to play football, not to play trumpet
|2 years 8 weeks ago||point still stands||
OK, my count was off. I will admit I didn't know what to do with the 3 ties no loss season. But Michigan stil has half as many 2 or fewer loss seasons than Ohio State. In fact, OSU has 8 one or fewer loss seasons (or 7 if you take out Tressle's vacated season) while Michigan has 2.
My point was simply that OSU found a way to win a couple of more games pretty consistently over this period. Is it some definitive statistic? No. But significantly more 1 or no loss seasons means more great seasons and it feels like Michigan just hasn't been able to consistently accomplish that.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||I wonder when the leap occurs||
(if it ever does- yes, that is depressing). Mchigan has a history at this point of losing three games or more. Since 1990 Michigan has had seasons with two or fewer loses four times. Ohio State has done it 13 times! With three or four undefeated regular seasons and a national title game. Michigan has one undefeated season and a shared title. Michigan State has won 11 games three out of four years.
This is what worries me about Michigan football. We need to get out of that rut (3-5 losses) before worrying about being a national contender. But as Brian notes above, competing for Big Ten titles more than likely means a national contender in the East.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||I chuckled outl oud more than once||
Thanks for the lunchtime entertainment. I have to laugh about college football or I might remember what happened this season and start crying.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||Long time lurker without much commenting||
means a long road to be able to post. Man, can't believe I have been reading this blog for over five years and can't manage more than 17 points ...
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Just a thought||
Ever thought about breaking this up into segments and posting one a day? Easier to listen to and more pageviews for the advertisers ...
|2 years 9 weeks ago||The past has a huge impact on my reaction||
I am totally with Brian on the emotions of this game. If we beat Penn State, Iowa and maybe Nebraska this game feels different. A great game after that season is both inexplicable and maddening. Winning was the only way that game felt good, IMO.
But the even bigger picture is what really makes me depressed and even angry. Michigan has not won a truly big game or pulled the massive upset outside of Notre Dame in a decade or more. How many close games has Ohio State won? How many times have they upset us or pulled the big road win? The 11w writer was right about this game: stealing wins on the road is huge and we just don't manage to pull it off while OSU has.
Living in Columbus makes this a nightmare for me as I have to have it thrown in my face practically every single day. But the record speaks for itself. In that context this was an opportunity of a lifetime and we blew it. Was it exciting and incredible while it lasted? Yes, but at the end of the day it is just another loss in a long series of losses. Two wins in thirteen tries!
On top of that, since 1990 Michigan has had seasons with two or fewer loses four times. Ohio State has done it 13 times! With three or four undefeated regular seasons and a national title game. Michigan has one undefeated season and a shared title. John Cooper couldn't beat Michigan but he beat everyone else with some regularity. Tressel and Meyer had added beating Michigan to that recipe.
If this does not depress you I don't know what to say.
Does that mean I have no hope for the future? No, I think the young talent on this team has a great deal of potential but you have to be naive to believe that Michigan is going to be an elite team without some consistent proof on the field. They have been a 3-5 loss team with the occasional two loss team thrown in since the early 90s.
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Great game, still sucks||
I don't agree with the call to go for it. At home I say you play for OT when anything can happen instead of risking everything on one play. But I understand why Hoke did it and wished we would have pulled off the upset of the ages. To come so close and lose is a bitter pill.
What is so frustrating is that it seems for the last ten years, Ohio State finds ways to win games like this and we find ways to lose. They win ugly,
When was the last time Michigan actually pulled off the big upset? Feels like forever.
|2 years 10 weeks ago||I get the anger but||
I get the anger I really do. It has been maddening to watch this offense implode and become a laughing stock incapable of winning a game that is practically handed to them (Iowa, Penn State) or get manhanled and not respond (MSU, Nebraska). The defense has played their hearts out even as they eventually give up the game late.
But this nuke the coaches from orbit and start over mindset is more madness. Continuity in coaching and players is critical in football. An offense has to become second nature, players have to gel, repition breeds success, etc. i am not syaing Borges is the answer on offense or I would be upset if we brought in someone new but we can't clean house.
Just a few plays and a few games can change a seson very easily. Especially when you are talking sophmores in college. This year we just haven't found a way to make those plays. Missed field goals against Penn State ruined a nice second half. Today a number of dropped passes killed drives and momentum (Funchess in particular). Things just are not clicking.
Everybody is talking about how Michigan State is in better shape than we are but have you forgotten last year? They lost a bunch of close games. Andin 2009 they lost 7 games. They have built a tought defense and found their offense. They used to have a reputation of not being able to win close games but this year they have been solid.
Yes, the offense looks lost but an inability to block, a lack of identity and critical dropped passes will do that to you.
There is no silver bullet that will magically make this team a contender. It will take time and development. Firing Hoke and starting over would be a disaster. We need to make some changes but wholesale change because the season went south is not the answer.
|2 years 11 weeks ago||"you'll all likely be angry at several points on Saturday"||
Um, yeah, bit of an understatement, no? Given past performance, etc.
Perhaps it is ridiculous optimism but it has felt like Michigan is often just a few plays short of getting on track but just can't seem to make those plays. A dropped pass, a bad read of inaccurate pass, a missed assignment, not holding a block for half a minute longer, all these things keep the team from getting first downs or splash plays and destroys an rhythm.
I wonder if the win last week and the success in OT could carry over and we could see some actually real live offense. Another ugly performance heading into The Game would be so depressing.
|2 years 11 weeks ago||Thanks, useful||
I was looking for something along these lines. Less Argh, Borges an idiot and more here is something we could do that is not a huge change but would work marginally better and that could add up to an offense that moves the ball more consistently.
I agree that this spread them out more as a way to back off the pressure could work. I remember when on one of the Steelers Super Bowl runs they couldn't run the ball until they had success with passing early on. Against both the Colts and Broncos they came out passing more agressively against stacked fronts and then were able to go to more ball control offense with a lead and the defense backed off. The Steelers have never had a great offensive line but try to find ways to make it work and hope the line can gel at some point. Obviously, Gardner isn't neccesarily Ben Roethlisberger but since I am a fan of both teams the similarities struck me.
|2 years 12 weeks ago||"why are you the dumbest dumbass in the history of dumbasses?"||
That's a clown question, bro ... [but I will admit it has crossed my mind a time or two ...]
|2 years 12 weeks ago||What can we do in the short term to win games?||
This is really what I would like to see from the X and O folks (not me). What tyype of plays do you think would work and how can Hoke/Borges keep making progress on the offense they want to run while still winning games.
My gut sense is that Brian and Space are both right to some degree. This is an execution and preparation problem but it is also play calling stubborness that is costing Michigan games this year. The eyeball test tells you that these runs have no chance of success. They are just running into bodies behind the line.
So with a o-line that can't block and has serious confidence issues, a QB that has been abused for weeks, how can we move the football. Is it West Coast style quick hitting dink and dunk with some constraint plays that offer the opportunity for chunk gains? Is it some spread elements? A hurry up pass heavy style that gets the defense off rythym?
If this has been posted elsewhere I would love to see it.
|2 years 12 weeks ago||Very useful||
if incredibly depressing post. It is hard to acknowledge that we are still digging out of a hole. Would love to see an x and O breakdown of the kind of offense we should be running give our current players.
|2 years 12 weeks ago||losing confidence||
I am not sure how you can have confidence in anyone at this point. It is one thing to get beat it is another to look absolutely clueless and lost at home for a critical conference game. I have not been on the fire Borges train but that game was attrocious. Key turnover and two runs for lost yards? That is just like giving up. And they just kept doing it over and over. Madness.
Yes, the oline is a dumpster fire but a creative coach has to find a way to use the talent he has effectively. It is not like Nebraska is Alabama. As Ace notes, one drive of creativity and then hang on and hope not to lose?
How can you possibly pick this team to win any of the game left? And then what? I am wondering just where the bottoum is at this point.
|2 years 43 weeks ago||Surprisingly less angry about this game||
I am not a big basketball fan. I grew up watch Michigan football and that is the strongest conenctionf for me. I didn't live in AA nor did any of my family go to UM. It was just a cultural aspect I picked up before I even realized it. I watch Michigan football and hated Ohio State.
By a weird twist of fate I ended up living and working in Columbus, Ohio. I have now stocked and nursed my hatred of OSU into a fine sharp point. And with all of the ups and downs of football have developed a somewhat tragic sense of life when it comes to sports.
And so I was afraid to start carrying about Mcihigan basketball again (I got caught up in the Fab Five frensy while in college and paid the psychic cost when that all unraveled). I followed the teams (mostly through this blog) and the last couple of years slowly began to increase my interest. Last year, I started to actually watch the games.
This year I got sucked in. I started watching the games from the start and found myselfing reallying caring about the team again. As I watched heartbreaking losses to Ohio State, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc. I thought "what have I gotten myself into?" It isn't like I need more sports heartbreak, right?
But I wasn't going to be one of those fans who abandones the team once they struggle and so I kept watching. And man did the tournament pay off that committment. It felt so good to see everything come together and see the players not only make big plays but seem to really have fun and play as a team. It felt like they were able to shake off the demons and bad bounces of earlier in the year and just play at a higher level.
The first half last night felt like that trajectory would continue. But then Hancock began to rain down threes and my gut began to clench and suddenly it was more like a heavyweight fight - less joy, more determination. And in the end Michigan just didn't quite have enough to get past an incredibly determined and focused Louisville team. In the end I felt not anger but frustration a sense that those players were so close to an incredible opportunity only to fall just short. I wished all that joy could have continued in one last improbable victory. As Brian notes, I wished somehow I could reduce the misery they felt.
And of course, lving in Columbus I had to deal with the jerks on FB and Twitter and everywhere else savoring the loss and the misery.
But as my duaghter (age 8) said to me this morning as we were discussing it in the car, Michigan is clearly a program to be reckoned with again. And I think that takes a little of the sting of the loss away somehow. Michigan feels back somehow.
Maybe I am a bandwagon fan compared to all of you longtime fans but it feels good to committ to a team and feel good about where they are and where they are headed.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Thanks for the insight into your world||
Having been involved in blogging, both personally and professionally, I know how hard it can be even when you love your subject. Your unique health situation adds another wrinkle.
I appreciate what you do and the passion you bring to it. Thanks for bringing the joys, and disappontments, of this season to me through your writing. Best of luck finding the right balance moving forward.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||This thread reminds me of this|
|3 years 10 weeks ago||Two plays inflated offense in first half||
Take away the big Roundtree and Robinson plays and Michigan has like 137 yards in first half.
I think it is a little over-the-top to just blame Borges for loss because of poor play calling in the second half. Yes, I think running up the middle was foolish and I wish there was more creative use of Denard and Devin. But the difference to me was turnovers and Carlos Hyde. Hyde allowed Ohio State to grind out yards. Michigan had no answer.
Michigan had the opportunity to win and didn't make the plays when they needed to. The only difference between this game and Northwestern is a miracle throw.
|4 years 10 weeks ago||Thanks||
Sorry to have missed it. I am not an alum so probably why I didn't hear about it.
|4 years 10 weeks ago||Was Bacon in Columbus for a book signing?||
If so, that sucks that I missed him. Ironically, I talked with Michael Rosenberg when his book came out.
|5 years 9 weeks ago||Agree about long term trends||
It would be more interesting to see how Michigan compares across a longer period of time. Was there quanatative decline at the end of Carr with 2008 being destruction and now clear rebuilding back to the average UM #s and beyond?
Be interesting to see what the typical range for the team has been the last ten years. Easy to request others do more work ...
|6 years 10 weeks ago||Behind Enemy Lines in Columbus||
I live in Columbus and it gets old after a while. Most people are not real jerks about it but the overall assumption is that everyone is a Buckeye fan; plus you get lots of dirty looks when Michigan is doing well and lots of jokes when they are down (I have lived here during both Cooper and Sweater Vest).
You really can't get away from it as it is on TV, radio, stores, work, even at church the pastor will mention the game (Chris Spielman and John Copper both attend my church).
I will forget I have on my UM hat and when the guy at the drive-thru says he won't serve me with that hat on and starts laughing it often takes me a moment to figure it out.
My mom came to visit close to The Game one year, however, and people were giving her crap all over town so she changed. I told her you can't let them win but she didn't think it was worth the hassle.
Of course, my wife's family all went to Michigan State so I have to take crap from them now too ...
|6 years 11 weeks ago||What about Cliff Stoudt?||
What about Cliff Stoudt?
|6 years 11 weeks ago||I don't understand the complaint||
Having Michigan fans write and debate what happened and what they think it means is too much?
If this is to be a true community where fans interact - in addition to reading Brian's unique perspective - then people will have to deal with comments, diaries, and board posts.
I don't think it has descended into site destroying chaos and anger today.
|6 years 11 weeks ago||huh?||
If tl;dr means "too long didn't read" then how exactly do you know it isn't diary worthy?
Do you get extra points for using internet slang even if it is nonsensical?
Sorry it wasn't up to your obviously high standards ...
|6 years 11 weeks ago||Also keep in mind||
that Ohio State was trying not lose from the start (once we gave them a TD and missed a FG). I am not saying the D didn't play better because they did.
But if OSU has to win that game - rather than watching us lose it - I think things would have been different. Maybe we win, maybe we don't, but it wouldn't have been the same game.
|6 years 11 weeks ago||Here is hoping||
I am shouting for joy instead of spending the weekend explaining to my kids why it is wrong to say bad words and why they shouldn't be repeating them all day (like happened for Purdue and when the Bengals swept the Steelers last Sunday).
A win tomorrow would make my year (yes, it has been one of those years for me).
Winning and losing can be a close thing. If everything comes together Saturday who knows what can happen.
|6 years 11 weeks ago||Tragic indeed||
I bear the burden of being a Michigan fan in Columbus. The Spielmans go to my church and I listen to him on the radio frequently so it feels like a death in the family somehow. Chris is a class guy and Stephanie always brightened whatever room she entered.
Definitely praying for the family during what must be a very difficult time.
|6 years 12 weeks ago||I am actually rather calm for once||
Weird how expectations play out. Despite the desperate need to win one more game, I just felt like Wisconsin was the better team today. For, I guess, obvious reasons Illinois and Purdue felt very different.
|6 years 12 weeks ago||A little late||
I think a whole lot of people already panicked. Luckily by the time I signed in things began to return to normal.
|6 years 12 weeks ago||Obligatory nice post, Brian comment||
Although, I have never wanted RichRod fired or any other major overhaul, I admit I felt some panic. I appreciate Brian laying out nicely in one post why patience is needed and why he thinks next year will see improvement.
I would still like to see a spark in the next two games that indicates this team won't always panic or over-react to things. As has been said by practically everyone, beating Ohio State would really make the pain tolerable.
|6 years 12 weeks ago||Exactly||
This was my point (probably poorly made). The sense that the team was not improving but still in that find a way to lose mentality was what bothered me.
|6 years 13 weeks ago||For the record||
1) I will cheer for this team and watch every game no matter how ugly it gets. I saw the once dominant Pittsburgh Steelers struggle for years before winning a Super Bowl, I will be a Michigan fan no matter how bad it gets or for how long.
2) I have repeatedly said I don't want the coach fired nor do I think that is the answer.
3) What I wanted to know is whether the folks who continually told us not to panic feel like panicking yet. To me this team feels much closer to last years team in terms of poise and finding ways to lose - despite the better offense - than I would have hoped.
And it doesn't seem obvious to me that we will make huge strides next year.
|6 years 13 weeks ago||Fair enough||
I would submit that phrasing it as a question is less than a flat out statement that we can't win those games, but that's semantics. So that's my mistake.
I didn't mean to say that winning was impossible just that it is hard to look at our play the last five games and see us winning.
|6 years 13 weeks ago||I would like to think I have a tiny shred of patience||
I have watched every single game this year. But here is the rub: "things should hopefully be better next year." I hope so too. But hoping is a thin read these days.
If I knew, or had solid reasons to be confident, that the defense wasn't going to be the same or worse and that the O-line would improve I would feel better. But I don't have any reason to do so.
Yes, I think the skill players on offense will be better after a year of playing but I fear this means we will just lose high scoring games.
|6 years 13 weeks ago||Not what is possible but what is probable||
I never said we have no chance whatsoever against UW or OSU. I asked if anyone felt confident stating that we could beat them. Has there been any indication in the last six weeks that this team has the poise and confidence to do it? I don't see it.
Yes, we could play our best games of the season and beat those two teams. But the defense gives up points at an alarming rate and the offense, despite scoring points, seems to have miscues when the game is on the line.
As someone else said, I think we have a better chance beating OSU because Pryor seems to go ice cold at times. But that Ohio State defense could also give our offense a great deal of trouble.
I guess we will just have to wait and see.
|6 years 14 weeks ago||I think the basic idea is good||
If you have intelligent football criticisms or complaints, fine. But name calling and venting doesn't help and vulgarity and stupidity just reflect poorly on the person making the comments.
If you aren't upset by this loss you are not a football fan. Saying this team is about where we thought they would be is not that helpful right now. They just got absolutely shellacked by a heretofor very bad football team.
But fans want to know what is wrong and how it is going to get better. That is what I want to know.
And I think the continuity is critical. Constantly changing coaches is a recipe for disaster.
|6 years 14 weeks ago||Kids and swearing||
I wasn't so lucky. I yelled dammit and my 2 year old son has been saying it all night.
|6 years 14 weeks ago||I'll take it||
28-17 sounds good to me. Of course, I would love a real beatdown of a very bad team. A game where there are no turnovers, dumb drive killing penalties or blown coverages that lead to untouched TE waltzing into the endzone. I know the defense is what it is and there are a lot of freshman involved, but I can dream right?
It would be nice to see the team gain some confidence and show that they won't play down in these kind of games. Strong games against Illinois and Purdue would help the confidence level heading to Madison.
|6 years 14 weeks ago||Well, looking on the bright side||
Wait, what's the bright side again?
What kind of time frame is reasonable at the college level to turn around this lack of talent/depth? Is the expectation for next year to suck but not quite as bad and then the year after have a chance at a functioning secondary?
I don't follow recruiting closely do don't have a strong sense, particularly on the D side, how quickly recruits can turn things around.
|6 years 15 weeks ago||What I would like to see||
Is less "They are what we thought they were." And more here is why I think we can still beat IL, Purdue, WI, OSU, etc. Or why we seemed to compete with Iowa at Iowa despite five turnovers and yet get blown out by Penn State at home. What was the difference and what does it mean for teams like WI and OSU?
I understand that there are lot of folks going with the OMG!!! type reaction but can we move on to a better understanding of where this team is? I fully expect Brian to provide this in the coming days.
I too have a gut feeling that Forcier is getting a lot of blame for poor blocking and dropped passes - not getting first downs kills the momentum and rhythm - but is his injury serious or not?
I look forward to the UFRs.
|6 years 15 weeks ago||depends on what you mean by rational||
We are not talking science for the most part but differing definitions of what is reasonable, etc. Heck, most of the time it is hard to agree on basic facts.
Given this, however, I think there is always a huge chunk of fandom who are more emotionally attached and engaged in cheering their team than they are rationally or logically setting expectations and reacting to wins and losses.
I also think there has been a lot of polarized arguments here in reaction to Saturday's game. A lot of people upset not so much that Michigan lost but that it was so ugly. A lot of people pushing back against over-reaction by saying that Michigan is exactly where any rational person thought they were going to be - better but still not all that good.
I am in between those two poles. I don't think the program is in trouble or that RR is an idiot but I also think the game was a step back and a troubling potential indicator in the short term.
If Michigan smacks Illinois around then I will chalk up Saturday to a bad day and feel better about a bowl game. If we struggle against Illinois or lose then I will be forced to wonder about another losing season and what that means for the future.
You can be rational and still disagree about what constitutes progress and what are reasonable expectations.
|6 years 15 weeks ago||Yes and no||
As others have noted, you don't have to be a fair weather fan to feel that this game caught you by surprise and lowered your expectations.
If you are worried that the team doesn't have the talent to compete with the top tier of the league and are worried it won't be there next year that doesn't make you a fair weather fan.
Yes the emotions go up and down but if this game doesn't make you at least worry about a late season slump you are a bigger man than me.
|6 years 15 weeks ago||I share the entiment but wonder||
just how far the analogy goes. I was all set to post something very similar here but it appears I have lurked for too long without leaving comments or posting a blog - my blog posting privileges have been revoked.
But I linked to this post from my blog (http://www.kevinholtsberry.com/kh/2009/10/24/michigan-football-flunks-it...). I guess I learned the wrong things from the two Iowa games (PSU and ours): that we were a good team who just had to stop turning the ball over and that PSU wasn't that good on offense.
I will believe we are a mid-level B10 team when we beat up Purdue and Illinois but not until that happens.
- I don't see how RR can keep putting Robinson in if he is going to turn it over with such regularity.
|6 years 21 weeks ago||What a great feeling||
It has been a long year for me professionally and I was in the precarious position of looking to UM football for encouragement. Well, the team has delivered!
My mom called knowing how happy I would be after the big win.
What a feeling to know you have a QB who can make the plays when the game is on the line. To watch him win like that was sweet.
|7 years 11 weeks ago||Thanks||
People are of course free to disagree with Rosenberg, but I think the book is a great read. I also wish people were better able to disagree intelligently. But emotions are understandably running high.
|7 years 14 weeks ago||This is a chance to prove||
Michigan can actually beat a bad team. If the team can't find a way not to make stupid turnovers or give up big plays against a highly mediocre Purdue team then we know they are simply incapable of doing so. If they can play competent football for four quarters they win, IMO. But I wonder if UM is capable of playing four decent quarters in one game - not great, just decent.
I know, the data seems to indicate this question has already been answered, but I am an optimist for one more week.
|7 years 14 weeks ago||If not for Toledo||
I could be optimistic. But I just can't see how a team who couldn't find a way to beat Toledo is likely to beat anyone. Two or three wins wouldn't shock me but neither would losing them all.
|7 years 14 weeks ago||Rosenberg||
Heh. Well, I didn't pay for the book so that isn't an issue for me.
I chatted briefly with Rosenberg about the RR issue at a book talk and he seems dead set on thinking that
I think the book is very different than his column. It is much more focused on telling a story and not taking sides. A column is about taking a strong position with few words.
I really do think anyone who has an interest in this rivalry would enjoy the book.
|7 years 16 weeks ago||I agree||
I think Rosenberg, and many others, simple can't accept the fact that something had to change and it wasn't going to be pretty at first. They insist that Michigan could have hired Miles (and kept all those players, etc.) and the program could just keep on humming along; maybe not great but not this bad. They are in denial about what was likely to happen no matter who coached the team.
Sometimes it takes an ugly season to regroup and jump start a program or team. I am willing to deal with this because I have faith the the program is going to be better in the long run. The aim is not mediocrity but greatness and sometimes that risk means an ugly season.
|7 years 16 weeks ago||I don't know||
Did you see the Cowboys Sunday night?