here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
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- Penn State
- Tie between: Minnesota, Rutgers, Indiana, Northwestern, and Maryland.
- App. State
- Notre Dame
- Cameron has other attackers he is concerned about
- Johnson is too far behind and too tired to catch his mark
- The midfielders screwed the pooch
- Brian - The fearless leader has whiffed on a few picks, IMO, but has no huge blunders: Hackenberg was a luxury pick (that also knocked Seth out of the competition), and JRIII is a bit of a reach, IMO. There are lots of good LBs still out there, and I'm not sure JRIII is going to have the impact we all hope for...I hope I'm wrong, but I still think it's early for him.
- Ace - Calhoun wasn't my favorit pick, but it wasn't a bad pick. Maxx was another fine pick, but damn, how is Jeff Heuerman still on the board? Same goes for Desmond King...I hate the Buckeyes too, but Doran Grant is a talented player. He should be off the board. Matt Robinson, for me, falls in the same category as JRIII, but you took him four rounds sooner. Again, no terrible picks, but lots of reaches for you, IMO.
- BiSB - You have a bunch of solid picks, and there isn't a single pick on your board that I think was a huge reach. Kenny Bell is probably not whom I would have taken (maybe Deon Long or Dontre Wilson), but Bell is the kind of player that always does his job, makes plays, and occasionally does something spectacular, so I'm picking nits. He's just not as flashy as Long or Wilson. Hard to argue with Peppers' potential, but there are some great CB values on the board still.
- Seth - By now it's been beaten beyond dead horse status, by the Venric Mark pick is probably the worst of the draft. Gordon and Abdullah were both superior options. That said, Mark is a dynamic playmaker who is probably the third or fourth best back in the conference--if he's healthy. Playmakers win games, and Mark is that, but he's no better than the other choices and much less reliable on an every down basis. Spriggs, IMO, is a notch below both Havenstein and Donovan Smith, but he's a good player in a passing offense...which you can't have without a QB. I think Christian Jones is on par with Shane Wynn, who was taken three rounds later (see above for better choices). Taylor Decker was a reach, IMO, but you made up for that with great value in Vitabile and Allen, and he was the best OT left. Your last four picks have been stellar. Longa came off the board WAY too late, Amos is a great value I like better than Lowdermilk, Cooper might be the 2nd best safety in the B1G, and Smith is a big play waiting to happen.
- Brian - Just a nose in front of BiSB at this point. If I'm wrong about JRIII (and I hope I am), then the lead is more significant.
- BiSB - A great defense and a solid offense. Hopefully Michigan can produce the same results.
- Ace - Scherff was a great first pick, and Cook was amazing value, even if he was forced into your hand. Abdullah, Funchess, and Williams are an intimidating group, but the little reaches all over the board don't look good to me.
- Seth - Please, please play the spoiler down the stretch. Your last four rounds have been the best in the group, but some early mistakes and Brian's evil plan have ruined your chances.
|2 days 20 hours ago||Also||
For posting a highlight reel with that music on it, Ace should be permanently banned from the site. And from everything else.
|3 days 47 min ago||It's down to two...||
I've been ranking after each round, and it's gotten to the point where I think two guys have no way back:
And two guys are battling the trophy:
Fact is, Brian's offense is going to be hard to pass. Campbell and Heuerman were excellent values where they were taken, and Brian had the lead coming in. Dontre Wilson and Earnest Thomas...I don't really like either pick. Wilson could be good, but there are certainly no guarantees...I'd rather have Corey Smith if I'm taking a Buckeye playmaker. Maybe I'm just uneducated when it comes to Illinois, but I don't think ETIII is anything special at all. I see a couple safeties on the board that look more attractive
BiSB stays in the game with some good value picks himself: LTP may not be the most athletically gifted, but he does his job and produces. He would start for Michigan. And, as had been pointed out, Tevin Coleman is a steal at this point.
Seth...you did what you had to, but it's too late. I look forward to seeing your picks in the next rounds because you were on a roll before you decided to try to fix the QB problem en masse.
BiSB, your offense still isn't that scary, but your defense remains the best. Brian, your offense not only has playmakers, it also has great protectors. Your defense is solid, but not great, IMO.
|4 days 3 hours ago||Elite 11 = Joke||
This whole circus is a joke. It's cool that Malzone is there, and I'd certainly rather have someone there than not, and I'd certainly rather have someone get ranked highly while there.
But it's pretty meaningless.
One thing we know for sure about Doug Nussmeier: He is a QB guru. While his OC chops will be tested at U-M, I have ZERO doubt that he can evaluate, coach, and build QBs. If we offered Malzone, Nuss' saw something. Same with Messiah.
FWIW, I agree with Magnus--I REALLy like Kearns and was hoping we'd offer/get him.
|4 days 3 hours ago||Good stuff, and hopeful||
If we can be the #2 rushing defense in the conference, we'll have a shot at winning the conference. That would be shut-down run defense, and I'm confident our pass defense will be at least in 2012 form, which would put us near the the best in the B1G. Add marginal improvement to the offense, and you have a B1G contender.
|6 days 1 hour ago||Ranking the schedule||
I'm going to do the whole schedule, just to put things in perspective:
The ND game is basically worthless, as everyone has pointed out, since we've dominated the series (despite our very bad teams) and they chickened out. Sure, I'll be foaming at the mouth during the game, but in the big picture, I don't much care.
Penn State has some momentum with the new hire and their unexpected success; we need to beat them.
The rest of the conference is more important than any non-conference game. App. State would be higher if they had a realistic chance of winning. Other than ND, only Utah should even put up a fight.
Win THE GAME. Beat Sparty. Then take care of the rest of the conference. I'm much more concerned about getting to Indianapolis than I am about the Fig Things.
|6 days 2 hours ago||Will miss the USMNT content||
I wouldn't mind USMNT updates every summer; there is some sort of tournament thingy each summer, and we're in the MLS season.
BTW - I do believe this was some of the best USMNT coverage on the 'net. Well done, sir.
|1 week 3 days ago||Bradley||
But with Altidore out, and Dempsey moved-up, who else plays where MB did? You can argue JK messed-up by not having an alternative to Altidore (though no such player that is a good option actually exists), but once Jozy was gone, Bradley played where he was needed.
And JK's placement of MB did not make MB turn the ball over or play bad passes. That's on MB.
|1 week 4 days ago||Reason||
You got negged for sharing crappy content that wants nothing other than clicks.
Hoke is not on the hot seat, unless you define the hot seat as needing to appear competent to keep your job (which every coach has to do). This article is click-baiting, and I doubt Hoke gets fired unless the season is a train wreck.
The "Hot Seat" term should be reserved for coaches who have high goals set and don't achieve them. Hoke could go 9-4 or even 8-5 and keep his job if the team demonstrates improvement. That's hardly a "hot seat," IMO. If DB said, "We need to win our division this year or the coach is out," that would certainly qualify.
And yes, I negged your comment as well, because you were a jerk.
|1 week 4 days ago||Agreed||
I'm so not mad about the USMNT and so excited about the future that I actually got mad this morning when Eric Wynalda* ranted on the Dan Patrick show about how stupid and foolish the US was in the WC this year. I almost punched my car radio.
This post, including and especially the good-bye thank yous, sums-up my feelings perfectly. I would only add that the future looks so bright--there is gobs of young talent that might allow us to play more like Belgium, Germany, Portugal, and Ghana in the future. For now, I'm just damn proud of a group that played like Americans, because TIM HOWARD.
*Wynalda is one of the best examples for why ex-players can make for lousy evaluators: he is emotional and irrational, and refuses to look at reality or basic soccer tactics when making his absurd comments. I mean, the dude even made Dan Patrick sound like a soccer expert.
|1 week 4 days ago||FACT||
And there is no gray area.
|1 week 6 days ago||+1||
I am in favor of this if it has worked in training.
Johnson NEEDS to be involved on offense for us to be successful; if Cameron can link well outside, I like this idea, and would even consider using a Johnson/Yedlin wing combo.
We need to be aggressive in this match. There is no prize for second place anymore.
|1 week 6 days ago||Agreed||
I was there too, and will never forget the game. Chris Perry was amazing. He was clearly playing with an injury, and had to come off the field at one point. The OSU players started jawing at him and he stopped, turned around, and told them he'd be back.
