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- Brian - Miller, Diggs, Gordon, Heuerman. Four potential first-team All-B1G playmakers right there. That said, his O-Line still needs two more players, and I'm not sure how much talent is left there. He could easily drop.
- Ace - This is close (BiSB), but I think Ace is just a bit better. Cook improved dramatically last season, and Abdullah, Funchess, and Maxx are all game-breakers. Ace also has excellent support players on offense: Dontre Wilson and Levern Jacobs are more than capable if left in one-on-one situations. Scherff is the best lineman in the conference, and Ace got good value with Johnson and Marz. Walsh was a fine pick in round 22. His final O-Line pick could make a big difference.
- BiSB - Will Devin Gardner have a season that pushes him into the first or second round of the NFL draft? Nussmeier's history with QBs is definitely in BiSB's favor here, and if DG becomes an elite player, than BiSB likely moves ahead of Ace, and maybe Brian. The O-Line is powerful and talented from top to bottom, and Langford and Coleman are both backs who can grind out yards after contact. While Kroft and Long are two of the best value picks in the entire draft, combined with Bell and Wynn this is still only the third-best receiving combination. That said, these are solid guys that will catch the ball and take what's given to them, and this is one of those offenses that you hate to play against because it's extremely efficient, if not game-breaking.
- Seth - There is a coherent strategy here, but there are some glaring holes as well. Sudfeld is a spread QB who can't run, and Roberson doesn't actually exist. Mark was taken way too early, and, while I love the Clement pick, this backfield is probably the worst of the group. Also, Christian Jones and Devin Smith are fine players, but there is no TE yet (though there are good ones left to be taken) and no third WR. All that said, the O-Line is perfect for Seth's philosophy, and if he had a truly dominant running QB like Braxton Miller, then this quickly becomes a very, very strong offense. But there are no more Braxton Millers, or even anything close.
- BiSB - I'm not sure BiSB has the best position group at D-Line, LB, or Secondary. But his defense is nearly complete and I don't see a hole in it anywhere. He also has several game-changing players: Bosa, Drummond, and Ryan were all early picks that can win games for their team. While his second DT is just going to be a space-eater type, there are still a couple of good fat men available to round out his defense; a nickel CB or HSP could also be found.
- Seth - This is close. Really close. Ace is right there, and may be better than Seth. But I think's Seth secondary is better than Ace's, and, even though Ace's D-Line is probably the best of the bunch, Seth isn't far behind, if at all. Jones and Longa are both excellent LBs, although Seth still needs one more. Caputo is one of the best value picks of this whole exercise. While it lacks some of the dynamic play-making that BiSB's group has, this is a great defense without any real weaknesses.
- Ace - Did I mention this was close? Ace almost certainly has the best overall D-Line, though I believe Calhoun is overrated (he's still a very good player). Ariguzo and Robinson are a good start to the LB position, and Chi Chi can makes plays, even if he's not a truly elite player. The secondary is a bit concerning for me. Desmond King is good, but was taken too early. Sure, I agree with the "Darian Hicks because Pat Narduzzi" argument, but he's hardly a proven commodity. Lowdermilk is pretty good, and Wilson is solid, but there isn't a play-maker in the entire bunch. In fact, Wilson's two INTs are the best of the bunch, and the whole group has a total of, gulp, THREE, and neither CB has even one.
- Brian - Brian has a good pair of DTs, and a pair of DEs that are good-not-game-changing. His LBs, I'm sad to say (since they're 2/3 Michigan guys) are the weakest bunch. That said, he easily has the best CBs of the group, with Lucas and Waynes two of the best in the conference (if not the two best in the B1G) and Grant an amazing talent that was one of the better value picks of this draft. But the All-Northwestern safety pairing is barely adequate, even with the good made-up stat. The trouble, as I see it, is that there isn't a great pass rush here and the playmakers are really the CBs. The other three teams have the weapons to exploit the middle of the field, where Brian's defense is weak.
