"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Basically the coaches have put guys who couldn't possibly succeed in a position to fail even harder. [Fuller]
Hey, UFRs are coming out today and tomorrow, but we can get most of the sad clown out now. Sad clowns:Brian, Bryan, Brett, Brandon, Brace, and Brseth. What I asked:
The worst part of it is…
Coach Brown: Man, what a loaded question. I think the worst part of it is, that we don’t know what the worst part of it is. Right now Michigan is 6-2 with a loss to Penn State that I don’t think they should have. The Michigan State loss was painful, but expected. That being said, there seems to be a list of issues that are present each week, with a few new ones popping up occasionally too.
Early on Devin was the interception king, while last week he played like he was so scared to turn the ball over that it might as well have been glued to his hand.
The offensive line has been different so many times I don’t even know who is playing what position anymore. Even the All-American left tackle has been moved around. The youth is inexperienced but talented, but so far has been pretty lack luster. Derrick Green is averaging around 3 ypc. Dymonte Thomas was thought to be all-world but he can’t get on the field. Channing Stribling has been there, but not quite. Kyle Bosch unfortunately has had to play. Shane Morris trips over yard lines. Jake Butt is being asked to do a TON. Jourdan Lewis shows signs of being the next Raymon Taylor. Brian, is he good or aren’t we sure yet?
Does the inverted veer have a counter in this offense? Does the coaches know what a counter is? [Upchurch]
Granted a lot of stuff sucked against Michigan State and those memories are at the forefront right now, but a lot of these things have shown up in every game this season. Inconsistent line play and positioning, ball security issues with Devin, no running game whatsoever, game-plans that seem to be constructed as the coaches walk onto the field.
I’m not even going to try and address the coaching issues that seem to be unidentifiable, but are definitely present. Is it Hoke’s leadership? Is it Borges’s predictability and lack of creativity? Is it Funk not knowing what to do with young linemen? Is it Mallory purposely teaching DB’s not to look back for the ball? Is it Mattison being too NFL-like that he won’t blitz when a blitz seems to be an obvious choice?
I know these guys have been football brains for many, many more years that I have been and on a level I can’t even comprehend, but at some point shouldn’t those brains be able to get things get fixed? I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the war room to see and hear what the coaches talk about. They have to know these concerns right? And if so, where are the adjustments or the explanations for why things are happening the way that they are.
Michigan is 6-2 and could potentially go 9-3, while 8-4 is probably more likely, with 6-6 being….dammit, a very real possibility. There is a laundry list of issues with some being more glaring than others. Some things are controllable and some things are not. This team can’t get older and more experienced overnight.
I don’t have fool-proof answers and I don’t know exactly why these issues seem to be unaddressed, but one thing is clear, Team 134 isn’t that good. Facts are facts. What happens this year and next will be telling for the future of the entire staff and the direction of Michigan football.
[Jump. Or small hop if your ribs are still healing. Try not to step on the dead dove.]
Seth: Definitely McGary's back injury, which terrifies me because those don't always go away. The rest of the team will be fine. Walton is looking exactly how we want him to look—a pass-first, relatively safe-with-the-ball proto-Burke. GRIII is still hella effective as a role player, though I'd like to have seen him do some of those ball-floor things. Stauskas and Levert have definitely progressed, Caris especially. And Irvin is pretty wow. I'm a bit surprised that Horford's been getting more play than Morgan, but not at all surprised that he's averaging 4 fouls to Morgan's 1. It could just be that they know what they have in Morgan and want to see what the 2014-15 center will look like.
BiSB: I defer to the Mathlete, but by my calculations there are actually 74 Worst Parts Of It. For my money, the worst of the Worst Parts was that, like Brian noted, we kind of expected this.
In the past two months, the "Hoke's teams aren't good on the road" meme went from interesting, somewhat annoying factoid to a potentially crippling flaw in the Hoke regime. Up until this year, you could make excuses for most of the road flops; Trash Tornado, Notre Dame's Defense is Really Good, Goodnight Sweet Prince, etc. There are really no satisfactory mitigating explanations for UConn, Penn State, and MSU. If this was just a matter of players not executing on the road, it wouldn't be as large of a concern. Those kinds of problems tend to smooth out with experience; after all Michigan remains a young team (drink). Instead, we got to once again experience the dream in which Michigan was taking an exam for which it hadn't studied. This feels like a systemic problem somewhere in the coaching staff, and those don't tend to smooth out.
