- Member for
- 5 years 18 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|14 hours 4 min ago||A few questions||
One, I often hear turnover margin as a random act that it's likely to turn around next year, but it never seems to. I know we focused on it this year with all the "Ball Hawk" gear and I know I've heard Mattison focus on it in past years, but it doesn't seem to change. It feels like we've had a pretty crappy turnover margin for like 4 years in a row. Is it really that random or do we lack some playmaking ability, say at LB and/or elite pass rusher, that would typically create more fumbles?
Two, what gives with our in-stadium fans? I've actually never been to a game. I became a fan because my dad went to grad school at UM and I was born in Ann Arbor, so I grew up with my parents watching UM sports so it was a part of my family culture. But, we moved out of Michigan when I was young so I don't remember it and I've never been to Michigan Stadium. But, my impression is that the fan base that attends games is very passive. Why don't we have a rowdier fan base in the stadium? Is the student section small? I was at the UM/PSU game a few weeks back and their student section is like 1/4 of the stadium. It's huge! Are our students too intellectual to be rowdy? Is it all the noon start times? Are our season ticket holders too old? And, why are our fans too scared to go Columbus but no OSU fans are scared of Ann Arbor? This whole system just irks me. Granted, I don't want UM fans to be thought of as negatively as we think of OSU fans, to be jerks, or to get into fights and be drunk idiots, but it feels like we're getting bullied, even at our own stadium. You don't see this one sided fan-dom with other rivalries like Florida/FSU, UT/Okla, Auburn/Bama, etc. Can we fix our our lack of a home field advantage? The only time I've ever noticed a good home field advantage was during our night games.
|1 day 2 hours ago||I don't really agree that||
Part of my statement is based on evidence and part is based on simply watching the games. I looked at ESPN, which only goes back to 2006. The only year UM had a higher recruiting class was in 2007. So, out of 10 years UM only had a better recruiting class once. There were a few years where they were close, like withen a class rank or two, but they were still lower.
Prior to that how would one tell the level of talent? We all know they have had way more wins, championships, and been in better bowl games in the past 10 years. What about the 90's and 2000's? My impressions of the late 90's and early 2000s is we had similar talent, but they were still a notch ahead. I guess we could look up the number of players that were either All Americans or All Conference. That would take a while to look up. But, when you reference Bo's years that's really before I was thinking. 30 years ago goes back to 1985 and Bo's last year as the head coach was 1987 I think. So, when we're talking about Bo's teams, that's a litlte before what I was thinking.
I agree we lack speed at certain positions like LB and RB. It's not a race thing. Miller is one of the most talented guys with the ball in his hands and Jake Ryan neutralized many of his scrables. We have big backs like Green, Smith, and Isaac. Drake is fast, but his injuries have probably slowed him up. A few years ago I never would have thought guys like RJS and Ross were slow, but I guess they just weren't as good as their rankings projected. McCray and Ferns were two other highly ranked guys. One has been injured the other transferred. But, Elliot is phenomenal. I can't think of many LBs that can run with him. Maybe Jaylon Smith at ND. Maybe McMillan, his teammate. Those are two of the top LBs in their class. Guys like Lewis, Thomas, Peppers, Clark, Hill, etc. are all fast. Wilson isn't a burner, but not slow. Elliot makes a lot of LBs look slow. And, I recall Peppers head-head-head in the open field facing Barrett and Barrett went right by him. I know Peppers is a better athlete, but he got burned plain and simple. Some things just happened regardless of talent, recruiting, and coaching. We just got beat. Peppers probably won't let that happen a lot, but it happened last Saturday.
|1 day 12 hours ago||IMO it's talent more than coaching||
IMO it's not schmatics, it's talent. If our recruits over the past 4 years panned out we'd be fine. But, we got beat on the lines and from a lack of production with our RB. If Green was who he was supposed to be and all our highly ranked o-lineman like Dawson, Kalis, LTT, Fox, etc. were who they were supposed to be and our d-line was healthy this game would look a lot different. We just had a banged up d-line and we've had really bad luck/production/development of recruiting stars over the past 3-4 years.
Harbaugh can't make Ojemudia, Mone, and Glasgow healthy. Harbaugh can't make our LBs tackle. Ross, RJS, Gedeon, and Bolden were all highly ranked recruits. But, that's not a halftime adjustment that can be made. Harbaugh can't make Kalis, Dawson, and Green live up to their recruiting profiles to make the running game work at halftime. These aren't halftime adjustments that can be made. They were better players plain and simple IMO. I don't know if it was bad player development with Hoke, poor planning of redshirts, poor talent evaluation, etc. But, whatever it was we had a lot of highly ranked recruits that either didn't pan out, were injured, or are not even on the team any longer.
|1 day 13 hours ago||They have more talent||
They have a few things which make a huge difference. One, we both signed top recruits at RB in 2013. They got Elliot and we got Green. Elliot is phenomenal and Green was a bust. Two, we both have really good defensive lines, but there's were healthy and ours weren't. If our d-line was healthy and we traded RBs this game would look a lot different. Granted, there were other factors, but those two alone would make this game much different IMO. No Elliot and a healthy Ojemudia, Glasgow, and Mone would change things.
