LIST OF WWE PERSONNEL?!?
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Harbaugh's QB's||
You make a good point about Kaepernick. However, SF's problems are more than just a QB regressing. It is about having no receivers who can get open and a running game that has gotten old. Also recall in the NFL it is the GM making the personal decisions. Perhaps this is the reason for Harbaugh leaving because he did not agree. As a college head coach he has the ultimate say. In terms of Luck he gets kudo's for properly identifying him when no one else was giving him a good look. So even if this is part of your argument he can't develop a good QB, you can't argue regarding his eye for talent. In regards to Smith verses Kaepernick, I would always choose the later. Its just an opinion as their stats are about the same in terms of what they do. Smith had an easier schedule. Neither has great receivers. Though the running attack for KC is a bit better. Kaepernick has a lot of big scrambles. But if you look at the RB's for KC they get a yard more.
|13 weeks 22 hours ago||Why R^2 matters four years later||
The reason why it is worth while to debate if R^2 should have been fired or not or whether he got a bum deal is there is a very real chance that we do not get Harbaugh and our remaining choices will be outsiders who will have no former ties to the program. It is possible that many of the individuals who ran R^2 out of town are still in positions of power. The could be former players, former coaches, current doners to the University or the Athletic Department, members of the Athletic Department, or even members of the University proper. R^2 may have learned mistakes. But it sounds like there is a very real possbility we have not.
|13 weeks 5 days ago||Coaches acting like coaches||
Sort of like when Bo took over for Elliot
|13 weeks 5 days ago||Calling Hoke Names||
When you are an entertainer that is part of the cost of failure. When you fail you are going to be the subject of derision. I would happily be paid several million dollars a if I only had to endure people insulting me and calling me virulent names. Whatever names are thrown at Hoke, first he will never know and second the terrible personal feelings of failure by a competetor is far greater. If names are worse than sticks & stones then being public figure is not for you.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Running game?||
So we had 100 yard runners verse Indiana and NW and you think we have a running game? Patrick's pet rock could put 100 on those defenses. Lets see what happens when we play a team that actually has a defensive line.
|16 weeks 5 days ago||Fire Hoke if he wins out||
Hoke still needs to go. The reason is the only way that we win out is dumb luck. With a sample space of 4 games(bowl) then some strange things can happen. The one exception is if Michigan wins out against teams playing their A game. If we soundly beat NW and Maryland despite them being on top of their game, beat OSU playing their best ball, and beat a motivated team in the bowl game, then I would give Hoke a 5th year.
Otherwise he has to go. The reason we are 4-5 is because of Hoke's well documented coaching failures. If Hoke gets incredibly lucky by the ball bouncing the right way, other teams getting gutted by injury or lack of motivation, the same problems that afflicted us this year will remain next year. Luck evens out. Next year we will not be so lucky and have yet another struggling year.
The reality of us winning out without other team's help is about zero. As pointed out by others we beat arguably the worse team in the Big10 that had a QB incapable of throwing the ball down the field. The roster is littered with 5 and high 4 star recruits who are under performing or not even able to get playing time. For those who have not been paying attention the good teams in the conference have been winning like 60 to 0 against the doormats.
|18 weeks 5 days ago||Upsets generally require a home game||
Most of the big MSU upsets were a home game for MSU. Having home field advantage in a game of emotions is huge. If it was a home game for us we might have a shot. Combining it being away for us plus Hoke's road problems it makes the odds almost impossible.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Don't forget that this was Rutgers||
How desparate can we be? We are gushing over a few good runs in the 4th quarter against a defensive front whose biggest player is 275 pounds. Did you consider that perhaps they just gassed out? Rutger's defense is probably not that good and only appears good because of whom they played. They are no different in that Michigans defense was probably overrated. When I predicted the standings in the east division I had Rutgers dead last. Until I see a solid running offense against a team with a pulse I am not going to cry out improvement. That water is the desert is just a mirage.
|21 weeks 1 day ago||I'll take 2008 over 2014 any day||
At least in 2008 there was hope. In 2008 are starting QB's were a walk on who was not the best QB in his High School Conference and a failed transfer. At least there were games we competed in. Right now we are competing in nothing despite having a 5th year QB.
|21 weeks 1 day ago||Amazing what happens when a coach is supported on day 1||
Yes it is amazing when a coach has the budget to bring in the assistants he wants, is supported by everyone and there are no fabricated distractions. Lets treat as a pure statistics problem. R^2 wins everywhere he goes except at Michigan. Is the problem in R^2 or in Michigan?
|21 weeks 2 days ago||Michigan Man Brand||
Brandon failed in hiring a football coach because brand was more important than substance. Hoke was hired for what he was saying not for what he was doing. Hoke talked about ForGoshSakesThisIsMichigan, I want to run power football with statues in the pocket throwing to receivers with fat butts, spread is for sissys, we do it the MIchigan way. This got him in good graces with our decayed royalty that hated the barbarian R^2. But with R^2 players graduating out there is no one left with real football skills.
In my opinion Brandon would be looking for the attributes to maximize propaganda and short term excitement. I want an AD who is not worried about style, but who looks to hire the best football coach. Understood that coach has to be in line with the ethics that we expect. But the first question that has to be asked is that coach a real coach, not a salesman.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||QB may NOT work itself out||
I do not take it as a given that the QB situation will work itself out. There are plenty of examples in college football of recuits, especially QB's not turning out. Shane Morris is highly regarded because of his physical ability to run and throw the ball. He was part of a power program that did not have to lean on him. Compare to Gardner whose HS career was a trial by fire. Morris may work out. I just don't see it as automatic.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||Green Grass||
The grass is greener where the dogs are pooping.
|22 weeks 5 days ago||Do not forget organization||
From someone else who quoted Bo from Bacon's lasting lessons book to summarize the head coach must be able to deligate. As others have mentioned you must also have an eye for coaching talent. More importantantly the coach needs to have the confidence that details are being taken care of by the Coordinators who deligate to the postion coaches, who deligate to the grad assistants. If the team is not organized, hard work does not equal productive work.
|23 weeks 2 days ago||Most important game of the 2014 year||
In my opinion this is the most important game of the year. My reasoning is that MSU and OSU are very likely losses. The rest of the schedule is not very meaningful. NW, Rutger, Indiana, and Minnehaha are so bad nothing meaningful will be gleaned. That leaves PSU, Maryland, and Utah. PSU appears to have a decent defense but only a QB on offense. Maryland looks like Indiana 2.0.
Utah could be a pretty decent team. If Utah bombs out in the Pac12 than nothing meaningful can be said. However, if we beat Utah and Utah does well that is proof that the programing is progressing.
What are we going to say if we get destroyed by ND, MSU, OSU, and a SEC team in a bowl game. Are we going to hang our hats on beating up a bunch of pattsies? If one of those pattsies turns out to be pretty good that might be enough to justify a 5th year.
In regards to next year I see no guarantee of a monster season. Were losing a 5th year QB and a 1st round draft choice for the first receiver. You have your entire secondary back. But your losing both starting LB'ers, and both starting DE's. The only two individuals who have shown they are capable of a passs rush are Clark and Ryan. Hopefully, someone else will step up. But it is still an unknown. Every year is an unknown when you break in a new QB.
|24 weeks 6 days ago||Morris may not be the solution||
All of Morris's hype is based on summer camps not real football games. His HS program never relied on him compared to Gardner. When he played in all star games he looked bad and his ratings dropped. When he played in the bowl game he looked completely overwhelmed. He may work out. There is more to QB play than having a rocket arm.
|24 weeks 6 days ago||Ryan may not have fully recovered from ACL||
Not my idea but I have heard suggestions that Ryan may not have fully recovered from the ACL. We take it for granted that everyone makes a complete 100% recovery. Part of the move to MLB may be because he has lost a step and its just not coming back. I'm not good enough to tell.
|29 weeks 5 days ago||Borges equals 2 losses||
The irony is as bad as the offense was if you could have removed Borges from the tactical play calling PSU and Neb would have most certainly have been wins. There were strings of calls that just defied comprehension.
|29 weeks 5 days ago||Lines||
How about we replace with when blank has fielded great teams the interior on both sides of the ball was the next level.
|29 weeks 5 days ago||Way too much koolaid at mgoblog||
I generally agree with comments on the defense. However, I have to agree with others there is way too much optimisim regarding the state of the offense. There are way too many question marks on Oline, Receiver, RB, and backup QB. The Oline performed badly in the spring. One projected starting tackle missed all of spring practice, another played half, the projected starting TE is coming off ACL surgery and most likely not be back for the start of the season and certainly will not be 100%(aka Jake Ryan). Our projected starting center is suspended the first game. His first game will be in South Bend. Outside of Funches there is no other proven receiver. Canteen made a couple nice catches in the spring game. Ditto for the RB's. Lastly Morris showed me nothing against a very pedestrian KSU defense. Any throw beyond the line of scrimmage was a struggle.
Gardner is a speical talent who can carry the entire team to a victory. The defense has a lot of the makings of the 97 defense. However, there are too many question marks to presume we are going to run the table or perhaps have only one stumble. For running the table every single question mark has to affirmatively be answered and we cannot afford a single injury to a key player on offense. Lastly, Hoke will have to do something for the first time 3 times this year which is win a tough road game.
Including a bowl game 9-4 seems about right. I would applaud 14-0 and a BCS Championship also. But it is not going to happen.
|30 weeks 4 days ago||It was in Hoke's control||
Hoke chose to keep Borges as his Ocoordinator despite the evidence he had no clue what he was doing. Borges did not just suddenly begin stinking up the joint last year. Every year including 2011 there were games that you could point to where his patholocial logic cost us victories. He has a long tract record of being unable to sustain success and being unable to develop young talent. Borges ultimately is a Weis 2.0 who is more interesting in drawing up plays than teaching. Hoke could not see this when many of us saw this in 2011.
Tactically Hoke did not step up as a coach and insist on moving Scofield to guard. If this were done we might have had a run offense simliar to 2007 where we ran 90% of the time behind Long/Kraus. But it would have been okay. This topic was brought up multiple times as many could see that the young line was going to be a problem. Instead our NFL talent at tackle was completely wasted. Maybe it would not work against an elite defense. But the Nebraska's and Iowas would not have absolutely shut us down. Gardner has the atheltisim to run away from a DE. There is little he can do when preasure comes right up the middle.
|33 weeks 1 day ago||WHAM plays by the defense||
I was looking at 2013 box scores last night and asked the question how many times did the defense generate a WHAM play. I define a WHAM play as generating a loss on 1st, or 2nd down, stopping 1st down on 3rd-2 or less, plus any subjective play example stopping Akron on 4th down to win the game. I also include turnovers on any down. Take the stats with a grain of salt as I had to add a few plays I knew ESPN play-by-play had missed. The basic idea is the defense makes a play such that there is no need for a great play to be made on later downs. For example generating a minus seven yard sack on 2nd and 8 essentially ends the possesion for the other team. First number is plays counted and second is turnovers. CMU is excluded because they were not a real team :). Note I do not count a play on the 3rd down as any play that stops a first down is essentially the same thing.
ND 3/2, Akron 7/2, UCONN 3/1, Minn 5/2, PSU 6/4, IND 3/2, MSU 5/1, Neb 6/2, NW 5/0 Iowa 10/4, OSU 3/2, KSU 2/1.
For a team that did not generate a lot of pressure we generated a lot of turnovers. Generating 2 TO's a game is very nice. However, our defense did not generate enough negative plays. Good offenses rarely went backwards. This is where we need to see improvement. All to often the other team moved the chains because they were able to make a play because the down distance was managable. If that 3rd down play is 3rd and 12 instead of 3rd and 6 some of those close losses become wins. I would like to see 20 more plays for loss and the TO's to remain the same.
|33 weeks 5 days ago||Oline and Morris||
I will elaborate. My assestment of the Oline is based on the fact we have to replace two NFL starters. Whatever improvement we get in the interior is going to be mitigated by a drop in quality at the tackle position. Unless every single position just works out and sees a massive upgrade it is going to be real tough to get past mediorce. Who is going to play out better? Taylor Lewan or ten young tackles. Just because we have options does not mean anything until one steps up. Do you expect the projected tackles to be half as good as Lewan as second year players?
Regarding Morris, he got his stars on the practice circuit and not winning football games. Unlike Gardner he never had to carry a team on his shoulders. When he actually had to play in a real game(all star games) he paniced. I understand he was a true frosh. But he was incapable of making any down field throws. KSU was not exactly a great defensive team.
People also forget that Threet also was a 4 star prospect who had a really good arm. His problem was accuracy and health. I put way more stock in performance than measurements at QB. I was always bullish with Gardner because he has been a leader carrying overmatched teams on his shoulders. Morris is a giant question mark who so far as not shown any evidence that he has it figured out. The fact that so many highly rated QB's bomb out is evidence that intangibles are far more important than raw ability.
|33 weeks 6 days ago||I do not share this authors optimism on offense||
I am of the opinion the defense will carry the 2014 team. Every single question on offense is answered by "he will be fine" or "he will be okay". The reality is the worse offensive line in memory lost a pair of tackes who arguably were the best tackle pair in college football. Yet in spring game one of the projected starters at tackle did not play and the other barely played. There are five question marks on the Oline. Unless Borges was intentionally losing expecting a quantum jump in improvement is unrealistic. A more realistic projection is the Oline play will be mediorce, especially with our best TE prospect not being full strength. Half of the Oline positions will turn out and there will be some work in progress at the other half.
On the flip side I believe we are understating the potential of Gardner to take a team on his shoulders and win games, especially against teams that have defensive flaws. There will be games when Gardner is on where he will do the 250 yards passing 100 yard rushing thing and just carry the offense. Gardner did this at Inkster. So these monster games against ND and OSU are not surprising. Despite being surrounded by flaws I believe Gardner will do enough for us to win some close games on paper and perhaps pull off one of those road upsets. If anything happens to Gardner I am of the opinion we are doomed. Morris is a perfect example of the guy with the really deep voice who wants to get into radio. He may have a great arm. However, I am of the opinion he is just going to be the second coming of Steven Threet.
Overall as shakey as the offense is going to be, I think the defense will be strong enough to keep us in all games and may have the playmaking that was absent last year to close games out.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||Negative Reasons to go to Michigan||
At Michigan they will give you no extra cash, no girlfriends for hire, you will have to go to class, pass classes, you will not get a car, and you will not own the town. Plus you might have to waste a weekend at Mott Childrens Hospital.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Fielder trade had nothing to do with Fielder talk||
The real reason why Fielder was acquired at all was because of VMart's season ending surgery a couple years ago. The reasoning was for the Tigers to compete they needed protection for Cabrera. With VMart proving he is fully healthy and back to his old self the value of Fielder is less. It only made sense to plug a hole at 2nd base and improve the defense. The cost is to give up part of a strength which is power hitting. My take is this trade would have been done regardless of Fieders attitude or even if he had had a significantly better year.
|40 weeks 2 days ago||Need more QB's||
After Gardner graduates there is a big unknown. His groomed replacement made his stars on the summer circuit. Shane Morris is the equivalent of the guy with the real deep voice who wants to go into radio. He may be good he may not. Compare to Gardner who in HS carried a team on his back. So his heroics in college is not unexpected.
None of us are in a postion to know how good Morris is because he has not played a meaningful game since his Junior Year in HS. The bowl game was a farse of a plan. It may be our new Ocoordinator does not like what he see's. Impossible for us to know and we can only speculate.
|40 weeks 5 days ago||GR III needs an outside shot||
All the atheletic potential in the world means nothing if you cannot shoot a jumper. Unless your are a Dwane Wade type who can get to the rim at will the lack of an outside shot is killer. If I am GR III I take a thousand jumpers a day. My other big concern with GR III is he may be a tweaner. Look at the scoring SF's in the league. James, Durrant, George, etc. If slow plodding college forwards gave GR III a hard time, what would those mosters do to him much less the Wiggans, and Parkers who are just as atheletic but have perimeter games. For a super leaper with supposed six nine wing span GR III seemed to be content to let other people dictate to him. But the nice thing with the NBA is they can work on his flaws 24x7.
|42 weeks 4 days ago||Need the right players||
I think it makes sense from a thousand miles away that the numbers come up a wash. If you have players that fit a particular scheme and adjust to them they will do well. Conversely players who are forced to play a scheme they are not good at will do poorly. My guess is that an analysis of perimeter oriented teams verses power for basketball would generate the same results.
What is more important than scheme for me is can a staff adjust to what they have? R^2 has not had the electric running QB in Arizona and now he is making due with the yards coming from a RB. Too bad his offensive flexibility did not include defense.
Conversely I am bothered by Hoke's lack of flexibiliy and insisting that Michigan only runs pro power and QB's should only sit in the pocket. Bo seemed to do pretty well with running QB's. Only Thomas, Grbac, and Wangler could be described as pure pocket passers. So when Hoke states this is "Michigan", I get riled up as that is a Carr tradition not a Bo tradition.
|43 weeks 2 days ago||What has to happen for Michigan to go 10-2||
People keep making predictions and have simple answers for what has to occur. To go 10-2 means the team has to play at an exceptional level. Here is what has to happen this year that did not happen last year or what has to happen because of players lost to graduation.
Gardner has to be the starting QB and be heathy the entire year. He has to play at an exceptional level and make plays to win games. If Morris is having to play serious reps we are in big trouble.
The individuals who compose the five starters on the Oline must make significant improvements. This includes the two projected tackles who did not get significant reps or any at all due to injuries. The Oline has to be good enough that when it is 3rd and 2 to go the other team has to respect the run.
The defense must generate two to four play makers. The defense did well in the context of playing as 11. However, we were hurt because few big plays were made that turned a possesion. We were not particulary good at generating sacks or QB pressures. When they did occur rarely was it with a standard rush. One of these play makers should be Peppers. How many games did we lose last season because the Offense of the other team made a play late to win the game?
Someone needs to step up to be a one tech double team monster. Its really hard to beat the best teams if you do not have a run stopper in the middle. If teams are not able to dictate the pace of the game Mattison has the freedom to play chess and win the rock paper scissors war.
Funches needs to go from guy who makes a few great plays and then drops the ball to sommeone who catches everything. One or two other receivers need to step up and not neccesarilly catch everything but make plays.
If most of this happens then we can talk about Big Ten titles and BCS bowls. If most of this does not happen, 10 victories is a pipe dream. So ask of the list above what do you believe is likely?
|45 weeks 4 days ago||Robinson will bomb in the NBA||
I would rather be wrong like my prediction Borges would fail as an Ocoordinator at Mich. In my opinion unless Robinson fixes major facets of his game he will have problems. In my opinion the only position he can play in the NBA is shooting guard. In order to play the 2 one must have a jumper unless you do something else amazing. Many NBA 3's are just as big and physical as the people Robinson guarded as a 4 in college except they are fast. At this stage of his career Robinson would be a massive liability on defense as an NBA forward. Any forward with a post game would kill him. Conversly the lack of an outside shot will mean defenders can lay off. However, instead of conceding a 21 foot jumper that Robinson still could hit only 27% of the time they will concede a 24 foot jumper as the defenders will be more capable then in college.
If Robinson magically comes up with a jump shot then I think he has the skill set to be a decent NBA player. Without one he will just be just another Stevie Thompson clone who can jump & finish, but do little else.
|46 weeks 9 hours ago||Compensation will not work||
The NFL and NBA love the colleges because it is a free minor league system that gives the pro teams a better idea of who is going to be a real effective professional player. From draft bombs we know it is not perfect. The bigger question is who gets paid? Does a 2 star in football get the same stipend as a 5 star? What happens when it is obvious the 5 star is not panning out but the 2 star is a diamond in the rough? Which sports get a stipend? Can a school with a huge athletic budget buy championships in lesser sports?
If the thought is introducing money will remove the corruptionn, it will not be further from the truth. It will just be easier for the schools that do cheat to do so at a greater scale by hiding behind the legit stipend. Schools with money will just dominate those who do not.
|47 weeks 6 days ago||Robinson declaring early would be terrible decision||
The only position Robinson could play in the NBA is the 2 guard position. He is just too small and passive to play forward. To play the shooting guard one must be a great outside shooter. Robinson's just shot has been inconsistant all year. He needs to do what Hardaway and show that he can shoot. He should be able to do that as he can take Stauskus's position. I would imagine Beilein would look to play Donnal at the stretch 4. This would allow Robinson to be the feature offensive player on the perimeter.
As stated already NBA is littered with atheletes who can jump but not shoot. If Robinson has any doubts he should ask where Hardaway would have been drafted if he had declared early his 2nd year.
|1 year 8 weeks ago||2014 predictions and Peppers||
I remember how Ty Law and Charles Woodson played as true frosh. Both were pretty good but not dominant. I get this feeling from the responses people are expecting All America performances from Peppers beginning in September. Even phenoms take a little bit of time. I still remember Woodson dropping that interception in 95 that would have beaten MSU. He also got picked on in that 4th quarter comeback. And this is a guy you could argue is the greatest Michigan defensive player of all time. Freshmen are freshmen.
What also bothers me is I am seeing threads of "if this guy and that guy and that guy does not get hurt the world is perfect. The reality of football is you will have attrition. Only a few lucky teams can depend on no on being hurt, thus the focus on the two deep projections.
The other item to be aware of is the 2013 schedule faced very few good offenses and a lot of bad offenses. We played ND, Nebraska, and Minn minus their projected starters. A number of other teams like Akron, UCONN, and NW were just plain bad. If we had played a Big12 schedule there would have been a few more bombs. So you have to look at the absolute talent of the team were playing and just conclude everything is great because we handled a patsy.
My take is the run defense was pretty decent. However, the pass rush needs to step up. I do not see where it is going to come from as no one really stepped up. To see improvement someone who did not get significant playing time is going to have to step up. The good thing is DE is a position where you can see great immediate production.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Read the report||
Unless the Bucknuts report is a complete fabrication including the claim video camera footage there is no evidence that the accusers did anything to justify the assault. The supposed difference between Michigan and the rest of the world is we expect better and do not tolerate this behavior. If the allegations are true I would hope we would differentiate ourselves from the 99% that would just sweep this issue under the rug.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||It is pretty simple||
KSU is favored because their program started slow and got better. We are opposite we started fast and tanked. One team plays in the 3rd best conference and the other the worse. One teams starting QB is healthy and the other is hurt.
In regards to injuries, every team loses some key players. Expecting not a single injury is just not realistic.
|1 year 11 weeks ago||Remove games that do not count||
I am of the opinion that wins per season is overrated. If the schedule is easy what is the point of beating a bunch of cupcakes? Some have alluded that our records with our rivals is important. I will take it a step further in that we should look at how we do against teams in the top25. The only time a game verses a Akron, UCONN, or MAC team should ever matter is if it is a loss.
In regards to how many wins Hoke requires to retain his job, it is some very little number. The reality is the Big10 is so bad a team of corpses can shamble to six victories. APP State, Miami(OH), Rutgers, PSU, IU, and NW should be auto wins. Win one contested game and you get your 7 wins.
I would be far more impressed with a 7-5 record after a SEC gauntlet then 10-2 in the Little10 any day.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Borges history||
Borges has never had success developing players that were recruited on his watch. My prediction is there may be success next year because he is limited to the damage he can do to Gardner. However, 2015 will be a struggle because Morris will be completely mishandled. That is what happend at UCLA and Auburn.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Borges history||
Borges has never had success developing players that were recruited on his watch. My prediction is there may be success next year because he is limited to the damage he can do to Gardner. However, 2015 will be a struggle because Morris will be completely mishandled. That is what happend at UCLA and Auburn.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Problem with statistics||
Greetings. Here is my explaination for possibly why the tackles appear to not have an impact on sack rates. The basic premise of most coaches in any sport is to put their players in a position to succeed and not fail by utilizing their strengths and covering their weakness. Thus a smart coach who knows he has an inexperienced line will build an offense to minimize sacks. For example a coaching staff may shorten routes in anticipation that a longer route is not possible. Thus a team with a great passing offense and great Oline might have the same sack percentage. In fact the great passing offense might have inferior sack numbers because the experience and talent of passing the ball deep generates the greatest return. Using an NFL example I would look at some of Aaron Rogers years where Green Bay was one of the leaders in sacks allowed. Yet it was worth it because of the YPA.
To really determine the impact of tackle experience I believe you need to look at YPA. You would count the negative yardage of a sack. If you have the exact data you would also want to account for offensive holds. Flip side defensive pass interference and defensive holding would be accounted as positive yardage. Lastly you would want to account for the conferences YPA. I would be surprised if there was no correlation between YPA and tackle experience.
