it's a major award
- Member for
- 5 years 5 weeks
|50 weeks 4 days ago||Fundamental threshold question||
It is either impossible to succeed as an offensive coordinator with a line this young, or it is not impossible. But we need to decide that fundamental question, because if we fire Borges, we are automatically extending Hoke for 2-3 more years. And if Borges isn't the real problem, that could be an error -- and it could also fuck up Hoke if he isn't the real problem either.
As someone who never actually played football, I am kind of relying on the experts here. Our line was not physically able to match up to UConn or Akron. If you can't run or pass protect, it seems to me that your life as an O Coordinator devolves to massively out-RPSing the other team, which is a tough way to make a living.
On the other hand, Nebraska's O line was pretty dinged up today as well, and they seemed more than able to get push. So I think you have to decide this threshold question and then act decisively.
|4 years 52 weeks ago||I was thinking about what diary I would draft for this game||
and then learned that I don't have enough points to start a diary. That's right. The response of the leading Michigan blog -- a concept entirely dependent on the exchange of information -- is to stop the exchange of information. And the denizens of the blog uniformly applaud the idea. At a time when there should be a fervent exchange of ideas over the next 48 hours, there is a shut-down in the fervent exchange of ideas. RichRod may or may not have jumped the shark today. Notwithstanding my extreme frustration, I am not sure that much has changed about where we are at, and I'm not sure there is much reason to doubt that he will make us better if we stick with him. But I am absolutely convinced that today MGoBlog officially got sufficiently full of itself to bid it adieu. And so I do. If you can't go to a Michigan blog to share views with your fellow faithful on a day like today, then what the fuck is the point of the blog in the first instance.
|5 years 5 days ago||Terrific diary||
Very thoughtful, and some data mining to boot. I found this analysis really sobering and on target. One of my buddies is a Ga. Tech guy, so we discuss Johnson a good deal. That fan base is obviously thrilled by the hire. It strikes me that if you can figure out how to win at the Naval Academy, you can win anywhere, for two reasons: (1) you can't cheat in recruiting; and (2) you have to overcome the "you might die" issue in recruiting.
What is particularly interesting is that my buddy and I were just discussing Ga. Tech in the context of the two qb issue at Michigan. I was strumming my one string banjo about not wanting Tate taken out in the second half. My buddy said that when Johnson got to Ga. Tech, he had a key decision to make about their qb Nesbit. Nesbit is not well-suited to the flexbone and apparently sucks at lateraling. Johnson decided to stay loyal to the guy and teach him the system, and Nesbit has more or less figured it out.
Anyway, +1 for a thoughtful post. Nice job.
|5 years 6 days ago||The main thing||
I agree with you on is that it felt like, at the outset, the two teams were evenly matched. And as the game went on, you had this feel that we were falling apart in a way that we might not if Koger catches DRob's first throw, or if Grady doesn't drop Tate's strike. That is kind of why I was so pissed when DRob came out in the 3rd quarter with the score 25-10 -- I really felt like one good drive and score might right the ship. But not falling apart is a pretty key component of the game, so it all kind of falls apart.
|5 years 6 days ago||It's an interesting point||
principally because the only drive Molk was in for was the first one, which was an absolute lawn mower. But given the total calamity that was yesterday, I think you gotta look askance at the "it all depends on this one injury" argument.
|5 years 6 days ago||Great post||
Keep the math coming.
|5 years 6 days ago||I guess one of the central questions||
I was posing is "Can we now set a formal bar for RichRod, what is it, and what year is it set in?" I am a believer in him. He is doing better this year than I thought. I predicted 5-7, so 7-5 and a bowl is terrific. Huge improvement from 3-9. What is concerning me is the fact that we seem to be getting worse against Big 10 competition in years where the Big 10 is not good. But at the same time, I am having a hard time looking ahead to next year and thinking there are potentially six losses on that schedule as well. I'm not sure how kosher it's going to be to go 6-6 or 7-5 in RichRod's third year.
