a terrible blight on our fine country
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- Rudock starts the whole year and turns in a season like last year at Iowa except more efficient: 60% completions, 8 YPA, excellent TD/INT.
- Glasgow and Kalis perform excellently, with Glasgow getting drafted in the middle rounds.
- Both Braden and Dawson play early in the season, with Braden eventually winning the battle.
- Jake Butt leads the team in receptions and wins the Mackey award.
- De'Veon Smith and Drake Johnson emerge into the two main backs, with Smith getting a plurality of carries because he's healthy to start.
- Ty Isaac functions as a weird H-back hybrid guy and third down back and makes 30-40 catches.
- The run game moves up to good-ish, as Michigan approaches five yards a carry but doesn't get there.
- 9 wins - 45% chance
- 8 wins - 30% chance
- 7 wins - 13% chance
- 10 wins - 12% chance
- Ryan Glasgow was an absolute steal
- Hate to say it, but that was good value for Riley Bullough, too
- WOW. The B1G WRs are really down this year. After a pretty damn amazing group last year, this year's crop is B-A-D
- Ace/Seth - 20
- Adam - 19
- Brian - 17
|11 hours 46 min ago||It is delightfully surprising||
It is delightfully surprising that every game on our schedule appears well within reach.
It is awful that I am still nervous about Northwestern.
|11 hours 54 min ago||Agree, and I would add||
First, great breakdown by Seth, and I love the format (and title).
What I would at to SC's remarks is that one of your best clues for play design are the steps the RB and QB take. In this play, Smith's steps (and Rudock's) are telling you where this play is going: exactly where it went.
If the play was designed to go to the backside, Smith would have taken a counter-step and received the hand-off on the other side of the QB, heading for the backside hole. In this play, Rudock is obstructing the backside cut, which tells you that is NOT Smith's first option.
Here's a good video of what a true counter-step (and handoff) looks like:
In the play Seth diagrammed, Smith fakes an outside, or toss step, then immediately cuts toward the hole he chooses. This play was not designed to go backside.
|1 week 5 hours ago||Not sure||
That will depend on how Maryland tries to defend us. I would expect a few wrinkles--we have had them every game so far, even the jet sweep vs. UNLV.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Much to learn||
Oregon State will actually be a good test for this defense. Don't get me wrong--I expect us to win comfortably, but their offense has enough wrinkles to test us.
One thing I REALLY liked about this UFR was how well we adjusted after we busted plays. That's a sign of great coaching.
I dearly wish we had Utah as our fourth OOC game instead of our first. If we started with Oregon State, then had UNLV, then BYU, then Utah...I think that would have been much better for us.
Can't wait for Saturday--feels good to say that after almost dreading it last year.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||This Year's Stupid||
This Year's Stupid Predictions
YES. I believe Rudock will be highly efficient, probably #3/4 in the conference (Cook, OSU, Hackenberg)
YES. The OL will be a pleasant surprise by season's end. Despite the tougher schedule, Michigan will improve from last year's 4.60 YPC, and improve on last year's middling protection numbers.
NO. Unless you mean spot duty, I don't think we'll see much of Dawson this season. Braden will hold the job.
YES. The boldness of this prediction makes it much less likely to occur. That said, I love it, and believe it's plausible.
YES. That Smith is listed without an "OR" on the depth chart is getting less attention than it should. I think Johnson will be a true back-up, though.
WTF? Do you know something I don't know? Without insider information, this is an extremely bold prediction. Would love to see it happen, but I think Kerridge will be the main backfield receiving threat.
YES. See above.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Special Teams||
This is one of the many reasons I believe the computers are wrong: I think our new ST coach is probably worth at least half of a win on his own. If we had not lost our kicker and punter, I'd say a 1-win increase.
9 wins...it's very doable.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||AGREE||
I am on board with 9 wins. All of the models out there say 7.7-ish wins, and do not take into account the impact of the coaching changes. I would say that Harbaugh & Co. are worth an extra win, maybe more.