Overall, I would not even bother with looking at running verses passing as some coaches have an emphasis on style anyway. Just figure out yards per play and see what happens. I find it really hard to believe that every coach in football has been blatently wrong in searching for a great left tackle when the data suggests I can throw the water boy there and not impact by offense.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Why do you expect better from Borges?||
A common thread is Michigan is young, when Borges has his players the offense will improve. Unfortunately if you look at Borges body of work his best work was with other staff's players. In his most succesful years a legacy staff had identified and recruited quality players and they performed well under Borges watch. When skill players were recruited under Borges watch the offense underperformed. What we are witnessing is no different then what happened at UCLA and Auburn. There is a big initial jump in offensive productivity and then it decays until Borges is fired.
So the question to the Borges backers, why do you believe something different is going to happen? I propose a counter argument. Borges may be a savy X/O guy. But perhaps he is not a good teacher of the fundamentals. Understood that it is the position coaches job to teach the basic technique, but it is all done in the context of what Borges wants to do. This could be an explaination of the initial success at UCLA and Auburn followed by failure. Do we just have Charlie Weis 2.0? That was my concern 3 years ago.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Why OSU will cover||
Mattison has done a good job of tailoring a game plan against each of our opponents. Spread teams see Mattison play smaller players at DT example Black. Against more conventional offenses he bigger DT's example Washington. The problem with OSU is they can run their power from a spread formation. If Mattison goes light the call is a power run with Hyde. If Mattison goes heavy, the call is read option on the perimeter. Thus Mattison will have to choose a poison. This will make it very difficult for Mattison to win RPS. He can still go bend but not break. But it will be much harder for the defense to be dynamic. I don't think we can expect much help from the offense.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Cherry Picking bad way to predict the future||
For any given sample space there will always be exceptions. I could pick 3 stocks that defied the normal trends and justify the future trend for a fourth and lose my shirt. If you are going to attempt to make a conclusion, you have to present the entire sample space not just the ones that work for your conclusion.
What you will find out is that good coaches eventually overcome a talent deficit and win and bad coaches just look worse. Furthermore there are some bad coaches who are so bad that despite good talent they are still crummy when the developed players graduate. Can you look at Notre Dame in 2007 and predict that Weis is going to fail? Using your conclusions he should be given more time because 3 coaches in similiar situations succeeded.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Tackle Experience should be revisited||
Tackle experience not having any impact on running performance did not pass my intuitive eyeball test. So I think it is good to revisit. Why does run heavy Wisconsin produce so many good NFL ready tackles if they are always a run first team? There are some explainations though.
Are the run assignments for a tackle generally easier? This could explain why a tackles run performance does not increase significantly because they are producing at a high level right away. If this is the case the argument of putting Scofield at guard makes more sense.
Regardless of the macro results the job of a coaching staff is to adjust the game plan to what they know they have. If an individual with a humanities background has made these conclusions and we accept the posulate that they are spot on, it should be obvious to football coaches with decades of experience. This is a huge knock on the staff as if true it should have been making adjustments in August. If not true, their coaching is bad.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Why 9-4 is not possible||
Let us assume that we beat NW and Iowa and lose to OSU. That puts us at 4-4 in the conference and most likely 5th place in the standings order. We travel well and bowls will pick us over other teams in conference if there are ties. This means we will most likely be matched up against a the 5-7th SEC team. So a possible bowl matchup could be a LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M. If we are so bad that were talking about grinding victories against NW & Iowa, what are the odds of a victory against a good SEC team? I would say zero.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||How about closer to home Michigan verse ND?||
For me I compare us to ND in 2004. Ty Willingham was an outsider who had success at Stanford but for whatever reason was hated by the ND alumni, insiders and donors. He was second guessed by the establishment. People were in an uproar regarding recruiting. A new AD comes in and gets rid of the hated outsider after only 3 years. Charlie Weis comes in and promises that ND will play a new brand of football based on his skematic advantage that only he can bring. Weis has a hot shot staff and generates excitement with big time recruiting. Then he wins big with the old players. Year three everything falls apart. Weis apologists blame the problems the financial meltdown and unrest in the Middle East on Willingham. Weis gets two more years.
Weis ultimately failed at ND because he was an X/O guy who did not have interest in developing the basic skills of players. The team ultimately had no identity and devolved into a hodge podge of gimmics and attempts and big plays be it on offense or defense. Weis got the extra tme because the insiders who brought him had tied their reputation to him and the premsie that the man he replaced was awful.
So if patterns continue our AD's reputation is tied to Hoke and his high priced staff. Even if we lose the next 3 games and even bomb out a bowl game, Brandon will be loathed to do anything. We will be bad next year as we lose our best two Olinemen and all of our toughest games are on the road. The following year we have to break in a new QB who made his recruiting stars on the 7-on-7 circuit, not playing the game. Morris could turn out. Perhaps not.
I see the same problem at Michigan. The current staff has staked their reputation that the incumbants brand of football is sissy ball. Yet there is no identity. Despite big name recruits it appears the young players are taking longer to develop. So the question is how to break us collectively hurtling down the same tunnel of doom that afflicted Notre Dame?
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Strength of Defense||
What I think needs to be done is adjust the statistics for strength of the defense. From the eyeball test Gardner is a great athlete who when matched against inferior talent obliterates. How many times have we witnessed Gardner easily evade a rusher against CMU or Indiana. The knock against Borges is not that we are unable to put up big numbers against overmatched teams but when matched against a defense with comparable talent.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Manball verses spread and R^2 excuses||
For starters I am getting sick of the R^2 recruiting excuses. Are we going to complaining that R^2 is also at fault for high taxes and health care reform much less turmoil in the Middle East? R^2 had to deal with as many youngsters and derth of talent on defense as Hoke does on the Oline. Unlike Hoke, R^2 had no starting QB his first year and had to compete when the Big10 was much tougher. The Big10 of 2013 is a tire fire that will only be extinguished by its cesspool of ineptitude, in which case it still stinks. The R^2 haters complained he was trying to force spread on a power team and being inflexible. Yet it is perfectly ok for Hoke to get his six years to get his players despite ramming power down the teams throats. Is there really much difference between 2007 ND and 2013 Michigan except Devin Gardner and the fat guy is in the box? The savior golden boy with the hotshot coaching staff wows the alum with big time recruiting and proclimations of skematic advantages. End of rant.
The reality is great coaches take advantage of the opportunities given to them. Everyone talks about Harbaugh manball. But Harbaugh was savy enough to implement read option packages when it was advantageous. Seattle has the nastiest beast in Lynch outside of Peterson. Yet they gladly run read option and jet sweeps if that is what the defense gives them. Even man baller Jim Tressel went spread when he realized he had a mobile QB and four great receivers. A good coach is not a fanatic riven to his orthodoxy. A spread team can be as tough as nails as any power team and a power team can be as subtle as any spread(Denver 1998)
I would rather have a coach who is not beholden to any scheme. I would rather that coach be opportunistic and maximize the talent of what you have. Got a mobile QB and 4 speedy receivers, run spread. Stumble into a few fast undersized DT's run a 3-4. Have a power back and some oversized but physical road graders, run power.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Sample space of one Kalis||
When Kalis commited to Michigan the analysis was "college football ready". There were descriptions of Kalis the Detroyer who already had a belt of DT scalps. I also heard in fall practice that the staff felt he could have played last year. So a guy who was determined physcially ready 2 years ago is buried on the bench after increasing levels of catastrophic failure.
Is it possible that Borges is demanding a level of detail that is only possible by players who have been in the system for several years? Could Kalis succeed if the zone, combo blocks, and 2nd level decisions were replaced with "HULK DESTROY MAN IN FRONT OF ME!!!"
Borges appears to me to be an inflexible arrogant man who does things his way. We see the insanity of play calling as he keeps to his orthodoxy. Perhaps the same thing is happening at the line level where he is insisting young linemen do things they are not prepared to do.
I find it hard to believe that Kalis is not physically ready to root out a DT from Akron if you told him to kill the guy in front of him. The stats from the big picture are very useful. But the stats of our most talented young linemen might also shed light.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||How good is MSU's defense, Indy's offense or any Big10 really?||
I think it is reasonable to assume that MSU's defense would be good in any conference. The problem is figuring out how good as the sample space is the Big10 itself. Indiana is called the best offense in the country but in a game against the only serious out of conference team they had 14 points after 3 quarters. Could it be possible Indiana's offense is not as good as we think or MSU's defense as we think because they play in such an awful conference?
What would MSU's defense do against a Pac10 schedule or Indy in the SEC? Those units might not look so special. I am wondering if a coordinator is getting the most out of a set of players and put them in a position to succeed because they are playing to there strengths. We see this often in the MAC where a really good coach, "coaches" up his players and there is instant success. Examples are Brian Kelly at CMU and Urban Meyer at Bowling Green. Its not like they needed a 5 year plan. They took dirt and turned it into gold. The problem was if CMU or Bowling Green then met a real team, they would most likely get clobbered. Despite all the scheme and overachieving, a motivated and coherent team of 4/5 stars will crush a motivated coherent team of 2/3 stars. Alabama paper breaks Indy Scissors just as Oregon rock crushes MSU paper.
So the punch line is the Big10 just MAC+? The description of half the teams seems to be tire fire. Since the Big10 has such big fan bases we know they will go to bowl games and we will find out as it is possible OSU and MSU will both go to BCS bowls and the rest of the tire fire will be matched up with the SEC.
Then we will find out how good MSU's defense and Indy offense is. My guess is they will come down to earth.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Hoke at San Diego State 2010||
I believe an analyis also has to account for strength of schedule. If you look at the SDSU schedule they had the luxury of playing some of the worse defenses in all of college football. It would be safe to say most of the Mountain West was a tire fire that year.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||RR verse Hoke recruiting, Willingham verses Weise||
I am really bugged by the author giving more rope to Hoke then R^2 and I believe that is unfair. If 2013 turns into a bomb year, that in my opinion is far worse then 2010 because the 2013 schedule is so much easier. In 2010 Iowa, Wisc, and PSU were pretty good teams. In 2013 Iowa is a pale shadow, PSU is completely undermanned, and Neb is not remotely close to 2010 Wisc.
If you recall R^2 knew his neck was on the line if he could not fix the defense. So his last couple classes were dedicated to finding someone who could help in 2010 as there was going to be no 2011. Yet we blame him for being short sighted. Furthermore most of whom he recruited on defense were recruited for a different system then what Mattison runs. So again it makes sense R^2's defensive recruits either did not make it or transfered.
Hoke had the luxury of actually having QB's with experience, an easier schedule and in 2011 have the ball bounce the right way. He also had the good fortunte of not having the former aluni and coaching staff pull the rug out from him. So if year three bombs why do we assume everything is different. Did we not learn anything from ND?
My take is you should evaluate a coach a certain way. If you justify Willingham who was just as unliked as R^2 by the insiders and give the golden boy more leeway because everyone likes him you are a hypocrite.
The reality is Hoke is going to stay and if Hoke wants the most incompetants to stay he will get to keep them. The Big10 is so bad a flawed team with perhaps superior talent but failed scheme and player development can smoke & mirror through most seasons. The insiders will be happy as long as we muddle through victories against the bottom feeders even if OSU kills us every year.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Mattison is not the position coach||
The job of Mattison is to scheme a defense. He cannot teach 50 guys technique. Technique is up to the position coaches. If all you have to work with is junk because the position coaches are not doing their job your stuck. The bigger question to me is how come Mattison's schemes are not so effective but why players are not developing fast enough. OSU has a very young defense and has a ton of 1st & 2nd year players on their Dline. They were shakey early but have steadily improved and are living up to their recruiting stars. That does not seem to be happening with this team. The Michigan defense seems to be performing at the same level as earlier in the year. For a bend but don't break they seem to give up a lot of big plays. They seem to be pretty good at keeping power runs under wraps. However, the lack of big play ability the other way allows teams to string drives together. It is not like the schedule so far has been challenging. ND and Indiana were the only good offenses. With the improvement by OSU, I shudder at the possible outcome.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||Why Dantonio will not move||
I believe Mr Miggle is no to something. Dantonio probably has a lot of ties and a big network in Ohio. If a player slips under the radar but has some talent to play, he has a good shot at picking them up. If Dantonio took a job in another region his pipeline of over achievers might dry up as there is a block of players who want to stay in region.
As pointed by others Dantonio is not a great personality. It may be he has to depend on a group of regional recuits whose best Div1 offer might be MSU. If he has to beat out a equivalent programs for a recruits attention he might not do so well.
Just a theory.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||MSU is improving||
My big concern is I measure UM by how they do against MSU and OSU. If we ask who has improved throughout the season I would have to say MSU & OSU seem to be putting it together for a November run while we are still trying to answer questions. At the begining of the year MSU did not know who their QB or RB was and the entire offense was a tire fire. MSU has an identity now. They are not great and there are kinks. However, their offense is more consistent with our defense. MSU's identify on offense and defense is set. They know who they are. Our identity changes every week. Likewise OSU is a much better team then 4 weeks ago. We will probably see three more OSU routes of opponents going into the big game.
For us to win Gardner will have to play like he did at ND when he was making every right decision and every throw was on the money. It is a given we will not be able to run when MSU suspects and perhaps even when they are not. They will blitz and young linemen will be confused. If Akron could confuse them they have seen nothing yet. The great thing with a QB is he can single handidly win the game. MSU is inconsistant enough on offense that a bend but don't break should limit points. Of course the TO's on our side have to be limited to one else it will be impossible to win.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||Why Michigan State game is important||
Back in 2010 the Big10 was actually a decent conferences. OSU, PSU, MSU, and Iowa were all solid teams. Fast forward today. One could make the case that the Big10 may be the worse BCS conference. If we were playing a traditional Big10 schedule I could accept a 9-3 or 10-2 record. However, the reality is the Big10 minus a couple teams is MAC+. There are few teams that you can really measure yourself against. One of those teams is MSU.
In my opinion this is probably MSU's last hurrah as a large number of unheralded recruits who overachieved cycle out. It is possible that Dantonio is the Beilein of football. We will see next year. However MSU is one of the few teams that can actually measure up even close to Michigan. If we lose resoundingly to MSU then we are a lot farther from relevence even if we clean up on the rest of the cupcakes. If we lose a hard fought and close game I will not worry so much. A bad loss implies a smoking by OSU. With 3 losses we get to play a good SEC team and most likely get smoked again. 9-4 with bad losses against anyone decent would not make me feel good.
I keep hearing all of these youth excuses. Yet many of the teams we struggled against are also just as thin and young. It is excusable to expect a frosh Olinemen to struggle against lets say Iowa or Wisconsin's defensive front from 2010. It is another to see them get stuffed by Akron or UCONN. Also the expectation of 5 star freshmen is much different from others as it is presumed they can dominate. Marice Clarrett as a freshmen RB was the keystone that allowed OSU to win a NC. Almost every key win was set up by a signiture Clarrett play. Yet our 5 star RB can't even make the field. OSU has multiple first and second year starters on their Dline. Yet our most highly regarded Dlinemen Pimpkins is a backup to a starter who only gets snaps against non spread teams. The tag on Kalis when he came out of HS was college football ready. Yet he seems to be going backwards.
My basic rule for recruits is if you have 5 stars it is expected that you are good enough to compete for starters minutes unless there is a 5 star ahead of you. Perhaps show flashes of brilliance but be inconsistent. 2nd year you are showing flashes of domination and are not a weak link and are a solid starter. Year 3 you are dominanting. For each reduction in stars drop a year. It is reasonable in my opinion that a 3 star in a big time program not really contribute to year3 presuming one year of red shirt.
My other big problem is the constant reversion of the staff to stick with their orthodoxy of football. There is no reason why what happened at Indiana should have also happened to PSU. The mark of a great coach is to maximize the talent on the team. Tressel was a power ball disciple also. But when he realized he had a great spread QB and the dropback passer was not working so well he embaced the strengh of the team which was a mobile QB and 5 solid receivers. Gonzalez, Ginn, Robinski, and Hartline all had NFL looks.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||Prediction and trends||
Overlooked are long term trends. What has remained the same. MSU's defense has been excelent in all of their games. Because of their conisistancy it is reasonable to presume that they will play well. The offense though less consistant has made improvments. The running has improved from impossibly bad to decent. The QB has been inconsistant but is certainly playing better.
UM on the other hand has not been able to run at anyone. Even IU was able to keep the power runs under wraps. I believe it is reasonable to predict that any power running against even 7 man boxes perhaps even 6 will fair terribly. The defense has been bend but don't break, but has allowed numerous big plays and has been unable to generate a pass rush with a generic rush.
The home team gets some points because there will be critical plays where the offense will need to check out of a play and communication will be difficult. Also the other team will be amped up and energized. I think if we had any kind of running game, we would have a chance. I do not believe we have to outrush MSU, but it has to be something. My concern is even if Gallon & Funches are matchup problems, the fact that we are one dimensional allows MSU to blitz like crazy. I believe Gardner will have to play the game of his life similar to what happened against ND. Except now he has to do it on the road.
|1 year 18 weeks ago||Borges has got to stop hating Gallon||
There have been two games where Gardner has looked like an All American. In both cases Gallon has a million receptions for a trillion yards. Is it reasonable to assume that unless up against a shutdown corner that UCONN, Arkon, and PSU do not have Gallon will be open. I know Gallon is only five feet eight and thus an abomination to Borges. However, it seems like taking advantage of his openess will introduce vulnerabilities if teams concentrate their defenses on Gallon or a lesser extend Funches. If you cannot run the ball, what is wrong with setting up the run with the pass?
I understand our coaching staff is all about domination, asserting will, power football, etc. However football is also about deception, misdirection and generating matchup advantages. The former works great when you have a dominant team. But the later is how you beat a team of equal or superior talent.
It almost seems like the Michigan staff is beating their heads in the wall just to prove a point.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Mattison free pass||
Mattison gets a free pass in my opinion. Unlike Borges, Mattison did make halftime adjustments. We did dial up the heat in the second half. I could easily see a bend but don't break philosophy verses a young QB predicated on waiting for him to make a mistake. So a short field did not give the bend but don't break philosophy a chance. Mattison adjusted.
Pretty much all of the experts who post to the blog site have agreed the defense used on the last drive in regulation was the right one. A teams gotta go 80 yards in 50 seconds. The risk of pressure is less useful since it increases the odds of a big play the other direction also. The reality is PSU's best player made an amazing catch that probably would not happen if you reran the play 100 times again.
Prior to the last regulation drive the defense had outscored PSU 7 to 6 in the second half. So that is telling me that Mattison's adjustments were working. Then in OT we thwart PSU 3 times. That should be good enough to win. If you told me PSU's chances to score a TD was 25% and a FG 50% for OT, I would say I like my odds of winning.
Offense does a third of what they were supposed to and we are not having this conversation.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Great Game||
It was a terrible game for Michigan but I loved it. I got to watch the game with my mother in law who is a rabid UM fan. She is freaking out. I'm completely relaxed. Even on the horrible fumble returned for TD I'm assuring her, no guaranteeing her Michigan has this game in the bag. I reminded her of the UM Minnesota game when Navarre reverted to his true self for 3 quarters before realizing he was playing Minnesota. I knew that UCONN was truly an awful program. They barely moved the ball the entire game and it was just a matter of time before that keystone cop QB made a major mistake. Unlike Michigan, one mistake and they were done. Perhaps my calm was fake but it was great to turn to my MIL and say I told you so with a grin on my face.
To the game there are some problems. But be aware that despite Akron and UCONN being crummy teams, both have first rate coaching staffs. This is their big game. They are good enough to game plan and scheme to get that big win. Both staffs were undone by the failures of their teams despite doing as well as possible at RPS. I'm still bothered that UM can't run at will against lesser teams or generate a consistent pass rush with 4.
That all said UM can not be a very good team and until OSU does it matter? Who in their division do we fear? UM may be bend but not break but Nebraska and NW are not existent. MSU made the ND defense that gave up 41 to us look like the Ravens. All UM has to do is cut the turnovers down a little bit and they will be fine. This is not your fathers Big10 but your Grandfathers. All hail the return of the Big2 and the little 12. Outside of UM & OSU, it is a complete trainwreck.
My prediction is the defense will be bend but not break. Give up some yards, give up some points. As long as Gardner gives up only one crazy horrible TO, he will always be able to get his 80-110 yards on ten carries. The dredges of the Big10 coaching staff will not be able to come up with a special game plan. We might lose one game going into OSU where everything lines up for one team. But never fear. Most of these teams are going to lay down for us. When your a goldfish in a fish bowl and your competition is snails, you win.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||I will take a cupcake for granted||
This will be a complete obliteration game. I have no clue where UCONN plays their games. But I should be able to find out Sunday morning by just looking for the gigantic crater. My prediction is Michigan wins 3 gazillion and 1 to -47. This team is so bad I think Pattricks pet rocks would be favored by 2 TD's.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||What about Young, Newton, and Tebow?||
If were going to talk about what Oregon did not do, why is Texas, Florida and Auburn excluded? Vince Young was unstoppable as a duel threat QB despite playing a defense loaded with future NFL talent. Newton was able to destroy every SEC defense. And then there was Tebow who was the perfect college spread QB.
My take between power and spread is that power reduces variablility and you are more likely to beat teams by grinding them to powder. Wisconsin was the classic example. The problem is what happens when you meet a bigger badder team? YOU GET GROUND INTO THE GROUND. So power is ultimately a recruiting battle.
The spread increases variablity. With one elite QB and a few skill players a team with inferior talent on paper can destroy a superior opponent. Is there any doubt that the 1998 Michigan team was superior to Syracuse at 90% of the positions. But one man made a mockery of a defense returning 8 starters. The flip side is you are dependent on a QB making the right decision. Joe Tiller depsite not running spread & shread struggled when he was no longer able to recruit a superior QB. This in my opinion is a vulnerability of any spread. Game managers do not work.
I would say that the advantages of duel threat QB is worth it. I would say look at what Wisconsin was able to do with Russel Wilson. Ground & Pound worked against inferior teams. But savy teams could exploit the fact the QB was just a manager. Enter Wilson and Wisconsin was suddenly able to compete at an elite level.
If you had a duel threat type QB in 2007, APP State never happens. Because when all else is falling apart, you can have your duel threat QB just run. This is the basketball equivalent of someone who can just dunk the ball when every jump shot just is not falling.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Technique but not against bad MAC||
I think the concern is that Akron has the type of team that bad technique or not should be destroyed. It is one thing for us to talk about young players struggling against a second tier Big10 team. It is another for there to be struggles against a MAC doormat. There was a reason why the spread was 35. There was a reason why the pundits on the radio were talking about Shane Morris taking all the 2nd half snaps. Everyone was talking about this game being not much more then a scrimage to work out these kinds of wrinkles. If our Oline are completely dependent on perfection to succeed verses the bottom of the MAC, what happens when were up against a better defense, not that there are many in the Big10. My hope is it was just a collective bad hair day.
I will accept an excuse of technique issues against a real opponent. But we have no buisness getting stuffed by Akron. The talent differential is so great we should be able to run it down their throat even if they sneak 4 more defenders on to the field.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Effort||
Sacks and getting to the QB are about effort. I think everyone would agree that the team was not ready to play on Saturday. We can blame any number of factors. But remember this was supposed to be a milkrun game. So I see it very possible that the staffs on both sides did not want to show their their best schemes. Until I see problems in a serious game I am not going to take too much stock in the failures of the coaching staff. Regarding the play of individuals that is something worth discussing. It does not appear that anyone on the defensive front four is able to consistantly beat their man. What seems to be missing is that insane rush end aka Woodley or Graham. People said Clark was supposed to be this because he is a workout warrior. I'm sure that is good for the weight room but you win football games by playing football. My take is most of these younger players need another year before they can peak. So were going to have to live with what we have. The good news is the Big10 is so bad, I do not believe this vulnerability is really going to hurt us. Our failures are the failures of most of other Big10 teams squared. MSU and OSU are really the only threats. Nice situation to be in. Our defense sucks and were projected to go 10-2 worse case.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Manball + Spread & Shred >> Manball or S & S||
Wolfman and JJgoblue are spot on. There is no reason why you can't do both. That is what made Florida so deadly. They just had a QB who could be the power back. The problem with manball is if you meet a bigger man you have no answers. It is great if you have bigger linemen and can just dominate a whimpy has been. Likewise a team that has great speed can stop the S & S.
Football in the NFL is about out thinking your opponent. The draft and free agency are the equalizer and your talent edge never lasts. Recruiting will allow us to beat up on the waste that is the Big Ten. But if we want to beat OSU again our staff has to man up when it is our advantage and go spread when it is our advantage.
To walk away from one asspect of football because it is beneath you is silly and arrogant.
|1 year 30 weeks ago||Possible Explaination for Fumble recovery percentages||
Here is one possible explaination. When a fumble is unforced, for example a bad handoff, a flubbed punt, or just a case of the oops, the offensive players are in a position to make an attempt to recover the fumble. They also know before anyone else that they fumbled.