He came back and ran them to death, rushing 31 times for 154 yards and two TDs. He also caught 5 passes for 55 yards. OSU averaged 2.2 yards/carry that day, but Jenkins and Santonio Holmes kept them in the game until Perry put the nail in the coffin half-way through the fourth quarter.
It was an amazing game, and we need more like it.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||John Beilein is the best. The absolute best.||
What a great coach. If DB's assessment of Hoke is that he is in the same vein, I hope both are coaches at U-M forever. Yes, forever. The U-M medical school can surely figure out a way to do that.
That said, Beilein has proven he has the character and can get the results...Hoke has work to do.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||HAHAHAHA||
Really? Your argument is that because we're economically successful and have a large population we should be a dominant soccer country?
Wow. That is so ridiculously silly, I don't even know where to begin...I guess using your logic? (can we even call it that?) that India, China, and Japan should be dominating world soccer right now too.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Disagree||
This is most definitely Muppet-worthy. It's the first time every we've advanced out of the Group Stage in two consecutive tournaments, and this time we did it in either the toughest or second-toughest group.
This is the equivalent of the Sweet 16 in March Madness.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Yes, Brazil||
Yes, behind Brazil. And yes, because of home field advantage. France has looked good, but weren't tested much in a pretty soft group.
Argentina is right up there, and then France and the Netherlands. Belgium should be in that group as well, but haven't shown it yet.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Line-Up Changes||
I did not agree with either starting 11 change, but Klinsmann sure was right about Gonazlez. I think I was right about Davis. I was also hoping Yedlin would come on sooner.
What will be interesting will be to see what happens with the line-up and formation if Jozy is back on Tuesday (and I pray he is).
Acutally, we played a pretty good game today, and the referee was no help at all. But I believe Germany is 2nd-best team in this tournament, and we were more than respectable.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Marsch, Cameron, and Tomorrow||
There is no way Cameron should be pulled from the line-up. In fact, I wouldn't pull Zusi either. I thought the team played extremely well against Portugal--and that's no easy task.
As for Marsch's breakdown, I think he hit the important points that led to the goal:
The problem with playing centerback is that most goals can be blamed on you. Cameron, positionally, should have been there to meet the cross, and physically, he could have been there. That he had not identified Varela falls not just on the shoulders of Fabian Johnson (as Marsch points out) but also on him. And given the choice between marking Varela and the guys at the top of the box, Varela was the clear choice.
But damn, if the US midfield didn't make it hard for him. Jones was basically positioned as a centerback when the break started, and he should have stayed there. Bradley AND Gonzalez got sucked to Ronaldo--which is understandable, but also stupid. Besler was providing cover, and to have three guys pulled out of position is inexcusable. You have to understand that even though it's Ronaldo, if you properly positioned, you can still help.
At least one of Bradley or Gonzalez or Jones needs to be at the top of the 18 so that Cameron doesn't have to choose which of the three to mark.
All that said, the blaming of Cameron is ridiculous, but the idea that he should be substituted is even more absurd. He is the best defender on our team and is one of the top defenders in the best league in the world (La Liga fans may argue, but they're wrong--the EPL is tougher top to bottom, even if La Liga is stronger at the top). There is no replacement for him.
The second goal was a breakdown by nearly the entire team, and Cameron deserves only a small share of the blame.
But when you play centerback, you're usually the guy that looks like problem.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||GRIII and Clips||
As a Clippers fan and former season ticket holder, I'd love to see GRIII as the pick. Adding an athletic wing with shooting range would help the team a lot. My only question about GRIII is his defense...he certainly has all the tools to be a great defender, but never has been. If he can add that to his game, there's no reason he couldn't start for a team that got very little production from the SF position when it counted.
Of course, Mitch McGary wouldn't be a bad pick either, especially if DeAndre Jordan gets shipped off in an effort to score LeBron.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||yes, but||
I agree with the Gonzalez criticism, if he is indeed supposed to be the deep CB. Given his positioning, I think that's highly unlikely. I think he's supposed to be in front of the other two, taking away anything in "the hole."
That said, whether Gonzalez was supposed to be there or not, Cameron could have and should have gotten to that ball.
