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|2 days 3 hours ago||ESPN says||
Kansas is still in play.
. . .
no wait I think I'm getting my tropes mixed up
|2 days 20 hours ago||ugh||
Edit: OMFG who the hell negged Princess Bride?? That is like one of the things you just don't do.
|2 days 22 hours ago||FWIW||
Yeah it was the comebacks, but I also the conditions he was playing in. The Big Ten was absolutely brutal in '98-'99, easily the toughest conference in the nation (10-2 in bowls in that span) and he had a QB controversy to boot. To become the eventual starter and then lead the team to 10-win seasons and bowl victories he had to turn into the half-crazed game prep maniac he is to this day.
Like ST3 upthread, though, I'm far less inclined to deny accusations that my prediction was emotionally charged. I have a tougher time disputing that I was correct but perhaps only coincidentally. But outside UM fandom circles, good luck getting anyone to believe that you were high on Tom Brady at all. No one wants to be wrong and and given EVERY SINGLE NFL team (including the Patriots) was dead wrong about him, I invariably get a "yeah right".
|3 days 13 min ago||Ain't worried||
He's turnover-averse and that's a welcome change. He may lack the ability to win a game by himself, but he's also not going to throw a pick-six in his own end zone. Devin was so erratic he did both. . . in the same game.
If Rudock's ceiling is low that may infuriate some fans, but I like the floor. Pessimistically he projects to be a "boring" QB, but I welcome that as a change of pace. He's probably no Andrew Luck, but he could be Brian Griese.
|3 days 27 min ago||Surprised?||
Sigh. . . I know everyone wants to claim the same thing, but I wasn't surprised by Tom Brady's success at all. I was surprised that everyone else was so surprised. I remember him trying to engineer that comeback against Michigan State and while it pains me that they lost because the D couldn't slow down Plaxico Shootmyselfinthefoot, his last drive was a thing of beauty. Just a horrible situation for a QB to be in -- no time, tough defense that knows what you're doing, the D unable to get you a break -- and he just kept making the decisions and hitting NFL windows and doing whatever he had to keep the chains moving and the clock not. Michigan lost because MSU's last drive kept him off the field. Only other QB I saw do so well in such a horrible situation was Drew Brees vs. Michigan. I was screaming with frustration at how he just kept hitting passes with a paw in his face. He turned out to be pretty dang good too. And I don't mean these guys might have a shot. I was like, "These guys are gonna be like the Joe Montana or John Elway of my adulthood," and I was stunned on Draft Day.
The guy who surprised me? Dhani Jones. I considered him a very good college linebacker, All Big Ten but not All-American, not the kind of guy that took over games by himself, was drafted late and never blew up the NFL but lasted ten years. Frankly I had no idea how any of the '97-99 linebackers would do. Sam Sword and Ian Gold were similarly prolific with All-Big Ten honors but Sword went almost nowhere and Gold went in the 2nd round. I just can't even. I'm actually pretty darn good at projecting QBs, but apparently I'm terrible at evaluating linebackers.
|4 days 2 hours ago||Chronicles of Rudock||
We have stability at QB. If anyone beats out Rudock that means they beat out a 16:5 TD:INT guy. With Rudock's addition I really don't care who's QB anymore, because he's the floor.
O-line and WR are the big question marks. The O-line has to go through another transition, TE is desperate for candidates and our WRs as yet have shown no playmaking ability. If the line can't block and the receivers can't catch then it really won't matter who's the QB or what plays they run.
Harbaugh was hired for the long haul and that entails growing pains that I doubt will be worked out of the system by September. That's not a strike on him by any means; it's just not enough time to overhaul an offense. It's why RichRod got 3 years, Borges got 3 and Nuss wasn't able to do much with one.
|4 days 3 hours ago||Wiscy vs. Bama||
"did no one watch the Big 10 domination of the bowl season?"
We also watched OSU beat Wiscy 59-0. Alabama did much better against the Buckeyes. Just sayin'.
As for UM-Yutes, it's the exact same factors as last time. Defense should hold up, but the offense is a huge question mark -- can they learn the Harbaugh/Drevno/Fisch system fast enough to score TDs in the opener? This is too wide open of a question for me to dare a prediction, which is why I think the spread is so narrow. This is exactly the sort of game to lose your shirt.
|4 days 3 hours ago||Da Bears||
Lemme guess, you're spotting them a FG only because our coach isn't Mike Ditka.
Oh wait, Harbaugh actually said he's Mike Ditka. Bears by 800.
|4 days 3 hours ago||Just to rub it in||
They also took Spergon Wynn over Tom Brady.
|4 days 5 hours ago||Last line is key||
This is all pretty involved as an implemented scheme, but rep it and the reads/communication can be done very quickly with practice. But HSPs don't grow on trees. You can find guys who fit the mold, but these are inherently difficult tasks, football at a very high level. I'll stay away from the DL talk as I've always been a space guy, but as discussed ad nauseum here, the HSPs need the speed to get to their spots but enough power to blitz and defend the run. Teams know how to stop the spread, in theory. The tough part is finding the players that can do it. I don't think MSU's D was a gimmick or "too aggressive" or unsustainable so much as they lost the guys who could execuate the very demanding tasks, especially safety. Well, maybe that's how it was unusustainable.
This is the value of Peppers as a FS, and why I've been screaming for Michigan to put him there since he arrived on campus. As a corner he could be a lockdown guy who could take pressure off the safety, but the safety is still targeted by spread offenses. Why do that when he could BE the safety and handle what spread offenses will throw at him?
The focus is on the offense, but next season's defense has the potential to be very, very good. Not only are they experienced, the 2014 defense was unfortunately a mix of players that didn't fit that well. They were good at some things (Countess at zone, JMFR at attacking the edge) and I'm big fans of 'em all, but cobbling together a cohesive defense with all these mismatched specialists was probably the defense's biggest challenge last season. With Peppers and Morgan back, oh man. . . If we can just get some decent DE play, Michigan will be very tough to score on.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Ain't surprised||
I would've taken Tom Brady in the second round. The NFL is really bad at evaluating undeveloped players.
|5 days 2 hours ago||The weird thing is||
Gardner will be competing with Funchess directly as a big WR. And he may have higher upside. Funchess struggled last season due to injuries and overall bad play, but his weaknesses are his own and he's had adequate time to eliminate them. Gardner's raw as all get out but he's also 6'4"/220 with good straight-line speed and has shown a willingness to block. Rawness can be fixed.
I wouldn't take Gardner in the first or second round, but as long as both are risky projects, I'd actually take Gardner over Funchess. Which just feels. . . weird.
|5 days 3 hours ago||The weather was atrocious||
The wikipedia account said the field was mud, 5"-6" deep in parts.
Even in today's game, conditions like that result in soccer-like scores.
The M00N game was ludicrous because neither team could blame the weather for the sloppy play.
|1 week 1 day ago||If you can judge a man||
by the caliber of his enemies. . .
|1 week 4 days ago||Unless you're a kid||
If they're doing any coaching, satellite camps provide some benefit. It's not like you're forced to go, anyway.
Oversigning screws the kids and there's little they can do about it.
|1 week 5 days ago||Rumor has it||
I have confidential, unnamed sources say that he couldn't find Mychygan.
Good for hym, though. Happy trayles, and hope we beat hym on the court in the tourney.
/ yes I'm making fun of his name
|1 week 5 days ago||On that||
Not that it's coming from you, but I take issue with the "college guys are only around 3-4 years so it's OK" angle. I think this is just a nicer form of the same butthurt press. It doesn't do anything to the insinuation that Harbaugh is abusive other than dress it up a little.
I'm going to be charitable to Boone and assume he was toeing the party line while Harbaugh was there and got out the knives once he left. Thing is, a lot of NFL players move around on the 3-4 year timescale, so even if his comments make sense, the above justification doesn't.
If there's a relevant difference between college and NFL for Harbaugh's style, it's not that 18-22 year olds can use a good old-fashioned butt-kicking. OK a lot of them could, but that doesn't get Harbaugh out of hot water. Rather, it's that when you're that age, you're basically immortal. I abused my health like crazy, partially because I was a terrible procrastinator but partly because I felt I could. When you're 35 (and Boone isn't) and have been playing competitive football for at least half your life, you can't go 100mph, every play, practice or game. Your body is a dwindling resource and you need to use what's left of it carefully or you won't be good to go on gameday.
In other words, if he's intense, Harbaugh's style is more suited to players who benefit from being pushed to the limit. That's not necessarily abusive or there'd be reports out of San Diego or Stanford of disgruntled and crippled players. The consensus I hear is intensity, but college students feast on intensity.
Mind you, I won't carry water for Harbaugh if a real scandal does surface during his tenure. But I don't put much stock in an NFL veteran saying he was worked too hard.
|1 week 6 days ago||Wow||
What'd he do, show up for a workout and lift a mountain with his teeth? He had to have impressed somehow.
|2 weeks 34 min ago||Careful||
I do not question this team's toughness. Toughness was not the reason they lost so many games last season.
If anything, Hoke relied too much on toughness. Toughness should be more of an implicit expectation -- you need to be tough enough to handle the game. But adding extra toughness to requisite toughness does not make a better football team.
|2 weeks 37 min ago||Yo||
Aren't you selling Baxter a bit short?
Everyone's focusing on the offense, but on special teams, we now have this guy.
|2 weeks 39 min ago||OK. . .||
That's kind of. . . yeah. I mean, NO! I mean, I agree, but this is the engineer's hedge here. That's the result I get only by refusing to guess how much each group will improve due to coaching, default to "none", and essentially project their output based on last year minus the guys we lost (Beyer, Funchess, Gardner, JMFR, etc.) plus the guys we get (Rudock, Peppers, Morgan, etc.) with some token progression due to added experience.
6-6 is an acceptable floor only due to massive uncertainty, but as an actual result it would be a complete disaster, because that implies our new coaching staff got nowhere across the board. Now yes I do expect there to be growing pains, especially on offense, but this means the new guys like Wheatley, Jackson and Baxter didn't pan out and that would be a complete shock to me.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Yep||
It's the fairweather fans that force change. If anything, the diehards owe them a debt of gratitude. There are times for loyalty, but sports just isn't one of them. What programs often need is patience, but that assumes the program has a plan that will take time to implement. When it became clear that DB didn't have plans, just a bunch of shitty ideas to exploit the fans like they're a stolen ATM card, it was time for him to go.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Holy crap||
I hope most of those are just concepts. The opulence is rather silly.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||That's the watered down version||
The original strip was spicier:
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Numbers, schmumbers||
Allen Iverson never once wore #42 in his NBA career so why should I care about anything anymore.
Don't you understand? THE ANSWER WAS NEVER THE ANSWER!
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Snark||
It may not have been funny, but I thought it was pretty obvious.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Ain't comparing the two||
Suffice to say I don't watch basketball live anymore, NCAA or NBA. I catch what I can afterwards because while I enjoy the sport, the broadcasts have become completely unbearable.
Honestly, the level of play in either is the least of problems.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I can't stand the NBA||
. . . but only because every team's attempt at smooth ball movement and efficient play is broken up by the same three old, stubborn veterans that will never go away: Commerical Break, Time Out and Onscreen Graphic.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Wouldn't quite agree||
It's got some pretty obvious strengths, weaknesses and question marks. Much of the offense is unproven, the defense is a collection of studs and square pegs. Chesson blocks well for a WR and Butt catches well for a TE; we need a WR that catches well and a TE that blocks well. The middle of the defense (DT, ILB, S) is a "just try it" murderer's row, but edge position depth is spotty, especially DE. Norfleet, Countess and Ross are all very experienced but in ways that don't fit the schemes (slot bug, zone merchant, SLB).
But here's where the coaching change is giving me excitement for the first time in years. The offense has a high ceiling it either doesn't realize or never existed at all. It's apparent in hindsight it was never going to be realized under Hoke, but however high it is, Harbaugh will find it. If Norfleet was always just a little bit away from becoming a return TD machine, Baxter will get him there. Many of these players are one thing away from being really good; if the missing piece was coaching before, it isn't now. The result may not be a solid team, but I expect it'll be an optimized one -- a scheme that best fits their collection of ill-fitting abilities.
We've always been scratching our heads about why these players can't quite put it together. I feel confident this coaching staff removes the uncertainty. They'll get them there, wherever "there" is. . . and while that may not be a championship, the most any player can ask of a coach is to become the best they can be.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||No caveat||
When he took over at USC he maintained the 7 blocks/year rate. Fewer return TDs but still, 3 in two years. He got a decent amount of accolades from the media but I think they managed to underrate this guy. His ST coaching is a legitimate difference-maker.