I remind you that Northwestern 2007 finished 6-6 and stayed home for the holidays. One more thing: Kafka.
Wow [/walken]. I spent last year posting Garfield Minus Garfield strips in the game previews instead of kittens. At first this was a commemoration of the new era and the shift in program philosophy we'd been waiting for—we went from cats to the specific, willful omission of them. As the season progressed, however, the lack of Garfield became, to quote Garfield Minus Garfield itself, "a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb."
We're going back to kittens this year for obvious reasons. Kittens are cute. They work better than lack of cat. The switch was probably responsible for at least two special teams fumbles.
But here's one last lack of Garfield for the road, if only because it's theme-appropriate:
Historian! My RSS feeds got screwed up somehow and I stopped getting Wolverine Historian's torrent of clips in my reader. Fixed now; WH brings you the 1982 Purdue game:
Anthony Carter's last game at Michigan Stadium.
Hello again, Mr. Harbaugh. Jim Harbaugh's tendency to talk without regard to potential future consequences has once again brought him to the attention of the Big Ten, but this time($)…
You're not a fan of teams from other leagues playing two FCS schools.
Some of these teams are playing Delaware State (as Harbaugh's alma mater, Michigan, is) or Towson (Northwestern).
You know, somebody really ought to take notice of this stuff. You have eight or nine wins and so you're a great football team? Well, what if you played four patsies in your nonconference and then you only won half your conference games and so you get to go play in the Alamo Bowl and everyone says you're a great team. That's what happens. There's no question that the Pac-10 doesn't get that respect for playing teams out of conference of like caliber. Maybe some of these teams have a 1-AA team in there but it's rare.
…I couldn't agree more with him.
I guess it's a little bit of a cheapshot to mention Delaware State when Michigan is far from the worst nonconference scheduler in the league (cough wisconsin-minnesota-indiana cough) but I'm guessing it was just one of the foremost inter-division matchups in his mind since 1) he's an alum and 2) the Delaware State game has been held up as an especially stupid example of these sorts of things since DSU has forfeited a conference game to line up their payday. Northwestern gets it right in the face (Lake the Posts is displeased).
He's right on with the rest of it, and totally correct that the Pac-10 doesn't get the respect they probably warrant in the polls because they play a round-robin. Does everyone remember Hawaii in the BCS? That's the clearest evidence that not nearly enough attention is paid to schedule strength we've got. The more coaches that rail against stupid scheduling tricks, the better off fans will be. Even if it's obviously self-serving.
Merph merph. I'm more okay with the UConn deal now that it seems to have caused the Huskies' ridiculously unbalanced schedule with ND to evaporate, but this is still a much-preferable matchup:
The Hartford Courant reported on Saturday that Connecticut has booked a football home-and-home with Michigan. The Huskies open next season at the refurbished Big House; the Wolverines return the trip in 2013. According to a Michigan source, Pitt was in negotiation with the Wolverines for a similar arrangement but UConn was more flexible on the return date.
Pitt fans are terrible, so this would have allowed myself and 30,000 of my best friends to descend on Pittsburgh and take in the game. I'm not driving to Connecticut.
Maybe if I squint real hard and pray we'll get better. Another argument for Rodriguez's all-encompassing run-murder-death offensive abilities can be found in what happened to his old digs once he left. West Virginia returned Pat White, Noel Devine, and six offensive linemen with extensive starting experience. This happened:
I'll divide for you: the dip in run tendency does not account for the decline of the rushing yardage. In 2008, WVU averaged 5.3 YPC. Across the rest of the White era, WVU averaged 6.0. In 2007, the nearest comparable, it was 6.2.
This seems like a good place to mention that When Carcajous Attack(!) has researched the Rodriguez offensive line in-depth.
Elsewhere in the Northeast. This NYC bowl getting knocked around may involve a Big Ten team:
The sources said that Mark Holtzman, marketing director of Yankee Stadium, discussed the possibilities of a bowl game at a meeting with the Big East athletic directors. Mark Lamping, CEO of the New Meadowlands Stadium Company, expressed his facility's interest.
If the bowl game comes to fruition, it likely would match a Big East school against an at-large team, preferably from the Big Ten, which has millions of alumni in the metropolitan area.
That is what I am saying. I'd rather deal with the cold for a couple hours and then be in New York than be in San Antonio or Nashville or Orlando… ever.
The article makes it sound like this would be a real rinky-dink operation, though, with the last-ish bowl-eligible Big East team versus anyone who's floating around without a tie-in. This will be a Big Ten team approximately once in a zillion years. Iowa missed out on a bowl at 6-6 a couple years ago, but I don't recall any other eligible Big Ten team escaping the gravitational pull of the Motor City Bowl.
O RLY? Apparently some Ohio State assistant was spouting off to some guy at the Dispatch—possibly ESS EEE CEE guy—about how defenses have caught up with the spread. Rodriguez decided he wasn't going to run it any more as a result oh wait no not really:
"I could care less what he says," Rodriguez said. "Everybody's opinion is an opinion. We study everything, and our ultimate goal is to win. We sit down as a staff, and coaches and say what can we do that gives us the best chance to score points and win ballgames. For us it goes back to running the system we know."
Rodriguez is one of the gurus of the spread-option offense and has spent years adjusting it.
"This whole thing about catching up to this, it's all about execution," he said at the Big Ten media days in Chicago last week. "They said the same thing about West Coast offenses, pro-style offenses. If you've got better players, you execute better, you'll win 100% of the time, no matter what system you run."
The exact term in the article above is that offenses have "caught up to the quarterback run." This is coming from a coach at Ohio State, which had Terrelle Pryor pass 165 times last year… and run 135 times. Fail? I think this is fail.
Are these measuring the same things? Black Heart, Gold Pants points to an article on Iowa's athletic budget that indicates how the Big Ten is doing relative to the Joneses, and by "Joneses" we mean SEC:
The $19.8 million in budgeted Big Ten income reflects Iowa's share of the ESPN contract and BTN profits. It's also nearly $4 million more than SEC schools stand to make under their new Leviathan deal with The Worldwide Leader, despite the fact that the Big Ten receives half as much from ESPN for television rights (just as expected).
The 4 million number is right…
Florida, like every SEC school, will receive about $16 million in total television money for the 2009 season, $11 million of which comes from ESPN.
…if those are measuring the same things. (That same article claims the Big Ten gets 100 million to the SEC's 150, which okay whatever.) I don't think they are. The quote that $19.8 million comes from:
Iowa will receive nearly $19.8 million through the Big Ten and NCAA, mostly through television contracts. That’s an increase of nearly $700,000.
Mostly? So greater than 51% but less than 100%? Where is the link to the PDF? Argh. I don't think a 4 million dollar gap is realistic, since if that encompasses every dime coming from the Big Ten and NCAA a decent chunk of it has to be bowl revenue. I'm guessing the overall money just from TV is essentially equal.
Which is still a major difference from what a thousand newspaper articles trumpeting the eternal hegemony of the secessionists would have you believe. (That's right: secessionists.)
Etc.: Rodriguez is "a little better than JoePa" at tweedle-dos.
I remind you that Northwestern 2007 finished 6-6 and stayed home for the holidays. One more thing: Kafka.
Are you implying there was some sort of Metamorphosis?
Kudos, sir. +1
I agree 100% with his comments, it is about execution. Howeva, I don't think the stats Brian sites from OSU necessarily indicate fail. Pryor didn't exactly set the world on fire running the ball, though he had a great game at Illinois. But he also rushed for less than 2 yards a carry in several games, including something like negative yardage against us. So, while you can't "catch up" to any offense, if you take the exact quote Brian mentioned from the OSU guy, I don't think it's completely off-base to say that defenses may be more prepared for the QB run than they may have been a couple of years ago.
When your qb can't throw very well I think teams have caught up more to the qb run, and I'm sure every team that went against OSU last year had at least one defender assigned to him. If he had a reliable arm to beat them deep they wouldn't have been able to watch him as closely. If you notice, the qbs RR has been recruiting are solid passers so maybe he's aware that defenses are more keyed in on running qbs.
I agree. That's why I'm not sure Pryor will have as dominant of a season as people think, at least when he plays defenses that have athlete(s) who can keep up with him. He lost his two best receivers and top tailback, so unless he becomes more adroit at throwing those mid-level throws to the flats and the slants, good defenses are going to stay home on his receivers and try to contain his running with an athletic linebacker or safety. Pay White was probably the worst pure passer RR ever had; the rest of his starting QBs (especially King) were above-average in terms of accuracy, and that was what allowed them to put up good numbers despite playing on teams with less-than-ideal talent.
Sacks get counted as negative rushes for the QB, so that's going to seriously skew things (or, at least, it would if Pryor dropped back to pass often enough to get sacked).
I've tried that one in some poems to women before.
Didn't go over too well.
The Sparty equivalent of Jon Arbuckle is still looking for a word that rhymes with "meatchicken."
Great reply by RichRod, all it ever comes down to in football games is excecution. It's as simple as that.
There was an episode where he said some random rhyme and two of the lines were "Wolverine" and "Ben Vereen."
So I guess that rhymes.
...but i'd really like him to shut the fuck up. i hate it when my childhood heroes turn out to be loudmouthed pricks.
Does anybody know if the "Hail to the Victors" book is available from the internets anywhere other than Maple Street? Just looking to save on shipping.
Unfortunately, no. They had major issues with Amazon last year.
How much is shipping?
For all the teeth-gnashing by some that RR is somebody who doesn't "get" Michigan's traditions, this comment by RR is virtually identical to the philosophy espoused by one Glenn E. Schems for over 20 years.
The problem with the "execution is everything, system/scheme is irrelevant" approach is what happens when you play a team of superior talent, which happens every time we play USC, for example. If they're executing what they do just as well as we are at what we do, then the team with lesser talent has to do something to equalize things. Hoping for turnovers and favorable calls by the refs just isn't reliable enough. It's those situations where systems and schemes can make a real difference, esp. if the opponent isn't used to facing what you're doing.
George W. Bush also believed in the importance of execution
I looked at the link'd ND preview from last year. And this EVIL comment appeared:
"Posted on: September 12th, 2008 at 4:26 PM #5
UM 45 - ND 0. Seriously.
Posted on: September 12th, 2008 at 5:37 PM #7
That would not shock me.
However, neither would losing by 20 in a turnover fest. What a crazy year."
I'll never forget that day. Not because of the game, which I didn't watch -- because I was at a BBQ with the beer club during the highest one-day rainfall in Chicago on record. And it was still fun.
Good god that weather was ridiculous.
Not sure why I had to mention that. Kinda caught me off guard when I saw his name. Who'd have thought he'd be in this mess 26 years later?
I love it when the highlight links are to games I attended when I was 10 years old.
I'll never forget the AC era. Very excited that Wolverine Historian is out there compiling these clips so I can relive what are becoming hazy memories.
Get that man a beer.
He realized after the 6-6 season that it wasn't that people catch up to anything. It's that you have to execute it properly. He realized that he needed to get back to doing what he does best. Execution! Someone go look up our record after that 6-6 season in the mid-80's and tell me the record from the next season now...
I especially love these older clips to see the changes. I notice that the goalposts were much shorter. The field hadn't been lowered yet, so it was a lot easier for fans to take the field. It's also fun to see what fans were wearing to games. That, and it's always cool to see footage of Michigan winning by a ton.
Amazing catch by AC at the 8:00 mark.
There once was a young monk named Augustine
Who fell in love with a sister named Bernadine
Her eyes were like pools of bright bluish green
On the face of a painted porcelain figurine.
And then on the day that she turned seventeen
She danced for young Augie with a tambourine…
Until something dreadful should perchance intervene.
It seems that her gown was a costume from Halloween
And its hem got caught in a nearby *wince* pinball machine
And when it came off it was clearly seen
That the lovely young lady was really Eugene
Who, as it turns out, was a closet queen.
Young Augustine’s heartbreak was quite unforeseen
Devastatingly ripped to shreds
Like a marmot being devoured
By a famished and ravenous...wolverine.
And go ahead and give yourself a couple of extra points for using marmot in a poem.
Ahhhh...I remember that game well.
I will gladly take credit (unverified voracity, that!) for starting the "ROSE BOWLLL" chant midway through the 4th quarter, knowing that even with a loss at OSU the next week, we were still Pasadena bound.
Yeah, the crush of people under the goalposts, the guys jumping on each end, the upright SLAMMING to the ground (thankfully not hitting anyone, unlike at Harvard(?)). The people falling onto each other like dominoes, and unable to get up, because the first person, 20 people away, couldn't get up.
Losing to UCLA twice that year. Grrrr...
Still, can't wait for September 5th! Counting the days!
I wrote this for whenever I get sick of SEC fans thinking they're all that:
It's outdated, but it makes me feel better.
Fortunately for us, Michigan has held its own against SEC comers. We got nailed by Tennessee (2001)*, but other than that we've beaten Florida (2002, 2007), Alabama (1999), Auburn (2000) and Vandy (2006).
* I did it by seasons -- I know Jan. 1 happens the following year
Thus, I take the "Yes, I agree, Ohio State sucks, but Michigan and everyone else in the Big Ten will always kick your ass," approach.
It probably doesn't stand up to argument, but what's the likelihood of your SEC sparring partner coming back at you with a well-thought-out discussion of how Wisconsin/Purdue/Northwester/Michigan State/Penn State/Iowa/Illinois/Indiana are not the Alvarez/Tiller/Barnett/Saban/Paterno-in-his-prime/Fry/Turner/Mallory weekly struggles they used to be? No, he will say "SEC Rules!" and claim it is because SEC fans are more passionate.
Then he will say the Iron Bowl is a bigger rivalry than Michigan/Ohio State and you must shoot him.
Monster catches in that game. That first one was in double coverage. And that deflection receptions was spectacular.
Will the next AC please rise and be accounted for!
Isn't that a much younger Verne Lundquist calling the game?