"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
- Member for
- 4 years 11 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|3 days 4 hours ago||Star power still young and/or injured||
We have 4-stars across the board in junior LBs, but the 4-star talent at DL and DB are either underclassman and/or injured. Pipkins, Charlton, Peppers, D. Thomas, Poggi, McCray, Gedeon, Ferns, etc. are all still underclassman and/or injured. I think it would be a great boost if Pipkins was healthy and playing up to his recruiting status. Also, in my view a true sophomore of Charlton's ability and size should be starting ahead of a guy like Beyer. That either speaks to Beyers leadership or Charlton's lack of development...not sure which. Both guys have made plays, but Charlton has done so against better competition IMO. But, say Charlton was living up to his stature and ability, Pipkins was healthy and doing the same, Peppers was healthy and doing the same, and the same with D. Thomas. I'd think that would make a huge difference. Why that hasn't occured is a danged good question.
|4 days 17 hours ago||I have to admit||
That last paragraph really sums up my expectation from 2 years ago. Man, how far off does that seem now???
|5 days 6 hours ago||You never complain about||
You never complain about getting more guys back, but the youth looks pretty good at LB. I have no quams with any of Bolden, Ross, RJS, Gedeon, & McCray. There is a lot of talent that I'm excited to get some meaningful snaps.
|1 week 13 hours ago||I've been waiting for this||
This is the first instance of passion and holding teammates accountable I've seen this year. Way to step up Devin. In a weird way I think his injury got him out of his own head about his performance.
|1 week 16 hours ago||Pipkins too||
I've been wondering where Pipkins is and Hoke said in the post-game presser that Pipkins "is dealing with a thing". Yeah, we're getting killed by injuires.
|1 week 5 days ago||I don't get it sometimes||
I just don't get it. I see so many guys like Charlton, Henry, Gardner, Butt, Funchess, etc. that in isolation look leaps and bounds like better football players than like, the other teams players. Yet we still suck. What gives? I guess football really is the ultimate team game. We have talent, yet we suck as a team.
|2 weeks 16 hours ago||Yup||
The bathroom situation was awful, the bar/restaurant scene was not great, the fact that the stadium is far from the campus is not ideal, also, where were all the students? But, there were a lot of UM fans who were in surprisingly fairly good spirits. Maybe they are too beaten down to care at this point. The Rutgers fans I sat with in the far end zone were pretty funny and nice. I had a great time anyways getting to see UM, even though they're awful, and getting to see my friends in the tri-state area that I don't get to see that often any longer. It could have been a better experience, sure, but I had a great time.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I'm going||
I will be staying at the Holiday Inn in South Plainfield/Piscataway if anyone's gonna be there. I am headed down tonight from Maine and plan to get up early and see what the bar/resturant scene is and get some food and drinks and watch the afternoons games. Last I checked the weather report is calling for rain until 5pm so I plan on staying inside the bars vs tailgaiting. If anyone is staying at the Holiday Inn or wants to meet up for a beer with us let me know.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Herbie||
I get the feeling that sometimes that Herbie blows smoke up UM and thier fan's as*, but he's right. I've been saying this all along. The situation sucks, but it's just as much about our frustration over losing as anything else. It just seems this incident was the straw that broke the camels back. We can blame it on the incident all we want, but the problem is much bigger than one thing.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||While it looks grim now||
While it looks grim now, as long as Hoke is coaching he still has a chance to turn things around. Granted, there isn't much evidence beyone recruiting stars that this team is any good, but the coaches did seem high on this group in the off-season, and they technically still have a shot at winning the B1G. And, if by some grace of God that happens, Hoke ain't going anywhere. So, I think this is still a little premature. I don't see Hoke getting let go mid-season. If it was going to happen it would have already happened. So, if he's here all season, he still has 7 more opportunities. If wins 5 of them my hunch is he stays around, if he drops more than 2 and/or looks really bad against the rivals he's probably gone.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Yeah, there's no fire from the players||
