I am not arguing that offense wasn't great. We would have had an exceptional season if the defense was better. Like I said it was fun to watch. I just wished it could grind a little more. I'm glad rr is gone. And the offense would have been even better this year. Although the results would have been the same. One more year for those defensive players wouldn't help them line up correctly since gerg had no idea what he was doing....and I will admit if we had a kicker it would have been better
Let's Not And Say We Did
Michigan's ground game stopped being effective in 1995.
I'm not sure if Jon Chait was reacting to the latest MANBALL quote from Brady Hoke or not, but when an article titled "You Can't Go Home Again" pops up the day after Michigan's new head coach says this:
"Once we get the power play down, then we'll go to the next phase. You know, because we're gonna run the power play."…
"We don't have a lot of fullbacks." Hopkins works out well at FB "for a lot of the old 49ers stuff" with split backs. Hoke wants fullbacks to block so hard they "come in at about 6-3, and leave the program at 6-1." …
It's hard to think otherwise. Of course, even ESPN folk have picked up on Hoke's love affair with the word "toughness"—the article could have been spurred by anything Hoke's said over the last three months. There are consistent reports that Hoke makes condescending comments about the spread at alumni events. Manball? Manball.
Some people love this. In my mind they all look like this…
yes, that's the Beckmann aficionado
…and could be coaching Purdue. I would not want to get in a conversation with any of these people because they would have very strong opinions about things they know nothing about. They would repeat inane aphorisms as if those were the final word on any subject, and they would regard any dispute as evidence of a diseased mind. I have talked to these people on the radio some. It's not fun. I close my eyes and imagine the exact dimensions and color of their mustaches. They are boringly consistent.
My hope is Hoke is a brilliant, innocent-as-snow delegator or a con man. He's got a quarterback who was an All-American as a true sophomore last year because of his legs. He's got an offensive coordinator whose track record suggests he prefers to air it out and that things get desperately bad when MANBALL advocates push him away from his mad bombing ways. He's got a set of running backs best described as underwhelming, a center who can teleport his way into tough reach blocks, and a guard who can block Manti Te'o twenty yards downfield. If the offseason could be spent fixing whatever it is that causes Robinson to turn the ball over willy-nilly, Michigan's offense would be insane. According to statistical things it already is.
Switching to an actual pro-style offense would be doing exactly what Michigan did last year when it installed the 3-3-5 despite the total unsuitability of its personnel for the scheme. It would be exactly as stupid. It can't be as bad statistically because instead of true freshman two star Ray Vinopal backed up by a duck, next to a walk on, and vaguely in front of more freshmen you have ten returning starters and Denard Robinson, but it would be just as dumb. If Hoke's bravado about being a bunch of tough bastards who love grinding out four yards on a power play is true I'm worried for the immediate and long term future of the program in the same way I was when hiring Greg Robinson caused me to dig out a picture of Tweek.
On the other hand, Beckmann aficionados love that stuff, and so do the newspapers that are no longer read by anyone other than Beckmann aficionados. English has developed lingo to distinguish words meant to be true from words meant to produce inoffensive newspaper blather: the latter is coachspeak. Rich Rodriguez was beyond awful at coachspeak. Hoke is a grand master. When IBM develops "Jim" and challenges Hoke to a duel, Watson-style, Hoke will destroy his opponent so badly smoke will come out of its nonexistent ears like that robot asked to rhyme something with "orange" in a story I read when I was eight. Hoke will lament Jim's lack of toughness.
This is a real skill the last three years have shown is way more important than you'd think. It's a relief when every press conference is Hoke being gently tickled on the belly and fed peeled grapes, and telling everyone you're establishing a mindset of toughness is fine. It's something that will help the program in the long run.
As long as you don't believe yourself. It won't help as much as winning a crapton of games, and even if the defense gets vastly better the best way to do that next year is to have an offense that puts up points, and the best way to do that is to very gently shift the offense towards your long term vision while still keeping Denard in the Heisman race.
This isn't 2008, when Michigan was screwed no matter what offense they put in. Getting Michigan's offense to go from explosive but inconsistent to world-destroying is a matter of getting a kicker, finding a good running back, working on Denard's reads and accuracy, and leaving everything else the hell alone. Michigan can't reasonably do that because they've got new coaches, but how hard is it to run a QB lead draw and follow that with QB Lead Oh Noes? The secret of Michigan's 2010 offense is that the zone read was hardly used. The other secret is it was a power running offense, one more effective than anything Michigan's run in at least the last decade and probably a lot longer.
Michigan YPC Career Leaders Since 1949 (min: 100 carries)
Michigan YPC, Team, Since 2001
Borges should install his passing game immediately and Michigan should start running power schemes more frequently—power did feature occasionally last year—if they want to, but lining up under center to hand it off to Vincent Smith isn't going to be any better of an idea in 2011 than it was in 2010.
