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|1 week 5 days ago||Kentucky is extremely boring||
I disagree. Instead of running an offense Calapari relealizes he can kill 95% of all teams by just stressing suffocating defense. There is nothing subtle or innovative. He has ten NBA bodies and just wears teams down. He just has fresh players where other teams do not. How many SEC games where a decent team hung tough and UK pulled away? Sort of what happened to Michigan this year where they just ran out of gas.
On offense there is nothing innovative other then get some open 3's with all of their NBA sized guards. None of the bigs have really developed a post game other then overpowering or going over smaller people. They can't seem to shoot, but it does not matter. I just watched the UK Arkansas game and none of the big men seemed capable of hitting a mid ranged jumper or post shot even when open. But it does not matter. Calapari just tells his guards to overplay the 3 because he has two 7 foot shot blockers. If they get in foul trouble he has two more starters sitting on the bench.
So what is so entertaining watching a bunch of NBA capable players who have modest offensive talent overwhelm smaller and slower players and win every game 70 to 45?
|11 weeks 3 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.
|17 weeks 2 days 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.
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Coaches acting like coaches||
Sort of like when Bo took over for Elliot
|17 weeks 6 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.
|20 weeks 10 hours 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.
|20 weeks 6 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.
|22 weeks 6 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.
|25 weeks 1 hour 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.
|25 weeks 2 days 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.
|25 weeks 2 days 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?
|25 weeks 3 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.
|26 weeks 4 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.
|26 weeks 4 days ago||Green Grass||
The grass is greener where the dogs are pooping.
|26 weeks 6 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.
|27 weeks 3 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.
|29 weeks 5 hours 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.
|29 weeks 5 hours 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.
|33 weeks 6 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.
|33 weeks 6 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.
|33 weeks 6 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.
|34 weeks 5 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.
|37 weeks 2 days 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.
|37 weeks 6 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.
|38 weeks 11 hours 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.
|40 weeks 5 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.
|44 weeks 2 days 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.
|44 weeks 3 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.
|44 weeks 6 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.
|46 weeks 5 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.