In the case of a player being sacked or tackled they are often not in a position to make a recovery attempt because they are being tackled or worse have been knocked silly. The only exception is if the ball pops right back to them.
So an interesting question is what hapens to the recovery rates for the offense when the fumbler DOES NOT recover the fumble. Can we make the statement that the person who just fumbled the ball is in the best position to recover since they are aware before anyone else that they did fumble and two they know where they fumbled to?
The next question is can defensive recovery rates be improved if players are coached to wipe out the fumbler under the premise they are most prepared to make the recovery? Or are you still better off just having everyone pile on and hope your player gets it? What would be interesting is look at the percentage of fumbles recovered by the fumbler.
Not that it is very big but where do punts and FG attempts fit in. My guess is they probably have very high rates of offense recovery along with kickoffs. But as expected with fewer defenisve players in the vicinity the recovery rate is going to be higher.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Too many workers and too early retirement||
When the Free Press did a human interest story a few weeks ago, almost every single person used in the story retired either in their late 40ties or early 50ties. There is your basic problem. For decades the unions resisted any downsizing. Furthermore they on average worked ten years less then a typical private sector employee. If the average age of retirement was 62 the pension funds might not be in such dire straights. It is really hard to support a labor pool if people are retired for as long or longer then they worked.
So a combination of early retirement, bloated payrolls, reduced revenue, and increasing health care costs have made current payouts unsustainable. Not a easy solution as some of these people are screwed without social security. I guess the moral of the story make sure you have something else other then a pension.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Violence Penalties||
I never have a problem with roughness penatlies as I am of the opinion that it is a side effect of good aggresive defenses. It is understood that tactically any unneccesary roughness call is a judgement mistake. You just hope you can minimize it. Roughness calls are worse when they are occuring because of sloppiness or loss of cool. However, if some are generated because someone is attempting to make a play as long as you have multiple sacks, TFL, and TO's generated it is something that is worth the risk.
In the case of MSU I would say the roughness penalties are worth the final results.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Boring is only better if you are better||
Boring is great when your talent is better then the other team. Alabama's offense is pretty vanilla also. However, this falls apart when the other team has better talent then you. This is probably why Carr failed so badly head to head against Tressel. The spread is often favored by programs that can not guarantee an advantag in talent. The attempt is to increase the variance so that you can beat bigger stronger teams.
|1 year 33 weeks ago||The problems with statistics||
One item we keep forgetting is how far the Big10 has fallen. The Big10 does not have the same talent even as recent as a few years ago. Last years QB play in the conference was particularly disappointing.
I am going to go back to 1999. Recall Michigan shut out Indiana. Yet a couple weeks later gave up 50+ points to Northwestern. A decent team that can stop the run can appear to be really good if you play a lot of teams with yucky quarterbacks. It seemed to me last year if a QB was half decent, we got our clock cleaned. Anyone is going to look good if a QB is going to throw the ball into the ground.
The big unknown for me is the pass rush. My guess is we struggled against decent QB's because we could not generate pressure without blitzing. If we can generate a pass rush and prevent a good QB from making a good throw because he is on the turf or throwing on the run then we can do better against some of these more balanced teams. The good news is most of the teams we play have poor offensive and poor QB play. So I see a lot of good results against the bad teams. Unfortuately we will then play a new years bowl against an SEC team and we will give up 30+ to them again.
|1 year 33 weeks ago||Why we bag Meyer||
I believe the reason why Meyer is being pounded on is not only is he a cheater but also good. The combination means the possibility of continued OSU football domination. The only thing worse then a bad guy is a bad guy who gets away with it. Unfortunately, the way college atheletics is set up the bad guys are getting away and will continue to prosper. Meyer is certainly no worse then a Calapari who will compete for several more NCAA championships and probably win a few more while being adored by the UK fans who only care about winning.
We are all baggng Meyer because we all see the freight train coming. It would be one thing if Meyer cheated and was just bad. But he really is a very good football coach who in my opinion is inovative and a visionary. I think we still have a shot in head to head games with OSU as long as Mattison is there. We are getting good defensive recruits and Mattison has proven he is 2nd to none in scheme and getting the most out of his players. Then again we must ask if Meyer is such a crook, why would a stand up guy like Mattison work for him?
|1 year 36 weeks ago||San Diego State terrible conference||
With all the conference shuffling I forget if SDSU has always been in the Mountain West. However, when I heard Hoke might be a candidate I looked at SDSU's opponenents. Overlooked is just how terrible they were. I recall a number of SDSU opponents who were in tripple digits when rated for defense. I take any success with a truckload of salt as an array of garden gnomes and flamingos would be capable of scoring a few TD's against some of those teams.
|1 year 36 weeks ago||Can Borges develop talent||
One of my big concerns is that Borges has had his best success with other people's players. Borges supporters have always talked about his X & O IQ. Yet the sample space is small of players being recruited on his watch and actually doing well. Is this because he has never stayed around long enough(another concern) or because he cannot or unwilling? I would think that a Ocoordintator would have a very strong say on the players he wants with the exception of the head coach. This is a question directed towards Ron and anyone else who would like to comment. Can we make any statement on Borges regarding his ability to identify good players? Inconclusive is a satisfactory answer. This might be hard as it is hard to determine if bad play is due to bad players or bad coaching sometimes if we were to look at offensive play after Borges left a program.
|1 year 44 weeks ago||Next Year||
I will measure next years success based on play in the conference as one bad game or one hot opponent and the tournament run is over. Staukus + Robinson + Irving should mean lots of scoring potential. The way Iriving plays should translate well to the college games. I see this team competing for a Big10 title, especially since a couple teams will take a step down. I see MSU and OSU as being the biggest competetors. Here are my concerns.
I agree with others that there is uncertainty at PG. Walton is highly regarded. But he has to show it at the next level where Burke was just the best basketball player in college period. I know people were excited about Spike but other then one torrid half he has never produced for an entire game much less an entire season. Does not mean he cannot, just that we do not know.
McGary showed a lot of value even when he does not score that we can depend on providing he keeps the fouls down. He has very high rebounding, and steal numbers. What he has to show next year is can he score and not just finish. To a lesser extent Robinson will also have to show this. Both were on the receiving end of Burke. Unless Walton seamlessly steps in both may be asked to score in more difficult situations.
How far they go plus Walton's development will determine how far Michigan goes in the regular season and the tournament. I think it is a given there will be plenty of perimeter skills. Can McGary or Robinson score effectively without a perfect setup pass? I think they have a good shot.
|1 year 45 weeks ago||How to fix officiating||
Another problem is it seems that the style of officiating is different between leagues. There needs to be a standardization such that foul in the Pac10, isa foul in the Big10, is a foul in the ACC.
|1 year 45 weeks ago||Only good things will happen||
If THJ stays we have great senior leadership. It is not clear to me if we would see much talent improvement over what he did this year. However, leadership is a quantity that is impossible to measure on the stat line that would be missed.
If THJ goes it means more playing time for Irvin who probably has more upside. There will be struggles early in the season and loses against some tough teams.
If Hardaway stays the two people who could see minutes drop or not see a role increase are Stauskus and LeVert. If Irving shows almost as good a 3pt shot but better defense I could see Irving taking some of Stauskus minutes. Also have to wonder how LeVert gets on the floor. If we presume Irving is used to spell Robinson(not a given) your looking at 5 people having to share 120 minutes. If we exclude the 4 position that would be 80 minutes for 4 people.
I think we are a better team if Hardaway stays. But if he is the only other player to declare early the team should be okay.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Marginal Players||
Here is one problem of declaring early when not ready. The NBA is an 82 game season with 41 road games. That means a number of travel days. Good teams might play 10-20 more games in the playoffs. The way you get better is playing against your peers not sitting on the bench for 120 days.
A player like Burke is going to get minutes and he has been the focus of an offense. A player like Robinson III or McGary is not. They will sit and not get better unless a coach wishes to sacrifice his job to develop them at the sacrifice of winning. Both of these two in my opinion have a higher development curve in college because they will be the focus of next years offense and have an opportunity to test what they practice in real games. Even if their draft stock does not change much the opportunity of a longer career is greater because they have developed skills that can only happen under durress and reality.
The exception is a player who knows in their heart they do not have it. If they know their ceiling is low despite the appearances of atheletic potential, it is better to take the contract now. If your a Kwame Brown clone, you do not want the NBA to observe you after you have developed. You want to get in the NBA ASAP. Then you can make bigger money on potential before the NBA figures out you do not have game.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||3 Games 3 calls||
So think of it this way. In every game a call was made that shattered or greatly reduced a teams chances to win. Unlike a 1st half call, little you can do to recover. Chances are the same team wins. But what drama did not happen because of bad calls?
1. UM<>Syracuse. Hardaway pushes off. Instead of an offensive foul, UM keeps the ball and the Syracuse guard(I believe Triche) picks up a foul. Syracuse still had a chance but their odds of winning went way down with the failure to flip that possesion. The least impacting of blatant calls be Syracuse still had time.
2. WSU<>Louisville, Quick whistle gives the jump ball to Lousivlle. With WSU down 3 no chance to win. Odds are still slim as they gotta hit a 3 and not a great 3 team. But chance to win goes to zero.
3. Non foul on Burke as him being pushed causes LeVert to be out of bounds. With 40 seconds left and UM having posession being 4 down there is still a chance. Not having the ball means they are forced to foul. Chance to win goes to zero.
3 games, 3 blown calls. All had a huge impact on the odds. I know that officiating a game is hard. But that success rate is not good enough. Or is the new order of things that the outcome is determined by oficials making calls or failing to make calls over players making great plays? What great plays and drama did not happen?
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Bad Ref's||
The one thing I hate about officiating is the lack of accountability. When players or coaches blow it they bear the brunt of a fan bases wrath. When an official blows it we have to accept it as just bad weather and inevitable. Maybe there is internal accountability. But the public lack of it is in my opinion is the reason for the hate for any blown call. When does an official ever admit he blew a call that decided a game? About as often as the weather apologies.
That all said I thought Louisillve was the better team. We had no answer for their offensive rebounding. The game was lost because McGary reverted a bit to making mistakes and we gave up 11 2nd half offensive rebounds. Those bad 2nd half calls would have only given UM a chance, and the chance was still pretty small. I saw two other second half calls that really changed the game.
The 1st was the mysterious call on Harrell instead of Hancock who undercut the Michigan player. The context of the game would have changed completely as Hancock was the only serious tripple threat and that would have been four. This was huge as Louiville pretty much went only 7 deep. They might not have had the energy to sustain that little run. I did not even see Harrell in the play. Interested if someone saw something else.
The other was the out of bounds call on Levert. Burke gets knocked to the ground and into Levert. The official has the eyes to see someone a half inch out of bounds but misses an obvious foul that would have stopped the clock and given Burke 2 FT's to cut to 2.
Now we benefited against Syracuse as the Hardway pushoff that was not called had the same impact on Syracuse. The game is completely different if Syracuse has the ball plus one less foul on a star player who eventually fouls out. It is just so frustrating that when you are on the unlucky side there is nothing you can do but scream at the darkness in impotence. The same officials will be back next year, be called the best and destroy some other future teams dreams. And just like in the movie "A Man for all Seasons", the tyrants get away with evil and live a happy, full, peaceful life, never suffering the consequences of their mayhem. And three officials are clucking in self satisfaction because in their mind they called a good game.
In closing it is amazing how games get disected down and every inch and second will be scrutinized. Yet there is never an analysis of how well or how poorly an official does. It is frustrating that we just have to treat it the same way as bad weather.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Key is the absence of Ware||
I am going to add on to what "GREAT" mentioned as I agree Ware not in the rotation will be big. This is a quick turnaround game. Both teams get only 48 hours of rest. Thus fatigue is going to be a factor like the Florida game. Ware was the 1st guard off the bench and reason why Silva/Smith averaged only 30 minutes a game. Both averaged 35 in the WSU win. If Louisville presses, they will expend a lot more energy then Michigan. The press is not really useful if the defenders are tired or slower.
If Louisville presses with Silva/Smith playing 35 minutes I believe it will not be sustainable as they will get tired faster. They will tire because they are forced to play more minutes and they are tired from Saturdays game. If Louisville chooses to press with Silva/Smith getting less rest, it will not be as effective as the other G/F's or Henderson are not going to be as effective.
My prediction is Pitino will attempt to pick & choose when he presses to attempt to generate a point run. I believe he knows that on short rest an all out full court press will exaust his team. Without the constant pressing, Louisville is not the same threat. They are pretty average in scoring out of the half court offense. When we are in our half court offene one of the munchkins will have to guard one of our 6 foot 6 shooters. I am not going to predict a Michigan win as lots of varience in tournament ball with the clash of conference styles. But I think we have a pretty good chance of winning. Michigan plays a style of ball where their starters can stay in for 35+ minutes a game.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Teams selling out to stop Burke||
Every team is selling out to stop Burke at all costs. This has opened things up for other players. Next year it will be a little tougher for McGary as he will be the target. Burke has been our equivalent of the defensive tackle that gets double & triple teamed but allows for the End and Outside Linebacker to pick up the sack.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Discover May 2013||
This is for Ace and anyone who has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Check out the Discover Article page12. Chances are there may not be a monolithic cure as there may be multiple vectors. The arcticle discusses the premise that B-cells become misguided because the T-cells accidentally tells them it is okay to attack the body. They observed that rituximab reduced or removed CFS symptoms for a certain length of time until the B-cells recovered. Suppressing the immune system may not be the best long term solution. However, this could lead to researchers zeroing in on the source instead of treating the symptom. In the given study two thirds of the subjects responded positively to rituximab.
|1 year 48 weeks ago||Leaving early for the NBA draft||
Leaving early can be disasterous if you are not ready. In he NBA there are 82 games and if you get on a good team the potential for another 10-12. Throw in preseason games and that means you have about 100 days when you are not practicing. Thow in travel days and the number goes up even higher. If you know what you are doing and are a finished product this is not a big deal. Howevr, if you have to work on major components of your game its not going to get done sitting on the end of the bench watching 100 games.
You learn your game with practice and game situations. A raw talent like Robinson the III is being projected as a mid round pick. That means he is projected to be drafted by a playoff team. So a coach is going to commit to Robinson learning the ropes while watching his playoff hopes and his job get dashed. It is not going to happen. The way declaring early helps Robinson is if he knows deep down he does not have game and he just wants to get that first big contract.
If Robinson is half as good as everyone says he will play himself into a lottery pick next year. So he can declare early and get taken late in the 1st round and sit on the bench for the entire year and stagnating collecting a mediore contract or wait a year, be a lottery pick, get a big contract, and most likely be a starter on day one for the team that picks him.
The NFL and NBA are different in that because there are only 20 games(4 preseason) and 10 travel days, a player can be developed. There is a lot more practice time. The NBA and NHL are grinds. MLB has a minor league system to develop players. If your missing something, the coach is not going to have the time on a 4 games in 5 day west coast road trip to put you through basic training. A NFL staff can do that.
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Freshmen and 2 Big's||
So here is the experience for Wisc starting 5. Senior, Senior, Senior, Junior, Sophmore, verse our starting 5 a Junior, Junior, Sophmore, Freshmen, Freshmen. There is your answer. Defense is something you learn after getting your butt kicked a few times. This may be a misprint but according to ESPN GRIII and Evans are the same height and weight. Yet one owned the other in the post. Watching GRIII's response to Evan's moves it was not that he was muscled down but clueless on how to play defense. We forget he was a late bloomer, not this finished basketball product.
There was suggestion that 2 bigs would work better. In college, runnning with two post players without one being a perimeter threat is really tough. Recall Izzo's difficulties getting Payne and Nix on the floor at the same time. It only really clicked when Payne became a perimeter threat. If we still had Smotrycz I think you have something to work with. But our bigs are currently not talented enough for that to work. What is ironic is that Nix hit is career high today. All that work for a Big10 career high of 17 points.
Now there is critisim that Beilein cannot coach defense. I would say that is by design. Unless you can recruit superior atheletes ala Kentucky you have to pick & choose the character of your team. It is sort of like critisizing Bo Ryan for Wisconsin never having a great offense. You pick what you want to be strong at and hope that is good enough. I think if Beilein was given last year roster for UK he would have done just as well as anyone else. If Beilein can recruit good players including a few who will stay around for a few years, I think he can coach up the defense to be more then adequate. Indiana improved significantly with a year of experience.
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Leaving early for the NBA||
Only the most polished are the supefreaks go the first couple years. No one on this roster is remotely close to a one and doner. We had the good or perhaps misfortune of losing two PG's after two years. Looking at what Moris has done in the NBA I question his decision to go early. Not sure how well Burke will do.
What I can say is I doubt there any more one and doners on this current roster. Robinson has major problems everywhere. He currently is the guy with the really deep voice who wants to go into radio and freezes up. He will be back at Michigan in 2015 unless he is a fool and an NBA team is even more foolish. Ditto on McGary and Staukus.
So I feel pretty good that we will have more experience the next couple years. And then if those experienced players are making the same mistakes then we can fault the coach.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Too much Beilin hate||
I know this was a frustrating loss, espcially in contrast to last years Novak/Douglus gritty overachievers. So for those who say Beilin cannot teach defense what about last year? This was one of the youngest teams in all of college basketball with five freshmen in the nine man rotation. We also knew that all of the freshmen were incomplete projects. Staukus could shoot but little else, Robinson was a late bloomer, McGatry was way overrated and raw as an offensive player.
There are certain kinds of freshmen who are polished players and are obvious one and done products that are only in college because the NBA will not let them go directly to GO. None of our frosh fit that description.
I am also frustrated as I must admit I do not like the current character of this team. But expecting Beilin to have a final4 contender with such a young unseasoned team is unreasonable. No one else could have done better. If this group of freshmen are playing like this two years from now, then we can say Beilin has a problem.
We get so spoiled and expect teenagers to be a finished product. I remember the first fab 5 of Relford, Wade, Tarpley, Jokich, and Henderson. Even with Eric Turner they were not so hot with Eric Turner leading the way either. Its crazy that we say an offensive linemen is not worth poop until is 3rd year in the program and now we demand late bloomers and hidden gems to perfect their first year.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||It is all about FT's||
We can complain about offensive rebounds and bad defense but the reality is we were up 4 and on the line with 55 seconds to go. If you cannot hit free throws to ice a game how can you be depended on to take a contested shot to win it? The FT is the easiest hardest shot in basketball. If you can't make don't bother considering a tourney run because you will lose every close game.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Too much uncertainty still||
The conference tounaments throw such a monkeywrench into any projection. Imagine the seed spread between UM winning their last two regular season games and the Big10 tournament verses losing one more game(6 conference losses) and perhaps a loss in the 3rd game of the Big10 tournament. That would make the difference from a #1 seed to as low as a #4 seed.
Considering that the Big10 is considered by the pundits the most difficult conference, I can't imagine us not getting a #1 seed if we ended up splitting home & home with Indiana and having to two beat two of the premier teams to win the entire thing.
|2 years 7 hours ago||Young team and everyone has bad losses||
I think people forget that the rotation contains 5 Frosh in the rotation of nine who play. The reality is unless those Freshmen are lotery picks like UK last year they are going to be imperfect players. We all agreed the expectations were all to high going into this season. We have also observed more seasoned teams also have strange losses on the road against inferior teams. I watched IU absolutely tank against Illinois the last 4 minutes of the game. It happens especially when a shooter is getting good looks and gets hot.
This team has been winning games by being very efficient and mistake free on offense. What we see with this team is what they are. I suppose something might be being held back for the tounament. But the reality is this team is a year away from being complete. Whether it is better with Burke's absense is another question.
|2 years 2 days ago||The dangers of drafting a certain style in the NFL||
Good article but I want to make a comment on insisting on playing a particular style. The NFL is a copycat league. Once a particular style gets popular for example Walsh style West Coast offense every team will compete for the same limited group of players. The cap guarantees you will be unable to spend your way to success. A good example in my opininon was the sudden popularity of 3-4 defenses after NE had success. All of a sudden there was competition on the draft and in FA and it became much harder for NE to sustain a great defense.
On offense I believe flexability and a willingnes to change is much more important then a style. Again looking at the best in NE, the offense seems to be remade every year. They go from a feature NFL back(Dillon) to a feature receiver(Moss), to spread & shred with role players, two spread with two TE's.
The one advantage of college is unlike the NFL all teams are not treated equal. The brand teams can recruit as many great players as they have scholarships and the SEC teams more. In college if you are picking the best players of a type you will at least have success against your little brothers on talent alone. Whether your finished product really is better or your technique better will not become apparant until you play another team on equal footing. And of course if you have the misfortune of playing Alabama you will be the little brother and your technique and style will be irrevlevant.
|2 years 1 week ago||How about looking at money?||
If you want to figure out why Alabama and other SEC teams do so well at football look at how much money is spent on the football program.
|2 years 1 week ago||Michigan PSU prediction||
Option A. UM blows out PSU early and cruises in the 2nd half. UM 80, PSU 55.
Option B. UM comes out flat. PSU hangs around. UM gets down to business in the 2nd half and pulls away. UM 80, PSU 55.
Option C. Treat Options A and B as discrete quantum states and Option C is a superposition of A and B with the outcome of UM 80 PSU 55.
Any other deviation from a UM blowout would be a violation of the laws of physics and I would have to dump the standard model to explain such a violation. But kids seem to not want to follow rules which is what makes college sports so fun. Let us hope for at least one day that the magic that is college sports does not happen and reality stays the course for one day.
|2 years 2 weeks ago||Still a very young team||
We need to remember there are four freshmen playing significant minutes. Despite the heart breaking loss I like the position of this team for a run in either tournament. Winning the Big10 regular season would be nice. But I thought that was going to be really hard with such a young team.
I will agree with the others I would prefer to defend the inbounds pass with my tallest player as it makes those bullet passes much more difficult. In the case of this specific event a running 40 footer is still a crazy shot.
|2 years 5 weeks ago||Harbaugh is not Manball||
I find it hillarious that everyone keeps insisting that Harbaugh is manball smash mouth football only. One of his great innovations that is working so well for the 49'ers is running read option and using James as a complement to Gore. He is willing to use all tools at his disposal be it smash mouth or spread unlike other closed minded coaches. I saw a QB in the NFL run for 160 yards in a half and then the read option was used as a decoy to prevent the Falcon DE's from crashing in on the QB. So by just showing the ball, the 49'ers were able to constrain what the Falcons could do on defense.
But I agree he is not a very nice person. I had friends in South Quad at the time and from their accounts Harbaugh was a bit of a bully and tyrant. So the fact he says hurtful things in a spontaneous manner does not suprise me.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Way to opptimistic and Hart||
The passing game looked very good with DG in only because he had the opportunity to play some terrible teams. Not saying he will not be good. Just have to account for that.
Regarding Hart I saw a comment that it waa teams daring Henning to beat them. I disagree as a Big10 team should be able to clobber a MAC team even if they put 9 in the box. Its not like UM's running game got stuffed when Navarre was forced to play for an injured Henson against CMU.
I think we both agree getting Green is pretty important. But your not going to get 40th if Green does not show. DR got 100 yards as a RB with the same supposedly impotent Oline that the others could not run behind. DR got just as many yards with vision and ruggedness as speed. So I will stand by my assertion the Oline was not as bad as people claim.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Way too optimistic on the offense||
I believe the author is way too optimistic on the state of the offense. A lot of these concerns get fixed if Green does commit. But sans a good RB, a running game behind a good offensive line can look pretty bad if there is no one to carry the rock. As a good sample space look at the first 3 games of the 2004 season. Even against Miami of Ohio we were unable to establish a running game. Then Mike Hart gets carries midway through the 1st half against SDSU and we magically have a good running attack.
If there is no running threat you can kiss any improvement you believe in passing goodby as decent teams will just blitz like crazy and ignore Borges futile blind look play actions. So you should pray for Green or the 2nd coming of Hart as everyone that was not DR failed terribly.
Now if Green commits lots of good things happen. Green would have a very similiar impact in my opinion as Clarrett did on the OSU offense in 2001. Clarrett made the difference between stink and just good enough. Were talking the same kind of RB. Not only is Green supposedly a rugged runner who has vision & moves, but he also understands the passing game. Were talking somone who understands route running and identifying blitzes, items that most young RB's are clueless on. And when those young linemen blow an assignment, Green is rugged enough to turn a one yard loss into a two yard gain.
Just as a NT is the keystone of the 3-4 defense, I see Green as the keystone for success on offense.
