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|3 days 23 hours ago||Frankly, noon game||
Frankly, noon game atmospheres stink everywhere. Remember last-year's hand-wringing about the empty stands at noon at the Swamp, of all places? The only early games I've ever been to with any punch are the big matchups (which, these days, means UM-OSU. Nationwide you can also include OU-Tx) and a Texas Tech-A&M matchup 11 years ago that was a classic but not televised.
|5 days 13 hours ago||I like having games at 3:30,||
I like having games at 3:30, but for entirely selfish reasons: It fits into my Central Time schedule much better. I usually miss significant portions of the first half of noon (11am) games due to other responsibilities. So this trend is very good for me.
|1 week 2 days ago||I think LA isn't even close||
I think LA isn't even close to as bad a sports city as Miami or Atlanta (lived in the LA area for four years), but USC most certainly does not sell out every game. In fact, it was big-ish news when the 2005 team sold out every game... and, you'll recall, that 2005 team had a once-in-a-lifetime collection of talent.
|1 week 4 days ago||Exactly right. I don't think||
Exactly right. I don't think Michigan's 2000 win alone caused Cooper to be fired. It was the embarrassing loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl and the absolutely dreadful behavior by players off the field during the bowl trip that finished the job. The program, at that point, was out of control.
Remember Tressel's speech at the basketball game? We all remember the part where he guaranteed the fans would be proud of OSU on the football field in November, but that was the conclusion of a statement promising that they would also be proud of the players in the community and in the classroom. There is a reason he said that.
Even if it turns out he was lying.
|1 week 4 days ago||That is more and better||
That is more and better information than I was working with, so I defer to JM and WH. Though its important to note that the anecdotes suggest play was indeed equal, and that Henson was Carr's pick due to his longer potential career.
|1 week 4 days ago||Good catch, yes; I meant '96.||
Good catch, yes; I meant '96.
|1 week 4 days ago||What have you heard? I'm not||
What have you heard? I'm not sure I buy that.
1. Brady needed no favors. If Henson were legtimately better, he would have started--but the reports all suggested that no clear #1 had emerged. And it seems reasonable to think that, based on their demonstrated on-field performance and Henson's spring absence, Brady had a better command of the offense.
2. The coaches certainly did have to worry about keeping Golden Boy Henson happy, since if he felt he weren't getting a good shake he could just take the money and go play baseball. It seems much more plausible that Henson was close but not there, and to placate him and keep talent on the field they gave him a chance to win the job on the field.
3. It certainly would make sense that the staff would expect Henson to seize the job, but I would think that would be with the added on-field experience rather than his superior practice performances. It is quite plausible that Henson lacked Brady's polished command of the offense, but that the coaches figured playing whole quarters would accelerate his growth and allow his talent to emerge.
4. I was one of the guys who thought Brady should have been given the job, but that was partly due to my old-fashioned "the experienced guy should start" feeling. Of course, his on-field performances were visibly better. It's worth saying, though, that even if Brady had started the second half of the MSU game there is no guarantee that Michigan wins. And it was the (reasonable) benching of Anthony Thomas against Illinois that really killed us there. Ah, what might have been.
The real question is, could Michigan have beaten Florida State that year? I think they would have had a chance.
|1 week 4 days ago||I've done some close analysis||
I've done some close analysis of 2001 (and 02 and 03, for a still-unfinished evaluation of Navarre's career) and it's clear Henson would have elevated the team much higher if he were playing. Navarre simply wasn't ready that year, and he was placed in a difficult situation with most of the rest of Michigan's offensive talent turning over. The best offensive player that year was Marquise Walker, who had a great season and was a good player but is never confused for one of Michigan's best receivers ever.
But the rest of the offense was dreadful, Carr's least-talented offense. Only 2006 is close in its ineptitude. Chris Perry and BJ Askew shared the RB spot and were both ineffective; after Walker's 81 catches, the next most productive receiver was BJ Askew with 24... and next was Bill Seymour with 23.
The defense, still recovering from its dreadful 2000 season, was not much better. Honestly, 2001 might have been the least talented team Carr ever fielded.
And yet all three regular season losses were very winnable. The Washington loss, which we all forget because it was September 8, 2001, was controlled by Michigan until Washington returned a blocked FG for a touchdown and then a swing pass bounced off of Askew's hands and into a defender's for a TD. It was a typical opening road loss for a Carr Michigan team, but flukier than you'd expect. We all remember the clock game, which was loss #2. And then in the OSU game Navarre played execrably, yet Michigan still nearly came back to win.
