at least it's not just us?
Rufus Xavier Sarsparilla
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- Athough completely unrelated to my post, the whole MANBALL thing is uninteresting until we see how Denard is actually utilized. I think you agree with me on that.
- Even a slightly critical look at the 1st down play chart that was in the original post should have raised an eyebrow about what the stats actually meant, but when you only out to confirm your beliefs rather than develop new ones, you don't look at it that way. Which is why Brian missed it..
- Anyone who is honest (even anti RR faction, myself included) has to admit that the offense under RR was better than most people expected.
- Similarly the pro-RR faction has to admit that the defense was a 2 on a 10 point scale and was moving daily closer to nil. There was no progress whatsoever.
- Only looking at statistics that support your hypothesis and none others is just as intellectually dishonest as a tea partier only watching FoxNews or a moveon.org person only watching MSNBC and pointing at those "news" sources as "evidence" in support of their opinions.
|14 weeks 4 days ago||Comparoni on the "Huge Show" right now attempting to explain||
And failing miserably. The gist of his explanation is that he "thought he was only talking to 300-or so hard-core spartan fans". As if sometimes that makes it OK. Several years ago some guy from a major oil company - Exxon maybe - was busted saying ridiculously racist comments in a board room. I don't remember the "I didn't think anyone was listening" defense worked then... or now. Loser.
|20 weeks 2 days ago||Perfectly stated||
My comment below expands on this a bit, but the skill set for a wolf and FS are blending together... Kind of like a Will and rush end are as well. The widening variety of offensive sets and the infiltration of spread concepts in every system makes versatility on D of paramount importance.
|20 weeks 2 days ago||"The strength of the pack is the wolf..."||
Very nice work up, Seth. I could read this stuff all freaking day. This is what truly makes this blog unlike any other...
Some historical commentary - the strong safety or "boundary" safety is internally known as the "wolf" in Michigan Bo/Lloyd/Moeller/Herrmann lore. ("the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack")
Back in the 90s and early 2000s, there was a clear distinction in the position in terms of skill set - the wolf's general job description was to support the run, cover a tight end/RB/or slot in the passing game, and be able to shed a pulling guard. He was a faster linebacker, bulky and strong, and not as fast (i.e. Shonte Peoples). Incredibly rare was the day you walked an OLB out onto a H back in the slot. That was the wolf's job. The free safety was a faster, leaner athlete that could cover the post or pole route and run down a backside RB in a screen - a stronger corner... (i.e. Trippe Welbourne or Corwin Brown).
This is not news to any of our intelligent MGoBloggers here, but the reason it has evolved is due to the complexities of the offensive schemes we now face, and the fact that the safeties are more interchangeable because they need to cover the run more and the wolf no longer is as specialized because he might face a flood of recievers/RB/TEs in the flat, or a running QB on the outside. So I guess my point is that there is less specialization because the safeties, "free", "wolf" or whatever, need to be large corners instead of fast linebacker.
All I am saying is that if you asked Mattison who the wolf is, he'd still tell you he was the safety to the strong side. It's just that offenses use more field now, and are less predicated on purely formation strength. So 90% of the time in today's offenses the strong side is away from the boundary, regadless of formation.
To test my theory, I'll be watching us against a conventional offense like MSU. I bet you'll see a conventional defensive alignment of wolf and FS, sometimes into the boundary when the formation dictates...
|23 weeks 11 hours ago||Nope...||
The guy to the left of Lloyd in that pic was a strength and conditioning assistant coach by the name of Ed O'dowd. I was a student manager on staff a couple years later.
Of most concern to me is why I have a playtex banner add on the MGoBlog page. Someone is getting ripped off for their advertising dollars. Playtex - the official feminine hygeine product of Michigan Football. What's next, MGoTampon? MGoMidol next?
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Physicalness||
|41 weeks 4 days ago||Bo Hat||
I can live with the evolution of Maize. I can barely live with yellow letters on yellow uniformZ, but the embroidered block M that's forbidden is the Bo Block M hat logo. What possible reason could there be for not allowing one of the most hallowed traditions in Michigan Gear History?
Depresses me just seeing it there, like a great dream you wake from wishing you could go back to...
|43 weeks 2 days ago||Wow. This must be bumped.||
Great, great work... It really brings into focus the mysterious, blurry world of the B1G's logic. At least now I know there might actually be some, even though I might disagree with it to some degree. We always hear phrases tossed around like "academic fit" and "research university" regarding expansion, but only a handful people understand that like you clearly do. Well done, sir. Well done.
|44 weeks 2 days ago||One and done...||
...is the dumbest thing in college athletics. What a shame for this kid, who could be getting paid for rehabbing if he was able to play in the NBA this season.
