“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
|1 week 3 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.
|1 week 3 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.
|1 week 5 days 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.
|1 week 5 days 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.
|1 week 5 days 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.”)
|1 week 5 days 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.
|1 week 6 days 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!!"
|1 week 6 days 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.
|2 weeks 21 hours 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.
|2 weeks 4 days 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:
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Interesting idea, but no thanks||
Hue Jackson is a pro guy now -- hasn't coached at the college level in almost 15 years.
|2 weeks 5 days 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?
|2 weeks 5 days 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.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Why am I not surprised...||
... that someone with the handle "Double-D" "likes the Hot Babez" on Magnus's site? :-)
|2 weeks 6 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.
|3 weeks 21 hours 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?
|3 weeks 21 hours 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.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|3 weeks 5 days 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.
|3 weeks 6 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.
|4 weeks 17 hours ago||Yes, Illinois 2009 - thanks for the correction||
He was caught at the one, and then four-and-out, and the Illini stormed back.
|4 weeks 22 hours 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?
|4 weeks 22 hours 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.
|4 weeks 22 hours 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.
|5 weeks 4 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!
|5 weeks 6 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.
|6 weeks 18 hours 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.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Brady Hoke sighting at 4:15 of the video||
And he's wearing ... a HEADSET!
|8 weeks 5 days 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!
|9 weeks 3 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.
|9 weeks 3 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.
|9 weeks 4 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.
|9 weeks 5 days 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.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Yes -- Day 22, appropriately enough|
|16 weeks 6 days 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.
|16 weeks 6 days 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.
|16 weeks 6 days 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.
|20 weeks 5 days 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.
|22 weeks 4 days 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:
|23 weeks 19 hours 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!
|23 weeks 1 day 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.
|23 weeks 1 day 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.
|23 weeks 6 days 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.
|24 weeks 1 day 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.
|24 weeks 4 days 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.
|24 weeks 4 days 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.
|24 weeks 4 days 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).
|28 weeks 5 days 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...
|34 weeks 20 hours 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.
|35 weeks 5 days ago||Spike Albrecht, 2015 early entry!||
I kid, I kid. Just having fun with all the draft obession on the board today.
|35 weeks 6 days 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!
|42 weeks 4 days 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.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||#MANBRAWL||
w/physicality and toughness
|43 weeks 20 hours 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.
|43 weeks 20 hours 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.
|43 weeks 4 days 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.
|44 weeks 16 min 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?
|44 weeks 3 days 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.
|44 weeks 4 days 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.
|45 weeks 5 days 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.)
|46 weeks 5 days 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.
|48 weeks 4 days 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...
|48 weeks 4 days 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 18 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 20 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. ..
|1 year 20 weeks 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.
|1 year 22 weeks 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.
|1 year 22 weeks 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.
|1 year 24 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.
|1 year 26 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.
|1 year 26 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.
|1 year 27 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.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Omameh always makes me laugh||
His deadpan delivery is just hilarious.
|1 year 27 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.
|1 year 27 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).
|1 year 27 weeks ago||That quote's from The Naked Gun|
|1 year 27 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.
|1 year 27 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.
|1 year 27 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:
|1 year 27 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.
|1 year 27 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.
|1 year 37 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.
|1 year 37 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.
|1 year 37 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.
|1 year 38 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.
|1 year 38 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! :-)
|1 year 39 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.]
|1 year 39 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"?
|1 year 44 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.
|1 year 44 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!
|1 year 44 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!
|1 year 44 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.
|1 year 44 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?
|1 year 45 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."
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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!
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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?
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 46 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.
|1 year 47 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.
|1 year 47 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.
|1 year 47 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.
|1 year 48 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.
|1 year 50 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.
|1 year 51 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...
|1 year 51 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.
|1 year 51 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.
|1 year 51 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.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Michigan 24, Nebraska 16||
I've just spent 10 minutes trying to see if anyone else has posted this score already, and I'm still not entirely sure.
|2 years 1 day ago||Don't sell the Cards short, man||
"Perhaps winning one or two?" Don't make the same mistake that USA Today idiot did in 2006 when he predicted "Tigers in 3," so dismissive was he of the Cardinals' chances. Have you seen the sheer guts and willpower of this Cardinals team the past two postseasons? They simply refuse to quit. Check out game 6 of the Series last year, or the 5-run comeback against the Nationals in the deciding game of this year's NLDS and tell me if they aren't at *least* the equal of the Tigers in the "clutch-at-bats" category. (And I will stipulate that this discussion is a bit premature, as the Cardinals still need to close out the Giants. Take nothing for granted.)
As my fellow Cards fan bklein09 mentions here, both teams are probably better than 2006. Yes, the 2012 Cardinals don't have an in-his-prime Pujols, Jim Edmonds, or Scott Rolen in the middle of its lineup, or Mr. Gritty McGrit Dave Eckstein -- and LaRussa and Dave Duncan are no longer in the dugout. On the other hand, this year's lineup is much deeper 1-8, even w/Furcal out; the 2006 outfit had guys like So Taguchi, Juan Encarnacion, and an over-the-hill Preston Wilson taking significant at-bats. This year's team has as solid a middle-of-the order as anyone, with Beltran-Holliday-Craig-Molina (a much better hitter than '06 Molina)-Freese, and supersub Matt Carpenter providing solid pop as he showed in game 3. Obviously a big factor in the (potential) Series will be Beltran's health, and whether he can at least DH in the games in Detroit.
This Cardinals team also has a deeper 'pen and a better, deeper rotation than '06 -- I really don't know how that 2006 team did it. Carpenter was at his peak, of course, but he only pitched one game in the WS. Their nominal #2 starter, Mark Mulder, was injured, so Jeff Suppan -- JEFF SUPPAN! -- was their #2 in the playoffs. Jeff Weaver, not very good at all in 2006, was a desperation trade-deadline pickup and the #3 starter in the Series (and amazingly, pitched two solid games, including the game 5 clincher). And a highly touted rookie starter who ended up never amounting to much, Anthony Reyes, pitched the game of his life to win Game 1. Dave Duncan was a magician.
