Dear Diary, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and LOVE the BOMB

Dear Diary, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and LOVE the BOMB Comment Count

Seth June 14th, 2013 at 10:02 AM


Where on the internet can someone say…

Aren’t we here to have fun? Isn’t it more fun to invest internet cache in a prophecy and see if you’re right? It's a simple social contract: pick a side and to the victors go the spoils while the losers eat crow.

..and then uses their self-granted rhetorical leeway to make completely data-driven conclusions? In the MGoDiaries, this happens. MCalibur made his glorious return to the diaries to back up his man Ron Utah. Together they make some interesting studies for prognosticating Devin Gardner this year and beyond.

M's method is to look at things like completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown % and interception % on a scale of passer ratings. So like if you take Denard his passer rating was 149, but for a 149 kinda guy he had standard accuracy, an extra half a yard per play, a slightly lower TD% and had way more interceptions.

So now apply that to Devin's five games last year and you get a yards and TD machine who gets his one WTF interception per game down to 0.8 WTF interceptions per game. You know, like a 5-star entering his redshirt junior season.

Also love this line:

sometimes when you suck, you really really suck and your foes all go hyuk ‘cause they hate you

And the Ron Utah thing MCalibur brought up? What that does is look at Borges's last QB at SDSU to extrapolate Gardner's five-game stats into a more throweriffic offense. He winds up with 3600 yards, 33 TDs and 15 INTs on just 28 attempts per game. That's…well that sounds crazy. That's more yards than Navarre or Henne ever threw. That's at least one interception per game. That's a lot of passes over 20 yards. That's…


…a pretty good lead-in to Ron Utah's other diary this week, titled Who is Al Borges Part I? Now that we're transitioning to the Full Borges offense Ron is taking us on a tour of Borgesian offenses past. Round 1 goes through early UCLA. Of note: his run-pass ratio varied between 42% run and 61% run, but he never had less than 60% of his yards come from passing. That's a mark of the run setting up the other. Ron is your diarist of the week.

Talk to the Hand. Brian's linked to it in like four recruiting posts already but if you care about Da'Shawn Hand or anything you should read this first-hand account from a guy who went with Hand on his OSU trip (for The Game) and on his ensuing Michigan trip. Canzior had trouble posting his photos from Dropbox so I've uploaded them here; click on the pics to get a full-size version:



Items of interest:

  • Hand is a great kid
  • Urban was approached by Brandon for the Michigan job in 2011 but it got no further than interest gauged (this we kinda figured)
  • Hand was turned off by the OSU players, not so much the coaches. Not in a "they're dicks" sort of way, but didn't click with them.
  • Hand drove home from that visit with The Victors on repeat in the car.
  • Mattison used the Ray Lewis pitch.
  • Mattison knows Rihanna songs.
  • Michigan's recruiting presentation is very geared toward academics
    [After the jump: another Michigan-Band of Brothers connection, and the Best of the Board]


    Dear Diary Goes to Market

    Dear Diary Goes to Market Comment Count

    Seth June 7th, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Once upon a time there was a pig.


    We already have an Ace.

    Dr. Hamlet was a very intelligent pig. One day he and his friend StephenRKass went to the Midwest Coach's Tour and met Brady Hoke, and heard Dave Brandon explain the annexation of Maryland and Rutgers as a population-grab, which any Europa Universalis player can appreciate. Dr. Hamlet and his friend cornered Laura Hoke, and Laura Hoke read all about Dr. Hamlet, and they became quite fond of each other. That adventure was front-paged and the whole town came out to enjoy it, because he enjoys all UM Alumni Club events (upcoming: John U Bacon in Columbus a week from today).

    Then Dr. Hamlet heard a yell from the diaries section. "Dr. Hamlet!" it said. "Come see how Michigan has fared against everybody in head-to-head recruiting!" It was Dr. Hamlet's friend Coastal Elite! Dr. Hamlet loved the study and found it quite Informative, and gave it Diarist of the Week!

    Seeing how much their friend Dr. Hamlet liked to read recruiting studies, his friends all got together and decided to throw him a recruiting study party!


    But by that point even Dr. Hamlet had become distracted by the surprise release of a new installment in the great CRex Saga, though this one mostly made him a really sad pig because he's had bad experiences with stories about barnyard communism in the past.

    Etc. The Blockhams got a pig too.

    Best of the Board



    by hail2thevict0r

    Several weeks ago I asked in this space if the Photoshoppers could produce a full Alan Branch rampage. We were passing the phone around and refreshing the entire ride down to Kentucky over Memorial Day as they provided. We salute his victims: Anthony Morelli, Kikko Haydar, Patrick Roy, Maximus, Pablo Escobar, a Pamplona bull, Joe Frazier, Titanic, Kyle Larson's car, Mufasa, Claude Lemieux, Pisa's tower, the Death Star, and Morelli again on the rolling hills wallpaper.

    Chunkums went in a different direction:



    Brandin Hawthorne jumped on Vincent Smith's account to do his own hello to the board. We learn things like the difference between old coaches and new:

    Hoke staff's just more on the coaching and teaching the players and with Coach Rod's staff it was hard to relate at times--and this tradition we speak of I'm curious to know what it is—yeah there were so new things that we did differently with the new staff but for the most part it was pretty much the same in that aspect

    Hoke and Mattison do more teaching, draw from the well of Michigan: a pattern emerges. Also who on the team does the best Hoke impersonation and how fast Pahokee's rabbits are.

    So fast that one of my high school teammates go by the name Jackrabbit in the NFL and i would have to say we've all caught rabbits except Richard.

    Tsk tsk Mr. Ash.


    Space Coyote is a great writer and is one of the best at talking Michigan X's and O's. But now to read his stuff I have to find a board entry that goes to his blog that goes to Maize n Brew, then come back to the board for the discussion. Here's the play as he draws it up:


    ETC. Father-son Wolverines and other family connections discussed. Pick your favorite M quarterback (Denard, but I'd take Henson for this offense). Recruits in the 2012-'14 classes in the top 5 at their position on at least one site. Urban makes a funny face. Ed Hightower react has gifs of course. A discussion on Cass Tech and if there's a shift in the readiness of players coming out of Wilcher's program. Let's throw chickens at Notre Dame. Upchurch shot the moon.

    Your Moment of Zen:

     Things I have tried: jangling keys while listening to metal


    Dear Diary Wins the May Recruiting Title

    Dear Diary Wins the May Recruiting Title Comment Count

    Seth May 24th, 2013 at 7:20 AM


    Yay recruits! I have no idea who these people are! /Upchurch

    It's ours again, the title they don't give you for having the best recruiting class three months before the previous season begins. Yes, other classes are going to finish strong once a lot of five-stars make their decisions, you know, eight months from now. But like Notre Dame's September Heismans and OSU's November national champs, being in the top spot is better than not being there.

    You know those Big Ten recruiting roundups Ace does? EGD did the same for our non-conference opponents in the years to come. Hello again Notre Dame…

    247 Rk Team Guys 5* 4* 3* Scout Avg. Rivals Avg. ESPN Avg. 247 Avg. Overall Avg.
    5 Michigan 9 0 7 2 3.56 3.44 3.78 3.78 3.64
    7 Notre Dame 9 0 9 0 4.00 3.78 3.78 3.78 3.83
    36 Utah 5 0 1 4 2.80 3.20 2.40 3.00 2.85
    37 Arkansas 4 0 2 2 2.75 3.50 3.50 3.50 3.31
    50 BYU 5 0 1 2 2.60 2.40 2.60 2.80 2.60
    60 Cincinnati 3 0 0 3 2.33 2.00 2.00 3.33 2.42
    68 Hawaii 4 0 0 1 2.50 2.00 2.00 2.25 2.19
    77 Ball State 2 0 0 0 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.5 2.13
    90 Oregon State 1 0 0 0 3.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.25
    -- UNLV 1 0 0 0 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
    -- HORROR II 0 0 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
    -- Colorado 0 0 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
    -- Miami (NTM) 0 0 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0

    He's keeping it updated. Make it a weekly, guy with the Hail to the Thief logo. No Virginia Tech because even if the 2014 guys redshirt they won't be around for 2020. Good to see Bielema is still recruiting the Wisconsin way despite the move to the SEC.

    Blueheron took a look at recruiting over the back end, in how many NFL draft picks Michigan contributed over X period. This was always going to be the case once we went to a spread offense but yeah 2009-'13 wasn't our best period. Relatedly Chris Brown of Smart Football asked for crowd-sourced data on conference contribution to NFL rosters and whether there's a difference for guys in the league less than 5 years. I responded with a chart (click it for full size)…

    NFL Players Database 2013-1

    …and put the Excel doc in the public realm for anyone whose idea of a relaxing Memorial Day weekend is pivot tables. Meantime I saved the Big Ten comparison just for you:

    NFL Players Database 2013

    So we've got more old dudes (even with Hutchinson and Backus retiring) left from the middle Carr years, but since Rich Rod we've had a Sparty-like contribution. I expect this will change with the NFL types now working their way up the roster, and in five years you'll look at this chart and see Michigan next to OSU (with maybe a residually small yellow portion). Really, Michigan is the difference between the B1G being just as much an NFL factory as the SEC, and being something between that and the Pac12.

    In other people who probably love Pivot Tables, The Mathlete looked into the recruiting of Maryland and Rutgers to see where they get their players and if getting into those markets might help Michigan and co., kinda like how we went into Pennsylvania in the '90s and snatched up Rob Swett, Damon Denson, Will Peterson, Dave Armstrong, Marlin Jackson*, Scott McClintock, Tim Massaqoui, Steve Breaston, Ryan Mundy, Chad Henne, Marques Slocum, and Marques Slocum's pet Fuck Lion.

    *[Marlin could count for Ohio, since Sharon is just the Pennsylvania suburb of Youngstown, but then PSU still felt that one sharply. Speaking of PSU fans, if you know any tell them to get the Penn State version of HTTV (3 days left on the kickstarter).]

    Getting Nebraska didn't come with the same windfall, rather the Huskers and their Ohioan of a coach are probably damaging Michigan State and Iowa and Illinois rather than opening up new territory. On the other hand D.C. and environs have a lot of talent which, unlike Nebraska, concentrates in a certain geographic area. Nudging Virginia Tech out of there would be nice. As a follow-up maizeonblueaction looked at how the SEC has fared in the Midlands since adding Texas and Missouri. Answer: very small uptick, but I disagree that you can tell from 2012 numbers since those kids were mostly at the "down to five schools" phase when A&M was announced. If there's an effect, it's probably the opportunity to play close to home sometimes, and to be on TV at home, which means kids in the Dallas region aren't going to go to Mississippi now because they'll get to travel to A&M, but Houston kids might.

    And finally LSAClassof2000 downloaded the Rivals database and WENT. TO. TOWN. on charts of average star rating for B1G teams and comparisons to Michigan. I take two:


    Arrested development. Speaking of recruits who didn't necessary pan out as well as we thought, hey did you see this year's hockey team? MGoBlueline did a comparison of the stats between the beloved 2011-'12 squad and the begrudged 2012-'13 guys. There's a mass exodus of defensemen from here and, guh, the streak. By the way his inspiration was Ron Utah's thing back in January that I know you didn't click on in January because I track those links – his does the same thing with the last two football teams.

    Etc. There's a tier-based schedule for basketball the Big Ten will never adopt. Expansion probably stops here for the time being. Wallpaper by jonvalk.

    And since the board's been pretty calm in these OT days, a quick…

    Best of the Board



    yUP. mGrowOld had that dinner with Tressel he won for his company winning an award and him being a good employee who never posts pictures of his hot wife on the internet or spends time during the work day on message boards. But they pulled the bait 'n switch at the last minute and stuck the big sponsors instead of the promised winners at the keynote's table. GrowOld also chickened out about asking Tressel whether he was embarrassed, like at all, AND chickened out about the tie. Still a good read.


