|1 week 1 day ago||Penn St. & Wisconsin ahead of us?!?||
Polls are stupid, of course, and full of recency bias (among other things), but it's still pretty galling for us to be ranked behind both Penn St. and Wisconsin. (And USC jumping all the way to #3 just because they won the Rose Bowl? A team that Alabama beat by 46?)
I guess the lesson of this year is take care of your damn business, like that game at Iowa... (or, take all your bad losses early, like USC.) Anyway, we are complaining about finishing the year ranked #10. These are First World Problems after the RichRod/Hoke years.
|6 weeks 22 hours ago||Um, how about the D-line on our '97 nat'l title team?||
Hoke coached that unit. People tend to better remember the back 7 talent on that defense(Woodson, Tommy Hendricks and Marcus Ray, Ian Gold, Sam Sword, Dhani Jones), but the d-line was also outstanding and a major reason why they were so dominant. Rob Renes, Glen Steele, Josh Williams, James Hall, Juaquin Feazell -- that was a great unit. Hoke is in over his head as a Power 5-level coach or coordinator, but the dude can coach a D-line.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||The players in the piece don't seem to feel sorry for themselves||
That's one of the striking things. It's not particularly pleasant, going through the pain and physical punishment, but every one of these guys seems to think the trade off is worth it, whether because of the money or the competition or the chance to live out a dream. As long as they are clear-eyed about it, OK. But I do wonder how many will feel differently 5 or 10 or 20 years after their careers are done.
Mostly, I'm just fascinated at the lengths these guys will go to endure/manage pain so they can stay on the field and get through the season. There's a reason Harbaugh said (using a bit hyperbole, no doubt) in that HBO interview that he feels football is the "last bastion of hope for toughness in America in men."
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Glasgow nicked up?||
I seem to recall hearing from The Edge of the Internet or another such place that Glasgow's playing through an injury, which might explain the subpar performance by his standards for this game. (Maybe UMbig11 or someone else can confirm?)
I'd also echo those above who'd like to see more Gary. Particularly on passing downs, I'd rather give Glasgow/Mone/Godin a breather and see Hurst and Wormley on the interior and Gary and Taco at end, with a healthy helping of Winovich as well.
But this is a minor quibble. This defense is still very, very good, and if we manage somehow to win the next two games and get to the Big Ten championship, it'll be because they give us a great chance to win any game we play, no matter how much the offense sputters.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Exhibit A for Speight's wonky mechanics limiting his ceiling||
The usual disclaimer: I'm not a QB coach, I never played the game competitively, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Express last night. I just watch a lot of football. To me, this game showed the limit that Speight's unorthodox throwing motion places on his ceiling -- and my concern is that Harbaugh and Fisch won't rebuild his mechanics to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
In one of the Harbaugh coaching clinic videos on YouTube (I think it's when he was the coach at U. of San Diego), he says he doesn't like to mess with a QB's mechanics *too* much if he gets the job done. And I get that. If you're coaching Philip Rivers or Bernie Kosar and that sort of weird throwing motion works for them, fine. Same thing with a golf swing. Jim Furyk has anything but a textbook golf swing, but the guy's won a U.S. Open and $67 million in his career. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That said, one reason a "textbook" throwing motion (or golf swing) is preferred is that its mechanics are more natural and repeatable (and thus more consistent) under pressure. And what we saw in this game was that once Wilton tightened up a bit under the Kinnick night-game atmosphere, his wonky mechanics went further to hell and his accuracy suffered accordingly. Those underthrows of Darboh on the long balls in particular are brutal. Earlier in the year Speight had similar problems caused by his shot-put throwing motion combined with his habit of not always stepping into his throws, etc. -- and they cleaned things up over the bye week and he was much better. But those issues came back with a vengeance last Saturday. (I'm actually surprised this stuff didn't surface again at MSU; to his credit, Speight made some damn fine throws in that game.)
If the coaches are unwilling to totally rebuild Speight's mechanics over the offseason, then we may have to expect this sort of thing out of him occasionally, and that might place a hard limit on how good a QB he can be. I hope that's not the case.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||F--- Iowa and Kinnick||
I've been dreading that damn Iowa game since last summer when I saw it was scheduled as a night game -- we just have bad juju at Kinnick. Losing the game was bad enough, but losing our starting QB 9 games into a potential CFP season ... argh.
That said, I can't imagine having a much better situation at backup QB. This isn't Russ Bellomy or Nick Sheridan we're talking about -- i'ts a guy with two years in the system with legit starting experience at a Division I program, and he's got two weeks to get ready for OSU. My confidence in this coaching staff has dimmed a bit after the shitshow on Saturday night, but I'm still confident they'll have O'Korn as prepared as he can possibly be. Let's hope the kid embraces the moment.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Jaybaugh is proving his worth||
Took some nerve for Harbaugh to give his son a spot on the staff, but gotta give him credit -- Jay is doing a bang-up job.
Others have noted in this thread that Jay got the train formation idea from a Colorado high school named Chatfield that has a TE whose film he was scouting. Chatfield uses the train on occasion but their coach's father, also a coach, used it for every play back in the day (to answer another question in the thread).
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Yes - upset the Urban succession plan at OSU!||
I like this rumor the most because of this. Herman's a great coach, and I've always worried that whenever Urban finally steps down at OSU, Herman would be the obvious successor to keep the Death Star in Columbus fully operational. Ain't gonna happen if he's the coach at Texas.
And it's the most logical move for both sides. Herman's going to be Plan A for any major Power 5 team with a coaching vacancy, so it makes sense for Texas to lock him down now if they're certain they won't keep Strong. And if Herman wants to jump now to a blue-blood job, Texas is the best fit. He has roots going way back in Texas -- besides his current time at UH, he was a grad assistant coach at UT in 1999, and coached at Sam Houston St., Texas St., and Rice early in his career. He knows the state and can recruit all the talent he needs at UT without ever crossing the Texas border.
|15 weeks 19 hours ago||This was my thought, too||
Of all the guys from the Final Four team to go pro, I thought Stauskas and McGary had the best shot at long, solid NBA careers, because they both had what every NBA player needs to survive -- one superior attribute to hang your hat on. For Nik it was his shot, for McGary it was his insane motor and handle/passing for a big man. Leaving McGary's issues aside... I'm surprised Nik's shot hasn't translated to the next level. We knew he'd have trouble on defense and with the higher level of athleticism in the NBA, but I was certain his shooting would still allow him to carve out a nice Redick/Kyle Korver type role. But he seems to have lost his shot and all his confidence -- which is amazing, considering the cocky alpha dog he was his sophomore year at UM. Remember his dagger 3 at Wisconsin that year, or him blowing kisses to the crowd at Breslin after beating Sparty? What happened to that guy, Brass Balls Stauskas?
|15 weeks 19 hours ago||Iowa at night at Kinnick||
I dont' disagree with anything mentioned already -- further injuries, field goal kicking, a trip to East Lansing for a game that is essentially Sparty's entire season, Chaos Indiana the week before The Game. But for some reason it's the night game in Iowa City that screams danger to me. Our last few visits there have been annoyingly close losses, and even our three most recent wins there were close shaves -- 23-20 (2005), 32-26 (2001), and 12-9 (1998). I would find winning convincingly at Kinnick this year almost as satisfying as doing the same in East Lansing or the Columbus toilet bowl.
|24 weeks 19 hours ago||The whole Chesson thing makes me nervous||
Everyone seems to be saying he'll be back for the season, no problem, but boy, this mysterious bowl-game injury recovery has dragged on for a long time and Harbaugh and the team have been awfully coy about it. We still don't even know exactly what the injury was. I really hope Jehu is back "100%" soon so he can develop some chemistry w/O'Korn and Speight; him missing the spring was not ideal. A big factor behind the future-high-draft-pick Jehu we saw the second half of last year was him finally getting on the same page with Rudock, especially on the deep throws.
|24 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, please Brian!! UFR of Defense vs OSU||
I get it. Yes, it would suck to put together and suck to read. No one wants to re-live that; we're not masochists. And I know Brian needs a break from UFRs after OSU, because he's been grinding them out all season, for which the entire MGoReadership is grateful.
But you gotta learn from the bad games as well as the good -- and a UFR of the D vs OSU would tell us a *lot* more about what to expect in 2016 (and how realistic all the Big Ten/playoff hype around Michigan is) than looking at this performance against Florida's craptastic offense. For Harbaugh to get this program where we all want it to be, he's got to slay the dragons in Columbus and East Lansing. The biggest obstacle to that is slowing down Meyer's offense, which has dropped 42 points on us three years in a row. So a UFR of our D vs OSU last year, while painful, would be really useful. How much of that disaster was on Durkin/poor scheme/lack of adjustments? How much was on our injury-ravaged D-line? How much of it was on poor play by guys who are gone vs guys who are coming back?
Some might say, "But Durkin's gone and Brown's here, so how useful would it really be?" But you could say the same thing about the Florida UFR, and Brian still did it. Looking at what went wrong against OSU on defense would help us know what Brown needs to fix -- and maybe Brian could give us some insight on how likely it is that Brown will do better, based on what we know about his scheme already.
Pretty please, Brian?
|36 weeks 6 days ago||Donlon and "Pack-Line Defense"||
I've noticed several people, including some on UMHoops, saying that Donlon runs a "pack line defense" system like that used to great effect by Virginia, Wisconsin, and Xavier. I'd never heard the term before so I did a little googling. Some good primers here on the basic concepts:
From what I've read, it seems the basic idea is to apply lots of on-ball pressure combined with funneling penetration toward help defenders (who stay within the "pack line"), deny post touches, force contested jumpers, and crash the defensive glass with all 5 guys. What's the pack line's Achilles heel? An offense that has good ball movement, ball handlers who can create off the dribble, and shooters who can hit contested 3s consistently. (Sounds a lot like the ur-Beilein offense.)
I'm very curious to see how much of this system Beilein chooses to implement...
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Bingo - and it's the remaining OL in that class that worry me||
2013 is still pretty darn good w/the exception of the OL, which everyone thought might be the class's centerpiece. Fox, Bosch, LTT -- as Brian notes, not much you could have done to make any of those situations turn out differently, besides perhaps some more due diligence on LTT's character.
What worries me though is that neither Kugler nor Dawson -- both highly rated guys who are now redshirt juniors -- have seriously pushed for a starting spot yet, despite the uneven performance of guys nominally ahead of them (Jack Miller, Kalis, Braden, Magnuson etc.) We're going to need both to be good starters in 2017 to avoid taking a huge step back on the OL next year.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Grazie||
|41 weeks 5 days ago||In-game dunk or dunk-contest dunk?||
Happy Friday to all - please bang.