The MSU/Iowa game was terrific yesterday. But does anyone on this board view Iowa as a legitimate Top 10 team? I know I don't. I don't think they'd beat a single other team in the Top 10, and I think they lose to Ohio State. The best team in this league is not a Top 10 team in the country. These are the types of years that Michigan used to clean up in the Big 10, and instead we are struggling and regressing.
|5 years 1 week ago||Thanks for putting this up||
I must confess that I am a bit gobsmacked that they have us as a favorite against OSU and PSU.
|5 years 1 week ago||All fair points||
I guess where I come out is that in the early going, it seems fair to say that Tate shouldn't assume the position is his. After a while, though, the "DR trigger" could be seen as undermining confidence. Tate has absolutely had some sequences where he ran around like a chicken with his head cut off and then threw it to the opposing team. But even against MSU, a game that was a difficult one offensively until the last four minutes, my view was that Tate was playing OK and was more victimized by drops than by bad passes. The only game where I think Tate can be described as below expectations for his level would be the Iowa game. I can't and don't discount your points -- I just make a different draw on what impact I think DR might be having on Tate's confidence.
|5 years 1 week ago||I think||
that in the MSU game, you saw Denard come out in the second quarter (I may be wrong), but definitely in the 3rd Quarter, late. I think that the issue is a bit nuanced, as even I have said I am OK with the "change of pace" use of Denard. So there is judgment involved in deciding when Denard is being used "legitimately" (in my book) as a change of pace, or "unfairly" (in my book) as a spur to Forcier. My judgment in the MSU game was that it was the latter.
Also, I will have to go back and check when I have a minute, but are you sure Denard didn't have an earlier series against Iowa? I thought he did.
|5 years 1 week ago||I agree||
I think where RichRod's head was at going into the season was that Forcier would be a bit of a place-holder while Denard had time to learn the playbook. And I am not saying that I disagree with his assessment -- when I look at Denard, I see the potential, especially on the arm strength, which Tate candidly lacks. But Forcier's excellent early performances wrong-footed Rodriguez somewhat, in a good way. I don't have an anti-Denard bias. I am just saying that at some point you have to adjust to facts on the ground, and Forcier doesn't look like a Freshman much of the time he plays. Denard still does. I agree with many of the posts that suggest that competition is, and has been, good for the two guys. I am arguing that at some point, the threat of the hook starts getting into a guy's head and interfering with his rhythm. I think Tate has earned the right to be the starter and play the overwhelming majority of series.
|5 years 1 week ago||Hence the term ranked-ish||
Both MSU and Washington have spent time ranked in the top 25. If we had beaten MSU, it would be our second most significant win. The main point is that ND is not as bad as I had hoped or thought. You have to give them credit for not folding up against SC. I actually don't like Shamu and wish he would be fired just because it is more interesting when ND is on the rise. But I think they are going to be "good" enough this year to help him keep his job in 2010.
|5 years 1 week ago||From you lips||
to God's ears. I'd rather go 3-2 and beat OSU than 4-1 and lose to them.
|5 years 1 week ago||I am embarrassed to admit||
that I have only spoken the word and never spelled it. It never occurred to me that "ducats" was the proper spelling, but I am sure it is. Less embarrassing than the reverse though, which is where you have read, but never said, a word, and then promptly mispronounce it in a big meeting or on a date or insert embarrassing place to mispronounce word here.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||You had me at...||
...it's okay to give your kicker discretion to run from his own 16 because he's an all american senior punter. In a 10-6 game.
And I'm wrong he tried to shift blame for leaving WVa? HE FILED A FRAUD LAWSUIT. There isn't any dispute he tried to shift blame -- the dispute is about whether it was meritorious or not.
The fact that the word "soccer" is in your handle may explain more than the substance of your post.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Note that||
the MVictors citation Brian offers for the audio draws the opposite conclusion -- that is, that RichRod asked Zoltan to go out and decide whether to punt or run, and, when it went bad, promptly said "Gee, normally he's really good at it." This is not the first time Rodriguez has tried to shift blame. See, for example, Departure from WVa (specious fraud lawsuit); Overpracticing allegations (speaks about his "respect for Steve Barwis" and implicit outrage that Steve Barwis would be accused of violating NCAA regulations when no one is alleging that Steve Barwis is responsible for compliance).
I am surprised at the equivocal response on this from the fan base. Zoltan has been literally the only world class thing about Michigan football over the last 17 games. He has punted us into a chance many times. To send him out there on a rainy, blustery day and say "if you see a seam, go for it" and then burn him when it doesn't go well is totally outrageous. I'm still a supporter overall, but I moved Rodriguez down a big click in my book after this happened. You never burn your own guys. Heck, even if Zoltan was totally at fault, the coach's job is to go out there and say "That's on me -- I wasn't clear with Zoltan. He's a gamer and tried to do something to get us started and I should have been clearer with him that this was a punt only situation. It was a bad play on my part." I don't even get the debate on this.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||I absolutely||
believe that RichRod should not have created the impression that it was Zoltan's error. One of two things is true: either it was called, or RichRod vested his punter with discretion to run even on his own 16. Either result is a fundamental coaching failure. Laying it off on Zoltan in the presser is unacceptable. For the record, there is no way that wasn't called ex ante.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||This. Post. Rocked.||
Do it again next week, man. This was solid.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Let me rephrase: if our||
Let me rephrase: if our punter has the discretion to fake a punt on his own motion at our 16 in any situation other than "The entire defense collapses of a collective heart attack" than that is a fundamentally moronic way for a coach to delegate discretion to his punter. Getting up at a press conference and blaming Zoltan doesn't make sense to me.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||I agree with you||
I agree with you wholeheartedly, but you forgot one game brother. The Hated Ones.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||I mean, not to call anyone a||
I mean, not to call anyone a liar, but I am hard-pressed to think a guy as level headed as Zoltan ran onto the field thinking a fake was a likely play from our own 16. I really hope RichRod isn't hanging Zoltan out on this one.
On the other hand, if Zoltan got his signals crossed, than someone needs to explain what the fuck our punt calls are like! Isn't it along the lines of "Emperor -- go punt it as far down the field as you can"? How do you get that signal crossed?
|5 years 3 weeks ago||You know, I absolutely agree||
You know, I absolutely agree with you. And this will sound odd, but there were several times in the First Half, where I was saying "Let's try Denard." So I agree its more art than science. And I want to see him in there because you see the potential. But by mid-third quarter, I was starting to think "We may only have four touches left." I think we need to give Denard his chances earlier, and I also think we need to consider field position. I like him much better around mid-field than I do down in our own end where you have further to go.
|5 years 4 weeks ago||Defense||
So, the really scary question is "Is it reasonable to think our defense will be good next year?" And the answer is "No." I can't believe that after the miracles RichRod pulled off with the offense, we are now looking at the defense as being a more difficult turnaround project. Hard to see a great defense until 2011. We need to pray that RichRod is on to some serious athletes on that side of the ball. And my recollection from Brian's recruiting posts about the 2009 class is that it was way short on corners.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||Terrific Post||
The Demetrius Brown line should be used as the call signal for Michigan fans to identify one another.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||JSquiqq, No, I am arguing||
No, I am arguing that none of Bo/Mo/Lo would have engaged in "risky" behavior as early as the first half, even against a weak sister like EMU. There is just no question they were less innovative than RichRod. And your point about hiding the playbook for OSU is a good one I hadn't thought of. I just felt like their risk-aversion made them play the opponent on the field until they were up 4 touchdowns, not two. And I am also suggesting that that may not be entirely a bad thing.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||jmblue, That's an interesting||
That's an interesting observation, because I noticed that Moeller was only one of the three to serve as OC as well as DC, which suggests an innovative mind.
I think I should say that Bo's three yards and a cloud of dust style was not fundamentally continued by Mo and Lo -- you are definitely correct. Pro sets and other evolutions were embraced as we became QB University. But the underlying conservatism was still there in the play calling and game management. As a fan who sat there and grumbled when they did a lot of it, I can say that I welcome the breath of fresh air that is RichRod. Still -- there was a part of me that was feeling pretty green when DRob threw the pick to EMU in our territory and allowed them to get within one score. The principal point of my post was to offer the contrast with RichRod and then observe it going forward to see which is better. Say what you will about the Bo and Co., they were successful by almost any measure for a long period of time.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||Refinements||
A couple quick observations in response to the comments, which were interesting and fast:
First, what I am saying about DRob is not that I had a problem with him playing. I don't. The limited rotation is smart and I get it. I also don't have a problem with him passing -- I think he's going to be a total weapon once he improves his accuracy. You could tell from the playcalling with him in the first half, though, that the staff was like "We need to put DRob in and have him pass 3 out of 4 downs because all he does is run and that won't work forever." That's what I mean by "practicing for next week."
Second, I don't care or expect RichRod to actually call the defense. My point is that I am concerned he isn't interested in it and that it could be an institutional issue for Michigan, rather than a situational one, which is how it is being perceived currently. I don't recall WVU having good defenses even at its zenith.