to play football, not to play trumpet
|11 hours 15 min ago||Well, it is a coaching||
Well, it is a coaching choice. And it worked out.
They were lucky, but they were playing the percentages.
|1 day 11 hours ago||I've got to re-read my posts,||
I've got to re-read my posts, because it looks like I'm taking Funk's side, which is a place I definitely don't want to be. I do believe that there were systemic problems larger than him, but I have held for years that Hoke failed massively in the OL and, specifically, that he *should have known* there was a serious problem after 2012, when some quality (turns out, future NFL) linemen couldn't block for conventional runs.
That was the year that Rawls got some decent snaps and couldn't seem to do anything with them; also the year that Fitz kept running into "bad luck," ("bad luck" is an obscure Greek term meaning "unblocked defenders") and where Devin managed to last a few games pulling the exact same spin move to avoid being sacked by rampant pass rushes before DCs caught on. Also the year a miscommunication resulted in the unfortunate decapitation of Vincent Smith.
The question I have is whether a better OL coach could have saved the jobs of Borges or even Hoke; I really don't know.
|1 day 11 hours ago||Haven't heard those comments,||
Haven't heard those comments, but I wouldn't be surprised.
I agree about the play calling. Borges wanted to include heavy doses of plausible play-action, and in games of any significance it just wasn't possible. I thought he needed to be fired, but it seemed clear to me even at the time that there wasn't much that would work if you couldn't block. And Michigan couldn't.
My sympathy for Funk is not to say that I think he deserves a bigger job.
|1 day 11 hours ago||Makes sense. Probably for||
Makes sense. Probably for that game against Wisconsin where Orton had that fumble returned for a TD. Purdue was good that year. Great game, too.
|1 day 11 hours ago||Glasgow was the second-best||
Glasgow was the second-best lineman for Michigan as soon as he saw the field. He improved this year, but he's always been solid.
Actually, the continued struggle by the line this season suggests that SOME of the issue is just plain whiffing on OL recruiting. That top-4 class from a few years ago? All OL at the top end. Guess which ones are starting.
Look at the list. I dare you not to feel sick to your stomach.
|1 day 11 hours ago||Yeah, I'm not going to||
Yeah, I'm not going to pretend that he bears no responsibility; I've stated before that the OL was Hoke's defining failure, and I stand by that, and Michigan recruited it pretty well. Funk obviously bears some blame. How much of it? We'll probably never know who bears the most responsibility, because the Funk-Borges combination was a symbiotic relationship of failure.
Maybe if Funk is consistently teaching zone blocking for predictable schemes for four years, the OL is functional. And maybe (almost certainly IME) Borges doesn't look quite so awful if he has an OL that can consistently block for conventional running plays.
They didn't get it done.
Given that it took Funk a year to find a job and that job is Purdue, it seems clear that other coaches have opinions about where responsibility lies.
|1 day 12 hours ago||AAAARRGGGHHH too soon I don't||
AAAARRGGGHHH too soon I don't want to know I can't look I don't want to look I can't look away
|1 day 12 hours ago||Kinda feel bad for Funk.||
Kinda feel bad for Funk. Brian has mentioned that he's attended Funk lectures and that Funk knows his stuff, so he's not a buffoon. He spent four years under an under qualified Brady Hoke, three of them working under mad scientist Al Borges. All of them were saddled with a system that their players were unsuited to run and perhaps that they were unsuited to coach.
But results matter, and the biggest on-field issue in the Hoke regime was the OL. And that's Funk.
And now he's hitching on with a Hazel regime that should have been fired already, in a MAC-level program competing against B1G level teams, with serious talent AND development problems. A downward spiral. Basically, no hope of a second year or a better opportunity or even the chance to field real players.
Worst of all worlds for everybody there.
|1 day 13 hours ago||In before my version of the||
In before my version of the same. I award you an upvote.
|1 day 13 hours ago||What kind of season did||
What kind of season did Rockford have this year? A lot of HS teams eschew field goals, but in most cases that's because their chance of conversion is low. A kicker this good would be a huge weapon in a low-scoring game when stuck in long-yardage situations on the opponent half. A guy like Nordin could flip a couple games a year on some teams.
OTOH if Rockford just steamrolled most of their opponents with an unstoppable offense the situations where kicking makes sense are much less frequent.
|1 day 14 hours ago||I'm getting provincial here,||
I'm getting provincial here, but why us? We already got taken to the cleaners for stuff everybody does by the Freep, because we're supposed to do things the "right way." Harbaugh bungles a couple of decommits and it becomes a big story, while SEC schools are dumping guys in silence. Why do we have to be the ones to fix a system that, we believe, we are one of the few power schools trying to actually uphold it?
|1 day 15 hours ago||1. In my scenario Michigan's||
1. In my scenario Michigan's hypothetical violation is only revealed because of an investigation prompted by Hackett's statement.
2. It's fine to laud Gary's integrity, but that inadvertently attacks the integrity of other guys, including ones we've tried to recruit. And not a good look for guys we will try to recruit, if they have gotten cash offers and don't want headlines even when turning them down. And maybe he has friends who are in a tougher situation than him that did take cash and doesn't like the implication.
3. A statement like this can easily, easily prompt a media explosion. College sports writers still have a month to fill before March Madness. This gets traction and we have a week (or several weeks) of various pieces about whether Gary was offered cash. And surely questions about whether Michigan offered any. And implications or accusations, even if unfounded, that perhaps Gary's family was involved. And re-litigation of the arguments for and against paying players, with Gary as the pawn.
And so on. Fielding 30 calls from reporters asking if he was offered or if he took money is not what Gary wants.
And, let's be honest: does anyone here think that Cam Newton turned down six figures from Mississippi State to play at Auburn for free? I don't. And even though the circumstances are different, many people will believe the same about Gary if this blows up. Unfairly or otherwise.
It's just not a good move by Hackett.
|1 day 15 hours ago||That may well be his||
That may well be his thinking, and I understand it, but it's unfair to Rashan. If this gets traction (and it might) Gary will continue to be in the headlines for weeks for all the wrong reasons. It's not his fault he was offered stuff, but he'll suffer for it even if he never misses a down.
Remember, less than a day ago this board was trashing a Clemson staffer for implying the same thing about us. This is the acting AD talking here.
|1 day 15 hours ago||I hope so. That's why I||
I hope so. That's why I suggest a small rules violation (you know, phone call at the wrong time, etc). But these are the big leagues. And the University itself isn't the only party interested in getting players to Michigan.
|1 day 15 hours ago||What if he didn't turn down||
What if he didn't turn down other stuff? What if a bag man or two from some other school bought him lunch, or fixed the heat in his home, or replaced the tires on Mom's car? What if it was a relatively innocent mistake two years ago, and he wiser up and went clean this year, but Hackett's statement gets the reporters working on it and stuff comes out?
What if this becomes a moderate story? He's the #1 recruit in the country. The reason a lot of this alleged stuff doesn't come out is because no local paper in SEC country is stupid enough to do any digging. It's hard enough to make money in media as it is; any paper that attacks a beloved football program will be mercilessly attacked by its customer base and will lose access to the team; basically a death sentence. I mean, we're more rational than the SEC, right? And the Freep is still persona non grata here two coaches and two ADs after the Rosenberg flap.
But Gary is from New Jersey. New York media is not dependent upon a college fanbase for circulation. This gets traction and the NYT gets interested, suddenly there are real reporters digging up dirt that's never been dug up before...
|1 day 15 hours ago||I think this is a mistake by||
I think this is a mistake by Hackett. It puts an unseemly focus on Gary, whether it's deserved or not, and this is surely not the kind of attention Gary wants. And it frankly puts focus on us, too, since Gary actually committed here. Maybe Michigan was cleaner than other schools, but if this were to go through a full vetting process, what are the chances that someone finds something, somewhere, that breaks a minor rule or two?
There's no good that can come of this.
|2 days 3 hours ago||As far as the dream recruit||
As far as the dream recruit we want to get, he's close. Gary is a better prospect, but Peoples-Jones is a local kid that we are battling our top rivals for. If he goes Michigan, it's a huge deal; if he flips to a rival, not only do we lose him, but we have to see him for three or four years.
So his significance to Michigan fans will be reasonably close to that of Gary this year. He's the jewel of the class.
|2 days 3 hours ago||Hope so. I believe Harbaugh||
Hope so. I believe Harbaugh gives us a chance to see some surprising players develop really well, and others reach their full potential.
I don't want to get ahead of myself, though. Harbaugh may be one of the top coaches in the game, and he may be great at developing talent, but we're looking toward the big leagues now. Michigan is looking up at OSU and Bama in the rankings, and both of those staffs know how to develop players themselves.
|2 days 3 hours ago||Yes, but not the guys listed||
Yes, but not the guys listed in Mr. Yost's post.
I just went through 247's class history of Michigan. Knowing that top 5-10 classes over time consistently translate to success on the field overall, I dare you to go through every Michigan class and not be enraged by how Michigan squandered a bunch of great talent. Contrast with Clemson, which has been at roughly 10 (never in the top 5) for the last 5 or 6 years and nearly, deservedly won the national title this season. Michigan underachieved based on the talent it landed.
I think it's clear from his recruiting "tactics" and his approach that Harbaugh has repudiated the mediocrity of Hoke, if not the man himself. Hoke wanted to do things the "right way," loved his players, and stayed loyal... to a fault. And the result is that Michigan landed some classes that had some hits and some misses.
Harbaugh clearly wants to reduce the number of scholarship slots that are taken by flat unproductive players. All classes will have some "misses," but by making fifth years performance-based and getting some guys through school in three years, Harbaugh is freeing up slots for young guys with the potential to grow. And I suspect/hope that his staff does a much better job developing players than any of the past three regimes.
|2 days 4 hours ago||I'm as eager to see MSU sink||
I'm as eager to see MSU sink as the next guy, but I don't think there's anything to celebrate about a kid getting arrested.
|2 days 4 hours ago||Grammar & spelling need work,||
Grammar & spelling need work, but these are all very interesting observations. Wise move making this a "snowflake" thread, too.
Things I noticed:
1. We lost some battles to Oklahoma, so on the surface it seemed to me that they were recruiting quite well. Their final class ranking? ...20th. Er, Ok. Or OK, I guess.
2. ND with another pedestrian class, ranked 15. I think we have to admit that Kelly is a decent coach, but other than the top 5 class that's currently buttressing their quality roster (a couple of whom are now going pro, I believe) they haven't knocked the world over with their recruiting. And their playoff window is getting narrower, in my opinion.
3. The SEC places 5 teams in the top 10, 8 in the top 20. There's a reason the SEC gets respect; however they acquire them, they get players. The good news for Michigan? Well...
