"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."
Chris Spielman on Denard Robinson (good!) and Michigan's defense (uh, not good)
... and I mean that with utmost sincerity, because he is everything you could ask of in a teammate, be it in football or in life... ... ... so I was going to put the cynical "but" comment here, but I won't. God bless James Rogers. THe kid is just great, and I'm glad he's on our team.
I hated him because he was so good and he was sooo intense (like Barwis intense) and he played for the buckeyes. BUT I have come to love him as an analyst. He is always fair, and isn't afraid to tell it like he sees it. Some of you guys who are taking offense at his comments need to calm down and realize that (a) he really does know a lot more about football than 99% of the people on this board and (b) he is being somewhat hyperbolic. His comments during the game were along the same lines, but he stressed that the lack of talent he saw was more a reflection of a lack of likely future NFL players on our defense, which he pointed out we traditionally had several at any time, rather than a lack of guys who could start at Indiana. I don't think we can argue that the talent level on our current defense is not up to our historical norm, but to be fair most of our supposedly 5* talent level defensive recruits either didn't pan out or left the team.
He also kindly pointed out our lack of experience and commented that some of our younger players are going to be really good in a couple of years.
On the broadcast he also carped about our scheme, saying he "wasn't sure" that the 3-3-5 would work in the Big 10 (i.e. he thinks it sucks, leaves "bubbles" etc.) I don't know if he is right about that but I am sure that a great majority of people who know something about football will agree that, facing an offense like Wisconsin, all other things being equal, a 3 man line is at a relative disadvantage.
Finally he repeatedly, and with growing disgust as the game progressed, critisized our players for poor tackling, arm tackling, taking bad angles, and generally poor technique. Anybody want to disagree with that?
I think Speilman was a very heady football player, and the best color comentator out there. Even if he is a bit stiff at times, he is always fair. I wish he would leave TV and go into coaching (as in our defense!). I always thought of Pat Fitzgerald as the poor man's Chris Spielman when he was playing, now look at him.
And if you want to take offence at the commentary on Saturday, it was one of the other guys who said at one point in the second half. "Since we got here everyones been telling us how horrible their defense is, but you really can't believe until you see it!"
I think that the 3-part entry "Decimated Defese" in 2009 was a great analysis of our defense through the years. It allowed us to compare recruiting classes between years and also after people left early. It helps to compare classes under Lloyd vs. RR... I'd like to see it updated after the 2011 recruiting class is finished and see if there's hope for the future of the defense.