ND will not be a pushover either.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||Sample space to small||
I also agree the sample space is way too small. When you are comparing a coach with 2-3 years of work verse ten years local events and luck will not weigh out. For example Hoke did not have PSU and Wisconsin on his schedule. Combine that with the decay of Iowa and the destruction of Illinois and I think you can make a case that the Big10 was a much stronger conference three years ago. R^2 was also stuck with a debacle at QB his first year, a true freshmen his 2nd, and a raw but talented sophmore his last. Compare to Hoke who has been able to make a go with junior, a senior the first half of this year plus Gardner on the back half. All of these things even out. How well will Hoke do when he Dcoordinator is only human and not a God? Mattison will not be there forever, though it would be nice.
Since some people are putting in predictions for next year if we do not bring in a top RB, next year will be very tough. A lot of people are assuming the RB problems are completely on the line. If we go back to 2004 Michigan was also struggling. Somewhere in the 1st half, Lloyd Carr inserts Mike Hart and the rest is history. Furthermore, look at any game from 2004-2007 and compare when Hart played verses not playing or being hurt. It is the same line yet one RB was succesful and everyone else was not?
So before we run our graduating senior linemen under the bus let us put things in perspective. Next years young uber recruits will only do as well as the RB. So pray for Green.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||Sample space to small||
I also agree the sample space is way too small. When you are comparing a coach with 2-3 years of work verse ten years local events and luck will not weigh out. For example Hoke did not have PSU and Wisconsin on his schedule. Combine that with the decay of Iowa and the destruction of Illinois and I think you can make a case that the Big10 was a much stronger conference three years ago. R^2 was also stuck with a debacle at QB his first year, a true freshmen his 2nd, and a raw but talented sophmore his last. Compare to Hoke who has been able to make a go with junior, a senior the first half of this year plus Gardner on the back half. All of these things even out. How well will Hoke do when he Dcoordinator is only human and not a God? Mattison will not be there forever, though it would be nice.
Since some people are putting in predictions for next year if we do not bring in a top RB, next year will be very tough. A lot of people are assuming the RB problems are completely on the line. If we go back to 2004 Michigan was also struggling. Somewhere in the 1st half, Lloyd Carr inserts Mike Hart and the rest is history. Furthermore, look at any game from 2004-2007 and compare when Hart played verses not playing or being hurt. It is the same line yet one RB was succesful and everyone else was not?
So before we run our graduating senior linemen under the bus let us put things in perspective. Next years young uber recruits will only do as well as the RB. So pray for Green.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||The case for Schwartz and perhaps Mayhew||
Here is my reasoning why Schwartz should not be fired. Going into the 2012 draft the Lions had some huge needs. In my opinion they needed a shut down corner, another safety, a run blocking guard, and a pass rushing DE. Instead they drafted an offensive tackle with their 1st pick and a injured wide receiver with their 2nd pick. This was puzzling since Backus and Burlson were not going anywhere. The only thing I could think of is that Mayhew was conceding 2012 and playing for 2013. Both Burlson and Backus will be gone and then the picks make sense.
Now we can argue whether playing that far ahead is a good idea. If the consensous is that is a terrible idea then we can talk about Mayhew being fired. The bigest problem with the Lions in my opinion is horrible play in the secondary. 3 10+ 2nd half leads were lost and multiple other games lost because we did not have a corner who could cover a dead opposum. That was not Schwartz's fault.
Maybe Schwartz is a terrible coach after all for other reasons. But he can only work with the players given to him by the GM. And yes, the Fords have no clue how to be competent owners of a NFL franchise.
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Lions win SB first||
The Lions have a better shot and here is why. In the draft all things are equal. At some point the blind squirrel that is Ford senior will stumble into a good GM and coach. Though UM has the brand to recruit well, SEC teams and USC will always be able to recruit better. Though there is more varience in any college game it is really hard to beat a team that as a significant talent advantage. That all said I think UM has a better chance of getting to a NC game then the Lions getting to the SB. It is just they will be like ND and face planted by Alabama.
|2 years 10 weeks ago||Not a good fit||
I have observed two diferent threads. There are those who claim R^2 is not a story and they do not care. And others who declare that R^2 was just not a good fit for some reason. The level of R^2's success at other programs is meaningful to me because if his success at Arizona is equivalent to West Virginia then the question is not whether R^2 was a good fit but what is wrong at Michigan.
This may seem to be a silly question but there once was a great company called General Motors. GM onced owned 50% of the NA automobile market. They thought they were the best and were ruled by insiders. An outsider was never considered for a fresh perspective because he would not be a good fit. GM had a long way to fall, but fall they did. If the rulers and shakers of Michigan football treat themselves like 19th century European royalty where the only acceptable marriage material is your cousin from Bulgaria, questioning whether a long fall is possible is a reasonable one to me.
In my opinion if this team had been stuck back in 2009 or 2010 it would at best be a .500 team. The only reason why it will not be a .500 team next year is the Big10 might arguablly be the weakest of all the major conferences. When beating NW at home is your signature victory and you still are unable to recruit a blue chip RB or WR tells me that something is still amiss. Is it bad luck or are the old boys out of touch with todays recruits. If Green selects Michigan that concern will be less. Some presume it is inevitbale that dominating seasons are inevitable. But I would warn so did the board and their cronys also believe such destiny at GM back in the 80ties and 90ties. We will be back at 50% market share in no time, I meant 40%, actually 30.
So when I hear the words not a good fit for a person who succeeds everywhere but here, I shudder.
|2 years 10 weeks ago||Browns fans the worse||
My aunt is a season ticket holder for the Colts since they arrived in Indy. Her group often travels to games if not west of the rockies. The one place her group will no longer go is Cleveland. Every time their group goes there is at least one major altercation. What is interesting is the complete lack of intervention by the security guards. Her description was very similiar in that security was either not interested or would blame them if a member of the group reported a problem. They will travel anywhere else without too much issue as they are mostly older middle aged ladies who enjoy watching football.
|2 years 11 weeks ago||Recruiting||
I agree with some of the posters that it appears that RB's with lots of stars are more likely to work out then lets say an offensive linemen. That all said it is still a number based on potential, specifically NFL potential. What is often overlooked is recruiting players that fit a scheme. The Weis classes were noted did not reflect in wins. But they were acting like a bad NY Yankee team in that they were more a collection of talents then a coherent set of classes.
There are certain programs that have had great success identifying players that match a scheme and playing to that scheme. At their best Iowa did this. Wisc also has had a lot of success without neccesarily uber recruits. Oregon is a BCS player not every year without neccesarily relying on top15 classes every year.
Ultimately there has to be a trust of the coaching staff. Moving to basketball which is much easier to scout because they play so much more, it is amazing that Beilein identifies lower level recruits that either explode as seniors or explode in college. So if Mattison is all excited on a 3 star and passes by a 5 star, I am going to trust Mattison over any recruiting agency.
|2 years 12 weeks ago||Comment on score||
Even though the sample space is small, because there were so many catagories it was not suprising that there is a very strong corolation between score and record. What you should have done is order record verse score. If you had included just Big10 games and threw out nonconference the correlation would be more extreme.
That makes sense that a team that was doing better in more catagories would win more games. Any deviation would be due to catagories not covered. For example a big play defense, or mistake prone offense might skew the numbers for an individual team.
My guess if you could quantify more catagories, your numbers will match even closer to reality.
I think another interesting item is you have a self weighting mechnism for tempo. A team that plays a slow tempo game(less plays) will have inferior offensive numbers just because of fewer plays. However, that will improve the defense more then it should.
I had a friend who got payed a lot of money by Oldmobile to tell them customers were happier the fewer times they had to bring their car into the shop. Despite that, I think this exercise is useful in that it shows no team was truly lucky or unlucky. A team like NW that lost three games in the last minute did so not because it was unlucky but their pass defense was beyond terrible, which I think one would fine even if you evaluated more generic metrics like ypa.
|2 years 12 weeks ago||How to beat SC||
In order to beat SC I am of the opinion DR has to take the majority of snaps at QB. This of course presumes his hand is fully healed. Gardner has proven he can be the starting QB the next two years. However, I do not believe his throwing advantages will be enough to offset losing a bit of QB runnning. Here is my logic. Even against very poor run defenses we struggled to generate any kind of a runnning game from a RB. If you consistantly position DR as a RB, he is up against an extra defender thus negating is advantage.
Gardner did pretty good throwing up for grabs bombs against awful Big10 teams. However, this tactic failed against a better team like OSU. SC is going to have a more complete defense. Recall that OSU's best defender did not even play and they were forced to start a FB at MLB. OSU was true to form in that they busted a few plays. Depending on those kinds of big plays against a more complete defense that WILL have their best defender is unrealistic.
I agree with one of the other posters we would have to move down the field similiar to what we attempted to do against ND. DR would have to play his best game of the year as we can not afforda any TO's. My hope would be these long drives would eat up clock and shorten the game. If our defense gets gassed it will be game over.
I think to win we would still need maybe a +2 on the big plays. I am including TO's in that mix. Mattison is good enough I think he can come up with a scheme to keep SC off balance at least for a little while. Thus the importance of shortening the game.
I will say I am very happy that Wisc beat Nebraska as a matchup with Georgia would not have been fun as we would most certainly have been face planted.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Team Gardner will be okay||
I am not too worried about Gardner next year. He has shown enough that he will be an impact player at QB. The bigger problem will be the entire world focusing their defense on stopping him. As pointed out there is big uncertainty with the Oline and RB. If Lewan goes your posibly looking at a very young Oline. We also have question marks at WR as our top two in terms of experience are slot size.
So to run the Borges offense you need a massive talented offensive line, one or two super talented RB's, a great QB, and one or two talented big receivers. We have the QB covered. But everything else is a question mark. Ahh, if only Borges could add a wheelbarrow and a mourners cowl to mix. There is nothing he could not do. I for one would have him don it and have one of those big linemen trundle him about in the wheelbarrow. Just have him make priestly pronouncments of the advent of the Gulf Coast offense and defensive coordinators would run fleeing in abject terror before the game even began. :)
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Everything in the foot hurts||
It seems like every acute injury in the foot injury can be terrible. I have heard that the plantar facia is an awful injury to deal with. I once strained the transverse ligament in my foot and I wandered around in hiking boots for a month. Though that was not so bad as those facia injuries.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Would rather play LSU||
If I had a choice I would prefer we play LSU. Of the choice of Bama, A&M, Georgia, LSU, and Florida I believe we match up best against them. LSU has had periods of offensive oblivion. Their defense is very good. But I would scared to death that some of the more balanced teams would kill us 49-7. LSU might be 20-3, but if some weird things happened I could see us pulling the game out. We would need some crazy DR scores plus win the TO battle. I could easily see LSU panicing and getting out of rhythme. Bama on the other hand could turn the ball over 4 straight times and score the next 8. No way I want to face that Oline again.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||When are linemen ready||
This is my rule of thumb based on potential. A 1st day pick can start his 2nd year. An all conference player begins starting his 3rd year presuming a red shirt. A competent starter begins his 4th year. You can expect contributions in the prior year. This is of course more accurate for tackles as a lot fewer guards/centers get picked on the 1st day. But if you believe you have one of the top guards like Kalis it is reasonable to presume he is ready to play on year two. What I heard about him is he could have started this year. Now regarding all of the other linemen, it is a stretch to expect that they will be ready in the 2nd year. It is possible but should not be a given. This is why Lewan staying is real important. By having both tackles return you reduce your dependency on 2nd year players. Letting Braden season one more year would be very nice as I do not believe expecting effective blocking from a player whose weakness out of HS was "raw" is reasonable.
I think it is reasonable to presume Kalis will be just fine based on his recruiting profile. With Lewan back we would have two senior types, 2 middle types, and one young but very talented RS freshmen which is acceptable.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Notre Dame and Alabama OH?||
Spread teams have done just fine in the BCS. Texas, Auburn, and Florida all won NC with pure spread teams. With the exception of the 1st Florida NC all of the above had great QB play. But who does not win a NC with an average QB? The number of journeyman QB's with NC's is very short. Even Harbaugh in the NFL came to the same conclusion that not having a QB who can make a play reduces the margin for winning it all to almost nil. At Alabama it takes Saban picking the top ten defensive players every year to pull off.
A manball offense is generally going to be throttled if the QB is a manager and the defense it is up against is throttled.
Me personally, I would hope that a coordinator would be able to adjust to the talent at hand. If a player has unique talents, tailor the offense to what you have. What I enjoy at the NFL level is the constantly changing face of the New England offense. NE comes up with a twist and the league adjusts. Then they do a complete make over and the league is off balance again. We also saw this with the Colts and Manning. You figure out how to stop the 4 WR step, they go 2 WR 2 TE. You try to stop the pass, they kill you with a run. You get burned with them going big and adjust, they go small and agile. Helps to have a great QB. But boy is it fun watching how the scheme morphs.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Manball can work depends on what you want to do||
I believe the power run game can work. It has certain advantages and simplifies the game. I have always viewed Manball as playing Chess and Spread be it pass or run based as playing GO. In the game of Chess once you get an advantage the intent of the game is to simplify the game by sacrificing pieces of equal power. If you have better talent, leverage your superior talent and win. Put the defense on its heels such that there is little inovation that they can do other then stacking the box to win. A great QB is always nice. But I do not believe you can get away with a game manager whose task is not to make mistakes. Alabama and Wisc are good examples of manball teams that have schemes that do not require great QB's. It may even be hard to attract great QB's because they know the prefered option is run the ball 50 times a game. There are variations as USC looks to pass more.
The limitation of manball is that is little recourse if you meet another Manball team better then you. Since your offense is straight forward and predicated on being meaner and tougher, a bigger dog means you lose.
This leads into the popularity of the spread be it pass or run based. A spread gives a team with inferior power the capability to compete with more powerful teams by show casing speed, agility, and deception. The spread introduces more complexity and thus more variance in result. A great GO player is not looking to simplify an opponent but engulf them in complexity and deception. A classic spread team is Northwestern. NW will never attract great talent. So they recruit smaller more agile players who they can attempt to put in space. In order to combat it the defense is forced to make many more decisions. If the wrong decision is made instead of an eight yard gain it is a 78 yard TD play. This gives NW a shot to beat a power team like MSU or UM they have no buisness doing.
The down side of the spread is it is a two edge sword. The variance introduced to keep a inferior team in contention means when you are superior you have more things that can go wrong and thus lose. If your look at Oregon they have had games where they put up 70 points. Then they inexplicably lay and egg and cannot get in sync. In order for a spread to be effective it absolutely needs a QB making the right decisions. A spread cannot work with a game manager. If you have a Tebow, Newton, Young, the sky is the limit as that is whom you are show casing. You can even run them since removing the cupcakes a typical college team only plays half NFL season of games and the talent is diluted among 125 teams verses 30 NFL teams. The down side is if you do not do your homework or your QB goes down, since the offense is centered on good decisions being made by a QB, everything grinds to a halt.
In parting I think it is great we have the contrast. If football were played one way, it would be boring.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Is the Oline recruits not talented?||
It is pointed out by some that perhaps our Oline are overrated or not suited to the offense. I just looked at Northwestern's offense and they somehow generated a running attack. Now who is going to have more highly regarded recruits? Certainly not Northwestern. Venric Mark averaged 6.2 ypc. Take out the preconference schedule and he probably hits 6.5 ypc. Kain Colter is a very good spread QB. But he is no DR when it comes to pure athletic talent. I also would say he is just as inconsistant a passer. Yet Northwestern with Oline recruits that we would laugh at and skill players that are barely servicable for the MAC generated a credible running attack. So these excuses that our coaching staff can't come up with something in two years is laughable. Were paying a Ocoordinator 650K and he can't adjust to what he has? I do not accept that there was nothing to work with or the talent was too missmatched. No one was expecting Mattison magic. But certainly not the worse RB production ever?
|2 years 13 weeks ago||My critique of Borges tactical and strategic||
My big beef with Borges when he arrived two years ago was for a supposed genius but he really bounced around. The 2nd issue was he seemed to do well coaching other failed staffs players but could bring in his own. UCLA and Auburn both saw marked decreased offensive production after Borges had been around long enough to particapate in recruiting a 2nd generation of players. My concern was he was more a X/O schemer and not someone players could relate too? The fact were losing out on big time skill players while Mattison picks & chooses his recruits is troubling to me.
On a tactical level a number of actions by Borges bothered me. In the ND game he asked DR to throw in the pocket down the center of the field a lot. We know down the field passing is not DR's strength. Yet Borges was asking him to make the riskiest of throws without the benefit of the kind of receivers you need. Spread receivers make smaller targets and an overthrown ball is an interception opportunity for the other team. Worse, when DR goes pocket he becomes at best an average QB. Spread receivers thrive in space off of run action. What makes him great is what he does with his feet. If DR showed a reluctance to bail out of a pocket, it should have been beaten into him during spring and fall practice. My suspicion is Borges was quite content to never ask his QB to bail. If he was supposed to, that was a failure of the coaching staff to address. One of the reasons why Carr loved the out is it was very risk adverse. Down the middle can end in bad things.
The other item that bothered me is the frustrating continuation of the blind play action fake when it was clear there was no threat of it. If you never run Vincent Smith in a given formation then having DR or Gardner waste time with it is pointless since the defense has sniffed out the play allready. We saw that last year and it happened again.
The play calling never seemed coherent. It was an eclectic glob of goop that had no ryhme or reason. There seemed to be very little coherence and rarely did one play set up another play. If a trick play was called it was not predicated on being set up. It was like Borges knew he could not run what he wanted but would not admit to running what he knew could be succesful. Instead he straddled the fence.
What was most troubling is that the Oline took a bigger step backwards from last year. Molk was a great college player. But I find it hard to believe that the loss of one man would make everyone else including a projected top ten pick look so bad. That brings up the question of technique. Everyone seems to insist that next year the redshirt freshmen are just going to clean house. Why do you believe that if this coaching staff is unable to adjust to what you have.
In parting I really do not believe Borges in an innovator. He draws up little wrinkles based on what he is comfortable with. But borrowing from Chess it is all based on the pawn to King4 opening. If the interior running game was struggling, why not move Schofield to the interior and try Barnum at center? Why not have packages prepared where you have DR and Gardner on the backfield at the same time? We could have tried in some of the garbage games. Yet we went out with the same personel packages and expected a different result. We never saw the R^2 equivalent of the Oh No or any run adjustments. It seemed to me that good defenses could sniff out the play based on formation and they were rarely out of balance. Even the bad defenses were beaten not because they were tricked but just because they were so bad. No wonder the offense failed so badly against a defense with good personel. So going forward I just am concerned that defensive coordinators are going to win the RPS war against Borges. So maybe if we get a couple NFL caliber RB's, a NFL QB and three NFL linemen we will be okay. But anything less and Borges will struggle.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Why this season was a failure||
The bar has been set that UM plays for Big10 championships. We failed to get to the championship game so the season is a failure. If the Big10 were tough I might find accepting a 3rd place finish okay. However, we only make 3rd because 2 of the tougher teams are on probation. Worse, this is the weakest the conference has been in memory. If this team played a 2009 or 2010 schedule it would have been squashed. We barely beat a bad MSU team that was pretty much one man on offense. Northwestern with their grand total of 3 four star recruits on the entire roster came into our House and only loss because of the greatest string of comical errors I had ever witnessed. They lose less then we do and we have to play at their house next year. Yet we have that game nailed down as a easy Michigan victory? I would not depend on it. This conference other then OSU and perhaps Nebraska has devolved into Big Least level. If you look at most of the Big Ten schools 5 year recruiting profiles it is an ongoing train wreck. For that alone Michigan will be succesful in the future and we can build on our new rivalry with NW :(
Were most likely going to play either Florida or Texa AM, or perhaps LSU in our bowl game. So chances of a victory are slim. The more likely case is we will have our face stomped in and we will end up with 5 losses. Next year will be more of the same. We will beat the hordes of crummy teams and lose to any team with a pulse. We will play another dominant SEC team in a bowl game and get squashed again. If Borges does not scare off every single skill player of note perhaps we can do something beginning in 2014. It would be nice if Gardner gets his redshirt. Urban Meyer is bringing in 5 star RB's and WR's and the great line players. I do not see any victories against OSU other then upsets in the near future. So look for more of the same next year. If we get lucky 8-4 with another stomping against an SEC team. If were not so lucky 6-6 and we hold off a crummy Big East or ACC team in a bowl game. Meanwhile Urban Meyer starts bowling for BCS. Welcome to the last half of the Carr era 2.0
|2 years 13 weeks ago||Play calling not the only problem with Borges||
There has been a lot of comments on the tactical play calls. What I find just as troubling is the strategy and long term player development. I believe Borges game planning was described as a "GRAB BAG" by someone. That is what it feels some times. Borges seems to just call an electic series of plays with no rhyme or reason. The other item that disturbs me is the decline of the offense at UCLA and Auburn. I questioned whether Borges could really connect to skill players and was more of an out of touch X and O schemer. Borges inherited someone else's skill players to have success and UCLA and Auburn. However, when those players left they were not replaced. Now I wonder if the same thing is happening at UM. Mattison seems to be attracting great defensive players. We seem to be attracting very good Olinemen. But other then one QB who probably made up his mind to play for Michigan when he was six years old, were not attracting the great skill players. It is appearing were going to lose out in the recruiting battles for Treadwell & Green. My question even if we have a great line the next couple years, who is going to run & catch the ball? Most of the skill players are projects who may or may not turn out. I suppose I could live with a dominant defense and a barely adequate offense. A great defense will keep you in every game. But you still have to score.
|2 years 15 weeks ago||Read option spread verses power||
I am really troubled by the false belief that the read option spread is always inferior to power and that a read option is more vulnerable to being thwarted by a great defense. For starters if you look at SEC defensive struggles or go back to the Miami<>FSU battles from the mid 80ties to 2000, great defenses can thwart any offensive philophy if you have enough dominant atheletes. The capabilities of the very best limit what of anything you can do. I think it is reasonable to say a great defense will always stop a great offense.
What you need to do is ask why a school like NW runs a read offense. NW will EVER be able to attract the talent to run a convential Borges gulf coast offense. The five star QB with the rocket arm and the six foot four receive with the 40 inch leap will have nothing to do with NW, much less the road grader linemen. Yeah, other then Zook any Ocoordinator is going to do pretty well if he has top15 talent. Even a blind squirrel would find a few offensive touchdowns with overwhelming talent.
The read option is popular for the have nots because all you need to run it is a few fast atheletes. They may be too small to attract interest at a big time school, but they can be effective in space. The read option is ultimately the military tactic of tip of the spear. The other side is numerically and individually superior to you. However, if you can concentrate all of your power at a point, you can win in that local region. NW with very little threat of a cohesive passing attack was able to run the ball when everyone knew it was going to be a run.
There are limits to what a school with inferior talent can do. The reality is NW implodes more because they have no depth on defense. One may argue that the read option puts them in that postion. But if they attepted to run power or pro set they would not even be in the position to compete. There are plenty of examples of what happens when a read option or run spread team gets ahold of dominant talent. Texas, Auburn, and Florida all won NC's with a dominant running QB. They all happened to be decent enough to pass and played on teams with talent on the defensive side of the ball. I averaged out Oregons classes since Chip Kelly was coach and they come out 19th on average. Yet they have one BCS appearance and a very possible shot at a NC this year.
I am not saying that the spread is superior to power as I enjoy both facets and the clash of style. Yet the arrogance that there is only one way to win is troubling. Even Jim Tressel adjusted his Carr ball style when a spread QB fell into his lap. The more important conclusion is adjust to what you have. This was Borges failure at UCLA and Auburn and what will do him in at Michigan.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Saban is just a recruiter||
Saban is doing nothing different that Kiffin is currently doing at USC, Meyer did at Florida, and Bowden did at FSU. For different reasons the coach has/had access to the best talent. Football is ultimately a game of chess except some teams get better pieces.
The reason why Saban failed at the NFL level is his strengths are no longer useful. In the NFL all players are practicing their craft 7x24. There is this thing called the draft instead of just getting the top 15 players. All the little loopholes Saban uses to his advantage are just non issues.
At the NFL the superior orgainzations win because they are better at identifying superior talent and out scheming their opponent. You only get better chess pieces only if you can see something the other 30some staffs do not. You can't gain superior talent because you get the top ten draft pickes and get to drop six. Worse, there are teams with the same talent. You can't just run it down their throat or expect your defense to stone wall the other offense. You actually have to figure out rock/paper/sicsors and get into the head of the other Dcoordinator.
This is why some coaches do not move on or when they do fail at the next level. When forced to coach on an equal footing they are nothing special. So the Sabans choose to come back as it is preferable to be a big fish in the little pond.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||I agree and disagree||
The 97 defense with Woodson is better people give credit to. And the guy who built it but who did not get credit was Greg Mattison. I believe with their depth and ball control they could have handed Nebraska in a heads on matchup.
