Hail To The Victors 2010

Hail To The Victors 2010

Submitted by Brian on June 30th, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Apologies for the late content. My wireless card started acting funny this morning and I had to deal with drivers for the first time in a long while.

Hello. Every year I gather up a collection of the web's finest Michigan bloggers and scream and beg and plead and scream until they submit articles to me, which I lightly burnish and send to Maple Street Press, which puts it in a book which is then put on sale. Here's this year's edition:


  1. I do the usual preview of the team, this year with bonus excessive quarterback analysis.
  2. Jerry Hinnen previews the opponent schedule, except…
  3. Sam Eley, who used to run We Will Always Have Tempe, previews OSU.
  4. Johnny of RBUAS tackles Demar Dorsey, the phenomenon.
  5. Andy Reid, late of the Daily, interviews Fred Jackson about the jumbled tailback spot.
  6. Misopogon revises and publishes a version of the Decimated Defense you can send to all your friends who keep annoying you with their lack of context.
  7. Chris Brown of Smart Football goes in-depth on the 3-3-5's origins and setup; I evaluate how well Michigan's existing players will fit in their new holes.
  8. Craig Ross looks at the evolution of offense from the single wing to the spread.
  9. Michael Elkon takes a look at what actually predicts turnovers, why Michigan had two straight years of incredibly poor turnover margins, and what their prospects are for 2010.
  10. Jamiemac explores Michigan's re-entry into recruiting Ohio like mad.
  11. John Kryk surveys the history of Michigan's helmet stickers.
  12. Greg Dooley of MVictors recounts the story of Michigan Stadium's construction.
  13. And, finally, a bunch of the above others take cracks at answering the questions of the day in a Wolverine Roundtable.

It is 128 pages and $12.99. This is approximately ten cents per page, many of which have very nice pictures on them. One is even of Biff the Wolverine. If you don't purchase it, chances are you have a brain tumor which causes you to make bad decisions. Check if you have a chicken on your head and go see a doctor, but not before you purchase it. You can get it online or from bookstores across the state.

Jalen Rose Available For Accosting In The Near Future

Jalen Rose Available For Accosting In The Near Future

Submitted by Brian on January 25th, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Item: MGoBlog and Underground Printing have ensnared Jalen Rose into a complicated plot wherein we take some of the money spent on t-shirts and—mwa ha ha!—give it to underprivileged children in the form of a donation to the Jalen Rose Charitable Fund.

You can support this diabolical plan in the following ways:

1. Ordering "Jalen Rose line" apparel from Underground. Proceeds from these shirts go to the JCRF now and forever.

jalen-rose-1 jalen-rose-2

2. Ordering anything at all from the MGoStore. 20% of all sales today and tomorrow go directly to the JRCF.

 Print eastlansing

3. Showing up at the UGP store tomorrow at around 6, or possibly a little bit before that if there's a line, as Jalen Rose will be there for an unveiling and an autograph session.

BONUS note: 3-5 random folk who buy shirts today or tomorrow will get a signed Rose shirt for zero dollars.

This Is Your Final Warning: Consume

This Is Your Final Warning: Consume

Submitted by Brian on December 16th, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Christmas is in nine days and you haven't purchased an MGoShirt for your fish, you terrible person, you. Imagine how cold your fish are going to be on Christmas morning when you gather around the tree to open your presents or flop around in an terrifying, airless, alien environment. As the light dims in their eyes all they will be able to think about is how their death could express disdain for the state of Ohio…


Woo! The following shirts are now available in luxuriously soft, eco-friendly, creepily-modeled American Apparel sizes from XXL to XS:

worst-state-ever Print

 oh-no-shirt biff


Still in effect: free shipping on orders over $50 and 20% off all this month. Hail and Biff eating the mascots are also available as hoodies. Consume!

Shirt Sale! Consume!

Shirt Sale! Consume!

Submitted by Brian on December 7th, 2009 at 3:43 PM

One extremely important for any holiday shoppers: the MGoStore is having a dual-pronged holiday sale. All shirts are 20% off and anything over $50 ships free.

There is also an official MGoBlog shirt, as requested by several readers:


Also, the world needs more queme shirts and "Worst State Ever" shirts that aren't those irritating knockoffs that actually explain what state we're talking about, every one of which makes God die a little inside:

Print worst-state-ever

Consume in the name of Christmas.