    MGoParents saw an opening when we didn't moderate an "OT: I Just had TWINS!" post and made an MGobaby thread, which became an all your kids thread. All the Aunt points in the world to julesh for crocheting a winged helmet for her brother's kid—you can tell your brother his laziness in not instantly getting a photo of the kid in the hat when duty called has cost his son a chance to be seen by thousands of strangers on the internet. Victor of the thread would still have gone to ems78, who produced* this:


    Three weeks old and already has the song down.

    * [Double entendre!]

    ETC. Urban's secret: telling recruits he likes big butts, and he cannot lie—okay the other brothers are calling on the lying thing and say they deny—completely and utterly deny. And in the thread about the Penn State thing that SI was trying to make a thing but really wasn't a thing at all, this appeared and I wow'ed:


    Origin? Previous thread? Did I miss a photoshop thread somewhere of Branch going on a destructive rampage of all sorts of famous photography? SIAP, but can we have one?

    Your Moment of Zen:

    Don't. Step. On. Our. Banner.


    Dear Diary Pulls the Fingerguns

    Dear Diary Pulls the Fingerguns Comment Count

    Seth May 10th, 2013 at 10:11 AM


    gif credit to umaz1

    Who's Awesome? You're awesome. /guns. Vincent Smith is finally done using Tae's account. Last night he posted an update of the work they're doing with Art Day, which you helped with. HOPE for Pahokoee's latest event brought badly needed art supplies to the local elementary. The Palm Beach Post wrote it up and has photos of Smith, Odoms and Brandin Hawthorne teaching art to 5th graders.


    Rodriguez loved to raid this little muck town of rabbit chasers in hopes of making his team better; the players (Richard Ash is still on the team) all ended up platooners of one sort or another, but thanks to them and your support this unlikely connection between communities that couldn't be more different has worked out pretty well for the town too.

    The hardest one is on SATURDAY, plebe! Inspired by Wyoming's field redesign, Orson has some suggestions for how other schools can capture their unique traditions on their respective playing surfaces. Dave Brandon will be happy to know that although the NCAA nixed his hashtags, the Times crossword is okay. My own submission:


    click enlargenates.

    Things to note:

    • Tasteful corporate sponsorship by Capital One doubles as motivation for the Spartans to return to the peak of their program's glory. As part of the sponsorship package, if any fan is caught using a non-Capital One card inside the stadium they will immediately be assaulted by 20% of the football team. What's in YOUR wallet?
    • Special "Izzone" extends the Spartans' sideline five yards onto the playing field, not that their coaches will stay behind that line either.
    • The region from the goal line to the MSU 30 will be designated as "Sparta!" where the Spartan defense will never allow the football to enter. Also the Spartan offense will never leave it.
    • imageThe Wolverines recently got all new logos, so Michigan State was able to dress up its midfield with Michigan's old one. Of course it took several boxes of crayons to adapt it (unfortunately all the green crayons broke so part of it's in aquamarine.)
    • Extensive use of Comic Sans font to increase interest from younger fans.
    • Hidden compartments under every 5-yard hash provide players with quick access to various blunt and sharp instruments that aid in meeting Dantonio's program mandate of "60 minutes of unnecessary roughness." Each hole also contains a copy of the Holy Bible to be used as an emergency shield against Detroit newspaper reporters in case they ask.
    • Inflatable dirigibles beneath the surface provide buoyancy in case Mark Hollis decides the game should be held in the middle of Lake Huron.
    • Modular seating in the lower bowl, and special turf genetically engineered by MSU scientists to break down Faygo, mean the stadium can easily be converted to the perfect host site for future Juggalo Gatherings.

    We Just Feel Like We're Carrying Your Bags

    (Title ref) You know that inflection, when Keith Jackson would take an emphasis syllable you never would have paid attention to—like the "THOM" in Anthony Thomas—and he'd build you up to it—Anthonyyyyyyyyyyy—and then that syllable would pop out like he's laughing it, like all the joy in the world just exploded from this kind old man's lips because he appreciates the existence of the thing with the name that much. WolverineHistorian wants to put together a new video of Keith Jackson quotes and is issuing a call for papers for your greatest Jackson-voiced memories.

    Because there is evil in this world and it is contracted by the Big Ten, much of the WH catalog has been turned to this:


    There are few things more despicable than people who claim copyrights over clear fair-use material despite having zero plans to make the same material available, just because they can out-lawyer you; here is a company who does exactly that for a living.

    That Harmon?


    User MichiganPhotoRod discovered the company that did all the signage in the Michigan Stadium renovation (like the above) is named Harmon Sign. The company is headquartered in Toledo and Novi but was started the year THAT Harmon arrived at Michigan. I have a call in; someone there is going to get a weird message when he gets into the office today.

    Promo-magnetic-schedule4Who's on the bus?

    Jared of Sports Power Weekends has this year's schedule online and ready for booking for those of you looking to road trip together for an away game or make a visit to Ann Arbor an exponentially more awesome experience (e.g. there's an inside the stadium tour as part of the Notre Dame package). We're discussing making one of these (probably Michigan State) an official MGoTrip; the Notre Dame one will probably dump you into the next official MGoBlog event, and Brian and I will be stopping by the Penn State tailgate.

    As an aside, we're trying to do more in-person events because all of us desperately crave opportunities to talk Michigan with people who, like, know the coordinators' names. The downside of doing it around games is there are few people less fun to be around than bloggers immediately after a loss.


    BIG TEHNNNNN! It's now been a good eight years since the SEC realized "Hey, you know what 18-year-olds like more than playing for schools that have a lot of money? Having money themselves!", and the governing body for this said "Hey, you know what we can do about it? Absolutely nothing! But let's pretend we've got a handle on it anyway." The results are on the field, and in the NFL draft, to which the Big Ten sent an average Big Ten recruiting class: 22 players, highlighted by a very large center just outside the Top 25. Of course a potential first overall pick stayed in school (ours!). Anyway, UMgradMSUdad gave out points and the winners were Wisconsin, MSU, and Illinois. Michigan was 7th, our contribution of Denard and Big Will worth less on this scale than Kawaan Short.

