"Coach Mattison told me what the Ravens were about, what he thought," Beyer said. "He definitely encouraged me. I hold his opinion in high regard."
|6 days 9 hours ago||Pinup Posbang for Memorial Day Weekend||
In honor of those who gave their lives in service to our nation, how about some Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable, two of the great pinups of WW2?
Have a great weekend everyone.
|6 days 10 hours ago||There's an entire Buzzfeed list on this phenomenon||
"Fifteen of the Most Deformed Fingers in Sports" -- not for the fainthearted. Check out Anthony Munoz in particular.
My favorite story along these lines is that of Ronnie Lott -- I'd always heard that he got his pinky finger smashed so bad once that the tip actually came off (or, that they cut it off) DURING a game, and he played through it, thus cementing his status as an NFL tough guy. As it turns out, he actually had the tip amputated the following offseason.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Not a world-beater, but we don't need him to be||
Big thanks to Brian for UFR'ing multiple Rudock games to see what exactly we've got in him, showing a nice range of good-to-great Rudock (vs. Northwestern) to meh-mediocre Rudock (vs. Maryland).
Is he the second coming of Andrew Luck? Hell no. But neither is he a guy who's occasionally going to be so awful he'll lose games for you single-handedly. As others have said above, he's low-variance -- and with the kind of defense we expect to have this fall, that's plenty good enough to lead this team to at least 8-9 wins with this year's schedule. And as the previous UFR against Northwestern showed, when this kid has decent protection, he can be pretty darn good -- he's got an accurate arm with some zip that can make all the necessary throws. And unlike every other QB on the roster right now, he's got significant starting experience as a Big Ten QB.
Ideally, Shane Morris is so good in fall camp that he beats out Rudock for the job -- I think his upside (and thus the upside for the offense) is higher, and it would sure be nice going into 2016 with a loaded roster that includes a senior QB with a year of starts under his belt. But worse case, Rudock is your starter with Shane pushing him hard, and then in 2016 you have a senior Morris w/a year of Harbaugh polish ready to take the reins, unless he's beat out by one of O'Korn/Speight/Malzone/Gentry. It's good having multiple bullets in the chamber.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||This was my thought too||
It's a win-win for all involved. Great for the athletes, obviously. Great for the coaches, especially the small-school guys. And not coincidentally, great for us -- Harbaugh knows that when he succeeds in Ann Arbor, his staff's gonna get poached quite a lot by other schools w/HC or coordinator jobs open. This is just another way for him to network with other up-and-coming coaches and ID talented folks who he might want to join his staff someday. Brilliant stuff.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Can't have a posbang w/out Alison||
Where's The Mad Hatter, anyway?
Happy Friday everyone!
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Smith's currently our best RB, which is slightly frustrating||
Another thing this analysis brings home to me: It's a little frustrating that out of our current stable of RBs, the one who seems to have the best instincts, balance, toughness, and vision -- Deveon Smith -- is also the one with the least speed, quickness, and burst. (I'm withholding judgment on Ty Isaac b/c I haven't seen him enough yet.) If you could put those qualities of Smith's in Green or Isaac's body, that would be a dangerous back. But Smith's pretty good, when you also consider his ability to keep getting positive yards after contact. He's not going to bust any 70-yard TDs, but if the guys up front get the job done, he can be a very nice Chris-Howard style back for us.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||This posbang needs more Alison||
One banger above provided some Alison, but where is Mad Hatter? He's usually early on the Alison Brie beat.
Anyway, here she is, looking for some upvotes!
Happy Friday to all, and Go Blue.
|9 weeks 4 hours ago||Most interesting thing to me is the QBs||
This draft seems to confirm what we saw in that practice report the other day -- Morris is in front right now, with Malzone close behind, and Speight clearly #3 at this point.
Let's hope all these data points mean the lights have finally come on for Shane.
|9 weeks 4 hours ago||Tweak or tear, this is still grim news||
Some guys' bodies just aren't built for high-level athletic competition; for whatever reason, they are "injury-prone," even when they take care of themselves properly and rehab the right way, etc. As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I've seen this phenomenon w/Sean Lee -- the guy is a terrific linebacker: smart, hard-hitting, great instincts, makes plays all over the field, a natural leader. But he also can't manage to stay on the field, and had the same problem when he was at Penn St.
I wish Drake the best and hope he gets past this, but it would be wise for all of us to re-calibrate our expectations for him as a Michigan WR from "future superstar" to "any meaningful contribution will be a pleasant surprise."
|9 weeks 1 day ago||Splitting coaching the staff, probably||
That's what I remember from watching videos of the spring game drafts he did as Stanford -- Harbaugh acted as the master of ceremonies, if you will, announcing the choices, but the rest of the coaching staff was split up into two separate rooms and actually drafted the teams.
Another interesting tidbit, re: just how good Andrew Luck was/is -- in one of the videos, one team (probably as a result of a coin flip) got Luck as the first pick, and Harbaugh gave the non-Luck side the next THREE picks to compensate.
Here's the one from 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ivcSnXiPTA
(Drevno sighting at 1:45, btw)
|9 weeks 6 days ago||MGoBlog, where you get ...||
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Let's do this...||
Put a little "spring" in your step, MGoBlog friends.
But she reminds you this is a BEWBZ-FREE posbang:
Happy Friday to all!
|10 weeks 6 days ago||You can never have enough Alison in the posbang||
Happy Friday, everyone.
|10 weeks 6 days ago||That's a hell of a downvote he's giving there...||
|11 weeks 8 hours ago||Sideline sightings||
Devin Funchess looking on from the sidelines at around 2:25, I believe. (Would've been interesting to see how he would've responded to Harbaugh & Co.'s coaching...) And is that Jack Miller taking things in from the sidelines in street clothes at 2:57?
|12 weeks 6 days ago||Yes -- coaches on the board, weigh in, please||
Showing them how to transition quickly from receiving a shotgun snap into a throw? Something else?
|12 weeks 6 days ago||I'll see your Alison Brie pic, and raise you a gif||
Chugga chugga choo choo, get your Friday rolling down the tracks, my friends.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||Hail to the Bangers||
Happy Friday to all, and may winter end soon.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||Thanks for reminding me, State Street...||
... why I avoided Greek life like the plague when I was a student in A2.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||Students in general, maybe||
Michigan students in general, sure. Students in student government? Not so much...
|13 weeks 6 days ago||Let me add some more Alison Brie to the SFW posbang||
Agree w/you re: Brie over Upton, M-Dog.
Here's some more non-bewbz Alison cuteness for everyone...
Upvotes for all on a Frigid Friday! (It was 1 degree when I left my house in N. Virginia this morning! Thought I'd left this weather back in A2 when I graduated...)
|14 weeks 9 hours ago||Yes... let's make this a chance to exercise some creativity||
Doesn't take much thought to post pictures of HAWT BEWBZ (though I like 'em as much as anyone). Time to raise your posbang gif game, MGoBloggers. Think of this as a chance to creatively abide by the rules.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Four day weekend posbang||
Four day weekend because I'm home sick today, alas.
On the plus side, my wife loves to play nurse, and also believes Valentines Day is absurd. She's the best!
Happy Friday and stay warm, my friends.
|15 weeks 4 hours ago||Surprised Beilein's "sit w/2 fouls" not on Brian's rant list||
Beilein's non-negotiable policy of sitting players with two fouls in the first half, no matter the circumstance, has always been a big pet peeve of Brian's (and is maybe the only possible thing for which JB can be justly criticized). Very surprised it didn't make the list of his "top rant subjects in recent times."
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Thanks SC and Magnus for clarifying this||
Thanks for clarifying, especially on the differences b/w the split-back and I-form versions of the West Coast offense.
The emphasis on the fullback in the passing game is one thing that has always intrigued/puzzled me about the WCO; I remember Tom Rathman catching tons of passes as the 49ers' fullback in the late 80s. On one hand, it seems a great way to attack defenses who are more focused on other skill players and consider the FB an afterthought in the passing game. On the other hand, if the intention is to have, as SC puts it, "quick, easy throws with the intention of getting the ball in space and stretching the field laterally," wouldn't you rather have the more explosive and elusive athlete (i.e., the tailback), getting those passes in space rather than a lumbering FB? That might be the difference b/w a nice 5-10 yard gain and a nicer 15-25+ yard gain... Just curious why this I-form version of the WC offense places such emphasis on making probably the least athletic/elusive skill player on the field such a focus of the passing game. If you've got a Rathman or Moose Johnston, OK, but those guys are hard to find.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Upvotes from Alison for all the late pos-bangers||
We can't all pos-bang at 6am... Happy Friday to all!
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Here's an upvote, fellow late-banger||
Leaving work early today to celebrate the Mrs.' birthday -- bang me!
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Somebody give this man a "NOBODY!"||
|16 weeks 1 day ago||According to that site, they hired Aaron Wellman, too||
They posted this on Monday -- sorry if this has already been noted on MGoBlog:
"Notre Dame: Former Michigan director of strength and conditioning Aaron Wellman has joined the Notre Dame staff as assistant director of strength and conditioning."
The Hoke/ND marriage is a strange one, considering how much smack he (rightly) talked about them for weaseling out of the series w/Michigan. Will be interesting to see what his role is there. For all his faults as a head coach, Hoke is a very good D-line coach and an excellent recruiter, especially in the Midwest, so not necessarily a bad pickup for Kelly's staff.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Obligatory here...||
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Yes, Gardner was what I was getting at, Magnus||
At that point Bellomy was a redshirt frosh, a 3-star guy who was a last-minute addition to the RichRod/Hoke transition class of 2011. It's asking a lot for a guy that green, with that pedigree, to come in on the road in Lincoln and succeed in that environment. Hindsight is 20/20, obviously, but they should've been better prepared to play Gardner as Denard's backup if he got hurt. Just my two cents.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||So, who's the greatest ever - Tiger or Jack?||
(BTW, I'm setting Bobby Jones aside for this discussion -- different era, way different equipment.)
I'm assuming Tiger keeps playing for a while, maybe even wins a few tournaments if he's lucky, but never sniffs another major.
Peak Tiger was something to behold. When he was on, he was so utterly dominant. Winning the 2008 Open at Pebble Beach basically on one leg was one of the greatest competitive feats I've ever seen. I'm too young to have seen the Bear at his peak; I have childhood memories of him winning the '86 Masters, that's about it.