The other primary candidate for "worst of the worst parts" is the continuing failure to counterpunch. This was Ohio State '12 all over again; Michigan finds some success, the defense reacts, and Michigan stagnates. It's as if the offense plays a game of chess until it finds itself in an advantageous position, and then refuses to make any more moves because their previous strategy was working. The lack of counters, constraints, or even the slightest unpredictability is becoming maddening.
Is boss. [Bill Rapai]
Seth: Hard to find something to be mad at. Shooting percentage, I guess? They've now taken 240 shots and have 14 goals to show for it, but I guess this is just what they are now. Copp and Moffatt shots are the only ones around the 1-in-5 region you like to see—I can't imagine Moffatt's will stay there but neither do I think PDG is going to remain at 11%.
I'm not yet so sold on a lot of the young defensemen as Brian seems to be, but if you asked me three months ago if I'd take solid, non-scoring play from all the freshmen blueliners plus Mac Bennett playing Hobey hockey I'd leap out of my chair and hug you then jump up and down saying "Yes yes yes yes!" #justfriends. Their solid play plus the exact opposite of the backchecking from last year is winning Nagelvoort stars, and winning 1-goal games.
A brutal non-conference schedule that easily could have put Michigan into the Big Ten season under .500 stands at an astounding 6-1-1, with Nebraska-Omaha, Niagara, Ferris State, and the GLI left. The loss to UMass-Lowell won't even hurt them much in the pairwise given wins over BC, BU, and New Hampshire.
So not really complaining here that the forwards are a crew of fourth-line-plus guys who generate zero scoring chances but a ton of everything else. After last year I will ride that like a boss. Copp is boss!
Brian: Oh man. There are many candidates. In no particular order:
I'm really sick of arguing about how much of the current problems are the previous coach's doing. Because this generally means that 1) it's quite a lot and 2) there is no quick fix. At least this time there's not a lot of pushback on the idea Rich Rodriguez really boned the program with his late recruiting.
Anticipating what will happen at the end of the year. It's going to be another game where Michigan fans bail en masse and those who don't end up within hailing distance of OSU fans yukking it up. Also Michigan is going to get their faces punched in like they're Purdue and struggle to get over 200 yards of offense. I thought we retired Lloyd Carr, you guys.
Again with the Notre Dame tease. Michigan beats Notre Dame, feels awesome about itself, displays worrying flaws for the next few games, and then pipers are paid, chickens flit home to roost, and Michigan ends up a crappy, crappy team. I thought we fired Rodriguez, you guys. The emotional state of the fanbase from post-ND ("Bring on OSU x2! Gardner for Heisman!") to now ("Fire everything twice") is a stomach-churning rollercoaster ride.
Not anticipating anything else. Is anyone actually looking forward to seeing this team play? This feels like watching the hockey team for most of last year: something you do out of momentum and loyalty without getting one single thing in return (unless you're playing Indiana). After the ND game this team has been torture to watch, mostly passive on D and discombobulated on O. There are jolly crappy teams (again, Indiana) and dour ones; Michigan is emphatically the latter.
Having the competence needle move in the wrong direction. The way Michigan has gone about trying to fix their offensive issues has just made them worse. They've made transparently nonsensical decisions that have blown up in their face, killing anything resembling chemistry on the OL, setting practice time on fire, and are once again stuck in a hodge-podge offense thanks to the fact that they cannot do what they want to do even a little tiny bit and have to resort to being a crappy spread team if they want to move the ball. Learning: we do not have it. I worried before the season that Michigan was on its way to being on the wrong side of history with respect to Ohio State; now I'm also worried that MSU has a sustainably better coaching situation than Michigan. /attacks wrist with highlighter
Seth: It's losing a game to a rival and then watching my brain turn to basketball and hockey because everything about the football team was just exposed and there's no reason to think they'll improve because each game since the beginning of the year looks like a step backwards. I'm surrounded by Spartans, and right now I feel like the biggest one.
