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|21 hours 27 min ago||Preseason rankings are||
Preseason rankings are interesting. I believe they will fluctuate somewhat depending upon the news leaks that come out of Ann Arbor in the spring and in the pre-season. If O'Korn has an iron grip on the starting job, and/or drops a few dimes (preferably deep) in spring practice, hype will build significantly and pollsters will assume competence at QB.
But if there are reports of a "battle," and an open pre-season practice suggests that O'Korn isn't separating himself from a field of guys that is only ok, Michigan gets priced downward.
This isn't to say that O'Korn can't improve during the year if he's shakey early, but I think most of us are crossing our fingers and hoping that the glimmers of promise we've heard about are more that just rumor. Because a plus player at QB makes this team very, very dangerous.
|21 hours 35 min ago||The Cleveland Browns exist||
The Cleveland Browns exist for the sole purpose of giving Lions fans a reason to say "it could be worse."
|2 days 1 hour ago||Bob Cole, in his prime, was||
Bob Cole, in his prime, was peerless. Of course I'm biased because he called a lot of great Wings teams, but he brought both enthusiasm and The Voice and a love of the game that just worked. CBC HNIC when the CBC really owned it was the best sports broadcast, with the best personalities, available in any sport anywhere.
|3 days 13 hours ago||Knowing what we now know||
Knowing what we now know about the physical beating taken by NFL players, I'm not comfortable trashing a guy for a pill addiction. Don't condone, but I suspect it is very widespread.
|3 days 13 hours ago||Awesome.||
|3 days 13 hours ago||I'm not arguing the on-field||
I'm not arguing the on-field merits. I believe Harrison has been eligible longer. Frankly, it's a wait in line, which speaks to the receiver glut issue.
|3 days 14 hours ago||The Pro Football HOF is very,||
The Pro Football HOF is very, very clear that off-field issues are totally irrelevant to the process, and they do a good job holding to that.
|3 days 14 hours ago||Kinda surprised to see only||
Kinda surprised to see only Harrison make it as a receiver. I like the HOF process football has a lot better than Baseball, and I think they do a reasonable job not letting too many in...
|3 days 14 hours ago||I believe this is a team that||
I believe this is a team that focuses on performances in the actual games, rather than just the best players who happened to play in the game. And I think Montana, who was brilliant in SBs, is a very defensible choice.
|4 days 20 hours ago||Well, it is a coaching||
Well, it is a coaching choice. And it worked out.
They were lucky, but they were playing the percentages.
|5 days 20 hours ago||I've got to re-read my posts,||
I've got to re-read my posts, because it looks like I'm taking Funk's side, which is a place I definitely don't want to be. I do believe that there were systemic problems larger than him, but I have held for years that Hoke failed massively in the OL and, specifically, that he *should have known* there was a serious problem after 2012, when some quality (turns out, future NFL) linemen couldn't block for conventional runs.
That was the year that Rawls got some decent snaps and couldn't seem to do anything with them; also the year that Fitz kept running into "bad luck," ("bad luck" is an obscure Greek term meaning "unblocked defenders") and where Devin managed to last a few games pulling the exact same spin move to avoid being sacked by rampant pass rushes before DCs caught on. Also the year a miscommunication resulted in the unfortunate decapitation of Vincent Smith.
The question I have is whether a better OL coach could have saved the jobs of Borges or even Hoke; I really don't know.
|5 days 21 hours ago||Haven't heard those comments,||
Haven't heard those comments, but I wouldn't be surprised.
I agree about the play calling. Borges wanted to include heavy doses of plausible play-action, and in games of any significance it just wasn't possible. I thought he needed to be fired, but it seemed clear to me even at the time that there wasn't much that would work if you couldn't block. And Michigan couldn't.
My sympathy for Funk is not to say that I think he deserves a bigger job.
|5 days 21 hours ago||Makes sense. Probably for||
Makes sense. Probably for that game against Wisconsin where Orton had that fumble returned for a TD. Purdue was good that year. Great game, too.
|5 days 21 hours ago||Glasgow was the second-best||
Glasgow was the second-best lineman for Michigan as soon as he saw the field. He improved this year, but he's always been solid.
Actually, the continued struggle by the line this season suggests that SOME of the issue is just plain whiffing on OL recruiting. That top-4 class from a few years ago? All OL at the top end. Guess which ones are starting.
Look at the list. I dare you not to feel sick to your stomach.
|5 days 21 hours ago||Yeah, I'm not going to||
Yeah, I'm not going to pretend that he bears no responsibility; I've stated before that the OL was Hoke's defining failure, and I stand by that, and Michigan recruited it pretty well. Funk obviously bears some blame. How much of it? We'll probably never know who bears the most responsibility, because the Funk-Borges combination was a symbiotic relationship of failure.