I do agree on paper the 2003 team would be rated 2nd. The only real weakness was Navarre could not deal with adversity. The teams that could get in his face could force him into mistakes. I forget the years but the Oregon and 2nd Iowa lost really burned. It took Navarre 3 quarters to figure out there was a CAP on the field and overthrew every sideline pass by a yard. If you recall back then that was a Carr stable to throw the deep out. Then against Iowa he completely implodes in the 2nd half. Carr did not help by recruiting the worlds worse special team coach. Navarre still has a chance to win and overthrows a wide open receiver AGAIN. I have never seen anyone build up so much good will since Steve Smith yet fail so badly when the burden was on him. Even the Detroit Lions lit him up for 4 INTS. But outside of Navarre those 2002-2003 teams in my opinion were Carr's most balanced. A good QB who could read a blitz and not panic might have given UM a chance against USC. If you watch the replay it was not like USC dominated. It was just a handful of big plays and Navarre freaking out and missing the blitz keys. There was also that weird interception off of Edwards ankles and the drop on the 1st drive. So others contributed.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Great Coach is subjective||
We can say that Saban is a great recruiter and perhaps a great technique guy. But I would not call him a great coach. He depends on superior talent to win. When he was in the NFL where all things are equal he did not do very well. The great coaches are all at the next level.
|2 years 26 weeks ago||R^2 and recruiting||
I have always believed that a man is not measured by how he treats those who he knows and loves but how he treats those he does not know and fear. R^2 because he was different was shunned by much of the Michigan football alumni base. Who knows how much better a job R^2 could have done in recruiting if he had the complete support of the Michigan network and the assistant AD who despite being in the Athletic Department insisted he would have nothing more to do with football. How many recruits did we lose out on because of a word from a HS coach or a former alum at a camp? How many were turned away at every contrived uproar?
What makes football great is that as long as you have a scheme and fill players to fit that scheme you can win. Yes, if you recruit 30 5 star recruits at Bama or USC you have more room for error. Then it makes sense to pro set and out athelete your opponents. But Oregon with their tiny defense did as good a job as anyone else staying in the game against Auburn. Wisc and Iowa seem to just fine without top15 classes. If one is so blind that there is only one way to play football, you will get destroyed like UM constantly was against good spread teams.
I think it is reasonable to assume R^2 made some mistakes. His problem was every set back was compounded because he had no room to work with. I always wonder what would have happened if Fitz had not been hurt and discovered in 2010 instead of 2011. Then DR would not have been beaten up which means his shoulder is not hurt going into the state game. I wished we had the opportunity to see what R^2 could have done without interference. If I had twice the support R^2 had as football coach I know I would not have succeeded at my job either.
|2 years 26 weeks ago||Cam Newton was a pretty good DR||
Bama has seen QB's with dominant running ability before. CN is pretty much a bigger DR with a better arm though a bit slower. He does not have the unbelievable quicks. But he does have that moxy to make people miss in space. The players may not have any experience but the Bama coaching staff will have some good ideas what a running threat QB brings to the table.
We should not assume that Bama is going to be helpless when DR takes off. I also agree we will need to pass first to set up the run. In short we need Borges to make Saban guess and hope we can beat their base if Saban tests them with just a base. If he has to guess we have a chance to pull a fast one.
|2 years 26 weeks ago||What is the point of this post when Vegas says route||
I have to agree I have to wonder what the authors intentions are. No matter what our opinions are Vegas is predicting a route. 10+ point spreads means the people that bet money think this game will not be competative. I believe most of the questions just are big black boxes as there is no prior information to fill them in. It is likely that Fitz will not play as UM likes to think of itself more a university then a football factory. But how would we know how the distribution of carries will go?
I prefere to concentrate on what is known. We know nothing on how the Bama defense will turn out as they have so many new but talented players. DR is a senior. Given enough chances he will get his points.
What is not mentioned very much is the strength of the Bama team which is the Oline. The Oline verse Dline matchup is my biggest concern. Bama might be able to just grind the game out with ball control. DR cannnot score if he is off the field. A lot of folks absolutely fail to understand that a defense like a house is no stronger then its foundation. Without good line play LB'ers look foolish. How many ND defenses with deficiencies on the Dline have we observed the last several years? My suspicion is our LB'ers will not look so good when engulfed by roving guards at the 2nd level. If I had to make my bet based on the best Oline in college football verse a converted Olinemen and a flop my money would have to be on Bama.
The less condenscending question would be how do you think Michigan can beat Alabama? My take is that UM will need some big plays and TO's to get a lead. If that happens such that Bama is out of it's comfort zone more things can happen. Bama played offense last year with the mind set a punt is still a victory. Saban failed at the NFL level because he really does not have the dynamics to figure out how to beat anotther team on an equal footing. His only plan is crush the other team with obscenely superior talent. I will conceded he is technically sound on defense. However, if he is taken out of his comfort zone, he really does not have an answer. If the Bama offense gets impaient instead of rolling down the field, DR gets more shots. Enough opportunities could compound to more big plays especially since the talented but inexperienced Bama defense might press & panic. The events could snowball and things could get crazy. If that happens Michigan has a shot.
Without some magic I see UM having no chance. The tide Oline is just too good and unless several UM Dlinemen just suddenly play the games of their lives, using the tide metaphor trying to win will be as useless as trying to stop the tide from coming in with sand castles.
|2 years 30 weeks ago||If we beat Bama and other things||
If we beat Bama I will know that God walks among mortals and his name is Mattison. The only way UM has a shot at Bama is if they are complacent and a fired up Michigan wins the intangibles and Mattison figures out a way to out scheme the Bama offense.
Now some on the board are being bagged for not drinking the koolaid. When it comes to game time I have no problems rooting for my team and expecting a win. Every game begins tied. However, if I was told to put money down not on spread but the win, there is nothing to discuss.
To expect a team to win that has a new player at every position of the defensive line is ridiculous. So the underperforming NT who has shown nothing has to become a dominant player in his first start. The DE moved to 3tech, the other DE moved to 5tech, and the LB moved to End all have to do the same thing likewise. And they have to do it against the best Oline in all of college football. It might not matter what great plan Borges comes up with because the time of possesion could 42 minutes to 18 in favor of Bama. And don't forget if Borges is so great how come the best gig he could get was a coordinator at a Mountain West team. You would think an offensive wizard could go anywhere he wanted to. Especially after MSU and Iowa debacles I am not confused Borges knows half of what we give him credit for.
The fun of college football is that any team can win if the stars line up. I remember Arnie Spannard with his you don't need the spread take the win picks in the 90ties. I remember shaking when he picked NW over UM in 96. But I also remember his big picks of Virginia over FSU and that magical game when Florida came into LSU. Spurrier never knew what hit him. For that I will watch the games. There is nothing more entertaining than an underdog winning a college football game.
I just finished reading the account of the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. A bunch of undermanned American cruisers got bruised by a Japanesse Task force that was backed by a battleship. The underdogs won and the Hiei was sunk. Henderson field lived another day. My heart will be with Michigan. But if I were forced to bet my wallet would be with Alabama.
|2 years 33 weeks ago||Don't hate Phil Steele||
I do not understand the hate towards Steele. He does as good as anyone predicting the outcome often determined by teenagers. All he can do is look at the raw data where on average the roster turnover is 25% and the starter turnover rate is probably around 40%. If your going to hate Steele because of his predictions you might as well hate everyone else as I am not aware of any other organization that does a better job.
We all know we read predictions because we are starved for football and need something to fill in the time when we get bored of recruiting. I take predictions with a grain of salt. The one item I do like about Steele is he does try to introduce variance instead of just one hard number. Not all 8-4 predictions are equal. Ideally I would like to see someone mathematically define variance so we have a hard number to compare across teams. But predictions are hard with a sample space of 12.
|2 years 33 weeks ago||Why Michigan will lose||
I am of the opinion Michigan would have a better chance at winning later in the season this is why. UM has to break in 4 brand new players on the defensive line. Every single projected starter will either be a new starter or in a new position. There is no way that those four will hold up on the 1st game of the season playing their postion for the first time. The only way I do not see Bama putting up buku points is if their passing just stinks and are unable to take advantage of UM putting 8 men in the box.
The 1st game of the season with 4 new position players on the line would be tough as is. But UM is going against one of the beslt Olines in college football. If the defense keeps the Bama offense under wraps, I will elevate Mattison from best Dcoordinator in college football to God.
I personally think UM would have a better chance later in the season as I am of the opinion that Pimkins could be a major contributor by game 3 or 4. That plus everyone being confortable in their new position would be huge. I think a player like DR will get his points regardless of the defense arrayed against him. So for me the outcome of the game rests on can the UM defense get off the field and not get road graded. Clearly a lot of the burden rests on Campbell stepping up.
I believe long term UM's defensive line will shore up as the season progresses. But asking three players to move to new positions and expecting an underachiever to put it together on day one is a bit much. However, a poster pointed out an intangible in that Alabama will be complacent and has a lot less to prove. UM could get that football momentum going. We know that regardless of talent football is a game that can be won by players of inferior talent if they play harder and more inspired then their superior but more complacent opponents.
|2 years 41 weeks ago||I don't care about stars if Mattison wants the guy||
If arguablly the best Dcoordinator in college football wants a player, I do not care about the stars. If Mattison wants the guy and the ratings agencies say 3, I trust Mattison over all of them.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Nothing against Burke||
I have no problems if Burke leaves early. It is his life. Michigan will adjust. Perhaps the ceiling will not be as high. But we will have an opportunity to recruit some one else next year.
In regards to Burke leaving, it is a very immature decision. Everything I have read is that he would most likely go undrafted. A lot of underclassmen PG's are also declaring early. The NBA is about raw physical ability. At sub 6 feet Burke has to be a complete player or have some obscene ability that is extraordinary even in the NBA . He has shown neither. I agree with some of the other posters that Moris has a better NBA game and he is stuck in the minor leagues. Burke showed some very nice things. However, he did not show that consistant domination that you expect from a NBA style player going up against inferior competition.
Well good luck. It is his choice.
|2 years 49 weeks ago||Thankyou Novak and Douglass||
We got a hint that the NCAA tourney was going to be tough when a motivated Minnesota team pretty much blanked Novak and Douglass. Those guys overachieved during the regular season. They hit big shots against MSU/OSU at home. Without them there is no Big10 cochampionship. However, when you get to a one and done and everyone is bringing their A game, they were outmatched atheltically. I was really shocked when the Big Men on a MAC team were physcially quicker than them. The author of this article and others has done a nice job pointing out how because of Novak and Douglass this team achieved far more then we could ever expect. The foundation has been set for bigger things. Without Novak and Douglass it might not have happened. We should remember them if a couple years from now UM is making a final four run.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Measuring recruiting agencies||
It has been pointed out that many recruits get an uptick just because of the school they commit to. For example ND gets excited about a recruit and he gets two more stars.
The other item that concerns me is that unless a recruit fails to develop physically, he will attract interest and be drafted regardless of how dismally he learned football skills. If you run fast, stop on a dime, jump really high, and rep a lot of benches you will get drafted. This may be because the former NFL'ers at power programs do well. Even if they fail, the physical measurables will give that player a look. Yet a 3 star who got that star because of physical liabilities might be a good college football player but just not good enough to go on.
What I think would be interesting is instead of using the NFL for a barameter for success something along the lines of how many starts did that player generate for the program and how did that player stack up against his peers. A guy picked as the best DE and goes on to be a day one draft pick would be valued less then a 2 star who started 3 years, ranked in the top 3rd, but maybe just did not have the atheltic ability to go on.
Playing devils advocate on myself then how do you seperate someone who is just better at evaluting talent? What if that coach knows that 3star is actually 5 star material and only he has figured it out?
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Unifying the Michigan Family||
Most people only care about winning. As we saw down in Columbus it does not matter if you are cheating as long as you are winning. I do not have anything personal against Hoke. He seems to be a good guy. But the fact quoting RVB where were all those players before? I do not accept that it was a few vocal cockroaches. It really bothers me because "Michigan Men" were supposed to be different and the Michigan program was different. Yet Michigan Men are not much different from the rest of the humanity. We hate and loathe what is different from us and what we do not understand.
If Rich Rod were a Sunni living in a Shitte neighborhood or a Muslim in Serbia, or a black african in Dafur he would have been dumped on the same way. He was not a better or worse man then any other. All that can be said was he was different. And because he was different he was hated. As far as I am concerned the Michigan Men behaved little better then middle school cliques.
Welcome to the rest of humanity Michigan Men.
|2 years 51 weeks ago||Basketball more impressive then football||
For me it is not even close and this is why. Basketball has many more games. Good and bad fortune have less of an impact. In basketball a good or bad break impacts your record by 3%. You also have to play everyone. Also because the sample space is larger the breaks even out. The football team had a lot of good fortune. Notre Dame had the game won on multiple fronts and thankfully lost it. We did not have to play Wisconsin. We were completely outcoached in the OSU game and won because a true frosh who had lit us up missed a wide open receiver for a TD. And lastly we won a bowl game because a call rightfully got overturned and someone missed a FG. Those are all bang bang situations and they could all just as easily go against you. In football you can get a favorable schedule if the teams that matter are at home. Not so in basketball where you play most teams twice, once at home and once away.
The other major item is that the football team had pretty much everyone returning including the QB. The basketball team lost the equivalent of their QB. Now basketball is not as technical as football. It is easier for a basketball player to step in. However, no one expected Burke to be arguably the best PG in the Big10 by the end of his freshmen year. In football this would be equivalent to someone graduating their QB and the frosh replacement being first team all Big10.
Lastly, the basketball team was thinner in terms of the recruting ranking of the players on the floor and number of bodies available. For all practical purposes this team ran six deep. They won despite Hardaway strugling and multple players having to play out of position. We had a 6 4 power forward and a shooting forwardhaving to play backup center. I still find it amazing this team won 13 games in the Big10. I really look forward to what Beilein can do talent and depth.
|3 years 2 days ago||225 pound bench press||
I made a comment on the Martin 50 rep thread also. In summary there is a lot of variables. The basic issue is work equals force times distance. A six foot man with long arms may have to exert twice as much work to do the same rep as a five foot five man with shorter arms. On paper the short guy might be stronger. But when they line up on the football field there will be little doubt what happens if the short guy is trying to get around someone like a Mike Adams that everyone is now calling weak.
Football is also a game measured in five second bursts of power. Some folks make a point that perhaps the extra reps are due to the ability to ignore pain. That may be a positve measurable. However, I would be a lot more interested in how many reps someone could do of the following technique. You determine your 1 rep limit and go slightly below. Lift it, rest ten seconds, do it again. Keep going until you cannot.
I think the press is useful for some things. But as we well know lots of guys with big numbers do not equate to success. Football is ultimately a game of force impulse or power. It is not how strong you are, but how quickly you can leverage your strength. Suh is considered a once in a decade talent not because he is strong but because he is powerful. The two are different.
|3 years 2 days ago||Benchpress test just eye candy||
I know it is fun to set a goal, but the benchpress is really a bit overrated when measuring strength. When you are trying to do 50 reps of something it is no longer a strength issue but a measure of endurance. Do 50 of anything and see how long it takes. Since football is played in 5 second increments I am far more interested in a players strength move over that period and how fast they can recover to do it again in 30 seconds.
Also missed out is work equals force times distance. A six foot eight tackle in the Mike Adams build is going to have a much more difficult time then someone who has a more squat build and shorter arms. So anyone presuming he is not strong is being foolish.
These measurables along with 40 times and what not are nice. But they are as meaningful as measuring football skill as the SAT is for measuring inteligence. Just an arbitrary test. Losts of real strong guys can't make it in the NFL because their strength/endurance does not equat to the impulse power that really determines success. Ditto for real fast guys do not make the league because they can't cut or stop on a dime.
Suh benched 225 32 times. Presuming Martin is capable of benching 225 50 times and actually did, would anyone even entertain the possibility that the two are remotely close? No, because the play on the field is what is more important.
|3 years 5 days ago||Rivalry||
I think from a pure numbers perspective that OSU should expect to have the upper hand. It will always be easier for OSU to recruit in Ohio then Michigan. Michigan may be able to poach some players because of scheme. But I just see it real tough for UM to go head to head against a recruiter like Meyer.
I am also of the opinion that OSU will have a decided advantage because they will be going spread. I believe that when teams are equal a spread team will beat a power team. It is just a matter of numbers. The QB being a threat to run means there is one more person to defend. That all said the spread can be vulnerable if you do not have a QB to run it. I would say that Meyer has someone who can run his system for the next three years.
The only thing that could stop OSU is if their staff does not come together. Now that is a very real possibility.
|3 years 3 weeks ago||Iowa was not a great comeback. We got lucky||
I disagree that the Iowa game was a great comeback. We absolutely lucked out in that the Iowa defenisve player commited pass interference on a five yard route on 3rd and I believe 15. If we had to punt, our offense was ill equiped to drive the field in 2 minutes. To go undefeated you have to be good and lucky. Against Iowa we were lucky. UM turned the ball over 3 times and gave up multiple big plays on defense. It is not like we lit the 4th quarter up. It was pretty much the defense stoning Iowa for the entire 2nd half. With the exception of the last drive I doubt they had three first downs?
Not that I am bagging on the offense. I thought Carr did a great job realizing what he had and getting the most out of it. The team reminded me of the Parcell's coached Giants teams of the late 80ties. The forumla was control the clock, minimie mistakes, and a dominant defense to bail you out of trouble.
|3 years 3 weeks ago||It was all about the defense||
I am in the camp that the offense was average at best. The defense absolutely bailed the offense out a number of times. For example the offense all but gave the ND game away. Yet the defense stuffed ND despite them seeming to play the entire 2nd half in UM territory. I also recall Griese did not have a very good half against Iowa. And of course there were the mistakes against OSU.
When your best offensive player is a defensive player, that is not saying much for the offense. Down the stretch Woodson was by far our most dominant player on offense.
|3 years 4 weeks ago||Michigan Lost Because||
The authors of mgoblog have done a great job documenting UM's struggles in the Big10 season. Everything they have pointed out came to fruition yet again. UM has struggled to knock down the perimeter shot, generate offensive rebounds, go to the free throw line, and rebound on the offensive end. UM did play scrappy defense and had a game plan for frustrating Sullenger.
I cannot see UM winning in Ann Arbor if the errant shooting is not fixed. Hoford coming back is not enough. If UM can start shooting again and Hardaway gets hot, I think they can beat anyone in AA.
|3 years 5 weeks ago||Carr's failures||
I think it is good that we continue debating and discussing because for many of us the wounds have not healed and may never. For me personally, what makes Michigan special is gone. I used to think we were better then other programs not because we won more but because Michigan did things better. Carr and his clique put their interests in installing someone who was part of their inner circle as coach instead of supporting the outsider. R^2 was a threat to their legacy and long term influence. In my opinion they did everything they could to tear him down.
A few more points. I thought the contrast of how Elliot supported Bo verses how Carr dealt with R^2 was gigantic. How can you be the assistant AD and not be on speaking terms with the coach of the biggest sport on campus? That makes it very clear to me that Carr wanted R^2 to fail and probably applauded every setback.
Regarding how much talent was on the 2008 roster. All you have to do is read Phil Steele's 2008 preview. Everyone forgets the uproar Steele caused when he had UM's power ranking somewhere in te 50ties. He predicted that UM was a paper tiger and when Threet failed miserablly, the train wreck began.
My last point is to compare Carr to another great man. Bob Knight was a great coach who was larger then life. But his own hubris took him down. Bob Knights failing was he had no respect for those who were different from him. If you were a friend, Knight would do anything for someone in his circle. However, what ultimately defines a man is not how you treat those who are your friends and those you understand, but how you treat those who are different from you and those you fear because you do not understand them.
Bob Knight presumed those who were different from him or whom he could not understand were amoral dirt beneath his contempt. This is ultmately Lloyd Car'sr failure in my opinion. I say Carr was a great man and a great coach and someone who would do anything for his friends. But he ultimately failed as a person because he despised what he could not understand and labeled then evil. For such a well read man Carr could should have read more history. If so he may have avoided this common theme of humanity. If he had read the history of UM football he should have wondered what would have happened if the noble gentile Elliot had been outraged at the salty barbarian from Ohio and chosen to tear him down such that a hand picked insider could continue the legacy upon Bo being fired.
|3 years 8 weeks ago||Deserving or not is not the point after the fact||
I am happy UM won the game. However, Monday morning QB'ing I was extremely disapointed in how the game played out. Any small string of games can come down to lucky breaks and fate just working for you. However, long term there will be regression to the mean. Going into this game I thought UM was going to really take it to the Hokies. They had not really had any impessive victories and had a pedestrian offense. Their QB seemed steady and their RB ran hard. The Oline did not impress. Their defense appeared pretty good and aggresive. Plus this was a ACC team and the conference has been down recently. I expected our offense to generate big plays as their aggresive defense got RPS'ed. I expected us to play the run and our secondary could stay with their possesion receivers. I was expecting a ten point victory.
Part of the bowl game to me is measuring yourself. If this game is played nine more times, UM probably losses eight of them. A victory is nice, but when we measured up against a pretty good team we were massively deficient. Our offense could not sustain any drives and our scoring was due to high risk plays that are just crap shoots. It was nice to see our defense bend. However, they could not generate any pressure on the QB and their possesion receivers seemed to get open at will.
Now we can enjoy the win. But we have to know that if this is our best against this kind of competition were going to get obliterated. I am really fretting that we lost our best 3 linemen to graduation. What is going to happen when we play Alabama next year? If a limited ACC team can dominate us I don't even want to imagine the crater our football team will be left in after a premier SEC team has their way with us.
|3 years 9 weeks ago||ESPN article and what is pro verses spread||
I thought the article was misleading. DR looked much better in my opinion verse Nebraska and OSU because he spent the majority of his snaps in the shotgun and not under center. The label of pro set was because that is what the pros supposedly run. I think you can make a case that the NFL is slowly moving to more spread elements. GB and NO obliterated everything in their path in the NFC while NE did pretty darn well. At what point does the spread become the dominant offense in the NFL and pro set is for dinosaurs.
Personally I hope that both styles remain as variety is the spice of life. It is kind of boring if everyone runs a 3-4 and spread or 4-3 and proset.
|3 years 11 weeks ago||Major head in sand on this list||
Everyone is making it sound like RVB and Martin were incompetents the first four years. Both were excellent players last year and the only thing that held Martin back last year was a turned ankle. The implication that this staff made these players and because of that Washington and Campbell are going to play at any level approaching them is ridiculous. I will give the staff props for putting the finishing touches and getting more out of them. However, I do not accept that these players were made in one year.
I also do not accept the excuse that the backups did not make the field because the first team was playing so well. If you have adequate talent in your 2deep you play them. We observed the experiments at playing backups at the beginning of the year and they failed pretty badly.
Even if Campbell and Washington make huge strides the best we can hope for it barely adequate. Teams are going to run all over us next year. The foundation of a defense is its Dline. I am confident that when Hokes recruits get some experience, we will go back to normal. But there was a reason why it was so important to have a good year this year. Next year is going to be bumpy. If the defense is even remotely as good next year as this year, I will be worshiping on Greg Mattison's doorstep on sundays and work starting a new religion ;)
|3 years 12 weeks ago||Why MSU cannot get a bid or win bowl games.||
There are a number of factors that make it hard for MSU to succeed. The State of Michigan is not a big football statel. Yet there are two major programs fighting for the limited talent. MSU is a regional school. When MSU loses out to UM they often do not have another blue chip option. National schools like UM and OSU can reach out beyond the state and compete for national recruits.
Any given player can rise above their projections. This sometimes happens and combned with holding serve in the State of Michigan the last couple years helped MSU do as well as they possibly could. However to beat a power team it comes down to talent. Football is not like basketball where one great player can carry a team for a game. If you are out talented at 40 of the 44 two deep positions, what has to happen for you to win must be more extreme.
MSU has to depend for so many players to turn out because they are just not going to have waves of top15 recruiting classes every year. This will always thwart the WICS's, MSU's, and Iowa's from reloading. To compensate, these teams focus on an identity that maximizes play in the Big10 but not neccesarilly help against a good team that has 60 days to prepare for their scheme. The reality is college power programs are fueled by a constant influx of talent. If you are unable to bring in that top tiered talent, regression to the mean says some long shots do not turn out and you must suffer through a rough spot.
