News note: Late last night 11Warriors posted a tweet claiming two sources and 99.7% certainty of Urban to OSU. If it happens it happens.
Hey look, it's MGoBlog's gift-giving grinch, Gohblue. I do this thing every year where we go to a homeless shelter and throw the kids there a Christmas Party, complete with Santa and gifts, and the past few years MGoBlog has been the difference between two sizes too small and playing Michigan defense. If you can't volunteer, you can still buy something for the kids on Amazon. The date this year is Dec. 3 so if you can contribute now's the time. I still need a photographer. The diary explains in further detail.
And while you're in a holiday donation mood you know what else we need? Your blood, for the annual Michigan-Ohio State blood drive. M-Wolv sent in the details, which you can find here.
THE SLINGER, THE CUTTER, AND THE SHOE
One throws like a girl, one says "WHAAAT?" like a girl, and one's a little bitch. BlueSeoul breaks down some other comparisons between our QB and two very different dual-threats remaining on our schedule, by running style, favorite move, most dangerous running play, weakness, passing style, most dangerous passing play, and how to defend.
You saw the post-Illini weekly 'With Pics' article on the front page. But did you know you can also read his scouting report on Nebraska and Ohio State from when they played each other (or is one of them Wisconsin—damn these exactly alike uniforms).
I know, right -- THREE diaries in one week from BS? We are not worthy! BS is supposed to be out of the running for Diarist of the Week, and there is another good candidate, but three of the best four diaries in a 7-day period means he can share with the other guy.
That other guy was also front-paged. It is Space Coyote, who explains the Drag-Follow play (video) in the latest session of his Football Fundamentals series (link to article). Want to be a Diarist of the Week too? Become a football coach, watch tons of video of Michigan and their opponents, then spend hours putting together an article that can make important trends comprehensible to the masses. Easy. Michael Scarn also has a Nebraska preview from his visit to "Happy" Valley* that gave us the tag "Taylor Martinez Seizure Throwing Motion."
MATTISON PLUS ALL THE POINTS
You can also just get good at maths. We got two diaries this week from dnak438, the second (better) an update of the first, tracking M's defensive performance since the year I was a freshman, and Donovan McNabb was running all over us, and everything bad in the world became the fault of James Whitley. For example you see how that red line is higher in 2000 than any year but last? Whitley. See the big blue dip in '06? That's how good Michigan was against Illinois. Mattison plus all the points!
Recruitniks we got two for ya: Ace (the good one) received two very detailed, very glowing reports from Hardware_Sushi and Justin on M targets Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown, Ryan Watson and Kendall Fuller (the last two are juniors) from Blake Countess's alma mater in MD. MGoGarbs and joeyb saw Catholic Central take on Pioneer and came back with scouting reports for Godin and The Drake.
* We joke, we're all kidders around here. Can I give you my headshot?
BRIAN ASKS AND YE SHALL RECEIVE:
M Fanfare provides a review of Black and Blue, which is that documentary about Willis Ward, President Ford, and that '34 Georgia Tech game. There's also one up at MVictors.
After the jump, the boards and the weeklies
This Week in Things That Are Weekly
But first, the above is actually a follow-up post by Enjoy Life that I wanted to highlight. It seems about 18% of the improvement in defense is Michigan's offense not playing at breakneck speed anymore, and 37% is due to turnovers. The other 45% is Greg Mattison plus all the points.
- EJ's Turnover Analysis is still coming out way ahead in turnover metrics, even getting a 3-to-1 margin on turnover-scores.
- ST3's Inside the Box Score finds Mike Martin leading the team with 9 tackles, and JT Floyd, and in a world where Illinois only needs to get to the 50 yard line to score, they still would have been shut out until late in the 3rd quarter.
- Ugly Games are getting harder for stubob to find late in the conference schedules, but now we get to be on "will they win at all?" watch for FAU.
- The Stats Story by CollegeFootball13 goes over the season stats and gives grades for them. Personally I prefer the R.C.'s method of giving out written evaluations instead of letter grades for numerical performance. Man, remember those RC kids who'd stumble into class in East Quad like they were in bed 5 minutes ago when you've been up for an hour and your hair is still frozen from a shower-wet death march through campus. His diary has nothing to do with that but I thought I'd share.
- Hoke for Tomorrow by Lordfoul learns that Ron Zook suuuuhhhhhcks after bye weeks and probably should be axed. Please wait until they rotate off Michigan's schedule kthx.
- Bowl projections (oriental andrew) sees Michigan back in the Lloyd zone, somewhere between the Citrus Bowl and the Outback Bowl and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl for having the same record as Michigan.
- Maize_in_spartyland has the weekly Upset Watch but Y U No Chart this week? Maybe because his preview has a lot of numbers that show Nebraska's gonna be a tougher nut to crack than the current line suggests.
- In Pick Six the Leaders are mostly guys who picked Michigan for their 5th so yay to that. The Legends (ie losers) include Brian. I am still dead dead dead and tied with "Wincey Courtbooth."
Best of the Board
WE'RE GLAD YOU TOOK A BERTH, WE'LL DOUBLE YOUR NET WORTH, WE THINK YOU'RE GONNA LIKE IT HERE!
When we say that Ohio State's and Michigan State's fans are dicks, that's because we have very good in-conference comparisons with the evident class shown by fans in Minnesota and, from reports, Nebraska. FHSHockey suggests we roll out the red carpet for Big Red fans this week, and I co-sign. Also, if you're going to the game, be there early for a tribute to Lloyd Carr. Brady asks that you show up by 11:45. That's not 12:45 RC kids.
GOOD THING JOE TURNED US DOWN
..and Michigan had to settle for Bo Schembechler's far superior control of his program. It's been five years without him as of this week. Brian put this in mgo.licio.us and it's a quick must-read about how a coach ought to behave when scandal rears its head. President Coleman's letter is also available. Jon06 provides both.
Trueblueintexas nabbed the family portrait from Big Ten Media Day and the board set about adding thought bubbles. Hoke isn't allowed to point, but he's doing it with his eyes anyway.
MM2424 goes through the conferences and picks out various teams that may go to the big bowls. Michigan has a shot if we beat our last two opponents
WINNING MEANS SCORING MORE
ReadYourGuard shows is all about beating their average points allowed. Michigan's defense being average(!), what kind of day the O has determines which way the W goes.
INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE JT FLOYD FAN CLUB
Join Muttley and co. to celebrate the best CB performance at Michigan since… Donovan? Hall? Marlin? Dare we say…? Big Ten refs are standing by to flag anyone who arrives so much as a millisecond early.
STOP NEGGING THE GUY – HE'S NOT CRAZY
Ziff72 noted some rational mitigating factors about the defense this year and got negged for being the calm guy during the Illinois afterglow. I agree that the defense is probably closer to average than great right now but there's a lot of week to week improvement in that.
MICHIGAN'S STAFF = TOP ___?
A question posed by iawolve. All the points to Caesar for his response:
1. Why the underscore between 'top' and 'staff?'
VOTE THE FOOTBALL TEAM INTO A NATIONAL BOWL
Errr, the flag football team. All you gotta do is like them on Facebook to get them in. Eerily similar to how Urban Meyer got Florida into the '06 national championship, innit?
SEC graduation rates. Enhanced viewing of UFR.