This year, they have Carpenter back from injury/surgery to replace the injured Jaime Garcia/Jake Westbrook; Wainwright; Kyle Lohse, who's been quietly excellent all year (16-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.090 WHIP, 134 ERA+), and Lance Lynn, a first-year starter who won 18 games this year.
That said, the Tigers' rotation should rightly make them the favorites. But don't assume it will be a walkover.
Anyway, if my Redbirds have to lose (again, *assuming* they close out SF), I'm glad it would be to the Tigers, as I'd like to see them win a Series again. Just hope it's a good Series -- last year's 7-game epic will be hard to top!
|2 years 2 weeks ago||A great feat to witness||
I was starting to wonder if anybody would ever accomplish this again. I always thought Pujols in his prime was the most likely candidate -- he's won a batting title, home run title, and RBI title, but never managed to do all three in one year. A great accomplishment for Miggy.
I have no dog in the MVP argument b/w Trout and Cabrera (I'm a Cardinals fan), but I see the argument on both sides -- I don't think you can just say "There's NO WAY Trout should win the MVP." Dude has had a phenomenal season, plays a more premium defensive position. I'd probably vote for Cabrera, but you can make a good case for Trout too. (I'm not a sabremetrics nut, but I do think it helps us understand the game and players' contributions better than ever).
Also, to the OP: I wouldn't bandy about fielding percentage as a proof of defensive prowess (for Cabrera or anyone else). You can have a great fielding percentage but shitty range, which means you commit fewer errors, but also don't get to as many balls as someone with better range.
|2 years 3 weeks ago||Same old story||
"I think the parts are better individually than as a whole, some reason they just don't play good together."
Alas, isn't this usually the story with our Ryder Cup teams? Even when our talent is superior, the Euros always seem to play better as a group, and kick our asses in the doubles matches, leaving us to try and catch up on the final day of singles, where we usual perform better. Maybe there's some deep point to be made here about the essential characters involved -- American individualism vs. Euro collectivism. :-)
|2 years 3 weeks ago||Just to complete the match-ups||
With as much of the coaches' comments as I could make out:
Roh vs Ben Braden
(Funk to Braden afterward: “You’re not using your hands” -- see how Braden doesn’t get his hands out for a good punch – “You’re stepping backwards”)
Campbell vs Mealer
Bolden vs. Magnuson
R. Jenkins-Stone vs. Dan Gibbs (preferred walk-on)
(Curt Mallory yelling “Go get ‘em, Fireball!” – RJS, presumably?)
Kovacs vs. Gallon
(Great job by Kovacs, although he does have 4 inches and 15 pounds on Gallon)
Ojemudia vs. #84 (not Mario Williams)
(Mattison: “Way to knock it back, 5-3!”)
Willie Henry vs. Graham Glasgow
(Hoke to Henry: “Hey, hey, hey, hey… That’s what [garbled] … You can do it.”)
Ash vs. Kalis
(Funk: “You’re not steppin’… you’re not stepping and punching. You’re not using any strength…” Just one rep, I know, but a good demonstration of how tough it is even for the most physically ready true freshman OL to make the transition to college ball)
Strobel vs. Mateus
(Someone calls him “Strobie” here… Funk(?):“Keep your hips to your feet and you’ve got a chance”)
Godin vs. Bars
(“Godes” … someone (Funk again?) yelling “Don’t be so high… don’t be so high”)
R. Taylor vs. Joe Reynolds (check out Joe’s piano chops here: http://www.mgoblue.com/allaccess/?media_id=322154)
(Mattison: “Hey 6! Good job, attaway, 6!)
Fun stuff - MANBALL! Seriously, though, this is what it's all about. Love the emphasis on technique, and the firm but not harsh style of the coaches. These kids are in good hands.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||NBC website streams ND home games||
I'm with robbyt003 above -- enjoy your honeymoon, man. I love football as much as the next guy, but... have fun with your wife and watch a recording/replay of the game later.
But, if you insist on watching live: I believe NBC streams their broadcasts of ND home games for free on their website. This link should take you to the game Saturday night:
|2 years 4 weeks ago||Steve Schilling too||
He was a 5-star OL when he committed to Michigan, and came down with mono at the start of his freshman year. He probably would have redshirted no matter what, but the mono (and I think a shoulder injury too) guaranteed it.
I hope either Bellomy or Devin Gardner pan out as a decent starter next year, because no matter how good a QB Shane is at this stage, the odds are against him coming in as a true freshman and stepping into the starting QB spot right away. He won't be an early enrollee, and it's conceivable that with the mono now, it might be next summer or even fall before his strength and playing weight are 100% back to normal.
|2 years 5 weeks ago||How to take on cut blocks?||
As someone who's never played a down of football in my life, I have a question for the coaches/former players who read this blog, given that we "suck at taking on cut blocks," as Brian notes: What's the proper technique to defeat these things? I've always been curious about this. I assume the first priority is to protect your legs and stay on your feet so you can still make a play. How do you do that? Do you give some ground and let the blocker eat turf, and then resume moving toward the ball carrier? (If so, it must be tough to overcome a defender's natural instinct to move forward and take on the blocker, which of course leads right into the cut blocker's trap). Or do you try to juke/go around the guy, or even hurdle him if necessary?
EDIT: Did a site search and found a pretty good threat on this question from last November:
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Good chance he lands on a practice squad somewhere||
Best of luck to RVB.
Any news about Hemingway?
|2 years 7 weeks ago||House money game||
I've said this on a few other threads -- barring 1) major injuries or 2) a 21+ point blowout, this is a no-lose situation for us, and I hope our guys play and coach accordingly -- with reckless abandon. No one really expects us to win tomorrow night. If we manage to win, look out Big Ten. If we lose a competitive game, no one will fault us for that -- and Team 133 will have learned a whole lot about itself by playing against the most talented squad they'll face all year. (And the coaches will know exactly how much more work they have ahead to make Michigan an elite program again.)