4. Michigan's concern should now be competing with teams at the very top of the rankings, but they don't have to beat all of them. All of these competitive SEC teams beat each other up, and the result so far appears to be that the SEC will rarely, if ever, send two teams to the playoff. That means that Michigan has to beat only one of those teams in any given year to win a national title. They also have to beat only one other team, either from the PAC or the ACC (which is turning into a two-horse race between FSU and Clemson). Keep the pipeline competitive and it's doable. As long as we can get out of the B1G East.
5. It's time for some of these players to start being hits. Michigan has regularly nabbed a guy or two amongst the top 50 or so players in the country since the dawn of the Hoke era; lately, a lot of them have been busts. Now, Jabrill Peppers is everything we hoped he would be, and should be dominant next year. Not everyone has worked out that well. Kyle Kalis is starting, yes, but nobody thinks he's even our best lineman. Derrick Green and Brian Cole...
|2 days 4 hours ago||In fairness, this team needs||
In fairness, this team needs LBs and we did only OK in that department. Maybe the guys exceed their ratings; the problem is that this is the one area of the team that Michigan could use a freshman who could contribute right away and they didn't land one of the sure-thing guys at the top of the rankings.
It's important to recruit needs and fill holes, but it is also important to get the best available players. Gary is a huge add at a position that is already Michigan's strength next season, for example, and Jabrill Peppers was a vital recruit regardless of how many serviceable DBs Michigan had on the roster.
|2 days 4 hours ago||I neglected to discuss||
I neglected to discuss kicker, and I agree completely with you about it. If Nordin can equal Allen in one of his duties (and while Allen wound up being just fine at PK, he's not brilliant at it) there's no reason not to have him take over that side of the load.
I agree that it's possible for Perry to see competition at slot; my reserved view of their PT has more to do with the infrequency Harbaugh uses three-wide personnel. Even 50% of the snaps at slot probably works out to 10 or less (without looking at the actual numbers).
|2 days 8 hours ago||The teams we care about here||
The teams we care about here are MSU, whom we usually out-recruit but until last December couldn't outcoach, and OSU. Obviously, M has a better class than MSU. OSU appears to have better depth in its class, based upon that excellent graph.
What I want to know is, "Can Michigan compete with and defeat Ohio State regularly?" And when you look at individual match ups, which is prima facie absurd, Michigan has not only the best recruit in the nation but a guy that has the potential to almost single-handedly flip a big matchup between the teams. Gary, if surrounded by quality players (likely, and a contrast with the South Carolina situation in Clowney's last year) and if he develops as we believe he can, has the potential to seriously disrupt the OSU spread run game.
Yeah, we have LB questions, and yeah, our solid DL was humiliated this year, and yeah, OSU isn't playing with cast-offs.
But if Gary can lead a win in the LOS battle, that gives the rest of the team a great chance.
And we have three years to see how it goes.
|2 days 8 hours ago||Gary gets serious playing||
Gary gets serious playing time. Walker, if he has "it," gets carries in most or every game. An LB like Bush gets playing time; the lousy positional depth means that if a frosh LB performs well he could start by late season. The high-tier DB recruits see small amounts of PT. One or two Frosh receivers probably sees time in the slot, but not much. And a HB-TE type like Asiasi probably gets in a fair amount.
But Michigan is a contending team even without the recruits this year. Gary is too good to keep off of the field, but the rest (except maybe the LBs) have to outplay quality starters to earn playing time. Starting is very unlikely.
In 2017 the story will be a lot different.
|2 days 10 hours ago||By the way, some guys may||
By the way, some guys may have artificially been vague about their commit to heighten suspense, or waffled excessively to increase drama before signing (Onwenu for example). To them I say:
Do whatever you want. It's your moment and your future, you don't owe us fans a single thing right now. Glad you're coming to Michigan. Getting a little publicity? Good for you.
|2 days 10 hours ago||The anxiety is over. Michigan||
The anxiety is over. Michigan just won the battle for the best recruit in the country, straight-up. Against the best there is.
Unless Ole Miss edges back over us, #5 class in the country. Right behind "them." Would've like a top LB prospect, but overall not bad. Not bad at all.
I said last week, "can't wait until it's over."
It's over. Awesome.
|2 days 11 hours ago||Webb is the best there is, he||
Webb is the best there is, he wasn't playing games. And based on Gary saying he didn't make up his mind until he got to the stage, panic was justified.
I'll be anxious until we see the LOI.
But yes, alum96 has been fantastic in keeping things updated. I hope he has a debrief-post to analyze what went down.
(And, re the OP, the Florida trip is brilliant in so many ways).
|4 days 13 hours ago||Man I hope so. Hasn't been a||
Man I hope so. Hasn't been a lot of great news lately.
|4 days 14 hours ago||I guess these are the||
I guess these are the greatest moments as we experienced them; so it is how awesome it was as perceived by us at the time and now with perspective.
Which of course is different than Michigan's greatest moments, period, because those are easier to rank objectively.
Either way, this is tough. Here's a shot:
1. The 1997 season. All of it. The first year I went to almost every home game (missed only ND because I was broke) and it was, of course, the best of my lifetime. Scalped my way into the student section for the OSU game (my first visit to that part of the Stadium) and it was... c'mon, you know how it was.
2. The 2002 NCAA West Regional at Yost. 36 hours of madness. You really have to read the link to get my full thoughts on it; it was unbelievable. And, somehow, I lucked into center-ice seats.
3. Here's where we get into the really subjective stuff: 2000 Michigan over OSU. Not one of the greatest wins of my lifetime, but it was my first trip to Columbus. I bought tickets with birthday money on the spur of the moment on Friday, called my best friend who was in Eastern Ohio for college that evening, and we met up. We were verbally abused, physically threatened, and absolutely exhilerated.
4. Hard to choose between dozens of great options, but I guess I'll lean with the 1989 basketball championship. The mists of time have clouded the emotional impact of it, and I was young enough (9) that I couldn't truly appreciate the gravity of it as I would later (how did I not become a total basketball zombie? I was a Michigan fan and a Pistons fan and they BOTH WON that year).
But I remember following the tournament as much as I could. I had seen both of Michigan's losses to Illinois on tv as well as various other games, but I was asleep in bed before Higgins beat the Illini in the Final Four.
But, that Monday, everything was about the game. The Ann Arbor News dropped its usual paper header and printed a picture of Glen Rice with giant-font "Go Blue!" written in maize across a blue field on the top. I was permitted to attempt to nap for an hour in exchange for a rare opportunity to stay up on a school night.
And I watched the whole thing.
I ran out of the room three times as Rumeal lined up to take those free throws, overcome with stress. And three times I ran bank.
And they went in.
As a boy, there's nothing better.
|6 days 4 hours ago||The polls are completely,||
The polls are completely, totally irrelevant. The Pairwise ranking (mostly consisting of RPI) is all that matters. KRACH is the only other rank that's even interesting. I stop looking at polls after December--they have virtually no bearing on what's happening on the ice, and absolutely no bearing on the tournament.
And the PWR is updated constantly, so you can know Michigan's rank right now. And get the final tally for the week after the late games finish wrapping up.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Yostbuilt points out that||
Yostbuilt points out that Michigan guys have won 3 of the last 5 fastest skater competitions (Cogliano in 09, Hagelin in 12, couple of years where it wasn't played). That's astonishing. These are the best players from everywhere we're talking about.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Actually I think Lidstrom won||
Actually I think Lidstrom won the competition once, years ago.
|1 week 7 hours ago||So Hand chose a team that,||
So Hand chose a team that, uh, just played in the national championship game. Over a rapidly deteriorating situation under Hoke.
Maybe not so dumb.
Yeah, people have pointed out, we have Harbaugh now.
But when Hand was deciding, Harbaugh was coaching in Super Bowls and NFC Championship games. No one in their right mind would bank on him going to Michigan. It's analogous to, say, a DT flipping from the PSU tire fire to Michigan now. Obvious choice, right?
|1 week 2 days ago||Congregations, Brian and||
Congregations, Brian and family! It's fun to be a fan, but fatherhood is a true joy.
|1 week 3 days ago||Not only is it better for||
Not only is it better for this to happen in October for perception and for the recruit, but these stories are breaking in what is a very dull news environment for sports. The only really notable stuff happening is the NFL playoffs, featuring only a handful of teams. College basketball is still two months from the tourney as well, so college beat guys have at least one eye on recruiting and they have copy to produce.
It's a perfect storm of bad impression and bad timing.
|1 week 4 days ago||It's still ok to resent||
It's still ok to resent Rutgers, but this is definitely the silver lining to the dilution of the B1G. Michigan can guarantee Jersey kids a game nearby every year (MD is not that far away, either) and the BTN puts every game into the homes of friends and family. No question that Michigan is making the most of the expansion here, and I think there's no way we make this much progress in NJ without it.
|1 week 4 days ago||I'm ok with this. My first||
I'm ok with this. My first thought at the thread title was that we decided our scholarships were all filled (based on my evidence-free speculation that he was a possible add if we missed on a recruit or two). My second thought, after perusing, was that he made a choice based on academics, since Ross was a draw here.
Perhaps he was looking at being a backup, too, but guys who transfer from programs like Texas aren't necessarily sure-fire starters at other major schools. It sounds like he is playing football and thinki seriously about what he wants to graduate in; good for him. Genuinely happy for the guy if this gets him where he wants to go.
Frankly, I love the grad transfer rule. Amongst all the things that the NCAA does wrong, this is something that works really well.
|1 week 6 days ago||I'm not in it for the fun.||
I'm not in it for the fun. I'm in it for the winning.
Granted, this particular effort seems mostly geared to be "fun," but it's fun with a purpose--you build excitement amongst your own players this way, I think, and increase the publicity of the school on a day when a lot of recruits are paying attention. Having Michigan mentioned with the Alabamas, OSUs, and LSUs as the one of the big newsmakers on NSD means that future recruits who are paying attention hear about us in a positive context.
So I'm in it for the winning; this seems like a way to increase the probability of that occurring.
|1 week 6 days ago||I have the same jersey. The||
I have the same jersey. The maize is pretty close but the lettering uses a different fabric that response to light differently.
To the other respondent, I presume you're trying to be funny, but that jersey is not from walmart. It's a replica of the model Michigan wore in 2002-2003.
|1 week 6 days ago||"Silent" to us does not||
"Silent" to us does not necessarily mean "silent" to the schools recruiting him. Some guys genuinely don't know or play it close to the vest, but it's obvious that some guys whose commitment isn't known (or whose pending decommitment is not yet known) have communicated enough with staffs that word is out. Remember, OSU found a replacement for Kareem Walker before he actually decommitted, and Washington was looking for someone to replace Long before he verballed this week.
So other teams that are bound to lose on recruits can still read tea leaves or get "gut feelings" just like always. This strikes me as mostly a fun publicity move rather than an effort to mess with other teams.
|2 weeks 14 hours ago||Yeah, but those things take||
Yeah, but those things take time, and he's obviously busy with important football matters.
|2 weeks 15 hours ago||Props to Rivals for dropping||
Props to Rivals for dropping the paywall on this.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||The problem with these||
The problem with these trending-well commits is that the excitement is already kind of priced into the stock, and the anxiety about other prospects remains enough that there isn't as big of a thrill about this as there should be.
Oh well. Woo!
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I suppose this is a possible||
I suppose this is a possible interpretation, but that makes this less savory to me, more like a guy ditching his date because some cuter girls are flirting with him a bit. Given what some of us thought when the guys signed, that Harbaugh was overloading on lower-ranked guys, I have to believe that he knew that there were bigger fish available. After all, he was in on #1 overall Gary from early on.
I will always have a hard time not gravitating to the semi-objective interpretation that fits my Michigan bias, and to me the scenario I outlined above is the best possible interpretation given the facts in hand. There are certainly possible explanations that are worse. I have reason to believe that Harbaugh is intelligent enough and ethical enough not to engage in that sort of thing, but who knows?
|2 weeks 1 day ago||The decommits are all CLEARLY||
The decommits are all CLEARLY guys who would stay if they could and are getting edged out. Whether their offers are actively pulled, or they realize that there is no space for them and move on their own, they are guys who would stay if they could. And, as part of a class that has a lot of higher-ranked guys playing for a great coach, they would be champions.
So, surely, this hurts for them. They would stay. They would be champions. They aren't able to. Maybe it's the way it needs to be, but don't mistake this for an appropriate response.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Weeks like this are weeks||
Weeks like this are weeks that I wish I didn't know how the sausage was made.
Just dropped some thoughts on the thread when this went up, so of course the thread is now sidelined. Short version:
This is obviously Harbaugh's plan going in. Get early lower-ceiling guys that he likes on soft commits. Commits both parties are free to shop around on. That gives him players to go to; if he finds better players (and he looks diligently for them) the spot might not be there. Now, it's not necessarily horrible for the early commits, IF they know this is the deal. A mid-range team would feel good about getting a guy that Jim Harbaugh liked, after all.
But that's how Harbaugh is making the sausage. And he's in play for a lot of top guys. Now, it's going to hurt, pretty badly, if Michigan whiffs on a few of these and winds up filling the class out with guys no better than the guys that decommitted. But Harbaugh is shooting for the moon.
And this is the opposite attitude to the previous regime's approach that bequeathed Harbaugh with Shane Morris, Wilton Speight, and a smoking crater to compete under center.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Well, this answers the||
Well, this answers the concerns we had that Harbaugh was loading up on 3-stars last fall; he wasn't planning to keep them.
It's quite possible that Michigan stated up-front to players that they could get "offers" and commit but that there was still competition for their spot. So now, as Michigan is in play for a lot of top guys, word is coming down that the spot is filled by someone else, with certainty.
It's possible. It's still not a good look, and it's possible that things are a bit more cutthroat than that. It's a bit unpleasant for Michigan fans like me who are big on doing things "the right way."
But I don't know what the "right way" necessarily means anymore. Picking a guy early and sticking with him works great for loyalty, but that's what Hoke did. Specifically, that's what Hoke did with Shane Morris. Now, I like Shane, but many of us kool-aid drinkers ignored the massive red flags that were flying around him his senior year in high school, and they've proven to be warnings that should have been heeded.
So my best guess is that Harbaugh gets soft early commits from low-ceiling players he likes to have the security of guys in the class, and then goes for the really coveted guys to see what he can get. He clearly believes that it is ok for the early commits to shop around, and for him to fill the spots they are slated for if he finds someone better; if this is well-understood, I'm ok with this. It's not bad for a kid to be liked by a Super Bowl-caliber coach. If this is not well communicated, I'm less ok with this.
The timing is just awkward. Not sure if anything can be done about it.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||The Carr anecdote is||
The Carr anecdote is compelling; can you provide any example-like stories? A big change since the high Carr era has been the amount of information available about recruits, obviously. There's far more publicity in the field than there used to be.
FWIW the alternative to this sort of thing is to wind up with a glut of players on a roster that just can't cut it. Sounds familiar, as if I've seen that recently...
|2 weeks 2 days ago||This is false. If it were||
This is false. If it were true, Brady Hoke could have held onto his job simply by acting ethically. Given that Brandon is likely the larger culprit for both of his worst missteps (obfuscation about Gibbons and the Shane Morris disaster), by this standard he still deserves to be employed as our coach.
But he's not and nobody is sad about this. Why? Like it or not, because at Michigan winning matters.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Not sure what "ok with it"||
Not sure what "ok with it" has to do with anything--this kind of stuff happens all the time. It's how we got Kareem Walker, and how Harbaugh hopes to flip a couple of others; it's why the board gets a bit nervous when Mike Onwenu takes an official to MSU. It's part of the process.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I suggested this elsewhere,||
I suggested this elsewhere, but isn't a slight alternative version of #2 available? Suppose: Swenson gets hints, kind of knows that things aren't looking good, but he's a Michigan guy. He was our first commit, loves the school, wants to wear the winged helmet, everything I was at 17. So he holds on and hopes. Because he loves Michigan.
I mean, it stinks to tell a guy like that he can't come, but that's how I would have acted if I had that possibility available at 17. And because he chooses to hold on, and because it becomes clear that every slot will be used, the staff eventually has to pull the offer completely.
That's my maize-and-blue-colored glasses scenario of this.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I don't like this. But I||
I don't like this.
But I think this is the trade most of us accept. We wax eloquent about the corruption of Nick Saban's Alabama program (and I think it's pretty corrupt) but if we were in the exact same position we would... be ok with it. Because Nick Saban has won more national championships for Alabama than Michigan has won since the Eisenhower administration.
Brian's comments are, appropriately I think, focused on the way that things were communicated. Like, this is probably going to happen, but players need a better heads-up than three weeks before signing day.
And perhaps that actually happened; perhaps Swenson and Weaver et al were told in November or December that there were other guys that might be in the pipeline, guys that would take their spots if committed. And perhaps Swenson heard that and held out hope that the chips would fall in a way that left a spot for him; if I were 18 and a football recruit, I would take that bet every time for a chance to play at Michigan. And perhaps it has become clear to the staff that they will definitely have guys for all the scholarships, so they finally had to tell Swenson flat-out that there wasn't room.
Perhaps. We won't know. And regardless of how appropriate, we don't have to like it.
But this is the price we pay for a competitive football program. I think it is unlikely that there is a coach in a Power 5 conference that cared MORE or BETTER for his players as humans than Brady Hoke. Even his boss, the hated Dave Brandon, was loved by the athletes. We've already had that regime.
And that regime brought failure, and even Hoke's well-known care for his players could not protect Shane Morris from taking the field with a concussion.
I don't like this. But, being totally honest, I like 2014 even less. And if Harbaugh follows through on the promise we believe he has, we may wring our hands a few times on the trade-offs that we've made, but in the end we'll make the trade.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||@ryanmaue (Michigan grad) is||
@ryanmaue (Michigan grad) is the guy to follow for updates and model work. He's been looking at this for a couple of days.
2 feet of snow is a lot pretty much anywhere. There's still a chance of rain mixing in, which... Could be even worse.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||This is the thread that must||
This is the thread that must be preserved, due to this comment alone.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Dickerson is terrific for the||
Dickerson is terrific for the Tigers. I think he's actually underrated, even though he seems universally loved locally. One of the few guys I find it really worthwhile to mute the tv for. Doesn't surprise me that he does well in other sports.
Brandy is in a tough spot. I think he has worked hard at PbP and has grown in it (the little that I've heard) but he's just not suited to the job. That's ok; some guys just aren't. I think Chris Fowler is just a guy in the booth, for example, despite being the best in the business as a host. Dickerson would be worth trying if he were available, but in practice he has a job that takes precedence and could theoretically occupy him for 2/3 of football season.
This hockey weekend reminds me that at this time last year Michigan looked like they could take on the world. Then they got smoked at Minnesota (I took my daughter to that one, alas) and dropped games they should have won, and needed to win out at the Joe in front of hundreds of fans to go to the tourney. After this weekend, it kinda feels like the same team.
But wow are the wins exciting to watch.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Normally don't upvote the||
Normally don't upvote the style you used to express your thought, but this is correct: this was stupid. Just plain stupid. And this was a guy already on the ice, in a game where punches like this are not tolerated--it was totally dirty. If a State player did this to one of our guys we would rightly be enrages.
Martin deserves to get suspended. And he seriously hurt the team by acting in a way to get suspended. Don't give me this "couldn't be worse" hogwash; defense will be worse without him and it exposes us to serious shortages if Downing gets himself offed, too.
The Penn State series is absolutely gigantic for this team. They are the only legit opponent in a weak conference; Michigan needs good results here. Deliberately doing something malicious to get kicked out after the conclusion of a game is inexcusable.
Don't get me wrong, I'll root for Martin when he gets back, but this was low. Dispiriting to see this.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||This was awesome.||
This was awesome.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Some sporting events||
Some sporting events transcend the biases and preferences typical of all fans and become all-time epics. We cannot know when it will happen, but we know it can, and that is part of why we watch.
This is becoming one of those games.
|3 weeks 6 hours ago||I'm very sorry to hear about||
I'm very sorry to hear about your mom. Even if she has lived a full life such news is not easy.
FWIW stage 4 is the highest stage but it means different things for different cancers. Not all of them work the same way. There's a man in our church with a stage 4 cancer (bile duct maybe?) that he is expected to recover fully from. The main thing stage 4 means in his case is "inoperable." But not untreatable. The actual spread is minor.
No idea what it means for Mort, and yes, I've lost my Dad to cancer, I've been through stage 4 in that fashion.
|3 weeks 6 hours ago||That's not an uncommon||
That's not an uncommon occurrence. There are a lot of cancer survivors who live good lives but with relatively "minor" side effects (minor compared to the larger health risks, not minor to them or someone healthy) that few ever see. For all we speak of sympathy for those who suffer, in many ways we cannot truly understand the constant struggle of such a disease unless we or someone very close endures it.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||They should be. Very similar||
They should be. Very similar to the Hoke situation, with the added bonus of the staff leaving like the house is on fire, rather than Hoke's more stable OC shakeup.
This is going to be a looooong road back for them. We shot for the moon and got Harbaugh; they have no such genius to turn to. Harbaugh inherited an underachieving roster still equipped with 4-stars and athletes; PSU has a team recovering from massive sanctions.
When they fire Franklin they need to strike gold in a big way. Tom Herman or someone like that. Or they're in deep, long-term trouble.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||"It's happening" is a||
"It's happening" is a nebulous term when it comes to LA sports; after all, that was the mantra for the NFL for 20 years, vaporware until today. It could take time.
But I will say that, in agreement with your point about Carson, location matters. When I lived in CA I would have considered attending a Galaxy game if it hadn't been such a hike. Soccer is, after all, supposed to be a good attend-as-a-family sport with regards to cost and effort, and a long trip drains that of its appeal.
The LA basin/market is very spread out. It's all urban, without the natural divisions (state lines, major bodies of water, etc, as in NY, Chicago, and others) that other metro areas have, so it's easy for people who haven't lived there to overlook the effect distance can have on fans. Especially when traffic is considered. But a drive from Ann Arbor to Lansing is quicker and less taxing than, say, a drive from the San Fernando Valley to Anaheim.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Meanwhile the Premiership is||
Meanwhile the Premiership is far and away the most successful league worldwide in terms of marketing, broadcasting, and fan viewership. Let's not pretend that they're the little engine that could here.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||My view of the Chelsea||
My view of the Chelsea fanbase was established pre-2003, when it was known as a place where people went to be seen. Yeah, there are working-class supporters too, but Chelsea has never been any more distinctly working-class in its support than other typical English sides.
Your attempt to draw a contrast between Chelsea and Barcelona is odd. Real Madrid I can grant anyone; they were the club of Franco, they have always had every advantage that can be offered a sports franchise. But Barcelona were traditionally the club of an actively oppressed political and ethnic minority. Yes, they are currently as powerful and successful as any club in Europe, but it's not like they had the government of Spain pushing them along for most of their existence.
The entire idea that Football has some innate "working-class" quality as opposed to other sports (or other classes) is just absurd. It's a cover to put a sheen on what is otherwise just garden-variety us vs. them resentment. The best players in the world are in Spain, so reasoning is made to justify the resentment of it.
That's a pretty universal theme. I mean, I do that sometimes (particularly with the ultra-corrupt cheap dirty SEC, see what I mean?) but it can result in us only cheating ourselves out of the enjoyment of sports we follow when we get carried away.
I get annoyed at Christiano Ronaldo, too. But if I fail to appreciate how good he is at the game I only cheat myself, not him. And to suggest that Messi is just the same as Ronaldo is... well, foolish. Perfect? No, but an astonishing player.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||You're waxing romantic about||
You're waxing romantic about the working class and the rise-and-fall solidarity of underdog teams, and your example is... Chelsea?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||They're quite capable. The||
They're quite capable. The issue wasn't the B1G, it was every NCAA stakeholder getting paranoid after the O'Bannon decision. Not without reason, either. But EA could put out something acceptable if they can get school licenses again.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Both were ranked in the 40s||
Both were ranked in the 40s nationally. Offense had increased overall in the interim.
Also, OSU gave up 3 points more per game.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||I predicted the cessation of||
I predicted the cessation of NCAA football games when the O'Bannon decision was pending, and took a lot of heat for it, but this is one of those situations where major changes can have unintended consequences. We'll see if the denials are accurate or if there is an actual pulse here (denials are nice, but that pulse vid is pretty unmistakable).
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Your loss, man. What Messi||
Your loss, man. What Messi and C. Ronaldo are producing are two of the greatest careers in the sport, on rival teams, putting up numbers that are absolutely otherworldly and were unheard of for 20 years before their emergence. When they retire, Messi and Ronaldo will likely rate as two of the five best to ever play the game. They are brilliant, they are exciting, and they are consistent.
Of course they are in the top three every year. Not including them would be like voting Karl Malone MVP over Michael Jordan because Michael had won enough. Their rivalry will be considered a golden era for the game on the field, the stuff people tell grandkids about decades later. Yeah, the parent organizations are hopelessly corrupt, but the best players? Yes they are.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||This is a massive||
This is a massive oversimplification. Great defense doesn't beat great offense. Great defense and x offense beats great offense and y defense. Games are won as a team. And winning teams include offenses that invariably are capable of scoring points.
Alabama this year has a Heisman-winning running back. This dynastic run of theirs has always included dominant running games and, usually, astonishing athleticism everywhere else.
Even classic examples of defense-first football champions are inconclusive; the 2002 Ohio State title winner was known for offensive mediocrity, but their offense ranked 41st out of 117 offenses. Not great, but not wretched either. The 1997 Michigan team also ranked in the 40s. Those aren't great offenses, but they are offenses that can score enough points to win next to defenses that ranked second and first in the nation respectively in points allowed.
The only real notable case of an otherwise great offense being totally jailed by a great defense is the specific instance of Kelly/Helfrich era Oregon getting stonewalled by teams with dynamic defensive lines. And this doesn't even require a "great" defense--Auburn's championship defense wasn't one of the nation's best, but their best defensive player, Nick Fairley, wrecked the Oregon offense by disrupting their zone blocking. It is a flaw of Oregon's offense, not of great offenses in general.
Also worth noting: Alabama has faced only one "elite" offense this year, ranked in the top ten in scoring. That offense, ranked ninth in the nation, was Ole Miss; Ole Miss scored 43.
The premise here is too wide.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Dexterity doesn't have to be||
Dexterity doesn't have to be shot. Just affected. We've all been out in weather so cold our hands start to really freeze and numb. Even when you can move them, your precision is reduced and it's harder to accomplish tasks with them. There's a real risk of muffing the hold there.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Wow. That side of the||
That side of the Stadium has weird wind, but... Wow.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||I love this stuff. And I love||
I love this stuff. And I love that football is a game for all seasons. And, as a guy who lives and works in this weather, it's great seeing everyone deal with it.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||The real irony about this is||
The real irony about this is that the Stadium is designed for the home team, the Gophers, to be on the opposite (near, southern) sideline. The Vikings took the opposite one as their home one when they moved in.
They're considering moving the Gophers across the field for this reason.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||It was -18 in Duluth this||
It was -18 in Duluth this morning when I was out getting ready. And it's windy. And yes, the cold does make a huge difference.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||MSU could have hired George||
MSU could have hired George Gwozdecky, multiple national title winner, as their coach, to succeed the guy they fired who actually won them a title. He wanted the job.
Instead they are literally the worst team in college hockey.
I love beating them. It was awesome seeing our offense scythe through them like warm butter last night. We're on the way tonight, too. But this is basically a bad MAAC team dressed in Sparty sweaters. They're a disgrace to the sport.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Matt Hinton tweeted that||
Matt Hinton tweeted that they're at least on a level with Minnesota and Kansas State right now. Which is not a stretch, since they have beaten both teams in recent memory.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I'm fine with Michigan||
I'm fine with Michigan missing on some guys like this. If Michigan closes on other guys.
And really, this year, one more guy. Get him and the class is terrific; get him and watch out in coming seasos.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I'm fine with this. He was a||
I'm fine with this. He was a good, not great player for us that stabilized a disastrous secondary as an underclassman. He probably would have contributed if he had stayed; we were fine without him and he did a fine job at Auburn using a grad transfer that he earned. A win-win in my opinion. I'll remember him fondly.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I only caught the news of one||
I only caught the news of one crystal flip on Gary, were there more? Any noise behind it?
|3 weeks 6 days ago||This could be bad news for us||
This could be bad news for us on Hill, right?
|4 weeks 1 day ago||I could see that. I think||
I could see that. I think he'll still get used but by late season they were playing him out of desperation just to get stuff done. Better to hold him in reserve.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Shame for OSU they don't play||
Shame for OSU they don't play us early in the season, before the LBs adjust to their roles and the QB gets into a great rhythm.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Not sure what your point is||
Not sure what your point is here, other than perhaps some vague sour grapes. You call the 1999 team the "most dominant," but the 01 team had a better record (14-2). You mention that the 2000 team barely made the playoffs, but they were a hardly-lousy 10-6 and struggled because they had (for that one season) a wretched defense that pressured the offense to produce in every game.
As for the 1999 team, I don't know of anyone who watched the TB game that doesn't remember the Emanuel "catch," particularly since that was the primary driver for changing the catch rule involved. And you mention the 1998 Vikings, who were indeed spectacular but were much more of a one-off than the Greatest Show, as proven by the Rams high-scoring trouncing of that team the very next season (you know, 1999) in the playoffs. The Vikings were great, but their greatness was based mostly on generational talent rather than a remarkable scheme or mentality. And yes, they are hurt by their failure to make a Super Bowl; the Greatest Show made two, won one, and lost the other under circumstances later found to be controversial.
But the central thesis you seem to be backing is that they were "overrated." I'm not sure what you mean--nobody that I know considers them to occupy the same space as the Belichek-Brady Patriots, or the 90s Cowboys, or the Montana-Young 49ers, or the Steel Curtain Steelers, and so on. But they most certainly were spectacular and memorable, in ways that few teams have ever equaled, and they did win a (classic) Super Bowl. And nothing about that is overrated.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Now that is completely||
Now that is completely accurate.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||You're very kind, thank you.||
You're very kind, thank you.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Came awfully close to winning||
Came awfully close to winning a second Super Bowl; I'd say that's pretty good. Not his fault that the GOAT had taken the field for New England that year.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Martz had an uneven late NFL||
Martz had an uneven late NFL career. Things certainly weren't great in Detroit, although I think we can all agree that he was far from the only problem there.
But the Greatest Show on Turf era in St. Louis was one of the most exciting football teams I've ever watched. You had the incredible QB story in Kurt Warner (SI cover five games into the stunning '99 season: "Who Is This Guy?"). You had astonishing receiver speed and talent in Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, and Az Hakim. The first game of the 2000 season, against Denver, two guys racing each other to the end zone after absolutely burning the Broncos D. You had the magnificent two-way Marshall Faulk. You had the aggressive, somewhat revolutionary downfield passing game (principles of which have become commonplace now but were unheard of then). You had the mad genius play designs, the installs of dozens or over a hundred new plays weekly. The track meet shootout games when the D was bad, and the two epic Super Bowls when the whole team was great.
And the moments... unforgettable. The Az-Zahir Hakeem end-around option play that pitched to Trung Canidate for a TD. The cheese late onside kick in a blowout against the Jets. That game where the placekicker got hurt, so they just went for two after every TD and made most of them. The deliberate use of irony in a play design, having Kurt Warner throw off his chin strap in mock frustration and walk toward the sideline (as he had so many other times due to playcall issues) while snapping it to Faulk and running for a first down.
They were must-watch football every week. I have never seen an NFL team, before or since, with such an amazing combination of talent, attitude, and revolutionary brilliance in one package. Nothing was as fun. Only a few college teams, like the Chip Kelly era Ducks, have exceeded them in compelling neutral watchability.
The NFL caught up to him, and he could never repeat that success elsewhere, but for three-plus glorious years there was nothing like them anywhere.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||He was the head coach. Martz||
He was the head coach. Martz was the OC that year and took over the next season; he was the engineer of the Greatest Show offense, which is what merits the name.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||He was my second choice if||
He was my second choice if Harbaugh wasn't available; that still looks like a smart call. It's not the end of the world--Mike Gundy is still doing fine and he's well past 40 now--but this can stick.
And acting like that on the radio is just plain weird. Must be worried about ethics or recruiting rules or something.
The only upside for him is that (as far as I know) there's no video, which is what you have for most of the epic meltdowns that are never forgotten.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||These diaries are||
These diaries are self-recommending.
Only downside is that neither hockey nor basketball finished very well, so the coming months will have a melancholy tinge. But, oh well. Great stuff.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||My impression from out of||
My impression from out of state is that it is hard to discuss this topic without getting political fast. I think this post skirts that landmine pretty well; I'm really not sure much else can be said without the thread getting nuked.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||We're all optimistic, but||
We're all optimistic, but this is the highest level of recruiting; it ain't over till its over.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Heh. This idea has been||
Heh. This idea has been fielded before, including at least once by Brian. But the "Southwest" addition is a nice touch, albeit a nice touch with Oklahoma and Nebraska thrown in.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I was sort of in tune with||
I was sort of in tune with the logic of the post you are responding to, but this is an important rebuttal.
I don't think it's a coincidence that Michigan is building a pipeline to New Jersey now that we play Maryland and Rutgers every year. Between games played close to home and getting all of the team's games on the local cable channel, I think it's a good bonus.
But Michigan will not be playing in or near Texas every season. It might be a bit easier to sell if the BTN is on air down there, but we're still basically an out-of-area school.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||"Get off my lawn" is||
"Get off my lawn" is uncharitable here. This isn't just a weird uniform or something, it is an actual extension of an already undesirable structure. Michigan is simply not playing old conference rivals like Minnesota or Iowa very often at all; they've become more like an occasional non-conference rival.
And adding more to this is a legit concern. And surely you are not the only one who is reluctant for things to move this way.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||And the big Atlanta market||
And the big Atlanta market the rumors talk about. Other than being way down South, they actually make a lot of sense.
Except, you know, for the conference being way too large.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||They're still going to be||
They're still going to be really, really good by the time we roll into town. They have talent everywhere on the roster.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Wake up. He's going pro.||
Wake up. He's going pro.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I agree Gant might be needed||
I agree Gant might be needed because of depth, but we don't know how good he looks. If he's getting outplayed (or equaled) by the three rising sophomore LBs, he suddenly doesn't help the numbers. Since he didn't challenge for playing time this season, that might be the case.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I'm guessing we'll have a||
I'm guessing we'll have a couple of guys who medical. Unfortunately the complete absence of Drake Harris since early in the season suggests he may be one of them. Others? Who knows.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Beats me, because he's gone.||
Beats me, because he's gone.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||They're the favorites anyway.||
They're the favorites anyway. They barely lost the division this season as it was. Granted, the Texans had an even worse QB situation than they did, but with Luck at the helm they should continue to win the division easily.
It's winning Super Bowls that's the problem. And acquiring a new RB may be necessary but it is far from the key issue.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Heard the name, didn't know||
Heard the name, didn't know any details. Great story. I love the finish with Jackie Robinson.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||He was never going to keep||
He was never going to keep that pace up. I doubt he'll finish the season with the scoring lead--guys like McDavid and Eichel have plenty of time to find their scoring groove. But he's good and will continue to do well.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I thought about that||
I thought about that comparison. It looks like he even gets bend into his stick on his fake shot, absolutely amazing.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||That's... very||
That's... very surprising.
What a mess that franchise is. Yet, they still have Andrew Luck--they could go 10-6 next season easily.
If I were a Colts fan I would have zero confidence in the front office. None whatsoever. The expectation, as Irsay has stated publicly, is that with a QB like Luck multiple Super Bowls should be on order. But they're charting a course to make Luck the next great player who never won the Big One.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Haven't seen anyone discuss||
Haven't seen anyone discuss this specifically, but is it reasonable to think that Raulerson is a guy Michigan pursues in the event that we don't get another top OL recruit? Obviously a couple have already slipped away. I would think that he's the guy you call if the scholarship you had pegged for an OL isn't taken.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Got a link to that analysis?||
Got a link to that analysis? I'd like to review it.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Neither Dawson nor Kugler||
Neither Dawson nor Kugler pushed Kalis this year. Not enough to put his position into question. I find it hard to believe that they would issue walking papers to a 13-game starter when there was no one on the roster good enough to replace him this season; you put your best possible team on the field.
I find Johnson hard to swallow, too, but at least in his case we're talking about a position with lots of interchangeable depth in place and recruits in the queue that could contribute right away. There's a logic to it, even if I don't like it.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||He wasn't close to ready this||
He wasn't close to ready this year, and there are enough whispers about Cole moving inside from People Who Know to suggest that the staff at least isn't sure he'll be ready next year, either.
Remember, Glasgow first got playing time as a guard and was excellent at it, and as a center he was good for at least one flag a game. If Kugler was able to cut it at all we can be confident that Glasgow could have shouldered out Kalis and Kugler would've gotten a shot. The fact that they never even came close to that demonstrates that the staff thinks a line with Kalis at guard is clearly better than a line with Kugler at center.
Maybe Kugler really turns the corner this offseason; the current tea leaves say that it's not expected by the people who pull the strings.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||The rule has a good purpose.||
The rule has a good purpose. It just runs into an issue when there are only two teams playing and their schools have different schedules before the biggest game of the year.
But, in fairness, I doubt it will have that much effect. Wise coaches back off on their players in the days leading up to the game, to keep them fresh. So I think Clemson will have enough time to work.
But there should probably be an adjustment made.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Michigan's OL won the MVP in||
Michigan's OL won the MVP in the Gator Bowl against Ole Miss after the '90 season. The '93 season ended in a Hall Of Fame Bowl wipeout of NC State; I don't remember who the MVP was for that one.
Michigan hadn't won a Bowl in a blowout since. Until Friday.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Big win against a real team||
Big win against a real team in a Bowl: 100% awesome.
People have asked when we have felt this good (or optimistic, slightly different) after a Bowl win. Lloyd's last win obviously left many good feelings, but it was tinged with bittersweetness. First, because Michigan played a wide-open cutthroat football game that would've won games in 06 and 07 that they lost; second, because while I was on the RR bandwagon there was no question 2008 was going to be a rebuilding year.
Now, there are no regrets, and the immediate future is very bright. And Michigan hasn't looked this good in a bowl game since the Hall of Fame Bowl against NC State over 20 years ago.
Not that bowl games are everything, of course. I went to one in Tampa. Michigan's offense struggled, the QB threw a bad pick, and I left at the end of the game amidst the incessant chanting of our victorious opponents. It was January 1, 1997. Things turned up.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I don't think Morris is in||
I don't think Morris is in line to start. I'm pleased he's coming back, but my guess is that of he wants serious playing time he'll look to grad transfer next season. It's quite possible he wants to transfer and just decided that he'd be better off sitting under Harbaugh's coaching as a backup than under another FBS coach ineligible to play.
Of course this doesn't apply if he's a candidate for FCS or d-2.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||This has crossed my mind||
This has crossed my mind before. Alum96 made a post that sort of refuted the "tough schedule" meme, but the "toughness" of the schedule is not in the breadth of it but in the fact that possibly the toughest three opponents are late road trips. But the benefit is that Michigan's early schedule is very manageable, which gives the offense time to work out the kinks.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I don't know how common those||
I don't know how common those rumors are.
The Peppers I saw looked like and awesome teammate, celebrating with guys when they succeeded and encouraging them at key moments. It would be very, very easy for him to slink around in uniform at the back of the sideline, never visible, just watching and waiting for it to be over. Nobody would have noticed or said anything. That's what a selfish malcontent might do.
Peppers was totally engaged in the game in a positive fashion. I don't know what his off-field life is like, and I do get a bit concerned about that from a personal standpoint, but on-field he appears to be the model teammate, a hyper-competitive super-athlete who loves his teammates, loves the game, and directs boundless energy toward winning. Even better, he actually seems to study the game--he'll fly around to field punts, for example, but he has a lot of good sense about when to fair-catch and when to let it bounce so as not to hurt the team.
Perhaps he's immature off the field, perhaps he's just the subject of unfair rumors, I don't know. Between the grandstands he seems like the greatest guy in the world.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I think the O-Line will be||
I think the O-Line will be good. No idea how good. But, to me, that is not the key to "The Big One" next season.
There are two keys: 1. What the defensive staff does to patch together the LB position to prevent it from being exploited by key opponents like OSU; 2. QB play.
If John O'Korn comes in and performs like second-half Rudock, Michigan can win every game. Even if there are LB problems. Michigan just faced a top-end defense, a D that forced teams like Alabama to struggle for points, and Michigan hung 41 points on them with a brilliant Rudock helming the O. Yeah, Florida kinda gave up late, but Michigan was doing whatever it wanted on offense when the game was still in doubt.
If O'Korn keeps this momentum, look out. Because Doc Brown could struggle to adapt to Michigan's personnel, the LB corps could be a walking disaster, and Michigan could beat OSU in the Shoe 45-38.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||The OL was certainly||
The OL was certainly fantastic. It helped that Smith was hitting the holes in a way he hasn't done in his entire career; several of his best runs were cutbacks that were available but ignored earlier in the season. Perhaps its health, perhaps its work on vision, but he was hitting those cutbacks and the results spoke for themselves.
I agree that it's a stretch to expect someone to improve on Rudock. I'd be delighted if he were equalled.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Seattle's OL is not one of||
Seattle's OL is not one of the best in the NFL, not even remotely. Russell Wilson has gone to plaid in the second half, but in the first half of the season he was a tackling dummy behind a line that could neither protect its QB nor open holes for its RBs.
I can't be sure about this, but I think Alabama's main recruiting strategy is to recruit 5-stars and develop them into great linemen.
FWIW they have been a very good zone blocking team for years.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I thought that the running||
I thought that the running game, if not perfect, would at least be the go-to workhorse of the team, with Rudock game-managing and the receivers doing nothing remarkable.
I also didn't think the defense would be as good as it was.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I've thought about this for a||
I've thought about this for a bit.
Given that it's right after Tomsula's firing, that it fits with the verse's tone, and cribbing the rumors that Tomsula was undermining him when Harbaugh was there, I think it's highly probable that this tweet is focused on Tomsula alone. He is reaping (loss of job) precisely what he sowed (shouldering Harbaugh out) in this interpretation.
The timing of this just doesn't make sense for York or Baalke. The time to subtweet about that would be after playoff elimination.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Which speaks, again, to why||
Which speaks, again, to why the front office is the problem. Tomsula is their scapegoat, but they're the ones who ran off the only thing in football that is as rare as a top QB--a great coach.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Pretty clear that football||
Pretty clear that football intelligentsia sees this as a rather well-placed shot at the Niners. Stewart Mandel tweeted something to the effect of, "Turns out the Citrus Bowl wasn't Harbaugh's final win of the season."