As things stand today, I think you have to give the nod to Nicklaus; while his peak might not have been as dominant as Tiger, his sustained his peak for much longer. And you can argue that Jack's rivals during his peak -- first Arnold Palmer, then Trevino and Player, then Watson -- were stiffer competition than what Tiger faced when he was racking up many of his majors (no Rory yet, Mickelson still getting his act together, David Duval flaming out spectacularly after his brief run of greatness, Sergio never living up to the hype).
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Good luck Keith - not sure why he didn't play more TE last year||
Given AJ Williams' continued struggles w/blocking, and the Hoke regime's insistence on running 2-TE packages pretty often, I'm surprised Heitzman didn't get more time as the blocky-TE over Williams last season.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Jack Miller, Countess, and Morgan||
And Countess and Morgan wouldn't be back if they hadn't had redshirts due to injury -- they both played significant time as true freshmen.
Let's hope the Hoke/Harbaugh transition class we welcome next Wednesday pans out better than the RichRod/Hoke transition class...
EDIT: I see someone beat me to this just below.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Lots of factors at play||
Doubtless a huge part of it is mental, and the mental side is such a huge factor at the level of PGA Tour pros. The hooker scandal definitely knocked him off stride.
Another part of it is physical. Tiger's always had a violent swing, and all that torque has clearly wrecked his left knee and his back; it's pretty hard to play great golf when those two key body parts are messed up. I kinda doubt Tiger ever did PEDs -- by all accounts he's just a workout nut who is a little obsessed with Navy SEAL workouts, etc. I seem to remember one of his swing coaches warned him to back off that stuff, fearing it was putting too much wear and tear on his joints.
Rick Reilly (who's not always my cup of tea) had a pretty good column last April contrasting Tiger with the man whose records he set out to chase from the beginning, Jack Nicklaus. Reilly said the big difference between the two was "balance":
I don't think Tiger surpasses Jack's 18 majors now (he'd need 5 more); hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't win even one more. His body and his brain aren't in the right place, and there are too many other talented guys out there. Can you really see Tiger going toe-to-toe on Sunday at a major with Rory McIlroy anytime soon and coming out on top?
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Any rumors on who the 2 assumed OL transfers/medicals are?||
If Bosch wasn't one of them, who is it?
Can't imagine Kugler is one of them, right now he's your first back-up at center and presumably takes over that job with 2 years of eligibility left after Miller graduates next year.
Maybe some of the guards like Bars or Samuelson who are a little more buried on the depth chart now since Glasgow became a starter and Magnuson moved inside from tackle b/c of Mason Cole?
Commence uninformed (or better, informed) speculation...
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Good luck to you, Russell!||
No QB should have been thrust into the situation he was when Denard went down in that game against Nebraska. Bellomy also had an ACL tear during spring practice at some point, if I recall correctly. Glad he's getting his Michigan degree and hope finds a place where he'll play some meaningful snaps this fall.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||ESSS-EEEE-CEEEEE||
Re: Texas athletes not choosing UT over A&M (or Baylor, TCU, or LSU for that matter) -- this is where A&M's move to the ESS-EEE-CEEEE is proving shrewd. It's allowed them to put a little distance b/w themselves and UT (it was a very similar Little Brother-Big Brother dynamic as UM-MSU), and they get to pitch playing in arguably the toughest conference to Texas kids.
Austin's a great town, certainly more fun than College Station. I'm a Michigan alum but my father and grandfather both went to A&M and I have other relatives who work there today, so I know A&M can seem a little strange to some people -- it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea. But the people who go there LOVE it; I'd put Aggie alums up against alums from any other school for the level of sheer devotion, loyalty, and love they have for their school and its traditions and the experience they have there. In Kyler Murray's case, his dad's an alum and was a star QB there in the '80s, so he's seen some of that firsthand. Not surprised he would choose A&M -- plus, Sumlin's offense is the perfect fit for him.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||Bangs ... and bangs||
Good Lord, I need something to get out of my head that bizarre, disturbing Miley Cyrus chicken image posted above ...
So here's the lovely Zooey again, sporting bangs and banging with some toy guns. Happy Friday to all!
|17 weeks 1 hour ago||WEBER, just to send a message to Urban/OSU||
I can see the case for Marshall or Clark as "bigger splashes," and they play key positions (esp. Clark for what Harbaugh wants to do on offense). But to me, getting Weber back to UM would be an important first punch in Urban/OSU's nose from Harbaugh. Messages sent:
* The best players in Michigan go to Michigan, dammit.
* It sucked losing Damon Webb to OSU -- getting Weber back says we aren't going to let Meyer maintain a recruiting beachhead at one of our most important feeder programs. We're keeping the best Michigan players, and we're coming after the best players in Ohio.
I think it's important to score an early victory on the recruiting trail against Meyer, and this is Harbaugh's best chance to do it in the short timeframe he has for the 2015 class, since the kid had already committed to us earlier. (Not to mention, beyond the Green/Smith/Isaac/Johnson quartet, our RB cupboard needs stocking, and Weber looks like a special talent.)
|17 weeks 3 hours ago||Anyone know if it's the same knee Butt had the ACL tear in?||
Just wondering if this is a sign that the knee is still not 100 percent after the ACL injury.
|17 weeks 8 hours ago||I think Maisel's just trying to dampen the "going national" talk||
As noted by commenters above, Maisel admirably does point to contradictory evidence (Harbaugh's Stanford), and elsewhere in the piece lays out all the reasons why "recruiting nationally" does makes sense -- it's a lot easier w/today's "travel, technology, and media" as well as summer camps for programs to evaluate and reach out to talent outside their "footprints." I think he's simply trying to pump the brakes on this notion that using a "national brand" to "recruit nationally" is a substitute for ensuring you kick ass at recruiting in your own backyard.
|17 weeks 9 hours ago||Kawakami is killing them on Twitter||
I know, the guy's a tool, but at least he's directing his tooliness in the right direction now (and to be fair, he's chronicled quite well for over a year the 49ers' ownership/front office's efforts to undermine Harbaugh).
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Good pick-up if we get him||
And I say this as someone who is as high on Alex Malzone as anyone -- I love his competitiveness and his leadership and think he's going to be a great one at UM before it's all said and done. Still, you can never have enough competition at the most important position on the field (a lesson Brady Hoke has learned the hard way), so I like that Harbaugh wants a second QB for this class, and Gentry fits the bill nicely.
I'm still kinda amazed Kyler Murray might flip from A&M to Texas. His dad is Kevin Murray, a QB legend for the Aggies in the mid-'80s who's since become a QB guru in TX. Maybe the kid wants to get out of his father's shadow a bit...
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Late to the posbang, but for a good reason||
Spent some "quality time" w/the Mrs. before heading to work this morning. So you might say I've had my posbang already, and this is just gratuitous banging at this point, but I'm here anyway.
And here's my weekly "bang" gif for y'all.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||I think Stribling fits into this shift as well||
He's 6'2' and 178lbs -- another lanky corner who just needs to fill out a little bit. And yes, he did show a few things his first year.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Attacking this thread w/a disdain UNKNOWN TO MANKIND!||
This is epic, Dr. Richard Kimble. I salute you.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||This Super Bowl is becoming an Asteroid Game for me||
11 of 12 balls underinflated is very unlikely to be a coincidence. Did it make a real difference in the outcome of the game? Probably not, as the Colts were lucky even to be in the conference final. But when you look at this with Spygate already in the back of your mind, you can't help but think Belichick and the Patriots are quite comfortable with going beyond the rules to gain every competitive advantage they can. It's a shame, because this stuff will always be talked about in connection with the great accomplishments of the Pats during Brady's career.
Since everyone on this board is ga-ga over Harbaugh these days (me too), let's revisit the other mantra (besides "Attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind!") Jack Harbaugh instilled in his boys:
"He gave them simple advice: Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal. Those were game-changers and would lead to compromised relationships."
B/w the Patriots' chicanery and everything I can't stand about the Seahawks (Richard Sherman's big mouth, Pete Carroll's d-baggery, and their obvious debt to PEDs), this Super Bowl is starting to look like an Asteroid Game to me.
|18 weeks 6 days ago||SAC was a bad fit for Nik||
Simmons and Jalen were railing about this around draft time -- Nik didn't leave too early, Sacramento was just a poor fit for him. The Kings were probably hoping that picking Nik would (at the very least) light a fire under McLemore's ass, and that seems to have happened; he's improved enough to solidify his hold on the 2-guard spot there, and is even shooting better than Nik now. Tough for Stauskas to get minutes in a situation like that.
So after the predictable poor fit plays out, Nik becomes trade fodder. Not surprising -- Sacramento surely planned to turn whoever lost the Stauskas/McLemore competition into a trade asset; both were top 10 draft picks.
We all knew Nik would struggle on D; what's really concerning is that he seems to have lost all confidence and that's effecting his one superior skill that will keep him in the league, his shooting. Hope he finds a better fit and regains his stroke soon.
|18 weeks 6 days ago||Come on bangs, you sons of bitches...||
Need a posbang -- had a tooth extracted yesterday and I'm now on the annoying post-extraction cycle of soft foods and salt-water rinses... Late to the Friday posbang as usual, but I'm generous with my upvotes for all the early birds!
|19 weeks 6 days ago||Harbaugh's selling point to cornerbacks||
"I coached Richard Sherman at Stanford. See where he is now?"
|19 weeks 6 days ago||Great article from the always excellent Chris Brown||
Hadn't seen this before, thanks. Just another example of what a smart coach Harbaugh is, and a nice specific example of how he makes things easier for his QBs w/out "dumbing down" the offense too much.
|19 weeks 6 days ago||Mattison has some TX ties, I believe||
From his time coaching at A&M. Not sure about anybody else on the new staff.
I'd love for us to make more of an effort recruiting Texas; we've had some good players from there (e.g., Jarrett Irons). But between UT and A&M and the recent good runs of TCU and Baylor, plus cross-border options in Oklahoma and LSU, it is damn hard to pull kids far away from that state. And the last three Texans at Michigan that I can remember -- Daryl Stonum, Stephen Hopkins, and Sam McGuffie -- all flamed out in various ways and didn't finish here.
|19 weeks 6 days ago||Bang me, bang me! I pick||
Bang me, bang me!
I pick Baltimore to cover the spread, if not necessarily win against the Patriots. John HARBAUGH always has them ready to play Belichick's boys tough, and Flacco seems to have his postseason mojo going again.
Seattle covers at home.
Dallas to pull the upset in Green Bay (or at the very least cover a too-large 6-point spread). All you Lions fans here need to stop being emotional w/this pick. Gimpy Rogers, Cowboys are 8-0 on the road this year (including a win in Seattle) and are built to win games like this -- pound it on the ground w/Murray and that great O-line (and GB's run defense is average, at best), keep Rogers off the field, and when GB sells out to stop Murray, Romo/Bryant/Witten make a couple decisive big plays in the passing game. This looks like a repeat of 2007 and 2011, when an NFC East team that played well on the road (the Giants, in both cases) came into Lambeau and beat a higher-seeded Packer team in the playoffs.
Denver covers at home over the Colts - already beat them handily this year.
Oregon covers over Ohio St. - I share Coach Harbaugh's sentiments that an osu win would be good for the B1G, but too much Mariota for the Buckeyes defense, I think.
|19 weeks 6 days ago||A&M will be just fine w/out this guy||
Kyle Allen played well for them down the stretch, and they also have a 5-star QB, Kyler Murray (son of 1980s A&M star QB Kevin Murray), coming in their 2015 recruiting class.
Snatching Chavis away from LSU as their new D-coordinator was a coup, too.
|20 weeks 2 days ago||StephenRKass's avatar - who is she?||
I second many of the nominations above -- lots of fun avatars on this board (and this comes from someone who has never bothered to have an avatar himself). I'm partial to MGoBrewMom, though.
But more important is a question I've had forever, and this thread seems the perfect place to finally ask it: Who is the striking lady staring out from the black and white photo in StephenRKass's avatar? I've always assumed it's his wife, but for all I know its just some anonymous model in one of those stock photos they put in the picture frames they sell at Michael's...
|21 weeks 1 day ago||Great info, thanks||
Maize & Blue News, I site I hadn't heard of before, also had a good detailed breakdown of potential assistants and their various relationships w/Harbaugh and level of plausibility:
|21 weeks 3 days ago||Happy Pos-Baugh||
Did someone say POSBANG?
|22 weeks 6 days ago||Another great detailed look at Harbaugh's work||
Thanks for this. Of course, the more stuff like this I read telling me just how good a coach Harbaugh is, the more I'm setting myself up for disappointment if he doesn't come to A2.
|23 weeks 4 hours ago||Blessed Saint Bo, intercede for us...||
Seriously, haunt Jim in his dreams or something. Program hasn't been the same since the week you died and we lost Football Armageddon to the Buckeyes in 2006. Coach Harbaugh can bring us back.
This whole thing is making me batshit crazy...
|23 weeks 7 hours ago||ThoseWhoStay vs. Henson/JeffMoss||
I'm taking these ThoseWhoStay tweets w/a truckload of salt, despite Brian's more positive take on this guy (whoever he is) yesterday. That said, if you believe his stuff, there are two scenarios here which can't both be true:
#1 - The scenario that Gregg Henson and Jeff Moss have pushed for a long time now, and that has been echo'd with all the other "IT'S HAPPENING" chatter emerging from various Michigan "insiders" lately, which Brian has also picked up: Harbaugh is essentially in the bag already and has had some sort of understanding in place w/Michigan for a while now, and it's just a matter of letting him finish out his NFL season and keeping a lid on all this so it doesn't look like he's bailing early on his current team. The only reason he doesn't come back is a last-minute change of mind/he "flakes."
#2 - The ThoseWhoStay/pessimistic scenario -- There was some initial contact/guaging of interest back in November, and Harbaugh either said "no" or said "I can't address this during a playoff chase, focused on my team now, I'll get back to you later." 49ers are eliminated, and now things start in earnest, Michigan approaches him with a firm $8mil/year offer, which is higher than whatever vague numbers they discussed during the initial contacts. Harbaugh is genuinely undecided, has real interest in the Michigan job, but it's more 50/50 and not nearly the "IT'S HAPPENING", essentially done-deal scenario other "insiders" are pushing.
I'd like to believe #1, but tend to think #2 is closer to reality.
|23 weeks 2 days ago||So hard to know what to think right now||
It's HAPPENING. It's not happening. ARGH.
Based on everything out there to date, we can saw we KNOW these things ONLY:
* Harbaugh is Candidate #1A, B, and C for Michigan, and he has a significant offer from us (money/years/control) already on the table
* Harbaugh does have at least SOME interest in the job. There's too much positive chatter from too many people for the "he's not interested AT ALL, he's never leaving The Shield" camp to be 100% right. If he truly had no interest whatsoever, he'd have let Hackett know by now, and Hackett would have found a way to leak that info through Webb or others to get the fanbase to calm down
What worries me is all the loose talk that this is a done deal. I'd sure like to believe it, but I think it's just as likely Harbaugh is very interested but still making up his mind -- hell, his 49ers' season really only ended on Sunday, and if he's the coach and competitor we all think he is, he was focused like a laser on trying to get his guys into the playoffs again ("leaders eat last," etc.). As Brian has been at pains to point out, even Harbaugh is dealing w/imperfect information at this point -- he doesn't know yet how many other NFL teams are interested in his services, and how much money and personnel control they're willing to throw at him, how much they'd have to give the Niners in draft picks in a trade, etc. He might be strongly inclined to come back to A2, yet still want to know exactly what he's turning down before giving Hackett an ironclad "I'm in."
I don't think we learn anything more definitive until Dec. 29th, and I'm almost willing to avoid this board and all other sources until then for the sake of my sanity. (Ah, who am I kidding, right?)
|23 weeks 3 days ago||What does an offer "competitive with the NFL" look like?||
Harbaugh is making about $5 mil/year with SF. Payton and Carroll are the highest paid NFL coaches at $8 mil/year, w/Belichick just a notch below at $7.5 mil. Presumably, any NFL team that wants to take a run at Harbaugh not only needs to offer him some degree of personnel control (if not a dual coach/GM job), but also money somewhere close to those guys (who probably deserve a little more than JH, since they've won Super Bowls). And knowing crazy billionaire NFL owners, someone will probably offer him more, say, $8 million.
Meanwhile, the top 5 in college looks something like this (http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/):
Saban: ~ $7.1 million; Dantonio: ~$5.6 mil; Stoops, Sumlin, Strong - all ~ $5 mil; Then you have Urban Meyer at $4.5 and Miles just a shade below that.
I can't imagine Harbaugh -- who's got NFL experience and took his team to three straight conference title games and a Super Bowl -- would accept not being the highest-paid coach in his own conference, but I'm also not sure Michigan can pay him more than Saban. So we're looking at something like $6 to $6.5 million. Is that enough to convince him to leave the NFL? I sure as hell hope so.
|23 weeks 3 days ago||"Do you want to be your brother, or be Bo?"||
I like the way you framed this appeal to Harbaugh, and hope if he's wavering b/w the NFL and Michigan and Hackett has to put on a little pressure to force a decision, he'll say something like this -- "Sugar water" vs. "change the world."
It really comes down to what's most important to Harbaugh. Does he want to be a "legend"? He's much more likely to achieve that at Michigan -- resurrecting his alma mater's football program back to dominant status, vanquishing Dantonio and Urban Meyer, winning Big Ten titles and Rose Bowls and maybe a NC. That's a great story.
Or, does he want to be recognized as a "great coach"? i.e., rather than being Bo 2.0, would he rather be Bill Walsh 2.0 -- someone who won at Stanford and then won multiple Super Bowls, and is recognized in the conversation about greatest football minds at the highest (i.e., professional) level? You can be a great, great college coach, e.g. Nick Saban, yet I'm sure there will always be people in the NFL who sniff at Saban's collegiate success rebuilding Bama b/c he didn't succeed in the NFL. How much would that bother Harbaugh, an ultra-competitive guy?
Here's hoping the chance to make a difference in young men's lives and restore a proud football tradition in Ann Arbor appeals more to Jim than the chance for a couple Lombardi trophies...
|23 weeks 6 days ago||That was the more interesting part of the Ray interview to me||
His analogy of the search firm and the advisory committee to a real estate agent and trusted friends/people who live in the neighborhood, respectively was helpful and cleared up some uncertainty on my part:
Point being, the search firm is finding out what "houses" are on the market, and the advisors like Ray, Griese et al. are only a sounding board; Hackett is the guy buying the house and is free to accept or reject their advice as he sees fit.
I have a lot of confidence in Hackett from what I've seen so far. I'm hopeful that at the end of all this, we'll know that we gave Harbaugh our best shot, and if we don't get him, we'll get another good coach.
|23 weeks 6 days ago||Late to the posbang||
Wish I could upvote the Lion King gif more than once, that was fantastic.
Here late for the posbang scraps -- I'll take whatever I can get. Been a rough couple weeks; me, my wife, and our three kids (including an 11-month old) have all had some nastily stubborn chest crud stuff. We're all slowly back on the mend; I've been sustained over the past week by cough syrup and constantly F5ing this site for CC news. Here's to good health and HARBAUGH!
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Would be the one coordinator I'd take the risk on as HC||
A risk, yes, but the upside here is really high, as Brian explains well. If you can't get an experienced head coach home-run hire, then I think Herman is the way to go.
In the previous searchbits thread, I see people assuming that the longer we have to wait to hire someone, the more likely it's an NFL guy we're waiting for, whether Harbaugh or someone else. But wouldn't we need to wait for a guy like Herman too? His team's in the playoff, and presumably he wants to see that through before taking a new job. Point is, I don't buy this argument that a longer wait automatically = current NFL guy.
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Good God, this is awful||
I can't believe Marcus Ray's on the "search committee." If this is the kind of thinking driving our coaching search (it's certainly the thinking that drove the hiring of Hoke) we are in deeper s--- than I thought.
If we don't get Harbaugh, and aren't willing to look at someone like Hermann, I fear we will end up envying Florida for hiring McElwain (who was one of my favorite Plan B types).
|26 weeks 3 days ago||One of my favorite UM performances ever||
I was a sophomore at the time, and enjoyed every minute of that game.
It's too bad he was hampered by injuries in the NFL, he would've had a great career.
|26 weeks 6 days ago||I second this - we shouldn't limit ourselves like this||
There are good coaches out there who don't happen to have Michigan ties. We need to find the best coach who will get Michigan football back to winning games, and I frankly don't give a crap if he has "Michigan ties" or not; I just care whether he knows what the hell he's doing.
Harbaugh's obviously choice 1, 2, and 3, because he'd be the perfect combination of most qualified on-the-field coach and someone guaranteed to heal (for a while, anyway) the stupid factional rifts in the program that emerged when RichRod was here. But if we can't get JH, I hope we're open to other non-Michigan possibilities. Presumably, an "outsider" this time around, like Mullen, will benefit from seeing what went wrong here for Rodriguez... and also presumably, the Carr-era turds who never got on board when RR coached here now regret their role in undermining a coach who's proven to be a winner everywhere he's been, pre- and post-Ann Arbor, and will give the next "outsider" the benefit of the doubt.
|26 weeks 6 days ago||Don't forget Spike!||
He was also part of that class along w/Nik, Mitch, Glenn, and Caris -- some dubbed them the "Fresh Five" w/ a nod toward the Fab Five. Even Spike, the supposed afterthought in that class, will turn out to be a damn solid four-year contributor in a four-year stretch that already can boast multiple Big 10 titles, an Elite Eight appearance, and a Final Four/national championship runner-up -- and he's still got two years to go. Hell, the kid almost won the title game against Louisville singlehandedly!
|27 weeks 3 days ago||Just adding to all the thank you's above||
Great post, Brian. Lots of good thoughts in the thread as well. The whole situation is just sad.
The basic point Brian's getting at here was perhaps most memorably expressed by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
|27 weeks 3 days ago||Not sure I understand the Gregg Henson hate around here||
Stipulated: I don't know the first damn thing about him as a sports-talk radio guy, and maybe he's a raving lunatic on air and/or a complete jerk in real life; I have no idea. The first I've heard of him has been in recent months w/all the speculation re: Brandon's job status, and our collective ongoing Harbaugh obsession. But I've been following his website and Twitter for the past couple of months, and he was pretty damn on the spot w/r/t info on Brandon's job status, and has generally been careful, as has Brian here, with distinguishing what he knows for certain from what he is hearing from reliable sources but can't confirm. He also seems (and sure, "seems" doesn't equal "is") pretty well connected both with people in or associated w/Michigan's athletics department, and with former teammates/associates of Harbaugh. Based on everything I've seen so far, if Henson says there is serious interest on both sides (Harbaugh and UM) in making Jim Harbaugh the next coach here, I'm inclined to take it seriously -- not as a slam-dunk, but as a good sign nonetheless.
If I'm wrong to do so, can someone explain why? (I'm genuinely curious; if Henson's been totally wrong about something like this in the past, etc., let me know.)
|27 weeks 6 days ago||A&M tradition = kissing after touchdowns||
I come from a family of Aggies, and I remember that one of their traditions is you get a smooch from your wife/girlfriend after every Aggies touchdown (maybe field goals too, I don't recall). No wonder they love Sumlin's offense so much down there...
Anyway, if you're at all romantically interested in your roommate, that might be a good A&M tradition to explore. Just sayin'! :-)
|28 weeks 1 day ago||Yep, McElwain's the no-namer to get||
If we have to resort to a "no-name" hire, he's the best fit and someone I'd be reasonably confident could turn things around. Fit: he was Bama's OC before Nussmeier, and did a fantastic job; runs a pro-style but is also willing to spread things out a bit. The offensive philosophy transition would be minimal. Turnaround -- as LightTheLamp notes, he has totally turned around a moribund Colorado St. program. In a couple weeks, they'll probably be 12-1, with their only loss at Boise St.
Yes, he has a gigantic buyout, but c'mon man -- you gonna stay at CSU for the rest of your career, or have a chance to resurrect one of the most storied programs in college football? If he wants to come, Michigan will figure out the buyout.
|28 weeks 3 days ago||Way to go, Shoelace||
This was the perfect outcome for me as a Cowboy fan and a Michigan grad -- Cowboys get the win but Denard still shows his quality. As LSA mentioned above, the Jags were really smart to drop the whole "offensive weapon" schtick and just let Denard learn to be a RB; I think lots of scouts compared him to Antwan Randel-El and hence saw him as a WR/space player in the NFL, but with his outstanding vision, cutting ability, and burst, RB is obviously his best spot.
|28 weeks 6 days ago||That was ... disturbing||
Ah, the 1980s... The hair! The spandex! (And the Alan Thicke sighting at 2:25 is just the icing on the cake.)
What fitness fad from today will look similarly ridiculous 25-30 years from now?
|28 weeks 6 days ago||All the bangs||
|29 weeks 5 hours ago||This is more about discretion than about ID'ing good candidates||
Anyone connected to Michigan athletics already has a fairly good idea of who the potential candidate pool should be for both the AD and the football coach positions. As others have mentioned above, the main reason you hire one of these firms (whether for the AD search or coaching search) is to keep your fingerprints off the whole thing, at least until the point when you've zeroed in on your top candidate, know there is mutual interest, and can start direct talks/negotiations. It gives both parties (Michigan and potential coaches/ADs) plausible deniability -- statements like "No, I haven't been contacted by Michigan" or "No, we haven't contacted Coach X" become true, at least in a lawyerly-literal sense, when you use a third-party intermediary like this.
Someone above said a high-profile school like Michigan shouldn't need this; actually, our high profile is all the more reason a headhunter/search firm is a good idea. Among other things, I'd guess it can help prevent coaches (and their agents) who aren't really interested in the Michigan job from leaking to the media, "Hey, Michigan approached us about their job!" just to wring a fat new contract/extension out of their current employer.
|29 weeks 6 days ago||Bang it all||
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Thanks for this post||
Thanks for the firsthand insights on Coach Hoke. Great perspective here from someone who actually knows Hoke better than 99% of the people reading/posting on this board. Wish one of the mods would front-page it or bump it up to a diary.
The consensus seems to be that Brady Hoke is a great guy who just isn't cut out to be a successful coach at a power/blueblood program like Michigan. The interesting question -- one that can help guide the search for his successor -- is "Why?" What quality, exactly, is Hoke missing? Is it some quality (Gitback mentions a CEO quality of "mental acuity") that is independent of whether he's a nice guy? And if so, how do you define it, and determine whether a potential coach has it? (Success as a coordinator? Reputation for X-and-O's mastery? Demonstrated ability to turn around broken units/programs? Proven ability to make halftime adjustments?)
Or is it that Hoke doesn't have some Type-A "jerk" quality that's unfortunately necessary to succeed at this level, and thus his "niceness" is part of the problem? (The Beilein example would seem to disprove the "we need an asshole to have a successful head football coach" argument...)
|31 weeks 8 hours ago||Can't be Green||
Really doubt a broken collarbone is a career-ender.
|32 weeks 6 days ago||Don't get your hopes up re: a Brandon "resignation"||
It's fun to read all this speculation about what Schlissel's practice visit means, the Gregg Henson stuff, etc., but color me skeptical that a Brandon departure is imminent (i.e., within the next week or even before the end of the football season. Brandon has a huge contract to go along with his huge ego; he's signed through 2018 and the buyout to fire him this year would be $3 million, unless you could fire him immediately for cause, e.g., getting caught with hookers or overseeing NCAA rules violations in the AD. That's a big chunk of money to just write off because you want the guy gone posthaste. Even if Schlissel manages to convince Brandon to accept a face-saving "resignation" with a less expensive negotiated buyout, that sort of thing takes time to put together.
I want Brandon replaced as much as anyone, but I don't think it can happen this fast. Maybe I'm wrong? I'd like to be, but I'll won't believe he's out until I see it happen.
|32 weeks 6 days ago||What happened to Heitzman?||
"They want a blocking TE" -- yes -- "There is really no other option than Williams that fits what they want." What about Keith Heitzman? What the heck happened to him? Wasn't the whole point of moving him from DE back to TE to provide some much need depth and competition for Williams for the "hands of stone, only there to block TE" role? I don't think he's hurt -- the team website has him participating in all six games (presumably just special teams). I'd like to see if he could do a better job blocking than Williams, if the coaches insist on having a non-catching threat TE on the field so much.
|33 weeks 8 hours ago||This is my fear as well||
Schlissel's idea of "culture change" may very well mean a broader de-emphasis of the athletic programs at Michigan. And frankly, all the craziness on campus and in the media after "Concussion-gate" might confirm his initial instinct that athletics plays an outsized role at this great university and that it all needs to be toned down. Everyone who thinks Michigan should just back up a Brinks truck with $6 million/year to Harbaugh's house needs to remember that Schlissel might well consider it ridiculous to pay a football coach so much money.
|33 weeks 9 hours ago||Thanks for this great post||
Would nit-pick a few things that others have already mentioned above, but overall this is fantastic and summarizes well how the fan/alumni discontent goes well beyond the inferior performance of the football team. It's unfortunate the crescendo of discontent w/Brandon has coincided with the football team reaching rock bottom, because that makes it easy for him and the media to just spin it as "the fans/students are just mad about the losing." The losing is a problem, yes, but the issues go much deeper than that.
|33 weeks 9 hours ago||Can't get Patterson out of TX (and remember TCU drug bust?)||
First off, thanks again for these write-ups, alum96 -- great stuff. I didn't realize Patterson was still that (relatively) young.
We should definitely kick the tires on Patterson, but I don't think we get him out of Texas. Some guys are just not about moving up to the next rung on the ladder, and even a huge salary increase probably doesn't pull him out of Ft. Worth now. With all of Patterson's success at TCU, surely he's entertained serious inquiries from more prominent football programs w/HC vacancies, and turned them all down. We know he turned down $2 million a year from Minnesota after the 2006 season, and presumably he's rejected bigger/better offers since, particularly after TCU went undefeated in 2010. (And if Dave Brandon didn't put out feelers to Patterson after firing Rich Rod in Jan. 2011, just because Patterson lacks midwest ties, that's appalling incompetence. Interestingly, TCU's narrowest win that year before the Rose Bowl was a 40-35 nail-biter at home against San Diego St., coached by none other than ... Brady Hoke.)
Now Patterson has the benefit of coaching in a Power 5 conference without having to jump to a different school -- so why should a guy who's obviously very happy where he is jump to a (struggling) program in a worse conference? The "Michigan" name appeal only goes so far. Plus, he doesn't really even need to go outside his own state to recruit good players.
Even if Patterson was interested, another factor might turn off the Michigan powers-that-be -- TCU had a big drug scandal a few years back. It went well beyond the football team on campus, but four players were arrested for dealing as part of the bust, and the drug use on the team was probably much wider than that. (One of the arrested players claimed to an undercover officer he was not worried about failing a team-wide drug test because there “would be about 60 [other players] being screwed.”)
|33 weeks 1 day ago||STITT DOESN'T HAPPEN HERE||
I like your out-of-the-box thinking, Brian -- desperate times call for desperate measures, etc. But Stitt ain't happening at Michigan. It's too big a risk, and too tough for an AD (Brandon or his successor) to sell to a restive fanbase that you're elevating a guy from an obscure engineering school named the Colorado School of Mines(!) to head coach at Michigan. I respect what Stitt's done, and he seems like a good guy, but that's too big a leap.
As others have mentioned on this thread, the comparison to Beilein is also really unfair to Beilein. Yes, Beilein also spent many years toiling and succeeding as an innovator at small schools. But he had a much longer track record of showing he could compete directly with the Big Boys. He made the semifinals of the NIT at Canisius(!), for heaven's sake, and guided a 14-seed Richmond team to victory over a 3 seed in the first round of the NCAA tourney. And we all know what he did at W. Virginia in a very tough Big East, and the tourney runs he made there.
|33 weeks 1 day ago||This made my morning||
Trying not to bother my cubicle neighbors at the office while laughing so hard... thank you, Phyllis from Mulga, Alabama, you just made my day.
I love how Finebaum just sits there blankly and lets her speak her mind, too -- that adds a whole other level of humor to the clip.
"COW-TURD... THE DYNASTY IS NOT OVER! KISS ... MY ... BUTT!! ROLL TIDE!!"
|33 weeks 1 day ago||Gallon missed almost all of training camp w/an injury||
It was a little mysterious, because I never could find out what Gallon's injury actually was, but he was out until basically the last week of the Patriots' camp. Hard to make a team when you're not on the field to show your skills, no matter how much the Patriots current crop of receivers may stink. Kinda surprised they didn't stash him on their practice squad at least, but maybe they had more pressing needs on their roster.
I am surprised the Colts didn't sign him after his tryout there. Hope Jeremy sticks with it -- I agree with everyone here, the young man has the talent to play a solid role on an NFL team somewhere; just needs the right opportunity.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||I want to think positive, but...||
... I just can't be positive when I contemplate what the final score will be when our team leaves East Lansing this year. You know Dantonio will show no mercy.
|34 weeks 7 hours ago||Lots of good stuff in this thread||
I think some realism in re: to the possible speed of Brandon's departure is in order. Everyone can see Hoke will be gone no later than December, so everyone's worried that Brandon will still be around then to bungle the next hire. Alas, USA Today's "Big Lead" blog has a good piece on how difficult it'll be to remove Brandon quickly:
|34 weeks 10 hours ago||Interesting idea, but no thanks||
Hue Jackson is a pro guy now -- hasn't coached at the college level in almost 15 years.
|34 weeks 1 day ago||Good analogy||
You made it bi-partisan and only used politics as an analogy for a larger point, and it's a good point.
It's theoretically possible Schlissel might be so alarmed at the outsized role athletics plays at UM and colleges in general that he really tries to downgrade the athletic program at Michigan, but that's pretty damn unlikely. Too many forces -- alumni, Regents, donors, media -- would be all over him if he tried that. More likely, as S FL Wolverine predicts, is that Schlissel eventually tries to replace Brandon with someone competent (so he doesn't have to THINK much about the athletic department), but even more, someone who respects the idea that athletics is not the end-all, be-all of the University of Michigan, and who tries to (within reason) tone down the rampant commercialization and hucksterism instituted by Brandon. I think we'd all be happy with that.
The real question is, will Schlissel (and the Regents) know a good AD when they see one?
|34 weeks 1 day ago||We need a guy w/HC experience||
Jeremy Pruitt is certainly intriguing, given his success at Alabama and Florida State (and presuming he continues it at Georgia this year). But we need a "sure thing, slam-dunk" hire, and I'm just not sure a guy who's only proven to be a great coordinator but hasn't yet run a program is a risk we can take right now. That's my concern about Pruitt, Chad Morris, Kirby Smart, Phil Montgomery, Narduzzi, etc. One or more of these guys will turn out to be a great head coach someday, but I think our first choice must be somebody who's run a program. As Hoke shows, HC experience is no guarantee either -- but the real warning sign with him was he'd never been a coordinator anywhere and demonstrated X and O's proficiency. Ideally, you find a guy who's currently a successful HC, even if it's not at a Power 5 school, but also has had some success as a coordinator at a Power 5 program.
That's why Jim McElwain intrigues me so much. Dude clearly did a great job as Bama's OC, and he has that big-program experience under Saban, and is now proving what he can do as a head coach at Colorado St. Even meets the "Midwest ties/experience" criteria, having spent a few seasons in East Lansing.
|34 weeks 1 day ago||Why am I not surprised...||
... that someone with the handle "Double-D" "likes the Hot Babez" on Magnus's site? :-)
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Bad time to have a wet-behind-the-ears President at UM||
I do think all of us on MGoBlog, in the midst of our collective outrage/disappointment at the current state of our football program and athletic department, need to check our expectations about how fast heads will roll, even after something as apparently bad as the handling of Morris last Saturday. UM is a big, bureaucratic institution, and even in our lightning-fast social media age, such institutions always move slowly (and consequently, end up looking terrible). And on top of that, Schlissel's been here what, a few months? And he has admitted to being an academic who knows little about sports. (An aside -- shouldn't this be at least a medium-level consideration when hiring a new UM president? But I digress...)
Yet everyone here seems to expect Brandon and Hoke to be fired immediately. Schlissel has barely had time to learn who Dave Brandon IS, much less make any sort of determination about whether he's the best long-term fit for the job. Sure, he's getting LOTS of indicators and feedback now, but Schlissel is still in the drinking-from-a-firehose phase of his job.
So, what's reasonable to expect? No moves on the AD front for a while. Schlissel might now be getting the idea that a change is required -- but that's just the first step. If you fire Brandon, who's your interim AD? Does Schlissel (or the people advising him) have anyone lined up for that? (Lloyd Carr? Someone else?) And then you have to start a search for the new permanent AD. You and I know names like Warde Manuel and Brad Bates, but my guess is Schlissel doesn't even have a short-list of potential Brandon replacements yet.
Hoke getting fired before the end of the season is more plausible, if only because Brandon might need to placate the masses. But I'd still say it's better than 50/50 that Hoke lasts through the end of the season, with Brandon firing him after the OSU game and announcing a new coaching search.
Not the scenario people want right now, I know, but I'm afraid it's the one we're going to get. I'm as upset as anyone, but we need to be realistic about how fast change can happen.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||Good post||
I don't think Butch Jones is leaving Tennessee after a couple years of rebuilding, just to go to another blueblood program where he'd have to start a rebuild all over again. And if you're trying to poach a coach from another "blueblood" program, you should probably only bother for a guy who's a slam-dunk, not someone on whom the jury's still out.
Still, a competent AD will at least make inquiries and "kick the tires" on guys like Jones. Do we have a competent AD?
|34 weeks 3 days ago||Thanks for mentioning Jim McElwain||
Didn't know about him; he checks a lot of the right boxes. Another good year at Colorado St. this year makes him a top-5 candidate, I think.
As for Hudspeth, he looks pretty impressive, too, though that 1-3 start this year is concerning; we'll see if he can turn things around.
I appreciate all these coaching candidate posts -- they're lessening my sense of "We're doomed without Harbaugh." Are any of these guys absolute slam-dunks like Harbaugh would be? No, but the fact is, there are plenty of good coaches out there with much better track records of success as head coaches than Hoke had when we hired him. I just hope Brandon or, God willing, his successor, is willing to search far and wide and find the best coach. The-must-have-Midwest-ties thing isn't unimportant, but it's overrated as far as I'm concerned. Find a coach who knows how to prepare his team and gets the most out of his talent, and he'll recruit just fine at Michigan.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||Good grief||
I said this after the recent Apple hack of Jennifer Lawrenece, Kate Upton etc. -- when are people, especially celebrities and athletes, going to learn to stop taking, you know, NAKED PICTURES OF THEMSELVES?!?! No possible benefit can outweight the nightmare when (not if, but WHEN) the photos inevitably leak and go viral. Just dumb, dumb, dumb.
|35 weeks 9 hours ago||Teryl Austin ... interesting||
Hadn't heard that name before in all the musing about potential Hoke replacements... Just had a look at his bio. Checks a lot of boxes. Not too old (49); grew up in Pennsylvania, went to Pitt, and was a grad assistant coach at Penn St., so he's got some roots in important recruiting territory; was a defensive assistant at Michigan from 99-02, so he's got UM ties for those morons who believe such ties are a necessity to be a "Michigan Man" head coach. Seems to be an excellent defensive backs coach based on the players he's developed. Never been a head coach anywhere, though. Also, he's an NFL coordinator now; you'd think he'd want to see how well he could do in that job, with the hope of landing a head coaching gig in the NFL first, rather than coming back to college.
|35 weeks 2 days ago||Cutcliffe is too old||
Dude just turned 60 and had triple-bypass surgery back in '05. Methinks we'd like to have somebody younger with the potential to guide the program for a decade if he proves to be the right hire.
|35 weeks 3 days ago||Yes, Illinois 2009 - thanks for the correction||
He was caught at the one, and then four-and-out, and the Illini stormed back.
|35 weeks 3 days ago||Did you think this is where you'd be in Year 4?||
I think Wojo asked this question, in the context of asking whether Hoke thinks there's a feeling of "crisis" around the program now. Hoke said something about not really thinking about that, and then tossed out, "Did you think we'd be in the Sugar Bowl in year one?" Seemed pretty defiant to me, throwing out that Sugar Bowl reference.
The problem is, Hoke DID establish, on the very day he took the job, where we all should think and expect this program to be in year four (and every other year) -- competing for a Big Ten championship. Is anyone still deluding themselves about the likelihood of that for this year's team, under the current regime?
|35 weeks 3 days ago||Brian - what's the grainy screenshot for RichRod's demise?||
Just asking for the sake of completing the historical record for the last crappy 8 years of Michigan football. I'd nominate J.T. Floyd looking totally lost in coverage in the 2010 Penn St. game, with Roy Roundtree fumbling just short of the goal-line after that long catch-and-run in 2009 a distant second.
|35 weeks 3 days ago||This^^^ - good coordinators can't overcome a bad head coach||
This is one of the many, many frustrating things about this team. Greg Mattison and Doug Nussmeier didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday; these guys are proven coordinators. Yes they've had some favorable circumstances at various points in their careers, but they've still proved over time that they know what the heck they're doing. I wasn't expecting miracles from Nuss this year given the shaky OL situation and Gardner being perhaps mentally broken after last year, but I sure did expect better than this.
I wrote after the Notre Dame game that the most frustrating thing about this team under Hoke is that it always seems to be less than the sum of its parts, and the underperformance with two proven (and well-paid) coordinators is another perfect example.
|36 weeks 6 days ago||Bang me for my MGoBirthday||
Four years! (Though I've been reading since the blogspot days.) Missed it last Sunday (can't imagine what was on my mind instead...). An absolutely gorgeous Friday here on the east coast, and I made it through this week's UFRs feeling like our team is much better than that damn scoreboard showed -- looking forward to seeing them prove it the rest of the year.
First time I've jumped into a posbang thread, so be kind!
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Youth is part of the problem, but NOT all of it||
Sure, a young OL is going to struggle w/communication on the road, and young players presumably will lack the maturity to play "mentally tough" as required to win tough road games. But that doesn't explain everything behind Michigan's current road woes under Hoke. Does "youth" explain why Blake Countess, a fourth-year guy with all-Big Ten caliber talent, isn't playing inside leverage and taking away the easy pitch-and-catch slant on fourth-and-3 vs ND last Saturday? Or why a fifth-year senior QB, Devin Gardner, locks on to his favorite receiver too often and fails to make the proper read even when he does have time to throw? I have no definitive answer on what's causing stuff like that, but "youth" is not the reason for those problems -- so one has to look at the coaching.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Gardner as microcosm = YES||
This is a good point, and gets to one of the many things I find troubling about the current state of affairs -- with the exception of a 2011 season that appears more of a fluke every day, the totality of Michigan Football under Brady Hoke seems more and more to equal less than the sum of its parts. Countess on Saturday was another perfect example: We know now that he's not the second coming of Woodson or even Leon Hall, and maybe he's lost a bit after the ACL injury. But he's a talented kid in his fourth year in the program, who should be in the conversation for all-Big Ten honors -- and he's getting roasted repeatedly, giving up easy slants on fourth-and-3, etc. The inconsistency and lack of development is maddening.
It's easy to chalk up the mediocrity and inconsistency to still being a young team, but when even the fourth and fifth year players like Gardner and Countess look like this, something more than "we're young" is the problem.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Brady Hoke sighting at 4:15 of the video||
And he's wearing ... a HEADSET!
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Husky Stadium is a nightmare for the road team||
One of the loudest stadiums in college football -- those metal roofs over the stands really trap in the sound. Great atmosphere for a game. Definitely a tough road test for our guys to go out there, especially since (I assume) Chris Petersen will have that program playing really well by 2020. And we always seem to find a way to lose these early-season west-coast games.
But I'm happy -- quality opponent w/some previous history with us. More please!
|40 weeks 6 days ago||I noticed that too -- probably just an oversight||
It's hard for a coach sometimes to remember who he's already mentioned when you're talking about so many guys -- if you watch the video, you'll notice Hoke even mentions Willie Henry twice in that answer.
Count me extremely excited about the DL. Pip, Henry, Wormley, Hurst, Mone, even Glasgow -- that's some darn good talent, size, and most importantly, depth in the tackle spots. The end spots should be at least very solid, too -- and if Clark, Ojemudia, or Taco can be a difference-maker as a pass-rusher, we could be scary good.
|40 weeks 6 days ago||Cole would've lost his redshirt regardless||
Someone noted this in an earlier thread -- if Cole's as good as they're saying, he's one of your top 6-8 guys on the OL, and would almost certainly play at some point this year even if Kalis was injury-free now and Glasgow wasn't suspended for game one.
|40 weeks 6 days ago||He might stick at LT even at 6'5||
If Cole's as good as Hoke's hyping him up to be, I wouldn't be shocked if he stays at LT, and you make a good point re: the lack of ideal NFL measurables being something that affects star ratings. I think the comparable for Cole might be Zack Martin at Notre Dame -- he was 6'4"; unlike Cole, he redshirted, but as a RS frosh they plugged him in at LT and he started almost every single game there the next four years as one of the better OL in the country. Ended up getting drafted at #16 by the Cowboys, who projected him from the beginning as an NFL guard because of his height and shorter arms. Cole supposedly has long, tackle-length arms, which mitigates the height issue a bit.
This is a semi-hot-seat year (at the least) for Hoke, so if he's trusting his senior QB's blind side to a true frosh, the kid must be pretty damn good. I also think this might be about getting the best group of 5 on the field, and having really top-notch guys w/experience at the interior spots for the inside zone-based offense. Magnuson's obviously one of the Top 5; if they prefer him at LG and Cole at LT, that must mean in the coaches' eyes Cole @LT > Bosch/Kalis at Guard. So Cole/Magnuson/Miller/Glasgow/Braden are your top 5, with Kalis/Bosch/Dawson being your first three off the bench.
|41 weeks 1 day ago||^^^ THIS - alcohol and common sense||
Nothing good happens outside bars that late at night. Yeah, they're kids, they're young, it's summer in Ann Arbor and everyone's feeling good and trying to have fun (and I'm not trying to get on a moral high horse here, I did my fair share of drinking as a U-M student) -- but you have to use some common sense, especially when alcohol is involved. Same goes for the guys who get plastered (and encourage young women to get plastered) at frat parties, etc., which inevitably results in the occasional Gibbons he-said-she-said sexual assault situation. Stay out too late and mess around too much with booze, and trouble WILL find you.
I hope our coaching staff/athletic department is making very clear to these young men that yes, you're young, you're in college, you can have fun, but please use common sense. Don't be out at bars at 2 a.m. Don't mess around at a party with girls who've had one/two/three too many, no matter how much she seems into you at the moment. Don't drink to the point where you lose your sense of good judgment and are ikely to do stupid shit that will reflect poorly on yourself, your family, your team, and your school. One dumb mistake and you risk losing your scholarship, your place at a leading university, your spot on the team, and you risk wrecking your whole future. Nothing's worth that.
|41 weeks 1 day ago||Yes -- Day 22, appropriately enough|
|48 weeks 1 day ago||It's fun reading the Gallon commit post in hindsight||
Props to Brian for being high on him from the beginning, though of course he turned out to be much more than a slot ninja -- one of the best, most productive wideouts ever to wear the winged helmet, and that's saying a lot. You would've thought the coaching change from RichRod's spread to the Hoke/Borges pro-style would've really hurt any chance Gallon had to be a standout player at Michigan, but if anything it actually helped by giving him the chance to prove he could play out wide. Funny how things work out sometimes.
|48 weeks 1 day ago||Itun reading the Gallon commit post in hindsight||
Props to Brian for being high on him from the beginning, though of course he turned out to be much more than a slot ninja -- one of the best, most productive wideouts ever to wear the winged helmet, and that's saying a lot. You would've thought the coaching change from RichRod's spread to the Hoke/Borges pro-style would've really hurt any chance Gallon had to be a standout player at Michigan, but if anything it actually helped by giving him the chance to prove he could play out wide. Funny how things work out sometimes.
|48 weeks 1 day ago||Awesome to go back and read this posts w/hindsight||
Came here from Ace's 2009 Offensive Recruits in Retrospective post. Brian deserves credit for being high on Gallon from the beginning, but obviously JG turned out to be way more than a slot ninja -- one of the best wideouts in Michigan history, which is saying a lot. And that was due in no small part to the RichRod-to-Hoke coaching change that brought in a more pro-style offense, which Brian couldn't have foreseen in '09.
|52 weeks 10 hours ago||Really wish we had won that damn game vs Louisville||
Mr. Yost puts it very well. Watching McGary leave stings more than the other early entries because with Burke/THJ/Stauskas/GRIII, you feel like you got to see them basically finish growing into the players they'll be in the pros. Or in the case of J-Mo, you got to see him finish his career as a team leader, vital cog of an Elite Eight team and Big Ten champ, and epitome of a Michigan Man. With McGary, we'll never get that chance -- we'll never see him be the alpha dog on the team and watch him dominate the Big Ten as a starter, watch him continue to refine his offensive game, etc.
Still, I could live with that if we'd won that damn game vs. Louisville. Whatever might-have-beens we'd have about Mitch being hurt most of last season, and not having a legit chance to come back for one more year, about him only "scratching the surface" of his potential at Michigan, would hurt a lot less if we could point to that friggin' national championship banner in Crisler and say, "He was a big part of that." Dammit.
Also, all future Michigan big men: Please do not wear #4 -- it won't end well for you.
|1 year 1 week ago||How can he still be such a bad shooter?||
All the joking and funny gifs aside (and I do enjoy them), I'm genuinely curious as to how a kid spends four years as a starting guard at a high major basketball program and finishes his eligibility as still such a poor shooter. Didn't Ohio St. have any "shooting gurus" on staff who could fix this kid's technique and turn him into a consistently decent shooter? It's not as if Craft didn't have athletic ability.
Consider a counterfactual: Do you believe Craft would still be this terrible a shooter if he'd spent four years under Coach Beilein? (I think this is one of Beilein's greatest unsung attributes as a coach -- sure, he tends to recruit guys who are already good shooters, but he also makes all of them even better.)
Somewhat related to this -- an interesting recent Grantland piece on the San Antonio Spurs "shooting guru," Chip Engelland, one of the best in the business. He even turned Kawhi Leonard, a really bad shooter in college, into a pretty good NBA scorer:
|1 year 2 weeks ago||Check out the throw at 1:14||
Kid stays composed when his protection breaks down early, eludes the rusher and steps up into the pocket and fires a dart in-stride to the WR 40 yards downfield for the TD. Mr. Chaos Quarterback guru George Whitfield would approve. He may not have Troy Aikman's cannon but his arm looks good enough to me. (I like the McCarron and Dreisbach comparisons above.) Look forward to seeing what this young man can do in the maize and blue in a few years!
|1 year 2 weeks ago||Glanda to New Orleans - returns to site of Sugar Bowl glory||
Have to admit a grin crossed my face when reading that Jareth Glanda got a camp invite from the Saints. If he makes the team, he'll get to play in the Superdome, site of his most memorable play as a Wolverine -- his first-down catch on the bizarre broken-play fake field goal in the Sugar Bowl. Usually you never want to hear your long-snapper's name b/c it means something has gone horribly wrong; Glanda was solid so we never heard his name except once, and it was for something good! Good luck to him, and all the guys trying to make it in the League.
|1 year 2 weeks ago||Might even have a better shot than just special teams||
As a Cowboys fan who is keeping his expectations low until Jerry Jones is 6-feet-under, I can tell you the Cowboys' collection of safeties is pedestrian at best -- they haven't had any quality at the position since Darren Woodson hung up his cleats. Barry Church is serviceable but not spectacular; J.J. Wilcox showed some promise as a rookie last year but we'll see if he can put it all together consistently. Beyond that, there's Jeff Heath, a heady guy who's usually in the right place but doesn't have the athletic ability to make plays on the ball, and Matt Johnson, a 2012 fourth rounder who is made of glass - he's played in 2 preseason games in two years. I can easily see Robinson bumping Johnson or Heath off the roster and becoming a key special teams piece, and who knows, he might even be able to challenge Church or Wilcox for some playing time.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Better fit for us - Brunson or Thornton Jr.?||
I'm only now really getting to know our various 2015 targets. I keep seeing Jalen Brunson and Derryck Thornton Jr. mentioned as PG possibilities. Which one is a better fit for UM, and which one are we more likely to get? (I hope it's not "neither")
EDIT: Gah, I just saw on UMHoops that Thornton's a 2016 guy.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Two sides to the A&M-UT break-up story||
Maybe Texas doesn't want to play A&M anymore because they're afraid of getting their ass kicked, at least until Charlie Strong gets himself established in Austin. While Mack Brown was petering out the end of his career, Kevin Sumlin has been building a powerhouse in College Station. UT will be lucky if their top pick in the upcoming NFL draft (Jackson Jeffcoat) goes in the 2nd round; A&M's will have 3 first round picks (Jake Matthews, Manziel, Mike Evans). Based on recent success, you could make a pretty solid case to rank UT third among the big-time college football programs in the state now, behind both A&M and Baylor.
As for A&M's departure to the SEC, let's keep in mind they weren't the only school disgruntled with UT lording it over the Big 12 -- Nebraska had already left for the Big 10 in 2010 for many of the same reasons surrounding league revenue sharing, etc. A&M's move was motivated by lots of things -- and no doubt a "let's get out of big brother's shadow" aspect played a big role. But A&M also wanted to build up the school's national profile outside of Texas, and determined that joining the SEC was a good way to do it. They also knew they could sell in-state recruits on the idea of playing in a better, more competitive conference than the Big 12 while still remaining close to home.
The Longhorn Network stuff was the last straw (remember -- they were pushing to broadcast Texas high school games involving UT recruits and verbal commits), along with UT trying to push A&M, OU, Ok St., T Tech, and Colorado into a Pac-16 super-conference that would've been a terrible cultural fit for most of those schools. I think many people at tradition-crazed A&M were at first skeptical about the move to the SEC, but if you asked their alums/fans now, I'm sure very few regret it.
As someone who comes from a family full of Aggies (there, my bias is clear now), I do regret the end of the A&M-UT series. It produced a lot of great memories, and featured the kind of deep mutual cultural/political/historical hatred, along with an underlying (very) grudging respect, that makes for a terrific college football rivalry. I hope someday they'll figure out a way to play again.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||What we need to see this year to prepare for a great 2015||
Let's face it: 2015 is the year this program is really building toward. We get a favorable schedule with MSU and OSU coming to Ann Arbor, and we'll have almost everybody important back save Gardner, Ryan, and Morgan. Hoke's great recruiting classes should finally be making a big impact, particularly in the trenches on both sides of the ball. If Sugar Shane is ready to take the reins at QB as a junior, 2015 should -- SHOULD -- be the year when Michigan football resumes crushing its enemies, seeing them driven before us, and hearing the lamentations of their women.
But we gotta get there first, and not suffer another coaching transition in the interim. Hoke's seat is deservedly hot; we need to see the following this year for him to return for a big 2015:
Do all that and you're at least 9-3, maybe 10-2, and more importantly, it's clear to everyone (players, coaches, AD, fans & alums, recruits) that the trajectory of the program is heading the right direction. That means Hoke returns in 2015, and we are set up for bigger success.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Hoke needs to show he can win big road games||
nyquist writes: "I know it is May but 10-2 seems very optimistic. I think the most important thing (for me atleast) is to go 7-0 at home this season. Winning at home keeps the masses happy and if we can take care of Rutgers and Northwestern on the road I'll be happy regardless of what happens @ND, MSU, and OSU."
7-0 at home would be nice, but I don't think many people will be happy if we crap the bed @ND, MSU, and OSU this year. Hoke needs to show he can take his team into a tough environment like South Bend, East Lansing, or Columbus and actually win a rivalry game on the road. Playing both Sparty and the Buckeyes on the road the same season is a raw deal (why did Brandon ever agree to that?!), but if the team is good enough this year to at least gain a split, I'll feel more confident about our future with Hoke.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||^^^^THIS, THIS, THIS^^^^||
"Jordan Kovacs but with elite athleticism." <drools...>
As dragonchild notes, we've got corners in numbers, and pretty good ones. I'm particularly excited to see what Lewis and Stribling can do this year. If I'm the coaches, I know I've only got Peppers for 3 years if he's all we think he is, so I need to maximize his impact in year one, and the Eric Berry "Safety of Doom" role seems the best bet. By all accounts he's a bright kid and quick learner, so "Jordan Kovacs with elite athleticism" sounds like something attainable in the near term. Play him at safety and let that athleticism go to work screaming toward the line of scrimmage on blitzes and blowing up bubble screens and read-option plays. (To me, it's a similar deal as moving Jake Ryan to MLB -- get your most dynamic players in the middle of the action on as many plays as possible.) Might be some growing pains in early games, but by the back half of the season "Jordan Kovacs but with elite athleticism" is the kind of player who can take our D from pretty solid to near-dominant (especially if we can find any kind of decent pass rush).
|1 year 8 weeks ago||Can't wait for Beilein to have true stretch 4s like this kid||
Really looking forward to seeing how Wilson and Donnal fit into Coach B's system these next couple of years. They're not the same player by any means -- Wilson's clearly more athletic (THAT'S RAAAACIIIIST!) -- but both bring a lot of the qualities Beilein seems to want in that stretch 4 spot. Both have the length you'd ideally like at the 4 (unlike GRIII and Novak) and are good shooters and ballhandlers -- and both also seem to have pretty polished post-up games for their age (Donnal particularly, but I was surprised to see in this film of Wilson some nice back-to-the-basket moves as well).
What I love about our hoops program right now is that you know as long as these kids are willing to do the work, Beilein, Jordan, Bacari, and Meyer will get every ounce of potential out of them. I wish I could say the same for the football program...
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Wouldn't get your hopes up re: Stauskas||
If he continues this level of play into the tournament, and if he's really projected by league scouts as a definite first-rounder even in this deep draft, I think he goes. Wouldn't blame him, either -- the things he still needs to improve, particularly his athleticism, aren't something that he'll improve with another year of college ball.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Spike Albrecht, 2015 early entry!||
I kid, I kid. Just having fun with all the draft obession on the board today.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Even better was Trey's game against Miami on Sat.||
In the Jazz's upset of the Heat in SLC on Saturday (game highlights here) Trey had 13 points on 5-11 shooting (3-8 from 3-pt) and 3 assists in just 27 minutes -- oh, and he hit the dagger shot to clinch the game. Ray Allen had hit a 3 with 46 seconds left to close Utah's lead to just 2; Trey responded at the other end with a step-back 19-foot jumper near the end of the shot clock to raise the lead back to 4 w/24 seconds left and essentially seal the victory. (And this was after Trey talked quite a bit w/Allen before the game to get some pointers, as the highlight video linked above shows.)
Trey's clearly fighting his way through the rookie wall right now -- he's played 39 games already, almost as many as he did all of last year including the Final Four run, and he's dealing w/a sore back and other stuff. His shooting percentage is pretty ugly -- shades of his summer league struggles -- so he still has a lot of work to do on his floater and other ways of scoring once he gets in the paint among the trees. But this guy at ESPN seems to think Trey will be OK in the long-term because of the maturity of his game:
I get all misty-eyed thinking of how good Michigan BB would this year if Trey and TH Jr were still in school -- but it has been awfully fun to track their early success in the league this year. For the first time in years, I'm actually interested in the NBA again!
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Devin didn't need this to clinch a captain spot next year||
Devin's the only returning senior on offense who's a significant contributor -- I can't imagine him not being a captain. (Rawls and Paskorz will be seniors too.) And Jake Ryan's already a captain so he's got next year's spot on defense. It'll be interesting to see if there are any others beyond those two.
Looking again at the depth chart, it's pretty amazing how young our team will still be next year -- the low-point of RichRod's recruiting shows up in next year's seniors. The only plausible senior starters we lose after 2014 are Devin on offense, and JMFR, Morgan, Ramon Taylor, Beyer, Clark, and perhaps Furman on defense. There are some really good players in that group, but I expect pretty big things in 2015-2016 if this coaching staff can develop the talent we've got in the pipeline.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||#MANBRAWL||
w/physicality and toughness
|1 year 22 weeks ago||So what's the ceiling for this team?||
Let me second the good holiday wishes to the whole MGoBlog staff.
Not sure how to think about this season now. I think we all understood another Final Four run was not likely after Trey and Tim's departures, but with McGary and GRIII returning, this team seemed capable (on paper) of making another deep tourney run.
They've still got the talent to beat anyone on any given day, but unless Walton grows up real fast, McGary gets healthy, and Arizona-game-GRIII becomes the new norm, it seems the Sweet Sixteen is probably the ceiling for this group. But I'm curious to hear others' thoughts since I haven't followed hoops too closely yet this season.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||The Rams are likely to draft an offensive tackle||
Not sure why Jake's big contract would keep the Rams from drafting another first-round tackle on the new (lower) rookie pay scale.
A ton of mock drafts have the Rams taking OT Jake Matthews out of A&M with their first pick, which looks likely to be in the top 3 -- it's one of the picks the Redskins owe the Rams from the RGIII trade in the 2012 draft (and boy, is that trade looking better for the Rams every day). If they don't take an offensive tackle there, they have their own first-round pick at around #15 that they could also use on a tackle (and Lewan's being slotted in the mid-first by lots of mock drafts). The Rams moved Rodger Saffold, a tackle they drafted a few years back in the second round, to guard this year (where's he's been pretty good), and he's a free agent who's likely gone after the season for a bigger paycheck somewhere else. This Rams blog has a good run down on their draft needs and the likelihood they take a tackle.
Point is, I think it's pretty likely the Rams come out of the first round with a tackle, whether it's Taylor or someone else.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||As a Cowboy fan who detests Jerry Jones, I hate this||
From a Michigan fan perspective, I'm meh. Better than a MACrifice game, but not as good as a home-and-home, and I hate the growing money-above-all landscape in college football. Whatever.
As a Cowboys fan I hate this. Why? I'm one of the legion of Cowboys fans who is sick of Jerry Jones destroying this franchise while doing his best Al Davis impersonation, thinking he's qualified to be a friggin' GM while the team has won ONE playoff game in the past 17 years. This team will never accomplish anything good again as long as he's pulling the strings. Yet events like this are what will give Jones enough ancillary income from JerryWorld to weather the storm when Dallas fans finally get fed up enough w/the shitty product he's putting on the field to stop going to Cowboys games.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||"Couple" of underclassmen seeking NFL draft opinions?||
Let's assume Gardner's one of them; can't hurt to hear how he needs to improve his stock. But who would be the other junior? Jake Ryan?
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Words fail...||
That was ... bizarre. I can't decide whether this is totally brilliant in some strange, postmodern way, or Exhibit # 8,495,672 for why Western Civilization is doomed.
I can't imagine the amount of money that went into producing this thing. I'm not only thinking of the cash it must've taken to get Snoop, Kate Upton, Larry King on board this crazy train, but all the marketing geniuses who got PAID to come up with this stuff.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Post-up game...||
Your point #1 re: the contrast b/w GRIII's lack of post game and the Big Dog's masterful post game raises a question: Why wouldn't GRIII spend all summer learning his Dad's best post-up moves from the man himself, a la LeBron spending a summer learning post-up moves from Hakeem a couple years ago?
I realize that might not fit into what Beilein wants to do on offense with the 3 or 4 spot, but it seems like a no-brainer option for adding san arrow to GRIII's offensive quiver.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Hey, it's defensible||
I ultimately chose the hoops championship, but I wouldn't have posed the question if I didn't think there was a legit case for choosing the win over OSU. I was curious to see for how many people the perception of Michigan as a "football school" first and foremost mattered more. (Or, just hatred for OSU.)
|1 year 26 weeks ago||Same here, BiY||
I appreciate what Borges said about the passion of the fans and understanding that criticism comes along with the job, and I've always thought he seemed like a good guy. (Heck, he even sat down for an interview with Heiko during the offseason -- can you imagine anybody on Carr's staff taking the time to sit down for a one-on-one interview with a BLOGGER?) Now, I still think he's not the right guy to be the offensive coordinator at U-M going forward -- the whole offensive staff probably needs overhauling -- but as you said, we should always be careful to keep our criticism focused on the coaches' performances and not go after them as people. They work hard and they care about the kids, and they're certainly trying as hard as they can to get things right.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||"Without recruits your ceiling is Dantonio level Sparty"||
After the last couple weeks, I'm sure more than a few people around these parts would see a ceiling of "Dantonio-level Sparty" as an upgrade...
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Yeah, it's probably time to retire that meme on this site||
"Brady Hoke poops gold." It was funny for a while...
Anyway, can anyone really say they didn't see this coming once Bama came on strong for this kid? Can you say he didn't make the best decision for himself from a football standpoint?
The vibe around this program is really bad right now. Let's just hope Hoke & Co. can hang on to the good commits we already have (Peppers et al.) until signing day.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Burke to Mavs, pretty please?||
As a Mavericks fan, am I too naive to hope that so many teams will be THAT dumb, and Trey will fall to the Mavs at #13? The Mavs are one of those analytic-obsessed teams and it wouldn't surprise me if they liked MCW better (DraftExpress.com has them taking Carter-Williams in their latest mock). But I sure wouldn't mind seeing Trey working the pick-and-roll with Dirk -- would be a nice consolation prize if the Mavs lose out in the Chris Paul sweepstakes.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Let me second the Smokenator suggestion, and amazingribs.com||
The Smokenator is a pretty damn ingenious contraption for turning your Weber kettle into a smoker.
And as others have noted above, AmazingRibs.com provides a wealth of information on all things 'cue.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Yes, big oversight there - Texas/Texas A&M||
Though perhaps they consciously omitted it b/c they don't play each other anymore since A&M's move to the SEC.
Having grown up in TX among a family full of Aggies, I can testify that is one fierce rivalry -- sort of like cousins in the same family who grudgingly respect but nevertheless can't stand each other. It's some real, good old-fashioned hatred that goes well beyond athletics to embrace the schools' whole cultures (formerly all-military ag school vs. sophisticated flagship university) and locations (boring, ultra-conservative College Station vs. hip, ultra-liberal Austin). As this writer put it: "Longhorns vs. Aggies is about family pride. It’s about farmers vs. city slickers; burnt orange vs. maroon; it’s the Corps vs. the Spurs and Cowboys; horses vs. oil wells. It’s about how we identify ourselves not just in college, but in life. " Damn shame the rivalry had to end.
After that, I'd vote for Alabama-Auburn in terms of pure mutual hatred quotient.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Gotta admit, Notre Dame's is pretty good.||
Nothing equals The Victors; John Philip Sousa called it "the greatest college fight song ever written," and that's all anyone needs to say about that.
But as a musician I'd vote ND's as a clear #2. Much like The Victors, it has a great, catchy melody, and some terrific lyrics -- "wake up the echoes," "shake down the thunder from the sky," all that stuff. And I say this as someone who, though a Catholic, has despised all things ND since I was young. I'd punch that damn leprechaun if I could. Doesn't change the fact it's a great fight song, though.
Having grown up in Texas among a family full of Aggies, I also have a soft spot for the Aggie War Hymn. If you're ever at Kyle Field or watching an A&M game on TV, notice how everyone sways back and forth during the second verse to mimic a saw blade as they sing "saw Varsity's [i.e., UT's] horns off" -- you can feel the whole stadium literally sway, and it gives you goosebumps, I tell ya. As some noted above, it does have a pronounced "little brother" aspect to it, with all the vitriol toward Univ. of Texas in the lyrics. That said, UT's "Texas Fight" (which I'll also admit is quite catchy) also references A&M specifically ("And it's goodbye to A&M").
Damn shame that rivalry had to end, though I dare say A&M has gotten the better outcome of that split so far.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Harping on Trey's size/athleticism so dumb. Stockton, anyone?||
The problem with draftniks is they spend so much time picking apart player's games, looking at measureables, etc., that they start convincing themselves a guy isn't as good a player as the evidence of real games obviously demonstrates. All this nit-picking on Trey's size/athleticism is a perfect example. Dude proved himself all year against top-notch competition and won every player of the year award there is. OK, he's only 6-0 or 6-1 and he's not Allen Iverson-quick, but it's not like Trey is Bobby Hurley either (he went to Sacramento w/the #7 pick).
One NBA comp I've been thinking about for Trey recently is John Stockton. No, I'm not saying Trey is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. But let's run down the list of traits they share:
Stockton was no superior athlete, either, but he was a great offensive PG and also managed to be a solid to very good defender in the NBA -- and that was against a generation of point guards who were no slouches on offense: Magic, Isiah, Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway Sr., Kevin Johnson, et al. (Of course, Stockton could be a pretty dirty player and the refs always looked the other way, which also helped his D.)
I do think there will be a learning curve/adjustment period for Trey as he adapts his game to the pros. But his floor as a pro is extremely high -- solid-if-unspectacular starter -- and despite his lack of "ideal" size/speed, I think his ceiling is still an All-Star-level player.
Now let's just pray he goes to an organization with a coach who'll know how to use him well, and a GM that'll surround him with solid talent.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Umm... really?||
Probably more accurate to say Syracuse's 2-3 matchup zone "shut down" Trey -- it's not like MCW was guarding Trey man-to-man all night. (And for those who think MCW is such a great pro prospect because of his size, check out his stinker in that game - 2 pts, 1-6 from the field -- guy was laying bricks all night, he has no outside shot -- and 2 assists against 5 turnovers.) How many NBA teams will be deploying Boeheim's 2-3 zone against Trey?
Even putting aside my homerism, if I'm an NBA GM I take Trey over Carter-Williams six days a week and twice on Sunday.
|1 year 52 weeks ago||Reading in 2013, this post/thread is a good laugh||
This was linked somewhere on the front page today so I had a look. Jake Ryan, "sleeper" -- yeah, that worked out pretty well, I'd say.
We should always come back to this post to remind ourselves:
1) Ultimately, you need to trust the talent evaluation skills of your coaches (esp. the current Hoke staff)
2) The recruiting gurus do great work, but they don't know everything -- sometimes they miss out, even on kids from a well-scouted program like St. Ignatius. Jake Ryan, a 2-star!!! Good lord. ..
|2 years 10 hours ago||Chance to build existing relationships w/football factories||
Thanks for this, Mathlete. You're right that U-M already has a pretty good presence at the best high school programs in this region, particularly Maryland's turf. For example, while it's true we didn't get CB Kendall Fuller or LB Dorian O'Daniel last year or Stefon Diggs the year before, a couple years back we got another cornerback almost as highly ranked from the same Maryland football powerhouse as these kids (Our Lady of Good Counsel) -- a guy named Blake Countess. Maybe the prospect of these kids being able to play a couple games close to home will help Michigan snag one or two extra 4/5-star players from these schools every few years, and that can't hurt.
I'm also excited about the prospect of getting more players out of Virginia. As Green and Hand show, there's some good talent in Va that will consider Michigan if we get in on them early enough, and the chance for them to play some games close to home will help.
|2 years 1 week 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.
|2 years 1 week 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.
|2 years 4 weeks 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.
|2 years 5 weeks 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.
|2 years 5 weeks 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.
|2 years 6 weeks 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.
|2 years 6 weeks ago||Omameh always makes me laugh||
His deadpan delivery is just hilarious.
|2 years 6 weeks 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.
|2 years 6 weeks 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).
|2 years 6 weeks ago||That quote's from The Naked Gun|
|2 years 6 weeks 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.
|2 years 7 weeks 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.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Brian addressed this very comp (Illinois 2005) back in Jan.||
After we beat Illinois in Champaign to ascend to #1, he wrote this:
|2 years 7 weeks 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.
|2 years 7 weeks 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.
|2 years 16 weeks 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.
|2 years 16 weeks 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.
|2 years 17 weeks 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.
|2 years 17 weeks 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.
|2 years 17 weeks 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! :-)
|2 years 19 weeks 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.]
|2 years 19 weeks 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"?
|2 years 23 weeks 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.
|2 years 23 weeks 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!
|2 years 23 weeks 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!
|2 years 23 weeks 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.
|2 years 23 weeks 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?
|2 years 25 weeks 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."
|2 years 25 weeks 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.
|2 years 25 weeks 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.
|2 years 25 weeks 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!
|2 years 25 weeks 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.
|2 years 25 weeks 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.
|2 years 25 weeks 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.
|2 years 25 weeks 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.
|2 years 26 weeks 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?
|2 years 26 weeks 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.
|2 years 26 weeks 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.
|2 years 26 weeks 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.
|2 years 27 weeks 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.
|2 years 27 weeks 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.
|2 years 27 weeks 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.
|2 years 29 weeks 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.
|2 years 30 weeks 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...
|2 years 30 weeks 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.
|2 years 30 weeks 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.
|2 years 30 weeks 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.