|2 weeks 4 days ago||No||
Love the content, but this argument is absurd. There is no way Green is more valuable than Panda. Greens stats are totally useless--Hill has helped win games and made more plays than Green. The stats lie on this one, though Pandas TDs should count for more in your eyes.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Well done||
You all do a great job and I am extremely grateful for the free content. Thank you!
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Definitely concerning, but...||
UmBig11 thought Wilson was going blue.
Insiders are wrong sometimes.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, this is the best WR||
Yes, this is the best WR class ever, if we get Collins and Martin. I say that confidently because of the size and quality. 5 guys, 4 of which are top 150 recruits including a 5 star. Yes, the 98 class had two amazing prospects, but this class would be rated higher because of quantity while still being high quality.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||UCLA is an excellent school.||
UCLA is an excellent school. Michigan isn't the only great academic institution in the country.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Part of the class yes, but||
Part of the class yes, but not part of rankings or scholarship count. I think UM maxes at 115, though there is no max once school is in session or you play your first game. Only 105 are allowed in fall camp.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Congrats and welcome to the family! Go Blue!||
Congrats and welcome to the family! Go Blue!
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Congrats and welcome to the family! Go Blue!||
Congrats and welcome to the family! Go Blue!
|4 weeks 17 hours ago||You mean like DPJ and Rashan Gary?||
You mean like DPJ and Rashan Gary?
|4 weeks 17 hours ago||While I think this assessment||
While I think this assessment is a bit over the top, I agree that he was overrated. Cam Akers looks like the real deal to me. I believe Najee will be a good to very good college RB, not great, and Bama will make him look better than he is.
|4 weeks 17 hours ago||Actually, I'd argue Walder is||
Actually, I'd argue Walder is an exceptional wedding planner. I didn't like who he killed, but the plan was a great one. He got his just desserts anyway in one of the most satisfying moments in the show.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||True. Even if we miss on all||
Even if we miss on all three, we're still a top 5 class loaded with talent across the board. Would be great to get all these guys, but we are fine even if we don't get any of them.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Greg Frey and the running game||
Love this hire. I believe Drev will be gone next year (2018), so we'll have our Running Game Coordinator (probably co-OC with Pep) ready to go. Furthermore, I believe we'll see immediate improvement in our running game with two proven coaches spending more time with the OL. I also agree that the marriage of spread-zone concepts and MANBALL can be harmonious, as programs like Alabama make a living off of zone running concepts in pro sets.
Jay Harbaugh as RB coach? It's always cause for concern when you install a coach at a position with which he has no experience. It is entirely possible that our RB coaching takes a step back this season.
Or not. Jay had no prior experience with ST or TEs, and those have been two of our best units on the team. It's worth remembering that he spent four seasons at Oregon State as a GA (doing and learning about everything) and then three seasons in Baltimore as Offense-Quality Control guy. Again, that means he would be learning about all aspects of the offense and that would certainly include diagnosing issues/strengths with the running game and RBs. Furthermore, he is surrounded by coaches who have strong track records with RBs and running games.
My guess is that our RBs take a large step forward in 2017, even if the running game doesn't improve much. There is so much youth on the OL that I'm concerned the running game as a whole won't progress much (keep in mind that we were 33rd in YPG nationally in 2016 and had our highest YPG average since 2011) but I believe our RBs will be better for two simple reasons:
A better question might be will our TEs suffer as pass-catchers as a result of this change, since it seems with Frey as their position coach--in addition to coaching the OTs and being running game coordinator--they may not receive the same attention they did last year.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Agreed||
I think a lot of people are looking at this the wrong way, feeling like Wheatley is being replaced with Jay. Really, Wheatley is being replaced with Frey, and Jay is just shifting duties. Yes, Jay may not be as knowledgeable about coaching RBs as Wheatley was, but we certainly need more OL help than we need RB help, IMO.
Drevno is a proven coach. While our OL hasn't been very good yet, he's been dealt a tough hand and I will reserve judgment. Drev didn't forget how to coach just because he came to Michigan.
BTW--Harbaugh has had multiple coaches coaching his lines before, just like he's doing again now.
Overall, I like the move, and hope the NCAA adds that extra coach so we can hire a RB specialist.
|5 weeks 23 hours ago||My guess is Solomon, Martin,||
is Solomon, Martin, and Becton/Gay/?Mystery?
|5 weeks 23 hours ago||Did not have the best Army AA||
Did not have the best Army AA bowl week.
|5 weeks 23 hours ago||Great Post||
This is an excellent post. A mix of bad roster management, bad coaching, and bad luck has put our 2017 OL in a tough spot.
I do not understand why everyone is writing of Juwann Bushell-Beatty. Remember how bad Newsome looked in 2015? JBB was our "next man up" this year, and I fully expect him to either start at a tackle position. He will have another year in the S&C program and another year of solid coaching.
My line guess: Ulizio / Bredeson / Cole / Onwenu / JBB
It's ceratinly possible that Kugler or a freshman changes that starting OL, but knowing what we know now, that seems like the best grouping.
It's worth nothing that having JBB (6-6/311) and Onwenu (6-3/350) on the right would be a LOT of beef. Bredeson and Ulizio seem more athletic, so it could make for a "right-handed" running game with Bredeson and Ulizio pulling towards Onwenu and JBB. This also sets-up well for pass pro since Speight is right-handed and your more athletic lineman are typically your better pass-blockers.
Ruiz seems like the most college-ready guy and he would be my first guess for a freshman to crack the line-up. Filiaga plays the right position, but let's not forget how tough it is for true freshman to succeed on the OL.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||First of all, we are going to||
First of all, we are going to be younger than any of those teams were. Second, the youngest team 31-0hio, got housed by the experienced team, due in no small part to young OL issues. Third, Alabama's talent is way ahead of even OSU for now. Fourth, Alabama lost largely because of their young QB.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||O-Line is the bigger concern for me||
Agree that O-Line is the bigger concern. Mattison has had our DL as a plus unit since his first day here. Between him and Brown, I'm not that worried about the DL. Yes, depth is thin, but these coaches will make it work.
OL...I trust umbig11's prediction: Ulizio/Bredeson/Cole/Onwenu/JBB. Runyan is the next man up. The question in my mind is if a true freshman can overtake Ulizio or JBB, which might reshuffle the deck.
SERIOUSLY doubt Cole plays anything but center. He's coming back for a senior year in order to get better at his NFL position, and I don't think he'll move, especially for a true freshman. It's entirely possible that Ruiz can play OG, but Cole at OC seems like the only lock on the line.
If I had to predict a change, it would be Filiaga replacing Ulizio. But I actually believe none of the true freshmen will start.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Folks around here forget that||
Folks around here forget that Willie Henry was something like the #985 national composite player. This is why I am not too worried about the D-Line--Mattison has turned nearly every DL recruit into a monster.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||He was not on he roster this||
He was not on he roster this fall
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Nope. The players should get||
Nope. The players should get credit too. And the coaches should get blame too. It's not all or nothing either way. But did Harbaugh fumble the ball on the OSU one? Did Harbaugh whiff on blocking Walker all game long? No. Kalis and Bredeson just aren't good enough to block that guy. Harbaugh can't fix that. What he can do, and it appears he mostly did, is to maximize the potential of his team.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||No, I didn't. Play calling||
No, I didn't. Play calling and scheme are meaningful parts of college football, but the idea that great play calling can outmatch serious talent deficiencies--especially when facing another great play caller--is just not accurate. You aren't going to consistently out coach other great coaches--you need more talent.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Two separate ideas that||
Two separate ideas that probably shouldn't have been next to each other:
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Rarely do I agree so wholly||
Rarely do I agree so wholly with one of Brian's posts--it's hard to find anything I disagree with here.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||Good question. The consensus||
Good question. The consensus is obviously that Harris the better back. He is putting up insane numbers against top flight competition. He is fast, strong, and big. He is agile and has great hands. He seems to have great vision and instincts. He follows blocks well. His initial quickness is off the charts, even if his top speed isn't ideal (though it is still VERY good).
|9 weeks 2 days ago||This. And it is so tiresome.||
This. And it is so tiresome.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Can't believe that people are||
Can't believe that people are assuming this complaint is all true. Americans must be the most easily manipulated group ever. Wait to hear both sides, folks. There is no evidence presented in this article at all other than the plaintiffs version of events. Yeesh.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Disagree. I don't think it's||
Disagree. I don't think it's personal, I think it's virtual. If you are sitting next to be you are much more likely to be an honest version of yourself and we are more like to build a real connection. Online, people create versions of themselves. Read any message board or game chat and you'll see that.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Identity. What was our||
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Team MVP: Jabrill Peppers -||
|12 weeks 3 hours ago||Florida will be good. If we||
Florida will be good. If we can beat a veteran, well-coached Florida team, we could easily go 11-1
|12 weeks 3 hours ago||Well then we're not winning||
Well then we're not winning the B1G, because Speight will be your QB
|12 weeks 1 day ago||AMAZING! Keep it up, Grant.||
AMAZING! Keep it up, Grant. Hope to see you on the field soon.
|12 weeks 3 days ago||2016 Post-Spring was ON POINT||
Was this your most accurate prediction ever? The only misses would be Speight over JOK and swapping Noah Furbush for someone else who got more PT as we rarely used a third true LB...Kinnel?
|12 weeks 3 days ago||Disagree||
Young, hungry, and Harbaugh. That's how I would describe next year's roster. There will be doubters aplenty given the youth of the team, but if we can beat Florida in the season-opener, we could definitely make the playoff. In fact, even if we don't, we could make the playoff by winning out, which I believe is possible.
One thing is certain: for the first time in a decade, we have the athletes to compete with anyone in the country. Between Harbaugh and Brown, my guess is this young roster out-performs and is another borderline playoff team. I would predict 10-2, but if we beat Florida, we could easily be 11-1.
Why so optimistic? Yes, we lose nearly all of our receiving production, but Darboh and Chesson are being replaced with superior athletes that are already superb blockers. Yes, Jake Butt is probably the best Michigan receiving TE of all time, but Wheatley and Asiasi are far better blockers and will improve rapidly in the pass game, with Bunting filling in more TE slot catches. Yes, we're losing 3/5 of an O-Line, but it's an O-Line that was poorly coached for years and has under-performed its talent level--look for that trend to flip next year as Harbaugh's guys start to mature. Yes, the DL is not as deep, but it's still uber-talented and will be in year two of Brown's system. They will find adequate or better back-ups. The LBs? Gedeon was very good, but Bush will be a monster and McCray will be a year better. Peppers? Sure, he is an amazing athlete, but Brown has ALWAYS had a great SAM and has plenty of athletes to choose from. You get the point...
We have top-quality coaching, and we will have excellent QB play from day one for the first time since...Henne's last season?
Quite frankly, next year's squad reminds me a lot of the Ohio State squad the won the MNC. Young, hungry, and coached by some of the best minds in the sport. Oh, and we have MSU and OSU at home. Our toughest road games are at Penn State and at Wisconsin, though I expect Maryland will be much tougher than most would guess. That is still a VERY favorable schedule, even compared to this year. IF Florida is good enough to beat us, I expect they'll win the SEC East, which makes it a quality loss. I seriously doubt we lose more than one conference game next season. Too much talent, too much Harbaugh.
|12 weeks 4 days ago||This||
He was a very good CB, pushing Stribling who had an amazing season. He's also a great tackler. Given our youth and the lack of confidence in playing CBs (other than the starters) by the coaching staff this season, I'd say we need him at corner more than we need him at safety.
Kinnel, Hudson, Metellus, Glasgow...we'll find a starting pair from that crew that I think we'll like just fine.
I'm actually not too concerned about ANY position group on defense for next year. In fact, my only concerns are at OL. We have loads of talent everywhere else and the athletes to compete with the Ohio State's of the world.
At CB, we'll have Clark, Watson, Hill, Long, and Washinton in the mix. At LB, we'll have Furbush, Bush, Mbem-Bosse, Jones, Uche, Gil, and Wangler pushing for time.
On the DL, Gary, Winovich, Marshall, Kemp, and a pair of Johnsons will compete at DE while Hurst, Mone, and Dumfour hold down the middle.
Speight is your QB, with Peters backing him up. We have an embarrassment of riches at RB, with Evans, Isaac, Higdon, Johnson, Walker, and Davis all having potential roles, and a true freshman could easily crack the line-up (especially if Najee Harris joins the class).
WR and TE are loaded with inexperienced talent. Drake Harris, Eddie McDoom, Mo Ways, Nate Johnson, Grant Perry, and Kekoa Crawford are ready-to-play WRs, and it looks like another amazing WR haul will be arriving next fall. Asiasi and Wheatley headline the every down TEs, but Bunting, Gentry, Eubanks, and McKeon are all amazing athletes that could find their way onto the field.
And then there's the OL...will Dawson reemerge? Bredeson, Braden, and (hopefully) Cole are locks. Newsome if he can recover. Kugler, JBB and Onwenu are in there, then it's Ulizio, Spanellis, and Runyan. No idea who pans out there. OL is my biggest 2017 worry.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||Wow. Those were the worst||
Wow. Those were the worst questions at a press conference ever, and that is a very, very low bar to slither under. That was the Battlefield Earth of press conferences.
|13 weeks 5 days ago||No. Indiana.||
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Too cute. We try to outsmart||
Too cute. We try to outsmart the defense every play. When you're the better team, it's okay to just beat them. More basic power, traps, and Isolation runs. Fewer trick plays.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||That's no M00N...||
That's no M00N...
Seriously. We'll never have to put up with offensive ineptitude like that with Harbaugh around.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||That's no M00N...||
That's no M00N...
|16 weeks 3 days ago||See my post below||
MSU kept trying to use these concepts to beat us, but once Durkin had seen it, our defensive gameplan changed to stop it. So, M reacted.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Great defense/coaching||
What many people forget about MSU's golden days on defense with Narduzzi was that they often gave up points or big yards on the opponent's first drive. Why? Because most defenses are going to come out using their best, tried and trusted plays. These plays are on tape, they are not a secret. Even UM's bad offenses often had a good first drive against MSU with Hoke.
As Dantonio did against us last weekend, you can use a defense's tendencies against them--for a drive. Once the defense has identified your gimmicks, it's back to who can outsmart and outplay the opponent.
This is where great coaching is so important--Brown and the defense adjusted and, for the most part, shut down MSU's offense for the balance of the game. The old Narduzzi units used to do the same.
While Brown is more crafty than most defensive coordinators and probably varies things more on opening drives, seeing a team move the ball effectively against us in the opening drive is no longer an accurate representation of what we can expect to see for the remainder of the game. Brown will adjust, adapt, and improvise in order to take away the opponent's scheme.
Contrast this with Durkin's approach against OSU last year--the defense showed a new look and had early success. Durkin kept running the same defensive plays, formations, and coverages. OSU adapted, Durkin did not. After early defensive success, Durkin's gameplan was annihilated by a superior opponent (both in terms of talent and scheme).
I don't expect we'll ever see that happen to Brown.
|17 weeks 20 hours ago||Get used to it||
These recruits are amazing, and I agree they are a buch of difference makers. This, however, is going to be the norm with Harbaugh. Expect the 2018 class to have the quality (though not the same quantity).
|17 weeks 21 hours ago||Offense is an easy choice, but defense...||
The '97 defense was probably better than this year's version, but we'll have to wait and see. It is certainly a much tighter battle than the offenses.
|17 weeks 21 hours ago||Correct||
Missed that and will fix. Thank you!
|17 weeks 1 day ago||While this game may give us||
While this game may give us more trouble than analytics say it should, I am not concerned about our running game against MSU.
For starters, we average about 1.5 YPC more than Wisconsin. We have two RBs in the top ten in YPC in the country. And we run a much larger playbook of runs than the Badgers. Harbuagh, Drevno, Fisch, and Wheatley know MSU's weaknesses. They will do their best to exploit them.
My point is that while Wisconsin also runs a "manball" running game, they are not nearly as good at it and they don't have nearly the same size playbook.
|17 weeks 3 days ago||Brian Cook - Speaker for the||
Brian Cook - Speaker for the Dead
Highest compliment I have ever given (by far my favorite book of all-time) to Brian.
The dead should be treated with the same respect as the living, and honesty is far more valuable than sensitivity.
|17 weeks 5 days ago||Benjamin may be better than||
Benjamin may be better than our three current commits, and I would definitely rank him above Dillon and Taylor. Don't get me wrong--we have three solid players committed, but Benjamin is a very, very good back that I believe could be one the best we've had in years. He gets to top speed extremely quickly, can cut without losing much speed, often breaks the first tackle, and has the vision to find the right hole. Watch his tape. It will change your mind.
|17 weeks 5 days ago||Yes. Watching yesterday's||
|17 weeks 6 days ago||I would like to see him get||
I would like to see him get more carries. Smith is looking slow again and I'm concerned there may be an injury issue. Higdon is our best pure runner, and Evans is probably the runner up.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Carol Phillips||
While he does not hold-up well consistently against the run, Carol Phillips has 11 TFLs and 4 sacks this season. He deserves a star, and his match-up with JBB is probably our biggest weak point in this game.
Don't get me wrong--this game won't be close--but Phillips is an impact player. My guess is that this game is a more reasonable annihilation, say 45-3.
|18 weeks 2 days ago||I appreciate the info.||
I appreciate the info. Looking forward to seeing Nate tear it up and hopefully Perry and Harris learned their lesson.
|18 weeks 4 days ago||Don't like it||
I think Pelini would be a homerun hire from Purdue's perspective, but I still think it's a bad idea. Why? Because his ceiling at Purdue is bascially Nebraska minus. Whereas he churned-out 9-win seasons at Nebraska, in the B1G East and with a lesser program to sell, his ceiling drops a bit. If Purdue wants to be consistently decent, Pelini is a great hire. If they want to be exciting with a chance at a great year, he's a bad choice.
Purdue is at their best when they do something innovative or different. They should look for a spread-to-pass or triple option coach, IMO. Pelini is not that guy. Bob Stitt* is that guy. Troy Calhoun is that guy. Tim Walsh (Cal Poly) is that guy.
*Stitt is averaging 47 pts/game at Montana this season. The Grizzlies scored 41 points in their only loss, falling to Cal Poly by a single point.
|18 weeks 4 days ago||My Take||
My take so far:
QB - EVEN. Was someone expecting an All-American here? Speight has had a strong start with some hiccups. Most of those hiccups come under pressure, but the occasional errant throw is concerning. All that said, his QBR is high and he has made some great plays. Now we need him to have a jump in performance for the second half of the season.
RB - UP. Hard to see this any other way. Smith is the steady, tackle-breaking monster we thought he was (who is amazing in pass pro); Isaac and Higdon have taken massive steps forward; Evans is a revelation. Our best backfield in over a decade, but still without the game-breaking bell cow Michigan used to have every year.
WR - DOWN. Chesson was supposed to be an All-American. Yes, the opportunties are lacking, but there have also been drops and we haven't seen the same separation we saw last year. Darboh has been pretty damn good, but a couple of drops in there too. So while DOWN is the right answer, that's only because expectations were so high. Still the best group in the B1G.
TE/FB - UP. Jake Butt had a few uncharacteristic drops early, but he's back to himself and I expect his usage to increase against some of the better teams on our remaining schedule. Bunting's injuries are disappointing, but damn, Asiasi is a player. Hill is an exceptional Harbaugh FB and Poggi has made huge strides. Hard not to love this group overall.
OL - EVEN. I don't understand the downvote here. Sure, we lost Newsome, but we weren't even sure he was going to start. That he's been much better than expected is a bonus. His injury hurts, and is the ONLY reason this is EVEN--Kalis, Magnuson, and Braden are all playing their best football. Cole has only been good, instead of the anticipated Rimington-contender. We'll see how LT plays out, but the right side of the line has been dominant, getting Michigan back to being a team that wins most short yardage and goalline battles. About damn time.
DL - EVEN. Can't get much better than predicted, which is one of the best DLs in school history.
LB - WAY UP. What was supposed to be our biggest liability is one of the best groups on the team. The depth looks spotty, but McCray and Gedeon have been amazing at everything but pass coverage, and Peppers is Peppers.
DB - EVEN. Stribilng is better than expected, Thomas is worse. Everyone else's performance is on target.
Overall, my expectations for this team are up slightly, and I now feel like 12-0 is an expectation instead of a wish.
|19 weeks 2 days ago||This was one of my all-time||
This was one of my all-time favorite OWs. Thank you, BiSB. Some highlights:
|19 weeks 2 days ago||I thought Kemp had||
I thought Kemp had played.
|19 weeks 3 days ago||1. Ben Gedeon on defense and||
1. Ben Gedeon on defense and Karan Higdon on offense.
|19 weeks 5 days ago||This. There is nothing more||
This. There is nothing more disrespectful to an opponent than not playing your best. You can put your worst players in, but you should always play your best.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||Kicking Game||
This ties in with Seth's answer, but when your offense isn't great, FGs become even more important.
The Wisconsin game was not even as close as the score indicates: even an average kicker should make 2/3 of those FG attempts, putting the score at a comfortable, spread-covering 20-7; had 'Sconsin hit that long play Stribling fell down on, it's still 20-14.
So my answer is definitely the FG kicking. Our defense should be able to limit every remaining opponent on our schedule; our offense may need help from our kicker(s) to get points on the board.
This could also be vital in The Game, where a FG could easily decide the outcome.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||I p||
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Agreed.||
|21 weeks 1 day ago||Dude. It's Buzz. Who is Red?||
Dude. It's Buzz. Who is Red?
|21 weeks 3 days ago||I hope you're right.||
I hope you're right.
|21 weeks 3 days ago||Never answered your first||
Never answered your first question; our defense certainly appears to be a "break-but-don't-bend" outfit, but even the advanced metrics (Havoc, S&P) have us ranked at the top of the heap.
And, actually, on at least a pair of the big plays (UCF long run, one of the Colorado TDs) the defense was NOT overly aggressive--they just blew their assignments. Remember, there was supposed to be bracket coverage on the Colorado receiver for a TD (Peppers flubbed that) and the UCF run was just a comedy of errors.
|21 weeks 3 days ago||This||
|21 weeks 3 days ago||Should have noted that||
Should have noted that Peppers leads the nation in TFLs despite not getting any against PSU.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||My takeaways: The offensive||
|22 weeks 5 days ago||It's an option package. Shane||
It's an option package. Shane is our best running QB and this package opens loads of possibilities: standard option plays, bootlegs, run/pass options, and passes to the QB. Obviously, they can also run all he other stuff we currently run. Loved that we put it on film, and ran a simple toss play out of it.
|23 weeks 5 days ago||Hope you didn't bet on that||
Hope you didn't bet on that
|23 weeks 5 days ago||You'd be surprised how much a||
You'd be surprised how much a coach can see from the sidelines. Remember, coaches have studied the opposition and know who's assigned to block whom and if a play breaks down, the coaches often know immediately who was responsible for it. For Harbaugh, this would be especially true on offense. He knows what play is coming before it happens. He knows the assignments and how the opposition might counter. And he has a staff both in the booth and on the sidelines watching with him. After almost every play, coaches know what worked and what didn't.
|23 weeks 5 days ago||This. Braden was bad. I||
This. Braden was bad. I rewatched today and noticed that Kali's, Magnuson, and Cole were getting great push. We need to be a right handed running team this year. We kept running left, even though the right side is clearly better. We also kept using Butt and Bunting as blockers, even though they aren't getting it done.
|24 weeks 2 days ago||In theory, a QB sneak through||
In theory, a QB sneak through the weakside A gap might work. If you watch the film, the double-team on the right side of the line (against the E) could allow the guard to move to the second level, as could the center. This would allow them to block the B and still have a man free.
The problem? A shotgun snap takes time to arrive. Watch the Light video closely. By the time the snap is received, the blitzers are already in the backfield. Even if Kizer takes that snap and immediately barrels forward, he might get caught. But if he doesn't and the blocking is good and the RB maybe even cuts one of the blitzers, this could be a nice gain.
The question is, does ND even run that QB sneak? Because if not--and Brown knows this--this scrape exchange/blitz is an excellent way to defuse the zone read.
There are other plays that could work against this--speed option to the weakside or a toss to the weakside come to mind--but looking at the defense pre-snap, the zone read looks like the perfect call, whereas a play to the outside looks well-defended.
|24 weeks 3 days ago||Great post, Seth!||
Actually, the Hawai'i CB does exactly what he should do there: minimize the damage. If he keeps his feet, he has a 0% chance of winning the battle with Mags and will find himself blown even further outside, which gives a bigger lane for Isaac to exploit.
Defensive players that can't win battles can minimze damage by falling down and creating "trash" that makes it more difficult for the offense to operate. DL do this with some frequency, and it used to be the standard way to symie a double-team: just fall down in the gap you're supposed to be in to close it off. Nowadays we usually prefer our players keep their feet so they can add to the pursuit, but if there is no better option, falling down can actually help your defense quite a bit.
|24 weeks 4 days ago||My Re-Watch takeaways||
|25 weeks 3 days ago||YES!||
What's amazing is that next year, this may actually be close to truth: We could definitely have a package with Bunting split wide, Wheatly and Asiasi on the line, and Hill/Poggi as the H. Kingston Davis or Ty Isaac are beasts; the only missing piece is the QB, and Speight is not easy to bring down either.
I mean, how do you defend that? Sure, that's a hypothetical question, but it does have an answer:
|25 weeks 5 days ago||I am so excited. Speight||
I am so excited. Speight seems ready for the job and I'm happy for him. I had a slight lean towards JO'K too, but if Speight won the start I expect he will be more than capable. Let's not forget that Brian Griese--hardly a physical marvel--captained the offense to our last national championship. GO BLUE!
|26 weeks 13 hours ago||Exactly. It really bothers me||
Exactly. It really bothers me as a coach and athlete when people only look at physical qualities when considering ceiling. If Speight has better mental qualities, it raises his ceiling substantially. And let's not forget that Speight is no statue back there. If he won the job, it demonstrates that his abilities have proven greater than O'Korn's. His mental qualities may give him the higher ceiling.
|26 weeks 16 hours ago||Army of Darkness||
Army of Darkness
|26 weeks 16 hours ago||No.||
|26 weeks 16 hours ago||You are correct, blue. 2 was bad.||
You are correct, blue. 2 was bad.
|26 weeks 2 days ago||That video is hilarious, and||
That video is hilarious, and people who have not watched it should feel bad. WATCH THE VIDEO!!!
|26 weeks 2 days ago||What surprises me most is how||
What surprises me most is how NOT worried I am. Offense looks strong, with a returning QB, a stable of RBs, and a bunch of upperclassmen OL. WR might be the one spot that would concern me, except that I believe that one of Ways, McDoom, Harris, or Crawford will blow-up and with that group of TEs, a good #1 and competent others will be plenty.
Yes, the defensive backfield is young, but they are crazy talented. I would guess that Washington and Long start, with Watson, Hill, and St.-Juste on their heels. The LBs will be another year experienced, and the DL remains dominant. Hudson and Kinnel at S sounds delightful, though I believe Hudson may end-up in Jabrill's role (as a "LB"). That second safety spot does concern me, the depth there is scary--though I would NEVER count out a Glasgow (Jordan is a walk-on safety). I beleive someone will emerge.
I actually feel much better looking at this. We won't have the same depth, but this team is plenty talented and another strong year of recruiting sets up a monster 2018.
|26 weeks 4 days ago||Excellent Write-Up||
This is spot on, and it's somewhat surprising more people aren't saying it. Really, this was our offense for the last six games of last year's team as well. Harbaugh recognized that running the ball wasn't going to beat OSU, so there were loads of nifty pass plays that really should/could have resulted in more points and yards. And even in the Florida game--which was an absolute romp--RBs only ran 41 times vs. 35 pass/QB scrambles. That's pretty insane balance when you win by 759,985 points.
I expect to be one of the more pass-oriented offenses in the B1G season by percentage of plays prior to garbage time. It's too much of a stregnth to ignore.
I might add that if Bredeson wins the LT job, it probably makes us even more pass-oriented, since I believe he's better in pass-pro that run-blocking at this point.
|26 weeks 6 days ago||Delano Hill<br>I believe he will be more effective than Thomas.||
|27 weeks 42 min ago||This. A very close second for||
This. A very close second for me is the 2003 Chris Perry OSU thumping.
|27 weeks 1 day ago||6 Yard Gain||
I thought it worked nicely. One more block on that CB and the gain is even bigger, or maybe Peppers breaks that tackle.
In any event, I love that there is some deception in what we do know, even if the refs sometimes flag us for it.
|27 weeks 2 days ago||It depends||
For the hat, Bo M is preferred. But for larger items like shirts, I like the block.
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Did you watch the spring||
Did you watch the spring game? Speight had a nice scramble for a TD and looked comfortable on the move. He's not as athletic as O'Korn, but Navarre comparisons are way off.
|31 weeks 3 days ago||Why?||
I like Ace's team, but his QB, while clearly the 2nd-best option (because Michigan doesn't know who will start) is still just above-average. He's got a great RB and a great WR, only one OL so far, and a pretty good TE.
His defense is only very good or great players...but tell me this, can Jaylen Myrick shut down Godwin or Cobbs? Peppers will busy dealing with Barrett and Clement, and Seth's interior OL can hold up against any DL in the league or even the country.
Put it this way: Barrett is a legitimate Heisman contender. Clement was a legitimate Heisman contender last year, and if he can stay healthy could be this year. Godwin and Cobbs are impossible to cover consistently. With Seth's OL and skill players so far, I don't see who can stop him. In today's college football, there is no stopping an offense like that. Seth's group would easily be the best in the country. Ace's is good, but I'm not sure it's even better than Michigan's defense.
Seth's defense is also excellent. He's only got four guys, but King matches up with Chesson, and Bailey can only block Glasgow or Replogle.
While I hate to admit it, JT Barrett was, by far, the most valuable player in this draft. There just aren't any other QBs in the league that are top-tier players. While I love Peppers and Lewis as much as anyone, there are other great LBs and CBs in the B1G. There aren't any other great QBs.
FWIW, I really like Ace's team and believe it's the second-best group...but if you're going by postseason awards, I think Brian is ahead of him.
|31 weeks 3 days ago||My rankings||
Just one man's opinion, but here's how I see it so far:
Overall, there have been fewer reaches this year than last, and the PFF grades are awesome. As one who loves this segment, thanks to our writers for the content and dialogue.
|31 weeks 3 days ago||I'm not sure how he can||
I'm not sure how he can achieve that at this point. It's a bad year for talent on offense in the conference in general, and Brian still needs a QB, a WR, and a RB. If I'm him, I'm looking hard at De'Veon Smith or Devine Redding and waiting as long as I can to take Armstrong or Wes Lunt. O'Korn is a big risk as he may not win the job.
But his other WR is going to be bad. It's a down year for WRs in the conference in general, and the best five and Reilly have already been taken.
What may be worse, he's only got one OL.
Yes, Brian's defense is by far the best, but his offense is awful.
|32 weeks 20 hours ago||Brass is a great game.||
Brass is a great game. Imperial 2030 is probably my all time favorite. Agricola, Puerto Rico, Power Grid are excellent second tier games. Twilight Struggle is the best two player game.
|32 weeks 1 day ago||Mostly Yes||
10. YES. Intentional fast break fouls are dumb and should be eliminated. The "advantage" method is a great idea.
9. Different idea: After any player has been fouled 6 times, subsequent fouls allow the team to pick the FT shooter. I like this rule because it still punishes bad FT shooting to a point, but doesn't allow the game to get hijacked with intentional fouls. It would also open up huge strategy changes which I believe would benefit the league.
8. Three second rule is outdated and should be gone.
7. Charges should be about who initiates contact. Guys that are drawing fouls with up fakes or lowering shoulders should not be rewarded. If you are running into a defender, you are the one committing a foul.
6. Too many is the problem. It's not the timing of TOs, it's that there are too many. Three each half. That's it. Make them precious like they are in football.
5. YES. Not sure about the length of the guarantees, but I love this. Teams tell kids how long to stay in school and the kids get paid and know their destiny. Contracts could be contingent on the kid remaining academically eligible.
4/3. I like the "Loser Playoff" concept. Everyone gets extra games. One-game series. Seeding based on regular season record. Starts to feel like March Madness and there is actually something on the line.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Best. Commitment. Ever. If||
Best. Commitment. Ever.
If he plays half as well as he commits, he's going to be another first-round draft pick OT. That was amazing.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Had to lure Lancil to make||
Had to lure Lancil to make sure he was also killed by the fire. Otherwise he would have been on his way to the Red Keep. Also wanted a horrible death for him, knowing his beloved Septon was about to die.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Because Bran had not been||
Because Bran had not been marked by the Night King yet. Now that he is marked, the Night King will be able to follow him.
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Yes. The west is best.||
Yes. The west is best.
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Michigan spots:Pictured Rocks||
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Angel's Landing at Zion||
Angel's Landing at Zion National Park.
|42 weeks 1 day ago||Pulp Fiction is one of the||
Pulp Fiction is one of the best movies of all time. Django Unchained was solid. Inglorious Bastards is underrated. Basically, you are very, very wrong.
|42 weeks 1 day ago||This is the correct answer.||
This is the correct answer. Worst. Movie. Ever. So bad. And not even bad you can mock. It is simply impossible to be entertained in any way by this film.
|43 weeks 4 days ago||Very tough play. The MLB||
Very tough play. The MLB reads the play correctly and heads to the correct hole. If he sticks to the backside gap, then the guard that blocked him is free to pop the safety coming down to help, and this might be a big gain up the middle. This was not a terrible play by the MLB at all, and I'm not sure gap discipline would have saved the defense.
|45 weeks 2 days ago||STOP||
Still too soon.
|45 weeks 3 days ago||This is not COUNTABLE||
This is not COUNTABLE copyright infringement.
|45 weeks 3 days ago||NCAA = IRS||
It is fitting that the NCAA is making such a stupid, self-defeating rule right around tax day. So many posters have discussed ways to fix the NCAA, but at this point, it's hopelessly corrupt and complex, and needs to be discarded...just like our 77,000 page tax code.
As with the IRS, the control is not in favor of the constituents, but rather those with the pockets deep enough to push through any ludicurous changes that will benefit them. This is why GE and Apple pay no tax but small business owners (who employ the vast majority of workers) are paying upwards of 50% in some cases. It's why the wealthiest individuals have some of the lowest effective tax rates and middle class gets crushed. And it's why Nick Saban and Hugh Freeze get their way when their only reason is "I really don't want to work that hard."
What I mean by this whole analogy is that I'm afraid the NCAA--like the IRS--is past the point of no return and needs to be scrapped now rather than reformed. Recruiting rules, student-athlete compensation, satellite camps...the NCAA has almost no rules in favor of the group it purports to protect and does a laughable job of enforcing the few that just might do some good. There is too much corruption and too much complexity--the purpose and focus of the organization have been completely lost and replaced with the self-interest of a few mega-star coaches.
|47 weeks 21 hours ago||D-Line||
Not to mention the talent on the DL: Hurst, Wormley, Mone, Charton, and Godin. That is an insanely strong group that only has to get past one starting OL (Cole)...we are not deep at OL this year.
Based on these lists, I'll take Blue, who looks stronger in the trenches.
|51 weeks 3 days ago||Stribling Starting||
Jeremy Clark is a very good player, and he proved that last year. If Stribling has overtaken him, that means we have three excellent CBs. I think this might be our best secondary in a long, long time.
The 2016 defense should be even better than the 2015 version. Scary.
Unfortunately, the offense will need some time to come along. Fortunately, our first five games are at home and the first three are very winnable, then Penn State, then Wisconsin. Not exactly murder's row. We finally hit the road, but game six is at Rutgers, then the bye, then we're back home for Illinois.
MSU on 10/29 is the first real test, followed by a brutal November with Iowa and OSU on the road sandwiched with Maryland and Indiana at home.
Definitely could be an undefeated season.
|1 year 1 week ago||Well done||
You finished the SEC trifecta!
But let's make sure we don't give kids a free, awesome vacation in Florida. That's not fair to the kids.
|1 year 1 week ago||This is a message board.||
This is a message board. Take your logic elsewhere!
Seriously thought, this is spot on. While there will always be homers, there are lots of people trying to take advantage of homer bets, too. Vegas knows this.
|1 year 2 weeks ago||Talent Gap||
Great data, thanks for doing the legwork.
We are still pretty far behind the nation's elite on a four-year rolling scale. We would be ranked #11 nationally, and 'Bama, OSU, LSU, Notre Dame, and FSU all have at least 10 more 4/5* prospects than we do. To put that into perspective, that means they have almost one whole unit (offense/defense) more of top prospects.
That said, a few teams are conspicuously absent from the top of this list: Michigan State, Oregon, Baylor, and even Clemson are all ranked lower than we are. Those teams use player development and scheme to keep with college's elite programs.
2016 feels like our best chance for the next few years, but if Harbuagh is on the same level as Dantonio, Kelly/Helfrich, Briles, and Swinney (and I believe he is) there is reason to believe that Michigan is set-up for consistent and long-term success. 2017 presents some obvious roster challenges, but it is also a home/home year for MSU/OSU. Unfortunately, we open with Florida in 2017.
What will be interesting to see is how some of the lower-ranked recruits from the 2015 class start to play. This season should at least give us some hints about how good Harbaugh is at maximizing 3* talents.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Mgoblue.com still reports||
Mgoblue.com still reports that it starts at 11am. I will take no chances and tune in then.
|1 year 4 weeks ago||I agree, probably||
Assuming the information we have about these decommits is correct, I wholeheartedly agree.
What sucks about this is that we don't know the other side of the story. But it sounds like our staff has learned some valuable lessons and that this will improve going forward.
All that said, none of this would be getting any attention if Harbaugh wasn't killing it on the road. Success like Harbaugh has had this quickly was always going to be attacked. I sincerely hope we handle these things better in the future, but:
|1 year 5 weeks ago||February 3rd||
I will be waking up way-too-early and getting very little done that day. This is one of the few times I wish I lived in the Eastern Time Zone.
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Yikes||
And he's coaching against June Jones, who is, you know...competent.
Gonna be tough sledding for the East team.
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Fixed headline for you:||
"6-time CFP Champion Jim Harbaugh to Detroit Lions: will be replaced by long-time OC Drevno"
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Wow||
Did not realize how good those De'Veon Smith cuts were. The broadcast angle discounts how much lateral quickness he demonstrated there. If he can do that on the regular next season then he won't be BJ Askew--he'll be Chris Perry.
While I'd like to see more speed at the position, if Smith can run like he did against the Gators consistently, I can't see anyone else being our primary ball carrier next year.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||This is awesome||
Welcome to the family, Don Brown. We are grateful and fortunate to have you!
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Don Brown has coached the 3-4||
Brown has coached the 4-3, 3-4, and even the bear defense. He has adjusted to his talent and opponent in order to find success.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Appreciate the counterpoints||
Alum--certainly appreciate your perspective, but it feels awfully slanted. I'm not saying we just got Nick Saban as our DC, but we did not just get GERG either. Not sure why you are so sour on this one. He obviously was not an expected name, but has also done more with less than most coaches. Let's go point-by-point:
Here's where I will agree with you: this is not a hire that has me dancing in the streets. He seems like a sound, accomplished coach. And while there are some up-and-comers that might have made bigger splashes, they also might have left after a year or two. Some continuity could do wonders.
My take is that this is a very, very good hire, but not a dream hire.
Lastly, a point you've made many times is that Mattison turned around our defense right away, and to that I would say two things:
All that said, I appreciate a balanced approach and that someone has some counterpoints...but man, it sure feels like you went searching for data to support your bias rather than searching for data to find your conclusion.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Tougher than a two dollar||
Tougher than a two dollar steak.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Wow. We just offered a great||
Wow. We just offered a great prospect and the board is spending it's time bitching about missing on some other guys? This kid has all the tools to be great: athletic, very willing blocker, great hands and an ability to high point the ball. He needs to clean up his route running, but he could be an absolute beast.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Excellent post||
Easy to read, nice to have the targets by position. Makes me hopeful for the future. You need moar upvotes!
|1 year 11 weeks ago||Yeah, but he totally used the||
Yeah, but he totally used the wrong picture. I mean, Krang was a very cool villain, but this guy is one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time:
|1 year 11 weeks ago||Solid List||
I would be happy with any of those guys. Not sure I trust the list, though.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Oh yeah, he has arm strength too. Can make every throw already.||
Oh yeah, he has arm strength too. Can make every throw already.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Only limitation I see is his||
Only limitation I see is his long delivery. And that's being nit-picky. He has accuracy, touch, poise, pocket awareness, and even speed. Bold prediction: he will go down as the best statistical QB in U-M history if he stays healthy.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||John Beilein is the best||
This is excellent news. There is no coach I would rather have.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||Coaching Level||
This is a great interview, and I loved the MGoFollowUp question. This team is being coached at an extremely high level, and the results on the field reflect that.
What's amazing is that it usually takes a couple of years for excellent coaching to have a big impact. If we keep guys like Greg Jackson around, we'll have consistently good play that will be elite play if the talent is there (which it should be at Michigan).
Today is awesome. Tomorrow is almost certainly going to be awesomer.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||He was Peyton's QB Coach for||
He was Peyton's QB Coach for one season. It's not like he developed the guy.
I am a Lions fan, and certainly wish JB Cooter the best, but can you honestly say Stafford looks like he's made much improvement under Cooter?
Please have fun with that last sentence.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||TRUTH||
You just can't make this stuff up. Only the Lions.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||Welcome to the Family! Can't||
Welcome to the Family! Can't wait to see you strap on the winged helmet. GO BLUE!
|1 year 19 weeks ago||He is definitely not as||
He is definitely not as shifty as Mike Hart.
He is a one-cut runner with very good acceleration and speed, but not nearly as shifty as Mike Hart. More like De'Veon Smith.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||De'Veon Smith||
He reminds me of Smith. He's more compact, has better accelration, but doesn't appear quite as strong or balanced. Then again, he's still a junior.
EDIT: Actually, love Harbaugh's Frank Gore comparison. Same build and very similar running styles.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||This is amazing||
This play is even better than it looked--I thought the ball bounced to Lewis, but he just snatched it.
Ace...there was a Harbaugh rant earlier this year where he threw his play sheets on the ground (may have actually happened twice). I HIGHLY recommend a rant montage to this song (perhaps including some of U-M's "magic" plays and Smith tossing defenders aside):
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Biggest areas of improvement||
2015 has been an amazing year so far, and the improvement has been galactical. Here's my quick take:
If we can get to the point where we're hitting on 40% of our long pass attempts, we will become an elite team capable of beating anyone.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Think he'll end-up on offense||
Watching his film, you see a lot more offensive highlights, and the only defensive highlights are free runs to the ball carrier. I think he would be a SS or LB, but I think he'll find a home on offense--he just loves to make plays with the ball.
He sort of reminds of De'Veon Smith--great balance, loves contact, nose for the end zone. Except he can pass. Not sure if he'll be a QB, but he could be a RB or even H-Back in our offense. Would be an amazing wildcat option.
Regardless, I think he will be an impact player for us before too long.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Fitzgerald is "little goody||
Fitzgerald is "little goody two shoes." Have proof:
|1 year 20 weeks ago||AGREE||
He's like getting 100% in AP Calculus--should be weighted as a 4.33 or higher.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||How to Fix the Lions||
Unfortunately, these probably need to happen in reverse order. But promoting Teryl Austin and hiring Joe Philbin would be a good start.
Seriously, how does Caldwell keep his job, considering he is an offensive coach whose team can't score points with Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Tim Wright, Ameer Abdullah, Eric Ebron (now injured), etc.?
Caldwell is the epitome of a Lions coach: a resume just good enough to get hired and mediocre enough not to get fired until he's done real damage to the organizaiton.
I wish I could somehow become a fan of another NFL team, but I can't. I love the Lions, and I am therefore doomed to NFL misery until the Fords sell the team or get lucky with a GM/Coach that are competent despite being approved by the Fords.
I will leave you with this quote from Bill Ford, Jr., which tells you all you need to know:
"I'm willing to stake my reputation on Matt Millen's success [as a GM]."
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Durkin will be the first of||
Durkin will be the first of this staff to be offered a HC job, possibly as soon as next season, but almost certainly by 2017.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Unless something crazy||
Unless something crazy happens, Glasgow will get drafted, or, at the very least, signed as a UFA.
Could see two drafted next year among Kalis, Braden, and Mags (or even Cole).
EDIT: Houma could also be a UFA this year.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Mea Culpa||
You were right: Morgan is the better LB. He has been lights out this season and will get drafted. He reminds me of a Patriots ILB: smart, good tackler, lacks measurables. He is sort of like Brandon Spikes in this regard.
Bolden has been a disappointment. I thought with this coaching he would be a star. To be fair, we don't even need him on the field all that often, and he hasn't been awful, but I was thinking/hoping we'd see blitzes and TFLs from him.
I will put some lemon juice in my pasta tonight to atone.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Michigan version||
There are many, many more names on the top list, and that is how we need it to stay the next two weeks.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Tom Herman||
Brian is spot on: Ohio State misses Tom Herman. They miss him as much are the Lions are missing their expectations for this season.
Herman has Houston--a team that fired their head coach last year--is tied for #25 in ESPN's power rankings. They are averaging over 600 yards and 45 points per game on offense. Maybe he would have been the second-best choice for Michigan...
|1 year 20 weeks ago||It is delightfully surprising||
It is delightfully surprising that every game on our schedule appears well within reach.
It is awful that I am still nervous about Northwestern.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Agree, and I would add||
First, great breakdown by Seth, and I love the format (and title).
What I would at to SC's remarks is that one of your best clues for play design are the steps the RB and QB take. In this play, Smith's steps (and Rudock's) are telling you where this play is going: exactly where it went.
If the play was designed to go to the backside, Smith would have taken a counter-step and received the hand-off on the other side of the QB, heading for the backside hole. In this play, Rudock is obstructing the backside cut, which tells you that is NOT Smith's first option.
Here's a good video of what a true counter-step (and handoff) looks like:
In the play Seth diagrammed, Smith fakes an outside, or toss step, then immediately cuts toward the hole he chooses. This play was not designed to go backside.
|1 year 21 weeks ago||Not sure||
That will depend on how Maryland tries to defend us. I would expect a few wrinkles--we have had them every game so far, even the jet sweep vs. UNLV.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Much to learn||
Oregon State will actually be a good test for this defense. Don't get me wrong--I expect us to win comfortably, but their offense has enough wrinkles to test us.
One thing I REALLY liked about this UFR was how well we adjusted after we busted plays. That's a sign of great coaching.
I dearly wish we had Utah as our fourth OOC game instead of our first. If we started with Oregon State, then had UNLV, then BYU, then Utah...I think that would have been much better for us.
Can't wait for Saturday--feels good to say that after almost dreading it last year.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||This Year's Stupid||
This Year's Stupid Predictions
YES. I believe Rudock will be highly efficient, probably #3/4 in the conference (Cook, OSU, Hackenberg)
YES. The OL will be a pleasant surprise by season's end. Despite the tougher schedule, Michigan will improve from last year's 4.60 YPC, and improve on last year's middling protection numbers.
NO. Unless you mean spot duty, I don't think we'll see much of Dawson this season. Braden will hold the job.
YES. The boldness of this prediction makes it much less likely to occur. That said, I love it, and believe it's plausible.
YES. That Smith is listed without an "OR" on the depth chart is getting less attention than it should. I think Johnson will be a true back-up, though.
WTF? Do you know something I don't know? Without insider information, this is an extremely bold prediction. Would love to see it happen, but I think Kerridge will be the main backfield receiving threat.
YES. See above.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Special Teams||
This is one of the many reasons I believe the computers are wrong: I think our new ST coach is probably worth at least half of a win on his own. If we had not lost our kicker and punter, I'd say a 1-win increase.
9 wins...it's very doable.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||AGREE||
I am on board with 9 wins. All of the models out there say 7.7-ish wins, and do not take into account the impact of the coaching changes. I would say that Harbaugh & Co. are worth an extra win, maybe more.
My prediction is 8.7 wins. I believe 7 wins is far less likely than 9, but more likely than 10 because of the tough OOC schedule. Here's my best guesstimate:
All other regular season win totals would be outliers.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||An iPhone up vote for you sir.||
An iPhone up vote for you sir.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Love it||
This is great stuff, thank you Ace.
Ross looks pretty good to me. I would agree that he is probably a more natural fit outside in Michigan's scheme, but he could be a good player at any LB spot.
Hamler is the real deal. He is explosive and could play WR or CB. I think he looks more like a college CB, but he could have success at either spot.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Amazing game||
This looks like just about the most fun HS football game ever. Wish I could have been there to see it.
Peters is ridiculous, and Evans looks pretty good as a slot or perhaps a safety. Some great athleticism there.
Happy to have both of these guys in the fold. Peters looks like he'll be the recruiting steal of 2016, considering that he was a fringe four-star when he committed in April and unranked by Rivals as recently as December.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Ace||
Ace's team is the best. Rudock is competent and Ferguson is serviceable, but everywhere else his team is strong, particularly on D-Line.
|1 year 26 weeks ago||Hi Buddy||
Welcome to the family. GO BLUE!
|1 year 26 weeks ago||Hi Buddy||
Welcome to the family. GO BLUE!
|1 year 26 weeks ago||Did Hurst play?||
Did Hurst play?
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Great post||
Brian nailed it. If you are a sports junkie, ESPN insider is super cheap and has loads of content. If you are a U-M football junkie, any of these are worth a subscription. If you are a U-M basketball junkie, Scout is the choice. If you are a college football recruiting junkie, 24/7 is probably your best bet. And if you want in-depth recruiting content (and, I believe, the most accurate ratings that are NOT the 24/7 composite) then Rivals.
And always, always MGoBlog. And for goodness sakes, people, at least by HTTV. This site has the best (not necessarily the most or most in-depth) content, and they have earned your business. Or buy a t-shirt. Just pay for something you want anyway, even if it's not much.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Hate to say it||
But I'd pick Ace's team. Rudock may be the worst starting QB of the bunch, but he's also got Braxton Miller as an option, and with Thomas, Hamilton, and even Carter and Breneman, whoever takes the snaps has plenty of options. A dominant defensive line helps with any back-end problems, and the LBs are a strong group. The lone weakness here is his OL, which is just okay, but the weapons and possibilities of the offense overcome that weakness.
But I can't wait to see Ace photo-shopped into a Buckeye jersey, because he's earned it with his selections.
2nd Place: Seth. Not only did he find value with his U-M picks, his defense is bolstered by two HSPs that are All-B1G talents in Caputo and Peppers. Of course, Peppers is still just "potential," but if he's half as good as advertised, Seth's team will be able to control the middle of the field. Offensively, Carroo, Price, Marshall, and Geronimo (it should be illegal to ever use his last name) are more than adequate targets for the efficient Cook, and Clement is a ridiculous talent at RB. Add in a strong OL...this is a good team, and there are no gimmicks.
3rd Place: Adam. A weaker OL (comparable to Ace's) is helped by a great selection of skill players, but I'm not sure it's enough. Westercamp and Butt would be the stars of this passing game, with Barrett and Jackson combining on the ground, but I don't see this team can beat Ace's. Seth's squad can match-up because Caputo or Peppers can neutralize Butt, and Likely can handle Westercamp. Then what? Seth's defense is built to stop the option, and really only lacks a pass rush, but Turay can come in on obvious passing downs to add spark there.
4th Place: Brian. I don't know, man. Hated the Cardale Jones pick (has no value other than as a back-up QB) and the Cole gimmick. But there are bigger problems: you have the best passing QB and no real threats at WR/TE. Yes, Elliott is a beast and your OL is good, but in todays CFB, you've got to be able to throw the football effectively, and Kugler leaves a weakspot for the DTs to attack. Defensively, Zettel and Collins are good, but Johnson and Ngakoue are just fine. Biegel and Wartman-White are strong, but Ross has been a pernnial underachiever. I like the secondary, but I'm not sure the pass rush is giving them enough time to do their job, and the safeties are solid-not-spectacular types.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Someone needs to vouch for this campaign. Looks like a scam.||
Someone needs to vouch for this campaign. Looks like a scam.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Wish him the best||
Always liked Norfleet and hoped for that return we knew he was capable of. Hope his career finishes well at Tuskegee. I don't think he would have contributed much this year, so perhaps this is best for everyone.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||YES||
Logged in to post the same thing. He was an amazing coach--111-43-4 at Ohio State--but just could not beat Michigan, especially when it mattered most. In '93 and '96, Michigan accounted for their only losses and kept them from winning a MNC. When he finally managed to beat Michigan in '98, he blew a 15 point lead to a 6-6 MSU team that Michigan had handily dispatched earlier that season.
It was an era of dominance for us that fliipped almost exactly during the Tressel years, and it was the last time it was easy to be a Michigan football fan. The year 2000 is a long time ago now...
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Rams or Raiders||
I'd pick these two as the most likely, but I think we'll go another year without a "worst-to-first" team. If the Rams played in a different division, I think they'd have a real shot. The Raiders' division will be down this year, but Manning, Rivers, and even Alex Smith are all pretty damn good QBs, and Denver and KC have reloaded on defense. That division is going to be a mess, IMO.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Kevin McHale||
How do you not hate Kevin McHale? One of the easiest basketball players in history to hate, IMO. McHale was just a gangly guy looked like he had no business playing with professional athletes, yet managed to be extremely effective (sometimes against the Pistons). I still don't understand how he was good. Athletically, he made Larry Bird look like LeBron.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Some great picks in this edition||
Time to start judging (from best to worst in each position group):
QB: Adam, Seth, Brian, Ace
OL: Seth, Brian, Ace, Adam
RB: Brian, Seth, Ace/Adam
WR/TE: Ace, Adam/Seth, Brian
DL: Ace, Adam, Brian, Seth
LB/HSP: Seth, Ace/Adam, Brian
Secondary: Brian, Ace/Adam/Seth
Using a simple scoring metric, here are my standings:
I would probably pick Ace's team right now. Willie Henry was a very good value, IMO, and Ace's WR/TE group is absurdly good. His OL is ranked third, but it's close to Brian's and very good. His only weakness is at QB, and Rudock's film suggests he's plenty good enough to distribute the ball to those athletes.
Seth has, in my opinion, a deceptively strong offense, and still has a TE to add. But with the best OL and a close-second at RB, Seth's team is going to make you put 8 in the box. And Cook, Carroo, and Marshall will make you pay for that. The trouble for him is his DL. I believe that weakness outweighs Ace's QB issues.
Adam's team is boom/bust on offense and middle-of-the-road on defense. He's got a great QB and two good weapons in Westercamp and Butt, but the weakest OL does not pair well with a RB that is just okay, IMO. His strong DL and good back seven give him the #2 defense. Though the score suggests otherwise, I think his team is on par with Seth's.
Brian...why do you always take the double-QB? Cardale Jones, IMO, does not have value if he's not playing QB, and neither does Hackenberg. Jones is no Braxton Miller, whom I unfortunately believe will be a terror. But a strong OL and an amazing RB--a true Heisman contender--do a lot to offset a lackluster receiving corps. Boddy-Calhoun and Jourdan Lewis were both high value picks, IMO, and Wilson and Nicholson are adequate on the back end. The fourth lineman is going to be an issue on the DL, as is the other LB. If Brian had taken a DT, LB, or even an OG in round 6 instead Jones, he's probably in the discussion for second place. In the fantasy world, Jones was a good pick. In real life, I'd rather have more talent at a different position.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Do you not?||
Do you not?
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Agreed||
Logged in to post the same thing. Just a perfect line.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Running Game||
Stanford put up 190 yards at 5 YPC last year against Utah. Their problem was that they only managed 3.7 YPA in the passing game, with lots of lost yardage on bubble screen attempts.
I believe the Utah run defense vs. the U-M run offense will be a close match-up, and I believe the U-M run defense--one of the best in the nation last year and should be even better this year--is advantage U-M.
Further, I believe Utah's pass defense and hyper-aggressive rush will cause big problems for our passing attack. If that turns out to be an even match-up, we will win this game. However, I'd give Utah the advantage there.
There is no doubt this is still a coin flip game, and U-M has to prove they can compete with well-coached teams again. Will be a great barometer absent our usual against ND.
|1 year 29 weeks ago||One of my most favorite movie moments ever|
|1 year 29 weeks ago||Yes, Yes, and Yes||
Great questions. Here are my answers:
1) How much effect does this inspiration/motivation have on a game? Can this compensate for talent gap?
Inspiration/motivation has a HUGE impact on every game. Having been a part of upsets (both winning and losing) I can tell you that while talent dictates a majority of success, the increments provided by inspiration and motivation can overcome a talent/technique gap and create an opportunity for a less-talented team to win. That said, there is a physical baseline that is required to compete at a high level. There is zero doubt in my mind that Michigan has players that are at or above the physical baseline to compete with every single team on our schedule. Ohio State is probably the only team with superior athletes. But I am concerned that our technique may not be as refined as it needs to be to be a dominant team.
2) Is there a chance this clicks and the team plays their asses off, surprising everyone?
Lots of people equate Harbaugh's first season at Stanford with his first season at Michigan. This is a mistake. Stanford's 2007 roster had sub-par athletes that simply did not meet the physical baseline to be competitive. It took guts, luck, and masterful coaching to pull off a narrow win against USC, and part of the success was that USC lacked motivaiton and inspriation. It was perfect storm not dissimilar from The Horror.
A far better comparison is Harbaugh's first season at the 49ers. Inherting a team with talent but lacking cohesion and motivation, Harbaugh took the 49ers to a 13-3 regular season. He took excellent athletes and helped them reach their potential. But before you get your hopes too high, there is a key difference: Harbuagh had some top-flight talent that had proven that talent at the NFL level. Frank Gore, Patrick Willis, and Michael Crabtree are examples. That said, Harbaugh seemed to improve the performance of every player on the team (even though the stats may not have fully reflected that). Michigan has very little "proven" talent. Remember too that 49ers team won a lot of close games, and, statistically, should have 12 instead of 13. So there was definitely a bit of luck as well.
3) Can the first year of a coaching change forge this aspect of a team? (Hoke's seemed to, chance this happens again?)
There is no doubt in my mind that the team will take on Harbaugh's personality, and that drive and competitive fire will lead to incremental performance improvement. The question is, will the talent/technique advance enough to make that motivation/inspiration add-up to more wins? I believe that it will be tough early, but that we will have some surprising wins. Most are guessing 8 wins; I would project 9, and 10 is more likely than 7 but less likely than 8. I would not be even a little surprised to see us at double-digit victories this season, and I would attribute that to the coaching change.
|1 year 29 weeks ago||Disagree||
The drafting is much better this year, IMO. I don't see a clear winner, and each team has an advantage somewhere. By this point last year, Seth's team was out of the running and Ace and BiSB were pulling away from Brian.
FWIW, I think the Cardale Jones and Jabrill Peppers picks are the worst of the draft so far, and neither pick was terrible. The worry is that Jones may not see the field, and Peppers, while cleary an amazing ball of potential, is still just potential.
That said, both Seth and Brian have plenty of talent. I like Adam's offense but think Ace has the best D.
If you're just looking for the team that will earn the most post-season awards, that might be Adam. If you're looking for the team that I think could beat everyone else, that would probably be Ace or Brian. If Seth can find some D-Line gems, he'll be right there.
We'll see how it plays out...
|1 year 30 weeks ago||Source? This is interesting||
This is interesting if true.
|1 year 30 weeks ago||Facts||
Thanks for the data. Polls don't determine what's going on in the world, and neither do anecdotes. It's good to have some raw numbers to look at and consider.
|1 year 30 weeks ago||No so sure...||
From Nauta himself:
"Georgia, from the beginning, and when I made my decision, they were in my top four, but really they were in the top two," Nauta said last week. "They have always been at the top for me. Really the proximity to home plays in their favor. One thing about Georgia and Florida State is that they both have great tight end coaches in Coach John Lilly and Coach Tim Brewster. I love to be around both of those guys. So Georgia has atmosphere, closeness to my family and a great tight end coach as advantages."
|1 year 30 weeks ago||YES||
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Thanks for the info||
This is a great post, and now that the class is filling out and we're getting to "crunch time" (senior seasons) it's a much easier and more accurate read on the situation.
This is a very, very good class that will only get better, and will form a foundation for U-M's success going forward. It is not an elite class, but we'll have that after Harbaugh wins a signature game this year.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Love it||
Not a single pick I can really argue with so far, except for maybe Peppers, and that could end up being a great pick. Cardale Jones is certainly gamble, but if we wins the job it was the best value in the draft by far.
Bravo. It's going to be hard for me to pick my favorite team this year...
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Correct Answer||
This is the right answer.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||5th years and PT||
I'll just leave this last comment here, because we generally agree.
5th-year players transfer all the time. Mostly, they transfer for PT reasons. Heitzman was aware of his PT situation, and did not initiate a transfer. Once Harbaugh told him he had to try out, he started looking.
Yes, PT was part of the decision. But the try out is what made him think about leaving, and I do believe it's fair to say that represents a lack of desire to compete for a roster spot. Do I blame him for feeling that way, after working for four years to earn his spot? No. Do I think that's the type of player Harbaugh wants in his program? No. Do I think that's the way I would have handled it? No.
The kid is not a jerk, a weakling, or a malcontent, as far as I know. Like I said, I wish him the best. But neither is he the type of competitor Harbaugh is looking for. I would have been upset if I had been in his shoes, too, but he had the opportunity to prove himself for a new coach with a demonstrated track record of success, and he chose instead to try his luck at a lesser program that is likely to offer more PT.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Inaccurate||
Magnus, I've upvoted lots of your comments (I am in favor of empathy and being reasonable about a kid's choices), but you keep asserting that Heitzman transferred because he thinks he can get more playing time elsewhere. While that's part of the equation and I certainly hope he can get more PT at a lesser program, the fact remains that the catalyst for his transfer was that he had to try out. A fair and reasonable conclusion is that he did not want to compete for his roster spot at U-M. And that is a completely understandable position to take, and also a completely understandable reason I don't think Harbaugh would have wanted him on the team.
But please, stop asserting that playing time was the reason he transferred. Before he heard about the try out, he knew what his playing time looked like. He could have decided to transfer then. But he didn't. He decided to look around after he heard he had to try out.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Not worked up||
Who's worked up?
I don't have any ill feelings towards Heitzman. I don't think he made a bad decision. I think he made a decision that I would not have made, and that it indicates that his competitive drive is not what Harbaugh is looking for.
I wish Heitzman the best at Ohio and beyond.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Reason for leaving||
"Obviously, (Jim) Harbaugh coming in was going to change things at Michigan — do things his way,"Heitzman told the Dispatch. "But I didn't know if I wanted to try out. That definitely took me off-guard. I was bummed out."
The try out is why he looked elsewhere. Without the tryout, he would not have. Like I said, I have no problem with him looking for what he believes is a better situation for him, but if the reason he's doing it is because he's not sure he wants to try out, a fair and reasonable conclusion is that he did not want to compete for a roster spot. I understand that sentiment, but it's not how I would have handled it, and it's not the kind of mentality I want on the team.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Guaranteed Scholarships||
Everyone at U-M has 4-year scholarships. NOT 5-year scholarships. If you're not a 5th-year, your scholarship, and therefore your place on the roster, is guaranteed (they can ask you to accept a medical waiver).
Everyone is auditioning for playing time; the 5th-year guys have to earn their scholarship, and this is standard practice almost everywhere. Calling it a "tryout" might sound more harsh, but it's actually just an honest statement of most schools' policy on 5th-year guys.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Conflation||
You're conflating two issues here and missing my point. It's fine for Heitzman to seek an opportunity he perceives is better at Ohio. I have no problem with that at all. But he would have seen that Butt was a better player whether he had to audition for his spot at U-M or not. He could have chosen to transfer (like a lot of 5th years do, ie Blake Countess) based on his desire for a better opportunity, and not because he was bummed about having to try out.
From Heitzman's comments, it sounds like the tryout impelled him to seek opportunities elsewhere. To me, that's the sign of some one who did not want to compete for their spot on the team. It sounds like, absent the tryout, Hetizman stays at Michigan. That is VERY different than just deciding to transfer because you believe there is a better opportunity elsewhere.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Reason for leaving||
But the reason matters. Heitzman did NOT leave for playing time reasons--he would have made that decision if there had been no tryout. He is quoted as saying he "didn't know if [he] wanted to try out."
The tryout prompted his decision to look elsewhere, no the playing time. I'm sure playing time was a factor, but if the idea of a tryout makes you look elsewhere, then yes, I do question your competitive drive.
What I don't question is his emotional reaction of, "that sucks" to the idea of tryout. I would have felt the same way. But a tryout would not have prompted me to consider transferring.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Better way||
You don't have to say "no comment." You can say, "I was grateful for getting to play at Michigan. I saw an opportunity at Ohio that I believed was a better choice for me, so I transferred."
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Big difference||
Between being bummed and deciding not to compete. I would have been bummed, and then I would have done my best to go out and prove that I deserved my spot.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||There is no chance any of||
There is no chance any of those guys would have transferred or done anything but go out and prove themselves. No one likes having to try out, but everyday in college athletics is an audition, and true competitors would take the challenge.
I'm not arguing it wouldn't suck to hear you have to "audition" as a 5th-year, but damn if I wouldn't have gone out and done my best to prove myself.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Agree with your sentiment||
It would be tough to hear that you have to earn your spot, after four years of hard work.
That said, any player not up to that challenge should transfer. When I played college sports I always knew that everyday was an audition, and that I had to earn my minutes. THERE IS NO WAY I would have transferred.
I feel bad for Heitzman, but if he wasn't up to the challenge, I'm glad he's somewhere else.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||LOVE Draftageddon||
Great read, great research, fun snark. Can't wait to see more.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||THIS||
Loved this approach.
The only problem is that it makes each position have equal value. BiSB won with this system, but Ace's team would have beaten him in a game, IMO. Have to look at positional value as well, which is why we have JT Barrett, who may not even start for OSU, as a legitimate #1 pick.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||He ain't passed the bar but||
He ain't passed the bar but he know a little bit.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Win-Win-Win||
Personally, I'm happy about all three, but I'll never be a huge spender on apparel.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Another fun fact||
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Hope you're right. One thing||
Hope you're right. One thing we know for certain: starting in 2016, whoever wins the QB job will have earned it by besting top-flight competition. So whether it's Gentry, Malzone, Morris, Speight, O'Korn, or even Peters or Vic Viramontes, it's going to be a really good player who has won the job over other really good players.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Jim Hackett||
He's amazing, but he's not John Beilein status yet.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Disingenuous||
Come on, Don. I love Denard as a player and person, but you're comparing two very different eras of football. Denard was not a very good passer. JH was. Who would you rather have throwing the football? JH would have put up monster passing numbers in today's college football, was a first round pick at QB and a successful NFL QB.
That said, I agree the poster's criticism was a bit extreme--Denard's arm did a few great things for U-M while he was here.