Draftageddon 2016: Roundtable at the Midpoint

Draftageddon 2016: Roundtable at the Midpoint

Submitted by Seth on October 18th, 2016 at 2:18 PM


Previously: We drafted teams.

As is tradition, in lieu of a short hot-takey preseason all-conference list, this past offseason the MGoBlog staff drafted entire teams from the pool of Big Ten players. This provided interesting content to those who tend to watch the rest of the league, and generated ire from those who’ve convinced themselves these are fantasy teams.

We check in at the midpoint to see how our expectations have fared.

1. MGoBlog’s Mid-Season All-Big Ten team:

Pos Ace Adam Seth Brian
QB Barrett (OSU) Barrett Barrett Barrett
RB Barkley (PSU) Barkley Samuel (OSU) Barkley
WR Darboh (M) Carr (NW) Godwin (PSU) Godwin
WR Carr Darboh Carr Fumagalli (WI)
TE Butt (M) Butt Kittle (IA) Kittle
Flex Samuel Samuel Butt Butt
OT Gates (NE) Ramcyzk (WI) Ramcyzk Ramcyzk
OT Ramczyk Gates Gates Gates
OG Price (OSU) Price Feeney (IN) Price
OG Kalis (M) Roos (PU) Price Kalis
C Elflein (OSU) Elflein Elflein Elflein
NT Glasgow (M) Glasgow Glasgow Glasgow
DT Replogle (PU) McDowell (MSU) Replogle GodinHurst (M)
SDE Wormley (M) Wormley Wormley Wormley
RUSH Watt (WI) Watt Watt Charlton (M)
MLB McMillan (OSU) Gedeon (M) McMillan Gedeon
WLB Cichy (WI) Cichy Cichy McCray (M)
SAM Scales (IN) Peppers (M) Peppers Peppers
CB Conley (OSU) Lewis (M) Lewis Lewis
CB Lewis Stribling King Stribling
FS Hooker (OSU) Hooker Hooker Hill (M)
SS Peppers Travis (MN) Hill Thomas
K Carpenter (MN) Carpenter Carpenter N/A
P Johnston Johnston Johnston Johnston
K/P ret Peppers Peppers Peppers Peppers
Honorably mentioned: Godwin Igwebuike (S-NWern), Josiah Price (TE-MSU), Jerome Baker (LB-OSU)

Seth: It seems we mostly agree on things. In choosing between Godwin and Darboh I knocked Darboh for some badly timed drops, though his Wisconsin TD is Michigan's most important catch of the season. I wanted to include so many more TEs: Kittle added scary downfield threat to his great blocking, Josiah Price is playing like an All-American, and Troy Fumagalli is Wisconsin's best offensive weapon. McDowell or Replogle was a tough decision for everyone.

Ace I take it you put Peppers at safety to get out of splitting hairs between Igwebuike, Travis, and Delano Hill. But I'm surprised you put Scales above Jerome Baker, who's been a huge part of Ohio State's tough run D.

Ace: I put Peppers at safety more because there are a bunch of linebackers I’ve liked so far. I seriously considered Baker, Ben Gedeon, and Josey Jewell. What I’ve seen from Scales has been really impressive, though. He leads the conference in solo tackles to go with 7.5 TFLs, two sacks, a pick-six, a forced fumble, and a couple pass breakups. The Indiana defense has improved quite a bit, and he’s the player that leaps out to me from that unit.

Brian: I regret nothing.

BiSB: You hired Ace.

Ace: Image result for expressionless emoji

Seth: Godin over Hurst?

Brian: FIXED

seriously though

Ace: I’ll admit I tried not to come off as too homery and the defense made that exceptionally difficult.

Seth: I mean I'd argue but Mathlete just put this in our slack chat:


If you're standing on Michigan and use a telescope you might be able to make out an average Top 10 defense.

Ace: @brian just saying, you’ve got some honorable mention slots for D-linemen 6-9.

