landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
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- Hiring Berenson's successor as hockey coach (really important to get this right and move the hockey program back in the right direction; love Red and appreciate all he's done, but these last few years of UM hockey have the whiff of late-era Carr football)
- Hiring Beilein's successor. JB's contract runs through the end of the '18-'19 season, when he'll be 66; maybe he'll want to keep coaching, but it's prudent to assume he'll hang 'em up at that point. Need to get this one right so we don't throw away everything Beilein has done to rebuild Michigan basketball as a perennial Big Ten contender.
- Theoretically (and I hate to even think of it, but one must look forward), identifying and hiring Harbaugh's successor if he decides at the end of his contract to return to the NFL or retire. Not saying it's likely, just that it's something the next AD will potentially have to handle.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Donlon and "Pack-Line Defense"||
I've noticed several people, including some on UMHoops, saying that Donlon runs a "pack line defense" system like that used to great effect by Virginia, Wisconsin, and Xavier. I'd never heard the term before so I did a little googling. Some good primers here on the basic concepts:
From what I've read, it seems the basic idea is to apply lots of on-ball pressure combined with funneling penetration toward help defenders (who stay within the "pack line"), deny post touches, force contested jumpers, and crash the defensive glass with all 5 guys. What's the pack line's Achilles heel? An offense that has good ball movement, ball handlers who can create off the dribble, and shooters who can hit contested 3s consistently. (Sounds a lot like the ur-Beilein offense.)
I'm very curious to see how much of this system Beilein chooses to implement...
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Bingo - and it's the remaining OL in that class that worry me||
2013 is still pretty darn good w/the exception of the OL, which everyone thought might be the class's centerpiece. Fox, Bosch, LTT -- as Brian notes, not much you could have done to make any of those situations turn out differently, besides perhaps some more due diligence on LTT's character.
What worries me though is that neither Kugler nor Dawson -- both highly rated guys who are now redshirt juniors -- have seriously pushed for a starting spot yet, despite the uneven performance of guys nominally ahead of them (Jack Miller, Kalis, Braden, Magnuson etc.) We're going to need both to be good starters in 2017 to avoid taking a huge step back on the OL next year.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Grazie||
|7 weeks 4 days ago||In-game dunk or dunk-contest dunk?||
Happy Friday to all - please bang.
When talking about greatest dunks, we need to stipulate whether we're talking about real in-game dunks, or dunk-contest dunks. In the latter category, Aaron Gordon's dunk at this year's NBA dunk contest was the most spectacular I've ever seen -- the degree of difficulty and display of athleticism was just incredible (still can't believe he didn't win!). I can't seem to embed a gif right now, but most of you know the dunk I'm talking about. Back in the day, Vince Carter had some great ones, too.
As for in-game ... the Pippen over Ewing dunk referenced above is definitely a contender. I'd also nominate Jordan posterizing Dikembe Mutombo and then given Dikembe a taste of his own finger-wagging medicine afterward.
|12 weeks 5 days ago||Yep, Brian posted for contractor help back in December||
He was looking for a contractor to help with migrating the site to Drupal 8:
|13 weeks 4 days ago||Bravo||
What a great way to end the week. Thanks Brian.
|13 weeks 4 days ago||Right - here's a good blog post on the tech involved||
A very technical post that explains exactly what the FBI is asking Apple to do, and says it's technically feasible. Summary point:
"I believe it is technically feasible for Apple to comply with all of the FBI’s requests in this case. On the iPhone 5C, the passcode delay and device erasure are implemented in software and Apple can add support for peripheral devices that facilitate PIN code entry. In order to limit the risk of abuse, Apple can lock the customized version of iOS to only work on the specific recovered iPhone and perform all recovery on their own, without sharing the firmware image with the FBI."
|16 weeks 4 days ago||Link|
|18 weeks 5 days ago||I'd request Offense vs FL, Defense vs OSU||
I, too, don't want to be the jerk who complains about Brian not producing enough labor-intensive, free-of-charge content either. But... well, OK, I'll be that jerk: I wish he'd do more UFRs for Ohio State and bowl games. (We had full UFRs for 2011 OSU, because that was a win; and we had a passing game UFR vs OSU 2012, to evaluate Devin Gardner's potential going into 2013. That's it for the past five years.)