Also, their LBs are pretty good and ours are below average, same with o-line. In terms of recruiting our o-line has been better in the past 4 years, but guys like Kalis, Dawson, LTT, Bosch, & Fox have either under-performed, have been injured, or are no longer with the team. Our LB recruiting was good as RJS, Ross, Bolden, Gedeon, Ferns & McCray were all highly ranked, but so far they haven't lived up to their rankings yet either. We still don't have an elite pass rusher. We've only really signed Charlton and Marshall and Taco has not yet been that and Marshall is still young and no one's sure why he's not playing yet. And, we don't have an elite WR yet and have struggled to find good QB. Morris was supposed to be that guy and he's been disapointing. Hopefully O'Korn will be the guy. If not Gentry or eventually Peters should be good. And, hopefully either Harris or Cole can be that WR or one of the freshman WRs can step in, but I doubt they are ready for that. I'm sure Chesson and Darboh will improve, but neither of them are all-conference types IMO.
I think if we continue to recruit well we will have a better success rate with our highly ranked recruits panning out, but we've had really bad luck and/or scouting or developing with recruiting compared to on-field results. I think that will change, but OSU is still, and IMO has been for the last 30+ years, more talented than UM. We recruit at a similar level, but they typically slightly to significantly better with recruiting and hence more talented most years, which puts us at a disadvantage.
|3 days 1 hour ago||That was hard to watch but||
With Elliot, Bosa, Washington, and I'm sure other juniors gone next year should look much different. We will have holes at LB. Hopefully Gedeon steps up, we get a talented frehsman, and McCray can get healthy. If the d-line stays healthy they can be really good. The offense is what it is and should moderately improve. But we need O'Korn to be good and a young WR to beat DBs downfield...Harris I'm looking at you. OSU will still be a challenge. We can beat MSU on the road. But we need to take care of Wisconsin. It will be an interesting year. Here's to Harbaugh improving the team by 4 wins in one year and getting us to a New Year's Day bowl.
|1 week 4 days ago||Ahhh||
Ahhh, so Henne has a horseshoe. I feel so enlightened, thanks!
|1 week 4 days ago||Fu Manchu vs Handlebar Mustache||
I always wondered what the difference was between a fu manchu and a handlebar mustache.
|1 week 5 days ago||OSU's underclassman||
I'm very curious to hear if we'd heard much about the OSU juniors like Apple, Bell, Powell, Marhsall, and Thomas? I think the loss of Bosa & Elliot by itself will be a big hit. Granted they have talent everywhere, but those two are by far the most productive IMO.
|1 week 6 days ago||You don't need to be an expert||
I don't think you have to be an expert. Anyone watching the game could see that Howard broke a lot of tackles.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I really enjoy it||
Half of my family is from PA and I went to college in PA, so I have been there a number of times and I understand the fan base as many of my college buddies are PSU fans. I really enjoy it there, but it's a little nostalgic for me becasue it reminds me of college, which it's now been almost 15 years since I graduated. As with any place there are some DBs that get too drunk and roudy. But, I always sport my UM gear and typically get mostly fun banter with the locals. I've been out to the bars pre-game as well as just tailgating. Both are fun. The atmosphere is good and often UM is the biggest home game on the schedule so they typically do a white out. Although the atmosphere won't be quite as exciting with a noon kickoff, but that's good for UM. Enjoy the trip. I will be there as well.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||People still think he's head coach material?||
Why doesn't he just stick to offensive coordinating? It's like Ronnie Coleman used to say, "everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift heavy as* weight."
