MGoBlog on WTKA: Hail to the Victors 2017 Edition

MGoBlog on WTKA: Hail to the Victors 2017 Edition


In the studio: Fritz Seyferth; Billy Taylor, and Dr. Sap,
with Jim Brandstatter on the phone.

New book means we get to go on the Michigan Insider and yap about it. We split the show into two segments:

Segment 1: Billy Taylor’s Touchdown

We got the author, Dr. Sap, as well the guy who ran it and the guys who blocked for it: Billy Taylor, Fritz Seyferth, and Jim Brandstatter come on to talk about perhaps the greatest play in Michigan history.

Segment 2: Reviewing the Preview

starts at 37:30

Brian, Ace and Seth come on to discuss what we learned while putting the book together. We talk about the most worrying positions, Harbaugh’s sign, setting the stage for 2018, and handicapping the Big Ten East race.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three (Brian/Seth/Ace) is here. Segment four is here.

You can pick up the book from our store, or at any Ann Arbor Underground Printing store, The Bo Store, Literati, and Nicola’s Books.


Coach Hanlon Scores Billy Taylor’s Touchdown

Coach Hanlon Scores Billy Taylor’s Touchdown

Submitted by Seth on July 11th, 2017 at 3:47 PM

[COOL NEWS: MGoBlog will be at WTKA this Thursday, July 13, starting at 8:30 a.m. The first hour we’ll have Billy Taylor, Fritz Seyferth, Dr. Sap, and possibly Jim Brandstatter and Larry Cipa on to talk about BT’s TD and the early Bo years. Afterward Ace and Brian and I will talk about the stuff in HTTV, which is basically this football season.]


Coach Hanlon deserves a helmet sticker for this one. [Dr Sap]

In this year’s edition of Hail to the Victors (now sold in our online store, at Ann Arbor Underground Printing locations, at Literati, and on Kindle) Michigan historian Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis—known to many of you as the author of Dr. Sap’s Decals—spoke with all the key guys involved in Billy Taylor’s 1971 game-winning touchdown on Ohio State. If you, like me, weren’t even a glimmer in some miscreant college students’ eyes at the time, here’s that play.

Coach Jerry Hanlon, Bo’s right hand man and definitively untitled guy who happened to do a lot of offensive coordination, was kind enough to go over the playcall with Dr. Sap for his article. The short version is it was a crack option sweep that they had prepared in case Ohio State showed an 8-man (goal line) front. The playbook—which Coach shared with us—had the exact eventuality planned and practiced. In fact the notes from Hanlon’s copy explicitly called for his quarterback to check—“Recognition 8 call possiblity”—into this if Ohio State went to a goal line.


Always prepared.

That is exactly what (backup) QB Larry Cipa did. So to all you UFR scorers at home, this play is definitely some kind of RPS. But there’s an older scoring system. Coach Hanlon was also the guy responsible for giving out helmet decals. So Dr. Sap asked who got one for this play, and after joking everybody did, Coach realized the kindly answer simply wouldn’t do. Not at Bo’s Schembechler’s Michigan. No, we demanded the actual scoring system. He unsurprisingly didn’t remember exactly, so Coach went over every guy’s assignment and re-scored it for us.


Here’s the criteria the coaches used back in the day to award decals to each of their position players:

1) Was the correct assignment carried out by the player?
2) Did the player execute the proper technique?
3) Did the player follow-through on his assignment?
4) Did the player “get” his man?

If you scored 3 or higher, you were awarded a helmet sticker, but if you didn’t “get” your man, “NO STICKER FOR YOU!”

Here is the play (click to open in a different window to read):



And here are the position assignments for play 58/59:

Back-Side TE (Paul Seal): Release shallow along Line of Scrimmage; Throw and Roll 3 times.

Back-Side tackle (Jim Coode): Lead inside #2 cross-field; Peel or Turn upfield.

Back-Side Guard (Reggie McKenzie): Lead block to play-side; Head up middle guard if exposed.

Center (Guy Murdock): Lead Block “0” in odd defense; Lead with front foot to front-side; scramble and sustain; Seal backside. Even defense – lead front-side gap and pick up back-side linebacker.

Front-Side Guard (Tom Coyle): Lead block ready to pick up angle in tackle when #1 is LB; Fire hard with head up; Do not get body turned; Sustain.