It's not a stretch to think that with a senior Henson playing effective football, all three of those games would have been wins. Now, you have to remember that Carr Michigan teams always seemed to lose at least one game they shouldn't have, and perhaps they would have in 2001, but even with Navarre and an offense that played rather poorly for long stretches of time, Michigan was soooooo close to flipping those games.
And that's with lousy talent. Now, they were outmatched by Tennessee and would have been with Henson on the field, and of course if they were actually undefeated they would have played Miami in the Rose Bowl that year and been demolished.
But, ironically, 2001 ends up being one of the years where Michigan played closest to its roster potential in the post-Brady Carr era. The real disappointment is not that they had four losses in 2001; the disappointment is that with all of the massive improvements in talent and experience in 2003, they only had one loss fewer.
Now, would Henson returning have turned the tide in later years? Perhaps Navarre is better prepared and less criticized in 2002, and Michigan's performance upgrades a bit. But beyond that I see little difference for him.
Would a 2001 OSU win have turned the tide against Tressel? Unlikely. The problem Michigan had with Tressel is that he held a very similar coaching philosophy to Lloyd Carr, but executed it much better. Beating OSU in 2001 neither gets Tressel fired nor does it flip the top Ohio recruits Tressel put a fence around in the 00 decade; nothing would change.
|1 week 4 days ago||Unless you have convincing||
Unless you have convincing evidence of that, I find this post extremely hard to believe. There may have been some alums underwhelmed by Tressel's performance, but one mediocre year recovering from years of Cooper's mismanagement does not cause one to get fired, even at OSU.
David Terrell did not play for Michigan that season, either.
|2 weeks 13 hours ago||Depends on the QB, and the||
Depends on the QB, and the roster around him. We know that the recruits Hoke has brought in have the potential to be good enough to overwhelm the whole conference save one, but we don't know how things will actually turn out. Hoke is recruiting to make Michigan Alabama 2.0, and perhaps that will happen--if Michigan has a great enough O-line, quality at the skill positions, and an impenetrable defense (as we hope and is actually a possibility) then Shane or Wilton can succeed even if they are never better than game manager types.
But if things go a bit crosseyed, as is always a possibility, Michigan's success will hinge on the development of Shane Morris as a big-play QB, and on Al's ability to put him in situations to make those plays. Neither of these are sure things.
|2 weeks 13 hours ago||Yeah, and meanwhile we get||
Yeah, and meanwhile we get stuck playing Wisconsin and Neb... wait, nevermind.
That's pretty even, if you ask me.
|2 weeks 13 hours ago||You're thinking about the||
You're thinking about the 2015 schedule using a 2012 paradigm. There are two seasons (13 and 14) still to be played before we know what the teams on the '15 schedule are going to be like.
And the chances are good that at least one of Oregon State, BYU, or Northwestern will be quite good in two years. Oregon State flirts with being a quality team every few years, and indeed was quite strong this season; BYU and Northwestern are both rising programs.
I think it is possible, even likely, that Northwestern will be a clear-cut better team than MSU by 2015, and that there is a very good chance that they will be a top-4 program in the conference. That's an attractive night-game matchup if anything is.
The larger point, though, is that we don't really know--and that there is a good chance that there will be a night-worthy game that year.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||In retrospect, the 2007 Rose||
In retrospect, the 2007 Rose Bowl has aged the worst for me. It was hard to tell at the time (I was there, which was incredible, and I had a good time despite the result) but for what it meant and what it should have been, the game was inexcusable.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Tennessee that season had a||
Tennessee that season had a national title-caliber roster, and still looks good in retrospect. With Clausen, Donte Stallworth, Kelly Washington, Jason Witten, and Travis Stephens, they were better than Michigan at every skill position, and more than a match for a mediocre defense.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Yeah. What an embarrassment.||
Yeah. What an embarrassment. In retrospect, they had better talent all over the field, but the way we were manhandled was awful. And hearing all the ESS EEE SEEE SPEEEEED stuff after was sickening.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Let's put it this way: even||
Let's put it this way: even if this past week never happened, the current play-by-play voice of Michigan football has been on the job for 30 years. He is old, and while he's still reasonably sharp, he has lost a bit off of his fastball. Some time in the not-too-distant future, he is going to enter retirement.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Basketball is very hard to||
Basketball is very hard to call on radio, and I'm not sure we can hold that to other sports.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Agree with the rest, you're||
Agree with the rest, you're crazy to dislike Dickerson. He is an excellent radio broadcaster.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Mediocre? You don't even know||
Mediocre? You don't even know what you're talking about.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||What did Leyland do wrong in||
What did Leyland do wrong in the two WS appearances?
