We Have To Talk About How Attending Games Kinda Sucks Now

We Have To Talk About How Attending Games Kinda Sucks Now Comment Count

Brian September 17th, 2018 at 2:09 PM

obvious thing preceded and followed by eons of nothing [Eric Upchurch]

9/15/2018 – Michigan 45, SMU 20 – 2-1

The sequence that really, truly broke me was in the middle of the second quarter. For some reason, Sonny Dykes thought that if his team was prepared it could stop a Michigan fullback dive. So he called timeout. Then he saw Michigan had cannily lined up in the exact same way they had before the timeout. Sensing a trap, he called timeout again. This became the dreaded Full Media Timeout.

In the stands, I baked. Because Michigan has made no attempt to improve connectivity in the stadium I held up my phone as it told me it could not retrieve tweets. The clock ticked down.

Michigan took the field again and lined up in the exact same way, but Dykes could not respond—he'd used all his timeouts. Ben Mason scored from the one-inch line, extra point... Full Media Timeout.

I baked further. It sucked. It was hot and boring and also hot and also boring.

Because I was so bored I started counting commercial breaks, finally giving up when the number hit a staggering eight in the first 22 minutes of game clock. There are eight commercial breaks in the entirety of a 40-minute basketball game, plus some timeout-induced ones. And that frequently feels excessive; a couple of years ago the problem seemed so severe the NCAA even stripped coaches of one of their precious timeouts. Football is now throwing up timeouts at almost twice the rate of basketball, a sport where the clock only runs if something is actually happening.

This is close to intolerable when it's nice outside. When it is not, and when there is a steady stream of baffling penalties from the part-time refs from a podunk league, and replays to fix some of the baffling issues the part-time refs are creating, and many more stoppages for injuries—one of which takes a long time and then gets a Full Media Timeout appended to the end of it—you wonder why you're doing this instead of sitting at home with air conditioning and connectivity. Several years ago I probably would have yammered about the students leaving early. Now I just envy anyone with the common sense to bail when they are so clearly being told to bail.

Falling attendance is a nationwide problem often blamed on The Youngs for being addicted to their phones, but the folks behind us show up maybe twice a year and sell their other tickets for whatever they can get. There's a noticeable variance in section density between the many garbage games (hi, division-mates Rutgers and Maryland) on the schedule and the actually worthwhile ones, and there are no students where I'm at. When the Wall Street Journal FOIAed actual ticket scans they found that 21%(!) of Michigan's announced attendance was fictional, tickets that sold but did not scan. This is actually pretty good in the wider context of college football, which says somethin' about somethin'.

It says that college football used to be a great bargain. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, games were fun and not largely spent watching people have conferences. Great fanbases sprung up around the teams starting in the 1960s, when Don Canham was packing bands into the stadium so it would be sort of full, and lasted more or less through 2000 without being seriously impinged upon. Ticket prices were absurdly stable. Television was more of a boon than a hindrance because its proliferation allowed you to watch more road games; breaks were relatively rare and tolerable.

Then things got monetized. Ticket prices approximately tripled in 13 years and have kept going up since. The commercial breaks have proliferated madly. Unsatisfied with their massive uplift in revenue, the athletic department has continued to nickel and dime the fanbase even after the departure of Dave Brandon. And for what? For who? For the benefit of ever more absurdly over-compensated coaches, staffers, and especially executives. Every commercial break is Jim Delany—the man who ruined the conference—giving me the middle finger while he dumps another gold brick on the Big Ten's grave.

Delany and his fellow parasites have latched onto the great oilbeds men like Canham laid down and are sucking them dry without regard to what happens after they're done. They don't care. They'll be dead. Michigan will still be playing Rutgers.

I dunno man. This would certainly be more tolerable if Michigan had won some more games over the past ten years. But probably not that much more. There's nothing I can do, really, but I'll tell you one thing: I'm never buying any fucking Rotel again. Until there's a cap on the number of ad breaks, every single college football TV advertiser can die in a fire for all I care. I've had it.