I can understand not wanting to dissect Michigan getting its face kicked in by OSU each year. Still, it's our biggest game -- shouldn't we examine it more closely to find out what's going on? Urban has hung 42 points on our D three years in a row. I know the basic reason -- his offense is really damn hard to defend against -- but I'd like to dig more into what exactly we're doing wrong. Wouldn't that be useful data going forward?
So I'd propose Brian at least do:
1) An autopsy UFR of the defense vs OSU (which might help us better answer "How do we stop Urban's offense?" and "What should we hope Don Brown changes?")
2) As a palate cleanser after #1, offense vs. Florida -- or at least, the running plays. Examining why the running game improved so much against a very good Florida D might tell us a lot about what to expect from next year's offense.
|21 weeks 6 days ago||For me, it's the Nyan cat/Harbaugh mash-up||
Can't even remember how many times I listened to this as it became clear Harbaugh was really coming home....
|21 weeks 6 days ago||IT HAPPENED!||
Still hard to believe even after Harbaugh has been here for a season -- it's a lot of fun reading back through Brian's "searchbits" (click on the "Coaching fiasco 2014" tag) and re-living the excitement of those days.
And to the OP -- June 12, 2011 is one of my favorite sports memories as well. Dirk! (And the fact it came against the Heat made it all the more delicious, after how the Mavs got jobbed by the refs in 2006.)
|26 weeks 4 days ago||This Sparty/Bucky gif reminds me...||
... how glad I am that Michigan doesn't have a stupid mascot with some dude running around in a ridiculous costume.
Happy Friday and Go Blue!
|27 weeks 1 day ago||Angry Michigan Nose Tackle Hating God?||
Sorry if someone on the blog's already mentioned this possibility, but perhaps it's time to recognize that the notorious Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God (AIRBHG) has a brother deity, the Angry Michigan Nose Tackle Hating God. Consider:
* Ondre Pipkins, who looked like a sure-fire 5-star NT coming out of high school, has his already disappointing Michigan career ended by an accumulation of injuries (ACL, concussion(s?), etc.)
* Bryan Mone goes down late in fall practice with what was a pretty freak injury as described by Harbaugh (broke his leg blocking on a return of a blocked FG)
* Ryan Glasgow's now out for the year because he just barely managed to get a hand on that Rutgers guy. Damn.
Maurice Hurst, please be careful...
|29 weeks 6 days ago||Yep, really leaves a void in the Big Ten||
First, I'll echo all the well-wishes for Coach Kill in this thread. Always seemed like a good guy and a good coach. It's terrible he won't get to continue doing what he does best, but health and family always come first -- and as someone mentioned above, maybe we'll see him on the BigTen Network. And this does make me worry a lot more about Saturday's game -- you know we'll get the Gophers' best shot.
The poster above is right -- this is also a real loss for the Big Ten. That's a tough program for a coach to be able to win at consistently, and Kill was getting the job done. The conference needs more good coaches like him, especially in the West division, to maintain the standing of the conference in comparison with others.
|30 weeks 6 days ago||ESPN isn't going to "die"||
Perhaps you're just engaging in a little hyperbole here, UMAmaizinBlue, but in case you're not: ESPN isn't going to "die." Sure, the inevitable decline of their subscriber base due to cord-cutting (and perhaps un-bundled cable in the future) will force them to streamline and get back to basics -- live sports coverage and news -- sans all the talking-head stupidity. Today's headline means that process is well underway. But their live sports programming alone will be enough to keep them viable.
|31 weeks 1 day ago||This is absurd||
It's a huge rivalry game, and (unfortunately for us) one of if not the most memorable games in the history of the rivalry, with an ending that will be talked about by even the most casual of college football fans for decades. You don't stop talking about it on Monday afternoon just because it would feel better to "move on."