Brian: Seriously though

I'm serious


Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Wisconsin

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Wisconsin

Submitted by Brian on October 5th, 2016 at 3:24 PM

HomeSure-Lending_logo_tagSPONSOR NOTES: Was talking with Matt at the Marlin tailgate on Saturday when he broached the idea of buying one of those tailgate trailers with TVs and whatnot for next year. I am strongly encouraging this idea in the sponsor notes of the game column because then I can watch more of the noon games. Do it for your country, Matt.

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

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

FORMATION NOTES: Just a couple of oddities other than the train. This was "Ace 3-wide offset." As you can see, the back is... offset.

ace 3-wide offset

And Michigan lined up in that formation with Chesson at TE again. Here he is running down the middle of the field.

offset i wr hide

These formations get appended with "WR hide."

PERSONNEL NOTES: OL and QB as you would expect, with Bushell-Beatty replacing Newsome when he got hurt. Michigan went much more WR-heavy in this game, with around 60 snaps for both Chesson and Darboh out of 77 possible. Perry, Crawford, and McDoom combined for another 38; with Butt near-omnipresent that meant Michigan was without a fullback for about half the snaps.

Smith got about 50% of the RB snaps with Evans and Isaac splitting the rest; Peppers got five snaps, four as a wildcat QB and one as a slot. Asiasi got 23 snaps as the #2 TE with Bunting injured; Wheatley and Michael Jocz(!) got 3 and 2 snaps, respectively.

[After THE JUMP: come on ride the train.] 

One Frame At A Time: Wisconsin

One Frame At A Time: Wisconsin

Submitted by Ace on October 5th, 2016 at 8:58 AM

We have to do this, right?

No matter how many times you look, it's hard to choose. Charles Woodson jumped so high he caught a pass intended for the sideline. Jourdan Lewis long-jumped ~17 feet while backhanding a pass intended for an actual receiver after sticking with him on a dead sprint. Woodson loses minor degree of difficulty points for helping secure the football with his second hand; he regains them and then some by having to toe-tap inside the sideline to complete the catch. Lewis never needs the second hand; he also has the luxury of diving about as far from the sideline as possible. Woodson's came in a rivalry game; Lewis's in a game situation of much greater importance.

Here's the good news: you don't actually have to choose.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the GIFs.]

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Penn State

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Penn State

Submitted by Brian on September 29th, 2016 at 3:49 PM


SPONSOR NOTES: I feel I should start talking about the other clothing items that are completely optional when you get a mortgage from Matt. Bowler hats, because who wears those anymore? T-shirts expounding bands you're embarrassed you ever liked—I bet Seth's got some Barenaked Ladies shirts he doesn't wear around the house that he can get a loan while not wearing.

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

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

FORMATION NOTES: Not too much other than some extra empty stuff. This was "quad tight bunch." In my world a bunch is three guys and I'll tell you if it's not.

 ace empty quad

This was "ace empty TE hide":


Newsome is in the slot with Butt your nominal left tackle.  This is obviously a stunt to get Butt open, and it worked.

PERSONNEL NOTES: The OL battle seems settled, as Braden got every snap with the first team. Early Bredeson playing time probably injury-related. Speight obviously went the whole way.

Despite the profusion of RBs getting carries, Smith still got about 60% of the snaps, with Higdon, Isaac, and Evans splitting the rest about equally. Darboh and Butt were the most frequently deployed receiver types; Chesson got exactly half the 80 snaps before the second string came in. (Remember that he missed a chunk of the game after he got dinged up on Higdon's first run.) Asiasi got 36, as Bunting went out with an injury early. Grant Perry got 25 snaps; Crawford 16, McDoom 8.

[After THE JUMP: cruelty.]

Unverified Voracity Pokes The Bear

Unverified Voracity Pokes The Bear

Submitted by Brian on September 13th, 2016 at 12:42 PM

ddglogo (1)Sponsor note. If, say, you ran over Scott Frost on Saturday—just speaking hypothetically here—and are now in possession of a reckless squashing of man who will not shut up ticket, your insurance will note this and jack up your rates. Persons who run over Scott Frost are liable to get nasty letters from Scott Frost's mom, after all.

