At some point, Michigan will find out what it is this year. I have no idea when that point will come.
We know they're better than they were last year. How much better remains frustratingly murky. You think you have the answer when Michigan is punked in East Lansing, but then the Spartans get throttled and Michigan beats Purdue and there they are again in the national rankings…
10. South Carolina
11. Virginia Tech
12. Clemson 13. Michigan
15. Penn State
…and you wonder what happened to the rest of college football. This team is transparently flawed, incapable of going ten pass attempts without throwing the ball to the other team, and one year removed from having a defense that couldn't slow down a band of coked-out lemurs. So of course they are on the cusp of the top ten, hanging out with Houston, South Carolina's dumpster-fire offense, and Penn State's bold experiment into quarterback-free football. College football 2011: contagious and 100% fatal.
With one loss and seven wins everything is on the table as long as Sparty manages to biff it once down the stretch (don't get your hopes up)… and no one knows if they're any good.
This must be what it felt like to be a Minnesota fan in the middle of the Glen Mason era. Consider: you were a national power, and then you were wretched forever. One 3-9 year counts as "forever" to Michigan fans. We are sheltered, sheltered people.
You start showing signs of life. One season you get off to a great start, and collapse. Okay. We got off to a great start! It's better than being wretched!
The next season you get off to a great start, and collapse slightly less. Okay. We are building something here.
The next-next season you get off to a great start, are ranked in the top 15, have an unstoppable ground game, and… well… is there going to be anyone on the schedule? No? No teams at all?
Ah, Michigan. Here we go. /dies
It wasn't like this before. Michigan was Michigan, fergodsakes. All victories were expected and all teams were inferior and all losses were inexplicable or unjust and there wasn't a question about any of this. Michigan was just better.
Evidence to the contrary was suspect and invariably proven—or at least argued to be—false. There was this call or this mistake or this thing, and if the game had continued until a victory was well and truly certain, the opponent would have left shattered into a thousand mournful pieces*. This mentality was so pervasive that Michigan fans still have a reputation for the above thought process even after the last five years.
I don't think like that anymore. At first I was like the materialized whale from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.
"Big Ten? What's that? I wonder if it will be friendly."
Now I'm trying to figure out whether I am the bowl of petunias…
The only thing that went through the bowl of petunia's mind as it fell was Oh No, not again.
…or if something novel is happening, something like not plummeting to my doom after materializing in an area where gravity is not my friend.
The Big Ten is not helping out here. At all. Michigan's conference wins are over Minnesota, Northwestern, and Purdue, teams which have lost to North Dakota State, Army, and Rice, respectively. Meanwhile, where is the proverbial other shoe? The nearest proximate shoe just lost to the Gopher team so bad they inspired GopherQuest. Gopher blog Fire Jerry Kill shows how this is possible by splitting out various quarterbacks' stats when they are playing Iowa vs Not Iowa. Here's MarQuies Gray:
The next potential shoe lost to the Purdue team Michigan just outgained two to one. They didn't score against the Boilers until there were ten minutes left. And they're coached by Ron Zook. Comparative scores are a dumb way to do anything because football is weird, but it kind of seems like football will have to be weird for those shoes to drop. There is a strong possibility that Michigan reaches ten games this season without playing a decent team other than 1) the one they beat thanks to a fluketasm and 2) the one they lost to in a trash tornado.
Then it's just Nebraska and Ohio State. Just.
The stakes here are simple and vast as the ground that may or may not be rushing up to meet us: a satisfying season. That's something Michigan hasn't had in almost a decade. 2006 left a nasty taste because of the way it finished. Michigan hasn't beaten Ohio State since 2003, hasn't done that and won a bowl since 2000. Expectations keep deflating but we still haven't hit the point where they cross the actual accomplishments of the football team.
I want to believe. I miss the days when accusations of Michigan arrogance were accurate. I just don't know, man. I don't feel the air rushing past my face, but it turns out I'm not very good at identifying certain doom rushing up from below.
*[Unless it was from the Pac-10 or Florida, in which case please take your 30-point victory and GTFO before we have to alter our mentality.]
Kovacs. I sort of had the Kovacs information but it was only one unconfirmed source so I held it and hoped it was not true. Now that it is obviously true I can tell you a couple things about it:
It is supposed to be an MCL sprain, which means he can barely move his leg at the moment and will be out a few weeks. When the coaches say he's "questionable" for Iowa they're in all likelihood…
…lying their boo-boos off. Kovacs did not practice Tuesday but no one noticed this because they threw Matt Cavanaugh out there in #32.
The Cavanaugh thing is the clincher after a season of mysterious fake-seeming injuries that conveniently explain things like why the national defensive player of the week immediately ate bench. Hoke will bend the truth for better PR or gamesmanship purposes. It's back to the Fort. This is a 180 from the injury-report-issuing Rodriguez, though IIRC Rodriguez would occasionally surprise by leaving off a guy who was not already known to be dinged up.