When talking about greatest dunks, we need to stipulate whether we're talking about real in-game dunks, or dunk-contest dunks. In the latter category, Aaron Gordon's dunk at this year's NBA dunk contest was the most spectacular I've ever seen -- the degree of difficulty and display of athleticism was just incredible (still can't believe he didn't win!). I can't seem to embed a gif right now, but most of you know the dunk I'm talking about. Back in the day, Vince Carter had some great ones, too.
As for in-game ... the Pippen over Ewing dunk referenced above is definitely a contender. I'd also nominate Jordan posterizing Dikembe Mutombo and then given Dikembe a taste of his own finger-wagging medicine afterward.
|46 weeks 6 days ago||Yep, Brian posted for contractor help back in December||
He was looking for a contractor to help with migrating the site to Drupal 8:
|47 weeks 5 days ago||Bravo||
What a great way to end the week. Thanks Brian.
|47 weeks 5 days ago||Right - here's a good blog post on the tech involved||
A very technical post that explains exactly what the FBI is asking Apple to do, and says it's technically feasible. Summary point:
"I believe it is technically feasible for Apple to comply with all of the FBI’s requests in this case. On the iPhone 5C, the passcode delay and device erasure are implemented in software and Apple can add support for peripheral devices that facilitate PIN code entry. In order to limit the risk of abuse, Apple can lock the customized version of iOS to only work on the specific recovered iPhone and perform all recovery on their own, without sharing the firmware image with the FBI."
|50 weeks 5 days ago||Link|
|1 year 5 days ago||I'd request Offense vs FL, Defense vs OSU||
I, too, don't want to be the jerk who complains about Brian not producing enough labor-intensive, free-of-charge content either. But... well, OK, I'll be that jerk: I wish he'd do more UFRs for Ohio State and bowl games. (We had full UFRs for 2011 OSU, because that was a win; and we had a passing game UFR vs OSU 2012, to evaluate Devin Gardner's potential going into 2013. That's it for the past five years.)
I can understand not wanting to dissect Michigan getting its face kicked in by OSU each year. Still, it's our biggest game -- shouldn't we examine it more closely to find out what's going on? Urban has hung 42 points on our D three years in a row. I know the basic reason -- his offense is really damn hard to defend against -- but I'd like to dig more into what exactly we're doing wrong. Wouldn't that be useful data going forward?
So I'd propose Brian at least do:
1) An autopsy UFR of the defense vs OSU (which might help us better answer "How do we stop Urban's offense?" and "What should we hope Don Brown changes?")
2) As a palate cleanser after #1, offense vs. Florida -- or at least, the running plays. Examining why the running game improved so much against a very good Florida D might tell us a lot about what to expect from next year's offense.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||For me, it's the Nyan cat/Harbaugh mash-up||
Can't even remember how many times I listened to this as it became clear Harbaugh was really coming home....
|1 year 3 weeks ago||IT HAPPENED!||
Still hard to believe even after Harbaugh has been here for a season -- it's a lot of fun reading back through Brian's "searchbits" (click on the "Coaching fiasco 2014" tag) and re-living the excitement of those days.
And to the OP -- June 12, 2011 is one of my favorite sports memories as well. Dirk! (And the fact it came against the Heat made it all the more delicious, after how the Mavs got jobbed by the refs in 2006.)
|1 year 8 weeks ago||This Sparty/Bucky gif reminds me...||
... how glad I am that Michigan doesn't have a stupid mascot with some dude running around in a ridiculous costume.
Happy Friday and Go Blue!
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Angry Michigan Nose Tackle Hating God?||
Sorry if someone on the blog's already mentioned this possibility, but perhaps it's time to recognize that the notorious Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God (AIRBHG) has a brother deity, the Angry Michigan Nose Tackle Hating God. Consider:
* Ondre Pipkins, who looked like a sure-fire 5-star NT coming out of high school, has his already disappointing Michigan career ended by an accumulation of injuries (ACL, concussion(s?), etc.)
* Bryan Mone goes down late in fall practice with what was a pretty freak injury as described by Harbaugh (broke his leg blocking on a return of a blocked FG)
* Ryan Glasgow's now out for the year because he just barely managed to get a hand on that Rutgers guy. Damn.
Maurice Hurst, please be careful...
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Yep, really leaves a void in the Big Ten||
First, I'll echo all the well-wishes for Coach Kill in this thread. Always seemed like a good guy and a good coach. It's terrible he won't get to continue doing what he does best, but health and family always come first -- and as someone mentioned above, maybe we'll see him on the BigTen Network. And this does make me worry a lot more about Saturday's game -- you know we'll get the Gophers' best shot.
The poster above is right -- this is also a real loss for the Big Ten. That's a tough program for a coach to be able to win at consistently, and Kill was getting the job done. The conference needs more good coaches like him, especially in the West division, to maintain the standing of the conference in comparison with others.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||ESPN isn't going to "die"||
Perhaps you're just engaging in a little hyperbole here, UMAmaizinBlue, but in case you're not: ESPN isn't going to "die." Sure, the inevitable decline of their subscriber base due to cord-cutting (and perhaps un-bundled cable in the future) will force them to streamline and get back to basics -- live sports coverage and news -- sans all the talking-head stupidity. Today's headline means that process is well underway. But their live sports programming alone will be enough to keep them viable.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||This is absurd||
It's a huge rivalry game, and (unfortunately for us) one of if not the most memorable games in the history of the rivalry, with an ending that will be talked about by even the most casual of college football fans for decades. You don't stop talking about it on Monday afternoon just because it would feel better to "move on."
I'm all for the mods deleting threads that simply whine about things that didn't really matter, like the thread just before this, about MSU supposedly being lined up in the neutral zone before the fatal last snap. (Doesn't look like it to me from the pic, IMO.) Let's be honest, that didn't really affect the result of the play, so it's pointless to discuss it. But people should be allowed to start threads that discuss non-whining, interesting aspects of the game in a reasonable way. Good grief.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Have to add the Romo fumbled FG snap to this list||
First, thanks for posting this ... I think. At least we have company, right? (The Furman one sounds particularly brutal.)
Second, as a Cowboy fan it pains me to say this, but there's another Cowboy end-of-game debacle that should go on this list: Tony Romo's botched hold on a 19-yard field goal (shorter than an extra point) that cost them an almost certain win over Seattle with about a minute left in the wild card game in 2007. It was a far more costly gaff than Leon Lett's muff in 1993 (as someone notes above, the '93 Cowboys didn't lost a game after that, and went on to win the Super Bowl) -- Romo's fumble ended their season, and also Bill Parcells's coaching career; he didn't come back for the final year on his contract after that.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Also noticed that too - losing Ojemudia will sting||
Found myself watching him a lot in these highlights (I didn't get to watch the game live), probably because I knew he'd been hurt and wanted to see what impact his loss will have. I have confidence in Durkin and Co. to adapt and move forward, but losing Mario is a big blow. He showed well in these highlights -- he's very active with his hands and times his pass rush well (he's not a disruptive pass rusher in his own right, but he usually makes the most of the opportunities made possible by the pressure from other D-linemen). He's fundamentally sound and has proven to be pretty responsible in defending the zone read. He's not the engine that drives this defense -- that's the interior DL (Glasgow, Hurst, Wormley, Godin, Henry) and the secondary -- but he was SOLID, and it's very uncertain whether RJS or Marshall can bring that sort of consistency from down-to-down.
Plus, I feel for the kid, going down after just 4 games in what was shaping up to be a very good senior season for him on an outstanding defense. Not the way he envisioned his last time in a Michigan uniform, I'm sure. Best of luck to him.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||I tend to think Freddie above is right||
Need stability, with someone who can commit to being here a decade at least, and I doubt Hackett wants to be that guy. Don't forget, the man had only just started a well-deserved retirement before Schlissel called him in to clean up the Brandon mess. I would imagine his wife and family aren't interested in him staying in another all-consuming job for another 5 or 10 years.
Hackett's done an awesome job, and knocked it out of the park on two HUGE tasks that alone will ensure his legacy in the annals of Michigan sports (landing Harbaugh and the new Nike contract). The best way to cap his achievement is for him to identify and hire a great successor -- one who will run the AD w/a Hackett-style vision rather than a Brandon-style one. And that successor will have some pretty damn big decisions to make in his own right, including:
|1 year 15 weeks ago||This is what Michigan football feels like right now...||
We've crawled through the tunnel of shit and finally escaped from Warden Brandon (er, Norton) after suffering years of mediocrity and despair. Rain never felt so good.
Looking forward to watching a superlative performance from our team on a soggy Saturday. Go Blue!
|1 year 16 weeks ago||It's never too late to bang||
May the Banging Continue Throughout the Day... and May the Force Be With You.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||This is awesome - thanks for posting||
Besides players/coaches, the other group of people that must get to experience the tunnel with a real rush on gamedays is the Michigan Marching Band. Any MMBers out there want to share their tunnel stories?
|1 year 19 weeks ago||How much will Harbaugh change his offense to fit these guys?||
This is one of the many questions I have coming out of last night's game. He wants to run power etc. w/ heavy sets, but our guys just don't seem capable of it right now. And doing so means giving lots of offensive snaps to guys like A.J. Williams and Poggi, neither of whom showed anything as blockers last night, and are non-entities in the passing game. (Please, more Hill and Bunting and Kerridge, less Williams and Poggi -- at least the former trio have shown they can catch passes.) I'll have to watch the replay, but my impression was we had more success running when we stretched the defense horizontally w/3 wides, the quick screens to Darboh, etc.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Re: Five-star busts - Green, Morris, and add Kalis, IMO||
(And in fairness, let's stipulate Morris was dropped to four stars by the recruiting services after he missed most of his senior year w/mono).
We have to consider adding Kalis to this list. Sure, he starts and plays a lot, unlike the other two. But good grief, his whiff on the power-pull on that 4th and 1 (he left TWO guys unblocked, free to the ball-carrier!) was atrocious. This guy was touted as the next Steve Hutchinson coming out of high school; four years into the program, and he's still making mental errors like that. Just find the first red jersey in the hole and knock him on his butt!
I really thought that a spring and fall camp's worth of good OL coaching from Drevno would've solved some of these issues, but I guess I overestimated the aura of mediocrity that clings to these guys after the Hoke/Borges/Funk era. Can they clean up the mental mistakes once they get more comfortable w/the system, or is they just who they are, and it'll take new guys to make significant improvement?
Count me as someone hoping Dawson will seriously push either Braden or Kalis for playing time at guard by year's end.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Pleasantly surprised||
I was skeptical about the all-white road unis, even if they are throwbacks, but they looked pretty good to me last night. Still prefer the maize pants, but this look worked for me and I don't mind it being part of the rotation.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Damn right, Go Blue!||
Thank you Brian & Co. for this annual ritual of ruining my work productivity for a week with another fantastic preview of Michigan football.
