The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
As you all probably know by now, SDSU utilized an interesting way of playcalling this past Saturday where, instead of using odd hand gestures and yelling a lot, they held up large cards with pictures of those who had left the program for greener pastures (read: Michigan...duh). Now it appears that fans and mgobloggers weren't the only ones to notice this innovative method. In a stunning move, Dave Brandon has announced today (in a secret press conference that I was lucky enough to have been invited to) that Michigan will begin using the same tactic beginning immediately.
Okay, now before everyone gets all ANGAR and DAVEBRANDONRABBLEPIZZARABBLE, allow me to asplode your heads, for I am privvy to not only the people whose faces will be used on these cards, but also the strategies that will be implemented with each card! You can all thank me later but before that, I'm pleased to announce:
Michigan's Face Card Strategies Idea That They Borrowed from SDSUTM
As you all remember, Tony Gibson was Michigan's Defensive Backs/Special Teams Coach for 3 seasons under Rich Rodriguez. His departure has thus made him eligible for the Michigan Face Cards. When Michigan's defense sees this card, they are to immediately give any and all possible receivers at least a 10 yard cushion off the line of scrimmage (this may also apply to defensive line players since you never know when one of those scrappy tackles will break off for a quick slant).
Cornerbacks are also encouraged to completely ignore the receiver they're covering after about 2 yards and just turn and run downfield like hell is chasing them (for reference on how this technique looks when done properly, see footage from the 2010 PSU game).
[NOTE: If this Face Card is shown on a kick or punt return, the returner is expected to muff the ball, or otherwise fumble it on the run if he accidentally caught it the first time.]
When Michigan's defense sees this Face Card, they are encouraged to "Embrace the Change", and ponder this deeply. However once the ball is snapped, cornerbacks should work on providing enough coverage to make the opposing QB think long enough in the hopes that he'll be sacked, which is pretty likely to happen...if you have players named Woodley, Branch, Jamison and/or Burgess. If not, then just try really, really hard.
However, if this Face Card is shown against a spread team with a mobile quarterback, then just lay down to die, and pray that it's over soon.
Greg "GERG" Robinson
When the defense sees Greg Robinson's beautiful flowing locks with his face underneath staring back at them, they must immediately switch into a 3-3-5 (hell, so does the offense because, I mean, this 3-3-5 thing must work somewhere, right?). Players are also expected to play well out of position and look extremely confused, and if they do so, they'll likely be rewarded by a sideline hug from Mr. Snuggles the Fun-Time Football Beaver.
Also, if you bring this Face Card into your local participating hair salon, you'll receive 20% off your next haircut or perm (new customers only, subject to change, void where prohibited, not valid on dreadlocks).
When the RR Face Card is shown on offense, expect a zone-read, and also expect Denard to run the ball regardless of anything else (this includes wide open receivers, multiple LB spies, and 5 foot brick walls across the width of the field Wile E. Coyote-style). It is also recommended to have a new RB in the backfield every new time this is shown.
This Face Card also holds other possibilities. If a position is in dire need (aka - has little to no depth), a player from that position is required to do one of the following wen seeing the RR Face Card: 1) become severely injured for the rest of the season, 2) leave the program, or 3) become ineligible to play for any other other reason (academics is a good one). This Face Card will also signify to the MMB that it is time to play a Josh Groben song.
BONUS: When a new drive begins, flip a coin. If the coin is heads, go three-and-out. If tails, bust off a huge 80+ yard run by Denard in an insane comeback against ND.
Lloyd Carr's Face Card is actually quite specific yet simple. Here's the breakdown:
1st Down: I-Formation, Zone-Left Run
2nd Down: I-Formation, Zone-Left Run
3rd Down: I-Formation, Zone-Left Run
4th Down: Punt (but only if it's ≥ 4th and inches AND you're not within the opponents 20 yd. line, in which case, kick a field goal)
Well, there you have it folks! Michigan's Face Card Strategies Idea That They Borrowed From SDSUTM. I don't know about you, but I can't WAIT to see these bad boys in action. I'm sure Minnesota won't know what hit them this Saturday. Go Blue!