Guys like Gardner, Morgan, Ryan, Clark etc. are certainly great guys. I have seen it time to time from Ryan, but no one else...where is the fire? Players on this team (or any team) that are upperclassman, starters, and leaders should not allow players to execute so poorly without letting them know in a very direct and clear fashion that it is not acceptable. When a guy knows what to do and simply fails at doing it leaders need to call that player out. When an opponent takes a cheap shot at your QB leaders need to stand up for their QB. I don't see anyone on this team who is willing to get in someone else's face and hold them accountable for not doing what they're supposed to be doing. That is disapointing. Not to protect the coaches, but I have seen Hoke, Mattison, and Nuss all get in players faces for not doing their job. But, leaders also should be doing this. These guys are great guys, but the culture of being tough, accountable, and caring is simply not there. They accept failure and losing way too easily and no player is standing up and holding people accountable for it. Working hard in practice and preparing well is not enough. Maybe it's because no one is producing IDK, but it's depressing.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Change is hard for UM||
Change is hard for UM because of it's strong ties to the past successes. While it seems some change is neccessary I highly doubt the program and the fans want to forget about all the great traditions and legends of the past. But, it's one think to remember the past it's quite another to try and relive it, which is what Hoke seems to want to do...be Bo. We all loved Bo, and while we will never forget him, we need our coaches to be their own unique individuals who aren't trying to be someone else. I think UM went too far way from it's tradition with RR, then went too far the other way with Hoke to overcorrect. The fact is we probably need some middle ground. Someone that understands UM, while at the same time doesn't neccessarily have a previous history of coaching or playing there. Unless we can get one of the obvious big name, proven coaches, but I don't see that happening.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I don't think that's accurate||
The discussion and replies have gone back and forth quite a bit, but the original comment did not ask anything of Brian, it merely criticized Brian for trying to take an active role in getting Hoke fired over covering more Xs & Os. Like I said, I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with that, but I think it's constructive criticism.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||One problem||
Is that Hoke is a "Michigan Man". I put that in quotes because he meets that distinction as more of a fraternity than as a set of character traits. What I mean by that is that for example both the Harbaugh's have already said they are not interested because they are friends with Hoke. If we lose Hoke we lose Mattison becasue they are friends. Many of the former greats all support Hoke, especially all those guys from the late 90's. Guys like Woodson and Brady support Hoke. It's going to be hard to blame Hoke for the program "not being Michigan". Any of the guys that are in the coaching ranks today that represent "Michigan Men" will all likely stay away if we throw Hoke to the wolves.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||A few thoughts||
I realize that Brian is giving his career to give us this blog and I can tell he's really beat up about this thing. I really appreciate the work that he and his staff put in and enjoy it being on here, but I don't enjoy it enough to be censored by it nor think anyone else should. I don't and will never like to be told what I can and can't say anywhere and I think this poster has a right to his opinion, regardless of what I or anyone else think of it. As long as he's giving his opinion in a respectful way I think he has a right to be critical of Brian's commentary, regardless of wheter or not we agree with it. Granted, Brian has a right to boot him if he sees fit, but I personally don't think it's right to tell someone you're not welcomed here. You can't speak for everyone.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||It's so disappointing that we're here||
That we feel we have a personal obligation to take on the role of impacting who our coach and AD is. I really don't understand how so many coaches can all be so bad. If Hoke is bad/incompetent whatever, OK. But, is he enforcing his will on the rest of his staff or all they all equally incompetent? And, if he is, why are good coaches willing to do that? I mean are Nuss and Mattison equally incompetent? I just don't get how even if Hoke is a bad coach that the product is still this bad. How are players not playing better? Shouldn't good coordinators still be able to get the job done with the talent on the roster? I just don't understand how it got this bad or frankly how it will ever get good again. It seems no matter what UM tries nothing works. Will UM ever be nationally relevant again?
|3 weeks 9 hours ago||My one question||
Would we all be so distraught and calling for Hoke's head if the exact same situation occured when we were undefeated? Personally, I don't think we would. Granted, I'm not saying Hoke, Nuss, etc. are off the hook. But, I do think we all making irrational, emotional comments that are rooted more in our frustration with losing that our frustration with what happened with the Morris situation. There are plenty of possible scenarios for what happened, some of which are understandable and others of which are not. Yet, we all seem to think this one incident is enough to call for a coaches job, that if it had not occured, we wouldn't be. I think we need to take a breath and let it play out. I will be curious to hear what Nuss has to say in his presser this week as he seems a little more open about his feelings and decision making process. But, I think we are blowing this incident out of proportion just a bit.
