Unverified Voracity Is The Situation

Unverified Voracity Is The Situation

Submitted by Brian on November 8th, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Here's this. Bobby Loesch made it and is a gentleman and a scholar.

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It's time for America's greatest rivalry game. Michigan State. Rutgers. This game is the situation, and they play for America's greatest rivalry trophy.

One of these teams will leave with a Big Ten win and The Situation. Noon. Probably on television. Check BeIN Sports 2. No? Does QVC have an overflow channel? Well, I'm sure you'll find it. They televise everything these days. I saw Magic: The Gathering once.

At least you've got your vomit-soaked sidewalks. Michigan State may be 2-7 and playing Rutgers to find out which Big Ten team is going winless in conference, but at least the city it's located in has a detailed bill it would like to present the university.

EAST LANSING — East Lansing has determined what it says Michigan State University is costing city residents.

Right down to the vomit removal.

Fire department calls, police overtime and downtown cleanup after student nightlife are among the issues that cost the city about $3.75 million last year, according to a recent study paid for by the city.

I say just leave the vomit—it's not like anyone can tell that you cleaned it up. And the RCMB agrees!

I remember back in the late 80s when I transferred to MSU. I went to WMU for a year and then transferred. K'zoo was a complete dump. Nothing to do. Other than Lafayette Square, it wasn't happening. I couldn't wait to leave K'zoo and I also couldn't wait to leave GR after the summer was over to get back to East Lansing for the fall terms to begin. Now? K'zoo and GR are so much better than East Lansing. And even they aren't the greatest. But it tells you just how far East Lansing has fallen.

I moved back to Lansing from 2009 to 2013. I could not wait to move away from there again in 2013. It was a mistake to move back to Lansing. Lansing is dismal but almost better than East Lansing now. East Lansing is a complete shell of itself. Just terrible. It lacked any of the vitality it once held. It was is of depressing to see.

That's part of a wildly entertaining five-page thread full of Spartans dumping venom on East Lansing's taxes, generic chain restaurants, city leadership, vacant storefronts, and DUI conviction rate. (That latter might not be East Lansing's fault, guys.)  Highly recommended. The Spartans' profession appears to be self-owning.

A bountiful cornucopia in Ann Arbor. NFL scouts have noticed that Michigan appears to be somewhat good this year. ESPN asks which Big Ten players have seen their NFL stock go up and literally every observer starts with something along these lines:

Everybody at Michigan. (laughs) I’ll tell you what, Harbaugh, he just brings out the best in all his players. Shoot, every one of those guys has elevated their draft stock.

Amara Darboh, Mason Cole, Channing Stribling, Jabrill Peppers, Ben Gedeon, Delano Hill, De'Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, and Jake Butt all come in for praise. I'm slightly dubious about Cole's NFL potential given the struggles he's had against 3-4 nose tackles this year but hey man whatever. Michigan is set to have a dozen guys drafted, and you'd better believe that'll perk up recruits' ears. That goes double when scouts are praising Harbaugh's development as the direct cause of said draftees.

Best part of this: no Maurice Hurst. Let's keep that on the low for another year, yes please.

An eye for detail. Dan Murphy on the Harbauffense and the idea that it's a stodgy pro-style attack:

The Wolverines' beefy, pro-style offense snapped the ball 34 times in the first half and averaged 11.8 yards per play. They did it with a litany of creative wrinkles cloaked in the feel-good nostalgia of two-tight end sets and fullback dives. They are like a phonograph that can stream your iTunes through Bluetooth.

Stodgy is what Michigan will see this weekend in Iowa City. Michigan's got a new thing every week.

Don Brown, football dude. This is a week old but I must have missed it. The WaPo on Don Brown:

Yes, Brown and Michigan: “It’s a perfect place for him,” said Compton, whose father was Brown’s high school coach and Brown’s wife’s high school biology teacher. “He looks good in the colors. It’s perfect. Perfect! He likes that weather. It’s a natural fit for him.”

In that passage lies another thing about Brown, 61: Three former players go beyond the normal, fond recollections of former players. They effuse, and say old teammates do likewise. Somehow, this seems like big toughness mixed with big, big love. ...

Ihedigbo said: “That demeanor. That presence. He truly cares about you. It’s one of those things where you feel like you’re in it together. It’s not just trying to get the most out of you.”