I'm all for the mods deleting threads that simply whine about things that didn't really matter, like the thread just before this, about MSU supposedly being lined up in the neutral zone before the fatal last snap. (Doesn't look like it to me from the pic, IMO.) Let's be honest, that didn't really affect the result of the play, so it's pointless to discuss it. But people should be allowed to start threads that discuss non-whining, interesting aspects of the game in a reasonable way. Good grief.
|31 weeks 1 day ago||Have to add the Romo fumbled FG snap to this list||
First, thanks for posting this ... I think. At least we have company, right? (The Furman one sounds particularly brutal.)
Second, as a Cowboy fan it pains me to say this, but there's another Cowboy end-of-game debacle that should go on this list: Tony Romo's botched hold on a 19-yard field goal (shorter than an extra point) that cost them an almost certain win over Seattle with about a minute left in the wild card game in 2007. It was a far more costly gaff than Leon Lett's muff in 1993 (as someone notes above, the '93 Cowboys didn't lost a game after that, and went on to win the Super Bowl) -- Romo's fumble ended their season, and also Bill Parcells's coaching career; he didn't come back for the final year on his contract after that.
|33 weeks 1 day ago||Also noticed that too - losing Ojemudia will sting||
Found myself watching him a lot in these highlights (I didn't get to watch the game live), probably because I knew he'd been hurt and wanted to see what impact his loss will have. I have confidence in Durkin and Co. to adapt and move forward, but losing Mario is a big blow. He showed well in these highlights -- he's very active with his hands and times his pass rush well (he's not a disruptive pass rusher in his own right, but he usually makes the most of the opportunities made possible by the pressure from other D-linemen). He's fundamentally sound and has proven to be pretty responsible in defending the zone read. He's not the engine that drives this defense -- that's the interior DL (Glasgow, Hurst, Wormley, Godin, Henry) and the secondary -- but he was SOLID, and it's very uncertain whether RJS or Marshall can bring that sort of consistency from down-to-down.
Plus, I feel for the kid, going down after just 4 games in what was shaping up to be a very good senior season for him on an outstanding defense. Not the way he envisioned his last time in a Michigan uniform, I'm sure. Best of luck to him.
|33 weeks 4 days ago||I tend to think Freddie above is right||
Need stability, with someone who can commit to being here a decade at least, and I doubt Hackett wants to be that guy. Don't forget, the man had only just started a well-deserved retirement before Schlissel called him in to clean up the Brandon mess. I would imagine his wife and family aren't interested in him staying in another all-consuming job for another 5 or 10 years.
Hackett's done an awesome job, and knocked it out of the park on two HUGE tasks that alone will ensure his legacy in the annals of Michigan sports (landing Harbaugh and the new Nike contract). The best way to cap his achievement is for him to identify and hire a great successor -- one who will run the AD w/a Hackett-style vision rather than a Brandon-style one. And that successor will have some pretty damn big decisions to make in his own right, including:
|33 weeks 4 days ago||This is what Michigan football feels like right now...||
We've crawled through the tunnel of shit and finally escaped from Warden Brandon (er, Norton) after suffering years of mediocrity and despair. Rain never felt so good.
Looking forward to watching a superlative performance from our team on a soggy Saturday. Go Blue!
|34 weeks 4 days ago||It's never too late to bang||
May the Banging Continue Throughout the Day... and May the Force Be With You.
|35 weeks 4 days ago||This is awesome - thanks for posting||
Besides players/coaches, the other group of people that must get to experience the tunnel with a real rush on gamedays is the Michigan Marching Band. Any MMBers out there want to share their tunnel stories?