Given enough time, a top tiered program will easily be able to present a scheme that negates the identity that an overachiever used to win in their conference. This is why in my opinion why so many Big10 schools perform so poorly in the bowls. It also does not help that Big10 schools travel well and always get better bowls and thus opponents. But it does not explain how WISC's offense was totally thwarted by an undersized TCU.
|3 years 12 weeks ago||Mattison Smoke & Mirrors||
I think what you will see next year is Mattison use scheme to protect the Dline. This year the strength was the Dline and Mattison used scheme to protect the weakness which was the linebackers and to a lesser extent the secondary. The D numbers look nice on paper, but every time UM went up against a team with a superior receiver and a QB who was not incompetent, we got utterly destroyed. Still does not take away from what Mattison did.
Next year I think you will see Mattison turn everything around to protect the Dline, especially the tackles. However you slice it the max upside for the Dline will not even approach what we got this year. At best we are talking taking several notches of performance down. However, we can compensate with run blitzes and forcing teams to beat us with the pass. UM's secondary should be above average projecting out continued improvement.
Regarding help from freshmen, it is rare that you see any frosh come out and contribute. Last time I saw someone who could do that on day one was Gabe Watson. So it is possible. It is just not very probable.
Going forward to 2013, at that point you may be able to see Mattison have enough talent to dictate what he wants to do on defense instead of scrambling to protect deficiencies.
In summary it was nice to see us go 10-2 and build up a lot of good will. Next year is going to be a bit bumpy. As Mr Cook informs us, TO's usually regress back to the mean. There were a lot of unforced errors might WMU, ND, SDSU, and NW that turned losses to wins or tight gams into blowouts.
|3 years 12 weeks ago||Why payers should not get payed.||
Here is another angle. Used to be most top college basket players stayed at least 3 years. Then players started going directly to the pros via HS. Now we have this ridiculous rule that does not allow it. So we have all of these one and done players. It is only there so NBA teams and scout out the Kwame Brown bombs from the real players. If the top 10-20 HS bball prospects go directly to the NBA it does not change the value of the product. Ditto if the top 30-45 HS prospects went directly to the NBA. We would still watch the college product.
If we still all watch the college product, that implies that the players who have professional talent do not add any additional value on a macro scale. They are only valuable if they help that individual team win. If the top 20 individuals are in a professional leauge and teams are fighting over the 21st best player who is suddenly now the best. Were back at the same spot.
If we could transpose 1984 to 2012, the NCAA basketball contract is worth the same if Patrick Ewing, Jordan, and Barkely are playing for a school contract or not. The same number of people will still watch NCAA basketball games.
If a HS kid thinks he is worth millions, he should go to Europe if he believes the NCAA and the schools are unfairly making money at his expense.
|3 years 12 weeks ago||UM fortunate Miller inaccurate||
I think the point people are missing is not how good or bad Miller played but how bad our secondary played. Receivers were so wide open that even badly thrown balls were completions. This game was a must win going in in my opinion because chances are we will get clobbered in Columbus. Long term I believe the future is bright because Mattison has proven he can recruit at the National Level. Short term things look gloomy and this is why.
I believe Mattison did a good job of leveraging the strength of the defense which was two 5th year seniors who are all big 10 players in Martin and RVB. Three of our four starters graduate. The gap in talent and football smarts between the 1st and 2nd string is gigantic. I'm praying their is ghost floating somewhere that will posess Will Campbell so that he can suddenly be an effective player. So many questions have to work out for our Dline to just be average. Tackle is a position that is rarely filled by a freshmen
Our secondary only succeeded once in handling a big time receiver. We were really fortunate that the teams we played had untalented receivers or untalented QB's. Countest seems to be the only individual who has the atheletic ability to stay with a serious player.
After next year, I think we will have a little edge as Meyer will have to deal with scholarship limits. It is not that he can recruit talented players. It is just that all of them have to work out. Also for every scholarship OSU is short, that is one more blue chip Ohio HS kid who may come up to Michigan because there is not a scholarship available. After next year, some of Mattison's recruits should have some seasoning to either be ready as starters or to be leaders.
Long term I have some concerns because at least from past statements, Borges has an utter disdain for the spread. You would think that after putting up 44 points on a pretty good OSU defense he would get it. At the college level the spread is way superior to the pro set. All things being equal I believe a great offense will be stopped by a great defense of equal talent. I am of the opinion a spread tilts the balance by removing a defense player from an area you wish to attack. This is why Stanford gives up a billion points to Oregon.
If Meyer implements his spread offense and has equivalent talent were going to have to be that much better on defense to make up. OSU will reload their defense. We know that OSU will have the talent to stop a pro set offense. A Troy Smith led offense was unstoppable verse a typical Michigan defense. That 06 defense still has former starters on NFL rosters. Yet they were utterly helpless. If one teams plays a spread and we don't, they will have a gigantic schemetic advantage. They will know our QB will not be a threat to run and we will have to game plan that their QB may or may not run. If you have to cover more bases, you defense gets spread out; thus the reason for name.
|3 years 13 weeks ago||Meyer will know how to use Dunn||
I would love for Dunn to come to Michigan. But all this talk of Meyer not knowing how to use Dunn is turtle poop. Good coaches will adjust to maximize the talent of their players. At Florida Tebow just happened to be the best RB. I am sure if Meyer had a Peterson type back, he would have made use of him. Tebow just happened to be able to be the power guy from the QB position.
A power back can do just fine in the spread. Dunn is pretty much a Beanie Wells type back. Wells did just fine in a Troy Smith led spread. If Tressel can do it, Meyer will figure it out. So the question to me is how stubborn is Dunn in insisting he does not want to play in an offense that is publically a spread.
|3 years 13 weeks ago||Don't pay them||
There will never be enough money to get rid of the crookedness and greed. An individual like Pryor will always have a need for more. I would say that is a basic lesson that most of us run into. I recall geting my first nonminimum wage job that accually was secure. I had a base salary of 16K and made almost 21K. I thought I was wealthy beyond my wildest dreams. That was because before I was a starving student. 20 years ago my overweight friends got fit & trim the hard way. I had friends who lived on couches and pilfering raemon noodle packets from Meijers. Read Crime and Punishment. Students are always going to be poor. That is why we work so hard to get our degrees. Then we make ten times as much as realize we have just as much in the bank account as we did when we were starving ;)
Being a football player is a lot of work. But I would do it in a heartbeat. Sure beats how I payed for school. And maybe that is the true barameter. If we all would rather be in their shoes, why should they be payed? I will gladly take their place and wear a jacket with the letter and they can work the nightshift. Grass is always greener where the dogs are pooping.
|3 years 13 weeks ago||Meyer and success at OSU||
I believe Meyer will do very well at OSU. Overlooked when a hotshot coach gets hired in is whom he can bring in on his coaching staff. Who was more important to Florida's 2 NC's? Was it Meyer or Tebow? Or was Mattison and Mullen more important? Look at Lloyd Carr's career. Early on he had Mattison, Hoke, and Bedford. The 2007 staff in my opinion was about as mediorce as I had ever seen. What if R^2 had the money to bring in a 3-3-5 expert like Casteel?
OSU has a huge advantage over UM in that they are willing to pay an infinite amount of money to ensure they have their allstar staff. UM is very fortunate that Mattison is not driven by dollars.
|3 years 13 weeks ago||I wish there were was a better way to rank recruits||
One of my problems with the recruiting rankings it all seems to be based on potential and physcial ability. Which player counts more points to a class? A three star recruit who has a 90% chance of reaching their potential or a five star recruit that has a 30% chance? On paper we all get excited about the 5 star recruit. Yet the three star recruit is most likely going to be more useful to the team.
I really wish that the recruiting agencies made some kind of attempt to rate football IQ, even if it is understood it is going to have some error. I would be happy with low, medium, high. Then I could review classes and ask who has a solid class of "football" players and which program is just stocking up on super atheletes who are a little short on football skills.
I could always review the individual scouting reports. But that is the entire point agencies generate a number in the first place. Too much of it seems based on the physcial ability and not enough towards technique. On paper we gush about William Campbell and Mike Hart is an afterthought.
A few more variables might give us a better way to compare classes and predict which ones will be more succesful. I recall the great fanfare of the 93, 98 and 05 classes and all of them pretty much underperformed and in some cases bombed. If we had looked behind the numbers we may have been able to predict that those classes had problems.
In summary it is nice to see that the ratings agencies give the class high marks so far. But I take these numbers with a grain of salt because of the high variability. It gives me a barameter of potential upside if all works out. But what is the average expectation?
|3 years 13 weeks ago||How well will Urban Meyer do||
Urban Meyer on offense is a spread guy. The one vulnerability of a spread offense is it really depends on the QB getting it. A pro offense can get by with a game manager. If a spread does not have a QB who can make the reads it blows up. Look at Brian Kelly and ND. Though Hendrix might be the right fit next year. Miller appears to me to be a perfect fit for Meyer's spread. For those who insist that a spread QB cannot stick, last I looked Alex Smith and Tim Tebow were still on NFL rosters. For every spread QB who does not work, I can show you three proset QB's who also bombed. So I do not believe system really matters unless your playing at a military academy.
For those who continue to arrogantly profess pro is superior to spread, you will continue to be disapointed. I'm not saying a spread is always better, but it is at least as good. A number of very succesful teams like NE, GB, and NO are very content to have the majority of their snaps out of the shotgun. I am of the opinion any staff should shape their team to the talent they have. To refuse a system that might fit a team is hubris.
Regarding what OSU's defense might be under Meyer there will always be a core of players who will want to play for OSU even if the Dcoordinator is Donald Duck. OSU also has very deep pockets. UM is very fortunate that Mattison is willing to be our coordinator for much less then what he could command on the open market. Meyer will have a lot more money to recruit a staff. If Meyer's head is in it, OSU will do very well. We should get a nice head start if the sanctions are severe.
|3 years 13 weeks ago||Observations on Borges and Michigan||
The big concern was that despite evidence to the contrary Borges was going to insist putting the QB under center. It took ten games but it was nice to see total us go 90%+ shotgun. I'm still worried that Borges hubris will convince him to attempt under center again next year. This was classic spread & shread. If you replaced the UM skill players names with Oregon players you would have thought it was Oregon destroying a PAC10 defense. QB running for 100+, RB running for 100+ and high TD to pass attempts ratio is what one is gunning for. In terms of specifics the only plays that really bugged me were the DG appearances.
In regards to the defense it is clear from the UFR's presented by this sites owner, Mattison has done a great job putting his players in position to make plays. He has really leveraged our two outstanding linemen Martin and RVB. I think it is pretty clear from this game that our defense was a bit of smoke & mirrors. It is not like the defense faced very many serious passing QB's. The Big10 is also not nearly as competative as last year. I cringe to see what will happen in the bowl season. The coverage was pretty bad. I counted 2 easy TD's and a number of other easy gains lost just because Miller just blew the throw. Next year he will not do that.
Going forward to next year I believe it will be very important for the offense to carry the team. We have huge question marks at both DT positions. Can we find suitable replacements while Mattison develops the young back seven? I am not so worried about DE. I just hope Campbell can come around and spell us one more year. After that we should have more options.
I would hope that this would be proof to Borges that DR running a spread & shread can be a TD machine. We have our RB who can run the ball 25 plus times against the patsies and save DR for the toughest teams.
|3 years 15 weeks ago||Complaining about those who complain about Borges :)||
I have to disagree with the Borges defenders. All I have to say about the Illinois game is it is about time. I do not buy the excuses that he can only do what he knows. Even stone age Tressel figured the spread out when he had a QB capable of running it. I do not know if good play calling would have pulled out the MSU game, But the Iowa game loss is completely on Borges. Unless you are better then the other team, succesful football is dependent on deception. Mattison is doing a wonderful job on the defensive side of the ball getting the most out of his players. I will not buy for a second that Borges becomes an incapable deunce if the QB is in the shotgun. I think it is more hubris that he thinks his way is better.
I think the Illinois game proves that the shot gun and showing three threats is far superior to anything Borges would profess. Which bothers me more. Any good coordinator should be able to adjust to what he has. Mattison did. But that is why Mattison is considered a genius and why Borges was stuck in the moutain west. I would have expected that if he were so good, someone would have offered a better gig then SDSU.
|3 years 15 weeks ago||Borges is a disaster and here is why||
When I looked at this team at the end of 2010 I was expecting a 10-2 or 9-3 season. For all practical purposes it returned everyone. The offensive failures were due to inexperience not scheme. Furthermore, the schedule was much easier. Replace UCONN with SDSU, replace Wisc with Minehaha, and PSU with NW. Anyone remember Henne as a 2nd year QB? He was pretty inconsistant.
Instead we are stuck exactly where we were last year. There is no team that we can say we have beaten because R^2 is gone. The responsibility is soley on Borges. For whatever reason every week our offense seems to be a motely colllection of gimick plays. Even Jim Tressel realized that he was better off putting Troy Smith in the shotgun. And yet Beanie Wells seemed to get his carries.
If there was nothing, I could accept working with building the scheme now and living for another day. Yet we have an exceptional talent that is completely being misused. I do not believe R^2 would want to run his QB 25 times a game. If you look at WV, Steve Slaton got the majority of the snaps and thus the reason for the big push to recruit Dee Brown.
I do not want to wait three more years and listen to excuses that Borges does not have the players he needs to succeed. A coach coordinator should be able to succeed with what he has. The 2014 season, Borges is going to have to figure out how to run his offense with 4th and 5th year players recruited by R^2's staff. Next year we will still have no power back, no fullback, and no blocking TE's. We graduate all of our capable linemen next year. The offense is going to absolutely have to carry the team as the defense will take a major step back.
So are we going to have to listen to three years of excuses because Borges does not have the players he needs? Maybe that is the reason why he got run out of the SEC and was stuck in the mountain west.
|3 years 16 weeks ago||Mistakes in the Iowa loss||
On defense I thought UM played as well as they could considering the known issues with the defense. There were a few edge failures. But thems the breaks when your playing freshmen LB'ers. We also are still a little slow in the secondary and we had to play off a bit.
I was very upset on the offensive game plan. As predicted the running game was not nearly as effective. DR seems to run best when there is the potential for misdirection. I did not understand the jet sweeps as it became obvious to the defense what the play was going to be. I agree with the poster who critisized bringing in Gardner. I can't see how a QB can get into rythm. Worse, every Gardner snap was a gimmick. The defense just seemed to know that certain options were off the board when Gardner is under center. The people on MGOBLUE seem to think that DR is on track to turn into Tom Brady at the midway point of the Nebraska game which is nonsense in my opinion. I was hopeful prior to the season that Borges would figure out how to best use DR. It appears increasingly more likely it is leaning towards a Gardner takover for 2012 and DR will go the way of Randal El. I do not see how UM wins verses Nebraska or OSU with the offense skipping from one gimick to the next. It is almost as if GERG became our offensive coordinator.
Tactically I did not understand the timeout prior to the Iowa punt. If we had two timeouts when we were down at the 3, we still would have had a run option. The plays on the three got players open. Of the three plays we had a ref call a TD not, a player dropped the ball, and we failed because of interference not being called.
|3 years 17 weeks ago||3 and out musings||
These are just my comments as folks either forget things things or do not bother to read the author of mgoblogs articles.
There is this dispute about how good UM's team should have been in 2008. Some say the defense was good. The reality is the preseason polls put UM around 50th or worse. The Steele Magazine which is usually most accurate had us even lower. Regardless of how good a coach R^2 may have been, those who evaluate football talent thought the 2008 team was pretty crummy. The Manninghams and Mallets might have bugged out because they realized the team was not very good.
The author of this site has gone into excrucitating detail examining the other destruction of the 05 through 07 recruiting classes. Part of this was bad recruiting and some bad luck. The reality is even today the Hoke staff is having to make due with Carr's recruits. Ideally most of your starters should be 4th and 5th year seniors. With the exception of a few players in the 08 class, R^2 was evaluated based on the play of his 2nd year players. If the previous staff did a terrible job recruiting, of course the defense is going to be terrible. I believe the auther of mgoblog would agree with the statement Carr;s staff did a terrible job recruiting the last few classes.
There are those who say the program has improved. I would say this. What games has a Hoke coached team won that a R^2 team did not? WMU, SDSU, Minehaha, Purdue, and NW are all teams that would have been destroyed by the spread&shread. For whatever reason R^2 seemed to have ND's number. If R^2 got lucky against ND, so did Hoke. The Hoke staff inherited a team that went from one of the youngest teams in the Big10 to about average. I think it is reasonable to say that a genius like Mattison is better then the GERG. Yet I would also say the offense has taken a major step backwards. Borges gimicks seem to work against inferior teams but he was completely helpless against MSU. If R^2 were still coach I could easily see this team right where it is today at 6-1 and heading towards 9-3 or 10-2. Hoke has an opportuntiy this week with an Iowa team. Then again Iowa is pretty bad this year. I would like to see a victory against Nebraska or OSU before I say were better off.
College football has also changed even in the last few years. It is hard to consistantly stay good. Just in the last couple years we have observed powerhouses Florida and Texas fade despite on paper big recruiting classes. It seems to be harder then ever to consistantly stay good year after year. A few bad breaks and everything falls apart.
However, what bugs me the most is the destruction of my Camelot. I'm sure it was all an illusion. But I loved my illusion that Michigan was special and unique in the football world. Then Sir Lanecelot slept with the queen because the king was a boor and the Knights of the Round Table were jerks about it. The infighting and backstabbing made me realize that Michigan is no longer special. Its just the team I grew up rooting for and I can't say it is better then anyone else's program. I still root for Michigan. But the victories are no longer so special and the defeats so bitter. I will no longer do a happy dance around the living room after Michigan pulls out a great win, or threaten the TV with immediate destruction after a terrible lost. Lloyd Carr and his cronies disolved the illusion. Maybe it would come back many years later. But for me it is only a game. If we had all been united behind our coach it probably would have worked out.
|3 years 17 weeks ago||Errr our defense is going to get worse next year||
I have complete faith that Mattison will get the most out of his players. Unfortuately, our two best players on defense graduate. None of our linebackers seem to have gotton it yet. I strongly disagree that Deamons looks like a 2005 David Harris. The guy has taken a step back in my opinion. There is hope for some of the younger players because you can make the excuse they made the mistake because they are young. I still see people in deniel insisting Will Campbell is going to be a servicable tackle. He can't even beat a walkon to crack the two deep. Mattison really wanted to give Martin looks at 3tech and even DE. So you know if Campbell was grading out, he would be on the field.
Unless one of this years freshmen make a quantum leap in skill and weight were going to have a journeyman and a walkon as our starting tackles. Alabama will road kill us even if we snuck David Harris back on the team.
I personally see a couple tough years on defense until the tackle issue is taken care of. ND has had a fairly talented back seven for years. Yet Weise's staff either neglected or failed to recruit decent tackles. Thus for years teams like Navy and a run poor team like USC run the ball down their throat.
|3 years 18 weeks ago||What about Campbell||
For me one of the biggest disapointments is the realization that Campbell really is a bust. I was hoping against hope that under Mattison something might be salvaged. Next year is going to be rough as our tackle depth goes to zero.
|3 years 19 weeks ago||Borges is inferior to even Mack Brown and is the real dinosaur||
Bowden took a strugglinger QB in Charlie Ward and put him in the shotgun and he won a Heismen. Mr ultra conservative took a head case in Troy Smith and put him in the shotgun and nearly won a NC. Mack Brown, the most basest of lizard brains who could not out scheme a rock put Vincy Young in the shotgun and told him to adlib to a NC.
What does our Ocoordinator do? He takes the most explosive spread QB in the nation and sticks him under center. If you have a Indy Race Car, don't use it to haul dirt!!!! If MSU and Oregon meet in the Rose Bowl is there any doubt in the obliteration? At the college level unless you have an absolutely dominating defense because you can pick the best ten players every year to play at your school, the spread be it run or pass based is going to destroy the conventional under center teams.
Look at the NFL. Name the teams that are destroying opposing offenses. NO, GB, and NE all give spread looks at least 60% of the time. How come half the NFL is reverting to the 3-4 when 15 years ago 95% of the league was 4-3?
Al Borges is out of date. I had an extreme amount of trepidation that Borges was going to blow it. This is a team with the entire offense back. Another 7-5 year is going to be an extreme set backwards since next year could be utter destruction.
|3 years 19 weeks ago||Size does not matter||
I take issue that bigger is better. Bo one with smaller more atheletic linemen. Does anyone recall the Messner verse Roidboy battles of the 80ties. The guy giving up 100 pounds won. I also so a TCU defense handle Wisconsin's huge line and Oregon stay in the game against Auburn. The FSU ultradefenses of the 90ties always had slightly undersized but ultra quick linebackers like Brooks. Size can be useful, but speed is more important. Maybe you want one or two guys to clog the middle and be impossible to move. But at every other position a faster guy is better.
Regarding the UM<>MSU game I had predicted MSU by two scores. I did not expect all the penalties. I thought the game plan by Bourges was horrible. It seems to me he is being as gimmicky on offense as R^2 was on defense. If anything, Borges insistance on long throws was more of a disadvantage in the strong winds. A short passing game built into the spread & shread would have been far more useful. For someone who is supposedly innovative there were no screens, draws, and very few slants called to try to penalize MSU for blizing up the middle. We did get the one TD.
Regarding next year, I think UM will get murdered by MSU. We graduate Martin and RVB and there is not a suitable replacement on the horizon. Tackles are one of those positions where you rarely find a 1st or 2nd year capable of starting. If anyone begs to differ, please tell me who our startering tackles. Campbell still looks like a bust.
|3 years 22 weeks ago||Don't forget the Mike Martin injury||
A major impact on our defense from going from bad to non existent was the injury to Mike Martin at the end of the MSU game. With him hobbled our run defence became deficient and what modicum of a pash rush there was went to zero.
I would be interested in seeing how the numbers played out if you evaluated UM's defense through the MSU game and then compared Iowa to the bowl game.
|3 years 22 weeks ago||Pressure defense causes TO's||
I believe it is a reasonable statement that Mattison's pressure tactics have contributed to the increased TO numbers. However, Mattison's scheme would have been impossible last year. Last year our starting secondary for the UCONN game included a 5th year journeyman who could not start for a MAC team, a converted WR who was a redshirt freshmen, another redshirt freshmen, and a true freshmen. The backups were all redshirt freshmen or true freshmen. Of our two deep which would be ten players, there was only one legit player with any experience.
Fast forward to this year. The 2nd year players are now in their 3rd year. Freshmen who played last year now have experience. Better, James Rogers is replaced by Wolfolk. Pressure defense does not work if you have a black hole in the secondary. I approve of what Mattison is doing. But likewise I understand that his schemes would be impossible last year. UM's defense went from ridiculously young and undermaned to just undermaned.
The reality is UM's defense was good enough the last two years to go 5-0. UM will be 5-0 again. So do we really know anything? Lets wait until UM plays MSU before we claim the defense has improved or not.
|3 years 23 weeks ago||Our defense is also better if we used last year's stats||
Now before I blow everyone's bubble up, I will say I believe Mattison is a far better coach then The GERG and I would rather go down giving up a big play blitzing then giving up a big play being passive. In my opinion the defense looks inferior to last year so far. This is why. Last year when teams ran against UM they seemed to do okay. A run oriented team like UCONN was blunted fairly decently. As our team wore down and Mike Martin got hurt even the run defense was pretty horrible. What scares the heck out of me is that even MAC teams can run on us. UM should be so physically superior that our base defense should obliterate anything a MAC team can do. It should not require an ingenious adjustment to counteract a MAC team. Yet WMU and EMU gouged our defense going right at us.
I am crossing my fingers and praying that we will see a big uptick because Campbell will magically get it and be a consistant force and/or Cameron Gordon comes back from injury and is way better then the musical chairs that has been WLB.
If this is what UM is on defense, were going to get obliterated. And if you believe this year or last year was not fun, what happens next year when Martin and RVB graduate? Err, can you say true freshmen starting at tackle? Lets pray Campbell gets it and ESPN was wrong.
There is a ray of light that if UM 2012 class is multipled by 3 and Mattison is still around, the defense will be very good as it appears we have some good defensive recruits coming in and no reason that Mattison can't keep briging them in.
|3 years 24 weeks ago||This is about Dinosaurs and Mammals||
In my opinion this is a clash in philosphy. There are those who want Michigan to play football the old way. Control the clock, make no mistakes and have a dominant defense. The new way of football is a quick striking offense operating out of the shotgun. The defense is the same in that it attempts to generate opportunistic big plays. So lets go to the NFL where all things are equal and you just cannot out recruit or out spend your opponent. Good examples of manball are Pittsburg and the New York Giants. On the flip side we have Green Bay and New Orleans.
I agree looking at stats of a single team verses a entire league is more useful. For those who do read Brian's posts he pointed out that in the NFL teams that operate out of the shotgun make more yardage even when they run. I will assume he did not bias his database. If we assume he is fudging, we have nothing to discuss as this is all about looking at the data.