    Girls in hats. The diaries from the last two weeks read a lot like, well, diaries. Paps gave his personal account of being in Atlanta for the NC game and lingers on that one awful call. LSAClassof2000 eschewed charts and data mining (and lolcats) for reminiscing on how he became a Michigan fan and how he got in to the school—other people plopped their own stories in the comments; mine has Woodson in it. Even Blockhams was diarrific this week, being all "the Wings can't leave the Western Conference soon enough."

    If you read just one of the diary-diaries, try the Kentucky Derby one. I've never done the Derby, but I always imagined it was, essentially, a sporting event. If costume for fans was a thing, well I've seen SEC football. SEC football in the 19th century more like. I read the entirety of k.o.k.Law's description and after the peculiar manner in which a slingbox crashes I ran out of frame of reference. Like imagine if you're waiting 2 hours in line to get into the stadium because of security, when a couple of cops jump up on picnic tables and announce 209-MG71h.St.79"Forget security – just go in!" Or dropping $50s in a cash box like you're paying cover at a bar. This part made me think my wife would wanna try it sometime:

    Now, if people watching is your thing, you have to do the Derby.

    Six foot eight guys dressed in full jockey uniforms, cap, silks, riding boots.

    People in all sorts of horse outfits. People is suits, puking on the grass. People exhibiting all the symptoms of a closed head injury. People with “Derby Virgin” buttons taking ten minutes to make a bet at the window. The Mayor of the infield.

    And so on.

    …but then it's been my experience that smart, northerly Jewish girls don't react well to Westborough Baptists with megaphones. Photo:

    Etc. Wallpapers by jonvalk; please lose the hash tags. Charity event for people in Columbus. The tatoo guy from Tatgate is selling off all the memorabilia from that. If this seems weird that Buckeye fans would want to memorialize that whole thing, remember they carried Tressel off the field for it last year. Denard rookie camp video.

    Your Moment of Zen:

    Watch, or just close your eyes and listen.


    Dear Diary from A to Z

    Dear Diary from A to Z Comment Count

    Seth April 26th, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Just a few more days to get in on the pre-sale of HTTV and the now-happening Hail to Hoops and Hockey and the Victors and Michigan Wooo. (working title). A lot of you held off on the second book until you were sure it was gonna get made—head over there --> and you can change your contribution to get in on the pre-sale. It'll cost about $18.50 total to get it mailed after the kickstarter.

    Former Michigan football player Steve Everitt talks on the radio at the M-Den during the WTKA Mott Takeover fundraising event.  Angela J. Cesere |

    Filed under 'V' for 'Viking'

    It's the week after the Spring Game, so the OT rules have been lifted on the board and the diaries have kinda fallen back into meta things and wallpapers (jonvalk's) mostly. Everyone can pick their favorite distraction between hedging on MSC's replacement, dickering around with MGoPoints, or bringing music to Brazilians.

    My distraction was this thread put up by OHbornUMfan trying to make an alphabetical Michigan Football rhyming book. I got carried away:

    A is for the Andersons, who called each other "bro." Kurt played center in aught-one, and Erick starred for Mo.

    B is for the Brackinses, the Vols can have them back. No matter how you spell the name the player is all-MAC.*

    C should be for Carter, or Lloyd or Chappuis. But it goes to Carson and Criswell, to make their coach happy.

    D it stands for Duffys, the brothers from Team 7. John played "keeper", Iggy "full", and James on Team 11. (As a 7th year senior)Yeah, this is where I belong

    E we know for Edwards, of the singular jersey num--. The father he, played in Rose Bowls: three, victorious in 1.

    F we'll have a falling out if ever you should say, a greater QB ever played than Friedman in his day.

    G is for Glenn Edward, a name you'd never know. For though he was our greatest man, we've always called him "Bo."

    H we have for Hammersteins behind the scrimmage line. Mark there saving Harbaugh's ass, and Mike there curving spines.

    …and here a second honoree I simply must propose: for 'Hello-Heisman' Desmond Howard, he of that famous pose.

    …and GAWD YOU GUYS I KNOW we'll never get to I. But cumong: Henne, Hart and Hutchinson, and that Willie Heston guy!

    I is Jarrett Irons, from Woodland, Texas came. With he and Steele and Swett and Sword we won with just our names.

    J could be a Johnson, or Jones: we've had our share. But here I'll take a Jackson, the one at corner not on air. (Marlin/Keith)

    K is for Ron Kramer, and "end" he's called in song. "That guy who can do everything" I guess was just too long.

    and let's salute the Kolesars from Bob of Seven Oaks.* There's Bill the tackle and his son John, who caught that Harbaugh post.†

    L to launch an LT's name shall never lead you wrong. Exempli gratias IMG_1668are Jake, and of course his clone, Lewan.

    M is written wide in block and on the seal again. It kicks off Messner, Mandich, Molk, but always Michigan.

    N is Harry Newman remember when I said, that we'll have words if Friedman falls; we'll have to start that thread.

    O is Obi Ezeh—almost had you there, again! It stands for Bennie Oosterbaan, three-time All-American.

    P is Mr. President, also known as Gerald Ford. Before the Constitution, he defended Willis Ward.

    Q Shit this one's hard: maybe go with Quinton Washington? Well yeah, if our line stands up this year, he goes right with the rest of them!

    R we save for Robinson, don't make me tell you why.

    And S is for his massive smile; that's how much we love that guy!

    T is for Terrific Tom, the best you'll ever see. Harmon starts with 'H' it's true, but Touchdown's spelled with 'T'.

    U is for "unmitigated", forever paired with "gall", since Ufer first applied them to Ohio State that fall.

    V is "Van", that's Dutch for "from" or "white guy who plays D." We've had our share but the best from there of course was RVB.

    …it also stands for "Viking," comma, "pet of Brady Hoke." Another name for Everitt, a scary looking bloke.

    W I leave to you say reverentially. He had a better year than Peyton, evidentially.

