fair point that
|4 hours 43 min ago||Kalis still has a lot of||
Kalis still has a lot of time. I think we'll remember him fondly before he's gone.
I really am disappointed that Green hasn't worked it out. He still has a year to find a way to be productive, and he's shown flashes of impressive physical attributes... But with two staffs and three years it hasn't happened yet. And, yeah, at some point it's not the coaching. Some guys just don't emerge the way we expect them to.
That's one of the things that is so delightful about Jabrill Peppers, who has been absolutely everything we could have hoped.
|4 hours 48 min ago||I don't like them. Kinda||
I don't like them. Kinda plain, and maize letters/numbers/logos don't look as good.
But they are way, way, way better than the normal uniforms we have this year.
|5 hours 15 min ago||Jim Harbaugh's humility.||
Jim Harbaugh's humility. We've long known that he has been a loose cannon in the past. He has at least two legendary not-so-polite postgame handshakes. He has, in the past, taken shots at Michigan's academics. He has, in the past, gotten under people's skin.
And I was fine with that, because he's a winner and everything he does is about winning. So if that means he instantly becomes the most hated man in the Big Ten, so be it.
But from his opening press conference and Chrisler appearance, he has refused to engage in trash talk (EDIT: and the shoutout to Zuniga was outstanding). To bad-mouth other programs. To make guarantees. To take subtext shots at other coaches.
And, rather than just establish a football empire, he has embraced his role as a community figure. Selfies with fans, visits with Chad Carr, get-togethers with non-revenue sports teams, sneaking into the Grave Walk... all of it awesome. And he has, from all appearances, been a great guy, too. He took a vacation with his wife. He supports his coaches' families. He has never to this point chewed out a player and embarrassed him publicly, despite his fearsome reputation.
I thought we'd get a brilliant coach that made us roll our eyes in loving exasperation once a month. Instead, Jim Harbaugh hasn't put a foot wrong in the last year.
And we're winning football games all the same.
|6 hours 20 min ago||If Durkin wants to get a||
If Durkin wants to get a head-coaching job this year, he'll leave. There's no getting around it; the market is wide-open, and good programs are going to be desperate for coaches. Durkin is a rising star, so he will get looks.
If MD wants him, they'll make an offer. If he declines, it's because he thinks he can get a better job. Perhaps this year, perhaps (we can hope) an even better job next year. But he's going to go.
|1 day 41 min ago||I agree with this.||
I agree with this.
|1 day 2 hours ago||Because LSU is completely||
Because LSU is completely behind the football program. You will never lack for effort to win. They went all-in with Nick Saban and have not backed off. They will invest in facilities, in staff, in support, and in anything else a coach needs (possibly including things that the NCAA wouldn't approve of) to succeed.
They have a much better fanbase than FSU, and I believe a bigger one than Clemson as well.
If Herman is offered LSU or Georgia he would be absolutely insane not to take it.
|1 day 2 hours ago||That's definitely true||
That's definitely true (though Booty was post-Saban and post-Josh Booty) and LA is now LSU territory.
The subtext to my comment, which appears to be a bit too "sub," is that I believe LSU is as dirty as it gets in recruiting. If the Money believes they can do better than Les, I think it's because the Money already knows exactly what is involved in landing those incredible classes. Thus, getting a new coach isn't going to hurt the pipeline.
|1 day 3 hours ago||RE: the hockey issue: This||
RE: the hockey issue:
This looks kind of ugly. Yes, I understand that there are age difference concerns, but that has been a part of the game for years. The fact that the B1G appears to be doing an end-around on the rest of the sport is a very bad look. This could have been handled better.
The NCAA tourney issue is completely separate, and Walt Kyle is being ridiculous about it. Especially in the last few years, where home ice rounds would feature B1G schools traveling to face rabid local fanbases of smaller schools. I think a school like Ferris that has a great season deserves to host a game, instead of traveling for 5 or 10 hours to attend a regional that is either empty or packed with fans of a lower-seeded team.
|1 day 3 hours ago||Some commentators have||
Some commentators have suggested that LSU is insane, and use the Hat's recruiting (including the currently #1-ranked class) as a big piece of evidence.
I'm a cynic here, but I think LSU believes it will be able to recruit well no matter who the coach is. Because I think they know that the reason they recruit well is not just the Hat's charming personality. I think they have a reasonable expectation that their recruiting "advantages" will be unchanged with a new coach.
And if that is true, then this is probably a rational move. LSU has seen gobs of talent cycle through its goalposts since Saban has taken over, and it has fielded some genuinely impressive defenses. But the mediocre offense that Les produces year after year is a problem. The fact that he is mediocre with the kind of talent he has had (OBJ has an easier time producing in the NFL than he did in college. How is this even possible?) is scandalous.
And his in-game management is ineffective. And he whitewashes serious legal and ethical problems in his players like no other coach in football.
And LSU has become a destination program. If they fire Les they know they'll be able to get someone worthwhile to replace him.
|1 day 4 hours ago||So this seems to back up what||
So this seems to back up what a couple of other people suggested, that Harbaugh isn't doing a lot in Ohio this year because he wasn't in on the talent. That he's not going to invest in causes that are out of reach, but just go with what he knows and what is achievable.
There's a good indicator that this may be the case--Harbaugh's recruiting record in our own home town of Ann Arbor. I'm not a total recruiting hound like some, so I could be off here, but my impression is that there are two or three Michigan-level recruits in Ann Arbor and Saline, and Harbaugh hasn't invested a lot of effort in them. He's offered the player from Pioneer, who is literally across the street, but I don't think the guy from Skyline is even on the board.
And my impression is that this is because Michigan knows they're not likely candidates. Either because they're late to the game or because a guy wants/needs to get some distance, or something else, they're not a top choice.
And so, like Ohio, the staff goes to where the interested prospects are.
|3 days 19 hours ago||There's one good team left on||
There's one good team left on OSU's schedule. Let's see what it does.
|3 days 20 hours ago||Can't remember the last time||
Can't remember the last time I saw a college player go nuclear on coaches like Zeke did today. Also said flat-out that he's not coming back next year.
They might still get focused this week... But right now OSU players are acting like their season is over.
Just win. Beat Ohio.
|4 days 52 min ago||Agree, looked awful, but he||
Agree, looked awful, but he apparently told the radio guys he's ok, and he covered the ensuing kickoff. Great signs.
|4 days 55 min ago||I legit feel bad for Cook. I||
I legit feel bad for Cook. I want them to lose, but to get knocked out of maybe the biggest game of your career (or it should be if you aren't excessively obsessed with a certain rival) after such a good career, with so much at stake, is terrible.
Kinda similar to Henne in 07.
|5 days 29 min ago||It's one thing to make a kind||
It's one thing to make a kind gesture for someone associated with an opponent when you play them.
It's quite another for our two arch-rivals to make a public gesture like this in a huge game in which Michigan is not even involved. I'm astonished by them. What class. Both teams deserve major credit for this.
|5 days 4 hours ago||Not everybody is cut out to||
Not everybody is cut out to be a long-term NFL starter. A fair number of NFL starters aren't even cut out for it. Henne started for several years, produced some decent seasons, outlasted Blaine Gabbert, and kept the seat from being a disaster. He is now a quality, long-term backup quarterback, which isn't the biggest glamor job but is a fine achievement.
Solid backup QBs are guys who know the game, practice, work with the starter, and can jump up in a pinch and win a couple of games for a contending team if the starter goes down for a month. Henne is one of those guys. If you don't think the backup QB matters, just remember how rough it has been for the Cowboys without a competent backup. If Henne was playing in Dallas, they'd be within a game of first place right now.
|5 days 5 hours ago||Context: I haven't listened||
Context: I haven't listened to Michigan radio regularly since I left in 2005.
My impression is that the Clear Channel blootletting that axed Stoney and Wojo was a huge mistake in many areas, and the Stoney/Wojo firing was a big one. Their show had become an institution locally; I don't know what the ratings were, but I was under the impression that they crushed the competition. And Clear Channel flushed it.
It's hard to develop high chemistry, well-liked, well-listened-to shows. Some radio management groups seem to think that they can just replace hosts and the listeners won't jump ship, but given how many of those moves get walked back I'd say that they are dead wrong. It happened in LA when I lived out there; I enjoyed the Mason and Ireland show on the ESPN radio flagship, and they dropped the show on a whim. Mason and Ireland were quickly brought back in the earlier pm time slot, and when the guy they originally put in their slot bombed, the station was stuck. They had nuked a good product.
I'm not local, but when I visit town I find Metro Detroit area difficult to listen to. Part of it is familiarity, but part of it is the subjective impression that it's not as good as it was when I left.
|5 days 5 hours ago||I'd have to see the actual||
I'd have to see the actual facts before I believed that the station that just lost the Lions lost them simply over editorial content. It is certainly in their interest to present that image, but it is quite possible that the Lions just decided that WJR was better business.
Certainly is weird to think of them on WJR, but I'm pleased with this; I can pick up WJR at night in Duluth, so I will be able to hear the occasional broadcast.
I realize that the rights fees are a huge part of the equation but in my opinion it has been a mistake for entities like the Tigers and Michigan sports to ditch WJR, and a mistake for WJR to let them go. WJR is of course a clear channel, so the whole state can listen to the broadcasts after dark, and the the combination of a team loved by the whole state and a flagship station heard by the whole state was powerful.
Now, I have no idea how the money has worked. Obviously, selling programming to a whole network of local stations is profitable for teams. But I grew up with live sports on WJR and it was a big deal. The Tigers have a huge, lasting fanbase in part because millions of people grew up listening to Ernie Harwell on WJR. I became a Red Wings and hockey fan (a major influence in my entire sports experience) listening to them at night on my radio on WJR. And I miss listening to Michigan on WJR.
The Lions stink this year, so it's smaller news. And today's media landscape is radically different than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago. But I think this is a good move.
|5 days 19 hours ago||I don't see why that can't||
I don't see why that can't work. Doesn't even have to be one game, use a few for both. It's the road uniform, so a little variety will not damage tradition.
