|4 weeks 1 day ago||I guess, but is the USMNT perpetual underdogs?||
I think your analysis is right, but it seems like there is no time limit on this status, which I find interesting. The US has had (some) World Cup success pretty regularly since 1994, yet the US is always the team of the future, it seems. It's a nice status to have with your fans.
I mean, Costa Rica (our CONCACAF brethren) just won a group featuring England, Italy and Uruguay (i.e., as hard as our "Group of Death"), and then beat Greece in the knockout round. Yet I haven't heard one article saying, "How come they do that and we can't? When will it be our year to shine?"
I don't have a problem with it. It's kind of nice to have a fan base that treats their team like a favorite puppy or something (not sure if it's the right analogy, but it's what came to mind).
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Are US fans the only ones like this?||
I don't mean passionate -- that's a given for pretty much every World Cup squad. I mean that they don't seem to really get angry about their team.
I mean, I don't follow Mexican soccer blogs, but when they lost (again) in the knockout round, where they like, "Man, this is disappointing and I'm sad, but it's still wonderful -- can't wait 'til next year!"? My sense is they would be pissed off, but maybe I'm wrong. Same with other countries.
For an example of this outside of mgoblog (and there are many), there's the NY Times game story. There are 400 comments, and while I didn't read every one, it's a mix of "Wow, what a team! I had a fun! Too bad, and I'm sad we lost, but we'll get 'em next time!" and fans from other teams around the world saying, "Nice match, US! Good job, good effort!" It's the most positive comment thread in the history of humanity.
I can't think of another sport, college or pro, where this happens. High school, maybe?
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Not everyone has the money bags in your avatar's hands||
Obviously $500 is on the lower end, but if you're willing to a) share an apt with someone else (students still do that, don't they?) or b) live outside the actual city Ann Arbor (which many grad students do, e.g., in one of the adjoining townships or in Ypsi), you can find lots of stuff for rent of $1000/mth total, which equals out to $500 a month. And this stuff is not in the 'hood.
If you want to live in the city itself, by yourself, it's easily double (or triple) that, but as a grad student, maybe you don't care as much about being close to the night life and restaurants.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Key question - what is the budget?||
If your budget is essentially unlimited, so are the options. If they don't want to spend, say, more than $500/month, that pares things down. So knowing (approximately) what they want to spend is key.
Also important -- do they have a car or will they be relying on bus/walk?
|5 weeks 3 days ago||No they didn't -- OSU was not good (D-wise) last year||
You're remembering past OSU teams, perhaps. Last year, OSU got lit up on numerous occasions.
Against Clemson, Tajh Boyd threw for 378 yards (5 TDs) and ran for 127 more yards. Clemson had an RB who ran for 69 more yards (on 12 carries).
That's almost 600 yards of total offense. Heck, Cal had 500 yards in offense against them.
They weren't terrible, certainly, but they also weren't good. The OSU offense last year is what carried that team (as shown by Carlos Hyde running through our d-line at will, along with them being able to pass for copious yards).
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Have a fun time and be prepared for 101 questions||
I took my 6-year old and it was a nice time, even though the Tigers lost. And that 101 questions is not an exaggeration -- everything from "Who's pitching?", "Is he any good?", "How fast did he throw it?" "Can you throw it that fast?", "How fast will he throw the next pitch?", "How can you tell it was a curve ball?", "Can you throw a curve ball?", and so on. Thankfully it was a not constant, just machine gun-like every 5-10 minutes or so when something new caught his interest and/or he was following up on one of my comments to my friend (e.g., "Boy, Verlander is struggling!")
And, of course, be ready to spend the usual excessive amount of money at the concession stands.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Looks good to me||
I stopped getting the U of M plates from the state of MI (which are "fundraising plates") b/c I couldn't stand they had a blue M on a yellow field. It looked dumb.
I just Googled it and see they finally switched it so it looks exactly like the Texas plate (in terms of the block M; the whole MI plate is not maize & blue). A point to the Michigan marketers who made sure our trademark was finally correctly being displayed.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||He's only 31 and he's making his own bad luck||
I was at the game last night, so I got to see his latest debacle first-hand.
- He's only 31. He still should be in his prime (not the middle of it, but def a couple more years). Plenty of pitchers (Halladay, Sabathia, Shields, Lee, Wainright, etc) have done very well/excelled at that age. Now perhaps JV is different, but if so, whoo boy -- the Tigers are in trouble.
- He did have bad luck last night , such as the sawed off, broken bat "hit" that loaded the bases. But Infante's homer was a no-doubter, and he's not exactly Babe Ruth. Plus, JV had plenty of good luck (e.g., guy leaving 2nd base early to get double off on a fly out to center field; Davis throwing a guy out at the plate).
So it's not really bad luck, but bad pitching. His control has been poor and he hasn't been stirking nearly enough people out.
If he doesn't fix it within the next couple of starts, I'd be all for the Tigers sitting him out for 2-3 weeks so he can rest / work on mechanics / whatever. Right now, he's really hurting the team (which is shocking thing to say for someone so talented).
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Fair point, but it's still a problem||
The NFL's tax evasion is nothing compared to, say, Apple's or Pfizer's, but it still terrible that the "NFL League Office" is a non-profit which saves ~$10 million a year in taxes and pays its "non-profit" CEO (Roger Goodell) $35 million a year.
With that in mind, I'm fine if people get upset about it. Just like I'm fine that people are finally realizing the "non-profit" bowls, which pay their chairman $1 million+, are also a joke and a scam. I'll take whatever might lead to little victories we can get.
|8 weeks 6 hours ago||I will yell that out loud||
I will yell that out loud this year/next year any time Ty Isaac has a run/catch of 25 yards+ (even if it is straight up the middle of the field).
|8 weeks 6 hours ago||If these clips are any||
If these clips are any indication, I look forward to many productive runs by Ty when we are up 48-14 on teams midway through the 3rd quarter.
Seriously though, the Fresno State catch & run was quite nice. Hopefully we'll see a lot that in the future, as that would help Devin out a ton against pressure.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Wow, the Elite 11 stunk Devin's year||
First, congrats to Alex. Seems like a good kid who's on the rise.
Second, have you looked at previous Elite 11's? Usually, a good portion are truly "elite", but 2009 was a tire fire.
Hopefully Alex can be the best in his class, like Devin was, but have a better, more experience OL to lead us to some more W's and championships.
|9 weeks 22 hours ago||It's not your fault...it's not your fault||
I'd embed the Good Will Hunting Clip here, but I realized that came out the same year as Austin Powers, so I'll refrain to prevent a continued lack of hipness.
|9 weeks 22 hours ago||Exactly - why analyze what you're not looking forward to?||
By this, I don't mean Michigan football (exactly). I mean the fact that it is EXTREMELY likely we will go 8-4 or 9-3 this year. Against an unexciting schedule. Which will likely put us behind two, if not three, of our big rivals. Which sucks.
Hopefully the team will surprise like it did in 2011 and go 11-2 (or better). But that's just it -- that would be a real surprise, and and any honest preview would treat it as such.
So I don't think--when we're 1,000 short--that it's "Meta" Blog stuff. It's UM football and it's performance (and lack thereof).
I just hope to enjoy the watching the games (and not overanalyze it), hope Hoke wins enough (pick your number; I know I have mine) to readily keep his job and thus we won't have to spend next off-season discussing whether Brandon should offer Jim Harbaugh $10 mil/year. That's my big-time goals for this year. Which is not exactly exciting when it's been 10 years since we've won a B1G title.
FWIW, I did support the Kickstarter to support the blog/content and I want to learn more about Nuss. But to find out if our 3rd string TE will contribute and how the LB rotation will develop, etc? Not something I can get fired up for to delve into this year.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Hmmm. I'll still wait for the||
Hmmm. I'll still wait for the Groupon.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||The team definitely uses 'Jag-wahrs'||
I just spent 3 minutes on their website and their official "Jaguars.com Live!" show and their coach both use "wahrs", so that seems official.
FYI: their most recent video (about the NFL draft) in their Jaguars Media Gallery has a subtitle that refers to QB Aaron Murray's "rock-hard confidence."
I did not click on that video.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||You changed your argument||
- You said "Many students and athletes..." My point is it is not many athletes.
- Regarding students: At U of M, which has a different than most public universities, the % of students from Michigan is still 60%. That 40% out-of-state comes from all over (every state, many countries). There is a huge concentration from NJ/NY/CT, and I'm sure hundreds of folks from VA/MD. But you know where those students will be during the B1G tourney? They will be...in Michigan. It's not much more convenient for them, just b/c their parents live in Greenwich.
- And the B1G is not just about U of M. MSU has 88% of its students in-state. Wisconsin is 75+% WI & MN students. Etc.
So this it all about "expanding the footprint" and alumni. I'm fine with alumni (I am one) but the students should be the primary consideration -- as many as reasonably possible deserve a shot to see their team.
And of course "everyone" wouldn't prefer Indianapolis. I prefer Chicago or Detroit over Indianapolis. Delaney is not calling me.
But this is just another step on the "brand building" of the B1G, that will eventually lead to not much of a brand at all. That's my point.
If you want to have alums on the east coast see games, great -- schedule non-conf games in CT, NJ, NY, MD, etc. But you don't need to add Rutgers or have your tourney (which is multiple games) far away from the vast majority of your fan base.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||'Many'? I don't think so.||
- UM's roster last year: http://www.umhoops.com/information/roster/
- Michigan State roster: http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/msu-m-baskbl-mtt.html
All from Midwest (MI/OH/IN/IL), except a guy from Wyoming.
While I am sure there are one or two (on avg) guys from VA or MD on B1G rosters, the vast, vast majority of them are from the Midwest.
This has zero to do with students and their families. Please don't perpetuate that nonsense.
|13 weeks 2 days ago||Mouton is not really an NFL player||
He has made precisely one NFL tackle. He was wildly overdrafted, everyone thought so at the time, and through injuries/lack of suffiicent talent, he essentially hasn't played yet and I would be surprised if he ever did (he didn't play at all last year).
You are right about Schilling -- I knew I had forgotten someone, so Schilling brings it to 5 players, i.e., the same amount of NFL players in 2 classes as 2009 had in one.
The 2006 did have more depth, but my point still stands: we have been doing below what we need to be in recruiting for almost a decade now. Sometimes well below, but typically below. This unfortunately isn't new.
|13 weeks 2 days ago||Go look at the 2005 and 2006 classes - they're not good||
Except for a handful (literally) of gems/very good players, it's a mess. Not as big a mess as the 2010 class, but a mess nonetheless. Future (not) greats like Eugene Germany, Marques Slocum, Mister Simpson, James McKinney, Justin Schiafano (all alleged 4 stars) are all over the list. There's more where that came from.
You would figure if you truly have two Top 10 classes, that would give you a lot of NFL players, right? Well, out of the 42 players, there were basically four: B Graham, S Brown, M Manningham and Z Mesko. Two a freaking year.
The 2009 class alone (which certainly was not good overall) has four or five by themselves: Lewan, Schofield, Gallon (who will all get drafted), plus Denard and Will Campbell.
The really unfortunate fact is UM has been screwing up in recruiting for close to a decade. We've had our moments, but not enough sustained ones to be a top program -- which is why we haven't won a B1G title (and forget national relevance) in basically a decade.
Hopefully things will go our way this year and we can keep moving forward. If we have another coaching change, we likely will be looking at another mess for years to come.
|13 weeks 6 days ago||Legality isn't the point - disproportionate penalty is||
As hundreds have pointed out, players get far lesser suspensions for far worse criminal activities (e.g., drunk driving, punching girlfriends, breaking and entering). If you want to have a week or two suspension, OK, I guess. But a whole year strike me of "Reefer Madness" type nonsense.
And I say this as a non-smoker. It doesn't affect me personally if pot gets legalized. But the penalties for it, in many avenues of life, are still ridiculous.
|13 weeks 6 days ago||I thought of the union, too||
This type of ridiculous rule (and knowing the NCAA rule book, there are probably dozens of similarly stupid ones) is exactly why it's a good idea for players unionize, or at least to seriously discuss it.
- Driving while intoxicated, where you put yourself and other's lives at risk? No biggie, maybe miss a game or two.
- Smoke some dope on your own time, risking the lives of exactly zero people? Out for a year.
The sooner the NCAA gets blown up, the better.
|14 weeks 22 hours ago||Somewhat agree, but you're undervaluing Ducks win||
Under Hoke and under RR, and even under Carr for his last 5 years, UM has not beaten a late season Top 5 team in something like a decade. And not only win, but crush them (42-16).
Our "high profile" wins over ND were nice, but were against over-ranked, overrated teams. Oregon was a legit top 5 team last year when AZ beat them -- and U of M hasn't beaten one of those in something like 11 years (which makes me sad)
But even if that one win is a fluke (which is possible, though he's already beat other ranked teams in his two years at AZ), it's far, far to early to say "didn't work here, same result in AZ".