    X is that one empty seat, for what is writ upon it. Each year we save a bench for Fritz and the wings upon our bonnet.

    Y can only be one guy unless you are insane. He built this program and its house; the barn now bears his name.

    Z took time to get to, the reason that that is: Zoltan Mesko punted it in two thousand and six.

    Notes & Errata:

    *I had classes with both brothers—I'm the year between them in age—and they're both incredibly nice guys I enjoy giving crap to. I didn't know Tim Brackens; he's an innocent victim.

    ** The 1942 line was called the "Seven Oaks Post."

    † …in 1985 to beat Ohio State.

    Rules are keep the rhyming scheme. I give myself diarist of the week because apparently M-Wolverine is catching up to me.

    Your moment of zen:



    Dear Diary Dives, Rolls, and Eats Ruffage

    Dear Diary Dives, Rolls, and Eats Ruffage Comment Count

    Seth April 19th, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Brian mentioned this in his spring recap but here again is the play Michael Scarn picture-paged:


    He points out several things that happened here. One is James Ross moving so fast toward the hole he actually cuts off Desmond Morgan. Another is the wholesale disaster that was the interior blocking, as Miller got nobody, Braden didn't peel off to intercept the Will, and Kalis ran right by James Ross. Here's your money shot:


    sorry for low quality—if you can find the play on here I'll make new.

    Morgan was the playside LB but Ross is already past him and gunning toward the hole. Miller is looking the wrong way. Kalis is pulling and looking outside Lewan's and Braden's block. If you ever wondered what coaches mean by "head on a swivel" this is the opposite: his head is facing where his body is, and because of that he doesn't see the MLBs racing in. Braden too needs to recognize that his combo block on the playside DT has done its job; the Hutchinson thing to do here would be to find Ross and Morgan charging into the same hole, and using a block on the first to wall off the second.

    These are things learned by experience, and are reasons you usually don't expect linemen to be very good until they're upperclassmen.

    As for Ross, that millisecond diagnosis was so incredible people are arguing if it was actually a blitz (that stunts the MLBs? Coach-types, thoughts?). Michael Scarn, obvious Diarist of the Week, submitted a supplement on this diary covering Ross and how he compares to onetime-Cane, now-Steeler Sean Spence. I stand by my comparison to another safety-sized Steeler who made a career out of avoiding blocks by simply getting to the ball-carrier first, Larry Foote. Either way, here's betting when Brian sends us the roundtable questions for HTTV the annual 'breakout player?' wording starts with "Other than…"

    Etc. For a second I thought Jake Ryan was Brock Mealer. Snowflake-y thing on next year's basketball team now that the personnel seems settled.

    Best of the Board


    Spring Practice is over and it's a long few months of coach-less physical training before fall stuff. To give you an idea of the things our players will be working on from now until then, here's a letter from Fritz Crisler circa 1941 dug up by Messenger Puppet.


    Apparently the Michigan Method includes:

    • Sleeping from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., 10:30 to 6:30 if you absolutely have to.
    • Rolling on the ground
    • Cut out stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine in order to do better justice to yourself in a football way.
    • "Crabbing"
    • 10 to 15 minutes of "setting up exercises," followed by a cold bath.
    • Eating plenty of ruffage to keep your digestive system normal at all times.

    TEAM 96

    This is the video shown at the basketball banquet. It starts with Novak and Stu after winning the B1G last year then goes to the freshman class and then…


    For the tiny subsection of the fanbase for whom heuristics on the interior DL three-deep is news, little shreds of such news have trickled out that could be read as Godin and Heitzman are awesome but probably mean Strobel is still far from playing time (and is a redshirt freshman GAWD U GUYz!)

    This sparked a thread led off by Blazefire on Tom Strobel's (below: Fuller) move to 3-tech, apparently because of an injury to somebody in that group. Which injury? Could be Ryan Glasgow, or it could have to do with Wormley being unavailable for most contact this spring. Don't know, guessing Glasgow.

    Fuller - StrobelTom's coming in for a little bit "oh no not LaLota" fear since of that ridiculous interior d-line class he's the highest rated to not yet push for serious playing time: Wormley was mentioned as a potential competition for Roh's job last year before his injury, Pipkins played, and Godin and Henry were 3-stars and your 2nd string 5-tech and 3-tech respectively in the Spring Game.

    From Mattison's quote it sounds like it's mostly a convenience thing. They need depth at three, and at the five—which is pretty interchangeable—there's a pecking order emerging of Heitzman the starter, Godin the backup, and Wormley the nominal third string with a lot of upward mobility. Speculation centers on why Strobel was moved and not Godin, who's 10 pounds heavier.

    On one hand GAWD U GUYz he's a redshirt freshman who always needed to put on weight and for whom "on track" would mean pushing to play by 2014. On the other Godin is now almost certainly ahead of him and the Godin hype hasn't hit anything like Jake Ryan levels where you figure we just found a diamond. Waaaaaaaaay too early for this: absolutely. Irrational fan voice squeaking this anyway: yeah. Impact if true: small. They can't ALL become next-RVBs (4-star DE are about 25% to become NFL draft picks).


    The NCAA has put in the time these last few years to establish itself as the most incompetent group of people since they invented Comcast customer service, and as a consequence opened themselves to ALL THE zing.

    When Oregon found major violations, the thread is all 'nothing will happen' until ZING!:

    "You're wrong there. The NCAA is sick and tired of being looked at as an impotent and largely powerless organization incapable of meting out justice to offenders.

    "This time they are mad. This time they mean business. I predict that the NCAA is SO upset at what Oregon's been doing that South Florida's going to get their scholly's cut again." –mGrowOld

    When reports surfaced that Ohio State's bow-tied president was trotted out to recruit Drake Harris, the thread began wondering if that's, you know, crossing some sort of line and ZING!

    "When presidents are involved in recruiting, it's usually dead ones like Grant, Jackson, et al. See Auburn, University of." –Victor Hale II

    People in the thread have a bunch of stories of how beloved Gee is on campus because he goes to bars (!) and sometimes remembers people had crutches (!). He's also the former lawyer who instigated Ohio State's lawyerly defense of itself for Tressel's tenure, thereby undermining the NCAA's self-regulatory compliance system and exposing the organization's true impotence. I don't really have a problem with a school president meeting a recruit; I do have a problem with this president who sees his job as head of Buckeye Phi, until such time as Jim Tressel decides to fire him.

    People who agree: Brown University calls its spring game port-a-potties the "E. Gordon Gee Lavatory Complex" in honor of his short and generally disastrous tenure there. There's a reason this guy and Emmert are best buddies.


    Ohio State made rings for their Year of Shame.


    Hey, surprise, the school that couldn't find honor if you put it around a Clemson player's neck doesn't do contrition very well. On the last ring they posted the Game's score from last year, calling us "TUN" beneath a horseshoe so detailed you can see them carrying Tressel off on their shoulders. Mr. Yost suggested they should just wear asterisks. ZING!


    CaliUMfan pulled some tweets from people who spoke to Beilein after the "they're back" presser that suggest Michigan plans to move Glenn Robinson to small forward and play McGary at the four, creating a crunch at the two/three of GRIII, Stauskas, LeVert and Irvin. This can be taken in many ways, most of which come back to "yeah you tell Morgan he's the expected starter again."


    The guy who played the cynic on the Imperial Mottiboard of directors in the original Star Wars has passed away; for this site, this absolutely constitutes a board thread. If you can't appreciate Richard LeParmentier's acting ability, I suggest you imagine how you'd do if George Lucas handed you a script that read:

    "Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebels' hidden fort—[NOW PRETEND LIKE HE'S CHOKING YOU!]"

    And yes I claim the Star Wars geeks as mine. When Brian can go three references in a row without flubbing a quote or acknowledging the prequels exist he can have you back. Also when he learns to moderate the board like this:


    ETC. If recruiting his son means Dakich can't do Michigan games anymore, or even if it makes him stop trolling us, it is SO worth a scholarship. Jonvalk suggests a new MGobanner. Novak profiled in local paper, mentions MGoShirt. Will basketball or football end up ranked higher next year?

    Your Moment of Zen:

    Forty-two not 16 'cause it was Other-Robinson Day.



    Dear Diary Remembers That Time

    Dear Diary Remembers That Time Comment Count

    Seth April 12th, 2013 at 11:35 AM


    Tomorrow is the Spring Game, though we've been completely distracting you from all the football going down this week. If you'll be in town for the game, stop by R.U.B. (on State & Packard) afterwards for a live Q&A with Marlin and some high-contrast bloggers. If you won't, the Q&A part will be liveblogged. Bring questions to save us from Chris Farley'ing. Hey remember when you shut down Reggie Williams in the 2002 opener? That was awesome.

    That Was Awesome. Hey remember when we had a basketball team in the championship game? The staff here got a bit lethargic afterwards, and we were saved by the work of bronxblue, Diarist o' da Week, BlockhaMs 2013-Apr04 650pxwho kept a running diary of the entire tournament run. The good: THAT, likeable players, Beilein stories, Burke-Spike-McGary. Bad/Ugly: Refs, injuries, awful announcers, Adidas. Best-worst: expectations:

    At the same time, though, the feelings of these past 4 weeks will probably never be there again, or if they are they’ll be tinged with a dread you can’t quite shake.  The cloud over UM basketball has finally lifted; it may just be replaced with a far less oppressive one.

    The "it's been awhile" sentiment was repeated in the other DotW by Tom From AA, which recounted a decade of would-be ascensions from Bernard Robinson to the walk-on-led B1G champs. Excerpt from the Not Just a Shooter™ prototype:

    Stu Douglass – in addition to sporting a Spock-like haircut as a freshmen – was a prototypical example of what a player can be under John Beilein. Initially only an outside shooter (and a streaky one at times), Douglass turned into one of the teams most reliable ball handlers and its best off-ball defender by the end of his senior season – a compliment to both Douglass’ hard work and Beilein’s staff’s ability to develop players.  Stu Douglass is the all-time leader in games played at the University of Michigan, beating out his partner in crime by two games. Douglass ranks fifth in career 3-pt field goals made and ninth in minutes played.

    I learned this with the 2006 Tigers: the team that takes you up the mountain is the one that will always stick with you; every run afterwards the excitement ebbs into fear of falling short. In this the randomness of single-elimination is your friend. Given the nature of March Madness, I have zero fear of not being able to appreciate any future run to the Elite 8 or beyond.

    This 20-year rundown of M players with NBA and/or Euro careers by AC1997 is a quick read in the same vein of we've been through that, appreciate this. Speaking of guys who terminate their college careers just to end up playing in some foreign country…

    Trouba No! Jacob did the awful thing, leaving a huge hole on Big Blue's blue line so he could play for a team in Manitoba or Saskatchewan or Nunavut or Prince Edward Island or YES I CAN NAME ALL OF YOUR PROVINCES TAKE THAT CANADIAN STEREOTYPES! If you're wondering what comes after the defections of Merrill and Trouba, read. You can tell MGoBlueline is gonna end up on that Mt. Blogmore image one day because he's already getting his bolded subconscious on.

    Other Jumps. I bumped from the boards this Drbogue post where he did some of the early legwork for what could be an important study on whether a player should go pro or not. The evidence suggests young players are so likely to burn through that first year's earnings so fast they ruin this advantage for themselves. Just in case here's a look by 1484 of which NBA teams might have interest in early entry Wolverines. Burke to Pistons yes I am biased.

    In a comparison of non-random groups of Sparts and Bucks encountered by mgrowold the in-staters were the bigger jerks. Spartanfreude board threads throughout the week (usually of RCMB melting down with envy) attested to the instability of the green psyche, but the smart ones were with us. I watched every round but the last with my Little-Brother little brother, who after MSU went out added all of his vim to my might and main. His reasoning: if M played themselves into four lottery picks they might all go do that, leaving a smoother path for…


    HT mikoyan

    More in perspective. Remember when we hired Beilein? The final version of this-used-to-be-Games Remaining by mistersuits has a final ranking of 2012-'13 games by difficulty according to Kenpom; the last was the toughest. And lunchboxthegoat penned a personal diary of his one-year MGo-Exile, self-imposed after he reamed out Burke for what we thought was a decision to play the 2012-'13 season with the Heat or whatever. Take notes future trolls of America: this is how you redeem yourself.

    Dated tourney blogs you still ought to read: fuzzy247 rewrote Casey at the Bat for Burke, and UMAmaizinBlue did Devil Went Down to Georgia for Pitino. Stopthewnba quantified the Big Eastness of the refs for the Final Four—Louisville was familiar with them, though I can't imagine that translated to Pitino telling his players not to worry about Trey Burke because they're gonna make up a million fouls on him. Official ref venting thread. Save this for when you go to Atlanta. Some jonvalk wallpapers for the Final Four and Final Final. Where wast thee in '93? How to crush oranges. Non-dated shots from the tourney: LSAClassof2000's statistical review. Being a Michigan dad (bonus: when your kid gets a photo with Novak)



    Dear Diary Fought in the Big One

    Dear Diary Fought in the Big One Comment Count

    Seth March 29th, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Jerry World (pic via Dawg Day Afternoon; need help finding the artist)

    This week I saw a photo of Jerryworld with its floor removed in preparation for 2013 tourney games, and I was reminded of the horrific things that must be buried in that dirt: the blood from a terrible Indian battle, bits and pieces of Woodson's collarbone (Superbowl XLV) and Denard Robinson's shoulder dislodged by Dee Milliner, perhaps the remains of five hookers.

    Among various banners this basketball team has been asked to carry, one is a flag of redemption for Michigan's other sports. Given the site and the stage, sure why not the Alabama game too? The last trip to the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington parking lot from hell dismantled every shred of hope and excitement for the last year of Denard. Now another former Big Ten coach who moved South and built a pro factory of mauling blue chips could end our association with Burke. ClearEyesFullHart starts with Bill Self's Illinois teams to preview tonight's Sweet 16 matchup with Kansas.

    If this trip doesn't work, there may be an opportunity in 2015.

    Excelius in'dome'ine. Say hello to stopthewnba, who received a points advance so he could post another attempt to get all statistical about the "domes hurt shooting" meme. This is of course super-relevant to Michigan in Jerryworld tonight since we're very much the shootier squad. The data haven't gotten any larger, however there's knowledge gained:

    In four of the past five seasons, among Sweet Sixteen teams, one of the top two teams that increase their scoring average in the tournament over their regular season average made the Final Four.  Similarly interesting is that in four of the past five seasons, one of the bottom two teams who score LESS in the tournament than their regular season average also made the Final Four:

    I think I found the sampling bias in that: the further you go in the tournament the tougher defenses you will happen upon. The teams who score way above their normal rates those who "got hot" and they of course will go further, but good teams who are playing at the same level they did all year should see their scoring rate dip both due to the improved quality of defenses, and the fact that defenders are more rested thanks to all the advertising breaks. What sold this diary to me was the Excel sheet he attached, which gives me an opportunity to try out my new embedding plug-in:

    That work? Sweet.

    Pipkins Dominates the Michigan Drill. This was on the boards but it' the diary of the week, easy. Michael Scarn took the "Michigan Drill" I referenced last week and broke down how Ondre Pipkins did it right. The drill heavily favors the offense: a defender has to beat a blocker and contact the runner. A snippet:

    As he makes contact with Bosch, Pipkins has already driven off his right foot as well, generating more power and force into Bosch.  His hands have shot inside very quickly and, as we'll see, will allow him to control Bosch.


    When I watched this earlier I didn't want to over-emphasize because I thought Bosch probably true freshman'd something. He did, but Pipkins was able to use his technique mastery to take advantage of that. Read this if you want to know what Hoke is talking about when he gets defensive liney.

    Goal by goal. Relive the wonderful Saturday and ultimately disheartening conclusion to hockey's last-ditch CCHA run via your last goal-by-goal analysis until probably sometime next year (hopefully MGoBlueline will start in November). Lost with the championship game was the glory of the semifinal against Miami (NTM), which itself can be a pleasant memory to keep from an otherwise unpleasant season.

    You should hold a hat ceremony too! I gave The Michigan Men's Football Experience the recruiting profile treatment:


    If you are participating I highly encourage you to take the opportunity to mock the recruiting system as well.

    Etc. LSAClassof2000 calculated the chances of various matchups occurring in this tourney, and you can follow the charts as games get decided; Ohio State's victory last night raised the likelihood of Michigan facing them in a championship to…I can't tell but it's like 5% or something. Sweet 16 Wallpaper by jonvalk. Blockhams uses a semicolon incorrectly.

    [The Best of the Board, after the jump]


    Dear Diary: Ce Matin, Pas de Lapin

    Dear Diary: Ce Matin, Pas de Lapin Comment Count

    Seth March 22nd, 2013 at 10:08 AM


    Wallpaper by jonvalk.

    Before we dip into this week's user content, go draft your FreeRoll team! You've got until noon. Draft Street kindly sponsored yesterday's liveblog.


    Kids who were my age in France all grew up with this song Ce Matin, un Lapin (this morning, a rabbit…) about a hare who turned the tables on a hunter and thus commenced the bunny revolution. The singer is a lady named Chantal Goya who spent years trying to carve out a niche in pop music by being ironically jejune, then found her calling by dropping the irony and singing kids songs on the French Disney Channel.

    Kids my age who went to Michigan might remember a band called Tally Hall who have followed a similar career path. In 2005 I earned my Level 5 music cred badge by sharing a booth at a New York bar with the Atlantic Records people while Tally tried out for them. The music folk tossed around fancy adjectives like "jejune" to capture how fresh and cool it was to find a rock band that can occupy the antipode of metal the Beatles brushed with An Octopus's Garden. They signed them, but after one album the label forgot about them and that lapsed into that. Recently my best friend reported via Facebook that his three-year-old is a huge Tally Hall fan.

    All this week Michigan fans shared a booth with all the really cool basketball people while they circle-talked themselves into the South Dakota State Jackrabbits as the hipster upset pick and Nate Wolters as the best point guard in the country (though you've probably never heard of him).

    Nine minutes into the second half the rabbits were finally starting to lose pace with the Wolverines when Burke and LeVert* went up for a rebound and Wolters ran in to give Trey a 'Wisconsin Special' undercut hip check that sent Michigan's own pretty good guard crashing to the floor. As Burke clutched his head the panic claxons went off in yours. There was no foul (of course), the ball was awarded to the Jackrabbits (of course), and they of course went right down the court and scored.


    Bryan Fuller|MGoBlog

    You could imagine the Disney ending from here, a Cinderella advance amidst the cheers of Spartans in brand new turquoise tees. All it would take was 11 minutes of indifferent D, refs that hate us, threes that clang, twos that shouldn't have been shot, and Spike Albrecht running around with the ball like a mad chicken, to end the career of Michigan's greatest player since _____(?) with the prostrate pose above.

    Here's how it really went:

    • Stauskas drove hard (NJAS!) to the basket and through hard contact to make a layup and collect a rare and-one, which he made. 52-43.
    • Wolters forced to take a long two, missed, rebounded by Albrecht
    • Albrecht does his running around thing, gets the ball to Hardaway, TIMMMAYY makes a jumpshot. 54-43.
    • Wolters misses a three, Horford MANBALLS the rebound out of another contestant's hands.
    • Trey Burke returns, drives inside collecting ALL THE DEFENSE, then kicks out to wide open Hardaway for three, buried. 57-43.

    That was enough for the Wolverines to finish off the rascally rabbits, final score 71-56.

    As it turns out the audience for simple cutesy catchy formulaic music is little kids, rabbits tend to lose to hunters, and Michigan is better at major sports than those guys you've probably never heard of. Who could have imagined? Also as it turns out this little game column was all a prelude to the Diary of the Week by saveferris, who looked at the performance of past 4 seeds and found, well, the higher seed you are the better your prospects for tourney success. File all of this under the kind of duh that takes occasional reminding.


    * His surname is French for "The Green" but a "leveret" is a baby rabbit.


    Etc. Every goal from hockey's WMU sweep plus a few bad puns of blue/blew from MGoBlueline. The basketball game is at noon on Saturday so you can watch that then still make it to the Joe. LSAClassof2000 looks at run vs. pass balance over recent Big Ten history, finding Wisconsin and Ohio State run a lot. Need to get the 4th quarters and blowouts out of there though if you want to find the meat. Blockhams was drawn before Ryan was hurt, isn't funny anymore.

    [Jump, Best of the Boards]


    Dear Diary's 2013 Tour du Vengeance

    Dear Diary's 2013 Tour du Vengeance Comment Count

    Seth March 15th, 2013 at 9:56 AM


    Officiating that even closely approximated what could plausibly described as normal, a breeze from a passing mosquito on a rim-balancing rock, a half-court prayer by the last guys you'd expect to get one of those answered…pick any two things that should or could have happened this year and that's the difference between the 1 seed in the Big Ten Tourney and the 5th.

    As I lay in the middle of the B1G's final season standings, trying to will my defense out of entropy, I could see the faces of the weasels that did this to me and the hair cream aficionados responsible. When fortune smiles on something as violent and ugly as revenge, it seems proof like no other, that not only does God exist, you're doing His will.

    Michigan shouldn't by all rights be taking the long way through the Big Ten Tournament. But fortune has seen fit to at least make that path go right through those whose ledgers with us are most in the red: Penn State yesterday, Wisconsin today, and pending survival there, almost certainly Indiana. That's our worst loss and then the only two teams who finished with winning records against us. In Indiana's case that won't change unless we meet in the NCAAs.

    Can Wisconsin beat us again? I mean it's basketball: weird things happen even without the increased chaos of fewer possessions. Like for example sometimes the boryanstripes inexplicably side with the harbingers of Rigelian swamp ball:

    I felt paranoid watching all of this. It was a temporary window into the world of a 9/11 truther, seeing what looked like an insane conspiracy by Big Ten refs to keep Bo Ryan in their ears, screaming unprintable things about their mothers. A full half-dozen of the calls they made seemed literally impossible, from the two mentioned above to another breakaway layup that Burke missed because a dude hit him on the head and the charge Burke took on Berggren late that went the other way for a critical three-point play. Am I sane? I thought we got a fair whistle at Indiana. I did think that.

    At this point a clunky start and a million defensive breakdowns by the freshmen and THJ wouldn't even be filed as weird things. Another weird thing would be an an outfit as attuned to profit margins as this Big Ten allowing a Rigelian sympathizer any kind of access to a whistle. If you need more than "it wouldn't fit the Kill Bill narrative" for reasons to be optimistic, Wisconsin in their own building needed probably the worst complete ref job in the conference's history and an impossible half-court buzzer shot to fall to beat us the first time. Those are thoughts. Here are diaries:

    philcollinsHistory lessons. Remember the funny Year in Review (with pics) things that saveferris used to write? Here he goes back to 1989, a time when the Simpsons was that new cartoon your mom didn't want you to watch, lest you turn into a spiky-haired scamp child who tells people to not have a cow, man. Most hilarious thing in the world in 1989 according to 1989 me: a nose tackle named Teeter. Teeter you all! Bad memories: the Tigers, kicking it to Rocket Ismail, and Phil Collins. Good memories: Berenson was just beginning to turn the hockey program around. Yzerman scored 155 points for the Wings, who won the Norris Division. The Pistons were at the peak of the Bad Boys period. Bo's last squad (and one of his best) with that backfield of Tony Boles, Leroy Hoard, Jarrod Bunch and Burnie Legette. And Glenn Rice, obvs.

    Speaking of Bunch, he just popped up on the blog this week after someone noticed he was in the latest Tarantino film…

    [After the jump]