Don't misunderstand me: other than the poor clearance and that play, Cameron had another great game. But he missed his mark on the decisive goal, and the criticism is deserved.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Then you weren't watching||
Funchess ran away from lots of guys--including CBs--last season. I don't know what you were watching.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Nope||
An internet post means absolutely nothing.
A hand-timed 40 is a reasonably accurate--though certainly not precise--measure of a player's speed.
At his size, even if that time is a full tenth of a second off, that is amazing speed. Why can't we all just be happy that we have Minitron on our team?
|3 weeks 5 days ago||The game, the flag, the snake||
It was truly an American tale. The lightning-quick surprise strike 34 seconds into the match showed the best of our team: Clint Dempsey taking advantage of a half-chance by beating two defenders and hitting a perfect shot.
Perhaps the worst moment of the match came at about the 20 minute mark. Ghana had taken control of the game, and a well-played outlet pass to Jozy appeared to give us a good chance at a counter-attack. Jozy had the speed and position to get to the ball first, but then, inexplicably, he fell to the grass, clutching his hammy. The significance of this loss can hardly be overstated.
We proceeded to show our worst. For nearly 80 minutes, we looked nervous, unskilled, and exhuasted. Top player Michael Bradley played so poorly with the ball that I joked in the second half with a friend of mine that he might not complete a pass before the game ended (he did, but just one or two). We could not possess the ball, and every time we had control of it we managed to find a way to give it back to Ghana in short order. Bad passes, sloppy dribbling, poor movement off the ball--we looked like a team without confidence.
The inevitable struck in the 82nd minute when a US player--Fabian Johnson--finally lost his mark in the box and allowed an easy shot. Tim Howard's superhero powers weren't even enough from that range.
But a team without confidence does not rally. A team without belief does not win games when their best player has what was likely his worst game in an American uniform. A team without a heart does not have a 21-yr-old substitute nod home a brilliant header from a corner kick taken by another substitute.
The American flag is iconic, and its symbols are powerful: the stars for the states, the stripes for the original thirteen colonies. But the snake is the appropriate symbol, and it's one that I wish the USMNT would embrace as the French sport their cock (rooster), the Czechs, English, and Dutch using lions, and the Australians the kangaroo and the ostrich.
The US Soccer symbol (below) is decidedly lame, and should be replaced, IMO, with the "Don't Tread on Me" motto and snake.
The game we just played proved it's an appropriate symbol: the pit viper waiting for its moment to strike, even as more powerful predators trample the earth around it.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||THIS||
There is only so much motivation a coach can provide. Championship teams have players that hold each other accountable; what this means specifically is that practices are intensified enough that they help players become play-makers in pressure situations.
The best teams--in every sport--have practices that are harder than their games. Coaching is a big, big part of that, but the players must take it on themselves to create that atmosphere and commit to sacrificing personal comfort, time, and desires in order to maximize every minute you're on the field.
My all-time favorite coaching quote: "Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes habit. When you practice well, you get better at playing well. When you practice poorly, you get better at playing poorly."
|4 weeks 19 hours ago||GrEat pOst.||
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Three main competitors...||
Not exactly sure whom you are referring to, but MSU has significantly more experience.
Lindsay only had four starts at 'Bama, so those OSU numbers might be right.
I'm guessing Penn State is our third comparison? God willing, the crappy O-Line bug hits them this year and costs them dearly. They have good RBs and TEs, so if the OL can make holes and give Hackenberg time, they could be pretty good.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Who's winning?||
Too often I get focused on the best players on a roster, and ignore the worst/weak links. This post I'm boing to try to point out the players that I believe were taken too early or weren't a good value. Who has the most weak links?
Other than Mark, none of the picks have been wildly foolish, but I'd have to say I think BiSB has the most steady draft at this point. Here's how I'd rank the teams:
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Humility + Confidence||
Jabrill continues to demonstrate an unwavering faith in his abilities combined with an understanding that he has much to learn and do before he can take his place among the greats. If he is truly running a 4.32 at his size, he will be on the field this fall. That said, if he is committed to learning the defensive schemes and he can actually do it, he will be a big contributor.
Everything points to Jabrill being a special player who makes an early impact. I can't wait to see it happen.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||The Pattern||
Welcome to the family! He obviously fits the mold of a high character, high performance player. This class is shaping up nicely.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks!||
Great info and write-up. Sounds like an amazing day.