Mathlete: Everyone knows this team had a major roster hole due to the coaching transition. This was supposed to be the last year it would be a major impact. The defense is what I expect from that. Doing most of it what it can with what it has. The defense isn't perfect but considering the roster I think most of our satisfied with their output relative to the pieces they are working with.
Sparty's execution, on the other hand, looked pretty on-target. [AP via Ledger-Enquirer]
The worst part is the offense. Unlike the defense, the offense is maddening collection of frustrations. The OL is young. Whether they should be better or not is a matter of debate. They certainly could be better, but at the same time there is a significant amount of youth that is a very real factor. My expectation is as a football coach you have a philosophy, you assess your personnel and you adapt accordingly. You don't want a coach without a philosophy but you don't want one who will continue with it in the face of all reason.
Our offensive (mostly line) personnel issues aren't getting better this year. That isn't Coach Borges' fault. The worst part is continued pursuit of game plans that fail to acknowledge the limitations in front of him. Technically, yes, all of the problems have been execution issues. The same would be true if you trotted out an all-blogger offensive line. Our execution would be poor (but our executions would be swift). When you put players in a consistent position to fail, it becomes an issue of coaching execution rather than player execution.
The worst part is that at this point in time the offensive coaching executions seem a fundamental part of our nature and we are stuck in that worse spot as a fan, part of you hoping for failure to drive the change in coaching staff because you see no other practical solution to the problem.
Ace: BiSB and Brian have covered pretty much all of it, so I'll add just a couple morsels to this already-depressing roundtable.
We're so sorry, man. [Upchurch]
Hearing the same explanation for the same issues, and having the explanation not actually explain anything. I understand that this coaching staff isn't going to give much to the media by design, and that's not entirely a bad thing. When the same issues keep cropping up, however, and it seems like they're largely scheme-related, "well, we didn't execute" becomes a tired mantra. This isn't just about answering questions from reporters. It's about trying to relay to the fans why the program they're devoted to watching (and often throwing gobs of money at) is performing below the expectations that these very coaches set—this team isn't sniffing a Big Ten title. The coaches don't have to throw specific players or coaches under the bus; there's still a large chasm between doing that and saying "we didn't execute," which is both blatantly obvious and becoming a way to dodge accountability (and, from the way it comes off most of the time, pinning more responsibility on the players than the men coaching them).
Legitimately feeling awful for multiple players. I don't normally feel bad for scholarship athletes, even when their team is doing poorly. They have very bright futures, enjoy being the most popular people on campus, get plenty of top-notch academic support, and live out a dream that most of us are physically incapable of living (stupid genes).
After the MSU game, though, all I could really think about was how bad I felt for Devin Gardner, and how much his entire body must hurt, and how demoralizing it must be to trot out there series after series knowing that the reward for his bravery is going to be another helmet to the ribs—oh, and then some idiotic internet tough guys are going to question his ability to play quarterback afterward. And don't even get me started on Fitz Toussaint, who's got a daughter to support and such a rough background that he described an incident in which his father stabbed his mother's boyfriend at one of his high school scrimmages as "embarrassing." Two years ago, he seemed destined for the NFL draft; now it seems like he'll be lucky to get a cursory look as an undrafted free agent, and much of that turn was entirely out of his control.
Can the next TWO be about basketball, please?
Seth: If the home game win streak ends, definitely.
"They've made transparently nonsensical decisions that have blown up in their face"
Which decisions have those been? Was it zone blocking, which you thought was a good idea against ND? Was it tackle over, which you seemed to (cautiously) like after Minn? Or was it Bryant at LG and Glasgow to C, which I seem to remember you being for, before you were against it? Bosch burning his RS perhaps, which you described as "whatever you have to do to get some production. Bosch makes sense since he's a natural guard and enrolled early. Burning his redshirt is fine by me" as recently as last week.
Don't be Captain Hindsight Brian, you're better than that.
Which decisions have those been? Was it zone blocking, which you thought was a good idea against ND?
