spoiler alert: i linked this
That Time Wheatley Donkey’d Peppers
I’ve been so enamored with Brown’s defense lately that we haven’t discussed Harbaugh’s run games, which is a shame because they’re brilliant. He kept the fancy stuff in the barn of course but the Spring Game did show a neat thing and got a big chunk out of it.
For completion’s sake here’s who’s on the field. Those likely to see extensive action in 2016 are in bold, and non-Kovacsian walk-ons have hashtags:
Only a few of those matchups can be at all enlightening, but I’d count the highlighted one among them.
1. THE PLAY: POWER WITHOUT THE PULLING
The defense is in a 71 (base over with the NT covering the center) front with the SAM (Peppers) up on the line to counteract that extra TE. The offense starts by motioning that TE.
The defense shows it’s in man, with the boundary CB (Washington) rolling with the motioning H-back (Butt). When Butt stops between the LT and LG, the WLB (Bush) comes up like he’s going to blitz that gap. That’s a good thing too because the called run goes right over his ass:
Absent Harbaugh’s playbook I don’t know how to name it, but we saw a fancier version last year against BYU, and Space Coyote drew it up as “Power Lead.” That time it was run to the C gap, with the receiver coming in to crack a linebacker. This is the more vanilla version.
If you can picture it, the same blocks are happening as if it’s Power, but the fullback is doing the kickout block, and the H-back is the “puller” leading through the intended hole. The running back then picks a hole through the carnage, typically to whichever side of the H-back’s block that a defender isn’t in.
[After the jump: The defense solves this the Don Brown way, then breaks down]
Brian is out for the day, so I've moved the next region of the tournament up a day, in part because one more day of voting isn't going to change the results from the Good Times region. Those results:
#1 Harbaugh As Grinch: 5,190 (93%)
#8 Harbaugh Clapping: 375 (7%)
#4 Harbaugh/Drevno Awkward Celebration: 2,374 (56%)
#5 Harbaugh/Drevno Successful Fist Bump: 1,902 (44%)
#3 "You're Really Good": 2,236 (57%)
#6 Rudock Hug-Like Substance: 1,696 (43%)
#2 Spring Game Grin: 3,249 (76%)
#7 Fist Pump: 1,046 (24%)
Those were relatively easy selections; even the dueling Harbaugh/Drevno celebrations had a gap of nearly 500 votes between them. This region should be more competitive; I've seeded (and reseeded, and reseeded) Harbaugh's various sideline blowups for the Bad Times region, and it should come as no surprise that this is the strongest group.
As always, click the stills to open each GIF in a lightbox. Righteous anger, ahoy.
THE BAD TIMES REGION
(1) Rage Stripping vs. (8) Hat Antics
It's great enough that Harbaugh gets so hot under the collar he has to start stripping. I'd like to also draw attention to Kori the Cord Guy, who has to be in the running for most skilled student equipment manager in the country.
It speaks to the brutality of this region that this is only an eight-seed. The GIF begins with Harbaugh already incensed enough that he's removed his hat; I'm pretty sure he momentarily forgot this, as that weird head-rub thing—as you'll see in a few GIFs—is how he angrily takes it off. Otherwise this is a pretty standard Harbaugh-ref interaction until he snaps his hat back onto his head, which takes this from entertaining to mesmerizing. Again, this is the eight-seed.
(2) Slow-Motion Meltdown vs. (7) Intent To Deceive
Magnificent. Every TV outlet needs a dedicated Harbaugh super-slow-mo camera.
To top off Harbaugh's dismissive-turned-rageful reaction to the infamous "intent to deceive" penalty, we catch a glimpse of a very amused Jay Harbaugh in the background right at the end. Yeah, he's seen this before.
(3) WELL OKAY vs. (6) Plea To The Football Gods
After a Florida defender committed an obvious facemask on Amara Darboh, Harbaugh sprinted down the sideline screaming for a call, gesticulating the whole way.
You may note a brave player—by the arm sleeve, I believe it's Jabrill Peppers—tried to get Harbaugh's attention when he reached the offical. Harbaugh, too deep into rage mode to notice, proceeded to scream "HEY, THEN CALL IT. YOU CALLED IT? YOU CALLED IT? WELL, OKAY."
The best moment from a spectacular Harbaugh performance in the Citrus Bowl. There's a little more context provided in the comments of that post; the reason Harbaugh was so upset is the official closest to the play missed the obvious facemask call and had to be bailed out by another official who was standing well clear of the play. In the GIF itself, though, all we see is Harbaugh screaming for a flag that's already been thrown, and that's peak Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh is a living reaction GIF. This is one of the finer examples.
(4) Sheet Throw vs. (5) Rage On The Run
Harbaugh showing off his Maravichian arsenal of rage moves.
If there's a GIF I underseeded, it's probably this one. The technique stands out here. With one deft movement, he removes his headset; with another—the aforementioned back-to-front motion—his hat is in his hand. The rest of the sideline stands back to watch the show. Did I mention Harbaugh had a magnificent Citrus Bowl performance? I did? It's worth saying again.
Voting will stay open until the next region posts, which should be Wednesday or Thursday.
The captain will join his CCM linemates in the NHL:
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 25, 2016
JT arrived with three boats of hope that he’d give Michigan a second Copp. He departs after centering a line I don’t think anyone in college hockey will improve upon for a very long while. Here’s one ridiculous thing:
There was some hope that he’d come back, especially once Red announced he would, to finish a business degree and earn his free agency (apparently they give you the Hobey for this these days). Michigan’s going to need to get dramatically better on defense for Red’s final (?) year not to be one of his worst.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go punch a turtle.
Michigan Hockey Summer is in full swing. Basketball season is a distant memory. Spring football is over.
It is time.
Jim Harbaugh isn't just one of the best football coaches on the planet; he's also the most GIF-able, as we found out first-hand this past season. By my quick count, over 60 of last season's MGoGIFs featured Harbaugh, and I've narrowed those down to a field of 32. A couple quick rules:
- The GIFs had to be from the 2015 season. That eliminates anything from his playing career, pre-Michigan coaching days, or the 2016 spring game.
- No edits. Just pure, unadulterated Harbaugh.
I've divided this tournament into four regions/categories: The Good Times, The Bad Times, Harbaugh In Action, and Uncategorizable Harbaugh. Yes, the seeding process was damn near impossible, and there will undoubtedly be (legitimate) gripes about my selections, but I've left the voting up to you, our dear readers.
Voting in the first round of this region will run through Tuesday, when the next region will run. As usual, click on the still images to open each GIF in a lightbox.
THE GOOD TIMES REGION
(1) Harbaugh As Grinch vs. (8) Harbaugh Clapping
Harbaugh's Grinch-like response to a question from the postgame Citrus Bowl presser is the reaction GIF I've always wanted but never knew I needed.
This is Jim Harbaugh clapping. It's alright, I guess. The Good Times region, admittedly, isn't quite as strong top-to-bottom as the others.
(4) Harbaugh/Drevno Awkward Celebration vs. (5) Harbaugh/Drevno Successful Fist Bump
I can't get over how uncomfortable this is. Harbaugh's late switch to the bump technique nearly causes Tim Drevno to high-five his forearm.
Much better, albeit less hilarious. The scoreboard animation definitely adds something to this one.
(3) "You're Really Good" vs. (6) Rudock Hug-Like Substance
"I told him," Harbaugh began, "'man, you're really good.'"
I love how this interaction is both tender and strictly professional. That's one formal one-handed hug, yet you can still tell Harbaugh is welling with pride.
(2) Spring Game Grin vs. (7) Fist Pump
I went back and forth between this and the presser grin for the one-seed and I'm still not convinced I have the order right. Harbaugh surveying the scene at the spring game and looking like there isn't another place in the world he'd rather be—I mean, this GIF can be forwarded to every idiot NFL reporter who suggests Harbaugh isn't long for the college game.
A standard-issue fist pump. Like the 1/8 matchup, this one shouldn't be close.
THE WORST ELECTION IN HISTORY. My favorite Youtuber CGP Grey loves talking about how electoral processes can subvert the will of the electorate (of the animal kingdom—no politics). Grey’s choice for “worst election in history” was the latest U.K. one, but the professors may change his mind when he sees how the NCAA’s vote on satellite camps turned this electorate…
…into a vote for green. As it says in the title, Mr. Elbel went about the internet collecting published opinions from coaches and administrators. Keep in mind that the Power 5 conferences on the left count double, but still, the totals:
AGAINST BAN: 39
IN FAVOR OF BAN: 20
HAVEN’T SAID YET: 51
ON FENCE, LEANING AGAINST BAN: 10
ON FENCE, LEANING IN FAVOR OF BAN: 6
NO OPINION; UNSURE: 2
I couldn’t exactly recreate his breakdown. Like in that HBO Kevin Spacey movie (which is not reality), one side showed up ready to leverage every crack for a victory while the other sat there disorganized and oblivious to what was going on. That’s how the dill hole at Texas State could vote to duke his own coach, and the Pac-12’s representative could be manipulated to vote against his whole conference.
Going forward the concern here is that the version the Pac-12 was trying to avoid—the one that basically says Harbaugh can’t go to Bowling Green’s camp but the vice versa is okay—might get passed instead, since it addresses the main concern of those Other Five undecideds, many of whom are inclined to vote against the Big Ten out of dislike for Delany.
Mr. Elbel is the Diary Dude of the week.
SPEAKING OF CORRUPT THINGS RUN BY JERK-OFFS stephenrjking was inspired by the stupid Hobey vote to offer…um…reforms for college hockey. Here perhaps the troublesome bloc working for parochial advantages to the detriment of the sport are the small eastern schools, for whom moving a playoff game from a campus arena to the NHL Garden four subway stops down the line is a boon. Of course nobody wins by having the Frozen Four in Tampa, except whomever’s pockets get lined by the Tampa tourism bureau.
#ISTANDWITHACE STANDS WITH ACE, IF YOU CAN CONVINCE ACE TO STAND THERE. Brian has this pet opinion that Happy Gilmore is a terrible movie. I’ll admit I haven’t watched it since college, when my opinions on movies were clouded by, um, clouds. Though never meaning to take an extremist position on the subject, poor Ace kind of became the defender by default of an Adam Sandler movie. The argument took to Twitter last week, where a final vote decided that Ace is correct.
In MGoSlack chat, BiSB made the comparison of Sandler movies to Nickelback: no one production is so awful itself but whole of the suck is worse than the sum of its parts. Of course if your position is “this thing I am defending is like Nickelback” you’ve already lost.
THROWBACK THREAD DAY: The wiki hasn’t been updated in ages, so this thread on great funny threads in history was a fun one. Some of the classics:
- Wife Day
- The time WolverineInaBag outed himself while pretending to be a visiting Bama insider
- Nebraska fan says hai guys, perfect response, thread locked.
- Rich Rod’s staff has a netmeeting
I should probably do a Dear Diary all-time article one of these days.
YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN:
— Channing Stribling (@C_Strib8) April 19, 2016
And you can’t have one without the other
— Channing Stribling (@C_Strib8) April 19, 2016
Five-Star Out Of Nowhere?
Thank you to every school that has offered me with an opportunity to attend their University, but here is my Top 4. pic.twitter.com/uWdsj7CsYH
— Joshua Kaindoh (@_jkaindoh) April 21, 2016
Five-star IMG Academy DE Joshua Kaindoh released his top four yesterday, and the biggest news didn't involve which programs made it, but one that didn't: Maryland, which had been the presumed leader for the DMV native. The Terps were left off the list in favor of Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State.
While the Wolverines haven't been mentioned as much of a factor for Kaindoh, it's clear his recruitment is capable of taking some unexpected twists and turns. 247's Steve Lorenz initially posted after the news broke that he'd "be very surprised" if Kaindoh ended up at Michigan; he updated that post with intel that Michigan believes they have a shot.
Speaking of five-stars, TMI's Josh Newkirk caught up with Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, who's been in touch with quarterback commit Dylan McCaffrey:
“He has reached out to me,” Peoples-Jones said of McCaffrey. “I took notice of the commitment (to U-M). It was surprising to me that they got a really good quarterback that really sets the bar for all recruitment. You have a strong quarterback; you (can) build around him. That definitely made a statement for Michigan.”
Adding: “I think it’s really good for them to have a guy like him come in. He’s a really good guy. I’ve been talking to him on Twitter. We’re developing a relationship.”
While that's certainly promising, Peoples-Jones maintains no leaders in his recruitment. In fact, his list of schools under consideration has expanded slightly:
In January, at the time, Peoples-Jones released his top-10 schools in alphabetical order, which included: Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M and USC. And after a recent trip to Florida State, Peoples-Jones has since added the ‘Noles to his now top-11.
Peoples-Jones wants to visit every school on his list before making a decision. His recruitment, as expected, should extend until late in the process.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
APR check-in. We no longer have to do the thing with the books and the deep dive into what is required of Michigan to avoid penalties, so let's just jam the latest APR data into a UV bullet. Michigan's multi-year football APR is now a very shiny 989, which is seventh nationally and somehow only fourth in the Big Ten:
Again, a lot of credit for this has to go to Brady Hoke, who inherited a bad situation and made it very good. Also that's another thing James Franklin lags his peers in.
Every other Michigan sport did very well, with many batting 1000.
Just when the satellite camp thing can't get any weirder. UCLA AD Dan Guerrero "didn't vote the way he was supposed to" per Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott:
New twist in satellite camp ban. Pac-12 commish Larry Scott says their rep, Dan Guerrero, "did not vote the way he was supposed to vote."
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 20, 2016
That makes two conferences who are utterly baffled at their own dang vote, with the Sun Belt the other. If those conferences had voted the way the vast majority of their coaches had wanted, the camp ban fails 8-7.
Guerrero's attempt to justify his vote is as bizarre as you might expect:
“My assessment was that one of the two was going to pass, and we didn’t know which one,” Guerrero said. “I had to vote for 59 because if that failed and 60 passed, Pac-12 schools would have been at a disadvantage.”
59 is the total ban. 60 allowed camps in the same state or within 50 miles. The Pac-12 apparently has a rule that wouldn't allow them to take advantage of the latter. Guerrero seems oblivious to the fact that the Pac-12 can, you know, change its own rules. He was also oblivious to the fact that the ACC and SEC were going to press for a camp ban…
“Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to ‘satellite camps’ unchanged,” he wrote to his colleagues last week.
…despite the ACC and SEC publicly proclaiming they would do so for a solid year. People in charge of things are just in charge of them, man. I mean, this is the whole email Guerrero sent out:
“Prior to these meetings, I had extensive conversations with Pac-12 representatives in regard to the Conference’s position on a number of legislative proposals — the ‘satellite camp’ proposals included,” Guerrero wrote to his Pac-12 colleagues. “With an 0–11–1 vote cast by the Pac-12 Council, a vote to oppose [both] proposals was the charge with the ultimate goal to refer the legislation [back] to the Football Oversight Committee (FOC).
“Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to ‘satellite camps’ unchanged. In fact this was the preferred outcome by our Conference as indicated in the preparatory materials I received prior to the meeting.
“When this did not happen … I made the call to support [the ACC’s version], which was the preference of the two options.”
That is a pile of wordvomit that an eighth-grader should be embarrassed about. It's flabbergasting that an athletic director can barely express himself.
Overdue for some Sankey smarm no doubt. Yep:
“What’s caught me by surprise is the notion that there’s a lot of name-calling and finger-pointing,” he said. “It’s not a healthy byproduct of the legislative process.”
When you have no case on the merits, attack the tone of the people with a case. That is also a brutally awkward construction, but I guess these days the job of an NCAA muckety-muck is not to explain but to obscure. Speaking of…
Let's define what a bubble is first. Economist Andrew Zimbalist thinks the NCAA is currently in a bubble environment because they might have to play players:
Zimbalist says this kind of spending is not sustainable, and he thinks litigation of some stripe — courts deciding players can be paid beyond their scholarships, for instance — could cause the bubble to burst. Among the other potential wildcards are an ongoing lawsuit pertaining to athlete compensation limits that seeks hundreds of millions in damages, concussion lawsuits, or a change in the National Labor Relations Board’s position on college athletes unionizing.
“There are big-time things leading it to pop,” says Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College and author of Unpaid Professionals: Commercializationand Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. “It’s an unstable situation.”
This is a weird way to define a "bubble." If college athletics are in a bubble situation it's because of the changing landscape of cable. Their bubble is more or less ESPN's bubble, with ticket sales in an HD world a potential additional factor. Once people with no interest in sports can watch Naked and Afraid without having to give six bucks to ESPN, there might have to be some belt-tightening. Obviously, that doesn't appear to be kicking in just yet, or any time soon—CBS just extended its deal for the NCAA Tournament until 2032.
Being forced to reallocate revenues to athletes and away from coaches, administrators, and nine-digit palaces for nonrevenue sports is not a "bubble" unless you take an exceedingly narrow view of the stakeholders here. And, yes, for the vast majority of NCAA schools this discussion is irrelevant. For the ones for which it is relevant, their ever-increasing income is the opposite of a bubble. If this quote applies at all…
Zimbalist says athletics departments simply can’t keep spending so much. “Politically, it’s not sustainable,” he says. “Legally, it’s not sustainable. Economically, it’s not sustainable.”
…it's to the second tier who are a trying to keep up with the Joneses, which is an entirely different situation than most Power 5 schools find themselves in.
If you'd like a more erudite take, John Gasaway was also irritated by this article:
For starters the nominal news hook presented by the numbers — most athletic departments operate at what they are pleased to term deficits — would seem to be something of an awkward fit for our traditional stock of “bubble” iconography. Maybe it’s me, but I always assumed that tulip merchants in 1637, the South Sea Company in 1720, Webvan.com in 1999, and subprime lenders in 2006 instead showed astronomic operating surpluses. In fact I rather thought this was precisely the red flag in those cases.
Changing the distribution of a pie does not change the pie. I mean:
In 2011, the University of Michigan athletic department employed 253 people, according to state records. Four years later, in 2015, it was 334, up 32 percent.
During that period, the average salary grew 22.4 percent, to $89,851. Over a seven-year span, the number of athletic department employees making six figures went from 30 to 81. …
Michigan didn't add 32 percent more sports in those four years, or 32 percent more scholarship athletes, requiring 32 percent more staffing.
It just made about $30 million more dollars per year, from $122.7 million in 2011 to $152.5 million in 2015. Most of the increase came courtesy of the Big Ten Network.
Schools have a motivation to spend all the money they make so it looks like they don't have enough to pay their athletes. Dave Brandon's Michigan was the leading edge of a nationwide trend.
The reason this article comes out annually. USA Today has updated its database of income and expenses for D-I schools. Michigan is fourth behind Texas A&M (which had a huge donation surge for stadium renovations they're undertaking and will slide back into the pack next year), Texas, and OSU. They've still got that niggling 200k or so a year counted as a university subsidy that looks bad despite the obvious fact that they don't need to have their income supplemented.
But would you go back in time to kill Baby Anonymous NFL Scout? It's that time of year again where NFL types operating under a cloak of anonymity slam the character of various draft prospects. One article out of Wisconsin on the quarterback class has an absolute pile of "say that to my face" quotes. On Connor Cook:
"Let's put it this way: he's not Kirk Cousins," another scout said. "The person kills him. Selfish. He goes out too much. It's a tell-tale sign when your teammates don't like you, and I know they don't. He's good, but that position is more than physical attributes. It's also leadership. Is he going to lead your guys? I don't think so
On Christian Hackenberg:
"He hangs out more with managers than he does teammates. It tells me he likes to be king of the little people rather than king of the big people."
And the doozy on Cardale Jones:
"Strong arm. Big, big body. Not the brightest cookie in the world. I worry about him when he gets money in his pocket. I just don't know if it's all there mentally."
Anonymous NFL Scout is the wooooooorst.
Rugby tackling is spreading. Pete Carroll's push to get more teams tackling like the Seahawks do—with the shoulder first, wrapping up the legs—appears to be taking off:
Dozens of teams, both on the Power Five and Group of Five levels, now utilize the rugby style during practice, drawn to a change in approach after watching a video from Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll detailing the method. Boiled down, Carroll’s system — one he calls “Hawk Tackling” — offers a drastic change from tradition: rather than tackling with the head, defenders are taught to lead with their shoulders.
“It’s definitely a safer way to tackle,” said Rutgers defensive lineman Darius Hamilton. “With the rugby-style tackle, you want to kill the engine, which is basically wrapping the thighs, stopping the legs. So I definitely think this tackling system is more efficient, and it’s just going to take the matter of the more reps you can get of it because you can’t do something like that enough.”
Nebraska and Rutgers appear to be using that system. Will be interesting to see that in practice this year. Certainly hasn't hurt the Seahawks.
Alright then. Mike Spath reports that Michigan is going to have a lot of goalies next year:
Both Hayden Lavigne and Jack LaFontaine are expected to sign LOIs this week. @umichhockey will carry four goalies next year.
— Michael Spath (@Spath_Wolverine) April 20, 2016
Lavigne had a .914 in the USHL this year after a rough 2014-15; LaFontaine had a .921 in the NAHL. Michigan also has a commit from NTDP goalie Dylan St. Cyr next year, so things are about to be crowded even with Zach Nagelvoort graduating after 2016-17.
Michigan also added one of LaFontaine's teammates today:
Proud to announce my commitment to play D1 Hockey at the University of Michigan! Thank you everyone that have helped me #GoBlue
— Adam Winborg (@AdamWinborg) April 21, 2016
Winborg is a 21-year-old Swede who has been a PPG player in the NAHL for the last couple years. Guys with his profile are usually depth players; Michigan does need depth. Fellow Swede Gustaf Westlund is a 2017 player, not a 2016 player as I incorrectly assumed, so Michigan could use an extra forward on next year's team.
Etc.: gotta respect the hustle here. Hopefully the dude gets asylum, because anyone who gets out of South Sudan should. The O'Bannon case did establish the NCAA as a monopoly. The woooooorst. Michigan killing the charity bowl. No mercy.
Melanie Maxwell/Ann Arbor.com
What it says in the title duh. Note: other than Drake Johnson, who was obviously the inspiration for this.
Ace: Two years ago, it was hard to imagine Caris LeVert would make a list like this. After forcing John Beilein to burn his redshirt and contributing to the 2012-13 title game squad, he played an effective second banana to Nik Stauskas on a 2013-14 team that nearly made it back to the Final Four and set the (since surpassed) KenPom standard for offensive efficiency. The blueprint was there for LeVert to step into Stauskas’ role as a junior, play at or near an All-American level, lead a deep tourney run, and then face a difficult decision about whether to turn pro early.
|Lucy will let him get back on the court next time, Charlie Brown. [Bryan Fuller]|
Instead, Michigan struggled out of the gate in 2014-15, suffering a few humiliating defeats as the team failed to gel around LeVert, who struggled to maintain his sophomore-year efficiency. As Michigan survived a last-second, game-tying attempt by Northwestern at Crisler in mid-January, LeVert went down clutching his foot while the rest of the team celebrated. On a seemingly innocuous play, he’d suffered a season-ending injury; without him, Michigan missed the postseason, and LeVert returned to try it again his senior year.
LeVert looked fantastic, putting up All-American-level numbers as the team’s centerpiece, and Michigan made it through non-conference play with a quality win over Texas and no bad losses. LeVert was poised to lead his team to a decent NCAA seed while cementing his standing as a first-round NBA prospect. Then, in the waning moments of the conference opener at Illinois, it happened again: LeVert stepped on a defender’s foot, rolled his ankle, and came up limping.
[Continue at THE JUMP even though you don’t want to, because you know you should, even if it’s painful. If you make it to the end there are 24 minutes of Denard highlights]
ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports that Bacari Alexander is finalizing a deal to become the head coach at Detroit, his alma mater:
Detroit and Michigan assistant Bacari Alexander are finalizing a deal, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 20, 2016
After LaVall Jordan took the head job at UW-Milwaukee earlier this offseason, Michigan now has two open assistant spots to fill. After Jordan departed, MLive's Brendan Quinn put forth a list of potential candidates:
A handful of names, based solely on context clues, are already emerging.
Florida assistant coach Darris Nichols, a former Beilein player at West Virginia, looks like a logical candidate. Patrick Beilein, the coach's son and current head coach at Le Moyne, is an obvious possibility. Former U-M director of program personnel C.J. Lee, a current assistant at Marist, could return. Others to keep an eye on include Iowa State assistant Cornell Mann and current U-M director of player personnel Chris Hunter.
At the same time, few would be surprised if Beilein passes on all of the above and goes elsewhere. Beilein could go off the grid or dance on the periphery.
In Jordan's absence, Chris Hunter has filled in on a temporary basis; this increases the chance he'll get the job on a permanent basis. With two spots now open, Michigan should move to fill out their coaching staff soon. Beilein has previously said he expected to replace Jordan in May.
The last few years Michigan moved toward becoming a major Cover 1 defense, and that looks to continue under Don Brown, whose BC teams were in a Cov1 (“City”) over half the time.
Last weekend I noticed more than a few opponents (and non-opponents) were practicing Cover 1 beaters in their spring games. So I thought I’d show one from Ohio State’s that I found particularly interesting. Hoping the coaches will chime in on this one since I’m not sure of everything I saw. Here’s the play:
It’s a snag package, a thing we talked about in the Borges days because it’s a good way to create those triangles that work against all coverages. Smart Football at that link:
The snag is so synonymous with the triangle concept that some teams simply call it “triangle.” The basic concept involves one receiver in the deep third on a corner route (good by itself against man-to-man), one receiver in the flat, often a runningback or inside receiver (which can also be good against man from a bunch-set), and a third receiver on the “snag” route, sometimes also known as a “slant-settle” or a “mini-curl.”
Building triangles is high up in the scale of offensive complication, because you’re asking the quarterback to ID the coverage and read multiple defenders.
However the first rule of Urban Meyer offenses is keep the thinking to a minimum* and lo and behold their snag isn’t really being run like a triangle. On this play Ohio State doesn’t even bother setting the high-low on the corner. Instead they set some picks on the outside to make it unlikely a CB will be able to cover the stick routes, draw off the rest of the coverage, and isolate the middle linebacker, giving the QB a simple read: See which way the MLB turns his hips, and throw behind him.
If that’s not open, find a guy going long and loft it. And if they’re not there, run around.
* [This is NOT a statement about the academic capability of Ohio State quarterbacks. Keeping things simple is a thing coaches try to do for all players, not just the intellectually incurious ones who’ve never heard of Uber.]
[Hit the jump to see how it works vs. man coverage]