So, yeah, winning and breaking the Internet.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I don't think you really want||
I don't think you really want that, but yes, he is pulling this from Galatians 6:7, with some stuff edited out.
Basically the "Be not deceived" part means "don't be fooled." It's not a threat in original context or as used by Harbaugh here.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I don't think there's a||
I don't think there's a formal, contract-worthy offer. I suspect this is a "we'll call if there's nothing else going on" type thing that could be easily passed through, say, a relative Harbaugh has contact with.
I could be wrong. In fairness I commented on the OP source before I saw that other reporters had also reported this, so I might be too skeptical.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Even with Luck Indy looked||
Even with Luck Indy looked pretty bad and they've underachieved pretty significantly given the talent they have under center. I can understand the decision. They need to change GMs, though.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Really question the source||
Really question the source here, and the firing isn't even official yet.
I mean, it's a great idea, and it's possible there may have even been an idle, casual conversation (i.e., "if there isn't a decent job for you we can make a Jedd Fisch-type spot for you") but I think this is very unlikely as written.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I kinda feel bad for Tomsula.||
I kinda feel bad for Tomsula. He's a Peter Principle icon who was a vanity hire to soothe the egos of York and Balke. They were the ones that drove off an incredible coach. It's not Tomsula's fault he got out in a position where everything he did was a referendum on the 49ers treatment of Harbaugh.
He's gotten a lot of heat here, because he's the guy they wanted instead of JH. And he's awkward and probably unqualified. But c'mon, he's just a position coordinator. There are dozens of Michigan guys that we like that would look like buffoons if they were suddenly hired to replace a legend somewhere. Tomsula is an unfortunate scapegoat that was placed in an untenable position and hung out to dry.
Sure, they need to let him go. But let's cut the guy a bit of a break.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||I don't know if he's garbage,||
I don't know if he's garbage, but this coming season is make-or-break. The program is starting to get that circle-the-drain look that we remember from the Hoke decline and that places like Texas have become accustomed to. And the division is murder right now. Urban isn't slowing down, Harbaugh has us thinking playoff, and Dantonio keeps fielding winners despite losing "indispensable" players every year.
Perpetually fourth in their own division is a death sentence for a coach at that kind of program. They probably won't do much better than that next year, but Franklin has to show serious growth.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||My guess/hope is that the||
My guess/hope is that the "significant changes" involve personnel. Wouldn't be surprised if work had already started in this direction during bowl practice.
My worry is that he wants to reinvent the wheel when it doesn't need reinventing. Michigan needs to stop the spread gun run scheme to beat OSU, so there needs to be work done there, but the scheme we run is otherwise perfectly suited for the personnel and opponents. I believe the fact that Durkin ran similar concepts to Mattison was a strength of the D this year.
I guess we'll see. I've grown less sanguine about the hire since it was announced, but it might just be me. And the smoldering crater that is our LB lineup.
|5 weeks 2 hours ago||Why not? Combine: 1. A||
Why not? Combine:
1. A quality finish against a decent team
And that sounds to me like a top five team. Maybe I'm slightly overstating, but this team will finish ranked 11 or 12 and appears to be on a sharp rise.
If our QB and LB situations were stable things would be even sunnier. Whether we merit this attention remains to be seen, but I believe it will come.
|5 weeks 2 hours ago||I would take any such reports||
I would take any such reports with some serious salt.
But I am cautiously optimistic. He showed flashes in his first season at Houston. He was erratic and undisciplined, the sort of thing that Harbaugh can work with in a coachable player. If he is the clear-cut #1 by the end of the spring game (I mean, the way Rudock was at the fall open practice despite nothing announced) I'll be hopeful. If it's a real battle and it's not because Shane is hitting every throw, I'll be ratcheting expectations down.
|5 weeks 2 hours ago||I think we start top five.||
I think we start top five.
|5 weeks 2 hours ago||If he really said this...||
If he really said this... Awesome. And it's not a guarantee or something arrogant, just a statement of objective.
With a coach and a team that may be able to back it up.
We've never heard a goal statement so frankly stated from Michigan before. Bo didn't do it, Lloyd didn't do it, Hoke didn't do it. But Harbaugh will say it.
Because it's legit.
|5 weeks 10 hours ago||Win with character. Win with||
Win with character. Win with cruelty.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Speaking of revisionist||
Speaking of revisionist history....
I thought Carr did a pretty good job. Henson came in as an uber-prospect with serious Baseball potential and lots of talent that was realized on the field.
Maybe Michigan beats MSU if Brady is in the entire game, but maybe not. Henson did hit that bomb TD before the offense stalled in the second half, but regardless, remember two things: 1. Carr offenses were famous for mediocrity in tight games until late deficits forced the passing game to open up, something Brady benefitted from in that game; 2. That MSU team was really good and was a tough beat for Michigan in any context that year.
As for the Illinois game, that loss was a perfect storm of disaster in the second half that had nothing at at all to do with Drew Henson. Suggesting that the QB rotation had anything to do with it is inaccurate.
In truth, the Illinois game was the traditional, annual head-scratching Lloyd Carr loss. Nothing more, nothing less.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Wouldn't have done any good||
Wouldn't have done any good if Carr had retired. Michigan would not have hired someone measurably better, and budgets did not allow for significantly better staff.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||It's not ok to cheat. And I||
It's not ok to cheat. And I disagree with the cavalier tone toward guys who do it.
But there is a difference, a real one. Lance was not the only doper when he was winning the Tour de France; everybody was doping. Like, literally everybody--guys who didn't dope couldn't even stay with the slow guys in the pack in races, so they all turned to doping or quit. Every rider that shared a podium with Armstrong has been linked with doping. Every single one.
Lance would have gotten off clear if he had not tried to come back in 2009. His old teammate, Floyd Landis, having had enough, blew the whistle on his old teammate. And like every other whistle-blower (and there were many) Lance went into "destroy" mode. It just didn't work one last time.
He actually set the entire pattern for guys accused of doping. Come out fighting, throw around lawsuits, deny loudly. The exactly the playbook guys like Roger Clemens used, and they used it because Armstrong managed to pull it off for ten years.
But he really and truly went to every effort to crush and destroy people who crossed him. It is not inaccurate to compare him in his vindictiveness to the worst behavior of someone like Richard Nixon. Remember, with both Nixon and Armstrong, the downfall wasn't just the crime, but the extremes used to cover it up.
And I say this as a guy who likes cycling, who rooted for Lance, who has Lance memorabilia floating around the house, and who got into cycling because of Lance. And I still enjoy my memories of his races. But Lance was a different category.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||*This could turn out to be||
*This could turn out to be false, but my working premise is that it is likely true. Some of my reasoning may end up below
Surprised but not shocked.
The surprise is that it's Peyton Manning, whom I enjoy watching and think moderately highly of as a player.
But this is not shocking, because PED use is, in my opinion, extremely widespread. We rarely hear anything about it in the major American sports, which only convinces me that there are many athletes who have not been (and will not be) caught.
Why? Because American sports incentivize performance, and the guys who play at the highest level have ALREADY been selected out of a group of extremely competitive, extremely effective athletes. These are the best of the best; they are also, with few exceptions, extremely hard workers who look for every edge in their games.
There are so many different options, too. It's not just steroids like the 80s. There are drugs that increase cardiovascular efficiency, handy for all sports at all levels (would some NBA stars take a drug that allowed the to play three extra minutes per game effectively in the playoffs? Probably). There are testosterone boosts that are carefully administered to avoid setting off the high "positive" threshold in tests. HGH allows faster recovery from injuries and also from normal every-week wear-and-tear.
And the rewards for improvement are staggering. A baseball player can make millions of dollars by hitting an extra home run every 10 or 15 games. A basketball player who can explode just a little faster on defense can be a bench asset on an NBA team instead of a journeyman in Europe; a running back can break a couple of extra tackles and earn a starting role on an NFL team.
So there is good motivation for people to try.
And nobody is getting caught.
The NFL has, over the past 20 years, seen frightening increases in the size and speed of its players. Commentators all agree. There is an obvious reason for this, but people rarely talk about it. Only here, because there is a shipment record, is a player even identified as suspicious. Very few players are ever caught, and first offenses aren't even public knowledge.
The NBA could argue that the key to the game is skill and coordination, and they would sort of have a point. Baseball made the exact same arguments. But the NBA prizes strength, speed, athleticism, attributes that PEDs can affect. The NHL does, too.
I wrote about this a few years ago. If there is an advantage to PED use, people will try it. If users are not caught, many will become users. It is widespread.
I'm saddened that it is possible that Manning is involved. But I am not shocked. If we knew every player that uses or used PEDs, it would be shattering.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Lloyd Carr ran a staff of||
Lloyd Carr ran a staff of guys who had nowhere else to go. Only a few coaches ever went on to other programs, almost none of them doing well. And the program atrophied.
I agree with the dissent. I wish Durkin could have stayed, but I don't think anybody in the building expected him to be a long-term staple of the program, and they were ok with that.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||I don't particularly want||
I don't particularly want Speight to leave, but that's a perfect example of the value of the grad transfer rule. If he can find s lower-rung team in need of a QB, he can go and play. In the end he had the wonderful experience of four years at Michigan, a great win, a degree, and a year on the field before his career ended.
Hope it doesn't need to happen, but I can deal with this kind of scenario.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Valid points. Given what||
Valid points. Given what we've seen of the team I think it's fair to say that in some cases coaching the actual players has been a peovlem. Where we have good position coaches (you know, DL) things have worked better.
It's good to get lower-ranked guys to become productive players. The problem is that the best teams have top-ranked guys that become productive players, and those are the ones that elevate them beyond the mediocre-to-average rung Michigan has been wallowing in since the RR era.
If JH's staff can coach these recruits like they coached guys at other places, it will be a huge step up.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||We wanted Dunn. At OSU he's||
We wanted Dunn. At OSU he's an invisible bust, here we would be moaning about OL and coaching. But some guys just don't work out. Good reminder.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||How is this unfair? I would||
How is this unfair? I would love to have Ojemudia back, but he played nearly half of Michigan's games this season. You have to draw the line somewhere.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||We know that now, but all he||
We know that now, but all he could see then was a smoldering dumpster fire. Harbaugh was successfully coaching a Super Bowl contender. Dave Brandon was Michigan's AD. Fans were turning in their season tickets.
To someone in Hand's position, Michigan could just as easily have fired Hoke for someone like Greg Schiano or an unknown coordinator. Alabama offered him practically guaranteed stability, team success, pro scout attention, and energized fans.* It was a sure thing.
*And other, more tangible incentives too? No way to know.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Thanks. Mail me the book and||
Mail me the book and $25 (plus shipping) and I'll autograph it for you.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Outside of Walker and Gary||
Outside of Walker and Gary (and with our DL even his role may be a bit limited) I don't expect much out of this year's recruiting class because I feel good about the guys we already have. This is good, it gives the players time to learn.
To be fair, RR's personnel management forced us fans to hope for a lot more from the freshmen than we should have had.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Saw the same thing. All in||
Saw the same thing. All in the same class. Ouch.
Thomas has a chance to shine next year. Other than his IN grade, you have to go down to Jourdain Lewis in that class to find someone that matched their potential. Maaaaybe if Kugler puts it together he can as well, but the tea leaves aren't promising so far.
Yet another harsh condemnation of the Hoke regime.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Nothing unexpected here, so||
Nothing unexpected here, so this can be planned for. It's not like this wasn't already on the table before Ojemudia got hurt.
Charlton wasn't Khalil Mack out there or anything, but he was a solid player when given the chance. I'm confident that he'll do well in there. The need is depth.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||I'm enjoying seeing the Lions||
I'm enjoying seeing the Lions do well. Great seeing them move the ball.
But, man, it looks like the Saints have totally quit.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||*Phillippines||
|6 weeks 4 days ago||GOAT to GOAT||
|6 weeks 4 days ago||"He has no idea that Charles||
"He has no idea that Charles Woodson can jump 15 feet in the air..."
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Great post. I have to scroll||
Great post. I have to scroll to see the whole list.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||It's tough, but it's time. He||
It's tough, but it's time. He is playing well and can go out with his head held high in a season that he is contributing to a rising team.
Michigan fans are exceptionally lucky to have seen not one but two future NFL all-timers in the late 90s. Sometimes I feel like Charles just went pro a couple of years ago; sometimes it blows me away that he's still able to be out there at all. Great career.
Great Michigan Man.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Edward I at least had a||
Edward I at least had a successful foreign policy record to secure his position; his son, Edward II, was rather more Brady Hoke-ish in his odd style and complete inability to execute on the field. He was eventually ousted (and allegedly, gruesomely offed) by a coalition rallied around his own mother. Alas, her moves (supervised by a DB-type adviser) became unpopular and unsustainable.
Then Edward III "Harbaugh" Plantagenet came of age, played nice with his late father's legacy, and established himself as one of the longest-reigning monarchs in English history, the platonic ideal of a medieval King. He revolutionized the English playbook by relying heavily on the Longbow, leading to huge upset victories at Crecy and Poitiers over his chief rival to the South, France. He was a solid recruiter with a leadership tree that included the all-too-briefly-lived Edward the Don Brown Prince and the wily John "Drevno" Gaunt.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||By the time Dashawn Hand||
By the time Dashawn Hand stiffed us for Alabama while guys like George Campbell were decommitting and changing the locks on their doors, I think the writing was on the wall, and most Michigan fans had grudgingly accepted that Hoke had at best plateaued, and at worst begun his death spiral.
When Hand chose against Michigan I was disappointed and accepted that he probably made, for him, the right decision.
And that is how it played out.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Play Scripts||
I'd love to see someone do first-drive vs whole-game statistical rundowns. I don't see people talk about this often, but given the way offenses tend to script their first 15 or so plays, the performance of the offense in the first drive is often different both in form and in production from the rest of the game.
Michigan has seen both sides of this: Many good defenses dating back to 1997 would give up scores or at least some yardage in the first drive or so before stiffening (for what it's worth, MSU's recent top D units did this too--recall Brian's discussion of MSU "downloading" an offense after a drive or two back in the Borges years). In contrast, Michigan's offense under Harbaugh and even Borges often opens the game with a dazzling variety of plays that attack defensive weaknesses and move the ball before settling into a period of relative struggle, or total incompetence in Al's case.
A lot of this is a function of offensive scripting for the beginning of a game. Offensive coaches of many stripes like to script their early plays to establish (or confound) tendencies and attack the defense they are playing where it is vulnerable. The extra time spent preparing and practicing the script allows for greater precision, and it allows a coordinator to determine how best to attack over the course of days rather than seconds.
Jimbo Fisher is an offensive mind; I suspect the scripting issue plays in here.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||On quick view: Looks like||
On quick view:
Looks like Brown is running 4-man over fronts with the DL. This would, obviously, be a change from Michigan's current philosophy. And he parks three linebackers behind them in standard sets. My initial viewing suggests that early downs feature a lot of base vanilla stuff, with the more exotic blitzes happening in passing situations, but perhaps I don't know what to look for. Not a lot of press coverage, but I don't know if that's philosophical or just a wise use of the talent he has.
I do see a lot of interesting line stunts and slants, which seemed to cause FSU trouble in protection. Golson had to make a lot of guys miss in his own backfield, including an impressive dance just to avoid a safety early.
It will be interesting to see if Brown adjusts his scheme to Michigan's personnel strengths (I think the philosophical similarity between Mattison and Durkin was a real positive for the D this season) or if he brings in all of his own ideas. I'm honestly a bit skeptical about this.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||I get good feelings seeing||
I get good feelings seeing the score of this game, too, but we should be careful not to get too carried away: FSU naturally has loads of talent, and holding the brilliant Dalvin Cook down is no mean feat. But Florida State's offense this year has been Dalvin Cook and very little else, all season long. They are not very good.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||I watched the end of that||
I watched the end of that Wake game. It was astonishingly bad. In his post-game interview the Wake coach actually said that the result was a question of "who would make one more mistake than the other team."
|6 weeks 4 days ago||I've thought about the||
I've thought about the Beilein analogy with him as well. He has spent a career working up from lower rungs.
Point in this favor: We tend to think people get identified early, but sports coaching (and especially football, with so many coaches per staff) can and does miss on guys that people just haven't heard of enough. There's a fair amount of "who do you know" and "career momentum" that goes into what guys get jobs at big schools and NFL teams as opposed to lower divisions.
For example, Gus Malzahn became an ultra-hot coach due to his work at Tulsa and Auburn, and if he gets put to the sword on the Plains next year he'll be snatched up by someone else in a hot second. But he was a just a solid high school coach in Arkansas until his team produced some top prospects, headlined by Mitch Mustain, and Houston Nutt decided to recruit him as an OC. Even then, questions remained about how good Malzahn really was, and his short tenure under Nutt really didn't work out (despite the team having a good year behind Darren McFadden).
Malzahn got a second chance at lowly Tulsa, and it turned out that he was a really good offensive coach. But he was kind of an out-of-nowhere guy.
Same may be true for Bob Stitt, the Colorado School-of-the-Mines guy that all those high level coaches were quoted as admiring before his move up to Montana this year. Quality coach, never really given a chance.
Point is, there are smart guys at lower levels, working with lower-level talent, that don't have easy paths to the top tier. In contrast, there are guys like Scott Loeffler, who turned a backup QB position here into a coaching career by being on staffs that had good talent to coach. I root for Loeffler, but is there any question that his ability to get high-level jobs is related to the fact that he has always worked for high level programs?
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Where've you been? The hire||
Where've you been? The hire broke yesterday afternoon, and Alum96 was on record against it by sunset (with the -40 or so in negs to prove it).
I guess I can understand you taking it a bit personally. Your comment is the one both Bambi and I responded to, so I guess it's fair to feel a bit put upon to have two guys jump on you for it. But it really is kind of a "ok, this is getting old having everybody rip on Alum96" response to the entire trend rather than just you.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||In my opinion, nobody on this||
In my opinion, nobody on this board has produced more quality content than Alum96. He isn't a huge fan of the Brown hire, got singed for it, gamely continued the discussion, fine.
But the bashing is getting old. If you disagree with him on an issue, (and I think he's a bit too glum about Brown myself and said so in the first thread regarding the hire) fine. But turning it into a recurring thing is absurd. Alum is regularly producing, for free, front-page quality content that isn't available anywhere else. It's not like he's a certain celebrity tv presidential candidate that just says whatever hot takes come to mind; he is coming to his opinions through reasoned analysis. Even if some of it is wrong.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||The BC offense passed for||
The BC offense passed for less than 100 yards against Clemson, and the Tigers had a manageable 17 points at halftime (one TD was the result of a drive in which BC roughed the punter) at home. Watson did hit a couple of big pass plays. I have no idea if the problem was schematic or personnel related, but this bears repeating:
BC's offense averaged 270 yards per game last year. They were baaaaaaaad. And they managed to not get embarrassed regardless.
Contrast this with quality Michigan defenses the last two years that got worn down late in certain games.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||I'm all for being a little||
I'm all for being a little eeyore-ish now and then, so here goes: Can you provide good reasoning to disregard the fact that a mediocre, non-destination school like BC with a schedule that includes Notre Dame, Florida State, and Clemson and a terrible offense managed to produce the #1 defense in the nation this year, over this Michigan team and an Alabama team that is both loaded down with future pros and anchored by a powerful running offense on the other side?
I mean, yeah he's old, and yeah, BC was only in the 30s last year, but he has produced decent defenses without ever having top players to work with. I find that very encouraging. And, with his track record, I have a hard time believing Harbaugh would get duped by stats from afar without doing his homework here.
But I might (no sarcasm) be missing something, like a generational athlete or a flukey scheme or something. What should I be negative about?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Remember last year, when we||
Remember last year, when we had a decent defense that was crippled by an offense that left it out to dry?
BC's offense was execrable. They couldn't win any games.
And yet STILL they had the best defense in the country. That's astonishing.
Do they have a bunch of draft picks? I don't think so. I think he's a good coach. One of the best if this year is an indication, which makes this potentially an amazing hire.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||I'm kinda with you on||
I'm kinda with you on this.
When Hoke was surging in recruiting, Michigan was in on some nationally-known guys. And it was nice to see Michigan on these lists. The problem was that Michigan couldn't close the deal, missed out on a bunch of guys, and started losing early commits and battles we thought we led for. So "Top 3 Woohoo" lost all of its luster.
And maybe we get back there. But right now Michigan is winning a few of these battles--Walker being the most prominent. If Michigan can close the deal on Gary, it will validate Harbaugh's recruiting this year and going forward and the fact that they're in on a bunch of guys in the South (and CA, TX, etc) becomes exciting even if Michigan doesn't win every battle.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||I'll be generous and assume||
I'll be generous and assume that you're making this comment out of complete ignorance. Most parents, while not perfect, love and care for their children and, even if a headache, are pretty balanced.
