spoiler alert: i linked this
Jim Harbaugh is a bigger man than probably any of us and he showed it again today. After Colin Cowherd dressed as him on his show, Harbaugh tweeted his appreciation and said that they are friends again (tweet below). As much as we hate Cowherd it was a classy move by Harbaugh. I wonder if Cowherd still thinks the Big Ten is a bye.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) October 30, 2015
A very quick look at FEI's advanced stats demonstrates palpably how much improvement Harbaugh has brought to Michigan (click to embiggen):
- Y axis is rank, X axis is year.
- Blue is GE = game efficiency, FEI's measure of net success on non-garbage possessions, and opponent adjustments are calculated with special emphasis placed on quality performances against good teams, win or lose
- Orange is OFEI = Opponent-adjusted Offensive Efficiency, or value generated per possession
- Gray is DFEI = Opponent-adjusted Defensive Efficiency, or value generated per opponent possession
- Yellow is STE = Special Teams Efficiency, or value generated per game possession
Some quick observations:
- Harbaugh and his staff have improved our rankings in every category. Offensive improvement is meh, but defensive and special teams improvements are off the chart (figuratively).
- Michigan's special teams are the best they have been, by a significant margin, since FEI has been keeping track.
Buried in his Monday Morning QB article at the NYT, Gregg Easterbrook opines thusly:
"Two years ago, T.M.Q. took a lot of heat from San Francisco fans — who at the time actually were San Francisco fans — for saying Colin Kaepernick couldn’t run a pro-style offense and is prone to “sailing the ball where no receiver awaits.” Repeatedly in the contested portion of the Seahawks contest, Kaepernick sailed the ball beyond anyone’s reach. Adjusting for sacks and scrambles, Kaepernick dropped back to pass 30 times for a net of 81 yards gained, an awful 2.7 yards per dropback. Trying to convert Kaepernick into a pro-style pocket passer simply hasn’t worked. The Niners either should employ him as a college-style running quarterback, or switch to Blaine Gabbert."
"It hasn’t helped that Santa Clara sank a bundle of high draft choices into wide receivers Michael Crabtree, A.J. Jenkins and Stevie Johnson, none of whom remain with the team. The Niners’ 2012 draft ranks among the all-time woofers. Jenkins and LaMichael James, selected in the first and second rounds, already are O.O.F. — Out of Football. No one else from that draft remains with the franchise."
"Jim Harbaugh arrived at the Niners in 2010, with the team on a talent upswing — NaVorro Bowman, Anthony Davis, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Joe Staley, Patrick Willis, others. Harbaugh took the credit for a few good seasons, then skedaddled as the impact of player personnel decisions with which he concurred, including the 2012 draft, became apparent. Getting out of town before people realize what you’ve done to the team — Harbaugh heading to Michigan, Pete Carroll fleeing U.S.C. in 2010 — is essential for many megabucks coaches."
In response, all I can say is, WTF?
Edit: Easterbrook's main point is that Harbaugh endorsed the player personnel decisions made in the 2012 draft; after LaMichael James was released in September 2014, only OG Joe Looney was left from the '12 draft. I don't know enough about the situation in the 49ers front office back then—is it true that Harbaugh was on board with the draft choices, or was he handed the picks against his own better judgement? Out of all the criticisms leveled against JH, this is the first time I've heard anybody argue that he's a lousy judge of talent.
OMG he's the best:
Harbaugh's advice is to get two costumes, run between houses, go home, change into your second costume, and hit the neighborhood again for twice as much candy.
"Hustling at all times."
He's the best.
It's here on the EDSBS page. Some selections:
Jim, I need you to beat Michigan State. I need you to beat Michigan State in a manner that would imply that Michigan State said something untoward to your wife. I need you to beat Michigan State by numbers our numerical system has no concept of. I need you to beat Michigan State.
And I need you to tattoo the face of Michigan radio announcer Jim Brandstatter onto your own face.
Now, hear me out, Jim Harbaugh.
Jim, I love Michigan. Love it. My blood cells are 30 percent BTB guacamole and 70 percent smug. I am deeply in love with the University of Michigan, down to those weirdo apartments on South Forest where nothing illegal happened that you or anyone can prove in a court of law. I operate best in 45 degree temperatures and hate excessive positivity. I love Michigan, and I know you do too.
But Jim Brandstatter loves Michigan more than us. More than anyone.
Just look at him. Look at how happy he is. Look how much he believes in Michigan. Offense isn't working? Why, that's just a sign that these boys are still learning. Defense gives up a big play? Just goes to show you how good our opposition is! Like you, he played for Bo, and he loves Bo, and he might visit Bo's grave like, once a week just to have some time to himself. I am unsure as to whether or not he has ever left the state of Michigan. He is the homeriest homer to ever homer, Jim.
And you need to tattoo Jim Brandstatter's face onto your face.
It would send such a message of support and belief, Jim, for you to tattoo Jim Brandstatter's face onto yours. It'd say, NFL teams, just stay away, because now Jim Harbaugh has Jim Brandstatter's face tattooed on his face, and he's a real Michigan Man now, and he'll never ever ever ever ever leave us. You can't get bored if you have Jim Brandstatter's face tattooed on your face. Think how sad Dan Rubenstein would be to be so wrong. Think about how sad our opposition would be that you will never, ever leave Michigan. Think about how happy this would make me.
This is all you have to do, Jim. Beat Michigan State like their forces were a mile outside of Moscow, and tattoo the face of Michigan radio announcer Jim Brandstatter onto your own face. Then, I'll be happy.
Well, until November. But we can talk more then.
We are halfway through #HateWeek, and I think it's time for some wallpaper.
The Michigan State game has always been a special one for me. I've lived in Lansing my entire life, but I've always been a Michigan fan. Many of my friends and family members are Spartans, which makes this game very important to me. I'm ready for things to get back to normal.
My inspiration for this wallpaper is obviousy Jim Harbaugh and his love for whole milk. If winners drink whole milk, then losers drink skim. Michigan State may be a dairy school, but we win this milk battle.