Michigan has exceeded even the towering expectations placed on them by optimistic folks (hi!) preseason, and looks set for a showdown against Ohio State that could change the shape of the Big Ten for years to come. Still cannot get over what a great hire Brown was.

Old-school playcalling. Great Dr. Sap piece on the evolution of playcalling:

In the 1970’s, Bo would talk on the phone with Hanlon who was upstairs in the press box.  After asking, “What do you want, Jerry?” Bo sent in the plays with offensive guards that rotated in and out of the game.  It looked and sounded like this:

In the 1980’s, rotating wide receivers became the method of communication.  The clip below can be summed up thusly, “Oh geez, Mo, let me handle this!  AC, you tell Wangs to throw you the damn ball!  Now THAT is how you do it, Gary!”

After a few delay of game penalties in critical situations, a change needed to be made.

Rotating guards bringing the playcall in! That is absolutely insane from a modern perspective. Also don't miss the Bo smirk at the end of the first video. Probably thinking about this going down in the huddle:

BRANDSTATTER: and he says to get your ass in there
RB: what?
BRANDSTATTER: CUT IT IN, he says
RB: in what
BRANDSTATTER: man... just get your ass in there
RB: i will take this under advisement

Etc.: Mike MacIntyre talks to SBN about how Colorado is good now. Marc Tracy on Harbaugh's Heisman push for Jabrill Peppers. A first look at Iowa isn't pretty. More Peppers gushing from NFL scouts. Ibi Watson exists. MSU had a lot of injuries so they lost to Illinois and their third string QB and three of their top four WRs out. Joe Kerridge will make his NFL debut this week.

Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs Rutgers

Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs Rutgers

Submitted by Brian on October 21st, 2016 at 2:26 PM

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SPONSOR NOTES: Rutgers's total yardage is like Matt's rates: absurdly low! Their general organization is like Matt's competition: disorganized beyond belief! Your pants after watching the Peppers punt return are like your pants when applying for a mortgage with Matt: optional but discouraged!

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.

If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Rutgers was all gun and mostly three-wide. Michigan responded with two different approaches. One was their conventional 4-2-5. Here Thomas and Peppers are over the slot receivers with out of the picture as the free safety.

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The other was a 3-3-5 package; since I consider Peppers a safety those were listed as 3-2-6. Similar packages with Furbush were labeled as a 3-3-5.

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Michigan had this setup, which is close to a stack. They had others where a safety crept down to an OLB spot that were kind of a 3-4; I called those "faux 3-4." They had some 5-1 lineups with two LBs on the end of the LOS and the DL folded inside. This package comes in for much more discussion after the jump.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Obviously there was a massive pile of it. The starting line only got about 20 snaps each, with Hurst getting 26 to lead all DL. Gary, Charlton, Wormley, Winovich, and Glasgow all got around 20. Godin got just 12. Jones, Onwenu, and Kemp also got late snaps. Lawrence Marshall did not play and did not travel.

Starting LBs went the whole way until the starting D got lifted; backups were as expected with Furbush at SAM and Bush and Wroblewski at ILB. Wangler got in very late, as did Mbem-Bosse.

Secondary as per usual. Metellus, Hudson, and Kinnel split snaps at S with Kinnel getting more time since he plays on passing downs with the regular D. David Long got far fewer snaps than Lavert Hill... still affected by that injury?

[After the JUMP: oh man]

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Rutgers

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Rutgers

Submitted by Brian on October 20th, 2016 at 1:43 PM

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SPONSOR NOTES: Oh man if I keep talking about this trailer thing it'll be a thing and then I can see some dang games at tailgates. This has always been a downfall of tailgating: not seeing things. By repeatedly bringing it up here I may force Matt to do this thing. Yes. Yes. I have the power!

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets and possibly a trailer, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.

If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Pepcat!

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This concludes your formation notes.

PERSONNEL NOTES: A ton of rotation in the second half. Speight got the first half and then Morris and O'Korn alternated the rest of the way. Bushell-Beatty started at LT and was briefly knocked out; Michigan moved Cole to LT and inserted Kugler at C in response. The second string line was Ulizio-Bredeson-Kugler-Ownenu-Dawson, FWIW.

