I have no recollection of how I ran across Anil Dash's metablogging opus The Blog Cycle, but run across it I did, and I found some of it hilariously relevant, like so:
"Will blogs change the world? Either on their own, or in reaction to the building backlash, some of the most gung-ho bloggers (which, not coincidentally, will often be people who are newest to the medium) will declare it The End of Ignorance or The Birth of Freedom or something equally grandiose. This tends to do a better job of offending doubters than it does of convincing believers."
I heart Football Outsiders for stuff like this fantastic article on defensive line techniques and gaps and stunts and slants that clarifies the last ten years of obscure references by ex-players who assume that I know what the hell they're talking about. If you're interested in the technical and strategic aspects of football in any way whatsoever, click now. This particular passage caught my attention:
For most defensive coordinators, heaven is a 3-technique tackle who is in the backfield on every play, a 0-technique tackle who requires two blockers and controls two gaps, and a pass rushing end (7,8,or 9 technique) who also requires a double team on every play.
Mr. Zero is clearly Gabe Watson and the end is clearly Lamar Woodley... but who is the 3-technique tackle here? Generally 3-techs are "290-pounders who are quick enough to shoot a gap or execute a stunt," which doesn't seem to describe Pat Massey very well, and though Alan Branch is pretty quick, he's pretty quick for a guy who weighs 340. I think the guy who fits this description best is Terrance Taylor, the incoming freshman who is a massively strong, relatively light wrestling champion and DT extraordinare. mgoblog will be watching for Taylor intently... and now I can understand his role!
More Michigan blogspotting can be done at Motown Sports Revival, which has a long, de/im-pressive breakdown of Michigan's losses since 1988. Not recommended for the faint of heart. The thing that jumped out at me was the culpability of terrible special teams in recent years. Iowa 2003 and the road games against Oregon, Washington, and UCLA would all have been wins without distastrous special teams play. Last year's ND game would have been a much different game without that punt block, to boot. IBFC has a recruiting breakdown, too.
Two more MSM things: MLive has a nice article on new basketball assistant Mike Jackson and Athlon's ratings of the top incoming Big Ten freshmen are very kind to Michigan.
The dawgblog contingent of the BlogPoll is impressively good, and not just "good for secessionist rednecks"... like just good in general. Michael at Braves And Birds manages to compare the NHL lockout to WWI and WWII and make sense instead of, you know, be a raving lunatic. Georgiaboy has a recruiting philosphy post that's divergent from mgoblog's but interesting nonetheless. And Paulwesterdawg passes on this cool NCAA 2006 cover featuring Orson and Stranko from EDSBS:
Orson on the left.