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I like the bumped timestamp||
I like the bumped timestamp on the Golson thread; that should be a more common practice with running news topics that don't really merit a new thread every day.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I remember when he QB'd at||
I remember when he QB'd at Brighton, right on the heels of Drew Henson. He has young kids, too. This is an awful situation regardless of how it resolves, though some resolutions are obviously worse than others.
|3 weeks 12 hours ago||Why should I care about a||
Why should I care about a bunch of dead guys?
Because they sacrificed the best years of their lives so that I could live the best years of mine.
Appropriate that we remember those who died on this blog, since neither this blog nor anything that it discusses would exist in their current form without the freedoms afforded us by those who offered and sometimes lost their lives.
|3 weeks 12 hours ago||I like that one, too.||
I like that one, too.
|3 weeks 22 hours ago||Some nits: Pretty sure it was||
Pretty sure it was a normal 3:30 start. It was dark for so long because it was late in the year and, of course, the game went quite long.
MSU was pretty average that year, but they weren't terrible, and they used a running spread with a mobile QB. And, of course, it took until Lloyd's last career game for Michigan to figure out how to stop a mobile quarterback. Drew Stanton simply shadowed the success enjoyed by guys like Donovan McNabb, Zak Kustok, Carlyle Holiday, Asad-Abdul Kalik, Troy Smith, Vince Young, Armanti Edwards, Dennis Dixon, and others.
So their offensive success really isn't that hard to explain in that context. After Stanton was knocked out, MSU slowed down, but Michigan's offense was pitiful until they torched the non-Braylon portion of the playbook.
|3 weeks 23 hours ago||Closest I've ever come to||
Closest I've ever come to walking out on a comeback. My wife and I were at the game, and she was cold and tired and worn out from being crammed into our seat with an extra-wide neighbor basically jamming into us. She spent a lot of time standing in front of me.
After the last MSU touchdown our row emptied out a bit, and she sat down and asked when we could leave. I said, "Iet's wait and see what happens on the next possession." Of course, you figure either it will be a disaster and you can leave, or a slim chance of a touchdown and you stay for a hopeful finish.
Field Goal. "Can we leave now?"
"Let's just wait and s..."
1:45 later, we left. I was happy, she was cold.
|3 weeks 23 hours ago||Vince Young was not walking||
Vince Young was not walking out that door. Texas was loaded, and proved it the next season by winning it all.
2004 is actually, in retrospect, one of the years where Carr really got as much out of his talent as one could expect. We had Braylon, of course, but much of the rest of the core talent on that team was young: Breaston a redshirt soph, with Henne/Hart/Long true Frosh, etc. That team won the B1G title and came oh-so-close to winning the Rose Bowl, as close to a moral victory in a Rose Bowl as you can have.
I was pretty happy with the year. What was so dispiriting was seeing the team squander all that talent for the next three years. And yes, I'm including the 2006 season--the way they lost the Rose Bowl to USC was inexcusable.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||I think this is astute. It||
I think this is astute. It would be naive to think that Urban locking down Ohio recruits is just a random blip, and it takes extreme historical blinders to think that Ohio is irrelevant to Michigan. Woodson and Howard both came from Ohio, and when Tressel closed the gate Ohio State dominated us for years.
It is extremely encouraging that Michigan is now not only in on top national recruits, but landing them; it is also a bit concerning that Ohio is getting cut off. Barring a turn toward a USC/Alabama like run of national recruiting dominance (I wouldn't mind that at all, assuming it was ethical) Michigan is going to need to consistently land talent in Ohio to win B1G and national titles.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||In seriousness, I've earned||
In seriousness, I've earned some respect for ND and Kelly that Golson is gone for this. This is, obviously, the sort of thing that we have good reason to believe goes on at SEC schools all the time. And we're not talking about a backup safety here, either. Good for them following through.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||I completely agree, and I'm||
I completely agree, and I'm willing to cut Al some extra slack during the season because of it. This is some of the best insight into a coach's process and philosophy that I've ever read.