And I say this as someone who strongly believes in the parent-child relationship, and that efforts should be made to repair them. But there are real situations where parents can harm their adult children, and Lewis believes he is dealing with this.
|7 weeks 2 hours ago||I wonder if Harbaugh has any||
I wonder if Harbaugh has any history of using the read option with a mobile QB.
|7 weeks 2 hours ago||Big respect for digging out||
Big respect for digging out this gem from the linked thread when nobody would have faulted you for pretending that it didn't exist. Props.
|7 weeks 2 hours ago||If Towles is going to BC,||
If Towles is going to BC, it's pretty clear that Michigan wasn't very interested in him. BC's offense is baaaaaad.
|7 weeks 3 hours ago||There are times where message||
There are times where message board comments that say, essentially, "change this one factor and the team improves by two wins" are total hokum.
But this really isn't one of them, because executing two plays against Utah and making one or two drive-sustaining pass plays against MSU really does flip those games.
|7 weeks 3 hours ago||Did a search, found him on||
Did a search, found him on SI's second team as a safety. Good catch, I'll update the post.
|7 weeks 3 hours ago||Which one? I think the AP||
Which one? I think the AP tends to get the most weight, but lists like ESPN aren't exactly window-dressing, either.
|7 weeks 6 hours ago||Washington's defense is||
Washington's defense is legit, FWIW. They're a rising program.
But then so are we.
|7 weeks 6 hours ago||I don't remember where, but I||
I don't remember where, but I seem to remember an end-around or two where Smith blocked very well. Or something like that. Small sample but early returns are good.
When I first heard the Smith-as-FB idea I was pretty dismissive, but if Walker or someone else (Higdon, et al) is ready to go I'm all for it. Harbaugh fullbacks run well and run often, they block, they can be useful receivers... if Smith can be an effective run-blocker he can be the ultimate uber-FB that the defense actually has to account for everywhere on the field, that can pummel and maim unprepared defenders with impunity.
Think of all the personnel options that provides. He can still do TB work, and if you throw Jabrill Peppers out there you have a grouping that could spread 4-wide or line up in a jumbo I, and run or throw from both.
|7 weeks 8 hours ago||My sig line is not my order||
My sig line is not my order of priorities. What I was hinting at was our relationship with God, which is suggested by my listed occupation.
|7 weeks 8 hours ago||Given our issues running the||
Given our issues running the ball and Walker's potential, this is terrific. He gets an early start on our schemes, pass-blocking, and working behind the OL. Really improves his chances of being productive early, IMO.
On the flipside, I expect some transfer news after the bowl game. There's just not enough room in that backfield for all of these highly touted backs.
|7 weeks 14 hours ago||"Or even better yet, find a||
"Or even better yet, find a chick who also loves sports!"
This sounds trite, but there's a big grain of truth in it: a good practice in marriage is to learn to share interests. My wife does a GREAT job at this, gamely following the sporting events I watch, graciously letting me talk about this or that key team development, and so on. She's done this in other activities, too. For my part, I try to show some interest in what she likes, and watch stuff she finds interesting.
For example, I don't often watch Sunday Night Football, because I've already watched a bunch over the weekend. We usually watch Cutthroat Kitchen, which she greatly enjoys (she's a fabulous cook and enjoys Food Network programming) and I've found acceptably amusing as well.
|7 weeks 15 hours ago||The good news is that real||
The good news is that real growth is possible. If a husband or wife wants to grow as a spouse and is willing to make the effort, change can happen. I've seen it.
But it does take time. I'm working with a couple that has loads of baggage on both sides, some of it their own fault, some of it not. Both are totally committed to each other and their family. But they're starting from a tough place, and after a year of solid growth and progress they still have a lot to do (and they know it). They'll come through it strong, but it doesn't happen overnight.
|7 weeks 15 hours ago||They have to be balanced. You||
They have to be balanced. You have an obligation to take care of kids, and financial problems are a huge cause of marital difficulties.
But you can't take care of those at the expense of the relationship.
It can be helpful, in the financial area, to wisely discern the difference between needs and wants.
|7 weeks 15 hours ago||If he has come from||
If he has come from significant dysfunction, perhaps he has never really learned what it means to be a good husband. Without a good model it is very easy to fall into bad habits if one really doesn't know any better.
|7 weeks 15 hours ago||It sure is. However, this||
It sure is. However, this might not be what you meant: having kids is not a WAY to fix your marriage.
|7 weeks 16 hours ago||This is good. It isn't unwise||
This is good. It isn't unwise to think ahead about the game or two you really want to watch and schedule other stuff around it. Might mean doing an extra chore or two on Thursday, a date Friday, taking the kids to the park Saturday morning... It's worth it.
|7 weeks 16 hours ago||This is basically correct. I||
This is basically correct. I will say, to point one, that it is possible for people to change. Sometimes in a drastically positive way. However, it is extremely unwise to EXPECT that change to occur. When one gets married one should assume that their spouse will remain basically the same person they are, and if there is a characteristic that is unsustainable, that should bring pause.
On point two, this is basically correct, though my wife and I share a higher priority than our marriage that a cursory glance at my sig line should make obvious. The net effect is the same.
Quibbles aside these are both excellent pieces of advice.
|7 weeks 16 hours ago||SRK, I'm really sorry to hear||
SRK, I'm really sorry to hear this. Relationship decline is awful, and it's very hard to see it happen in the relationship of your own daughter.
I counsel a fair number of people in their relationships, and I am cautious about rendering judgments without hearing from both sides. In this instance it does sound like the man is a bit too consumed by sports, but the actual outlet isn't the real issue here.
Life priorities are. The plain fact is that people can become too consumed with amusements or causes or work and damage or destroy important parts of their life. Whether it's watching sports or exercise or work overtime or trolling political blogs, any factor that consumes too much time or energy can become a problem.
Someone who has a wife and/or a family simply must make those relationships a high priority. And if they're a priority, they will invest time and effort and good faith to make them work. Even if it means they miss a basketball game or turn down some extra hours on Thursday Night.
I've always been a big, big sports fan. Getting married and having kids didn't change that. However, my love for my wife and kids compelled me to alter my priorities. I spend time with family. I turn off the tv and sometimes miss sporting events to do stuff with my kids. I prioritize certain events (Michigan games mostly) ahead of time and de-emphasize others.
I'm still a fan. I haven't forfeited my manhood. I even get to go to games occasionally (usually road ones, and always with my wife and/or kids to share in the experience). I still get just as excited when Michigan wins. I haven't had to give it up, and in fact it has become an important family tradition that is passed down through multiple generations of my family.
But I have more important priorities than sports. And there are times I have to consciously choose which priority to follow.
And the joy brought through my family is far greater than the fleeting happiness that watching a game can ever bring.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Good point about Lyons, but||
Good point about Lyons, but in this case I think we can assume that Michigan isn't comfortable with what it has at center. If Kugler were ready to mash this fall and Cole was a solid choice to back him up in a position switch with other ready-to-go players behind him, Michigan doesn't make this move.
Either the depth at tackle is poor enough that they don't want Cole to move, or they think Kugler would be a serious liability.
Conclusion: Michigan has at most one solid center on the roster right now.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||FWIW: Yost may not be what it||
Yost may not be what it was 10-20 years ago. Fan habits have changed, prices have gone up, the section has moved, the arena has been rebuilt... I've heard all of that. And, yeah, watching Michigan-Minnesota on tv with a wide-open section was distracting.
But it's still great. I took my wife and two oldest girls to Michigan-Penn State a couple of years ago. It was a team that was inconsistent, the night after a shocking loss (one of several that torpedoed the team's tournament chances, as it turns out). The students were a corner instead of a sideline. The nosebleed endzone seats still as high up as ever. The metal bleachers were... perfunctory. But...
My daughters were enthralled. The band, the chants, the fans, the jerseys, the rafters, the food... they still talk about it. To them, it was amazing. To me, after years away, comparing it to UMD home games and the odd trip to Mariucci... it was awesome. I couldn't stop looking around, admiring the arena again, drinking in the sounds and the smells.
Yost may not be as great as it was, but in an objective vacuum it is still incredible.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Thanks. I wrote that over||
Thanks. I wrote that over three years ago, though.
And yes, Yost was insane. The experience of that weekend matches up well with everything I've ever seen, including UM-OSU games, Death Valley night football, etc. Amazing.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||College Hockey News is a good||
College Hockey News is a good spot. The SB Nation college hockey blog at least partly involves Chris Dilks, who is sort of oirginally a Michigan fan who has an account here, that is now a permanent Minnesotan.
A handful of us used to (or still do) hang out at the USCHO message board, but it doesn't have quite the pull that it used to.
|8 weeks 2 hours ago||Years ago the NCAA||
Years ago the NCAA recommended that college teams move to Olympic-sized rinks, with the idea being that the wider ice would open the game up. A number of teams built rinks with the larger sheet, particularly in the "west," but despite talk about it the NHL never made a similar move. As a consequence, there were always going to be significant games played on NHL-sized sheets, and schools with quality NHL-sized rinks like Yost were unlikely candidates to change sizes. So momentum dried up.
More recent arenas, such as those in Grand Forks and here in Duluth, have reverted to the NHL sized rink. No reason to develop a team to play on an ice sheet that will not be the one they play on to win a national championship.
So there's a mix, and the only way that things get universalized is for the Olympic-sheet schools to move in their sidelines. But it's not a priority, so if it ever happens it won't be for a long time.
|8 weeks 3 hours ago||Yost is "officially" 85 x||
Yost is "officially" 85 x 200, but I've long suspected that it gives away a few feet here or there. In any event it is interesting to me that they moved the blue lines this year, something I had missed amidst the stories of the refridgeration renovation.
|8 weeks 3 hours ago||I don't mean to demean the||
I don't mean to demean the players who played in 80-83, but I wasn't referring only to his coaching stint, but to the entire span of time following the title game loss to Wisconsin in 1977.
|8 weeks 5 hours ago||They're supposed to be 200 x||
They're supposed to be 200 x 85. Olympic sheets like Minnesota's are 200 x 100. Yost is, I believe, a smidge smaller than NHL regulation. There have been NHL arenas that haven't quite made it, either: the Boston Garden, for example, was notorious for being small.
|8 weeks 5 hours ago||(I think a lot of people hope||
(I think a lot of people hope and expect Mel Pearson to be asked to come home, yes.)
|8 weeks 5 hours ago||Who is putting on the||
Who is putting on the pressure? Fans may be cranky but there is no donor revolt and no reason for the Athletic Department to try to force him out.
The fact that people are unhappy about the team's performance last season doesn't mean there's "pressure" on him. He's not getting booed at Yost. People aren't walking out.
Now, do people think it's the right time for him to retire? A good number, I think. And there are specific on-ice issues and hints of past locker room issues that ground that. But it's not "pressure." It's just being ready.
|8 weeks 5 hours ago||There's no hot seat. Red is||
There's no hot seat. Red is not getting fired. He gets to decide when to hang it up.
It was and still is widely believed that it will happen after this season. It is thought by a lot of people that the program has been floundering a bit, but pretty much everyone accepts that this is a price to pay for a program legend who is responsible for basically everything good that has happened in nearly 40 years.