I am going to make a general statement. When you run manball your attempting to win by asserting your will over the other team. I am bigger and tougher then you. You cannot stop me. This works great when Wisc plays a Michigan defense who is playing a bunch of freshmen. It blows up when Wisc plays a senior laden TCU squad in the Rose Bowl. Man ball depends on you having superior talent and execution. It works great when your Alabama or USC five years ago when you can pick the best ten players out of HS every year. It blows up when your Michigan and USC has a front four that will all play in the NFL the following year.
Spread be it offense or defense is about winning by deception. It is Aikdo on the football field. If you can't overpower them, run around them until they are ragged. Trick them and get them on their heels. Exhaust the other team mentally because on every play you are a threat to blow it up be it offense or defense.
Now the spread has an achilles heal. When your playing manball, your QB is less important. If you fail to have an adequate QB for a spread, it blows up even if all the other pieces are in place. Ditto on defense. If your going to run a 3-4 or 3-3-5 you need particular atheletes. If Will Campbell had not busted, running RVB, Campbell, and Mike Martin as your front line would have been ideal 3 man line in terms of a combo of weight and speed. There are a lot more 270 pound DE's around who can play 4 man lines. Someone like Roh can't really work. He is too slow to be an OLB and too small to be a DE on a 3 man line.
So back to data. Look what happens in the NFL where all things are created equal. The trend is 3-4 defenses, and QB's operating out of the shotgun. There are throwbacks. But increasingly teams are depending on speed and deception over will and power.
I watched Tom Brady utterly destroy Miami last night out of the gun. What could he have done if Carr ran a spread at Michigan? Is it any wonder why plays out of the shotgun are so much more succesful? Who has a better chance, Drew Bledsoe under center or Aaron Rogers in the shotgun?
So when R^2 got fired because the old guard refused to see the changing world, I cried. If Hoke's staff is good enough to win football during the recruiting season, perhaps we can compete for Big10 championships. But when we play marque games against the future Texas, USC, Oregons of the world we will be obliterated.
So do something risky and go for it all, or hedge and play it safe and get your 5%. I will say Dave Brandon hedged.
|3 years 24 weeks ago||ERRR our defense is still terrible||
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely enjoyed watching us beat ND in heartwrenching factor again. Shame on Brian Kelly for not suspending Floyd. Nice to see his BCS dreams blow up in his face. And with a MSU victory ND's season will be over.
But anyone who thinks our defense turned a corner is insane. The reality is we gave up 500 yards to a team being run by a journyman. Of the four turnovers, only one was truly forced. I would say the Cierre Wood fumble was legit. One interception was a horrible throw when Reise threw way too late. The other occured because the TE blew the route and Reise went tunnel vision. Kudos to Kovak for still reading the play. If Reise just does not drop the ball on the ground for that 4th TO UM just wins easy.
The only thing I felt good about was that UM's run blitzes seemed to work when ND was obviously running. The Big10 is filled with QB's of a much higher quality. They will pick us apart if we play like that in conference play.
|3 years 24 weeks ago||Keeping DR healthy||
The author of this site did a very good analysis of runing verses not running and the odds of staying healthy. I believe it was determined that there is no difference. It does not matter if you are being tackled on a run or being hit on a sack. Football is a game of violence. Do you limit the touches of your star running back to 10-15 out of fear of injury? I hope the Titans do not listen to folks on this board and limit Chris Johnson to ten touches.
What any player can do is protect themselves. Some runners know how to take a hit or make hits glancing blows and/or go down when there is nothing left to gain. DR could probably do a better job of that. I agree that it would be nice to win games with DR getting only ten touches. However, in the signature games, I believe UM needs him running 25 times(Troy Smith) to have a chance. We will lose if we are unable to score 30 points against the likes of Wisc, Neb, or OSU.
The problem with DR being under center is the options of what he can do to pressure the defense go down.It will be easier to defend DR. All the zone read runs go away. DR under center running is not nearly so useful. Also any run under center in a passing down gets tougher because he is running away from where he wants to go first. If we had road graders like Wisc maybe under center works. But not with this line.
|3 years 24 weeks ago||Running DR 25 times a game||
I doubt that R^2 wanted DR to run the ball 25 times a game. However, our RB's did not perform. In order to win R^2 called the plays that gave UM the best chance to win. If our RB's can do better fine. However, there will be games this year where DR should run 25 times. Troy Smith ran 25 times on us in a game out of a spread look.
So question for the board. You know that every time you call a QB run you get 6 ypc. Every time you call a RB you will get 3.5 ypc. You know this as a certainty. Is there anyone on this board bold enough to state they would still only give DR 10 touches because he of injury concerns? If the difference is 4 verse 5, you even it out. But in the first situation I would rather have DR have 25 carries for 150 yards and my RB's 20 for 75, then DR have 10 carrries for 60, and my RB's 35 for 100.
When we play a team with a good run defense, that is going to be the situation. Other then Lewan, the Oline is not a bunch of road graders.
|3 years 25 weeks ago||Borges is not innovative||
I strongly disagree with this article. The west coast offense has been around for 30 years. It pretty much has been played out. It still exists because it works. The cutting edge of offensive football is the spread be it running, passing, or something inbetween.
If Bourges is such an innovator how come he displays such a disdain for the shotgun? Bowden took a struggling Charlie Ward and put hiim in the shotgun. Jim Tressel took a struggling Troy Smith and put him in the shotgun. Mack Brown took a struggling Vince Young and put him in the shotgun.
If there is anything we know, a dominant athelete can make a college offense thrive. Yet I have this fear that Bourges is going to insist that DR do things that Bourges is confortable with.
A true inovator pushes the limit. A true innovator takes the talent he has and embrasses it. Yet from the talk I hear from Bourges he wants DR to conform to what he wants. That is not innovation.
I could be wrong. This may be another smoke screen like Hoke's manball. We will find out in four days. The reality is this genius got fired at Auburn after his all pro backfield graduated. Yeah, give me two NFL quality backs along with a QB with an NFL arm and I can draw up plays that work also.
|3 years 25 weeks ago||Defense||
UM's defense looked pretty good after UCON last year also. Making any conclusions about the state of UM's defense verses a MAC team is ridiculous. Next week were up against a team that can match us talent wise if not exceed us. Then we will see what our defense can do.
|3 years 27 weeks ago||Pay players and it is minor league football||
You want to stay in the NCAA. What makes college sports exciting is because they are amaturs. Is their any doubt a CBA team is better then pretty much any college team. Or that the Canadian minor leagues play better hockey then the college teams? I and a lot of other folks would not be interested in Michigan football if it is obvious it is just another pro league. I can spend less money and get season tickets to Lions games.
There is something really cool in watching sports at the college level because the players are not polished. I still enjoy watching college basketball even when all the best players leave for the NBA after their freshmen year. I would rather they go to the NBA straight out of HS.
College sports is fun to watch because of the intangiables and watching student/atheletes play. If college football turns into minor league football and Michigan has a professional roster of players who are their to learn football, I will not care about Michigan football any longer.
So for me I would rather they stay in the NCAA so I would still be interested.
|3 years 28 weeks ago||Still scared of Borges||
I feel better since he admited they will put DR in the spread sometimes, but I am still of the opinion that UM offense will only be limited by Borges inflexability. This guy acts and talks like a person who wants football done one way and one way only. I like to say nothing more conservative then a general or a priest then a football coach.
Borges keeps harping on reducing DR's carries. In my opinion DR's increased carries were more due to Shaw getting hurt, Vincent Smith being slow and out of shape from his ACL, and Hopkins being unable to hold on to the ball. Add that R^2 knew he was fired if he did not win 8, and of course he was going to go with his best RB(DR). When R^2 had a decent running back, the QB averaged 10-15 carries a game.
I also take issues with some posters who imply Borges is going to clean up DR's game. We keep forgetting that last year was DR's first year as a starting QB and he was a sophmore. You get better with experience regardless of who the coach is. I remember Grback, Navarre, Griese, and Henne as 2nd year players. Not good.
I also take issue that UM needs to run a power offense so that the defense knows how to stop it. That is absolute bull&#$%! I saw TCU throttle Wisconsin just fine. I saw Oregon hang with Auburn. Florida has also put some decent defenses together. If we have a decent Dcoordinator and keep having to play freshmen on our two deep to under three and the defense will be fine..
We stick DR in the pocket, we are taking away his bests strengths. Yes, he will run for buku yardage against EMU. However, a good defense with a disciplined 4 man rush can and will keep a great running QB from bailing. DR in the pocket will be just a 6 foot pocket passer. And if he has dink & dunk routes, that means more defenders near the line of scrimage.
What I liked about the deeper routes is if DR did run and was rolling out, and beat the rush, there was no one near him. The play was designed to put him in space. You could probably design your bailout contigency. When you bail out of a pocket, there is more to random chance. Yes, DR may bail and go for 7-8. But some chance event may put a rusher in his way and he gets dragged down at the line of scrimmage. Easier to happen with more people closer to him.
I believe this will be more apparant as the season progress's. Spread plays will have more success then power plays against good teams. If Bourges wants to be stuborn were going to be stuck with a lot of 3rd and sevens. Your almost better off putting in DG and cut your losses. I am not knocking DR at all. I believe he is a Heismen candidate in the right system.
I hope I am wrong and Bourges runs more spread and DR figures out the old stale west coast that everyone knows how to defend.
|3 years 29 weeks ago||Do not forget 1998 and 2005||
Numbers are nice. I do not want to rain on everyones parade. But I remember 1998 and 2005 being "GREAT" recruiting years and though 1998 was only disapointing, 2005 was a bomb. That all said, I do have better confidence in the 2012 class just because who is doing the recruiting. In 2005 you could point to the decay of Carr's staff as part of the problem. At least for the defensive players you have Mattison who is a given and Hoke who is a former Dline coach. Even if some of these guys were 3 stars now, I would trust that they were doing their homework. A coaching staff will do a far better job zeroing in on the true talent and fit of a player then any recruiting agency can.
All a 5 or high 4 star means to me is that player has the physical ability to play in the NFL at the position he is playing in HS. A 3 star safety keeps his speed and adds 35 pounds and suddenly he is a 1st round LB'er. Recruiting cannot predict that. So for me I prefer to look at the players and where they project out then how many stars they get.
|3 years 31 weeks ago||Real comparison is Hoke to Weis||
I have made this comment in other posts. In my opinion the better comparison is Hoke to Weis. You can make a better comparison of R^2 to Willingham. Here are the similiarities.
Willingham and R^2 were considered outsiders who were not the first choice and who were hated by the establishment from day one because they were outsiders.
For various reasons neither had much success thus giving ammo to the haters.
The AD who hired them left and was replaced by someone who did on day one did not like them.
Both were replaced by popular unknowns who had charisma and dubious backgrounds for predicting football success. I would say no college hc experience and a career sub five hundred record as equally dubious. Both new hires were loved by the insiders.
Both inherited teams that saw almost the entire starting roster returning.
Both generated massive hype and a very succesful first year of recruiting.
what happens next? I don't know.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Players do matter||
At the end of last year, Michigan was playing a true freshmen at free saftey, a true freshmen at corner, a MAC player at the other corner, and two redshirt freshmen or true freshmen depending on the game at the strong safety and hybrid. Compound that with a hobbled Mike Martin and no depth and this defense was going stink. I'm not saying GERG was any good. I really enjoyed some of the articles online pointing out the misallignment of our MLB's. My point is even with the best of coaching this defense was going to stink last year. You cannot have such short depth charts and be so young and have any success at winning.
Now I stated that in my opinion for UM to have any success beyond average, UM has to have depth aka a functioning Campbell or Washington. Without either, UM is going to stink at defense again in my opinion. Worse, in 2012 Martin and RVH graduate. I still see no one tech tackles recruited yet this year and none were recruited last year. Were going to find out in my opinion how important coaching is. I'm not discouting it completely as folks have also mentioned on this board the suspicion that our former linebackers coach bordered on the incompetent. We will know more in a couple years if Mounton is starting for San Diego. That would be damning evidence that players were not properly developed.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Points by Quarter||
Here is my take. I believe it is a given that Mattison and his support staff is of a higher quality then GERG and his. That all said I believe that coaching is a bit overrated. Michigan's defense was inexperienced and undermaned. In my opinion the explosions in the 2nd and 4th quarter were due to that. Here is why.
If you are attempting to mask your team's defiencies by scheme it takes a couple series for the Ocoordinator to adjust and exploit the weakness's of the new scheme. This happened a number of times to Michigan. Michigan was less capable of adjusting to the counter adjustment of the offense because of so much inexperience, especially in the secondary.
Dline's usually require a two deep rotation to be effective. Unless you have a massive clock possesion offense you have the choice of playing tired players or give the 2nd players a series or two in the 2nd quarter. This issue became even more pronounced after Mike Martin had chronic ankle issues MSU game and later.
I am of the opinion that if Mattison were the Dcoordinator last year and ran the defense of his choice, the defense would have stunk. There are claims that UM ran a 3-3-5 because R^2 wanted to get fired. I am of the opinion he knew he was doomed and had to panic. UM was forced to scheme because there were not 4 functional down linemen on the entire team.
We have a very interesting case study coming up this year. We have a bomb in Campbell who totally failed his expectations. If a coach who can teach really is important, we can expect to see Campbell not just be servicable, but dominant. If Campbell sits deep in the depth chart, then it really does depend on the player. If UM cannot turn around a player with one of the best Dcoordinators in college football and a head coach who was a former Dline coach, then he does not have it.
Campbell in my opinion is absolutely essential to end the 2nd and 4th quarter sieves. Number one without him, you are limited on experimenting putting Martin on the edge. Number two, Campbell gives UM 3 people to rotate at the tackle position. Mattison has hope this year because Black should be good enough to man an end position. You could go Black, RVH, Martin, Roh and do okay. Then spell RVH and Martin with Campbell or even better start Campbell and float Martin around. Maybe Ash will suprise, but I know nothing about him.
So between that and older players in the secondary, UM will do okay on defense next year. The real square will be 2012 after Martin and RVH graduate. If Campbell does not turn out, your looking at a very Weisien abyss. With no Dtackles recruited last year and so far none really this year its like . . . . . . oops.
|3 years 34 weeks ago||Brighter future is overrated||
I believe it is ridiculous to presume anything before a single game has been played. Lets wait a few years before we presume anything has turned. Lets go back in time.
In 2005 the new AD for ND fired the outsider coach that everyone hated because he was an outsider. The coach was replaced by Nth choice who had a dubious background. Charlie Weis claimed ND would play football the right "schematic advantage" and everyone called him a ND guy. His staff though not hotshot was filled with experience. Because of the buzz around him ND hauled in the 5th best recruiting class in 2006 according to Scout. In 2005 a team with most of their starters back and a manageable schedule win 8 of their first 10 games. Six years ago every ND koolaid drinker on the planet would have insisted that ND had a brighter future of continous BCS contention. Weise appeared to be a brilliant genius and he was rewarded with a ten year extension. Few bothered to pay attention to the warning signs.
Does that mean that Hoke is a clone of Weis? Absolutely not. However, insisting on anything without seeing a single snap is about as insane as investing your future in credit default swaps originating from Detroit mortgages. We know nothing until we see the product on the field. Everything up to this point is just talk. Anyone on this list buy a car without a testdrive, or purchase a pair of shoes without wearing them? Lets see what happens before we proclaim dynasties. Yes, I have some land in Florida to sell you. Its on the beach. Trust me! You don't even have to see it. Just sign on the dotted line.
|3 years 35 weeks ago||The importance of DT's||
If UM runs a 4-3, I believe you are less reliant on needing a massive space eater. Any kind of 3-4 be it 3-3-5, 4-3 under whatever really requires a dominant player in the interior. I know there was some discussion of Suh, but he is a freak of nature. The more typical run stopper is going to look like Grady Jackson. I'm just giving an example of an average NFL tackle. If you walk the NFL and 3-4 defenses, almost all of them have the "space eater" in the middle. There are exceptions, Fergusson and later Ratlif with the Pokes. Then again Dallas always had problems stopping the run out of their 3-4.
UM acquiring DT's is the most important position in my opinion. It is the hardest position to fill and you can never have enough of them. For every kid who grows into the postion there are ten who do not. So having at least one bowling ball per class is nice. Else you might run into the Weiszone. In my opinion his biggest failure was an absolute neglect in building depth at tackles. Without stumbling into Ian Willaims it could have been even more disasterous.
For a man who professes his love of fat butts, I am suprised by the plethora of tall defensive ends.
|3 years 35 weeks ago||Got it is overrated||
Yes and Bill Belecheck did not get it as the Browns head coach. When Henry Ford began the Ford Motor company he must not have "GOTTON ITT" in his first two failures. I like how when someone fails we must assume it was because of a failure of the individual and he did not get it. Sometimes the cosmic cow poops on you and it was not in the cards to work. Sometimes everything rolls into place and we consider the inbecile of Man for all Seasons a genius. Life is not fair.
Now regarding is it good to get an insider, I think such an attitude borders on catastrophee. When you limit your sample space and put high marks to an inside man being the primary point, then you run into what happened to GM. We forget that Bo was an outsider. Tradition is nice except when it gets in the way. If you depend on insiders you will only know how to do something the way things have always been done. In WWI it was charge into the machine gun nests, for Michigan football it was no clue how to stop a spread QB. McNabb and Northwestern with any number of QB's has been cleaning UM clock long before Carr's staff forgot how to recuit.
Yes, it could all work out when an insider takes over. However, the statistics are not in your favor. Just ask GM. I only give a buisess case as it takes the emotion out of discussing football.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||The Science of Recruiting||
Personally I have been kind of put off by what recruiting evaluating has turned into. A number of posters have pointed out the numbers of bombs through the years. I know that recruiting is a statistical operation and your attempting to project how a kid will do as a man. Because of the politics, the need to get the big aluni bases excited, and just the fact evaluations often go through a chain of people, distortions happen.
I think what it comes down to is a coaching staff has the ability to determine the real value of a recruit because they can spend way more time evaluating a player then any recruiting agency can. I believe this is what has really helped OSU over the years. Not only are they in the middle of a huge pool of football talent, but they are close enough to evaluate and have a better idea of the true value of that player.
Conversely, a school like Notre Dame gets hurt because practically every recruit is most likely to come from a long ways a way. A coach at OSU is going to have a lot more info on a kid from Glennvile then a coach from Notre Dame is on a kid from LA. I believe the Florida schools and to a lesser extent all the SEC has the same advantage. They have a better chance of picking the 3 star slipping through the cracks then taking a dud on the fake 4/5 star. The duds can be picked up by the schools 2500 miles away that do not know better.
I believe that Michigan has benefited in the fact that this was a good football year. I would not be suprised if the State of Michigan generated twice or even three times as much big time talent then in some of the bad years. So there are more picks and being closer UM coaches have a better chance at that pick being what they expect.
The last thing I look at is the coherence of the class. If ratings meant everything Notre Dame would compete in the BCS every year and Wisc and Iowa would always be average. Yet somehow Wisc and Iowa have out performed Notre Dame the last five years despite tougher schedules. A class has to fit what you are trying to do. We will have no idea if what R^2 was trying to do will work because his best players were true sophmores and redshirt freshmen. The whole point of any value system be it trading stocks, or recruiting 17 year old kids to play football is to find value where everyone else missed. We will know in the next 2-3 years. What are people going to say if several of R^2's 2 and 3 star picks get NFL interest verse most of the Carr's staff's picks bomb into oblivion?
I will end this thread in that for this thread in that this class does appear to go back to the Carr heyday. However, I have two huge concerns. One is QB. UM absolutely needs a QB in my opinion. If we wait one more year that will be a three year gap. If anything happens to Gardner, your looking at disaster. I am presuming he will get his redshirt. The 2nd item is defensive tackle. Last year UM recruited no DT's. This year UM has one lightly regarded DT. There are claims that some of these DE's can go inside. I would rather we had a true DT prospect then someone who "might" work out. When ND koolaid drinkers were talking up their big Weise led classes, I kept asking where are your DT's. But all the ND faithful would do is point out all their uber LB'ers.
If UM can pick up that Dtackle and QB I think this class will have very good coherence and fit our needs. The class will be balanced. I would expect if Hoke's staff were to repeat this cycle, UM would be competing for Big10 championships. However, sans DT's and QB's, UM could hit a rough patch regardless of the talent loaded at other positions. DT's and QB's are positions that do not do well when stocked with freshmen.
|3 years 38 weeks ago||Minor League Football||
Here is my attempt at a solution. I claim to have no data to back me up as I have done no research. So this is all based on perceptions. Hockey seems to be an expensive sport. The equipment runs into the hundreds of dollars even for pee wee leagues. And you need a rink which is horriblye expensive to run. Yet there is a viable NHL minor league. Does the NHL support all the semipro minors clubs? Do those clubs generate any revenue?
What if DivII and DivIII schools operated under different rules? If your not interested in a four year degree program or expect to ever graduate go to a community college with a program. While there a player if free to have an agent out of HS, take advances from an agent, or money from a Youngstown booster. If you take this path you can go into the NFL as soon as a team drafts you. In this way no NFL team is having to invest in a farm club. The community colleges become the farm clubs.
Why this may not work. Were just passing the filth to someone else. The biggest problem is that ultimately there are only a few players who can command decent money. Even half of the players with a 5 star next to their name as HS seniors are not going to be viable NFL players. Only 5-10% of the of the four stars at most will have a sniff at the NFL.
Lastly it does not deal with the reason many boosters give players money. Most do not do it for financial reasons. There seems to be a segment of people who get off on being associated with star atheletes. So even if you get all the one and doners out, you will still have shady types who will want to peddle influence on kids.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||9-10 wins||
I see a mean of 9-10 wins providing DR runs the ball on average 15 times a game and we take advantage of his stengths. Our defense is no longer half freshmen and retread journeymen. You will be shocked what you can do with half decent corners.
Lets look at tossup games. Illinois just lost a 1st or 2nd Round RB and their best defensive player. Iowa lost about everyone. NW has an extreme talent disadvantage. I think UM can win that shootout.
The games that concern me the most are ND, MSU, Neb, and OSU. 3 of 4 are home games. With the exception of OSU all of the teams have flaws that can be exploited. I watchd Neb against Wash in their bowl game and I was not impressed. They seemed to take a step back. As mentioned before MSU loses a ton on defense. And when does Cousins make big plays? He does okay if given time. ND has huge question marks as they may not be with Floyd, do not have a #RB, and have no clue who the QB is. They do have a lot of talented players.
If we try to restart the offense and insist to make DR into something he is not, mean goes to 7-8.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||Is Hoke just another Ahmadinejad?||
I have been a Michigan fan since the mid 70ties. When I was a kid I had this old record that was a tribute to Bo's first season and would listen to it over and over. I appreciate the traditions that are Michigan. However, I am of the opinion that though useful to appreciate the present, traditions can get in the way.
I have always made parallels between R^2 tenure and the French Revolution. It is not a one-to-one and onto parallel as R^2 never was around long enough to win something. However, R^2 attempted to redo everything about how Michigan football was played. Unless you have a stacked team ask any good coach and they will tell you it takes 4-5 years to build a program. I do not see anyone blaming Beilein for not getting Haris & Sims to buy into his program. I think it can be agreed there was a sizeable minority that wanted him to fail and any setback would be blamed completely on him.
Back to the French Revolution there were many powers who desperately wanted to see it fail. When Napolean was finally deposed, the Bourbon dynasty was imposed and Europe had 30 more years of continuing tradition of King/Noble/Clergy before it all blew up. So much for tradition and hello industrial revolution.
What has annoyed me and continued to annoy me is this requirment that only an insider can be succesful at Michigan. For all those who live in the State of Michigan, they are aware of one of the greatest companies in the world that just went through chap11 BK. General Motors is a perfect example of what happens when you let your traditions get in the way of the present. GM unlike Ford became inbred as those who rose up did so because they said they liked fat butts. GM's size allowed it to put off change and keep doing things the same way for years. We know the rest of the story.
It seems to be that those who have power and influence over the Michigan football program want things done a certain way. Maybe I should call them the Mullahs. They want someone who conforms to their ideas. If you are not from the clique, you do not fit. The concept that if you had no ties to the program in the past makes you not qualified is arrogance without bounds. If Urban Meyer or Bill Cowher had come begging to be the next football coach at UM, would they be not considered because they were not part of the clique? Maybe I should learn hiring practices from HS.
As someone who attempts to use observation and history to deduce conclusions, the decay of Michigan football began long before R^2 was hired. In my opinion the origns was this obsession on inbred hiring practices. If one restricts their coaching search to just buddies and insiders, your talent pool is much smaller. In my opinion Carr made this mistake and his staff became mediore. This staff was less capable at identying good football talent and developing it. 06 was the last hurrah as the last of Herrmen's recruicts peaked. David Harris was replace by Obi Ezeh. Of course UM football was going to stink, precisely the reason why Carr retired when he did.
