"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
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|2 weeks 3 days ago||I know there was an era when||
I know there was an era when the used to retire ocean-going vestiles to the Great Lakes but then a lot of them broke up because of the choppy nature of the waves in the 'Lake caused metal fatigue so much faster than the swells of the ocean. The thought was that the fresh water didn't erode the hulls so they'd last longer with less maintainance and that you're usually closer to aid (shore, other ships) than you would be on the oceans.
There were a rather surprising number of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes during the 50s, 60s and into the 70s due to ships spontaniously breaking up when caught in the storms. Obviously the navigational aides of the time were also far worse (especially in stormy conditions) but aides don't stop your hull breaking apart from the waves.
I'd beleive a lot of the WWII era vestles that still traverse the 'Lakes were built more to military rather than civilian spec, and are far more durable as a result.
I don't know if the Edmund Fitzgerald was of that era of thinking or not - but it was purpose-built as a Great Lakes freighter. If I recall correctly the main (suspected) culprit was the design of the cargo hatch seals, which in large swells could cause the Fitz to take on some water. Under most circumstances the ship had enough pump capacity to deal with this, but this was a particularly bad storm. The additional ballest caused additional loading well beyond the rated capacity of the ship, which coupled with the waves resulted in strutural failure. It's known that the ship broken in two, but it's believed that the split actually happened as or (immidiately) before the ship capsized.
But I was just really into shipwrecks for a little while as a kid. I'm no navel architect.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Coach?||
Maryland is definitely and underachiving football program right now, but UA money won't solve the problem itself. Remember that Hoke and much of his staff was paid top-flight money. Elite paychecks do not make elite coaches - but elite coaches earn their paychecks.
Honestly, if I was Maryland's AD right now I know who my #1 coaching candidate would be.
Who is used to running the #4-#5 program in an extrememly tough P5 division?
I'm not sure that Mullen could make Maryland elite, but he'd get them back to 7+ wins / year and he's one of the few SEC coaches that could be "bought out" from his school. Maryland is also more favorably located for recruiting; albiet marginally (more in-state talent, no Freeze). Somehow Virginia and New Jersey seem to turn out some of the absolute best football talent and Maryland is often in the conversation for them before they slip away to better coaches/programs.
If UA wants to write a big enough check to get 'em, I would think that he'd by the guy.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||WHITE SNAKE!?!?!?!||
That was the Scopions.
And I'm 26.
|12 weeks 7 hours ago||The Team, The Team, The Team||
The most encouraging thing about this game was the way the team held together in spite of misques here and there. Against excellent D-lines (Utah's is probably the best we'll face until the last two weeks of the season against PSU and OSU) the playcalling and passing game need to correct a bit sooner and I'm not sure we're putting some of our best players on when we need to (Bunting or Hill vs. Williams on a few of those passing downs would've been good).
Some small sample-size high-varience things went wrong in a road night-game environment. The turnovers are what ultimately killed us. Had the pick-six drive gone for a fieldgoal I think we would've won this game. But the lower variance things - like grinding out yards, sustaining drives, and bottling up big plays from key opposing players - were very promising.
It was also highly exciting to see a 2-minute drill that actually looked and felt like a 2-minute drill.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||Hmmmm.||
My gut says that Malzone probably won't be a starter for a whole season with the possible exception of his true senior / redshirt junior or redshirt senior year. And even then, maybe not.
But I suspect that he'll be a #2 guy for several seasons (starting in '16) and will see a lot of field. I suspect he'll have his "hero" moment when he goes in for someone with either a minor injury or severe underperformance on the road and pulls out a "W" with moxie. This will mark his "arrival" and we might see him starting after that.
Regardless I'm very glad he's part of the program. In a couple years having a guy like this in the backup QB position sets the floor pretty high. Especially in a complex system like the Harbaughfense.
|39 weeks 1 day ago||We ought to have a Mgomotorhead meet||
We ought to have a Mgomotorhead meet. Friday evening before a home game in September, when it still stays light into the evenings and the weather's not (usually) too bad (or we could find a parking garage to hide in).