You can run a "pro-style" offense, but run it from the shotgun and run downhill using Denard Robinson as one of three primary tailbacks. You can't get rid of the scare quotes because he's Denard Robinson. If you do run a no-scare-quotes pro-style offense he's not Denard Robinson anymore. He's the guy handing off and you're walking back into the days where Michigan averaged less than four yards per carry and ran 65% of the time.
I think Borges knows this, but Hoke's coachspeak is going to make this the most terrifying spring game of all time.
Apparently you're too dumb to figure out which post I was responding to.
There are way too many posts here to try to enter this argument, but I can tell that you're a dick.
when our offense had over 500 yards against an Iowa defense that allowed 317 per game? Hell, even though they only scored 7, the offense still gained 100 yards more than OSU typically gave up per game. But don't let silly things like numbers get in the way of anything that a bad defense made you believe.
older M fans. Fine.
They're the only ones with a chance of remembering what a truly dominant Michigan team was, because they were around in 1947-8.
They're the ones who attended the '69 OSU game. Helluva game.
It's possible that they saw some good football and got spoiled by all that Manball.
It's also possible that college football in 1969 != college football in 2011
Um, the 1997 team would like to have a word with you.
And the 2006 team is thinking of stopping over as well. But guess what, that 2006 team with a dominant defense was beaten by a 2006 OSU team that featured (you guessed it) a mobile QB in a spreadish offense. Times have changed and more importantly the rules have changed. Strict manball teams can be good but very few are elite. Those that are good have dominant RBs (something UM does not have for 2011). I have to agree with Brian on this point.
You mean a passing style spread offense? OSU definitely didn't call on Troy Smith to run the ball much that year. His rushing totals for each game were:
1 for -1 yds
7 for -13 yds
4 for 5 yds
3 for 18 yds
7 for 20 yds
7 for 54 yds
3 for 10 yds
4 for 38 yds
6 for 43 yds
11 for 37 yds
5 for 15 yds
4 for 12 yds (Michigan game)
62 rushing attempts in 12 games isn't very much, especially when you consider some of those were probably broken passing plays were he scrambled or occassionally was sacked.
Maybe I don't know what Manball is. I know what defense is.
Anyway, I'm old and don't care.
Yeah, because nothing has changed in the game of college football since 1947.
the complete opposite of manball. Maybe you should learn terminology and understand it.
"'Once we get the power play down, then we'll go to the next phase. You know, because we're gonna run the power play.'…"
"The other secret [of the 2010 offense] is it was a power running offense, one more effective than anything Michigan's run in at least the last decade and probably a lot longer."
Sooooo...... what exactly is Brian worried about?
1) Hoke says he wants to run lots of power play
2) Brian frets
3) Brian says the 2010 offense was a power running offense
4) Brian frets some more
I beg to be set straight on Brian's worry regarding the running game. Also, regarding consistency: "Getting Michigan's offense to go from explosive but inconsistent..." I will note that inconsistency only really seemed to be a problem when the defense had a pulse. Just my observation.
I think the thing that Brian is worried about, is that our power running game from last year was run by a guy who runs a 4.3 and can find tiny cracks in the defense, ending the season with 1700 yards rushing and 6.3 yards on average. The protypical power running in a pro-style offense switches that guy above with a RB who hasn't really shown they can do any of the above (as of yet at least). If an RB emerges who can do the same, I don't think anyone, Brian included, will complain in the least bit.
for the end of the LC era and all of RR's time here we ran the zone blocking scheme that Hoke hates. We haven't been to successful at lining up man on man and gaining yards.
"If an RB emerges who can do the same, I don't think anyone, Brian included, will complain in the least bit."
Mike Cox will start at RB in the Fall. (I knew I'd find a place to sneak this in this thread somewhere.
And losing, rather than Michigan Football.
This whole "MANBALL" meme is really becoming annoying. I don't see how you can admit this is generic coachspeak but in the same breath divine from it the intracacies of the offense like a Babylonian reading a sheep's liver. Just him saying "toughness" doesn't mean that we're going to run goal line sets from the 50 yard line for Pete's sake. Honestly, I love coming here for the MGoBoard, but some of these main page posts are becoming a real chore.
to be forced to read someone's sports blog for free. I wish there was another option for you, like not reading it.
Agreed. "Manball" is annoying. And all the sheep are copying it because it's a phrase that Brian started using with some frequency.
Just like Tacopants, it was funny the first few times. Tacopants is no longer funny, and "manball" has run its course, too.
I think that's the point. I read Brian's comments as wanting to belive that Hoke will not revert to primarily power run football but being concerned about that based on Hoke's comments. I think that is reasonable to be concerned.
