Just one word, "depressing".
Punt-Counterpunt: Northwestern 2013
Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one… something like Punt-Counterpunt.
by Nick RoUMel
Michigan is facing a Northwestern team that come mid-November, has yet to win a Big Ten game. And Northwestern is favored.
This is how far we have fallen.
Remember Spinal Tap, the fictional band that was once hugely popular, but then became so irrelevant that they were billed below a puppet show?
Michigan is Spinal Tap. (And Michigan State is Puppet Show, but that’s another story.)
Bo is spinning in his grave. In fact, everyone who has died since Bo is spinning in his grave. Lou Reed, for example, is spinning in his grave. Even he thinks he can do a better job on the offensive line:
“Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play!”
We are nothing more than a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team. How did that happen? How did Puppet Show achieve supremacy in our state rivalry, with a freshman quarterback and a bunch of scrappy 3-star players?
Can you imagine what Michigan’s record would be with the same coaches and Michigan State’s roster?
Back in the day when I played recreational softball, we had a saying to help our team rally to victory. “Gotta want it.”
Give the Sparties credit – they come to play.
But when have you last seen Michigan WANT IT? The Wolverines go to work, punch the clock, and grouse about the copy machine. “The copier repair guy, he didn’t execute today. … But we’ll make those copies tomorrow, right? And maybe collate them if we have time? … So, wanna hit happy hour? No? OK, See ya tomorrow.”
Gotta want it, Blue. Show me you do. Call me a fair weather fan if you want, but I watch sports for fun and enjoyment. I want to have fun again. Let’s renew our vows. Let’s get high. Let’s play that game where you dress up like a detective and I wear the Spider-Man Underoos … oh, wait. Wrong game. But I can still fantasize:
MICHIGAN 24, NORTHWESTERN 23
By Heiko Yang
Losing is a familiar feeling. I started following Michigan football during the Rich Rod era, so dropping every game in November used to be an expectation, not a disappointing surprise.
What’s unfamiliar about all this is how little hope there seems to be that anything is going to get better any time soon. Until this season, there always seemed to be a fix for every mistake. Can’t throw the ball to convert on third down? Use Denard’s legs. Linebackers getting clubbed to death by offensive linemen? Teach the defensive line how to absorb blocks. Don’t have a viable backup quarterback? Convert Devin Gardner back to QB.
Every time Michigan lost, you could count on seeing adjustments the next game, and those adjustments would work. Last week was the first time under Brady Hoke where those adjustments either didn’t work or weren’t there at all. Unsurprisingly, it was the first time Michigan lost in back-to-back weeks since 2010.
What’s so disappointing about all this is the coaching staff no longer seems to be an all-knowing entity that’s limited only by the execution errors of its players. Until now I likened the football program to a brilliant scientist trying to run a lab full of inexperienced graduate students: the experiments are well designed, and when something fails, it’s usually because someone forgot to add a reagent or contaminated a solution. Technique and fundamentals, that sort of thing. These days I have to wonder whether there’s something inherently wrong with the scientist. He’s so fixated on his favorite hypothesis that he’s forcing his students to repeat the same failed experiments over and over until the lab gets driven into the ground.
As of this morning we have a sample size of two games telling us that the Michigan football program is more likely the latter scenario. By this evening that number will become three. Wait and see for yourself: Michigan’s coaches have suggested all week that Michigan’s offensive game plan will be no different than it was against Michigan State or Nebraska. You’ll know this to be true when Michigan lines up in an ace set on second and long and runs play action or comes out in I form with Derrick Green as the tailback on first down.
Will it work? Can it work? Should it work? “Theoretically,” will be next Tuesday’s Word of the Day.
Michigan 17, Northwestern 24.
fuck, did SCLSU ever rush for neg yards in 2 straight games?
GO MUD DOGS!
I really needed that today - well done!
The "optimistic" column hopes for a 1-point win over a winless-in-conference Northwestern.
Leaders and best, bitches.
Explain that statement to me ... This staff hasn't lost back-to-back games except OSU and SC last year. So, what 7 times are the adjustments not made?
Didn't we just lose 2 in a row?
[EDIT] - Nevermind, I see what you were getting at....
Honestly, screw these coaches for what they did to this team. They suck.
I watched a bit of college gameday and saw 1 of 4 commentators reluctantly pick us to beat NW and the rest of them laughed about it, NW!!
Naw it was Herb.
As the losses mount, the level of comedy writing on this site gets better and better- what does this mean?.
Is this still a "fan" site, or what?
I think it's more of a cult now
It has gone from "youth" and "execution" to something fundamentally flawed with the coaching of this team. The futility of the previous era was at least mitigated by signs that (at least on the offense) things were improving. The offense these days is moving backward, figuratively and literally.....
Welcome to the club!
on offense? You probably should take another look at the scores from 2010 after the first week of October. Here's a clue, they only scored more than 30 twice. Once was the multi-overtime shootout against Illinois, the other in a losing effort to PSU: 31-41. It was in fact the absence of offense against OSU (7 pts) and Miss St (14 pts) that was the last straw for the prior regime.
You can definitely take exception with the Wizard of Ann Arbor, pull back the curtain and he's just Brady Hoke, and his staff, but you can do so without telling tall tales about the previous regime.
In no way do I think Borges is getting the best out of his players right now but I think we need to just keep in mind that between the 2010-2011 classes, we lost 24 out of 47 signees to attrition/injury (most of whom were the highly rated recruits of their classes). Things are going to get better... how much better is unknown. But it isn't fair to just assume we are going to suffer through ten more years of this.
Things will be better next year might be Michigan's rallying cry the past decade.
Yes but this time we have the metrics to back it up. If you can show me a coach who has done better after losing what amounts to an entire recruiting class over two seasons, I may change my tune.
Support group meetings convene every Wed. @ 7 p.m. We will collectively hold you, Heiko. Stay strong.
as always, could go either way. While I hope Nick is correct I fear Heiko has a better grasp of reality.
a bus full of supermodels could break down in front of my house while my wife's on vacation too.
Wouldn't it be great if we suddenly morphed back into early-September mode and we blew them out? (Probs unlikely.)
I wonder what the reaction would be if that happened and how high the suprise level would be.
That's much of the problem. We haven't grown or developed all season. The difference is that now there's lots of film available. The only reason Northwestern wouldn't completely destroy our offense is if they're not physically capable of doing it. The way to do it is well known at this point.
the background kind of looks like Glen Lake from up on the scenic drive.
Yes, I am not real into football right now, but am I right?
There is an old fortress overlooking the Aegean and you climb over 1000 steps. My daughter and I were taking photos of each other mimicing a toy monster she had. (my more normal profile pick is from that same photo shoot). I was wearing my #7 jersey. I have to lean towards Ricky to rock that one, over Chad Henne, Chris Floyd, and that guy who played for a while in Columbus.
A little more exotic than N. Michigan, too. I hope your view on the game works out!
You know... I keep coming here, expecting to read something that gives me hope. Instead it's always something like a lookout screaming, "Iceberg dead ahead!" Of course, by then it's too late. The Iceberg has already eviscerated the hull, and we are taking on water fast. Well, at least we can rearrange the deck chairs. I mean, what else is there to do?
"Nearer my God to thee, nearer to thee..."
When asked why I bother watching Michigan football given the current state of things, I made the mistake of comparing the weekly drama unfolding to a soap opera like my wife's "Grey's Anatomy." My wife then asked me to explain the difference between "Grey's Anatomy" and Michigan football? The answer, she said, is that, "'Grey's Anatomy' just had 11 successful seasons." I'm going to go drink now.
Even in 2011 losing to Iowa took us out of contention for the division title. I just wonder when Michigan will be relevant again? Especially after going into the East division with OSU. We may be out of it for many Novembers to come. But if Hoke can get back up to winning 8 or 9 games per year then DB will be happy that his guy is doing a great job!
31-6 NW would not surprise or sadden me today.
then you know that the team has quit! If the team starts losing confidence in this coaching staff, then next season we may not even make to a bowl game! Why will the guys work hard after the season?
I can feel it!
YOU ALL ARE.this team never quit like you all thought they would. but you have. You are all quitters.