Sounds like Bo had a fine-tuned classic, Mo tweeked it but didn't change it fundamentally, Lloyd did the best he could. Rich tried to take it a different direction and slowly worked it back to being successful, then Brady tried to take it back to stock, ignoring a lot of the helpful mods that had been made over the year. Removing the coil-overs and fancy modern stuff in favor of the classic way. Jim's gonna make 'er into a Pro Stock Resto-Mod. No bulky, heavy, outdated big blocks here. We're gonna take an all-aluminum LS. Yes, it's fuel injected, but it's still a classic fire-breathing V8, replacing that old finicky charborated big block Brady put in 'er after pulling out the turbo Toyota 2JZ Rich left in there, even though it did win a lot of races those first couple seasons.
|1 year 44 weeks ago||Actually||
Very yes. Brady does a brilliant job of working underneith to find open recievers with optimal timings when they should be open in the zones... I think Gallon could really thrive in that culture.
Of course, I wish him well wherever he goes. (^__^)
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Jaw, I'm very happy to||
Jaw, I'm very happy to introduce you to Floor. I expect that you two will get to know eachother quite well in the coming seasons.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Lies||
Rear-wheel drive vehicles are the MOST fun in this weather. That doesn't mean they're the easiest or safest (far from it), but fun rarely (if ever) coorlates with safety or ease.
Basically it comes down to three things:
1 - Attitude - is it exciting or is it scary?
2 - Tires - Rear wheel drive cars/trucks pretty much require snow/ice tires in the winter.
3 - Limit Handling of the vehicle - assuming you can get moving and brake (which relies on the tires) effectively, the reduced traction in these conditions reduces the speeds and inputs (to throttle and/or brakes) at which you encounter your vehicles limit handling characteristics. This is where there's potential for loads of fun depending on your car's behavior. As someone who's driven RWD pickup trucks in the winter before, it can be no fun at all. But as someone who currently drives a BMW 3-Series on Blizzaks (snow tires), it can be a total joy.
|1 year 46 weeks ago||The worst I attended was 2008 Northwestern||
Cold, rainy, nasty and a sloppy football game on both sides to boot. Gah.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||I can get behind the||
I can get behind the psychologist idea. If anything I'd rather see the program put money there rather than giving the coaching staff any raises for a dismal season. If anything I'd like to see them pick up a small group of psycologists who would interact with both the players and coaching staff and be available at most hours of the day or night (in some capacity). Student-Athletes are incredibly busy, so having psycological staff available with bankers hours would (probably) not have the desired effect.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Meh||
After a season such as this it's temping to gather everyone and encouraging them to bring their pitchforks and torches so we can burn the whole mess down and start anew.
I'm not in denial, nor delusional about this team. This season was agonizing in much the same way that 7-6 in 2010 was agonizing. The main differences are that we're now trending "the wrong way" (11-2, 8-5, 7- 6) as the costs of transition and attrition hit us from the coaching change, and that we lost 4 of those 6 games in close, defensive, painful, fashion.
The ranks of the upperclassman have been heavily depleted. Someone posted a diary showing that inner OL experience correlates directly with success running the ball. Guess where we've got RS Freshman.... It's one season, and there weren't really other options.
The class of 2010 yielded a couple key contributors in Devin Gardner and Jake Ryan, and a few other solid players (Dileo, Avery), but was something like a 75% bust including only ONE OL.
The only thing that's been a constant irritation in Hoke's three years is offensive inconsistancy which has been generally attributed to Borges. Everything else has seemed solid until this year and there's a TON of things factoring into it. A million papercuts. I agree that Hoke looks clueless in losing, but there aren't many coaches who look even remotely graceful in that situation until they redeem themselves with wins later. I do think there's a certain amount of truth behind the idea that Hoke isn't a hard-edged diciplinarian or cold, calculating master-mind of a coach. But if the players get behind him he's already proven that he can and will win football games. If nothing else we, as a program, probably need to let Hoke run out his contract (unless he ties his fate to that of Borges) and carefully set up the next coaching hire to work as a progression rather than a succession from the players abilities.