So now someone who tried to change the world is replaced by someone saying all the right things. Sometimes I wonder if the buzzwords of "Fat Butts" and full backs with shrinking spines and close head injuries are for the mullahs of the four towers. Does UM have a monolopy on tough man football? Did not a dozen players at Iowa have to be hosiptalized because they were pushed too hard? I don't remember Bo liking big boys with fat butts. And when Bo retired I recall 3 man Dlines. I though toughness was a prerequisite to play football. I thought teams won by discipline, execution, and scheme not by who can smash their face in the wall the hardest.
For all those who celebrate the restoration of the French throne, all the talk in the world means nothing. I remember us gigling about ND pushing out an unpopular coach after 3 years and replacing with a talker who said all the right things, and who brought in an allstar coaching staff. A Mr Weis won with someone elses players. Then when it was time to win with his own his way, it fell apart.
And lasty if coaches are some times not the right fit, whose fault is that? Cleveland Browns once had the best coach of football coaching their team. He had not figured everything out yet. But like many Pro franchises run by nonfootball people, the Browns were impatient. The rest is history as NE won 3 SB's. I am of the opinion that if R^2 had stayed, UM would have won 10 games this year. Fyi, I picked UM to win 7 last year and revised to 6 when Wolfolk went down. We judged a man based on how true sophmores and freshmen played.
Regardless of the spring game, the UM coaching staff will take advantage of R^2 players and UM will most likely win 9-10 games this year. Regardless of the success, I will always have a bitter taste in my mouth because it is someone else's team. I never pretend that it was ever my team. I just have to wonder how much of Hoke's talk is geniune and how much of it is to appease the real power, which is in the towers.
Maybe Hoke will be a good coach. Time will tell. What we do know is that many qualified coaches never will have a chance past, present, and future. Maybe this program has to truly fall flat on it's face to figure it out. I hope not as I like winning. I do not want a revolution of 1848. Because it still failed and for followers of European history it took several more decades even after that.
|3 years 46 weeks ago||Will Kovacs start?||
It is very possible that Kovacs will not have a place on this defense. Too small to play LB'er, too slow to play safety. I think he could play in some schemes if he is surrounded by athletes who can cover his liabilites. There is no doubt in my mind he is technically one of the most sound players on the entire defense. I really enjoyed his football IQ. Hopefully, there will be a role for him on the team even if it is not every down.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Since I am a football fanatic||
I believe UM's defense would have been better. If R^2 had stayed I projected out 10 wins. I'm not an eternal optimist as I had projected out six wins for 2010. If your are going to change everything you do it is a 4-5 year project. Imagine UM basketball if Belein had been fired at the end of last year. After 3 years your looking at a complete rebuilding job going into year 4 and a team with two pretty good starters in Harris and Sim's did pretty crummy. Were going into year 5 and UM can talk about competing for a Big10 championship.
We see this much more in the NFL where even more clueless owners make knee jerk coaching moves. A system takes 4-5 years to put into place. In some cases the NFL it is easier to make changes because you can hire/trade/draft where in college you can only replace about a quarter of your team a year. The exception might be a power program where if you have a preponderance of talent you can do anything you want. If your a USC in it's heyday, your defense is going to be pretty good regardless of the scheme you choose if you can pick 10-15 of the top 150 players every year.
Back to UM I believe Ash, Washington, or Black would have been good enough so that we could at least field 4 starters. Of course we still would have been hurting for depth.
So in summary I can respect the firing if Brandon's decision was that spead and UM is not allowed. He gave the basketball coach a 4th year. R^2 was working against such odds. I am sure the Cleveland Browns felt pretty good about themselves 15 years ago when they fired a pretty good coach who went on to win a few SB's. We know what Cleveland has done since.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Torpedo all R^2 threads||
Yeah sure. Let us not talk about anything that generates controversy and be done with it. The Greeks argued their philosphy in the symposiums of old. The French argued politics in their cofee shops. Webster, Clay, and Calhoun waxed eloquently about slavery. We of MGOBLOG have more important things to do which is to disscuss anything and everything about Michigan sports, particularly football to ad nauseam! I pity the poor fools who think they have a life and scream "Enough Already"
To discuss and debate what we think will happen, should happen. could have happened, would have happened, what really did happen, is half the fun. And if it takes 600 hours and 14 trillion posts, the better. Is that not the definition of football fanatics? Nonfanatics, why are you reading this? ;)
And Sagesse should have changed his last name to Molasses and his middle name to Cold. I am sure he is a lot faster then me. He was really slow. Black was a freshmen who played, well like a freshmen. I think he will be good, but got eaten alive sometimes because he just did not know what he was doing yet.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Does not matter what the scheme is||
In my opinion if you do not have players it does not matter if your running a 3-3-5, 4-3, 3-4, or even 5-2. UM did not have the players to run any defense in my opinion. There was a reason why the world seemed to end when Wolfolk went down. UM played the entire season in my opinion without a functioning CB. We started a converted redshirt freshmen receiver at one safety position, and had a walkon safety at another. We had no functional depth on the Dline or LB'er.
If any one of the following does not happen R^2 still might have a job. Warren declaring early, Woolfolk having a season ending injury, Campbell being motivated, JT Turner being motivated, Jones not having a season ending injury. Everything went wrong.
People ask about the 3-3-5 verse the 4-3. If UM were to run a 4-3, who would the 4 down linemen be? I think we can state as fact that Evans, Sagasses, and Patterson were extremely limited. Campbell was a bust. If it was easy to fix him, he would not be the focus of spring ball. I believe Ash and Black have talent but they were very young last year. You have starters in Martin, RVB, and Roh. But a small problem is not only did we have a black hole at DE, we had no functional depth. Every time one of those Carr recruited seniors had to play it was a huge advantage to the opposing offense. Nothing against the players. I am sure they are fine individuals. But they were not Big10 atheletes.
Now lets look at the secondary. At one point we had a true freshmen starting at one corner, a 5th year journeyman who could not start in the MAC at another corner, a true freshmen playing FS, a former walkon playing another safety position, and a redshirt freshmen former receiver at the last safety spot. Your not going to win very many games with this combination of talent and youth. If C Gordan and Kovacs were 5th year seniors surrounded by 3rd and 4th year players, I think they do fine.
We have not even gone into the linebackers and it is getting grim. What coach on this planet could work with such a deficiency. Maybe Robbinson did not have the motivation he once had 20 years ago. But I challenge anyone on this list to name a coach and a scheme that would work with the personel we had. If you blame R^2 for not bringing in enough defensive talent in his two recruiting classes, show me a defense made up of freshmen and sophmores.
In my opinion R^2 got hit by a perfect storm. Anything that could go wrong on defense went wrong. Much of the fan base was rooting for him to fail. The previous coaching staff really came up lame on recruiting. He had no room for error. Worse for him a new AD came in who had made up his mind the day he took the job regardless of what he says. Lastly I think R^2 knew it and paniced and tried some crazy stuff midseason that blew up in his face(PSU). I think your going to see R^2 get another coaching gig and he will do just fine.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||If you were depending on it||
I could say that you just don't want to see how mediore a coach UM has hired and just want to see everything through Polyana classes. I stated that good coaches leave a program in place. In 2009 after Hoke left Ball State went 2-10, and 4-8. Compare to Bowling Green & Utah with Urban Meyer. Bowling Green went 9-3, 11-2, and 9-3. Utah went 7-5, 8-4, 9-4. Again, I will state I believe SDSU will be lucky to win 4 games. R^2 at least left a team that has been going to bowl games. If you wanted to make a case a program collapsing after a hire profile coach leaving your better using Brian Kelly. Though CMU did very well the last couple years. At the very least, R^2, Kelly, and Meyer all have winning records. So there is expectation that they could succeed later on and were not rising to their level of incompentence. Bottom line is a Hoke led team loses more then it wins so far.
Regarding Mattison, I have no qualms with him. In my opinion he is UM's only hope.
Regarding Bourges, I think it is a mistake in the college game not to use a mobile QB. Campbell never ran at Aurburn and the QB at SDSU certainly did not run. I think everyone would agree that 25 carries for a QB is too much and I already enumerated why. Someone being a threat to run 10 times a game means one more thing to game plan. I think it is pretty reasonable for a spread RB not to commit to UM when there is doubt the spread coach's job is in jeapordy. Vincent Smith was never the fastest player. However, an ACL tear takes two years to fully recover from. A half step is all he would need. Between Smith, Hopkins learning to hold on to the ball, and/or Shaw not being hurt the entire year, I will take my chances.
Regarding OSU, 2 wins does not mean you have a data point unless your cluess VP. Prior to that, they lost several BCS games in a row.
Now in terms of who of R^2's defensive recruits get drafted, unless you are 5 stars, projecting NFL on 1st and 2nd year players is unrealistic. R^2 had only 2 full classes. The 08 class was mostly Carr's. Just like the 11 class is mostly R^2's. We have no idea who will projec t to the NFL. What we know do is minus Mike Martin, most of Carr's defensive recruits in the 05-08 classes were duds. Over and over when I look at UM defensive players I see "unathletic" as the first liability adjective used. I already made my case what I thought happened after Herrman left.
Look, I would love to be wrong. I am not going to sit there and root against UM so I can be right. I would gladly take my beat down, eat my socks, drink borbon from a hockey players left skate after a 3 OT game if UM goes 13-0 or heck just has a string of great years. However, there is a lot of circmstancial evidence pointing to the next few years being shakey. I am just calling it as I see it. I don't have anything more against Hoke then what his body of work as a coach has shown.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Response to M-wolverne and Honcho||
I do not have inlines and a lot of stuff here. So will hit each topic:
Why do I believe UM would win 10 games? The missing piece in UM's offense last year in my opinion was a RB. The zone read gives the QB the option to run or hand off. Unfortuately, last years RB's were not equal to the task. Vincent Smith was still a year away removed from an ACL injury, Shaw was injury prone, and Hopkins kept fumbling which freshmen often do. When the read was run, our RB's were not nearly as productive as DR. How many times was Vincent Smith ankle tackled a half step away from breaking a big one? Dee Hart was the missing piece. You combine that with everyone a year older and stopping all the silly mistake that young players make and the offense would have been better. Even without Hart, Smith is a half step faster, you hope Shaw stays healthy, and Hopkins holds on to the ball. How many interceptions did DR throw after a succesful play came back because of a silly holding penalty by Lewan? With a solid RB, the number of runs DR has to make per came drop off a cliff.
Why do I say that GB and Pittsburg are innovators? Yes they are innovators on defense but also offense. Agreed the NFL is too physical for a run only QB. However, both QB's thrive outside of the pocket. Both offenses can thrive even if the running game fails. The defenses are just as innovative. They are 3-4's that do different things within a 3-4 context that no other teams do. Regarding the Jets, Rex Ryan is one of the ultra genius's of football. Perhaps his genius is on the defensive side of the ball. He had to be conservative on offense because there are limits to what his young QB can do. That limitation is what did the Jets in. The Bears, they will be lucky to win half their games. Everything fell into place. I view them as the 2009 Hawkeyes. An old team did not have any injuries and every call went their way. Other then Mattison, I have little confidence in Hoke's staff being innovators. Bourges had Campbell, R Brown, and C Williams in the same backfield. When he did not, he got dumped. The fact he was mired in a 2nd tier conference in what should be his coaching prime tells you what the rest of college football thought of him. Look at whom SDSU beat last year. Every team was either one dimensional or horrible. I will also ask what did Ball State do the year Hoke left. I will also ask you predict how many games SDSU will win this year. If they mysteriously stink the year after, is the coach that good or were they peaking? I would hope a good coach could leave a legacy.
Speaking of the SEC and OSU, they just broke their ten game losing streak. OSU, the best team talent wise in the Big10 barely beat maybe the fourt or fith best SEC team. Auburn and Alabama would have surely cleaned OSU's clock. LSU, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and SC are about the same.
Lastly regarding UM's returning defensive talent. We will see who from TCU gets drafted. So for Mwolverine, are Ebez, Mike Wiliams, Sagasesse, and Evans R^2's players or Carr's players. If you pay attention to the authors of this site they have gone into incredible depth about how beginning in 05 the quality of the defensive recruits has dropped. With an exception of a few players, R^2 recruits were 1st and 2nd year players. I love Carr and what he contributed to Michigan. But his staff did a terrible job recruiting defensive players from 05-07. My theory is that Herrman was the only coach capable of evluating LB'er talent. When he left, UM stopped finding great LB'ers. It seems similar to the departure of Bedford and all the saftey issues UM has had for the past decade. I am of the opinion that with some of R^2 players entering their 2nd and 3rd years, the mistakes on defense would have been cut down. I do not like to name names as I don't like dissing players who probably did the best they could. But I was called out. No amount of coaching were going to make the above individuals better. They were just not DIV1 players. Yet someone on Carr's staff insisted they were.
Back to TCU, there are four players on TCU's defense that in my opinion has a shot at being drafted. We will have to wait until the draft itelf. Are we agreed that the only defensive player graduating with a remote chance to play at the next level is Mouton? The consensous is he will be a 7th round pick if at all. That alone tells you the state of Michigan football. The talent on defense is so crummy, we might not have a single defensive player drafted. That tells you something about the bust rate of Carr's last few classes.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||The Brady Hoke style and why it will fail||
Here is my problem with Hoke. Emotion takes you only so far. What does every single TV announcer and coach talk about going into a big game? Emotion is worth a few plays and then then you crash & burn. Focus, toughness, and prepareness are 99% of the game. Were giving a guy kudos because he has a really shiny cherry and we have not seen the sundae. Emotion and tradition is also a two edged sword. You don't think the other team comes in and plays their best game because they are playing Michigan?
So lets look at the sundae minus the cherry that Hoke is going to construct. For better or worse R^2 was an innovator who did not fear change. In a field that is more conservative then religion or the army, I found it refreshing. I personally believe that if R^2 had stayed and Dee Hart has signed to go to UM, we would have won 10 games this coming season. Now everyone is happy with 7. I also believe that the defense would have been improved with R^2 having his types of players on defense.
Some people allueded the arrival of Hoke to the restoration of the monarchy. I am a UM alum and had to take some history from a world class department. Despite being an emperor himself Napoleon also upset the establshed order in Europe. The rest of the monarchies could not tolerate him and he was removed to retain the status quo. Kings were restored and we had 30 some more years of rule of a system that was no longer viable. The old base of King, Nobility and Clergy lasted a little longer until the forces of change ended it.
What does this have to do about football? Well, Hoke says he wants to play footbal the old way. Unfortuately, the old way no longer works. Look what is going on in football be it college or pro. Innovators are winning. The old fatbut power style will only work if you have an extreme talent advantage. That is why OSU gets creamed by the SEC. That is why Wisconin lost to a skinny TCU team. GB and Pitt made it to the SB because they had dynamic QB's who could operate outside of the pocket. Yet everyone is all excited because Fred Flintstone is going to fight high tech rifles with clubs.
The bottom line is we have a head coach who has lost more games then he has won and never left a legacy. Any bets on how many games SDSU will win this year. Hoke is not an innovator and adds nothing special. He is not meat & potatoe, I call it ham & eggs. Every nook & crany of west coast has been explored and coaches know how to scheme to stop it. Our only hope is our Dcoordinator, who will have a huge shortage of defensive players because were changing our defense again. After this year were going to have a killer schedule. If a single Dlinemen does not develop, it will be a very very long 2012 season.
And for all those who blame R^2 for the bad defense, watch how many players on our defense get drafted. If the NFL combine can find a divIII nobody and project him as a NFL capable player, then "mismanaged" UM players will still get drafted. I guarantee you the reason why some of our duds on defens played bad is they were bad football players. And the guy who is responsible for them being there is the person Hoke wants to emmulate.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Manball||
I do not like the premise that you cannot play tough if you run a spread. I think the manball, passion, toughness etc adjectives are overrated. Regardless of scheme you have to play it tough. So lets call by the real names which may be spread, west cost, power football, etc.
Now for those who love Wisconsin smashmouth what happened in the Rose bowl? Lets look at who is playing for the BCS. Last year we had 2 spread teams. Year before the runner up was a spread team. We can argue about who might have won if the QB stays in the game. Year before, another spread team won in Florida. LSU beat OSU the year before. So two conventional offenses there. Year before Florida beats OSU. In that case the loser was running the spread to some extent. And of course in 05, Texas won with VY. So the pansy spread can hang with manball. It is not a domination. But certainly not a gimic.
I am not saying one is better then the other. College football has a lot more rock/paper/scissors. The good coaches will make sure their teams are tough regardless of the offense played and will adjust to what they have.
If Hoke thinks he can uproot 330 pound DT's out of the middle with our sub 300 line instead of making them run, more power to him. I would certainly hope he would realize the strengths of the line and use it's agility. Four years from now if he wants road graders, we can all pretend we live in Madison.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Transfer||
I do not know if this is viable or not as this was 25 years ago. All my friends went to UM and I did not because I was a terrible student, at least compared to them. I had about 25 AP credits, a 2.8 GPA, and a 26 ACT score. My essay had "English as a second language", written all over it. Yes, I scored a 19 on the English portion of the ACT.
So even if you fail the first time, keep trying. I like to believe my experience made me a better student and person. My miserable failure just fired my ambition to finally study for a change. I attended EMU for a year. I aced third semester calculus. After aceing first semester college chemistry, I was admited to the chemistry honors class and had the highest score in the class. I took the hardest classes available. That was enough to allow me to transfer into LSA.
The school does not make us, what we put in makes us what we are. At some point we will have setbacks in life. So never give up. A few setbacks may fire your ambition. I have a lot of friends who had it to easy and never adjusted to the college setting. I did not have that problem because I knew what a precious thing I had.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||I think the reason that it is||
The reason for the overkill is because it is what is unknown. You do not see everyone bent out of shape about the Michigan Defense despite there being huge question marks. Why? Because everyone trusts Matison. For better or worse Borges is the flashpoint. He is not trusted and his track record compared to Mattison's is far inferior. So I believe it is reasonable to have concerns. If your a Ford employee and its 2008, imagine your consternation if you learned your new CEO and corporate team came over from Staples. There would be some talk at the watercooler.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Scared about Borges||
Here is my concern. For some reason people presume as a postulate that Borges is a good Ocoordinator. If so, why is a "good" Ocoordinator stuck at SDSU when he should be in the prime of his career? The only time Borges ever did anything in my opinion was when he had a backfield stacked with NFL talent. Despite, the subject line, I'm not really scared about Borges because in my opinion I feel I know what he is about. He is a ham & egger with little upside. I'll take my beatdown if he proves me otherwise. The hope for this team is on the defesive side where the coaching talent is.
Now did DR run too much? Remeber, the zone read is on the QB. He has the choice to run or give to the RB. I believe one of our problems is we did not get any production from our RB's. Shaw was hurt, Vincent Smith was still a year removed from an ACL, and Hopkins had the fumbles. You have a RB step up and the carries take care of themselves. The solution unfortunately plays for Alabama now.
Now here is the problem with the Borges system in my opinion. DR can make the defense adjust to him because he may be running the ball on any down. If a defense knows to a high likelyhood that DR is not running the ball, they can adjust accordingly. For all the talk of power football, this is not a power team. Most of the linemen are more adept at getting out in space then pancaking. There is no fullback and the best TE is a better receiver then blocker. Every time Bourges calls a power run, will be a victory for the defense. Hoke can talk all about passion. But passion does not beat physics. I think Lewan can do some pancaking. The others are better at deception and chipping.
DR's great strength is his feet or their threat. If you make him a passer first, he is just a normal QB who happens to be short. If the response is scramble, well now our offense has degenerated into the QB ad libbing. Anything can happen because there is no design. A sound defense can thwart that because they know what they are doing and the QB does not.
By defintion, if you take Pat White, Cameron Newton, Vince Young, Dan Persa, etc and put them in the Borges system they are going to have less of an impact. There is no way around it. DR may improve a lot as a QB. It does not matter because he is no longer doing what his strength is. Michigan is most lkely better off putting Gardner in as QB as he has the size, arm, and still has the feet to scramble. The power run is going to fizzle in my opinion because the players are not there.
Just my 2 cents
|4 years 15 weeks ago||30K is a lot of money for a kid||
Sorry. I have to agree with the dirtbag crowd. Maybe some posters think 30K is pocket change. But I am not one of them. The kid knew what he was doing. He can go play in the developmental league.
|4 years 15 weeks ago||Moundros is too slow to play OLB||
You do not want Moundros to play a snap at OLB. I appreciate the effort and the atitude but speed is not his skill set. Playing him at OLB would be akin to playing him at corner because "he is a hard working senior and deserves it". OLB absolutely has to have speed to cut off the edge and get back into pass coverage.
|4 years 16 weeks ago||DR security blanket||
I recall the difference between Henne's freshmen and sophmore years when he lost the Edwards security blanket. I think UM's fine Oline play plus DR's run threat gives him a constant security blanket. Considering we will have an excellent Oline next year, DR should be able to put up ridiculous numbers without being the best pure passing talent. And that is perfectly fine with me. If the running threat reduces the opposing defenses choices, it is the same as a lead foot QB who just happens to make a lightning read and put a ball in a 3 inch window against an all out blitz and great cover corners.
|4 years 16 weeks ago||Harbaugh for coach?||
Lots of comments how Harbaugh would implement a prostyle verses spread. However, that is not UM's problem. How is Harbaugh going to fix the defense short term? No one has mentioned that. This is the same coach who let Oregon put up 50 on his team. So its not like Harbaugh has any special schemes. So now were going to completely rebuild the offense while our defense remains horrible.
|5 years 32 weeks ago||Fake Fake||
Greetings. 40 times have always been overrated in my opionion. Do the math and check out the difference of 4.5 verses 4.6. That is less then a yard over the 40. So a guy with good instincts and better acceleration can compensate. While someone with bad instincts and the better 40 will still get blown away by the slower guy.
Now if you can find a good football player with sub4.5 times, great. But too many times we look at the 40 time and not the ability to make plays. I hope the switch to death backer works out, but Stevie Brown is a good example of a very fast player who has given up big plays because of making the wrong read, or being out of position. You can have Deon Sanders speed and ability and if your running one way, and the other guy the other and miss, your not catching up.
The 40 is more useful for who has the potential to play in the pros. Admitely, your not going to fine many pro safties running a 4.7 40. But someone like that if he has good football instincts could be a damn good football player in college and only hurt you if your playing a stacked team.
|5 years 41 weeks ago||Stats||
Greetings. What a great article. Just one comment about football and stats. It is stated that the better team wants more snaps to reduce varience. What is forgotton is that this depends on the nature of your football team. Football is unique in that defense and offense are determined by a completely seperate set of players. Thus there are teams with great offenses and crummy defenses, reversed and teams that are great everywhere. Agreed, if I have a very deep team that is complete, I want to increase the snap counts. Works great for USC or Florida. But what are the other 120 odd teams going to do?
Its not obvious whether increasing snap count or descreasing snap count will be advantagous. A lot depends on the style and balance of a team. A lot of high octane offensive teams will tailor a mediocre defense into high risk/high reward. They know that their offense will put up points. If they can generate big defensive plays(sacks, TO's) and build a big lead, they narrow the options of the other teams offense. Thus everything snowballs into a route as the opposing offense plays into the hands of the opportunistic defense. A perfect example was the Bengals of a few years ago. I'm going to use NFL examples only because the spread of talent is narrower. If I have a great defense and a good running game, and I'm up against a great offense/average defense team. I'm going to want to control the clock and dominate time of possesion even if talent is equal.
So in summary it just depends on what your doing with your football team. In the case of Carr, he was old school and followed the boxing mentality of body punch and then knock them out with the gash play. This philosphy still works in the NFL today. Look who won the last couple SB's? The old forumula of no turnovers, possese the ball, great defense will still do well against the most explosive spread.
In my opinion what did Carr in was the decrease in attention to execution. Carr stopped working so hard or became less effective. The talent on his staff was less and I'm going to guess less effort was put into recruiting. There was some bad luck and I know that recruiting is an inexact science. But way too many high profile recruits bombed. If you could put the 50 year old Carr with his staff of ten years ago in 2008, I'm sure that he could replicate what he did in the ninties. When UM stopped executing and stopped doing their recruiting homework, using the low varience method was not so useful as we saw verses APP State.
In summary the best way to win in college football is the old way. Get the best players to play for you and even if you suck at everything else, you will still be pretty good. And if your half decent and motivating and not a total moron at X/O's, you will be a BCS team. Take it one step and get a special player, he will win you a BCS championship. I did not see anything Texas did when they went undefeated and took out USC. Mack Brown did everything possible to screw that game up and they still won.