A side note to forestall the inevitable message board thread: yes, the sponsorship of the blog has switched over to Underground. This is by the blog's choice, not the M-Den's, as splitting the apparel sponsorship of the blog was awkward, and shouldn't negatively impact your opinion of them.

A Note On Sponsorship, Shirts

A Note On Sponsorship, Shirts

Submitted by Brian on September 7th, 2009 at 10:29 AM


You've probably noticed the ribbon at the top of the main column. There is also ad that will replace the HTTV ad on the right when I beat Drupal into submission about it, which I certainly hope is today. So here's the deal: the M-Den and MGoBlog have arrived at a mutually beneficial relationship where I advertise for their products and they give me money. It's an excellent match with the MGoStore; you can get your officially licensed apparel from the M-Den and your insidery MGoBlog shirts from the MGoStore. The M-Den is locally owned by lifelong fans and a longtime supporter of Michigan athletics, and they just lost the Michigan Stadium contract to Jerry Jones's band of carpetbaggers.

They're also a business and are looking for ROI. So if you're buying officially licensed Michigan apparel I hope it's from there and I hope it's via the ads on the sidebar or the sponsorship ribbon. It is in this way you can support the university, the M-Den, and MGoBlog.

I should also note that there will be a brief text advertisement at the bottom of a post once a week; these will be mostly for the Google purposes.

ALSO! We've placed two of Six Zero's outstanding shirts in the MGoStore, where they await your purchase. They are the contest winner and one of the runner-ups that was just too good to not put in the store. The mascot shirt was the winner:


And the "strike a pose" Desmond shirt, the runner up, has also been added to the store for total awesomeness:


I'm wondering if anyone is reconsidering The Forcier after last week's game. What say you about an addition? Yea or nay, class?

BONUS note: I'd like to thank Six Zero for the extensive work he put in on the shirt contest—there were about a half-dozen shirts that simply did not fit—and recommend him to anyone in search of graphic design of any variety. A couple people have already emailed me about getting in touch with him and I've forwarded along the inquiries. If you'd like to do the same, email me and I'll do the same.

Unverified Voracity In Colorless Glory

Unverified Voracity In Colorless Glory

Submitted by Brian on August 17th, 2009 at 12:14 PM

All formats and locations will be ours. A reader requested that I MGoBlog available on the Amazon Kindle, so I duly signed up. I have now been vetted and show up in the store. A word of caution: when I checked out the preview it didn't seem like a compelling product. It obliterated images, formatting, and even blockquotes. Maybe it's better now.

Even if it's not you get a 14-day free trial before the dollar per month—the lowest price they'd let me set—kicks in.

Also, you may have noticed that the Bucknuts link on the left sidebar went haywire a few weeks ago. Bucknuts implemented a new software system and the transition did not go as smoothly as hoped. Insert your own Ohio State "the files are in the computer?" joke here. The link now works and This Week In Michigan returns sometime today. [Speaking of things I write named "This Week In X": This Week In Schadenfreude will be a TSB joint this season. That was probably obvious.]

More research I didn't do. The streak of diaries in the range from useful to awesome continues. There is of course Misopogon's uni-tournament that got front-paged on Friday. (If you're interested in getting front paged take his posts as a model from his posts: they're attractive, use pictures, and organize their information well.) There's also more outstanding research going on.

MCalibur posted a followup to his earlier post on running QB fragility that expands his earlier study from one year to a definitive five. The key chart (chart):

Threat Level

No. of QBs

Injured QBs

Lost GMs
(% of Total)

Avg. Games Lost

QB Inj %

All Seasons

3 (Pat White)


















0 (John Navarre)












Interestingly, the hiccup from MCalibur's first study holds up. Group 2 quarterbacks are the most likely to get injured; group one quarterbacks are the least. Extreme pocket passers and rushers fall in the middle.

The numbers show an slight uptick in QB injuries for run-heavy quarterbacks. Extreme rushers are 3% more likely to miss a game than a pocket passer and heavy rushers are 13% more likely. I don't think either of those numbers is significant statistically or strategically*; MCalibur has successful debunked the idea that spread quarterbacks are more vulnerable to injury than your John Navarres.

Elsewhere, Hannibal quantified something Michigan fans have known for a while: if you rotate off Michigan's schedule you will be terrible. This is a law of nature. I mean, seriously:

Penn State:
Winning percentages in the "did not play Michigan" years:  .188
Winning percentages in the "did play Michigan" years:  .745

How does that happen if not for the black hand of Angry Michigan Schedule-Hating God?

The net, with Michigan games removed:

Winning percentages in the "did not play Michigan" years:  .371
Winning percentages in the "did play Michigan" years:  .494

That's just weird. This year Michigan misses Minnesota and Northwestern. Beware hyping them.

*(I know there are more serious statisticians that myself out there, so please correct me if I'm wrong.)

World so cold (world so cold!). A long profile of Tim Hardaway Jr. appears in the Miami Herald. I don't remember the careers of Larry Brown and the elder Hardaway intersecting but maybe he just got this by osmosis:

Hardaway Jr. takes more pointers from the games of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James than he does from his dad's. But the elder Hardaway still sees similarities between their skills. Hardaway Jr. may not be a point guard. But he's still the son of a point guard.

``You know how people say, `Play the right way?' He plays the right way,'' Hardaway said. ``He understands the game inside and out, because I'm always talking to him about it.''

The story's mostly about the Hardaways' relationship—senior was too demanding, doves cried, now it's cool—and not so much about the younger Hardaway's game.

Burger King bathrooms excluded. AnnArbor.com has an extensive look at John Beilein's role as the head of the NCAA's basketball ethics committee. It doesn't sound like they've gotten to the point where they can talk about specific issues they'd like to fix:

“That is really the biggest challenge right now,” Beilein said. “Is to get a clear agenda of what are important issues. But you will be focusing on one issue and something real and very important can come up that nobody ever thought of before.

“I don’t think there’s a science to this thing. We just have to chop away at being persistent in trying to identify the biggest problems.”

Rothstein couldn't get much in the way of specifics out of the half-dozen or so coaches he surveyed but Dane Fife, now IPFW's head coach did say some frank stuff:

"Reggie Minton just says ‘Don’t willfully break the rule.’ That’s my main focus, you can’t willfully break a rule. There’s probably more time spent trying to circumvent rules than time spending [sic?] within the program for some of these coaches.

"I think it’s part of the business, part of the game. I really do."

They never drop the names, though.

Lies! Rodriguez on the quarterback situation:

“Everybody can go ahead and be patient cause there will not be a starter named until right before the first game,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Maybe even be a game-time decision.”

Forcier is already running with the first team and is not stained by last year; file under coachspeak. We now return to your regularly scheduled Tatehype:

"It’s weird," Molk said. "I never see the kid crumble. Once in a while you’ll see a quarterback and they’ll start to get kind of shaky, but he’s pretty solid."

Forcier's poise sounds akin to Chad Henne's, which once prompted me to call him a robot. May it be so.

Etc.: Smart Football moves to swanky new digs; DocSat picks Penn State to win the Big Ten, has Michigan 7th and a bowl team, doesn't understand the Michigan State hype. The Smoking Musket, a West Virginia blog. is skeptical of the Eers' move away from the spread 'n' shred.

Ready, Set, Consume

Ready, Set, Consume

Submitted by Brian on August 7th, 2009 at 12:26 PM

For a long period in which the MGoStore laid fallow because the previous company stopped existing in all ways except accepting orders. This did not go well for people who ordered or my inbox. So I searched about for another company that would not do this to the readership again. I have found one: Underground Printing, an Ann Arbor company you're probably familiar with if you've ever gotten a student t-shirt at Yost with your season tickets. They will not disappear; they will make sweet shirts.

So. There is a store:

in-rod barwis-gym worst-state-ever

As always, you are directed to consume for the good of the nation.

Also! I'm pleased to announce that MGoBlog reader and extremely talented person Six Zero is going to be running an MGoShirt contest before the season starts. He's created around a dozen designs that will battle each other for supremacy; the best-loved shirt (and maybe a couple more if more than one that must be had) will go in the store. That starts Monday. Fight for his love.

Put Your Money Where Your Dumb Is

Put Your Money Where Your Dumb Is

Submitted by Brian on July 13th, 2009 at 12:23 PM

My new preferred way of dealing with idiocy surpassing all bounds of reason—or "hobby" in XKCDese—is this:

From: Brian Cook [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Attn: twit

I run mgoblog. I will bet you your entire year's salary that Rich Rodriguez does not get fired after this season. Since you believe it's "obvious" he will be fired, this is an opportunity for you to make a cool fifty bucks.


It's satisfyingly goading, and when the twit in question fails to respond it's a tacit admission that the assessment in the subject is correct.

This, of course, was in response to idiocy surpassing all bounds of reason that you may have seen linked and mocked various places already. Money graf:

First, it's pretty obvious to me this is going to be Rich Rodriguez's last season as the head football coach at the University of Michigan.

The rest of it is a bunch of one-sentence paragraphs that end up with Rodriguez landing at Marshall. It's not coherent enough to bother fisking, but one of the sentences says the alumni "hasn't" warmed up to Rodriguez. (No, guy on the message board thread, that's not proper usage. Alumni is a plural noun—alumnus is the singular version—instead of a singular noun (like "flock") that describes a group.)

We'll see if he takes me up on the offer. I bet he doesn't.

Hail To The Victors 2009

Hail To The Victors 2009

Submitted by Brian on July 6th, 2009 at 12:27 PM

It is out:

httv 2009

A dossier of what's inside:

The usual team preview by yours truly, except swankier with more stats and highlights and pictures of Jamar Adams because the safety situation is so scary that no one actually scheduled to play the position has available photos. Also: special teams!

Opponent previews by a cast of characters. As per usual, we break out the Notre Dame and Ohio State previews and offer them to partisans of those schools. This year it's Vico from Our Honor Defend taking up the Ohio State banner; Brian Stouffer of The House Rock Built returns to preview ND. The rest of the schedule is tackled by Jerry Hinnen from the Joe Cribbs Car Wash, continuing HTTV's burgeoning tradition of forcing some guy from the South to learn all about the Big Ten.

Research and and analysis in spades. The research and wonkery section of this year's book includes:

  • Yours truly on hybrids and spinners and quicks and deathbackers and what it all means. What, exactly, Michigan's defense will be this fall has been a hot topic of conversation. I figured it out, probably. Complete with picture of Greg Robinson and Pete Carroll as chums. Also: diagrams.
  • Chris Brown of Smart Football on what went wrong last year, other than everything. The smartest college football blog in the universe—it's in the title—has been flagged down to explain just what the hell happened last year, other than all those obvious things. More diagrams herein. My favorite: 


  • Matt Hinton on how freshman quarterbacks generally do. In sum: "not well, but significantly better on average that what Michigan threw out there last year." Hinton, of course, runs Dr. Saturday and is awesome.
  • Michael Elkon on demographic shifts, recruiting styles, talent, and Michigan. Elkon's contributed to HTTV every year it's existed; this year's bit is a piece on how Michigan finds itself  behind a talent eight-ball relative to national powers fortunate enough to be situated amongst oodles of talent, and why a coach like Rodriguez is the right fit for a team like Michigan that figures to face those national powers on a regular basis.

Talking with and observing this year's team in detail.

  • Tim Sullivan of Varsity Blue and Tom Van Haaren talk to Tate Forcier, who you may have heard of.
  • Johnny of RBUAS is unearthed and directed to expound on Brandon Graham as star player. I am possibly the one internet-aware Michigan fan for whom Johnny's decreased output over the past year has a silver lining: now folks will have a powerful motivation to buy this book.
  • S. Mastin Jones of Maize 'n' Brew revisits the Barwis meme in year two. There are quotes about vomiting. Of course there are.

Going back in the day. Michigan history features heavily:

  • Greg Dooley of MVictors reminds us all of what a batty year 1909 was. Stuff went down. Let me tell you.
  • Jamie MacMillian revisits Bo's last team, 20 years on. Remember when we had awesome safeties? I don't, I was ten. Jamie does, and catches up with Vada Murray in the course of his remembrance. (MGoReaders will know Jamie as frequent diarist Jamiemac, BTW.)
  • Dan Feldman, formerly of the Daily and now behind Piston Powered, talks to members of the 1984 team about their bounce-back season. We can rebuild it. We have the technology.
  • John U Bacon, who does everything, compares Rodriguez's start to those of Michigan legends past. It's not precisely as good as a few others. (Some of the everything Bacon does includes write Bo's Lasting Lessons, host on WTKA, and produce an epic quantity of articles for publications diverse and sundry.)
  • And I swear I'm not making this up but Craig Ross details how he somehow found himself deputized to take Bo's last or second-to-last autograph to Warren Buffett, of all people. Craig isn't making this up, either: there are pictures. It's an incredible, preposterous story.

It's twelve pages longer than last year's book and zero dollars more expensive. If you do not buy it, you are probably brain damaged. So avoid brain damage: buy the book. If you do not buy the book, people will question the functioning of your mind. Do it for the economy.