Front-Side Tackle (Jim Brandstatter): Lead block #2; Get head and arms beyond; Scramble and sustain; Keep long axis of body upfield; Be ready to pick up LB on angle in.

Front-Side Tight End (Paul Seymour): Seal man in tackle area; If not needed, seal LB; Release deeper; Ready to block man crossing your face; Prevent penetration; Block #3(DE) if #4(CB) is on Line of Scrimmage.

Front-Side Split-Out (Bo Rather): Use Rooster or Crack block; On corner coverage, bump corner.

Quarterback (Larry Cipa): Open and sprint to the end; Option End; Pitch ball whenever possible. Look pitch to tailback.

Fullback (Fritz Seyferth): Sprint to play-side gaining one yard to end-of-line area; Do not turn up too soon; Sprint to widest defender and overthrow on him; Block any defender who crosses your path.

Tailback (Billy Taylor): Sprint to play-side; Keeping phase (4 yards away) on FB; Keep eyes on QB; Look ball in on pitch; Cut off the FB’s block (never cut upfield until FB blocks).


So without further ado, here’s how he’d score it:

Seal: “Released inside. Not a great block. Made contact. Changed course of defender. (3)”

Coode: “Led inside, but did not get upfield. Don’t really want to give him a two…(reluctant 2)”

McKenzie: “4”

Murdock: “4”

Coyle: “4”

Brandstatter: “Led technically on 2-Call. Did not “get” man, changed his course enough…(2, borderline 3)”

Seymour: “Did not sustain, but did seal inside. (3)”

Rather: “Good position & technique. Should have followed-through more. (4)”

Cipa: “Pretty good optioning of end, but does end up blocking him. (4)”

Seyferth: “Great open-field block. Just a wonderful block. (4)”

Taylor: “4”

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Little Brother

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Little Brother

Submitted by Seth on October 17th, 2012 at 10:43 AM


Welcome bloggers to the second installment of a new regular MGoFeature, and the only one that gives you free stuff. Usually it'll be something from the MGoStore; occasionally someone will donate or sponsor a different item. It works like thusly:

  1. Wednesday mornings I put up a winnable prize that consists of a desirable good.
  2. You guess the final scores of this weekend's designated game (football or hoops, depending on the season), and put it in the comments. First person to post a particular score has it.
  3. If you got it right, we contact you. If not, go to (5)
  4. The desirable good arrives at the address you give us.
  5. Non-winners can acquire the same desirable good by trading currency for it.

This Week's Game:

The Michigan State Dorm Vikings, presented by Capital One vs. the Michigan Wolverines: 2012 football edition.

This Week's Prize:



Let's be honest, you're a ground man. The things in life you appreciate are the crunch of a pulling guard, a well-orchestrated veer, a perfectly executed ISO that gets five yards; let's get up and do it again. You have outgrown and abandoned such boyish pursuits as squirtguns, LEGOs, and long bombs to Devin Gardner, and prefer instead a leisurely Saturday of Denard breaking ankles, Lewan breaking donkeys, and Rawls breaking everything. Do not feel ashamed, for there are other men like you out there, identifiable only by their firm nods, their set jaws, and their MANBALL t-shirts. Join us, friend of the running game.

Bonus Contest:


If you're going to be around Ann Arbor at, oh, 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16, we also have two free tickets to the premier of PERSEVERANCE-The Story of Billy Taylor.


For those who don't know their MANBALL history, "Touchdown" Billy Taylor was an All-American running back who broke Michigan's career rushing record (and ended second to Harmon in TDs) while playing for the early Bo teams. Personal tragedies sparked a downward spiral that ruined his pro career and sent him through 25 years of hell. Then he got back up. If you go to the event you'll get to meet Taylor and several other Michigan luminaries. Note: whether you've got our tickets or just wanna go, make sure you get to the Michigan Theater at least a half-hour early or risk losing the seat.

Closest to the pin wins (tie goes to the over).

Notes: If you win the shirt and prefer another shirt, that's cool; pick an MGoShirt.


Rules: One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). If nobody gets the score, this week's prize carries over to the following week's. Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game (since I won't have time to pull them on gamedays). MGoEmployees and Moderators--anyone else with moderator priveleges--are exempt from winning (because you could change your timestamp). If you choose the score that Brian published in the official preview and it actually ends up the final score, well, that would be pretty amazing because Brian picks scores like 29-11 all the time.

Unverified Voracity Quits English

Unverified Voracity Quits English

Submitted by Brian on October 4th, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Touchdown Billy Taylor. A trailer for Dan Chace's upcoming Billy Taylor documentary:

More Yost pictures. From new M hockey blog Yost Section 25:


The first Sunday matinee game is going to be a trip.

Game: stepped up. OSU just announced a series with TCU starting in 2018, which is somewhat notable since they've already got Cincinnati on the docket. If TCU is notable, this is jaw-dropping:

"We will play two more BCS games that year," [OSU AD Gene] Smith told Yahoo! Sports via email Wednesday, using the parlance for a quality top six-conference opponent.

Even if those are Colorado-style one-off guarantee games, dang. OSU may be done with the Little Sisters of the Poor:

"That year [2018] is a snapshot of future years," Smith said. "As we move forward, from 2018 and out, our goal is BCS only. We are looking at top ranked teams, 1-50 teams."

Here's a thing I never thought I'd say: Gene Smith, I am impressed. If OSU puts together a full slate of BCS opponents in 2018, that will be their first time since 1995 (4-8 BC, 7-4-1 Washington, and 2-9 Pitt) and second time since 1990.

Michigan's last all-power-conference lineup was in 1997, and Dave Brandon has a lot of work to do to keep up with the Joneses what with the Notre Dame series ending*.

*[ : ( ]

Playoff: a motivator. Wetzel points out a key motivator behind the sort of scheduling seen above:

In 1988, before the creation of the Bowl Alliance, the precursor to the BCS, there were 15 non-conference games where both teams were ranked in the AP preseason top 20. This year there were just two featuring AP preseason top 20 teams: Alabama-Michigan and Clemson-South Carolina.

While one of the BCS's oft-repeated talking points was that it protected the regular season, it was, in fact, destroying the non-conference portion.

Now it's back to the future as athletic directors across the country place their faith in a selection committee that will rationally analyze a body of work, not just blindly follow records.

For example, Oregon was ranked fifth in the final BCS standings last season, one spot behind Stanford. The Ducks had two losses, but one was to then top-ranked LSU on a neutral field. Stanford had just one loss, but it was to Oregon, by 23 points at home. The Ducks also won the Pac-12 title.

The BCS didn't care. It claimed Stanford was better. An informed selection committee would never make that decision and thus penalize Oregon for playing a challenging non-conference schedule. Conversely, a weak non-conference schedule might cost you on selection day.

Even Wisconsin says it will seek out "at least" two major opponents in the non-conference schedule. Man, the BCS sucked. Not only did it pick the wrong team about half the time, it also created the worst scheduling practices since things like Iowa Pre-Flight stopped existing.

Money is another factor, of course. With ticket prices rising along with guarantee requirements the money has started coming in on the side of actual games.

Trouba: the devil on skates. Three tweets from the immediate aftermath of Jacob Trouba's first practice at Michigan:

I think we are going to like Mr. Trouba.

Goalie: ack. In less sunny news, Red Berenson revealed that projected starting goalie Jared Rutledge had retina surgery recently and may not be available early in the season. Meanwhile, top backup Steve Racine is also coming back from injury:

Racine underwent an offseason surgery that limited his physical activity, Berenson said.

“He’s just starting to get close to 100 percent, but he looks pretty good,” Berenson said.

Racine is 21 after a long junior career and will be a nice guy to have on the roster—not every 5'6" walkon is going to be the statistically-best goalie in Michigan history.

Ain't got no headset. Hoke on WXYT:

"It is overrated," Hoke said Thursday on an interview with the Stoney and Bill Show on WXYT 97.1-FM. "You ever watch guys on head sets and they don't say a word? This gives me an opportunity to coach kids during a game.

"The game is a mental game, it's a game of motivation and enthusiasm and teaching. Not wearing a headset, I get to teach on the sideline and be a part of it."

As for the question of whether or not he knows what play offensive coordinator Al Borges is sending in, Hoke says he doesn't need a headset to hear that.

"I do know what the calls are, because there's a guy standing right behind me who tells me every call that's going in," Hoke said.

People keep bombing the Vincent Smith call, but when two linemen don't pull that's not really on the playcall.

Also Hoke likes "Smoke on the Water," surprising no one. I would watch a sitcom based around the misadventures of 20-year-old Brady Hoke in Muncie. I would break that thing down.

Oh for the love of God. Two sentences from two PR things I received today:

Heart of Dallas, a newly minted nonprofit, exists to inspire Dallas millennials to become the next generation of influencers and philanthropists by leveraging a consistent calendar of sports and entertainment events. Proceeds from Heart of Dallasactivities will be used to invest in collective impact strategies that make Dallas a better place.

make it stop

Flagstar had an interest in co-branding with our digital properties and we’re excited to have them partner on our website and student loyalty program. We look forward to having Flagstar as a partner in our top-rated digital space on the collegiate level.

if you roll your eyes too hard do you evaporate into a mist of condescension




Etc.: Ed O'Bannon lawsuit forces ESPN to release a ton of contracts. Go Ed O'Bannon lawsuit. GLI would move back indoors if the Winter Classic is lost to the NHL lockout. Game preview from Hammer and Rails. Guys don't have names like Adolph "Germany" Schulz anymore.

Dear Diary Gets Back Up

Dear Diary Gets Back Up

Submitted by Seth on June 1st, 2012 at 7:19 AM


I'm back. To all three of you who missed the weekly user content post thank you for your patience as we got HTTV shipped, and then I unplugged and spent five days in the Canadian wilderness. There were loons, a bear, a moose and a bazillion bitemes, then I spent the ride home with a Space Coyote. This diarist of the week issued Part the Third of his awesome series on DG's spring game performance. A sample:

Play 13 - 4:50

Slants with a play action fake to get the LBs to clear out from the underneath zones. Very simple play…

The backside is actually more open on this play, but DG can’t know that because he is accurately going through his progression, which reads that the first man is open (which he is for a TD, good read).  On the field side, the slot is more or less intended to clear out that underneath zone from the nickel back/ LBs/ safety by running an initial slant.  He doesn’t run a great route but it isn’t too important. The outside WR then runs behind that to a news vacated area, which is also wide open.

These seem to be developing a theme: defense has the 3rd read wide open and gets pressure but the play never goes to the open guy because something short with a small window but higher in the progression order opens up first. I wonder if this is an effect of the defense knowing the offense, or an effect of Gardner's progression being slow, or as the OP seems to suggest, just one of those things. Coyote goes easy on Devin for doing what he's coached to do but I wonder if a senior with a lot of game experience will be more apt to go off the page and punish the defense for catching tendencies. It's may be irrelevant since our senior QB is a sophomore in West Coast passing schemes, but as Space Coyote notes a sophomore Henne once threw to the 2nd read on a very similar play to cap a last-play comeback win against Penn State.

Oy Boy! Last time saveferris penned a roll back the clock I asked for more, and we received. This time the quantum accelerator put us in the pads of Bill Taylor, c. 1971, when Michigan conquered space and Ohio State but couldn't defeat Stanford in the Rose Bowl. As could only happen here, there's an argument in the comments between a historian armed with knowledge of the weather that week and a member of the band who was on the field that day about the grass conditions in Pasadena. Upon further review:

Looks pretty dry guys. How the hell did you remember that? My mom was a junior at Michigan that year and swears she can't remember anything except studying and getting good grades (and how cheap coffee was at Blimpy's). Also trying to imagine MMB choosing a selection with such strong political overtones today.

A second leap was made by Blazefire to 2007 so he could warn us to not get too confident over last year's leap, but Henne/Hart injuries didn't make the defense give up 36 points to an I-AA team man.

In other postseasons that Michigan can get screwed in/out of, Stephenrjking and oakapple are playoff wranglin'. The former is a worth-reading discussion on poll bias and how any system that leaves the least up to human pollsters is probably the best for determining a champion. The latter also discusses qualification models like polls, a selection committee, and autobids, and makes a good point about this being a very different animal from basketball's selection committee, which has never seen a champion from the lower 50% of seeds.

Getting crowded down there. Our resident UMgradMSUdad says Nebraska recruiting is starting to shift from Texas (17 players in Pelini's first two seasons, 7 in the last two full classes) to Ohio with the move to the B1G. Since it's mostly 3-stars they're going after, long-term this annieprobably affects Michigan State, which under Dantonio took a lot of the guys Ohio State passed on and fought Nebraska the most in this study, more than Michigan, which is competing more directly with the in-state juggernaut. It helps them that Pelini's from Cardinal-Mooney (Ray Vinopal) in Youngstown, which in my study last year came out very Penn State-ish. This was bound to happen to some degree by letting them in. Nebraska is a traditional powerhouse from a state that doesn't produce a lot of talent, so they're going to pull more from their conference footprint than contribute to it. If the net result is it hastens the Spartans' inevitable return to Spartiocrity I'm okay with it, but the Cornhuskers have traditionally built from the Big XII's footprint; if these players are more and more coming from the Midwest it's going to thin the ranks of the Big Ten. File under obvious.

Etc. The Blockhams is tackling the dog. Soon the dog will be killed by the baby tackler's perfect Kovacsian form and replaced with a shaggy dog named Brian who is working on his blog all the time (MAKE THIS HAPPEN!). Space wallpaper (of Space!).

Best of the Board


We had a few people attend the myriad traveling events football players and coaches do during offseason and come back reporting on the proceedings.

  • Hoke at Agonis. Correspondent hart20 recorded Hoke's comments to a group of people in Dayton, Ohio, mostly on things from in and around Dayton, Ohio, that people from Dayton, Ohio, care about, like Ball State, Kaleb Ringer, and Roy Roundtree, but also the Gentleman's agreement (something about golf) and conference realignment.
  • Woodson at Sunda. Reporting not-live from Chicago, we go to samsoccer7 and coverage of Charles Woodson's new wine. This was originally published on the boards on May 18 but I re-set the clock so it can get its time as a deserved diary. Some good stuff in there, my favorite being why he didn't do the Heisman after the punt return v. Ohio State. Sorry grapenuts, nothing about the wine.
  • Steve Everitt at Golf Tournament. Brady Hoke's Pet Viking (glad I contributed at least one MGoMeme around here) in an MGoShirt: Ja!

Whatever happened to all the 2009 (Class of 2010) Elite 11 QBs? Leaders And Best tracked them down and found way more washouts and transfers than projected starters. Devin Gardner is second only to Tennessee's Tyler Bray in guys on this list you'd want to have at this point.


This year's athletic department budgets as reported on their Title IX forms. I think the "subsidies" in there relate mostly to major stadium improvements. Anyway Michigan raked in over $122 million in revenue and spent about $112 million. Alms for the band indeed.


Join the following discussion points. My two cents added here as examples, and because I can get away with it!

  • What the hell is Devin Gardner's number now?
    Seriously, is it 12 or was that just a very mean joke to play on someone who has to pay per page edits to a printed preview book? I've heard Funchess is 19 too. People with information, please inform
  • What would you do if you were Brian for a day?
    Bring back negging so I could neg-bang everybody who complains about the lack of neg-banging.
  • Which Big Ten team are you really glad you're not a fan of today?
    MSU – Too good to not care, always knowing you weren't good
  • What was your most memorable Big House experience like?
    Imagine if you could wrap all that is Desmond Howard and being 11 years old into one afternoon.
  • (It's too late but…) Think of funny names for the sponsor levels
    Come for the humor. Leave for the lack of relevance to your life.
  • Six funny press conferences
    I approved this guy's concept for a daily board post even though the first was very Bleacher Report-y, figuring he had the drive to keep improving. Then it ended after two I guess. The first, eh, forget about it. The second: Tune in, if only for the chance to remember John L. Smith's pouty face. Every time I watch that I see my little brother, age 8, staring straight ahead, explaining how he's pressing the right buttons but the Nintendo's screwing it all up!



The season ended against Alabama in the NCAA Super Regional (i.e. Round 2). But this is a game where pitchers dominate and we had two dominant freshmen. Memories: Everybody dancing to Amanda Chidester's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" coming-to-bat song, Caitlin Blanchard getting hit by a pitch to beat Louisville in the regional, going perfect on the season against OSU/ND/MSU, including a weekend shutout over Michigan State, and this:

Haylie Wagner 1.53 32-7 28 252 52/159 0.207 | 0.132 6 0.457 0.553 1.010
Sara Driesenga 2.53 9-10 7 124.1 45/63 0.253 | 0.340 4 0.305 0.303 0.608


(warning: may cause you to become trapped in amaranthine contemplation of Les Miles. HT: Orson)