Maybe if Funk is consistently teaching zone blocking for predictable schemes for four years, the OL is functional. And maybe (almost certainly IME) Borges doesn't look quite so awful if he has an OL that can consistently block for conventional running plays.
They didn't get it done.
Given that it took Funk a year to find a job and that job is Purdue, it seems clear that other coaches have opinions about where responsibility lies.
|5 days 21 hours ago||AAAARRGGGHHH too soon I don't||
AAAARRGGGHHH too soon I don't want to know I can't look I don't want to look I can't look away
|5 days 21 hours ago||Kinda feel bad for Funk.||
Kinda feel bad for Funk. Brian has mentioned that he's attended Funk lectures and that Funk knows his stuff, so he's not a buffoon. He spent four years under an under qualified Brady Hoke, three of them working under mad scientist Al Borges. All of them were saddled with a system that their players were unsuited to run and perhaps that they were unsuited to coach.
But results matter, and the biggest on-field issue in the Hoke regime was the OL. And that's Funk.
And now he's hitching on with a Hazel regime that should have been fired already, in a MAC-level program competing against B1G level teams, with serious talent AND development problems. A downward spiral. Basically, no hope of a second year or a better opportunity or even the chance to field real players.
Worst of all worlds for everybody there.
|5 days 22 hours ago||In before my version of the||
In before my version of the same. I award you an upvote.
|5 days 22 hours ago||What kind of season did||
What kind of season did Rockford have this year? A lot of HS teams eschew field goals, but in most cases that's because their chance of conversion is low. A kicker this good would be a huge weapon in a low-scoring game when stuck in long-yardage situations on the opponent half. A guy like Nordin could flip a couple games a year on some teams.
OTOH if Rockford just steamrolled most of their opponents with an unstoppable offense the situations where kicking makes sense are much less frequent.
|6 days 9 min ago||I'm getting provincial here,||
I'm getting provincial here, but why us? We already got taken to the cleaners for stuff everybody does by the Freep, because we're supposed to do things the "right way." Harbaugh bungles a couple of decommits and it becomes a big story, while SEC schools are dumping guys in silence. Why do we have to be the ones to fix a system that, we believe, we are one of the few power schools trying to actually uphold it?
|6 days 13 min ago||1. In my scenario Michigan's||
1. In my scenario Michigan's hypothetical violation is only revealed because of an investigation prompted by Hackett's statement.
2. It's fine to laud Gary's integrity, but that inadvertently attacks the integrity of other guys, including ones we've tried to recruit. And not a good look for guys we will try to recruit, if they have gotten cash offers and don't want headlines even when turning them down. And maybe he has friends who are in a tougher situation than him that did take cash and doesn't like the implication.
3. A statement like this can easily, easily prompt a media explosion. College sports writers still have a month to fill before March Madness. This gets traction and we have a week (or several weeks) of various pieces about whether Gary was offered cash. And surely questions about whether Michigan offered any. And implications or accusations, even if unfounded, that perhaps Gary's family was involved. And re-litigation of the arguments for and against paying players, with Gary as the pawn.
And so on. Fielding 30 calls from reporters asking if he was offered or if he took money is not what Gary wants.
And, let's be honest: does anyone here think that Cam Newton turned down six figures from Mississippi State to play at Auburn for free? I don't. And even though the circumstances are different, many people will believe the same about Gary if this blows up. Unfairly or otherwise.
It's just not a good move by Hackett.
|6 days 24 min ago||That may well be his||
That may well be his thinking, and I understand it, but it's unfair to Rashan. If this gets traction (and it might) Gary will continue to be in the headlines for weeks for all the wrong reasons. It's not his fault he was offered stuff, but he'll suffer for it even if he never misses a down.
Remember, less than a day ago this board was trashing a Clemson staffer for implying the same thing about us. This is the acting AD talking here.
|6 days 30 min ago||I hope so. That's why I||
I hope so. That's why I suggest a small rules violation (you know, phone call at the wrong time, etc). But these are the big leagues. And the University itself isn't the only party interested in getting players to Michigan.
|6 days 33 min ago||What if he didn't turn down||
What if he didn't turn down other stuff? What if a bag man or two from some other school bought him lunch, or fixed the heat in his home, or replaced the tires on Mom's car? What if it was a relatively innocent mistake two years ago, and he wiser up and went clean this year, but Hackett's statement gets the reporters working on it and stuff comes out?
