Dave Brandon's Game Plan

Dave Brandon's Game Plan

Submitted by oakapple on November 28th, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Dave Brandon has been asked repeatedly about Rich Rodriguez’s status. He has given the same answer consistently: “I will evaluate the program after the bowl game.”

I cannot recall the last time a college football coach was fired after his bowl game. It has probably happened, but it is very rare. There are only 4-5 weeks between the bowl season and national signing day. That is too little time for a new coach to fill any holes in the class, to re-recruit the existing commits, and to replace any who bail out. Generally, if the coach is going to be fired, it is right after the regular season.

In the meantime, leaving Rodriguez’s status unclear makes it difficult to land any uncommitted recruits who are still considering Michigan, and it increases the likelihood that existing commits might waver. I cannot imagine that Brandon does not know this.

It therefore seems that the time to make a decision about Rodriguez is now. If Brandon wants him back in 2011, go ahead and say so. That, at least, will shore up the recruiting class. Other decisions (e.g., defensive coordinator) can wait. If he does not want Rodriguez back, fire him now, and get a replacement on board for the final two months of the recruiting season.

One scenario floating around the various message boards, is this: Brandon has already decided to fire Rodriguez, but he is waiting to make an announcement until he has a replacement lined up. That scenario also gives him the wiggle room to retain Rodriguez for another year if the coach he wants turns out to be unavailable.

The longer Brandon goes without explicitly saying that Rodriguez will be back, the more gossip there will be about his demise. Brandon must realize how poisonous these rumors are. If he does nothing to dispel them, you have to assume that he is quietly looking elsewhere. There is otherwise no good reason to wait.

Sunday Morning Stats - 11/28/10 (with season re-cap)

Sunday Morning Stats - 11/28/10 (with season re-cap)

Submitted by HeismanPose on November 28th, 2010 at 2:13 PM

End of season (almost) stats.  The offense took a significant hit after the Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State games, but still finished with over 500 yards/game (a Michigan first) and over 34 points/game.  The scoring offense was hampered by one of the worst turnover margins and THE worst field goal kicking in the FBS.  If Michigan was just average in those two categories, they would probably have scored 40 pts/game.  (EDIT: also hampering the offense was Michigan's strength of schedule, 2nd in the Big Ten.  UM played the 5 toughest defenses in the conferece, but missed out on two of the worst (Minnesota and Northwestern).  They also got stuck playing Purdue in a rainstorm.)

(EDIT 2: the meme that this offense fattened up against out-of-conferense opponents and didn't perform in the Big Ten does not really show in the numbers.  Michigan averaged just under 31 pts/game in the Big Ten, even with the turnovers, total lack of kicking game, and tough schedule).

As it stands, the 500.9 yards/game is the most in Michigan history, crushing the previous school record of 466.9 set in 1992.  The 34.33 pts/game is 6th in the "modern era," behind 1947 (39.4), 1976 (36.0), 1992 (35.9), 2003 (35.4), and 1991 (35.0).  On a yards/game basis, this is the 2nd best offense in the history of the Big Ten, second only to 1994 PSU (512.7 yds/game), and just barely edging out 2005 Northwestern (they gained 6004 yards in 12 games - Michigan gained 6011 this season). 

Conversely, the defense was the worst in school history by just about every measure.  The 33.8 pts/game allowed demolished the previous low mark of 28.9 set in 2008.  For reference, before RichRod came to town the worst Michigan defense was the 1962 unit that gave up 23.8 pts/game, exactly a full 10 points/game better than this team.  On a yards/game basis, this year's mark of 447.92 was more than 50 yards/game worse than the previous low of 393.3 in 2009.  The pre-RichRod low point was 389.9 in 2000.  

Overall, I think it's worth it to give Rodriguez another year, but (obviously) the defense must improve significantly.  The list of best offenses in Big Ten history is riddled with forgettable squads like 2005 Northwestern (7-5), 2005 MSU (5-6), 2005 Minnesota (7-5), 2003 Minnesota (10-3).  Those teams all averaged near 500 yards/game.

Our schedule sets up nicely next year, with powerhouse Wisconsin and upstart Penn State off the slate entirely.  Our two toughest games are both at home at the end of the season (Nebraska and OSU).  I think RichRod will need to be at least 8-2 going into the Nebraska game and will need to beat both OSU and MSU.  That means the defense and special teams must move up from the dregs to around 60th nationally.   I know these are high standards but I really believe 9-3 (at least) and a trip to Indianapolis is the only scenario that will save our coach's job.



