At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
The rotate. Illinois will look to the future on Saturday by rotating in redshirt freshman Jacob Charest, who you can see making sweet love to your whole body with his mind to the right. Hey, baby, Jacob Charest would like to know if you like emo bangs and nonchalant poses from his trip to North Korea. Yeah, baby, Jacob Charest wore his Illini uniform to Pyongyang Stadium. Because Illini up, that's why.
Charest is a 6'4" pro-style QB out of North Carolina who was a middling three star a couple years back. When Juice got pulled (again) against Purdue, Charest came in and did this:
Charest made his debut Saturday, playing in three series while going 4 of 8 for 52 yards. Zook said he was impressed with the way Charest threw downfield.
Read: "Zook said he was impressed that Charest had better accuracy than a random number generator."
So… good or bad? I guess you'd always rather be going against a team that's trying to find a quarterback and is on their third attempt—Eddie McGee is now working at wide receiver—of the season. And Williams was beyond terrifying last year against Michigan. On the other hand: Michigan's clear weakness this year is the secondary, and anyone more capable of taking advantage of that secondary than Williams is bad.
It probably won't matter since Illinois's line is so terrible: the Illini are #112 in sacks allowed despite a below-average number of passes. (212; NCAA average is 228. So it's not a huge outlier or anything; the point is that their stats aren't distorted by a lot of late-game passing because they're bad.)
Bonus: Arrelious Benn has been fighting an ankle sprain since the first game of the year and played with a shoulder sprain against Purdue. He'll play this weekend but is not 100%.
Ortmann carries around a phonebooth on his back. Via Rittenberg, this table of woe from before the Penn State game:
Tate Forcier: Throws of 10+ yards, vs FBS teams
Out of Pocket
Yds per att
Suboptimal, and probably worse after Forcier got little help from his receivers. The pocket stuff isn't quite that grim as the table implies since this only accounts for throw of over ten yards—I was in the midst of firing off an email suggesting those numbers had to be wrong when I finally understood the qualifier—but, yeah, pretty grim.
This is a confirmation of a number of this: Forcier's bad in the pocket, the receivers aren't helping out much, and so forth and so on. Michigan should really slant its playcalling towards Lloyd-style conservatism, which only maddens when you're running around with a senior Tom Brady, not sophomore John Navarre.
The Numa Numa song is kind of awesome arranged for marching band, isn't it?
I'm still not sure what the MMB played, as I couldn't hear 3/4ths of it. Was it supposed to be four different thematic versions of the Victors? The one I heard had some vague Victors-y parts but it didn't sound like the fight song itself. I was confused by it.
He descended on a cloud and grumbled out some grumbles for us, we used it to season the tacos. Lloyd Carr, perhaps prompted by Rick Leach's intemperate outburst on WTKA a week or two ago, has emerged from the Fortress of Solitude to deliver his benediction:
"Rich is a young guy, (and) he's got a great background for such a young guy," Carr said during his interview with Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter. "What we're seeing here offensively throughout this season is a great thing for the future of Michigan football.
"The transition a year ago you could expect (the struggles) because what they were looking for in a quarterback. Certainly what we have here is exciting. I'm excited for the future." …
"I've had a lot of conversations with Rich Rodriguez down through the last 18, 20 months, and I told him from the beginning if he needed me for any reason, just call me," Carr said. "I did not want to be a coach who's at practice and hanging around and answering questions from the media about what I saw. I didn't think that was good for Rich or our program."
This will slightly staunch the internet paranoia, but only slightly. As always, I wish to avoid this topic as thoroughly as possible. I have zero credible information about it, and learned during the coaching search that different factions can have incredibly different versions of reality.
On the notice. Chengelis's article on the import of this notice Michigan received from the NCAA starts off by broaching the possibility of major infractions but the end of it puts the event that just transpired in context:
Experts said that might well not be a major development.
"I think this is just a natural sequence of events that should occur when you have numerous former and current players making allegations that there have been rule violations, in this case, practices too long," said Rick Karcher, a sports law expert at the Florida Coastal School of Law.
"It's just a first step."
The next step would either be a determination by the NCAA that the accusations are baseless, or a formal "Notice of Allegations" detailing precisely what is supported by evidence.
It appears this is something that was obviously going to happen, and since NCAA investigators have been working with Michigan the past couple months it seems like this is a letter telling Michigan what it already knows. Basically status quo.
Just 40 more years and they'll get the hang of it.
Charts. A diarist at Black Shoe Diaries diarist is rivaling Misopogon with his charts and interesting research. His focus is on Big Ten passer efficiency over the last decade, with a special focus on Penn State that won't be surprising to anyone who's watched PSU play over the last decade. PSU QBs were consistently horrible except for that one year Mills had before his arm fell off until Darryl Clark broke all of our preconceived notions about JayPa. A couple more general takeaways:
The last few years Big Ten QBs have dropped off a cliff, with this year a bounce-back.
Passer efficiency continues to skyrocket. Check out some meh QBs of recent and not-so-recent vintage: Approximately same rank, 12 extra passer efficiency points for the guy slightly worse.
That latter one is a reason to relax pass interference rules, I think. Another reason: right now they are arbitrary.
Couldnt hear them most of the game - though we got a good dose of the PSU band over in the southwest corner. Couldnt hear them during most of the halftime show and what we did hear was like "what is this supposed to be?".
Seriously, someone mic the band please?!!?!?!?!?!
The rawk music wasn't the best, but at least I could hear that and it seemed to pump folks up; certainly more than the Michgan Somnambulistic Band seemed to.
Very very sad about this. The real insult was when the domer next to me remarked on how bad our band has become. Ouch.
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - J.Lebowski
statistics are horrible. It would be interesting to know how many of the 'in the pocket' plays are by design or caused by pressure, and same with the out of pocket plays (I'm guessing that a good majority of the out of pocket plays are not by design but more due to Tate's ability to pass on the scramble?)
PSU's band is not good, don't confuse that point. There are other great bands in the Big Ten, but PSU has never impressed me, they play Zombie Nation and Seven Nation army over and over and seem to lack any discernible tradition.
Well, I don't know if I would say they're "not good." They're different than most of the Big 10 bands because, well, they're not really from the Big 10 band tradition. I happen to think they're pretty good at what they do. Not great, but pretty good. Their pregame show is definitely cooler than most.
As for the Seven Nation Army and Zombie Nation thing... Based on what I've heard from people in their band and having been to Beaver Stadium, I'd venture to guess that's more a function of the fact that the Blue Band got a really raw deal from their athletic department a few years ago. They were moved to a different part of the stadium where no one could hear them, and their marketing department started pumping in songs they already played, such as Zombie Nation and Seven Nation Army, and pretty much made them irrelevant to the game-day experience. They go overboard on that stuff as a rule because they have to in order to keep up in their own stadium.
Now that I type it all out, it really seems eerily familiar...
Personal opinion based on musicality, entertainment value, and originality (limited by small sample size in many cases, unfortunately). If you haven't seen Indiana's pregame, it is phenomenal and features the drumline heavily.
As much as I dislike a lot of what they do since it is directly correlated with their team performing well, OSU is a good band. However, their name/slogan (TBDBITL or "tah-bid--bit-el" as I like to call them) is dumb. Not as stupid as USC's "Best Band in the History of the Universe" but stupid nonetheless.
I guess it must be a snapshot in front of Memorial Stadium, but... is that really the best view they've got of the place? It was built 80+ years ago, and they just renovated it. There must be some kind of archway or gargoyle or place-to-take-a-picture-when-your-folks-are-in-town to stand in front of.
One thing I find really interesting is how the BCS has changed it. Lately it is tough to keep it away from the "best" teams. But in the past it managed to avoid some of the all-time juggernauts. Oklahoma's 47 game win streak is missed all-together.
1.) When someone with as good of seats as our fearless MGoLeader complains about not being able to hear the band, then you know something is amiss. Been saying ever since I began participating in this community three years ago, but we cant hear the band. Bring on the RAWK music, at least we can hear it and it keeps folks in our section on their toes and more into the game.
2.) Say what you will, but the PSU band kept their fans entertained and I was entertained by them as well. For example, when they did the 'Hey Baby' song, we all got involved. Note to MMB: It is not a good thing when the other team's band gets the home fans more into the game than you do.
3.) To the new Illini QB: Please dont be Siller, please dont be Siller, please dont be Siller.
4.) Thanks for the link to that BSD piece. I have said it many times, both on the podcast and in diaries and comments, that I thought a storyline of the season was improved Big 10 QB play. Finally some evidence to back that up, other than my eyes and my amatuerish arm chair QBing.
5.) The NCAA "probe" wont amount to a hill of beans. Yesterday's announcement is boiler plate stuff. There is no need to lose sleep over it, although it is annoying to see it in the news again.
6.) The Lloyd comments. I never bought for a second that he was against Rich and the program. Stated my case many times. It's funny, but these comments likely wont quell those who hate Carr and think that somehow he is behind a conspiracy. They're already using opinions disguised as facts and truth. Why will this stop them?
Totally agree. Lloyd Carr is a good man, a good coach and any program would be lucky to have their former good coaches as comfortably removed from their team's current affairs as much as Lloyd is (see Dooley at Georgia, formerly Broyles at Arkansas and Bill Snyder at Kansas State). It strains credibility to believe that Lloyd, a man who has never spoken publicly when not forced to, is somehow undermining Rodriguez because he doesn't speak to the media. Loud displays are not his style, nor do I think any worse of him for maintaing his stoic image after all these years; it would honestly be a little bit freaky to see Lloyd be anything other than standoffish and generally mute. There will come a day when all these naysayers will miss a good person and loyal (almost to a fault) Michigan Man.
"out of these tunnels will come the meanest, toughest sonsabitches ever to put on pads"
#1 & #2 - I guess I never really bought into the MMB while at UM. I thought they were very talented and worked hard, but it always seemed like it played to a particular subset of fans who really like marching band-style music. Personally, I'm fine with the Victors and a few other classics, though the random Ferris Beuller show is always fun. The one complaint I do have about the band is something I heard an OSU fan say during a home game - they whip out the "Let's Go Blue" diddy WAY too often. I remember one stretch where it was something like:
Navarre to Walker for a couple of yards - Let's Go Blue!
Chris Perry forward for 3 yards - Let's Go Blue!
Navarre to somebody for a first down - Let's Go Blue!
Not to complain, but after a while it just felt redundant and actually took away from the game a bit.
#3 - The new Illini QB looked pretty bad last week, and I doubt he'll pull a Siller. It will also help that UM is not going to debut a radically different defense next week.
#4 - It did feel like QBs are becoming a bit more effective in recent years, though I think the way the NCAA determines passer efficiency is so convoluted that even 12 points may not represent a NCAA-wide gain in efficiency. I do think that the growth of spread-style offenses and the reliance on shorter passes with more YAC has certainly helped the numbers, though.
#5 - I feel the same way. It would be irresponsible for the NCAA to just brush aside the allegations made in the Free Press, and this letter reads like the boilerplate all lawyers send out during ongoing investigations/litigation. I doubt this will amount to much.
#6 - Lloyd may be a lot of things, but he is always honorable. He might not have been a RR fan at first, but I seriously doubt he would try to sabotage the guy once he became UM's coach. It was nice to see him make it clear, but I doubt it will temper the complaints of those who clearly dislike him.
On the "Let's Go Blue" note, I think they have toned it down this year. They only seem to play it now after first downs for offense most of the time. Maybe I'm missing something, but that's what I've heard this year. It is still a very good piece to play during the game though.
I'm sure you are right about this. When I was there in the early 00's, it seemed excessive, but I've heard that it has been toned down as well. Listen, I really like the band as part of the gameday experience, but sometimes I wonder if the people running it are a bit out of touch with the fans.
One of the cool things about the trophy belt thing is that is has bounced around the country almost evenly. It started with the Ivies and military teams, obviously, then went to Syracuse then Michigan, when we literally the Champions of the West (1918). Since then, the title has bounced around from the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-10, and Big 12 teams. USC seems to almost always win it in the Rose Bowl from a Big Ten team.
I think this was the most interesting sequence: we won in the '81 Rose Bowl, lost to Wisconsin in the first game of the season, then eventually won it back later that season, only to lose it to OSU.
"The trouble with quotes on the internet, is that it is often difficult to discern whether or not they are genuine" --Abraham Lincoln
If you're sitting in the southwest corner, what's easier to hear? 300 musicians pointed straight at you sitting around 40 yards away, or 300 musicians pointed away from you sitting 100 yards away? There's a reason you can't hear the MMB--they are farther away and not pointed at you. The PSU Band was closer and pointed straight at you. It' the same reason that from the northwest corner, I couldn't hear a single note the PSU band played. They were 100 yards away and not pointed at me. Simple.
The halftime show was a result of Fall Break. The University was off Monday and Tuesday and with a home game the previous week, the MMB had 3 days to put something on the field. To solve this issue, the directors decided to resurrect a halftime show from 1957 that was composed by UM band program legend Jerry Bilik (he wrote M Fanfare, Temptation, Hawiian War Chant and other things). The drill was simplified so it could be easily learned and cleaned in only three days and the decision was made to play to the corners of the stadium--hence you cou could only hear 1/4 of it if you sit near a corner; you heard the 1/4 of the show when the band was pointed at you. The show was comprised of various arrangements of The Victors in different time periods--the first was a 1950s rock version, the second song was a 1930s/1940s big band jazz version, the third what a 1920s Charleston version, and the final was an "Ancient Roman" version based on Respighi's "The Pines of Rome."
Most college bands don't play a new show every home game, but rather they do 2 or 3 and thus play the same show multiple weeks in a row. The MMB was put in a particularly tough position and to shit all over them is disrespectful and uncalled for. Does any other fanbase go after its band like this one does? This is why we can't have nice things.
And I don't think they were dominated by the DSU band. In fact I was surprised by the comments praising the DSU band's show. While I hated the opera, my thoughts about DSU's band were (in no particular order):
1) Wow, I don't know if I could stand that still for that long on 2 feet.
2) Holy crap, that chick is HUGE
3) They sound terrible
4) Their lines are crooked
5) Cool, that chick has a major wedgie
6) Drumline (both ours and the movie) were much better
i don't know if "dominated" is quite the right word.
i'd suggest maybe going to the post-game band show some time. both bands play typically share the field and play their halftime show without marching...it gives the opportunity to listen to them side by side, which is kinda cool. (they also do both the war chant and temptation every week, and you can get right up close to see and hear it. also cool.)
if you'd do that, you'd find that a) the mmb is, without exception, at least as loud as the visitors' band (even in the case of the notre dame band, which is substantially larger), and b) plays at a much higher level musically.
you may not like all of the band selections, and i would somtimes agree, on some level, but they are not being "dominated" by anyone. least of all the Approaching Storm.
They played OPERA at a football game!!! OPERA!!! This wasn't a gymnastics or figure skating meet this was at a football game. What is the first thing that comes to mind watching a football game? Going out and picking up the latest Andrea Bocelli album? Fuck No. That should be grounds for disbanding the whole damn program and hiring a band of chimpanzees to play kazoos.
The best thing that could ever happen to the band is to get suspended Wisco style!
I put up a tough front, but deep down I just want to be held.
Love Jerry Bilik, love the idea of resurrecting an old show, but geez... The guy did so many cool and unique arrangements over his decades-long tenure with the MMB, a lot with some really funky and special little tricks that only a guy like Bilik could pull off. This stuff... not so much.
And, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't the name of the 1957 show this was pulled from called "Oh, no! Not another Victors show!"? Exactly.
There is a great homemade clip, from an iphone, of UM's game winning drive vs ND. It's shot from halfway up in the student section. You know what struck me about it? It was how much you could hear the ND band from across the field and not the MMB from the next section over.
I am sorry if I am being offensive. I have been in the same seats for 30 years and only in the last 3 or so have I not been able to hear the band. And, overall, they just dont get the entire crowd into the game the way they used to.
As far the halftime show and the "lack of prep" time, here's a thought: Break out the freaking classics if you dont have time to practice a legit show.
Play, Temptation, Hawaiin War Chant, Blues Brothers, ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE and so on. You would bring down the HOUSE if you did that, especially that last one.
I know some of those songs you do throughout the game, but, back to the original point, we cant hear you anyway when you do tempation or the war chant, so it would be nice to hear at the half. You know, when you're up against the wall for lack of prep time.
Personally, I appreciate everything the MMB does. I can not stress that enough. I love the kids putting the time and energy into it. And, after the Grateful Dead, the MMB is my favorite band of all time.
It's why I am constantly disappointed that we cant hear you and the 'meh' effort involved by the MMB Leadership to play to the whole crowd that I've seen in recent seasons.
The MMB had only three days (4.5 hours of rehearsal time to learn music and drill) to put a show on the field due to fall break, and I promise you the last two shows of the year will have more intricacy and entertainment value.
I'm sorry you are disappointed, and I assure you that the MMB works hard everyday to try to put together a NEW show for every home game. Many colleges repeat shows throughout the year (or have only 4-5 home games). We are blessed with 8 home games at the Big House this year and the MMB has taken on the challenge to put on a new show every week. I can't think of one other band in the country who has to do eight new shows.
"I was kind of disappointed in myself to run a 10.44 (100m), but I will accept that. Running the No. 2 time in the nation is pretty good. I was trying to run a 10.3, but there was strong wind." -- Denard Robinson
The members of the MMB are PAYING students, not scholarship athletes. (I believe it's still a class through the School of Music, so those kids have to PAY to be out there). I would guess that the vast majority of them came to U-M to be in the Michigan Band and perpetuate its great tradition, just like the athletes.
And if the athletes enjoy great careers at U-M, some of them can look forward to highly lucrative careers playing their sport. Even the greatest marching band member in the world will ever receive a cent for his/her efforts out there. This is it for them. I know I rarely touched my trumpet after graduating. What could top playing in 5 bowl games, marching in the Tournament of Roses, and travelling to 4 NCAA basketball tournaments.
When coaches fail to put the players in a position to be successful, they are criticized along with the players. BUT, how much more influence does a U-M football player have over his individual success on the field than a marching band member? A helluva lot.
Long way around, the kids in the MMB work hard. They sweat, they hurt, they run and they PAY for the chance to perform in Michigan Stadium. And for what? For Michigan. For the love of it. Certainly not for an ungrateful public that knows little (or nothing) about what goes in to what they do.
I think criticism of the MMB needs to be directed at its leadership, the director, the School of Music and, to an extend the Athletic Department. Those are the people that need to put these kids in a position to succeed.
If you've got issues with the Band, direct them where they will do some good. To say "the Band fucking sucks" just shows your own ignorance. Save it.
I'm pretty sure that almost all of the frustration with the band is directed towards the higher ups. I have a deep respect for the member of the MMB who are working extremely hard and just following orders. I do, however, have a problem with whoever is picking the songs and planning the halftime shows. Like I said earlier, I miss the creativity I'm used to with the band. I like laughing at how clever they are while enjoying the sound. This year has been a big, big letdown.