this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
This MSU game may have been the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I step away for a few days ever now and then, but man, the aftermath of this game, and really the whole season leading up to this, has broken me. I checked in yesterday to look at threads and see if there was anything interesting discussed, and man, I was disgusted. I'll still be checking for front page content, but I need to re-assess my need for the message board and comments in general.
This is by no means isolates to MGoBlog either. Other message boards are equally as frustrating and depressing.
It's funny because many posters at the beginning of the season predicted at the very best an 11-1 season with a 6-6 season at the very worst. The mode of the predictions was 9-3. Michigan is right on pace for that 9-3 and yet the sky is falling. The doom and gloom is really making the forums tough to read.
I agree Borges and Funk need to go after the season. If they stay on the staff for next year THEN the sky will start to fall.
Michigan has young talent on this team and seniors and juniors in high school that are going to make this program strong for years to come. I'm weathering the storm. And praying for a new offensive staff.
Where is all this young talent people keep talking about? If we had a lot of it, this team would be really good. Especially on the offensive side of the ball, it just isn't there, even when you take youth into account.
In the last coach's 3rd year here, the QB he recruited ran for over 1,700 yards. The RBs he recruited posted 1,241 yards at 4.8 ypc (with Fitz hurt most of the season). The three QBs he recruited combined for 3,252 passing yards. Omameh was showing up in the highlight reel blocking Te'o downfield and Lewan was a freshman All-American. Roy Roundtree led the team in receiving and was (I believe) 3rd among all conference receivers.
This year, Derrick Green is averaging 3.3 ypc, Norfleet has run the ball four times, and nobody else has a meaningful carry. All our future QB eggs are in the Shane Morris basket, it would seem, and who knows how that will go. Kalis (who supposedly was close to playing last year, was a college ready prospect, and the kind of guy we'd build the team around going forward) and Bryant (who supposedly would have started last year if not for injury and was the prototype road grader we'd be bringing in from now on, according to the staff) were behind two walk-ons by midseason, then were replaced in the starting lineup by a true freshman and a 280 pound guard.
If we were getting anything on offense from all this young talent besides Devin Funchess being awesome and Jake Butt maybe not being terrible at blocking, we're talking about a solid BCS bowl team. Instead many folks are just hoping to avoid a collapse and don't feel too optimistic about what this team will look like without Lewan, Schofield, Fitz, Gallon, etc.
To be fair, it's not just the record that have people frustrated. It's the actual play on the field. Yeah, the team is 6-2, but it's more how they ended up there.
Plus, I'm not sure everyone would agree that they are on pace for 9-3, with Nebraska, NW, and OSU all left on the docket.
After a goal line stand to win the game against Akron (3-7) and the 3 point win against a winless UConn it feels a worse than the record shows. If not for two of the worst teams in the FBS the record could very well be 4-4 and not 6-2. Yes, I realize had one play swung the other way against PSU things would be better but Penn State had no business being in that game. Our boys were lucky against bad teams but that kind of play will get exposed against average or better teams like Saturday.
Last year wasn't much different for me given how fortunate the outcomes against Northwestern (hail mary and OT) and MSU (last second, 40 yard FG). Had those two plays gone the other way the record we would have been staring at 6-6 record and a full on meltdown.
Northwestern and Nebraska look very beatable. Neither team has much of a defense and their offenses look pretty ordinary as well. Of course given the current trajectory of things it wouldn't surprise me in the least for them to put forth their best efforts of the season on both sides of the ball and defeat Michigan soundly.
For me, though, of the three teams that Michigan would conceivably defeat to get to nine victories (OSU excluded, obv), Iowa is the one that is most worrisome. Michigan has played very poorly there the past couple of trips and hasn't shown an ability to win on the road in any kind of hostile environment under Hoke (NW and Illinois do not count).
2-2 or even 1-3 seem very possible. And really, I think 3-1 still is, too.
Personally, I have zero predictions about the rest of the season (aside from OSU looking more and more like an inevitable slaughter). I think Nebraska, NW, and Iowa are a total crapshoot; Michigan could beat any one of them or lose to any one of them, close or ugly. I have no idea what to expect from the team going forward. Anything from 3-1 to 0-4 seems equally possible in my mind.
I know we are literally on pace for a 9-3 record right now, but I think anyone who has watched U of M the past 8 games thinks 8-4 is the most likely record, with 7-5 as the second most likely. I think 6-6 and 9-3 are in a toss-up for third (with 10-2 coming in a distant 5th). Either 8-4 or 7-5, especially considering that the B1G is even worse than we thought (and we don't play Wisky), is quite a disappointment and another step back from last year (where at least the 8-4 regular season included losses to the natl champion and the natl champion runner-up). All 8-4's aren't created equal.
Also, I hope everyone's right about the young talent, but some early signs have been worrisome. Perhaps I'm putting too much on Derrick Green, but if there is one position you'd think the #1 player could come in and contribute quite a bit, it's at RB. And it just hasn't happened. Not to mention the young OL (which I fully understand is young, so I wasn't expecting much, but this has been below that).
All that said, I'm with you on praying for a shake-up in the offensive coaches and that the talent develops, so 2014 is at least on the upswing (i.e. a solid 9-3 or better). If not...whoo boy.
after a loss. After the game I turn to netflix or something like pawnstars where I have no chance at dealing with the game (I think this is denial?). I then slowly immerse myself back to Mgoblog, starting with frontpage, then diaries, then the board and comments. There have been way worse times.
In fact, my least favorite time on the blog was when the blog got into a civil war over comments over the recruits. I can say, that was easily the least enjoyable the blog has ever been, and am glad we are back to complaining about football.
That's what is kind of sad - this used to be a place to come for refuge after a tough beat. Nowadays I can't stand the thought of checking the board after a loss.
We read UFR after a loss because we don't want bitching or insane excuses or optimism - we want to dissect and understand what happened. The board can be a wonderful early glimpse of that, with informed thoughts on the possible culprits (schematic, personnel, etc). Now it's just bitching.
Snark is its own valid form of board moderation, but it gets to a point where it's snark for snarks' sake. And argument becomes noise.
It did used to be you could come someplace "Everyone knew your name" and have the same feelings. Understand the excitement of Muppets! or feel like misery when the rest of your family is saying "it's just a game." But now coming here after a lose, and frankly, most wins, just makes one feel WORSE.
After a game I could surf all night here while watching other games. Saturday night I took a couple of peeks and pointed out a few trolls but stayed off mostly the last two days.
It's important to remember : after jumping the shark, the show was number one for 5 more years
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) October 25, 2013
...but it occurred to me that I don't laugh very much anymore. Afterall, it's just football from the ol' alma mater. Yes, I take it too seriously, but it's still supposed to be fun and a diversion from what's really important. So, on the blog, I miss stuff like J.Hackney and Watersdemos that didn't really have a lot to do with football but were interesting and/or funny. Or Blueseoul's breakdowns that were hilarious, even when I was too much of a football dummy to understand the nuance.
That was a longwinded way of saying it's just too goddamn serious these days and the negativity ruins things for me.
recaps. Those were always my favorite.
I think Ace does a decent job in adding humor to the recap.
Over/under on how many years it will be before we elect a pro wrestler for president and our biggest concerns are crops and trash avalanche's?
Jumped when Haloscan liveblogs went away.
That felt good.
The problem isn't decreased good posts, it's increased bad posts. Without neg/pos bangs and any moderation system there's nothing to keep shit from piling up, which it has. Bring back a self moderating system and everything is fixed. Until then any jackoff can post crap which 10 other people call crap and all of the sudden you have 50 posts of worthless garbage overcrowding a few good posts.
Maybe true, but I definitely don't laugh while reading the MGoBoard nearly as much as I used to. Maybe its becuase i spend more time sifting through garbage.
If I could filter out all the crap (read: need moderation and neg-bangs back), I'd be much more involved on the board. Ever since that went away, I've been participating (and reading) it less and less. I guess that's a good thing for my productivity.
I gave up once haloscan was eliminated....
I kinda miss haloscan, actually . . . ..
but I noticed that civil discourse seemed to be fading away during hoops season. It's just been enhanced since the PSU game. I'll still take this site over reading the comments on Freep or DetNews (never been an Mlive guy) because there are still more informed posters here than those other places. I just know my kids can't peek at my screen after we lose or else their language will be quite coloful in school the next week.
Some people need to handle a little adversity better. Preseason predictions of the team became true. Some people are victims of their own homerism and rose colored glasses.
Back in 1987, a group of U of M students who were cast members and writers of the campus sketch comedy group, the Comedy Company, were hanging out in a house on South Division, watching TV and brainstorming comedy bits, when one of them observed that you always know the "yeoman first class" characters on Star Trek wearing the red uniforms were going to be the first ones down on the new planet and the first ones to die there. This led to a discussion of other TV patterns, which led to a discussion of when you knew a TV show was headed downhill, which led to the consensus that the classic TV show-going-downhill moment was the Happy Days episode when Fonzie jumped the shark, which led to a sketch on this general premise, which led to the group using the jump the shark phrase as a running joke, which led to one of the group members later creating a Jump the Shark website, once the Internets were born, which led to the phrase going viral. Which led to message boards full of hysterical, irrational, throw-out-the-baby-with-the-bathwater negativity.
Which led to John Hein getting paid a sh-tload of money for rights to the jumptheshark.com website and ending up on the Howard Stern show.
Now this is the kind of post that reminds me of one of the reasons I've enjoyed participating here ever since I first discovered the blog. It's intelligent, relevant, and I learned something to boot.
(but not wearing a red shirt.)
I think a lot of Michigan fans have had their bubbles burst over the last five years.
The beloved Lloyd Carr was willing to sacrifice five to seven years of Michigan football because he was angry that he couldn't name his successor. A large portion of the fanbase revealed itself to be no better than anyone else's fanbase.
Fans who wanted a return to "Michigan Football" as coached by Carr are getting exactly that: 3 or 4 losses a year. For some reason, it isn't good enough for many this time. Making things worse is that Ohio State has the longest undefeated streak in D-1 right now using the offense that "won't work in the Big Ten" while Michigan struggles with its offense. Never mind that Michigan is still rebuilding personnel back to an elite level; they look really bad compared to Ohio State right now.
If that wasn't bad enough, getting slapped around by Sparty may be the worst development of the last six years. The team and fanbase that hates the Wolverines the most are having their way and gloating for all they are worth.
Michigan fans could fall back on tradition, but David Brandon is proving that money means a lot more to him than tradition.
If any entity involved has "jumped the shark," it's the program. For me, it's sorta "full circle." I started following in 1960 as a kid. Now the program is sorta like it was in the 1960's: a sleeping giant trying to wake up.
The good news is that the program always comes back from periods like this one. When it does, the quality of posting will take care of itself. I think 2015 will be the year.
Excuse my ignorance, but I thought Carr wanted to retire a year or two before he did, but Martin essentially begged him to stay on a little bit longer.
...but he did name his successor. Rodriguez was his idea.
All that stuff's kind of hard to integrate into the mgonarrative, though, so it mostly gets ignored.
The Penn State game was the start of it, really. But this weekend's game has taken it overboard. I've seen too many idiotic opinions, ideas, etc (fire the "DL coach" ?!?) on the comments/board as of late and its frustrating.
The fact of the matter is that it is one game. Yes, it sucked, and yes, it is worrisome. But there are still games to be played. We could even beat OSU, believe it or not.
I think it was when I saw the "Is Devin Gardner a QB?" thread. It's hard to point to that as the main thing, though, because it has been a steady decline for a long time.
This isn't an issue with user moderation either as those posts will still get posted, they'll just get negbanged and eventually disappear. I think the main issue is that this board is such a hive mind. Anything that Brian says is taken as gospel and any alternative points of view are looked at as inferior.
Honestly, though, the first time that I started avoiding this site a bit was after Brian openly criticized Lloyd Carr about what was written in Third and Long (which he then had to openly apologize for). After that, it had something to do with Brady Hoke's hire. After that it was his criticism of Al Borges, then it was Brian threatening to ban anyone that made an apt observation about a recruit. Basically, anytime that he gets a rant going and sticks to it, not only does his opinion become almost unreadable to me, but so does the board because it becomes a giant echo chamber.
This site is the best site for news, facts, and analysis specifically related to the games so I still check in. Beyond that, the opinions have become so enflamed that it is worthless for me to even attempt to read this board. I still read the front page for information, but I skim pretty much anything opinion-related from Brian nowadays.
So your argument for this being a hive mind is a post about how Gardner is not capable of being a QB, something Brian has never questioned?
"This is a hive mind" is such a lazy (and demonstrably false) argument. The vitriol against the coaches is going far beyond what Brian has stated. I guess you could say "Brian thinking Borges isn't very good emboldens posters to think that 'Borges is a lousy fat fuck' is a worthwhile post" but ultimately people are deciding for themselves to be asses.
But ultimately Brian needs to post what he believes and do so with sound analysis, and he generally does. The blog would be worse if he censored himself for the sake of not enabling a few jerks.
I'm certainly not the poster child for clean language, but the stuff that used to get instantly negged were posts like you mention (noting our OC's resemblance to an Addam's Family cast member, with no additional thought/analysis, for example).
It seems like more of that was allowed to take place with respect to Greg Robinson (with the tacit endorsement of the front page a lot of times) and now has pervaded the board to a pretty strong extent.
That thread and the hive mind issue are separate points. The former was in reference to where the board jumped the shark, the specific question on hand. The latter was in reference to what I think has caused the board to tank so hard over the last few years. They are related in the sense that they both are issues on the board, but they are independent issues unless you consider that the general hive mind of the board has led to general dumbassery of the board as well. I wasn't making that connection, but you can feel free to if you'd like.
I mostly just disagree that there's a hive mind, and if there is, that it's the problem.
There are a lot of "respectfully disagree" posters on the board who add to the discussion. Space Coyote is the most high profile lately but there are others. Even in the RR days, people who criticized the coaching with real arguments (and there were several) were left alone by Brian and the mods.
But I'm annoyed by the implication that "most people agree with Brian" = hive mind = the board has tanked. There are a lot of posters who agree or mostly agree with the front page content who still bring in interesting opinions/data/arguments/what have you.
The measure of a quality poster is not "disagrees with Brian", it's "constructively contributes to the discussion". That we've had less of that is mostly to do with general dumbassery.
Consider that in the RR years, most of the dumbassery was aligned against RR, and therefore against Brian, who held out hope longer than most. The dumbassery is still mostly anti-coach (mobs are almost always anti-coach), it's just that now Brian is also skeptical of the staff so you're calling it a "hive mind". That's odd when it's not the mind realigning to lock step with the blog host, but the blog host changing his opinion to something more in line with the mob.
I have been reading this blog for 6+ years and I only started posting a couple of months ago. Now I regret it. No one care about my thoughts or e-pinions - they just want me to approve of theirs. Plus many times they are better at putting thought to post than I ever will…
I think the blog content is still top notch and the comments (though I may disagree with many of them), are often informative and many times downright hilarious.
Everyone just needs to take the comments, posts et al with a grain of salt.
FWIW, I feel the board has become more jaded, divisive and combative but that comes with the territory with anything like this. It’s a victim of its own success. Once something becomes popular with the masses - it always changes and often times not for the better. Think about any other media or social outlets and how they have changed (many times for the worse) over time as more and more people (and their personalities) have become involved in them.
It's a fine line the staff has to walk between keeping things civil amongst the masses without stifling the free exchange of ideas and opinions. I personally think they have done a good job given their resources and the circumstances.
It will get better with time. I have faith in this blog's readership. The pendulum will swing the other direction and eventually equilibrium will be achieved. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the conversations!
that I am a big fan and love your work. How's Stewie these days?
Stewie is doing quiite fine - better than us.
Seems his time machine has malfunctioned and he is stuck in January 2, 2008. He's very happy about the Capital One bowl win over the Fighting Tebows of Florida.
Brian tells me he really has high hopes for this Rodriguez guy from WVU. He thinks he is the shot in the arm this program needs.
I haven't had the heart to break it to him yet....
I fear the day when he gets it fixed and returns to our present. Things could get ugly in the Griffin household.
I still read them and obviously still post as well.
Does that make me Fonzie, the shark or Mr Cunningham? Help me here Cooper Lily.
The overly negative posts seem to come from folks who haven't posted a lot recently. Whether they are trolls or fans that tend to come here just when they're upset, I can't say. But I'm pretty damned sure 80% are the former.
I'd honestly be interested in an alternate forum with a lot tighter control on the negativity. Does one exist?
Someone who has been around for the highs and lows, you at least give them a chance at what they're saying. But there's a big number of "I have posted for 30 weeks, 51 weeks, 2 years but now I have some ammo for the stuff that would have gotten laughed off the boards before, so I'm BAAACCCKKKKK!!!!" posters. The "would rather be right than Michigan be good" wing. But even they can be taken with a grain of salt if they weren't cowardly about it and posted their "I told you so views" after we were going 11-2 or something.
The one constant with MGoBlog: people complaining about how much the comments have gone downhill. I wonder when was this golden time when comments didn't suck. Probably back with haloscan on the blogspot page.
Quite true. I can't remember a time that I've been reading (which I started doing in the early RR years) that people haven't complained about the decline from the "good ole days."
And, frankly, this is a net-archetypical phenomenon. Back when I was involved with a small Ann Arbor internet service called grex.cyberspace.org in the early 90s, the "oldbies" in 94-95 used to complain about how things weren't great like they were in 92-93. And folks like me in '98 lamented the passing of the "good ole days" in 1996.
Nothing new here.
The MGoBoard was a physical corkboard in South Quad. People used sticky notes. It was incredibly civil, other than the... anatomically correct drawings.