RB snaps split just about equally; ditto FB with Henderson getting a third of the snaps behind Poggi and Hill. Probably the most interesting depth chart item was snaps past the starters at WR. Those went Ways 19, Crawford 14, Harris 12, McDoom 7, Gentry 6.

[After THE JUMP: trinitite.]

Dear Diary is Waving Like He Just Don’t Care

Dear Diary is Waving Like He Just Don’t Care

Submitted by Seth on October 14th, 2016 at 4:49 PM

THIS MONTH IN MGOBLOG HISTORY:

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Happy 10-year anniversary, Anthony. Anthony? You can get up now. Seriously you guys just scored or something I think.

I LIKE YOUR DISTRIBUTION

The conference win probabilities in Ecky Pting’s mid-season B1G Expectations say Michigan is likely to make it to The Game undefeated and has a 37% chance of winning out. Also it’ll be an uphill battle for one adjacent rival to make a bowl according to S&P:

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State’s expected conference wins is now at 2.7, meaning if they’re a little bit lucky they’ll finish this season 5-7. Everybody in the B1G West is mediocre except Illinois leans pretty bad and Purdue is awful.

PATRICK SEES RED, DAVID SEES BLUE

BlueBarron is Patrick Barron, whose photography was first featured in HTTV Hockey-Hoops several years back when he was on the Daily, and who’s now part of our staff. He went to Rutgers and wrote a photo journal capturing the electric atmosphere of a night game in Piscataway:

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Okay surely they looked more excited AFTER the game started.

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See? There are two dudes behind the field goal who even have their arms in the air.

Also David Nasternack, who’s our do-everything behind the scenes guy, wrote up the first hockey game.

HISTORY MGOBLUE

As Brian mentioned in his game column after Rutgers, the last time a team got beat as badly as Rutgers by Michigan, it was 1939, and the University of Chicago (HINT HINT) shut down its football team shortly after. The grandson of 1939 Michigan player Fred Olds wrote a diary about his grandpa’s team and how the OP became a fan. Those pre-War teams do still get together, though there are very few of them left.

MGrowOld has continued his own historical series, the badly titled “Forgotten Blue”, about Michigan greats that nobody has forgotten. The latest was mono-paw pitcher Jim Abbott. Fellow pitching great Jennie Ritter was before that. Rudy Tomjanovich was before that. Who’s that?

And finally on Wisconsin week we were treated to a trip down Badger Memory Lane, which was quite pleasant thankyouverymuch until 2005 ruined everything.

EARLY SPEIGHT vs EARLY RUDOCK

Blue Indy earned undying MGoRespect for coming up with a statistical comparison of Speight’s first half versus Rudock’s last year. Remember when we thought Rudock was miserable, and that put a hard cap on how good the year could go? It’d be nice to have some way to compare those. I thought to take Indy’s stats and chart against opponent pass defense:

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Good pass defenses are on the left

The big differences came early: even if UCF ends up much worse than they look to S&P+ right now, that game and the Hawaii one were more efficient than any Speight played in the first half of last year. Rudock got two really bad pass defenses and was middling; Speight blew his away. The rest are non-opponent-dependent meh performances.

LOOKALIKES:

I’ve been waiting for this series to come up with some good ones before throwing them all out there.

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Unfortunately Rutgers players mostly look like Rutgers, all Wisconsin players look the same, and Penn State players…we’re not going there.

REDSHIRTS REMAINING: Redshirt tracker is down to Peters, Walker, Spanellis, Ron Johnson, and Quinn Nordin. Keep your eyes out going forward for some of the burned shirts who might yet get a medshirt if they didn’t see the field against Penn State or after. Candidates include Davis, Nate Johnson, Eubanks, Dwumfour, Uche, Kemp, Gil, and Mbem-Bosse.

ETC. This might be a good future roundtable or a sad one. Softball ain’t played nobody.

Your Moment of Zen:

Courtesy of Red Lee.

