I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
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|2 days 10 hours 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 weeks 13 hours 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 weeks 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.
|6 weeks 6 days 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.
|8 weeks 6 days 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.
|10 weeks 6 days 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).
|25 weeks 3 days 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.
|31 weeks 15 hours 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.
|31 weeks 1 day 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.
|31 weeks 5 days 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*
|32 weeks 4 hours 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.
|32 weeks 10 hours 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.
|32 weeks 6 days 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.
|33 weeks 1 day 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
|33 weeks 5 days 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.
|33 weeks 5 days 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.
|33 weeks 6 days ago||2013 Wins/Loses||
Only a few months ago I would've said that it was probably going to be a 8.5 win season (lets call it 9), and as long as those are the right nine that we'll be getting tickets to Indy... Now a lot of the puzzle pieces are coming together to bridge the gap between "if we get lucky, this could be great" and "controlling ALL THE CONTROLLABLES".
Our D-line is coming together and looks to have the ability to disrupt and rush the passer more than last year and it looks like everything else will be approximately as good (though we'll probably miss Kovacs a couples times). This defense could very well be the complete package, with the linebackers and rush end taking on starring roles Mattison intended.
The offense was of greater concern to me... Devin and Gallon are obviously proven commotities but the rest of the recieves, the RBs and the line seemed shaken up. Now, with what we've seen in the spring game, the recievers (along with the tight ends) should be fine to excellent. Maybe we don't have a proper deep threat yet (Chesson will get there) but we should be able to consistantly move the chains through the air. The O-line was (and still is, to a much lesser extent) scaring me. With Taylor Lewan coming back I'm mostly passified in that department. And finally we have Derrick Green and De'veon Smith coming in, Toussaint returning from injury, and Norfleet looking like someone who'll juke you out of your shoes... The run blocking still needs some work, but I still see us cruising against the majority of our schedule even in the run game.
In some of the bigger games they might be able to force us into the air, but I can only see that going well given Devin's performance thus far and his scambling ability...
The schedule looks pretty soft too... I'm thinking 10-2 with the coin flips @Northwestern, @Iowa (I don't know why, please got proove me wrong... I don't want to punch another hole in the drywall like I did in '11), and against Ohio. Everyone else just doesn't shake me....
|33 weeks 6 days ago||At first I was like...||
"uh... no, this guy's vibrato is intolerable" and then the crowd took over...
|33 weeks 6 days ago||Get your degree man...||
Stronger draft class next year (theoretically, any of those guys could have a rough season) aside everything else pretty much demands that THJ comes back. He had great regular season, and an okay tournament, but nothing that screams NBA starter; and he's already a third-year starter. He'd probably be best to come back, give this young team leadership, show that he's still improving, and get his degree. That way, when he goes to the NBA next year he can transition into something else around the sport (coaching, management, journalism) OR make the journey to Europe and keep playing. One year that opens up a lot of options...
But it's his choice either way. And I think it's 60/40 a good decision to return, if even that much...
Burke didn't really have a choice to make. His stock is at an all-time high and even if he could repeat it all next year the media wouldn't the blown away enough to heap the awards on him again... As great as another year of Trey Burke would've been for Michigan Basketball, I'm afraid it would've been really bad for him. He made the right choice.
GRIII and McGary need at least another year each. GRIII has the potential and all the right physical tools, but his mind and attitude hasn't caught up yet. Throwing him in with a bunch of NBA guys is just as likely to shake him up as it is to improve him at this stage. McGary just needs to show what he can do without Burke over more than a 5 game run. He had a phenomenal tournament; but a lot of analysts are crediting a sizable amount of that to Burke's management of the plays. If McGary can impove on defense and show that he can be a leader/creater on offense he'll be ready to go; but that's at least (probably exactly) a year away.
|33 weeks 6 days ago||hmmm...||
I like the current font and the boarders top and bottom... So I'll pull for those being maintained. Until fall camp, I think it's only fair that it be a basketball-only banner since we had Denard up there for the basketball season. Maybe something based one of the photos of this, or the shot that set it up (photo credit to New York Daily News):
|34 weeks 14 hours ago||It gets pretty loud...||
Ever since the boxes have gone in and the winning ways have returned it's been getting pretty loud in Michigan Stadium. The 2012 season wasn't as noisy as 2011 what with UTL Notre Dame (loudest game I've experienced) and Ohio State... It got pretty loud and people got on their feed when we really needed them to.