My prediction is 8.7 wins. I believe 7 wins is far less likely than 9, but more likely than 10 because of the tough OOC schedule. Here's my best guesstimate:
All other regular season win totals would be outliers.
|5 weeks 29 min ago||An iPhone up vote for you sir.||
An iPhone up vote for you sir.
|5 weeks 7 hours ago||Love it||
This is great stuff, thank you Ace.
Ross looks pretty good to me. I would agree that he is probably a more natural fit outside in Michigan's scheme, but he could be a good player at any LB spot.
Hamler is the real deal. He is explosive and could play WR or CB. I think he looks more like a college CB, but he could have success at either spot.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Amazing game||
This looks like just about the most fun HS football game ever. Wish I could have been there to see it.
Peters is ridiculous, and Evans looks pretty good as a slot or perhaps a safety. Some great athleticism there.
Happy to have both of these guys in the fold. Peters looks like he'll be the recruiting steal of 2016, considering that he was a fringe four-star when he committed in April and unranked by Rivals as recently as December.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Ace||
Ace's team is the best. Rudock is competent and Ferguson is serviceable, but everywhere else his team is strong, particularly on D-Line.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Hi Buddy||
Welcome to the family. GO BLUE!
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Hi Buddy||
Welcome to the family. GO BLUE!
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Did Hurst play?||
Did Hurst play?
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Great post||
Brian nailed it. If you are a sports junkie, ESPN insider is super cheap and has loads of content. If you are a U-M football junkie, any of these are worth a subscription. If you are a U-M basketball junkie, Scout is the choice. If you are a college football recruiting junkie, 24/7 is probably your best bet. And if you want in-depth recruiting content (and, I believe, the most accurate ratings that are NOT the 24/7 composite) then Rivals.
And always, always MGoBlog. And for goodness sakes, people, at least by HTTV. This site has the best (not necessarily the most or most in-depth) content, and they have earned your business. Or buy a t-shirt. Just pay for something you want anyway, even if it's not much.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Hate to say it||
But I'd pick Ace's team. Rudock may be the worst starting QB of the bunch, but he's also got Braxton Miller as an option, and with Thomas, Hamilton, and even Carter and Breneman, whoever takes the snaps has plenty of options. A dominant defensive line helps with any back-end problems, and the LBs are a strong group. The lone weakness here is his OL, which is just okay, but the weapons and possibilities of the offense overcome that weakness.
But I can't wait to see Ace photo-shopped into a Buckeye jersey, because he's earned it with his selections.
2nd Place: Seth. Not only did he find value with his U-M picks, his defense is bolstered by two HSPs that are All-B1G talents in Caputo and Peppers. Of course, Peppers is still just "potential," but if he's half as good as advertised, Seth's team will be able to control the middle of the field. Offensively, Carroo, Price, Marshall, and Geronimo (it should be illegal to ever use his last name) are more than adequate targets for the efficient Cook, and Clement is a ridiculous talent at RB. Add in a strong OL...this is a good team, and there are no gimmicks.
3rd Place: Adam. A weaker OL (comparable to Ace's) is helped by a great selection of skill players, but I'm not sure it's enough. Westercamp and Butt would be the stars of this passing game, with Barrett and Jackson combining on the ground, but I don't see this team can beat Ace's. Seth's squad can match-up because Caputo or Peppers can neutralize Butt, and Likely can handle Westercamp. Then what? Seth's defense is built to stop the option, and really only lacks a pass rush, but Turay can come in on obvious passing downs to add spark there.
4th Place: Brian. I don't know, man. Hated the Cardale Jones pick (has no value other than as a back-up QB) and the Cole gimmick. But there are bigger problems: you have the best passing QB and no real threats at WR/TE. Yes, Elliott is a beast and your OL is good, but in todays CFB, you've got to be able to throw the football effectively, and Kugler leaves a weakspot for the DTs to attack. Defensively, Zettel and Collins are good, but Johnson and Ngakoue are just fine. Biegel and Wartman-White are strong, but Ross has been a pernnial underachiever. I like the secondary, but I'm not sure the pass rush is giving them enough time to do their job, and the safeties are solid-not-spectacular types.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Someone needs to vouch for this campaign. Looks like a scam.||
Someone needs to vouch for this campaign. Looks like a scam.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Wish him the best||
Always liked Norfleet and hoped for that return we knew he was capable of. Hope his career finishes well at Tuskegee. I don't think he would have contributed much this year, so perhaps this is best for everyone.
|8 weeks 8 hours ago||YES||
Logged in to post the same thing. He was an amazing coach--111-43-4 at Ohio State--but just could not beat Michigan, especially when it mattered most. In '93 and '96, Michigan accounted for their only losses and kept them from winning a MNC. When he finally managed to beat Michigan in '98, he blew a 15 point lead to a 6-6 MSU team that Michigan had handily dispatched earlier that season.
It was an era of dominance for us that fliipped almost exactly during the Tressel years, and it was the last time it was easy to be a Michigan football fan. The year 2000 is a long time ago now...
|8 weeks 11 hours ago||Rams or Raiders||
I'd pick these two as the most likely, but I think we'll go another year without a "worst-to-first" team. If the Rams played in a different division, I think they'd have a real shot. The Raiders' division will be down this year, but Manning, Rivers, and even Alex Smith are all pretty damn good QBs, and Denver and KC have reloaded on defense. That division is going to be a mess, IMO.
|8 weeks 11 hours ago||Kevin McHale||
How do you not hate Kevin McHale? One of the easiest basketball players in history to hate, IMO. McHale was just a gangly guy looked like he had no business playing with professional athletes, yet managed to be extremely effective (sometimes against the Pistons). I still don't understand how he was good. Athletically, he made Larry Bird look like LeBron.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Some great picks in this edition||
Time to start judging (from best to worst in each position group):
QB: Adam, Seth, Brian, Ace
OL: Seth, Brian, Ace, Adam
RB: Brian, Seth, Ace/Adam
WR/TE: Ace, Adam/Seth, Brian
DL: Ace, Adam, Brian, Seth
LB/HSP: Seth, Ace/Adam, Brian
Secondary: Brian, Ace/Adam/Seth
Using a simple scoring metric, here are my standings:
I would probably pick Ace's team right now. Willie Henry was a very good value, IMO, and Ace's WR/TE group is absurdly good. His OL is ranked third, but it's close to Brian's and very good. His only weakness is at QB, and Rudock's film suggests he's plenty good enough to distribute the ball to those athletes.
Seth has, in my opinion, a deceptively strong offense, and still has a TE to add. But with the best OL and a close-second at RB, Seth's team is going to make you put 8 in the box. And Cook, Carroo, and Marshall will make you pay for that. The trouble for him is his DL. I believe that weakness outweighs Ace's QB issues.
Adam's team is boom/bust on offense and middle-of-the-road on defense. He's got a great QB and two good weapons in Westercamp and Butt, but the weakest OL does not pair well with a RB that is just okay, IMO. His strong DL and good back seven give him the #2 defense. Though the score suggests otherwise, I think his team is on par with Seth's.
Brian...why do you always take the double-QB? Cardale Jones, IMO, does not have value if he's not playing QB, and neither does Hackenberg. Jones is no Braxton Miller, whom I unfortunately believe will be a terror. But a strong OL and an amazing RB--a true Heisman contender--do a lot to offset a lackluster receiving corps. Boddy-Calhoun and Jourdan Lewis were both high value picks, IMO, and Wilson and Nicholson are adequate on the back end. The fourth lineman is going to be an issue on the DL, as is the other LB. If Brian had taken a DT, LB, or even an OG in round 6 instead Jones, he's probably in the discussion for second place. In the fantasy world, Jones was a good pick. In real life, I'd rather have more talent at a different position.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Do you not?||
Do you not?
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Agreed||
Logged in to post the same thing. Just a perfect line.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Running Game||
Stanford put up 190 yards at 5 YPC last year against Utah. Their problem was that they only managed 3.7 YPA in the passing game, with lots of lost yardage on bubble screen attempts.
I believe the Utah run defense vs. the U-M run offense will be a close match-up, and I believe the U-M run defense--one of the best in the nation last year and should be even better this year--is advantage U-M.
Further, I believe Utah's pass defense and hyper-aggressive rush will cause big problems for our passing attack. If that turns out to be an even match-up, we will win this game. However, I'd give Utah the advantage there.
There is no doubt this is still a coin flip game, and U-M has to prove they can compete with well-coached teams again. Will be a great barometer absent our usual against ND.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||One of my most favorite movie moments ever|
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Yes, Yes, and Yes||
Great questions. Here are my answers:
1) How much effect does this inspiration/motivation have on a game? Can this compensate for talent gap?
Inspiration/motivation has a HUGE impact on every game. Having been a part of upsets (both winning and losing) I can tell you that while talent dictates a majority of success, the increments provided by inspiration and motivation can overcome a talent/technique gap and create an opportunity for a less-talented team to win. That said, there is a physical baseline that is required to compete at a high level. There is zero doubt in my mind that Michigan has players that are at or above the physical baseline to compete with every single team on our schedule. Ohio State is probably the only team with superior athletes. But I am concerned that our technique may not be as refined as it needs to be to be a dominant team.
2) Is there a chance this clicks and the team plays their asses off, surprising everyone?
Lots of people equate Harbaugh's first season at Stanford with his first season at Michigan. This is a mistake. Stanford's 2007 roster had sub-par athletes that simply did not meet the physical baseline to be competitive. It took guts, luck, and masterful coaching to pull off a narrow win against USC, and part of the success was that USC lacked motivaiton and inspriation. It was perfect storm not dissimilar from The Horror.
A far better comparison is Harbaugh's first season at the 49ers. Inherting a team with talent but lacking cohesion and motivation, Harbaugh took the 49ers to a 13-3 regular season. He took excellent athletes and helped them reach their potential. But before you get your hopes too high, there is a key difference: Harbuagh had some top-flight talent that had proven that talent at the NFL level. Frank Gore, Patrick Willis, and Michael Crabtree are examples. That said, Harbaugh seemed to improve the performance of every player on the team (even though the stats may not have fully reflected that). Michigan has very little "proven" talent. Remember too that 49ers team won a lot of close games, and, statistically, should have 12 instead of 13. So there was definitely a bit of luck as well.
3) Can the first year of a coaching change forge this aspect of a team? (Hoke's seemed to, chance this happens again?)
There is no doubt in my mind that the team will take on Harbaugh's personality, and that drive and competitive fire will lead to incremental performance improvement. The question is, will the talent/technique advance enough to make that motivation/inspiration add-up to more wins? I believe that it will be tough early, but that we will have some surprising wins. Most are guessing 8 wins; I would project 9, and 10 is more likely than 7 but less likely than 8. I would not be even a little surprised to see us at double-digit victories this season, and I would attribute that to the coaching change.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||Disagree||
The drafting is much better this year, IMO. I don't see a clear winner, and each team has an advantage somewhere. By this point last year, Seth's team was out of the running and Ace and BiSB were pulling away from Brian.
FWIW, I think the Cardale Jones and Jabrill Peppers picks are the worst of the draft so far, and neither pick was terrible. The worry is that Jones may not see the field, and Peppers, while cleary an amazing ball of potential, is still just potential.
That said, both Seth and Brian have plenty of talent. I like Adam's offense but think Ace has the best D.
If you're just looking for the team that will earn the most post-season awards, that might be Adam. If you're looking for the team that I think could beat everyone else, that would probably be Ace or Brian. If Seth can find some D-Line gems, he'll be right there.
We'll see how it plays out...
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Source? This is interesting||
This is interesting if true.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Facts||
Thanks for the data. Polls don't determine what's going on in the world, and neither do anecdotes. It's good to have some raw numbers to look at and consider.