The less you know about Bellanca, the better
that makes one of us
Pic note for Buckeye fans: I see your non sequitur and raise it to allegory.
Are all my troubles here to stay?
Paul McCartney woke up one morning with 90 percent of Yesterday playing in his head. He sat down at a piano, worked out the chords and the melody, and before lunch had created one of the seminal musical achievements of his generation. Then he started tinkering with it. And tinkering. And tinkering.
As told in Yesterday's revisitation by the Beatles on Ukulele project:
Just about everyone around Paul became sick and tired of Yesterday before it was finished. While he was finessing it on the set of “Hard Days Night”, director Richard Lester got so bored of McCartney’s endless fussing that he lost his temper and told Paul to “finish the bloody thing or I’ll have the piano removed from the set.”
It's been 1,035 days since Rich Rodriguez joined the Michigan football program. It's been considerably longer since that morning in 1989 or 1990 when he awoke with an epiphany:
"If they have to defend the QB, I can run from the spread,"
... scribbled some lines on a play sheet, and by lunch had created his generation's seminal football achievement. Then he tinkered.
Like Lester, the Michigan faithful are getting antsy for a finished product. We've seen the spread 'n shred run by Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan, Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson. We've gotten used to it, so much so that imperfections, e.g. sophomore quarterbacks throwing interceptions while being chased by Adrian Clayborn, stand out. But this thing is happening. It just tagged the 4th best defense in the nation for 522 yards.
I'm sure every section has their "Unacceptable" person. Section 37's is a shrill lady who yells "You're pissing me off!" whenever something pisses her off. Things that pissed her off yesterday:
Later in the evening I found myself on a grimy, uncomfortable couch in the backyard of my sister's boyfriend's place in Commerce, filled with far more rum & apple cider than the human digestive system was ever designed for, and trapped between my sister's friend and Misopogal, while they attempted to fill the space I was clearly occupying with natter about earrings and piercings.
So I sent out drunk texts: about Kenny Demens's apparent middle linebacker competence, and 522 yards, and making coaches prepare for both Forcier and Denard, and improbability drives. (Side note: sending the same drunktext to multiple friends is not advised, unless you are prepared to have six text conversations at once about the same topic.)
I'm still not sure how to take these last two games, Diary. Right about the same time in 1990, when the now-ratty couch was probably some respectable couple's living room, MTV was voting Paul's opus the greatest pop song in history, and Rich Rodriguez was scribbling the first zone-read play, Michigan under Year One of Moeller had also just lost two home games to Michigan State and Iowa in quick succession, falling to 3-3 (1-2). That team ultimately won out and finished No. 7 in the AP poll. It also had Tripp Welborne.
Do I long for yesterday? I remember when, not too long ago, we were Iowa, sitting the safeties back, betting on Woodley et al. to force the offense into mistakes, getting a two-score lead, then shifting to a zone-left neutral while "that spread team" created a far-too-interesting 4th quarter. Then we won (except when we didn't).
But I woke this morning with as much hope as hangover. Sure this looks like last year (I just made Brian's naughty list): the comeback over Notre Dame, the slaying of MACrifices, the defensive-exposing Big Ten opener against Indiana, and losing to MSU and Iowa after three quarters of getting dominated followed by a just-short comeback, right down to the excuse of the Heisman candidate QB's bum shoulder.
The difference: when Denard gets hurt, there's Tate behind him. We didn't put up 522 yards against the No. 4 defense in the country because we have Denard, nor because we have Tate, but because we have both of them. The genius of the Beatles wasn't in John Lennon or Paul McCartney, but in Lennon & McCartney.
So I don't want yesterday. I want collaboration. Start each game with Denard, and after a few series, assess. If he's gashing them for big yards so that the opponent has to bring their safeties into the box to open up the "freakout" plays, Robinson stays in. If, like with Iowa and MSU, they're generally keeping Denard to 3- to 5-yard runs without sacrificing coverage, in comes Tate, our "improbability drive," who will either score spectacularly or flame out spectacularly -- hey, if we're losing, changing the game dynamic is a good thing. If, by luck/Forcier-Moxie, we even it back up, back goes Denard and long QB-Iso drives that may or may not flame out around the opponent's 25 -- like Lloyd ball except it gets 5.5 yards per carry and doesn't turn the ball over.
This is only if Denard's passing struggles against good defenses continues. If he regains his accuracy from the Notre Dame game, then on with the Dread Show.
Some things can't improve. Jordan Kovacs isn't going to get fast enough to pick off that Rick-Six, nor is James Rogers ever going to be able to recover from a stop-and-go in time to cover the back of the end zone.
But Gordon will probably learn how to tackle, and I wasn't imagining that MLB competence. Our defense, while missing its best player, was making 2 out of 3 plays, which is a big improvement from the 1 in 3 earlier this year. Next year the sophomore offense will be a junior offense, and the freshman defense will be a sophomore defense. Take away a third of the mistakes in Yesterday and we make big.
Like you, I'm impatient to witness the final cut of Rich Rod's supposed masterpiece at the end of Help! But I wasn't impatient when I was sitting on that couch. I was messed up and thinking crazy thoughts like "How can a coach plan for both Tate and Denard?" -- and a collaboration that might produce the football equivalent of Rubber Soul and Revolver before these two guys graduate....and how that stuff was way cooler than Yesterday. This isn't the end of the line; this is a 4-loss team, like the ones that pissed Section 37 Lady off in 1996, except the four losses will be because of youth and talent deficiency instead of complacency. This is a young, mistake-prone team who can't kick field goals, but whose best days are still ahead of them.
Those are just my thoughts this week. Here's some much more reasonable ones...
After yesterday's game, bronxblue went ahead and provided a little perspective, telling his story in the only way such a tale could be told: Bruce Willis Movie Posters.
User mi93 created a diary called -- stop me if you've heard this before -- "Dear Diary," where things like the following are said:
What matters is this – this is your team, to encourage, to cheer, and to support. These are young men who appear to be representing the university with far greater class than some of us. And this team deserves our passion for them to succeed, without our inflated expectations for what we think they should be.
The sentiment is a good reminder for...uh...mostly people who don't read MGoBlog. As for the name, our lawyers have been in contact with mi93; we want the pants!
|Post Week 6: Yardage Analysis and Predictions + Score Predictor||tpilews||YPG||35-28 Iowa|
|Tempo-Free Offense and Defense Points-Per-Posession: Iowa||bigmc6000||Tempo-free stats||30-21 Iowa|
|Historic Comparison: Penalties in the Michigan vs. Iowa Game||profitgoblue||Recent penalty history||M can handle 4 penalties, not lots|
|Week #6 National Rankings, Fremeau Efficiency Index, and Sagarin Predictor for Iowa||Enjoy Life||Sagarin, Fremeau, etc.||Iowa by 1 to 3 pts.|
|Iowa Preview||The Mathlete||PAN||28-27 M|
|THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE: 5||The_Knowledge||Is from future||M win|
|Our Defense, Their Offense - Ostrich Strategem||mistersuits||Normalized PPG and YPG||38-28 Iowa|
|Prevew: Iowa 2010||Brian||cubist lolcat||34-28 Iowa|
Wowzers - mistersuits totally nailed it (FTR I said 38-28 too -- and for those of you familiar with BHGP regulars, is Bellanca like their version of me, or a contrarian dufflepud chief..uh...like me?), and everyone was so close that the most inaccurate prognosticator was the guy from the future. Nobody said nuffin' about 522 yards and an extended Tate Experience, but when you know the final score of Saturday's game on Friday morning, you gotta leave some surprise for the viewers.
For pinpointing the final score, and because his weekly work deserves some recognition, I'm naming mistersuits your Eric Crouch Memorial Career-Reward for Another Good Season Diarist of the Week (FTR I would have given that one to Randel El).
After six games, MGoDiarists took the opportunity to assess Michigan's season at its half-way point (not counting bowls...natch).
Let's start with that by shorts, which is actually an Interactive Mid-Season Recap. Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, Best play, "Clutch-est" play, Best freshman, Unsung hero, Biggest disappointment, and Best moment all have nominations. He updates as he goes.
Regular diary hero The Mathlete put Michigan's first six matches into his PAN and fried up a little season projection:
As he notes in the diary, this is a full game and a half behind where we were after Indiana, largely because MSU was supposed to be close and wasn't, but also because Michigan's remaining opponents improved their competence at the same time. In case "written by The Mathlete" wasn't enough, I reiterate: go read.
Communist Football again updated his Denard records book after MSU, though I'm sure the Iowa numbers have put some dampness on the projections.
Our favorite background artist monuMental is back in business after his legal snafu got sorted out a bit -- you saw his latest on the main page late last week.
The this week in pillowfights column of stubob continued with a short week (and I spiced it up a bit for fun).
Some other M sports got mentions. The first to highlight is the bumped-from-the-boards collection of cagers notes from mgoblue.com junky MGoShoe, which started as a note about there being no midnight basketball this year, and turned into a press conf. recap with all sorts of good stuff, including the news that Evan (gonna try to spell this from memory here) [Smotcrycz]...dammit, it's Smotrycz. S-M-O-T-R-Y-C-Z. I'm gonna get that right eventually. Golden something goes to whoever can come up with the best mnenomic to remember it.
Meanwhile, if you think it's time to start paying attention to the volleyball squad, then 1) you're absolutely correct, since they're awesome this year, and 2) Tom from AA has you covered.
Lourdfoul learned some things about this year's team after the Michigan State game, such as:
Denard Robinson is not an Ice-in-his-veins gunslinger. His throws have great zip and are largely accurate, especially so when the throw is shortish or his target is stationary. Against Indiana (and the rest of the schedule so far) his receivers have been so open that a slightly inaccurate ball wasn't noticeable. Against Michigan St the receivers were covered much better, and the picks in the end zone were the result.
Other Lordfoul lessons: Obi Ezeh is to blame, Kovacs is not, Cullen Christian should be moved to...linebacker?!? I stopped reading there and moved on to fisk in the comments (then didn't fisk). But others did, and the discussion is enlightening with regards to what happened this week.
User schmakj wants to head off any "West Virginians are X" memes among the Michigan fanbase, because: Fielding Yost. I mention it only to let other diarists know what is my absolute maximum tolerance for diary topics. This has some redeeming discussions on the ties between West Virginia and the Michigan football program, which as FYI are enough to keep in on the board. As to whether a state's contribution to Michigan football can redeem it for general douchebaggery, here's the place that gave us Bo, Desmond, and Woodson:
HeismanPose has up his post-Iowa Sunday Morning Stats, (e.g. Michigan is 3rd in total offense, 17th in scoring), which you should memorize every week.
Also in statistics, Enjoy Life gives us our weekly update on turnovers and special teams, where in just two short weeks, the 2010 season has gone from from YES! to HELP! and has a Chart? chart that perpetuates the hateful "2010 = 2009" meme:
Last week's came after I posted Dear Diary, but it's here, and basically says that turnovers are going to play a huge role in Michigan's fortunes this year (after one week: uh huh). The upside: if Michigan manages to get in and out of Happy Valley without crapping any beds, and everyones' dongs survive Illinois, we can get off that track. Until this happens, however, I advise an extra pair of sheets and Everlast undergarmentry.
Not THIS dong!
The less you know about Bellanca, the better
Once I realized it wasn't a comedy* I found myself wanting to see that movie.
*Dude's name is Cockburn for Pete's sake. What can I say? I'm hopeless.
Denard throwing up and interceptable duck
Forcier throwing up an interceptable duck.
When these two things happened, I threw up (an interceptable duck).
Your analysis/suggestion of how Denard and Tate should be used in future games was perfect. Preparing for both QBs will give opposing DC nightmares.
out on a limb now and saying we end up 8-4 and ranked. And I think that anyone who is splenetic about yesterday is over-invested and needs to go out and develop several hobbies and a positive self-image, preferably on the foundation of their own accomplishments. As mom used to say, there are children starving in China :)
Did anyone else have to look up that word? "ranked"?
What was wrong with the original?
I had a traumatic experience as a child involving a cocaine zombie. I don't want to talk about it.
Huh....and I thought my idea of using Tate and Denard together was something original. I dreamt of opposing coaches having to split their practice time in half to prepare for each QB equally OR simply guessing which one RR would start (and hopefully getting it wrong).
hell's green acre on defense, people would stop whining so goddamned much.
