- Member for
- 6 years 20 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|2 weeks 8 hours ago||Penn St. & Wisconsin ahead of us?!?||
Polls are stupid, of course, and full of recency bias (among other things), but it's still pretty galling for us to be ranked behind both Penn St. and Wisconsin. (And USC jumping all the way to #3 just because they won the Rose Bowl? A team that Alabama beat by 46?)
I guess the lesson of this year is take care of your damn business, like that game at Iowa... (or, take all your bad losses early, like USC.) Anyway, we are complaining about finishing the year ranked #10. These are First World Problems after the RichRod/Hoke years.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Um, how about the D-line on our '97 nat'l title team?||
Hoke coached that unit. People tend to better remember the back 7 talent on that defense(Woodson, Tommy Hendricks and Marcus Ray, Ian Gold, Sam Sword, Dhani Jones), but the d-line was also outstanding and a major reason why they were so dominant. Rob Renes, Glen Steele, Josh Williams, James Hall, Juaquin Feazell -- that was a great unit. Hoke is in over his head as a Power 5-level coach or coordinator, but the dude can coach a D-line.
|7 weeks 5 hours ago||The players in the piece don't seem to feel sorry for themselves||
That's one of the striking things. It's not particularly pleasant, going through the pain and physical punishment, but every one of these guys seems to think the trade off is worth it, whether because of the money or the competition or the chance to live out a dream. As long as they are clear-eyed about it, OK. But I do wonder how many will feel differently 5 or 10 or 20 years after their careers are done.
Mostly, I'm just fascinated at the lengths these guys will go to endure/manage pain so they can stay on the field and get through the season. There's a reason Harbaugh said (using a bit hyperbole, no doubt) in that HBO interview that he feels football is the "last bastion of hope for toughness in America in men."
|9 weeks 4 days ago||Glasgow nicked up?||
I seem to recall hearing from The Edge of the Internet or another such place that Glasgow's playing through an injury, which might explain the subpar performance by his standards for this game. (Maybe UMbig11 or someone else can confirm?)
I'd also echo those above who'd like to see more Gary. Particularly on passing downs, I'd rather give Glasgow/Mone/Godin a breather and see Hurst and Wormley on the interior and Gary and Taco at end, with a healthy helping of Winovich as well.
But this is a minor quibble. This defense is still very, very good, and if we manage somehow to win the next two games and get to the Big Ten championship, it'll be because they give us a great chance to win any game we play, no matter how much the offense sputters.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Exhibit A for Speight's wonky mechanics limiting his ceiling||
The usual disclaimer: I'm not a QB coach, I never played the game competitively, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Express last night. I just watch a lot of football. To me, this game showed the limit that Speight's unorthodox throwing motion places on his ceiling -- and my concern is that Harbaugh and Fisch won't rebuild his mechanics to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
In one of the Harbaugh coaching clinic videos on YouTube (I think it's when he was the coach at U. of San Diego), he says he doesn't like to mess with a QB's mechanics *too* much if he gets the job done. And I get that. If you're coaching Philip Rivers or Bernie Kosar and that sort of weird throwing motion works for them, fine. Same thing with a golf swing. Jim Furyk has anything but a textbook golf swing, but the guy's won a U.S. Open and $67 million in his career. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That said, one reason a "textbook" throwing motion (or golf swing) is preferred is that its mechanics are more natural and repeatable (and thus more consistent) under pressure. And what we saw in this game was that once Wilton tightened up a bit under the Kinnick night-game atmosphere, his wonky mechanics went further to hell and his accuracy suffered accordingly. Those underthrows of Darboh on the long balls in particular are brutal. Earlier in the year Speight had similar problems caused by his shot-put throwing motion combined with his habit of not always stepping into his throws, etc. -- and they cleaned things up over the bye week and he was much better. But those issues came back with a vengeance last Saturday. (I'm actually surprised this stuff didn't surface again at MSU; to his credit, Speight made some damn fine throws in that game.)
If the coaches are unwilling to totally rebuild Speight's mechanics over the offseason, then we may have to expect this sort of thing out of him occasionally, and that might place a hard limit on how good a QB he can be. I hope that's not the case.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||F--- Iowa and Kinnick||
I've been dreading that damn Iowa game since last summer when I saw it was scheduled as a night game -- we just have bad juju at Kinnick. Losing the game was bad enough, but losing our starting QB 9 games into a potential CFP season ... argh.
That said, I can't imagine having a much better situation at backup QB. This isn't Russ Bellomy or Nick Sheridan we're talking about -- i'ts a guy with two years in the system with legit starting experience at a Division I program, and he's got two weeks to get ready for OSU. My confidence in this coaching staff has dimmed a bit after the shitshow on Saturday night, but I'm still confident they'll have O'Korn as prepared as he can possibly be. Let's hope the kid embraces the moment.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||Jaybaugh is proving his worth||
Took some nerve for Harbaugh to give his son a spot on the staff, but gotta give him credit -- Jay is doing a bang-up job.
Others have noted in this thread that Jay got the train formation idea from a Colorado high school named Chatfield that has a TE whose film he was scouting. Chatfield uses the train on occasion but their coach's father, also a coach, used it for every play back in the day (to answer another question in the thread).
|13 weeks 7 hours ago||Yes - upset the Urban succession plan at OSU!||
I like this rumor the most because of this. Herman's a great coach, and I've always worried that whenever Urban finally steps down at OSU, Herman would be the obvious successor to keep the Death Star in Columbus fully operational. Ain't gonna happen if he's the coach at Texas.
And it's the most logical move for both sides. Herman's going to be Plan A for any major Power 5 team with a coaching vacancy, so it makes sense for Texas to lock him down now if they're certain they won't keep Strong. And if Herman wants to jump now to a blue-blood job, Texas is the best fit. He has roots going way back in Texas -- besides his current time at UH, he was a grad assistant coach at UT in 1999, and coached at Sam Houston St., Texas St., and Rice early in his career. He knows the state and can recruit all the talent he needs at UT without ever crossing the Texas border.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||This was my thought, too||
Of all the guys from the Final Four team to go pro, I thought Stauskas and McGary had the best shot at long, solid NBA careers, because they both had what every NBA player needs to survive -- one superior attribute to hang your hat on. For Nik it was his shot, for McGary it was his insane motor and handle/passing for a big man. Leaving McGary's issues aside... I'm surprised Nik's shot hasn't translated to the next level. We knew he'd have trouble on defense and with the higher level of athleticism in the NBA, but I was certain his shooting would still allow him to carve out a nice Redick/Kyle Korver type role. But he seems to have lost his shot and all his confidence -- which is amazing, considering the cocky alpha dog he was his sophomore year at UM. Remember his dagger 3 at Wisconsin that year, or him blowing kisses to the crowd at Breslin after beating Sparty? What happened to that guy, Brass Balls Stauskas?
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Iowa at night at Kinnick||
I dont' disagree with anything mentioned already -- further injuries, field goal kicking, a trip to East Lansing for a game that is essentially Sparty's entire season, Chaos Indiana the week before The Game. But for some reason it's the night game in Iowa City that screams danger to me. Our last few visits there have been annoyingly close losses, and even our three most recent wins there were close shaves -- 23-20 (2005), 32-26 (2001), and 12-9 (1998). I would find winning convincingly at Kinnick this year almost as satisfying as doing the same in East Lansing or the Columbus toilet bowl.
|24 weeks 6 days ago||The whole Chesson thing makes me nervous||
Everyone seems to be saying he'll be back for the season, no problem, but boy, this mysterious bowl-game injury recovery has dragged on for a long time and Harbaugh and the team have been awfully coy about it. We still don't even know exactly what the injury was. I really hope Jehu is back "100%" soon so he can develop some chemistry w/O'Korn and Speight; him missing the spring was not ideal. A big factor behind the future-high-draft-pick Jehu we saw the second half of last year was him finally getting on the same page with Rudock, especially on the deep throws.
|25 weeks 4 days ago||Yes, please Brian!! UFR of Defense vs OSU||
I get it. Yes, it would suck to put together and suck to read. No one wants to re-live that; we're not masochists. And I know Brian needs a break from UFRs after OSU, because he's been grinding them out all season, for which the entire MGoReadership is grateful.
But you gotta learn from the bad games as well as the good -- and a UFR of the D vs OSU would tell us a *lot* more about what to expect in 2016 (and how realistic all the Big Ten/playoff hype around Michigan is) than looking at this performance against Florida's craptastic offense. For Harbaugh to get this program where we all want it to be, he's got to slay the dragons in Columbus and East Lansing. The biggest obstacle to that is slowing down Meyer's offense, which has dropped 42 points on us three years in a row. So a UFR of our D vs OSU last year, while painful, would be really useful. How much of that disaster was on Durkin/poor scheme/lack of adjustments? How much was on our injury-ravaged D-line? How much of it was on poor play by guys who are gone vs guys who are coming back?
Some might say, "But Durkin's gone and Brown's here, so how useful would it really be?" But you could say the same thing about the Florida UFR, and Brian still did it. Looking at what went wrong against OSU on defense would help us know what Brown needs to fix -- and maybe Brian could give us some insight on how likely it is that Brown will do better, based on what we know about his scheme already.
Pretty please, Brian?
|37 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...
|42 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.
|42 weeks 4 days ago||Grazie||
|42 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.
|47 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:
|48 weeks 4 days ago||Bravo||
What a great way to end the week. Thanks Brian.
|48 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."
|51 weeks 4 days ago||Link|
|1 year 1 week 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.
|1 year 4 weeks 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....
|1 year 4 weeks 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.)
|1 year 9 weeks 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!
|1 year 10 weeks 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...
|1 year 12 weeks 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.
|1 year 13 weeks 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.
|1 year 14 weeks 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.
|1 year 14 weeks 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.
|1 year 16 weeks 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.