Maybe Im just not getting it. Hi!
The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Hemingway slot business.
As I understand it, you use smaller, quicker WR's in the slot because they are matched up against lumbering LB's who can't keep up. You then use bigger, stronger WR's on the outside against the smaller CB's. It seems like we use Hemmingway in the slot quite often with Gallon or Odoms on the outside. Am I missing something here? I just don't understand why Hemmingway is in the slot so much. It's not like he is Floyd or Calvin Johnson, and they are trying to move him all over the field to keep defenses question because they are so freaked out about Hemmingway.
If you're not going to screen with those slots or use them as runners, there's not a whole lot of point to making those slot dudes little buggers. Putting your top WR there does get you some advantages.
One: it's hard to jam the guy since he's starting off the line of scrimmage and many defenses don't feature a guy directly over the slot. Two: you're essentially preventing the opponent's top corner from covering the guy man to man. If that's not the case you're forcing a nickel package on the field and forcing that corner away from his regular spot. This can have negative impacts on run fills from both members of the secondary. Three: hypothetically your big guy is a relatively good blocker and having him in the slot can help you attack the edge. This works better when we're talking about Floyd or BJ Cunningham.
Just because Hemingway isn't Floyd or Megatron doesn't mean he's not the closest thing Michigan has available, and since the Michigan offense involves zero quick throws to the slot, putting him there doesn't cost you anything.
A timely response on next year's OL.
Despite the awesome win at Illinois this week I still felt like Omameh had a rough day as I saw him get beat on a few occasions. Here's a question for you - based on the outlook for 2012, do you think the coaches might consider moving him to RT and keeping Schofield and Barnum as the two guards? Maybe Omameh just isn't cut out for mauling large DT or pulling, which is what the guard needs to do in this offense.
I think that's a possibility, but one that will depend on how quickly Chris Bryant progresses and how ready to play Kyle Kalis is more than Schofield.
I bet a dollar Schofield is the starting right tackle next year. He was neck and neck with Huyge for the starting job there before Barnum went down; Omameh has not played tackle in two or three years; there are no other tackles on the dang roster. If Schofield isn't the second-best pass protector on the team next year I'll be shocked. So he goes outside.
That means Omameh moving to tackle makes him a backup. Is that a realistic possibility for a would-be three year starter competing with freshmen, one of them a true freshman? Normally the answer there would be "no way" but watching him get chucked to the ground by Illinois (and everybody else) and seeing Omameh's inexperience pulling makes you wonder. He's been hurt more than anyone else on the offense by the coaching change and it's not a huge stretch to see a 340-pound mauler displace him, no matter the experience difference.
That might not be a bad thing. Omameh as the #6 lineman means there is a #6 lineman. Right now that looks far from guaranteed.
MGoBlog ruins relationships.
I've been dating an LSU alum for almost 3 months. In the week leading up to their big game I made the mistake of explaining (unsolicited) the ethical shortcomings of oversigning and the significant competitive advantage that it promotes. She follows CFB sparingly and didn't have much to say about the topic, but at her friends' game party on Saturday night she made sure to have the LSU contingent confront me. The return arguments went something like "you're jealous", "it's a numbers game", and "my friend's cousin plays for the team, he's not very good and he hasn't been cut", etc.
I'm no longer concerned with proving my point but rather with the chasm that oversigning has created in our relationship. Needless to say, she didn't agree with me and said that she just wanted me to be an LSU fan with her. Naturally, I want her to follow Michigan, too. I'm conflicted because I can't reconcile supporting Les Miles or the SEC with my own values. What's a man to do?
If your girlfriend is following LSU only sparingly she will not be able to tell the difference between your mild affection for the Hat's grass-eating insanity and a genuine desire for LSU to win. That will get you through games against the SEC West's collection of robot mercenary Bible salesmen. LSU is the lesser evil in their division if only because Miles is Loki incarnate.
Past that I can't help you. LSU had an assistant coach fired for arranging illicit benefits for a recruit. LSU's oversigning practices are just short of Alabama's for overall odiousness. LSU is mixed up in the Lyles scouting thing. If they were exposed to the same level of scrutiny OSU just went through, Baton Rouge would be a smoking, deliciously-scented crater. They're fun, I guess. I hate fun.
It kind of sounds like this girl is not a winner, anyway. Having her friends dogpile on you to offer sports talk radio opinions about oversigning is not a good sign. "Hey, I know what my boyfriend will like: being berated by a room full of people." Find a nice Texas alum so you can accuse the Longhorns of destroying college football, preferably at a Mack Brown house party.
[ED-S: Pro-tip: don't take relationship advice from Brian unless your relationship is based on an incomparable understanding of college football]
Coaching: it matters.
this year; last year
There's been a long line of assertions about college football being highly dependent on unusually gifted/determined athletes (It's not about X's and O's; it's about Jimmies and Joes comes to mind), and that coaching is more an area where the game can be lost and talent squandered (Ron Zook) or the marginal advantages in the same team strategy add up to wins over equally talented teams (Jim Tressel).
While it seems that some players excel regardless of coaching (Brandon Graham, Jordan Kovacs), the turnaround of Michigan's defense seems to be as good a test case as any for how coaching affects performance. They improved dramatically, but they did it opposite an offense that was similarly potent and returned almost everyone from a year ago, played similar caliber teams if not the same teams, and employed youth effectively in the secondary in stark contrast to previous years.
In light of this, all things being equal, how big a difference do you think having great versus "just good" coaching makes in college football (Like if Michigan had hired anyone who had the misfortune of not being born a Raven's defensive coordinator), setting aside that it only needs to be one point better in each game for the win?
The only thing Greg Mattison and Greg Robinson have in common other than first names—I'm pretty sure they're not even the same species—is their ability to mutter "scheme is overrated" when asked a question they don't really feel like answering. But if this year's Michigan defense has taught anyone anything it's that yes, scheme matters a lot. So does technique coaching.
Michigan did not go from 108th in the country to top 20 by replacing their players. They did it by playing a defense that made sense, delivering remarkably effective zone blitzes, and making certain total scrubs a lot better at football.
Scheme matters. So does everything else. Acquiring your pieces is a third of the game. Developing them into football players is a third. And deploying them effectively is a third.
GRADES AT THESE THINGS FOR VARIOUS THINGS
2011 Michigan defense
Jim Tressel regime
Brady Hoke so far (tenuous)
Fight over the niggling half-grades if you must. To answer the guy's question, the difference between great and "just good" schematic coaching in college football is not a massive difference in win percentage—it's not going to win you three games a year—but when you're at the level Michigan expects to be, edging out an extra half-win per year has a massive impact on the overall prestige of your program. The difference between 6-6 and 7-5 is nothing. The difference between 10-2 and 11-1 is immense, as Wisconsin and their omission from national title discussion have found out.
*[Illicit or no.]
Spread: we wants it forever.
A question that I would love to hear Borges asked is, given the fact that he has run a lot of spread this year, for really the first time in his career because of Denard, has it influenced his offensive philosophy? How he will approach game planning in future?
He always talks about how he's changed over the years and added things to his concepts, and I would love to hear him talk about that. I have a hope that we actually do not move completely away from the spread once Denard is gone--I would love it if we retained some of that concept and retained the ability to run the ball from the QB position. I think it really complicates defensive planning to have a dual threat guy back there (no offense Shane Morris). Is it possible to have Heiko ask a question of that sort?
No one can be certain, but since your question conjured forth an image of Heiko trudging to a press conference with "Taps" playing in the background… eh… I'm guessing not so much. When these guys came in they told everyone in no uncertain terms that Michigan football was running power down your throat, and they kept trying to do that from time to time no matter how spectacularly ineffective it had proven.
Is the Denard Robinson experience going to change that? Probably not. Borges has been an offensive coordinator for decades. Two years of Denard are just a couple additional logs on an already raging fire of this metaphor makes no sense. When he's gone Borges will have Gardner, Bellomy, Shane Morris, and a clobberating OL of Lewan, Barnum, Miller, Kalis, and Schofield with Chris Bryant and others waiting in the wings. He might (should?) have Bri'onte Dunn. Even if he's learned some cool stuff over the past couple years there's not much he'll be able to carry over with the personnel he'll have. While Gardner's pretty fast he's nowhere near the runner Denard is. (Rodriguez's disastrous OL recruiting helps smooth this transition: all the underclass Omamehs are air.)
Maybe we'll see a zone read or two, an inverted veer here and there, but even now it's obvious what Borges wants to do despite not being able to do it even a little.