Anyway, the plan going forward is to take any Hoke statement about the injury status of a player with a grain of salt. So no, I don't believe Woolfolk was moving to safety before this happened.
We have to talk, scoreboard person. An artist's impression of the replays on the brand new scoreboards at Michigan Stadium:
The scoreboards are very big. The replays are even bigger, to the point where they are useless unless you're a helmet fetishist. Widen your shot, good sir, and the blessings of Bo will be upon you.
The next defense. After years of being an untenably young defense, Michigan has reached average-ish. Despite that they're slated to lose only four players next year, one of them a walk-on. With the swap at WLB and the seemingly permanent insertion of Blake Countess into the starting lineup the breakdown is like so:
Three freshmen (Ryan, Morgan, Countess)
A sophomore (Gordon)
Four juniors (Roh, Floyd, Demens, Kovacs)
Three seniors (Martin, RVB, Heininger)
And then there's Woolfolk, who is a starter as long as Kovacs is out. If only Rodriguez had recruited some dudes in the middle of the line you could project the returners to be non smoke-and-mirrors good. Even as it stands you've got a senior Campbell and hope for decent play from Washington, Rock, and a bunch of freshmen. They should be able to maintain their play next year.
The one true tiebreaker. Everyone's talking tiebreakers in the West division because it was looking like a bunch of cats in a sack at the end of the year before Iowa went out and ended GopherQuest. The Big Ten's are typically goofy, prioritizing head to head over a better measure of superiority: the record of your conference opponents.
The first tiebreaker should be the conference record of your opponents in the other division, which works for two- and three-way ties. Right now that looks like this:
Nebraska: 9-4 (Wisconsin (2-2), PSU(5-0), OSU (2-2))
Michigan: 6-7 (Purdue (2-2), Illinois (2-3), OSU (2-2))
MSU: 4-9 (IU (0-5), Wisconsin (2-2), OSU (2-2))
If the season does end in a three-way tie here* any system that would give the nod to the team that played Illinois and Purdue or IU and Wisconsin instead of Wisconsin and Penn State is a broken system. Instead the tiebreakers are all head to head and divisional record, which makes no sense. You've all played eight conference games and proven yourself equal—it's time to figure out who played the tougher schedule.
*[Say M beats Nebraska, loses one other, MSU loses to… uh… Iowa, Nebraska wins out with exception of M loss.]
Jake Ryan edge update. I have negative complaints this week. This is also known as praise. There were no sections confused by my "AAAARGH JAKE RYAN" outbursts because the most notable thing that happened in This Week In Jake Ryan's Edge Play was Ryan annihilating a sweep in the backfield by submarining a blocker on a blitz and tackling. +3, Mr. Ryan.
Quite a find there, especially considering that Michigan picked him up because he was an effective blitzing OLB in a 3-3-5 in high school. He could be a fish out of water in this scheme.
Michigan under-center running update. It… worked? Somewhat. I have no idea how to classify things like Fitzgerald Toussaint taking a toss play opposite that Denard jet action and motoring 59 yards. That's not really manball. It's not spread 'n' shred. It's gimmickball.
It worked, though. It looked like Michigan finally got that pin and pull zone operational, possibly because they identified an issue with Purdue's DEs. If they're easy to seal the pin and pull gets you the advantages of an outside sweep in a faster-developing play. The pulling linemen have less distance to cover.
The I-Form stuff did work to some extent. As we'll see below, the extent was such that every newspaper in the state is running a piece on how
1: Lo, Bo looked down from Football Valhalla and said "I am pleased, my son." 2: "It is the will of Old that the quarterback shall taketh the ball from the center by hand and turn his back to the line of scrimmage." 3: "Motion of the ball through the air, whether forwards or backwards, is an abomination to Old." 4: "Pitches are excepted."
Judging the effectiveness of the base offense will have to wait for the UFR to break down the yardage. I'll probably have to categorize the gimmickball separately.
Inverted veer. Rodriguez played with it some but never really put it in the offense for realz; Borges whipped it out against the Boilers to good effect.
That's a play that gets Robinson going north-south with a pulling lineman if the defense doesn't force a handoff, which Purdue didn't. That was to their detriment.
I probably won't complain about showing it against a weak opponent if/when it doesn't work down the road. Purdue was nowhere near the baby seal that Minnesota was. The game remained in contact until the third quarter. This is a different thing than knowing you can name your score after the first drive.
Taylor Lewan. @mgovideo tweeted "Taylor Lewan is undead" and I have nothing that can top that. Shoot him in the head, Gholston, or he's coming for you next year. Make sure to double tap.
Students who are not reading this: you suck. Weekly complaint about student section is lodged. No one reading this is included. It is your slothful classmates who must feel the lash.
Now, there are some extreme bottlenecks upon section entry that mean a lot of student who show up on time spend 15 minutes waiting in line before actually getting into the stadium. Vitriol towards the student section up to halfway through the first quarter should properly be directed at the athletic department's crappy logistics.
HOWEVA, when half of the upper reaches remain empty throughout a Big Ten game that's on various students who don't know what MGoBlog is. There's no reason to sell those people tickets at discounted rates if they're not even going to show up and be loud. The carrot and stick:
Assign points to students based on ticket scans. 5 for 20 minutes before the game, 2 for before kickoff, 1 for showing up at all. Validated tickets do not score.
Reduce the size of the student section by 10%.
Prioritize renewals based on points, not seniority. Also prioritize bowl lotteries based on this. Top 10% get half off. Anyone below some crappy cutoff gets no tickets.
I'd love to see a similar policy enacted for regular season ticket holders but that's infeasible since they're already pressing them for maximum cash and cannot easily replace people pissed off by something like that with other super rich dudes.
This is the cost of luxury seating: seeing the most expensive seats in the building half-full at best. This is most obvious at Yost, where the club seats are literally 40% full for every game.
Special K: die in a fire. I've linked to various Penn State blogs complaining about the environment at Beaver Stadium to provide ominous warnings about what our future is like, but I thought that would be in five years… not five games. Volume: ear-splitting. Choices: inane. Seven Nation Army: played one dozen times, including before opening kickoff. It's bad when I am tired of 7NA. I once listened to 7NA for a half-hour straight until someone yelled at me to stop.
Meanwhile, we're treated to "GET LOUD" and an animated train exploding on the videoboards. (Instead of replays, of course, because who wants to watch a football game anymore?) We are Michigan State. It took less than a season. I was all like "you go girl" to this Bando Calrissian comment:
Yesterday was the closest to a minor league baseball game experience I've ever had at Michigan Stadium. The RAWK was out of control(and more often than not earsplittingly loud), the Rocket Man deal struck me as an unnecessary gimmick (play the Space, Bitches PSA and call it a day), that train graphic on the scoreboards, everything felt extraordinarily cheap and generic. Very un-Big House-esque.
And, here' s a fun fact: One of the highlights of Homecoming has always been the alumni cheerleaders doing gymnastic tricks in the end zones during stoppages in play. It's fun, and always gets the fans really into things during lulls in the action. They were told this year they were not allowed to do flips and such on the field, or so one of them told a few of us in Alumni Band. And it was true, they basically just sat and did nothing for the entire game.
A little bit at a time, the uniqueness of Michigan is being chipped away in favor of a generic, corporate, sterile experience. Seems to me "revenue streams" and marketing gurus rule the day in DB's Athletic Department, and it really doesn't need to be that way.
Corporate ass-covering and focus-group research, all of it. What's happening to Michigan Stadium is reason #1 this site will always remain independent. This is what you get for hiring someone who made his living sending people things they didn't want in the mail.
Yeah, guy who doesn't care about any of this and complains about people who do, you're cooler than those who do. Pop that collar.
THE ONE GOOD THING: No dog groomers except once before the band came out.
With apologies to Denard, this section belongs to Fitzgerald Toussaint this week. In fact, I will refer to him as Filthgerald. Filthgerald gained 170 yards on 20 carries, scored 2 TDs, had a long of 59 yards, and averaged 8.5 YPC. Can someone explain to me again why he only got two carries against staee? Forget that last comment, I’ve moved on.
Yes, I'm so damn scarred by the previous three seasons that, after Purdue's initial drive, I felt a flash of deju vu all over again. But Michigan stayed the course and eventually put Purdue away, pretty much by halftime and certainly before the 3rd quarter was over.
Fitzgerald Toussaint is hitting his stride. Finally healthy after two years of long-term injury issues, Toussaint is showing what he can do. He had 20 carries for 170 yards, including a spectacular 59-yard touchdown run (Michigan's longest run of the year). He's averaging 6.1 yards per carry on the season. Perhaps the best part of Toussaint's game is the way he finishes runs. Despite not being particularly big, he always seems to churn his legs for an extra couple yards after contact. His yardage total was the best by a Michigan running back since Michael Hart had 215 against Eastern Michigan back in 2007.
At this point, Michigan is grabbing wins like items at an Old Country Buffet; these things might not be of high quality, but this is America and MORE is better than anything else. Yes, I am comparing the quality of Big Ten competition to the lukewarm comestibles of a buffet chain.
The Purdue point of view is unenthused or bizarrely optimistic. The former:
Purdue's execution, especially when it was really needed was atrocious. Conversely, UM shored-up the issues that had been exposed v. MSU following their bye week...and played soundly all game.
Michigan seemed to want to test Purdue physically in the trenches and Purdue failed as they looked pensive, slow and soft when popped in the mouth. The end result was a sound defeat for Hope's squad, 36-14...but it felt much worse than that score.
Yes, the final margin was 22 points, but we were close through three quarters and the difference of a few plays swung the scoreboard wildly in their direction. Things got wildly out of control after a few key mistakes, as often happens in college football.
I'm just all like… it was 36-7 at the start of the 4th and Purdue had 200 yards of offense to Michigan's 510. That's not a game that swung on a few plays. Elsewhere in his post Hammer and Rails's T-Mill gives Michigan plenty of credit, so this isn't a lol delusional homer thing. I'm just surprised anyone could do the point-at-critical-plays thing after that.
Media, as in dying legacy organizations (and ESPN). Before we get into the scoffing, the Daily covers the jetpack flight in column-length detail.
The scoffing! Man, does everyone want to seize upon this as proof Brady Hoke Gets It, This Is Michigan, and This Is Not Last Year:
Just like that, Fitzgerald Toussaint proves the Michigan football team can resemble its old self
Sometimes I wonder if my brain has mutated to the point where I'm not even watching the same game as some of these people. This is about the MSU game:
With the backs providing little to no punch offensively, Robinson was forced to become Michigan's exclusive run threat. Partly because of that, he was also subject to immense pressure in the passing game, as he was sacked four times and eventually forced to leave the contest early due to injury.
My version of this paragraph is "With Al Borges inexplicably enthralled with the passing game, Robinson only got twelve carries to go with Toussaint's two. Because of something entirely unrelated that also impacted the ground game, he was also subject to immense pressure in the pocket. Later he left with an injury caused by a late hit."
Yes, this is the usual mumbling about media narratives that have no relation to reality. You're like 3000 words into this post and are clearly addicted. Suck it up. This is the point in Requiem for a Dream where your arm is a mass of black veins and you're still shooting up.
[Toussaint] transforms into a sledgehammer when he runs between the hash marks.
He's not Carlos Brown but come on, dude. And I challenge you to distinguish this from a seventh-grader's B- paper:
Even against a powder-puff Big Ten team such as Purdue, the Wolverines regrouped after surrendering a 48-yard pass on a simple slant-screen that shredded the defense for a touchdown in the opening minutes of the game. No one panicked on the sideline. Instead, the much-maligned unit discussed it and agreed the appropriate response called for equal parts inspiration and perspiration, but no more excuses.
Holy pants. Someone agreed this paragraph should be set down in print and copied thousands of times so its wisdom could spread throughout the land, no more excuses.
In finding running game, Michigan re-joins Big Ten title race
Ann Arbor— As the day's events unfolded, one thing became clearer and clearer. Michigan is back in the running, and it got there by getting back to the running.
The Wolverines pounded a weaker foe Saturday, which isn't a big deal unless you acknowledge how it happened, and what happened elsewhere in the Big Ten. Michigan bashed Purdue, 36-14, and did the job without everyone waiting around for Denard Robinson to do the job.
Michigan's rushing offense before playing Purdue: 12th nationally. Rich Rodriguez: not involved with the decision to throw two-thirds of the time against Michigan State.
Strategy matters, simple things unrelated to hearty grit toughness can provide huge swings, coaches make mistakes frequently, and no one at a newspaper ever watches a game a second time. Facts.
But you seem to have trouble telling the difference between an analysis and a reaction column. If you want to go through a UFR and find out the faults (as well as the things that went, you know, well), that's all fine and good. That's rational discussion and analysis. If you're initial emotional reaction to a beatdown is it's all done by gimmicks, but yet we need more strategy; and going back to MSU, because Rich didn't make us lose that game (he did fine with the 3 of his own); and boy, the Big Ten sucks, so let's complain about something we can't do anything about, instead of just being glad we're winning some games in a sucky Big Ten rather than losing games in a sucky Big Ten, well....I wouldn't call that optimism.
We're not players, so we don't have a 24 hour rule....but it seems we can't enjoy a win as a win because it's not "rational" enough. Even though fans being "realistic" isn't going to win or lose us one game. It just seems some people can enjoy something, AND take it for what it is. And if you're going to only be happy after "good wins" (whatever those are), and unhappy after "bad wins", "Good losses" (whatever those are), and "bad losses", you're setting yourself up to be a pretty miserable dude. (And really, this wasn't even a "bad win"...so I guess we can't enjoy anything. Gotta keep it REAL.)
Maybe your problem is you don't have enough friends in your life to enjoy the victories in real-life and thus spend too much time looking for that camraderie on this site. I usually find my joy from watching and celebrating victories with my friends either at the stadium, in the bar or at a party. I come here for the discussion once the weekend is over.
I understand why - I think we all do in regards to you - you have a problem with a column like this, but Brian's reaction is a fair reaction. We haven't put away a good team in a convincing manner yet. While our wins over bad teams have been refreshing in comparison to the previous seasons, there still hasn't been that galvanzing moment that says "This team has arrived". It's still a transition season with plenty of questions till we beat Nebraska and OSU.
And overbearing pessism is just another way of enhancing the word pessism.
Edit: Other than Brian - who brings up Rodriguez because he is relevant as he was the former coach and most of these players are ones he recruited - and possibly Section 1, no one has a bigger RR obsession on this site than you. He's gone. You got what you wanted. Your team is 7-1. Why can't you just let a mention of him go? You seem to be just as negative when things don't go your way as you accuse others of being. But that's just my opinion.
Well, if you're going to make unfair personal attacks
I could just as easily say you can't process what you saw for youself and you have to come on here Monday for Brian to tell you what to think. I mean, if we're making ridiculous judgments on when and why people come to this site. Because I don't see a lot of "discussing" from you.
My problem with PARTS of a column like this is how things come out of left field sometimes. Rich Rod refer on recruits, or the veer above? Completely reasonable (One negative, one positive...not a value judgment). Rich Rod reference to how we passed 2/3's of the time vs. MSU? WTF?
I get that he feels the media might be overhyping it a little, but most weren't really knocking Rich. Most were saying, rightly, that with all the running, and the dominance over a crap program we've struggled with for the last few years that it felt like a Michigan game of old. I didn't really see too many saying "WE'RE BACK!!". And frankly, I don't see what the back and forth analysis over it all is. You didn't need 7 games of ??? to tell we're not back; one should have known that before the season began. We have a lot of rebuilding to do. We might not be back next year. Heck, we might not be close the year after (which probably means that Hoke would be in some trouble himself). But we're recruiting, presently, in a way that we have a chance to be back. So lets win as many games as we can now, keep the recruits, and enjoy the wins we get.
And to you and Jeffe...I don't have an obsession with Rich. I liked Rich. I might have a bit of an obsession with those who still have an obsession with Rich, people like you guys, who every post is about defending some perceived slight to the honor of your former coach and finding blame for anything and everything for every loss. Brian at least posts about other stuff. As do I. I bet if anyone actually cared, and checked on what percentage of my posts were about Rich vs. yours, you'd win in a landslide.
You come to a website looking for a scenario commonly found amongst friends. Actual friends. People you know outside of a computer screen. Instead, you seem upset because Brian's post isn't full of drunken bluster of being overly pleased with a win over Purdue. Rather, he is wary of our record against a soft schedule. After the last three years, wouldn't you be too? Oh wait, there is a big difference isn't there. Like I said, I get it. It must an odd emotion for you too cheer on a team of Rich Rodriguez's players, while trying to pretend like he never stepped foot on this campus.
You saying you like Rodriguez is laughable. Honestly, you are the MGoBlog equivalent of the people actively working against Rodriguez in the AD. You wanted him to fail, you got your wish, because you viewed his hiring as a terrible insult to - he has to be - your father Lloyd Carr...you know, because people thought he might have slipped a bit, especially in the big games.
But please, don't pretend like you don't make snide comments at every mention of Rodriguez or that you don't go out of your way to insult the man. It turns up every time. People on here defend Rodriguez. Why? Because there are still spiteful, fairweather fans like you who continue to cut him down.
You liked Rich. What a crock of shit. Without question, you were part of the problem with Michigan football the last three years. Come back after Denard graduates.
Ah, personal attacks work great when you have no argument, don't they?
I talk with my friends about the game, analysis, discussion. By your reasoning you must not have any friends because you have to come on here to discuss the game. (Maybe you just need smarter friends who know more about football).
Never said Brian had to be overly pleased with a win over Purdue (though how he can find silver lining in getting our ass kicked by Wisconsin is curious, when nothing pleasing came from this). It's just that there was really nothing DISPLEASING about this game. If you saw problems after say, a win over ND, well, thinking about that right after that glorious victory is kinda sad...but when you get to the analysis stage, there certainly are things you could find we were doing wrong. This game? Not so much. And yeah, Purdue....but it's a team that had people worried before the game, and has given us all we can handle the last few years. Then after we win it's just...eh, Purdue.
And you're welcome to try and find any post where I initiated any cutdown of Rich. I liked Rich. Wanted him to succeed. He didn't. I didn't delude myself into thinking he had, and knew it was time to move on. If you were in any way honest, or paying attention, you'd see that almost every post I say that shows Rich's failures has to do with some wide-eyed, excuse-making rant on how everything in the free world was to blame for our failures BUT the coaching staff who got paid a lot to, you know, win. (Or using the wonders of Rich to knock down past or present staff..like, say, MSU playcalling. Because Rich's record against the Spartans was so hot).
I think it's hilarious that basically a group of people who complained about coaches for years, and were on the "FIRE whoever" bandwagon suddenly got a coach they wanted, he failed miserably, and then everyone else is fair weather fans. And you don't mind throwing the players under the bus for Rich's failures on and off the field, but people are disloyal to "Rich's players". The only crock is the utter hypocrisy.