What if this becomes a moderate story? He's the #1 recruit in the country. The reason a lot of this alleged stuff doesn't come out is because no local paper in SEC country is stupid enough to do any digging. It's hard enough to make money in media as it is; any paper that attacks a beloved football program will be mercilessly attacked by its customer base and will lose access to the team; basically a death sentence. I mean, we're more rational than the SEC, right? And the Freep is still persona non grata here two coaches and two ADs after the Rosenberg flap.
But Gary is from New Jersey. New York media is not dependent upon a college fanbase for circulation. This gets traction and the NYT gets interested, suddenly there are real reporters digging up dirt that's never been dug up before...
|6 days 41 min ago||I think this is a mistake by||
I think this is a mistake by Hackett. It puts an unseemly focus on Gary, whether it's deserved or not, and this is surely not the kind of attention Gary wants. And it frankly puts focus on us, too, since Gary actually committed here. Maybe Michigan was cleaner than other schools, but if this were to go through a full vetting process, what are the chances that someone finds something, somewhere, that breaks a minor rule or two?
There's no good that can come of this.
|6 days 12 hours ago||As far as the dream recruit||
As far as the dream recruit we want to get, he's close. Gary is a better prospect, but Peoples-Jones is a local kid that we are battling our top rivals for. If he goes Michigan, it's a huge deal; if he flips to a rival, not only do we lose him, but we have to see him for three or four years.
So his significance to Michigan fans will be reasonably close to that of Gary this year. He's the jewel of the class.
|6 days 12 hours ago||Hope so. I believe Harbaugh||
Hope so. I believe Harbaugh gives us a chance to see some surprising players develop really well, and others reach their full potential.
I don't want to get ahead of myself, though. Harbaugh may be one of the top coaches in the game, and he may be great at developing talent, but we're looking toward the big leagues now. Michigan is looking up at OSU and Bama in the rankings, and both of those staffs know how to develop players themselves.
|6 days 12 hours ago||Yes, but not the guys listed||
Yes, but not the guys listed in Mr. Yost's post.
I just went through 247's class history of Michigan. Knowing that top 5-10 classes over time consistently translate to success on the field overall, I dare you to go through every Michigan class and not be enraged by how Michigan squandered a bunch of great talent. Contrast with Clemson, which has been at roughly 10 (never in the top 5) for the last 5 or 6 years and nearly, deservedly won the national title this season. Michigan underachieved based on the talent it landed.
I think it's clear from his recruiting "tactics" and his approach that Harbaugh has repudiated the mediocrity of Hoke, if not the man himself. Hoke wanted to do things the "right way," loved his players, and stayed loyal... to a fault. And the result is that Michigan landed some classes that had some hits and some misses.
Harbaugh clearly wants to reduce the number of scholarship slots that are taken by flat unproductive players. All classes will have some "misses," but by making fifth years performance-based and getting some guys through school in three years, Harbaugh is freeing up slots for young guys with the potential to grow. And I suspect/hope that his staff does a much better job developing players than any of the past three regimes.
|6 days 13 hours ago||I'm as eager to see MSU sink||
I'm as eager to see MSU sink as the next guy, but I don't think there's anything to celebrate about a kid getting arrested.
|6 days 13 hours ago||Grammar & spelling need work,||
Grammar & spelling need work, but these are all very interesting observations. Wise move making this a "snowflake" thread, too.
Things I noticed:
1. We lost some battles to Oklahoma, so on the surface it seemed to me that they were recruiting quite well. Their final class ranking? ...20th. Er, Ok. Or OK, I guess.
2. ND with another pedestrian class, ranked 15. I think we have to admit that Kelly is a decent coach, but other than the top 5 class that's currently buttressing their quality roster (a couple of whom are now going pro, I believe) they haven't knocked the world over with their recruiting. And their playoff window is getting narrower, in my opinion.
3. The SEC places 5 teams in the top 10, 8 in the top 20. There's a reason the SEC gets respect; however they acquire them, they get players. The good news for Michigan? Well...
4. Michigan's concern should now be competing with teams at the very top of the rankings, but they don't have to beat all of them. All of these competitive SEC teams beat each other up, and the result so far appears to be that the SEC will rarely, if ever, send two teams to the playoff. That means that Michigan has to beat only one of those teams in any given year to win a national title. They also have to beat only one other team, either from the PAC or the ACC (which is turning into a two-horse race between FSU and Clemson). Keep the pipeline competitive and it's doable. As long as we can get out of the B1G East.
5. It's time for some of these players to start being hits. Michigan has regularly nabbed a guy or two amongst the top 50 or so players in the country since the dawn of the Hoke era; lately, a lot of them have been busts. Now, Jabrill Peppers is everything we hoped he would be, and should be dominant next year. Not everyone has worked out that well. Kyle Kalis is starting, yes, but nobody thinks he's even our best lineman. Derrick Green and Brian Cole...