I love the white pants. I want them to remain in the rotation. However, there are times that maize pants make sense. This Saturday is probably the best example, with blue and white Penn State playing against, basically, white and blue Michigan. The Maize pants would add some nice contrast this weekend.
|5 days 19 hours ago||I'm right with you on this. I||
I'm right with you on this. I don't think this stops him from looking at other jobs; he hasn't verbally said that he is in for the long haul, and there are some huuuuuuge jobs potentially coming open. What this raise does is narrow the field--no way Herman looks at a middling job like Illinois or even South Carolina now. He can hold out for a top job, and if one does not offer him after this season, he can build a dynasty at Houston until the right spot is available.
He would be a fool not to go to a place like Georgia or Texas if they ask him to come; he doesn't need to settle for anything less, now.
|5 days 19 hours ago||People thought highly of him||
People thought highly of him when he went to Houston; I thought he would have been a great backup plan if Harbaugh hadn't come here. He has responded by winning everything so far, including some reasonably big games.
There's money to spend here for Houston, and a guy like Herman could trigger a Boise-like glory period for the program. Perhaps (as someone like Smartfootball or Stew Mandel, I forget which, speculated on twitter) even a move to a power conference like TCU. Get a few good years out of Herman and this contract pays for itself.
|5 days 22 hours ago||Our defense's structure has||
Our defense's structure has been seriously weakened. OSU is going to move the ball, and I think they're primed to hit their offensive stride just when we don't need them too.
I have one reason for cautious optimism: Jake Rudock might be Getting It.
|5 days 22 hours ago||I think you're being silly||
I think you're being silly and overly optimistic, but if these things happen I want to see an "I told you so" thread with this in it so I can upvote it and publicly proclaim the folly of my doubt.
|5 days 22 hours ago||Yes, they had an off day. But||
Yes, they had an off day. But it was an off day largely driven by very specific, repeatable reasons. Maybe Brian is being a bit dramatic about our chances against OSU being halved, but maybe not. The DL's dominance has been, along with Jabrill Peppers, the crucial factor to the success of the entire team all season long.
And, without Glasgow, they were exposed in ways that our opponent in the biggest game of the year is DESIGNED to exploit.
Hard not to be dispirited by that.
|6 days 2 hours ago||I don't think my writing was||
I don't think my writing was clear here: It was definitely a touch pass. I am arguing that there is no version of that touch pass that could have been completed--the window was insufficient.
|6 days 3 hours ago||1. Your 10/90% number is||
1. Your 10/90% number is completely imaginary. Do you have actual, firm probability numbers on those scenarios? Here are actual numbers pulled from the stats: Michigan's tailbacks averaged 3.66 ypc for the game. Rudock average 9.6 ypa. Statistically that results in two runs to the 18 yardline for a makeable 35-yard field goal in the third quarter against a team that is gashing your defense... or two passes that get you to within a yard of the first down.
2. Coaches take field position into account, yes. Very few remain employed for long by giving up on any possibility of a touchdown in a game rapidly approaching shootout territory because they have two downs to gain 20 yards.
3. Michigan converted a 2nd & 29 on their second TD drive. In at least 3 other instances they converted when having 15 or more yards to gain.
A pass play also potentially nets some yards. Checkdowns, QB scrambles (which were working), things like that. Part of the complaint about this particular playcall is that there were only two men going out, so a yardage-eating checkdown was not available.
4. I disagree. Defensive coaches in that situation do not call defenses that anticipate running plays; it is far better to play the pass and give up a few extra yards on a run than to play the run and get beat for a TD. Indiana is not going to play a run-heavy defense in this down and distance.
5. He bit a little bit; if it was 2nd & 7, he probably bites harder and the play is open. A small bite may open a window, but Rudock needed more than a small bite.
I agree that it was a bad read or a late throw.
|6 days 4 hours ago||I don't understand this||
I don't understand this argument (or the comment previously that suggest he threw a "duck"). He tried to arc the ball over the defender. He failed. That wasn't a problem with the pass--there was no "touch" pass that he could have thrown at the time he released it that would have successfully floated into the window that was available. He either needed to throw the ball sooner (probably still a touch pass) or to throw it away; it was a bad read.
|6 days 4 hours ago||I think you're dead wrong||
I think you're dead wrong here. Here are some of the reasons:
1. The only time playing for a field goal is really the desirable scenario is at the end of a game when a field goal assures a win. In all other cases a touchdown is definitely superior.
2. Jim Harbaugh has shown no inclination to play conservative on 2nd & 20 type situations, and he is hardly the only coach to treat that distance that way.
3. Given Indiana's defensive capabilities and Michigan's offensive success in the game, it was reasonable to believe that Michigan could successfully convert a long-yardage second down. They did it all day long. Why would they change?
4. Opposing coaches and players know that touchdowns are important; they also know that focusing on the pass can still allow them an opportunity to stop a couple of runs short of a first down.
5. Crucially: Opposing coaches and players DID NOT act as you suggest they should have, and they made absolutely the right call. The evidence says that they should have looked for pass, they did, and as a consequence they got a crucial turnover.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Here's the thread in||
Here's the thread in question. Reader 71 has some good points; a major one is that there's a good chance that the Speight TD pass was called not because they were counting on the defense to bite but because they wanted a certain route and/or personnel combo and the best available play happened to include PA.
|6 days 4 hours ago||We discussed it, I don't||
We discussed it, I don't think we came to a conclusion about it.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Spot on. You don't line up in||
Spot on. You don't line up in a heavy formation and run here. Or, at least, Harbaugh doesn't. I don't recall a single analogous situation this year where Harbaugh has gone in a shell and just played for a field goal. He wants to score touchdowns and calls plays that try to do that, even in tricky spots.
And if I don't recall it, Indiana coaches probably have a feel for his tendencies, too.
|1 week 16 hours ago||Alas, I agree with this.||
Alas, I agree with this. Kinda felt that way during the MSU game, even; the last two road contests have confirmed it. Not that Minnesota or Indiana are bad teams, or that the wins are bad, just that Michigan isn't ready to win at the highest levels yet.
Except against Ohio State.
|1 week 16 hours ago||Good idea. (Hey, wait a||
Good idea. (Hey, wait a minute..)
|1 week 17 hours ago||I find this scenario||
I find this scenario unlikely, just because I have doubts that the committee will be too fond of sending two teams to the playoff that just played each other in the last game. Not impossible, mind you, but Michigan in this very hypothetical scenario would have just posted its two biggest wins of the year (by far, which should throw some cold water on what we perceive our chances to be in those games) against previously undefeated teams.
The crux of this scenario, of course, is that we are assuming that Michigan can vault Ohio State and Iowa by beating them, despite having a worse record. I have asserted this possibility myself, but it is still a tricky assumption.
|1 week 17 hours ago||Yes. Win out and I'm||
Yes. Win out and I'm delighted. I mean, if we're in contention for the playoff, I would like to get in... but games matter, and we've lost two of them so far. To have a playoff discussion be even remotely relevant for Michigan in November is incredible. Beat OSU, the rest is gravy.
|1 week 17 hours ago||I don't think it's a given at||
I don't think it's a given at all. I'm very concerned about it. But if you're making that judgment based on thread like this, well, there's a good reason for it: The playoff is an interesting (and relevant) topic to us, and any playoff scenarios that involve Michigan require Michigan to beat Penn State.
So if we lose, there's no point in talking about it. For the purposes of this thread, we can't worry about it that much, even though a loss in Happy Valley is a real possibility.
Honestly, the game that matters to me is the week after that. More than the playoff, more than the B1G championship, more than winning pretty, more than anything else this season:
|1 week 17 hours ago||We don't need to jump "them."||
We don't need to jump "them." Every time a Big 12 team gets a quality win, it means a loss for another one of the teams. The only danger scenario in the Big 12 is for both Baylor and Oklahoma to win out, leaving us with two one-loss Big 12 teams; that is a scenario where the committee could take two teams in a conference, if there is a shortage of quality teams elsewhere.
|1 week 18 hours ago||Which brings up the other||
Which brings up the other really interesting question: How many of these happened in the fourth quarter? Missed tackles seem to be the sort of thing that can be caused by fatigue. And, you know, that would make sense given how many pays the D was on the field for.
|1 week 1 day ago||I really like these. I was||
I really like these. I was expecting something dull and disappointing like most of Michigan's Soccer uniforms, I guess, but these are both very sharp.
Here's my thing with the split M logo: I liked it in theory and/or principle. It seemed nice in a vacuum. The problem was that I hated how it looked on everything it was actually placed on.
The Block M is simply superior.
Weird factoid: if memory serves me correctly, Michigan played a number of Rose Bowls in which their endzone name was written in the font of the "Michigan" in the split logo. One of the oddest choices I could fathom. I believe it was this way in the '98 game, for example. Adding weirdness, until that '98 game the Rose Bowl painted the endzone in Royal Blue.
Let's go back there.
|1 week 2 days ago||Let's grant a couple of||
Let's grant a couple of things about Fred Jackson as OC:
1. He couldn't have been that good, because they moved on from him and never came close to going back.
2. He didn't have a lot to work with. In 1995 he did have the electric Tim Biakabatuka, but his quarterbacks in those two years were Scott Driesbach and Not 97 Brian Griese. The 1996 team was, probably, the least talented Michigan offense of any year in a 25-year period between post-Harbaugh-injury 1984 Michigan and 2008 Michigan. Yeah, there were some quality guys that won a national championship the next year, but by Michigan's own standards of talent it is short in every area.
|1 week 2 days ago||Parking is a big issue. I||
Parking is a big issue. I haven't taken extremely elderly, but I took my dad to a game six months before he died of cancer, and he had very similar capabilities to a man in his 80s at the time.
We went early, I dropped him off at the gate, and then I dropped the extra cash for a good spot at the golf course (may have been handicapped, I don't recall, but we had the sticker). Still, moving around the stadium was a chore. We had requested season tickets right next to the tunnel that year, and that did help quite a bit; didn't have to climb a lot of stairs.
They've changed the way they do things a lot since then, of course. If there is a wheelchair involved there should be a way to exchange your tickets for wheelchair spots, if there are some available. Not sure what to tell you about parking and getting around the concourse, though.
|1 week 2 days ago||We almost lost those two||
We almost lost those two games with Harbaugh here. Hoke doesn't just flip games like that, he removes every bit of fighting spirit the team showed in the shutout streak and probably turns one or two of this year's blowouts into losses.
|1 week 2 days ago||When Rawls was on the team||
When Rawls was on the team they weren't running the ball well at all. He got opportunities to run; he didn't do much with it. There's a good chance that the OL was the problem, yes, but it's not like he wasn't getting time. And it's not like they would give Toussaint, who was late in his career, extra carries if they thought a younger guy could do better.