I honestly can't remember the last time I was this jacked up for a Michigan football season to begin. You always begin it with hope, but for the first time in a long time, thanks to one James Joseph Harbaugh -- that hope is based on something real, something we can count on: a track record of success. Win or lose tonight, I expect to see a Michigan team that is well prepared, that plays smart and hard, and that improves as the season progresses. It's gonna be fun.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Had the same thought watching it - get the ball in his hands!||
Some guys are just special with the football in their hands, and Peppers is one of them. I've heard everything about him already, but man, watching that video ... Good Lord.
If he can meet his big responsibilities on D and in the return game and still handle a bit more on his plate (and given what we've heard from the coaches themselves about the kid's work ethic, that doesn't seem like a stretch), I don't see how you can't at least try to get him at least 5-10 snaps a game on an offense that is lacking in explosiveness. Even his presence as a decoy can open things up for other guys.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Love what I've heard from Coach Baxter so far||
Really glad we have this man on our staff. His track record speaks for itself, but I've also been impressed every time he's spoken to the media. Seems like a smart guy who knows how to get the best out of his players. I also love that Coach Harbaugh decided special teams were important enough to deserve a full-time dedicated coaching spot on his staff (rather than making some position coach split duties w/ST as well) -- I think it'll pay huge dividends to the team this year.
Hearing all the coaches talk so highly about Utah, I'm also very pleased they happened to be on the schedule as the first game of the Harbaugh Era. As Baxter notes, adversity introduces a man (or a team) to himself/themselves, and having a nationally televised night game on the road against a quality opponent will help this team learn more about itself and improve a LOT more quickly than if we were opening at home against some tomato can. Win lose or draw, I'm excited to see how our guys compete on Thursday night.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Hope she responds w/Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind!||
Best wishes, enjoy the moment.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Shakespear in a POSBANG. Awesome.||
Thanks Mad Hatter.
Hate to introduce a down-note in the POSBANG proceedings, but did you see that one of our favorite POSBANG presences, the lovely Alison Brie, is now off the market?
But Alison's ready for the start of HARBAUGH:
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Your avatar is awesome, btw||
I have a journalist friend who writes about food and drink -- he recently toured all the big bourbon makers' distilleries, and got to wax-dip his own bottle of Maker's. I know, cool story, bro.
Cheers, and Happy Friday to all!
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Yikes, that is ugly||
Unless Devin Gardner latches on somewhere else, Jake Ryan might be the only guy on that list w/a shot at sticking long-term in the NFL. (Did Hagerup ever latch on w/a team in training camp via free agency?) Furman was drafted late by the Broncos -- he might have a shot to make the roster if he can show his worth on special teams. Marvin Robinson got a look w/the Cowboys in training camp last year, but I'm not sure what happened to him.
Even if you drop the standard from "Got a cup of coffee in the NFL" to "Was a solid starter or contributor at UM", that class looks bad in hindsight: Gardner, poor guy (what might've been?); Ryan; Jibreel Black, Courtney Avery, and Drew Dileo were also decent contributors at various points; Hagerup was good when he had his head on straight ... Stephen Hopkins, maybe. And that's pretty much it. Seven guys, if you're generous, out of 27.
Thank God we're putting that era of UM football behind us. HARBAUGH!
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Bingo - the CEO head coach model is dead||
Besides Hoke, the best example of this is the rapid decline of Texas Longhorn football in the latter years of Mack Brown's tenure. The UT blog on SBNation had a pretty good post about the problem of the "CEO coach" a few years back:
"Coach Wonk is winning. And the Coach Administrator is reeling. [...] The most highly ranked and/or most resurgent programs in college football are being led by head coaches who serve as their own coordinator, or are as good or better at the job than the junior men they've tasked. Whatever their outward shell, these coaches are, at their core, football nerds. Many are among the best teachers in the game and most of them have invented actual stuff - new plays, philosophies, novel ways of thinking, now copied at every level of football."
Obviously, you won't succeed as the HC of a major program like Michigan without certain CEO-type skills -- an eye for talent and ability to delegate wisely, a knack for motivating people to do their best work, alpha-male charisma and confidence, a big-picture view, ability to handle the PR part of the job, etc. But it's become clear that you now also need to be an Xs and Os master on at least one side of the ball (Hoke wasn't), and be able to identify and retain talented assistants to take care of the side where you lack expertise (Rich Rod's problem at UM). The lack of any coordinator experience on Hoke's resume was the biggest red flag when he was hired, and if Brandon had any sense he would've seen it and realized Brady wasn't prepared for the job. You can fault Hoke for putting himself in that situation. But as someone else mentioned in this thread, it takes a lot more humility than most of us possess to turn down one's dream job because you realize the job's too big for you.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Magnuson at RT b/c of Morris possibly at QB?||
Probably lots of factors at play here to explain why the coaches seem to prefer Magnuson at RT and Braden at LG now, but I wonder if the 50/50 possibility of a left-handed starting QB (Morris) has something to do with it. Braden's your prototypical road-grader right tackle, but we've seen his limits in pass protection, and he's probably not the guy you want protecting your QB's blind-side (if Morris wins the job). Magnuson seems to have better feet and be better at pass-blocking in space, so maybe the fit is better for him at RT, and that allows Drevno to use Braden's size on the interior. Just a thought...
Anyway, I'm cautiously optimistic about the prospect of seeing a Michigan OL this fall that's not epically bad or merely average, but actually pretty good!
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Chiming in late on this thread||
The answer to the OP's question depends a lot on how old the child in question is... anyway, some great suggestions above. I've got a 9-year-old and an 8-year-old who are both voracious readers (and an 18-month-old who's just now getting into books); here are some books we've enjoyed in our family (our taste tends to run toward older books):
* The Frog & Toad series by Arnold Lobel, mentioned above by a couple folks, are terrific short little stories for kids who are just beginning to read, and have a wry sense of humor that even adults can enjoy.
*Margaret Wise Brown's another wonderful author for very young children -- The Big Red Barn, Goodnight Moon, and so many more.
* Richard Scarry. Need I say more?
* All the old Little Golden Books -- still great.
* Everyone here with kids has probably overdosed on Thomas the Tank Engine, but I'll still put in a good word for the original stories by the Rev. W. Awdry. Can't vouch for any new stories that've been written after the films were made and the whole Thomas marketing machine grew up.
* I'm shocked no one above has mentioned E.B. White. C'mon, people! Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little -- two of the best children's books ever!
* Tomie DePaola's books are wonderfully illustrated and enjoyable reads. If you're Christian/Catholic, you'll enjoy his substantial output of books featuring religious/holiday stories.
* My kids are mystery buffs so they've loved the old Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books -- nothing profound there but still fun to read.
*Someone above mentioned Robert McCloskey, another great one -- particularly wonderful illustrations. Make Way for Ducklings, Time of Wonder, Centerburg Tales (Homer Price)
* Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig -- very funny illustrations and a touching story.
* Some stuff to show your kids how life was for kids before smartphones and TV and air conditioning -- Ralph Moody for boys, Laura Ingalls Wilder for girls.
So many more good ones, including many already mentioned by others above. Thanks to the OP for posting this question and bringing back many fond memories...
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Bang insanity||
Every Friday I sit at my desk at 8:45am east-coast time to start the workday, pull up MGoBlog, and always find at least 130+ posts already in the Friday POSBANG thread. You guys are insane.
I'm still a little amazed every time I remember that a little over a month from now, a Michigan Wolverine football team will take the field with JIM FRIGGIN' HARBAUGH as its head coach. HARBAUGH!
Happy Friday, and GO BLUE.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Thanks Mad Hatter||
A welcome relief from the humping-puking dog and dude getting blown up higher up in this thread...
|1 year 29 weeks ago||This is my experience as well - go w/the DE safety razor!||
I'll second all of TheThief's points above. For years I used Mach 3, and then store-brand disposable Mach 3 knock-offs just to save some $. The shaves were OK to pretty good, but I always had more irritation and cuts than I wanted. I'd thought about switching to the old-fashioned double-edge safety razor for a while, and finally made the jump a few months ago and really enjoy it now. Lots of men have made the switch in recent years, so there are tons of resources (books, web forums, YouTube videos, online shaving supply companies) out there to guide a newbie.
There certainly are cons. The upfront cost is not insignificant, though you can soften the blow by stretching it over two months -- first month, get all your prep stuff: a good badger brush and quality shaving cream or soap (and pre/post-shave lotions if you're into that sort of thing). Start with that and focus on making a good lather, while continuing to use your current cartridge blade. Even if you eventually decide to stick with your overpriced cartridge, using a good lather rather than a can of chemical goop will make a dramatic difference in the quality of your shave.
Second month, get your razor (the Edwin Jagger DE89 and the Merkur HD are the consenus favorites for beginners; I chose the Edwin Jagger and like it a lot), and a variety pack of sampler blades (blade brands work dramatically differently for peoples' unique faces; experiment to find the best blade for you). As with any male pursuit, you can turn DE shaving into an obsessive hobby that involves buying lots of different (and expensive) gear, and some dudes really enjoy exploring all the options and products -- but you don't have to geek out too much. Just get a decent brush, razor, cream/soap, and blades, and get going.
As mentioned by others, there is a learning curve, and it's not always pleasant. It takes a lot longer to shave at the beginning; you have to learn your face and how to keep consistent blade angle and pressure in a way you never did with a cartridge. You'll probably have a day -- I did -- a few weeks in when you cut yourself a bunch and got a not-very-close shave, and wonder, "Why the heck did I even try this?" You must push on -- you *will* improve. Your technique will get better and more efficient, you'll find the blade brand that works best for your face, and you'll love it.
And the pros of DE shaving are real. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you'll get closer, more comfortable shaves and the whole shaving experience transforms from a chore to a ritual you'll anticipate. Yes, there's more upfront cost, but a good DE razor like those mentioned above will last a lifetime if cared for properly, and can even be something you pass along to your son. And DE blades are dirt cheap -- over time your cost-per-shave will be way, WAY lower than whatever you're paying now for Mach 3, Fusion, etc.
Sometimes, the older way of doing things *is* better, no matter what corporate marketing departments looking to boost their companies' profit margins tell you.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||As another on the five-year plan, this makes me laugh||
My last round through this was such a pain in the ass; ChiComs, please help me the next time.
(Actually, screw you, ChiComs.)
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Yes, Phyllis from Mulga!||
The only reason I know about Paul Finebaum is from seeing the fantastic Bama-homer rants of regular caller Phyllis from Mulga featured on ESPN. If any MGoBlog readers haven't heard Phyllis in action, I highly recommend you find the clips on YouTube -- you'll laugh so hard you'll have tears in your eyes. (Sometimes I wonder if Phyllis is on the show's payroll.)
Here's her epic rant againt Colin Cowherd ("Cow-turd"), a particular target of Phyllis's righteous wrath:
"The Dynasty is not over! Do you hear me, Cow-turd? Bama's dynasty has just begun! KISS MY BUTT! Roll Tide!!!"
