that is nice bonus change
|18 weeks 22 hours ago||Yep||
Pot is legal here in Washington, but if I smoked it and my employer found out, I could still be fired for it.
|21 weeks 5 days ago||You just may be right||
Hard to replace a shooter like like Stauskas, though. I mean, I know they're out there, and there are other guys on the team who can hit a long jumper, but with Stauskas, you had a little more confidence that he'd make it.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Thinking the same thing||
Develop talent and it doesn't matter.
Yeah, recruiting matters, but sometimes even top recruits don't pan out the way you hoped they would. And when you don't get the top recruit, you do better with the recruits you did get.
|34 weeks 6 days ago||Could be a long term change||
It's easy to be overly pessimistic in the wake of such a bad loss, but we might be seeing a long term shift to a consistently mediocre team that will show an occasional recrudesence of past greatness some seasons when conditions are just right. I hope I'm wrong.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||A bottle of Chardonnay||
Total U-M stereotype, I know.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Good point||
I try remind myself that even programs like Alabama and USC had their lean years, too.
|41 weeks 6 days ago||Paradigm shift?||
Maybe that term doesn't fit, but it's the best one I could think of right now. Maybe what we're seeing now is an episode in a longer story of U-M's relative decline in football. Times have changed, the game has changed, and Michigan hasn't yet found a way to adapt. Programs rise and fall. There's a possibility Michigan's entering an epoch/period/era in which the only consistent characteristic is mediocrity with an occasional irruption of talent + coaching that produces a team that's competitive for a Big 10 championship/BCS bowl for a year or two and then returns to a baseline of mediocrity.
I really want to be wrong about this, but even our most beloved institutions are not immune to larger trends/forces coupled with key decisions that didn't go the right way.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||I don't know where to start with this team||
It's hard for me to see what the cause of this team's problems is, aside from the obvious operational aspect: an offensive line that cannot run block or even protect the quarterback all that well. But is it poor coaching, or maybe the talent isn't what we thought it was? Or some of both?
|42 weeks 6 days ago||I feel confident about maybe one win||
I don't expect any more than that, but I very much hope to be wrong.
|45 weeks 6 days ago||Really a total team loss||
Lots of times, you can point to the cause of a loss as being a deficiency in one facet of the game: poor execution, turnovers, a bad play call or other coaching decision. Sometimes it's a bad break and the other team takes advantage.
But there's plenty of causes here: holes in the offensive line, mental mistakes at crucial points in the game, turnovers, overly conservative play calling, players not executing when they need to, e.g., Gibbons, to name a few there. In the end, I have to put most of the responsibility on the coaching, particularly in OT. There were multiple instances where it looked like U-M was just wasting downs. I understand the need for ball security - you don't want to give up a big turnover during OT - but we kept running Fitz when it was clear he wasn't going anywhere. At all. Get the yards - even if you want to kick, make it as easy as possible for your kicker. And who knows? Maybe another opportunity to get a TD will open up.
We'll have to reset some expectations for this team this year. The games against Akron and UConn were maybe more indicative of U-M's problems than we wanted to think. Michigan has been playing with fire all season and now they got burned.
|48 weeks 6 days ago||A win's a win||
But there's some work to be done with this team. Can't turnover the ball like that and expect to keep winning.
|49 weeks 6 days ago||I was at that game||
Stayed for the entire game. But boy, was I an iceblock by the time I got home. Couldn't feel my feet or the back of my neck. Had to thaw in the shower.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||All heart, no shame||
I was so glad to be more than pleasantly surprised at how deep in the tournament this team went. They played the #1 seed as tough or tougher than any other team did and just came up short. Very proud of the boys in Blue tonight.
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Love that turnaround jumper||
McGary's offense is just getting better.
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Didn't think we'd pull this one out||
Glad to be wrong.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||D was solid||
The guys moved/rotated well and kept SDSU from getting too many easy inside shots. Left a few guys open, but that happens.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Impressive team play||
I'll be honest - after the Big Ten tournament loss I wasn't feeling all that confident about the first round (though I didn't put it that tactfully). It was great to see how the rest of the guys stepped up when Burke had an off night. McGary in particular, considering this was only like, what, his third start all season?
|1 year 23 weeks ago||I don't disagree||
Oh, I'm not saying you want Burke handling the ball all of the time. Just the opposite. You do need to spread it around - and that's precisely the rub. Burke is so good with the ball that sometimes the rest of the team falls into this pattern of leaving it him to take over games. You can only do that so much.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||It does seem to be a pattern||
...over the last few weeks (in the losses, at least). That's how having a player with Burke's gifts on a young team can be a double-edged sword- the rest of the team falls back into letting Burke take over. Sure, you want a guy like him handling the ball, but a team like U-M that hasn't yet developed a really strong inside presence depends that much more on moving the ball around.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||You know what? You're right.||
I'm sorry for what I wrote upthread. I should have thought more carefully before I wrote it. I am genuinely concerned about the team's chances in the NCAAs, but I could have stated that much better than I did. I've been following this team nearly all of my life, so I'm not a fair-weather fan at all. Nevertheless, I shouldn't have made that comment.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||I'm not taking glee at all||
I'm frustrated. I want the team to do well, but there's some serious problems they need to fix.
Maybe I'm venting too soon. I don't mind being called on that.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Significant chance||
Really, would a 4 seed be a surprise?
|1 year 23 weeks ago||I'm calling first round upset||
U-M will be lucky to get a 4 seed, and they'll be in serious danger of an upset no matter what seed they get, based on how they've played in the last few weeks.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Need to be honest, though||
No, this team doesn't suck. They wouldn't be in the top ten if they did. But they've got some key problems that they are going to need to overcome if they expect to win the Big Ten tournament and go deep into the NCAAs. It's not wrong to point that out.
|1 year 39 weeks ago||I agree||
That's the point I'm trying to make - perhaps I'm not making it very well. When you put Denard in, you know he's looking to run, particularly if he's at QB. Okay, so you put Denard in at RB. Again, the play is a run, unless it's a fake or using Denard as a decoy. If he's not going to run, then that means someone else has to be back there to protect Devin, because Denard's not a blocker and he's already playing with an injury.
Now maybe that's a weak point to make, but I'm not being dense. I know what people are arguing for when they say Denard should have been in more. That's all.
|1 year 39 weeks ago||I'm not saying Borges bears no responsibility||
I'm just saying it's not all on him.
Regarding injuries, my point is that while it would have been good to have Denard and Devin on the field at the same time more, you can't just plug in Denard anywhere. He's not going to throw, so you know he's going to run. Maybe he doesn't run, but then he needs to block, which puts him at risk.
|1 year 39 weeks ago||This is how I see it||
I think it's fair to question some of Borges' decisions, but I think that perhaps his options weren't as expansive as we might think. He has to put the right players on the field, but he can't play too fast and loose with them and make them more vulnerable to injuries or to exacerbating the injuries they already have.
|1 year 39 weeks ago||I wouldn't say huge disappointment||
Certainly not a failure. I expect Hoke to say that the team will settle for nothing less than a Big Ten championship, but as a fan, this season has gone pretty much along the lines I expected it to. Sure, I'm disappointed about the loss to OSU and I can already hear Buckeyes fans saying that Urban Meyer will rip off ten wins in a row against U-M. But I don't think that will happen. 8-4 isn't a stellar record, but it's a winning record that will put us in a decent bowl against opposition that, at this point, U-M will have a better chance against. When your 4 losses are to teams with a combined 2 losses, and two of those teams have a very real chance at the national championship (and perhaps even a third team if not for sanctions against them), it's not like you can say U-M didn't come to play against teams they should have beaten.
I can't say a whole lot about the playcalling in the second half, at least not anything more than what's already been said. But Borges isn't going anywhere and Hoke is getting his players. This team has been getting better and will continue to get better.
|1 year 40 weeks ago||Les Miles...||
...now with more homophobia!
|1 year 44 weeks ago||I was at that game||
Felt like a block of ice when I got home and had to warm up in the shower.
|1 year 44 weeks ago||Recovering all day from a hangover||
So no drinking for me today. Mineral water is about it for me.
|1 year 44 weeks ago||I was foolish||
While watching the game, I doubted the wisdom of THE_KNOWLEDGE. I admit my error in straying from the path of enlightenment.
|1 year 44 weeks ago||"Five years in a row"||
Thank goodness we won't be hearing that again and again.
|1 year 48 weeks ago||That's fair||
On one hand, it's not unreasonable to expect a senior QB (and three-year starter) to make better decisions with the ball than Denard Robinson made. On the other hand, it's the coaches' job to recognize the skill sets their players have an adjust their game plans accordingly.
I recognize what Borges is trying to do with Denard, but maybe after this game, U-M will have to go with a more run-heavy offense (with maybe some short passes thrown in here and there). Of course, defenses will then stack against the run, but Michigan may just have to accept that and find a way around that.
|1 year 48 weeks ago||It's not all on Borges||
Players have to make the plays, or at least make the right decisions when a play doesn't go as planned.
Denard is still the offensive leader of this team. No one else is ready to step into his shoes. But I had hoped that by now the passing game against quality defenses would have improved a little more.
|1 year 49 weeks ago||They're already whining||
I'm watching the ESPN GameCast; on the Twitter stream linked to the GameCast, someone called "@bucksinsider" tweeted "OSU making Maynard look the the superstar he isn't." Heh.
|1 year 49 weeks ago||OSU not looking sharp||
It looks like Cal mistakes are what's keeping OSU in the lead. Miller doesn't look good at all, and Maynard's having a pretty good day so far.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Don't forget...||
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Man, that's deep||
when this revelation is proved to be accurate as time makes the future the past
THE_KNOWLEDGE must be MGoBlog's resident Zen philosopher.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||We all still support this team||
We wouldn't be here on MGoBlog if we didn't. It's just that we're still processing this loss, because it not only showed just how good Alabama is, but how far U-M has to go to compete at that level. That's a hard lesson to learn when we all want so much to believe that U-M is an elite team. But they're not right now.
I still think this team has a good chance at a reasonably successful season: a winning record and a bowl game. Possibly the Big Ten championship, but there are considerable roadblocks in the way of that. Our expectations, given the talent we have now, are just going to have to be more modest than perhaps we would have liked.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||There was one throw early in the game||
I may not be remembering this right (beer and whiskey will do that), but I seem to recall an early pass play in the game where the Michigan receiver clearly had the defender beat. If Robinson connects on that, it's likely six points, or at least deep into Alabama territory. But the throw was off, the receiver had to twist backward, and the defender got a hand on it (or so it looked).
One play, I know, but it's indicative of a consistent problem of Robinson and it's a key problem because it makes defending him easier. I like Robinson and he does have great talent, but I don't have confidence right now that he is the QB to take Michigan to the next level. No one else on the team can step into his shoes, so he's the man for now.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||I see your point, but...||
...that gets me down at the same time. We have to set our goals lower because it's clear we can't compete with the best teams in the country.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||I'm with you here||
It's hard for me to see much positive from this game. Sure, it takes time to rebuild, and it was probably too much to expect Michigan to win this game, but not too much to expect them to be at least competitive. It wasn't even close. The game was pretty much over in the first quarter.
Some folks may not like me to say this, and I will be more than happy to be proven wrong later in the season, but I just wasn't impressed by Denard Robinson. Yes, he can be electrifying on certain plays, but his passing still isn't where it needs to be and he's a senior now. Teams can just stack the box and make him throw. I think he's a placekeeper until next season.
|2 years 34 weeks ago||I linked this in another thread||
But I should have known that the fine folks here would beat me to it.
Weinreb went further than the other naysayers, probably to justify being paid for saying the same thing that ten other sports columnists did.
|2 years 34 weeks ago||Weinreb brings the hate||
Michael Weinreb joins the piling on Michigan's victory. He even takes it a step further in the final paragraph, complete with the assumption that all Ohio State needs to beat Michigan is Urban Meyer:
"Of course, none of this means the Big Ten is "back," and none of this means that Michigan is back, either; the Wolverines didn't even win their own division within the conference. Yet nobody carries the flag for misguided Big Ten pretension quite like Michigan does, so let us permit the Wolverines their moment of glory before Urban Meyer squashes their dreams for the next decade."
I'm not expecting a national championship caliber team just yet, but I'm putting this one on the bulletin board. I'd love to see U-M prove Weinreb wrong; of course, Michigan could go undefeated with a national championship over an SEC opponent and folks like Weinreb will still find a way to crap on whatever Michigan does.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||That's my view, too||
I could be wrong, but I have a hard time seeing how McQueary ever coaches again, anywhere. That whole staff is now tainted by Sandusky's (alleged) crimes. My hunch - and I realize that I may be saying the obvious here - is that this situation, as bad as it is, is just going to get worse and in turn the PSU coaching staff will look even worse than it does now. There are still a lot of details left to be uncovered, and they will be very ugly.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Wonderful first drive||
That's how you do a play-action.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Rivalries go beyond the head-to-head games||
Damn straight I want my biggest rivals to lose games. So, go Wisconsin.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||But they have bad days...||
...even in Australia.
|3 years 22 weeks ago||Coincidentally||
I was playing EU3 just this morning, then wandered over here a few hours later and lo and behold, an EU3 reference!
|3 years 33 weeks ago||They certainly did here at UW||
Washington, in case you were wondering.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Right now, Deschutes Obsidian Stout||
Will probably move on to a glass of Elijah Craig bourbon at some point.
|3 years 38 weeks ago||Denmark||
Denmark it off of your to-do list.
|3 years 42 weeks ago||Freep-News JOA began in 1987||
Joint operating agreements were authorized under the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970 to allow newspapers in the same market to combine operations and therefore cut costs, the rationale being that JOAs would allow multiple newspapers to survive where circulation was declining. This was before the age of 24 hour/day TV news and the Internet, so the Act's supporters argued that the Act would preserve editorial diversity and prevent a single large newspaper from controlling the local market.
|3 years 42 weeks ago||That's what I'm thinking as well||
No, this defense shouldn't blitz all of the time. It's abundantly clear, however, that even an average QB can burn our secondary repeatedly even when our defense maximizes pass coverage. Why not mix it up with some more pressure and take the chance that you can force the QB to miss or throw too soon?
|3 years 42 weeks ago||Agree with your wife's comment||
It reflects well on Rodriguez that he wasn't willing to risk Denard's health, but the very fact that we notice such a move reflects more broadly on the ethical ambiguities in big-time college football. Sitting down a player with a potential head injury should be pretty much automatic for any coach.
|3 years 42 weeks ago||Field position mattered, too.||
It didn't help that turnovers and U-M's special teams were giving Illinois great field position throughout the game. That's going to make things harder for any defense.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||I'm glad someone pointed this out||
It's not like U-M football hasn't gone through a rough period before, e.g., the 1960s and other programs in more recent years have. No one talks about it now, but USC was thought to be a faded program in the mid/late 1990s. Alabama from the late 90s until Saban's tenure began was a totally up and down program (there's several mediocre and losing seasons in that stretch).
I'm not saying that it isn't tough to watch Michigan's program struggle like this, but I truly believe, based on the trends I've been seeing in the last 10-15 years, that there really is more parity in college football these days. Even the top programs have run into difficulty.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||It's gonna take more than one win||
I don't think there will be any decisions about the coaching staff's future until the end of the season, but there are just a lot of areas that need to be address. I agree with Todd Blackledge that this U-M team is better than last year's. Still, there's a lack of talent. Maybe the reason that the defense hasn't improved is because it can't improve.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||I think the end of the season is the time to assess||
For me, the yardstick is the entire season. If Michigan can pull out a couple of good wins in the last four games, then that just might be enough to let Rodriguez keep his job for another year.
The defense truly is awful. All three of U-M's losses have been very winnable games with our offense. Problem is, poor defensive and/or special teams play make coming from behind too difficult for even this defense to do. I don't know how much you can blame that on coaching or schemes; yes, it's true that in the end it's the coaching staff that has to take responsibility for the quality of the team, but they don't get out on the field and play the game. Our defensive players just aren't very good. Michigan lacks defensive talent. That's the bottom line for me.
Brandon has said that there's no magic record that will be the determinant of whether Rodriguez keeps his job. Furthermore, even if Brandon wants Rodriguez gone, who will replace him? And will that throw this program into 3-4 more years of disarray?
|3 years 46 weeks ago||It was a 3rd and 15||
I have to say that I hold my breath even on 3rd and long when our D is on the field because of plays like that.
|3 years 46 weeks ago||I'll echo most others here||
Just be cool. It's easy to win with grace; losing with grace takes more character. Don't let people bait you into being the asshole who can't handle defeat.
|3 years 46 weeks ago||I might advise||
...avoiding use of the word "trollop" in any interactions with said secretary or other co-workers.
|4 years 3 weeks ago||Great line||
I had to give you a point just for the "long green table at the end without the coffee" line.
|4 years 13 weeks ago||Yes, those are worth a look||
My dad used to get the Oakland Press; I can't say I like that paper either, but I'll give the Macomb Daily another look.
|4 years 13 weeks ago||Fair point||
My issue with the News is one separate from their sports coverage; I won't go into it because we're on a sports blog. Still, I see your point. Rosenberg thought he had a bigger scandal than he did and now it appears the Freep wants to dig in.
|4 years 13 weeks ago||The problem with boycotting||
The problem - for me - with boycotting the Freep is that I'd have to read the News for information about Detroit and Michigan, and the News is a paper I've disliked for years.
|4 years 39 weeks ago||Well, if you're gonna be Space Emperor (of Space!)||
You gotta know a lot.
|4 years 40 weeks ago||Tate needs to heal, too||
People should remember that Forcier has been dealing with a shoulder injury for most of the season now. That doesn't explain all of his mistakes, but the injury had some effect, I'm sure.
|4 years 40 weeks ago||Cold weather||
Indeed. And there's also this thing called "layering" that people can try sometimes.
|4 years 40 weeks ago||BG||
BG was the man. I've never seen him give less than his all in any game.
|4 years 41 weeks ago||I smell a leak too||
I don't mean to go into tin foil hat territory here, but this also may lend some credence to the rumors that there was/is a lot of dissention in the athletic department over Rodriguez's hiring.
|4 years 41 weeks ago||Oops||
I just realized that I may have misread what you meant by "today". Apologies if I did.
|4 years 41 weeks ago||Not as of today||
The linked audit report is dated July 24, 2009, as is the management advisory memorandum. The statement released today says:
"The report also noted that this was an area of concern and University Audits sent a memo to the athletic department to correct it – which they did."
|4 years 41 weeks ago||I'm with you here||
I don't take any solace from this column because Ohio State is simply being used as an example. When Forde says stuff like this about OSU, he's saying the same thing about teams like U-M by proxy.
|4 years 41 weeks ago||Me too||
U-M in the Motor City bowl would be the first opportunity I'd have had in a while to see a U-M game, and the first time I could see U-M live at a bowl game.
|4 years 41 weeks ago||Even if the odds are against U-M||
And right now they are, but I would NEVER miss a U-M vs. OSU game if I had tickets.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||Brilliant||
Now I need to dig out my copy of Jagged Little Pill.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||Casablanca||
Can't go wrong with a classic like that one. Ever.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||Er, make that...||
"has *to* 'do football'...." Fingers going faster than the brain, there.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||Not the time to panic||
I think firing Rodriguez after this season or even next would be panicking too early, and would negatively impact the hiring process of his successor. What coach worth his salt is going to want to come to a program that might fire him before he's coached through a full cycle of recruits?
The game has simply changed since the days of U-M dominance. Recruiting is more competitive, potential NFL salaries make players more selective in terms of where they go, and football at all levels has gotten more sophisticated. U-M now has "do football" differently (to an extent) than it did in the 1970s and 80s.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||I wanted to see Iowa go undefeated||
Iowa was the team I found the least objectionable to represent the conference.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||I think the NCAA is investigating that||
It wasn't "practices" that were the "violation", apparently...
|4 years 42 weeks ago||Just bought the new iMac||
It's smooth, baby. I'm not an OS fundamentalist; I don't hate Windows or refuse to use it. In fact, I'll probably install it on my computer with Boot Camp.
I just prefer Mac OS X. I've also had better luck with the hardware. My iBook G4 (that I just traded in) lasted five years without a hitch and was in fine shape when I sent it off. I don't mind spending the "extra" money.
|4 years 42 weeks ago||I normally would agree with this||
I was thinking the same thing prior to the Illinois game, but after seeing how that turned out, I'm pretty sure that Minor will be suited up for each of the next three games. I'm also a bit concerned about aggravating his injury, but if he's used judiciously, maybe that won't be an issue.
|4 years 43 weeks ago||It's so nice||
...to have a blog that allows for some sober discussion without a bunch of "hahahaha michigan sucks teh awesome!!!!" or "we're so bad I'm gonna root for msu".
Yes, I've been reading Yahoo! Sports forums. What can I say? I was finishing off my bottle of Tullamore Dew.