The plain fact is that Hoke came to Michigan promising "manball," an old-fashioned power running game.* With a powerful offensive line opening holes for running backs.
And Hoke failed at that particular area miserably. Yeah, he had some other issues. He didn't manage the program well, wasn't a good game-day coach, etc etc. But there are guys who have lasted a long time in football with those weaknesses. Hoke's colossal failure was the offensive line, a unit that at its nadir took 4-star players and made them literally perform worse than Mac teams (just look at how they did against Akron).
He failed with RR's players, he failed with his own players. The OL destroyed the ability of the running backs to perform and develop; it destroyed the ability of Al Borges to build around base running tendencies with play-action; it destroyed the quarterbacks one by one by one; it destroyed the wills of the Michigan fanbase; and it destroyed the coaching career of Brady Hoke.
*I'm not a big worst-case-conspiracy guy, but I think it is quite possible that DB made running Power a priority or even a condition of Hoke's hire. It is entirely plausible that DB could have brought in Hoke, a guy who would give his left arm to coach here, tell him that Michigan needed a guy who would bring power back to the program, and ask Hoke if he could do that. And Hoke would say yes. It would explain why Hoke pounded on that nail so hard when his previous history at places like SDSU suggested he was open to more spread-out offenses.
The irony here is that Brandon probably associated zone running plays with the fancy-schmancy spread offenses and had no idea that teams like Alabama used zone blocking schemes in their pro-style attacks, thus by ignorance removing from Hoke the opportunity to use the holdover OL's strengths (zone blocking) in its development. The 2012 line was at best mediocre, but there were a couple of future NFL players on it; that's the line that couldn't open holes for Thomas Rawls. If Hoke had been a better/stronger coach, perhaps they are using zone blocking on that team and perhaps Rawls gets a chance to emerge.
|1 week 3 days ago||Manila wasn't so bad for||
Manila wasn't so bad for Muhammad Ali.
|1 week 3 days ago||I respect the committee quite||
I respect the committee quite a bit for that. They should re-evaluate everything during the week, and if that means that they realize they've biffed it on a team that had an unremarkable win in the previous week, that's what it means.
This is not the polls, where people are conscious of how much they are moving the teams and it's mentally difficult to re-order teams that have both won; they are, by their own stated process, evaluating everything fresh every week.
And the results speak to that. As a consequence, a team doesn't need to worry about "jumping" another team. If they have an important game coming up, the results will be reflected after the game has occurred.
|1 week 3 days ago||It would be good for us this||
It would be good for us this year, but overall I worry that it will dilute the product. One of the joys of the sport is the "every game matters" aspect that makes the in-game drama so compelling.
Let 8 teams in and a team like Clemson is basically a total lock if it wins even one more game; the ACC championship game would be a meaningless exercise for them, one for which (especially if the first round takes place in neutral sites) they may even rest players. Ohio State could lose to Michigan and it would be a footnote, because they'd be in the playoff for sure. Where's the fun in that?
I'm not saying there wouldn't be fun aspects of it, but college football is superior to other sports in a significant part because the individual games mean far more than any other sport. You spend three hours of your life watching a game? You get paid off by seeing a result that matters to the teams involved.
(For what it's worth a way to mitigate this somewhat is to make the major conference champions an autobid, give one autobid to the best of the lesser conferences, and leave only two at-large berths, one of which is available to Notre Dame. This makes non-conference games less important but makes the conference races just as vital and thus makes the "every game" feature huge in conference matchups).
|1 week 3 days ago||Hogwash. Who, exactly, is||
Hogwash. Who, exactly, is going to jump ahead of them? A two-loss Pac 12 team? A 2-loss ACC team? A 2-loss SEC team?
The Big 12 champion is virtually a lock.
|1 week 3 days ago||Well, no, we don't look like||
Well, no, we don't look like it this week.
Of course, the real concern for me is not what the committee thinks; it is whether or not we are capable of winning at Penn State, and especially against Ohio State. Just winning both is unlikely enough; a hypothetical matchup against doing-everything-the-way-it-wants Iowa is no picnic, either.
So I'm worried about the results of those games. If Michigan somehow wins them, well:
1. We will look pretty good in our eyes and the eyes of others
Point is, I think the largest threat to any hypothetical playoff berth is the distinct possibility that we will lose more games.
(For what it's worth, in my playoff scenario piece still visible in the Diaries, the Stanford loss is huge for any two-loss team to get in; there is a good chance that they can knock of Notre Dame later on, clearing the way for a 2-loss team of some variety to earn the final playoff berth. One of the hangups here could have been LSU, and they are pretty much toast now as well. Major remaining obstacles include a hypothical undefeated Houston team and the contestants in the OU-Baylor game both winning out)
|1 week 3 days ago||I'm in between in this. There||
I'm in between in this. There weren't a lot of unexpected run fits or anything, but there definitely was tempo. Indiana just ran a ton of plays and the short-handed DL could not go at full steam both because they needed to conserve energy and because, later on, they had been stripped of it. Tempo was definitely a factor.
But so was the DL getting beat. Indiana was gashing us from the opening snap. Not encouraging.
|1 week 3 days ago||We've got other great||
We've got other great players, but we just found out how vital he is to the whole line. They were a huge key to everything that was working well; hard to overstate what a blow this is.
|1 week 3 days ago||Our defense was definitely||
Our defense was definitely disappointing, a real worry going into a stretch run that features serious running games. Perhaps we get Ryan back and correct some errors and get back to a solid D again.
But if this game was the game that we needed to put Rudock under pressure to dissect the defense and execute his throws, it was worth it.
Because the game that matters is Ohio State. Even if our D is brilliant, we need to score points. That means we need Rudock to make plays. And he, out of necessity, made a ton of them today. And that encourages me at least as much going into The Game as the defense's flaws discouraged.
Because he can do it.
|1 week 5 days ago||Australia isn't a bad idea if||
Australia isn't a bad idea if SA is hotly contested, but it really only serves as a small resource engine to fortify forces in other parts of the map. Perhaps to get an edge over other contestants in SA, or to move in on NA or Africa. It will help you do that early in the game.
The upside is that it is easy to defend early on. The downside, of course. Is that it is in a useless tactical position, because Asia is an impossible ask. And you don't want to waste resources building an excessive blockade. You have to translate your resource bonus into gains elswhere on the board.
|1 week 6 days ago||I wouldn't mind making the||
I wouldn't mind making the playoff.
But what you're describing would be 100% awesome this season. I doubt we'll "kill" anyone, but to make the Rose Bowl? Awesome. To win it would be absolutely fantastic.
|1 week 6 days ago||The recent history of||
The recent history of corruption at the top levels of FIFA governance would fit some Bond treatment, too.
|1 week 6 days ago||Decided to check my work on||
Decided to check my work on the "pretty good seats" comment. They're in the upper deck near the goal line; as that Stadium goes, not great. But not awful, either--the sightlines are just fine and you aren't at all far from the field relative to more modern stadiums.
What is really notable is that they can't sell those upper deck tickets at all. They basically have whole sections on either side of the deck unsold. The same is basically true for the Penn State game; there will be some more sales leading up to that game, I'm sure, but I would expect big sections of empty when they play.
The contrast between the Dantonio era and the Schembechler era is interesting; by Bo's sixth year Michigan was wildly successful and had won Big Ten titles, but wasn't winning everything every year. The Big House began to fill up every game because the team was always very good, and 1975 was the last year there were fewer than 100,000 tickets distributed.
Dantonio has been at Michigan State for more time and has experienced a run of success not dissimilar to Bo's in recent years: winning rivalry games, going to and winning major Bowl games (including the Rose Bowl), you name it. Now, granted, the economic headwinds are tougher (unsold tickets list for $50 in the "cheap" seats) but they have a much smaller stadium to fill. And they are not filling it.
|1 week 6 days ago||Look at the bright side: it's||
Look at the bright side: it's a lot cheaper for fans to travel to see the team. Both of their travelling fans could get into every game for pocket change.
|1 week 6 days ago||Dude. $36 for four together||
Dude. $36 for four together in what I recall being pretty good seats.
I remember quietly dogging MSU for attendance issues back when they were mediocre. Rivalry and stuff. We had our own attendance issues when the Hoke Brandon mediocrity was in full throat last season.
But, seriously, MSU has been a power for five years now, and had the better of Michigan since RR came in 2008. Their basketball team is still very good. They should be building a fanbase of a whole new generation of Spartan fans. Where are they?
That they are regularly having trouble getting people to attend games is a problem. I could excuse one game in bad weather; everybody deals with that. But it seems like every game that isn't a biggie like Oregon or Michigan has attendance problems there. Even when they're undefeated. What gives?
|1 week 6 days ago||Hate to reference myself||
Hate to reference myself here, but check the diary tab. Good discussion there.
|1 week 6 days ago||This is the way it should be.||
This is the way it should be. We are rivals, not enemies.
|2 weeks 5 hours ago||You're right, of course. Utah||
You're right, of course. Utah could easily miss the championship game entirely. I followed their path because they, unlike the other two, are a real playoff candidate right now.
|2 weeks 7 hours ago||In that scenario the||
In that scenario the Baylor-TCU winner probably goes with one loss, unless Baylor has lost to OK State, in which case they (with one loss) would go with wins over Baylor and TCU. I understand what you're saying, but these games are all going to produce teams with a high-quality win, mitigating a lot of their current resume weakness.
|2 weeks 7 hours ago||This is the right move. Jerry||
This is the right move. Jerry Kill has done a good job at Minnesota, and there isn't an urgent need for a change in direction. Minnesota needs to give Claeys another year or two as the Man to see if he has what it takes to continue the growth. What's nice here is that if it's obvious he's not cut out for the job after next year, they have less reason to "give him time" because the system will have been in place for years. They can cut bait quickly if he turns out to be a Tim Beckmann-like hire.
The timing is right, too--lots of recruiting going on, he needs to be the face of the program. That's without even considering the Minnesota AD problems that have the department in some turmoil, and without considering how frenzied the coaching job market will be this off-season.
|2 weeks 15 hours ago||Here's my issue with this:||
Here's my issue with this: Not the idea that juicing is happening, but that it only happens at certain places (which happen to be rivals!).
Frankly, there's no way doping isn't widespread in major college sports, football especially. Take a competitive, athletic person. Tell them that there's a way they can work just as hard as before but compete better, be more athletic, get ahead of others, and possibly make money. What's he going to do?
Some will say no. But some will say yes. Many will. And they will succeed. They will be faster and stronger. They will out-compete opponents, who will also then juice to stay competitive. Some of them will get noticed by the NFL and get rich.
There's no way it isn't happening, and there is absolutely no way it isn't all over the NFL and other major pro sports. Simply put, if there is a real competitive benefit to juicing, some people will do it.
|2 weeks 16 hours ago||This is actually a great||
This is actually a great idea. Weather isn't fantastic but is reasonably cooperative for this time of year. And Iowa vs. Ok State, as SC has illustrated, is a huge matchup. Honestly, I'm surprised they've only sold 34,000 tickets; wouldn't surprise me if the football game is actually keeping some potential fans away who will be prepping for the football game.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||On this topic you're legit||
On this topic you're legit fulfilling your avatar. Nice.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I'm with The Hat, I'd like to||
I'm with The Hat, I'd like to hear more about this.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||There aren't many WWII era||
There aren't many WWII era freighters around anymore. The American Victory, which I described above,mis in long term layup and may never ship again. It's not because they couldn't be used, but just because they're not needed anymore. Newer, existing boats have been lengthened and refitted, and the thousand-footers the upper lakes can now hold have much larger capacities. Shipping companies just don't need as many boats to do the same work as they used to.
And even then, in low years not all the boats are used. The 1000-foot Walter McCarthy has been parked in the harbor for most of the summer because it's a low-volume year.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Bingo, we have a winner.||
Bingo, we have a winner. Verizon Wireless has exclusive rights to broadcast the NFL on phones. It used to extend to highlights, too, though I'm not sure if that's still the case. Mobile phone streams not using the Verizon NFL package (I am ignorant on how it works) are not permitted to stream NFL games. I believe this includes phones using wifi.
However, cell tablets are. I have an old cell iPad that is exempt from those restrictions; I believe you can use your phone as a hotspot and watch on a non-phone device, too.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I don't know if this still||
I don't know if this still happens, but back in the 90s and early 00s if the Lions played on SNF on ESPN WXYZ would acquire the rights to broadcast it on free tv locally. I watched a number of Lions games that way.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||If the Fitz hadn't sunk, it||
If the Fitz hadn't sunk, it would probably still be shipping today. The Arthur Anderson, the nearby ship it was buddied to and communicating with in the storm, still operates today; I see it here in Duluth periodically. There is a ship laid up in our harbor that could theoretically return to service if needed (not likely) that has a confirmed kill from its days as a freighter in WWII.
The sinking anniversary is a big deal up here, naturally. I sail past the docks that the Fitzgerald loaded its last cargo from occasionally in the summer.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||No love for Agricola,||
No love for Agricola, Dominion, or Twilight Struggle? The opportunities are vast.
Edit: Just realized, Hoke would be the one playing Sorry! and landing on Dantonio and Urban's Boardwalk/Park Place in Monopoly. Harbaugh is the one eating your lunch in Europe in Twilight Struggle.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Hockey has done well at this||
Hockey has done well at this sort of thing; they have, I believe, eliminated checking at younger ages and modified the rules as kids develop. I'm not as knowledgeable on the details as someone like JGB, but the changes they've made have been sweeping and visible. And, I believe, productive.
Soccer people appear to believe that it's better that they get on top of this now, before it becomes some sort of social cause. Soccer is very popular but does not have the cultural base in this country that football does; if families grow to think it is unsafe it could seriously erode in favor of some "less dangerous" sport.
And, let's face it, hitting a hard-kicked ball with the head can hurt.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||The actual jurisdiction may||
The actual jurisdiction may be small, but I would suspect that this could set the standard and many other organizations at that age level will follow suit.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I'm not the type to just rely||
I'm not the type to just rely on"cross fingers, hope the coaches turn a guy into a genius." Yes, the coaches are good, but you can't just turn someone into a player they are not. I'm concerned about next year's LB corps, for example.
That said, this is one area where I trust the coaches to identify and train a player to be reliable and productive next season. Fullback doesn't require a set of hard-to-find skills; you need to be reasonably big, you need to block well, and you need to know what to block. Unlike height, speed, and athleticism, these are things that can and will be developed and taught.
Makes sense if you think about it--there isn't exactly a slot for a 4-star fullback recruit on most recruiting boards; guys are identified as players and put into place in that spot. I imagine the coaching staff already has an idea who they will try to move and knows exactly what it will take to make them a reliable contributor.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I'm well aware of their||
I'm well aware of their quality. Remember, I've been to playoff games at the Barn in Windsor, I know what it's supposed to look like. I also know that the experience is decidedly uneven, especially if your local team isn't one of the ones mysteriously acquiring the best players every season.
You seem to think that the embrace of college hockey is a denial of the value of Major Junior; in my case, it most assuredly is not. However, recognizing quality in the OHL does not automatically grant it standing that is superior to the majesty that is college hockey in its finest glory.
I've seen greatness in both, and I've seen mediocrity in both. The mediocrity works out about the same; the greatness is simply greater in college. And the consistency of the product throughout the season is flat better.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Questionable in value, not||
Questionable in value, not questionable in existence.
As far as what parts you are "not clear" about: you are welcome to continue to prefer half-empty Steelheads games to crackling college student atmospheres, and the appeal of seeing highly-skilled players scything through woefully overmatched (read: young and untalented) defenses is understandable.
I've seen great, up-and-down games in front of buzzing fans at Windsor Arena. It's awesome. But it falls short against the even better atmospheres at places like Yost, and the depth and quality of play in college hockey is unmatched by Major Junior clubs. Yes, they have some terrific players; they also have a lot of guys that are just guys.
Perhaps the best way I can put it is that Michigan's hockey program is experiencing a dearth of quality and success unheard of since the first building years of the Red Berenson era. They've had some high draft picks with great skill; they also suffer from bewildering defensive breakdowns and have an unusually high number of team members that are "just guys." The goaltending shows flashes of sharpness and fairly noticeable stretches of mediocrity. Some players have seemed to be more interested in their own games than in the welfare of the team. The atmosphere at Yost is crimped, and there are games where the fans just don't seem engaged.
In other words, they are the closest thing to a Major Junior team they've been in my lifetime.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Whoa there, Mr. Sensitive,||
Whoa there, Mr. Sensitive, this isn't a thread about OHL vs. College Hockey. You may be surprised to learn that I actually enjoy OHL hockey and, when I lived in the area, attended a fair number of games in at least four different venues. I prefer college hockey, which isn't surprising on this board, but I recognize that the OHL is a good option for future long-running pros.
The education option provided by the NCAA is still vastly superior, even after some (good!) changes made by the OHL. It's not really a point of contention here: good for the players who go that route.
You may be surprised to hear that it does not surprise me that there are excellent universities in Canada; my Dad graduated from York University before earning his Ph.D at Michigan, and my Grandfather went to U of T. Most of my Dad's family attended University at good institutions.
And those schools have had ex-major junior players for decades. Perhaps you should focus on the fact that I'm giving an OHL team such credence, and not the fact that I might find NCAA hockey preferable in a respect or two.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||It may not be. However, if||
It may not be.
However, if there is a sea change in how athletes treat and are treated by their teams, especially in semi-amateur sports, prompted by an outbreak of player walkouts and strikes, this might be the place it started.
Honestly, I have a hard time believing this goes down in Flint if Missouri didn't just strike yesterday.
Could we see a college team strike for player-pay related issues this year? We might not, but suddenly it seems like it's about to happen.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||The son is in a no-win||
The son is in a no-win situation here. Dad is putting his son above the team; his son can either alienate his teammates and be known as the reason the team is a horrible place to play, or he can show up his father.
And what coach will want to work for this owner now?
|2 weeks 2 days ago||The franchise was just bought||
The franchise was just bought and moved this year after years of being in Plymouth under the ownership of Peter Karmanos. Frankly, the OHL can't afford to alienate potential owners by stripping them of their franchises. The teams aren't money holes but they aren't exactly revenue engines either, except in some cities that already have established franchises.
For what it's worth, the owner in question appears to be Rolf Nilsen, who was said to have "no hockey ownership experience" when he bought the team. His son is Hakon Nilsen, who was just drafted out of the Little Caesar's program. Rolf works for the US branch of a Norwegian manufacturer. And, for what it's worth, when he bought the team they made a big show of putting Costa Papista, apparently a well known hockey guy, out front of the franchise.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||The Saginaw Spirit, still||
The Saginaw Spirit, still playing in Saginaw.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Ok. Just a minor nitpick||
Ok. Just a minor nitpick that's off-topic.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Wow. Hilariously, Mike||
Hilariously, Mike Sillinger and Bob Boughner were their first two picks. I mean, not bad picks, but Fedorov was an MVP and Nik Lidstrom might be the second-best defenseman of all time.
I am one of the ones guilty of underrating Lidstrom for most of his career. I'm an Yzerman guy, he's one of my favorite athletes ever. Lidstrom was, for years, simply not on his level to me. However, he combined brilliance and longevity and is an all-timer. I dare not consider whether or not he ranks higher on the all-time list than Steve because I might not like the answer; fortunately they're both "good guys."
The leadup to the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals was all about the anticipated matchup between the mean, nasty Vladimir Konstantinov and the beefy Eric Lindros "Legion of Doom" line. Bowman, ever the genius, matched Lidstrom against Lindros instead; of course, the Wings swept the series.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Aside: Is "Abrahamic" a real||
Aside: Is "Abrahamic" a real description of names? Abraham had kids with names like Jokshan and Ishbak; he had a grandson named Jacob, but some of his great-grandchildren had names like Isaachar and Zebulun.
Some familiar names are indeed Biblical (though it doesn't go both ways, nobody names their kid Jehoshophat) but a lot of "culturally familiar" names are just Anglo-Norman. William, Edward, Richard, etc.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||At the risk of dipping my toe||
At the risk of dipping my toe into the issue:
If there are, indeed, segregated areas of campus; if there are, indeed, segregated areas of eathing; if there are, indeed, segregated dormitories or housing areas...
Then those issues should be raised, quantified, and addressed.
You say this:
"The movement isn't about 'fix these problems.'"
Then it's not going to fix the problems. It can get attention, it can get media coverage, it can get sympathy, but the problems will continue. What you describe sounds more like people seeking attention rather than solutions. I could be wrong, and I'm not there, but that's what it sounds like.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Without getting into my||
Without getting into my opinion in the issue prompting this: I think a lot of people expected that some day a team would "strike" in a major college sport.
Nobody expected it to be because of this. Essentially, they are striking to get the university president fired. Now, it can at least fairly be said that the demands and issues are controversial. And it appears that the president is not himself engaged in or promoting racist activity.
So I don't think this will be well received at all. And I think this could, possibly, damage the cause of "players rights" by associating them with university bubble-style politics instead of the real issues surrounding athletes working in a high-revenue industry.
So this could be problematic from that standpoint.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||"were immediately and||
"were immediately and completely discarded by the illegitimate government that has been in place."
Might have a clubhouse leader for most outrageous comment in this thread.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Pinkel standing with his||
Pinkel standing with his African American players is the least surprising stance in the history of coaching. No coach whose job is dependent upon the recruitment of a group of players that is majority African American is going to recruit worth anything if other coaches can recruit against perceived racial insensitivity.
He may totally agree with them. He may just respect their choice to take a stand. He may think they're being ridiculous. But he is not going to get on the wrong side of this, not if he wants to coach for a living.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Do you know many||
Do you know many socioeconomically disadvantaged white people? Or even those from other racial/cultural groups? Do you spend time with them, eat with them, invest in them? Because it doesn't sound like you do.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||It's basically impossible for||
It's basically impossible for anything other than basic discussion of facts to occur on this topic without discussion involving a political position that some people will disagree with. IMO.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Hypothetically, yes.||
|2 weeks 3 days ago||I'm going to feel really dumb||
I'm going to feel really dumb about getting my hopes up here when MSU puts Nebraska away 45-13.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Wasn't expecting much, but||
Wasn't expecting much, but this is great.
Brian's repudiation of Carr in the OSU game column is pretty definitive. It was also, alas, completely accurate.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||For D-2, yes, they're very||
For D-2, yes, they're very good. Same conference (NSIC) that UMD plays in. But this is D-2, so it's not that high of a bar to clear. UMD's best player last year was a 6'5 center, for example.
But good for Augustana. Bad for Iowa. But this is a real exhibition, so I can't get too worked up about it.
Unless there are some good Fran shots. I'd like to see those.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||There's a lot of rumor||
There's a lot of rumor circulating about it. "Whisper talk." Also, just from the staff writers at Mgoblog: It is expected that there will be a couple of playing-time transfers in the offseason, opening spots that are actively being recruited. When Speight played on Saturday, Brian revealed that he had known that Morris had not been the second-string for some time, and suggested "make of that what you will."
And Harbaugh revealed that the decision had been made to pursue a redshirt, in consultation with Shane and his family.
I don't think he's taking that redshirt to get an extra year being a backup at Michigan. It sounds like he's taking it to have another year of eligibility somewhere else.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Almost forgot about that, but||
Almost forgot about that, but you're right, I think we kind of figured this was a one-year mutually beneficial stopover for him when he was hired, didn't we? More power to him.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Unfortunately I think you||
Unfortunately I think you might be right here. This is an absolute seller's job market--there are tons of solid jobs open right now, with more on the way at the end of the season. And then some guys will get hired to a new school, leaving an unexpected vacancy at mid-range Power 5 schools that we weren't necessarily expecting.
And there aren't a lot of slam-dunk candidates around. So by the time you get to mid-level schools that are still good opportunities, you're looking at total retreads or at coordinators. And DJ Durkin has to start getting some play when that happens.
The only glimmer of counterfactual hope here is that if Durkin is convinced he's a big-time guy he may wait to build up a bit more rep so that he can be a leading candidate for a top-line job. Right now he would be a good candidate for an also-ran power five team; turn out another defense or two like this and he may have schools on our level looking seriously at him.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Piggybacking on Reader 71 a||
Piggybacking on Reader 71 a bit:
*Many of Michigan's plays involve some play action, so it's sensible for a desirable pass play to include it.
*Harbaugh is a guy that subscribes to the theory that to really sell play action, you pull a guard. @smartfootball just re-upped this concept on Twitter last night, and the guy he quoted was... Former Harbaugh OC Greg Roman.
*Michigan's OL does not pull a guard here; Wilton is not super-selling the fake. They are not going all out to sell run here. All they have is a half-hearted fake and a personnel package that both suggests run as a possibility and requires defensive personnel appropriate for stopping said run.
*I would thus surmise that what Michigan was looking for was not, specifically, the space provided by the LBs biting hard on a fake, but rather the routes and coverages prompted by the personnel and formation. Also, a play that they had confidence in Wilton executing.
Thus, the run fake, while part of the play, isn't really the pivotal element of it. As Reader71 discussed.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Disagree. He wanted to go to||
Disagree. He wanted to go to the NFL, in the "right situation." His name had been coming up for a couple of years; the Seahawks gave him what he wanted. Yeah, the timing helped, but he was interested in leaving anyway.
|3 weeks 16 min ago||This brings up an interesting||
This brings up an interesting contrast: while we get shafted on college football, the prevalence of Domes in our region has meant that we have had a disproportionately high number of Final Fours within driving distance. And, thanks to the Indianapolis arrangement, will continue to do so. California and the Northeast, on the other hand, get almost nothing.
Doesn't make up for it, but it's worth noting.
|3 weeks 19 min ago||The SF Bay Area is a||
The SF Bay Area is a metropolitan area that includes multiple significant cities; three different cities have major pro sports teams using their names, and another (Golden State) uses a state nickname instead of a city, unique in American Sports.
San Jose doesn't sound exotic. San Francisco just plain isn't accurate. Oakland is close-ish but far away. It's a tricky sort of area to promote, but the Bay's international fame makes it important to promote it.
|3 weeks 2 hours ago||Since the National Title||
Since the National Title games won't be represented in the B1G footprint, I guess B1G teams will just have to go win them in someone else's footprint.
|3 weeks 2 hours ago||Two in the SEC footprint,||
Two in the SEC footprint, with another (Tampa) already scheduled there. One in the Pac 12 area, not horrifically far from the one scheduled in Glendale.
At least Dallas is nominally Big 12 territory, but even that is not a hard trip for the spoiled children of the ESSSS EEEEE SEEEEE.
|3 weeks 3 hours ago||Well, we're not talking about||
Well, we're not talking about tempramental polls here. We are, at least in theory, talking about an objective committee.
So it's possible. But we have an extra loss. The team is better than any team MSU or OSU played out of conference, but it is a loss. And, when you get into nitty-gritty comparisons, MSU has both a victory over us AND they played both major games on the road. OSU split, while we got both at home.
In a three-way tie, barring an unexpectedly lopsided game result somewhere, I would expect MSU to get the nod.
|3 weeks 3 hours ago||There are rumors floating||
There are rumors floating around that he's playing with broken ribs. And/or other stuff. I guess we'll find out later.
|3 weeks 4 hours ago||I don't believe Beilein will||
I don't believe Beilein will ever bring Michigan up to parity with the big shots of the sport in Durham, Lawrence, Lexington, or Chapel Hill.
That's ok. Michigan is competitive. We have good players that know what they're doing. Basketball season is tons of fun. I care about what happens in March now. That's what we hoped for, a basketball team that mattered, a team that made the tournament and occasionally made runs.
Think about this: Michigan made the NCAA championship game. You know, the last game of the season. And it wasn't a fluke. They were good.
After decades in the wilderness, it still strikes the imagination. Beilein forever.
|3 weeks 4 hours ago||Making the playoff is||
Making the playoff is virtually impossible for Michigan. That's ok; this is a rebuilding year. Even winning out is a hard ask, but let's say that Michigan does: It is not likely that we will leapfrog both once-beaten MSU and once-beaten OSU (even if we've just beat them) in the rankings. Our chances of making Indy in a three-way tie are almost nil.
But, while unlikely, it's not impossible to imagine MSU losing to OSU and getting shocked by PSU. If that happens, our path to Indy is open.
Frankly, all these scenarios are spurious. There is one thing that matters for the rest of the year: Beat Ohio.
|3 weeks 5 hours ago||It's like Louisville, except||
It's like Louisville, except the exact opposite.
Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I have to guess that this is||
I have to guess that this is one of those "unwritten rules" that officials allow all the time. It's only an issue now because some bloggers brought up the goal line still photo, but centers pick up the ball and shift it around on every play. I would guess that officials overlook this automatically, and also ignore incidental defensive alignment problems that result when the D lines up according to the actual line of scrimmage.
Edit: fmh with even better information than me.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I've pretty much been here||
I've pretty much been here most of the year. Rudock is flawed and is not going to improve significantly, but this is who we have. Maybe, maybe, he hits a couple of once-in-a-lifetime passes in a key moment (say, against OSU) and we are delightfully surprised. Perhaps he doesn't. Perhaps Michigan goes 8-4 this year and his flaws are our undoing.
8-4 is still pretty good given where we've been. They are who they are. Let's see what happens.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Isaac was definitely||
Isaac was definitely participating in warmups. No idea if this is typical, but he was out before the rest of the RBs. Maybe testing a nagging injury?
Props for a good description of Minnesota as a place that is exciting to watch college football because college football is an incredible experience unlike anything else.
It's not Michigan, and it's not, say, LSU or Texas A&M, but it is college football. At night, with a marching band and fans and stuff.
First major football game I've attended since Michigan's visit in '12. It's not as good as Michigan Stadium. That's a poor comparison, though. It's comparing $1 billion cashto $1.1 billion cash. The difference is significant, but to a guy who's just living paycheck to paycheck either would be life changing.
Minnesota isn't a top college football destination. It's way, way better than almost anything else out there, though, because college football is awesome.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Um, are they likely to sell||
Um, are they likely to sell out? It's been a while, but past Michigan visits have been attended by hoards of empty bleachers.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||2004 was, as well.||
2004 was, as well.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I'll defend non-participant||
I'll defend non-participant fans at a game like this: inevitably, some people graduate from school and move places where their team does not play regularly. They do not stop being fans of their team, and they do not stop being fans of the game. If I were living in the cities and craved some live college football, I would go to a game for the experience even if my team weren't playing. And I would wear my team's stuff.
If MSU came to Duluth to play UMD in hockey, would I put on my Michigan hockey jersey and get a ticket and cheer against them? You bet I would.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Most schools expect their||
Most schools expect their announcers to demonstrate some enthusiasm; sometimes it is actually considered necessary so that the fans will know when they are supposed to be excited. The announcer at OSU hockey games certainly fit this category. Sometimes it's just part of the experience, as when the LSU announcer yells "GEAUX!!!!!" In Death Valley after touchdowns, a place that requires no extra oomph.
Each place has its own culture. I really appreciate Michigan's which really owes Howard King and Glenn Williams (the former, magnificent hockey PA) a debt for setting a standard of balanced professionalism that is maintained today.
FWIW the Minnesota PA says "Rah" after the rouser is finished, something that I have heard both in football and in hockey at that school. It's one of their "things."
|3 weeks 2 days ago||It's easy to get caught up in||
It's easy to get caught up in the hysteria of hiring a great coach and mindlessly laud everything he does as if it's the greatest thing on earth without paying attention to the grimy, not-so-positive stuff that is obvious to everyone else. We know this because we've seen places like OSU and Bama engage in such mindless hero worship; it is reasonable to think that we'll be vulnerable to this, too.
Which is why it is so delightful to see Harbaugh go through almost a year as our coach and barely put a foot wrong. He's not even snarking off at other programs like we expected; he said he had matured and the evidence so far suggests that he is right. We're gaga over the cool stuff he does and it's totally justified.
He's just winning.
And loving Michigan.
This was a great gesture by someone who knows and loves his program. 100% awesome.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||It was about 50. Chilly||
It was about 50. Chilly enough to wear a jacket, but for Minnesota in late October, it was balmy. Very mild autumn so far.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Don't think it was that high.||
Don't think it was that high. We had a good group, but outside of the designated visitor sections the turnout was just isolated people here and there.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||This was my second trip to||
This was my second trip to the Bank, both trips for Michigan games with offspring. I took my two older daughters this time.
It was nice. We had the misfortune of getting stuck near a group of obnoxious drunk guys dressed as Waldo in section 202. My girls were actively unhappy until we moved to some empty seats a section over; after that things were pleasant. Minnesota fans are mostly friendly, partly because Minnesota has been so bad for so long and they don't know what it's like to get seriously emotionally invested in huge games the way some other canvases do; also just Minnesota nice.
The Stadium is good. Sight lines are fine throughout and nothing us particularly far from the field. The bowls are pretty shallow, so the stairs aren't daunting, and you don't feel like you're hanging over the field.
The crowd was, understandably, much livelier than it was in 2012 (11am kick, lousy team). I don't think it felt menacing or deafening, but it was noisy a fair amount. Yes, the music was frequent and obnoxious, and the announcer was a homer. It's not as good as Michigan Stadium; it's also extremely common in other stadiums. We as Michigan fans are incredibly lucky to have the type of "stuff" we are accustomed to.
The pregame atmosphere is growing on me. They suffer from lousy tailgating options, of course, but Dinkytown is a good place to eat before kickoff and I actually had a decent time parking and getting out again; good thing, since I had to drive to Duluth after the game. The band plays outside of the stadium before the game, a nice enough tradition that perhaps 1000 people wait around to watch.
The Michigan fans were good late in the game. I think we were all shocked we were leading. I didn't think we had an unusually high turnout (visiting fans filling 201-206 except for the low rows is typical here) but I saw a lot of friendly fans all day and we had a good time cheering together. There were some "de-dense" and "let's go blue" chants, and a couple decent "Go! Blue!" Exchanges. I appreciate the guy who led "The Victors" after touchdowns in 201. Getting to sing along with my girls was a highlight.
Really, I'm just thrilled to get to watch the team in person. Third time since I left A2 after the 2004 season. I would sit in a pool teeming with live piranhas if I got to watch Michigan football locally in person. Locals, be grateful for what you have.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||I thought about this, since I||
I thought about this, since I was affected by it in the low part of 202. I think that it is a combination of asymmetrical quirkiness and, more vitally, a desire to allow the scoreboard to better face the valuable premium seats and suites. The only seats really left out are the far corner ones that visiting fans sit in, and in fairness we do get a smaller auxiliary scoreboard.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Here's an odd one: Michigan||
Here's an odd one: Michigan took an 18-point lead over Northwestern at one point in the infamous 2000 game. Northwestern scored, and then recovered a surprise onside kick to get the ball right back, allowing the game to be tight the rest of the way.
At least one Northwestern player was several yards offside on that kick. Get that call right, and...
|3 weeks 2 days ago||In addition to the phantom||
In addition to the phantom TD, USC's other touchdown in that Rose Bowl occurred on a play where the refs failed to call an obvious false start penalty that Michigan defenders were actively pointing out.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Not sure Penn State flips,||
Not sure Penn State flips, and WSU isn't in position for a Hail Mary at all if the refs don't blow an OPI call, but you're totally right about the Washington game, where even Braylon himself thought the pass was incomplete.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||I misspoke. I was speaking of||
I misspoke. I was speaking of performing like this on the road. Michigan hasn't been gutty on the road for a long time.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||You know, he's clearly very||
You know, he's clearly very competitive, and occasionally there are mental errors and near-muffs, but he is quite disciplined. A lot of guys with his skill set would be loose cannons. Brilliant, but frequently hurting the team in their effort to do everything.
Peppers holds to the exact place in the endzone he needs to when he decides whether a kick is returnable, every kickoff. He doesn't rush to try to get a punt on the sideline that would risk a fumble when it will go out of bounds for good field position. And, on the pass play, he chose to run out of bounds rather than forcing a dangerous pass, giving Speight a chance to win it.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||A lot of people like the||
A lot of people like the call. I guess I understand. But I have a good guide for whether or not a call like that (going for it on fourth down, etc) is good: how I feel about it as an opposition fan.
If my reaction is, "oh, crud," it's probably a good call. If I am excited and pleased, it's probably a bad call.
One play to win or lose, asking our DL to make the play? I was delighted.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Even the plays he didn't||
Even the plays he didn't touch were changed. The winning TD was set up by incredible field position that we had entirely because Minnesota was terrified of punting to Peppers in the open field. Not to mention two other tds set up by his returns.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||It was. The game was||
It was. The game was basically over--what semblance of a passing game we had wilted, the running game continued to be unreliable, and nothing was happening. Minnesota fans smelled blood in the water.
No Hoke team, and no Rodriguez team, ever did a buggier job of competing in near-hopeless conditions better than the team that played tonight. Everything was weird, dozens of things were going wrong, Minnesota was playing the perfect game. And still they competed.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||I suppose I tend to give more||
I suppose I tend to give more credence to the way Moss utterly dominated opposing defenses (his evisceration of the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day '98 was unforgettable, the stuff of legend) but Beckham did all that and didn't even play in four games.
I'll have to change my opinion.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Totally agree. He's stating||
Totally agree. He's stating the facts. If there is criticism here, it is a subtle prod of Smith himself ("he's got to work...") rather than an indictment of the college system.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Rookie receivers don't always||
Rookie receivers don't always start out of the gate strong. First season receiving totals:
Herman Moore: 11
It takes time for rookies to learn the ropes. Some are so talented that they are able to be good right away, but many future stars are not. The only receiver in my lifetime that I could classify as "great" in his first year was Randy Moss, perhaps the most physically gifted player in NFL history. He caught 69 passes in 1998.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||This is a nothingburger, IMO.||
This is a nothingburger, IMO. Gailey is giving an update on the growth and progress of a new player; the new player hasn't really emerged yet, and he says why.
Yeah, he doesn't do all the pro stuff at OSU. That's not any big secret to anybody. In truth, over the course of decades rookie wide receivers rarely make a huge impact in the NFL right away, because the combination of things to learn and the increased physical rigor of the game mean that they have to develop to truly emerge. That's ok.
I see this as just a statement of fact, and, at worst, a comment on Smith's capacity to learn. The fact that he doesn't get every piece of info in college means little.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||This tweet is very promising,||
This tweet is very promising, since it seems to indicate that he has a solid plan to stay right now. However, I also take the "wait and see" approach. And not because I have a low view of Lewis.
But if the season ends and he's a 1st-team All-American and talk suggests he would be drafted in the top 20 (no idea if this happens, but this is hypothetical) and he changes his mind and goes, well, good for him. For me personally, saying "I'll wait and see" offers the Liberty that I won't somehow feel jilted because he later makes a reasonable decision to change his mind.
I hope he doesn't. Because this D could be legendary next year.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||I've thought about that,||
I've thought about that, there's that city park on the East Bank that hosts parking for the game. If this were a 3:30 game that's probably what I would try. Regardless, I'd love to see what you thought of it after, since Michigan will be back some day and a family trip would be nice in the future.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||The only tailgating allowed||
The only tailgating allowed near the Stadium is in a small handful of donor-only lots. The layout of the Stadium and campus really precludes a large tailgate scene, unfortunately. I'll be eating in Dinkytown.
Theoretically, a thriving food district can be a grea pregame scene even without tailgating. My recollection is that Cumberland Avenue in Knoxville is a fantastic place to be on Tennessee game days, for example.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||My experience is that the||
My experience is that the visitor ticket allotment is in the northwest corner upper deck, roughly sections 201-206. I suppose it may have changed since 2012, though.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||I am taking my two oldest||
I am taking my two oldest daughters; first Michigan football game for the second one. We live in Duluth, so we'll drive down in the early afternoon and park in Dinkytown. I thought about tailgating and would love to do a full thing, but we have ministry responsibilities on Sunday morning and I can't afford the time to shuttle back to the fairgrounds after the game.
We'll probably eat at Five Guys or something.
The tough thing about meeting other Michigan fans at these events is that you can't just say "look for the guy in a Michigan Jersey" and have it mean anything.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||202, row 4. That's the corner||
202, row 4. That's the corner with the Michigan fans, mostly in the top half of the section if memory serves. I'll be the tall guy with two daughters.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||What's crazy is that all of||
What's crazy is that all of those RBs will get carries. I don't remember a Michigan RB stable that consistently got so many guys into the game.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||I hate to be negative nancy,||
I hate to be negative nancy, but if there's one thing the Hoke era taught me, it's that we can't just assume young guys are going to develop into decent players, even with bowl practices and a good recruiting ranking. They might, but they also might not; the fact that our current linebacker corps is fine but not great and is getting no push from behind is worrisome to me.
We all swore up and down that the 2013 OL just HAD to be better than the mediocre 2012 unit; we thought 2012 was as low as it could go. The guys coming up were all star recruits, now with time in the system, and guys that were leaving were just never quite getting over the hump.
And that OL, except for the left tackle, couldn't even block MAC defenses.
"Assumption is the mother of all messups." Glad Harbaugh isn't the assumption type.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||I don't think there's any way||
I don't think there's any way that Ojemudia gets another year; the Buck spot will be a bit questionable. I wouldn't be surprised to see an interior guy lose some weight and compete there, since there's a lot of depth on the DL.
LB is a big, big questionmark. It's not exactly a highlight of the defense now, with Joe Bolden being adequate but not dominant and not getting seriously pushed for his spot. We've seen Gedeon look serviceable... and to my recollection that's about it. It's a worry; it is less of a worry than it would have been ten years ago, since Jabrill is carrying so much of the load that used to be assigned to a linebacker.
I think the major issues on defense are injuries (as they are for everyone) and possible defections. Our fearless leaders drop jokes about it, but I think Lewis is a serious departure threat. May be a couple of other guys on the D we aren't expecting, either, because all of them are playing so well.
On offense, will Drake Harris really be only a RS Soph? It feels like he's been here forever. The receivers bear watching; Hoke got a couple of good recruits, and the guys we have now are doing a good job, but we don't have game-changers. It would be nice to see one of our slot guys evolve into a real multi-purpose threat; not sure if we'll see it.
And of course a lot revolves around the quarterback position. Right now there is nobody who is seriously pushing Jake Rudock, and while he is winning games and has stopped turning the ball over, we all know that he's leaving points on the field.
Get a QB that protects the ball AND adds offense and this team looks really, really dangerous.
But regardless, if everyone comes back, that roster looks totally stacked. Like, start the season in the top 5 and stay there all year stacked.
*It's tempting to look two years ahead; it can be worrisome to see that there aren't many contributors that will still be around. However, it's really hard to look that far ahead with any accuracy. Too many things change--players leaves, recruits come in, guys develop, guys change positions, etc. There is so much that will change between now and then. Two years ago we thought Shane was the Future after Devin graduated and had no reason to believe he wouldn't thrive, and we thought our hope for a quality defensive backfield rested in Blake Countess.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||I've never understood why so||
I've never understood why so many fans, armed with three years of watching Al Borges produce absolutely execrable offensive performances on the road, think that the insertion of Devin Gardner as a backup at night in Nebraska would somehow transform that game into an offensively competent win.
It's not like Denard got injured on the first drive. The offense was awful for the entire time he was in the game; Bellomy was worse, but "backup Devin Gardner on the road" is not somehow going to win a game that was a coaching disaster to begin with.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||2003 is far an away the top||
2003 is far an away the top highlight; Minnesota just hasn't been competitive enough for there to be many more.
In fairness, though, 2004 was actually a very good game as well; they were actually ranked one spot above Michigan in the polls at the time. Michigan was a bit less incompetent at defending Minnie's zone running, but Minnesota still ran well, and Michigan needed a 31-hard TD pass from Henne to Ecker with 1:31 to go to win.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||It was his first start, right||
It was his first start, right after the Nebraska game.
He had that great spin/scramble where he found Dileo with about 20 yards of space on all sides in the endzone for a TD, right below where I was sitting with my daughter. Gallon started to emerge as a jump ball threat, too.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||The renovation they're doing||
The renovation they're doing on the Stadium looks like it could be revolutionary, actually.
But any Stadium, no matter how nice, cannot make up for lousy fans. Miami is a small school with a small alumni base, a second-fiddle team in a city populated with perhaps the worst sports fans in America, as judged by apathy. And they don't play games close to campus. It's a perfect storm of awful.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||A win and a tie on the road||
A win and a tie on the road is good. And the EZAC issue isn't as big of a deal now, so with the B1G stinking in a bad way these are important and good results.
Road results are very important. I'll take it.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Well this is the most I've||
Well this is the most I've seen them this season, but, um, that's kinda been a big complaint in the last couple of years. So, maybe, yeah.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Ballgame in Tuscaloosa.||
Ballgame in Tuscaloosa.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Man. DT just ran through a||
Man. DT just ran through a double-team like it wasn't there. That was a good sack.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Tennessee has the ball, needs||
Tennessee has the ball, needs a TD to win.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Hey look Mike Debord runs it||
Hey look Mike Debord runs it up the middle on first down. No way.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||"They may feel like they've||
"They may feel like they've gotten no breaks today at Michigan State."
They have absolutely nothing to complain about.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Uhhhh why would Bama go for||
Uhhhh why would Bama go for the one-point EP? It's a 2-point conversion or bust for them.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Look, either the guy touched||
Look, either the guy touched OOB (which I think he did but they didn't look) or that's a horrible call against MSU. And it's no comfort to us because they should've gotten their calls right last week.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I disagree. I appreciate||
I disagree. I appreciate hearing the reasoning behind the call.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Alabama grinding its way to a||
Alabama grinding its way to a win. Time will go out, FG to win is inevitable.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||TD Bama, never mind.||
TD Bama, never mind.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||He might be out of bounds||
He might be out of bounds there. They should zoom in on that.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Weird, weird fumble play.||
Weird, weird fumble play.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Helpfully for Indiana the||
Helpfully for Indiana the play when down by 5 is a TD and a 2-point conversion, so an extra point is currently not in the cards.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Bama in field goal range,||
Bama in field goal range, 3:20 to go.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Stat: This is Tennessee's||
Stat: This is Tennessee's first second-half lead against Bama since 2006. Wow.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Playing from behind all game||
Playing from behind all game is just what the doctor ordered for Mike Debord.
On the other hand this does give Tennessee to experience yet another heartbreaking blown lead...
|4 weeks 3 days ago||13-7 Bama but Tennessee is||
13-7 Bama but Tennessee is driving right now. 6 minutes to go.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Touchdown Vols. Tied with the||
Touchdown Vols. Tied with the EP pending. Wow.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Someone should do a stastical||
Someone should do a stastical analysis of fourth-quarter outcomes for teams that do and do not hold up four fingers after the third quarter. Surely there's a correlation with success.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Rudock is who he is. MSU is||
Rudock is who he is. MSU is vulnerable in the back end. We knew it before the game, and Michigan didn't exploit it. It was disappointing.
It is also what Michigan is this year. They leave some yards and points on the field, the goal being to win with defense and execution. It has worked pretty well in five games; the execution destroyed us in the other two.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Way more concerned.||
Way more concerned.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Will they score points? Yes.||
Will they score points? Yes. Is Barrett an upgrade? Yes. But our defense is built for that kind of team. The DL, Peppers, Lewis... if they execute as they are capable of, there's a good chance they frustrate the OSU O enough to give the offense a chance.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||To be fair, a lot depends||
To be fair, a lot depends upon matchups. The problem I believe we have is that we just can't execute reliably on offense when we need to; neither our running game nor our passing game is good enough to be counted on to make the plays we need against good teams every time, and that has already cost us.
That's just where Michigan is right now.
To be fair, I think LSU is overrated; their Florida win was good, but their passing game is notably inconsistent. Could we beat them? Maybe, but I don't know.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||They look as good as anyone||
They look as good as anyone else with one loss, because no team is perfect. And Tennessee has real talent, they're not a walkover.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||"MSU doesn't look very||
"MSU doesn't look very good."
Should tell us something about our ceiling. Michigan is quite good, but we're not a playoff-quality team. I'm ok with that; if we can find a good QB next year, I think we have a chance, even with the two biggies on the road.
And I believe we can beat OSU this year.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||MSU has a good QB and at||
MSU has a good QB and at least one really good receiver; their plays don't work way too much for that.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Weird playcall. Seemed like||
Weird playcall. Seemed like all of the routes took time to develop; that flat route was quick-ish but there was no reason to think it wouldn't be covered.
Odd, given the yardage.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Tennessee is keeping it||
Tennessee is keeping it close, BTW, but they're missing long FGs. I mean, you have to try them and you might miss them, but they'll lament the misses.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Maybe. If this MSU game stays||
Maybe. If this MSU game stays close it's going to draw a lot of traffic.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I understand that, and I'm||
I understand that, and I'm willing to overlook a few empties. But they have the entire upper deck and the top quarter of the lower deck empty; that's pitiful.
I would understand if they stunk. Or a throwaway game at noon against a patsy. But this is a good team that is undefeated and on track for a playoff berth, playing a 3:30 game. And, yeah, there was rain, but it has mostly abated and nobody has bothered to show up.
More to the point, this happens for almost every one of their games.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Our defense may be better||
Our defense may be better suited than MSU's, but let's not kid ourselves: Indiana has played both OSU and MSU extremely well. They're pretty good. That's going to be a tough game in Bloomington.
I have to believe they will score some points. Rudock is going to have to hit some passes for us to score enough to beat them.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||You know, I understand bad||
You know, I understand bad weather or an early start time or whatever, and Michigan certainly had its attendance issues last year, but...
Why is it that MSU fans have to excuse tons of empty seats in every game? It's a different excuse every time, of course. But, c'mon, they're undefeated, they just experienced the greatest miracle win in the history of the program, they control their own destiny to the playoff, it's a 3:30 game... and a whole corner of the upper deck is totally empty.
It's not even a boring game.
Yeah, it's lousy weather. It's football. Wear a poncho.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I think they wanted to do||
I think they wanted to do this last season, but the inability to play press coverage and the early injury to Peppers (not to mention his inexperience as a true frosh) forced them to adjust. That's what one or two difference-makers can do.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||"The reading comprehension of||
"The reading comprehension of a 4th grader and the attention span of a squirrel."
|4 weeks 4 days ago||The non-self-aware anti-other||
The non-self-aware anti-other prejudice is strong with these two.
If you don't think that there are people who will rush to say insane, inflammatory things in comments on all sides of the political spectrum, you are as myopic as the people who make those comments.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Dude, do you read the||
Dude, do you read the comments on other news sites? They are every bit as insane and political as those at fox. There's a reason "Don't read the comments" is a pretty common meme in web news.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Agree on this. Peppers is a||
Agree on this. Peppers is a huge factor and Hoke & co deserve credit for recruiting someone so well-suited to the scheme Michigan wants to run. Peppers may not be as dominant as Lewis in coverage or as the DL is in stopping the run, but he is the linchpin to the entire scheme.