Brian's game column after ND:
Ground: pounded. Aside from a couple nice Toussaint runs on which he made something out of nothing and Gardner zone reads and draws, Michigan got stuffed. Part of this was a major upgrade in the guys on the opposing defensive line; part was ND's linebackers heading hell-for-leather to any stretch motion. Michigan got some decent gains off that when they ran play action, but they were really lacking a counter trey to gash that tendency on the ground. I think Borges had a great game, but that stands out as a problem. Teams can nerf the stretch by overplaying it, and one of the great frustrations of the DeBord era was a total lack of counters.
Was it tackle over, which you seemed to (cautiously) like after Minn?
Brian's game column after Minnesota:
Is that going to work against anyone other than Minnesota? I have my doubts. Even Minnesota decided that they were going to fling bodies at the Lewan/Schofield side willy-nilly late and started stuffing things up in ugly fashion. Now that it's on film, what's your upside there once teams overplay it? More waggles. Or drop-back passes with AJ Williams pretending he's a tackle.
Call me Mr. Downerpants, but rolling out the unbalanced line offense against any vaguely competent defense is going to be an exercise in getting your face punched in. Short yardage, sure. Anything else, bler.
Why would they be running the stretch all of a sudden? Well, they seemed pretty good at it. Michigan was one block/step away from busting some long ones......Stretch plays are good for getting rid of planetoid defensive tackles and making them run down the line in a futile chase to the ball......
Point taken about tackle over, I remembered he was a little more positive than his quote above but I can't find it (podcast maybe?). Closest was this:
It's possible they could tackle over with 70% run, and that would be acceptable.
The most important thing is that Michigan found a way to make their veteran tackles the heart of the run game, something that shows in the— (chart)
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is it's a little disingenuious to scream up and down about how stubborn the coaches are to changing and then say the coaches shouldn't have messed with the OL chemistry when you have the benefit of hindsight when the changes don't work.
It's hard to describe spending two years building toward a power running game, only to abandon that for a zone stretch-based running game for three weeks, only to abandon THAT for a totally implausible tackle-over scheme, only to abandon THAT for whatever the hell we're doing now, is both nonsensical and a waste of practice time. Failing to decide on anything approaching even a semi-rigid two-deep on the interior OL (Michigan has had 4 different starters at LG, 2 at C, and 2 at RG) has created a jumbled mess of what was an area of concern.
At some point, you have to make a decision and work within the confines of that decision, rather than starting from scratch with another Acme Rocket scheme to magically fix everything. How are you going to introduce nuanced constraint plays if you are still trying to decide what kind of offense you want to run in week 8?
That's absolutely a valid position (one that I personally hold), it's just not valid to hold that position and constantly ask the coaches to "fix" things by trying new things concurrently. This isn't directed at you, or Brian, but it seems like many here want to have their cake and eat it too. If you want the coaches to drill one system until we are good at it, you have to have a little patence and accept some failures, and yes losses, when it doesn't work all the time right away.
Is that we're concerned that the response to opposing defenses adapting to Michigan's offense have been either (a) nothing, or (b) wholesale schematic changes.
I don't like RichRod analogies, because they tend to evoke ANGAR reactions around here, but there is a reason he was able to get away with running fewer base offenses in the last decade than Michigan has run THIS SEASON. Good coaches find ways to use constraints, tweaks, and wrinkles, etc. that allows them to continue to run 'their stuff' while not allowing the opposition to key in on the weaknesses When the defense finds a way to take away X by running Y, you find a way to punish them for Y until X works again. The linebacker is going to scrape? QB OH NOES and wham blocks. The defense is going to load up where you want to attack? Here comes the inverted veer.
I go back to chess. Once the opponent makes a move, YOU make a move. You don't stand pat. You also don't start over with a game of checkers.
But what if that's what the defense expects you to do?
What if, after the defense makes a chess move, they anticipate that you make a chess move? Huh? Hear me out now. If you're playing chess, they'll never see it coming when you triple jump their knight, rook, and queen and then force them to give you a second king by yelling "King me!" Starting over with checkers seems like the last thing they'd expect, and maybe that's how you attack them. I'm just saying to think about it....
And, in all fairness, that's what spread coaches do. They look at your alignment, they tempo you to keep you passive, they bait you with formations to set up big plays, etc. As a defense, you almost have to either:
a) sell out against something and hope, or
b) win a ton of one on one battles
Even if you do both of those well for some of the game, chances are the offense will still have some success unless it's at a severe talent deficit.
Good coaches find ways to use constraints, tweaks, and wrinkles, etc. that allows them to continue to run 'their stuff' while not allowing the opposition to key in on the weaknesses
I think that's only true when your guys can execute the basics. There's no constraint or wrinkle that's going to bail you out of not being able to run the ball AND not being able to pass protect or pick up a blitz. Sometimes the other guys are just better than you and there's not a damn thing you can do from an X's and O's perspective.
I know I'm starting to sound a lot like Section 1, but I've repeatedly asked people on here what can be done about a poor offensive line. I have not received a single good answer, and only 2-3 stupid answers.
What can a coordinator do when the line is not capable of blocking any one thing well?
"In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity."
And I say this while agreeing that I don't like that they've continued to switch it up, but it's not without merit, either. Here's what I said:
"Now the biggest complain is run game cohesion, and to an extent I agree. But let’s look at it from a coaching POV. They know their two OTs are by far the best blockers on the team. They, along with the center, were even recruited for a zone running system. The zone stretch allows the OTs to be primary blockers, while it allows the interior OL to merely do their job and not have be outstanding. The problem: they couldn’t even merely do their job. They were failing miserably.
So then comes tackle over. People complain that you have people playing new positions and it’s extremely difficult. But that’s not really the case. If they still run stretch in an effort to mask some of the backside players but get stronger at the point of attack (thus covering up the fact that they have a weakness at TE as far as blocking) the blocking assignments for everyone on the line are exactly the same as they always were. If they run power, then for Lewan, who is at the nominal TE position, the blocking scheme is exactly the same as it is for running a weakside power. For Schofield and the rest of the line, it’s exactly the same (for the backside TE or extra OL, it’s the same as being on the backside of any power play, so no different, it’s an assignment they know). However, the other 3 still couldn’t get very good push doing it.
So now that those things haven’t worked, they’ve scrapped most of the zone scheme stuff and gone back to their primarily man blocking schemes, namely power, like they always intended to. The pistol look: still utilizes power blocking concepts (you could argue it’s more an iso blocking concept to a degree as well), and the pop pass off of it is a common adjustment off of the iso run play. Inverted veer: power blocking concepts. Right now the vast majority offensive system is based off of power blockingconcepts in some way or another as far as the run game, with zone and iso only mixed in. Even the counter that Michigan has been using is based on power blocking techniques.
One thing that bugged me about "Max Protect" was that the interior of the line isn't helped as much by extra lineman as tackles are. Is this just my being dumb, or is this part of a reason why we didn't do more of it? Tackle over seems like an attempt to help out the gaurds by turning their tackels into interior-ish lineman. WHY NOT JUST MOVE SCOFIELD TO GAURD?
"Pat Fitzgerald is coming on shortly. He seems like a guy who knows his way around an oatbag." @bearringer
I'm having a little trouble understanding your first question I guess. I'll try to answer what I think you're asking. The pick ups depend on the pass pro call. A typical man blocking pass protection scheme will have 2-on-2 type blocks, where two players block through a DL to a second level player or next greatest threat. If that threat doesn't come, they'll stay on their double. A standard protection sees the RB cover one of the A gaps, essentially picking up a 2nd level player while a OG picks up a DL. The other interior guys will double to someone. The other OT may double with a TE or another RB. It's confusing in words I guess, but I'm still not really sure I understand the question maybe.
I think a few people have wondered about Schofield to guard, particularly right next to Lewan. I actually wouldn't mind this, I think it gives you at least one strong side to run to (see: Michigan 07). But, then you are also leaving a whole side of young guys to communicate on the opposite side and correctly pick up blitzes. You're trusting a RS FR on the edge. So those things are quite scary (your OC communicates most, probably followed by your OTs). Moving Schofield to RG I don't think does you a whole lot. You get a good puller, but you still have 2 interior guys right next to each other at the point of attack that are hurting you, and now you have a RS FR outside trying to pick up a 1v1 block in pass pro.
