to play football, not to play trumpet
- Member for
- 3 years 46 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|3 hours 24 sec 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.
|1 day 2 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.
|1 day 3 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.
|1 day 3 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.
|1 day 3 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.
|1 day 3 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.
|1 day 3 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
|1 day 3 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.
|1 day 5 hours ago||In before my version of the||
In before my version of the same. I award you an upvote.
|1 day 5 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.
|1 day 6 hours 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?
|1 day 6 hours 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.
|1 day 6 hours 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.
|1 day 7 hours 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.
|1 day 7 hours 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...
|1 day 7 hours 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.
|1 day 18 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.
|1 day 19 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.
|1 day 19 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.
|1 day 19 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.
|1 day 19 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...
|1 day 20 hours ago||In fairness, this team needs||
In fairness, this team needs LBs and we did only OK in that department. Maybe the guys exceed their ratings; the problem is that this is the one area of the team that Michigan could use a freshman who could contribute right away and they didn't land one of the sure-thing guys at the top of the rankings.
It's important to recruit needs and fill holes, but it is also important to get the best available players. Gary is a huge add at a position that is already Michigan's strength next season, for example, and Jabrill Peppers was a vital recruit regardless of how many serviceable DBs Michigan had on the roster.
|1 day 20 hours ago||I neglected to discuss||
I neglected to discuss kicker, and I agree completely with you about it. If Nordin can equal Allen in one of his duties (and while Allen wound up being just fine at PK, he's not brilliant at it) there's no reason not to have him take over that side of the load.
I agree that it's possible for Perry to see competition at slot; my reserved view of their PT has more to do with the infrequency Harbaugh uses three-wide personnel. Even 50% of the snaps at slot probably works out to 10 or less (without looking at the actual numbers).
|1 day 23 hours ago||The teams we care about here||
The teams we care about here are MSU, whom we usually out-recruit but until last December couldn't outcoach, and OSU. Obviously, M has a better class than MSU. OSU appears to have better depth in its class, based upon that excellent graph.
What I want to know is, "Can Michigan compete with and defeat Ohio State regularly?" And when you look at individual match ups, which is prima facie absurd, Michigan has not only the best recruit in the nation but a guy that has the potential to almost single-handedly flip a big matchup between the teams. Gary, if surrounded by quality players (likely, and a contrast with the South Carolina situation in Clowney's last year) and if he develops as we believe he can, has the potential to seriously disrupt the OSU spread run game.
Yeah, we have LB questions, and yeah, our solid DL was humiliated this year, and yeah, OSU isn't playing with cast-offs.
But if Gary can lead a win in the LOS battle, that gives the rest of the team a great chance.
And we have three years to see how it goes.
|1 day 23 hours ago||Gary gets serious playing||
Gary gets serious playing time. Walker, if he has "it," gets carries in most or every game. An LB like Bush gets playing time; the lousy positional depth means that if a frosh LB performs well he could start by late season. The high-tier DB recruits see small amounts of PT. One or two Frosh receivers probably sees time in the slot, but not much. And a HB-TE type like Asiasi probably gets in a fair amount.
But Michigan is a contending team even without the recruits this year. Gary is too good to keep off of the field, but the rest (except maybe the LBs) have to outplay quality starters to earn playing time. Starting is very unlikely.
In 2017 the story will be a lot different.
|2 days 1 hour ago||By the way, some guys may||
By the way, some guys may have artificially been vague about their commit to heighten suspense, or waffled excessively to increase drama before signing (Onwenu for example). To them I say:
Do whatever you want. It's your moment and your future, you don't owe us fans a single thing right now. Glad you're coming to Michigan. Getting a little publicity? Good for you.
|2 days 2 hours ago||The anxiety is over. Michigan||
The anxiety is over. Michigan just won the battle for the best recruit in the country, straight-up. Against the best there is.
Unless Ole Miss edges back over us, #5 class in the country. Right behind "them." Would've like a top LB prospect, but overall not bad. Not bad at all.
I said last week, "can't wait until it's over."
It's over. Awesome.
|2 days 3 hours ago||Webb is the best there is, he||
Webb is the best there is, he wasn't playing games. And based on Gary saying he didn't make up his mind until he got to the stage, panic was justified.
I'll be anxious until we see the LOI.
But yes, alum96 has been fantastic in keeping things updated. I hope he has a debrief-post to analyze what went down.
(And, re the OP, the Florida trip is brilliant in so many ways).
|4 days 5 hours ago||Man I hope so. Hasn't been a||
Man I hope so. Hasn't been a lot of great news lately.
|4 days 6 hours ago||I guess these are the||
I guess these are the greatest moments as we experienced them; so it is how awesome it was as perceived by us at the time and now with perspective.
Which of course is different than Michigan's greatest moments, period, because those are easier to rank objectively.
Either way, this is tough. Here's a shot:
1. The 1997 season. All of it. The first year I went to almost every home game (missed only ND because I was broke) and it was, of course, the best of my lifetime. Scalped my way into the student section for the OSU game (my first visit to that part of the Stadium) and it was... c'mon, you know how it was.
2. The 2002 NCAA West Regional at Yost. 36 hours of madness. You really have to read the link to get my full thoughts on it; it was unbelievable. And, somehow, I lucked into center-ice seats.
3. Here's where we get into the really subjective stuff: 2000 Michigan over OSU. Not one of the greatest wins of my lifetime, but it was my first trip to Columbus. I bought tickets with birthday money on the spur of the moment on Friday, called my best friend who was in Eastern Ohio for college that evening, and we met up. We were verbally abused, physically threatened, and absolutely exhilerated.
4. Hard to choose between dozens of great options, but I guess I'll lean with the 1989 basketball championship. The mists of time have clouded the emotional impact of it, and I was young enough (9) that I couldn't truly appreciate the gravity of it as I would later (how did I not become a total basketball zombie? I was a Michigan fan and a Pistons fan and they BOTH WON that year).
But I remember following the tournament as much as I could. I had seen both of Michigan's losses to Illinois on tv as well as various other games, but I was asleep in bed before Higgins beat the Illini in the Final Four.
But, that Monday, everything was about the game. The Ann Arbor News dropped its usual paper header and printed a picture of Glen Rice with giant-font "Go Blue!" written in maize across a blue field on the top. I was permitted to attempt to nap for an hour in exchange for a rare opportunity to stay up on a school night.
And I watched the whole thing.
I ran out of the room three times as Rumeal lined up to take those free throws, overcome with stress. And three times I ran bank.
And they went in.
As a boy, there's nothing better.