I've come to accept Michigan's losses to Iowa and MSU on one level because they can be rationally explained. I can't understand the chicken littles in the UM fan community who continue to spout off about West Virginia origins, the No. 1 jersey, and "Unacceptable!" without considering the facts that affect all college football teams, even hallowed Michigan. I'm not going to make excuses for Rich Rodriguez anymore, though. He hired Greg Robinson, but probably should have hired Jeff Casteel or a freaking genie that granted 11 wishes or something. Thinking you can win it all with great offense is just dumb.
twice. I'm still unclear on the insistence of the 3-3-5, but I don't think it matters. Talent does and we're lacking that substantially. Coaches are ultimately responsible for talent, but it's hard to make that determination at this point. The biggest negative has been the post-Lloyd attrition on that side of the ball. That could very well be bad luck.
I've come to the conclusion that the 335 was mandated to slow the game down for the young kids. Get them game speed time to learn to cover receivers, tackle after the catch, learn to tackle in space and occasionally make a play on the ball. Contain in front of you and don't get gashed. It would build real game experience, and confidence. Playing man-o-man would lead to more gashes than you'd ever care to see and would decrease the confidence level of a very YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED group of kids.
Glad to see more changes we made on D. Still got beat on stuff, but from my seat in section 36, I saw some improvement and hope for the rest of the season, and the years to come.
our defensive talent from Pete Best to Ringo
And for god's sake, if Lennon shows up again with that screechy no-talent parasite Yoko Ono, tie her up and put her on a plane back to Tokyo with a civil protection order to come no closer than 500 miles to any Beatle.
Well, I was thinking submarine, but yeah, I guess it could be a plane.
but now it's confirmed: the internet's primary purpose is to provide an outlet for Lennon vs. McCartney arguments and spontaneous, unprovoked Yoko Ono bashing
Unprovoked, my ass. Every shrill, ear-splitting yowl coming out of her pie hole was a malodorous provocation.
I strangely felt good about the loss because of how Michigan demonstrated what it could do. Obviously, I felt very very very very bad about the way Michigan lost - boneheaded mistakes.
ps. You forgot the Lewan personal foul call - which wiped out a drive. That was precious.
The only thing I'm not encouraged about is Denard's passing game. As I've been saying for weeks the kid does not have a long ball. Not at all. If you look at the passes he a made past 20 yards they have all been crap shoots. He just throws it up and hopes a Michigan receiver comes up with it. I'm thinking the Michigan receiver comes up with it about 20% of the time. The other times its well over their head, well under thrown, or intercepted. Every time I see him cock back in the pocket and start to throw long I wince and say "OH NO, SHOULD I WATCH?" I feel much better with Tate throwing the ball than Denard. Yes, Tate threw 2 picks, but Tate throws the ball sometimes when he shouldn't, because he is trying to force something that is too well covered. Denard throws balls that he cannot make regardless of the coverage. How many times has he missed open receivers? I mean really? If he was not engineering 500+ yd offensive days we would be hammering this issue. You will never see him make a throw like Tate did with Hemingway - spot on, in stride. He does not possess the skills to do that. I've been hopping and waiting to see it....but its just not there. However, when Denard is on the sidelines there is a major X factor missing in the offense. So why don't we see a Denard/Forcier combo package? I think that would create cranium convulsions for many defensive coordinators.
To those of you who didn't read that post with Yesterday on a loop in the background: you missed out.
Does this story end with the majesty and triumph of Abbey Road or the in-fighting and meltdown of Let It Be?
Yesterday just wasn't our day. I decided to go to bed when Sean Parker had an interception in the end zone against Oregon State...sigh.
We will beat Penn State.
It was a hell of an end to that game!
There's a coach who took over for a legend who'd faded somewhat his last few years. This new coach crapped the bed his first year, going 1-10. His second year was marginally better at 3-9. After the seventh game of his third season, his team was 4-3. They lost their next game too, so after the eighth game of his third season, his career record at his school was 8-23. They managed to win two more games and lost another during the regular season to finish 6-5, and they won a bowl game against a mid-level opponent.
In his fourth year his team went 11-2, was undefeated in the conference, sharing the title, and played in the Orange Bowl. His team's fans were very much in evidence in the stadium yesterday.
chastity belts are a real bitch aren't they?
Lucky for Kirk that his fans aren't as spoiled and whiny as Michigan fans ... :)
Where they were pounded by a Justin-Fargas led USC team. I really liked that Iowa team though, it helped cement my hatred for Carroll... If RRod gets us to a bowl of that caliber next year my friends will eat their words..
Disclaimer: I am not displeased with the year thus far. I did not expect to be undefeated at this point, nor did I expect to beat both MSU and Iowa. I'm okay with how our team is doing and look forward to an 8-win season.
Unfortunately, we (myself included) can only focus on the here and now. Next year is an awfully long way away.
Also, the last two years, I think we all have been thinking "we'll get 'em next year". How many times do those words need to be repeated before they lose their effectiveness?
doesn't seem so bad anymore. I used to hate Lloydball - losing a few games a year due to complacency, underachieving due to complacency. Now I'm not sure anymore.
I agree with your Tate/Denard combo idea. Opposing defenses are starting to figure out a way to at least contain Denard although not stop him. That's all they have to do since we have no defense and no field goal kicker. We could use some unpredictability on offense.
And we need a defense and a field goal kicker!!! Even if the offense is humming on all cylinders, we may not win another game this year. How in the heck did MICHIGAN get to this sorry state of affairs? We are MICHIGAN after all!!
We are MICHIGAN after all!!
Brilliant. Just: Brilliant.
How long did it take you to think up such a witty reply with such big words?
There seems to be an epidemic of such brilliance on Mgoblog these days.
Good for a laugh anyhow.
try to interpret what he meant. By "Ugh," he was saying: "Just because we are Michigan does not make us any more entitled to success than any of the other 119 teams in division 1-A. To have this attitude, you are perpetuating the very 'Arrogant Asses' stereotype for which we are constantly beaten over the head with by MSU and OSU fans."
It's fine to make legitimate, constructive criticisms, but to act like on-the-field success is our birthright is a little pretentious.
for the attempt at interpretation. But I think he just meant "Ugh." It was probably his most brilliant thought of the day.
Now for an interpretation of my post. I was only implying that Michigan football has standards of excellence established over more than a century of football - standards that have been deteriorating recently. So longtime Michigan fans who understand this tradition of excellence expect better - a decent defense that doesn't yield an average of more than 35 points per game to Big Ten teams, a field goal kicker who can kick it consistently more than 10 yards and a Michigan team that has a winning Big Ten record.
I think there are many Michigan "fans" on Mgoblog who don't understand or appreciate the tradition of Michigan football, "fans" who can only muster an "Ugh" in a post, "fans" who downvote any poster with an original or controversial thought.
I appreciate you interpreting my weariness at your attempts at "implying that Michigan football has standards of excellence established over more than a century of football" but I didn't make a personal attack on you. Nor did I intentionally impugn your intelligence.
Most of your post, though, seems to "imply" quite a bit - and most of it generally provokes an "ugh" in response. You're really taking it to a new level with the use of scare-quotes around the word "fans" and implying quite a bit about more than just my intelligence, but also my understanding and appreciation of Michigan's rich traditions. That takes gall. I don't question your fandom - I fully believe you care a great deal, you cheer your loudest and you want only what you believe to be the best for the university and its sports teams. I just found your invocation of the very tired trope - particularly in the mgoblog community - of "we're MICHIGAN" and should therefore be magically better than all others to be excessively misplaced. Which for me, at least, does not qualify your post as "an original or controversial thought" - just a tired one.
But thanks for the personal attack on my intelligence - I'm questioning it myself by bothering to reply here. And, for the record, I didn't downvote you, so I take some solace that I'm not the only "fan" who was moved to "ugh".
know exactly what to make of your response. You seem civil but your initial response was an annoying combination of arrogance and stupidity.
A simple apology would be preferable.
But then again arrogance, stupidity and incivility seem to be an epidemic here and it seems to directly correlate to the number of points amassed. So, given your relatively modest point total, you are probably one of the most humble, intelligent and civil posters here.
I am being polite - I would prefer to use stronger more accurate language for your fellow Mgoblog posters.
Feel free to neg me now - my goal is to set the record for the greatest negative point total.
Are two of my best friends who are alums, while I am not. Their constant texting about how Rod is not they guy because he doesn't care about defense and special teams are starting to break me. I send them to mgoblog posts with facts but it's clear they never read them. How bad does Gibbons rank on the recruit flame out scale thus far? Thanks for the post though I feel better.
"But this thing is happening. It just tagged the 4th best defense in the nation for 522 yards."
And it still lost 38-28. Where does one find "moral victories" in the box score?
"This thing" also has no defense and no kicking game.
"this thing" also has some terrible "fans"
At least most have moved beyond the use of "UNACCEPTABLE!"
All apologies for the headline plagiarism -- it's out of deep respect.
Some people need to stop being a bunch of whiny old women. This season has pretty much unfolded as everyone said it would before the season started. UConn, ND and Sparty a toss up ... well not UConn but check. Loss to Iowa ... check. PSU a loss ... well this might be the must win, because Illinois is not looking like that pushover we were expecting, and Wisconsin is now back to looking Wisconsin-ish.
It is what it is: what it always was going to be. The defense is very young and not yet fully developed. Denard is in his first year as a starter and now facing tougher defenses and making some mistakes. Unlike last year however, we moved the ball in both the MSU and the Iowa games.
Quit your whining, man up, accept the losses, and pull for the team to stay focused, and stay committed, because they can win most of their remaining games (including IMO, the game).
For the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference.
Oh yeah, great diary, too.
Yes, that was unacceptable.
It was unacceptable that Michigan State and Iowa both beat us, soundly, (one of them in booed off the field fashion), on two nationally televised games, one homecoming, and perhaps two of the biggest recruiting weekends of the season.
It was unacceptable that the only reason the Iowa game became interesting is when our second year quarterback who threw for over 2300 yards as a freshman was put in after the game was out of reach and did his damnest to make it a remotely acceptable final score.
It is also unacceptable to act as though Rod was utilizing a "dual threat" system or talk in glowing terms about our "backup" being able to come in when Denard is hurt, when what was happenning is that the quarterback that he benched after a very impressive freshman year was nearly bailing his ass out.
It is unacceptable for your team to kick the ball out of bounce twice in the fourth quarter, and it is unacceptable to put yourself in a position as a coach where that can happen.
Coaches can win conference titles after three years, coaches have won national championships after three years. Cupboard bare, OK. Get your guys, OK. Have patience, OK. This thing takes time, OK.
Consistent and unrelenting major strategic miscalculations combined with inexcusible lack of attention to detail. Not OK. Not Michigan. Not this long.
Coach, please bring your best on October 30th. You have two weeks here. This thing has to look better than it does. And may I suggest getting #5 on the field before it is too late for him to do anything about.
inexcusible lack of attention to detail
Tate worked his way onto the bench in the offseason, and Denard worked his way off it. "Very impressive freshman year" no longer confers starter-for-life status in this program, of which I for one am very glad. Your "Consistent and unrelenting major strategic miscalculations" seems to refer mostly to refer to playing Denard over Tate; as such, I declare fail.
That said, I wish we had a kicker who could kick the ball out of "bounce".
Hey, thats where I grew up! Are you from there too?
For those lazy ones out there: 520+ yards of offense from two different QBs. The reason we did not win this game was letting Iowa score 21 unanswered points in the first half while running around like a bunch of boners. Cue desperation. With desperation comes lacerating mistakes. Good execution, also known as a zero or positive turnover margin, wins this game for us. You just can't win games throwing 3 interceptions and turning over a fumble; I don't care how good your offense is.
This game was a repeat of MSU, but add some more critical players getting hurt (Molk, Denard).
when the coffee room talk hits college football. As annoying as Sparty fan has become (I was hoping for a loss so I could mock their Michigan countdown clock), my thoughts on the season for UM finally came into focus when Sparty fan started the comparison to last year. I immediately fell back on my mgoblog facts and figures, and realized I really did believe we are a 8-4 bowl team waiting to be found.
Do we need to clean up some mistakes? Damn straight. Players can be taught to run down the field and cover a blocked FG, and you have to know RR will get some of this stuff fixed. The incredible youth of our team sometimes causes us to overlook that they still need work on the basics, but they will be OK.
Some Men Observe That Rich Young Coeds Zizzle.
Sorry, but I think you will remember the Z.