I wouldn't mind seeing Lewan-Schofield at LT-LG. But I can see the argument for keeping them at OT as well. Pass blocking should be easier inside as there is less freedom for the defense. But when you are completely whiffing blocks, it doesn't really matter.
Also, Schofield is staying at RT as a reward for his services to Michigan over the years. He is given this year to showcase his abilities to NFL scouts, who will absolutely only consider a guy with his frame as a tackle. This happens quite a bit. Winning always come first, and if they thought moving him might lead to more wins, they would. But they are not going to torpedo a guy's pro prospects unless, a) they are damn sure it will help the team, or b) he offers to move.
"In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity."
When did Brian say he liked Tackle Over? I'm pretty sure he said that it wasn't going to work, at least not as a base play. Because, you know, they had a TE playing T. And it was a TE who couldn't block.
Besides which, Brian's history is only revisionist history if Brian was making a claim about his past claims. But he wasn't. He was making a claim about their decision-making being nonsensical. Brian doesn't have to have noticed that those decisions were nonsensical in the past in order to claim now that they were nonsensical. So whatever Brian thought in the past is irrelevant to his current claim.
I notice that you didn't disagree with the substance of his claim but instead focused on the seeming disparity between what he's saying now and what he said in the past. That seems to me far less important than the substance.
You're missing the point, it's not about a "gotcha" moment where I catch Brian changing his mind. It's about whether the decisions are transparently nonsensical at the time or just now in hindsight. Going back and seeing what Brian thought in the moment, with the information available at hand when the decision was made is a way to tease that out.
For someone who's thrown "revisionist" around half a dozen times to in the same sentence claim what was said in the past is irrelevant, is... well, ironic.
Individual decisions may not be nonsensical but cumulatively they may be, and if it's the latter then it's only in hindsight that initial decisions that might have seemed rational are shown to be nonsensical.
I'm not saying that what was said in the past is irrelevant tout court, but with respect to a claim (that's about something other than past claims). Changing your mind doesn't make you wrong.
By my count I accused you of revisionist history once, not half a dozen times. But I'll accuse you of it again here. There, that's twice.
EDIT: Who cares, though, really? FWIW I genuinely appreciate your contribution to the blog. You're right that there are too many naysayers, but that is in the nature of fandom and the internet.
1. Playing all the tight ends when zero tight ends can block.
2. Tackle over. I was at best extremely ambivalent about it after Minnesota, as BISB points out. Any positive things said in the UFR were followed by entire paragraphs of questions, IIRC. That of course feeds into #1 since it makes AJ Williams a tackle.
3. Panicking at end of PSU game.
4. Trying to run stretch and power and inside zone and being terrible at all of them. Even when I thought it might be a good idea against ND one of the overarching questions is "why does this make sense now?"
"You're better than that" is annoying rhetoric. I'm clearly not. I have no idea why you insist on defending this offense at every point by picking out specific things I said in a larger context of constant bitching, but if the overall tone here seems like hindsight... I don't know what to tell you.
1. Fair, but unless I misunderstood your point, it was about changing stuff up all the time. Blocking with TEs is something these guys have done since day one.
2. Fine, memory is bad like that.
3. Not sure what you mean exactly here. We went conservative, it didn't work, but we still had two makeable FGs to win. There weren't any new scheme or personnel things IIRC.
4. We've have more or less put away zone because it doesn't work, ditto for tackle over. They had transitional costs and ended up being a waste, but at the time they had to be tried, for reasons you yourself brought up. That's essentially my whole point.
I, frankly, ask myself why I insist on defending the offense, I'm certainly not happy with the results. I guess I just see a fanbase with no concept of delayed gratification ready to tear the staff and program apart after 1 bad year due to a lot of factors they don't control. I see you with your position of influence with what I perceive sometimes to be an axe to grind, feeding that frenzy, intentionally or not.
Ok, THAT'S actually the best point you've made in all these back & forth posts, arguing with BiSB, Dnak, etc. We ARENT going to be patient while they try & try & fail with multiple approaches.