Moving the Stati-Sticks: Post-Rutgers

Moving the Stati-Sticks: Post-Rutgers

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 14th, 2016 at 10:07 AM

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[Barron/MGoBlog]

Bill Connelly used a photo from the Michigan-Rutgers game to head his Week Six Five Factors box scores, and it’s not hard to see why. Scrolling across the stats will lead to either your jaw dropping or some guttural chuckle, or maybe both: Rutgers averaged 0.28 yards per play, had one scoring opportunity (read: had the ball inside Michigan’s 40), got zero points off that opportunity, and had a Success Rate of 11%. Michigan’s offense averaged 8.11 yards per play, had 11 scoring opportunities, averaged 7.00 points per opportunity, and had a Success Rate of 55%. Rutgers had 17 drives to Michigan’s 18. Sometimes things really are as lopsided as the final score indicates.

ESPN’s Football Power Index took note, as Michigan now holds the top overall spot in FPI. ESPN says that FPI “represents how many points above or below average a team is.” Michigan’s 1.8 points better than the next nearest team (Alabama), and they’re 2.5 points better than Ohio State. One dominant game over Rutgers really boosted Michigan’s stock in the eyes of ESPN, as their chance at winning out rocketed from 16.6% to 34.2%, and their chance of winning the conference jumped from 30.8% to 49.5%. ESPN also predicts Michigan will win 11.8 games.

The season outlook wouldn’t be nearly as shiny if the offense wasn’t above average, but it’s no secret that the defense is performing at a level we haven’t seen in quite a while and driving the numbers up. There is literally no section of Connelly’s advanced stats profile where Michigan’s defense isn’t ranked first nationally in some category. The defense is even ranked first in two of Connely’s Five Factors. I decided to take a closer look at passing downs defense this week because it has been exceptional, but at this point the defense is so good that I don’t have to dig through specific categories for something to discuss so much as rotate through them. This week, the visual representation of the defense’s dominance is as sharp as it’s been in the last two seasons; before you read anything below, you can scroll through the graphs and see exactly what I mean.

[After THE JUMP: Connelly’s Five Factors and a closer look at passing downs defense]

Unverified Voracity Is Panda, Hammers

Unverified Voracity Is Panda, Hammers

Submitted by Brian on October 11th, 2016 at 1:35 PM

So this happened. This is going to get out of control.

I'm warning you to brace yourselves for how out of hand this is going to get.

This is where we got involved.

And then Smoothitron from the top rope:

I hope you lashed yourself to the deck before reading this collection of tweets.

A coaching carousel on deck. At the midway point of the season it's looking like this could be an interesting December:

  • Les Miles is already gone from LSU.
  • Brian Kelly is 2-4 at Notre Dame, is definitely losing to a service academy, and is unlikely to make a bowl.
  • Charlie Strong is running out of rope at Texas, now 2-3 and 0-2 in the Big Twelve while playing horrendous defense.
  • Baylor still needs a long-term coach.
  • Oregon is 0-3 in the Pac 12 and may be thinking about pulling the trigger on Mark Helfrich.
  • Both LA schools have two conference losses already and sit at 3-3; wholesale collapse from one or the other isn't out of the question.

All of these schools will be pitching Tom Herman, and either all but one or all of them will end up disappointed. Once you get past Herman, up and coming candidates include... uh. Harbaugh acolyte Willie Taggart's turned USF around, PJ Fleck's itching to move up for anyone who's a boat enthusiast, and that's about it. Gonna be some weird guys getting head coaching jobs at major schools this offseason.

The situation in East Lansing. It's not good if you're a Spartan fan, but you're not no matter how much you're scouring the RCMB for hilarity and then emailing me when Google naturally responds by popping up MSU ads on this here site. (You know who you are. You are legion.) So it is good.

Bill Connelly had a deep dive into the decline from a team that was technically invited to the playoff to one that S&P+ currently has at 20% to make a bowl game. I jokingly referenced it in the game column but it deserves some actually attention. The problems in approximate order of severity:

  • The OL is a "sieve." This has led to some ugly rushing stats ("85th in Rushing S&P+, 101st in rushing success rate, only 18 rushes of 10-plus yards (119th)") despite having LJ Scott, who I continue to believe is the truth. It is also getting Tyler O'Connor sacked a ton.
  • The DL is a nonentity, deep into the triple digits in sack rate and largely responsible for a rushing S&P+ that is just as bad as their offenses's. This was predictable to some extent since MSU took not one but two grad transfers on the DL in an effort to shore up their line after Craig Evans and Montez Sweat got booted.
  • It's an old team not likely to have a midseason turnaround as the youth gets their heads on straight.

The numbers figure to get a bunch worse next week, when S&P+ finishes whittling away the preseason projections that still make up a portion of their rankings. Without those projections MSU, currently 60th, would be 84th. Even now S&P+ has Michigan a 25-point favorite(!!!) on the road in East Lansing.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the season?

A couple more things about MSU. Their depth chart this week features an OR between their top three QBs. Also, instagram sleuthing by iSportsDave seems to indicate that Riley Bullough is out for the season. Or possibly another one of their linebackers.

Weekly fancystats love us update. Michigan is now 85%+ to win each game before OSU and an 18-point favorite against Iowa, the toughest remaining game before Football Armageddon II. S&P+ sees that as a dead heat, with OSU getting a slight edge because the Game is in Columbus.

In other S&P superlatives, Michigan is #1 nationally in:

  • field position
  • opponent success rate (at 19% Michigan is giving up less than half the number of successful plays than an average D-I D)
  • points per trip allowed once the opposition gets inside the 40
  • rushing defense, rushing success rate, and adjusted line yards
  • passing defense, passing success rate, and adjusted sack rate
  • standard down D, success rate, and line yards per carry
  • passing down D (they're top five in every other passing down category but not #1, shame)
  • third down D
  • havoc rate

The D is on pace to be historically good.

Ross Fulton on OSU's (relative) struggles against Indiana. OSU still won comfortably, but under 400 yards against a hurry-up team like IU is a sign that the Buckeyes are indeed mortal. Ross Fulton examines why that was so:

The simplest explanation for Ohio State’s passing problems was that J.T. Barrett was off. ... As he admitted after the game, he again refused to take the open underneath routes. For instance, below he does not get the ball to Curtis Samuel out of his break.

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He instead tried to force mid-range passes. But such throws were often late and with too much velocity, leading to inaccuracy high and outside. ... The game became reminiscent of other contests where Barrett was off, such as Penn State in 2014 or Michigan State last year, when Barrett missed open deep throws. As Meyer reiterated in his Monday press conference, Ohio State’s offense is based upon running the football and hitting vertical shots off play-action. Without such completions, opponent safeties can play aggressively downhill, resulting in a lower rushing success rate and a less efficient offense.

Things went from bad to worse last year because Barrett was decidedly not off, hitting two heavily contested bombs. Even so, if Michigan can put the game on his passing chops their chance to win goes up a great deal.

Perspective. The Rutgers game continues to generate thinkpieces, like this one from Inside NU:

The Romans at the Battle of Cannae, for example, were outsmarted and then completely destroyed by Hannibal’s Carthaginians. Rome’s armies took a full decade to recover. At the English victory over the French in the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, the entire French army fell apart and the French king was captured. Significant parts of France would remain under English rule for nearly a century.

Michigan 78, Rutgers 0 is worse than any of that. At least the French could claim that they brought an army to Poitiers. At least the Romans can take pride in the fact they had a plan whatsoever, even if it was incredibly dumb. Rutgers could not do anything. It was immobilized through lack of competence. The closest historical comparison is the Battle of Ulm, in which Napoleon was able to capture a huge Austrian army simply through highly skilled movement over the course of three days. And even then, it’s hard to compare. It took Michigan three hours.

Yes, it's a very Northwestern piece. I can't wait for The Only Colors to write one through the lens of the greatest Jerry Springer episodes they've seen or participated in.

NLRB is coming at the NCAA again. With the O'Bannon case now finished with no clear victory either way, but the NCAA did take hit as an antitrust violator. The National Labor Relations Board has now handed down a ruling that refers to football players as employees and bans certain practices:

In an unprecedented foray into college sports, the National Labor Relations Board has declared that Northwestern University must eliminate "unlawful" rules governing football players and allow them greater freedom to express themselves. The ruling, which referred to players as employees, found that they must be freely allowed to post on social media, discuss issues of their health and safety, and speak with the media.

The new rules apply to the football programs at the 17 private universities that play in the FBS, including schools such as Notre Dame, Stanford and Baylor -- but not public universities.

This is not a big thing right now but might open the door to more seismic items.

(HT: Get The Picture.)