I do find this a little depressing, but only a little. If Michigan puts together a pro-style offense with personnel like they had through most of the aughts and actually lets it rip that promises to be fun, especially with Ohio State transitioning to an offense that wants different things than Michigan will. I'd still like them to take runs at QBs like Braxton Miller and Devin Gardner, but I think they will—they took Bellomy, who is a mobile guy with the ability to develop into a thrower.
Maybe Im just not getting it. Hi!
I just don't know what to do! I just entered in a new relationship, and while I'm really excited about its prospects, I'm also a little worried that I might be set up for failure. Before this most recent coupling, I had a GREAT time with a Florida hottie. FH was just coming out of a relationship with a total goober who could always talk people into joining them for a couple of years but then could never coordinate a fun or effective activity, usually culminating in everyone ending the date disappointed and wishing all these talented people could have done better. Also, this guy may have had brain damage.
But back to my FH - we had a great time, and while it got a little pious there for a bit, we still had some amazing runs and were at the top of our games. And compared to our friends, we were practically saints and scholars - some of FH's friends were known to invite a bunch of people over for a huge orgy and the kick out the ugly/untalented/smart people when new people showed up.
But after a couple of years, FH and I started to grow apart. The bloom was off the road - I gain a little weight and didn't want to work as hard to keep up appearances, FH lost a bunch of weight and stopped looking as sexy as before, to the point that most of FH's "loser" friends could hold multiple orgies a day while FH could barely muster a stranger meeting in a bar.
So I finally broke it off 2 years ago, and while it broke my back, I landed softly into a nice little "friends with benefits" relationship with a friend in media. Media was awesome - it was really casual, we always had people over who shared my opinions, and man did Media pimp me out - new clothes, nice haircuts, the works. It was great, but I knew it wouldn't last, and all along I wanted something more. I looked around rather brazenly while still with Media, but nobody complained and it just felt right when I spied this "fixer-upper" from Ohio.
From the outside, FUO had it all - big name recognition in my profession, money, some sexy tattoos, and DTF all the way and all day. And while not a heavyweight upstairs, neither was FH and we made it work because I'm okay with them being a little dumb. Even though FUO hit a rough patch recently as well, breaking up with a long-time snoozer who dressed like a preacher but was a total hypocrite, this just feels right.
But I guess my question is, how do I know that I won't stray again and get bored with FUO? I mean, the relationship looks great now, but so did FH and Media. I mean, I told everyone how much I loved my first real relationship in Utah, but I high-tailed it out of there for FH at the drop of a hat. So what should I do? Should I really invest all this time and energy into another big-time relationship, even when I have doubts? And I hear that FUO's neighboor is still pretty mad because FUO is kind of a jerk sometimes. Does this sound like love, or am I just being a cad?
Confused in Columbus
I am not sure scheme matters much as long as you maintain gap control.
I think GERG was so very GERG because he freaking sucked at telling guys where to be in a 3-3-5.
Mattison is so very MATTISON because he knows exactly where to tell guys to be in a 3-4 (or whatever we run). Oh, and the blitzes, the wonderful tingly blitzes.
One reason to go with power running is that it's NOT all the rage these days. In other words. . .
I know this isn't Borges' first thought; he wants to run Power I because he wants to. But right now who's running power in the Big Ten? Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State. . . starts to get awfully thin from there, and Illinois and PSU will have serious recruiting problems. Urban Meyer likes the spread. Nebraska and Illinois run the triple option. Even nationwide, the spread is all the rage these days.
The more the Power I is unpopular, the more advantageous it is to recruit suitable players that have oodles of talent. . . that other teams aren't interested in. It gives you a monopoly on players suited to your style.
That said, the real way to win IMO is to just recruit the best players you can find and adapt your scheme to fit what they can do. If there's another high school QB like Denard, with fast legs and a good attitude that's interested in Michigan, you'd have to be an idiot to give him the cold shoulder in favor of a pro-style QB you haven't found yet.
"Two years of Denard are just a couple additional logs on an already raging fire of this metaphor makes no sense."
..is one of my all time favorites.
Makes me uncomfortable.
Now that the season is over, do you plan on apologizing for this:
You've dropped the occasional "I was wrong about this particular unfounded anti-Hoke assumption", but you've yet to admit you were wrong about every single thing related to Hoke.