And we're perfect at home the last two seasons: 8-0 in 2011, 6-0 in 2012. I'm not sure if 14 ranks as the longest home win streak or not? I know Wisconsin and LSU were both doing better than that before the 2012 season, but both took home losses this year and Ohio State took several home losses in 2011. Obviously Alabama has their loss to A&M blemishing their home schedule... Oregon lost to Stanford at home...Standfor lost to Oregon at home in 2011... etc etc.
|34 weeks 1 day ago||Sense of Community / Family||
As the two highest profile sports in college today the football and basketball programs can either feed off of eachothers success or fight with one-another under the same roof. Fortunately it seems that Michigan has a big enough fanbase, budget, and heart to support both on the national stage without compromising eachother. The support that the football players and staff have showed basketball this year helps both programs immensely and helps to build a sense of community. I can only guess that the basketball staff and players similarly support football, but given the massive scale of that crowd, were lost in the grandeur.
Hopefully we'll see some acknowledgement of Beilein or McGary or something at one (or many) of the football games. The sense of community in Michigan athletics is slowly growing into a sense of family; visible to the entire college sports nation. That has to be exciting and encouraging as a high school player when you're thinking about your college choices... And that's without factoring in the traditions and academic excellent that Michigan offers. Maybe Hoke is right when he says that Michigan "sells itself" to recruits. ^_^
|35 weeks 15 hours ago||I agree||
The fact that Hancock wracked up more than the margin of victory after he fouled out is reason enough to believe that the refs threw this game; even without the two illegitimate Burke fouls (the three pointer that should've been a no-call, though may've technically been, and the sparkling clean dunk block)... I'm not saying there was any intentional bias, just that those were terrible calls and that they should be calling into question the methods with which college basketball is officiated.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||CLEAN||
It's sickening that the cleanest college dunk block I've ever witnessed gets a foul while half the game looked like hockey on hardwood. The call on Burke on the 3 point attempt was also a can of shit. Regardless of whether it was negligent, incompitent, or bias, the officiating in this game is BY FAR the least consistant, if not the outright worst, I've ever witnessed in college basketball.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||Thank You Sir!||
I needed something like this to help me laugh at my own frustration.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||The growth||
The growth and development of this team thoughout the year and particularly in the big dance proves to me that we're just getting into the exciting years. In typical fashion with teams near the top, we might struggle to actually close the deal but I suspect it drops sooner ot later. This was a magical run but we could easily have another in a year or two as Albrecht, Stauskas, GRIII, LeVert, and McGary continue to develop.
We're going to lose some guys to the NBA along the way, but we'll keep restocking. It's the problem you want to have. Beilein has now truly proved himself to be the kind of coach who can recruit and develop the kids with the talent, character, and academics to proudly represent the University of Michigan on the national stage. No reason to believe that's going to stop now.
Michigan Basketball is not "back". There is no back until more banners are earned and even then it only lasts for a moment. You always have to keep climbing just to stay in place. But I don't think we could have a much better coach, or man, leading the way.
Thanks Robinson, Albrecht, Burke, McGary, Akunne, Hardaway, Stauskas, Vogrich, Horford, Bartelstein, McLimans, LeVert, Person, Bielfeldt, and Morgan for an incredible season! Happy Trails and best wishes to all who move on! As for the rest of you, Those Who Stay Will Be Champions.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||No Commuter on weekends||
There's no commuter on weekends. However, all of the parking lots down near the stadium should be fair game.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||Just the best!||
I was at the Blue Tractor for it. The whole place went absolutley nuts.
This game was the best since ND in 2011... brillant recovery to get it to overtime and a brilliant win there. It's incredible to see our guys come though in the clutch like that. Goddamn.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Why 280?||
I agree that he's going to have to lose some weight to gain some speed/directional change against D-1 players, but I'm not sure why 280 is the number and I don't think he could get down to that anytime soon in a healthy, strength-gaining manner. I suspect they'll try to widdle him down a bit but I'd be shocked if he ever drops under 300 unless he isn't hitting the weight room enough to pack on good weight.
I know (if his academics are in order) that I'd be interested as a college coach because his potential at several positions (OG, FB, DT, DE) depending on his weight and hands. He'll probably see limited use as a short yardage RB and spend the rest of his time somewhere else. Hopefully he's open to that idea and no to sucked into a "no, I play RB" mind-set.
|43 weeks 3 days ago||As someone else who grew up in west Michigan||
As someone else who grew up in west Michigan... I felt the same way for a long time. Until after the 2010 Michigan / Michigan State football game. The behavior of Sparty in Ann Arbor; our city was absolutely dispicable. I've never witnessed a group of antagonists so incredibly outnumbered trying so hard to goad the general population around them into a fight. If there weren't Wolverines to defend the couches, they would've been burning in the streets.
Ever since I've regarded Spartan Fans as chronically afflicted with an inferiority complex that defies all reason, logic, or decency. Since I haven't gone to the horseshoe or the barn down in Columbus, I've yet to experience a more obnoxious fanbase firsthand. The only Michigan-Ohio State game I attended was 2011, and it was beautiful. SIDE NOTE: I had student season tickets in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. I attended several games in 2009 since my roommate had tickets and didn't care enough to go to several of the games, but I decided against season tickets after the frusteration of the 2008 season...