Peppers has destroyed every spread edge attempt that has been run at him this season. Speed option, WR screens, all of it. Running something like that to his side of the field is so insane that we literally laugh out loud at attempts to beat him. He is able to blitz and pressure effectively; he supports the run like a linebacker.
But he is also credible in coverage. Not as good as Lewis (of course that could be said of every college DB in the nation) but credible. And he has great closing speed; he is an asset in the secondary.
And that means that Michigan always has personnel on the field to counter what the offense is trying to do. In today's tempo-spread age, that is huge. Exploiting personnel mismatches is a huge part of tempo, and Peppers eliminates them just by being on the field.
So Michigan has the athletes to make it work. The results speak for themselves. Give Hoke and Mattison credit for laying the groundwork that Durkin is turning into a masterpiece.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I could play Michigan||
I could play as Michigan State...
if I were trying to lose by 100 points.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||It's not about whether or not||
It's not about whether or not he's a Spartan. I dislike the cheap "well, that's how they roll up there" shots at rivals whom we don't like. There's plenty of dirt on our own large group of preferred Michigan associates.
And it is a LARGE group, and that's kind of the point. You get any large group of people and you're going to have some that have problems that become more public and more scandalous than others.
This is just sad. He did something awful, or he is falsely implicated in the commission of something awful; nothing good about this. Who care where he went to school?
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I am 100% wrong here||
Read the pushback so I went to the source (the same way I did when there was a disagreement about kick time for the 2004 MSU game, when I correctly stated it was at 3:30 instead of 4:30 as some were mistakenly claiming, confusing it with 2006).
Verdict: I am 100% wrong. Actual kick time is listed as 3:44, which is of course the 3:30 time slot. And then my memory hearkens back to those painful final minutes and it was dark. My recollection of the networks clearing the deck of interesting games was, I think, accurate, but I had the time totally off. I believe I confused it with 2004 (which I attended) and 2005, which were both 1pm kickoffs per the boxscores.
It doesn't count for much, since my statement was categorical, but in my defense I lived in California at the time and the kick times were a bit vague over there. But perhaps I should have thought about whether I recalled watching the game in the morning (1pm kick would happen at 10am and that certainly wasn't when I watched it) before I opened my big mouth.
*2005 was a 1pm kick and I did see that in the morning; a friend with some cash to burn then convinced me to make the hour and a half road trip to LA to catch a USC game so I could see the Bush-Leinart team in person, wound up seeing Reggie Bush gain 500 all-purpose yards in a thrilling 50-42 win over Fresno State.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||3:30 is ideal for tailgating||
3:30 is ideal for tailgating for anyone who actually cares about getting into the Stadium in time to see the band, which I do. I figure I start to eat at 1 or 1:30, an ideal lunch slot. Sit, enjoy company, and then clean up at 2:15 or 2:30 for the walk to the Stadium.
Noon games were trickier but you can do it if you commit to doing a breakfast tailgate. We have had a Coleman Road Trip grill for our entire marriage and the optional griddle tops are really useful for cooking breakfast items. You do get a better shot at watching the late games that way.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||They played at 1pm in 2006.||
They played at 1pm in 2006. Every network just ceded the entire afternoon to The Game. It was awesome, except for that late hit thingy.
My memory suggests that the only exception to noon or 1pm since 1968 (and presumably the years before that as well) was a 3:30 kick in 1985, the game that Kolesar caught that clinching TD bomb from what's-his-name in the dark.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Actually, for the hardcore||
Actually, for the hardcore college football fan, watching other games is one of the most challenging paradoxes of fandom. On the one hand, you absolutely love going to a game; you love the scene, the people everywhere, the atmosphere, the tailgates. The sounds and sights from the stadium. The experience.
On the other hand LSU is playing at Auburn or Florida State is playing Notre Dame and you're hyped for the matchup and you really want to see it. It's tough to do both. Even in 1997, at the Ohio State game, I lingered to drink in the feeling of victory... and then I bolted to get home to see the Florida-Florida State game, which wound up being a barnburner (and may or may not have concluded with me running aimlessly around the house yelling "We're Number 1!" to my cats). In the years when Texas-Oklahoma was a huge rivalry, I missed almost every one of them due to being at Michigan Stadium. It was tough.
Now, technology has improved. Well-to-do people with RVs can have Satellite TV hooked up in the lot. Less well-to-do can stream on mobile. Still tricky, though. You can't flip easily between ESPN and CBS in the 3:30 pm time slot on an iphone with 25% battery that has to last you until 11:30pm, it just doesn't work.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I'll take this on seriously:||
I'll take this on seriously: I think it would be fine for the MSU game, even fun. They're a rival, the late game would be a great television feature, the crowds would be insane. Sure.
But Michigan-Ohio State is one of the great institutions of sport. The history. The athletes. The uniforms. The marching bands. The fans. The colors. The sounds. It is unequalled in American Sports. It is magnificent.
It is meant to be played at noon or 1pm on the last Saturday of the regular season. It should be that way forever.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||On the upside, any alternate||
On the upside, any alternate uniforms that Adidas cooks up this year are bound to be less bad; this would give Michigan a reason to go heavy on them when they come out.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Eh. With these apparel deals||
Eh. With these apparel deals the manufacturer has a ton of pull with everybody. There are some schools that can lobby to veto stuff, but the sheer volume of bad ideas that get through on even the biggest schools suggests that it's rare.
Thing is, I don't think Nike or Adidas actually have to let them veto; however, for big boys like Alabama and Texas, they don't want to rock the boat. Michigan is usually that way, too, and has vetoed some bad ideas before.
This year they're stuck with another lousy template. However, they either don't think it's that bad, or think it's bad and don't think it's worth the trouble to argue it, or (quite possibly) Adidas won't bother with a veto because they only have us for one more season anyway and they have no reason to bend over backwards for a client they're not going to keep.
Hopefully the team on the court will be less hard on the eyes than the unis. As for me, I pulled the trigger on the maize shorts from the last three years at a 50% discount from the M-Den (should come today, in fact) so I'm getting a good deal out of it.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Promising. Still, we hear a||
Promising. Still, we hear a lot of things from practice, and not all of them come to pass, for various reasons. Remember Tim Bracken?
I hope it's true. I guess we'll find out next year.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||"You can't read the UFR every||
"You can't read the UFR every week and then say ejecting our least effective defensive player swung the game in their favor. Not without me calling you on it anyway."
You can't preface a post disagreeing with someone by taking a cheap shot at a diary they wrote because you disagreed so strongly with their evaluation of an old movie that you decided that they had nothing interesting to say and expect people to take what you wrote seriously. Not without me calling you on it anyway.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||So it sounds like you are, in||
So it sounds like you are, in fact, arguing malice.
There is absolutely no rational reason to argue this. There is no evidence. There is no cause. There is no precedent. The idea that a single referee or a group of referees or, even more monstrously, a conference could choose to deliberately mis-call a game for some intangible benefit, at cost of their integrity and a national scandal should be caught, is absurd.
Your "evidence" of malice is a pile of dumb calls. Yeah, it bothered me as well. But I am a rational person and I can separate my subjective view of how something is hurting something as insignificant as a football game in which I am interested from objective questions such serious violations of actual laws as conspiracy and corruption.
Take it from someone who has spent years engaging in amused debates with fans of small schools in various sports that are feverishly convinced that Michigan is getting preferential treatment because they are the "big guys in the conference," conspiracy theories and propositions of referee malice are among the most ridiculous of the many rageful outlets of simple-minded sports fans. It's not a good look. Now, perhaps I am misreading you, since your argumentation is rather unclear, but it sounds like you are getting to that point.
And, really, you're not going to win here. You won't convince others, you won't make reasonable points, and you won't be correct.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||"Safe pooch" punts only work||
"Safe pooch" punts only work when a regular defense is on the field because you have your regular offense in. Many have argued for a regular own-endzone punt formation, which sometimes necessitates shorter snaps, but that is not optimal.
The fact is, if you remove five yards from the equation, you save the defense at least two critical steps in their attempt to block. If they have even one man free that is probably disastrous.
Really, any play that is called can have something go wrong. Michigan punted, and they did, but remember that Harbaugh said postgame that one of his options was a long pass. Problem with a long pass: You have to drop back. You are vulnerable to strip-sacks. You are vulnerable to a bad snap again. There's a good chance that there is time left on the clock if you don't succeed.
In other words, a lot of things that can go wrong. Hindsight may seem like it's 20/20, but it's really 50/50.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||I haven't heard that, where||
I haven't heard that, where are you picking it up? I would think the best hope Michigan has long-term is Gentry, though if Morris does hold onto the redshirt that gives him another full two years of development. Consider that he is in the same year in the program that John Navarre was during his dreadful 2001 season.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Reffing is hard. Think of all||
Reffing is hard. Think of all the referees across all sports in whom you have supreme confidence to get the calls right every time.
Yes, they were bad. Yes, most of the badness hurt Michigan. Yes, it stinks. It is not malice. It was a bad day. Everyone has bad days. Tom Brady sometimes throws three interceptions; Jake Arrieta gets bombed in the first inning; Steph Curry can't find his shooting stroke; refs blow some calls.
Remember, they blew that goal-line sequence where they called three Michigan touchdowns, two of them overturned by clear replay, the third upheld because nobody bothered to blow the whistle when they probably could have. It was a mess.
I'm honestly not sure what you're arguing for here, other than just arguing against Brian.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Can someone explain this to||
Can someone explain this to me? I was watching on tv and I confess I may not have been entirely rational at the time. I did see players celebrating; that doesn't bother me, they ought to be excited. And a couple guys looking at the crowd a bit, well, that happens too. Guys do the "hush" gesture on the road all the time.
And the touchdown happened in that endzone, so of course the team is going to run to it, just as ours would if we were in the same situation. (Which reminds me, how did Watts-Jackson's injury occur? Was it a result of the piling on? I've always worried about that in those situations, and of course with all the shouting the players wouldn't know their guy is hurt).
Was there something else that I didn't see? I don't have any desire to actually look at the footage again.