Etc.: Grant Newsome hopes to return next year. Peppers now #4 in Heisman odds. The Daily on that. Tracking Michigan-Union hockey in depth.

Neck Sharpies: Don Brown Blitzes IV

Neck Sharpies: Don Brown Blitzes IV

Submitted by Seth on October 11th, 2016 at 12:11 PM

Okay so I’ve talked about this before. Maybe more than once. But Ohio State loves this play, so much that its variations account for 3 of the first 4 plays on Curtis Samuel’s Oklahoma highlight reel (and 2 more are counters off it).

Inverted Veer (again)

This play is called “Inverted Veer” or “Power Read.” It was the staple of the Borges-Denard/Devin fusion cuisine era, because it is the mullet of offensive plays: manball business in the front, spread party in the backfield.

Here’s a basic setup:

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The offensive line is blocking like power C: block down and pull from the backside, and cave the frontside.

A second after the snap reveals why it’s such a devastating play:

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While a good ol’fashioned zone-read might option a backside defender, inverted veer options the playside end man on the line of scrimmage (EMLOS). That defender is allowed into the backfield and optioned: if he comes up too far, the ball is given to the running back, who accelerates away to the outside—You’ve been EDGED! If the end gets wide to prevent the running back from getting the edge, that opens up room for the quarterback to dive into the gap behind him—You’ve been GASHED!

[Hit THE JUMP for variations, and how Michigan defended this]

Man Versus Printer

Man Versus Printer

Submitted by Brian on October 10th, 2016 at 12:32 PM

10/8/2016 – Michigan 78, Rutgers 0 – 6-0, 3-0 Big Ten

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A first down is gained [Patrick Barron]

Like many a mysterious drifter who's spent the past seven years wondering whether to drink whiskey or bleach, I don't really want to linger on the past. But when Michigan plays at Rutgers and a play by play guy desperate to inject any intrigue into a man-versus-printer situation keeps bringing up the 2014 game, it's hard to get away. And when you're already inclined to think about the radical shift in Michigan's fortunes, running across an article titled "Brady Hoke discusses monumental loss" is game over, man. There's nothing for it.

So let's talk about it.

Entering week six in 2016, Michigan was 5-0, favored by 30, coached by Jim Harbaugh and athletically directed by Warde Manuel. Manuel has probably been about as visible as your average athletic director; in the aftermath of Dave Brandon he feels like a ninja with an invisibility cloak since I haven't thought about him much outside of a few interviews and the resumption of the Notre Dame series.

Exiting week six Michigan is a top five team that just beat Rutgers so badly that they're causing existential crises amongst Cable Subscribers fans. The Daily's Jacob Gase caught up with the stragglers in the student section and got a quote for the ages:

“I like these kinds of games where we’re losing by a lot,” Kasia said, “because if we get a touchdown in the last four minutes, everyone is so happy to have anything that it’s really exciting.”

Rutgers only got a touchdown briefly. When the referees took it away it was a sign that the cosmos itself had decided that they were emphasizing the "win with cruelty" bit of Jim Harbaugh's favorite dichotomy. Everything about a blowout so epic it broke records set just before the University of Chicago decided football wasn't for them was expected.

Two years ago Michigan left for Rutgers after a week of incompetence so sheer that there was a well-attended rally on the Diag demanding Dave Brandon's ouster. Shane Morris had just been probably mildly concussed, the coverup was worse than the crime, and Brandon's "my personality is to the best of my ability" media blitz ended with this:

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A phalanx of athletic department staffers dragooned into wishing the team well as they departed. Brandon was front and center, naturally.

Upon arriving in Piscataway a person named Gary Nova bombed a secondary featuring Jourdan Lewis and NFL draft pick Blake Countess, a reigning first-team All Big Ten corner, for 404 passing yards. Michigan's featured pass rushers were current NFL stalwarts Jake Ryan and Frank Clark.

Brady Hoke had his cornerbacks coach install a press man system before the 2014 season. The minor flaw with this plan is that the cornerbacks coach was a linebacker who had never coached corners. This is how you lose to Rutgers.