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Why evidence is there to expect a different result?||
What evidence is there to expect a different result? We've lost what, 10 of the last 11 games? Once they prove to me they are capable of beating them with a full slate of players that aren't under investigation and with an interim head coach then I'll start to believe. But, from where I'm standing there has been little evidence to suggest we can beat them in over a decade.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I agree with a lot of what||
I agree with a lot of what you said, but it still took our best performances and so-so performances from them and we still lost. Our special teams is better, but there are still flaws. Our defense is better, but I'm concerned about our LBs getting exploited by Barrett/Elliot/Miller. We don't have a Jake Ryan anymore to contain them. We do have Peppers, but he can only cover so many guys. They are still quite a bit more talented from what I see and I doubt our coaching staff is enough to overcome that this year unless Ruddock plays lights out and we can get the running game going. We only put up 23 points on MSU and they have a better defense than MSU. I think we need to score at least 28-35 points to win and I'm not sure we will get there. I'll be curious to see how many points they score against MSU. But, they seem to be a matchup problem for us, but I hope I'm wrong.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I feel like it's a realistic opinion||
I feel like it's a realistic opinion. The only time we've beaten OSU in over a decade is the one debacle of a year they had with an interim head coach after tat-gate. I know we've played them close a lot and we will have an opportunity this year so anything can happen. And, I have no doubt we put forth our best effort of the year and make it a good game. But, in reality until I actually see us start beating them head-to-head from time to time it remains a long shot. Anyting other than that is just the fan in you talking.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I'm the opposite||
I hear ya, but I think we need all the ammo in our guns for PSU on the road and Indiana won't be a cake walk either. I'd love to beat OSU and we'll have the opportunity, but that game seems like a long shot. I'd rather have the extra help for the more winnable games.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Yeah, I hope that doesn't||
Yeah, I hope that doesn't offend any of our current players or true freshman. I can't imagine Wormley, Henry, Charlton, Marshall, the Johnson's, etc. will like that.
|4 weeks 8 hours ago||It's OK to be rude?||
What are you no-ing? My only expectation in the post was that coaches respectfully say no to requests while understanding fans desire to know (assuming the reporter asks in an appropriate way). So, do I assume your no means its OK for coaches to be rude?
I did not say fans have the right to know. I did say fans have the right to want to know and reporters the right to ask.
|4 weeks 13 hours ago||Agreed, I am hoping for a||
Agreed, I am hoping for a noon game. I have tickets and despite the lack of tailgating, I'd prefer to stay a little warmer with a noon start. PSU always whites out the UM game, or at least has the last two times I was at this game in 2009 and 2013. That 2009 game on Halloween night was awful :/. C'mon noon!
|4 weeks 15 hours ago||@ PSU is never a gimmie||
Playing at State College makes me nervous because I've seen UM lose too many times there. It is not an easy place to play and it's the week before OSU, which makes it somewhat of a trap game. Hopefully due to it's November schedule it will be an early start making it a little less intimidating than a night game. All that said, I'd still be a little disapointed if we dropped that one. 9-3 sounds good to me, 8-4 sounds OK, but not great.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||My take||
While I agree, it's not in good form to say that. I think how you say it makes a difference too. For example I always get frustrated when Saban starts yelling at reporters who talk about the next NC, etc. He doesn't want expectations and allowing "outsiders" to get into his players heads and make them lose focus on the present and lose motivation because this year's team is not last years, etc. I get that. I also get that some matters should remain internal and that a coach has the right to make that decision. However, I don't get their lack of understanding that fans and reporters want to know. If a highly regarded transfer from a high profile school like USC, who is also a kid that was highly sought after by UM in recruiting, is now in danger of not being on the team and/or playing, that is something that fans want to know about, especially considering our questionable running back situation and the fact that our best RB (Johnson) is always injured. Regardless of whether it's in the best interests of the coach or player, fans want to know and reports have the right to ask. So, it's OK for a coach not to answer, but they should do so respectfully and understand that we all want to know. Only if reporters keep asking the same question different ways over and over (which we all know they do), should they get frustrated and say something like "it's none of your business" IMO, but otherwise that kinda sounds ungrateful for the all the interest in the team.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Elliot and Fournette are the same size||
Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette are the same size and seem to be able to do it just fine. I know Zeke is in a different system and both are fantastic backs whereas Smith is more of a "servicable" back, but my point is his size shouldn't be a limiting factor, especially with a body type like his (lean and muscular). I could see that argument for a guy whose built more like Green, even though they all have pretty similar heights/weights.
I do often enjoy and agree with your analysis and would be curious what of you think of our backs and how you think they'll (and the o-line) fare and hopefully improve next year. I know in the beginning of the year Isaac's name came up under the "Lets see more of this guy" line for a while, but we haven't seen much from him lately, which I'm not sure is due to his ability or lack of PT because of the fumble issues.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Other D-lines||
I think you're right that most of them will take a step back next year and will be playing some younger guys. That's a good point. Losing Calhoun, Bosa, Zettel, and Washington will be significant losses for them all. I'm sure OSU will reload. Michael Hill, Jayln Holmes, Jashon Cornell, DreMont Jones, and Donovan Mungeris are down on the depth chart or freshmen to be but have good recruiting profiles. I have no doubt OSU's line will still be a load to handle for the foresable future. MSU and PSU may take a step back next year, but after that should pick up again, although my question was really only about next year, but as I start looking at some of these good young players coming in for them it makes me start to worry about 2017 and beyond, but that's kinda far away. Anyways, MSU has some good young lineman like McDowell and has Auston Robertson, Josh King, and Naquan Jones coming in next year. So, although they'll surely miss Calhoun next year, they will be strong again I'd guess in a few years when these young guys get some experience. PSU has Jonothan Holland, then Shane Simmonds, Daniel Joseph, Karamo Dioubate, and Ellison Jordan come in next year as a really strong class so I'm sure they will be very good soon.
