Dear Diary Remembers Dennis Bergkamp
Don't listen to anyone in the Netherlands who says otherwise: "Dennis Bergkamp neemt de bal aan" is Dutch for "Denard Robinson picks up a block!"
Between the WMU run and this week's bitterly unsatisfying conclusion we coined and created new uses for words like "Shoelace", and "Dilithium", and "ERMAGHERD", and "Eating" and "Robinson to Roundtree." Every sharp cut and rocket acceleration by his gangly, graceful legs created another moment pregnant with so much meaning you could utter gibberish about it in another language and the guy next to you would understand exactly what you're trying to say.
Think back on the Michigan you knew the moment before the camera first panned to 'Lace's shoes. Think how utterly un-Michigan it all looked: a Floridian freshman who couldn't throw the ball stepping into a role occupied by artillery pieces and disciplined option men since as far back as any reader of this site can remember, dropping the snap, wandering over toward the sideline, then hyperdriving through a field full of men bigger than he is. It used to be other teams' little jet mites doing that to our colossuses.* It was too astounding to be repeatable. How are we to crush souls if every few plays this sprite is jetting off to the end zone, then smiling at everybody? Doesn't he realize scoring touchdowns is just giving the other team more time of possession?
Here at the end we're all not sure what it is we just saw. The thing that turned some practice observers in 2010 into raving lunatics on these boards never stopped being a source of some sort of controversy, from spreadvocates who'd rather Borges run an offense he doesn't know than see him waste such a talent, to insufferable puritans who called him a running back.
To those last to whom circumstances and mankind's ill-planned brachial nervous system ultimately gave them their wish, I give you 100-ish yards on 23 carries, and a ho, and a hum, and a little secret…gonna have to lean closer…a bit closer…I need to whisper…DENNIS BERGKAMP! DENNIS BERGKAMP! DENNIS BERGKAMP! AAAAAAAHHHHH!
*If I'd said "it used to be other teams' Vins doing that to our army of Koloss" would anyone have gotten the reference?
CHRISTMAS IS STILL RELEVANT. Enough so at least that there remains much to be gained in mistersuits's X-mas Eve basketball roundup, which does things like compare this team to last's, and compare this team to the Fab Five, and publishes the schedule reorganized by expected KenPom difficulty, and lots of analysis and good formatting and stuff. I was out on holiday (and watching SEC football) and missed the chance to bump it—even now it's front page material by a good margin, just a little bit outdated. The diary describes an SEC-like gauntlet of Top 15-ish teams that Michigan and Indiana will both have to navigate.
FILE UNDER NO FRIKKIN WAY: TSS has found an NCAA rushing stat that Michigan leads the country in. Seriously. He calls the statistic "open field rushing yards" and it tracks how many yards you got on top of every rush of 10 positive or more yards. Indeed when Michigan managed to get the ballcarrier into the secondary this year, more often than not he'd be going full DENNIS BERGKAMP! Or losing a shoe. Minnesota was second-to-last.
Actually that stat is just a byproduct of his real effort, which removes the Bergkamping after 5 and 10 yards and gives credit for the first bits back to the O-lines. Relevant results cropped:
Note Michigan's the huge outlier in "AOFY" which is "adjusted open field yards" to the OP, yet still hanging at the bottom of the conference with "AALY" which is basically how many yards per play the offensive line might take credit for. Of course they're also hindered by RBs missing cuts or being too small to carry momentum through a linebacker. Yeoman's work here, with scatterplots and a lot more than the above. Diary of the Week(s). Read it.
[The Jump: lots more diaries, and stuff, and stuff, and by now you should realize I always leave something nice for my clickers-through.]
HANG THESE BANNERS. (At right: mobile wallpaper by jonvalk) Since it's been a 'Legendary' year for football jerseys, a couple of diarists turned to the Crisler at hand to wonder if we're thinking of raising any more numbers past those of Cassie Russell, Rudy Tomjanovich, Phil Hubbard, Glenn Rice, and Bill Buntin. Like as in serious studies of the great players of Michigan yore, their career rankings among M players across five categories, and how they line up with the greats. Guys champswest found among among the already hanging include Mike McGee, Louis Bullock if he counted, Gary Grant, LaVell Blanchard, and Jalen Rose. Manny Harris and Daniel Horton are hanging nearby.
HELLE made a list of All Americans at Michigan by their numbers, with thoughts to making the Legend jerseys completely ubiquitous. Henry Poggi could wear 58 for Rob Renes. As to the discussion of Gallon wearing #1, I'd be fine with it despite Braylon being too sore over his brother not getting an offer. We just need to get past the first one, stick Carter and Braylons' names on it, and then it can be a thing again instead of a dead thing.
INSIDE ST3's BOX SCORE. Here's what Michigan got from its senior defenders:
* Demens only had 1 tackle. Campbell had 0 (did he play?) and Floyd didn't play. That's three of our five defensive leaders contributing one tackle total.
The author also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong in the Matrix to award Michigan a 1st down for 9 yards, 2 feet, and 10 inches. My thinking at the time is the refs decided to add the diameter of Brady Hoke's balls to end of the run, which is fair. Also fair: releasing the McClowney on us immediately after that.
DISTANCE IS NO OBJECT! User unWavering duplicated a lot of the work I did for that Hokepoints where I suggested what's come to be known as the Eye of Sauron division alignment, right down to the full chart of school distances. The only difference is he creates some averages of school distance within the conferences, finding the Eye is actually an improvement on the current split. But whatever—I reiterate that for someone in Maryland or New Jersey flying to corn country is hardly different than flying to Chicago, and they won't be driving. The biggest things lost are Penn State-Ohio State (which who cares if PSU will be ineligible for as long as this alignment will last anyway) and the Brown Jug (which I care!)
ETC. Coach Hoke (NTCH) has a cool chart that shows each Michigan season since Bo arrived by margin of victory; this year's nearest comparable is '96, except if Carr's second team had started the season against Florida State or something (and didn't' beat Ohio State). LSAClassof2000 is smoothing out the rough spots of eras (the RR one still sucks). He also found that rushing yards might have a cascade effect, but buried the lead in pretending like all he'd discovered was more attempts equals more yards. JeepinBen proposes limiting future uniformz to non-insane things, to which Brandon lolz.
STUFF ON THE BOARDS: Outback Bowl sucked for everyone; Misopogal asked why there isn't a Paris Bowl because she would go to that (Paris, not the bowl). ND or Bama. Borges called a non-GERG game; one day I hope we don't have to acknowledge this when it happens. Here's people over-analyzing things Derrick Green is saying when he's saying "Guys I'm going to Michigan but understand I am a red-blooded American male between 17 and 20 and people are offering me SEC visits!" Banner suggestions. The Denard memories thread again. There are… begins.
Your Moment of Zen