|3 weeks 12 hours ago||John vs Jim||
Merely an impression from the outside looking in...although John may be just as good if not better of a coach, Jim appears to the be younger, more enthusiastic, charasmatic of the two which likely means he's a better recruiter. When you factor that in Jim would be my choice based on his being a former player there. His recruiting pitch would have more merit and he's plenty good enough of a coach to get the job done. So my preference is with Jim, but both would be fantastic hires. My concern is can we hang onto Mattison and Manning. I have a feeling Mattison leaves with Hoke due to his strong alliance with him, but who knows. IMO retaining Manning has to be a priority due to his strong recruiting abilities, that he's young, and seems to relate well with the players and is in touch with today's kids.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||I don't mind it||
I still think Gardner gives us a better chance to win, but letting Gardner take a moment off and release the pressure on him might be OK. Let Morris get in there and give it a shot. Worst case scenario is Morris also struggles and everyone realizes it's not just Garnder's fault and it isn't as easy as it looks. Then Gardner gets back him there and looks better than Morris and reminds people why he's the starting QB and he gains a little support of those around him. Granted that could hurt Morris' confidence in the short term, but if he's really a gamer you can't complain about getting an opprotunity and failing. Best case scenario, he plays great, and gives the team a boost. At this point, why not try something different? The defense should be good enough to keep us in the game agsint a team like Minnesota even if Morris is ineffective in time for Gardner to get in there and win the game in the second half.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||This is another problem I see||
This is another problem I see, prioritizing practice over games. The best players in games should play, not the best players in practice. We play to win the game not to win the practice. Even if a guy doesn't give as good of effort in practice as he does in the game, but is better than his counterpart who puts the exact same effort in both, the better guy in the games should play. You don't pick starting lineups based on effort, you do based on which guy gives you the best chance to win the game. It's human nature that the better athletes tend to be less motivated to practice as hard as lesser skilled players in practice than in games because they have less to gain and less stimulation (TV, fans, etc.) to elicit an emotional response. Lesser skilled players will often push themselevs harder in practice to beat the higher skilled player. That shouldn't mean you start the better effort practice player, unless he is also the better game day player.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||It's the players not the coaches IMO||
I don't think this is an indictment on Hoke, it's an indictment on the players. I'm not admonishing Hoke and the coaches completely, they recruited these kids and are coaching them, but the coaches are doing enough to put players in a posiiton to win IMO. The players just aren't as good compared to their counterparts as they were, say 15 year ago. There is one playmaker on offense, Funchess, and he doesn't appear to be the most passionate guy. He can dominate at times based on his skill set, but he never gets fired up or seems to over-exert himself. As our top offensive player he should be leading and holding others accountable if they aren't executing. Players will play for others players if they are faced with consequences such as getting yelled at by their teammates. That is a part of leadership and a part I don't see. There's no fire. I'd almost like to see a sideline fight amongst teammates to show they care enough the fight and won't accept failure and losing. I thnk they acept losing too easily. If anything he takes too many plays off. We do have a few playmakers on defense, but one of them is playing a new position (Ryan), Clark has been solid, and the rest are either young and developing or injured (Peppers, Lewis, Wilson, Henry, etc.). I think the defensive side of the ball will show more playmakers as the year goes on and into next year. I still question where the playmakers are on offense. I haven't seen it yet from the o-line or skill positions outside of Funchess. Hopefully the offense will develop more as these rising freshman and sophomores become upperclassman. But, these players just aren't better than the competition the way they were in the pre-'07 era. And the lack of dominance on the o-line is a huge factor when playing a pro-style offense. We just don't win that many one-on-one matchups. IDK maybe offensive innovations are changing things as was alluded to in the a diary and we are behind the times, maybe we don't get the recruits from the south and west that we used to, but the playmakers just aren't there right now. Where are all the tough guys that don't care what anyone else thinks and are willing to get in the faces of their teammates and push them and force them to be accountable to their own team and lead by example? I don't see that...too much entitlement and not enough passion.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||I think you have to quantify it though||
I hear what you're saying, but I think you have to quantify what specifically strength means if you're going to say that. IMO strength is not the most important factor, motor control is. As Stu McGill once said "The best athletes rarely outperform their peers in pre-season testing like bench pressing and squatting. Their distinguishing qualities are motor control. The ability to exert strength quickly, deactivate muscle quickly, and optimally project forces throughout the body linkage is characteristic of this skill."
|3 weeks 2 days ago||What does strength mean?||
Strength is such a vague word. What does strength mean...a one reprtition max on a bench, squat, deadlift, hang clean, etc.? Does it mean pushing another man backwards? For example to be a good bench presser it's beneficial to have shorter arms ala Molk. Molk benched more at the combine than Mike Martin. Does that mean Molk is stronger than Martin? Having longer arms is typicall more beneficial at almost every position in football and as an offensive lineman which is why Lewan is a better lineman than Molk. I'd be willing to bet the highest lifters in any position on their teams are almost never the best position players, even at offensive line. Ultimately being an offensive lineman is more complex than that. Being a good offensive lineman is what's important, not just being strong. You can have a bigger or smaller, stronger or weaker, faster or slower guy and still be a good offensive lineman. A position is not that simple and is more complex than that. Also, confidnece, knowledge of the system, understanding your assignment, etc. all go into this and why older players are better...not just size and strength. Saying strength is important IMO has no real meaning in the context in which it was used.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Honestly||