Scoring (Pts/g) 34.33 23rd
Rushing (Yds/g) 251.08 11th
Rush Yds/Carry  5.67 6th
Passing (Yds/g) 249.83 34th
Pass Eff  148.01 23rd
Pass Yds/Att 8.72 14th
Total (Yds/g) 500.92 6th
Sacks Allowed/g 0.92 13th
TFL Allowed/g 3.67 6th
Turnovers Lost  27 103rd
RedZone - TD  75.00% 6th
RedZone - Score  82.69% 64th
3rd Down Conversions 46.30% 23rd
4th Down Conversions 52.17% 63rd
Scoring (Pts/g) 33.83 102nd
Rushing (Yds/g) 187.67 94th
Rush Yds/Carry  4.54 87th
Passing (Yds/g) 260.25 110th
Pass Eff Def 140.65 97th
Pass Yds/Att 8.09 107th
Total (Yds/g) 447.92 109th
Sacks/g 1.42 94th
TFL/g 5.42 75th
Turnovers Gained 18 76th
RedZone Def - TD  60.78% 60th
RedZone Def - Score  84.31% 78th
3rd Down Conversions Def 42.37% 84th
4th Down Conversions Def 69.57% 112th
Special Teams/Other
Net Punting 40.09 54th
Net Kicking n/a n/a
Punt Returning (Yds/Ret) 5.38 98th
Kick Returning (Yds/Ret) 21.14 77th
Punt Return D (Yds/Ret) 9.78 81st
Kick Return D (Yds/Ret) 21.37 63rd
Field Goals 30.76% 120th
Extra Points 96.43% 69th
Penalties/g 4.58 9th
Penalty Yards/g 46.42 39th
TOP/g 27:22 112th
Turnover Margin/g -0.75 110th



Denard Robinson
Rush Yds 1643 2nd
Rush Yds/g 136.92 4th
Rush Yds/Carry 6.71 9th
Pass Yds 2316 54th
Pass Yds/g 193.00 63rd
Pass Yds/Att 9.26 8th
Passer Rating 152.94 20th
Total Yds 3959 3rd
Total Yds/g 329.92 3rd
Pts Responsible for 180 19th
Pts Responsible for/g 15.00 22nd
Pts 84 63rd
Pts/g 7.00 76th
Roy Roundtree
Rec Yds 882 39th
Rec Yds/g 73.50 41st
Rec/g 5.25 45th
Jonas Mouton
Tackles/g 10.09 20th
Solo Tackles/g 5.36 34th
Jordan Kovacs
Tackles/g 9.33 32nd
Solo Tackles/g 4.92 49th


Will Hagerup
Yds/punt 43.6 32nd

Yahoo thinks we draw Nebraska

Yahoo thinks we draw Nebraska

Submitted by 1464 on November 28th, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Yahoo seems to think we will get a head start on our new in-conference Rivals. Seems Michigan always finds a way to draw a tough bowl game... Maybe there can be some backback for 'JUST LATERAL THE DAMN BALL!!!'

Insight Bowl Projection

Site: Tempe, Ariz.
Date: Dec. 28, 10 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 4/5 vs. Big 12 No. 4
Today's projection: Michigan vs. Nebraska

Trust in Dave Brandon

Trust in Dave Brandon

Submitted by BlueintheLou on November 28th, 2010 at 12:12 PM

This is getting out of control. Believe me, I am as frustrated as the next guy. Watching the game yesterday, in conjunction with every time they mentioned not winning since 2003, made me sick, actually. I know we as fans love to speculate until we hear an actual decision about anything on this board. This team has had a rough year, they showed signs of potential greatness, but coupled that with signs of regression. That leaves us as a fanbase in quite a quandary, because in year 3 of a new regime, we had expected and hoped to see something further along.

I come here with a plea for us as a fanbase, at least the rational ones, to just let this play out. Brandon has repeatedly said he will evaluate after the season. I love mgoblog, but I do not want to sit here all month long reading new posts about Harbaugh or any other potential coach/DC we might see. Can we please just trust Mr. Brandon to make the right decision for the future of this program. I have been an RR fan through thick and thin, and part of me still wants him back because I think he can succeed, but ultimately, I am putting my trust in Dave Brandon to make a good decision to put this program on the right trajectory for the long term. So, that the Michigan brand rises back to where it belongs and so that the product on the field is contention, every year. Dave Brandon will get it done, with whomever it may be, RR, or moving a different direction.

In Dave Brandon I trust, and so should all of us. Good luck boys, let's get some solid practices in before the bowl game.

Former M players tweet during OSU

Former M players tweet during OSU

Submitted by wolverine1987 on November 28th, 2010 at 10:31 AM


Former Wolverines tweet on Game


Several former Michigan players used Twitter to express themselves during the 37-7 loss to Ohio State. Among those who tweeted were Jay Feely, Jamie Morris, Jonathan Goodwin, Steve Breaston and Desmond Howard. Feely, Breaston and former U-M players Alan Branch and Gabe Watson -- all currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals -- apparently watched the game together.