The good news is that the above post was the worst thing you have ever written, as well as the most incorrect. It's not representative of anything but your mindset at the time. But man, it's a doozy.
I think Brian has said on a few occasions now that he was totally wrong about Brady Hoke.
..is an honest re-evaluation of the concept of "cronyism".
I'm not trying to nail Brian to the wall here.
I brought this old gas-can of a post up because we can all have some fun with it while basking in the glow of a wonderful season and a win over Ohio. Brian isn't on trial. I'm sure he'd happily agree that this was the worst thing ever written on this blog. Why? Because he's a reasonable guy.
Take it easy, man. Brian's a big boy, he can answer for himself. Or not.
Imagine, all of those asshole ex-players actually knew more than Brian about
a) Brady Hoke
b) his chances of winning.
I don't think there is anything at all wrong with that post. It was from 2007!
Brady Hoke in 2007 is a MUCH different coach than Brady Hoke in January 2011. Since that post Hoke went 25-13 (before being hired at Michigan) including a 12-1 and 9-4 season. That is a vast improvement over his 2007 record of 22-36.
Brian was still very deadset against hiring Hoke in 2011 but was not nearly as vicious. The main thrust of Brian's complaints were that he is an average coach (a vast improvement from that 2007 post) who wouldn't be considered for a Michigan coaching job if he hadn't been an assistant at Michigan. Others like Skip Holtz, Kyle Wittingham, Gary Patterson didn't seem to be an option and they had better records.
Now, in hindsight Brian's complaints from this year turned out to be very wrong. That doesn't mean his complaints from 2007 were the worst thing ever written on this blog.
Brady Hoke has been coaching football for almost three decades. What skill or knowledge did he have at age 52 that he didn't have at age 49--something so dramatic that he was a "MUCH different coach" who you think went from the worst possible hire imaginable, with the mere thought of offering him an interview infurating, to being a really good hire?
Brady Hoke had been a head coach for 5 years in 2007. When Michigan did hire him, he had 60% more experience. That's a huge difference. I would bet just about anything that if somebody asked Brady Hoke if he was a better coach in 2011 than he was in 2007 that he would say yes.
Maybe he didn't improve very much as an actual coach. Maybe in 2007 he would have turned out just as good as he has. However, an Athletic Director's job is about 80% PR. Having a 12-1 and 9-4 season to point to is a huge improvement in pr. Even if he didn't actually improve as a coach in those three years, the outside perception of him as a coach drastically improved in those 3 years. As an AD that's almost as important as his actual coaching abilities.
Like Yeoman said, Hoke had been around forever, and even when the post was written (2007) his former players at Michigan were pulling for him to get the job.
He didn't become a better coach at SDSU. They won, as Ball State won, as Michigan is winning, because he is a good coach.
It's not fair to expect Brian to know that Hoke was a good coach because he, like you, can only go off of the record. So why not take other metrics into account. Like, say, the opinion of former players? That's the problem. The fact that he totally wrote off the support of former players as cronyism is where he went wrong.
Do you guys think the old players just wanted him in there because they like the guy?!
No, they wanted him because they thought he could do the job. That cannot be hard to fathom.
Again, I don't know why people are answering for Brian. He can comment or not. And I don't think he would feel the need to defend that old post, because he is a reasonable guy. He'd probably say "Oops, about that..." and I'd be all like "lolzors" and it'd be over.
I'm not trying to answer for Brian. He can answer if he wants to (he won't).
If I'm not allowed to discuss this, why did you post it as a public message? You should have just emailed Brian directly.
I didn't say you can't answer, just that I'm puzzled by why people feel they have to.
As far as e-mailing him, touche. I'll do that.
But I don't really care for a response. Like I said a few times, I just wanted to have some fun with it. I know Brian's changed his mind on Hoke, I just don't know if he even remembers this post and what he would say about it now. That's all.
All I said was that Brian has admitted he was completely wrong about Hoke. Not sure how that warranted such a snarky response.
I'll return to being severely freaked out now.
If you watch footage from Lloyd's last year you can see glimpses of the "spread" especially in the Capital One Bowl. And I can think of a few times where Michigan designed plays for Mallet and Henne to run, there rare but they're there. Who's to say Borges won't try somethings with Morris? I personally prefer Pro-Style but it would be interesting to see what he could come up with...