And here she is going nuts after Bama lost to osu in the national semifinal in January:
|1 year 34 weeks ago||Pinup Posbang for Memorial Day Weekend||
In honor of those who gave their lives in service to our nation, how about some Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable, two of the great pinups of WW2?
Have a great weekend everyone.
|1 year 34 weeks ago||There's an entire Buzzfeed list on this phenomenon||
"Fifteen of the Most Deformed Fingers in Sports" -- not for the fainthearted. Check out Anthony Munoz in particular.
My favorite story along these lines is that of Ronnie Lott -- I'd always heard that he got his pinky finger smashed so bad once that the tip actually came off (or, that they cut it off) DURING a game, and he played through it, thus cementing his status as an NFL tough guy. As it turns out, he actually had the tip amputated the following offseason.
|1 year 36 weeks ago||Not a world-beater, but we don't need him to be||
Big thanks to Brian for UFR'ing multiple Rudock games to see what exactly we've got in him, showing a nice range of good-to-great Rudock (vs. Northwestern) to meh-mediocre Rudock (vs. Maryland).
Is he the second coming of Andrew Luck? Hell no. But neither is he a guy who's occasionally going to be so awful he'll lose games for you single-handedly. As others have said above, he's low-variance -- and with the kind of defense we expect to have this fall, that's plenty good enough to lead this team to at least 8-9 wins with this year's schedule. And as the previous UFR against Northwestern showed, when this kid has decent protection, he can be pretty darn good -- he's got an accurate arm with some zip that can make all the necessary throws. And unlike every other QB on the roster right now, he's got significant starting experience as a Big Ten QB.
Ideally, Shane Morris is so good in fall camp that he beats out Rudock for the job -- I think his upside (and thus the upside for the offense) is higher, and it would sure be nice going into 2016 with a loaded roster that includes a senior QB with a year of starts under his belt. But worse case, Rudock is your starter with Shane pushing him hard, and then in 2016 you have a senior Morris w/a year of Harbaugh polish ready to take the reins, unless he's beat out by one of O'Korn/Speight/Malzone/Gentry. It's good having multiple bullets in the chamber.
|1 year 38 weeks ago||This was my thought too||
It's a win-win for all involved. Great for the athletes, obviously. Great for the coaches, especially the small-school guys. And not coincidentally, great for us -- Harbaugh knows that when he succeeds in Ann Arbor, his staff's gonna get poached quite a lot by other schools w/HC or coordinator jobs open. This is just another way for him to network with other up-and-coming coaches and ID talented folks who he might want to join his staff someday. Brilliant stuff.
|1 year 38 weeks ago||Can't have a posbang w/out Alison||
Where's The Mad Hatter, anyway?
Happy Friday everyone!
|1 year 41 weeks ago||Smith's currently our best RB, which is slightly frustrating||
Another thing this analysis brings home to me: It's a little frustrating that out of our current stable of RBs, the one who seems to have the best instincts, balance, toughness, and vision -- Deveon Smith -- is also the one with the least speed, quickness, and burst. (I'm withholding judgment on Ty Isaac b/c I haven't seen him enough yet.) If you could put those qualities of Smith's in Green or Isaac's body, that would be a dangerous back. But Smith's pretty good, when you also consider his ability to keep getting positive yards after contact. He's not going to bust any 70-yard TDs, but if the guys up front get the job done, he can be a very nice Chris-Howard style back for us.
|1 year 42 weeks ago||This posbang needs more Alison||
One banger above provided some Alison, but where is Mad Hatter? He's usually early on the Alison Brie beat.
Anyway, here she is, looking for some upvotes!
Happy Friday to all, and Go Blue.
|1 year 42 weeks ago||Most interesting thing to me is the QBs||
This draft seems to confirm what we saw in that practice report the other day -- Morris is in front right now, with Malzone close behind, and Speight clearly #3 at this point.
Let's hope all these data points mean the lights have finally come on for Shane.
|1 year 42 weeks ago||Tweak or tear, this is still grim news||
Some guys' bodies just aren't built for high-level athletic competition; for whatever reason, they are "injury-prone," even when they take care of themselves properly and rehab the right way, etc. As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I've seen this phenomenon w/Sean Lee -- the guy is a terrific linebacker: smart, hard-hitting, great instincts, makes plays all over the field, a natural leader. But he also can't manage to stay on the field, and had the same problem when he was at Penn St.
I wish Drake the best and hope he gets past this, but it would be wise for all of us to re-calibrate our expectations for him as a Michigan WR from "future superstar" to "any meaningful contribution will be a pleasant surprise."
|1 year 42 weeks ago||Splitting coaching the staff, probably||
That's what I remember from watching videos of the spring game drafts he did as Stanford -- Harbaugh acted as the master of ceremonies, if you will, announcing the choices, but the rest of the coaching staff was split up into two separate rooms and actually drafted the teams.
Another interesting tidbit, re: just how good Andrew Luck was/is -- in one of the videos, one team (probably as a result of a coin flip) got Luck as the first pick, and Harbaugh gave the non-Luck side the next THREE picks to compensate.
Here's the one from 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ivcSnXiPTA
(Drevno sighting at 1:45, btw)
|1 year 43 weeks ago||MGoBlog, where you get ...||
|1 year 43 weeks ago||Let's do this...||
Put a little "spring" in your step, MGoBlog friends.
But she reminds you this is a BEWBZ-FREE posbang:
Happy Friday to all!
|1 year 44 weeks ago||You can never have enough Alison in the posbang||
Happy Friday, everyone.
|1 year 44 weeks ago||That's a hell of a downvote he's giving there...||
|1 year 44 weeks ago||Sideline sightings||
Devin Funchess looking on from the sidelines at around 2:25, I believe. (Would've been interesting to see how he would've responded to Harbaugh & Co.'s coaching...) And is that Jack Miller taking things in from the sidelines in street clothes at 2:57?
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Yes -- coaches on the board, weigh in, please||
Showing them how to transition quickly from receiving a shotgun snap into a throw? Something else?
|1 year 46 weeks ago||I'll see your Alison Brie pic, and raise you a gif||
Chugga chugga choo choo, get your Friday rolling down the tracks, my friends.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Hail to the Bangers||
Happy Friday to all, and may winter end soon.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Thanks for reminding me, State Street...||
... why I avoided Greek life like the plague when I was a student in A2.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Students in general, maybe||
Michigan students in general, sure. Students in student government? Not so much...
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Let me add some more Alison Brie to the SFW posbang||
Agree w/you re: Brie over Upton, M-Dog.
Here's some more non-bewbz Alison cuteness for everyone...
Upvotes for all on a Frigid Friday! (It was 1 degree when I left my house in N. Virginia this morning! Thought I'd left this weather back in A2 when I graduated...)
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Yes... let's make this a chance to exercise some creativity||
Doesn't take much thought to post pictures of HAWT BEWBZ (though I like 'em as much as anyone). Time to raise your posbang gif game, MGoBloggers. Think of this as a chance to creatively abide by the rules.
|1 year 48 weeks ago||Four day weekend posbang||
Four day weekend because I'm home sick today, alas.
On the plus side, my wife loves to play nurse, and also believes Valentines Day is absurd. She's the best!
Happy Friday and stay warm, my friends.
|1 year 48 weeks ago||Surprised Beilein's "sit w/2 fouls" not on Brian's rant list||
Beilein's non-negotiable policy of sitting players with two fouls in the first half, no matter the circumstance, has always been a big pet peeve of Brian's (and is maybe the only possible thing for which JB can be justly criticized). Very surprised it didn't make the list of his "top rant subjects in recent times."
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Thanks SC and Magnus for clarifying this||
Thanks for clarifying, especially on the differences b/w the split-back and I-form versions of the West Coast offense.
The emphasis on the fullback in the passing game is one thing that has always intrigued/puzzled me about the WCO; I remember Tom Rathman catching tons of passes as the 49ers' fullback in the late 80s. On one hand, it seems a great way to attack defenses who are more focused on other skill players and consider the FB an afterthought in the passing game. On the other hand, if the intention is to have, as SC puts it, "quick, easy throws with the intention of getting the ball in space and stretching the field laterally," wouldn't you rather have the more explosive and elusive athlete (i.e., the tailback), getting those passes in space rather than a lumbering FB? That might be the difference b/w a nice 5-10 yard gain and a nicer 15-25+ yard gain... Just curious why this I-form version of the WC offense places such emphasis on making probably the least athletic/elusive skill player on the field such a focus of the passing game. If you've got a Rathman or Moose Johnston, OK, but those guys are hard to find.
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Upvotes from Alison for all the late pos-bangers||
We can't all pos-bang at 6am... Happy Friday to all!
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Here's an upvote, fellow late-banger||
Leaving work early today to celebrate the Mrs.' birthday -- bang me!
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Somebody give this man a "NOBODY!"||
|1 year 49 weeks ago||According to that site, they hired Aaron Wellman, too||
They posted this on Monday -- sorry if this has already been noted on MGoBlog:
"Notre Dame: Former Michigan director of strength and conditioning Aaron Wellman has joined the Notre Dame staff as assistant director of strength and conditioning."
The Hoke/ND marriage is a strange one, considering how much smack he (rightly) talked about them for weaseling out of the series w/Michigan. Will be interesting to see what his role is there. For all his faults as a head coach, Hoke is a very good D-line coach and an excellent recruiter, especially in the Midwest, so not necessarily a bad pickup for Kelly's staff.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Obligatory here...||
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Yes, Gardner was what I was getting at, Magnus||
At that point Bellomy was a redshirt frosh, a 3-star guy who was a last-minute addition to the RichRod/Hoke transition class of 2011. It's asking a lot for a guy that green, with that pedigree, to come in on the road in Lincoln and succeed in that environment. Hindsight is 20/20, obviously, but they should've been better prepared to play Gardner as Denard's backup if he got hurt. Just my two cents.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||So, who's the greatest ever - Tiger or Jack?||
(BTW, I'm setting Bobby Jones aside for this discussion -- different era, way different equipment.)
I'm assuming Tiger keeps playing for a while, maybe even wins a few tournaments if he's lucky, but never sniffs another major.
Peak Tiger was something to behold. When he was on, he was so utterly dominant. Winning the 2008 Open at Pebble Beach basically on one leg was one of the greatest competitive feats I've ever seen. I'm too young to have seen the Bear at his peak; I have childhood memories of him winning the '86 Masters, that's about it.
As things stand today, I think you have to give the nod to Nicklaus; while his peak might not have been as dominant as Tiger, his sustained his peak for much longer. And you can argue that Jack's rivals during his peak -- first Arnold Palmer, then Trevino and Player, then Watson -- were stiffer competition than what Tiger faced when he was racking up many of his majors (no Rory yet, Mickelson still getting his act together, David Duval flaming out spectacularly after his brief run of greatness, Sergio never living up to the hype).
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Good luck Keith - not sure why he didn't play more TE last year||
Given AJ Williams' continued struggles w/blocking, and the Hoke regime's insistence on running 2-TE packages pretty often, I'm surprised Heitzman didn't get more time as the blocky-TE over Williams last season.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Jack Miller, Countess, and Morgan||
And Countess and Morgan wouldn't be back if they hadn't had redshirts due to injury -- they both played significant time as true freshmen.
Let's hope the Hoke/Harbaugh transition class we welcome next Wednesday pans out better than the RichRod/Hoke transition class...
EDIT: I see someone beat me to this just below.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Lots of factors at play||
Doubtless a huge part of it is mental, and the mental side is such a huge factor at the level of PGA Tour pros. The hooker scandal definitely knocked him off stride.
Another part of it is physical. Tiger's always had a violent swing, and all that torque has clearly wrecked his left knee and his back; it's pretty hard to play great golf when those two key body parts are messed up. I kinda doubt Tiger ever did PEDs -- by all accounts he's just a workout nut who is a little obsessed with Navy SEAL workouts, etc. I seem to remember one of his swing coaches warned him to back off that stuff, fearing it was putting too much wear and tear on his joints.
Rick Reilly (who's not always my cup of tea) had a pretty good column last April contrasting Tiger with the man whose records he set out to chase from the beginning, Jack Nicklaus. Reilly said the big difference between the two was "balance":
I don't think Tiger surpasses Jack's 18 majors now (he'd need 5 more); hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't win even one more. His body and his brain aren't in the right place, and there are too many other talented guys out there. Can you really see Tiger going toe-to-toe on Sunday at a major with Rory McIlroy anytime soon and coming out on top?
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Any rumors on who the 2 assumed OL transfers/medicals are?||
If Bosch wasn't one of them, who is it?
Can't imagine Kugler is one of them, right now he's your first back-up at center and presumably takes over that job with 2 years of eligibility left after Miller graduates next year.
Maybe some of the guards like Bars or Samuelson who are a little more buried on the depth chart now since Glasgow became a starter and Magnuson moved inside from tackle b/c of Mason Cole?
Commence uninformed (or better, informed) speculation...
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Good luck to you, Russell!||
No QB should have been thrust into the situation he was when Denard went down in that game against Nebraska. Bellomy also had an ACL tear during spring practice at some point, if I recall correctly. Glad he's getting his Michigan degree and hope finds a place where he'll play some meaningful snaps this fall.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||ESSS-EEEE-CEEEEE||
Re: Texas athletes not choosing UT over A&M (or Baylor, TCU, or LSU for that matter) -- this is where A&M's move to the ESS-EEE-CEEEE is proving shrewd. It's allowed them to put a little distance b/w themselves and UT (it was a very similar Little Brother-Big Brother dynamic as UM-MSU), and they get to pitch playing in arguably the toughest conference to Texas kids.
Austin's a great town, certainly more fun than College Station. I'm a Michigan alum but my father and grandfather both went to A&M and I have other relatives who work there today, so I know A&M can seem a little strange to some people -- it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea. But the people who go there LOVE it; I'd put Aggie alums up against alums from any other school for the level of sheer devotion, loyalty, and love they have for their school and its traditions and the experience they have there. In Kyler Murray's case, his dad's an alum and was a star QB there in the '80s, so he's seen some of that firsthand. Not surprised he would choose A&M -- plus, Sumlin's offense is the perfect fit for him.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Bangs ... and bangs||
Good Lord, I need something to get out of my head that bizarre, disturbing Miley Cyrus chicken image posted above ...
So here's the lovely Zooey again, sporting bangs and banging with some toy guns. Happy Friday to all!
|1 year 50 weeks ago||WEBER, just to send a message to Urban/OSU||
I can see the case for Marshall or Clark as "bigger splashes," and they play key positions (esp. Clark for what Harbaugh wants to do on offense). But to me, getting Weber back to UM would be an important first punch in Urban/OSU's nose from Harbaugh. Messages sent:
* The best players in Michigan go to Michigan, dammit.
* It sucked losing Damon Webb to OSU -- getting Weber back says we aren't going to let Meyer maintain a recruiting beachhead at one of our most important feeder programs. We're keeping the best Michigan players, and we're coming after the best players in Ohio.
I think it's important to score an early victory on the recruiting trail against Meyer, and this is Harbaugh's best chance to do it in the short timeframe he has for the 2015 class, since the kid had already committed to us earlier. (Not to mention, beyond the Green/Smith/Isaac/Johnson quartet, our RB cupboard needs stocking, and Weber looks like a special talent.)
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Anyone know if it's the same knee Butt had the ACL tear in?||
Just wondering if this is a sign that the knee is still not 100 percent after the ACL injury.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||I think Maisel's just trying to dampen the "going national" talk||
As noted by commenters above, Maisel admirably does point to contradictory evidence (Harbaugh's Stanford), and elsewhere in the piece lays out all the reasons why "recruiting nationally" does makes sense -- it's a lot easier w/today's "travel, technology, and media" as well as summer camps for programs to evaluate and reach out to talent outside their "footprints." I think he's simply trying to pump the brakes on this notion that using a "national brand" to "recruit nationally" is a substitute for ensuring you kick ass at recruiting in your own backyard.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Kawakami is killing them on Twitter||
I know, the guy's a tool, but at least he's directing his tooliness in the right direction now (and to be fair, he's chronicled quite well for over a year the 49ers' ownership/front office's efforts to undermine Harbaugh).
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Good pick-up if we get him||
And I say this as someone who is as high on Alex Malzone as anyone -- I love his competitiveness and his leadership and think he's going to be a great one at UM before it's all said and done. Still, you can never have enough competition at the most important position on the field (a lesson Brady Hoke has learned the hard way), so I like that Harbaugh wants a second QB for this class, and Gentry fits the bill nicely.
I'm still kinda amazed Kyler Murray might flip from A&M to Texas. His dad is Kevin Murray, a QB legend for the Aggies in the mid-'80s who's since become a QB guru in TX. Maybe the kid wants to get out of his father's shadow a bit...
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Late to the posbang, but for a good reason||
Spent some "quality time" w/the Mrs. before heading to work this morning. So you might say I've had my posbang already, and this is just gratuitous banging at this point, but I'm here anyway.
And here's my weekly "bang" gif for y'all.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||I think Stribling fits into this shift as well||
He's 6'2' and 178lbs -- another lanky corner who just needs to fill out a little bit. And yes, he did show a few things his first year.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Attacking this thread w/a disdain UNKNOWN TO MANKIND!||
This is epic, Dr. Richard Kimble. I salute you.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||This Super Bowl is becoming an Asteroid Game for me||
11 of 12 balls underinflated is very unlikely to be a coincidence. Did it make a real difference in the outcome of the game? Probably not, as the Colts were lucky even to be in the conference final. But when you look at this with Spygate already in the back of your mind, you can't help but think Belichick and the Patriots are quite comfortable with going beyond the rules to gain every competitive advantage they can. It's a shame, because this stuff will always be talked about in connection with the great accomplishments of the Pats during Brady's career.
Since everyone on this board is ga-ga over Harbaugh these days (me too), let's revisit the other mantra (besides "Attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind!") Jack Harbaugh instilled in his boys:
"He gave them simple advice: Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal. Those were game-changers and would lead to compromised relationships."
B/w the Patriots' chicanery and everything I can't stand about the Seahawks (Richard Sherman's big mouth, Pete Carroll's d-baggery, and their obvious debt to PEDs), this Super Bowl is starting to look like an Asteroid Game to me.
|2 years 3 days ago||SAC was a bad fit for Nik||
Simmons and Jalen were railing about this around draft time -- Nik didn't leave too early, Sacramento was just a poor fit for him. The Kings were probably hoping that picking Nik would (at the very least) light a fire under McLemore's ass, and that seems to have happened; he's improved enough to solidify his hold on the 2-guard spot there, and is even shooting better than Nik now. Tough for Stauskas to get minutes in a situation like that.
So after the predictable poor fit plays out, Nik becomes trade fodder. Not surprising -- Sacramento surely planned to turn whoever lost the Stauskas/McLemore competition into a trade asset; both were top 10 draft picks.
We all knew Nik would struggle on D; what's really concerning is that he seems to have lost all confidence and that's effecting his one superior skill that will keep him in the league, his shooting. Hope he finds a better fit and regains his stroke soon.
|2 years 3 days ago||Come on bangs, you sons of bitches...||
Need a posbang -- had a tooth extracted yesterday and I'm now on the annoying post-extraction cycle of soft foods and salt-water rinses... Late to the Friday posbang as usual, but I'm generous with my upvotes for all the early birds!
|2 years 1 week ago||Harbaugh's selling point to cornerbacks||
"I coached Richard Sherman at Stanford. See where he is now?"
|2 years 1 week ago||Great article from the always excellent Chris Brown||
Hadn't seen this before, thanks. Just another example of what a smart coach Harbaugh is, and a nice specific example of how he makes things easier for his QBs w/out "dumbing down" the offense too much.
|2 years 1 week ago||Mattison has some TX ties, I believe||
From his time coaching at A&M. Not sure about anybody else on the new staff.
I'd love for us to make more of an effort recruiting Texas; we've had some good players from there (e.g., Jarrett Irons). But between UT and A&M and the recent good runs of TCU and Baylor, plus cross-border options in Oklahoma and LSU, it is damn hard to pull kids far away from that state. And the last three Texans at Michigan that I can remember -- Daryl Stonum, Stephen Hopkins, and Sam McGuffie -- all flamed out in various ways and didn't finish here.
|2 years 1 week ago||Bang me, bang me! I pick||
Bang me, bang me!
I pick Baltimore to cover the spread, if not necessarily win against the Patriots. John HARBAUGH always has them ready to play Belichick's boys tough, and Flacco seems to have his postseason mojo going again.
Seattle covers at home.
Dallas to pull the upset in Green Bay (or at the very least cover a too-large 6-point spread). All you Lions fans here need to stop being emotional w/this pick. Gimpy Rogers, Cowboys are 8-0 on the road this year (including a win in Seattle) and are built to win games like this -- pound it on the ground w/Murray and that great O-line (and GB's run defense is average, at best), keep Rogers off the field, and when GB sells out to stop Murray, Romo/Bryant/Witten make a couple decisive big plays in the passing game. This looks like a repeat of 2007 and 2011, when an NFC East team that played well on the road (the Giants, in both cases) came into Lambeau and beat a higher-seeded Packer team in the playoffs.
Denver covers at home over the Colts - already beat them handily this year.
Oregon covers over Ohio St. - I share Coach Harbaugh's sentiments that an osu win would be good for the B1G, but too much Mariota for the Buckeyes defense, I think.
|2 years 1 week ago||A&M will be just fine w/out this guy||
Kyle Allen played well for them down the stretch, and they also have a 5-star QB, Kyler Murray (son of 1980s A&M star QB Kevin Murray), coming in their 2015 recruiting class.
Snatching Chavis away from LSU as their new D-coordinator was a coup, too.
|2 years 1 week ago||StephenRKass's avatar - who is she?||
I second many of the nominations above -- lots of fun avatars on this board (and this comes from someone who has never bothered to have an avatar himself). I'm partial to MGoBrewMom, though.
But more important is a question I've had forever, and this thread seems the perfect place to finally ask it: Who is the striking lady staring out from the black and white photo in StephenRKass's avatar? I've always assumed it's his wife, but for all I know its just some anonymous model in one of those stock photos they put in the picture frames they sell at Michael's...
|2 years 2 weeks ago||Great info, thanks||
Maize & Blue News, I site I hadn't heard of before, also had a good detailed breakdown of potential assistants and their various relationships w/Harbaugh and level of plausibility:
|2 years 3 weeks ago||Happy Pos-Baugh||
Did someone say POSBANG?
|2 years 4 weeks ago||Another great detailed look at Harbaugh's work||
Thanks for this. Of course, the more stuff like this I read telling me just how good a coach Harbaugh is, the more I'm setting myself up for disappointment if he doesn't come to A2.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||Blessed Saint Bo, intercede for us...||
Seriously, haunt Jim in his dreams or something. Program hasn't been the same since the week you died and we lost Football Armageddon to the Buckeyes in 2006. Coach Harbaugh can bring us back.
This whole thing is making me batshit crazy...
|2 years 4 weeks ago||ThoseWhoStay vs. Henson/JeffMoss||
I'm taking these ThoseWhoStay tweets w/a truckload of salt, despite Brian's more positive take on this guy (whoever he is) yesterday. That said, if you believe his stuff, there are two scenarios here which can't both be true:
#1 - The scenario that Gregg Henson and Jeff Moss have pushed for a long time now, and that has been echo'd with all the other "IT'S HAPPENING" chatter emerging from various Michigan "insiders" lately, which Brian has also picked up: Harbaugh is essentially in the bag already and has had some sort of understanding in place w/Michigan for a while now, and it's just a matter of letting him finish out his NFL season and keeping a lid on all this so it doesn't look like he's bailing early on his current team. The only reason he doesn't come back is a last-minute change of mind/he "flakes."
#2 - The ThoseWhoStay/pessimistic scenario -- There was some initial contact/guaging of interest back in November, and Harbaugh either said "no" or said "I can't address this during a playoff chase, focused on my team now, I'll get back to you later." 49ers are eliminated, and now things start in earnest, Michigan approaches him with a firm $8mil/year offer, which is higher than whatever vague numbers they discussed during the initial contacts. Harbaugh is genuinely undecided, has real interest in the Michigan job, but it's more 50/50 and not nearly the "IT'S HAPPENING", essentially done-deal scenario other "insiders" are pushing.
I'd like to believe #1, but tend to think #2 is closer to reality.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||So hard to know what to think right now||
It's HAPPENING. It's not happening. ARGH.
Based on everything out there to date, we can saw we KNOW these things ONLY:
* Harbaugh is Candidate #1A, B, and C for Michigan, and he has a significant offer from us (money/years/control) already on the table
* Harbaugh does have at least SOME interest in the job. There's too much positive chatter from too many people for the "he's not interested AT ALL, he's never leaving The Shield" camp to be 100% right. If he truly had no interest whatsoever, he'd have let Hackett know by now, and Hackett would have found a way to leak that info through Webb or others to get the fanbase to calm down
What worries me is all the loose talk that this is a done deal. I'd sure like to believe it, but I think it's just as likely Harbaugh is very interested but still making up his mind -- hell, his 49ers' season really only ended on Sunday, and if he's the coach and competitor we all think he is, he was focused like a laser on trying to get his guys into the playoffs again ("leaders eat last," etc.). As Brian has been at pains to point out, even Harbaugh is dealing w/imperfect information at this point -- he doesn't know yet how many other NFL teams are interested in his services, and how much money and personnel control they're willing to throw at him, how much they'd have to give the Niners in draft picks in a trade, etc. He might be strongly inclined to come back to A2, yet still want to know exactly what he's turning down before giving Hackett an ironclad "I'm in."
I don't think we learn anything more definitive until Dec. 29th, and I'm almost willing to avoid this board and all other sources until then for the sake of my sanity. (Ah, who am I kidding, right?)
|2 years 5 weeks ago||What does an offer "competitive with the NFL" look like?||
Harbaugh is making about $5 mil/year with SF. Payton and Carroll are the highest paid NFL coaches at $8 mil/year, w/Belichick just a notch below at $7.5 mil. Presumably, any NFL team that wants to take a run at Harbaugh not only needs to offer him some degree of personnel control (if not a dual coach/GM job), but also money somewhere close to those guys (who probably deserve a little more than JH, since they've won Super Bowls). And knowing crazy billionaire NFL owners, someone will probably offer him more, say, $8 million.
Meanwhile, the top 5 in college looks something like this (http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/):
Saban: ~ $7.1 million; Dantonio: ~$5.6 mil; Stoops, Sumlin, Strong - all ~ $5 mil; Then you have Urban Meyer at $4.5 and Miles just a shade below that.
I can't imagine Harbaugh -- who's got NFL experience and took his team to three straight conference title games and a Super Bowl -- would accept not being the highest-paid coach in his own conference, but I'm also not sure Michigan can pay him more than Saban. So we're looking at something like $6 to $6.5 million. Is that enough to convince him to leave the NFL? I sure as hell hope so.
|2 years 5 weeks ago||"Do you want to be your brother, or be Bo?"||
I like the way you framed this appeal to Harbaugh, and hope if he's wavering b/w the NFL and Michigan and Hackett has to put on a little pressure to force a decision, he'll say something like this -- "Sugar water" vs. "change the world."
It really comes down to what's most important to Harbaugh. Does he want to be a "legend"? He's much more likely to achieve that at Michigan -- resurrecting his alma mater's football program back to dominant status, vanquishing Dantonio and Urban Meyer, winning Big Ten titles and Rose Bowls and maybe a NC. That's a great story.
Or, does he want to be recognized as a "great coach"? i.e., rather than being Bo 2.0, would he rather be Bill Walsh 2.0 -- someone who won at Stanford and then won multiple Super Bowls, and is recognized in the conversation about greatest football minds at the highest (i.e., professional) level? You can be a great, great college coach, e.g. Nick Saban, yet I'm sure there will always be people in the NFL who sniff at Saban's collegiate success rebuilding Bama b/c he didn't succeed in the NFL. How much would that bother Harbaugh, an ultra-competitive guy?
Here's hoping the chance to make a difference in young men's lives and restore a proud football tradition in Ann Arbor appeals more to Jim than the chance for a couple Lombardi trophies...
|2 years 5 weeks ago||That was the more interesting part of the Ray interview to me||
His analogy of the search firm and the advisory committee to a real estate agent and trusted friends/people who live in the neighborhood, respectively was helpful and cleared up some uncertainty on my part:
Point being, the search firm is finding out what "houses" are on the market, and the advisors like Ray, Griese et al. are only a sounding board; Hackett is the guy buying the house and is free to accept or reject their advice as he sees fit.
I have a lot of confidence in Hackett from what I've seen so far. I'm hopeful that at the end of all this, we'll know that we gave Harbaugh our best shot, and if we don't get him, we'll get another good coach.
|2 years 5 weeks ago||Late to the posbang||
Wish I could upvote the Lion King gif more than once, that was fantastic.
Here late for the posbang scraps -- I'll take whatever I can get. Been a rough couple weeks; me, my wife, and our three kids (including an 11-month old) have all had some nastily stubborn chest crud stuff. We're all slowly back on the mend; I've been sustained over the past week by cough syrup and constantly F5ing this site for CC news. Here's to good health and HARBAUGH!
|2 years 5 weeks ago||Would be the one coordinator I'd take the risk on as HC||
A risk, yes, but the upside here is really high, as Brian explains well. If you can't get an experienced head coach home-run hire, then I think Herman is the way to go.
In the previous searchbits thread, I see people assuming that the longer we have to wait to hire someone, the more likely it's an NFL guy we're waiting for, whether Harbaugh or someone else. But wouldn't we need to wait for a guy like Herman too? His team's in the playoff, and presumably he wants to see that through before taking a new job. Point is, I don't buy this argument that a longer wait automatically = current NFL guy.
|2 years 5 weeks ago||Good God, this is awful||
I can't believe Marcus Ray's on the "search committee." If this is the kind of thinking driving our coaching search (it's certainly the thinking that drove the hiring of Hoke) we are in deeper s--- than I thought.
If we don't get Harbaugh, and aren't willing to look at someone like Hermann, I fear we will end up envying Florida for hiring McElwain (who was one of my favorite Plan B types).
|2 years 8 weeks ago||One of my favorite UM performances ever||
I was a sophomore at the time, and enjoyed every minute of that game.
It's too bad he was hampered by injuries in the NFL, he would've had a great career.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||I second this - we shouldn't limit ourselves like this||
There are good coaches out there who don't happen to have Michigan ties. We need to find the best coach who will get Michigan football back to winning games, and I frankly don't give a crap if he has "Michigan ties" or not; I just care whether he knows what the hell he's doing.
Harbaugh's obviously choice 1, 2, and 3, because he'd be the perfect combination of most qualified on-the-field coach and someone guaranteed to heal (for a while, anyway) the stupid factional rifts in the program that emerged when RichRod was here. But if we can't get JH, I hope we're open to other non-Michigan possibilities. Presumably, an "outsider" this time around, like Mullen, will benefit from seeing what went wrong here for Rodriguez... and also presumably, the Carr-era turds who never got on board when RR coached here now regret their role in undermining a coach who's proven to be a winner everywhere he's been, pre- and post-Ann Arbor, and will give the next "outsider" the benefit of the doubt.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||Don't forget Spike!||
He was also part of that class along w/Nik, Mitch, Glenn, and Caris -- some dubbed them the "Fresh Five" w/ a nod toward the Fab Five. Even Spike, the supposed afterthought in that class, will turn out to be a damn solid four-year contributor in a four-year stretch that already can boast multiple Big 10 titles, an Elite Eight appearance, and a Final Four/national championship runner-up -- and he's still got two years to go. Hell, the kid almost won the title game against Louisville singlehandedly!
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Just adding to all the thank you's above||
Great post, Brian. Lots of good thoughts in the thread as well. The whole situation is just sad.
The basic point Brian's getting at here was perhaps most memorably expressed by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Not sure I understand the Gregg Henson hate around here||
Stipulated: I don't know the first damn thing about him as a sports-talk radio guy, and maybe he's a raving lunatic on air and/or a complete jerk in real life; I have no idea. The first I've heard of him has been in recent months w/all the speculation re: Brandon's job status, and our collective ongoing Harbaugh obsession. But I've been following his website and Twitter for the past couple of months, and he was pretty damn on the spot w/r/t info on Brandon's job status, and has generally been careful, as has Brian here, with distinguishing what he knows for certain from what he is hearing from reliable sources but can't confirm. He also seems (and sure, "seems" doesn't equal "is") pretty well connected both with people in or associated w/Michigan's athletics department, and with former teammates/associates of Harbaugh. Based on everything I've seen so far, if Henson says there is serious interest on both sides (Harbaugh and UM) in making Jim Harbaugh the next coach here, I'm inclined to take it seriously -- not as a slam-dunk, but as a good sign nonetheless.
If I'm wrong to do so, can someone explain why? (I'm genuinely curious; if Henson's been totally wrong about something like this in the past, etc., let me know.)
|2 years 9 weeks ago||A&M tradition = kissing after touchdowns||
I come from a family of Aggies, and I remember that one of their traditions is you get a smooch from your wife/girlfriend after every Aggies touchdown (maybe field goals too, I don't recall). No wonder they love Sumlin's offense so much down there...
Anyway, if you're at all romantically interested in your roommate, that might be a good A&M tradition to explore. Just sayin'! :-)
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Yep, McElwain's the no-namer to get||
If we have to resort to a "no-name" hire, he's the best fit and someone I'd be reasonably confident could turn things around. Fit: he was Bama's OC before Nussmeier, and did a fantastic job; runs a pro-style but is also willing to spread things out a bit. The offensive philosophy transition would be minimal. Turnaround -- as LightTheLamp notes, he has totally turned around a moribund Colorado St. program. In a couple weeks, they'll probably be 12-1, with their only loss at Boise St.
Yes, he has a gigantic buyout, but c'mon man -- you gonna stay at CSU for the rest of your career, or have a chance to resurrect one of the most storied programs in college football? If he wants to come, Michigan will figure out the buyout.
|2 years 10 weeks ago||Way to go, Shoelace||
This was the perfect outcome for me as a Cowboy fan and a Michigan grad -- Cowboys get the win but Denard still shows his quality. As LSA mentioned above, the Jags were really smart to drop the whole "offensive weapon" schtick and just let Denard learn to be a RB; I think lots of scouts compared him to Antwan Randel-El and hence saw him as a WR/space player in the NFL, but with his outstanding vision, cutting ability, and burst, RB is obviously his best spot.
|2 years 10 weeks ago||That was ... disturbing||
Ah, the 1980s... The hair! The spandex! (And the Alan Thicke sighting at 2:25 is just the icing on the cake.)
What fitness fad from today will look similarly ridiculous 25-30 years from now?
|2 years 10 weeks ago||All the bangs||
|2 years 10 weeks ago||This is more about discretion than about ID'ing good candidates||
Anyone connected to Michigan athletics already has a fairly good idea of who the potential candidate pool should be for both the AD and the football coach positions. As others have mentioned above, the main reason you hire one of these firms (whether for the AD search or coaching search) is to keep your fingerprints off the whole thing, at least until the point when you've zeroed in on your top candidate, know there is mutual interest, and can start direct talks/negotiations. It gives both parties (Michigan and potential coaches/ADs) plausible deniability -- statements like "No, I haven't been contacted by Michigan" or "No, we haven't contacted Coach X" become true, at least in a lawyerly-literal sense, when you use a third-party intermediary like this.
Someone above said a high-profile school like Michigan shouldn't need this; actually, our high profile is all the more reason a headhunter/search firm is a good idea. Among other things, I'd guess it can help prevent coaches (and their agents) who aren't really interested in the Michigan job from leaking to the media, "Hey, Michigan approached us about their job!" just to wring a fat new contract/extension out of their current employer.
|2 years 11 weeks ago||Bang it all||
|2 years 11 weeks ago||Thanks for this post||
Thanks for the firsthand insights on Coach Hoke. Great perspective here from someone who actually knows Hoke better than 99% of the people reading/posting on this board. Wish one of the mods would front-page it or bump it up to a diary.
The consensus seems to be that Brady Hoke is a great guy who just isn't cut out to be a successful coach at a power/blueblood program like Michigan. The interesting question -- one that can help guide the search for his successor -- is "Why?" What quality, exactly, is Hoke missing? Is it some quality (Gitback mentions a CEO quality of "mental acuity") that is independent of whether he's a nice guy? And if so, how do you define it, and determine whether a potential coach has it? (Success as a coordinator? Reputation for X-and-O's mastery? Demonstrated ability to turn around broken units/programs? Proven ability to make halftime adjustments?)
Or is it that Hoke doesn't have some Type-A "jerk" quality that's unfortunately necessary to succeed at this level, and thus his "niceness" is part of the problem? (The Beilein example would seem to disprove the "we need an asshole to have a successful head football coach" argument...)
|2 years 12 weeks ago||Can't be Green||
Really doubt a broken collarbone is a career-ender.
|2 years 14 weeks 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.
|2 years 14 weeks 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.
|2 years 14 weeks 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.
|2 years 14 weeks 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.
|2 years 14 weeks 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.”)
|2 years 14 weeks 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.
|2 years 14 weeks 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!!"
|2 years 14 weeks 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 years 15 weeks 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 years 15 weeks 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 years 15 weeks 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 years 15 weeks 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 years 15 weeks 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 years 15 weeks ago||Why am I not surprised...||
... that someone with the handle "Double-D" "likes the Hot Babez" on Magnus's site? :-)
|2 years 15 weeks 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.
|2 years 16 weeks 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?
|2 years 16 weeks 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.
|2 years 16 weeks 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.
|2 years 16 weeks 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.
|2 years 16 weeks 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.
|2 years 17 weeks ago||Yes, Illinois 2009 - thanks for the correction||
He was caught at the one, and then four-and-out, and the Illini stormed back.
|2 years 17 weeks 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?
|2 years 17 weeks 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.
|2 years 17 weeks 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.
|2 years 18 weeks 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!
|2 years 18 weeks 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.
|2 years 19 weeks 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.
|2 years 21 weeks ago||Brady Hoke sighting at 4:15 of the video||
And he's wearing ... a HEADSET!
|2 years 21 weeks 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!
|2 years 22 weeks 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.
|2 years 22 weeks 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.
|2 years 22 weeks 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.
|2 years 22 weeks 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.
|2 years 22 weeks ago||Yes -- Day 22, appropriately enough|
|2 years 29 weeks 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.
|2 years 29 weeks 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.
|2 years 29 weeks 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.
|2 years 33 weeks 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.
|2 years 35 weeks 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:
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Check out the throw at 1:14||
Kid stays composed when his protection breaks down early, eludes the rusher and steps up into the pocket and fires a dart in-stride to the WR 40 yards downfield for the TD. Mr. Chaos Quarterback guru George Whitfield would approve. He may not have Troy Aikman's cannon but his arm looks good enough to me. (I like the McCarron and Dreisbach comparisons above.) Look forward to seeing what this young man can do in the maize and blue in a few years!
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Glanda to New Orleans - returns to site of Sugar Bowl glory||
Have to admit a grin crossed my face when reading that Jareth Glanda got a camp invite from the Saints. If he makes the team, he'll get to play in the Superdome, site of his most memorable play as a Wolverine -- his first-down catch on the bizarre broken-play fake field goal in the Sugar Bowl. Usually you never want to hear your long-snapper's name b/c it means something has gone horribly wrong; Glanda was solid so we never heard his name except once, and it was for something good! Good luck to him, and all the guys trying to make it in the League.
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Might even have a better shot than just special teams||
As a Cowboys fan who is keeping his expectations low until Jerry Jones is 6-feet-under, I can tell you the Cowboys' collection of safeties is pedestrian at best -- they haven't had any quality at the position since Darren Woodson hung up his cleats. Barry Church is serviceable but not spectacular; J.J. Wilcox showed some promise as a rookie last year but we'll see if he can put it all together consistently. Beyond that, there's Jeff Heath, a heady guy who's usually in the right place but doesn't have the athletic ability to make plays on the ball, and Matt Johnson, a 2012 fourth rounder who is made of glass - he's played in 2 preseason games in two years. I can easily see Robinson bumping Johnson or Heath off the roster and becoming a key special teams piece, and who knows, he might even be able to challenge Church or Wilcox for some playing time.
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Better fit for us - Brunson or Thornton Jr.?||
I'm only now really getting to know our various 2015 targets. I keep seeing Jalen Brunson and Derryck Thornton Jr. mentioned as PG possibilities. Which one is a better fit for UM, and which one are we more likely to get? (I hope it's not "neither")
EDIT: Gah, I just saw on UMHoops that Thornton's a 2016 guy.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||Two sides to the A&M-UT break-up story||
Maybe Texas doesn't want to play A&M anymore because they're afraid of getting their ass kicked, at least until Charlie Strong gets himself established in Austin. While Mack Brown was petering out the end of his career, Kevin Sumlin has been building a powerhouse in College Station. UT will be lucky if their top pick in the upcoming NFL draft (Jackson Jeffcoat) goes in the 2nd round; A&M's will have 3 first round picks (Jake Matthews, Manziel, Mike Evans). Based on recent success, you could make a pretty solid case to rank UT third among the big-time college football programs in the state now, behind both A&M and Baylor.
As for A&M's departure to the SEC, let's keep in mind they weren't the only school disgruntled with UT lording it over the Big 12 -- Nebraska had already left for the Big 10 in 2010 for many of the same reasons surrounding league revenue sharing, etc. A&M's move was motivated by lots of things -- and no doubt a "let's get out of big brother's shadow" aspect played a big role. But A&M also wanted to build up the school's national profile outside of Texas, and determined that joining the SEC was a good way to do it. They also knew they could sell in-state recruits on the idea of playing in a better, more competitive conference than the Big 12 while still remaining close to home.
The Longhorn Network stuff was the last straw (remember -- they were pushing to broadcast Texas high school games involving UT recruits and verbal commits), along with UT trying to push A&M, OU, Ok St., T Tech, and Colorado into a Pac-16 super-conference that would've been a terrible cultural fit for most of those schools. I think many people at tradition-crazed A&M were at first skeptical about the move to the SEC, but if you asked their alums/fans now, I'm sure very few regret it.
As someone who comes from a family full of Aggies (there, my bias is clear now), I do regret the end of the A&M-UT series. It produced a lot of great memories, and featured the kind of deep mutual cultural/political/historical hatred, along with an underlying (very) grudging respect, that makes for a terrific college football rivalry. I hope someday they'll figure out a way to play again.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||What we need to see this year to prepare for a great 2015||
Let's face it: 2015 is the year this program is really building toward. We get a favorable schedule with MSU and OSU coming to Ann Arbor, and we'll have almost everybody important back save Gardner, Ryan, and Morgan. Hoke's great recruiting classes should finally be making a big impact, particularly in the trenches on both sides of the ball. If Sugar Shane is ready to take the reins at QB as a junior, 2015 should -- SHOULD -- be the year when Michigan football resumes crushing its enemies, seeing them driven before us, and hearing the lamentations of their women.
But we gotta get there first, and not suffer another coaching transition in the interim. Hoke's seat is deservedly hot; we need to see the following this year for him to return for a big 2015:
Do all that and you're at least 9-3, maybe 10-2, and more importantly, it's clear to everyone (players, coaches, AD, fans & alums, recruits) that the trajectory of the program is heading the right direction. That means Hoke returns in 2015, and we are set up for bigger success.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||Hoke needs to show he can win big road games||
nyquist writes: "I know it is May but 10-2 seems very optimistic. I think the most important thing (for me atleast) is to go 7-0 at home this season. Winning at home keeps the masses happy and if we can take care of Rutgers and Northwestern on the road I'll be happy regardless of what happens @ND, MSU, and OSU."
7-0 at home would be nice, but I don't think many people will be happy if we crap the bed @ND, MSU, and OSU this year. Hoke needs to show he can take his team into a tough environment like South Bend, East Lansing, or Columbus and actually win a rivalry game on the road. Playing both Sparty and the Buckeyes on the road the same season is a raw deal (why did Brandon ever agree to that?!), but if the team is good enough this year to at least gain a split, I'll feel more confident about our future with Hoke.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||^^^^THIS, THIS, THIS^^^^||
"Jordan Kovacs but with elite athleticism." <drools...>
As dragonchild notes, we've got corners in numbers, and pretty good ones. I'm particularly excited to see what Lewis and Stribling can do this year. If I'm the coaches, I know I've only got Peppers for 3 years if he's all we think he is, so I need to maximize his impact in year one, and the Eric Berry "Safety of Doom" role seems the best bet. By all accounts he's a bright kid and quick learner, so "Jordan Kovacs with elite athleticism" sounds like something attainable in the near term. Play him at safety and let that athleticism go to work screaming toward the line of scrimmage on blitzes and blowing up bubble screens and read-option plays. (To me, it's a similar deal as moving Jake Ryan to MLB -- get your most dynamic players in the middle of the action on as many plays as possible.) Might be some growing pains in early games, but by the back half of the season "Jordan Kovacs but with elite athleticism" is the kind of player who can take our D from pretty solid to near-dominant (especially if we can find any kind of decent pass rush).
|2 years 41 weeks ago||Can't wait for Beilein to have true stretch 4s like this kid||
Really looking forward to seeing how Wilson and Donnal fit into Coach B's system these next couple of years. They're not the same player by any means -- Wilson's clearly more athletic (THAT'S RAAAACIIIIST!) -- but both bring a lot of the qualities Beilein seems to want in that stretch 4 spot. Both have the length you'd ideally like at the 4 (unlike GRIII and Novak) and are good shooters and ballhandlers -- and both also seem to have pretty polished post-up games for their age (Donnal particularly, but I was surprised to see in this film of Wilson some nice back-to-the-basket moves as well).
What I love about our hoops program right now is that you know as long as these kids are willing to do the work, Beilein, Jordan, Bacari, and Meyer will get every ounce of potential out of them. I wish I could say the same for the football program...
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Wouldn't get your hopes up re: Stauskas||
If he continues this level of play into the tournament, and if he's really projected by league scouts as a definite first-rounder even in this deep draft, I think he goes. Wouldn't blame him, either -- the things he still needs to improve, particularly his athleticism, aren't something that he'll improve with another year of college ball.
|2 years 48 weeks ago||Spike Albrecht, 2015 early entry!||
I kid, I kid. Just having fun with all the draft obession on the board today.
|2 years 48 weeks ago||Even better was Trey's game against Miami on Sat.||
In the Jazz's upset of the Heat in SLC on Saturday (game highlights here) Trey had 13 points on 5-11 shooting (3-8 from 3-pt) and 3 assists in just 27 minutes -- oh, and he hit the dagger shot to clinch the game. Ray Allen had hit a 3 with 46 seconds left to close Utah's lead to just 2; Trey responded at the other end with a step-back 19-foot jumper near the end of the shot clock to raise the lead back to 4 w/24 seconds left and essentially seal the victory. (And this was after Trey talked quite a bit w/Allen before the game to get some pointers, as the highlight video linked above shows.)
Trey's clearly fighting his way through the rookie wall right now -- he's played 39 games already, almost as many as he did all of last year including the Final Four run, and he's dealing w/a sore back and other stuff. His shooting percentage is pretty ugly -- shades of his summer league struggles -- so he still has a lot of work to do on his floater and other ways of scoring once he gets in the paint among the trees. But this guy at ESPN seems to think Trey will be OK in the long-term because of the maturity of his game:
I get all misty-eyed thinking of how good Michigan BB would this year if Trey and TH Jr were still in school -- but it has been awfully fun to track their early success in the league this year. For the first time in years, I'm actually interested in the NBA again!
|3 years 3 weeks ago||Devin didn't need this to clinch a captain spot next year||
Devin's the only returning senior on offense who's a significant contributor -- I can't imagine him not being a captain. (Rawls and Paskorz will be seniors too.) And Jake Ryan's already a captain so he's got next year's spot on defense. It'll be interesting to see if there are any others beyond those two.
Looking again at the depth chart, it's pretty amazing how young our team will still be next year -- the low-point of RichRod's recruiting shows up in next year's seniors. The only plausible senior starters we lose after 2014 are Devin on offense, and JMFR, Morgan, Ramon Taylor, Beyer, Clark, and perhaps Furman on defense. There are some really good players in that group, but I expect pretty big things in 2015-2016 if this coaching staff can develop the talent we've got in the pipeline.
|3 years 3 weeks ago||#MANBRAWL||
w/physicality and toughness
|3 years 3 weeks ago||So what's the ceiling for this team?||
Let me second the good holiday wishes to the whole MGoBlog staff.
Not sure how to think about this season now. I think we all understood another Final Four run was not likely after Trey and Tim's departures, but with McGary and GRIII returning, this team seemed capable (on paper) of making another deep tourney run.
They've still got the talent to beat anyone on any given day, but unless Walton grows up real fast, McGary gets healthy, and Arizona-game-GRIII becomes the new norm, it seems the Sweet Sixteen is probably the ceiling for this group. But I'm curious to hear others' thoughts since I haven't followed hoops too closely yet this season.
|3 years 3 weeks ago||The Rams are likely to draft an offensive tackle||
Not sure why Jake's big contract would keep the Rams from drafting another first-round tackle on the new (lower) rookie pay scale.
A ton of mock drafts have the Rams taking OT Jake Matthews out of A&M with their first pick, which looks likely to be in the top 3 -- it's one of the picks the Redskins owe the Rams from the RGIII trade in the 2012 draft (and boy, is that trade looking better for the Rams every day). If they don't take an offensive tackle there, they have their own first-round pick at around #15 that they could also use on a tackle (and Lewan's being slotted in the mid-first by lots of mock drafts). The Rams moved Rodger Saffold, a tackle they drafted a few years back in the second round, to guard this year (where's he's been pretty good), and he's a free agent who's likely gone after the season for a bigger paycheck somewhere else. This Rams blog has a good run down on their draft needs and the likelihood they take a tackle.
Point is, I think it's pretty likely the Rams come out of the first round with a tackle, whether it's Taylor or someone else.
|3 years 4 weeks ago||As a Cowboy fan who detests Jerry Jones, I hate this||
From a Michigan fan perspective, I'm meh. Better than a MACrifice game, but not as good as a home-and-home, and I hate the growing money-above-all landscape in college football. Whatever.
As a Cowboys fan I hate this. Why? I'm one of the legion of Cowboys fans who is sick of Jerry Jones destroying this franchise while doing his best Al Davis impersonation, thinking he's qualified to be a friggin' GM while the team has won ONE playoff game in the past 17 years. This team will never accomplish anything good again as long as he's pulling the strings. Yet events like this are what will give Jones enough ancillary income from JerryWorld to weather the storm when Dallas fans finally get fed up enough w/the shitty product he's putting on the field to stop going to Cowboys games.
|3 years 4 weeks ago||"Couple" of underclassmen seeking NFL draft opinions?||
Let's assume Gardner's one of them; can't hurt to hear how he needs to improve his stock. But who would be the other junior? Jake Ryan?
|3 years 5 weeks ago||Words fail...||
That was ... bizarre. I can't decide whether this is totally brilliant in some strange, postmodern way, or Exhibit # 8,495,672 for why Western Civilization is doomed.
I can't imagine the amount of money that went into producing this thing. I'm not only thinking of the cash it must've taken to get Snoop, Kate Upton, Larry King on board this crazy train, but all the marketing geniuses who got PAID to come up with this stuff.
|3 years 5 weeks ago||Post-up game...||
Your point #1 re: the contrast b/w GRIII's lack of post game and the Big Dog's masterful post game raises a question: Why wouldn't GRIII spend all summer learning his Dad's best post-up moves from the man himself, a la LeBron spending a summer learning post-up moves from Hakeem a couple years ago?
I realize that might not fit into what Beilein wants to do on offense with the 3 or 4 spot, but it seems like a no-brainer option for adding san arrow to GRIII's offensive quiver.
|3 years 6 weeks ago||Hey, it's defensible||
I ultimately chose the hoops championship, but I wouldn't have posed the question if I didn't think there was a legit case for choosing the win over OSU. I was curious to see for how many people the perception of Michigan as a "football school" first and foremost mattered more. (Or, just hatred for OSU.)
|3 years 7 weeks ago||Same here, BiY||
I appreciate what Borges said about the passion of the fans and understanding that criticism comes along with the job, and I've always thought he seemed like a good guy. (Heck, he even sat down for an interview with Heiko during the offseason -- can you imagine anybody on Carr's staff taking the time to sit down for a one-on-one interview with a BLOGGER?) Now, I still think he's not the right guy to be the offensive coordinator at U-M going forward -- the whole offensive staff probably needs overhauling -- but as you said, we should always be careful to keep our criticism focused on the coaches' performances and not go after them as people. They work hard and they care about the kids, and they're certainly trying as hard as they can to get things right.
|3 years 9 weeks ago||"Without recruits your ceiling is Dantonio level Sparty"||
After the last couple weeks, I'm sure more than a few people around these parts would see a ceiling of "Dantonio-level Sparty" as an upgrade...
|3 years 9 weeks ago||Yeah, it's probably time to retire that meme on this site||
"Brady Hoke poops gold." It was funny for a while...
Anyway, can anyone really say they didn't see this coming once Bama came on strong for this kid? Can you say he didn't make the best decision for himself from a football standpoint?
The vibe around this program is really bad right now. Let's just hope Hoke & Co. can hang on to the good commits we already have (Peppers et al.) until signing day.
|3 years 31 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.
|3 years 31 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.
|3 years 32 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.