Personally, I hope and think those comments are made because right now the offense is focused on learning the things that the offense does not do well (the power run formations) rather than "our offense will be based on the power run."
I have been reading this blog for nigh on 6 years and I simply cannot believe the downward spiral Brian has taken. His writing was THE beacon for positivity and hope during the three long years of Rodriguez's tenure and it seems as if he cannot handle the hand we have been dealt as a program.
Rodriguez did some fantastic and inspiring things that could have kept improving, but failed significantly in a number of ways. He lost his job, and we have a new coach. What good could possibly come from fomenting angst, fear and self-perpetuating hostility in a man who very well may be our coach for a long time? It seems as if Brian and many others have adopted the *EXACT SAME* determination to find potential fault and hand-wringing potential in Hoke that so many knuckle draggers did when Rodriguez the "outsider" was hired...
If we run a lot of plays from under-center at the spring game, gallons of ink will be spilt declaring the ruination of Denard's career and the inevitable transfer that awaits when he realizes how horrible and old-fashioned Hoke is. We will hear again and again that Borges is fat and incapable of comprehending the time-bending genius of Rodriguez's offensive masterwyrx, that our slots will be rendered ineffective, and that we are doomed to nothing but a shell of Wisconsin's slovenly ancient bore-fest. We will be treated to paranoid "worries" from fool after fool who simply cannot look to the obvious positives of this coaching change.
I choose to focus on the fact that SDSU had 2(!) 1000yd receivers and a 1400yd back last year. I also rely on common sense enough to expect our new staff to be well aware of their prececessors' failure to minimize the transitional pains and also be wise enough to extract/assimilate any value that Rodriguez's quantum-mind left behind.
There is no fawking way that Hoke/Borges do not want to replicate the offensive successes this team has had in the past. If anything, we will finally see a hybrid of Michigan football as it has been traditionally with the stat-producing philosophies of the modern spread game.
Fear is for fools and those burned by their support of Rodriguez. I suppose I can understand Brian feeling punked after so many years of fighting the good fight, but we need to all realize as a fanbase that things are looking up for the program- despite what the fearful voice in the back of your head may tell you.
We will win ball games this year and hopefully the old Brian will come back to delight us all with rational optimism instead of parasitic spartybuck-level whinings.
I want to +10000000 you sir
I want to +10000000 you sir
I agree. Time for everyone to move on for RR. This coming for a diehard supporter. I went to the miss st bowl game hoping for a convincing win tha twould give RR another year. I sat through the whole game and took it ALL in.
By the time I got back to my hotel I had excepted the fact that changes was needed. RR was dealt a crappy hand but it was time to mix it up. The defense had no clue and the offense often stalled when it was needed the most (to extend a 7pt lead or come back from7-10pts down).
enough RR whining. lets move on.
Concern about Borges/Hoke offense != RR whining. Conflating the two does not a reasonable argument make.
And the Hawaiian War Chant....
+1 for cleverness, -1 for suggesting that any criticism of Hoke is automatically nostalgia for RR. Nowhere in the OP do I see any implication that RR should not have been fired.
was never really Brian's thing, IIRC. I mean, aren't there all kinds of wood-panelled homosocialist venues where the duffers can sit around and shout hurhur in unison, win or lose? That sounds like what went down in Barton Hills the other night--immature boyishness of a kind I'd prefer not to associate with my school.
This thing is that Brian was excited about the possibilities in RR's spread offense, and people MISTOOK it for homerism, when he was not really of (some of) their superannuated culture, just their alma mater.
It does raise the question whether he should keep at this, though. I'd find it tiring. But--hey--even if Hoke does manage to be more loyal to Tressel than RichRod, it does sound like he plans to have kids graduate; that's something.
surprised that someone would be skeptical of a coach who went 47-50 at mid-major schools. Normally, coaches with that resume would be FIRST on my list.
Does that mean you'd hire Hoke over Rich?
that I would probably have wanted someone better than Hoke to replace RR.
Thank you for contributing a petty, worthless response to a very well articulated argument.
The only thing this post was missing was a few cracks at how much Hoke hates zone blocking.
I guess I fall in with the less-than-impressed-with-the-09-offense crowd. Other than Denard, that is. I'm willing to give Coach Borges the benefit of the doubt, that he'll come up with a way to use the returning talent in a way that wins football games.
real possibility from where I sit. Trashing the spread, meanwhile, equals not bright when you are likely to be shredded by two or three of them in the coming year.
And the fact that Brandon may be participating in these trashfests??? They better hope they get this right because that would not only equal egg on your face but becoming a g.d. egg salad sandwich and being consumed for lunch by history.
Manball, my ass. In a game PREDICATED on toughness, going around talking about the size of your pen*s only leaves its size more suspect. I can really see some OSU players yucking over that after beat-down number 47. Crikey.
just curious but how many years of football did you play Brian?
Eh, I'll bite.
AAK15, how many years of football would be required (in your world) to make comments on Michigan's program? You sound like an 8th-grader.
some validity to his question. To excuse that validity is just as narrow-minded. Not having played or coached football at all or very little would lead some to believe that Brian's opinions are based on second hand knowledge or theory. Theoretical knowledge clings to it's charts, graphs, and other statistical information while practical or applied knowledge leans on it's experience. Since no one has seen this offense in action and how it will feature Denard, then Brian's opinions are speculative. It is not ridiculous to question the extent of the Author's practical knowledge, IMO.
Is that you?
in the NFL....so your point is what?
Last year, at SDSU, the so-called Manball offense was pretty electric. By the end of the season, it was better than Michigan's offense, and certainly more diverse and unpredictable. I think you're falling back into the "If only RR had one more this or that." Which is always easy to say.
I have now watched 4 SDSU games - all pretty damn exciting on offense. I think that we need to get past the "if RR had one more year" attitude.
I also can't stand the whole "Hoke better win 10 games this year" otherwise firing RR was a mistake. What did we see from RR that led us to believe that he would win 10 games? Most of his wins were decided by 1 score (some by 1 play).
Year to year improvement. 10 returning starters on Offense. Playing Non-Freshman on Defense, etc. I think those are all indicators that 9-10 wins was the barometer next season. Nothing should change for Hoke. In fact, if Hoke is a better coach than RR, which people are saying, the expected win count should be higher.
SDSU played against 6 of the 20 worst defenses in the country not including their 4-7 FCS opponent while Michigan played against 7 of the top 30. STFU.
You make a very valid point and I tend to agree with you. However, I don't feel his point was so controversial as to warrant a "STFU".
Its not like SDSU had very much talent though and the fact that they improved as the season went on shows that the coaches did a good job developing players. Something that has not happened at Michigan the last few years under either RR or LC
Loved the writing style, as always. Couldn't disagree with the content more.
1. I know that many loved our offense last year, but in the end, running Denard so many times got him injured almost every game. One day, one of those injuries is going to be serious, and keep him our for more than a few plays.
2. The offense last year put WAY too much on Denard. He was asked to throw 30 times amd run 20+ times. Again, too much focus on one guy, and if he goes down (again, as he did almost every game), we are in some serious trouble.
3. While I know that this will not be well received by some (Ziff, Brian, etc.), our offense was amazing against crappy teams, moved the ball well but couldn't score when the game was close against decent teams, and completely ineffective against good teams. I, for one, would take an offense that is was less statistically dominant, but which can put up more than 7 points against OSU.
4. Running backs - I wouldn't sell them so short as to call them underwhelming. Smith and Shaw, perhaps. But Hopkins is a beast - he looked decent last year AS A TRUE FRESHMAN. I can't wait to see what he can do in a power set with some experience under his belt. Cox has all of the tools to be a monster RB - he just needs to learn the offense. Fitz is about as hyped as any recent RB at Michigan - he just neds to be healthy enough to see the field and we might have a star.
Overall, I guess that for the next year, there will probably be a divide amongst those that loved last years offense and believed that we were only a few tweeks away from being Oregonesque and those (like me) that believed that our offense really wasn'y suited to compete against the upper tier B10 teams and welcome the change. Both groups have valid (and some invalid) reasons for their belief. Regardless, I trust our current coaches and think that they will make the right calls.
1. Running Denard 20 times won't get him hurt any quicker than running Michael Shaw 20 times would get him hurt. Is running Michael Shaw 20 times a game "too much"? If you're not using your best weapon because you're afraid of hurting him, he shouldn't be playing football and you shouldn't be coaching football.
2. Denard went down several times last year and I can't remember a single one of them where the offense sputtered. Seems to me that the offense was fine with or without Denard.
3. How many points did Henne, Hart, and Co. put up against OSU when they were all seniors?
4. Injuries. Hopkins won't do any better this season than he did last season, regardless of scheme, if he is nursing injuries again. None of the RB's will. If you think a change in blocking scheme and coachspeak is going to magically make the running backs more productive any more than a year of experience and health will, well, God bless you.
Overall, your post is pretty much garbage. Still with the "RR's offense won't work in the Big Ten" after breaking so many records with mostly sophomores on the field. "Turning the ball over 3 times a game won't work in the Big Ten" is what you really mean, right?
1. When Shaw isn't running it 20 times he isn't passing it another 20.
2. You do know Tate is gone, don't you?
3. See your reason for 4.