Arizona had a bettter year than Michigan last year, which stinks, and after reviewing our roster and watching the spring game, I'm not that confident we'll be a lot better this year. Hopefully I'm wrong and just depressed after watching our offense at the spring game.
|15 weeks 10 hours ago||Can we get some daylight?||
I know it is more dramatic to use a black background, but how about showing the uniforms in a setting that, at least somehwat, represents how they will actually be seen? Perhaps on a football field in the daylight?
As it is, they look fine, but you can't really tell because there are shadows all over everything.
|15 weeks 23 hours ago||What I like is how the Pistons game ended||
Didn't see it, but check the box score b/c of this KCP stuff. The Pistons (shockinigly!) blew a late lead to lose by one. Their final three shots:
- Brandon Jennings misses a 3-point jump shot from 29 feet out.
- Derek Fisher blocks a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope layup from 2 feet out.
- Brandon Jennings misses a 3-point jump shot from 31 feet out.
Surprised Jennings wasn't shotting from half-court with his great shot selction.
An appropriate way to end an atrocious season.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||I doubt this is true||
They play a type of music (blues-based hard rock) that ages as well as any "popular" music; many of their heroes played in to their 70s and 80s.
More importantly, they still make tens of millions of dollars through touring. If they announced an arena/stadium tour tomorrow, they could sell 10-20,000 seats in most markets, and many times that in LA, NYC and most Europe and South America. Bands "retire" and then realize, "Hey, I could be making millions!" and then they are back in the game.
I will say, I just happened to watch a bit of a ~2-3 year old concert of their's on AXS last night (totally random; didn't even realize I had that channel). I thought the drummer was going to have a heart attack/stroke from the 2nd song on; he looked gassed. Of course, it didn't help he smoked a cigarette (with no hands) thru their entire 3rd song, but I'm sure that's not their worst vice.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Thought the same thing re Borges||
When I read in the post"...the folks around here who fought the rearguard action for Team Borges with such heroic ferocity last season..." I thought, "Brian just put up the Space Coyote bat signal."
|15 weeks 3 days ago||Interesting comparsion, but only goes so far||
In terms of "legacy", I agree that both somewhat underachieved, but GRIII hit far more big shots at UM than Jamal, and will have a prominent place on any highlight reel for two different teams that accomplished a lot; Jamal didn't have that. Thus, I think GRIII easily made more of a mark and will be remembered fondly by most in a couple years (while many don't even remember Jamal at all, he was here for such a short time for a team that didn't really do anything).
Beyond that, as you probably know, Crawford had eligiblilty issues that GRIII did not, so that affected Crawford's tenure at Michigan. More importantly, I think, is Crawford was a better player. He was a Top 10 pick and he's justified it by being a vet who regular scores 15pts + a game. Not an all-star, but a very valuable sixth man.
GRIII has as much talent, but there is no way he will be a Top 10 pick, so I'm less sure about this decision. Heck, I agree with many others who think there's a good chance he won't be a 1st round pick at all (though I could certainly see some established team, e.g., San Antonio, taking a late 1st rd flyer on GRIII b/c of his pedigree, talent and good citizenship).
In any case, best to GRIII. Hope it works out and he has a 15-year career like Jamal.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Hugely different era - teams are not as good now||
This can't be said enough. It's like when people (e.g., ESPN) were making a big deal out of Doug McDermott being the 7th (or whatever) highest scorer of all time. Players today play 5-10 more games per season AND many great scorers (e.g., Pete Maravich, Oscar Robertson) were not allowed to play their freshman year. So it's not that meaningful.
I mean compare this year's Florida team (the consensus #1) with Duke in '91-'92 (the consensus #1). Even though both teams are/were senior/junior-laden, they are not even comparable in terms of talent.
- Duke had Laettner (very hateable, but one of the best college players of all-time and a solid pro), Grant Hill (great in college & pros), Danny Hurley (great in college, #7 NBA draft pick), Cherokee Parks (good in college, #12 NBA draft pick who played for 10 years) and a few other good college players.
- Florida has a bunch of very good/good college players with experience, who worked hard as a team, but none will be considered an all-timer in college, let alone the NBA (e.g., none will be a first round pick). Yet, b/c they had good talent and great experience, along with an excellent coach, they were #1 in the nation and made it to the Final Four.
And '91-'92 Duke barely made the Finals! That's b/c they had to tough out wins over other experienced/talented teams (e.g., Calbert Chaeney's Indiana).
|16 weeks 3 days ago||This was not misinterpreted ; people are/were losing jobs||
She was not saying this in a vacuum. It wasn't like she was saying, "I'd kill for a bologna sandwich" and (of course) she wouldn't literally kill somone.
If you look at her full quote, she referenced "The Ledger almost died in June, right?" That was in reference to the fact in June 2013 the Star-Ledger's publisher said that the paper would close if employees didn't give big concessions.
Now, 9 months later, she brings it up in a journalism class. So she knows the Ledger is on shaky ground and people are/were getting laid off. Of course, she didn't know over a hundred people would be fired a month after she talked to this class, but it's not like it wasn't on the table.
Now, your larger point whether they DESERVE to lose their jobs (e.g., if they are making up stories or spinning things excessively negative) is not something I can comment on. But this sounds like it was personal -- she is mad that some sports columnists/reporters thought she and her coaches were doing a bad job should be fired, so she thinks all of them should be fired.
|17 weeks 1 day ago||Wolverines!||
Nice pic. Does this mean we will see Papa Hewlett some day at a chain link fence, right before the OSU game, yelling at his son, "Avenge me! AVENGE. ME!"
|17 weeks 2 days ago||Really? If so, sorry.||
I thought I kept it pretty general, but honestly I wasn't really worried about spoilers for an epsiode that's about 10 years old.
If you are watching the show -- hope you are enjoying it; I sure did. I wish I had the time to re-watch old episodes, but perhaps that will be better 5/10 years from now, as I will have forgotten much of what went on.
|17 weeks 2 days ago||Why be mad?||
As the only mgoblog person with a Lost avatar, I feel I need to comment here.
G4 (I think that's the channel) shows re-runs of Lost and the other day I caught the finale to Season 2 (the hatch exploding) and I was caught up again. Great acting, set design, interesting characters, etc. I then went and re-watched "The Constant" for the first time in three years and had to leave the room toward the end b/c it was getting dusty in there.
Now, I liked the series ending, and loved the show overall, so perhaps it is easier for me to view old episodes (which I rarely do, b/c I don't have the time). But give it a whirl -- Locke is still Locke, Desmond is still Desmond. Regarding the last episode, you can just refuse to listen to Jack's father and pretend it never happened, if that works for you.
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Interesting||
I don't think that at all, but OK. The more, the merrier.
I guess my thought is that considering yourself a Wolverine has to come from a place of meaningfulness or passion -- attended the school, worked there, attended games, etc -- not just, say, having a good customer experience at a health care clinic for a routine checkup.
|17 weeks 6 days ago||What a mess of examples||
People who "live in Ann Arbor"? Why would they be Wolverines? Did U of M annex the entire city (I know it may seem like when you drive by campus with the constant construction, but I don't think they have yet)?
If you work for or attend the school, obviously you can call yourself a "Wolverine" ; you are directly affilliated with the university.
As far as the literally hundreds of thousands of people who go to U of M Health System for treatment, I don't even know what to say about that. I am certainly not going to care what a family of a kid with cancer calls themselves; they can literally do whatever they want. But if someone goes to get a mole checked out the UM Health Clinic in Canton, are they all of a sudden "Wolverines"?
|18 weeks 4 hours ago||"...and at times looked unmotivated"||
Any time you here that from outside observers, it's not a good sign for the coach.
Red needs to figure out the next step for him and thus the program -- is he (planning) on being here one more year? Three? More?
This is where David Brandon gets to earn some of his money -- helping a living legend figure out how to go out gracefully, and hopefully (but not necessarily b/c the last two seasons have shown nothing is guaranteed) on top.
|18 weeks 6 hours ago||I don't see that - I'd be fine w ~60 teams||
The NFL has 32 teams. Interest in it is sky high.
If Div-1A all of sudden went from 110 programs to 60 programs, why would interest in those 60 programs (UM, OSU, USC, etc) go down? There is now less product, and that scarcer product is now (on avg) of higher quality -- I would think interest would go up, if anything.
Plus, as stated, Div-II and Div-III schools are unaffected by this. That's still hundreds of programs.
What truly matters in terms of wide-spread interest is at the high school level. That feeds into college, which feeds into the NFL.
|18 weeks 7 hours ago||Fine by me - this is big boy stuff, as it always has been||
There is no law that requires EMU, WMU, etc to play Div-1A football. They already are being bled dry trying to keep up with the Phil Knight's (oops, I mean Oregon) and T Boone Pickens' (oops, I mean Ok State) of the world. This ruling is just another (large) pebble on the scale that already is heavily, heavily tilted to favor "BCS" teams.
My desire to watch UM football will not be changed one iota that if instead of playing EMU, Miami (YTM), Ball State, we played BCS schools instead. And that assumes cross-division games would be banned, which they are not now (hello, App State!) so I'm not sure why they would be in the future.
|18 weeks 7 hours ago||Did free agency & unions lead to the demise pro sports?||
I need to know, exactly, how this will lead to the 'demise' of college football.
Is U of M, OSU, MSU, etc going to drop football now that they might need to direct a few extra million directly to the players, in the form of stipends and or better health care, instead of buiding ever bigger and fancier edifices for non-revenue sports and giving extra $$$ to coaches & admins of all stripes?
The fact is, just like with baseball players in the 1970s, players deserve a larger cut of the literally billions of dollars floating through the sports landscape. Just b/c you feel a scholarship, room & board and academic support is "enough" doesn't make it so. It should be up to the workers (and that's what they are -- workers) to negotiate with their employers to figure that out.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Size matters||
Van Andel fits 10,000 people. What are the average amount of people that attend a D-League game -- 2,000? 3,000?
From a size perspective, the DeltaPlex is perfect. It's holds about 6,000 and won't have scheduling conflicts like Van Andel, which hosts big time acts when they come thorugh town.
|19 weeks 6 days ago||Didn't need to expand the conference to do that||
I can appreciate it being convenient for UM's sizeable alumni base on the East Coast. But if that was important, why not schedule regular out of conference games there - Rutgers, Maryland, BC, Virginia, etc? For bball, it's even less important to add them, as we regularly play in NYC now (not to mention road ACC/B1G games).
Instead, we get to add Rutgers home/away in bball, and only get to play teams like Indiana, Wisky, Iowa, and Purdue once. That is not a good trade, in my opinion.
I will hate this move, always. I hope it falls on its face and we can spin these two schools off (Rutgers especially) to some super-duper ACC/Big East conglomerate mega-conference in 2025 or something (pipe dream, I know).
|20 weeks 2 days ago||I agree it's much better -- and interesting group dynamics||
This is much better than the screwed-up policy they had last year.
I do find it interesting, how for smallish groups (say 4-8 people), you may have to dump a friend/roommate who will significantly bring down your average. "Sorry, Braden. You'll have to sit with another group of people b/c you only attended two games last year." The peer pressure (to go to games) and resentment (if you are shunned) should be worth a few MGoBoard board posts.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||No question it works||
Look at the top NCAA Div-1A winners of all-time: Coach K, Boeheim, Knight, Dean Smith, Rupp, Calhoun. All are/were famous for getting on refs. There's a reason for that: it works, especially when you are a respected coach, which Beilein certainly now is.
I don't want him to become Knight (or Izzo or Ryan, for that matter). Hopefully, Beilein will do it judiciously, as he seems to do now (e.g., I think flipping out after they missed two obvious travels, and might have missed that charge call, makes sense to me). But I would argue that, before this season, he didn't do it enough. Because again -- it works.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||No need. I'm good with||
No need. I'm good with Woodson.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||I agree. But "C-Wood"?||
It was great seeing Woodson there and fun he briefly got in the photo.
But does anyone really call him C-Wood? If you said "Woodson", would any UM fan, even a casual one, not know who that is?
And are we calling Desmond Howard "D-Ho"? And Tom Harmon "T-Harm"?
Small thing, but just seems weird to me.
|21 weeks 1 hour ago||More to fonts than size||
Go look at that picture again. Lucky for us, the "Wolverines" and "Louisville" guys are the exact same distance/placement. You can read the "Louisville" one, but the "Wolverines" one looks decidedly more blurry. Why? The difference in font type.
Louisville's is more thick and "blocky" which makes their letters more distinct. Ours looks more like an italicized, curved version of something, which doesn't work as well when the letters are already on the small size.
|21 weeks 6 hours ago||Correct - visibility is key to uniforms||
These are fine, I guess, and aren't nearly as bad as our "hideaway numbers when exposed to sunlight" Outback Bowl jerseys. But "Wolverines" has too many letters for the amount of space with that font choice. Does adidas not care whether you can easily read what's on their jerseys?
Just look at Kansas or Louisville -- you know who that is.
That said, these are better than "Sic 'em Bears". Uggh.
|21 weeks 2 days ago||They beat Georgia in the||
They beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, 38-35.
|22 weeks 1 day ago||It's not the 1970s; U of M takes hundreds a year from CCs||
Personal experience is always helpful, but bringing the example of one person from 40 years ago doesn't show anything, one way or the other. I had two friends -- one 20 years ago and another 10 years ago -- who successfully transfered 60 credits, each, from Michigan CCs to U of M.
But beyond our anecdotes, college has changed a great deal due to costs, shared degree programs, etc. For example, about a year ago UM formalized a program with Washtenaw CC to allow ease of transfer credits from both schools. More importantly, this story notes "100 students transferred from WCC; overall, 377 students transferred to U-M from community colleges (in 2012)".
So you're telling me U of M has the ability to take 350-400 kids a year from CCs, yet somehow can't figure out how to have any of those kids be football players?
I'm not naive. I am 100% positive some of the HS seniors we take only got into U of M b/c they are very good at football. Hopefully, they are succesful students while at U of M, but football was the reason they got in. The same standards can be applied to junior/community colleges.
|22 weeks 2 days ago||Oh, I agree it unlikely we||
Oh, I agree it unlikely we pass Syracuse (unless we go 7-0 down the strech). But my main point is I think Syracuse is far from a lock as #1 seed, as they are 50/50, at best, to win their conference.
|22 weeks 2 days ago||Syracuse locked?||
I might be misreading what Brian means by "locked", but the statement "Syracuse is locked into one spot" in Buffalo does not seem accurate, to me. Syracuse is not even #1 in the ACC standings and if they lose at Virginia, they definitely will come in 2nd. I find it hard to believe the committee will give a #1 seed to a team that finishes second in a league that has only 5 bids, and that has not exactly lit the world on fire in its last 10 games.
Meanwhile, if we go 3-1/4-0 to win the B1G outright, and then get at least to the finals in the B1G tourney, I can easily see us being seeded even, if not ahead, of Syracuse.
|22 weeks 2 days ago||I know - and it's lazy reasoning||
1) We've had Juco's in the past - not very many (e.g., Russell Shaw, Austin Panter) but we've done it.
2) Beyond that, if you look at that list of Juco recruits, you'll see schools with similar academic profiles as U of M -- Cal Berkeley, Indiana, Purdue, Florida (along with UCLA and Penn State offering a couple guys, just not getting them).
I find it unbelievable that those schools can figure out how to find guys whose credits transfer to their schools, but U of M is flummoxed on how to do it themselves. I can understand not being able to find many guys who qualify, but not being able find any means the coaches just aren't looking.
|22 weeks 2 days ago||Recruiting this year was mystifying||
Why we ended up being so short and knew it was quite possible we would lose Bryant is mystifying.
I have brought this up before, but will keep doing so b/c with Bryant out, it increases the already high-likelihood of mgoblog posts about how young are OL is and that it is a valid excuse for Hoke if we go 7-5/8-4 this year.
Here is the list of the top JC OL tackles: http://247sports.com/Season/2014-Football/CompositeRankings?InstitutionGroup=JuniorCollege&Position=OT
Notice the schools who brought these folks in: Alabama, FSU, A&M, Tenn, Maryland, Arkansas, Indiana and hey...Michigan State (two of them)!
When you have lack of experience/size/depth at a position, and scholarships to use, you should do something about it, especially when some of your main competition is. Nothing short of malpractice by Hoke & co.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||Interesting point about Fisher||
I had forgotten they overlapped, so that's an interesting part of the resume.
Still, if I was an MSU fan, I wouldn't read too much in to the "Ellerbe/Amaker" part -- not b/c Ellerbe and Amaker were much to write home about, but b/c Izzo's teams during that time were capable of beating anyone in the nation (and often did), so he wasn't just racking up wins against the mediocrity that was UM from 1998-2009.
That said, I'd still be worried if I was an MSU fan -- he's losing more recruiting battles than he is winning (against Duke, IU, etc) and as you noted, the losses in close games show Izzo is not the best in-game coach.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||His comedies hold up - what a talent||
Animal House and Caddyshack are still some of the funniest movies ever (particularly Animal House, which I could be talked into being #1 all-time). Sometimes when you look at "classics" you can see why they were important at the time, but they are not really relevant to today -- but the type of comedy he wrote still would crush at the box office today.
As an aside, I recently watched a two hour A&E "Biography" on the making of Caddyshack -- it was Ramis' first director job and he clearly didn't know what he was doing (as he admitted) but he had such an even-keel calm about the whole thing (they had many issues -- finding a course to shoot at, weather issues, changes to the script, etc), he kept the whole, disparate cast together and made a classic.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||Yep, saw that||
I stopped the DVR and re-wound it to be sure. The ref literally thew him back towards the sidelines.
It will take until someone blows a knee, tripping over Izzo/Crean, before this gets fixed.
|22 weeks 3 days ago||Izzo is becoming Lloyd Carr (W-L wise)||
Not in his histironics (though Lloyd could certainly go off on refs) but in how he's living off a past rep and is dangerously close to slipping to being clearly 2nd or 3rd in his own conference (forget the nation).
If MSU doesn't get it together when Dawson gets back and make a serious tourney run, that will be four straight years with Sweet 16 or worse -- that will put them clearly behind OSU and UM in terms of recent B1G and NCAA success. Plus, as Brian noted, it's not like they have the cavalry coming in to take them back to the top -- they lose Payne and (very likely) Harris, their two best players and replace them with....?
If I was Izzo, I'd be real depressed over losses like this as well. While none of this is guaranteed (heck, they can still win the B1G this year if a couple things break their way), I think he can see it slipping away.
|22 weeks 6 days ago||I not arguing "should" - this is my opinion on "will"||
I think Hoke will get fired at 8-4 or worse.
I can get, especially amongst Mgoblog denziens who can break down, via a scatterplot chart how UM's OL is developing, might make a better/more informed decision on whether there was "enough" improvement over 2013. I might not necessarily agree with it, as I think excuses should be at a minimum at a school like Michigan in someone's 4th year, but I can see it.
But for Joe Fan Alumni--they don't care about that stuff. They care about the fact they had to pay another $1000+ for tickets for a team (if it goes 8-4) that either a) lost to ND or b) went 4-4 in the B1G, which everyone knows is not a great conference. All the while, they're getting razzed at work and family gatherings about "Who's the little brother now?" and "Boy, what is that almost ten in a row over you guys?"
Plus, Hoke would suffer not only in comparison to the other football rivals, but to Beilein, who has UM as a regular B1G title contender (and beat MSU, twice, in his 4th year).
Hoke's seat is hot -- starting now. He doesn't have another "good job, good effort, nice improvement, you'll get 'em next year" season, in my opinion.
|23 weeks 1 hour ago||You know what you want when you already have a lot of money?||
(or so I have read).
|23 weeks 1 hour ago||I know. Sounds like he's the||
I know. Sounds like he's the coach of the extended family team that goes to play in a "Turkey Bowl" game after-Thanksgiving at the local middle school.
"And the Harris Family coach....Brady Hoke!"
|23 weeks 1 hour ago||It's already hot||
I can't believe people think that if Hoke is "meh" (i.e., goes 8-4) this year that he will be back in 2015. With State coming off a Rose Bowl win, OSU winning 12 games a year, and ND recently playing in the ntnl championship, all our "red letter rivals" (unless they unexpectedly fall on their faces next year) will have clearly surpassed us. Alums will not stand for that.
9 wins in the minimum, in my opinion, in the regular season, unless somehow UM gets to 8 wins with 2 of those 3 wins being over State and OSU. Beating ND would be nice, but losing to State (again) and/or OSU (again) will not cut it.
|23 weeks 1 hour ago||I don't like it either, but||
I don't like it either, but they have 10 million reasons to do so.
|25 weeks 1 day ago||My goodness, if there is one||
My goodness, if there is one time Michigan/Brandon's "corporate" operating skillz should be useful, it is situations like these.
If someone keeps asking questions you feel you've answered and/or don't want to get into, you simply stay calm, smile and say
...and then calmy and quickly leave the podium.
No death stares or hemming or hawing. PR 101. Perhaps U of M should enroll itself.
|25 weeks 3 days ago||That seems reasonable at||
That seems reasonable at first, but define how a coach determines what is "strong evidence," esp in cases where the "evidence" is so in dispute (a police report isn't proof -- it's just a report of the events gathered by the police, and often contains contradictory information from the parties involved). The coach has zero investigative powers beyond asking the player "Did you do this?" and if he says, "No, I didn't coach." -- what then?
How would you, as a coach, apply this "strong evidence" standard in a consistent, readily explainable manner to all involved (players, recruits, AD, the fans, the media, etc)?
|25 weeks 3 days ago||I don't understand what you expect of coaches||
Your comment, "I also think that quite possibly RR should have done the throwing..." is mystifying.
You think RR should have thrown out a player who was a) not convicted, or even charged, with a crime by the state and b) was not found (in 2009-2010, when RR was here) by the University to be in violation of the university code of conduct? On what basis would RR have kicked him out, then?
I get on coaches for being too lenient for when their charges are convicted of something (e.g., DUI) but I expect them to let the university and/or law enforcement investigate & make determinations of facts regarding serious conduct outside the team.
Coaches have no time or ability to correctly investigate and pass judgment on whether a player has done something wrong in these matters -- it should be left to others whose job it (literally) is.
|25 weeks 6 days ago||Good point||
While both are/were versatile and could play multiple positions, Walt had more old-man funkiness in his game. Perhaps I'm just focused on them both having long arms.
Maybe Caris can put on a bulky white elbow pad for fun, though? At least it will make him look heavier.
|25 weeks 6 days ago||I'll kick it, old-school - Walt Williams||
Walt "The Wizard" Williams from Maryland in the early 90s (then played in the NBA for a decade).
I'm assuming Caris is going to continue to grow (he's already 6' 6", and looks to have gained some weight), so assuming he tops out at 6' 7" and about 200 lbs, he'll play 2 or 3 in the NBA, with his big wingspan (Wiliams also had a big wingspan).
Short video of Walt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRbrewlFx3E
|25 weeks 6 days ago||Yes, I'm surprised how well||
Yes, I'm surprised how well he is doing. Granted, he is playing in the East against bad competition, but it's still NBA competition, and he's showing (as a rookie) he belongs. Impressive.
On a side note: WTF Anthony Bennett?! Here's his stat line:
I know he's the #1 pick overall, but he needs to go the d-league and work on his game and his confidence. Immediately.
|25 weeks 6 days ago||Absolutely. Talking about||
Absolutely. Talking about former Wolverine b-ball player's is never OT.
|25 weeks 6 days ago||I don't know about that. I am||
I don't know about that. I am definitely not a "die hard" and I've yet to say anything that Hoke could have done differently.
|26 weeks 6 hours ago||If this is accurate (and from||
If this is accurate (and from multiple posts in the comments, and a plain reading of the rules, it seems to be), Brian really needs to update his "Typical" part of the post, as it has incorrect info.
|26 weeks 1 day ago||I don't find the union story||
I don't find the union story depressing at all. Pretty much the opposite. I don't know if it actually will work and be an appropriate tool, but it advances in a very rational and procedural way, the discussion about how to protect and compensate athletes.
To lump it in with rapes, sexual assualts and lies doesn't fit with me.
|26 weeks 1 day ago||While I don't agree with his||
While I don't agree with his "shot" as written (this is not the situation where zingers are appropriate), one of the many shoes to drop, based on this apparent new era of investigations, is what will happen in the Payne and Appling case from 2010.
It has all the hallmarks of these cases which are being re-opened/re-investigated, and sometime in the near future, I think it is very likely someone is going to ask MSU what they have done regarding that case re Title IX.
|27 weeks 3 days ago||Not what I said||
Those links don't matter b/c I agreed -- "Trash talk on the field has probably been around since the Olympics (the original, BC version)." That's heat of the battle stuff, which I don't really care about.
My point is it is now common (though Sherman was extreme) to talk junk after the game. While there wasn't Twitter or MGoblog back in the day, players had scores of reporters following them -- print, radio and TV. If they wanted to denigrate their opponent, live and unfiltered on the air, they easily could have done so.
For Sherman, the game is over. You won. Show some class about your oppenent, or if you can't do that, just don't say anything at all. B/c beyond his Crabtree comments and his fake, passive aggressive "good game, buddy" butt slap, he made the choking sign -- all of which were pathetic on his part.
*Edit - just saw your comment. Again, it was not JUST his post-game remarks. He made the choke sign and taunted Crabtree. Besides, it's not exactly uncommon to give a post-game remark on the field. Most don't act like Sherman (though a few do).
|27 weeks 3 days ago||You're mixing/conflating different things||
Generally, I agree when people look longingly at the "good 'ol days" but (directionally) I think Section 1 is correct and you're wrong.
I mean, using Ty Cobb is an example? He did not "talk trash" for show (which is what Sherman did). Cobb just straight up hated people and acted accordingly - denigrating blacks and punching out handicapped people. Cobb (to my knowledge) didn't go up to a reporter and exclaim how he was tired of being disrespected by Christy Mathewson and was glad to finally get a chance to shut him up.