People like you defend Rich still because you spent years telling everyone what was wrong with Michigan Football, you got what you thought would make Michigan Football in your vision, it failed, miserably, and now you're not man enough to admit it did fail. And you were wrong. And since the results show that it failed, and you have no leg to stand on there, you're reduced to insulting everyone else.
See how broad sweeping generalizations work? I liked Rich, and hoped for the best for him. I just acknowledge that most of the mistakes made that won and lost games were his. Rich's fan's? Not so much.
I honestly don't understand why you spend so much time on MGoBlog. Complaining about Brian complaining is like, the dumbest thing ever. That's what he does. Just enjoy the wins your own self, and read MGoBlog for fun and enjoy the Cookprose. Or don't.
I think Coastal Blue totally has you nailed, FWIW. You have a totally unhealthy obsession with Rich Rod.
You could come to the site after a pretty problem free victory and expect, if not glee, at least some satisfaction. And there's a team of good writers here. And they do a good job of compiling info from sources. And the community breaks news faster than anyone. And most are fun to "chat" with about Michigan sports.
And I guess I just don't see Brian as the wilting flower you do...or frankly, that he cares much what someone else has to say. Right in this post he has a whole section taking to task what other people say...so I really don't think he has any problem with people having problems with what he says. If he didn't want discussion, or argument, or opposing views, he'd just have a blog, and have not added comments. I don't think he's afraid of it in the least. He's secure in his own views. I'm not sure why you care whether others agree with him all the time or not. If you wanted to read 100 posts of "you go, Brian!" I guess you could, but that would be really boring, no?
Of course, one could say to yo "I don't know why you read the comments if they bother you so...why not just read Brian...?" (Because comments and Brian obviously say the same thing all the time, and you can't possibly like some and not others).
And when you no longer feel the need to defend Rich left and right, then you can talk about people obsessions.....
As I said, we're certainly better than last year. It would be pretty hard not to be with all the returning starters we had and a quality DC.
I was simply saying that even last year, we didn't lose to the equivalents of Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue. Yes, those games were closer than they should have been. We failed every chance we had to hammer it home against IU. The Purdue score was tighter than this year's, but I never really felt it was in doubt. And, yeah, Illinois, who did finish 4-4 in the Big Ten and won a bowl game, could have gone either way. But the fact is, we beat the two bad teams we played and one of the two or three mediocre teams. Beating three bad teams this year, even if the wins were more emphatic, doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot.
I'll wait to talk about progress until we beat a Big Ten team that was as good as or better than Iowa/PSU last year. Thanks to the Big Ten being awful, that chance probably doesn't come until Nebraska.
All that being said, I'll take 9 wins, which I think we should have before Nebraska, even if we aren't tons better than last year because it will at least give the perception of great progress. And because wins are more fun than losses.
In the first quarter my nephew (who is way under 30 years old) looked at me as the Rawk Musik roared and said, "God forbid there be even a few seconds of peace and quiet in the stadium."
And, that's the problem. At appropriate spots does the occasional piped in music get the crowd going. Yup, it does. And that would be good. But, the incessant noise is just that -- incessant noise.
I'll bet SpecialK was (is) totally pissed that the band and the student section go crazy between the 3rd & 4th quarters with the Blues Brothers for so long that there is hardly any time for the incessant noise.
Life should not be a journey to the grave to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What A Ride!" HST
about the crappy writing style of the traditional media outlets.
It is 6th grade writing level. You can stop reading at any point, you're never engaged. But with blogs, especially good ones like this one, you can't even click on a pop up email before finishing the article.
I think I know how good M is this year, I just don't know how many of these 4 games we are going to win. The way the offense and defense play off each other and compliment each other is going to keep us right in every game.
Denard and his int and near int against Purdue. I hope this is a good teaching moment for Denard and helps with his maturation. the Boiler linebacker knew where Denard was throwing the ball before Denard did. That is good coaching/scouting on Purdue's part. Experience, Denard is getting a good dose of it, let's hope in sinks in sooner than later. Denard cuts down on his int's and 3-1 is likely down the stretch.
Speaking of preparing your D. I think Mattison has been fantastic. Van Bergen has commented that (paraphrase} "you can tell Mattison watches a ton of film, he's always telling us what to expect, and he is usually right", I have been shocked this season by how often on pass plays our defender is glued to the receiver. This ain't luck, this is coaching and preparation, hats off to Mattison's advanced scouting expertise.
(1) Jet Pack Man was awesome. That's not minor league...or if it is, I've never seen it or even heard of it before. Jet Pack Guy reminds me a lot of Sky Diver Guy from last year. I have yet to see any other college football team do a similar pregame demonstration. Simply put, Jet Pack Guy was fricking awesome and highlights the Michigan difference. I mean, come on folks...space, bitches!
(2) Gimmickball. I don't know if that should be its name. Using Denard as a decoy is simply smart, and keeps the opposing defense on its heels...besides, a fake WR jet sweep handoff to a screen pass doesn't seem too gimmicky to me, it's just a fake handoff to a screen pass...at least not as gimmicky as some sort of reverse or double reverse that almost never works because it takes forever to develop and never actually fakes anyone out. I prefer to think of it as Denard-Borges-fushion-cuisine-ball.
I am dismayed to hear that Alumni cheerleaders weren't allowed to do their thing. That's unbelievable. I just don't get why anyone would want to squash that...I mean, these people WANT to enhance the Michigan experience! They get one day a year to do so, for old times' sake! Fergodsake, let them!
...because it is. And the players don't know how to run said gimmick plays properly, so they're creating the giveaway to opposing defenses that if Gardner is taking the snap, prepare for a de facto punt.
"To hell with Notre Dame" ~ Bo Schembechler
God bless your cotton-pickin' maize 'n blue Meechigan hearts!
Based on our opponents and the amount of returning starters, 6-2 should have been the floor for our record to this point. The people who get annoyed by Brian's take on the team aren't looking at schedules enough. The toughest stretch of the season is coming up now. I think it is healthy and wise to appreciate the improved defense, expect the offense to continue to show improvement but be wary of playing on the road, a tough Nebraska team and an OSU team that just beat Wisconsin.
At this point, I just want to win against OSU but they look like they are going to be very tough to beat now that they have Herron back. If we beat them, this year will be considered a huge success and everything else is gravy.
I was more worried about the next two road games before Iowa and Illinois remembered that they were mediocre football programs. Right now, I figure a split away and then a split with Nebraska and OSU (hopefully over the latter, but I'll take either), which would be a nice 9 wins. And right now, I have a sense that both Iowa and Illinois are crumbling to a point that 2-0 isn't crazy.
And for all the talk about OSU, I still a see a team that has a very good defense but an offense that is still struggling. Against the good teams (outside of MSU), they've struggled to really shut down the opposition (42 to Nebraska, 29 to Wiscy, 24 to Miami), and while they deserve credit for playing well enough to win, I'm not sold that it is sustainable for them to throw the ball 10 times a game and try to run 40+ times. At some point, if they get behind by 10 points, it will be interesting to see what they do. That's been their advantage so far - they don't get behind early, and thus can run their offense. If a team gets ahead by more than a TD, though, they basically turtle and hope the defense can get them good field position or a TO.
The points OSU allowed to Neb, Wisc, and Miami are a much better measurement of OSUs D than when they basically shut down MSU. As we saw last weekend, MSU simply does not have a good offense. MSU put up only 3 points on Neb, 13 against ND, and 21 offensive points against Michigan. OSU holding them to 10 is simply par for the course for a decent defense against MSU. They are a good defense, don't get me wrong, but they are not anywhere near as terrifying as they have been in the past.
OSU did a pretty good job of shutting down Nebraska and Wisky for long periods in those game. Wisky only had 14 points on the board through 55 minutes of play. Nebraska was neutralized most of the first half. Their defense is super young as is their offense. It's a team that seems to be getting better and gaining confidence as the season goes along.
Michigan under-center running update. It… worked? Somewhat. I have no idea how to classify things like Fitzgerald Toussaint taking a toss play opposite that Denard jet action and motoring 59 yards. That's not really manball. It's not spread 'n' shred. It's gimmickball.
Did you notice the downfield blocking on that play? O line was working it...I submit that is the essence of manball, just not at the point of attack.
“If worms had machine guns, birds would be afraid of 'em.”
There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ... The first part is easy. All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and the willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt. That is, it's going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard. Clearly, it is the second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.
All Michigan has to do is miss the ground. Mess up less than the rest of the division and we win by default. I'm still not worried about anyone else on our schedule (and I still believe we would be State 3 out of 5 times).
Having said that, I'd rather get into a mediocre bowl over a BCS bowl. The rest of the NCAA is such a trainwreck that I'd rather draw into the Weedeater Bowl against Cincinnati or Virginia or UCLA and get the bowl jinx off our back. I'm not looking forward to drawing Alabama or Oregon or Oklahoma. Give me a bowl win and build Hoke a statue.
"Why would you ask a dumb question like that?" -Lloyd Carr
I'd like to include "Black Math" by the White Stripes to your list. Perhaps halfway during the commercial break, after the band plays a little "Let's Go Blue" or whatnot. Balance!! And that will provide to play as much of the song before getting to the "slow part" of the song.
We have seven wins after another change in the coaching regime--in my mind we are now playing with house money. Each win from here on will be like numbers on the Richter scale: 9 wins will be ten times better than 8, and will be a thousand times better than 7 (...and yes, 10 wins will be ten thousand times better than 7). Things are headed in the right direction--we can only play the schedule we are given, and make sure we are winning the games we should be winning. So far, so good.
"To do is to be" --- Plato
"To be is to do" --- Aristotle
"Do be do be do" --- Frank Sinatra
(written on the stairway wall of the Chem building
Man, Michigan Stadium is slowly turning into "Mister Squishy" from DFW's "Oblivion." Focus groups WOOO! It's sad. I'm hoping that there's a way to effectively let DB et al know that this is probably (and I say probably because I really can't objectively account for the desires of thousands of other people) not what Michigan fans want. I was watching from home, but I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed the oversaturation of 7NA. The White Stripes are awesome, though, and some other Stripes songs is actually a really good suggestion.
As for the student section...yeah. I graduated this past year and i can definitely speak to the bottleneck nature of getting into the stadium. It's ridiculous but there's still no excuse for the turnout this year. I mean, it was definitely this bad at times BACK IN MY DAY (aka 2007-2011) but I can't really explain what's happening this year given our record. This happens at a lot of other schools too but I've been to some big time stadiums--namely Auburn--where the students show up en masse 45 minutes before the game has even started and it's awesome. Unfortunately, I feel like, given the nature of the student body, this is probably just how things are going to be forever unless certain incentives are instituted. I will say that we shouldn't downsize the student section because, despite the turnouts, it's still by far the loudest part of the stadium. However, something definitely needs to be done, and, not that it matters for me anymore, but I wouldn't mind something like what we've done with basketball being done for football.
I've had tickets in the student section for the last 8 years and it seems to me that there is less wait to get to my seats than to the non-student sections by my section. But maybe it's because I show up before kickoff, but I'd don't see a bottleneck to get to the seats.
Hoke will bend the truth for better PR or gamesmanship purposes. It's back to the Fort. This is a 180 from the injury-report-issuing Rodriguez, though IIRC Rodriguez would occasionally surprise by leaving off a guy who was not already known to be dinged up.
I don't think there is really much difference. The injury reports last year seemed to bear only a slight resemblance to reality. I recall Toussaint being "day to day" all season long. They were window dressing.
definition of day-to-day last year. He had a million different nagging injuries that kept him off the field most (but not all) weeks. Just when he would start to recover he would get a new minor injury that kept him from being able to go. It's not like he shredded all his knee ligaments and they listed him as doubtful. Those that had major injuries were listed as out for the most part - Troy, Hawthorne, Floyd, etc etc
Two thoughts no one will probably read since the thread is so old.
I support Blue Orchid or Icky Thump. How fucking awesome would either of those be?
Someone please remind me why we threw a million times in a trash tornado against MSU and ran Fitz twice? That is one thing I could see with Borges--he may be such a mad magician that he occasionally goes against common sense. Like, "mwooohahahah... They'll never expect me to have Denard throw it 30 times!!! Mwahhahahahahah!!!"
Hockey had the same sort of policy you mentioned. They emailed me saying I had priority for the Frozen Four because I had attended more than 90% (making that up) of games. Somehow the ticket scans added up to a points system. This didn't affect my priority in subsequent years, and it didn't matter when I got there, but it's a start. Also, I'm not sure what they do when they rip the ticket stubs instead of scan (which they've done at probably half the games this year, for some reason).
Hydraugh: cut off one head, he'll grow two more in its place
When the non-alumni cheerleaders were spelling out M-I-C-H-I-G-A-N, the scoreboard DJ was playing some crappy rock music. When the music stopped the cheerleaders were on the second "I" and the crowd was bearly spelling it out. Stupid DJ ruined a cool Michigan tradition. My uncle and dad who hadn't been to a game in years thought the spelling was dumb because the crowd wasn't into it. I thought all of the music and scoreboard shennanigans were awful during the Purdue game. Definitely need to scale it all back.
During the Notre Dame game I thought the "Make Noise" and White Stripes tribute was fairly effective, but upon further reflection, how could the crowd not be into a game like that one. Need to amplify what Michigan is. We don't need to be a minor league baseball team.
(putting a mic on the band is a good example of amplfying what is Michigan.)
Apologies if this was already pointed out earlier in the thread...but, oddly, when I asked my Dad if there was an abundance of piped-in music to the point of ridiculousness, he said he didn't really notice. He sits in the corner opposite the band, so maybe in that part of the stadium it isn't as overbearing? I'm attending Nebraska and OSU this season so I'm curious to find out for myself if that's true. On TV though it is unbearable, since all the sound travels up and their microphones are like mounted on the outside of the press box so it catches it all really clearly and makes me want to watch games on mute :(
"To hell with Notre Dame" ~ Bo Schembechler
God bless your cotton-pickin' maize 'n blue Meechigan hearts!