Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
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|7 hours 55 min ago||Actually, 1996 was worse than||
Actually, 1996 was worse than 1997, which is logical since it basically consisted of younger versions of the same guys.
This isn't hard to think about when you contrast the roster with other players in the Carr era. I love waxing nostalgic about the '97 team, but we needn't pretend that they were all stars.
The lead running back was Chris Howard. Good, but Carr had at least four guys that anyone would rank above him (in some order, Biakabatuka, Thomas, Perry, and Hart). Griese was very good that season, but Michigan followed him with Brady, Henson, and Henne, and even senior Navarre was statistically superior. Tai Streets was terrific, but in Toomer, Terrell, Edwards, and Manningham Carr had at least four guys that were clearly superior.
It isn't a knock. 1997 was a good team. But the talent level was exceeded for most of the Carr era. It is to the credit of the players and staff that the 1997 offense produced at or above its potential, doing everything that was needed to win.
|8 hours 4 min ago||Interesting counterfactuals,||
Interesting counterfactuals, but this sort of plays into my theory about tactics. Great coaches find ways to move the ball; if you have Manningham bracketed, you expose the numbers on the other side of the field using concepts that include Arrington, Breaston, and Tyler Ecker. Running game getting stuffed? Use those short passes. Change up your blocking concepts, take advantage of the defense's early success (see, for example, the traps that Maryland used to eliminate Ryan Glasgow last week).
2001 against Wisconsin is a bad example. Michigan wasn't being conservative; they just plain stunk, and they got waaaay lucky on special teams. Special teams cost us two games in 2003, so this isn't exactly Beamer Ball.
Against MSU in 2003, nobody minded running Perry 50 times because the runs worked. Alabama has demolished teams with close-out drives that are nothing but runs up the middle for years now. The issue is how one adapts when things aren't working. Carr's staff didn't deal well with it.
|8 hours 23 min ago||One of those bad games for||
One of those bad games for the 2004 defense was the Rose Bowl, and it was bad, but it's worth noting that Vince Young had become the unstoppable force that absolutely nobody had an answer for. He did exactly the same thing to USC one year later. Can't fault the D too much for struggling there.
|8 hours 27 min ago||The problem is not the||
The problem is not the overall strategy. The strategy Carr used was frustrating and perhaps boring, but teams can win with it: Recruit great players. Run the ball. Protect the ball. Play great defense.
Jim Tressel ate our lunch with that strategy. Les Miles wins with that strategy. Nick Saban has built a dynasty with that strategy.
The problem is not the strategy. The problem is the execution of it. The tactics in the ground, as it were. And Michigan's coaches did not execute it well. They were predictable. They failed to adjust to what the defenses did. They didn't take advantage of the talent or put it in a position to succeed.
And so it didn't succeed when they needed it to succeed, because they did not do what was needed for it to be successful.
Re the 2007 Rose Bowl: sure sign I am procrastinating, because I actually looked up the drive chart. Michigan forced a punt to open the second half. Their next two drives: Run run run predictable screen pass is intercepted; run run 3rd & long pass punt.
And then Michigan was down by two scores and the USC D-line was teeing off on Henne.
A classic example of Carr stubbornly doing the same stuff over and over until he had to throw out the game plan and throw. Chad Henne actually passed for over 300 yards in that game, but most of it happened after it was out of reach. Michigan torched the entire first half and the crucial beginning of the second before they started using their talent properly, and was embarrassed.
|8 hours 39 min ago||Related, possibly: Penn State||
Related, possibly: Penn State seemed to have a bye before the Michigan game every year at that time. And, well, we all know how that went.
|8 hours 42 min ago||The '97 offense was good||
The '97 offense was good enough, but it was not very good. Second or third-worst offense of the Carr era by my estimation; this is partly due to talent, of course.
|9 hours 2 min ago||While we had Leon Hall, Lamar||
While we had Leon Hall, Lamar Woodley, David Harris, Alan Branch, et al. Future #1 overall Jake Long anchored our OL. They had guys like CJ Gable at running back; we had Mike Hart. Their receiving corps was solid, with Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith, but Michigan had a three-headed monster of Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington, and Steve Breaston. John David Booty was their QB; we had Chad Henne.
If you traded coaching staffs, Michigan wins that game by multiple scores.
|9 hours 15 min ago||Illinois is what came to mind||
Illinois is what came to mind for me, as well. Anthony Thomas had already been taken out of the game as a precaution, since he was slightly dinged and the lead was comfortable.
I don't even know how to define that game. It was so... Weird. It doesn't really fit the Lloyd pattern, because 27-7 isn't a dumb lead to sit on. The defense did totally biff on some big plays. And Tom Brady still somehow had a chance to come back at the end. It was surreal. I lay blame for a lot of things of that era, but I don't really know what to do with that one. And I've had 16 years to mull it over.
|9 hours 45 min ago||Late reply, but there is some||
Late reply, but there is some parking within walking distance of TCF. I parked in the Dinkytown area last time and it wasn't terrible.
|10 hours 2 min ago||Funny, that also sounds||
Funny, that also sounds familiar.
|10 hours 5 min ago||1-deep but with serious NFL||
1-deep but with serious NFL talent. I suspect that only Peppers is as good of a prospect as guys like Woodley, Harris, and Hall.
|10 hours 6 min ago||How much of Carr's staff||
How much of Carr's staff trouble was really his fault? It has long been understood that Michigan did not pay its coordinators well for many years; DB, to his credit, was the one who stepped up and said that we would pay staff well. Now, Michigan's "Michigan man" culture no doubt contributed heavily to this, and it is possible that Carr could have acquired better staff if he had wanted to, but you can't get sharp guys if you don't pay them.
And, while I think Carr treated RR poorly, identifying and grooming a successor is a concept that has a very uneven track record in college football. It would have been a total disaster at Michigan; I think it is to Carr's credit that he didn't campaign heavily for a member of his staff to get the job, because there isn't a single person that worked for him that wouldn't have failed catastrophically.
We had to go outside, to get new ideas. Even now, with "Michigan Man" Jim Harbaugh, the fresh blood and NFL-level coaching are exactly what we have needed. JH is well-suited to Michigan precisely because he has not been here for a long time.
|10 hours 15 min ago||We blew 18-point leads||
We blew 18-point leads against both Purdue and Northwestern that year, and kinda tried to blow one at OSU as well.
For what it's worth, the defense was weak that season. But still, infuriating.
|10 hours 20 min ago||Debord was a Carr disciple. I||
Debord was a Carr disciple. I kinda hoped that the time away from the sidelines would give him a chance to show what he is really made of. There has always been a question of how much of Michigan's Carr-era trouble was a result of his influence, and how much was on the coordinators. I have, in the past, liked to think that Carr was a big reason the team was needlessly conservative.
And perhaps he was, but it is clear that Debord doesn't fall far from the tree. I mean, going into a run-first shell does have the veneer of sensibility--it is easier to hold a two-score lead by punting rather than throwing an interception--but the volume of evidence that it doesn't work should have been clear by the time Michigan blew an 18-point lead at Purdue with Drew Henson under center. And that was 15 (!) years ago.
But the problem is more than strategy. Years of watching Carr offenses execute the same running play over and over, and then switching schemes in the offseason and adding the same zone running play, over and over, have inoculated us to well-crafted run games. It's not just the talent in the OL that makes it go. Jim Tressel was, strategically, virtually identical to Carr. Defense, run the ball, execute. Harbaugh is too. But the innovations we are geeking out at every week are the things good coaches do to make their teams function well, even when defenses "know" what's coming.
|10 hours 32 min ago||They've won a BCS title and||
They've won a BCS title and were a top program for the first half of that era. Frankly, before Nick Saban, they were clearly a better program than LSU.
|10 hours 34 min ago||That Rose Bowl, which I||
That Rose Bowl, which I attended, was a great experience. Since I got to be there.
But, in the end, that was the moment where I realized that Lloyd was done. Michigan had just as much talent on the field as USC, if not more. And their coaches were better.
To me it encapsulated the entire post-Brady era for Lloyd Carr. There always seemed to be some reason or another that things didn't quite come together in a given year. But that team, in 2006, absolutely loaded with NFL talent in every position on the field, had no excuses.
And in the two biggest games our coaches were schooled.
The Cap One Bowl win the next season was bittersweet--a great win over a Championship caliber Florida team, a vindication of sorts for Carr (who was flawed but whom I still appreciate), but also a great example of what Michigan COULD have been in the 00s if the coaches had been up to it.
That's a large reason why I loved the RR hire and why I wanted it to work even when things went poorly.
|21 hours 21 min ago||And Andrew Copp scores an||
And Andrew Copp scores an assist!
Not a surprise that his minutes were limited; it's his first game and they have him on the fourth line. Good start, though.
|1 day 2 hours ago||Ely, huh? Didn't realize we||
Ely, huh? Didn't realize we had another Minnesotan on here, there are a few of us. Wave at me as you drive through.
|1 day 4 hours ago||I am of the opinion that||
I am of the opinion that Michigan won't reach its potential until after the transition we expect next year.
And I am of the opinion that while I may wish he chose to time it differently, our coach has earned the right to choose when he steps down. Only Wally Grant and Vic Heyliger (together) can claim an equivalent level of positive influence on the Michigan Hockey program. Even now, the expectations that the team is falling short of are established only because of the quality of Red Berenson.
|2 days 7 hours ago||Virtually every girl? Without||
Virtually every girl knew of this happening? Without their consent? If true, that's horrid and disgusting.
|2 days 7 hours ago||Well, I'm also wondering if||
Well, I'm also wondering if the victim was significantly intoxicated. Not my business but even if it's not an assault it could be something regretted that was exacerbated by LTT showing off to others.
The point is, this doesn't get to Harbaugh's desk if he is just keeping a clip for personal use. Dozens and probably hundreds found out about this first.
|2 days 7 hours ago||I think more happened than||
I think more happened than just this. This is scummy, but he was off the team less than a week later--there's stuff involved here that we're not hearing about. Maybe questions of consent, maybe distribution, but it's safe to say that the aggrieved party has been seriously hurt in some way greater than him just keeping a private file. And has a right to be upset.
|3 days 2 hours ago||We wanted him too. He was in||
We wanted him too. He was in demand. He won some big games. (EDIT: Remember, Alabama actually hired Mike Price, too. They didn't always get it right.)
He also lost some. He's a good coach, but as has been discussed, there are some weaknesses that all of his teams seem to have. They are sloppy. They are defensively average or worse. They don't develop players well. They don't accrue lots of elite talent.
And the results are visible: good teams, occasional contention for conference titles, dangerous offense, head-scratching losses every year. That's good for WVU. That's good for Arizona.
Even if a lot of the bad stuff hadn't happened to him, I don't think he would ever do better than that at Michigan. And that's too bad. But it's reality.
|3 days 4 hours ago||Pretty sure you meant that||
Pretty sure you meant that Hoke did a good job with the DL, since the OL was the primary catalyst of his failure in four years at Michigan. Which, yes, I agree.
|3 days 4 hours ago||My vision of RR was that he||
My vision of RR was that he could be for us what Chip Kelly was for Oregon and Urban Meyer was for Florida. Forward-thinking, killer instinct, etc. It did not happen at Michigan. There are a lot of reasons why, and knowing that Arizona would have destroyed Michigan on the field last year was certainly hard to take.
But I think RR has a ceiling. He appears to have hit it at Arizona. I wouldn't say that it is schematic, though there are a lot of pure run spread teams that are struggling this year; I think he just doesn't produce great players. Yeah, he'll snag the occasional Scobby or Lewan or Slaton, but a lot of coaches do that. As said, he doesn't develop players, and we saw here that he doesn't really recruit well.
He is a good fit for a place like WVU or Zona; they'll struggle occasionally and have some good years. I don't think he can run a top-line program.
|3 days 7 hours ago||Oh, and I totally agree that||
Oh, and I totally agree that not adding a QB was a mistake. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is dangerous; Hoke was at Michigan when Henson left before the 2001 season, he should have known that.
|3 days 7 hours ago||I suspect that moving Gardner||
I suspect that moving Gardner to receive was more an effort to put good athletes on the field, gambling on Denard staying healthy. It was a bit of a moonshot, and it didn't really work out, but they knew they could put DG back under center if Denard got hurt, which is what happened. I think the hope was that Bellomy would only ever have to come in for a play here or there if Denard got dinged on a hit.
In the event, it didn't work out. But I think the effort was worth the risk; Gallon was not known to be a big-game receiver going into the year, and large portions of Denard's success in 2011 were due to Junior Hemingway's ability to win jump balls. I think their hope was that DG would provide that in 2012, a key component of a non-RichRod offense that had Denard at QB.
And really the rest of the season was fine, as far as DG integrating into the offense. Many suggest that Michigan would have won at Nebraska had either Denard lasted or DG been the backup; I don't find that certain at all. Michigan was getting almost no offense whatsoever prior to the injury, and Al's track record on the road was terrible. I cannot believe that a team that always struggled on the road against teams like Iowa would suddenly pull it together late in Lincoln.
|3 days 8 hours ago||Neither of them smoke.||
Neither of them smoke.
|3 days 10 hours ago||Maybe. But: 1. Nobody keeps||
Maybe. But: 1. Nobody keeps the foot to the gas in blowouts, and 2. Great offensive teams score anyway. Michigan is not a great offensive team.
|3 days 10 hours ago||After last year and after||
After last year and after Utah it seemed pretty clear that we could hope for improvement, but that there was a pretty solid ceiling above which this team could not expect to ascend.
Now, we have comfortably beaten three teams that we should have comfortably beaten, and thumped one good team.
It's promising. But cruising through the B1G undefeated? I have serious doubts. Playoff-ready? I honestly don't think we have the athletes. Michigan was beating a bad Maryland defense only 6-0 at halftime; things just aren't there yet.
I'm hopeful that the rivalry games are winnable; I'm hopeful that a good bowl is in our future. But I don't see how this team won't lose at least once and probably twice more in the regular season. Maybe, maybe, we go into The Game with a chance for a share of the division title and a trip to Indy. Maybe. But that's the best I believe we can expect.