Some of us with perspective MIGHT concede there are personnel issues this coaching staff didn't create. But anyone can look around and see new staffs take over at schools all the time without their own recruits and not do this MUCH trying, trying, failing; that don't have this clear lack of a cohesive vision how best to employ the pieces they do have; that don't have this obvious failure to be able to counter what other teams are doing to stop their offense.
Apologists can keep saying we're 6-2 but we're REALLY NOT an acceptable 6-2, not when Akron & UConn literally take you to the last seconds in gut-wrenching fashion.
Those games were LOSSES in every way except the final score! We lost the preparation, execution & effort battles in those both games, and the rest really did come down to amazingly narrow luck! Did anyone NOT feel that way when those games ended?!
So plz bag "the we're 6-2, don't be so negative" posts!
I didn't feel like we lost after we won those games. I think Akron was a GREAT win. The performance was terrible, but the win itself was invaluable. A loss there and we might go in the tank. A win there, no matter how ugly, was nothing but a good thing, BECAUSE we almost lost to Akron. That would have been another App State/Toledo. That we avoided that was a great thing for our program.
"In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity."
Well, no. Of course, I never said anything about learning any lesson.
It was a good win because it was very close to being a disastrous, potentially debilitating loss. Avoiding that catastrophe was a great thing. Being in that position unquestionably sucked, but coming out with a win was great.
Or you could reply to something I didn't say.
"In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity."
the decisions on the usage of magnuson is total nonsense, in my opinion. RG, tackle over on the other side of lewan, RT with schofield outside of him, etc. he's all over the place and he's just a redshirt frosh. i can only imagine that his head is spinning. wouldn't it be better to just teach your 5 star RG how to frickin pass block? it's painfully obvious, unfortuneately, that our strength is passing the football. so do it. and teach these young linemen the basics in pass blocking instead of overhauling the blocking schemes and personnel every week. then, you could also keep magnuson on the outside (ie. TE) where he is likely more comfortable and likely a better pass-blocking option in max-protect than a guy like jake butt. just my two cents.
Or even a normal, Wisconsin-level offensive line. But with an All-American LT and a solid RT, the line should not be putting up multiple "worst in 50 years/history" performances, not to mention struggling mightly against a couple pretty bad teams.
I was hoping for a bit below B1g average. That's not where we are -- at all.
It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, is just progress.
Like 6-2 mediocrity? Like a couple of missed game-winning field goals away from 7-1 mediocrity?
Yes, the offense is painful to watch. Yes, the MSU game was frustrating. However, what we're watching, as a whole, is a team that until this past week was still ranked in the top 25 in the nation. I'd say we've achieved somewhere in the realm of mediocrity.
We were 2 yards away from losing to Akron at home and had a very viable loss to UConn on our hands. These are not 2 average teams, these are not 2 below average teams, these are 2 of the worst teams in the country. The record doesnt say it all. UM looked a lot more impressive in its non top end team games last year than this year - by a long shot. Where is the improvement from week to week? The team looks about the same as it did in the Akron game.
I'm really sick of hearing how it's all RR's fault. If Brandon hadn't screwed up the team in a petty effort to inflict maximum pain on RR the team would have guys like Jake Fisher, (a hopefully healthy) Dee hart and Kris Frost on the team. Maybe even an Anthony Zettel, allowing Q Washington back on the OL where he belongs. Jack Miller would have been built up (thank you Mike Barwis) and coached up (thank you Greg Frey). By his third year, RR was starting 2 excellent OL he had recruited.
If Hoke and his staff did half the offensive player development RR and his guys did, if Hoke and his coaches didn't repeatedly develop pathetic game plans, Michigan would be a good team that was progressing.
People who called for RR's firing are getting what they asked for and, as H.L. Mencken said, "geting it good and hard."
"This is a program in transition, this is a program that's going back to hard-nosed, big-boy football," Brandon said. "We're in the process of putting the pieces in place to afford us to do that consistently and effectively.
I'm not sure how much I accept of the second part of all that, but I'm totally with you on the first sentence. Watch us go 7-5 in 2025 and still blame Rich Rod. It's like things will never stop being his fault and his fault alone, depending on what douchey poster you ask.