This list is completely arbitrary and not a genuine analysis of the relative merits of state fossils.
|4 days 11 hours ago||That was a treat||
Damn, he was fun to watch in the maize and blue. It's too bad for us selfish fans that we're in a different era -- can you imagine what kind of year we'd have in store if Trey was coming back?
Still, he made the right decision and I expect him to be a very good NBA PG. As the video shows, he doesn't have ideal NBA size and his iso D needs some work, but Trey is too talented, too hard-working, and too mentally tough not to succeed in the league.
My question, for those of you who follow the NBA more closely (my interest in the Association has waned in recent years): What team (of those that might plausibly draft him) is the best landing spot for Trey? I'd hate to see him go to a team that has no decent talent around him.
|4 days 11 hours ago||Consistency is key for him||
As noted above, when he's on, "Good Timmy" is very good indeed. This is the best case scenario for him -- he gets on one of his hot streaks during the pre-draft workouts and plays himself into a first-round spot. The key for his long-term career in the league will be to eliminate those "Bad Timmy" stretches (e.g., his cold shooting during the Kansas-Florida-Syracuse stretch of the tourney run) -- or at least limit their duration and provide enough defense and rebounding to still add value when his shot's not falling.
|3 weeks 14 hours ago||This is actually a good situation for Denard||
Yeah, the Jaguars have been a crappy franchise for a while now, mediocre fanbase, etc. But there's a lot to like for Denard in this situation:
1) He gets to play fairly close to home, at least until the Jags' inevitable relocation.
2) The Jags are a team on the rise. Granted, they have almost nowhere to go but up, but hear me out. They have a new GM, Dave Caldwell, who's been a scout and player personnel guy in Indy and Atlanta, where he learned from two of the best GMs in the business, Bill Polian and Tom Dimitroff. Second, they've got a promising new coach in Gus Bradley, who's been coordinating Seattle's excellent D the past few years. And third, they had what on first glance is a solid draft -- they got their franchise LT in Joeckel, a guy who might turn out to be the best safety in this draft (Cyprien), and two dynamic playmakers in Ace Sanders (whose abilities we know very well from the Outback Bowl) and Denard.
3) It not only sounds like the GM is in love with Denard and has had his eye on him for a while -- it also appears the Jags want to play Denard at the position where a lot of people think he has the best chance to succeed in the league -- RB.
4) Another advantage to being on a (currently) crappy team -- Denard will be assured of getting the time he needs to switch to a new position and adjust to pro football. If he had gone to a team with more talent on its roster, he'd be under more pressure to prove his value on the field more immediately or risk losing his roster spot. That will not be a problem with the Jags.
|4 weeks 16 hours ago||This ^^^||
Even getting one of these guys would be terrific. It'll be tough to pry Hand away from VT and Bud Foster, but if we don't succeed with him, getting Malik McDowell (#2 strongside DE after Hand per Rivals) would be a nice "consolation" prize.
|4 weeks 16 hours ago||Dexter Coakley||
As a Dallas Cowboys fan (alas), I immediately compare all fast, undersized, tackling-machine weakside LBs to Dexter Coakley. He was 5-10 and played around 230 lb. as a pro. Racked up over 600 tackles at Appalachian St., and the Cowboys took him in the third round of the draft. He had 7 consecutive 100+ tackle seasons, and was a three-time Pro Bowler for some truly putrid Cowboys teams in the late '90s-early '00s.
Ross might have a little bit better size if that 6'1" listing is legit, but otherwise he's a very similar player -- great instincts, flys to the ball and lays the wood.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Is it worth getting into the double/straight-edge shaving thing?||
I've read lots of great things about it -- see here for example ... just not sure I want to commit that much time and effort to shaving, especially since I'm not a morning person.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Omameh always makes me laugh||
His deadpan delivery is just hilarious.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Great piece by Rittenberg||
When I read about Taylor's self-awareness and appreciation for being a Michigan Man, or about how the basketball team handled the loss on Monday, or about the way someone like Denard handles his fame on campus ... man, I'm just proud that Michigan athletics gives us so many good kids to cheer for -- young men who try to be the best both on and off the field/court.
As for things Taylor can do to "round out" his Michigan experience... as an alum of the School of Music, I'd humbly suggest he hit up any of the outstanding concerts (almost always free) put on by the various ensembles at the School -- many at Hill Auditorium on Central Campus, so no need to trek to the SoMusic building on North Campus. The annual Collage Concert in January is a great way to see all different types of ensembles and styles of music back-to-back without pause.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||A few thoughts on the first video...||
Based on scant evidence, but fwiw...
* Clark destroys Schofield in the first play for the safety. I'm gonna take this as another hopeful sign that Clark is ready for a breakout year where he puts it all together.
* Good to see Chris Bryant back out there at OG. Looks like Kalis and Braden are your starting guards for now.
* Jake Butt's gonna be an early contributor this year, I think. Chesson and Darboh are showing some real nice flashes at WR too. Fantastic grab by Chesson for the TD on the last play there.
* Nice PBU by Delonte Hollowell against the much bigger Darboh.
* Mattison's gonna have his guys ready to play, as always. The defense will miss Jake Ryan's playmaking skills, no doubt, but boy, do they still look tough and physical and they fly to the ball. Beyer's looking good at the SAM in these clips, too (though some of that's partly b/c it seems our TEs still need a LOT of work on their blocking).
|5 weeks 5 days ago||That quote's from The Naked Gun|
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Damn these guys were fun to watch||
Would've been nice to cap things off with the title, and it still hurts to know just how close they came ... but that doesn't change how FUN it was to watch this team play. (Thank heavens we aren't fans of a program like Bo Ryan's Wisconsin, where you have to "cheer" for ugly basketball.)
These young men and their coaches gave us so much joy over the past few months, and for that, I'm thankful and proud.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Coming so close is what hurts the most||
As you say, losing by 25 would be easier to take -- you know you lost to a better team, end of story. But to come so close, and to know Louisville wasn't really *that* much better than us, that if a few things go differently we win it all... I knew Louisville was capable of putting together quick runs after falling behind -- but when Spike finished his epic scoring fest with that layup that put us up 12 with 4 minutes to go in the first half, I started to think: "Maybe we really are just destined to win this whole thing." You could taste the championship, it was right there... ARGH.
Still, so proud of this team and all the great moments they gave us this year. It was a privilege to watch them play.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Brian addressed this very comp (Illinois 2005) back in Jan.||
After we beat Illinois in Champaign to ascend to #1, he wrote this:
|5 weeks 6 days ago||This ^^^^^^||
This bothered me too. Seeing Trey sit so long in the first w/2 fouls was annoying but understandable -- Spike was playing out of his mind and I felt like Beilein was just rolling with it, knowing he was giving Trey rest that would help him play a big second half. But Spike getting such an extended run in the second half was a mistake. You could see he was gassed and wasn't used to playing those minutes, especially when he played so balls-to-the-wall in the first half -- at around 11:30 left in the 2nd, he barely grazed the front rim on a 3-pointer and you could see he didn't have the legs for his shot anymore. Then he committed a couple key turnovers down the stretch. I would've liked to see more LeVert in the second half and also give Stauskas a little more run.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||I'm also perplexed by timeouts and substitutions||
Still processing what to think about the refs and how much impact that ultimately had on the outcome (though I do think the crap call against Burke was a huge turning point). But I share your perplexity about some of Coach Beilein's decisions on TOs and substitutions. (And let me stipulate I am a huge Coach B supporter and recognize this program isn't close to where it is today w/out him.)
First, I agree -- why no timeout when Hancock went on his spree? Do something, anything, to stop his flow there and get your act together on defense so he doesn't keep getting those looks. You don't need to conserve first half timeouts! Really perplexing.
And the second half substitution patterns have me scratching my head too. I thought Beilein went WAY too long w/Spike -- after he barely touched the front rim on that one 3-pointer and made some sloppy turnovers, it was obvious the kid was gassed after playing balls to the wall for such a long stretch. I would've liked to see Stauskas get more run (he had hit at least one 3, so his shot was there), and I really think LeVert should have been brought back earlier -- we could've used his length on D and his rebounding during the second half, and maybe given Hardaway some more bench time so Beilein could tell him to stop shooting so many bricks. The only thing I can think of (besides wanting to ride Spike's hot shooting -- though by that point it was obvious he was done) is that maybe Spike was being more responsible in sticking to his defensive assignments that Nik or Caris.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||No kidding||
Looks like the forgot one important thing in the Crisler renovation -- they should've put 50-volt electric buzzers in all the seats, connected to a switch manned by someone from the AD. They could just flip it whenever there's a suitably big play, in order to get the Metamucil crowd out of their seats.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Last 10 years back that up - 5 of 10 made Final Four (see above)||
That, to me, would satisfy me that this team played to its potential -- once you get to the Final Four, anything they do beyond that is gravy. (Remind me I said this when I'm crushed w/despair after they lose in the title game...) Lots of randomness in the tourney, obviously, but this team should make the Elite 8 at minimum if they keep playing as they are now.
|16 weeks 13 hours ago||Yes, grudging props to Brandon||
You make good points re: the PDC and renovation of Crisler. Clearly Beilein is the biggest reason Michigan basketball is nationally relevant again, but these factors have helped him finally bring in the talent he needed to make UM a top-ten program again. Brandon gets a lot of grief around these parts (and deservedly so) for stuff like UNIFORMZ and the "wow" experience, so we should be willing to give him credit when he's earned it.
|16 weeks 4 days ago||Hope Denard/scouts don't rule out RB||
I understand why everyone thinks Denard's natural NFL role is at WR/slot (along w/returner, obviously) -- the Randle-El/Cobb comparisons, the idea of getting him the ball in space, etc. But I hope some scouts/team will push Denard to give RB a serious try. Some posters above dismissed this option b/c of Denard's size/build. Now is he a 25-carry/game guy in the NFL? No. But what makes Denard so dangerous with the ball isn't just his track speed -- it's his vision, his cuts, and his patience to set up his blocks & then accelerate through the hole, as well as his toughness. If I'm an NFL team making an investment in DR as a draft pick, I think I get more immediate contributions from him as a 10-touch/game RB along w/returning kicks, instead of having him ride pine for 2-3 years while he tries to learn WR.
This piece from Rotoworld a couple months back made a great case for using Denard as a RB in the NFL:
When I watch Robinson run (and the way Michigan uses him), I can't help but think his best role would be to start out as a returner and as a situational running back. He's listed at just 6'0/197 pounds, but has a thickly built lower body. The Michigan offense has taught him to make the same types of reads NFL runningbacks are taught. He's totaled over 200 carries the last two seasons, and he was the entire foundation of their run game in 2010 - totaling 256 attempts for 1702 yards (6.6 YPC) and 14 touchdowns. He has a tendency to get upright, but he's a tough and patient inside runner who reads and sets his blocks up well, hits cutback lanes with authority, and has the speed to do damage in space.
|16 weeks 5 days ago||So who are the bad matchups for us?||
You make a good point re: the importance of matchups in a single-elimination tourney like March Madness. Now I enjoy following our guys, but confess I don't pay tons of attention to other teams. So my question to those of you who follow college hoops more closely is: who are the bad match-ups for us -- the teams we don't want to see in March? And what qualities make them Michigan's (potential) Kryptonite?
Obviously having an on-ball defender of Craft's caliber to disrupt Burke is a plus. What teams that we might meet past the first weekend of the tourney have a defender of that quality to harass Trey?
Would a team w/a fantastic post scorer (e.g., IU's Zeller?) be our worst nightmare? Something else?
Just want to know who I should be rooting against! :-)
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Griese, with the Broncos in 2000||
Was the 3rd-string QB win they beat Atlanta in Elway's swan song. [EDIT: Sorry, hadn't refreshed the page in a while, so I didn't see that 2 folks beat me to the punch until after I posted.]
|18 weeks 10 hours ago||Yes, more McGary please||
Along with Spike, McGary was the only guy who I never noticed obviously losing his composure at some stage of the game. (And this was the most frustrating thing for me about yesterday -- I expect the freshmen to freak out in their first tough Big Ten road game. But the mental errors and tentative play from guys who should've known what to expect, like Hardaway and Burke, was disheartening.)
It's probably a year too early to expect this, but I think looking for more post scoring from Mitch would do wonders for us in a game like this. When everyone's panicking and forcing stuff on O, what better way to calm things down than to just dump the ball into the post and say, "OK, big guy, get us a bucket or create an open look for our shooters"?
|22 weeks 4 days ago||Is this the best move for Kingsbury long term?||
No question this is a great hire for Texas Tech -- hot-shot rising coordinator, young and charasmatic, popular former player. A+ for them.
As for Kingsbury, I'm not so sure. Yes, it's pretty damn hard to turn down the coaching job at your alma mater, especially when you haven't yet been a head coach. At some point, you've got to earn your head-coaching bones - and what better place to do that, than a school where you're already beloved, you know the recruiting base, and the AD and alums will give you a long leash to succeed?
That said ... if Kingsbury had stayed at A&M and guided their offense to another year or two like this one (a good assumption w/Manziel), a lot of schools with "destination" head-coaching jobs, better national exposure, and higher ceilings than T. Tech would've been backing up their money trucks at Kingsbury's door to make him their head coach. Then again, if he succeeds at Tech the way, say, Rich Rod succeeded at his alma mater, the big schools will still come calling -- and at that point he'll have the head-coaching experience that'll make him more likely to succeed.
Anyway, should be interesting to see how it works out for him.
|22 weeks 5 days ago||This points to the whole problem w/the "Legends" jersey schtick||
"if it is to be given out, this should be the kind of jersey that is given out to a player maybe once every 15-20 years to a truly special, unique, and most importantly, an utterly dominant player that can take over games and win them by himself."
And when such a player comes along, he will have staked his claim to being a "Legend" in the number he's already wearing, which is why he should keep it. Can you imagine if, after his breakout sophomore year, Denard had been given a "Legends" jersey? F--- that. Now #16 at Michigan will always remind people of Denard. It pissed me off to see Kovacs running around the last couple games in #11 -- dude is #32!
|22 weeks 5 days ago||What are the position restrictions for this number?||
I assume that, like the NFL, NCAA football has some restrictions on the positions that particular numbers can be assigned to -- is that correct? If so, we are looking at a limited set of potential players to wear the #98 jersey.
If not ... it would be strange (though kinda cool, I admit) if a skill position player today wore a number like that!
|22 weeks 5 days ago||Questionable decision for Morris, but worked out great for UM||
The rightness of Morris's decision to leave when he did is an interesting debate, and folks have made good points above on both sides. But to me the more interesting thing is how well it's worked out for Michigan. Not having Morris back might have been initially difficult last year -- but there's no doubt Burke is the better all around player, and this year's team is much better positioned having Burke with a year of starting experience already, than it would be in the alternative scenario (where he's a new starter after serving as Morris's understudy last year). So while I always like guys to stay in school, I guess I'm thankful Darius left when he did.
|22 weeks 5 days ago||Does this ever actually happen?||
I ask not to troll but in all seriousness (don't follow the NBA as much as I used to). Are there any recent examples of young NBA players getting released, going to Europe and developing their game, and getting picked up again by an NBA team?
|23 weeks 6 days ago||You're joking, right?||
Either Manziel or Te'o are going to win, and you can't say those two guys haven't "stood out." I loathe Notre Dame football, but Te'o is the linchpin of one of the most dominant defenses we've seen in a while -- guy's a *linebacker* and is second in the country in interceptions (thanks partly to, um, Denard).
But Manziel has stood out even more, and that's why he should win. Let me give you season stat lines from two recent college QBs:
Player #1 -- Passing:
Player #2 - passing:
Player #1: 4327 total yards, 50 TDs
Player #2 -- 4600 total yards, 43 TDs
Player #1 took his team into Tuscaloosa in November and beat Saban's minions, 28-27
Player #2 took his team into Tuscaloosa in November and beat Saban's minions, 29-24
#1 is Cam Newton, #2 is Johnny Football. Manziel's stats are comparable, in some cases better, and against similarly tough competition. And if you watched the A&M-Alabama game, you know he's the reason A&M won that game. I'd hardly call that "underwhelming."
|24 weeks 3 days ago||Scared of no one, but yes, A&M's a bad matchup for us||
As a Michigan grad from a family full of Aggies, I offered my two cents on this matchup in an earlier thread here. Cliff's Notes version -- this matchup sucks for us, for the reasons listed in the two recent posts above. We all know about Johnny Football now, but their depth and talent at wide receiver w/Swope, Nwachukwu, 6-5 freshman Mike Evans, et al. would severely test our secondary. Malena and Michael are a solid RB duo. Their O-line is almost as good as Alabama's. And their Oregon-style tempo would pose a huge challenge -- Klingsbury does a great job; they don't even use a playbook on offense. Their defense is pretty good too (28th in scoring D, despite so many possessions).
Just watch the first quarter of A&M vs. Alabama. They drove and scored on Saban/Kirby Smart's defense at will. Alabama made some good adjustments later on, but A&M was still able to move the ball and hit big plays and score when they needed to in the 2nd half to ice the game.
I think it could be a competitive game, especially giving Mattison a month to prepare the D. But I could also see a scenario in which Manziel & Co. light us up, and our inability to run the ball consistently and keep their O off the field would cost us over 4 quarters. Any SEC team will be a challenge for us, given our current lack of depth and athleticism, but this in particular is a bad matchup for us.
|24 weeks 4 days ago||School of Music would depend on which program||
School of Music grad here. This is a great selling point for Michigan w/McQuay (along w/Mattison telling him he's "gonna be the next Ed Reed") , because the U-M School of Music is one of the few at a big state school (Indiana U. is the other) that is considered equal in quality & alumni success to conservatories like Julliard, Eastman, etc. USC's music school is pretty good too, but not quite in the same league. (Although the proximity to L.A. is appealing for certain types of music careers.)
That said, I have no idea how it might work for a School of Music major to play varsity sports. The daily North-to-South campus trek would present an issue -- although presumably we've had engineering majors on the football team who've done it. (And School of Music students who play in the marching band make the trek down every day for those practices.)
A lot would depend on what academic program McQuay's interested in. I don't see how a music performance major (which I was) could ever do varsity sports; when you are not in a music theory/history or liberal arts class, you are playing your instrument -- either in ensembles or by yourself in a practice room -- for hours and hours a day. That's how it has to be if you want to be good enough to make a living someday.
But it sounds like McQuay is more interested in being a producer/audio guy, so he might be looking at the Performing Arts Technology program. I have no idea when the classes and labs meet, but the time and academic commitments are probably heavier than what Jack Kennedy and Joe Reynolds are doing (mixing tunes on the side of their LSA majors). But theoretically, it's more doable than if McQuay was a performance major.
|24 weeks 4 days ago||I'm irrationally optimistic about DeVeon Smith||
As you say, no burner, but when I watch his video he reminds me a little bit of Emmitt Smith. (Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying he's gonna end up the NFL's career rushing leader !) As a Cowboys fan I watched Emmitt's whole career, and on film DeVeon has a similar running style -- no blazing speed, but great vision, quick and decisive in his cuts, runs low and keeps his feet moving, does well at picking his way through the trash at the line of scrimmage, and never goes down on first contact.
If he blows up and becomes a great back at Michigan, you heard it here first!
|24 weeks 4 days ago||Weak crop of senior tackles in 2013 draft||
The consensus among draftniks is that the senior class offensive tackles in the 2013 draft are a really weak group -- few if any first-round talents among them. That's one reason Lewan and the two junior tackles from A&M, Joeckel and Matthews, are all assumed to be early entries -- with so little competition from seniors at such a premium position, Lewan and Joeckel in particular both could easily go in the top 15.
|24 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, Stauskas can put it on the floor||
As BraveWolverine730 notes -- take a look at 0:25 in the game highlights video above for a fine example. Kid can handle and get to the rim and finish -- that's what made him such an exciting recruit, despite not generating the same hype as McGary or GRIII. People assume he's just a jump-shooter but he can score and attack the defense in other ways.
|24 weeks 5 days ago||Trying not to get ahead of myself watching this team||
Beilein's boys are going places this year but I'm trying not to think too far ahead. Just enjoying watching a really talented team that can score in so many ways. I enjoyed the gritty grittiness of the Novak-Douglass years and what those teams accomplished, but it's nice to know we have not just the coaching and the guts but also the sheer talent to play and beat anybody now.
It'll be fascinating to see how this team handles some true adversity once they get into Big Ten play, e.g., how they respond to a challenge like playing IU at Assembly Hall. Looking forward to watching the season unfold with these guys.
|24 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, this -- Cameron Hunt seems a better fit||
Not sure if you've looked at his film yet, Magnus, but based on the highlight film Ace embedded in his Monday recruiting post, Cameron Hunt seems to possess an excellent nasty streak -- it looked like he takes real pleasure in pancaking overmatched HS opponents. He might lack Lacy's size, but how many more tackle-sized dudes do we need? I'd rather have the nasty guy who is more of a true pure guard to fill Dawson's former spot in this class, than a OT-sized guy who lacks aggressiveness.
|25 weeks 7 hours ago||Hoke's willingness to get out of his comfort zone||
Brian uses Hoke's aversion to the no-huddle (remember Hoke's dismissal of Oregon's offense as "basketball on grass") as an example as evidence of a larger possible unwillingness on Hoke's part to get out of his comfort zone (e.g. Beilein ditching the 1-3-1, practicing alley-oops, etc.). In other words, is Hoke truly able to embrace concepts or approaches he's not familiar with in order to field the best team possible -- even if that means going so far as replacing coordinators?
|25 weeks 9 hours ago||It's on coaches AND players||
Yes, it hurts because the game was imminently winnable, unlike all the beatdowns we suffered at OSU's hands under Rodriguez. And yes, the coaches were a big reason we lost -- they could've put their players in better positions to succeed and made better adjustments. But you can't entirely absolve the players. Borges didn't throw that pick intended for Dileo on the last drive; Funk didn't whiff a block on a DE that led to a fumble that cost us at least 3 points; Hoke didn't fumble the ball. To win tough games -- particularly on the road, which has been the Hoke regime's bete noire thus far -- you can't have these kinds of turnovers/mistakes.
|25 weeks 9 hours ago||Problem with call AND decision (but call was bigger)||
Since the D got gashed pretty well in the first half, Hoke probably inclined toward aggressiveness on that decision b/c he felt the game was tending toward a scoring-fest. If he could foresee how heroically the D would perform in the second half despite the crappy hands they were dealt, he probably punts -- since flipping field position there might have given our crappy second-half offense the chance to pick up a few cheap points that might've made the difference. So the decision backfired. But that's hindsight, and as Brian notes, the stats show it's a coin flip.
The playcall, especially coming after a T.O., was unfortunately obvious as soon as the Denard-sans-Devin lineup hits the field. If Devin's at QB w/Denard in the backfield, at least the D has to respect both the run and pass. This is one of those situations when they both *have* to be on the field.
I get why Brian and everyone's complaining that Denard and Devin weren't on the field together more -- it sucks having your best playmaker standing on the sideline during crucial moments. But we have to recognize there was a limit to how many plays they could truly run from that set (Denard couldn't pass-block worth hell, couldn't throw, etc.) What is more upsetting is that they used up all the tricks available from that limited set of plays in the Iowa game. That Vince Smith throwback screen would've come in *real* handy against OSU, for example.
Last week one of the coaches -- either Hoke or Borges, can't recall which -- said they made no effort to "save" plays for OSU because they were focused on beating Iowa, winning the seniors' final home game etc. That's all well and good, but at some point you have to recognize Iowa *sucks* and keep some of this stuff in the bag.
|25 weeks 14 hours ago||This. RECRUITING!||
We need the B1G to show well in bowl games, so high-caliber recruits won't look at Michigan like we're just a big dog in a MAC-level conference compared to the ESS-EEE-SEE.
And this year, it's not even that distasteful -- no need to (grudgingly) pull for Sparty or OSU in a bowl. I can root for the Purdues and Northwestern's of the world with no problem.
|25 weeks 6 days ago||As someone w/lots of A&M connections, mixed feelings about this||
I'm not the only MGoBlog poster with some ties to A&M -- see MichiganAggie above, and there are several others whose handles escape my memory right now. But I'm sure they share my mixed feelings about this potential matchup.
I'm a Michigan grad, but spent most of my childhood in Texas and come from a family of Aggies - my dad and grandfather both graduated from there, and several other relatives still work there. (It's to their great credit that as much as they love the school, my dad/grandfather never pressured me to go to school there; U-M had the academic program I wanted that wasn't offered at TAMU.) I went to dozens of A&M games both at Kyle Field and on the road as a kid. It's safe to say a little bit of maroon blood still courses through my veins, and I was thrilled to see the Aggies beat Saban's evil empire a couple weeks ago. But there's no question I'll always root for Michigan in a head-to-head matchup, as I did during the Alamo Bowl in '95.
A&M's a great school with passionate and extremely loyal fans/alums, great traditions, etc, so a bowl game b/w A&M and Michigan would represent a lot of what's great about college football -- two good teams, terrific (if very different) marching bands, lots of history and tradition on both sides. What a treat it would be to see two of the more exciting college football players in recent memory, Johnny Football and Shoelace, go head-to-head. (Aggie fans travel very well, so I'm afraid the crowd in Orlando would be hugely tilted toward A&M.)
That said -- while Michigan should never be "scared" of any opponent, I think this would be a tough matchup for us. A&M has a hell of a lot of Texas-bred athleticism on both sides of the ball. The offense would be particularly tough for us to handle, even granting the solid fundamental play of our defense and that Mattison would have a month to prepare. Their O-line is almost as good as Alabama's: A&M's two tackles, Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews (yes, he's from *THAT* Matthews football family) are both juniors who will probably come out early and be first-rounders along w/Taylor Lewan; and their senior center, Patrick Lewis, is a David Molk-style leader/linchpin. We all know about Manziel now, but their depth and talent at wide receiver w/Swope, Nwachukwu, 6-5 freshman Mike Evans, et al. would severely test our secondary. Malena and Michael are a solid duo at RB. And of course, their Oregon-style tempo would pose a huge challenge. Their defense is pretty good too (28th in scoring D). What's more, Kevin Sumlin seems finally to have rid this team of the "second-half-chokers" syndrome that plagued them under Mike Sherman. (This program has always been what Jackie Sherrill called a "sleeping giant," and perhaps Sumlin is the coach who will finally make them the national power that their recruiting base, fan support, facilities, etc. indicate they should be.)
I think it could be a competitive game, but I could also see a scenario in which Manziel & Co. light us up and our inability to run the ball consistently and keep their O off the field would cost us over 4 quarters. We're still a couple good Hoke recruiting classes away from having the depth and talent (particularly at the skill positions) to really stand toe-to-toe with these deep SEC teams like Alabama and A&M.
|26 weeks 12 hours ago||Thoughts on Hopkins back to tailback for next year?||
Given the following:
Am I the only one who'd like to see us move Stephen Hopkins back to tailback for Spring practice and beyond? B/w Kerridge and Houma we're still covered at fullback in both the thumping-blocker and West Coast pass-catching/athletic FB categories... Hopkins has had fumble issues as a ball-carrier, sure, but if Fitz's return is uncertain for fall I think we could do worse than move Hopkins back to tailback and see what he can do. Somebody's gonna have to run all the I-form stuff we're likely to see next year, and Hayes and Norfleet aren't it.
|26 weeks 3 days ago||Yes, UTL for Hawthorne||
That's what I'll remember him for -- he came up huge in that game. Not everyone can leave as a star player, but he can leave knowing he made a couple big plays in one of the program's signature games during his four years. (Was a solid special-teamer, too.)
With Odoms gone and now w/Hawthorne and V. Smith graduating, I think Richard Ash will be the last of RichRod's Pahokee kids left on the team. I sure hope we keep a recruiting pipeline open to there -- guys like Odoms and Smith have been true Michigan Men on and off the field.
|28 weeks 3 days ago||Way to go, Big Q||
Nice story -- I didn't know he had a speech impediment. That has to be a pretty daunting experience, going to school far from home, trying to adjust to college life in general (not to mention life in a big-time football program), and dealing with that.
For reasons I can't remember, Quinton was one of the recruits I was most excited about us getting in his class. Before this year, I was starting to worry that b/w the coaching change and the position switch, he would never become a regular contributor. But here we are, and he has done a pretty damn good job this year filling the gaping hole at NT left by Mike Martin's departure. (Remember a few months back when everyone just assumed it would be either BWC or even the true freshman Pipkins in that spot?) I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do the rest of this year and next, as he continues to mature and develop in the position with the great D-line coaching he's getting now.
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Lines like this are why I love this blog||
"Loss will cause me to... never eat corn again! OH GOD IT'S IN EVERYTHING. /omnivoresdilemma'd"
Brian Cook FTW...
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Whenever we play these guys, I think of 1997||
I'm still pissed we had to share the national title that year w/Scott Frost and Co. They wouldn't even have been undefeated if not for the infamous "Flea Kicker" play that saved them from a loss against Missouri, and they finished #1 in the coaches' poll partly as a gift to the retiring Tom Osborne, no doubt.
So I hope we crush them, but given night road game, etc., I expect this to be close. Hope we can squeak this one out.
|29 weeks 3 days ago||I tend to agree with you||
What's the mantra we always hear from Hoke and the players? Their first goal, their top priority, is to win the Big Ten. It's been longer than I care to remember since this program actually sniffed a Big Ten title, and winning this game is a big step toward that goal.
That said, I'm not sure it's a 10. Last year's OSU game was a 10+. 8 or 9 sounds right to me.
|29 weeks 4 days ago||Not sure about that||
With the NFL's new CBA, the salary "slots" of first-rounders are pretty well set, I think, and there's a much smaller gap in salary/bonuses b/w a Top 5 pick and a kid selected at, say, #15-20 than before.
Also, I'm not sure the 2014 Draft necessarily lines up better for Taylor than 2013. Most draftniks believe this year's crop of senior offensive tackles is pretty weak -- no Jake Longs or Jonathan Ogdens among them. The 2014 class has some great ones, though, including Lewan and the two tackles from Texas A&M, Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews. Those three guys would probably go higher than any of this year's seniors if they come out early -- I wouldn't blame Taylor if he decided entering the draft was the right thing to do.
|29 weeks 5 days ago||Michigan 24, Nebraska 16||
I've just spent 10 minutes trying to see if anyone else has posted this score already, and I'm still not entirely sure.
|30 weeks 3 days ago||Don't sell the Cards short, man||
"Perhaps winning one or two?" Don't make the same mistake that USA Today idiot did in 2006 when he predicted "Tigers in 3," so dismissive was he of the Cardinals' chances. Have you seen the sheer guts and willpower of this Cardinals team the past two postseasons? They simply refuse to quit. Check out game 6 of the Series last year, or the 5-run comeback against the Nationals in the deciding game of this year's NLDS and tell me if they aren't at *least* the equal of the Tigers in the "clutch-at-bats" category. (And I will stipulate that this discussion is a bit premature, as the Cardinals still need to close out the Giants. Take nothing for granted.)
As my fellow Cards fan bklein09 mentions here, both teams are probably better than 2006. Yes, the 2012 Cardinals don't have an in-his-prime Pujols, Jim Edmonds, or Scott Rolen in the middle of its lineup, or Mr. Gritty McGrit Dave Eckstein -- and LaRussa and Dave Duncan are no longer in the dugout. On the other hand, this year's lineup is much deeper 1-8, even w/Furcal out; the 2006 outfit had guys like So Taguchi, Juan Encarnacion, and an over-the-hill Preston Wilson taking significant at-bats. This year's team has as solid a middle-of-the order as anyone, with Beltran-Holliday-Craig-Molina (a much better hitter than '06 Molina)-Freese, and supersub Matt Carpenter providing solid pop as he showed in game 3. Obviously a big factor in the (potential) Series will be Beltran's health, and whether he can at least DH in the games in Detroit.
This Cardinals team also has a deeper 'pen and a better, deeper rotation than '06 -- I really don't know how that 2006 team did it. Carpenter was at his peak, of course, but he only pitched one game in the WS. Their nominal #2 starter, Mark Mulder, was injured, so Jeff Suppan -- JEFF SUPPAN! -- was their #2 in the playoffs. Jeff Weaver, not very good at all in 2006, was a desperation trade-deadline pickup and the #3 starter in the Series (and amazingly, pitched two solid games, including the game 5 clincher). And a highly touted rookie starter who ended up never amounting to much, Anthony Reyes, pitched the game of his life to win Game 1. Dave Duncan was a magician.
This year, they have Carpenter back from injury/surgery to replace the injured Jaime Garcia/Jake Westbrook; Wainwright; Kyle Lohse, who's been quietly excellent all year (16-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.090 WHIP, 134 ERA+), and Lance Lynn, a first-year starter who won 18 games this year.
That said, the Tigers' rotation should rightly make them the favorites. But don't assume it will be a walkover.
Anyway, if my Redbirds have to lose (again, *assuming* they close out SF), I'm glad it would be to the Tigers, as I'd like to see them win a Series again. Just hope it's a good Series -- last year's 7-game epic will be hard to top!
|32 weeks 5 days ago||A great feat to witness||
I was starting to wonder if anybody would ever accomplish this again. I always thought Pujols in his prime was the most likely candidate -- he's won a batting title, home run title, and RBI title, but never managed to do all three in one year. A great accomplishment for Miggy.
I have no dog in the MVP argument b/w Trout and Cabrera (I'm a Cardinals fan), but I see the argument on both sides -- I don't think you can just say "There's NO WAY Trout should win the MVP." Dude has had a phenomenal season, plays a more premium defensive position. I'd probably vote for Cabrera, but you can make a good case for Trout too. (I'm not a sabremetrics nut, but I do think it helps us understand the game and players' contributions better than ever).
Also, to the OP: I wouldn't bandy about fielding percentage as a proof of defensive prowess (for Cabrera or anyone else). You can have a great fielding percentage but shitty range, which means you commit fewer errors, but also don't get to as many balls as someone with better range.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Same old story||
"I think the parts are better individually than as a whole, some reason they just don't play good together."
Alas, isn't this usually the story with our Ryder Cup teams? Even when our talent is superior, the Euros always seem to play better as a group, and kick our asses in the doubles matches, leaving us to try and catch up on the final day of singles, where we usual perform better. Maybe there's some deep point to be made here about the essential characters involved -- American individualism vs. Euro collectivism. :-)
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Just to complete the match-ups||
With as much of the coaches' comments as I could make out:
Roh vs Ben Braden
(Funk to Braden afterward: “You’re not using your hands” -- see how Braden doesn’t get his hands out for a good punch – “You’re stepping backwards”)
Campbell vs Mealer
Bolden vs. Magnuson
R. Jenkins-Stone vs. Dan Gibbs (preferred walk-on)
(Curt Mallory yelling “Go get ‘em, Fireball!” – RJS, presumably?)
Kovacs vs. Gallon
(Great job by Kovacs, although he does have 4 inches and 15 pounds on Gallon)
Ojemudia vs. #84 (not Mario Williams)
(Mattison: “Way to knock it back, 5-3!”)
Willie Henry vs. Graham Glasgow
(Hoke to Henry: “Hey, hey, hey, hey… That’s what [garbled] … You can do it.”)
Ash vs. Kalis
(Funk: “You’re not steppin’… you’re not stepping and punching. You’re not using any strength…” Just one rep, I know, but a good demonstration of how tough it is even for the most physically ready true freshman OL to make the transition to college ball)
Strobel vs. Mateus
(Someone calls him “Strobie” here… Funk(?):“Keep your hips to your feet and you’ve got a chance”)
Godin vs. Bars
(“Godes” … someone (Funk again?) yelling “Don’t be so high… don’t be so high”)
R. Taylor vs. Joe Reynolds (check out Joe’s piano chops here: http://www.mgoblue.com/allaccess/?media_id=322154)
(Mattison: “Hey 6! Good job, attaway, 6!)
Fun stuff - MANBALL! Seriously, though, this is what it's all about. Love the emphasis on technique, and the firm but not harsh style of the coaches. These kids are in good hands.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||NBC website streams ND home games||
I'm with robbyt003 above -- enjoy your honeymoon, man. I love football as much as the next guy, but... have fun with your wife and watch a recording/replay of the game later.
But, if you insist on watching live: I believe NBC streams their broadcasts of ND home games for free on their website. This link should take you to the game Saturday night:
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Steve Schilling too||
He was a 5-star OL when he committed to Michigan, and came down with mono at the start of his freshman year. He probably would have redshirted no matter what, but the mono (and I think a shoulder injury too) guaranteed it.
I hope either Bellomy or Devin Gardner pan out as a decent starter next year, because no matter how good a QB Shane is at this stage, the odds are against him coming in as a true freshman and stepping into the starting QB spot right away. He won't be an early enrollee, and it's conceivable that with the mono now, it might be next summer or even fall before his strength and playing weight are 100% back to normal.
|35 weeks 5 days ago||How to take on cut blocks?||
As someone who's never played a down of football in my life, I have a question for the coaches/former players who read this blog, given that we "suck at taking on cut blocks," as Brian notes: What's the proper technique to defeat these things? I've always been curious about this. I assume the first priority is to protect your legs and stay on your feet so you can still make a play. How do you do that? Do you give some ground and let the blocker eat turf, and then resume moving toward the ball carrier? (If so, it must be tough to overcome a defender's natural instinct to move forward and take on the blocker, which of course leads right into the cut blocker's trap). Or do you try to juke/go around the guy, or even hurdle him if necessary?
EDIT: Did a site search and found a pretty good threat on this question from last November:
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Good chance he lands on a practice squad somewhere||
Best of luck to RVB.
Any news about Hemingway?
|37 weeks 3 days ago||House money game||
I've said this on a few other threads -- barring 1) major injuries or 2) a 21+ point blowout, this is a no-lose situation for us, and I hope our guys play and coach accordingly -- with reckless abandon. No one really expects us to win tomorrow night. If we manage to win, look out Big Ten. If we lose a competitive game, no one will fault us for that -- and Team 133 will have learned a whole lot about itself by playing against the most talented squad they'll face all year. (And the coaches will know exactly how much more work they have ahead to make Michigan an elite program again.)
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Same here||
Watching the drumline rock out on Temptation has me ready to run through brick walls.
Glad the band will be in Dallas to support the team.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||This is my thought too||
We're playing with house money in this game, as long as we don't leave the game with a long-term injury to a key player or get totally blown out. If we win, fantastic. If not, as you say, if you're going to lose, do it early and to the highest-ranked team possible. And the coaches and team will learn a lot of useful stuff in the process that will make us better throughout the season.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Playin' with house money||
I feel we're playing with house money in this game -- barring a serious injury to a major contributor (possible in any game), we really can't come out of this at a disadvantage as long as we don't get blown out. (I view getting blown out as unlikely, given how well this coaching staff prepares the team and Mattison's emphasis on not allowing big plays.)
All that said, I would *really* love to see us beat the Evil Saban and shut up the "EEESSSSS-EEEEEE-CEEEEEEEE!" bozos. Go Blue!
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Who's the idiot who left blocking sled near the sideline @1:15?||
Check out the TD pass to Gallon at 1:15 -- some dope left a blocking sled right next to the endzone sideline. Gallon and Countess are both lucky to see it and get a foot down after going out of bounds, so they manage to hop over it after Gallon's catch. I about had a heart attack when I saw that -- we're lucky those guys didn't step on it and get hurt. Am I just a worry-wort, or shouldn't stuff like that be farther away from the boundary when you're running drills with guys catching balls on the sideline right there?
|42 weeks 6 days ago||+1 for the Kipling reference, good sir||
A great poem - "If"
Allusions to Kipling in comments -- just another thing I love about MGoBlog. (The Kate Upton gifs aren't bad, either.)
|42 weeks 6 days ago||No bumblebee stripes, thank God||
I'm not a big fan of the "special occasion" uniformz, but at least this one avoids the silly stripes we had on the upper shoulders for ND, MSU, and the Sugar Bowl last year. Me no likey the stripes.
|48 weeks 4 days ago||So where does BWC come up with that kind of cash?||
He doesn't matriculate in Columbus, after all...
|48 weeks 6 days ago||McAfee question||
Thanks for your thoughts, joeyb -- appreciate your insights.
One question: There seem to be a lot of negative opinions of McAfee on this board, and I'm genuinely curious why that's so, as I don't follow this world of antivirus programs closely. (I suppose that's about to change...) McAfee has always worked fine for us, and I certainly don't blame it for my current predicament, which is my fault. (Unless someone tells me that a better AV would've blocked those phony Adobe Flash update popups from even appearing.) I also work at a place where, to put it mildly, there is an extreme emphasis on IT security, and we have McAfee on the computers here.
Are McAfee/Symantec etc. just too big to be agile enough to keep up with the ever shifting threats from hackers? Or is there some other reason they aren't as good as others?
|48 weeks 6 days ago||Time as limited resource||
That's the real issue for me, I think -- how much time do I want to devote to this, and what's the best use of my resources (time & money) to resolve the problem? I can see using one of these tech support forums to attempt a thorough clean-up, but that can take a while. Wiping/reformatting and starting fresh would give me more piece of mind knowing the rootkit is truly gone, but even that sounds a little daunting. A new laptop would be the quick and easy way, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money right now.
First World Problems, right? :-)
|48 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks for the heads up||
I've read of people having success using Combofix to remove the ZeroAccess rootkit only to find that they can't get an internet connection, can't connect to their network printer, etc. So if I choose that path I'll proceed with caution (and probably with the help of one of the forums mentioned elsewhere in this thread).
|49 weeks 8 hours ago||Ha!||
"Kapersky and others like it are desiged for end users who are stupid and click on bad looking things (just kidding)."
I deserved that one. :-)
And yes, from everything I've read ZeroAccess is really nasty -- a tough nut to crack.
|49 weeks 8 hours ago||Thanks for the advice, everyone||
I love MGoBlog. Lots of options to consider... I'll let you know how it works out.
One question I asked above, still not clear on the answer -- when I do a backup of all the stuff I want to save in case I need to reformat or buy a new machine, how do I ensure that stuff isn't infected before loading it onto the clean/new computer?
|49 weeks 9 hours ago||Thanks -- have heard about ComboFix||
It seems like nothing's foolproof, though - I've read of people using itand it still hasn't solved the problem (same goes for Malwarebytes, Kapersky/TDSSKiller, and all the rest). Guess I'll just have to try everything and see if any of them work!
|49 weeks 9 hours ago||This is helpful, thanks||
One question -- how does this ("Restore System to Factory Default") differ from this ("Full Factory Recovery")?
|49 weeks 9 hours ago||How will you be sure your backed up files are clean?||
I've only read a little about this approach, but it seems to be another challenge -- how do you make sure all the files you've backed up are clean before you put them on the newly wiped computer? I'd hate to go through the hassle of a wipe/reinstall if I'm just going to reinfect the machine when I reload all the files I've saved.
|49 weeks 10 hours ago||The thought has crossed my mind...||
I'd prefer first to make a good effort at saving my current machine, before buying a new one w/$$ that I'd rather spend on other family priorities right now. That's just how I am when it comes to big-ticket items -- e.g., the family minivan has 65k miles on it and I plan on us driving that thing until the 150k mark at least before even thinking about getting a new one.
But I'm preparing myself mentally for the prospect that you might be right.
|49 weeks 4 days ago||Hoke was asked about 3-3-5 in his introductory press conference||
As I recall, a reporter noted that Hoke's D at SDSU under Long ran a 3-3-5, and asked Hoke if he thought it could work in the Big Ten (implicitly referencing the tire fire that was Michigan's D under Rodriguez). He said sure it could, and that it was a flexible defense, you could have 3 or 4 or 5 guys on the line of scrimmage, and that very flexibility was why they liked using it at SDSU. But he was answering as a general manner, and never indicated he'd use it at Michigan. (And obviously once he hired Mattison, the question was moot.)
|49 weeks 4 days ago||That is a *little* surprising||
Although when you look at the list of HOF QBs, Stabler's era was pretty stacked with great ones. You had Bradshaw & Staubach (who both went to more Super Bowls), Namath, the back half of Fran Tarkenton's career, the first half of Dan Fouts's career, and Bob Griese (although Griese passed the ball much less than Stabler). All those guys are in the HoF. Stabler had a briefer peak than lots of those guys, and he threw more INTs than TDs in his career.
|49 weeks 4 days ago||Don't forget "The Snake"||
[EDIT -- the two fellows above beat me to it]
Re: lefty QBs who've succeeded in the NFL -- granted, the emailer said he's only 29 so his historical references are limited, but going beyond his list ... I'm just shy of 36 and even I know there was a pretty good lefty QB in the '70s by the name of Kenny Stabler. Took the Raiders to two Super Bowls (winning one), 1974 NFL MVP, 4-time All Pro. I'd say he turned out all right.
The emailer does raise a fascinating question, though. Like everybody above, I'm sure baseball has a lot to do with it. Any good LH athlete who can throw hard in HS is pitching, and the best of them are getting drafted and have a chance to make good money immediately after HS. (Stabler had minor league offers from several major league teams but decided to play for Bear Bryant at Alabama instead -- most lefties who can both pitch and play QB probably make the opposite choice.)
|49 weeks 6 days ago||Well said||
Couldn't have put it any better.
All this reminds me of what Brandon said at the end of the press conference announcing Hoke's hire:
"This game is about the players. Yeah, we need fans, we want fans. You're [the media] all important, we need the coverage that you bring and visibility that you bring. But this is about football players. This is about changing young men's lives. This is about bringing leadership in here who makes a difference in the lives of young men. And they leave here with a championship ring and they leave here with a great education and they go out and do great things in life. That's Michigan. Michigan men do that."
|50 weeks 3 days ago||Teeny linebackers can succeed!||
Just ask Zach Thomas, Dat Nguyen, and Dexter Coakley -- tackling machines all, and all 5'10" or 5'11" guys who were college superstars and had great NFL careers. I'm looking forward to seeing what young Mr. Ross can do in Ann Arbor.
|50 weeks 3 days ago||Nice avatar||
+1 for you, sir.
|50 weeks 4 days ago||Ceiling for a 5'9" CB||
I agree with WolvinLa2 -- all things being equal, a tall CB is preferable, but give me a 5'9" guy with super-fluid hips and coverage/ball skills any day over a 6'+ guy who's too stiff/slow/lacking in instincts to stay w/good receivers. (Justin Turner, anyone?)
A useful ceiling to keep in mind for a corner like Richardson is Aaron Glenn -- another Smurf corner who was an All-American at Texas A&M and went on to have a long and very solid career in the NFL (first-round draft pick, multiple Pro Bowls, played 14 years). Glenn was generously listed at 5'9" and around 180-185, which is about where Richardson should end up with couple years in a college strength program.
|50 weeks 5 days ago||Let's hope we see INTs this year||
Please don't take this as a complaint -- just a small quibble; I'm grateful we have Countess! -- but the main difference I see b/w Countess and the other Next-Woodsons's freshmen seasons in the chart above is the lack of INTs for Blake. I'll be curious to see how many picks he gets this year, as he becomes a full-season starter and earns more trust from Mattison. Assuming Mattison continues being aggressive in putting pressure on opposing QBs, Blake should have more opportunities to make plays on the ball and actually pick some off.
|51 weeks 4 days ago||Gorgeous Al's got his work cut out for him||
Thanks for posting this.
Alabama has lost a lot of great players off last year's D (Barron, Kirkpatrick, Upshaw, Hightower), but they'll just reload and a Saban defense will always be well-coached. I'm glad that Borges will have all summer to prepare a game plan against these guys.
|51 weeks 4 days ago||I still can't believe we have a commit named "Taco"||
Makes me smile every time I read his name. Imagine the chants of "Ta-CO! Ta-CO!" every time he notches a sack at the Big House...
|51 weeks 5 days ago||So many great names on those late-90s Michigan defenses||
|52 weeks 12 hours ago||Is that an epic Brady Hoke point at 0:34-0:35?||
Watch the split screen shot of Marlin Jackson during warmups -- I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's another epic Brady Hoke point at around 34-35 seconds into this clip. (2002 was his last year as an assistant at Michigan.)
|52 weeks 15 hours ago||What *did* happen at UCLA?||
I don't follow the west coast programs that closely -- why exactly has UCLA been mediocre for so long despite all the advantages listed above? Is it just the string of mediocre head coaches since Terry Donahue? (Bob Toledo, Neuheisel) Bad facilities? Something else?
|52 weeks 15 hours ago||You do Ramsey a disservice||
If what he's "spouting" is merely "common sense" that people should "know anyway," why do so many people find themselves mired in such deep debt? We've created a whole culture -- both among individuals and in government, business, etc. -- of living beyond our means, not setting priorities, and immediate gratification. You might not like the way Ramsey presents his material, but at least give him credit for helping people break out of this mindset and giving them some specific ideas for how to get their financial house in order.
|1 year 2 days ago||Skill position frustration||
I think a lot of frustration on the board these days concerns Michigan's seeming difficulty (other than w/Shane Morris, obviously) with locking down the really high-profile skill position recruits in recent years, particularly at RB and WR. (Which is why we're all so nervous about Treadwell now.)
A couple years ago it was DeAnthony Arnett and Sammy Watkins at WR, last year it was Brionte Dunn at RB, this year it's Massington at WR and now Isaac at RB. The guys the current coaching staff has been getting so far at these positions seem to be more the "solid-not-spectacular" type or sleeper/under-the-radar recruits than the blue chippers we're all lusting for. We're picking up 4 and 5 star monsters on the lines, particularly OL, and everyone's wondering why more high-profile RBs and WRs aren't jumping for the chance to play with them.
I'm not saying this frustration is necessarily valid -- I think guys like Darboh, Chesson, Dukes, and York at WR and DeVeon Smith at RB all have the potential to be very solid (or even better) players for us -- but I understand why people are a little concerned.
|1 year 3 days ago||Change/new stuff is OK if it looks GOOD||
I have no problem with the occasional hype/throwback uniform for big games in college football -- but it's always better and more special when they're used sparingly. (I'm at least grateful that this alternate uni stuff will apparently happen less often next season at Michigan.)
They're also better when kept relatively simple, like Notre Dame pulling out the lucky green shirts, or teams going for the monocolor look by changing their secondary-color pants to match their shirts (e.g., Florida and Texas A&M below).
Simple is always better -- that's what makes Michigan's normal uniforms so classic. Two-color scheme, clean lines, iconic helmet, no gimmicks, looks great. Think of other classic uniforms in sports -- the Yankees' pinstripes (I hate the Yanks, but it's a great uniform), the Dodgers' blue and white, the Cardinals' red/white/blue w/ the Birds on the Bat, the Cowboys blue and silver with the iconic star on the helmet, the Red Wings' basic red and white and terrific logo -- they're all simple and clean and don't try too hard.
That's why I hate the new gimmick U-M jerseys so much -- they're not simple, they're cluttered and ridiculous. "Victors" and "Valiant" on the undershirt sleeves? Huh? And what's up with all the damn stripes? (It's just Adidas self-promotion.) I actually thought the block M on the front of the UTL jerseys looked good, but the shoulder stripes were just too busy next to the stripes on the helmet. And we can all agree the bumblebee road jersey for MSU was an abomination.
If they want to experiment with road jerseys, I can live with that, as long as it looks good. (i.e., no stupid top-of-the-shoulder stripes, and get rid of the silly maize border around the numbers.) But don't mess with the home unis except on the rarest of occasions.
|1 year 2 weeks ago||I think he leaves||
As much as it pains me to say it. The kid has the frame and physical tools that NFL scouts drool over, and he certainly has the proverbial "mean streak" so coveted among offensive lineman. If he keeps putting on good weight and improving his technique this year and stays healthy, he could be a top 15 pick, and it would be hard for him to turn down that opportunity, especially since he'll already have spent 4 years in school.
What really worries me: What if Fitz has a gangbusters year and decides to enter the draft too?
|1 year 3 weeks ago||I'll be thrilled for Junior if you're right||
But this year's WR crop is so deep, I have a hard time seeing him go any earlier than the 5th. Avant was drafted in the 4th, but he was a probably a more polished route runner coming out of school than Junior, and already had a reputation for Velcro hands.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||How much better could Mouton have been w/better coaching at UM?||
One of those guys who might've been a monster with a better D-coordinator like Mattison. Ah well. Looked pretty good in preseason last year before hurting his shoulder and missing the entire season. Should be interesting to see how he does in San Diego this year.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Stonum's not in the draft||
He's looking to transfer as a grad student so he can play right away and use his final year of eligibility. He recently said Eastern Michigan is one of his finalists.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Martin as a 3-4 DE?||
I'll take it as a good sign that my predictions match up so well with yours, since you know way more about this stuff than I do. But I have one question about your write-up on Mike Martin: Do you really think he's capable of being a 5-tech DE in an NFL 3-4 defense? It seems like the prototype for that position is guys with length -- 6'4" or better -- who have height and long arms to avoid getting engulfed by the NFL's massive offensive tackles. Isn't Martin a much better bet as a 3-tech in a 4-3?
|1 year 4 weeks ago||This was a fun read||
Thanks for putting so much work into this.
How much choice exactly do the new guys have when they pick their number from the available options? I'm curious how this works. Do they request a number, and then the equipment staff/coaches see if that works, and then resolve any conflicts/multiple requests for the same #?
|1 year 10 weeks ago||The article Brian links doesn't even mention the band||
Not sure where Brian got the idea that the trade mag article talks about amping the MMB, since the band is never mentioned. I know next to nothing about sound systems, but to me it seems the article is just talking about the new sound system they installed when they expanded the Big House -- i.e., the speakers used for the public address announcer, "Special K"s stupid rawk music, etc. As dragonchild points out, there's no need at all to amp a 240+ member college marching band that knows what the heck it's doing.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Count me among those concerned about this too||
We need at least one game-breaker/stretch the field guy at WR in every class. Not unhappy about this commit by any means, I just hope the coaches recognize this hole in the roster, particularly after Stonum's departure.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Noticed something awesome about Kovacs in that Sugar Bowl clip||
I noticed something new (to me, anyway) in that clip of Jake Ryan making the huge TFL on David Wilson in the Sugar Bowl -- another reason to love Jordan Kovacs.
Watch Kovacs on the play -- he's reading, zeroing in on the ball-carrier along with everyone else as Wilson goes backwards. But then toward the end, as Ryan closes on Wilson w/several other defenders backing him up, what does Kovacs do? Recognizing Ryan's got plenty of immediate help, Kovacs turns right and starts heading toward the wide side of the field to get an angle, on the off-chance that Wilson manages to escape Ryan, spin away from the pursuit, and cut back across the field.
How many players are that heads-up, that instinctual? Kovacs is thinking ahead -- "What's the one thing that could still go wrong for us on this play?" -- and acting to foreclose that possibility.
It's a privilege to watch him play, and I can't wait to watch him in his senior year.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Not a problem as long as we get Diamond||
Of course, Diamond is the one assumed commit that has always scared me the most b/c he hasn't committed already....
|1 year 15 weeks ago||LMAO at :20 in the highlight video||
Am I the only one laughing like crazy at :20 in the video (second highlight) when Willie has just sacked the QB and then one of his teammates (a DB, from the looks of it) comes flying in to jump on him and celebrate, and Willie just throws him off like a rag doll? Hilarious.
I'm as disappointed as anyone that we struck out on Kozan, Grant, Garnett, etc., but this is a solid pick-up for this recruiting class. (I know we should think of 4-3 under recruiting more like a 3-4, so it wasn't that worrisome that Pipkins was our only true DT in this class, but I'm glad we've picked up another DT, and one with a lot of upside at that.)
Welcome to Michigan, Willie Henry!
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Borges's recent presentation at coaches clinic||
Kudos to the OP for tracking down the book and posting all this.
Related to this -- does anyone have any more details on the presentation Borges gave at the recent Michigan coaches clinic? (The one where Dantonio had his little hissy fit.) According to this write-up, Borges talked about "how to blend a conventional and spread offensive attack." I'd be curious to hear more about how Borges tried to blend concepts from both approaches in the offense this year -- what lessons he learned, etc.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||I thought this post was referring to Joe Posnanski's book...||
... until I clicked the link. Posnanski, of Sports Illustrated, is one of the better sportswriters out there. He spent a year in Happy Valley and was starting to wrap up work on his own Paterno bio (due out this September) when the Sandusky scandal broke.
It'll be interesting to see how the scandal/firing affects Posnanski's final product. It's clear that he went into the project invested in the concept of Paterno as a good and decent man -- a man who tried, mostly successfully, to run a Div. I football program in a more honorable way than others. After the scandal broke, he seemed at a loss for words, but promised to uphold his "responsibility to write the best, most insightful and most honest book I can possibly write about Joe Paterno." In his brief Paterno obit for SI, he recounts asking the dying Paterno "if he hoped that people would come to see and measure his full life rather than a single, hazy event involving an alleged child molester."
I'm not sure "a single, hazy event" is the best description for the many-year pattern of repeated child rape that Sandusky is accused of.... Makes me think that, unfortunately, Posnanski's book will also ultimately downplay Paterno's role in all this.
|1 year 18 weeks ago||He won't be "broken" just because he's 190||
DeSean Jackson is listed at 5-10 and a generous 175. Randle El (who is the perfect comp for Denard re: draft potential) is 5-10 and 185-190. Darren Sproles is all of 5-6 and 190. If those guys can survive in the NFl, so can Denard.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||I almost laughed out loud in my office||
I love Pee Wee Pipkins - he's quickly becoming one of my favorites in the 2012 class.
And it's also great to see how these kids get along and genuinely like each other.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Helping him as a person now means taking away football||
Can't see how Hoke can keep him on the team after this -- at the press conference announcing his hiring as coach, Hoke stressed accountablity and character. He's given Stonum every chance. The kid has continued to demonstrate poor judgment. Lying to the court/law enforcement is the real clincher for me -- I just can't see how you keep him on the team after that. The only thing that will get Stonum's attention at this point is taking away football. I hope he gets the help he needs and gets his life together.
Obviously from an on-the-field standpoint this sucks -- Stonum's return next fall was one of the things we all counted on to soften the blow of losing Junior Hemingway. Our mediocre WR recruiting the last couple of years is gonna come back to haunt us. Wish we had targeted some higher-upside WR prospects in this recruiting class.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||I thought we got a gift last night||
After seeing this, particularly the large gif above, I feel like "incomplete" was the correct call -- though it's still a tough one. At times like these we need to remember just how damn hard the referees' job is, when these things are happening so fast on the field.
Now the other question is whether the video evidence necessitated overturning the call on the field, and I see a lot of truth in what ijohnb and Amolio are saying above. You can say there is more "indisputable" evidence here to warrant overturning the call than what there was, say, to overturn Fitz's last TD against OSU, but I can't blame Tech fans for being a little miffed.
But in the end, even they can't complain too much. If their kicker, who'd been perfect all night, just makes a chip shot field goal from b/w the hashes, then the odds are good we would've seen a second OT, and who knows what happens at that point.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Thank God for Wile||
Hagerup has seemed mentally out-to-lunch all year. I don't know what got him suspended for the first four games, but whatever it was sure seemed to carry over once he returned. I hope he gets things together during the offseason.
Meanwhile, it sure is nice to have Wile as a quality second option at both punter and placekicker. Imagine -- depth at both kicking positions!
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Four Haikus for you||
Team One Thirty-Two
The football gods smile on you
Those who stay are champs
Well, that was ugly
No Gorgeous-Borges O. Still,
A win is a win
Hoke knows it's better
To be lucky than be good.
Go to Vegas, Coach!
Bud Foster's D showed
New template to stop our O.
You have homework, Al.
|1 year 21 weeks ago||I second that motion||
Tell his marketing minions to stop f---ing around with a good thing.
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Great post - less nervous now about 2012 DT recruiting||
A very helpful reminder that the 4-3 under is in many ways more like the 3-4 than the classic 4-3. This makes me (a little) less nervous about us taking only one true DT in the 2012 class. Wormley and Godin seem like guys who will eventually grow nicely into that 3-tech DT/5-tech SDE role that Van Bergen was so effective in this year.
My question for the original poster would be: Who among the returning interior D-lineman (Campbell, Washington, Ash, Wilkins, Brink) do you see slotting in to the NT, 3-tech DT, and 5-tech SDE positions next year w/the departure of Martin, RVB, and Heininger?
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Gamblers might still care about this call||
If I remember correctly, the spread was Michigan favored by 7.5, so Fitz's reversed TD was the difference b/w Michigan beating the spread or not. There are at least a few people out there who lost some big money because that call was reversed.
Anyway, fantastic work by the original poster. It's amazing what people will do for free on the Internet just due to curiosity and having some spare time on their hands!
|1 year 22 weeks ago||I'd definitely second this one||
Perry had a great season at USC this year - 9.5 sacks. Letting those two get out of state was a real sign of how recruiting had slipped at the end of Lloyd's tenure.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Can't be too surprised he ended up staying in La. though||
If I remember correctly, he already had a son, and staying close to him was a big part of his change-of-mind.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Awesome and well-deserved||
Not a surprise given the Remington win, but still great to see.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||I missed the boat||
I always find this meme hilarious, but when/where exactly did it originate? I'm googling all over and I can't find the answer to this question. Forgive my ignorance!
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Methinks David needs a shirt w/a bigger collar :-)||
Can't even button the top button with his tie on. In fairness, it's gotta be tough to find something off the rack that fits when you're that size (just look at that neck!). I hope he will soon have a nice NFL contract so he can go out and get some custom-tailored dress shirts!
Sartorial issues aside, it's great to see him acknowledged properly for his outstanding play this year and throughout his career at Michigan.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Molk needs the right situation/team||
So much of whether someone who's not an all-world talent makes it in the NFL depends on whether they end up on the right team, running the right scheme to take advantage of their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. The consensus on RVB above is a good example. Dude will never make it as a 4-3 end or a 3-technique DT. But he's got the frame and the motor to be a solid if unspectacular 5-tech as a 3-4 DE for someone like the Steelers or Pats, who want their DEs to occupy doubles and take on the trash so their LBs can make big plays.
Molk is a warrior, and smart as hell, and a great technician. But he is really small for an NFL interior lineman, and he already looks pretty maxed out physically, so an NFL strength program isn't going to put another 20 pounds on him. He will struggle to anchor against massive nose tackles like Haloti Ngata or B.J. Raji or stand up to bull rushes.
Still, he's got a shot. The model for Molk having a long career in the NFL is guys like Mark Stepnoski (Cowboys center in the 1990s) and Jeff Saturday of the Colts. Stepnoski was *really* undersized, but he had massive dudes on both sides of him on those great Cowboys line, and played with superior technique and leverage. Saturday is also undersized, but has had a great career -- again, because of smarts, great technique, and in his case, playing in a zone-based running scheme where athleticism and technique matter more than brawn.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Not impressed with that defense?||
I'd be careful about underestimating a Frank Beamer/Bud Foster Va. Tech defense. As Brian noted the other day, this year's group is 12th in yardage and 8th in scoring defense. From the game clips above against Clemson, they look like a sound unit to me. (Granted, Clemson's offense looks mediocre, and Taj Boyd is no Denard...) In the video it seems their D line gets a good rush -- they have 38 sacks on the year (our D had 28), so let's hope the O-line (particularly Huyge) can do a good job in pass protection. Va Tech also had 15 interceptions. The key, as always, will be Denard making good decisions and taking care of the football. If he plays as well as he did against OSU, we'll put up enough points to outscore the Hokies' meh offense.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Aggie fanbase delusions...||
I'm a Michigan alum, but my dad and grandfather both went to A&M and I spent many a Saturday at Kyle Field when I was a youngin', so I know about the expectations in College Station. You're right that the gap b/w where A&M actually is in terms of national perception and where the alums/fanbase think it *should* be is a little extreme. I think a lot of this goes back to the famous Jackie Sherrill comment when he took the coaching job there about A&M being a "sleeping giant" that only needed to wake up to dominate.
And it's true -- a lot of the elements for a national power are there: A great recruiting base, fanatical & passionate alumni and fans, a rich tradition, excellent facilities. And during those late-Sherrill/early R.C. Slocum years, it seemed finally to come togetherm, partly due to Sherrill's less-than-pristine recruiting methods. (From 1989-2002, Slocum was 123-47-2, a .721 winning percentage.) But since then A&M's performance on the field has always seemed to be less than the sum of its parts, except for last year.
I hope Aggie fans are ready to readjust their expectations with the move to the SEC West. Going 8-4 or better every year in that division would be a hell of an accomplishment.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||RR and A&M might've worked||
Still a lot of good young talent on that team, and you don't even have to bother recruiting outside your own state to get good talent (even with Texas, LSU, and the Oklahoma schools (not to mention TCU and Baylor) all competing for the same kids). Also would have been a chance for RichRod to not drop too far in terms of program profile for his next job after UM.
But I think you're right Bosch -- less obstacles and expectations in Arizona. Although A&M has been much more successful in basketball than football lately, it is still a football school first and always (this is Texas, after all!). The expectations are high, probably irrationally so, especially given the competition they'll now face in the SEC West. And A&M's another tradition-rich program where RR would've been parachuting in w/out much of any idea about the program and school's history, traditions, etc.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Hoke (and Brandon) re-evaluation||
I was extremely skeptical of the Hoke hire, but the way the team played this season, and particularly the way they finished the season after the Iowa loss, convinced me that Hoke was the right choice and that he will have a very high ceiling at Michigan. Obviously Mattison/Borges and the rest of the coaching staff, the returning talent, and the relatively soft schedule all played a big role in this year's success. But when you listen to the players talking about Hoke after the OSU game, and listen to what the recruiting commits say about him, it's clear that Hoke has some intangible quality that makes players want to go through walls to play well for him.
Recently I went back and looked at what Brandon said during the presser on this very point when he introduced Hoke as the new coach:
"I'm a former player. It's a long time ago but I still remember, and I think one of the most important things in judging a coach is, Do players want to play for him? And yeah, he [Hoke] kinda scoffed at my 'players' coach' comment, but I'm here to tell ya, you want a team that's going to perform at a high level, it's a team that wants the coach to be successful, 'cause they know it isn't about the coach, it's about the team. And what impressed me about Brady is, first of all, I think he said he told me he wanted this job and it was his dream in life in the first four seconds that we were together. And the second thing is I got more and more into how he coached, and he brought all of the materials he used; we had a long discussion about how he approaches his job. It became very apparent to me that this is not a guy who 'it's all about me.' It's a guy who is all about the team. And he's a guy that players want to play for. And our current football players have only spent a grand total of a couple hours around this guy, but you have no idea how many of them have come up to me and made comments about their immediate reaction to the attitude that this guy brings to coaching football. And I think that's exactly what we need here at Michigan."
I think that's been a key element in the performance of this year's team (along with the improved fundamentals, particularly on D), and will continue to be as long as Hoke is the coach at UM.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Can't say enough how impressive Denard was in this game||
Didn't make a bad decision in the passing game all day, as far as I can recall, and his throws were all on the money -- usually you have at least one or two passes a game w/Denard where someone like Hemingway or Koger bails him out with a circus catch on a poorly placed throw, but not this time. His decision-making regarding when to scramble and when to stay in the pocket and go through his progressions was also terrific -- just watch the TD pass to Hemingway again, for example.
Can't wait to see what Denard can do with another off-season in this offense under his belt, and as Borges continues to learn what works and what doesn't with the current personnel.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Point taken||
Obviously, we all won't feel so great if Duke stomps us tonight and we lay an egg against osu on Saturday. But the long term trends are what really make me excited -- as you put it, from a "structural standpoint, the baselines of both programs have been raised dramatically." That even extends to the facilities, another item I should have mentioned; there's no doubt the upgrades to Crisler, the new BB practice facility (or "Player Development Center" or whatever the hell they call it), and the Big House expansion/renovation are playing a big factor in the great recruiting.
But most of all, it's the coaching. Win or lose against Duke and osu, I just feel like with Beilein and Hoke we finally have two guys leading these programs who have their shit together.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Surprised I didn't think of this||
... seeing as how I was still a UM student at the time! :-) I remember the excitement on campus when Woodson won the Heisman and knowing we'd be playing for the national championship in the Rose Bowl, but I'd forgotten all about the win over Duke the same day. And that was a Duke team with f----n' Wojo, which made the win doubly sweet. (Maybe my efforts to forget everything about the Brian Ellerbe era have been *too* successful...) But U-M hoops was a house of cards, as M-Wolverine notes.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||8-4 is the minimum acceptable||
Yes, coaching change, new systems, etc. It's not easy. But looking at the # of returning starters we had, particularly on offense, and the favorable schedule (just 4 road games, only one rivalry game on the road), and the subsequent 6-0 start, finishing 7-5 would make me very nervous about the long-term future of this program.
8-4 is OK, I guess, but it will be a lot more palatable if that eighth win comes against OSU. We get the weakest OSU team in years, w/out Tressel, at home. That's a game you have to win.
9-3 is a great season, all things considered. Beating Illinois and showing we can actually win on the road against a non-cupcake would be a big step for this team, and then if we can just split the last two at home, we're there.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||As a former Bursley resident back in the mid 90s||
I appreciate the Sexy Grandpa reference in your sig.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Mid-to-late-rounder||
Kevin simply doesn't have the production to warrant being picked in the first few rounds -- only 10 catches so far this year, and just 14 last year. (I'm really surprised Borges hasn't used him more in the passing game in the new offense -- his size and huge hands should make him a favorite target for our short, not-incredibly-accurate (but still AWESOME!) QB.) Still, scouts will cut him some slack b/c of the offense he's been in, and they'll like his big hands, frame, and overall athleticism. They'll like his character too (team captain, etc.). I think he goes somewhere in the mid to late rounds and sticks on an NFL roster, as long as he keeps improving his consistency as a pass-catcher, route runner, and blocker, and shows he can contribute on special teams.
Most of the good NFL draft websites have Kevin ranked from #7-10 among senior TEs. Here's a write-up by National Football Post's Wes Bunting, one of the best draft guys out there IMO:
<blockquote>A tall, athletically put together tight end prospect with a big set of hands, long arms and impressive range when asked to go make a play on the football. However, is still developing in all areas of the game and likely saw his growth/production stunted because of the offense that has been in place at Michigan since his arrival. Isn't the most natural benders when asked to sit into his stance, keeps his base a little high off the line and doesn't generate much explosion releasing into his route. Does a decent job initially trying to drop his pad level off the snap, but too often stands upright taking away from his forward momentum. Isn't real sharp or sudden as a route runner at this stage either, seems to drift into his breaks and looks more confident running away from defenders. Possesses average strider speed, but natural coordination, a big frame and can go up and make a play on the football off his frame. Displays impressive range when asked to go get the football. Plus, does a nice job extending his long arms and using his hands to routinely pluck off his frame.
Isn't a real balanced blocker. Struggles to keep his feet under him, lunges into contact and doesn't create much power as an in-line guy. Possesses a naturally strong frame, but his inability to gain leverage and maintain balance kills him at the point. Possesses long arms and strong hands that allow him to stick initially when he gets his hands on you, but is still learning the nuances of being a consistent run blocker.
Impression: Flashed on tape at times and does have some talent. However, is raw in all areas of the game and looks more like a low round pick/ free agent only who could blossom.</blockquote>
|1 year 29 weeks ago||I love Mattison||
My favorite quote, among many:
"It’s got to be a mindset that when a wide receiver tries to block you, that’s an insult. And you better be so physical that you can’t just shadow him. You have to try to go through him and physically beat him and get off the block. "
|1 year 30 weeks ago||Omameh, and OL personnel adjustments||
Omameh looks so different from the dancing bear who repeatedly got to the second level and pancaked the likes of Manti T'eo last year. So different, in fact, I'm tempted to think he has a lower-body injury no one's telling us about -- but then I remember that the starting RG spot was, according to the coaches, a toss-up even near the end of fall camp. I could understand if Omameh was having trouble as a pulling guard b/c he lacks the brawn for MANBALL power blocking, but I'm amazed that the real issue seems to be his feet/agility.
Meanwhile, Schofield continues to impress. If Barnum ever gets healthy again, Schofield should start over whomever among Omameh/Barnum/Huyge the coaches believe is the biggest liabilty. Barnum hasn't made much of an impression on me when he's played, but my vote would be for Huyge -- good kid, but his limited athleticism becomes a glaring weakness in pass protection against teams with decent-or-better edge rushers.
Finally, re: the snap count jumping stuff -- why the hell does this kind of coaching failture always happen to us in the MSU and OSU games? Going back to the later-Carr era, I cannot recall a single game against these opponents where UM could say, "our coaches outsmarted theirs today," regardless of the final score. Seems like they are always more prepared than we are, and always have some new playcall or scheme that catches us with our pants down.
[Also -- why no "Fitz"/diamond formation in this game? Especially w/the wind and passing game problems, and State's hyper-aggressive LBs, that could have been useful. Argh...
|1 year 31 weeks ago||2001||
That's the one that immediately came to mind when I read the title of this thread, before seeing the options. I enrolled at U-M in 1994, so I have no memory of the 1978 or 1990 games ('90 sounds just awful from what I've read above). Watched the 2001 game with some other recent alums at a sportsbar in Scottsdale while on a business trip... One of those sporting events when the nature of the rip-off was so obvious it was just breath-taking.
I hope we kick their ass tomorrow.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Morris throws left, punts right?||
I can't view the slideshow on my work computer, but from the one punt on the video it looks like Morris punts with his right foot -- is that correct? Strange -- reminds me of baseball players who bat left but throw right, e.g. George Brett.
As for Ross, he looks like a beast, albeit a small beast. He seems tiny out there at MLB -- but I'll take a smallish-guy w/obviously great football instincts and recognition skills over a prototype sized guy who plays passive (see: Obi Ezeh) any day. Being a little short/small certainly didn't hurt Jonathan Vilma or Dat Nguyen as college MLBs.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Not Clemson||
Dabo Swinney just hired the OC from Tulsa, Chad Morris. Besides, is Rich Rod's rep really so damaged by the UM experience that he'd have to take a coordinator job before getting another shot at a HC position? I doubt it.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||So, what *is* Rich Rod's next gig?||
UConn just hired Pasqualoni so that job's out. Pitt has their coach and poached Calvin Magee and Tony Gibson from RR. Probably too close to signing day for him to find and start a new job now.
So I assume he takes a year off and tries to forget the mess he endured in Ann Arbor. Where does he end up next? Which coaches are on the proverbial hot seat in 2011? What programs are potentially better "fits" for him than U-M turned out to be?
|2 years 19 weeks ago||Didn't know we were looking for a compliance officer too||
Hope the successful candidate knows how to count every millisecond of practice time...
|2 years 19 weeks ago||Trent Dilfer made an interesting point||
on Sportscenter @ 9:45am. Take it for what it's worth, which means practically nothing, like 95% of what we're hearing today... anyway, he said he lives near Palo Alto, has been to Stanford practices, etc. He thinks that Harbaugh wants the competitive challenge of the NFL, b/c coaching college for him is "like playing checkers" and he wants to "play chess" against the likes of "Bill Belichick, Andy Reid," etc.
|2 years 19 weeks ago||Same thoughts here||
Maybe I knew deep down RR would have to go after the Penn St. loss, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it, and I was still in the "give him one more year" category at kickoff on Saturday. But my mind had changed by the end of the third quarter. This was Wisconsin/OSU all over again, but against a team with less talent than those two, and despite having a whole month to prepare. Inexcusable.
I just hope the "Dave Brandon Pimp Hand" is for real and not just another overdone MGoBlog meme...
|2 years 22 weeks ago||Good DC from a school we could "drown in 100 dollar bills"||
Brian -- look a few spots past Syracuse/Shafer on the 2010 DFEI rankings and you'll find Navy, which fields consistently excellent defenses under coordinator Buddy Green. I've been banging the drum for Green for a while now -- see this post. My idea is to copy the success Texas A&M had in overhauling their defense this year by bringing in Tim DeRuyter from Air Force.
I'm sure Navy is a great program to coach at, but I would think UM could show Green enough "scads of cash" to convince him to come to Ann Arbor.
|2 years 22 weeks ago||Good question||
All things considered, we're actually doing pretty well with DBs and LBs, but the lack of any good DT prospects showing serious interest in U-M at this point is worrisome.
|2 years 22 weeks ago||I like our 2011 LB commits so far||
Very excited about the combo of Desmond Morgan and Kellen Jones. Good kids with their heads on straight, excellent students, smart players, hard hitters, instinctive -- the kind of kids you can build great defenses around. Now if we can just get some DTs to play in front of them....
|2 years 24 weeks ago||Excellent, thorough post||
Thanks for this. Your conclusion is something that needs to be noted:
If Harbaugh is the new coach and the D suddenly improves, it will be as much about the defense getting older and having a better coordinator (two things that will almost certainly also happen under Rodriguez if he stays) as it would be about Harbaugh. I'm on the fence on the keep/fire Rodriguez question, but I do think it's important to note, as you demonstrate, that Harbaugh might not be a magic tonic for the defense. If Brandon ultimately decides to get Harbaugh, it will be for other reasons.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Nice post||
I went to Michigan but my dad and granddad are A&M alums, so I also root for the Aggies and have really enjoyed watching their turnaround this season. Your analogy is a good one, but it all hinges on Rich Rodriguez finding his own Tim DeRuyter to fix our defense. Let's hope he's willing and able to do it.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||The 2008 team would've been bad no matter who the coach was||
You make some good points, particularly re: RRod's responsibility for GERG, but I have to take issue with this:
Let's remember, that bowl win over the Gators was the swan song for many more people than just Lloyd Carr; the "team Carr left behind" was a shadow of the team that beat Florida. The offense lost Henne, Hart, Long, Manningham, and Adrian Arrington to graduation/the draft, and Mallet was probably going to transfer even if Carr hadn't retired. That's a hell of a lot of talent & experience to replace. The defense lost Shawn Crable, Chris Graham, and both starting safeties. 2008 was a disaster waiting to happen, and the coaching transition only made it worse; you can't really pin all that on Rodriguez. (Nick friggin' Sheridan was playing QB, for heaven's sake!)
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Jamiemac, you're right about the DC at Texas A&M||
It's Tim DeRuyter, who was a great up-and-coming DC at the Air Force Academy before A&M got him. This got me to thinking that Navy's DC, Buddy Green, would be a good post-Robinson hire, for the same reasons that DeRuyter's been a good fit at A&M. I wrote a post about Green after the Penn St. debacle.
|2 years 28 weeks ago||Small correction for you, Brian||
Second play of the third drive (Hopkins zone stretch run) -- you write: "On the stretch Lewan(-1) gets slanted under and Still fights Molk into the backfield but Omameh(+1) has taken care of Ogbu so there's a cutback lane; Molk(+1) got a good second-level block on Colasanti." It's actually Schilling, not Molk, who made the second-level block on Colasanti and deserves the (+1).
I feel a bit sheepish offering such a nitpick, considering all the terrific work you put into these UFRs, but I know you want to get the plusses and minuses right.
|2 years 28 weeks ago||Embed fail...||
My bad -- first time I've tried that. Here's a plain old link:
|2 years 28 weeks ago||Sure Green runs the 3-3-5?||
From Navy's 2010 depth chart, it looks like Buddy Green runs a standard 3-4 -- LE, NG, RE; OLB, ILB, ILB, OLB; LCB, ROV (rover - strong safety, I assume), FS, RCB.
As for video, here are highlights of Navy's win over Notre Dame in 2009; see the 2nd-and-8 play around 0:33 for an example. ND is in shotgun w/one RB, 3 wides and a TE; Navy appears to be in its base 3-4, with a rush OLB on the weakside and the other OLB over the slot receiver:
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|2 years 28 weeks ago||No-nonsense, defensive coordinator hair||
|2 years 28 weeks ago||Point taken re: Belichick||
Hasty comment on my part. Now that I look into this a little more, I guess Tom Coughlin would be another good counterexample -- took Jacksonville to two AFC title games, then came back and led the Giants to a Super Bowl win. And Dan Reeves led the Falcons to a Super Bowl loss after taking the Broncos to 4 SB losses. And the biggest retread of all, Dick Vermeil, won a Super Bowl with the Rams after losing one with the Eagles two decades before.
I should've been more specific -- when I cited Gruden and Cowher, I was thinking of ex-coaches who have Super Bowl rings coming back with another team. (Belichick only had one winning season out of five in Cleveland, and of course Coughlin, Reeves, and Vermeil hadn't won titles.) Think of Mike Holmgren in Seattle; Joe Gibbs in his second tour with the Redskins; Ditka with the Saints. None of those guys won another ring, and I think despite all the speculation about guys like Gruden and Cowher, most NFL teams looking for a new coach now would rather find one of these young rising stars, and Jim Harbaugh is certainly among that group.
|2 years 28 weeks ago||I don't understand all the Harbaugh talk either||
Doesn't everyone know that lots of NFL teams will be talking to Harbaugh about a head-coaching job after this season? Teams don't want retreads like Cowher or Gruden (has anyone like that ever come back and actually won a title?) -- they want the next up-and-coming young guy, the next Mike Tomlin or John Harbaugh.
If Jim Harbaugh is going to leave Stanford, why wouldn't he leave for the chance to coach at the highest level in the NFL and make enormous amounts of money? Particularly when two of the most storied and glamorous franchises in the league, the 49ers and the Cowboys, will almost certainly make him a serious candidate?
|2 years 30 weeks ago||Another uncalled penalty on this play...?||
Besides the above-noted possible hold on Roh, watch the Iowa RT -- he starts coming out of his stance at 0:02 on the video, a half beat before the snap. No false start there? Argh.
|2 years 30 weeks ago||That video made my day||
... and then the Gittleson pic was just icing on the cake.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||So many good ones||
i know it's over and oh it never really began but in my heart it was so real
|2 years 31 weeks ago||Is that a Mary Poppins reference, Brian???||
The scene where Jane & Michael's father goes bonkers after being fired by the old Mr. Dawes, who calls after him: "Banks ... Banks? ... BANKS?!?!?!?!"
(What can I say, I have a 5 year old and a 4 year old, I've seen the movie about 5000 times that past couple of years....)
|2 years 31 weeks ago||I think it's Van Bergen, actually||
Long-armed white dude with a "5" as the first number on the back of his jersey -- gotta be RVB.
Whoever it is, I think you're right about the problem with him getting his back turned to the "B" gap here.
|2 years 35 weeks ago||Yes yes yes||
That was absolute domination by Omameh there. As I mentioned last night in another thread, not only does he pancake Te'o -- he drives him so far downfield that he also takes out the weakside safety running over (who might've been the only guy w/an angle to tackle Denard, or at least force him to change direction). And then Roundtree blows up the other safety with a textbook cut block; Molk sealed off the DT w/a perfect reach block, Koger and Dorrestein did well... lots of heroes on that play.
|2 years 35 weeks ago||The shot of the ND student section at the end is priceless||
They had that "stomach punch loss" look... :-)
Awesome video. Amazing poise by Denard and the whole offense on that drive.
|2 years 35 weeks ago||Many heroes on that play||
If you watch the replay, you'll see what the coaches meant after the game when they kept saying "Yes Denard was awesome, but the other guys are playing a big part too." That play really epitomizes how and why this team is winning. Molk gets an outstanding reach block to seal the DT; Schilling takes out the weakside LB. Dorrestein does a nice job on the DE, and Koger stalemates the DB over the slot. Meanwhile, Omameh should get a +5 on that play on the UFR: he absolutely pancakes MLB Manti Te'o -- so thoroughly, in fact, that healso ends up taking out the weakside safety who might've been the only guy with an angle on Denard. And Odoms and Roundtree get great blocks downfield-- Roundtree just destroys the playside safety with a cut block.
And oh yeah, Denard did OK too. There was really just a little crease b/w Dorrestein and Koger, but he was patient, waited for the hole, and blazed through. Just outstanding work by everyone on that play.
|2 years 35 weeks ago||Yes - watch his outstanding play on the flea-flicker INT||
He starts his zone drop, sees the handoff and starts heading back to the LOS, and then recognizes the flea-flicker and hauls ass back into the zone again and makes the pick. Not a great throw by the QB there, but still, that was impressive. A lot of heroes in today's game, and Jonas was definitely one of them.
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Hat tip to Brian on his predictions||
Let's revisit his traditional "three opportunities for me to look stupid" from the game preview:
Denard: 24 of 40 = 60%
Turnovers: UM 0, ND 3
Margin of victory: 4 points
Now if we can just get the tailbacks going...
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Don't know how I'll get to sleep tonight||
It's been 5+ hours and I'm still buzzed over the win. Was at a sports bar in the DC 'burbs with a fellow UM grad, and the rest of the place was filled mostly with ND and osu fans. Felt great to sing "The Victors" after the game with all of 'em looking on!
|2 years 36 weeks ago||What to do with Roh?||
Very encouraging overall, and an amazing job by Brian, as always. (Though I'd second the comment above that Banks's TD-saving arm tackle deserved more than a +1.)
I'm starting to appreciate what the 3-3-5 stack allows us to do and the versatility it offers -- but I wonder if Roh's particular talents aren't wasted when he spends the majority of his snaps standing off the line of scrimmage. What excited us so much about him as a DE recruit was his burst off the edge and his sick pass-rush moves. Yet on pass plays in this D, he's as likely to drop back into a zone or cover the flat from his usual spot as he is to rush the passer. At some point, we'll need to put a lot more pressure on QBs to protect our secondary, and the most immediate way to do that, I'd think, would be to put Roh on the LOS more often as a fourth down lineman/edge rusher. He seems the most likely guy to pick up the pash-rushing slack left by BG's departure.
|2 years 36 weeks ago||I second your thought on the players' failure here||
Bad on the coaches, but the players screwed up too. At least ONE person on the field (MLB?)has to have the awareness to see the quick snap coming, realize the D is nowhere near being lined up, and signal for a timeout like a madman. Not only did they give up the TD, but Carvin was left totally exposed and gets injured as a result.
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Whatever happened to Anthony Kim?||
I love watching the Ryder Cup but only follow pro golf intermittently -- whatever happened to Anthony Kim? I remember he was HUGE for the U.S. in 2008; he destroyed Sergio Garcia 5&4 in the first match of Sunday singles. Is he injured? Not playing well?