We've recruited well at the position, but there hasn't been a lot of payoff yet from those recruiting rankings. But, then again I guess the same could hold true for the defensive stars of the incoming classes from the other schools. I just hope our guys continue to grow and that eventually some of these highly ranked o-lineman like Kalis, Dawson, Kugler, JBB, Newsome, Bredeson, Onwenu, etc. start to produce like all conference players. It hurts that Bosch, Fox, and LTT are already a miss/loss. I also wonder about Dawson. He seems to be a little behind the curve already. It's hard to believe that he's already in his 3rd year.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||O-line play for next year?||
I find myself getting excited for next year since all we lose are the fullbacks, Ruddock, Williams whose not even a starter, and Glasgow, unless Butt leaves early. Plus you'd think Wheatley healthy will be an addition, Bunting could be a weapon next year, and Kugler has a terrific recruiting profile. I'd like to think that losing one o-lineman while getting another year of experience for everyone else would be a positive, but when he's our best lineman and many of the others seem to struggle year after year it makes me wonder. Anyways, my question is do we have enough confidence that the coaching is now there and have we seen enough development to expect it to continue enough to actually see a progression in the o-line that will allow next years unit to be better than this years, take advantage of Braden's size, Kugler be ready to be a contributor and not a liability, and see Kalis develop into the 5-star recruit he was? Or will Kugler, Kalis, and Braden be too much of meh for this line to ever really be anything other than mediocre?
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Very excited for this game||
I already got my tickets, which were about $125. I am really excited about this game. But, I was also really excited for this game in 2009 and 2013 and confident as well, but this year feels diffeent. Everytime I've been to State College to watch UM/PSU we have lost. I am so sick of listening to my PA friends and can't wait to be proud of our team with a victory!
|5 weeks 2 hours ago||I'd love to know||
I'd love to know what the heck happened with Lawrence Marshall.
|5 weeks 11 hours ago||Boy I really hope we get him,||
Boy I really hope we get him, but it's hard to get your hopes up with a guy like that. Maybe it's a Da'Shawn Hand who seems like have a good chance the whole time and he goes elsewhere or maybe it's a Jabrill Peppers where we think we have a good chance and then we land him. But, I'm always skeptical that we will ever get X big time recruit because chances are no single school in his top group gets him. BTW I still can't understand why Hand would rather be 3rd on the depth chart at Bama over playing for us right now, but to each his own. Maybe one year of starting at Bama will give him a better chance at the NFL than 2-3 at UM.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||I too like the confidence, but...||
If memory serves me correct, the only teams to have won a NC in the past 12ish plus years are FSU, Bama, OSU, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Texas, and USC, and that's going back to the Vince Young days. The only teams outside of the hotbeds of recruiting (CA, TX, FLA, Ohio) have been coached by Nick Saban. Heck, the only school outside of The South or in California is OSU. ND seems to be able to recruit well, but I can't think of many other programs outside of California or The South that can recruit like that. OSU can, but Ohio still has a ton of in-state talent and doesn't have another big in-state program to compete with. I believe that Harbaugh can win too and is every bit as good of a coach as Nick Saban, but he will need talent to do so. I don't think he can beat the Alabamas, FSUs, and OSUs of the world without recruiting on the same level as them.
***this is all just off the top of my head so if I missed a team here or there I'm sorry as I didn't go look them all up, but hopefully you get the gist.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Good to hear||
Because we need some offensive playmakers in a big way. Unless Harris, Cole, or Isaac develop a lot over the next year we are going to have to count on having an accurate QB that can move the chains while our defense continues to be the strength of our team. Hitting the open guy and being able to at least hit the deep ball now and then would make a huge difference. A game manager like Ruddock may very well win us 9 games, but it won't win a B1G championship IMO.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||lol yup||
Yup, although most just call it Lee High. It's funny because I never though twice about when I lived there, but I was there when I was probably too young to know the difference (ages 2-12). Cedric Benson went there, so did Tommy Lee Jones. If you've ever seen Friday Night Lights the movie they are the team from Midland that everyone hates because they are the rich kids.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Ratliff Stadium||
That can't be the largest high school football stadium. When I lived in Midland, TX, Robert E Lee High School played at a stadium of similar size and I know Ratliff Stadium in Odessa was even bigger. That's the stadium in Friday Night Lights...pretty sure even back then in the 80's it was over 18,000 capacity.