|37 weeks 4 days ago||How much will Harbaugh change his offense to fit these guys?||
This is one of the many questions I have coming out of last night's game. He wants to run power etc. w/ heavy sets, but our guys just don't seem capable of it right now. And doing so means giving lots of offensive snaps to guys like A.J. Williams and Poggi, neither of whom showed anything as blockers last night, and are non-entities in the passing game. (Please, more Hill and Bunting and Kerridge, less Williams and Poggi -- at least the former trio have shown they can catch passes.) I'll have to watch the replay, but my impression was we had more success running when we stretched the defense horizontally w/3 wides, the quick screens to Darboh, etc.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Re: Five-star busts - Green, Morris, and add Kalis, IMO||
(And in fairness, let's stipulate Morris was dropped to four stars by the recruiting services after he missed most of his senior year w/mono).
We have to consider adding Kalis to this list. Sure, he starts and plays a lot, unlike the other two. But good grief, his whiff on the power-pull on that 4th and 1 (he left TWO guys unblocked, free to the ball-carrier!) was atrocious. This guy was touted as the next Steve Hutchinson coming out of high school; four years into the program, and he's still making mental errors like that. Just find the first red jersey in the hole and knock him on his butt!
I really thought that a spring and fall camp's worth of good OL coaching from Drevno would've solved some of these issues, but I guess I overestimated the aura of mediocrity that clings to these guys after the Hoke/Borges/Funk era. Can they clean up the mental mistakes once they get more comfortable w/the system, or is they just who they are, and it'll take new guys to make significant improvement?
Count me as someone hoping Dawson will seriously push either Braden or Kalis for playing time at guard by year's end.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Pleasantly surprised||
I was skeptical about the all-white road unis, even if they are throwbacks, but they looked pretty good to me last night. Still prefer the maize pants, but this look worked for me and I don't mind it being part of the rotation.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Damn right, Go Blue!||
Thank you Brian & Co. for this annual ritual of ruining my work productivity for a week with another fantastic preview of Michigan football.
I honestly can't remember the last time I was this jacked up for a Michigan football season to begin. You always begin it with hope, but for the first time in a long time, thanks to one James Joseph Harbaugh -- that hope is based on something real, something we can count on: a track record of success. Win or lose tonight, I expect to see a Michigan team that is well prepared, that plays smart and hard, and that improves as the season progresses. It's gonna be fun.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Had the same thought watching it - get the ball in his hands!||
Some guys are just special with the football in their hands, and Peppers is one of them. I've heard everything about him already, but man, watching that video ... Good Lord.
If he can meet his big responsibilities on D and in the return game and still handle a bit more on his plate (and given what we've heard from the coaches themselves about the kid's work ethic, that doesn't seem like a stretch), I don't see how you can't at least try to get him at least 5-10 snaps a game on an offense that is lacking in explosiveness. Even his presence as a decoy can open things up for other guys.
|38 weeks 1 day ago||Love what I've heard from Coach Baxter so far||
Really glad we have this man on our staff. His track record speaks for itself, but I've also been impressed every time he's spoken to the media. Seems like a smart guy who knows how to get the best out of his players. I also love that Coach Harbaugh decided special teams were important enough to deserve a full-time dedicated coaching spot on his staff (rather than making some position coach split duties w/ST as well) -- I think it'll pay huge dividends to the team this year.
Hearing all the coaches talk so highly about Utah, I'm also very pleased they happened to be on the schedule as the first game of the Harbaugh Era. As Baxter notes, adversity introduces a man (or a team) to himself/themselves, and having a nationally televised night game on the road against a quality opponent will help this team learn more about itself and improve a LOT more quickly than if we were opening at home against some tomato can. Win lose or draw, I'm excited to see how our guys compete on Thursday night.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||Hope she responds w/Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind!||
Best wishes, enjoy the moment.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||Shakespear in a POSBANG. Awesome.||
Thanks Mad Hatter.
Hate to introduce a down-note in the POSBANG proceedings, but did you see that one of our favorite POSBANG presences, the lovely Alison Brie, is now off the market?
But Alison's ready for the start of HARBAUGH: