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|9 hours 16 min ago||Wow. I love that fake||
Wow. I love that fake ZR-option counter. Right out of the traditional option playbook. Fantastic play. Petersen never did that stuff in Boise, but he's not a one-way coach.
USC fans must be drinking bleach right now.
|10 hours 3 min ago||Chris Peterson special:||
Chris Peterson special: direct snap to RB, draw an extra safety, pitch to QB, medium depth pass. Plus PF.
And then TD.
Stanford is getting momentum rolled here, but this is two games running that their offense has gone nowhere.
|10 hours 8 min ago||Washington might be good||
Washington might be good enough. Sides, the Big 12 isn't better.
|10 hours 10 min ago||Washington is one of the road||
Washington is one of the road trips I really regret not making. Granted, the logical trip was Michigan's visit there three days before 9/11, but that is quite the scene.
|14 hours 12 min ago||"No resemblance?" They have||
"No resemblance?" They have different details, yes. Part of the new, unified color/font program Nike brings that was a dead certainty to be included in the new uniforms. The stripes are different widths. The M is smaller. Stuff like that.
But c'mon, "no resemblance?" There's no piping. There are no color panels. The stripe patterns have different widths but are in fact the same stripe orders as the Fab Five uniforms. This is not a "throwback" uniform designed to look identical to the Fab Five era, but it is the same classic uniform design, modestly updated with modern styling and the new font.
I can understand prefering the old way, but it's not happening. The whole point of a "unified font" is that every uniform has the same font, after all.
If you look at what Nike and Adidas and Under Armour have produced for their schools, this uniform is simple and classic. And while it's not the same as the Fab Five uniform, it does rather strongly resemble it.
|14 hours 21 min ago||This is a great move and the||
This is a great move and the B1G deserves credit for adjusting to reality rather than doubling down on foolishness. Althought I admit I will selfishly miss the opportunity to take a kid to the X to see Michigan play and have most of the arena to ourselves--actually quite a good time, as long as you don't need crowd noise.
Three weekends is a long time but it is not unprecedented, as the CCHA spread its playoff over three weekends before it disbanded. I think it's a bit long, but it maximizes fan attendance and that is valuable.
One-game semifinals at home seem kind of odd but it makes all kinds of sense for the reasons already outlined, and is thus good for everybody who cares about the games. I hope the NCAA hockey committee pays attention to this and adopts a similar single home game format for the first two rounds of the tournament.
It helps that the B1G really has the facilities to do this right--the only place where a championship game could possibly look embarrassing is at OSU, and at least in that case the arena itself is physically capable of being a decent place. The downer here is that if I ever want to see a conference playoff game, it will involve scalping tickets to Mariucci. I don't think that will go well.
|16 hours 49 min ago||"Defensively, I don't think||
"Defensively, I don't think Wisconsin has faced an offense capable of throwing the ball yet."
The pessimist in me suggests that we cannot yet know whether or not this will remain true after tomorrow.
Speight seems steps above O'Connor, of course, and the LSU QB position is a federal disaster area, but our downfield game hasn't exactly lit the world on fire yet. Keep in mind that Oregon, while using a different offense, still lit up Colorado through the air in ways Michigan did not come close to.
|17 hours 21 min ago||So, first time reading||
So, first time reading Brian's game previews?
|17 hours 25 min ago||Aren't we Iowa's highlight||
Aren't we Iowa's highlight home game this year? If the team really collapses, I could see the tickets dropping a bit, and if Michigan loses once or twice the sheen kinda comes off. But if Michigan is undefeated I don't think there's any scenario short of total disaster that keeps Iowa fans from rabidly taking their places that night, hoping for an upset.
|17 hours 27 min ago||If I'm booking a room for a||
If I'm booking a room for a road trip to go to a game, I'm usually willing to spend a bit more early to know that I have tickets. I don't want to get myself into a situation where prices don't do what I want and I have to either pay through the nose or get lousy tickets because I'm already committed.
You'll have more fun traveling, arriving, and relaxing before the game if you already have the tickets in hand.
|17 hours 34 min ago||Agree. The early-game play||
Agree. The early-game play scripts are always unique and interesting, and I believe this is a game where they pull out all the stops.
|17 hours 36 min ago||It's Peppers bandwagon time.||
It's Peppers bandwagon time. I agree with Brian's thinking that Peppers could be the difference maker in a key TD drive. And in a game where Wisconsin's scenario to win is a close, low-scoring game, that's huge.
I believe this is a game where the Harbaugh/Drevno mystery play scripting can be a huge factor. And it's a game where they can pull out the stops. A couple of early TD drives built on Peppers and clever new play inventions can tip the scales and get Wisconsin uncomfortable early.
The downside here is that Wisconsin seems good at creating pivotal turnovers, and that is the sort of thing that could turn a game. Hopefully Michigan is out in front enough for it not to matter.
|17 hours 49 min ago||Loved the old Pistons||
Loved the old Pistons uniforms, still quite happy with the fact that they continue to go with that look after the disastrous teal experiment.
|17 hours 53 min ago||I could quibble about the||
I could quibble about the relative breadth of different trim colors, but that's really just a quibble. These look nice.
I've actually long been agnostic about the simple look, having cut my teeth in the days of color panel shorts in the 80s. I wasn't a fan when Michigan moved away from those. But this is a classic Michigan design and it's a perfect first uniform for Nike/Jumpman.
|19 hours 34 min ago||Honestly I love that quote,||
Honestly I love that quote, because it shows that even guys like Harbaugh have moments where it seems like nothing is going right. It's real.
|19 hours 38 min ago||My forecast for||
My forecast for Clare/Farwell, a few minutes north of Mt. Pleasant (my in-laws live there) suggests that it will be wet all day. Basically the same or worse.
Wouldn't it make sense to leave earlier and catch the whole game? I know there's a BWW in Mt. Pleasant, took my wife there a year or two ago.
|19 hours 42 min ago||Really bad weather could make||
Really bad weather could make the passing game more challenging, which would be a big factor in favor of Wisconsin. Their passing game is going to be irrelevant anyway, but decreasing the possibility of Michigan attacking downfield using all of those receiving weapons is a plus for them.
At least, that's the theory. Sometimes these theories are correct, and sometimes they have no bearing on the outcome at all.
|19 hours 45 min ago||And bring something to dry||
And bring something to dry off your seat if you plan on sitting down at any point during your visit to the stadium.
|19 hours 52 min ago||Football leaves a mark on its||
Football leaves a mark on its players.
I believe his difficulty in getting around is the reason he retired from television broadcasting, which has much more intense travel demands.
The pictures are great. That Kenny Allen pic from afternoon practice is amazing.
|19 hours 56 min ago||In Superior, which is the||
In Superior, which is the extreme northwestern corner of the state, Wisconsin might have a bit of a fanbase, but the Packers are much bigger.
|19 hours 59 min ago||My maternal grandparents met||
My maternal grandparents met while attending Wisconsin, and I treasure the time I got to visit the Rathskeller in the Student Union Basement and call my grandfather from a place he had talked about spending much time in when he was there.
Despite this, my grandparents are/were indifferent to sports except for some cursory support for the rooting interests of their kids. I did at least get a chance to get a proxy dig on my grandfather's behalf at my uncle, who married a State alum and attended last week's beating in green and white.
|1 day 10 hours ago||I'm not sure who initiated||
I'm not sure who initiated it, but it has happened before. In the 2002-2003 season the team debuted new jerseys in a matte fabric with small "pit-stain" contrast mesh armpits and relatively classical striping similar to the uniforms in the 90s, albeit with the maize and white inverted on the blue jersey. The maize jersey had a script Michigan on it... but there was no underline, as in previous scripts. And the maize fabric contrasted rather harshly with the football maize of the helmets.
The uniforms were mothballed in midseason as a new set of uniforms, without the pitstains (or small sideblock Ms in the torso stripes) but with a new, nicer looking dazzle fabric and an underline for the maize jersey. That was, I am rather certain, a strong request from the hockey program. The new uniforms appeared quite different in texture and I strongly suspect were made by a third party and then stitched with Nike tags.
