this week's obsession
Ron Bellamy Day. From WH. Part II is here.
Remember that one time an otherwise obscure/disappointing player was a superstar for a day?
Full game is on the youtubes.
Smoothitron: I went through his game log not that long ago praying that wasn't his career high, and it's not, but it's close.
The pinnacle stretch of Spike's career was tragically unfun.
[Do NOT hit THE JUMP if you prefer to fondly remember erstwhile highly hyped Michigan scatbacks]
So, next year’s offensive line/defensive line…any conce…why did you just run under the bed?
Seth: I ask this because I was playing with a depth chart for next year and I'm kind of more worried about DT than OT.
Ace: It’s an understandable concern, especially now that it looks more likely Michigan could whiff on Solomon/Tufele/Reitmaier. While I’m still more worried about the offensive line, the lack of depth after Mo Hurst and Bryan Mone—who hasn’t been able to stay healthy for anywhere close to a full season—is worrisome. A couple freshmen are going to get pressed into service early.
Seth: That's the thing: there aren't a lot of bullets in that chamber.
Ace: With the number of SDE/5-tech types Michigan is bringing in this class (Hudson, Jeter, Irving-Bey), I wouldn’t be surprised if Rashan Gary slides inside to help out with that.
In related news, it’d be really nice if Lawrence Marshall finally broke through.
Seth: I figure the starting four are locked: Gary at SDE (anchor), Hurst at DT, Mone at NT, Winovich at End. For passing downs they go with a 30 front, pulling Mone and having Gary and Hurst slide down. The top DL backup then is your backup anchor: Kemp, Reuben Jones, Marshall, whoever, who comes in for Gary when Gary is in for Hurst who may be in for Mone. But then Mone hasn't stayed healthy for a year yet. And if you lose any of them we're down to....Dwumfour?
Ace: Paea is the least college-ready of the incoming DTs; I still like him more at guard, to be honest. I think Dwumfour and Hudson are the best bets for those backup spots if Michigan can’t land Tufele. Practice reports from the Army Bowl have been pretty positive for Irving-Bey, as well, so perhaps he could get into the rotation.
Mone’s health is paramount, which is rather terrifying.
Seth: Yeah, none of those guys are likely going to be ready to play nose, and that would be a colossal waste of Hurst.
Ace: I don’t see many scenarios in which Hurst doesn’t see a fair amount of time at nose, unfortunately. He should be much better at it next year than he was in 2015, though.
Seth: The playbook has Hurst-style nose tricks, and I agree 305-pound senior Hurst >>> 275-pound sophomore Hurst. But when you put a guy with his skills over the center and leave him to doubles forever those glorious plays when he's in the backfield before the quarterback has pulled up his read buttons disappear.
Ace: You can still slide Gary inside on those snaps, insert one of the young guys at SDE, and have a pretty decent line out there, though.
[After the jump: we scrape the bottom of the snap stats for potential contributors, and then we do the OL.]
[Bryon Houlgrave/The Register]
The question (posed by Brian):
Leonard Fournette sitting out the bowl game was one thing, since he might be injured. A hale and hearty Christian McCaffrey getting out of Dodge before the Sun Bowl seems like another. How do we feel about this?
Seth: First let's take as a given that "hale and hearty" for a football player is relative.
Brian: I mean sure. I just kind of... I don't want to be Old Man Newspaper here but I find myself bothered by this despite being pretty woke about player compensation issues.
Ace: I’m totally fine with it. While McCaffrey may not be hurt, he’s carried a hell of a workload. 290 offensive touches this year, 385 last year, plus returns, and his teammates—at least publicly—are in full support.
This isn’t even the Rose Bowl like last year. It’s the Sun Bowl. If his teammates are cool with him missing a glorified exhibition to get ready to actually get paid for his work, I’m not one to argue.
Brian: Is there a line above which you would be bothered? Where is that line?
Ace: If there are stakes.
Brian: Okay, so Sun Bowl can GTFO. Citrus?
Ace: Honestly, I can understand a player of McCaffrey’s caliber skipping any non-playoff appearance.
Brian: Dude! So Stanford's in the Rose again and you're totally fine with him dropping his pants on An American Institution?
Ace: I don’t blame the kid for that. I blame him not getting paid. The incentives are all kinds of messed up. That’s not McCaffrey’s fault. Plus, the Rose Bowl will still have the parade and the bands at halftime and that gorgeous stadium. It’ll be fine.
Seth: There's also a place where you can be disappointed at the guy without treating him like he is violating the Constitution. One of the first things I noticed was the level of vitriol and who it was coming from. When you find yourself on the same side as the guy talking about the "me first" generation you wonder if you're on the right side.
Ace: I’ll admit part of my stance is predicted on always being on the other side of the people screaming “DAMN MILLENNIALS."
Brian: I do kind of like that it puts the NCAA's total lack of leverage on display.
But... I mean... if Peppers peaced out before the Orange Bowl you wouldn't be disappointed?
Ace: I’d be disappointed, sure, but I still wouldn’t get upset at Peppers about it.
Seth: Things like Wilton Speight and Devin Gardner playing against Ohio State, or Robot Chad Henne vs MSU, are extraordinary because that is a stupid decision they're making on our behalf. If that is the norm then why appreciate it? Gardner sitting out the Copper Bowl was a no-brainer, because it’s the Copper Bowl. Playing in The Game meant something, even at the end of a breakdown season, because it’s The Game.
Brian: I still like to think that there's a romantic THE TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM heart to this. Ed Reed!
I think it would be shitty to your teammates.
[Hit THE JUMP for shattered dreams of kinds]
Brian: I don't know what those words mean in proximity to each other.
Seth: It comes from fanfiction but whatever, here old person:
This Week’s Obsession: Play Rivalry Yente
Brian: I don't understand that either. Is this like season two of the Wire? Am I going to find a bunch of dead Purdues in a shipping container?
Seth: Everything is like season 2 of the Wire.
David: I took it as "who would be a fun rivalry for Michigan".
Seth: No. Take any two teams.
Brian: Please explain my goal here as if I was not a preteen.
Choose any two schools and make them rivals.
David: Ok, well, I didn't know that...so, I have "Louisville and Michigan".
Brian: Can I say Michigan and Notre Dame?
Seth: Yes. Except we're playing each other again And I thought you wanted The Situation Trophy.
Brian: Well, clearly The Situation Trophy is the greatest and best idea I'll ever have and Rutgers-MSU promises to be highly competitive going forward, so yes, MSU-Rutgers is a rivalry in fact and not hypothesis. Which group of shirtless meatheads can slather themselves in the most AXE or BOD or SCREW THE SUBTLETY WE'RE JUST CALLING IT PENIS brand smelly bits? TUNE IN SATURDAY TO FIND OUT!
|By Wolverine Devotee|
Michigan and Notre Dame. Seriously, though. In multiple sports. They're joining Big Ten hockey so that's fine on that front, but it's inexplicable that Michigan doesn't regularly play ND in basketball. In general the lack of consistent nonconference opponents in basketball mystifies me. Every year they play some random platter of opponents, many of them horrible. It's a bad setup.
Seth: Michigan State and Central Michigan have been casually dating each other since the early '90s but it's time they take the leap. I have relatives who went to the game in Mount Pleasant who compare it still to the greatest sports events they've ever been to. Granted they don't get out much, but provincial entertainment is the point of having football rivalries between proximal ag schools in the middle of Corn Belt states.
Central Michigan has always been a third wheel in the directional Michigan circuit, however they fit a profile and command a region more like Iowa State than their MAC kin. They deserve more.
Michigan State meanwhile will always have that one decade when they're competitive with Michigan per century, but lack a rival to look down upon for the other 90 years. The lack of symmetry puts the onus on Spartan fans to carry far too much hate, and makes fandom of MSU a mostly bitter experience even in good times. Having their own Michigan State nearby could deflect some of that attention so they don't have to keep embarrassing themselves with the word "scUM".
Like the state if it didn't have Detroit, Michigan State without Michigan would feel like Iowa, which managed to be a most pleasant experience to travel to this year despite That. A serious annual rivalry with CMU might help the Spartans feel more like you're supposed to feel about your college football team.
They can have shirts that say "Middle Brother."
I totally didn’t design this in 2012 and try to get UGP to sell it.
Add that the winner of each game gets to host the next one to make it unique and cool (and to justify the proper imbalance), and everybody profits.
[After THE JUMP: this gets way more basketball than I intended.]
So the Big Ten writers and coaches held a watered down version of Draftageddon called the “All Big Ten Awards” so we thought we’d chime in. The link has the official release.
Offense MVP: Barkley
Defense MVP: Peppers
Freshman: Mike Weber
Coach: Chryst (coaches), Franklin (media)
QB: Barrett, WR: Austin Carr, TE: Butt, OL: Elflein
DL: Tyquan Lewis, LB: Peppers, DB: Jourdan Lewis
K: Carpenter, P: Johnston, KR: Peppers
[Hit THE JUMP we have another think coming.]
The British ain’t comin’. [Patrick Barron]
This season is so fun we realized after Ace and Brian did a Gimmicky Top Five of favorite subplots for the podcast that there have been way more good ones they left out. So we reopened the floor to the rest of the MGoBlog crew to see if we could come up with something more comprehensive. We invite you to keep adding to the list.
Favorite Irrelevant Plotlines of this Season
- Will Rutgers get a 1st down?
- PFF hates kickers and punters
Which awesome play will be unnecessarily put on film this week?
- Which possibly correct call will Harbaugh blow his stack on?
- Jourdan Lewis vs. Egg Twitter
- How loud will McDoom chants be at road games?
- Harbaugh's glasses
- Opponent fans sarcastically cheering when their team finally does something good
- Khalid Hill's YPC and TD/carry ratio
- "Peppers is Overrated."
- Hammer Panda
[Hit THE JUMP for sad rivals, sadder mascots, and TRAAAAAAIN!]