|2 days 7 hours ago||The charitible explanation is||
The charitible explanation is it suggests our players come to no longer fear the coach.
I'm guessing in a way it's the opposite of George C. Scott playing Patton in the movie -- "They'll lose their fear of the Germans. I hope to God they don't lose their fear of me."
I don't agree with that assessment, by the way ... I think they have their appropriate fear/respect of Hoke. I'm just saying that may be what was meant by the post by cigol above.
|3 days 15 hours ago||Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com,||
Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com, perhaps?
|4 days 9 hours ago||I'm with you for the most||
I'm with you for the most part ... time is needed to (a) get some seasoning under the current team, and (b) build the pipeline.
That said, I think the Hoke might benefit greatly from seeking and taking advice from some seasoned coaching veterans about big program head coaching. My sense is Hoke could be pretty good at this if he lets go of some of his smaller-program approaches to things.
One such thing is position coaches. Do we have the best the Michigan budget can buy? I know he has a special relationship with Wellman, Funk, and perhaps some others. They may be perfectly good coaches for Ball State or SDSU. But maybe not the level of Michigan.
Another is an over-reliance on seniors as leaders. Leaders are who they happen to be. Seniors or juniors or even freshmen if they step up.
The book "Smart Football" by Chris Brown speaks of Urban Meyer having several seasoned coaches as professional mentors. I wonder if Hoke has anything like that? Or is he in slightly over his head and in need of some good coaching of his own?
Michigan doesn't feel like a big-time program headed by the firm grip of a big-time coach. Not saying Hoke can't be that guy. Just not sure if he's struggling right now and could use some help getting there.
|4 days 9 hours ago||That's right ... Arizona has||
That's right ... Arizona has to get there as well. Pac12 looks good. UofA looks only so-so.
Their cause is aided by (a) UCLA QB hurt, (b) ASU QB hurt, (c) not playing Stanford.
Time will tell ... let the season unfold.
|4 days 13 hours ago||Let us collect more data||
Let us collect more data points.
It's possible we are in the dim early stages of an inflection to an upward trend line.
The Miami game did not clearly indicate that. We hoped that it would, but it did not. Nor did it confirm a downward trend. It confirmed very little.
So we gather more data. And we anxiously wait to see how the trend line plots.
|6 days 3 hours ago||Next weekend will be very||
Next weekend will be very telling.
Indeed ... as will the UFR for this game.
If the UFR shows continued improvement at the individual level, then maybe -- just maybe -- this game represents a jerky step in the right direction. But we won't really know until the next data point is registered.
So yeah ... next week will be telling.
|1 week 11 hours ago||That's a cool story. I love||
That's a cool story. I love the part about half the room being full of 5th grader stuff. That's terrific. This made me smile. Thanks!
|1 week 11 hours ago||Chip||
I think Michigan will come outwith a chip on their shoulder and something to prove.
I hope so. I hope they come out looking like guys focused on going to work and getting the job done.
|1 week 11 hours ago||UFRs||
I am going to be really interested in the UFR for this game.
I like how the UFRs gauge the performance of the individual players at their positions.
I'm hoping the UFR shows that we're getting better at each position and player ... that despite the level of competition, each player is doing what they should do.
That will be a sign that perhaps we're turning a corner.
A UFR with lots of negatives for poor execution will make me cry.
|1 week 1 day ago||"Miami is a trainwreck, and||
"Miami is a trainwreck, and UM should roll them without breaking much a sweat."
I think so too ... but I'm worried all the same.
My worry is not about the final score ... my worry is about whether this game is going to expose problems related to team cohesion, determination and focus.
We talk of whether Hoke has control of this team ... whether there's fire in the belly of the team. Well, Saturday's game is going to be an indicator, I think.
Good sign: the players come out pretty focused ... not joking around ... but looking like a team with a job to do.
Bad sign: the players come out and seem too loose, with too much joking around. If we see little things like being slow coming on and off the field, missed arm tackles, silly penalties, or players on the sideline not paying attention to the game ... then I get worried.
After the ND game last week ... and the -- let's be frank, the embarrassment on the national stage -- this team should come out with a look in their eye like they have something to prove. Not with flashy plays and hot-dogging ... but with that cold, relentless focus on execution that mark the better teams. If I see that, then there's fire in the belly and Hoke has this team in the right direction.
That's my worry. I hope we see Michigan come out and destroy them in a way that Brian's UFR is mostly +'s with only a few -'s. But I worry that maybe we won't.
|1 week 1 day ago||Wikipedia is a remarkably||
Wikipedia is a remarkably accurate reflector of group sentiment about such things. I promise you if "Miami of Ohio" was as incorrect as suggested, then someone would have corrected that line. Pronto.
I know because I've created Wikipedia articles on various technical topics and I was always amazed at how quickly, how thoroughly, and in general how accurately corrections are made. Typically anything that smells of unsupportable opinion is scrubbed. Quickly.
|1 week 1 day ago||"Miami University"||
"They're called Miami University, not Miami of Ohio."
First, from Wikipedia: "...(also referred to as Miami U, Miami of Ohio, or simply Miami)"
Second, Google "Miami of Ohio" (with quotes) and stand back ... a lot of hits, all in reference to Miami University.
Third, all of my life (I'm 55) I've heard sports announcers and others refer to it as "Miami of Ohio," and never "Miami University." Even Bob Ufer referred to Schembechler's coaching stay there as "Miami of Ohio."
Finally ... I'm guessing you're the kind of guy a lot of people turn away from and roll their eyes.
|1 week 1 day ago||I think Michigan beats Miami||
I think Michigan beats Miami of Ohio.
I am very interested in seeing how they beat them. The final score is of less interest to me than the UFR of the game. What I would hope to see if a trend line developing where the + numbers trend up and the - numbers trend down. That is, improvement at the point of execution.
If Michigan comes out unfocused, sloppy, and treating Miami as a joke of a game ... then I get back on the ledge.
|1 week 3 days ago||This is better than Notre||
This is better than Notre Dame ... it puts us deep into talent rich Texas. A home-and-home with Florida or FSU would also be good.
|1 week 4 days ago||They probably will blow them||
They probably will blow them out. 40+ point differential.
What I'm going to be interested in is how they do it. If I'm to believe Michigan learned something from the ND game, then Michigan should slice Miami apart in a methodical, machine-like way -- no turnovers, no dumb mistakes, close down Miami's offense pretty much in total, show good push and good technique on both the O-line and D-line, etc. The score differential is not the story ... how the score differential was achieved is the story.
However, if what we see if a 35-21 slop-fest ... then I'm sorry ... like last year when I argued the Akron close-victory was a bad sign of things to come, this year I argue that Michigan's victories need to be clean, precise and with a margin of victory in proportion to the opponent's skill. Bad teams should be taken apart like a cheap suit; good teams beaten in good, well-fought contests; and the better teams fought hard even in loss.
|1 week 4 days ago||The Spurrier and Meyer years||
The Spurrier and Meyer years at Florida were relatively recent, and it's created a certain arrogance in its fans. The Muschamp experiment has been a bit humbling for them.
Florida plays Alabama next week. Some of the smugness generated by the EMU victory will get filed down, I think.
|1 week 5 days ago||Back when I lived in Ann||
Back when I lived in Ann Arbor (1989 -1992) it was these kinds of games I used to enjoy picking up tickets on the street and seeing a game on the cheap. I suspect there'll be a fair supply on the street with people seeking to get whatever cash they can get for them.
Back then there was a vendor outside the stadium sellng hot dogs for a dollar each. I'd load up on three or four and go into the stadium and just enjoy the hell out of it.
|1 week 6 days ago||"In that hole that Yost dug,||
"In that hole that Yost dug, Crisler paid for, Canham carpeted, and Schembechler fills up every Saturday." -- Bob Ufer
|1 week 6 days ago||Mustard is yellow, which is||
Mustard is yellow, which is close to maize! Mustard it is!!
|1 week 6 days ago||I love you, Heiko. But no.||
I love you, Heiko.
But no. You're wrong. Nussmeier on the sideline keeps things settled, even if ND manages to rattle Gardner a bit.
|2 weeks 14 hours ago||It's been an enjoyable game||
It's been an enjoyable game each year, mostly because my hatred of all things ND burns bright.
But my life will go on if ND is not on the schedule.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||>> Simple or not it||
>> Simple or not it works.
That 780 was against UNLV, which is hardly in the league of Oregon, USC, UCLA, or Arizona State.
>> (JT4104) "it seems like a stone age spread offense compared to what you see at Auburn/A&M."
I'm thinking something similar. This season and the next few will tell the story, but my sense is RR's offense was revolutionary in its day, but defenses have caught up. Other offenses are leading edge now. I'm not smart enough in football X's and O's to explain why, however.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||>> You two hang out? Yeah,||
>> You two hang out?
Yeah, we're "bruhs."
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I'm sitting in my Tucson||
I'm sitting in my Tucson living room watching this game. I'm no more than 5 miles from the University of Arizona. The game, of course, is in San Antonio.
UTSA better do a better job of tackling or this is going to be a long night for them.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I'm not a gambling man, but||
I'm not a gambling man, but this seems about right ... this will either be a close MSU victory or an Oregon blow-out.
Given it's (a) early in the season, and (b) in Oregon ... my spidey senses say the latter.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Yeah, I understood what you||
Yeah, I understood what you were getting at with your original post on that.
Your point about whether Ufer would be allowed to broadcast today is an interesting one.
Assuming Ufer was coming in as a new broadcaster ... that is, without all the built-up affection for him from his 40+ years of broadcasting ... would his hyper-partisan style be acceptable?
I think the notion of the impartial team broadcaster went by the wayside many years ago. Now I think home team broadcasters are expected to be supportive of "their" teams. The question is then whether Ufer's "over-the-top" style would scare broadcast producers away.
I think probably so for big outlets like WJR. But not for some local Ann Arbor station. I think if Ufer was alive today trying to crack into the business he'd find a spot, but it'd likely be a niche spot initially. Eventually I think he'd move into a bigger role. Yes, he was "over the top," but in a fairly likeable way.
>> "he was also not the world's nicest person away from the booth"
Really? I had not heard that. I was always under the assumption he was well regarded in and out of the booth.
(Ernie Harwell was, I understand, just a total class act regardless of in or out of booth.)
|2 weeks 1 day ago||If Funchess Doubled ...||
This, I think, is the most intriguing element of this game -- assuming Funchess is doubled, who then opens up and how effectively will Gardner exploit it?
I have a sense Gardner will exploit to M's advantage. I see it Michigan 35, ND 17.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||FB||
I read your title and thought, "A fullback is worth a house and a car?"
|2 weeks 2 days ago||1976 Purdue||
Ufer had a similar reaction to the 1976 Purdue game. Michigan was ranked #1 in both polls and was unbeaten. They lost to Purdue 16-14 with Michigan missing a last-second field goal. I can still hear Ufer on the car radio ... "No good. No good. No good."
|2 weeks 2 days ago||>> That guy was nuts. Yeah,||
>> That guy was nuts.
Yeah, but what a lovable nut.
I grew up on Michigan football back in the day when radio was the only way to catch games other than being there in person. The Michigan - OSU game was always televised, but we were lucky to have maybe one other game on TV. Otherwise, it was radio. WPAG Ann Arbor carried Ufer. My little radio could just barely pick it up in Howell. But I'd sit riveted to the game and Ufer's call. To this day I can hear snippets of Ufer in my head, and it never fails to bring my thoughts back to fall days in Michigan and college football.
I find it hard to gin up the same feelings here in Tucson. It was 103 today. :-(
|2 weeks 2 days ago||2009||
I liked that game quite a bit. I still have a soft spot in my heart for Tate Forcier and the promise he showed. He masterfully took Michigan downfield in the closing minutes in that game. Great game, no doubt. Best ever? Well, the whole question is debatable (which is why it's so much fun). Still, great game.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Desmond Howard, "The Catch"||
Desmond Howard, "The Catch" ... 1991.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Good excuse to go to a bar||
Good excuse to go to a bar showing the game on the big screen.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Michigan 35, ND 27.||
Michigan 35, ND 27.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I'd prefer quality to||
I'd prefer quality to expediency ... if it takes a few days to compose it well, then we wait.
I am, however, looking forward to it. Love those UFRs. Love the breakdown articles in general.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I think Michigan wins their||
I think Michigan wins their game against ND. Not sure if close or comfortable W, but W.
I'm really not sure about the Oregon game. As noted elsewhere, Oregon has shown itself vulnerable to penetrating, disruptive defenses. MSU has to bring its A game to this one. Anything less and I think Oregon takes it; but if MSU brings it, then it can be MSU's W.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||I think you're over-thinking||
I think you're over-thinking Hoke's comments. He's praising the HS coach because it's a good thing to do for relationship / recruiting purposes, and he's indirectly praising Cole for taking the coaching as a HS student. For Hoke to really praise Funk at this point would imply a lot of work needed doing, which would defeat the purpose of the praise to the HS coach and to Cole himself.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||This brings up a question ...||
This brings up a question ... has Nussmeier ever mentioned Funk (or any of his position coaches) in his press conferences?
I can't recall. Hoke and Mattison definitely mention position coaches quite frequently. It could be that Nussmeier is just not one to mention names.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||This article is fantastic.||
This article is fantastic. Freakin' fantastic. I'm a football X's and O's wannabe ... and analysis writeups like this are just great. Love it! Thanks!!
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Agree ... hat tip to||
Agree ... hat tip to Appalachian State for showing up and playing hard.
Re: the pointing ... I'm guessing it's a bit of self-reference, a bit for the RBs and WRs, and a bit to signal to the D.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||MIKE||
Love the Gardner "MIKE" picture ... it bristles with football energy.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||I watched the Taco Charleton||
I watched the Taco Charleton broadcast loop several times ... that was great! More of that, please ... every game!
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Extrapolation from a single||
Extrapolation from a single data point has never once let me down! :-)
|2 weeks 4 days ago||I think he clearly has the||
I think he clearly has the ability to be exactly that. We'll see if it works out that way or not.
Agree whole-hearedly ... he has the ability to be an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. The season will bear it out.
If he's double/triple covered every game and other WRs have equally as good stats as a result, does that mean he wasn't as good?
If he's double/triple covered then the other receivers should have stellar years. If not, then there's a bigger problem.
Funchess's stats might not be eye-popping with double/triple coverage, but to be the "best ever" will mean despite the double/triple he has to have some pretty memorable play in there.
This is not diminishing Funchess at all ... I love the guy's game ... it just that I'm a bit protective of the "best ever" tag since I go back to the days of Jim Smith, Anthony Carter and Desmond Howard. They did remarkable things with guys all over them.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Again, it's a subjective||
Again, it's a subjective thing to say, but I certainly don't mind a QB having that level of confidence in a WR. It's nice to see really.
Certainly a nice thing to see ... but I think the flip-side of this is our natural pins-and-needles recollection of last year post-ND. Then it was juggernaut in motion ... only to run into the Akron Zips, who injected a little ... reality ... into things.
So while I like Gardner's confidence in Funchess, and I think Funchess does indeed have tremendous abilities ... my preference would be for a more quiet, determined, workmanlike attitude at this juncture of the season. But that's just me.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||If this is just post-game||
If this is just post-game exhuberance, then okay.
If this is early-onset overconfidence ... then yellow warning lights are flashing.
Funchess is good, no doubt. But "best ever" is a damn tall mountain to climb.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Maybe ... but it's hard to||
Maybe ... but it's hard to see how the coaches could justify moving Robinson out of QB role, given the 2011 results. The howls of outrage would have been deafening.
If Robinson as QB is a given in 2012, then I wish Borges would have fully shelved his West Coast penchant and used Robinson more to his strengths. He did at times, then he'd go back to his preferred playbook to no particular success.
2013 was a mess ... that's for sure. In some ways it reminded me of 2010.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Change||
"My primary worry about Brady Hoke is that he's stuck on a vision of 1990s Michigan in a world that's evolved past that. There was no sign of that Saturday."
I think he was stuck, to some degree, in a vision of 1990's Michigan when he first started.
I think 2012 started to change that. I think he clung to it a bit in 2013. Then he gave it up.
Out goes Borges (a man more stuck than Hoke), and in comes Nussmeier ... a young, energentic OC who barely remembers the 1990's.
A big chunk of my spread zealotry has been the fact that Michigan has made it look unstoppable from the drop.
That was then, this is now ... I think the newness of the spread offense is faded and defenses have caught up. That's not to say the alternative is I-formation off-tackle play after play, but it does mean the spread of the mid-2000's is no longer as formidible as it was then. The interesting question to my mind is whether the mid-2000's spread architects are evolving. We'll see this year with UofA. UNLV was not much of an opponent.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Shotgun vs. Under Center||
Last year I would grit my teeth and cover my eyes every time I'd see Gardner go under center ... it almost invariably led to some loss-of-yards play. So I wondered ... what did the Appalachian State game look like in terms of shotgun vs. under center?
Gardner Shotgun ........ 23 snaps ... 54% Under Center ... 19 snaps ... 46% Morris Shotgun ........ 7 snaps ... 50% Under Center ... 7 snaps ... 50%
Fairly balanced ... but to my eye Gardner looked -- what? -- more comfortable under center?
I wonder whether my thinking Gardner is more comfortable is reality, or just wishful thinking?
|2 weeks 5 days ago||In one of the "countdown to||
In one of the "countdown to kickoff" videos there was a clip of Nussmeir coaching Gardner on throwing "over" linebackers rather than trying to throw "through" them.
I'm no QB coach, but I suspect that's a sign of skill maturation ... knowing when to zip it vs. when to lift it over with some touch.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||This is an interesting||
This is an interesting question.
On the offense -- the FB position has gone down the memory hole. Nothing.
On the defense -- Taco Charleton.
An element of this is the "shadow effect" ... who is not being talked about because someone else is being talked about a lot. Not sure how much that's affecting things, though.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I'm no lawyer -- and||
I'm no lawyer -- and certainly not a lawyer for the NCAA -- but I have to believe just the promise of future payment is a violation. Otherwise, there'd be an ocean of money in accounts held for the day top recruits leave their schools.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||>> what would you rather||
>> what would you rather have? Mobile or pocket passer?
All else equal, then of course you want the mobile. That's not even a debate.
The key is the "all else equal" qualifier.
What would you rather have -- a pocket passer who has an uncanny ability to read defenses and possesses pinpoint accuracy, or a mobile QB who opts to run too often and makes bad pass decisions? Well, the pocket passer, of course.
A QB needs to be mobile enough to evade pressure and pose a credible running threat. Beyond that, passing skills and football intelligence is far, far more valuable.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I agree ... I never felt||
I agree ... I never felt dislike for Miller personally. I always thought he seemed a good young man and a very good football player.
What I liked was the way he seemed to mature and improve as a QB year to year. He was getting scary-good at resisting the urge to run, and to become more of a finesse passer. Lots of really athletic QBs never make the transition, but Miller was one who seemed to be making great strides in that direction.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Sure ... in a perfect world||
Sure ... in a perfect world I'd have Tom Brady in his prime ... except he's also the size of Ben Roethlisberger's size, Cam Newton's arm, and had the elusive quickness of Denard Robinson.
But if we're talking relative tradeoffs, then Football Intelligence > Arm Strength.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Agree 100%||
Spot on ... it's about what's between the ears more than what's in the arm.
The higher you go in terms of competition, the more important this becomes.
It's why, as you say, Brady and Montana did so well.
It's why Russell Wilson has a ring. He's smart enough to use his brain first, then his legs.
It's in the same category as what Desmond Howard said about athletic quarterbacks -- it's important for really athletic quarterbacks to be a good quarterback first, then be athletic.
I hope Speight does well. He seems a good kid.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Agree||
I agree ... I've long viewed Manziel as a crap shoot in the NFL.
Some (Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio) were high on him by association -- "Russell Wilson has similar build / style and he won a Super Bowl; ergo, Manziel can do it as well." I think Jon Gruden was also positive on Manziel.
The difference is Wilson is a smart, level-headed young man. Manziel not as much yet. Perhaps he'll settle down, though early evidence of that is inconclusive.
His hot-dogging at Texas A&M was entertaining for college football, but I never saw it playing well in the NFL. The defenses are too good ... his room for improvisation much less.
I think in the NFL the QB role is more about smart execution first, then athleticism. In college a QB can get by on athleticism. Not in the NFL ... the QB there better have the proper mind for the game to succeed.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||Borges||
I've wondered the same ... I can find nothing about where he is or what he's doing.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||Quick v Fast||
>> So many people do not understand the difference between Quickness and Fast.
There are different flavors of this -- quick on the first step; quick transition from one speed to another; quick in changing directions.
Barry Sanders was quick in all three ... dude was crazy quick on his first step, could lope along and then kick to a higher gear in a flash, and change direction in a flash.
Denard Robinson's first step was not quite so quick as his second and beyond. If he got a step or two under him then he was in top gear and gone. But if a defense could get him contained and at a stand-still, then his ability to accelerate out of the containment was a bit limited. I'm thinking of the Mississippi State game in particular here. Heaven help the defensive player who let him get a step or two in some direction, however.
I think receivers who are quick in changing gears can get that momentary separation. A QB that has protection (*ahem* ... OL?) and knows his receiver's ability to separate can make hay with that all day long.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Trial by Fire||
This was my sense as well -- if the D is being super-aggressive then the OL is getting a trial by fire. Perhaps -- full hope engaged here -- perhaps what we're hearing about the OL is a result of this. When the dust settles we'll have our best 5 OL on the field that can handle such an aggressive D.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Agree||
I'm in my mid-50's ... I've been watching Michigan football since 1973. I'm okay with the uniforms. Don't hate them, don't love them ... I'm okay with them. Beats the hell out of those awful throwback-to-the-40's uniforms.
I agree with slimj091's point above -- these uniforms are neither an assault on tradition, nor the game-changer for recruits. It's a relatively small datapoint in the shadow of the key thing, which is having a winning program.
Michigan's tradition is not based on just the classic home uniform. That classic home uniform is held dear because many of us recall the glory days when Michigan would maul opponents at home in those uniforms. It's not the uniform, per se; it's the winning associated with the uniform.
Go ahead and wear the all-blue uniform for the PSU game. But more importantly, go out and dominate PSU in that game.
|6 weeks 2 hours ago||Buy a set of tires there and||
Buy a set of tires there and it pays for the annual membership.
|6 weeks 3 hours ago||:-)||
That made me laugh out loud. Bravo! :-)
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Hey, this is cool ...||
Hey, this is cool ... purchased e-version ... am starting to read it.
Because I'm a documentation geek, I'm curious -- what software do you use to create the layout of the book?
|6 weeks 1 day ago||I see the point you're||
I see the point you're making. And in one of the clips of Braden it seemed to me he just pushed the blocking dummy rather than getting under and rolling it up. As I posted elsewhere, maybe it was late and Braden was just worn out (no excuse), or perhaps even that the drill was staged for the camera and Braden was just going through the motions.
What I don't know is how significant this one clip of Braden is. I don't know what, if anything, we can conclude from it.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||From cfbstats.com ...||
From cfbstats.com ... Norfleet returned 40 kickoffs for an average of 23.45 yards. He has 8 for 30+ yards and 1 for 40+ yards. Nothing 50 or more yards. He was tied for 7th in the country.
That means he had 31 for somewhere between 0 and 29 yards; 8 for 30 - 39; 1 for 40 - 49. With an average of 23.45, the math suggests he must have a bunch down around 20 yards.
So you're saying he's getting through the first, but his straight-line speed problem is hampering his ability to get past the last wave? Or are you suggesting he's being caught from behind?
I'm honestly trying to figure this out ... I'm replaying best I can the various kickoffs and what I recall is he comes tearing out of the endzone and is typically met somewhere around the 20, where he picks up a few more before being taken down. I think I recall his one long run and in that case he was angled out of bounds or taken down from behind.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Yes ... you stated more||
Yes ... you stated more clearly what I was trying to get at in my post above.
I just have this sense that the open practice is a sign of coaching confidence ... that they have a better sense they can control the game better than they were able the past two years.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||I agree ... it's a good||
I agree ... it's a good thing, and I think it's more than just a PR stunt.
There's a part of me that thinks this signals a subtle shift ... towards more of a mindset of winning based on playing better than the other team rather than winning based on secrecy and tricks-up-the-sleeve.
Now, I doubt very much the open practice will reveal everything, of course. But still, it's a departure from the past three years. Maybe we're seeing a glimmer of coaching confidence in the players and the talent on hand. Less need for secrets and tricks; now it's more straight-up football and beat us if you can.
Maybe? Or maybe I'm just overhyped for the season to start.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Thumbs?||
>> "the thumb placement isn't perfect"
Now I'm curious ... what's the proper technique, and what the reasoning behind the technique?
My guess is thumbs up ... and the reason is because that will indicate where the arms are. Thumbs up means arms are inside and aligned to extend up. Thumbs to the inside means elbows are out.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Conditioning?||
>> "I would be more concerned about this stuff if it had been recorded on August 26th."
I wonder how much of the technique shortcomings might be attributable to conditioning? Maybe that segment was filmed later in the practice and Braden was tired. That's no execuse for dropping technique, of course ... but early in camp it might explain it. With continued coaching and conditioning, I would hope these things start to clear up.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Hey, it's an excuse to go see||
Hey, it's an excuse to go see something resembling football. I'd take it in a heartbeat if I was living anywhere near Ann Arbor.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Norfleet||
I like Norfleet as much as the next guy ... but I'm mystified why he can't seem to get past the first wave of defenders. He takes the kickoff at a yard or two deep in the endzone and he comes out straight as an arrow. He seems to get 20 or 25 yards upfield then runs into a wall and drops.
I wonder ... has anyone looked at tape of his returns and see what's going on there? Are opposing teams just that good at defending kickoffs? Or is Norfleet relying too much on straight-line speed and overrunning his blockers?
Honest question ... I don't know the answer.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Wonderful! Welcome! I look||
Wonderful! Welcome! I look forward to reading your write-ups.
As an aside, I wonder what Nussmeier's equivalent is to Borges' "Bubble Screen"?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||This seems right ... I've||
This seems right ... I've been following Michigan since the early 70's and I thought I'd heard "The Big House" sometime in the 80's. I can't put my finger on when or where I first heard it, but it seems to me I heard it before the 1990's.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||I wondered about that. The||
I wondered about that. The video must have been from the spring, right?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Great video ... it got me||
Great video ... it got me even more excited about the season.
The snippet that caught my eye was his coaching Morris on getting elevation on his pass to get over the linebacker, not through him.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Hard to say ... they might go||
Hard to say ... they might go looking for the second coming of Spurrier / Meyer. Or they might think they can tap into the motherlode of Alabama football. The SEC folks love their defenses, and Kirby Smart is a good DC. Get a good OC to balance him and Florida could work its way back.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||The Kirby Smart to Florida||
The Kirby Smart to Florida thing doesn't sound too far fetched, actually.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Fair Point ...||
Let's not forget that Borges was seen as something of an offensive wizard after the 2011 season.
That said, I'm happy for the change. I think it was the right and proper move to make.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||CoachesHostSeat.com||
Interesting site. Some observations:
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Predictions||
10-3 is my prediction as well.
I would be quite happy with this. It would be a terrific foundation on which to build for the 2015 season.
Lose all three of the "big" road games but hold serve at home and against the rest of the B1G.
I would like to win at least one of those; preferably OSU, but I think MSU and/or ND is doable.
That said, if we have to lose all three, I sure hope the manner in which they lose those games leaves no doubt they were closely-fought contests and Michigan was clearly in the game all the way to the end. I've been in many arguments on this point, but I stand firm: if a few losses are just what fate has in store for us, make those losses games where Michigan plays a great game. Some say "a loss is a loss," but I say "an embarrassing loss is far worse than a loss in a well-played game."
|14 weeks 1 day ago||Hoke||
That was a nice article. There's a genuine sincerity about Hoke that I think appeals to the young players and recruits.
If Hoke and staff can engineer a good season this fall and re-establish an expectation of success going forward, then look out ... the combination of on-field success plus the personal appeal of Hoke and his staff will light up the recruiting trail. It's already pretty good; it will get even better.
|16 weeks 18 hours ago||Observations||
The writing style from that era is interesting ... the phrasing is evocative of a different era, that's for sure. The word "splendid" is rarely seen in sports journalism nowadays.
It mentions that "a bus" took the team to the grounds ... in 1879 that was surely a horse-drawn vehicle. Interesting that it was called a "bus" in those days. That must be where our use of that term came from.
"The teams fought like dogs of war"
The post-game banquet was at the Palmer House in Chicago. I've stayed there. :-)
To think that someone spent untold hours setting little pieces of lead type to print that sheet. Years ago I had the opportunity to do that on a very limited scale. In today's world we take for granted spell checking and margin justification ... back then it was all due to the guy setting the type.
|19 weeks 5 days ago||Brady vs. Manning||
When I saw the title of this post I thought it was referring to Brady Hoke and Roy Manning.
September can't come quick enough for me.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Are you suggesting NU (or||
Are you suggesting NU (or other schools) would be mandated to run football to support non-revenue sports? I understand the part about proportional participation ... but I see it more likely that if the revenue sports prove more trouble than worth they'll just phase out all sports.
And if we ever get to the point where institutions of higher learning are forced to provide facilities, staff and pay to support athletics ... well, then there are bigger problems facing us all.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Responses||
I doubt very much NW would take any such immediate and drastic measures.
More likely, if the impact of any unionization begins to affect the University's ability to manage the program and its costs/benefit ratio, the University will start to isolate and starve off the program ... along with other non-revenue sports supported by football.
Even still, it would take some time to see this manifest. But, to the extent outside factors make operating a football program less and less in the University's interest, the University will respond to control what it can to balance back to its interests.
There's absolutely nothing that says a school like Northwestern must run a football program.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Laws||
>> The Nation failed to point them out and I'm curious as to why their contributing Law Attorney, Tony Paris, neglected to as well.
One has to start with the possibility that there wasn't any breaches of the labor laws. Just because the article suggests something doesn't mean it actually happened.
Articles such as these are part of a huge PR war being fought. This article is battlespace preparation based on an anticipated "no" vote.
|21 weeks 1 day ago||Fitzgerald||
>> He is telling them that they are fundimentally deciding between a known (him as well as the current administration) and an unknown.
I agree ... I think that's his argument. It's reasonable, but not necessarily compelling.
There's an unspoken time element present on both side of that equation. The known (him) may or may not be there in the future; the unknown (the union leadership) may or may not develop into good stewards of the players' interests.
Time always enters into these things, which is why I scratch my head at those who say this is only about medical benefits and not about getting paid. That may be true ... for now.
I realize slippery-slope arguments are not always good. But that's not to say they are always bad. There are plenty of cases where the initial stated goal of some organization creeps over time to include many other things. In fact, nearly all institutional bureaucracies (a loose term meant to encompass any bureaucracy, public or private, that becomes large enough to dictate the terms of its existence) change over time to become more about self preservation and expansion of power than about original mission or representing constituency.
We'll see what happens with this Northwestern union vote. It will be interesting.
|22 weeks 5 days ago||Player Development ... and General Progress||
Just show me the trend line is up. That's pretty much what I want out of this season.
|22 weeks 5 days ago||Cannoli||
>> and a cannoli
No, leave the cannoli. Bring the gun.
|23 weeks 1 day ago||Zerohedge||
If ever one wants to get depressed and consider survival strategies in a bunker somewhere deep in the woods ... read Zerohedge.
That said, the comments there are often quite funny.
|25 weeks 3 days ago||Golf and HD||
Oh, absolutely ... now that you mention it, golf on HD is fantastic.
One of my first experiences with true HD was a golf tournament, and I was absolutely amazed at being able to see the dimples on the ball as it approached the cup.
Still ... football is the perfect sport for HD. Nyah, nyah! :-)
Years ago I went to the second round of the TCP at the Robert Trent Jones course in Manassas, Virginia. I saw Tiger Woods walk within 20 yards of me ... which was cool ... but the real treat was meeting Arnold Palmer and shaking his hand. He's a class act.
|25 weeks 3 days ago||HDTV||
If I had to pick one thing -- just one thing -- that has reduced attendance at football games, this would be it.
I love the atmosphere of a live football game as much as the next guy, but the advent of HDTV has opened up a whole new vista of enjoyment of football for me. I love the detail and clarity and slow-motion replays.
Football is damn near the perfect sport for high-def TV to show. Basketball is a close second.
Nothing beats being at a live hockey game. The sounds, the smell of the ice and the Zamboni exhaust ... ahhhh ... heaven. :-)
|26 weeks 8 hours ago||>> I'm curious how his own||
>> I'm curious how his own background affects what he does as a coach.
I would imagine it has to have some effect. But I doubt Hoke is overcompensating too much.
I don't know the details of this Glasgow case, but from the tea leaves it does look like this is a DUI incident. That's a pretty bright line over which players should know not to cross. My guess is Hoke turns a blind eye to normal college drinking and horseplay, but gets extra firm on anything that involves an arrest. And DUI is a particularly serious offense.
|27 weeks 2 days ago||Green||
Derrick Green in at 220 and "solid" by his own words.
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me he realized from last year that things aren't as easy in D1 football as they were in high school. He's re-focused and has something to prove.
I hope so. Run angry, young man ... run angry. :-)
|28 weeks 1 day ago||Giant River Otters||
>> Giant river otters are not to be fucked with
I first read that about six hours ago. And my mind keeps going back to it. I had never, ever, stopped to think about giant river otters. Now I know not to fuck with them. :-)
|28 weeks 1 day ago||Nussmeier||
From the linked article, referring to Nussmeier's process:
"transforming the elite players that a program like Michigan can recruit into a dominant machine that leverages talent into consistency."
I love that "leverages talent into consistency" phrase. It gives me hope. And after 2013 I need some hope.
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Heiko||
Watching Nussmeier made me think of something ... I miss Heiko!
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Mattison||
Mattison was terrific.
And kudos to whoever was asking the questions ... some good, pointed football questions there.
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Nussmeier||
I liked what I saw from Nussmeier in this, his first Michigan practice press conference.
>> I think creating manageable goals will help the players and help with the installation of a new system
Call it a hunch (because it's based on nothing more than that) ... I have confidence in Nussmeier creating and communicating those goals in a consumable way. Nussmeier strikes me as the kind of coach that players will respond to.
>> getting 11 players to do the same thing the right way every play
And that starts with all 11 players being on the same page, and I believe Nussmeier understands how to achieve this. Again, just a hunch.
Or perhaps merely hope, but it doesn't matter -- I like what I saw (body language) and heard (words used) in this.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||Thoughts ...||
It looks like Hoke is still keeping his fingers in the coaching stuff ... at least somewhat.
I like the sight of Nussmeier out there coaching ... it's a younger, more vital look to the program than before. Image matters, and that's some good imagery.
|29 weeks 6 days ago||40 time?||
Where would you place 40 time on the importance relative to some of the other measurements?
I can see the value of quickness ... particularly lateral quickness for an OT.
I get speed is a good thing in general. But it strikes me that other things are probably more important in the grand scheme of things.
|32 weeks 10 hours ago||>> But the DL could improve||
>> But the DL could improve simply because of the players.
I almost had that as one of the bullets -- "Players one year more improved." Let's cross our fingers and hope for a healthy and improved Pipkins.
>> it will be hard to say how much, if anything, is do to this rather small shake up.
Someone needs to work up some before and after charts. :-)
Whatever the cause, I'd sure love to see some improvement on the DL interior. I'm no expert, but I've heard some say that it all starts on the inside. If the inside gets push, then the rest of the defense's job gets easier. Therefore, if we could get better on the inside due to Hoke wearing polka-dot underwear ... then I'd argue for polka-dot underwear.
|32 weeks 10 hours ago||You had your Wheaties this||
You had your Wheaties this morning, did you? You seem particularly feisty today. :-)
|32 weeks 10 hours ago||>> because if they improve||
>> because if they improve significantly, then what was Hoke doing trying to micromanage this part of the team.
Let's assume the D-Line play does improve. Some thoughts come to mind:
Hoke said he did the position coach thing to "stay grounded" or something like that. Maybe he's come to the realization it's just better for the team for him to step back and let others manage that level of the system.
|32 weeks 11 hours ago||Interesting||
Having a HC also be a position coach is not unheard of, is it? (I think Saban is also secondary coach, if I'm not mistaken). Still, if that distracts Hoke from his broader responsibilities, then on the whole this is a good sign, I think.
|34 weeks 6 days ago||That's pretty cool. I've||
That's pretty cool.
I've always been curious about schools like Nebraska and Oklahoma ... where do they get their talent to stay relevant? Nebraska seems to get what home-grown there is in Nebraska, and then they go Texas and California for the most part, with a scattershot of other locations. Oklahoma gets its own state, plus Texas, but less scattershot elsewhere compared to Nebraska.
Texas, on the other hand, does Texas ... heavy concentration of home-grown talent. The state has it; Texas gets it. Ditto Florida.
|35 weeks 3 days ago||Any Michigan commit is #1||
Any Michigan commit is #1 with me!
|36 weeks 4 hours ago||That's interesting. Beckman||
That's interesting. Beckman knows radio, and would know how a voice would carry or not. We'll see. Whoever it is, I'll get to listen to it here in Tucson in Sirius radio. (When games aren't on TV I'll get on the motorcycle and set the satellite radio to Michigan Football and ride all over Arizona listening to the game.)
|36 weeks 5 hours ago||Karsch||
Care to speculate out loud? What sense do you get?
FWIW ... I like Karsch, but I think his voice is a bit harsh for the broadcast booth. It works well for those short-duration profiles, but 3 hours of it in the booth would be a stretch.
How about Brian Cook? He sounds very radio-like on the podcasts. :-)
|36 weeks 5 hours ago||I like him already. :-)||
I like him already. :-)
|36 weeks 10 hours ago||Obsolete Scheme||
I still can't get over the nagging feeling that it perpetuates an offensive scheme that is becoming obsolete in college football.
Another way to look at this is it affords an opportunity to evolve the Michigan scheme to merge in with where the game is going.
My sense is we're in the middle-phase of the melding of spread concepts and pro concepts, in both the NFL and the college ranks.
I'm not normally a pollyanna optimist, but in this case I sense that Hoke went with Nussmeier because he understands the up-tempo spread elements and the physical power game as well. I think that's where we're going.
|36 weeks 1 day ago||What are we to make of this||
What are we to make of this ESPN article (LINK) with this paragraph:
Honest assessment? Or sour-grapes after Michigan hires Nussmeier away?
I'm guessing sour grapes ... Alabama outrushed OU, outpassed OU ... and gave up 5 turnovers. Is it even in the ballpark of fair to say that game's performance was an leading indicator of problems of Nussmeier's tenure as OC?
|36 weeks 1 day ago||He was maybe "too smart" for||
He was maybe "too smart" for the college level.
I think there's a lot of merit to this. In a sense, Borges reminds me a bit of Charlie Weis (please, no fat jokes) ... someone who is enamored with sophisticated plays, and thinks they can out-scheme from the playbook and the booth. That works if the talent on the field can play up to fancy schemes. It's probably easier to make that happen on an NFL team than a college team.
It strikes me the best college coaches and coordinators are those that can take an honest assessment of talent and potential and design to that. Despite a lot of jargon out there, setting the bar too high can be detrimental.
|36 weeks 1 day ago||Center position?||
I asked this over on TTB ... I'll ask it here as well: would you anticipate the arrival of Nussmeier will make the role of center a better fit for existing personnel?
I'm no X's and O's guy ... it was my impression the center's job was to call line blocking, and if the blocking schemes set by Borges were really complex, might that have contributed to problems at the snap? A simpler, more intuitive blocking system might make the center more comfortable?
I ask this because I know center is one of our OL weak spots.
|36 weeks 1 day ago||Inside Zone?||
Based on what you know about the OL, their development trajectory, and ... well, everything else ... can that inside zone strategy be successful? If not initially, then what has to be addressed to make it successful?
|36 weeks 1 day ago||Why Leave Alabama?||
You really think any reporter will have the stones to ask that?
That's a legitimate topic for question and discussion.
A move from Alabama OC to Michigan OC -- or any school OC for that matter -- is a lateral at best. Alabama is rightly perceived as a top-tier school, and leaving it for the same position at another school naturally raises questions about the pros and cons Nussmeier weighed when making the decision.
I hope they do ask the question. It doesn't have to be framed in a dickish way ... just an open question along the lines of: "Would you explain what your thinking was when comparing the position at Michigan with what you had at Alabama?" If he goes all coach-speak, then okay ... it's what they do. But it's possible he'd give a glimpse into the decision process.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||I had Alabama pasting||
I had Alabama pasting Oklahoma, which shows how much I know.
Still, I like FSU in this ... FSU 49 Auburn 31.
|36 weeks 5 days ago||64 and sunny here in Tucson.||
64 and sunny here in Tucson. Just saying. :-)
I like NFL games like this every once in a while. It lends extra drama.
|37 weeks 2 hours ago||No. Shaw at Stanford.||
No. Shaw at Stanford. Sumlin at Texas A&M.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||That was one of the finest||
That was one of the finest football games I've ever watched. Great football, interesting twists, suspense until near the very end.
That's why I love college football.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||I can only imagine the uproar||
I can only imagine the uproar if the winner of a playoff gets shafted by the voting organizations. You may be right ... that may very well be their prerogative. But wow ... if it ever happens. Duck and cover.
PS - I mentioned "pre-BCS" in my original answer because I believe that's when the term "mythical" first came in to use. Back in the good old days the two main polls were the AP and UPI, and they often didn't mesh come final tally. The BCS was supposed to address this. For the most part it has, but not enough to avoid a playoff structure.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Playoffs and settling things on the field||
I think once the playoffs start and people have a chance to accept that it's an elimination tournament down to the #1 spot the "on the field" results will rule.
I'm thinking back to the 2011 season, and I recall watching the SEC championship game where undefeated LSU was playing Georgia. I remember someone -- Gary Danielson, I think -- stating without qualms that if LSU loses to Georgia they should still go to the BCS championship game.
I remember thinking, "You can't have it both ways -- you can't call for a playoff system and reserve the right to grant survival based on 'body of work.' Come the day we have a playoff, you lose and you go home, even if undefeated Team X loses to 2-loss Team Y."
Apples vs. oranges, I know ... that was then and the playoffs will be different. My point is there's a deep well of sentiment in college football that gives bonus points for style, schedule, etc., etc. People will have to get used to the fact that with a playoff the hot team that wins is #1.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Convincingly||
By "convincingly" I had in mind a show of utter machine-like domination. Not just a blow-out on the scoreboard, but a display of football dominance of epic proportions. For example, Alabama holding OU to less than 100 yards rushing, less than 100 yards passing, something like 1 for 15 in 3rd down conversions for OU, OU never cross the 50, and time of possession favoring Alabama 42 minutes to 18.
You know, the kind of game that leaves people slack-jawed in awe ... and left wondering why what they saw wasn't the best team in the land.
That, coupled with a sloppy display by Auburn and FSU in a bad Auburn win might ... emphasis might ... flip things to Alabama for the#1.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Thank You||
The OP's question was a reasonable musing on this relatively quiet sports day as we lead up to the game on Monday. There's no reason to snark-slap him.
The one downside of the resurrection of voting is it brought out a lot more snark and pithy one-liners in an attempt to get upvotes.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||You more or less paint the||
You more or less paint the only potential scenario -- FSU loses to Auburn, but just barely, in a mistake-filled and ugly game. Alabama convincingly thrashes Oklahoma. OSU loses to Clemson.
That puts eyes back on Alabama and the one loss to Auburn. That loss was last-second on a weird play. Still a loss, but it's not like Auburn man-handled Alabama.
So again ... Alabama stomps Oklahoma, and FSU/Auburn turns in a keystone cops game with Auburn pulling it out.
I'm not saying that would result in nod going to someone other than FSU or Auburn; I'm just saying that's the scenario that could.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||"Mythical" ... a reference to||
"Mythical" ... a reference to the days when the NC was more arbitrary than it is with the BCS.
|37 weeks 2 days ago||"why not FSU?" Or even||
"why not FSU?"
Or even Florida. Florida has QB problems. Muschamp -- still the HC, for now -- has indicated he wants to go more pro-set, power football. If Hackenberg could spark Florida back to decency, he'd be a hailed as a hero down in Gainesville.
Yeah, I know Florida is a bit of a tire fire right now. But for a young man seeking a mountain to climb ...
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Get to be my age and the||
Get to be my age and the degree of certainty is not so great. :-)
I think Clowney will definitely go first round ... but I'm not personally convinced he's going to tear up the NFL like some believe. He's clearly better than most college players, but is he really that much better than most pro DEs?
I think below pick 10 ... but not that far below that. Higher picks go for offensive needs -- QBs, WRs, TEs.
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Baylor?||
Why Baylor in particular?
Serious question ... is there something about their QB situation, or their offensive style that particularly suits Hackenberg's skills?
I have this picture of Hackenberg being the classic stand-tall-in-the-pocket passer, and Baylor being more of a dual-threat, hurry-up type of program. Maybe I'm mistaken?
|37 weeks 3 days ago||F ...||
For some reason the scene from "8-Mile" comes to mind:
Fuck the beat, I go acapella
That'll spike the counter for "fuck" on this blog.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||iPhone||
Michigan's descent started just about when the iPhone first came out.
Coincidence? I think not.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Robinson||
Oh come on ... people on this site had nothing good to say about Greg Robinson in 2010. It had nothing to do with his not being a "Michgan Man."
What I'd like to know is how much freedom Robinson was given by Mack Brown to shape the defense there at Texas. He's done fairly well. 'Nuff said.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Time for Hoke to Get Tough?||
Some article I read suggested Brady Hoke's only words in the locker room was something to the effect of "Get dressed ... there's nothing more to talk about."
I'd like to think -- hope? -- that if true, that brevity is a sign that Hoke understands that his team didn't give its all. And I'd like to think -- hope? -- that Hoke has reached a point where he knows it's time to get tough.
Sometimes a manager can go too far to the "Mr. Nice Guy" side of things. Sometimes it's necessary to express in no uncertain terms that Mr. Nice Guy goes away when people take advantage of it.
I'm reminded of the quote from the movie "Patton" -- In about fifteen minutes, we're going to start turning these boys into fanatics - razors. They'll lose their fear of the Germans. I only hope to God they never lose their fear of me.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Decent playcalling / execution||
I'm assuming MIchigan defense plays more or less like they have all year. Good, not great, but enough to keep K-State from running away.
Given that, then:
So that first offensive drive is going to be interesting. If it's three-and-out with Touissaint running stretch then I get very worried. But if we see some a good mix of run and pass with some easy pass plays to help Morris settle in, then I'm feeling better.
I don't know if Michigan wins this ... but to see a decent gameplan and decent execution will give me a good sense of hope going into next year.
|38 weeks 1 day ago||I agree ... given the||
I agree ... given the tendency of Hoke to generally favor seniors, then Gardner is the QB next year. That's even if Morris plays a good bowl game. There'll be a competition for the spot next year, but unless something really unexpected happens it'll be Gardner, with Morris as a very good backup.
|38 weeks 1 day ago||Redshirt?||
Who? Shane Morris? I thought his redshirt was gone, given he played in two games this year and has no medical issue to receive one like Gardner did for 2010. If Morris was granted a redshirt, I'd like to see where that's documented.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Merry Christmas from Tucson||
Merry Christmas from Tucson ... 100 miles southeast of Tempe, where Meechigan is going to play a good game and send Kansas State back home with a "L" on their schedule!
|38 weeks 4 days ago||This was my take as well ...||
This was my take as well ... the interview was really just a statement of the obvious -- it's the job of the coaches to get players to play up to potential.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||Morris||
"If his number is called, I hope he kills it."
Amen to this.
I've got a hunch that we're going to see a lot of really good things out of Morris before he hangs up his Michigan jersey. He's got decent mobility, a great arm and enough swagger to carry him through some bad plays.
Expect some early jitters, but if the line gives him a little time and the game doesn't come at him too quickly ... I think we'll see some nice things out of him. I really do.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||Leroy and Dewey||
"He also had a nice freshman season before losing to Oklahoma and the Selmons in the Orange Bowl."
I came to Michigan football in the fall of 1973. No bowl that year; no bowl the following year; the Orange Bowl following the 1975 season was the first bowl for this Michigan fan.
Leroy and Dewey Selmon ... even though Oklahoma won, it was hard not to appreciate what those to did on the defensive line.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||My knowledge of the game of||
My knowledge of the game of football is miles above what it was before I joined MGoBlog. That makes watching the games a lot more enjoyable. So thanks!!
|39 weeks 14 hours ago||This is a great write-up ...||
This is a great write-up ... informative and upbeat. I really like reading things like this because it provides a better perspective on what it's like to be a player in a program like Michigan. Nice job, Brandon!
|39 weeks 14 hours ago||Hamstring?||
If memory serves, he had a hamstring injury, right? What's the normal treatment / PT for something like that? And would coming to Michigan earlier -- and having access to the Michigan trainers -- help with recovery?
(My guess is the answer is "Yes," but I'm curious if any board members have insight into these kinds of injuries.)
|39 weeks 3 days ago||The two don't have to be||
The two don't have to be exclusive. It's quite good to have high expectations. Certainly it's proper for Hoke and the players to strive after high expectations. The issue is how we as fans react when things don't go the way we wish.
I like your phrase "especially when I have risked no real currency on them." That's the difference between our reaction to unmet expectations and, say, the players.
|39 weeks 3 days ago||Expectations||
Exactly ... the pain is in the unmet expectations ... in sports, in love, in life.
I learned a lesson this year (at age 54) -- don't over-invest my hope in sports outcomes. It's just not healthy.
Age is a funny thing: it provides greater insights, and it takes away the ability to pee freely.
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Or Thunder'd ... I'm so||
Or Thunder'd ... I'm so confused. :-)
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Great Coaches||
That brings up an interesting question about who the top-flight coaches are ... and which ones would be likely to move from their present positions.
It would be pure speculation ... but it might be an interesting discussion of the pros and cons of various coaches.
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Sans Saban||
I think so. The lack of a sure-fire alternative coupled with a 2013 record that's not quite bad enough to clearly justify firing means he probably stays another year.
I would not want to be Mack Brown in 2014 ... the microscope will be on him.
|40 weeks 9 hours ago||From Tucson ...||
As a resident of Tucson who lives a mere 8 miles from the University of Arizona ... all I have to say is Go Blue! :-)
|40 weeks 1 day ago||L||
For want of the letter L, which I thought I'd typed. Oh well ... central point still valid: Michigan needs to re-establish the belief the program is trending in a positive way.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Good point ... generally 1||
Good point ... generally 1 and 2 and 3, but exceptions exist. Michigan State was helped by some losses by higher-ranked teams. But in general the formula for highest chance of getting into the playoffs is 1+2+3.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||I still have confidence in||
I still have confidence in Hoke and staff landing good recruiting classes.
But my-oh-my how the 2014 season is shaping up to be an important year for the forming of perceptions about this program. Gotta stamp an upward infection point onto the trend line, that's for sure.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Effect of Playoffs||
Starting next year with the 4-team playoff, the key seems to be:
I don't think #1 is a conference thing so much as a perception of being a powerful and winning program. For example, I think Florida is definitely in a "prove to me you can win" position before they'll be pre-season ranked high. Of the Big 10 teams, only OSU really enjoys this at the current time.
For item #2 I think it implies no worse than a 1-loss season; 2-loss only under special circumstances.
Item #3 is mostly self evident -- have to win the late games -- except for special cases where the conference game pits two very highly ranked teams.
Michigan is going to need a couple of 10-win plus seasons to crack into consideration for pre-season high ranking. The good news is Michigan carries enough historic goodwill to get pre-season consideration, but only if they are perceived as being back. They're not yet perceived as that, so it's going to take some proving their back before people believe it.
Assuming #3 from above holds true, it means the Big 10 East champion is going to have to take care of business every year in the BCG. It's unlikely we'll see the nation's #1 and #2 teams coming out of the B1G east and west respectively.
Here's hoping for a solid 10-win plus 2014 for Meechigan!
|40 weeks 3 days ago||>> A little too OT don't you||
>> A little too OT don't you think?
Yeah, way too OT.
|40 weeks 4 days ago||Expectations||
I would hope the coaches understand this is pretty much a must-win for Michigan. I don't see how they can limp back from a bowl loss to Kansas State, with all this time to prepare, and claim it's a "coaching problem" or an "execution problem." Not after the show they put on aganst Ohio State.
Michigan can win this ... in fact should win this. If not, then 2014 becomes a pretty stark litmus test for this coaching staff.
|41 weeks 9 hours ago||I think winning creates the||
I think winning creates the desire to win more.
There are some programs that have been below-average for so long that a 7-5 season is a big thing. But string several of those together and suddenly it's no good any more ... then the expectation is 8, then 9, etc.
The key there is consistency ... an occasional winning season with a reset to historic average means the program remains content with merely good.
In my mind the jury is still out with Arizona (and I live in Tucson so I see up-close how the team is embraced). I just don't sense that much buzz -- good or bad -- with two straight years of 7-5. I think RR could bubble around 7-5, 8-4 and people here would be perfectly happy. Give them the occasional win over ASU and a Rose Bowl every 10 years and people are fine. The buzz about town mid-season was more about the upcoming basketball season than football. The stadium here is rarely sold out; tickets are readily available and advertised on billboards ... in short, Arizona is a program that's relatively happy with 8-4.
Now, give it two or three years of 9-3 and I'm sure the expectations ratchet up to "let's win 10."
|41 weeks 10 hours ago||I agree there are barriers to||
I agree there are barriers to a new governing structure. Nobody is going to accomplish that without a lot of agreement among some really big players.
Perhaps another thing to ask is this: given the pressure, will the NCAA morph to become this new model for the super schools? In a sense we've seen that -- the severity of penalties seems to have ratcheted down of late (OSU, Miami, Oregon).
|41 weeks 10 hours ago||All-in||
Let's say the pressure for some schools goes sky-high ... how do those programs respond to the pressure? We're already in a kind of arms-race over facilities at the top programs.
I've often wondered if we'll see a tipping point where the big programs go all-in ... most notably by rejecting NCAA governance and setting up their own standards. Then how many programs will join ... and how many will be allowed to join? (That is, is there the possibility of a single super-conference forming of just the very top elite teams, with everyone else left out?)
nmumike wrote: "what is better, to have sky high expectations, or to be like Washington?"
Play the various scenarios out and that really does become the question, doesn't it? Some programs won't be able to afford to play the game. Do they just accept that and move down into MAC (or AAC) status?
|41 weeks 10 hours ago||Years ago I recall watching a||
Years ago I recall watching a NOVA program on PBS where some physicist was talking about dropping a stone, which would fall half way, then half again, etc., etc. I recall him saying something about the time increments becoming so small that it would form a black hole and suck in everything around it.
So yeah ... BiSB banning himself has that potential.
BiSB, keep your finger off the banhammer button, please.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Money Quote||
Oh man ... this.
The Internet is an odd place. It's provided a lot of positive to the world ... and a whole pile of bad things, most notably a forum for anonymous people to mistake rudeness for "being real."
Still, I enjoy many things about MGoBlog.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Agree ...||
MSU earned the respect this year ... they upped their defensive game and they came up with a reasonable offense despite all the question marks to start the season. And they did all this with a minimum of chest-thumping trash talk. They just went out and did it.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Interior DL||
As has been said by many above, OSU's running game was at the expense of our interior defensive line. Hyde is a big back and has to be stopped by equally big guys at the line. He gets to the second level and he's getting 5+ yards a carry easy. It's tough to beat a team who can do that consistently.
Now for OSU's real tests:
I think OSU beats MSU, but it'll be another game where OSU's weak links are exposed.
I think FSU torches OSU.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Paraphrasing Full Metal||
Paraphrasing Full Metal Jacket -- "Inside every reasonable OSU fan is a Michigan fan trying to get out." :-)
Nice post ... to my eye there are few things better than a hard-fought game with shows of personal generosity like you point out. That's why I think post-game handshakes are a good thing. Not everyone here agrees with that, but I believe it.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||At that point in the game,||
At that point in the game, I'm not convinced Gardner could have rolled out. He seemed to be limping and hopping around on one leg pretty badly. I wonder if the play calling -- and the decision to avoid OT -- was based in some large part on Gardner's inability to move around?
|41 weeks 6 days ago||I think Lewan is saying stuff||
I think Lewan is saying stuff here ... Hoke signalled 2 right after the TD, and Lewan would have been on the field at that point. I don't see how Hoke could have polled the seniors -- Lewan included -- at that point.
My guess is Lewan didn't form his comment well ... what he meant to say was that the seniors agree with Hoke's decision; that is, if they'd been asked, they'd have said yes.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Agree||
I agree with you. But I'm presently engaged in a debate on another site with someone who insists its a set-in-stone rule that a team never goes for two at home in that situation. That person then cites the Auburn win over Alabama as proof of that. The two situations not being comparable doesn't seem to matter. It's a cosmic law, I guess.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Not even 50/50||
Given all the factors you cite, I think Michigan's odds in OT are more in the low double digits. It would have required a mistake on OSU's part and near perfect play on Michigan's.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Jake Butt||
+1 on your first bullet point. And from what I understand, incoming freshman Ian Bunting may be even better. Let the O-line mature and put a QB back there that can hit those guys on their TE routes (Gardner, Morris or Speight) and look out.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Quadruple post -- OK, what's||
Quadruple post -- OK, what's going on?
What?! Is Al Borges your post coordinator? Why didn't you go for five!!
|41 weeks 6 days ago||"If my whole life is riding||
"If my whole life is riding on whether my team wins on a Saturday, I've taken a wrong turn somewhere."
Amen to that.
I have a buddy who's a big Florida fan. He's in a real funk because of Florida's season. He was spoiled during the Tebow years, and since then he's been expecting Florida to bust out and win it all just like before. It's not happening, and he's really bummed out by it.
Earlier this year I decided to let go of my 40-year obsession with Michigan football needing to win every game. I'm 54 years old and you know what? It just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. If on my deathbed I say the best thing in my life is the outcome of some football game, then I can say with all sincerity I have failed in life.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Freeze the sign-up process to||
Freeze the sign-up process to keep new trolls from coming on ... and then yield a viscious ban-hammer for miscreants. That'll clean things up pretty quickly.
I can say this because (a) I'm already registered, and (b) I'm a choir boy, all sweetness and gentleness. ;-)
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Green||
I find myself relishing a small thing I saw in today's game ... Derrick Green got the ball and took a step towards the line, then he held up for a half tick. Then in a blink of the eye he took off through a hole that opened up. That hole wasn't there a half tick earlier. He anticipated the blocking and saw the hole before it occured.
It was a beautiful thing. It was as if I was witnessing a glimpse into the future.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||From Tucson ...||
I'm in my living room in Tucson, watching the Alabama / Auburn game and anticipating the upcoming Clemson / South Carolina and Arizona / Arizona State games.
I hate Notre Dame ... can't stand watching them. Doesn't matter the opponent.
I have no dog in the UA / ASU game, but beware the Sun Devils ... they're pretty good. I suspect UA is going up to Tempe (100 miles north of Tucson) and is facing a pretty tough game.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Grow and get better||
We had 158 yards total offense against Iowa just one week ago.
We had 603 yards total offense against Ohio State this week.
My, oh my ... they grew and got better in a damn hurry.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||No trust||
"Unless he calls games like this, yes."
Do you trust him to not revert to his old ways?
Neither do I.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||"Catch-22 for Borges. He has||
"Catch-22 for Borges. He has to explain why he didn’t do this all year."
He'll come up with some double-speak to justify. But it's all BS.
He called this game as if he had nothing to lose. It showed the potential this team's offense has had most of the season. They play this kind of game and they beat Nebraska and Iowa.
|42 weeks 4 days ago||Time will tell||
I'm not trying to argue that Hoke is superior to RR, or that RR is bad or anything of the sort.
I'm simply saying I don't believe RR is going to achieve anything approximating national significance at Arizona**. I could be wrong, but I suspect I'm not. This weekend's game against Arizona State is going to be interesting, and will be a test of how good Arizona is at following-up on a big win.
** I live in Tucson ... and it's hard to describe the level of indifference there is to this football program. I barely knew last weekend was a home game. It wasn't the best weather day here, but the stands were half-empty for the biggest game in the Rodriguez tenure. USC and a newly ascendant UCLA will suck the talent out of California, and a resurgent Arizona State program is going to compete hard for what little in-state talent there is. UA has never been a football power, and without a Phil Knight or Boone Pickens benefactor I just don't see how UA maintains its position within the increasingly hostile arms race that is top-tier college football. But again, time will tell.
|42 weeks 4 days ago||Two ways to approach||
Two ways to approach this:
From Glanville's perspective it may just be that he wishes to get back into the game in a low-profile sort of way. He may entertain no illusions of building EMU into anything more than competent. He may simply be doing it for the love of the game and the opportunity to coach up young players. If so, then good for him.
From EMU's perspective the calculus is a bit more dicey. To take on someone like Glanville could signal that EMU views their football program worthy of a placeholder coach only. That may well be exactly what EMU thinks of their football program, but to imply it so strongly is risky. On the other hand, if Glanville does pull a miracle and EMU becomes a solid 8-4 type team then when Glanville decides to step away EMU's in a better position to bring in a young up-and-comer.
|42 weeks 4 days ago||There's a tremendous risk of||
There's a tremendous risk of opening up the whole RR debate here, which I don't wish to do.
My basic argument is this -- beware the tendency to rely too heavily on what once was, because what once was may not be effective in what now is.
Hoke seems to look back to his days at Michigan back in the late 90's and see a pattern for today, but that's a mistake. Today is what today offers, not what 1997 looked like.
Al Borges seems to look back to his formative years learning the "West Coast Offense." There's a reason almost nobody is running that offense in the form it was from back then.
Rich Rodriguez's mistake was thinking the spread model he had at West Virginia translated exactly to the Big 10 or into the future. The game is changing; it's not 2006 any more, the WVU model with Pat White was great but isn't the game-changer today that it was then.
(Please, nobody cite the Arizona win over Oregon ... it was one game, Oregon is beat up and dispirited, and Arizona is hardly a dominant force ... and probably won't ever be. They may well be better than Michigan, but that's something quite different from better than Alabama, FSU or even OSU.)
The common pattern is that all three seem to look back to what might be called glory days thinking that success today can be had by repeating things from the past. The great coaches don't fall into that trap. They adapt and take what the present affords.
My hope is Hoke wakes up and realizes the folly of chasing a ghost from the past.
|42 weeks 4 days ago||History||
"Because there was no Florida 40 years ago."
Those eight words pack a profound truth.
Michigan is rightfully proud of its legacy, but such a thing can become a blind spot. And it has.
The blind spot is not so much the Yost years -- that's ancient history; a nice bookend at the start of things, but too far removed to be a hinderance.
The blind spot is the Schembechler years. Those were good years, but they are in the past. They should be properly remembered, but not revered. Misplaced reverence is a blind spot.
The game of football is fluid, and the good programs move with the current. But the Michigan program seems to hold a stubborn eye on the picture of the Schembechler years, and that is hurting the program.
Place the picture of Schembechler in Michigan's hall of fame. Pay it proper homage. Then turn and face the reality of now.
I've been following Michigan football for 40 years now. I've seen ups and down. I was supportive of the transition away from the previous coach for the same reason I am now concerned about the present -- a stubborn insistence to cling to what was.
That's the off-season challenge for Hoke -- prove that he's not a man who has the stubborn insistence gene in him. I'm not calling for Hoke's dismissal; I am hoping for an indication he understands the problem.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||"I don't envy his current||
"I don't envy his current position"
Hoke's head coaching mettle will be tested this week, that's for sure.
Best he can do is minimize lingering damage from previous games and get their focus on the upcoming game. Win or lose, if they play with intensity and focus then Hoke will have succeeded in that goal. But if they play as if they don't care, then Hoke will have failed in that goal, and that will be a very big problem for Hoke.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Full Throttle Shoot Out||
The strategy of keeping the ball out of the hands of the OSU offense depends on Michigan getting first downs ... which they're awful at ... so that strategy won't work.
Borges's best hope is for a shoot-out. Gardner is more comfortable in that kind of game anyway. So go wide-open and live or die on that. Any other approach fails.
(Predictor: if we see Gardner under center even once, game over. I'm totally serious.)
Go down swinging.
PS -- Am I the only one on this site who sees every click result in "Connection Timeout" ... every action requiring 30+ seconds of waiting and retries? It's almost unusable lately.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Yeah, agree ...||
At some point both Hoke's and Brandon's job comes into jeopardy if this is allowed to continue. Both are going to be motivated to do something to at least appear like they're trying to right the ship. The question that remains is when that might happen. Carrying Al Borges into next year puts the target squarely on Hoke's back if we see more of the same in 2014.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Maybe ... but I wonder||
Maybe ... but I wonder whether that matchup makes sense from a fanbase point of view.
Which bowl are you thinking of? Where it's held will determine how many fans will travel to it.
The lesser bowls are mostly interested in getting as many people in the stadium as they can and providing a decent matchup. Michigan and Arizona are on opposite sides of the country. If the game was held somewhere on the east coast it's unlikely AZ fans would travel, in any number, to the game. Ditto Michigan fans traveling the west coast for a bowl game.
(Did you see the stadium shots for the Oregon game? Many empty seats. Bad weather here in Tucson today, but the problem is mostly a largely apathetic football fanbase. Most homegames are undersold, and there's absolutely no buzz about town on gameday.)
|42 weeks 6 days ago||76?||
If I added things correctly, that comes up to ... (gulp) ... 76 TFLs.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Okay, disappointment over||
Okay, disappointment over Iowa set aside.
I turn my focus to Ohio State.
I hate Ohio State. I was just starting my Michigan fandom in 1973 when the 10-10 tie occurred and OSU went to the Rose Bowl rather than Michigan.
Then Michigan lost to OSU in 1974. And 1975.
Then Michigan beat those lousy rat bastards 22 to 0 and I was happy.
Now that Ohio State has their unbeaten streak going they've become insufferable rat bastards.
How sweet it would be for Michigan to pull out a victory ... ruin their damn unbeaten season ... crush any pathetic hopes they have for a national championship ... and send them to some consolation bowl.
I hate their livers and guts.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Okay ... I never said or||
Okay ... I never said or implied anything to the contrary.
He can care all he wants. It is results that he's being paid to produce.
He's not producing results. No objective analysis of the season's offensive statistics -- and in particular the trend of those statistics -- would yield any other conclusion.
My point is that to the extent he exhibits symptoms of stress, it's because he is trying very hard to hide the fact he's simply not an elite OC.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||I think we are going to be||
I think we are going to be more competitive than people expect against Ohio State, but we still lose by two scores.
I hope you're right; I fear you're not.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||"Guy seems to put a lot of||
"Guy seems to put a lot of pressure on himself"
Probably because he knows he's a fraud and he's afraid of being exposed as such.
I'm totally on the anti-Borges bandwagon after this game. 158 yards total offense. Sheesh.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Borges fools people into||
Borges fools people into thinking all his technical football talk means he's a good offensive coordinator. That was the buzz on him when first brought to Michigan ... he's an "offensive genius." Like hell.
Borges can't possibly survive into next season. If he does, then Hoke is banking his career on Borges. I don't think that's going to happen. I think we'll see Borges step away, and I think that'll be the last time he coaches at a big-name school. It's lesser schools from here out for Borges.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||I'm exchanging texts with a||
I'm exchanging texts with a buddy who's a big Florida fan. He's just besides himself with anger over being bad, and for losing to Georgia Southern. I offered him Borges for Muschamp. He said he'd take my cat for Muschamp. My cat is a worthless cat. That's how bad it is there.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Absolutely true||
And for that he should suffer in OC hell ... in his case Borges should be forced to spend eternity doing squat-thrusts while a tray of glazed donuts is just out of reach.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Gardner is a good athlete and||
Gardner is a good athlete and a decent QB but is being horribly mis-used.
Any other halfway decent coach would be happy to have Gardner, and they'd make use of his natural talents. Borges doesn't make use of his talents. For that sin alone Borges should be fired.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||This||
That was the leading indicator. Michigan should have man-handled them, and they didn't. After that game I argued against the "a W is a W" argument ... because it wasn't. The way that W was achieved was a loud warning signal that something was very, very wrong.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Agree ...||
The occasional mistake can be put on the shoulders of a player; a systematic regression across nearly all fronts is on the coaches.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||158 yards||
That stat right there should shame Al Borges out of town.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Who? Seriously. Who?||
Who? Seriously. Who?
|44 weeks 3 days ago||OSU||
OSU has shown vulnerability to being out-muscled. Alabama would do exactly that to them.
OSU prides itself on athleticism and speed. Their version of it pales to FSU.
Either way, OSU gets schooled.
Alabama / Florida State is the game. I just hope neither trips on the way to game taking place.
|44 weeks 3 days ago||Fantasy Football||
I had a 44 mesh "Michigan" jersey that I would wear outside to pretend I was playing against Ohio State. Mom didn't like it when I did it in the snow.
Moms sometimes don't understand, do they? :-)
I used to imagine I was Mike Lantry and attempt field goals up against the side of the barn. I didn't have a jersey -- or his leg -- but it was all good fun. I had stones laid out as yard markers, and I had chalk marks on barn siding to indicate the uprights. I kicked wearing Timberland boots -- straight-on style. 37 yards was my best.