HIGHLIGHTS

AWARDS

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

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[Upchurch]

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]you're the man now, dog

#1(t) Donovan Peoples-Jones and Zach Gentry. Gentry had a drop but also rescued a ball that would have been an IN if thrown at anyone else. Four catches for 95 yards from a nominal tight end is a thing and if anything Patterson didn't take full advantage of his height to make his other catches indefensible. DPJ scored three touchdowns, completely imploding that stat. Two were relatively simple, sure. The fade was not. DPJ and Gentry get two points each because they're made up and don't matter.

#2 Josh Metellus. INT and weaving TD return were the difference between a relatively comfortable second half and a full on terror-dome. PI on him was iffy; he had another PBU and seven tackles; did get hit a bit on those slants but Kinnel was SMU's preferred target.

#3 Chase Winovich. Ten tackles, three for loss. Had a really impressive track-back on a third and long screen that looked set up for the first down. Also knocked down another screen on third down earlier in the game. Now the subject of a hilarious meme.

Honorable mention: Will Hart added two more 50-yard punts to his collection. Bryan Mone and Carlo Kemp made SMU runs up the middle, which were oddly frequent, entirely futile. Devin Bush exists and is still Devin Bush. Tru Wilson had some more lethal blitz pickups.

KFaTAotW Standings.

4: Chase Winovich (#1 ND, #3 SMU)
3: Karan Higdon (#1 WMU)
2: Ambry Thomas (#2 ND), Rashan Gary(#2 WMU), Donovan Peoples-Jones(T1 SMU), Zach Genty(T1 SMU), Josh Metellus(#2 SMU).
1: Devin Bush(#3 ND), Shea Patterson(#3 WMU)

Who's Got It Better Than Us(?) Of The Week

Metellus's TD return.

Honorable mention: Shea Patterson hits DPJ for TD, Shea Patterson hits DPJ for TD, Shea Patterson hits DPJ for TD.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Patterson is intercepted near the goal line to keep the score at 0-0 and seriously threaten One Of Those Games again.

Honorable mention: Almost everything Patterson did prior to that (and nothing afterwards). Coverage mixup gives James Proche an opportunity to score, which he takes.

[After THE JUMP: Tru Wilson has blocked you from seeing this content]

Comments

View From the Sidelines: In otherwise sloppy win, Peoples-Jones' talent was on full display

View From the Sidelines: In otherwise sloppy win, Peoples-Jones' talent was on full display Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 16th, 2018 at 1:22 AM

Shea Patterson’s body language spoke more than his words.

 

Sitting at the podium, eye black smudged all over his face, Patterson was asked about the man seated to his left — Donovan Peoples-Jones. Do they practice back-shoulder fades often? Patterson tried to keep down a smile and failed.

 

“That’s something we work on pretty often,” he said. “The whole fall camp after our practice, we would get about 10 to 15 back-shoulder and then just regular fade routes, just to get our chemistry and timing.”

 

Seems that worked out pretty well. Peoples-Jones caught a back-shoulder fade Saturday for his second of three touchdowns — the shortest (only seven yards), but also the one in which Patterson played the biggest role. That’s partly because fades are really hard to complete in a condensed space, but it’s mostly because Peoples-Jones did a lot of the work on his own for the other two.

 

Five-star receivers, it turns out, are talented.

 

[After THE JUMP: More great insights like this]

Comments

View from the sidelines: This is what Michigan is capable of, and it has Shea Patterson to thank

View from the sidelines: This is what Michigan is capable of, and it has Shea Patterson to thank Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 9th, 2018 at 10:42 AM

[Fuller] 

 

There’s always the caveat, and that has to come first.

 

Western Michigan was the victim of an onslaught Saturday afternoon. The Broncos are a middling team in a middling conference with a defense that, after two weeks, we can safely call outright bad, and an offense that never really stood a chance.

 

It was Chase Winovich who provided that caveat after the game, nearly teetering over the edge of PR-friendly quotes.

 

“This is my personal opinion, I thought they were pretty predictable in the stuff they did,” Winovich said. “Their offense, I think, going into the game — I’d have to go back and watch — but I felt like they came in and basically said, ‘Whatever happens, we’re just gonna try to not give up that many sacks.’ Lot of max protection, lot of chipping on both sides. That’s a way to play football. Just, obviously, you see the results. I think they had like 200-something yards of offense. I just think, they were, well, I’m gonna stop myself.”

 

Western Michigan is the kind of team that Michigan is supposed to beat down at home in September. But 49-3 is 49-3. And if you’re nitpicking, good luck finding something to nitpick.

 

Shea Patterson wasn’t the biggest part of this game, but he was far and away the most important — at least as far as looking ahead is concerned.

 

[After THE JUMP: Why this is the case]

Comments

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Notre Dame

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Notre Dame Comment Count

Brian September 6th, 2018 at 4:23 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: HomeSure Lending returns as this post's sponsor. If you want an MGoBlog version of a mortgage lender, Matt is it. Except he is very, very prompt. MGoBlog... middling to not prompt. Matt is on top of his business to the point where I get unsolicted "hey this was actually a great experience" emails fairly regularly. I myself had a great experience when I refi-d my home with Matt.

FORMATION NOTES: Notre Dame was 90% shotgun/pistol with a tight end, with occasional forays under center to do something throwback-related. Michigan was split almost evenly between their 4-2-5 and a 3-3-5. FWIW, unless Michigan lined up without a true zero tech nose in the 3-3-5 I called it a stack even if the LBs were running around doing things. Depending on how dogmatic you want to be this is incorrect nomenclature. Example:

stack-ish

So that doesn't feel like a 3-4 since the DEs are real edge DEs spread out over the edge but the LBs are not, you know, stacked. This was distinguished from "nickel split," which was a pass rush defense where Bush would nominally fill at DT spot. 

nickel split

There were three snaps on which Michigan had two ILBs out there with Furbush.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: A lot of rotation. Winovich and Gary got most of the snaps at DE but both Kwity Paye and Aidan Hutchinson got a drive or two worth. It was about the same ratio at DT with Marshall and Mone as starters and Dwumfour and Solomon backing up. Dwumfour got more run that Solomon; Kemp got a few snaps.

At LB Hudson and Bush were nearly omnipresent. Hudson was lifted for a few snaps where Michigan had three actual LBs on the field but was otherwise a constant presence. Bush had some cramps that knocked him out for a while. During those periods both Josh Ross and Devin Gil were on the field; they otherwise split snaps at WLB, with Ross seeming to have a slight edge. Josh Uche and Noah Furbush got scattered snaps.

In the secondary, Kinnel omnipresent. Metellus went out early with the targeting call. Hawkins got most of that work with J'Marick Woods getting a drive or two worth of snaps. Hill, Long, and Watson absorbed almost all the CB snaps. Thomas got in for a few. Maybe one?

[After THE JUMP: bah! gah! ah.]

Comments

Preview 2018: Defensive End

Preview 2018: Defensive End Comment Count

Brian August 30th, 2018 at 11:56 AM

[Eric Upchurch]

Previously: Podcast 10.0A. Podcast 10.0B. Podcast 10.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back. Wide Receiver. Tight End And Friends. Offensive Tackle. Interior Offensive Line. Defensive Tackle.

  Depth Chart
STRONG DE Yr. NOSE TACKLE Yr. 3-TECH Yr. WEAK DE Yr.
Rashan Gary Jr. Aubrey Solomon So. Mike Dwumfour So.* Chase Winovich Sr.*
Kwity Paye So. Bryan Mone Sr.* Lawrence Marshall Sr.* Aidan Hutchinson Fr.
Ron Johnson So.* Donovan Jeter Fr.* Carlo Kemp So.* Luiji Vilain Fr.*

lol

good luck

ANCHOR: THE PRIVILEGE OF MADNESS!

RATING: 5.

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now [Bryan Fuller]

It's the payoff year for landing the #1 recruit in the country. RASHAN GARY was real, real good as a sophomore. Here he is dismissing Martez Ivey, a second-team All SEC tackle last year, with one arm:

#3 DE to bottom

PFF has various stats demonstrating his effectiveness. Here's one:

image

Gary lit up UFR charts as well, although it was a little time in coming. Gary led off Bruce Feldman's annual "freaks" article because he may have evolved beyond the strictures of humanity:

The 6-foot-5 Gary is at the same weight he was at this time last year — 287 pounds — and his 40-yard dash time is the same at 4.57 seconds. His 3-cone drill at 6.79 was a touch behind last year’s 6.70, although his time this year still would beat every defensive lineman at this year’s NFL scouting combine. His 4.22 pro agility shuttle time also would top every D-lineman at the combine. Next best was 4.32. Another really impressive feat: his 10-4 broad jump, which was 8 inches better than what he did a year ago.

You can't throw a brick without hitting a mock draft that projects him in the top ten. NFL.com:

... built like a defensive tackle and runs like a linebacker. As a pass rusher, he explodes out of a four-point stance and can easily convert speed to power off the edge....flashed the ability to bend and wrap the edge, which is very unsusual for a 280-plus pound defensive end. ...versatility is a huge asset. He can line up at any position on the defensive line and, believe it or not, he's athletic enough to stand up on the edge if needed.

Yes, actually. This was as a freshman:

Now Gary is fully weaponized and ready for his close-up.

[After THE JUMP: chicken from the sky]

Comments

Draftageddon Except Not: Defensive Line

Draftageddon Except Not: Defensive Line Comment Count

Seth August 17th, 2018 at 12:48 PM

I know it's a major disappointment to everyone but rather than bringing on extra staff to cover our labor shortages this summer we've decided to curtail our annual draft format All-B1G preseason series into a position-by-position chat. Fear not, we promise to do a doubly-long Draftageddon next year.

Previously:

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

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Seth: /ducks

Ace: Obviously the place to start here is with the conference’s returning sack leader: Northwestern junior Joe Gaziano.

Seth: Don't sleep on Gaziano, that dragon's real, though he did most of his burninating against bad competition.

Brian: Holy crap you're right. And he was just a sophomore.

Ace: He had a pretty fun highlight in there, too:

Brian: Gonna have to be dealing with the Gaz for two more years.

Ace: Jumpin’ Joe Gaziano.

Seth: He was remarkably consistent. No more than 2 TFLs in any one game, and finished with 12.5.

Brian: he's 280? Like he's a legit SDE?

Seth: Correct.

BiSB: He's a real player. And in many conferences, he would actually be noticed.

Brian: I did not expect to spend the front bit of this post talking about Joe Gaziano, but here we are.

Ace: The spirit of Draftageddon cannot be diminished. Anyway: Rashan Gary or Nick Bosa?

…are we too afraid of both to answer?

[After THE JUMP: Well, are we?]

Comments

Michigan All-Three-Star Team

Michigan All-Three-Star Team Comment Count

Seth June 19th, 2018 at 11:43 AM

[Lead image: Bryan Fuller]

REMINDER: Hail to the Victors 2018 is nearly done. Get your orders in! Also of extremely less significance: don’t forget your daily CFB Risk marching orders—daily MVPs still get 200 MGoPoints you can spend everywhere MGoPoints are accepted.

Previously:

This week: Previously we did the five-stars so “Only recruiting rankings matter!” guy can send that to his three-star-loving pal. Now it’s “Recruiting rankings don’t matter!” guy’s turn to forward a link that proves nothing except we’re short on #content in the offseason. Also it’s badly named because I’m including 2-stars. Also also it’s going to be more focused on their recruiting stories since you probably know enough about their Michigan careers.

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

Rules: There are two ways to make an all-under-recruited list: a) the best of all those who qualified, or b) performance relative to recruiting rankings. I think b) is more fun, but you end up leaving off too-obvious candidates. I’m going with a combination of both: best eligible player for how I construct my team, but if it’s close the lower-ranked recruit gets in.

Also it’s by college production, not NFL.

Cutoff Point: Had to be less than a 3.9-star based on my composite recruiting database—which goes back to 1990—who earned a scholarship. For reference that means Carlo Kemp is eligible and Jibreel Black is not. To avoid guys that one scouting service just ignored we’re leaving out anyone who made a top-250 list for two or more services or anyone’s top-100 (which means Mike Hart is disqualified because HE WASN’T A THREE-STAR except to the two services that left online databases.) Also not doing special teams because they’re always rated 3-stars.

Preemptive Shut Up, Stars Don’t Matter Guy: There were 278 players who fit the criteria in my database, compared to 93 who got any kind of fifth star, so if you’re comparing this team to the team of blue chips remember you have to sing three times as many players to get this level of quality. For reference here are the fates of Michigan recruits 1990-2018 by recruiting ranking:

Rating as Recruit Drafted UDFA No NFL MLB Still playing
2- or 3-star 9% 5% 66% 0% 19%
4-star 20% 9% 51% 0% 20%
5-star 35% 18% 25% 1% 21%

Conclusion: Recruiting rankings matter, but they’re just a guideline

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

Quarterback: Tom Brady

Yes I did say this is only based on college production. I admit to being a “Put in Henson” guy, right up until a few games into 1999. Michigan that year had OL problems due to injury and Tom Brady was surviving while Henson was constantly getting driven from the pocket. The MSU game—a loss—sealed it as Brady nearly brought Michigan back from a massive deficit.

As a recruit he was on the borderline between three and four stars. His video is out there too if you want to see what the scouts did, which was a crisp passer with a great feel for the game and tiny chicken legs you’re afraid will snap the first time he’s sacked. USC had first pick of Cali QBs, could get five-star Quincy Woods, and over the strong objections of OC Mike Riley, took local boy John Fox as their second dude even though then-USC head coach was, like Brady, a Serra alum. UCLA took Cade McNown so Brady’s second option was out. Stanford was in the area but chose Chad Hutchinson and Tim Smith, whom Lemming rated just behind Brady.

By then however Brady was a senior and Michigan had had him on campus and made him their first target for 1995 QB. Moeller (Excalibur was a few months in the future) and QB coach Kit Cartright already had a stocked QB room between Scot Loeffler, Jay Riemersma, Brian Griese, and Scott Dreisbach, so they were staying out of the crazy battles over Dan Kendra and Bobby Sablehaus, the #1 and 2 overall players, in the class. Michigan’s other real target was Chad Plummer, who went to Cincy.

Honorable Mention: John Navarre, Brian Griese (who technically walked on but only because his dad offered to pay), Wilton Speight, Scott Dreisbach, Jake Rudock

[After THE JUMP: I post the 313 video again, twice]

Comments

Spring Practice Presser 4-3-18: Greg Mattison

Spring Practice Presser 4-3-18: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Adam Schnepp April 4th, 2018 at 8:03 AM

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[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

[Ed. A—Pick your poison if you’re wondering why there aren’t any MGoQuestions: is it the GI bug that has kept me up and…uh, occupied since 4 AM, or is it that my wife could go into labor at any time? I’ll be back at Schembechler Hall as soon as I can. Thanks to MGoFriend Isaiah Hole for the video.]

Do you have the deepest position?

“Well, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know, we haven’t looked at it. I think the linebackers got some good depth, some good talent. I think there’s some good young kids all over that defense that are working to make the depth that we need.

“But up front, you know we want to always have enough depth to be able to rotate, and really, that’s what the spring is for us. We want our first group to get better and come out every practice to get better, and guys behind them gotta earn the right so that you say, ‘Okay, when we get in games, this guy can go in right now. I think you’re getting that. I think you’re seeing that.”

Who’s starting to earn that right?

“Well, Kwity Paye is having a really, really good spring. Michael Dwumfour, I think, is having one of the best springs that I can remember. I mean, he’s really playing hard, and Aubrey’s [Solomon] playing hard, and Carlo, Carlo Kemp every day comes out an gets a little better, and he’s playing a couple positions. I think we’ve got a number of kids that are doing good to try and get that first group [to] feel like they’re there.”

What distinguishes Dwumfour?

“Dwumfour, it’s been he’s so quick off the football. He has a lot of Mo Hurst in him. There’s times when you see him come off the ball and you just go, ‘Whoa, that’s really good,’ and he’s a little bit thicker and a little bit bigger.

“The other thing, it’s probably Rashan [Gary] and Chase [Winovich] and Bryan Mone’s leadership that have really gotten him to step up. He’s always shown flashes, but now all of a sudden he’s getting more mature. Times when he’d play really good, really good, really good, and then all of a sudden try to take a play off or he wasn’t ready to take that next play. He’s not doing that now. He’s pushing himself way past where he usually would, and that’s a real good sign for us.”

[After THE JUMP, a 275-pound man is referred to as “little Phillip.” Football!]

Comments

Spring Practice Presser 3-23-17: Jim Harbaugh

Spring Practice Presser 3-23-17: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp March 24th, 2018 at 9:14 AM

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[Eric Upchurch]

What are your impressions after day one?

“Uh, good. Good day. The team is…it’s a rejuvenated team. And I like the way they’ve really trained over the last two-and-a-half months and getting back on the field was great today.”

Rejuvenated in what way?

“Just attitude, confidence, there was a bounce in their step, and it’s been good. It’s been good over the last weeks, months, and great to get back started on the field.”

I know it’s only been one day, but what did you think of Shea [Patterson]?

“Um, did good. Did a good job. As did a lot of guys, you know. And for a first day, I mean, it was…guys had studied. Guys, you know, it wasn’t the first time they’d thought about the plays or the defensive calls or the punt protections. Guys came out and had a high level of understanding and there was good execution [for a] first day.”

Do you have an update on Shea’s timeline with regard to eligibility or when you might hear something from the NCAA?

“No.”

Are you hopeful or what do you think?

“I don’t have an update.”

When you go through, because you don’t have an update and you don’t know, do you go through just a normal progression with him and say ‘You’re going to get these reps’ and then the other guys the same way? Do you just go with it thinking that okay, yeah, we will have him?

“Uh, the reps are being evenly distributed amongst the quarterbacks.”

Is Grant Newsome able to practice yet?

“No.”

He can do anything with the team right now?

“He’s working out, he’s conditioning, but he’s not at the point to come back and practice with the team.”

I think you said Grant Perry’s also limited on the radio. Is there anybody else besides those two that’s not going to be full go by spring ball?

“Yeah. Luiji [Vilain], Jameson Offerdahl, there’s a few. And then Ty Wheatley, looks like he fractured the metacarpal [Ed. A- metatarsal] in his foot today, so he’ll be out for all of spring ball but back for the season.”

[After THE JUMP: out-of-the-gate leaders, some O-line clarity, and RPOh no]

Comments

Chase Winovich To Return

Chase Winovich To Return Comment Count

Brian January 3rd, 2018 at 10:13 AM

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[Eric Upchurch]

Via twitter:

Winovich was an All Big Ten player to PFF after sharing the team lead in sacks with Khaleke Hudson with 8; he managed to outpace Hudson wsg Minnesota's Offensive Scheme in the TFL department with 18.5. His return means Michigan gets back 9 starters from the #10 S&P+ defense and should again expect to have a top ten—probably top five—defense in 2018.

Comments