And if you want to Hoke to get the ax so badly, who would you propose as a replacement, and who would you like/expect to see as their assistants?
|1 year 49 weeks ago||I agree with the original poster...||
Fuck this year in Michigan sports. I'm sick of watching our teams performing just well enough that I'm emotionally attached to every. last. fucking. loss.
I mentally understand that these close losses are better than getting blown out because they mean that the program is still within an arms-reach of the top. But emotionally speaking this is turning into pure agony. I think I'm done watching Michigan sports till the bowl game... the wins just feel hollow and empty and that losses keep demolishing my emotional well-being.
(not that I expect the bowl game to be any different)
|1 year 49 weeks ago||It's almost like they made that rule change just to screw Morgan||
Seriously... It feels like they watched the Syracuse game last year in the tourney and decided that "stand in a place and get run into" should be penalized with free throws. >__<
|1 year 50 weeks ago||WTF is with the refs.||
Two terrible calls in a row. Total garbage. Even the taling heads are saying that they didn't see how those were called... Zonkeys man... Gifting the Eagles 8 points. SMH
|2 years 1 day ago||OL is the key||
Ultimately the key to Michigan's offensive woes the last two seasons have centered almost exclusively around the offensive line. In 2011 we had the good fortune of our center being a Rimmington award worthy guy who was also a real leader and disciplinarian to the rest of the OL. This opened up holes for two 1000+ yard rushers and established the run game to allow for play-action passing and held up the pocket for enough time for deep routes to develop.
While I wouldn't come close to claiming that I approve of how the offense is running, there've been plenty of times that "execution" has been the problem. Gallon and Funchess had some drops on reasonably thrown balls that would've been conversions... And that's about the only thing our porous OL allows for. Which leaves us without a run game or the option to let deeper passing plays develop. The only thing we can really try to do is take the short routes, which teams are starting to tee-off on looking for a pick-six.
The only way an offense could be successful with Michigan's current level of execution would require a whole-sale dedication to a system that negates those weaknesses - which would be a whole different offense. Our problem is that we keeping trying to go wholesale MANBAWL, finding it doesn't work, and half-heartedly installing other elements. I also hate our emotional resistance to using tempo to our advantage. I understand huddling and burning clock some of the time, but I think we'd have a lot more success running the ball on 1st down if (following a conversion) we rushed to the line and pounded Green right up the middle. Do that a few times and you'd even be able to pull out the dreaded waggle for a shot at the enzone when you're around mid-field (again, no huddle, after a 1st down conversion. Don't give the defense time to think). Given our snail-like pace the rest of the time, just going no-huddle for a down here and there would be incredibly effective.
I'm not sure exactly where the blame lies for any of this. I still think Hoke is our guy and I'm a huge supporter of our defensive staff. Though I have a few reservations about their subsitution policies I think they're doing an excellent job developing young players into stars, and it will start paying big as soon/long as the offense is functional. Hopefully you'll see something new on Saturday... I'm not sure that I can even bring myself to watch.
|2 years 3 days ago||meh||
The defense continues to perform at a solid-B level. Given all the turnovers and Frank Clark's penetration today I'd go so far as to give it a B+ even. The defensive touchdown at the beginning of the game more or less offsets Iowa's long scoring drive to start the 2nd half in my book.
They were a little softer than I'd like on a YPP basis, but they made up for it by being very opportunistic with turnovers. They put the offense in a position to win the game repeatedly and even put points on the board.
The only way to really criticize the defense is saying that they could've been truly elite and shut down Iowa on a few key plays late. If you have Michigan State's defense that's a much stronger arguement... this defense is still pretty young and inherently soft in places by no fault of the coordinators. Youth, occasional miscommunication, and some RPS losses at key moments continue to hold them back. But with a little help from the offense in the second half I have little doubt that they could've held Iowa to 21 points MAXIMUM. They just never got any help.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||What Ceiling?||
While I might agree that this year's edition of the Michigan Wolverines has a ceiling, I think I would vehemently disgree that it resembles Brady Hoke's ceiling... The upper classes are relatively depleted, especially in the trenches but the young recruiting classes have been monsters. If Borges stops fighting his personel and is willing to roll with Gardner in the passing game, for better or worse, we've got plenty of wins left in us. I think this is an 9 to 11 win team (including bowl / B1G championship).
2012 was a scheduling anomaly in a rebulding year. We lost to the top three teams in the nation (on paper), a road game without our senior QB, and a bowl game against a top-10 team that could've gone either way. I think 8-5 teams are this staff's (Hoke and Mattison) floor at Michigan.
I'm not sure we'll really feel the loaded classes until 2015, but we should be totally ready to ran with the best at that point. These things take time.
This year still feels similar to how it did at the beginning... There's not a single game on the schedule we can't win (I might feel differently if ohio was on the road, but home games ftw), and we're out of any we can't lose (except, we almost did).
I also expect that we'll only know two things about this team (better) after East Lansing:
1- Can our defense hold firm against moose-running?
2- How much our offense can open things up on an elite defense... IF we don't get wrecked in the gameplan.
|2 years 6 weeks ago||What makes you think it will be?||
I think I agree with you wholeheartedly that the tackle over package probably isn't going to work on the better defenses in this conference. It should be reasonably effective against the bad ones left on the schedule (Indiana, Nebraska, MAYBE Iowa) and the one with an undersized line (Northwestern)... I could see it not working AT ALL against State or Ohio, and to a lesser degree, Penn State.
The good news is that we haven't run much for counter-plays out of it yet (really) and it's relatively ripe for those as long as everyone else can hold their own (and teams have to sell out to stop it). Additionally, based on the ND gameplan, Borges is perfectly willing to go after weaknesses in a teams secondary if that's where the weakness lie. If anything I think we're in a better position to go pass-happy now with Funchess roaming around at WR. I think we can run legit 3-reciever sets all day with either Gallon / Funchess / Chesson or Gallon / Funchess / Dileo. Though this was a rough game for Chesson I still think he's trending upward... though I'd also like to see The Threat deployed more too.
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Simply the playbook and pass to set up the run.||
We need to wittle down the running-game playbook some so that we have 2-3 "base" running plays that we can install counters to. Right now it feels like a grab-bag. Given the potential our passing game has flahsed I think RB draws would be wise coupled with more "easy" passes on 1st down. If we're going pistol I'm not sure why we can't get Kerridge some out routes in the flat, or Gallon some hitches. It doesn't even have to get to the sticks, just put us in 2nd and 5 sometimes. Then we can start playing the run game off the pass game. Or PA it downfield.
Other stuff: Borges is a pass-guru type, yeah? He should find ways to get Funchess and Butt matched up with DBs as much as possible. Especially in the pass game, but certainly in blocking as well. Though that may make Funchess's blocking selection problem even worse...
But inside they just need to narrow it down. Get the line narrowed down to as few different designed blocking assignments as possible on a few plays, then throw differenet defensive allignments and stunts at them and teach the right adjustments for those few plays. I'd rather see a DeBordian run game that can grind out 3 yards against any defensive front that isn't cheating to kill it than this grab-bag that goes -2, -2, -1, 4, -2, -3, +23... If it has to be set up by the pass, then so be it. We should be able to manage that (in theory).
|2 years 23 weeks ago||Yes and No||
It seems like Al has real trouble scheming around poor offensive line play. He seems to be able to coach skill players up and adjust his offense to them reasonably well, but if the battle is being lost in the trenches history shows he has trouble adjusting. Which cooreponds rather well with what we've seen in his two years here.
Since Michigan has been recruiting among the best offensive line classes in the country for a the last few years, and will probably continue to in terms of quality (if not the quantity we've seen) there's not soo much to worry about. Every system works better with talent; that's pretty much a given. At the D1 power-conference level every system other than spread-option (read-based) offenses require traditionally-talented (aka big, strong) football players.
The spread replaces some of the size and strength in favor of speed and agility and replaces some blocking with reads. It's clever in that it opens up the playing field to smaller, faster players who traditionally had only niche rolls (if you were an OL prospect that would top out at 270ish, but could run a solid 40 and had good agility drills where the hell did you end up in a 'traditional' system - probably a move to defense?). And it's not like the spread-option doesn't work better with better players; see Oregon, 2010 Auburn, or Northwestern's year-on-year improvement as they bring in 4-stars lately... Spread-option (read option) based offesnses just shift the definition of what is optimal for players.
I suppose you could make the arguement that some coordinators / coaching staggs do a better job of developing players: see Boise State for quite a run there... But I would argue that's a complete coaching staff thing, rather than just the OC. If Borges hasn't had much consistancy in his assistance coaching staffs, that probably explains some of the location-to-location, or even year-to-year variance as well.
But I don't think this diary was meant to summarize Al Borges's career as a success or failure or even to examine his strengths and weaknesses. So far as I can tell it was about looking at his playcalling and personal adjustments with various teams in various states of "build" to get a sense of what we might be seeing going forward. With Michigan's recruiting classes, the ceiling looks like a balanced offense that is effecient converting 3rd downs and is among the best in-conference, and perhaps nationally, in scoring. I'm not complaining.
|2 years 29 weeks ago||Is this what depth feels like?||
I'm really enjoying Michigan's 2013 (and beyond) recruiting because it's starting to feel like the staff is addressing possibiliities rather than need. At worst Dawson gets burried on the depth chart and transfers; at best he becomes an incredibly athletic 6' 2" 190+ pound corner who can shut down even the largest of the "big body" recievers and come up strong in run coverage.
The likely path is somewhere in between but his physical tools seem poised to get him on the field in one way or another. If he can clean up his pursuit angles a bit I could see him getting on the field for special teams after his redshirt year; while competing for starting role on the defense. Assuming some of these "make or break" guys stick around when they don't jump into the starting role we should be able to have enough players to fill most of the special team roles without risking injury to starters.
|2 years 29 weeks ago||We're so lucky||
As Michigan fans we've been so lucky and blessed to cheer for guys like Kovacs and Robinson the last four years. And it looks like they're both going to make their small mark on the NFL.
I agree that Kovacs can really help a team even without seeing field. His postivity and work ethic seem infectous and his football IQ is impossibly high. Even as a practice squad guy he'd be teaching your starters on both sides of the ball a thing or three. He put on a tackling clinic for four years here; seemingly always picking the right approach for the situation.
I'm glad to hear about him though. Kovacs has been my favorite Wolverine since '09 when he first stepped up (well, then it was Brandon Graham, but Kovacs was seriously on my radar before Denard, who looked like a situational change-up guy behind Tate Forcier at the time). But watching him in 2010 sealed the deal. Denard was the offense, but Kovacs very nearly was the defense. Hopefully he'll never be tossed into that tough of a job again. His 2011 and 2012 seasons really showcased how well he can work within a defense and while his coverage wasn't always the best, his run support and blitzing was grade-A. We're gonna miss him; I hope he gets his chance at Miami.
|2 years 29 weeks ago||Neither of these stadiums would come cheap||
Due to the sheer scale of the retractable roof on the "normal" contcept I think it might not be any cheaper/easier to build. And Frankly, I think it might be a "better" stadium once the science fiction novelty of the other wore off in some way...
But I still adore that rotating roof design. It looks like something straight out of a movie or video game cinimatic... and that 360 big screen.... *drool*
|2 years 30 weeks ago||Gotta love his tenacity!||
I agree that the blog was clearly a move to gather more attention for his music career by leveraging his position as one of the nations top football recruits. As a musician with nothing to leverage for publicity, I can't blame him. Particularly since isn't seem to be doing music to stay in the public eye after his athletic relevancy; the vast majority of both his music and athletic careers are ahead of him.
I also like the tune. It doesn't sound like self-paraody or patronizing to his fans; he sounds like a young rapper fighting for his slice of the pie. That's cool. That's genuine. And I hope it works out for him if football isn't all he dreamed it could be. Two risky career choices; to be sure, but he seems reasonably well equipted to roll with either.
I think he likes the media atttention, and that sorta thing, but that he's getting sick of talking to coaches and schools that he knows he won't fit in at. He wants world-class academics; particularly in the music program, and world-class football. It's pretty easy to see why his decision will probably come down to Michigan vs Stanford. For any kid making that decision I have the deepest respect; you really can't do better either way.
|2 years 30 weeks ago||I suspect||
I suspect that since Michigan's recruiting class is going to be smaller this year (out of necessity) that it might slip in the national and conference rankings if we fail to pull in both Da'Shawn Hand and Jabrill Peppers. Now if everything goes right with those guys we could still be looking at a top 5 class even with only 15-16 members.
It is interesting to see how well Michigan is recruiting across such a wide area while Ohio has been focusing at home. I'm not sure that it really speaks to the school's recruiting strategies as much as it speaks to the level of talent Michigan high school football produces on a year-by-year basis when compared with Ohio. Michigan has the additional thorn of another Big Ten school only a few dozen miles up I-96... Not that State has managed to pull in very many contested recruits, but I wouldn't discount them as a reason for Michigan's national focus.
As for the recruiting class itself, I really like how there's definite pursuit of potential rather than "sure things". Ian Bunting and Juwann Bushell-Beatty are those kinds of developmental risks that have all the tools to be All-Americans, but need time and coaching to really shine. I love that Michigan is finally deep enough at some positions (like TE and OL) to grab some of these guys. The payoff down the road could be huge.
|2 years 30 weeks ago||I tried to be one of the "good half"||
I got season tickets in 2008, always arrived before the team ran out, and never left until after the games were over. Yes, even Northwestern. That experience kinda broke me... I still show up early for games and stay late to games I'm excited about / think will be competitive... I showed up within minutes of the gates opening for UTLs, and nearly an hour early for Ohio and Nebraska in '11. I was early for Air Force, Michigan St. and Northwestern this year...
But after 2008 it's difficult to rustle up the enthusiasm to wake up super early, walk a couple miles to the stadium, and watch us level a floundering Illinios team or another MACrifice. But I'm also graduating, so I suppose I can't be part of the problem anymore.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||Gotta go with a senior...||
Even though Funchess #2 is my favorite of these, and maybe my favorite picture from the 2012 season, this team is always about the senior leadership. So I'm forced to narrow it down to the Lewan, Gallon, and Toussiant...
I'm going for Gallon for now! Lewan was pointing and Chrome and the last thing I need is more encouragement to use the interwebz. :p
|2 years 31 weeks ago||It's about as save as an event of any scale can reasonably be||
There's lots of securety, both visible and tucked away. If someone was diabolical enough they could find a way to make it into an ugly scene, but that's true anywhere that isn't a layered military fortress. While you could turn Michigan Standium into one of those (probably) it would be ugly and it would take all of Friday to get the fans in there and all of Sunday to get them out.
Ultimately I must just default to Benjamin Franklin who once said "those who sacrific liberty for security deserve neither". While that's a bit severe, I think the moral of the story is to seize the day. If fear can drag you away from what you love, you've already lost it.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||0.0||
The storage vessels would've served as pressure vessels, the ammonia (from the fertilizer) as an oxidizer, then all you need is a fuel... Usually when people make a bomb the fuel is gasoline, here it was anything that was kicked up by the initiall fire. Once the oxidizers and fuel were exposed you get rapid chemical combustion; an explosion.
This tragedy almost certainly falls 100% into the catigory of an industrial accident. Though safety of these facilities (in western countries anyway) has been impoved immensely the hazardous / flamable / combustable nature of the products still entails great risk.
My heart goes out to the families of those injured or worse.