• @jayfeely: @SBreaston15, Branch, Gabe Watson all if us are beside ourselves watching this shell of what Michigan used to be.

• @JMorris23: We are the Best Big East in the Big Ten....... Bar none!!!

• @jgoody76: This just got even more disgusting. Is it time for a change?

• @SBreaston15: Yikes! Smh

• @desmond_howard As a Wolverine who NEVER lost 2 the Buckeyes, I think U should worry less about a tie and MORE about the product on the field. #wrongfocus



Its a shame our former players are out there saying this, but I guess I get it.

The Gameplan

The Gameplan

Submitted by Ziff72 on November 28th, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I know the game was very frustrating, but I was a little surprised at the complete meltdown from this board.   Things I saw that I thought people would have be happy with that seemingly no one cared about or noticed.

1. We were in a 4 man line most of the game and shut down there run game save 2 plays...the 90 yd run was a missed tackle by Vinopal....and I'm not sure what happened on the 40yd run but for the most part Greg had a good scheme and shut them down.  I think Brian will be happy in the UFR with the defense.

2. The pass defense was mediocre, but most of the damage was done from Pryor scrambling, which what are you going to do he does it to everyone.

3. The offense went up and down the field on one of the best defenses in the country, on the road, when they have game planned all year to stop us.  The only time they actually stopped us with Denard in the game was after the procedure penalty on Jackson(who shouldn't have been playing but for all the WR injuries).  Tate was less effective, but the point is they really couldn't stop the offense with Denard at the helm.

4. Most of the special teams problems were a result of RR keeping a guy home for discipline.  Not sure anyone can argue with that.

Based on the above I saw plenty of progress yesterday.  The score was not indicative of how the game was played.   Did you feel the same way about RR and Gerg when it was 10-7 late in the 2nd and we had squandered so many opportunities?

So let's see we ended up getting beat by 1 of the best teams in the country on the road with our starting qb out,  our best wr having the worst game of his career, our 3rd and 4th best wr's out of the game and our 2nd best wr playing at 60%, our secondary in shambles, our best defensive player playing on 1 leg and our punter and kickoff kicker at home.    Was it really so shocking to have you switch your faith in RR?   What part of yesterday made you lose faith in RR as a coach? What were people like Wojo and everyone saying now he should go expecting to see yesterday?  If the score was 27-17 like it probably should have been would people have a different tune right now?




I Hate Everything

I Hate Everything

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on November 28th, 2010 at 8:20 AM

After games like this, or actually during games like this, I can feel a simple feeling inside of me: hate. A pure and simple emotion, and one that shouldn't be suppressed. And as the game progressed, I realize that my hate is very generic and can be applied to most anything and everyone. And yes, this is a form of therapy, so please indulge me.

I hate Matt Millen. Did you ever see a guy come less prepared to a game? A bunch of people have said "well, at least he's a good color commentator" which is complete horse crap - he clearly knew very little about Michigan and would just make things up on the fly about various players. Like that Mouton is one of those "smart, cagey" veterans who knows where to be on the field, but just gets beat physically sometimes (he seriously said something of this nature). And on and on. Man am I sick of Millen - and I won't even mention how he ran the Lions into the ground in epic fashion, or at least I won't dwell on it. 

Millen: Bad at everything

I hate those goddamned three buckeye fans they show over and over and over and over again. You know the guys: cowboy guy in white, crazy hair with nut necklace, and silver face. All are pretty fat. Note to camera people: THERE ARE OTHER FANS IN THE STANDS. Christ, they should make a movie about them. It would go something like this: three losers get way over-dressed up every week to watch football. During the rest of the week, they live at home with their mothers, who beat them. It is not a good movie, probably foreign.

This is silver face. I hate him, even if he missed Stef.

I have Jim Tressel. Oh fuck all of you who say "well, he's classy" and all of that shit. He is a smug asshole and he coaches the other team - do you really need to pump that guy up? And seriously, if I hear him talk one more time, well, actually I never hear him talk, because by the third word, I am asleep. Could a guy be more fucking boring? And if I hear him talk about how this senior class is special, Christ, YOU SAY THAT EVERY DAMN YEAR. I hate you, and I hate your senior class.

A Hawaiian shirt, seriously?