For what it's worth, I believe Ron Mason also rejected a jersey change for Michigan State when Nike first signed MSU to a deal. They simply wore their old uniforms for another year, then brought out a completely different design the next season.
|1 day 10 hours ago||Makes sense if they don't||
Makes sense if they don't draw huge crowds, and they have years of attendance history to rely upon. Houston has never been a huge football draw.
If they are really desperate for more seats for a high-demand game (say, a home game against Texas) they can probably use Reliant Stadium, anyway.
|1 day 10 hours ago||Ok, so this is a question||
Ok, so this is a question I've always had about in-game adjustments: How much of the adjusting consists of calling known plays that attack certain defensive tendencies, and how much stuff is actually developed on the fly? It strikes me as unlikely that Drevno is just drawing up new route patterns on the palm of his hand like we used to do in two-hand touch football.
Is this a circumstance where new looks are developed that use existing concepts? Incremental changes to formations from plays practiced in the week? I've never seen anyone really break down the anatomy of these kinds of adjustments.
The HTTV article about adjustments made in the 1986 OSU game (specifically the sharp increase in balanced 2 TE sets) was illuminating but it was still unclear to me if that sort of adjustment is something that is already rehearsed at some point in the season (pulling out known 2 TE packages and plays) or if they literally had guys going out with brand new assignments they had barely worked on before.
|1 day 10 hours ago||I assume that will be||
I assume that will be cancelled out by Michigan rallying around Jeremy Clark, who is lost for the entire season instead of just a few weeks. EDIT: Point already made by BlueCube.
|1 day 14 hours ago||I hope you're right. Not sure||
I hope you're right.
Not sure there's much to learn from the LSU game that can't be clearly discerned by recognizing that the LSU QB from that game has been benched while the OC and HC have both been fired.
|1 day 14 hours ago||It's going to be hard for our||
It's going to be hard for our blockers to handle their LBs. And pass protection on obvious passing downs is going to be... exciting. I suspect Deveon Smith may be the key man in a couple of blocks that make the difference between a sack/throwaway and a big gain.
It's man-up time for the OL. And it's coach-up time for the staff. Early points could be critical here (JT4104's point would be interesting to test) and converting an early redzone opportunity that is produced by a good scripted series might be a key moment in the game.
|1 day 15 hours ago||You and dragonchild both have||
You and dragonchild both have fair counterpoints to my argument. It is unquestionable that we have a coaching staff who can both account for weaknesses in pregame planning and adjust during the game to take advantage of what is available.
I would still be more comfortable playing a solid defense knowing that, for example, we were sure that Speight could make a number of key throws downfield if it were necessary, or if we knew that we could move the ball on the ground against any defense to at least some extent. It's not clear to me that these things are true.
Of course, I'm a pessimist about this sort of thing. I was, honestly, surprised by how many negative grades players were accruing early in the UFR, even on otherwise good drives. Inaccurate throws, bad blocks, and so on. Penn State isn't Hawaii, but a lot of the positive grades were scored against a tired defense that had already admitted defeat. Wisconsin will not be so pliable.
I guess we'll see what happens. I am expecting a low-scoring slugfest Saturday.
But then, it's not out of the question, so I'm also crossing my fingers for a surprising romp where everything comes together, too.
|1 day 15 hours ago||Might be time to clean up||
Might be time to clean up some NSFW avatars, if that is still a policy. Prominent one in the Offense UFR comments right now.
|1 day 15 hours ago||I'm a bit concerned going||
I'm a bit concerned going into Wisconsin that there is nothing that the offense can consistently hang its hat on. Sometimes Speight seems good, sometimes the running game seems good, etc. But never always for any of these things. Wisconsin appears to be, by considerable measure, the best defense Michigan will have faced. What is going to work?
Since the running game was good this week, I'll gripe about the passing game. Speight's numerous inaccurate throws are a worry; Brian's analysis of those throws is excellent. But, further, it doesn't seem like he can hit the wideouts in stride consistently. Late-season Rudock was just humming with the wideouts, but here it seems like Speight struggles to complete passes like that. I hope it is something that can be ironed out by Saturday.