NOTE: Tim just posted a press conference recap. Don't miss the Actual Reporting.
NEW FEATURE! Registered users can now go into their account and add their twitter profile. Doing this will create a little widget underneath the diary entry forms that will, if left alone, automatically tweet the diary you're posting. BONUS FEATURE/STUPIDITY! Posts also have a "ShareThis" link in case you want to facebook/email/twitter/whatever something that's on the blog. I thought I implemented this a month ago but when I checked to see if anyone used it and there were zero hits I got suspicious. So, yeah: I was the only one who could see it. Smooth.
UPDATE: Amazingly, I did the exact same thing with the twitter module. It's available to all now.
MUSTACHE UPDATE! Well… yeah. Here you go. These, from Don Hammond, are suitable for nightmares, fake facebook profiles, and elaborate alternate universe fictionalizations of all varieties… wait.
Okay. Now go:
God help our opponents. Evil Goatee Rodriguez won't.
TICKETS! Michigan is about to just put some ticket packages on sale, starting at noon. The packages are 2 or 4 seat blocks for Eastern, Delaware State, and either ND or Ohio State. Single game tickets for Purdue, Indiana, and Penn State(!!!) are also going to be available.
PLANES! AND CAMERAS! Reader Michael K. Brown has posted a fantastic set of aerial pictures of Michigan Stadium. One example:
Michael K. Brown
MORE NOISE! The luxury boxes you see above have promised a noisier Michigan Stadium from the instant they were conceived and have spurred multiple mailbags with readers asking if the increased noise reflection will turn Michigan Stadium into Death Valley. AnnArbor.com clarifies that oversized metallic dandelion test from a year or so back:
When Michigan ran tests on the sound in Michigan Stadium earlier this year, it wasn’t done to test how loud the 100,000-plus seat structure could get when the Wolverines’ defense is on the field, but rather to make sure every nook and cranny of the place could actually feel the sound.
“What we were doing is testing out the theory of where the dead spots would be based on the new sound system in the north end zone scoreboard,” Michigan executive associate athletic director Michael Stevenson said. “There was an engineering study more than anything else.”
This might help out with the previous discussed can't-hear-the-band issue, too? It can't hurt. Lloyd Carr, for his part, has grandiose dreams:
"…the stadium is going to be much, much louder this year because the windows are into the boxes and it’s in my judgment based on what I heard last fall and what I see, I don’t think there’s going to be a louder stadium in the country.
“Unless it’s Oregon.”
Maybe I just included that part for inevitable hat tips from Oregon blogs, maybe not. I ain't telling.
TRIPLE OPTION! Smart Football writes on the evolution of the spread offense and highlights one adaptation that Michigan might deploy frequently this year:
On the base zone-read, the quarterback just looks for any crease to the backside.
But if we add a second read to the play, he now seeks out the outside linebacker or backside support player. He will run right at that player’s outside shoulder. If the defender stays outside or refuses to commit, the quarterback will cut it up inside. Depending on how athletic the QB is — think Pat White or Vince Young — this can be a big gainer. If the linebacker attacks the quarterback though, he pitches it to the runningback or receiver swinging around. This player has to get into a “pitch relationship” with the quarterback, usually something like five to seven yards away and one to two yards behind the quarterback. It is his job to maintain this relationship. The quarterback really only wants to pitch it if the defender flatly attacks him; the worst thing is for a defender to be able to bat down the pitch and recover the ball as a fumble.
…The pitch phase from spread is often a bit clunky or obvious, however. Most of these teams don’t base with two runningbacks, and as a result they had to motion a guy in to show it, often tipping off the defense. Plus, one of the points driving the spread is the desire to get the ball to the receivers in space; an offense that ends up compressing itself into two-back formations is, in many peope’s eyes, going the wrong direction.
Michigan might not base with two tailbacks this year but they're going to show it a lot, and they should with the surfeit of good options in the backfield. That will make the triple option from the zone read a viable, consistent threat.
Michigan's has the possibility of being extraordinarily multiple this year: they've got two or three slot receivers, a fullback, two tight ends, three or four tailbacks. Everything from four and five-wides to double TE ace sets to traditional I-form is possible. If it works they can confuse the hell out of everyone. And if it doesn't, they can try something else.
Etc.: Greg Paulus is Syracuse's starting quarterback. God help us if he doesn't suck, though the 180s from local rabblerousers on the matter will be hilarious.