Actually I take that back. "One and Done" is the SECOND dumbest thing. It was just passed in the rankings by the first name "Nerlens". Yes, Nerlens is the dumbest. Definitely.
|46 weeks 2 days ago||81-72 Meeeeshigan||
|48 weeks 4 days ago||Tap the brakes...||
We are still watching one of our best teams ever, I believe. But mostly we are watching one of the best coaches in the business... Sans Beilen, I would have watched this game with disgust assuming that the mental errors were a sign of immaturity and me-first NBA mentality garbage that would send us spiraling into a 3 game losing streak we've all seen so many times after a UM team with a promising start loses their first major test of the season.
HOWEVA' in this case, as stated by others, Beilein will take these kids to task for their bad shots, bad decisions, and lack of patience in film session. Watching Coach B speak firmly to Burke on the sideline was reallly illustrative to me. It was like a great teaching HS coach and his star player. Burke was attentive and nodding, and Coach was intense but calm. You just kind of KNOW that there was true learning happening. I don't think I've seen that on a college or pro basketball court in, like, forever. He still made some bad decisions late - the long step back three after a timeout in the second (or third?) to last possession was just mystifying to me - but I think he gets it.
Also HOWEVA' - Someone needs to slap Hardaway. He's the only guy on this team that, at times, just disregards the entire scheme, game situation, or his position on the court, and decides to jack up a three 10 seconds into the shot clock. Repeatedly. Dude is a seriously selfish player. He's better this year than last, but he should know better by now.
|50 weeks 1 day ago||In order of preference:||
1. Meteor. Obviously
2. Tide Blowout - Mostly for selfish reasons to confirm what I've been telling my ND alumni friends - that their season thus far has been essentially a 7-win season with some incredibly lucky breaks that have gone their way to make them undefeated.
3. ND narrow win - Giving the SEC a losing record and at least slightly tempering their god-aweful arrogance.
100. ND blowout - This would be the worst scenario because I'd have to listen to said ND alumni friends rant about how they're back, even though they are clearly not.
|50 weeks 5 days ago||Iowa?||
The biggest question raised in my mind after reading this post is "Why is there a town in Iowa called Coralville?" Is there an ocean in the midwest I was not aware of?
|1 year 3 weeks ago||Although I HATED the 4th and 3 call...||
...of a inside trap using Vincent Smith, Lewan flat out missed the block of the backside linebacker on the play. It actually would have worked. But not having the greatest offensive player is the winningest program's history sit out the 4th quarter in his last game against the hated rival is, simply, inexcusable.
|1 year 8 weeks ago||Never mind the Bulloughs!||
Max is the real deal, the best of the Bulloughs, and the youngest one will not play at MSU (I've seen them all play).
|1 year 8 weeks ago||Rivalry?||
This is EXACLTY why we will never see MSU as a rival equal to OHIO. Can any of you possibly, under any circumstance, see yourself saying the equivalent of "This game doesn't matter" or "nobody cares what happens in this game" about the school down south. No. Never.
Until Spartan fans start realizing this, they can't whine when we refuse to grant them the same level of rivalry of the suckeyes.
Now, then... Back to your end of the pool, Sparty. Go Blue!
|2 years 9 weeks ago||Whoa Tater!||
I think Hoke is a very good coach, and the coordinators are outstanding. Not looking for a coaching change. Just analyzing the game, and making a case that we were outcoached in one game. So settle down and take your 7000 MGoBlog points and take them to the counter at Chuck E Cheese and get yourself a rubber tomohawk.
Or you could actaully refute the points I made.
|2 years 10 weeks ago||Can someone explain||
the whole Tacopants reference to me? I've been reading this blog for a couple years now, and I still don't know where it comes from. Thanks.
|2 years 14 weeks ago||A couple points on which I disagree:||
1. The screen play was not lucky. It's a great play, especially when you have dilithium and everyone wants to overpursue him.
2. " Michigan ran 61.76% of its plays out of the shotgun. So this is still a 60% spread offense. " I really can't believe the silliness of this comment. Just because a play is run out of the shotgun doesn't mean it a spread offense play. I haven't studied the film, but I know there was plenty of pro-style shotgun plays, which is a very common formation when you have an undersized QB in a pro-style offense.
3. I still don't by that Denard can't run a prostyle offense (with heavy doses of shotgun for sure) We all know he'll never be the Grbac/Collins/Griese/Brady/Navarre/Henne archetype. On Saturday he made some horrific throws. Some of them were bad decisions, and the rest were horrible accuracy, and he got away with more of them than he should have due to great reciever play and lousy coverage (not to mention ND wackiness in red zone). The decision-making problem can be corrected in time, and the accuracy can be improved - of course he'll never be Brees or Brady. His biggest detriment is his height, but he more than makes up for it with his athleticism (this just in...). He has one of those "live arms" that is possessed by only a few men on earth (Michael Vick, Denard, Kordell Stewart, come to mind.). If he learns the reads, makes better decisions, and can improve his accuracy he has the basic tools for greatness. Remember he's not been running this offense very long. Borges has proven so far that he knows what he has. He just needs to coach him up on the offensive philosophy. I would like to see more rollouts to allow him to create and improvise more easily, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to run the spread. By the end of the year he's going to be Troy Smith or Michael Vick (college version).
|2 years 16 weeks ago||I like Pop Evil||
(they're from my home town of Muskegon). And I like "that type of music" in general. I just think this song is really unimaginative and uninteresting. A clear pub grab by a band that really doesn't need it. It reminds me of those lame NFL songs that get played on occasion (the lions have one that is horribly bad, and the Bears have their equally lame "Bear down, Chicago bears" anthem.
|2 years 16 weeks ago||Did GERG ghostwrite this piece||
I love this site. But this is a horrible assessment of Ann Arbor eating and drinking. Seriously, Touchdown's? How can you extensively research the benefits/drawbacks of the zone reach, but not walk down South U before posting a piece on Ann Arbor nightlife? That pla ce sucked from the day it opened (ca. 1993) and continued to suck the whole time it existed. And BW3?!?! The chainiest chain that ever demanded it's servers wear pieces of flair? Was Benningans not hip enough? Shame on you!
And Blimpy's is the same as it always has been. I have no problem with saying you don't like it because it's greasy (true 'dat) but don't say it is worse than it used
|2 years 18 weeks ago||OK I think I was unclear about a couple things||
Starting last to first. I was a skeptic, but by the time RR got fired I was 101% in agreement that the offense completely kicks a$$. Spectacularly good. I would accept your description of " unstoppable this year and next" completely. Not a teensy bit of argument from me. If RR had made even marginal progress on developing a defense that could, on occasion, stop somebody on 3rd and 5, I was in favor of keeping him on. He just never did. The Robinson hiring and subsequent forcefeeding of the 3-3-5 scheme to him was the tipping point and sent the RR regime circling the drain.
What I was trying to communicate, apparently ineffectively, was fairly simple:
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Welcome back!||
Truly great analysis, as always.
The "regression to the mean" perfectly describes what I've been trying unsuccessfully to say any time someone asks me "How is Michigan going to be this year?". Of course the Offense will be worse. And the defense will be better. By how much? That is the question. I tend to think the offense will be talented enough to regress less than the defense will improve. The drive-killing inability to convert a 3rd and 10 and the ability to have a 12 play drive will help the defense as well. And improvement in special teams (we hope) will mean no more going for it on 4th and 5 from the other team's 30 yard line. Also helping the defense.
Thanks again and keep up the great work.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||Much respect for owning the error...||
Easy for me to say, but I actually suspected the data really meant how the 1stdown was acquired, rather than 1stdown play calling… The tip off was the presence of “penalty” in the chart, which makes no sense related to play calling. It is a perfect example of cherry picking a stat that backs up your opinion, rather than letting the stats help to form your opinion. i.e. if the data had shown that Hoke liked to run on first down, we would never have seen it on this blog. Of course I was too lazy to actually research it myself…
I still don’t understand why the RR faction is so anti-Hoke. Any moron can admit, myself included, that the RR offense was flourishing… it was going to be magnificent in a couple more years. As a skeptic from the beginning I can be Manball enough to admit that the “Spread offense can work in the Big 10” is settled law. No more debate. But as great as the offense was, or was going t be, the defense was so pathetic that its remarkable crappiness actually more than offset the offense’s success.
In any case, I enjoyed the fundamentally flawed analysis. Keep up the (99.9% accurate) good work
|2 years 29 weeks ago||We get it||
We Bo desciples get how annoying it is that we hated Richrod because he was the anti-Bo. And we get it that we were wrong, or at least we were overly anti-Rodriguez than was fair to him and the program. And I will say for the record that I was totally, completely wrong about the offense being ineffective, not working in the Big 11, etc.
BUT. Our defense sucked arse. And was not in any danger of improving. And Rodriguez, as good as he was at offensive Xs and Os, just didn't get the Michigan Man thing. Curse me and all my brothers in winged helmets, but he just didn't.
But here's my point... Bo, and Mo, and Lloyd had a philosophy, which was buried somewhere in the "Those who stay will be champions" mantra, that those outside the program have never quite understood. When a guy was ready to leave the program after having the crap kicked out of him as a Demo player during his redshirt year, or was ready to quit because a freshman running back took his spot he felt entitled to after three years of sweat, or was going to transfer because he was moved from tight end to guard to linebacker, no one ever asked him to stay. EVER. The coaches would tell them why it was good for THEM as a man and a person to stay in the program , but the philosophy was always "if you want to leave, we aren't going to ask you to stay. Those who stay will be champions. Period." I was at Michigan during the Moeller years, and when guys transferred (Jon Ritchie, Trevor Pryce, Eric Boykin, etc.) Coach Moeller would explain it yet again to us all.
And I know that is what Desmond was saying - He wasn't judging whether the program would be better or not if Denard stayed or left; we all know that him leaving would hurt like hell. But the point was that a sophomore who had a great year is still not larger than the program; and what Bo or Mo or Lloyd would have said to him is "Son, you are welcome here, but if you are going to leave, then godspeed." And they would have absolutely meant it , too.
And I was one of the old Bo guys who at least understood what Richrod was trying to do at the Bust with the Josh Grobin thing. He was trying to capture that same spirit that the "those who stay" era seemed to easily explain - We are men of michigan first, whether on the bench, or being drafted in the first round - and with that comes a certain measure of pride that only a Michigan Man can really understand.
I know how many of you hate the whole "Michigan Man" arrogance, and I completely understand why. I really do. But it is still what makes the place special. And if Richrod had understood that, he would still be our coach...
|2 years 49 weeks ago||This story is total crap||
Count on it.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Sorry bro -||
I was using it mostly as a literary device... he mentioned in his post that he was and engineer and wants data, so I was appealing to that side of him, while also notiing that it can't be all about data.
No angst intended towards my MLB, Angell Hall, and Frieze (sp?) Building brothers in arms... Go blue.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Count me as anti-RR||
and a huge fan, alumnus, letter winner, whatever. I have never and will never "not support (my) own team" because of RR or any other coach. I would have loved for RR to be 9-3 this year and getting an extension, because that would have meant our defense was marginal and our special teams were passable. But they got worse, and not by a little bit; by a TON.
This is big-boy football, and he gets paid a great deal of money, with a potential for nearly unmatched fame and adoration, if he's into that. But with great reward comes great responsibility.
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Thanks||
And your response is likewise great.
I guess my point of the GE analogy is to point out that Bill Martin is the guy who hired RR, essentially as a last resort before absolute armageddon (a.k.a Mike Debord), and appears to have disregarded the "Michigan Culture" aspect to the detriment of all.
Or more succinctly than I previously posted - UM has factions and politicking, just like every large, old, successful organization. If RR had been sensitive to and respectful of the factions he would have probably survived, but he seemed, through it all, to not give a damn.
Thanks for the great analysis - keep it coming!
|2 years 50 weeks ago||Two sided reply||
To the "engineer" in you (I am BSME '96, btw):
It's almost a given that he had more talent on D than he had on O when he took over (even with mallet and boren inthe fold). RR has stacked the offense with "his guys" and had incredible success. Why has there been such regression on D and specials? I agree with you - results speak louder than LSA wishy washy crap. Apart from great progress on offense, what measurables can you give me in support of guy?
Now to the practical side of you:
All great, longstanding organizations have a certain culture ingrained in them. General Electric, Apple, The US Government, The Catholic Church. Choosing a leader of those organization without considering the culture is idiotic. Jack Welch leading Apple or Steve Jobs leading GE would be equally catestropnic for each organization - both men are considered geniuses in their own right. Rich Rod will succeed somewhere, but pretending that a coach from one program can be plugged into another without any consideration of the "fit" is naive at best and stubborn at worst. This isn't UCF or Northwestern, where the football tradition is nonexistant an needs to be constructed from the bottom up.
This is why he failed - he didn't respect the tradition, and didn't act like he cared that we cared. This doesn't make him a bad leader - that would be a great attribute in someone taking over Indiana or SMU. But it makes him a bad choice for Michigan. Most RR supporters want to blame the "arrogant alumni" or "Bo disciples" for their "backstabbing". Instead of wishing that UMFB was a bastion of impartiality and unified support of the future instead of the past, Bill Martin should have acknowledged the REALITY of the organization he was hiring into and chosen a candidate appropriately based on many factors - Xs and Os, History of Success, penchant for innovation and *gasp* respect for the traditions of the university. RR had three of those four. We need a clean sweep.
I'm tired of people saying that RR's failure at UM is a symptom of some intrinsic defect in UMs culture. We're still the greatest football program ever. Until that changes, I would like a coach that respects that tradition as well as can coach like a mutha'. Godspeed David Brandon. Godspeed
|2 years 50 weeks ago||OK...||
You nor I will ever know the motivations of these two guys. But I (perhaps wrongly) filed your post under the "Lloyd left the cupboard bare" excuse/tripe/drivel which absolutely steams me. You can't have it both ways - if Lloyd really left the cupboard bare then our offense shoud suck as badly as our defense right now. RR has stocked the offense with great talent ("his guys", why has he been incapable of doing so on defense and specials? If you actually look at the roster, there was probably more talent left to RR on D than on O, but he hasn't done anything... and I mean ANYTHING positive on defense in 3 years. Why would we imagine he would start now?