While Mickey Mantle was a drunk, what does that have to do with Richard Sherman? Did Mantle go up to Mel Allen's radio show after beating Brooklyn and yell, "I am tired of all the haterz on the Dodgers! Don't ever try and sneak a fastball by me!" Nope.
And Ali is a perfect example -- he stood out in the mid-60s / mid-70s precisely BECAUSE he talked so much trash. It stood out. It was quite unusual. Same thing with Joe Namath -- he stood out.
Trash talk on the field has probably been around since the Olympics (the original, BC version). But acting like Sherman did off the field, in the media, on a regular basis? That's (with a few notable exceptions) a modern invention.
|28 weeks 4 days ago||I think we can all agree||
I think we can all agree about that!
|28 weeks 4 days ago||Diedorf was wrong, but I don't think you're right either||
In terms of "strategy", Dierdorf was clearly wrong. It is much better to give up 2 pts and then do the free kick and get to defend ~70 yards of field, then it is to give the opponent a great chance for 7 pts by falling on the ball inside your own 5 yard line.
However, Allen was absolutely NOT trying to throw an incomplete pass. He panicked and tried to complete a pass to #27 Wilson, who was about 5 yards to his left. Look at the play -- he clearly looks at #27 right before he tries to get rid of the ball (and gets crushed):
It was only dumb luck (for him) that the Colts knocked the ball out before it become a pass and then knocked it through the end zone.
What the punter SHOULD have done was instead of picking it up and trying to throw it, he should have kicked it through the end zone himself. That would have ensured the safety.
|28 weeks 6 days ago||Agreed - the NU game was just another bad sign||
in a bad season. You could see the program sinking to mediocrity (and worse) before your eyes.
I remember after the Akron and UConn games where the "FIRE BORGES" and "Oh my goodness, we're in real trouble!" started and plenty of posters made comments like, "What are you worried about? We won." and/or "We're still undefeated."
But by the time we got to Northwestern, it was almost beyond question that UM's pre-season goals were pipe dreams. That game, even though it was a win featuring one of the most wonderfully inexplicable plays in recent UM history (the super fast FG setup & kick), was just more confirmation that we had REAL problems as a football program. And 2015 didn't necessarily look any better (see the copious diaries about how young our OL will still be).
In contrast, UM basketball is now 3-0 in the B1G and no expects them (w/o McGary) to compete against the top 3 (MSU, OSU, Wisky) for the B1G title, but winning on the road ensures they make the tourney and the play of GRIII over the last few games confirms UM can get elite, atheltic b-ball talent (some of which are currently freshman, some of which will be here next year). Beyond that, since UM has tons of shooters, I would give them a realistic chance against literally any team in the country, which is about all you can ask for in March Madness - I can absolutely see them going on a run. I would never give UM football (2013 edition) a realistic shot (esp on a neutral field or away) against a whole bunch of teams.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||Well, your ego would be unreal...||
...if you had a freaking statue of yourself inside the UT Stadium!
Schools need these guys to support their $100 million plus athletic departments. And once you take someone's money (and build them a statue), they're going to have opinions -- lots of 'em.
|29 weeks 6 days ago||Same here||
Perhaps OP could put "in GR" or "in G Rapids" (or whatever) in title?
|29 weeks 6 days ago||Not good||
Beyond the loss (hopefully just to property, not life), I do not envy anyone fighting a fire in single digit weather. Not that it's ever walk in the park, but on days like today, it's got to be challenging in the extreme.
|30 weeks 9 hours ago||Absolutely||
Some people act like getting to nine wins next year would be the equivalent of parting the Red Sea or some other miracle.
Losing 2 out of 3 (or all 3) to MSU, OSU, ND by definition makes it a non-successful season for UM. It doesn't mean we should fire everyone if we, say, go 10-2 with losses to MSU and OSU; that certainly would be something to build on. But that's not the measuring stick -- we need to start aiming higher than that.
|30 weeks 9 hours ago||I did not understand the end of the Holy Cross game at all||
UM was up ~20 for most of the second half, yet it wasn't until 2-3 minutes left that he cleared the benches. With McGary arleady out, god forbid if Nick or GRIII or whomever got hurt at the 4min mark up 20 against a non-conf opponent.
That's beyond your good point - we need Biefeldt to get experience. Putting him in with 5-6 minutes left against Holy Cross would have been a good idea.
|30 weeks 9 hours ago||Re "I think redshirting in basketball is pointless..."||
...because if he's good he won't be here in his fifth year."
Jordan Morgan disagrees with this statement.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Fair enough||
But if Alabama is the comparable, FSU has got feel pretty good, even against Auburn.
Auburn beat Alabama on one of the greatest/flukiest plays in football history, while Alabama missed multiple FGs earlier that would have put it out of reach. Alabama, IMHO, is better than Auburn. But the better team doesn't always win.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||You really think RR, who has||
You really think RR, who has never had problems putting together a running game, is going to have trouble replacing Carey? Arizona doesn't have great recruiting classes overall, but he's got multiple top recruits in the wings at that position.
And their QB was a stop gap, a JC guy who wasn't highly recruited, yet RR coached him up to be a 60% passer who threw for 2500 yards, 16 TDs/7 INTs and ran for 1000. And he replaced Matt Scott, a guy who threw for 3600 yards and 27 TDs. For 2014, he can plug in his top recruit from 2013 (a 4-star QB).
I have no idea if AZ will build on this to become a power in the Pac-12, as it's such a competitive league, but they are definitely not "treading water" in terms of building their talent and experience.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||I agree bowl games are||
I agree bowl games are (generally) stupid exhibitions that you can't read too much into, but it's not just one game. Arizona, unbelievably to me, is a better team in 2013 than Michigan. That's looking at it over the course of 13 games. They have a better record, a more impressive win (in fact, UM hasn't had anything like Arizona's win over #5 Oregon in something like 10 years), and they play in a tougher conference. And they did all that with demonstrably worse recruiting classes over the last three years.
None of this means AZ will permanently be better than UM. I hope it's a one year thing. But I think there actually ARE a good % of fans (perhaps not on this board) who think RR is/was a bad coach. Perhaps by seeing that RR had success at WVU and now looks to be having success at AZ, that it is UM and its in-bred culture that is part of the problem, not really the solution.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||But that 3-star true freshman||
But that 3-star true freshman has over 200 yards receiving in the game. Is that allowed?
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Again, they have copious & experienced talent||
Plus, they are well-coached.
Their defense has the #6 CB, #6 DL, #4 & #8 LB, and #3 FS prospects at their position for next year's draft. And that's just the older guys who are likely to come out this year.
The only team with more talent than FSU is Alabama. And obviously, Auburn beat Alabama so Auburn certainly can win. But I will be shocked if FSU is "exposed" b/c they finally play a really good opponent. I'll bet FSU's guys are just chomping at the bit to get at an SEC team, as they're all from Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, etc anyway.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Likely we'll be even younger, but we still need to be better||
As Brian noted, my guess is they hope Kugler (who'd be a RS Freshman) will take over at center. But we'll see. A nice thing is there should be some depth beyond those starters (again, mostly young, but perhaps Glasgow, Miller and/or Bryant will be able to contribute).
In any case, they still need to better. No one is expecting '90s Michigan or recent Wisconsin -- OLs that can grind a defense up and mash pretty much anyone. What we need for 2014 is well beneath those type of elite lines - just be a bit below the avg for all BCS programs, instead of one of literally the worst around. That would be a huge step up, and it's reasonable to expect with the amount of talent everyone says Hoke has brought in, and that will now be in their 3rd year in Hoke's/Funk's/Borges' system. Time for the coaches to earn their money and the players to start showing their recruiting stars were not misplaced.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Me||
It would be one thing if FSU scraped by while playing their pretty weak schedule. But they drilled the bejeezus out of everyone (unlike, say, OSU, who played a similarly weak schedule, pre-conf championship game). And while I didn't watch many of their games, when I did, I saw tons of talent, particularly on defense. They hit you -- hard.
Not saying they'll definitely beat Auburn, but FSU definitely deserves to be favored.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Wow, had no idea he was the||
Wow, had no idea he was the coach at BC. How the heck did that happen - does he know somebody?
|30 weeks 2 days ago||An Amway-like skin care and||
An Amway-like skin care and "nutritional" company.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||It's not bad, with a JC QB||
It's not bad, with a JC QB who they barely let throw early in the season b/c he was so shaky, while playing in a better conference than the B1G, and coming off recruiting classes ranked #37 (2013), #46 (2012) and #56 (2011).
Again, nothing to jump on top of a couch and shout about, but I would have taken it over what we had in 2013.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||You know you're in trouble...||
...when the reporter introduces his question with, "I'm not a sports guy, I'm a news guy. So I'm here as the voice of the fans" and then goes on to discuss how the Action News teams' Facebook page "blew up" after the firing was announced, and starts reading posts (from someone I'm sure named something like BrownsDawg69) about how the team is an "embarrassment."
I don't feel bad for the Browns execs, though. They're not Lions bad, but they're close. Firing a coach after less than one full year shows something, somewhere, got really screwed up.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Money was definitely a key reason||
Here's a link to a Herald-Tribune article on the hiring:
To sum up: "Orr told an enthusiastic crowd at an afternoon pep rally that his ISU job will make him one of the highest paid college coaches in the nation. He said the six-year contract calls for an annual salary of $45,000 plus several 'personal' extras."
Beyond that, though he had great success in the late 1970s, Orr's last two teams at UM didn't make the NCAAs, just the post-season NIT. So I'm not sure how hard AD Don Canham would have tried to keep him.
This doesn't make Orr a bad guy -- seems like he was a very good coach & person, and it makes sense to leave for big money at a place where you have some personal ties (he coaches high school b-ball in Iowa).
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Just using your own words||
I don't consider myself an "investor" - I was just extending your metaphor. So disregard that, I don't care. I'm an alum who cares about the football team, that's all.
And I'm not "fire the coach durr" -- Hoke should absolutely get a fourth year (which not every coach gets).
But I'm tired of people acting like Hoke came into a job that was so difficult that it is unreasonable to expect him to compete -- not even win, seriously COMPETE throughout the whole season -- for B1G championships within four years. Yet people like yourself seem to say, "Well, let's wait until 2015 to assess b/c things are so tough/impossible for a UM coach, post RR."
Hoke needs to start, as of now, competing for B1G championships, and then hopefully build from there. He has the resources--both in money and facilities--and in your fourth year, he's had the time. I hope he does it. But if, god forbid, we go 7-6 or 8-5 next year, it's time to move on. As I pointed out, plenty of other coaches showed they could get it done in four years (or less) and history shows if you can't get it done by then, it's very likely you won't get it done ever.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||Again, all those coaches took three to four years||
Mark Dantonio won a B1G championship in year 4 (there was no need for 5 years or more of patience). Yet, somehow, taking over at the annual clown college that was MSU is easier than Hoke being given a blank checkbook at UM to hire any asst coaches he wants and inheriting a 7 win team with an experienced QB? Same thing with Ferentz. And go look at what Bob Stoops took over. Again, there are more than two handfuls of examples of people taking over situation that were no better than Michigan in terms or resources and talent on-hand.
And turning Michigan into a "scuffling, underachieving" team is no real accomplishment. Leaders and Best, and all that.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||It doesn't take five years||
Is Michigan some sort of wasteland where 5 years (or more) are necessary to even start competing for B1G titles (not to mention nat'l titles, which an "elite" program should aim for)?
I was with your comment until "really don't want anyone putting ultimatums on 2014, not to defend Hoke but because the demands for instant excellence..." 2014 is year FOUR! By defintion, "his" players will be upperclassmen next year. He's had time to put his plan in place (at least most of it). That's not "instant."
Can someone point me to a coach at a major program, in the last 25 years, who got until his fifth year or later to finally start competing for titles, let alone winning them? Outside of Mike Belotti (who really only had two great years), I can't think of an example. I'm sure there are 1 or 2 other names, but that's the point - it's really rare. Meanwhile, the list of coaches who performed at a high (and even elite) level three to four years in is long - Saban, Meyer, Harbaugh, Malzahn, Carroll, Brown, Fisher, Stoops etc. I mean, Ferentz and Dantonio were able to win B1G titles in their fourth year. And heck, Brian Kelly (who I detest) had ND competing for a national championship in year 3. I'm not saying it's easy -- but it's definitely doable.
I hope Hoke is successful long-term, b/c that means UM is successful. But if Hoke puts up another 7 or 8 wins next year, unless we are hit by an unprecedented injury bug, he should be fired. That's not "spoiled" impatience - that's an "investor" looking at his stock and realizing it is quite unlikely that you picked a winner. Meanwhile, others who were smarter and more aggressive have passed you by.
|30 weeks 3 days ago||Yeah, recruiting can get you lost in the weeds||
Are there ever Twitter posts about how bad someone looks? I'm guessing that there are, but by definition, everyone can't be good. It just seems different levels of smoke-blowing.
I'm glad we seem to have some talented young men coming in, but the only thing I care about is they avoid injury and we don't have any major defections. 2014 is the critical year, and it will be determined (except for perhaps Peppers) by the development of the "stud" recruits who have already been on campus for a year or two.
|30 weeks 4 days ago||One heck of a player. I look||
One heck of a player.
I look forward to drafting him at least a round too early on my fantasy team next year.
|30 weeks 4 days ago||I look forward to David||
I look forward to David Brandon's next blog post explaining the historical reasons why this result is not Hoke and his asst coaches' fault.
I didn't need this game to confirm it, but based on past threads, quite a few people did, so perhaps the game result and the scads of empty seats clarified things -- if Hoke doesn't win at least 9 games next year (at a minimum), that's it.
So no need to worry about 2015 recruiting. It's all in for 2014.
|31 weeks 6 days ago||Let me put it to you this way||
This article is about 2015 recruiting. My point is simple: for a number of schools if they go 7-5 or 8-4 in 2014, the chance Dantonio, Meyer or Kelly (to pick three names that we often recruit against) are going to get fired is 0%.
If UM goes 7-5 or 8-4 in 2014, while you might think it is unlikey (say, 20%) and I might think it is very likely (say, 80%), the point is the same: if you are a 2015 recruit, it is clear Hoke does not have the mulligan that other coaches do. Only by having a 10 win or more season in 2014 can Hoke completely remove the real uncertainity that is out there for a 2015 recruit.
I think we both hope he does that and the team has real success next year, so I'll just leave it there for now.
|31 weeks 6 days ago||Did we win a B1G title and I missed it?||
1) You can feel Hoke deserves until 2015 even if he goes 7-5 or 8-4 in 2014 (e.g., b/c you like the recruiting). That's fine. I can see that. But that doesn't change the fact in modern, big time football, no coach can have three straight overall disappointing seasons (losing more often than he wins against major rivals) and keep his job. It just doesn't happen anymore. The big donors won't stand for it and attendance will suffer.
2) Also, I would argue with your premise that, if Hoke goes 7-5/8-4, that many fans would say there has been "progress" and the state of the program has been "improved." If when UM was going through the head coach search post-RR, and Brandon said -- "If we hire this next coach, UM won't compete for a B1G title, in any serious way, until his 5th season at the earliest; and forget being a natl title contender" - do you think people would sign up for that?
Hoke needs to have a very good year in 2014. Doesn't matter what you or I think -- that's the reality.
|32 weeks 3 hours ago||Really? "Unlikely"?||
Brandon was compelled to write an impassioned blog post to try and quell the rising disgruntlement when Hoke went 7-4 (soon to be 7-5) this year (and we were competitive in all our losses). You think if Hoke (at 8-4) posts essentially the same record the very next season, it would be "unlikely" that he would be fired?
I think that is dreaming. With Urban going 24-1 at OSU and Dantonio taking MSU to the Rose Bowl and ND one year removed from a NC game, the super fan, big donor alums are not going to put up with three 4-5 loss seasons in a row while our main rivals are enjoying stellar/near-stellar seasons.
Hopefully, UM will win 10 or more games next year, and all this will be moot. But Hoke is on the clock, whether you think it is fair or not. Campbell realizes it, and we should to.
|32 weeks 4 hours ago||There is uncertainity regarding the program for 2015||
This was another good update, but the end point for the George Campbell part (..."directly tied to uncertainty (real or perceived) regarding the program" doesn't need the "perceived" qualifier - for 2015 recruits, there is uncertainty regarding the program. That's just a fact.
I realize, technically speaking, every program could have significant changes in 2015 (e.g., Saban could leave Alabama; Briles could leave Baylor; etc), but UM's staff is on the clock for 2015 in a way many of our major competitors are not (OSU, MSU, ND). The only "certainity" is Brady Hoke will be the coach for 2014 (which I'm sure helps with Peppers et al) but for a 2015 recruit like Campbell, he's not dumb -- if Hoke puts up another 7-5 season (or even 8-4) season in 2014, it's extremely likely Hoke's gone.
That's why we can't even really worry about 2015 recruits right now, as much as losing Campbell stinks. It's all about on the field in 2014: Win at a significant clip in 2014, including wins over rivals, and 2015 will almost take care of itself. However, if 2014 goes poorly (or even just OK), 2015 will be a mess anyway.
|32 weeks 3 days ago||It wasn't a press release||
It was an actual blog post on 'Brandon's Blog' http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/brandon/spec-rel/112713aaa.html
So that's about as good an example of being (literally) "bloggerish" as I can think of.
|32 weeks 6 days ago||If bowls are primarily about||
If bowls are primarily about TV revenue, why do they require all these schools to buy 7500 - 15000 tickets? These bowls were literally founded 20-80 years ago by local chambers of commerce (or their spin-offs) to get people to various, sunny locales during December. Football is a sideshow.
Now, in the last 10 years, a few bowls have been started by networks eager for programming. But just look at the websites of the bowls, http://www.sunbowl.org/
- You see "BUY TICKETS", "PARKING INFO" and "STAY IN EL PASO" - you don't even see what network the game is on listed. The primary sponsor of the page is "It's All Good. El Paso."
There's a reason 95% of bowls are in tourist (or at least warm) destinations. They are designed to fill hotels and restaurants.
|32 weeks 6 days ago||Agreed - Boise State is a perfect example||
Boise State, under Chris Peterson, became one of the most successful programs in college football. When he left for UW, Boise hired Bryan Harsin, who was the OC at Boise for 5 years before he left Boise in 2010 to be the co-OC at Texas, and then a head coach at Arkansas State. I'm sure Boise is thrilled to have that option, b/c it is a link to their successful past, but Harsin also got good experience elsewhere.
Michigan hasn't had that for close to twenty years now. And it has hurt the program.
|33 weeks 1 day ago||It's fine to look at two||
It's fine to look at two seasons, but we've got to get through 2014 first. If we go 8-4, or (god forbid) 7-5, next year, that's it. There is no 2015 for Hoke (unless those 8 wins include wins over both MSU and OSU).
Think of all the grumbling this year at 7-5. Our AD felt the need/pressure to make a fanboy-like blog post to settle down the fanbase and recruits. If there is ANOTHER season like 2013, a blog post, or even finally firing an asst coach, isn't going to cut it.
The challenge is everyone acknowledges that even if the team is better next year, the record might not improve much due to the more difficult schedule. But them's the breaks - we should have made more hay this year, when we had the easiest schedule I can remember for a UM team.
If UM wins 9 or more games in 2014, Hoke will surely keep his job (b/c we'll be 'back' in a NYD bowl, potentially a big one). For 2015, though, the floor for regular season wins will still be nine games, and likely at least one higher than that. Hoke and his staff aren't getting paid their big bucks to just finish in the upper half in the B1G. He's got to start seriously contending for championships, and you very likely aren't doing that at 9 or fewer wins.
But again, I will worry about 2015 in January of 2015. We've got to get through the 2014 season first.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||I don't see the issue for the Pac 12||
Remember, bowls are all about travel destinations -- the games are just ads/sideshows for that. The Pac-12 has:
- San Antonio, San Diego, El Paso, Las Vegas, San Francisco.
Four of those are Top 10 in the nation tourist destinations in terms of popularity. El Paso is not as popular, but I'm sure it also has its charms.
Meanwhile, the B1G stuipdly ovlerlaps its bowls on New Year's Day.
So I'm sure the Pac-12 is just fine with its bowls.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||You're tired already?||
I can understand being frustrated, but "tired"? You better rest up, b/c this team is incredibly young -- the most important position (PG) is a true freshman, and the best players are true sophomores, one coming off an injury. It isn't until you get to our 7th or 8th best player before you hit actual upperclassmen. Beyond all that, they're trying figure out how to replace the best player in college b-ball from last year.
As such, they are going to 'grow' in spurts. They'll not only likely continue to struggle in big games at times, but the most likely best-case scenario is they'll continue to be hot/cold for the majority of the season, before they finally get used to playing with each other & in their roles in big time moments, earn a #4/5 seed and hopefully peak at tourney time.
Heck, look at Kentucky. They have freshmen easily more talented than us, and they've already lost twice. Or more immediately, contrast our roster with Arizona - they've got the mix of talent and experience which lends itself to being #1 early in the season.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Jacksonville isn't as appealing at Tempe||
Out of all the Florida locations, Jacksonville has the least tourist appeal. I've never been, but people complain about it all the time.
Except for the BCS #1 vs #2 game, these games are not based solely on ranking or fairness. They are based on tourist dollars. That's all that matters. Football is a sideshow to selling hot wings and hotel rooms at the Comfort Inn, along with making a nice fat no-show salarly for guys in ugly blazers.
All that said, it's UM football game, so I hope we win. It's a decent opponent, certainly capable of beating us. Hoke needs it the most (in a small way) to not have a worse record than last year. As far the team, we had a throughly mediocre (at best) season, so when that happens, you get the 15-20th best bowl. Sounds right to me.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||What? This was the bowl we were expected to be in||
I posted this in a thread about a week ago, but BWW had the slot before the Gator. This means we were going to go to the BWW, as any second/third-tier bowl would be thrilled to have a 'name' team like Michigan.
I have no idea why people thought, after we lost to OSU, that we'd be going to the Gator.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Not a real world response||
Not sure if you have kids, but they don't listen to everything you say, even if you personally model the behavior and say it multiple times. Shocking, I know.
So a little help from the culture at large, and 'leaders of young men' like Urban Meyer, would be nice. You know, since these are "student-atheletes" representing the university, and all.
EDIT: Meant to be a response to goblue2011
|34 weeks 2 days ago||"A non-event handled on scene"||
What does that even mean?
A 'non-event' -- people are still talking about it days later, precisely because it so rarely happens. It's by definition an 'event' ; you may not care about it, but it very untypical behavior that was very noticeable. How often has what Marcus Hall did happen at a UM (or OSU or MSU or ...) home game?
And how was it 'handled'? He had alerady been kicked out of the game (i.e., punished) when he THEN did all that nonsense (throwing helmet, kicking bench, flipping off fans). He suffered zero meaningful punishment for that. It wasn't handled at all.
His actions aren't the end of the world and aren't as bad as other behavior (e.g., off the field stuff like DUIs) -- but it still should have been punished in some small, meaningful way (e.g., suspended for 1st half of his next game). It wasn't.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Yes I would want him suspended||
Did you see the reaction after Lewan's antics in the MSU game? A good portion of the board expected him to be suspended or punished in some way (I don't have the exact numbers but it wasn't just a couple peopple).
If Ryan/Lewan/whomever came off the bench to join a fight, threw his helmet afterward, kicked over a bench and then flipped off the fans with both middle fingers, I'd certainly want him suspended, at least for the first half of the next game.
Essentially, Hall suffered zero reprecussions for his post-fight antics, which ultimately means that's acceptable behavior (oh, Meyer did say he was 'disappointed' and Hall did get a 'public reprimand' -- I'm sure he's all torn up about what Jim Delany thinks of him). I don't think that's OK.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Perhaps b/c they are on TV||
Perhaps b/c they are on TV and literally hundreds of thousands of people cheer them on, often wearing their jerseys to identify with them? That people name their kids after them and arraneg their entire weekends around their activities?
No on has to "tell" kids anything; they see how people react and fawn over athletes. It's up to parents to do their best and inform kids that behavior like Hall's is poor sportsmanship and is being a poor teammate, but you can't be around them all the time.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||That's life in the big city||
Hoke doesn't have 2014 as another "rebuilding" year; he has to produce. UM needs to contend for a B1G title next year for his sake.
Off the top of my head, I can't think of single football coach in the last twenty years who put together three straight mediocre to below average seasons at one of the Top 40 schools in the country and kept their job. And that's what Hoke would have achieved if he goes 8-5, 7-6, 8-5. If you have an example, I'm all ears. Perhaps Bo Pellini, but his teams at least are semi-regularly in the conf championship game (which we haven't sniffed since it started).
And I don't think four years is unreasonable. In four years, you should have most (if not all) of "your" guys, from coaches to players. If "your" guys are still delivering 5 loss seasons, esp in the 4th or 5th best conference in the country, you've got a problem. And the problem is you.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||A good reading||
If the offense delivers a Nebraska/Iowa/Northwestern/MSU stinkbomb in the bowl game (particularly if it's against a Gerg-coordinated Texas), I think the "anticipation" will be too much, and "unexpected" changes will be made.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||Agreed - 2014 is now the year||
Hoke's rolling the dice with this/putting all his chips on the table/whatever gambling metaphor you like.
Hopefully, it will be a moot point and UM will win 9 or more games next year.
My goodness I hope the App State game isn't close next year; the fan base won't be able to take an Akron-like outing (or worse). That will be the most keyed up I will be for UM to play at home against a team that's probably somewhere around 75th in the nation, ever.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||You're too optimstic - 7-5 next year is fireable||
In college football, you don't need 5 years to turn around a program. There are scores of examples of it taking less than that, and it is not as if Hoke has wanted to for resources (e.g., cash money for assts). If Hoke goes 7-5 (and perhaps even 8-4 if he loses to ND, MSU and OSU), I think it's likely he is gone. The fan base will be apopletic, whether on this blog or off.