-------------------------

I no longer know how you lose to Rutgers. There was no combination of parlous events that sees this game end up competitive, even vaguely so. The first time Rutgers crossed the first down line their quarterback was immediately crushed by Delano Hill, fumbling back behind the line to gain. The second time Rutgers crossed the first down line, deep into the fourth quarter, a Rutgers fan hugged it out with a Michigan fan. Various people on twitter bemusedly reported that ESPN's live win percentage tracker was stuck on 99.9%. My "harbaugh class" search started garnering hits early in the second quarter.

This was a blowout so comprehensive it went from boring to notable. And, yes, since two years ago this week I was posting The Kids In The Hall "Each Day We Work" sketch with the "there is no time off until I am crushed by the black hand" line and generally mooning about, it's worth noting that this is not that and that these are the rewards of finally getting some people in charge of things for a reason.

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there is no time off until Rutgers scores [Barron]

Michigan's cornerbacks coach is now a guy who played safety in the NFL for a decade, their athletic director has athletically directed at two other schools prior to this stop, and Jim Harbaugh is the head coach. Reasons veritably abound.

College programs can be steady for decades at a time as long as the core remains, and then lurch wildly about when that thing no longer suffices. See post-Bear 'Bama, the current situation at Texas,—which is playing out exactly like Lloyd Carr/RichRod—the last 20 years of Notre Dame football, etc. Michigan is no different. (Ohio State was incredibly lucky that when Jim Tressel got himself fired, Urban Meyer just happened to be waiting around.)

Today is a fine time to reflect on the bad old days, as we stand amidst a fine red mist that used to be the Rutgers football program, and appreciate that they got fixed. "Each day we work" has a different meaning now. So too does having an average weekend. It means the other team averages 18 inches a play.

HIGHLIGHTS

WD:

parkinggod:

More at MGoVideo.

AWARDS

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[Barron]

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Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 (tie) Taco Charlton, Ben Gedeon, and Chris Wormley were first amongst equals on defense. Charlton had two insta-sacks. Gedeon ran over a running back for a sack of his own and had a Don Brown special TFL on which he crushed a guy five yards in the backfield. Wormley continues to crush all tight ends and had a sack that should not be possible.

#2 Jabrill Peppers did some defense things. He also should have had a punt return touchdown. He did have a 63-yard run on a broken play and two very easy wildcat touchdowns, one of which was supposed to be a throw. 

#3 Devin Asiasi popped out on a cursory rewatch as an absolutely mauling blocker; virtually very big run Evans had was facilitated by Asiasi blowing one or two dudes out.

Honorable mention: everybody!

KFaTAotW Standings.

7: Jabrill Peppers(T2, Hawaii; #3 UCF, #1 Colorado, #2 Rutgers)
5: Ryan Glasgow(#2 UCF, #1 UW).
3: Mike McCray(#1, Hawaii), Wilton Speight (#1 UCF), Ben Gedeon(#3 Colorado, #3 PSU, three-way T1 Rutgers).
2: Jake Butt(#2 Colorado), Kyle Kalis (#2 UW), Chris Wormley (three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers), Taco Charlton(three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers).
1: Delano Hill (T2, Hawaii), Chris Evans (T3, Hawaii, four-way T2, PSU),  Maurice Hurst (three-way T1, PSU), Jourdan Lewis (#3 UW), Devin Asiasi(#3 Rutgers).
0.5: Mason Cole(T3, Hawaii), De'Veon Smith (four-way T2, PSU), Ty Isaac (four-way T2, PSU), Karan Higdon(four-way T2, PSU).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

Peppers takes off for the huge run that opened the floodgates.

Honorable mention: Everything that happened after the first seven minutes.

WGIBTUs Past.

Hawaii: Laughter-inducing Peppers punt return.
UCF: Speight opens his Rex Grossman account.
Colorado: Peppers cashes it in.
PSU: Wormley's sack establishes a theme.
UW: Darboh puts Michigan ahead for good.
Rutgers: Peppers presses "on".

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

This week's worst thing ever.

A bonkers Jabrill Peppers punt return is called back for an extremely dubious block in the back penalty. I mean, for real. They never give a number because in their great shame they forget everything including the name, but the only thing that seems even slightly plausible is Delano Hill putting one hand (one hand!) on a punt returner who falls over in sheer awe of Peppers:

The only appropriate statement in that situation is "sorry sorry I'm trying to delete it."

Honorable mention: N/A.

PREVIOUS EPIC DOUBLE BIRDs

Hawaii: Not Mone again.
UCF: Uh, Dymonte, you may want to either tackle or at least lightly brush that guy.
Colorado: Speight blindsided.
PSU: Clark's noncontact ACL injury.
UW: Newsome joins the ranks of the injured.
Rutgers: you can't call back the Mona Lisa of punt returns, man.

[After THE JUMP: winning with cruelty]

MGoPodcast 8.6: The Chart Says Win With Cruelty

MGoPodcast 8.6: The Chart Says Win With Cruelty

1 hour 6 minutes, somehow

image

You too might look like this against Rutgers! [Patrick Barron]

Sponsors

A big thanks to our sponsors. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and company have been on board here from almost the beginning. Shopping with them helps us and supports good dudes. Check out the new Bo Store on Main.

Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, Liz Crowe, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Tailgater Concierge.

Defense:

starts at 1:00

Lol.

Offense:

starts at 13:23

Lol Peppers. Darius Hamilton almost absent from the box score=win. Speight’s inaccuracy was worrisome, probably weather-related. Upset that Rutgers didn’t have the dignity to defend draws. Bredeson started; Braden resumed his job shortly thereafter. Chris Evans started breaking tackles. A lot of OL rotation showed contingency plans. Mad about putting the way-out fullback trap on film.

Special Teams and Game Theory

starts at 27:24

What the chart says. What Jabrill Peppers’s Mom and MGoBlog have in common. Mr. Kelly’s Irish + hurricane game = comedy gold. Don’t pitch it to nobody on the 2 yard line.

Talking Big Ten with Jamie Mac

starts at 36:14

Rock fight: Leidner and Beathard both looked like less than 1st round quarterbacks. Iowa is still very much Iowa. Is Penn State decent (when not playing Michigan) and Franklin isn’t punting on 4th and 4 from inside the 35, and stuff? Ohio State looks mortal in bad weather; Indiana’s defense is probably…okay? Is that a real sentence? Ter-ry! Ter-ry! Ter-ry! Chase Crouch might be accidentally a better QB option for Illinois.

MUSIC:

  • “Cruel”—St. Vincent
  • “Character”—Van Hunt
  • “Don’t Be Cruel”—Cheap Trick
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 9th, 2016 at 12:13 PM

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[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

Our friends in Rutgers’ Athletic Communications department were kind enough to send out a transcript of the highlights from Jim Harbaugh’s postgame presser (in the middle of the night, no less), so even though I wasn’t at the game you still have some Sunday content to consume.

On the play of Jabrill Peppers and Chris Evans: “We put some plays in for (Peppers) last week where he was operating as a quarterback and then more this week, because he’s just so darn good at it. That was really the turning part of the game, I thought was his long run. The first downs were coming hard. It was looked like it was going to be one of those nights. His speed was dramatically different than everyone else on the field. Chris Evans, he showed early he was going to be tough to bring down. He was lightning fast and quick tonight. To me, that’s what broke the game open was Jabrill’s and Chris’ play. Chris said something really interesting in practice. He didn’t say it to me, he said it to my dad and Al Glick. He later told me that, quote from Chris Evans, ‘it’s a sin to be good, when you are sent to be great.’ That was really profound. He was really dynamite tonight.”

On limiting Rutgers’ first downs: “I don’t know how many three and outs it was. I know there were only two first downs and not until late in the game. We were playing on half the field all night. The guys up front had a great game. There was constant pressure. The team has been tremendous. Didn’t allow a third down conversion all night defensively. There’s been incredible play on third down. (Defensive Coordinator) Don Brown is an amazing coach. I know I’ve been saying that a lot. It’s obvious to everyone, to our team, to our whole defensive staff.

On the intensity of the backups: “As a coach, the two weeks you worry about are the week going into a bye week. We call it an improvement week, but still that week you are going in and the week you are coming off that bye week. Our players were as focused as I’ve seen them. To your point, when the two’s got in there, they were playing with the same kind of motivation, the same kind of fire. They wanted to show what they can do. A lot of freshmen were playing in this ball game and playing well. There wasn’t any real sign of drop off when our two’s were in the there. Our two’s were in the entire second half, except for a series on offense and a series on defense.

[After THE JUMP: the darndest thing Harbaugh’s ever seen]