I hate those little gold pants they give each buckeye who beats Michigan. It's a PAIR OF PANTS, asshole. I don't care about your stupid traditions, and I sure don't care how many pairs of tiny pants you have. Why don't you buy some tiny dolls to go with those tiny pants, that would be swell. At least by losing a lot, the tradition is being confused: current players probably just think Tressel likes tiny pants and gives them to the players at the end of the year. Of course, if they could stay awake during his speeches, they might know better.

Stupid gold pants: they are so special you can buy them on ebay.

I hate Jim Harbaugh. Why? BECAUSE HE IS NOT OUR DAMNED COACH. And until he is, I hate him, pretty much like I hate all other coaches.

See how it says "STANFORD HEAD COACH"?

I hate people who cheer for the "Big Ten" during Bowl Season. Christ, you think I'm going to get all excited for MSU or OSU during their bowl game? Fuck that - I cheer for them to lose, and I cheer for it to be a blowout. Really, the only thing that remains positive in my mind about 2006 was watching OSU get destroyed in the bowl game. The look on Tressel's face that night was precious. If you watch closely, you can see him reach into his pockets near the end of game, and rub a tiny pair of gold pants. Well, he is rubbing something in there, that I'm sure of. 

Are you seriously going to cheer for this asshole?

I hate stupid fans. Especially when they call into talk radio, over and over again, to say the same damned things. I DON'T CARE IF YOU THINK THEY SHOULD FIRE RICH ROD. Of course, I also hate myself for listening to talk radio, which is generally a waste of time and grey matter. 

This is Sam Webb, whom I actually like (Ira too).

I hate people who can't understand that we essentially started the entire football program over. It's kind of like a plane crashed with Lloyd's team on it, and we had to start from scratch. That's how you should judge the team, dammit. Almost everyone good on the team is a sophomore, and many of those would be redshirt freshman on a normal team. WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? I KNOW WHY: BECAUSE YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE RANDOM FAN WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND BASIC THINGS.

This is the second hit for "dumb people" on google images

I hate people who cheer for Michigan to lose, so that we can fire the coach. There probably aren't many of you, but you suck. When you see a young team, physically overmatched in so many positions, trying so hard out there every week, even when the results aren't there, and you cheer against them, you are nothing but the most horrible kind of asshole. The team puts in a lot of effort, never quits, and all you do, sucky fan, is sit there and hope that they lose. Fuck off.

I hate Kirk Herbstreit. I saw him in person at a gameday once, and let me tell you, he is surprisingly short. And, surprisingly still a douchebag. I am hoping that he catches a stroke from Corso, though my sources tell me it isn't contagious. Oh well, maybe Corso, in some stroke-fueled rage, will stab Herbstreit repeatedly while putting on some kind of goofy hat. Desmond will just watch, smiling, and maybe do a Heisman pose.

Herby, you suck.

I hate all the links to articles in the freep or detnews. WHO FUCKING CARES? Do people read this crap anymore? Could it be any clearer that columnists for those papers are shitty writers with very little knowledge of sports? For god's sake STOP READING THOSE PAPERS AND THEN POSTING SOMETHING HERE ABOUT HOW BAD THEY ARE. It is not hard, you just remove the "bookmark" to freep.com from your browser, asshole. Newspapers are dying for a good reason - their only reason for existence was the fact that they could distribute information cheaply. Then came internet, and content mattered. OOPS! Bye bye shitty newspapers.

This is a crumpled newspaper. OH THE SYMBOLISM

As you can tell, I could go on, because right now, I am feeling a lot of hate. But there is one thing here that I love, which is true for most of you too: Michigan football. And that's why I keep coming back. Those kids who put on the maize and blue and fight every week, even when the odds are against them, well, that is what I love. I'll watch the bowl game, and cheer like hell for them to win, and feel sad if they lose, and then I'll prepare for the long off-season of crap, full of things I hate. 

To those whom this article has offended, well, guess what: I hate you. And if you write "tl;dr" I hate you too -- at least try to be original, asshole. But if I bored you or was less funny than intended, well, sorry about that. It's the hate getting in the way of writing a quality diary, I swear it.

[EDIT: April 2016 to fix stale picture links - couldn't find all the originals]


Wasted thoughts

Wasted thoughts

Submitted by Steve Lorenz on November 28th, 2010 at 2:21 AM

Hey guys....

I know it's a rough time but we seriously need to keep our heads in it. As much as we want to hate these are the days when true fans are born. It's seriously hard to turn on ABC at noon and not expect more than what we have but we HAVE to deal with it. It's what has been handed to us. Man up and continue the fight. That's all I really want as a fan. I want to know that fans still have our players' backs! If you aren't a fan of the coaching staff that's your business but remember the players who committed their futures to our program and to us their fans! Honestly, it's been rough but we need to man up and weather the storm. Go Blue!