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Same here||
Watching the drumline rock out on Temptation has me ready to run through brick walls.
Glad the band will be in Dallas to support the team.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||This is my thought too||
We're playing with house money in this game, as long as we don't leave the game with a long-term injury to a key player or get totally blown out. If we win, fantastic. If not, as you say, if you're going to lose, do it early and to the highest-ranked team possible. And the coaches and team will learn a lot of useful stuff in the process that will make us better throughout the season.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Playin' with house money||
I feel we're playing with house money in this game -- barring a serious injury to a major contributor (possible in any game), we really can't come out of this at a disadvantage as long as we don't get blown out. (I view getting blown out as unlikely, given how well this coaching staff prepares the team and Mattison's emphasis on not allowing big plays.)
All that said, I would *really* love to see us beat the Evil Saban and shut up the "EEESSSSS-EEEEEE-CEEEEEEEE!" bozos. Go Blue!
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Who's the idiot who left blocking sled near the sideline @1:15?||
Check out the TD pass to Gallon at 1:15 -- some dope left a blocking sled right next to the endzone sideline. Gallon and Countess are both lucky to see it and get a foot down after going out of bounds, so they manage to hop over it after Gallon's catch. I about had a heart attack when I saw that -- we're lucky those guys didn't step on it and get hurt. Am I just a worry-wort, or shouldn't stuff like that be farther away from the boundary when you're running drills with guys catching balls on the sideline right there?
|2 years 12 weeks ago||+1 for the Kipling reference, good sir||
A great poem - "If"
Allusions to Kipling in comments -- just another thing I love about MGoBlog. (The Kate Upton gifs aren't bad, either.)
|2 years 12 weeks ago||No bumblebee stripes, thank God||
I'm not a big fan of the "special occasion" uniformz, but at least this one avoids the silly stripes we had on the upper shoulders for ND, MSU, and the Sugar Bowl last year. Me no likey the stripes.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||So where does BWC come up with that kind of cash?||
He doesn't matriculate in Columbus, after all...
|2 years 18 weeks ago||McAfee question||
Thanks for your thoughts, joeyb -- appreciate your insights.
One question: There seem to be a lot of negative opinions of McAfee on this board, and I'm genuinely curious why that's so, as I don't follow this world of antivirus programs closely. (I suppose that's about to change...) McAfee has always worked fine for us, and I certainly don't blame it for my current predicament, which is my fault. (Unless someone tells me that a better AV would've blocked those phony Adobe Flash update popups from even appearing.) I also work at a place where, to put it mildly, there is an extreme emphasis on IT security, and we have McAfee on the computers here.
Are McAfee/Symantec etc. just too big to be agile enough to keep up with the ever shifting threats from hackers? Or is there some other reason they aren't as good as others?
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Time as limited resource||
That's the real issue for me, I think -- how much time do I want to devote to this, and what's the best use of my resources (time & money) to resolve the problem? I can see using one of these tech support forums to attempt a thorough clean-up, but that can take a while. Wiping/reformatting and starting fresh would give me more piece of mind knowing the rootkit is truly gone, but even that sounds a little daunting. A new laptop would be the quick and easy way, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money right now.
First World Problems, right? :-)
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Thanks for the heads up||
I've read of people having success using Combofix to remove the ZeroAccess rootkit only to find that they can't get an internet connection, can't connect to their network printer, etc. So if I choose that path I'll proceed with caution (and probably with the help of one of the forums mentioned elsewhere in this thread).
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Ha!||
"Kapersky and others like it are desiged for end users who are stupid and click on bad looking things (just kidding)."
I deserved that one. :-)
And yes, from everything I've read ZeroAccess is really nasty -- a tough nut to crack.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Thanks for the advice, everyone||
I love MGoBlog. Lots of options to consider... I'll let you know how it works out.
One question I asked above, still not clear on the answer -- when I do a backup of all the stuff I want to save in case I need to reformat or buy a new machine, how do I ensure that stuff isn't infected before loading it onto the clean/new computer?
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Thanks -- have heard about ComboFix||
It seems like nothing's foolproof, though - I've read of people using itand it still hasn't solved the problem (same goes for Malwarebytes, Kapersky/TDSSKiller, and all the rest). Guess I'll just have to try everything and see if any of them work!
|2 years 18 weeks ago||This is helpful, thanks||
One question -- how does this ("Restore System to Factory Default") differ from this ("Full Factory Recovery")?
|2 years 18 weeks ago||How will you be sure your backed up files are clean?||
I've only read a little about this approach, but it seems to be another challenge -- how do you make sure all the files you've backed up are clean before you put them on the newly wiped computer? I'd hate to go through the hassle of a wipe/reinstall if I'm just going to reinfect the machine when I reload all the files I've saved.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||The thought has crossed my mind...||
I'd prefer first to make a good effort at saving my current machine, before buying a new one w/$$ that I'd rather spend on other family priorities right now. That's just how I am when it comes to big-ticket items -- e.g., the family minivan has 65k miles on it and I plan on us driving that thing until the 150k mark at least before even thinking about getting a new one.
But I'm preparing myself mentally for the prospect that you might be right.
|2 years 19 weeks ago||Hoke was asked about 3-3-5 in his introductory press conference||
As I recall, a reporter noted that Hoke's D at SDSU under Long ran a 3-3-5, and asked Hoke if he thought it could work in the Big Ten (implicitly referencing the tire fire that was Michigan's D under Rodriguez). He said sure it could, and that it was a flexible defense, you could have 3 or 4 or 5 guys on the line of scrimmage, and that very flexibility was why they liked using it at SDSU. But he was answering as a general manner, and never indicated he'd use it at Michigan. (And obviously once he hired Mattison, the question was moot.)
|2 years 19 weeks ago||That is a *little* surprising||
Although when you look at the list of HOF QBs, Stabler's era was pretty stacked with great ones. You had Bradshaw & Staubach (who both went to more Super Bowls), Namath, the back half of Fran Tarkenton's career, the first half of Dan Fouts's career, and Bob Griese (although Griese passed the ball much less than Stabler). All those guys are in the HoF. Stabler had a briefer peak than lots of those guys, and he threw more INTs than TDs in his career.
|2 years 19 weeks ago||Don't forget "The Snake"||
[EDIT -- the two fellows above beat me to it]
Re: lefty QBs who've succeeded in the NFL -- granted, the emailer said he's only 29 so his historical references are limited, but going beyond his list ... I'm just shy of 36 and even I know there was a pretty good lefty QB in the '70s by the name of Kenny Stabler. Took the Raiders to two Super Bowls (winning one), 1974 NFL MVP, 4-time All Pro. I'd say he turned out all right.
The emailer does raise a fascinating question, though. Like everybody above, I'm sure baseball has a lot to do with it. Any good LH athlete who can throw hard in HS is pitching, and the best of them are getting drafted and have a chance to make good money immediately after HS. (Stabler had minor league offers from several major league teams but decided to play for Bear Bryant at Alabama instead -- most lefties who can both pitch and play QB probably make the opposite choice.)
|2 years 19 weeks ago||Well said||
Couldn't have put it any better.
All this reminds me of what Brandon said at the end of the press conference announcing Hoke's hire:
"This game is about the players. Yeah, we need fans, we want fans. You're [the media] all important, we need the coverage that you bring and visibility that you bring. But this is about football players. This is about changing young men's lives. This is about bringing leadership in here who makes a difference in the lives of young men. And they leave here with a championship ring and they leave here with a great education and they go out and do great things in life. That's Michigan. Michigan men do that."
|2 years 20 weeks ago||Teeny linebackers can succeed!||
Just ask Zach Thomas, Dat Nguyen, and Dexter Coakley -- tackling machines all, and all 5'10" or 5'11" guys who were college superstars and had great NFL careers. I'm looking forward to seeing what young Mr. Ross can do in Ann Arbor.
|2 years 20 weeks ago||Nice avatar||
+1 for you, sir.
|2 years 20 weeks ago||Ceiling for a 5'9" CB||
I agree with WolvinLa2 -- all things being equal, a tall CB is preferable, but give me a 5'9" guy with super-fluid hips and coverage/ball skills any day over a 6'+ guy who's too stiff/slow/lacking in instincts to stay w/good receivers. (Justin Turner, anyone?)
A useful ceiling to keep in mind for a corner like Richardson is Aaron Glenn -- another Smurf corner who was an All-American at Texas A&M and went on to have a long and very solid career in the NFL (first-round draft pick, multiple Pro Bowls, played 14 years). Glenn was generously listed at 5'9" and around 180-185, which is about where Richardson should end up with couple years in a college strength program.
|2 years 20 weeks ago||Let's hope we see INTs this year||
Please don't take this as a complaint -- just a small quibble; I'm grateful we have Countess! -- but the main difference I see b/w Countess and the other Next-Woodsons's freshmen seasons in the chart above is the lack of INTs for Blake. I'll be curious to see how many picks he gets this year, as he becomes a full-season starter and earns more trust from Mattison. Assuming Mattison continues being aggressive in putting pressure on opposing QBs, Blake should have more opportunities to make plays on the ball and actually pick some off.
|2 years 21 weeks ago||Gorgeous Al's got his work cut out for him||
Thanks for posting this.
Alabama has lost a lot of great players off last year's D (Barron, Kirkpatrick, Upshaw, Hightower), but they'll just reload and a Saban defense will always be well-coached. I'm glad that Borges will have all summer to prepare a game plan against these guys.
|2 years 21 weeks ago||I still can't believe we have a commit named "Taco"||
Makes me smile every time I read his name. Imagine the chants of "Ta-CO! Ta-CO!" every time he notches a sack at the Big House...
|2 years 21 weeks ago||So many great names on those late-90s Michigan defenses||
|2 years 21 weeks ago||Is that an epic Brady Hoke point at 0:34-0:35?||
Watch the split screen shot of Marlin Jackson during warmups -- I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's another epic Brady Hoke point at around 34-35 seconds into this clip. (2002 was his last year as an assistant at Michigan.)
|2 years 21 weeks ago||What *did* happen at UCLA?||
I don't follow the west coast programs that closely -- why exactly has UCLA been mediocre for so long despite all the advantages listed above? Is it just the string of mediocre head coaches since Terry Donahue? (Bob Toledo, Neuheisel) Bad facilities? Something else?
|2 years 21 weeks ago||You do Ramsey a disservice||
If what he's "spouting" is merely "common sense" that people should "know anyway," why do so many people find themselves mired in such deep debt? We've created a whole culture -- both among individuals and in government, business, etc. -- of living beyond our means, not setting priorities, and immediate gratification. You might not like the way Ramsey presents his material, but at least give him credit for helping people break out of this mindset and giving them some specific ideas for how to get their financial house in order.
|2 years 22 weeks ago||Skill position frustration||
I think a lot of frustration on the board these days concerns Michigan's seeming difficulty (other than w/Shane Morris, obviously) with locking down the really high-profile skill position recruits in recent years, particularly at RB and WR. (Which is why we're all so nervous about Treadwell now.)
A couple years ago it was DeAnthony Arnett and Sammy Watkins at WR, last year it was Brionte Dunn at RB, this year it's Massington at WR and now Isaac at RB. The guys the current coaching staff has been getting so far at these positions seem to be more the "solid-not-spectacular" type or sleeper/under-the-radar recruits than the blue chippers we're all lusting for. We're picking up 4 and 5 star monsters on the lines, particularly OL, and everyone's wondering why more high-profile RBs and WRs aren't jumping for the chance to play with them.
I'm not saying this frustration is necessarily valid -- I think guys like Darboh, Chesson, Dukes, and York at WR and DeVeon Smith at RB all have the potential to be very solid (or even better) players for us -- but I understand why people are a little concerned.
|2 years 22 weeks ago||Change/new stuff is OK if it looks GOOD||
I have no problem with the occasional hype/throwback uniform for big games in college football -- but it's always better and more special when they're used sparingly. (I'm at least grateful that this alternate uni stuff will apparently happen less often next season at Michigan.)
They're also better when kept relatively simple, like Notre Dame pulling out the lucky green shirts, or teams going for the monocolor look by changing their secondary-color pants to match their shirts (e.g., Florida and Texas A&M below).
Simple is always better -- that's what makes Michigan's normal uniforms so classic. Two-color scheme, clean lines, iconic helmet, no gimmicks, looks great. Think of other classic uniforms in sports -- the Yankees' pinstripes (I hate the Yanks, but it's a great uniform), the Dodgers' blue and white, the Cardinals' red/white/blue w/ the Birds on the Bat, the Cowboys blue and silver with the iconic star on the helmet, the Red Wings' basic red and white and terrific logo -- they're all simple and clean and don't try too hard.
That's why I hate the new gimmick U-M jerseys so much -- they're not simple, they're cluttered and ridiculous. "Victors" and "Valiant" on the undershirt sleeves? Huh? And what's up with all the damn stripes? (It's just Adidas self-promotion.) I actually thought the block M on the front of the UTL jerseys looked good, but the shoulder stripes were just too busy next to the stripes on the helmet. And we can all agree the bumblebee road jersey for MSU was an abomination.
If they want to experiment with road jerseys, I can live with that, as long as it looks good. (i.e., no stupid top-of-the-shoulder stripes, and get rid of the silly maize border around the numbers.) But don't mess with the home unis except on the rarest of occasions.
|2 years 24 weeks ago||I think he leaves||
As much as it pains me to say it. The kid has the frame and physical tools that NFL scouts drool over, and he certainly has the proverbial "mean streak" so coveted among offensive lineman. If he keeps putting on good weight and improving his technique this year and stays healthy, he could be a top 15 pick, and it would be hard for him to turn down that opportunity, especially since he'll already have spent 4 years in school.
What really worries me: What if Fitz has a gangbusters year and decides to enter the draft too?
|2 years 25 weeks ago||I'll be thrilled for Junior if you're right||
But this year's WR crop is so deep, I have a hard time seeing him go any earlier than the 5th. Avant was drafted in the 4th, but he was a probably a more polished route runner coming out of school than Junior, and already had a reputation for Velcro hands.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||How much better could Mouton have been w/better coaching at UM?||
One of those guys who might've been a monster with a better D-coordinator like Mattison. Ah well. Looked pretty good in preseason last year before hurting his shoulder and missing the entire season. Should be interesting to see how he does in San Diego this year.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Stonum's not in the draft||
He's looking to transfer as a grad student so he can play right away and use his final year of eligibility. He recently said Eastern Michigan is one of his finalists.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Martin as a 3-4 DE?||
I'll take it as a good sign that my predictions match up so well with yours, since you know way more about this stuff than I do. But I have one question about your write-up on Mike Martin: Do you really think he's capable of being a 5-tech DE in an NFL 3-4 defense? It seems like the prototype for that position is guys with length -- 6'4" or better -- who have height and long arms to avoid getting engulfed by the NFL's massive offensive tackles. Isn't Martin a much better bet as a 3-tech in a 4-3?
|2 years 26 weeks ago||This was a fun read||
Thanks for putting so much work into this.
How much choice exactly do the new guys have when they pick their number from the available options? I'm curious how this works. Do they request a number, and then the equipment staff/coaches see if that works, and then resolve any conflicts/multiple requests for the same #?
|2 years 32 weeks ago||The article Brian links doesn't even mention the band||
Not sure where Brian got the idea that the trade mag article talks about amping the MMB, since the band is never mentioned. I know next to nothing about sound systems, but to me it seems the article is just talking about the new sound system they installed when they expanded the Big House -- i.e., the speakers used for the public address announcer, "Special K"s stupid rawk music, etc. As dragonchild points out, there's no need at all to amp a 240+ member college marching band that knows what the heck it's doing.
|2 years 34 weeks ago||Count me among those concerned about this too||
We need at least one game-breaker/stretch the field guy at WR in every class. Not unhappy about this commit by any means, I just hope the coaches recognize this hole in the roster, particularly after Stonum's departure.
|2 years 34 weeks ago||Noticed something awesome about Kovacs in that Sugar Bowl clip||
I noticed something new (to me, anyway) in that clip of Jake Ryan making the huge TFL on David Wilson in the Sugar Bowl -- another reason to love Jordan Kovacs.
Watch Kovacs on the play -- he's reading, zeroing in on the ball-carrier along with everyone else as Wilson goes backwards. But then toward the end, as Ryan closes on Wilson w/several other defenders backing him up, what does Kovacs do? Recognizing Ryan's got plenty of immediate help, Kovacs turns right and starts heading toward the wide side of the field to get an angle, on the off-chance that Wilson manages to escape Ryan, spin away from the pursuit, and cut back across the field.
How many players are that heads-up, that instinctual? Kovacs is thinking ahead -- "What's the one thing that could still go wrong for us on this play?" -- and acting to foreclose that possibility.
It's a privilege to watch him play, and I can't wait to watch him in his senior year.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||Not a problem as long as we get Diamond||
Of course, Diamond is the one assumed commit that has always scared me the most b/c he hasn't committed already....
|2 years 37 weeks ago||LMAO at :20 in the highlight video||
Am I the only one laughing like crazy at :20 in the video (second highlight) when Willie has just sacked the QB and then one of his teammates (a DB, from the looks of it) comes flying in to jump on him and celebrate, and Willie just throws him off like a rag doll? Hilarious.
I'm as disappointed as anyone that we struck out on Kozan, Grant, Garnett, etc., but this is a solid pick-up for this recruiting class. (I know we should think of 4-3 under recruiting more like a 3-4, so it wasn't that worrisome that Pipkins was our only true DT in this class, but I'm glad we've picked up another DT, and one with a lot of upside at that.)
Welcome to Michigan, Willie Henry!
|2 years 38 weeks ago||Borges's recent presentation at coaches clinic||
Kudos to the OP for tracking down the book and posting all this.
Related to this -- does anyone have any more details on the presentation Borges gave at the recent Michigan coaches clinic? (The one where Dantonio had his little hissy fit.) According to this write-up, Borges talked about "how to blend a conventional and spread offensive attack." I'd be curious to hear more about how Borges tried to blend concepts from both approaches in the offense this year -- what lessons he learned, etc.
|2 years 38 weeks ago||I thought this post was referring to Joe Posnanski's book...||
... until I clicked the link. Posnanski, of Sports Illustrated, is one of the better sportswriters out there. He spent a year in Happy Valley and was starting to wrap up work on his own Paterno bio (due out this September) when the Sandusky scandal broke.
It'll be interesting to see how the scandal/firing affects Posnanski's final product. It's clear that he went into the project invested in the concept of Paterno as a good and decent man -- a man who tried, mostly successfully, to run a Div. I football program in a more honorable way than others. After the scandal broke, he seemed at a loss for words, but promised to uphold his "responsibility to write the best, most insightful and most honest book I can possibly write about Joe Paterno." In his brief Paterno obit for SI, he recounts asking the dying Paterno "if he hoped that people would come to see and measure his full life rather than a single, hazy event involving an alleged child molester."
I'm not sure "a single, hazy event" is the best description for the many-year pattern of repeated child rape that Sandusky is accused of.... Makes me think that, unfortunately, Posnanski's book will also ultimately downplay Paterno's role in all this.
|2 years 40 weeks ago||He won't be "broken" just because he's 190||
DeSean Jackson is listed at 5-10 and a generous 175. Randle El (who is the perfect comp for Denard re: draft potential) is 5-10 and 185-190. Darren Sproles is all of 5-6 and 190. If those guys can survive in the NFl, so can Denard.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||I almost laughed out loud in my office||
I love Pee Wee Pipkins - he's quickly becoming one of my favorites in the 2012 class.
And it's also great to see how these kids get along and genuinely like each other.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||Helping him as a person now means taking away football||
Can't see how Hoke can keep him on the team after this -- at the press conference announcing his hiring as coach, Hoke stressed accountablity and character. He's given Stonum every chance. The kid has continued to demonstrate poor judgment. Lying to the court/law enforcement is the real clincher for me -- I just can't see how you keep him on the team after that. The only thing that will get Stonum's attention at this point is taking away football. I hope he gets the help he needs and gets his life together.
Obviously from an on-the-field standpoint this sucks -- Stonum's return next fall was one of the things we all counted on to soften the blow of losing Junior Hemingway. Our mediocre WR recruiting the last couple of years is gonna come back to haunt us. Wish we had targeted some higher-upside WR prospects in this recruiting class.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||I thought we got a gift last night||
After seeing this, particularly the large gif above, I feel like "incomplete" was the correct call -- though it's still a tough one. At times like these we need to remember just how damn hard the referees' job is, when these things are happening so fast on the field.
Now the other question is whether the video evidence necessitated overturning the call on the field, and I see a lot of truth in what ijohnb and Amolio are saying above. You can say there is more "indisputable" evidence here to warrant overturning the call than what there was, say, to overturn Fitz's last TD against OSU, but I can't blame Tech fans for being a little miffed.
But in the end, even they can't complain too much. If their kicker, who'd been perfect all night, just makes a chip shot field goal from b/w the hashes, then the odds are good we would've seen a second OT, and who knows what happens at that point.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||Thank God for Wile||
Hagerup has seemed mentally out-to-lunch all year. I don't know what got him suspended for the first four games, but whatever it was sure seemed to carry over once he returned. I hope he gets things together during the offseason.
Meanwhile, it sure is nice to have Wile as a quality second option at both punter and placekicker. Imagine -- depth at both kicking positions!
|2 years 41 weeks ago||Four Haikus for you||
Team One Thirty-Two
The football gods smile on you
Those who stay are champs
Well, that was ugly
No Gorgeous-Borges O. Still,
A win is a win
Hoke knows it's better
To be lucky than be good.
Go to Vegas, Coach!
Bud Foster's D showed
New template to stop our O.
You have homework, Al.
|2 years 43 weeks ago||I second that motion||
Tell his marketing minions to stop f---ing around with a good thing.
|2 years 43 weeks ago||Great post - less nervous now about 2012 DT recruiting||
A very helpful reminder that the 4-3 under is in many ways more like the 3-4 than the classic 4-3. This makes me (a little) less nervous about us taking only one true DT in the 2012 class. Wormley and Godin seem like guys who will eventually grow nicely into that 3-tech DT/5-tech SDE role that Van Bergen was so effective in this year.
My question for the original poster would be: Who among the returning interior D-lineman (Campbell, Washington, Ash, Wilkins, Brink) do you see slotting in to the NT, 3-tech DT, and 5-tech SDE positions next year w/the departure of Martin, RVB, and Heininger?
|2 years 43 weeks ago||Gamblers might still care about this call||
If I remember correctly, the spread was Michigan favored by 7.5, so Fitz's reversed TD was the difference b/w Michigan beating the spread or not. There are at least a few people out there who lost some big money because that call was reversed.
Anyway, fantastic work by the original poster. It's amazing what people will do for free on the Internet just due to curiosity and having some spare time on their hands!
|2 years 44 weeks ago||I'd definitely second this one||
Perry had a great season at USC this year - 9.5 sacks. Letting those two get out of state was a real sign of how recruiting had slipped at the end of Lloyd's tenure.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Can't be too surprised he ended up staying in La. though||
If I remember correctly, he already had a son, and staying close to him was a big part of his change-of-mind.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Awesome and well-deserved||
Not a surprise given the Remington win, but still great to see.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||I missed the boat||
I always find this meme hilarious, but when/where exactly did it originate? I'm googling all over and I can't find the answer to this question. Forgive my ignorance!
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Methinks David needs a shirt w/a bigger collar :-)||
Can't even button the top button with his tie on. In fairness, it's gotta be tough to find something off the rack that fits when you're that size (just look at that neck!). I hope he will soon have a nice NFL contract so he can go out and get some custom-tailored dress shirts!
Sartorial issues aside, it's great to see him acknowledged properly for his outstanding play this year and throughout his career at Michigan.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Molk needs the right situation/team||
So much of whether someone who's not an all-world talent makes it in the NFL depends on whether they end up on the right team, running the right scheme to take advantage of their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. The consensus on RVB above is a good example. Dude will never make it as a 4-3 end or a 3-technique DT. But he's got the frame and the motor to be a solid if unspectacular 5-tech as a 3-4 DE for someone like the Steelers or Pats, who want their DEs to occupy doubles and take on the trash so their LBs can make big plays.
Molk is a warrior, and smart as hell, and a great technician. But he is really small for an NFL interior lineman, and he already looks pretty maxed out physically, so an NFL strength program isn't going to put another 20 pounds on him. He will struggle to anchor against massive nose tackles like Haloti Ngata or B.J. Raji or stand up to bull rushes.
Still, he's got a shot. The model for Molk having a long career in the NFL is guys like Mark Stepnoski (Cowboys center in the 1990s) and Jeff Saturday of the Colts. Stepnoski was *really* undersized, but he had massive dudes on both sides of him on those great Cowboys line, and played with superior technique and leverage. Saturday is also undersized, but has had a great career -- again, because of smarts, great technique, and in his case, playing in a zone-based running scheme where athleticism and technique matter more than brawn.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Not impressed with that defense?||
I'd be careful about underestimating a Frank Beamer/Bud Foster Va. Tech defense. As Brian noted the other day, this year's group is 12th in yardage and 8th in scoring defense. From the game clips above against Clemson, they look like a sound unit to me. (Granted, Clemson's offense looks mediocre, and Taj Boyd is no Denard...) In the video it seems their D line gets a good rush -- they have 38 sacks on the year (our D had 28), so let's hope the O-line (particularly Huyge) can do a good job in pass protection. Va Tech also had 15 interceptions. The key, as always, will be Denard making good decisions and taking care of the football. If he plays as well as he did against OSU, we'll put up enough points to outscore the Hokies' meh offense.
|2 years 46 weeks ago||Aggie fanbase delusions...||
I'm a Michigan alum, but my dad and grandfather both went to A&M and I spent many a Saturday at Kyle Field when I was a youngin', so I know about the expectations in College Station. You're right that the gap b/w where A&M actually is in terms of national perception and where the alums/fanbase think it *should* be is a little extreme. I think a lot of this goes back to the famous Jackie Sherrill comment when he took the coaching job there about A&M being a "sleeping giant" that only needed to wake up to dominate.
And it's true -- a lot of the elements for a national power are there: A great recruiting base, fanatical & passionate alumni and fans, a rich tradition, excellent facilities. And during those late-Sherrill/early R.C. Slocum years, it seemed finally to come togetherm, partly due to Sherrill's less-than-pristine recruiting methods. (From 1989-2002, Slocum was 123-47-2, a .721 winning percentage.) But since then A&M's performance on the field has always seemed to be less than the sum of its parts, except for last year.
I hope Aggie fans are ready to readjust their expectations with the move to the SEC West. Going 8-4 or better every year in that division would be a hell of an accomplishment.
|2 years 46 weeks ago||RR and A&M might've worked||
Still a lot of good young talent on that team, and you don't even have to bother recruiting outside your own state to get good talent (even with Texas, LSU, and the Oklahoma schools (not to mention TCU and Baylor) all competing for the same kids). Also would have been a chance for RichRod to not drop too far in terms of program profile for his next job after UM.
But I think you're right Bosch -- less obstacles and expectations in Arizona. Although A&M has been much more successful in basketball than football lately, it is still a football school first and always (this is Texas, after all!). The expectations are high, probably irrationally so, especially given the competition they'll now face in the SEC West. And A&M's another tradition-rich program where RR would've been parachuting in w/out much of any idea about the program and school's history, traditions, etc.
|2 years 46 weeks ago||Hoke (and Brandon) re-evaluation||
I was extremely skeptical of the Hoke hire, but the way the team played this season, and particularly the way they finished the season after the Iowa loss, convinced me that Hoke was the right choice and that he will have a very high ceiling at Michigan. Obviously Mattison/Borges and the rest of the coaching staff, the returning talent, and the relatively soft schedule all played a big role in this year's success. But when you listen to the players talking about Hoke after the OSU game, and listen to what the recruiting commits say about him, it's clear that Hoke has some intangible quality that makes players want to go through walls to play well for him.
Recently I went back and looked at what Brandon said during the presser on this very point when he introduced Hoke as the new coach:
"I'm a former player. It's a long time ago but I still remember, and I think one of the most important things in judging a coach is, Do players want to play for him? And yeah, he [Hoke] kinda scoffed at my 'players' coach' comment, but I'm here to tell ya, you want a team that's going to perform at a high level, it's a team that wants the coach to be successful, 'cause they know it isn't about the coach, it's about the team. And what impressed me about Brady is, first of all, I think he said he told me he wanted this job and it was his dream in life in the first four seconds that we were together. And the second thing is I got more and more into how he coached, and he brought all of the materials he used; we had a long discussion about how he approaches his job. It became very apparent to me that this is not a guy who 'it's all about me.' It's a guy who is all about the team. And he's a guy that players want to play for. And our current football players have only spent a grand total of a couple hours around this guy, but you have no idea how many of them have come up to me and made comments about their immediate reaction to the attitude that this guy brings to coaching football. And I think that's exactly what we need here at Michigan."
I think that's been a key element in the performance of this year's team (along with the improved fundamentals, particularly on D), and will continue to be as long as Hoke is the coach at UM.
|2 years 46 weeks ago||Can't say enough how impressive Denard was in this game||
Didn't make a bad decision in the passing game all day, as far as I can recall, and his throws were all on the money -- usually you have at least one or two passes a game w/Denard where someone like Hemingway or Koger bails him out with a circus catch on a poorly placed throw, but not this time. His decision-making regarding when to scramble and when to stay in the pocket and go through his progressions was also terrific -- just watch the TD pass to Hemingway again, for example.
Can't wait to see what Denard can do with another off-season in this offense under his belt, and as Borges continues to learn what works and what doesn't with the current personnel.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Point taken||
Obviously, we all won't feel so great if Duke stomps us tonight and we lay an egg against osu on Saturday. But the long term trends are what really make me excited -- as you put it, from a "structural standpoint, the baselines of both programs have been raised dramatically." That even extends to the facilities, another item I should have mentioned; there's no doubt the upgrades to Crisler, the new BB practice facility (or "Player Development Center" or whatever the hell they call it), and the Big House expansion/renovation are playing a big factor in the great recruiting.
But most of all, it's the coaching. Win or lose against Duke and osu, I just feel like with Beilein and Hoke we finally have two guys leading these programs who have their shit together.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Surprised I didn't think of this||
... seeing as how I was still a UM student at the time! :-) I remember the excitement on campus when Woodson won the Heisman and knowing we'd be playing for the national championship in the Rose Bowl, but I'd forgotten all about the win over Duke the same day. And that was a Duke team with f----n' Wojo, which made the win doubly sweet. (Maybe my efforts to forget everything about the Brian Ellerbe era have been *too* successful...) But U-M hoops was a house of cards, as M-Wolverine notes.
|2 years 49 weeks ago||8-4 is the minimum acceptable||
Yes, coaching change, new systems, etc. It's not easy. But looking at the # of returning starters we had, particularly on offense, and the favorable schedule (just 4 road games, only one rivalry game on the road), and the subsequent 6-0 start, finishing 7-5 would make me very nervous about the long-term future of this program.
8-4 is OK, I guess, but it will be a lot more palatable if that eighth win comes against OSU. We get the weakest OSU team in years, w/out Tressel, at home. That's a game you have to win.
9-3 is a great season, all things considered. Beating Illinois and showing we can actually win on the road against a non-cupcake would be a big step for this team, and then if we can just split the last two at home, we're there.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||As a former Bursley resident back in the mid 90s||
I appreciate the Sexy Grandpa reference in your sig.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Mid-to-late-rounder||
Kevin simply doesn't have the production to warrant being picked in the first few rounds -- only 10 catches so far this year, and just 14 last year. (I'm really surprised Borges hasn't used him more in the passing game in the new offense -- his size and huge hands should make him a favorite target for our short, not-incredibly-accurate (but still AWESOME!) QB.) Still, scouts will cut him some slack b/c of the offense he's been in, and they'll like his big hands, frame, and overall athleticism. They'll like his character too (team captain, etc.). I think he goes somewhere in the mid to late rounds and sticks on an NFL roster, as long as he keeps improving his consistency as a pass-catcher, route runner, and blocker, and shows he can contribute on special teams.
Most of the good NFL draft websites have Kevin ranked from #7-10 among senior TEs. Here's a write-up by National Football Post's Wes Bunting, one of the best draft guys out there IMO:
<blockquote>A tall, athletically put together tight end prospect with a big set of hands, long arms and impressive range when asked to go make a play on the football. However, is still developing in all areas of the game and likely saw his growth/production stunted because of the offense that has been in place at Michigan since his arrival. Isn't the most natural benders when asked to sit into his stance, keeps his base a little high off the line and doesn't generate much explosion releasing into his route. Does a decent job initially trying to drop his pad level off the snap, but too often stands upright taking away from his forward momentum. Isn't real sharp or sudden as a route runner at this stage either, seems to drift into his breaks and looks more confident running away from defenders. Possesses average strider speed, but natural coordination, a big frame and can go up and make a play on the football off his frame. Displays impressive range when asked to go get the football. Plus, does a nice job extending his long arms and using his hands to routinely pluck off his frame.
Isn't a real balanced blocker. Struggles to keep his feet under him, lunges into contact and doesn't create much power as an in-line guy. Possesses a naturally strong frame, but his inability to gain leverage and maintain balance kills him at the point. Possesses long arms and strong hands that allow him to stick initially when he gets his hands on you, but is still learning the nuances of being a consistent run blocker.
Impression: Flashed on tape at times and does have some talent. However, is raw in all areas of the game and looks more like a low round pick/ free agent only who could blossom.</blockquote>
|2 years 51 weeks ago||I love Mattison||
My favorite quote, among many:
"It’s got to be a mindset that when a wide receiver tries to block you, that’s an insult. And you better be so physical that you can’t just shadow him. You have to try to go through him and physically beat him and get off the block. "
|3 years 18 hours ago||Omameh, and OL personnel adjustments||
Omameh looks so different from the dancing bear who repeatedly got to the second level and pancaked the likes of Manti T'eo last year. So different, in fact, I'm tempted to think he has a lower-body injury no one's telling us about -- but then I remember that the starting RG spot was, according to the coaches, a toss-up even near the end of fall camp. I could understand if Omameh was having trouble as a pulling guard b/c he lacks the brawn for MANBALL power blocking, but I'm amazed that the real issue seems to be his feet/agility.
Meanwhile, Schofield continues to impress. If Barnum ever gets healthy again, Schofield should start over whomever among Omameh/Barnum/Huyge the coaches believe is the biggest liabilty. Barnum hasn't made much of an impression on me when he's played, but my vote would be for Huyge -- good kid, but his limited athleticism becomes a glaring weakness in pass protection against teams with decent-or-better edge rushers.
Finally, re: the snap count jumping stuff -- why the hell does this kind of coaching failture always happen to us in the MSU and OSU games? Going back to the later-Carr era, I cannot recall a single game against these opponents where UM could say, "our coaches outsmarted theirs today," regardless of the final score. Seems like they are always more prepared than we are, and always have some new playcall or scheme that catches us with our pants down.
[Also -- why no "Fitz"/diamond formation in this game? Especially w/the wind and passing game problems, and State's hyper-aggressive LBs, that could have been useful. Argh...