- 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
|10 hours 37 min ago||Quick, look!||
It's a joke! And it just went right over your head!
|2 days 9 hours ago||Great stuff||
One of the things I love most about Seth is that when the data doesn't support his hypothesis, he's willing to admit it. Most people just change the data or make-up stats to prove their point.
This is a great piece, and I really enjoyed seeing the data, which I must admit I thought would be different as well.
Now the coach in me wonders if, upon seeing that extra DB, more teams audible to inside runs or plays away from the nickel, effectively giving more tackles to the LBs because the offense is attacking the space where there is no DB. Even so, you'd think having the extra player on the field more would have more of an impact.
I do think JMFR was used as a nickel quite a bit, but not last year, and while the CBs did pick-up a few more tackles, they mostly took them from the safeties. I don't know, man, but it was cool to see the data and think about it. Makes me want to go back and watch games.
|3 days 11 hours ago||Stats and remaining picks||
We both know stats can lie, and while Sudfeld is a fine passer, he's not the best in the conference. I don't see the guy as having the "it" factor, but he was the best option for you after Brian pulled his parlor trick.
I don't think I'm underrating Jones. He's a fine player and can be a good Hemingway-type, but he and Smith both have limited skillsets. They are two guys who would be great #2 options, but neither are are the consistent threat posed by a Funchess, Corey Brown, Stefon Diggs, or even Deon Long. They are good but not great. Again, you have two good WRs there, but they're still the worst group, IMO. Whose WRs do you think are worse than yours?
Mark is a very good player when he's healthy, and I'd certainly rank his value above the comparables you mentioned, but those other guys came off the board 6, 11, and 14 rounds later. It was just early for him. FWIW, Mark is the ONLY player on the Northwestern roster that scares me.
You hit the nail on the head yourself: You need a slot ninja, TE, and preferably a running QB. If you find these pieces, there's no reason you can't improve your standing as the #4 offense. That said, I only see high quality available at one of those three positions.
What's interesting is that I thought DG was an early pick by BiSB. If you had gotten DG and BiSB had ended-up with Hackenberg, this is a completely different picture, and a lot closer all the way around.
I am not going to make a final call until the fat lady sings. I think you're longest shot to win the useless prize of my opinion, but there is still time, and you've been drafting very well.
|3 days 13 hours ago||Not just the QB||
Where would you rank your receivers and backfield vs. the other guys? And in a spread-n-shread, don't you need a running QB who can at least threaten to run to be an elite offense?
|3 days 14 hours ago||Different method||
We're getting into some more obscure players now (although I think there are still a few gems to be had) and teams are rounding into form. At this point, the team starts to be more important than the individual talent that's been assembled, and I decided I would rank the offense and defense of each group, and then see where we stand overall.
If you just look at raw numbers, BiSB's #1 and #3 rankings put him on top. Ace and Brian are tied for second, and Seth is just one point behind them. It's worth noting, however, that Brian did just get the best kicker in the conference and he already has one of the best returners in the conference. So here's how I think it plays out:
But it's close, with no one sucking on both sides of the ball, and some critical picks left to be made.
|6 days 13 hours ago||Good question||
Beamer, Richt, Shaw...Harbaugh would be a great choice to coach at U-M if he wants to be here when he's done with the NFL.
Surprised no one has picked Jimbo Fisher. Not my cup of tea, but a helluva coach. Or even Gus Malzahn.
|6 days 14 hours ago||Hope you prove me wrong||
Your draft has been pretty amazing, and I hope, when it's all done, you can prove me wrong. Brian's team looks less attractive every round, and, while he's got more than plenty of sizzle on his squad, I'm just not sure the steak is there. Any good defensive coordinator will tell you that you MUST be strong up the "spine" of your defense (DTs, MLB, Ss) and Brian is just okay in that department.
Your team has some logic and fluidity to it, but even though Sudfeld's stats are good, I don't know if he's a winner. If he has a great season, then your team is likely bumped-up a few notches and could very well be the best. He lost a lot of production from last year, and lost his Robin (or Batman, depending on how you look at it), which is unfortunate because you didn't know it when you made the picks. If you had both of those QBs, you'd be in better shape. Sudfeld can't run at all, and while Mark is a very good back for your system when healthy, he's another question mark. Your O-Line certainly fits your system, but still needs more help in the backfield to be effective, and you lack playmakers at WR, too.
I'll reserve my final judgment for the final round. While your weaker skill positions look like an impossible obstacle now, you have made up more ground than I thought possible and gone from a team that looked like it couldn't compete to, as I said, the best roster outside of the offensive skill positions.
I'm excited to see how this thing plays out.
|1 week 10 hours ago||FALSE||
"Urbz" went 8-5 (4-4 in the SEC) without Tebow. He pretty much sucked, actually.
|1 week 10 hours ago||Brian (and the other dudes)||
I still think Brian's the leader, but Grant is a CB, and that HSP label is just to try to follow the rules. I call shenanigans.
That said, Grant was picked WAY too late, and was an absolute steal, even if a slight luxury with two very good CBs already on his roster. IMO, Ace really needed Grant if he was going to mount a comeback in this thing. Rose is a meh pick, and Brian's LBs in general are actually pretty meh. Having only one safety, and that safety not very good, along with a weaker LB corps, I'd have to say Brian's defense is very beatable. And while he still rules the skill positions on offense, his O-line still needs two more players, and there isn't much left. Now that the teams are filling out, I think Brian is vulnerable.
Ace, Levern Jacobs is a good value, but also risky for the reasons you enumerated. If you had taken Grant there, you may have put yourself back in contention, because your defense is otherwise pretty good. I'm not sure there's much left in the CB department...Lindsay is fine, but nothing special.
BiSB...the Davis pick was well-snarked, but was actually good value, IMO. Epping is a steal where you got him, and Elfein is a well-researched pick that rounds out the best O-Line so far. Of course, Ace and Brian have yet to complete their lines, but you have a solid group that can most definitely open holes for Langford and Coleman.
Seth, other than offensive skill positions, you have the best roster. Unfortunately, your offesnsive skill positions are the worst. 20 years ago, you may have a shot at winning this thing, and it's truly admirable how you've built a roster in the late rounds--you have gotten the best value of anyone of the last six or seven--but I don't see how Sudfeld, Mark, Jones, and Smith are going to score enough points. You do have a good O-Line, and maybe if you'd gotten Coleman or another complimentary back it would have helped, but there aren't any game-breaking WRs left; there are a couple of pretty damn good TEs.
Overall, here's my rankings, but I'm not even that sure about them anymore:
I though Brian's lead was unassailable, but the second half of his draft has been uninspiring. BiSB and Ace could sneak back in, and Seth has a damn good team, but lacks the offensive talent to threaten. FWIW, if Seth had gotten Hackenberg/Cook and Jesse James (who is somehow still on the board), he would be in the conversation.
|1 week 15 hours ago||NYC Pizza||
Racanelli's? I used to live in STL, and the pizza there generally isn't great. Imo's is worse than Little Ceasar's, IMO. Fortel's is okay, and I think Dewey's is overrated. Pi is pretty good though.
|2 weeks 6 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.
|2 weeks 10 hours 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.
|2 weeks 1 day 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.
|2 weeks 1 day 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.
|2 weeks 3 days 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.
|2 weeks 3 days 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.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||FACT||
And there is no gray area.
|3 weeks 3 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.
|3 weeks 3 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.
|3 weeks 6 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.
|3 weeks 6 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.
|4 weeks 10 hours 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.
|4 weeks 10 hours 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.
|4 weeks 11 hours 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.
|4 weeks 1 day 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.
|4 weeks 1 day 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.
|4 weeks 3 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.