Hopefully that won't happen, but with all of our main rivals recently having very good/great seasons, three straight years of five losses does not keep your job. Not when your AD has 110,000 seats to fill.
|34 weeks 3 days ago||Appropriate movie scene, for sure||
I imagine myself in the Brad Pitt role, dry heaving, crying and repeating "No!" and "That's not true" over and over, upon hearing this news.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Urban Meyer did not kick Cam Newton off the team||
Cam Newton transferred on his own, which Meyer was fine with, b/c he had Tebow.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Good for curiousity but diff situations||
They had horrible injuries this year. To put in perspective, how do you think UM would have done if we lost Gardner (starting QB) along with Lewan, Bosch, Magnuson and Scholfied (all starting OL except the C)? There were a few more injuries than that, but basically comparable to our loss of Darboh and D Johnson.
All that said, they haven't been good at offense for a while, which is why they are probably trigger happy. But with those kind of injuries, you're not going to have much of a shot.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||I don't believe this will happen - we're BWW bound||
I have seen some discrepancy on this, but I believe the BWW has the selection BEFORE the Gator Bowl. If so, they will take UM as a) we're a 'name' team and b) we haven't played in Arizona in awhile. Certainly they would select us over Minnesota.
If so, we're likely to play Texas. Aka, the Revenge of Gerg.
|34 weeks 5 days ago||The B1G has earned its bad rep||
FSU wiil get every #1 vote. Auburn will be ranked ahead OSU by a few votes, as they have far more impressive victories than OSU which will excuse their 1 loss. I don't know if Alabama will be ranked ahead of OSU (I really doubt it).
With Wisconsin losing, OSU will have zero wins over top 20 opposition. It's almost like OSU is playing in a slightly better version of the MAC.
In the end, OSU will need to beat MSU, and then have FSU or Auburn lose their championship game to have a shot at the BCS.
|34 weeks 5 days ago||Have you seen FSU?||
FSU goes out and flat out dominates everyone they play, usually by 30 to 50 points. The only game that was remotely close was BC, and that was still by 2 touchdowns.
Ohio State struggles to put away Illinois and just gave up 41 pts to an offense ranked below 100.
The resumes aren't that close - FSU will easily be ranked ahead of OSU as long as both remain unbeaten.
|34 weeks 5 days ago||Auburn will jump OSU||
OSU just barely beat a team they were favored by 16 pts to beat, and also there most impressive win (Wisky) looks less impressive with their loss today against PSU.
Auburn beat the #1 team and defending natl championship and the voters have a lot more respect for the SEC than B1G.
I guarantee Auburn will be ranked ahead of OSU in the human polls. In the computers, who knows? I have no idea how those computers work.
|34 weeks 6 days ago||Close for a while, but then they pull away||
|35 weeks 1 day ago||Ok, that was funny. When are||
Ok, that was funny.
When are we getting up/down votes back? We need to up vote these gems.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||Magnus, I understand where you're coming from...||
..as it has come up quite a bit and it feels like we're covering the same ground, but we should care b/c one of the reasons we thought UM was finally going to start competing with the big boys again is we spent the money that MGrowOld and everyone else ponies up every year in PSDs, suites, etc on coaches -- esp asst coaches Mattison (very good use of $$$) and Borges (not so much).
I suspect the nonrenewal/wait for Stubhub movement will be quite big next year, esp if we get beat bad by OSU and in the bowl game. We already know the 2014 home schedule is crap. There is no more waiting list to pick up the slack. Thus, I wonder how quickly we'll careen into Tennessee territory and start running an AD budget deficit*. If that happens, who knows if/when Borges is fired that we will spend the money to get a top asst replacement, or suddenly be subject to the right-sizing/cost control that's currently happening elsewhere at the university? That possibility is why we should care.
All-in-all, this is yet another reason I am hoping for a near-miracle and we beat OSU this weekend.*I'm assuming Ross' $100 million, like many gifts, is dedicated to certain uses and can't be used to paper over a possible operating deficit But I may be incorrect, as they haven't been specific about where that money is going.
|35 weeks 2 days ago||One my favorite scenes ever||
And appropriate for a whole host of situations.
(Funny thing about that scene: Brando improvised the slap to get a reaction out of Martino, who clearly wasn't expecting it, as you can tell by his stunned/bemused look after it).
|35 weeks 2 days ago||Good follow-up thoughts||
A ticket is different than a car purchase, so that analogy needed some explanation. I think you did a good job.
|35 weeks 2 days ago||Oh, we're there - it's time for a market correction||
I completely agree that if Michigan were 10-1 or 9-2, and fans thought the program was on the right track, people would 'demand' to the tickets at prices Brandon is setting. That's the assumption he used when he "dynamically" priced them (though as Brian notes, only priced them one way -- up).
However, he (and many other ADs) have priced for near-perfection. They've built palaces that people only fill at $100+ a pop if the team is very good. If the team is 7-4 (and looked ugly doing it) or 5-6 or 4-7 or etc, it's not worth their time and money.
I mean, go look at the UF/GSU game last week. I saw the "highlights" and I did a double-take -- the Swamp looked like a home Wake Forest game.
There's a market correction coming -- and it's in 2014.
|35 weeks 3 days ago||That is one huge sophomore||
He's 6 foot 5, 289 pounds right now. How big was he in 8th grade - he must have endangered people's lives with his blocks/tackles. My goodness.
Welcome to the fold.
|35 weeks 4 days ago||Throw it, early and often||
Go three wide / four wide. Throw the ball at least 40+ times - short and med, with just a few long. Tell Devin it's preferred to throw the ball away on 1st or 2nd down, instead of trying to do one of his duck-and-scramble (which doesn't work much, b/c he often "ducks" into the 2nd or 3rd defender who beat his man). Run draw plays on occasion. Never have two backs in at once, as the I-form is junk.
I don't expect this to happen, as it should have already (see Nebraska). But OSU has an excellent offense with a so-so defense, and will likely score 24 or more points no matter what we do (e.g., if we try ball control), so our only chance is to outscore them in a shootout.
|36 weeks 1 day ago||A triple negative -- in Dan's honor||
Dan Dierdorf never had to be told he should not do another year in the broadcast booth when he wasn't ready to do it anymore.
Seemed like a good guy, I (generally) enjoyed his broadcasting over the years and he's was a complete stud as an OL at Michigan and in the NFL. Hope he enjoys retirement.
|36 weeks 3 days ago||It's worse than that - doesn't include the Northwestern game||
I'm not sure how it handles overtime (it says it "filters" certain drives, like clock kills), but my strong guess is we're now in the 60s. Hopefully we do better against Iowa.
And while all that is interesting, it almost doesn't matter, as things can change greatly with in one season. UM's offense was awesome against CMU, ND and Indiana -- but after watching UM's "offense" these past three games, it seems like those earlier games existed in a bizzaro-land universe, even though they were this season.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||Yes, I'm Fitz's mom. You got me.||
Is Northwestern good? You know, 0-6 in the B1G?
And people ARE acting like the running game is fixed by saying, "Well, time to move on. See ya Fitz." Three games ago FItz ran for 150 yards and 4 TDs! Suddently, it's impossible he'll have another good game again? Plus, just b/c Green and Smith had one nice game doesn't mean they'll do the same against Iowa or OSU.
Our offense is not good, with or without Fitz. We need all the options we can in hopes that will possible fixed. And as I showed, in multiple games over multiple seasons, our mediocre W/L record would have been even worse without his contributions.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||"Hasn't really given us anything" the last two years?||
MSU (12-10 W) - 10 carries / 52 yards
ND (41-30 W) - 22 carries / 71 yards, plus 1 rec for 31 yards
Yep. It's like he hasn't even been here.
Meanwhile, go look at Derrick Green's stat line before this game - 10/23, 3/1, 6/21, 8/11, etc. Should we have given up on Green b/c he was posting multiple games where he did nothing, and also was bad at blitz pickups?
Look - Fitz has not been good in multiple games this year running the ball (though a good deal of that has been our bad OL), and he has struggled tremedously in blitz pickups. And I definitely think Green and Smith should get a good percentage, and perhaps the majority of the carries going forward, as we should be looking to develop for next year as much as for this year at this point, as we are out of the B1G race..
But my goodness - with Smith & Green, we racked up a massive 9 pts in regulation. It's not like a rushing problems are fixed.
|36 weeks 6 days ago||Wait - I thought "young raw" was the problem :)||
I agree, in an ideal world, you'd have a bunch of talented 4th and 5th year lineman, along with the rare super stud 2nd/3rd year guy, rolling into your OL year after year. You can mold them into the type of blocker that fits your system.
But that's not we're UM is at -- the problem for 2013 and 2014 is that "we're so young." If that's recognized as a problem, there are other ways to fix it than looking at the clock and wishing it were 2015.
|36 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks for the details||
I appreciate it.
|36 weeks 6 days ago||UM could figure it out||
UM also didn't used to pay for asst coaches. Now we do. Michigan Stadium didn't used to have suites b/c we wanted everyone to have the 'same' experience. Now we do.
Plus, we have had Jucos in the past - Russell Shaw (#2 WR on 1997 team) and Austin Panter (mid-2000s; didn't do much when here, but he got into the school) to name a couple off the top of my head. So it's rare, but it's possible.
Again, look at those schools that are getting the Juco recruits - it includes Texas, which is a school every bit the "Public Ivy" that Michigan is, and Texas A&M is just a step behind.
So, unless someone from the admission department can explain to me how they can let in high school students with ACT scores and GPAs that wouldn't get in without football, and can't figure it out for ANY Jucos, I'll take as the "fact" that UM is still stuck in its ways that we do Jucos as an after-thought/very last resort. And the facts show that this year's OL (and very likely 2014's) deserved some (for Michigan) out-of-the-box thinking. It doesn't look like we're even trying for these recruits.
Meantime, we handicap ourselves for no good reason, and Alabama (home of 2 of the last 3 Academic All-Americans of the Year), FSU, OSU, etc will continue to be far ahead of us in the rankings on a consistent basis.
|36 weeks 6 days ago||Once again, is there a real reason for no Jucos?||
There has been copious amounts written (less since Nebraska) excusing this year's OL play b/c "they're young" and "we didn't recruit in 2009-2011". While both are true, Hoke has known this would happen for 3 years (and think how bad off we would be if Lewan didn't unexpectedly come back), so if he was concerned that the OL play would be this bad in 2013, the way to fix it was through Jucos. But he didn't do that, so he must have thought UM could take young guys and "coach 'em up" - which obviously hasn't happened and is on him & his staff.
There's nothing in the rules against recruiting Jucos when you need to get some big guys with experience. Go look at the top Juco OT and OG's -- schools like Alabama, Texas A&M, FSU, OSU, Texas etc are getting these players. If we are going to compete with these programs, we can't dismiss a class of players for no good reason (and please, don't give the "transfer credits" academics nonsense -- I guarantee we let in plenty of HS seniors who would not get into UM except for the fact they play football).
|37 weeks 2 hours ago||My point is I'm not worried about other B1G programs...||
...instead of OSU. All the other teams in our division are nothing for us to aim for or compare ourselves against.
Michigan's problem is that its performance on the field has been largely mediocre for quite some time. And if we stepped it up and we were achieving at MSU's recent level (i.e., no BCS bowls, no B1G championships, no wins over Top 10 teams, getting drilled by Alabama 49-7 when we played them), we'd still be unhappy. That's not even as good as the late Carr years, when UM fans (rightly) worried we had lost a step.
The goal is for Michigan to be an "elite" program. I am well-aware, and have been for years, that we haven't been one for about a decade. It's Hoke's job to change that, and obviously, that hasn't been going so well lately.
|37 weeks 4 hours ago||My goodness, breathe into a paper big||
Welcome to big-time football.
"MSU is gaining clout and stability every year" -- they went 6-6 and then played in the BWW last year! You know, the quite possible scenario for UM that is causing us to rend our garments this year.
Bill O'Brien seems like a fine coach. But I have no idea how good they are going to be. They are currently 5-4, 2-3 in the B1G. Penn State (this year not excluded - that's why it's so pathetic we lost to them) is historically on a downward swing, and will likely be that way for another year or two.
"Rutgers and Maryland" --- I agree they're not going to be cupcakes, esp in our current form, but unless you want UM to stop playing in a BCS conference, Rutgers and Maryland are about as "easy" a game as you can expect. For example - under Randy Edsall, Maryland has not won ONE game in November, and has gone 4-17 in the vaunted ACC.
Ohio State is going to be elite (or near so) every year Urban is there. A fact of life.
In short, UM has underachieved for a decade now -- that is not in dispute. We all better hope Hoke gets it elevated, soon. But UM is VERY lucky to be playing in the B1G, with its wide array of mediorce teams. We would be in deep dip if we had to play in the SEC or Pac-12.
|37 weeks 5 hours ago||You do know MSU went 6-6...||
...in the regular season last year, right?
And have never finished a year in the Top 10?
That's not a very high "ceiling" -- that's the point.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||That's the point - not a lot of room for error||
Even when UM was winning B1G championships (or at least regularly contending for them), it wasn't out of character to lose 1 or 2 games UM "should" have won. That happens to pretty much every team (except, say Alabama and whoever the hot 3-4 teams are that year)
Thus, if the ball bounces the proverbially wrong way against any team we "should" beat, we'll easily be 8-4 (or a bit worse). Of course, like 2011, things could go our way and we'll end up 10-2. But after this year's blah performance, I'm not sure Hoke can survive a season where he has more than just a bit of bad luck.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Oh for sure you'd come out ahead this year||
It might have been close before the recent collapse, but as noted by Brian: you could get good tix for $50 the day before the game (and Nebraska was supposedly one of our "big" games), which is half off (if not more) if you count the amortized PSD price.
Personally, I would have been easily able to go--even in Sept/Oct--to all the games this year for less than it would cost me for a PSD and buying all the tix. I have a number of friends who have tix, so that helps, but I don't think that makes me unusual.
Perhaps if you are out of state, it would be hard, but for someone who lives in SE Mich, tix are always floating around.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Who knew?||
Never knew Aidan was a girl's name. Learn something every day.
Hope she does well at UM.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||This is the main reason to keep tickets||
If you just enjoy going to the game, it financially makes more sense to not buy season tickets and then select (via StubHub, friends, etc) the 4-7 games you want to go that season. You will virtually always come out ahead (e.g., you won't waste $150 on that Akron game you really didn't want to go to, assuming you are buying two tickets).
However, there are many people who really enjoy their seat "mates" and that keeps them invested (as it were). Same if you are currently in a suite (which again, is big for kibitzing/deal-making).
But if that's not you, get rid of those tickets. Trust me, for the last few years and for the forseeable future, you'll be able to go to all the games you want for less money if you don't pay the PSD and ticket price.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||I don't disagree with that||
I assume Hoke actually is OK with the play calls (at least before the game and at the time), even though many of us think those runs up the middle are/were crazy.
But now, in retrospect, if he doesn't see that the play calling should change based on the horrendous, record-setting results (per my "coach speak" quote, which included him and Al together), then we are in a world of hurt.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||WestCoast, I was talking about AZ and UM's defense||
Those were what those rankings were - defense.
On offense, UM and AZ are essentially the same in scoring offense (that IU and Minn game helped us a lot), but obviously AZ's rushing offense is much better than ours: 12th vs 97th. In total offense, they are 36th to our 83rd.
I'm not going to get more than that, such as per play/etc, b/c that wasn't the point of my post. It was that there is better, more exciting football being played out there, some of it by players with less talent or just as little experience as UM.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||I think that's the most likely answer||
I've said it before - Hoke is manball, and running the ball twice--even though Nebraska has virtually everyone up in the box--after that turnover is his philsophy. So from that perspective, "Borges'" play call was Hoke's play call. That's what Hoke wants.
I will be shocked if Hoke fires Borges during or after this season, unless DB somehow gets involved.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||No kidding||
That, and the fact Mattison is a lights-out recruiter, is our only hope.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Sigh||
Now you've made me go and envy OSU, as their coach actually seems to recognize there is something he could do better and gets specific (even more than I would have thought necessary) about it. As a fan, that would give me hope for the next week/year.
I hate you.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||There's ways to say it||
I don't expect him to come out, sigh, and say "Hoo-boy! Borges sure stunk that one up, particularly after the turnover! What was he thinking?"
But it wouldn't be beyond "coach-speak" to say something like "Well, I liked the plan going in, but based on the results, the play calling is not getting it done. It will be up to me and Al and the rest of the offensive coaches to change that, to make sure the team has the best chance of success."
See? I've said nothing beyond actually recognizing that the play-calling needs to be improved, which is so obvious, you wouldn't think it would be "throwing someone under the bus" to be said out loud.
Instead we get that Hoke "likes" the playcalling and that "there's not even a question about it." That just makes him seem out of touch / delusional, after two of literally the worst rushing performances in the 134 year history of Michigan football.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Unfortunately you are skipping 2014||
What you say is reasonable, but since it is now highly likely we will finish this year 7-5 (cross-fingers for not worse), what happens next year? We lose our two best OL and are best WR and play a tougher schedule than this year.
Perhaps a defense that goes from pretty good this year to great next year can carry us to 8-10 wins, but that's not certain. If Hoke goes 7-5 two years in a row, I'm not sure even these stellar classes get him to 2015.
That said, I'll go back to worrying about now. We are losing winnable games to blah opponents. We need to make changes now (i.e., fire or "re-assign" Funk) and beat NU and/or Iowa.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Unfortunately...||
...that Arizona defense is currently 30th in the nation in points against. We're currently 61st.
In terms of yards per play, they're essentially exactly the same.
Let that sink in, as we (rightfully) complain about our offense.
Our defense -- while pretty good, and definitely better than the offense -- is not exactly covering themselves in glory this season either.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Nebraska defense is not good||
There are plenty of options -- spread the field, throw more screens, throw into the flat, STOP RUNNING THE BALL INTO THE LINE when they have 8-men fronts and are blitzing. Stuff like that.
It's funny Brian mentions the 2007 Rose Bowl*. I was thinking the same thing but for a different reason: I hold it up as one of my examples of top-notch coaching.
It was 3-3 at half, with USC splitting about 50/50 runs and passes. In the 3rd quarter, USC said, "Screw this" and proceeded to throw the ball TEN times in a row. After one run, they then threw it five more times in a row. At the end of the 3rd quarter it was 19-3, USC.
They didn't stick to a 'manball, we're tougher / let's out execute them' philosophy ; they looked at where UM's weakness was and USC's strength and said, "Running isn't working, let's air it out." They had the immortal John David Booty as their QB.
There is no reason, with the talent and even experience we have, that the offense should be so bad. UM should have thrown the ball at least 40 times on Saturday, and those throws should have been a variety of screens and quick outs and slants (i.e., like the one series that worked all day, where we scored a TD). But no -- we decided 20+ runs was the way to go, even when we were getting swamped all day.
It's beyond Funk; Borges should be gone as well (but won't be, unless Brandon orders the code-red).
* He meant 2007, not 2005, Rose Bowl in his post
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Third game this year with bad clock management||
First was Penn State; second was Indiana*; now Nebraska.
Who is in charge of calling timeouts / handling 2-min drill time management? Is that on Borges as well, or is it someone else? Is this where the dreaded no-head set comes into play?
* The Oregon-Stanford game confirmed I wasn't crazy. If you are ahead and have the ball with 2:10 or less, and the other team doesn't have any timeouts, you can run three dive plays/kneel downs and run out the clock. The other team has 0% chance of winning. However, against Indiana, we decided to score and give them a chance to tie it up -- a very small chance, but higher than 0% for no good reason.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Agreed - we are left behind||
Since I wasn't as emotionally devastated after a UM loss this time, I actually watched a game afterwards: UCLA vs Arizona.
It was refreshing -- a team with a young OL (just like ours) and a mobile, somewhat experienced QB (just like ours) managed to run the ball for 5 yards a pop and have some nice throws. Similarly, an Arizona team with a mobile QB with less experience/talent than ours had a ton of short, quick throws to spread out receivers that were often (though not always) open b/c they were relatively short throws and designed to be quick.
Beyond offense, there were some big hits on D, and some nice back & forth for an enjoyable 31-26 game.
Compared to UM-Nebraska, it was like entering a time warp.
And I'm not going to even mention Alabama-LSU. The level of talent both those teams have is so far ahead of UM-Neb it's not even funny. Alabama can play manball and beat anyone b/c they have large, angry, atheltic, very well-coached men on their team. A real machine.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||That's correct - it was the 2007 Rose Bowl, not 2005||
I was wondering where Brian's quote came from: I mean if 2005 Texas knew what UM was going to call, they sure didn't do much with it, as Texas gave up 37 points (though I do remember Breaston had a ton of return yards that game, but still).
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Two things you are incorrect about||
Gardner almost single handedly beat ND -- our only victory worth a darn -- this year, so not sure why you're bringing up Minn.
Second, the question is whether a true freshman is better than Devin right now, not if Devin needs to do better/improve (which he obviously could). If you think a true freshman, who missed significant time his senior year of HS and hasn't played hardly at all this year, would be a whiz at reading defenses behind a record-level porous OL (or even better than Devin), you're delusional.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||It's a ridiculous suggestion||
Starting a true freshman over a RS JR, when that true freshamn has not shown -- in practice or in limited game time -- anything in terms of his QB performance is crazy. Gardner is playing erratically, but he has saved our bacon more than once this year. Without him at QB, with this porous OL, do you somehow think a freshman with less escapability would do better?
So Magnus doesn't have to detailed response to posts that are 97.1/sports radio call-in level in terms of their reality.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Dude, c'mon. Nebraska has better coaches/more talent?||
"This is not a particularly talented Michigan team.." And Nebraska, with its freshman QB, backup OG's, etc is loaded with NFL talent? And PSU? And UConn? Etc.
UM---right now---has more talent than Nebraska. They still could not get any yards rushing. Their OC could not figure that out and pass the ball pretty much every down. They still could not get a stop in the 4th quarter. At home.
Hoke's UM teams have gotten worse every year, and looking at next year's team, I don't see how it will be much different than 2013.
I still think Hoke should get a 4th year, as firing coaches every three years is beyond dumb, and Hoke seems to be recruiting well, but things are in serious trouble right now. Best case scenario (which I'm rooting for) is we win 7-8 games this year, the same next year (but with fewer "Wow -- that was completely awful" games) and it starts to really turn around in 2015, but even THAT won't excuse the blah/tire fires of 2012, 2013 and (hopefully not, but realistically) 2014.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Well...||
...we are stah-rug-a-ling. So that would have fit.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||UM losses don't ruin my football day anymore||
Life is too short. I used to have head aches and mope big time after losses, esp to blah teams, but after watching the last few games, I've (mostly) pushed through to the other side: I want to watch teams that actually play 21st century football and/or have a ton of NFL talent. College football is a good game when done right.
I'm not letting world's-worst-manball ruin my Saturdays anymore. Now, I'm PO'd for an hour or two, take a deep breath, put my annoyance in a corner, then I'm on my way.
I hope UM turns it around (this season, or next, or next...) but I'm not going to be like a Hoke/Borges offense and slam my head again and again into a wall.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Agreed - Hoke's in denial||
Hoke has predicated his whole philosophy on manball. Running the ball so consistently on first down, even when the avg play nets negative yardage is directly from his philosophy.
So unless he goes to some mountaintop, meditates, and realizes he needs to be flexible and do whatever it takes to win (in terms of playcalling, e.g., throwing the ball 50 times a game), why would he fire Borges? He's doing what Hoke wants.
I think it will be up to (shudder) DB to lay the smack down. I don't know if Brady has it in him, by himself.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Yes it should stop DB - don't waste everyone's time||
Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches at the pinnacle of his profession - the NFL. He would not come back in the forseeable future to coach Alabama or Texas, let alone Michigan. 0% chance.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Simple: classism and recongition of reality||
RR was seen by many in the UM high-falutin' community as a hick, and therefore not "one of us." He recruited players with dreads and didn't fall all over himself about the Midwest, Hoke came in preaching manball/tradition/this-is-Michigan and people liked that, even though it's overplayed.
Additionally, people can now see, "Hmm, fired the last coach after 3 years and now look where we are. If we fire THIS coach after three years, will it been anytime this decade where we are a consistent top 10 team?"
Hoke gets another year (which is correct, IMHO) b/c people finally realize firing the coach after 3 years, unless you have a great option in the wings, is dumb.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Who's to say?||
I don't get why you think Hoke can meaningfully imrpove on this (likely) 7-5 season next year (with a younger OL and losing your best receiver) with a staff shakeup but you don't think RR could have done really well by a change in his defense.
Glad to see you're finally coming around on this season though and recognize we're heading the wrong direction (which still would have been the case if we somehow scratched out a win today). You've been whistling through the graveyard all year.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||To be pedantic...||
...my point is those teams you mentioned are better than "good." They are dominant (within their MAC-universe).
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Unfortunately, your tix are way overpriced||
I think your assumption is correct and enthusiasm is low (even though I think many fans think Michigan is going to win; people just aren't thrilled with the season). My guess is you won't be able to sell those tickets for more than $75/ticket, if that.
I've gotten multiple offers to go to the game in pretty good seats for $60/ticket, and I know if I waited I could buy them for less than that.
Sadly, the 3:30pm start kills it for me, as I have two events that start in late afternoon to go to, so I'm out. I'll just be watching from various points on the road.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||What's with the excuses? English was terrible.||
I see many people saying, "How can you expect to be successful there?" but really, no one was expecting him to turn EMU into a national power -- just not be terrible, and occasionally have a winning season in the MAC. Pretty much every other school in the MAC has managed that (and NIU is a regular Top 25 team, which is the ceiling). Are the facilities/recruiting pool at EMU really that much worse than Akron, Ohio, Ball State, Central, etc? EMU just added a new indoor practice facility in 2010.
He did very poorly. He deserved to be fired. My guess is the next guy will do better, b/c he sure couldn't do worse.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||They are more than "randomly acceptable"||
That's not fair at all. The sports you mentioned they are not just 'randomly acceptable to good'. Here is there list of MAC Championships in Swimming/Diving:
1978, ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96, ’98, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
Men's Indoor Track & Field:
1996, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013
You get the idea.
And beyond those sports, they've done fine in most others (Women's Bball last won the MAC in 2012; Baseball in 2007; Golf in 2008; etc).
Essentially they have been completely TERRIBLE in football, and I would be fine with them dropping to D1-AA in that if they could, as it's an expensive sport and not worth the money. In men's basketball, they did very well in the late 80s to late 90s, so maybe they can get that back. But in the rest, they're a relative MAC powerhouse.
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Not sure if serious||
I thought your comment was going to end with, "I saw Mtich pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."
Also, good detail that the guy recently quit. Adds to the voracity.
|38 weeks 1 day ago||Exactly right - we're not expecting 2012 Alabama||
Or even a normal, Wisconsin-level offensive line. But with an All-American LT and a solid RT, the line should not be putting up multiple "worst in 50 years/history" performances, not to mention struggling mightly against a couple pretty bad teams.
I was hoping for a bit below B1g average. That's not where we are -- at all.
|38 weeks 1 day ago||An offensive guard, you say?||
Does he have any eligibilty left?
|38 weeks 1 day ago||Thanks for this - but didn't Hoke already know this?||
So we're very young (compartively) on the OL, and that highly correlates with not being good. It's helpful to see that laid out, though we basically knew this. But Hoke also knew this -- what did he do to fix it?
The OL "should" have been RS SR, RS SO, RS SO, RS FR, RS SR. That's not bad, esp since that RS FR was supposedly (and hopefully will be) a super stud, so that "should" have worked. A main backup was also a RS SO (not counting a RS JR, who got hurt)
But instead, the staff missed (at least as of now) on the ability and readiness of ALL of the RS SO and RS FR (super stud or otherwise).
And I know UM traditionally has taken very few JC OLs, but they have occasionally taken JCs. If this OL was an area of such concern, then it would have been worthwhile to expend the energy to find a 21-year old or two who could step in & get through the academic process. But we didn't do that,; Hoke must have thought we would be OK.
So Hoke & co had a plan, and it didn't work. That's on them, and unless the player development gets better (e.g., those RS SOs who currently aren't working finally do work as RS JRs), it won't be much better next year.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Maybe - but so what? I just don't think "they're good"||
I'm not saying we have a great shot at beating NU, but I just don't think we're going to blown out of there (at least it's not the most likely scenario) or that they're "good". That's what I was responding to. NU is not nearly as good as they were 5 games ago. They are an average team, at best.
I mean, I agree they are better than UConn (who is terrible) and likely as good as PSU. But they also lost (at home) to Minnesota.
It's a 50/50 game. There is really not a score that you could predict for that game which would surprise me.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Wow - 75%!||
I agree that none of those 3 teams are very good, but frankly, neither are we. I think we are definitely better than Iowa, but I would never give someone three to one odds that we are going to beat Nebraska or the same for Northwestern. U of M has really struggled against some bad teams, and lost to PSU -- who Northwestern is at least as good as.
Glad you're optimistic, though. Hopefully you are right. But I think we are in coin flip territory in the next 3 games.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Northwestern is no longer good. Injuries.||
They have had an Iowa-level amount of losses to their RBs. They've lost numerous other key people (e.g., their QB).
Since it's a road game, there is always a chance we will really struggle and lose to NU by 14+ points. But they aren't the team that took OSU to the wire five weeks ago. We will have a decent shot at a victory.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Not impossible, but REALLY unlikely||
What are the odds against OSU - 10%? Dare I say 20%? Let's go with 20% and be really optimistic.
Then, assuming we have a 50/50 split for the remaining three games (which I think is pretty reasoanble, b/c while Iowa and Northwestern aren't good, we aren't good away from home, so it's a wash). That gives you a 2.5% chance of going 10-2. That sounds about right, even if you are being optimistic.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Co-sign||
These aren't as bad as the 'pink-washing' that the NFL does, which I know (partly) comes from a good place, but is also a transparent attempt by them to market to women.
I really hope I see, during this game, to see clips showing NU (and UM, for that matter) visiting actual wounded warriors at Dingell VA or some similar place. I know UM already does great work with Mott (and I'm sure NU has a similar program), so I don't know if they have time.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||We should match them, comic book for comic book||
Since these unis look like a Captain America shield exploded on them, we should match them. I'm thinking, continuing the Marvel theme, we should focus on our blood brother from up north--Wolverine.
He's Canadian, so we'll have to change our color scheme to red & white, but as shown by these Northwestern unis, you don't have to maintain your color scheme, so we're good. We can put on the helmet a Maple Leaf with a picture of Hugh Jackman smokin' a stogie superimposed. The jerseys can look pre-ripped, a la Wolverine's claws, to help match the NU uni's tasteful blood splatter.
Let's do it Brandon.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||No, I'm not ready.||
You do realize Northwestern is 0-5 in the almighty B1G, right? Not saying we'll win, but it's not like we're playing Oregon and their funky unis.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||Yikes||
So if we beat Northwestern, do we hate America? Why do you hate America, Brady Hoke?
|38 weeks 3 days ago||9-3? We should be so lucky.||
I know we are literally on pace for a 9-3 record right now, but I think anyone who has watched U of M the past 8 games thinks 8-4 is the most likely record, with 7-5 as the second most likely. I think 6-6 and 9-3 are in a toss-up for third (with 10-2 coming in a distant 5th). Either 8-4 or 7-5, especially considering that the B1G is even worse than we thought (and we don't play Wisky), is quite a disappointment and another step back from last year (where at least the 8-4 regular season included losses to the natl champion and the natl champion runner-up). All 8-4's aren't created equal.
Also, I hope everyone's right about the young talent, but some early signs have been worrisome. Perhaps I'm putting too much on Derrick Green, but if there is one position you'd think the #1 player could come in and contribute quite a bit, it's at RB. And it just hasn't happened. Not to mention the young OL (which I fully understand is young, so I wasn't expecting much, but this has been below that).
All that said, I'm with you on praying for a shake-up in the offensive coaches and that the talent develops, so 2014 is at least on the upswing (i.e. a solid 9-3 or better). If not...whoo boy.
|38 weeks 3 days ago||What? Hoke has miles to go catch Les.||
(See what I did there? 'miles'?)
Les Miles' teams have won one natl championship and played for another. In eight seasons at LSU, he's finished in the Top 5 four times, and the Top 10 another time. Hoke (at the end of this year) will be 0 for 3 on top ten finishes in the AP poll, and never mind the natl championships.
To put that in perspective, to get to the last four Top 5 finishes for Michigan, you have to go to: 1988,1992, 1997 and 1999 (i.e., last century).
As said, Miles walked into a far better situation. But Miles is now in year 9, and is far removed from Saban to be riding his coat tails. Miles may be crazy, and his ethics are questionable (as shown by the Ok State SI expose, and having more law breakers on his team than typical), but he's literally a hall of famer, based on his results on the field. Hoke has a WAYS to go to even come close to matching Miles' production. As does Michigan, over the last decade and a half.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||Was Hoke somehow unaware of this? So he gets a pass?||
I ask b/c there seems to be an air of fatalism like, "Yep, look at those classes. Nothing to do but be below average (and worse, against good teams) as an OL in 2013."
Hoke, whose specialty is the line, obviously knew that there was going to be a serious lack of depth/experience in the interior in 2013. He apparently thought by recruiting high school players, along with players on the roster like Miller, that they would be OK this year. Well, he was wrong -- so that's on him and his roster development/management.
There's nothing in the rules against recruiting junior college players when you need to get some guys with experience (and just plain 'ol physical development -- a 21-year old is, on avg, going to be bigger/stronger than a 19-year old). Go look at the top JC OT and OG's -- schools like Alabama, Texas A&M, FSU, OSU, etc are taking these guys. Why weren't we? I know U of M traditionally hasn't done it, but U of M also traditionally didn't pay their Asst Coaches and that changed with Brandon/Hoke.
It's understandable that the OL isn't great, or even very good this year. But, third year in, to have a line that looks this below average to bad, against a wide array of teams, is not a good sign for Hoke and his staff.
|39 weeks 1 day ago||Nope - I can't stand that "slave" comparison either||
I know what he is getting at. It may even have a kernel of truth to it. But it is so FAR removed from slavery -- for the reasons you mentioned, plus the fact that if the player doesn't like eat/play/train, he can quit at anytime (unlike, you know, an actual slave). Those words should just never come out of a player's mouth.
Just shows a complete lack of perspective on his part, while (ironically) his article shows that fans don't exactly keep things in perspective about college football & its players.
|39 weeks 5 days ago||Not really - students want to be there 4+ hours?||
College football games -- b/c of TV timeouts and more incompletions due to more passing -- take F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Add in the fact that students (b/c of the new first come, first serve) are "expected" to get there an hour or two early, and you've got block out six hours of your day if you're going to be at the football game from start to finish.
If, instead, a student could drink, relax and dance with her friends at a house party until the game starts (so they can miss the 1/2 hour or more waiting in line), why wouldn't we expect that to happen? It's not what I would do, but there are only so many 'hard core' student fans who want to spend five/six hours at a game, particularly if it's a so-so opponent.
And you're completely wrong about there not being trouble selling to the general public. Look at the "waiting list" (or lack thereof) for Michigan and others. Look at the stub hub prices for any game not against a rival.
They've overexpanded and overpriced the product, generally speaking. It's perfect for MSU and OSU but for the majority of the games, it's overdone.
|39 weeks 5 days ago||Because they've overexpanded and now they're nervous||
Michigan, along with a LOT of other places, have overexpanded their stadiums -- both in terms of capacity and amenities (e.g., suites). They did this based on the boom of interest in the 90s & 00s. To justify that expansion, they've raised ticket prices dramatically to pay for it.
Well, it turns out there is not unlimited interest in college football, particularly when games regularly cost $100+ (incl parking) and take 4 hours plus due to frequent time stoppages for commercials. It's a flawed product.
Thus Michigan (to use one example) has expanded its capacity too much. If we were back at 107,000 as the capacity, this issue of a couple thousand students and a couple thousand other folks showing up wouldn't be as big a deal. But the greedy universities built for the OSU and MSU games, and didn't realize (esp with expansion) well over half the games are for opponents people could not care less about (Rutgers & Maryland anyone?)
Along with the "pay the players" movement and head injury concerns, it's going to be interesting times for major college football over the next few years.
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Kinda agree, but Gallon's a much better NFL prospect||
It's an interesting comparison, but Gallon is going to go much higher in the draft than Hart (who was a sixth round pick). I thought he'd be a Top 100 pick earlier this year, and his play since then has done nothing to change my mind.
Gallon's small size won't nearly hurt him as much as it did Hart b/c of the position he plays. Teams like the Pats, Broncos, Eagles or Saints will want to snap him up.
|40 weeks 8 hours ago||Wow - a blast from the past||
I haven't thought of that name in 25 years, since when I was a little kid and got a couple of his books of "amazin" sports facts as Christmas presents. They were nice, trivia filled books that were fun to skip around in. Never knew who he was -- now I do. Sounds like he was a good, and influential, guy. Thanks for the heads up.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Ugh - enough with Dallas||
Why do we have to play there again? Why not a game in the northeast in Metlife Stadium if we're going to play in an enormo-stadium that's far from home? That'd be better from an alumni perspective and also change it up a bit.
|40 weeks 3 days ago||Thanks - then WTH, Hoke? Another time clock mistake.||
That makes sense, as I couldn't understand why the clock stopped if IU had not used the time out.
Since that's the case, Hoke & co screwed up clock management at the end of the game for the second straight game. Because after Fitz got the first down on the next play with his 13 yard run, it was kneel down time (with 2:02 left and it being first down; the play clock is 40 seconds long). Instead, by scoring two plays later, they game IU a (very small) chance.
They need to hire a grad asst or something. This is not good.
|40 weeks 3 days ago||Are you sure IU used the timeout?||
The play-by-play (which may use the BTN broadcast, for all I know) doesn't list it.
If IU did NOT have any time outs, than that was gross mismanagement by Michigan. It took us from a 99.99% chance at winning (b/c if you have first down with 2:02 left, three kneel downs takes a minimum of 2 full minutes off the clock, effectively ending the game) to about a ~98% chance of winning (esp considering Fitz had fumbled once).
It was still remote, but the way IU was scorching our D and scoring TDs in literally about a minute, they would have just needed to do that again (with a 2pt conversion), recover the onside kick and then convert a Hail Mary (which they would have had ~2 chances at). Very, very unlikely, but why give them a 1-2% chance when the other option is 0%?
We must be missing something. IU had to have another time out, otherwise two handoffs into the line when you're already up two scores with 2 minutes to go doesn't make sense.