine competition, and an important update on Michigan's QB battle.]
[No not really but you'll want to see it anyway.]
I'M NOT THROWING HAIL MARYS, I'M POSTIN' EM
If by now you haven't clicked on the thread that says "Jim Harbaugh starred in a 1990's video game commercial" I don't know what to say to you. There's a thread on our board that promises a video game commercial from the '90s starring Jim Harbaugh. Presumably it links to a video of said commercial. Presumably this video is the source of those eyeglow memes you've come across. Presumably you have already clicked and I'm talking into space. Except Harbaugh's already blown that up:
DEFINITELY WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP
8:30 a.m. Coats on hangers, children at desks
8:45 a.m. Attendance
9:00 a.m. Career Day intro
9:05 a.m. Desmond Howard
Career Day at my sons' school yesterday. They said I won. pic.twitter.com/ag36qs2syj
— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) May 12, 2016
Tough break for Victoria Gonzalez. https://t.co/hgfXz3x1fZ
— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) May 12, 2016
9:35 a.m. Classroom revolts when Desmond is interrupted in the middle of his Green Bay career to introduce nutritionist.
Bringing the Heisman made sure he'd be memorable, but the Emmy too? That's just cold, man.
THE LOCKERS HAVE NUMBERS
The big reveal is Kekoa (Dylan) Crawford will wear #1 but the rest of the freshmen have also been tweeting their numbers. Many of them do not have numbers but have lockers with temporary 1s or 2s (or 9) on yellow sticky notes.
|"We're gonna need a bigger 3." –Hotel Putingrad|
New ones I was able to turn up from that thread plus a run through the Twitters:
- #1: Kekoa Crawford
- #3: Rashan Gary
- #7: Khaleke Hudson
- #10: Nate Johnson
- #22 David Long
Loving the Nate Johnson-Jeremy Gallon comparison. For the record, the yellow sticky notes were Eubanks (1), Mbem-Bosse (1), Asiasi (2), Lavert Hill (2), and Devin Gil (9). The other thing I noticed is the freshmen all have lockers separate from the rest of the team again. I believe Harbaugh reinstituted this last year to let the class form a bond.
As for #1, I'm glad someone will be wearing it again. It was cool that Lloyd made Braylon earn it but AC, McMurtry, Alexander, Butterfield, and Terrell all got to put it on as freshmen. And don't you dare say he's too small for it or I'll whip you with 40 gifs of Anthony Carter.
Of course none of them will ever be as great as the first receiver to wear #1 at Michigan, Tall Paul Goebel. If someone else doesn't beat me to it I'm going to write an HTTV special on him next year and calling it Number One. For now read his Wikipedia page.
DELAWARE IN THE C COLUMN
— The Review (@udreview) May 13, 2016
Rawak got mixed reviews in Bacon's book. She came to Michigan on a swimming scholarship in 1988 and stayed after graduation as an assistant for six years, covering 10 of a 12-year Big Ten title run. She then came back in 2004 to run HR, and was a rising star in Martin's administration.
Under Brandon Chrissi' staff increased from five to 60, and her responsibilities expanded to just about everywhere, including notably, PR director—without any training—just in time for the Shane Morris Incident.
On one hand the masses can't feel too bad about losing Dave Brandon's top lieutenant/hatchet man. On the other, Bacon clearly had sympathy for this competent, Michigan-loving person who was constantly being put in positions to fail by a boss she felt loyalty to. This seems like a departure both sides win.
Etc. This month in MGoBlog History Brian mostly disparaged over the Pistons losing to the Heat. Lacrosse tournament preview. Keep your eyes peeled for a softball preview; I'll bump that when it comes. This article by Ian Boyd is relevant to your interests. This PFF article is also relevant to your interests.
Your Moment of Zen: