the season has truly begun now
- Member for
- 3 years 51 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|2 years 27 weeks ago||Be kind to the rest of the||
Be kind to the rest of the world...if anyone is thinking about wearing this monstrosity...save us...save yourself...don't.
|2 years 27 weeks ago||Classic design, traditional||
Classic design, traditional colours. Simple, straightforward. Love it.
|2 years 27 weeks ago||I hate to be cruel, but that||
I hate to be cruel, but that hat just screams "Wallmart Wolverine." Stick to Maize and Blue. Please.
|2 years 27 weeks ago||There is only one hat I wear,||
There is only one hat I wear, the Coach's Sideline hat. I buy a new one at the beginning of each season and that becomes my "Dress Hat" that I wear to business meetings and only get worn if I am absolutely sure I won't be sweating in the hat or getting them dirty. Some years they are the velcro back, some years a slider with a buckle clasp, but most years they are the flex fit or a fitted hat. The older hats get used for various outdoor activities involving dirt or perspiration. The very oldest hat is my "renovation hat" used for drywalling, sanding and other extreme dust situations. Eventually the wife gets a look at the decrepit condition of the "reno hat" and it heads off to the trash bin. My current reno hat is the same velcro model that RR wore on the sideline during Lloyd's last bowl game, the only M hat I bought at the end of the season.
Here is the current version of the Coach's Sideline Structure Flex Hat:
|2 years 27 weeks ago||I found this site in the||
I found this site in the summer of 2006 as the hype was building for that season, when 2005 was labeled by Brian "the year of infinite pain," and remember fondly that we ran a lot of 3-3-5 on defence and Brian was making crazy arguments that some spread team from West Virginia was nothing more than an over rated gimick offence and had advanced stats that placed them no better than 13th and there was no way they should be rated higher than Michigan. Those were the days. The board was fun and intelligent and this place felt like a small insiders club. That was before accounts and upvotes and negbangs and almost all the content was about football.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||Too cool, thanks. I have||
Too cool, thanks. I have been looking for M branded compression wear for the longest time.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||Can you purchase retail the||
Can you purchase retail the compression shirts with the "Victors Valiant" or the block M on the sleeves? No matter what you think of the uniforms, having a set of those would make some super cool workout wear.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||Actually, that is what the||
Actually, that is what the "10 man football" comment is all about. He does not call out specific players, but indicated that way too often, there was one guy blowing his assignment. That is on the players.
|2 years 42 weeks ago||I am with you there...for||
I am with you there...for someone who started watching Michigan football in the 2000's it would seem like those were the "good old days" when we played great defense, but I cannot remember how many times in the later Carr era where I would be shouting at the TV for some sin the defense would be commiting. I would always wonder how we suck so bad and could not stop anyone. Yeah, compared to today they would seem stout. It was watching the defense decline in the late Carr years that it became increasingly obvious that a malaise was settling on the program. And in 2006 they never really inspired confidence. We were winning, but there was this uneasy voice telling you it could not keep going like this...and it didn't. Wheras in 1997, you know in the core of your being that we could beat anyone. Someone would have check the stats, but we had games where in the second half teams were negative yardage against us and no one scored on us in the second half until the final game of the Big 10 season, and evemn then it was a meaningless TD. When I hear Hoke talk about Michigan football I know that is what he means...and that is why he is able to say we are an over rated team. I like the trajectory we are on...
|2 years 42 weeks ago||Ummm...he won that mostly||
Ummm...he won that mostly with his legs, throwing screens, and wide open receivers (this RR's credit...but many of those throws required help from the receivers). Watch, really watch the balls that Denard throws, then go watch some of the top college QB's in the nation. Watch the beautiful balls they throw. Watch the good decisions they make. Then watch Denard. He cannot throw the football. He makes terrible decisions. Because of that, defenses can key off on him. One of the reasons our season imploded last year...other than the lousy defense...is that when it mattered, we could not keep defenses honest and open up running lanes because WE CANNOT PASS THE DAMB BALL. For the most part this is on Denard. He throws a lousy ball, has terrible footwork, and makes bad decisions. Nice kid with great character, but not a QB.
|2 years 42 weeks ago||The word of the week should||
The word of the week should be "Perspective." I completely agree with you about defense. This is the most exciting part of this year is seeing what Mattison is doing with the recruits he was given. This is a respectable defense. Not dominant, but respectable. We live in an era where offence is the thing. We all want to talk about innovative and funky offence. The X's and O's on offence are far more interesting than defense which is much more about boring "fundamentals." But as Alabama and LSU make painfully clear, it is defense that wins championships. (In the NFL, the best predictor of success is a team's "Defensive Passer Rating" ... the flip of the QB rating). The young guns among the Michigan's fan base, which seems to be the largest demographic here, who came of age during the RR era or perhaps during the malaise years of the Carr era, don't really understand "Michigan Football." Our football is about suffocating, tough, defense first, offense second. This is exemplified in the 1997 team. What I liked about watching Saturday night's contest is how much it reminded me of old Michigan teams. So, yes, this old timer is excited about what I see with this staff, but not for today, for tomorrow: excellent recruiting, great defense, and a pro style offence waiting for a QB who can throw the football. Stop the hand wringing and enjoy that during this transition we are average and getting better.
|2 years 42 weeks ago||Dittos. Could not agree with||
Dittos. Could not agree with you more. I remember watching the first spring ball highlight videos with Denard and thinking to myself..."my goodness he can't even throw a nice tight spiral. Look at that wobble ball." Still to this day he struggles with throwing a nice dart of a ball. He is not a QB.
|2 years 42 weeks ago||Welcome back Emo||
Welcome back Emo Brian!
Last week it seemed that Brian was beginning to see the first glimmers of Borges genius, as in we have no base offense, we are "multiple." Now, not so much.
We are seeing one of the deeper truths of the QB position playing out before our eyes: you must be able to throw accurate balls and make good decisions, quickly under pressure. Other than at a few places, such as Georgia Tech, perhaps Oregon, having a run first QB will only get you so far. A QB must be able to throw a football. This is why everyone is salivating over Andrew Luck. Stand in the pocket and throw darts! (As an asside, I am not sure any team, no matter how good defensively, if they cannot move the ball downfield can be called the best in the nation...here is my vote for Stanford as the best team in the nation and Alabama should be ranked below Oregon as at least they moved the ball against LSU) It is clear that Denard on a good day is maybe an average or slightly below average passer. He throws so many wobble balls it is painful to watch. He makes so many bad decisions. Teams load the box, put a spy on him, pound him till he is not himself and when called upon he cannot make the throws necessary to open up running lanes. Nice kid with thousand watt smile whome I would be honoured to let date my daughter, but the only reason he has not been converted to reciever is that we don't have any better options. There is a reason he was so available to us late as a QB prospect. He is not a QB! He cannot throw the football! Not having QB's who can throw on scholarship is on RR.
As for the "Toughness" meme, anyone who has been a part of any organizational change knows that you have to pick a few major themes and hammer them and then demand changes consistent with those themes and eventually they will take hold. This is no different than RR wanting to "Play Fast." Whether or not we are "Tough" in any given game or on any given play, the meme is going to stay untill it is so ingraned in the team culture that it no longer needs to be preached.
Here is the big thing to wrap our heads around as a fan base. Hoke was right when he said we were over rated. We are not a top 15 team, never have been this year in spite of our record. Too many thought that Michigan was "back." I remember when we were good (and I don't mean 2006...no one really thought...we hoped...but deep down knew we were not going to beat the team that does not exist...in 1997 you knew every game that we were the best team in football. We passed the eye test, the feel test, the numbers test. That was a good football team). We are not good. We are aspiring to respectablity, and that is it.
This is not time for emotional highs or lows. Certainly there is no cause for Emo Brian to come out of the closet again. Give it a couple of years. I am encouraged that with our undermanned and undertalented team we are doing as respectably as we are.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||I think it is not so much the||
I think it is not so much the roll outs that are bad, but the rollout messing with his footwork. If I have been reading the analysis correctly, the problem is he is not getting his feet set right on the rollout and this is causing bad things to happen.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Looking down the list of top||
Looking down the list of top 25 schools on any list you can dig up, do you have the feeling "We should beat them"? I am not sure I get that feeling. I love our new coaches, I love the vector this team seems to be on, but I agree with our coach that we are wildly over rated. I will believe that we can beat any of the teams on that top 25 list when I see the final box score. Until then, I have sworn off kool-aid. I am old enough to remember Jonestown. Not going there. Not doing that. This team has not shown enough in my mind to be considered a top 25 team.
|2 years 49 weeks ago||The ACC will likely add two||
The ACC will likely add two more schools (UCONN and perhaps Rutgers). Four 16 team super conferences are coming.
Texas will be more of a headache than a boon to whatever conference they end up in.
ND could be left begging to enter the Big 10.
|2 years 49 weeks ago||Ummm...both of the coaches||
Ummm...both of the coaches are Hoke "cronies." What I like about our co-ordinators, other than their competence, is that both Borges and Mattison are at the tail end of their careers. Michigan is not a stepping stone for either. There is a real chance for everyone to settle in an build something lasting and great.
|2 years 49 weeks ago||What I like about seeing this||
What I like about seeing this is the warm blanket feeling that Mattison and staff are the real deal. It seems that Mattison is trully working with the talent he is given. He has a secondary that is just not althletic enough to do all the finer things, so they are just making sure he can put them on an island in man coverage, knowing that they can get the incompletion.
It also seems to me that Mattison also knows that he cannot get pressure with his front four (yet???). It seems like he has improved the secondary play enough that can put guys on islands and start doing all kinds of mad scientist blitzes to get pressure. It seems like he is tinkering with the guys he has to find packages that work.
Even with the small one and three quarters game sample size that Mattison is the real deal. I am wicked excited for what this defense can become in the next few years.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||The frankness and honesty of||
The frankness and honesty of both men is refreshing. Both are very realistic about where things are at. You can see what they are describing in watching how they played. And Mattison confirmed that they are basically at the "Stand there...run there when they snap the ball" phase of things. I think we will see both the offense and defense make steady progression as the season goes on.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Look at Oregon/Auburn and||
Look at Oregon/Auburn and Oregon/LSU ... both of those games were won with toughness and effort and yes speed. They won the important battles at the point of attack. As funky as that offense is, those games were won with suffocating defense.
That is in a nutshell the argument that many of us are making.
[As an asside...a stat we need to start doing more with here is defensive passer rating...more so than FEI]
|2 years 50 weeks ago||That is so true! When we had||
That is so true! When we had an offense that was ripping up and down the field, why so little angst about defense? I do think it was the coolness factor. Again, there was all the focus of teaching and analysis about the offense, but little to help understand/critique/defend?!? the defense. Yet it was the defense that was the black hole. In the Lloyd era, both defense and offense were ripped with equal ferocity. But then ripping everything about a winning program in malaise was the cool thing to do. Then the cool thing to do was to love the RR offense. But Brady Hoke is not cool. So now what is the cool thing to do? Pine back to RR? MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ?
The funny thing is, for those of us old enough to know, the thing that has made Michigan, well...Michigan, was not so much "off tackle right" or "QB waggle" but defense. Stout, suffocating defense. Its what defined us. I came of age in my love for Michigan football in '97 just as I was finishing up grad school. That is the image of Michigan football seared into my mind. We were also "Drop Back QB U" We were a feeder school for pro athletes. With Mattison back and Borges here I get the sense that we will become "Michigan" again. Don't get me wrong, I liked RR. I liked his spread. It was funky and cool and advanced stats friendly. But I like Hoke more, in that for him it is about Michigan first and his "system" second. In fact his system is not really a system. Its about teaching fundamentals, managing the program well, being a shaper of young men and letting his co-ordiantors do the "system" thing. The whole approach just seems more "Michigan." Will it succeed more? Time will tell, but I like the early returns.
What does this mean for Brian? Well, I think he has to start learning so he can start teaching and analyzing. He has to learn what Borges does and what Mattison does and then reviewing the film in the UFR and in other articles begin teaching the rest of us the concepts that they are using in their systems. For me, I know a bit about the west coast offence, but I am looking forward to learning more about it and thus to recognize what we are seeing, much in the way we learned how to recognize the scrape exchange. I would also love to learn more about the blitz concepts that Mattison uses and has used so that I can watch the game more intelligently. That, I beleive, was what spawned this blog, a frustration that no one in the main stream media took the time to do this kind of analysis. We need to get beyond the cliches (Borges has to run more spread option plays to take advantage of Denard) to delve into the schemes and data that get beyond hypothesis to actual facts. We have glommed onto this blog not just because we are Michigan fans, but because we are "intelligent" football fans. We need that intelligence back.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Amen to that. I am not sure,||
Amen to that. I am not sure, though, that the problem has been consistency or hypocrisy, but a lack of research based learning. When we did get numbers, they were presented to bolster a philosophy (MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ) and thus suspect. When RR came to town we spent the summer learning the basics of the read option run based spread. Then I think Brian fell in love with RR the offensive tactician and the sick numbers his offence could put up and its total contrast to Lloyd Ball. Brian was never objective about his disdain for Lloydball or his new found love for a new, intelligent, funky and dare we say "cool" offense.
Then RR got himself fired.
Then the "cool" pick went the NFL, the "crazy" pick chose to stay in the south, and we ended up with the guy singing the Proclaimers song. He was pining for what was. We were no longer cool. It looked like Lloydball was back. (MANBALL=Lloydball=Boball)
But instead of dispassioned analysis of what to expect with an Al Borges offense or a Greg Mattison defense, we got the spring/summer of emo. There were no teaching pieces showing us the basics of the west coast offense and how it works and what Borges has done in the past to modify it, we got Free Press like analysis that said, Hoke/Borges will have to adapt to the players they have. It just sounded sad and pathetic to see Brian become the people he criticized for saying the same things three years ago.
He is slowly emerging from his shell, but we are still not getting pieces resembling the level of analysis that we got during the RR era where great pains were taken to show frame by frame what a genius RR was, how much smarter he was than everyone. We are still not getting the same level of teaching or analysis, but it is starting to return. I guess this is what love does to people...
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Seeing how things got better||
Seeing how things got better as the game went on gives me real optimism that this group of young men on defense could actually exceed expectations.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||I think there is also the||
I think there is also the "thinking too much" effect going on as well. Even for someone like myself who is not adept at breaking down plays, our defense seemed to gain confidence as they game went on and it also seemed that Mattison was making changes as well. It seems like at the moment guys are still thinking about the fundamentals like being in the right spot and running to the right place, reading the offence and then moving to the new right spot and running to the new right place that some of that last 5-10% is being lost. From what I saw on Saturday and in the above picture pages, that a time will come that you will see players turning their heads at just the right time because they are no longer thinking about where to stand and where to run. When the fundamental become ingrained and the game starts to slow down, we will see some of these finer points begin to creep into the game. Right now it seems like the only one who is beyond fundamentals, where to stand, where to run and how make changes and then still do all the little things right to make plays is our walk-on turned star, Jordan Kovaks.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||As the game wore on and||
As the game wore on and Mattison started dialing up the blitzes, despite the "OMG-here-we-go-again" feeling early in the game, I really began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A little more time, a few more of his type of players, and Mattison is going to build us a killer D. I am so excited to see Michigan Football come back...or is it going to be a slightly, smaller, younger version of the Raven in Michigan uniforms...either way, I relish the thought that it is now possible, one day soon, that teams will be afraid to play us. I get goose bumps thinking about it.
Carder should thank his lucky stars that the game did not continue. A couple more of those helmet poppers and they might have carried him out.
|2 years 51 weeks ago||And once again Kovacs saved||
And once again Kovacs saved the day...
|2 years 51 weeks ago||I wonder what are the chances||
I wonder what are the chances that we will see a "Kovacs" jersey?
Kovacs is by far my favourite Michigan player. And the whole "walk-on" thing is one of the reasons that I love college football and prefer it to the pro game. In this day and age of recruiting watchers and assigning stars to players, seeing a young man like Kovacs come to Michigan, pay his way, and then work his tail off to make the team and earn a scholarship embodies the essence of collegiate athletics. I love being reminded that he is a "walk-on." I hope he gets a shot at the next level for his football intelligence, being some team's defensive QB.
Baring that, i would hope he enters the ranks of coaches. I think it would be a first rate feel good story to see him come back home to UM as a top flight defensive co-ordinator or head coach some day.
|2 years 51 weeks ago||I am from London (hence||
I am from London (hence Forest City Blue), and Lucas is an "academic" school, that is parents of smart kids move into the neighbourhood. It services all the expensive to live in parts of the city and most of the kids are children of academics, lawyers, doctors, and the like. If they wanted to play a decent football team (and this is not to say that they would have won), they should have played last year's city champ, Catholic Central. At least there might have been a chance for a competitive game. It would be fun for some Great Lakes area schools to do home and home series, one played with American rules and one played with Canadian rules (wider field, three downs, larger ball and the running recievers as the most notable differences. Plus it would be nice to see some top talent play here as well.
|3 years 1 week ago||Would rather see Woodson play||
Would rather see Woodson play in Michigan Stadium one more time...just saying...
|3 years 2 weeks ago||Nice to see Brian doing||
Nice to see Brian doing actual research again. Hopefully his emo period is behind him for good.