If and I mean if Hoke is gone next year, almost the opposite of what RR went through, almost any new coach should be able to come in and be pretty good right away. There will be a pretty loaded defense and finally mostly rising juniors all over the offensive side of the ball who are mostly highly rated recruits with quite a bit of experience. Most coaches of the pedigree that UM would hire should be fairly successful fairly quickly. The term rebuilding should really be over in 2015.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||If Wojo doesn't beleive UM isn't in trouble he's not watching||
I don't see any turnaround coming the likes of MSU's last year. We have yet to see any sort of in-season development the way Cook and the MSU running game got going last year. Stranger things have happened, but the evidence doesn't seem to suggest that can happen. Big picture, sure college football can change quickly. Small picture, UM specifically, I don't think anything different's going to happen. I expect a similar result to last year. I still think there are some positives on defense and the o-line and running game has improved. But, so far Darboh, Chesson, Canteen, and Norlfeet haven't shown much and if Funchess isn't 100%, especially without Butt not 100%, the offense looks without a playmaker. And, the defense although pretty solid/good, isn't good enough to overcompensate for how bad the offense is right now. I just hope they can beat Minnesota, Rutgers, Penn State, Indiana, Northwester, and Marlyand. But, right now I'm not so sure.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Hoke isn't the coordinator||
Hoke isn't the offensive coordinator. If anything then that's Nuss' fault, no? For some reason it seems to be generally accepted that Nuss is a good coach, but Hoke is a bad one. I mean, there are some reasonable explanations for why Gardner hasn't shown a lot of progress. First, he's in his 3rd offensive system. Second, his offensive lines have been bad. Third, he has played multiple positions. IMO the QB is a huge part of the problem and I don't think that falls solely on Hoke. Granted, me may not be using the best system, playcalling, etc. to match Gardner's skill set, but his decision making, his turning his back the defense, his starring down his primary reciever, etc. those are all very correctable obvious things that I have to assume he's been coached on yet still continues to make mistakes on. He's a great kid and I'm sure is under tremendous pressure so I feel for him. But, IMO much of the problem is on him and the o-line...at least more so than on the coaches.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Coaches fault or players?||
While I'm not happy with the coaching at this time either, why is it all the coaches fault? At what point is it the players fault? If you look at say recruiting stars and compare the Utah team to UM position by position, shouldn't UM be able to line up and beat the man across from them enough to win the game regardless of scheme/coaching/preperation? People talk about development, but there is development by a number of players. Clark, Henry, Glasgow, Bolden, Wilson, etc. these guys are all developing on defense. Funchess, Darboh, Green, Miller, Hayes, Norfleet, etc. these guys are developing on offense. The real crutch, which has been at UM since Carr retired, is the ability of the QB to read coverage and throw accurately. As dynamic as Denard was he couldn't do this and Gardner doesn't seem very good at it either. Hopefully Morris will be better at this next year, but if not I have faith that Speight will be. And once the offensen line is good enough to not have constant pressure and get the run game going, that should help out the QB. So, not to take all pressure off the coaching...there are some negative things going on, but from what I'm looking at the problems with these teams still lie on the o-line and the QB. There are open recievers out there that are just not seen or delevered good balls to. If that changes I really think the whole dynamic of this team changes.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Good question||
Good question. I don't think you bench Gardner yet, but you have to be realistic with him that it's an open competition. Still give him the #1 guy snaps, but if he keeps struggling give Morris opportunities too. But, I think he just needs to be protected a bit...less/easier reads like #1, #2, run it kind of deal. He can't make complex reads and needs to stop starring down Funchess every down as his #1 option. He needs to work his secondary reciever more or be more patient. It seems like there are lots of open recievers he's just not seeing them. And they need to find ways to get 4 yards on first down so it's not 3rd and long. How you do that...I have no idea. But that to me is the only change that needs to be made. Other than that, get healthy, continue to develop, etc.
|4 weeks 12 hours ago||That depends on your values||
But, I'm sorry for anyone whose #1 value in life is their career. I believe that will lead to an unfulfilling life. Maybe that's the nature of big time college and NFL coaching jobs, but IMO is no way to live. I know he values family despite the fact there's no way he has much time to spend with his own. To have the opportunity to live and give your best shot at your dream job is more than most ever get. And, success or failure IMO is not based on outcomes, but rather based on living your life according to your values. If you did your best and your behavior and attitude was congruent with your values but the results didn't turn out the way you had hoped, you recognize that, accept it, and still feel at ease that you succedded by the way you lived your life's values and move on. Most people can accept that sort of "failure" and remain happy in life.
|4 weeks 14 hours ago||Lower your expectations||
This is why at the beginning of the year, when lots of people are saying we'll win 10 games that I said 8-4 sounded more realistic. I got flack, I got downvoted, but at least I am not disapointed. I didn't expect a great result or a great season, so things are just what they are. Too many people let the hype get to them and get their expectations waaay too high before ever seeing any evidence. You accept things as they are instead of what you wish they were. You accept that all games will be close, there will be no easy wins, and dominant performances are just not there right now. You accept that you still enjoy the team, the traditions, the players, etc. And, you watch to enjoy versus watching only to see success. Accept it for what it is, lower your expectations, and just let it play out and enjoy watching football.