To prevent this, you can go to Defensive Drivers Group, take their online course, complete it as 99% of applicants do, and get the states of Michigan, California, and New Jersey to wipe your record clean. It's normally 39.95; five bucks off for responding to this ad, and no hidden fees.

No mercy. I'm completely fine with John O'Korn throwing garbage-time bombs into the endzone with Michigan up multiple scores:

This is poking the bear. Colorado, consider the bears poked.

Meanwhile, the bear. PFF's early-season take on Michigan is off-the-charts optimistic. Notes from a meaty piece:

  • Michigan is their top defense so far. The competition has not been great, obviously.
  • The OL is second(!) in pass protection.
  • Kyle Kalis was one of PFF's worst returning guards nationally. (I wonder what PFF would have thought about Michigan's 2013 line if Kalis's shaky 2015 was that bad in their eyes.) He's up to seventh nationally(!!!) in their grading. That's sure to slide backwards as Michigan's schedule gets tougher, but as I mentioned UCF actually has a player or two on their DL. If Kalis manages to hang onto a top 30 spot it's time to buy Tim Drevno an above-ground outdoor pool.
  • Newsome's been great as a pass protector and okay on the ground; I'm seeing more or less the same thing. Newsome's having some mental issues on plays to the edge and he has a tendency to pull so deep that he runs himself out of any chance to block someone.
  • Speight is well ahead of Early Season Jake Rudock, which is 1) not a surprise and 2) faint praise. OTOH, PFF has him accurate on 28 of 36 opportunities from the last game and I think they're grading as harshly as possible there—I wouldn't knock Speight for that attempted dumpoff to Evans that Evans couldn't get out on, for one.
  • Speight's efficiency has gone through the floor when he gets pressure.
  • In a separate article on their top 25 they note that Ryan Glasgow has posted bonkers 86 and 84 grades so far; they rank Glasgow as one of their top five NFL draft risers: “Glasgow’s consistently defeated one-on one blocks, and opponents haven’t been able to move him off the line of scrimmage on double teams. In addition to his dominant run play, he’s averaging a pressure once every seven pass rushes, an impressive ratio for a nose tackle.”

All of that is very positive, especially Kalis. In the season preview I mentioned that he was the one returning player on the line who could take a major step forward. Early indications are that he has, and again since so many of his problems last year were mental the kind of improvements he's made are ones that translate to tougher competition.

I'm not sure there's much to read into Speight's issues against pressure yet. I'd expect that he remains iffy in that department because he's not that mobile; eight attempts is not a sample size worth getting exercised over.

I'm over it. I'm mostly over it. Speight on the fading days of the Hoke era:

"When I came in during the winter (of 2014) and redshirted that season, I didn't know what was going on that year and not many people did. It was kind of a messy year, it didn't end well at all," Speight says. "I just kind of skated through that year without much discipline (with) football. It was kind of a rude awakening when (the new staff) came.

"I realized I needed to change some things."

While he tried to soften it…

Speight wants to make it clear. Brady Hoke -- the coach who recruited him to Michigan -- and his staff gave him plenty of coaching in 2014. He says he just wasn't in the mood to listen.

…I mean come on. It wasn't just Speight who wasn't in the mood to listen. It was team-wide. A couple weeks ago Kalis said something wistful about how he wished that he'd had five years under Drevno instead of two.

I'm a little surprised that guys are throwing the old staff under the bus in press conferences, but also… not surprised. I was there, and bitter. I can't imagine how bitter I'd be about the Hoke chaos if it was eating through my eligibility with nothing to show for it.

Anyway, Speight's starting now and good at throwing balls.


“There was one UCF player who was trying to talk smack at me, and I just started dying laughing, because we heard him from the huddle. And there were other times that we’d be up on the line of scrimmage and I’d think something was funny.”

Speculation on what this laughter-inducing smack was:

  • "Got my crampons on, gonna scale your ass"
  • "I am going to camp out halfway up your surface."
  • "Ed Davis got a sixth year"
  • "I may be the size of a flying squirrel but sir, I propose to embark on a climbing expedition lo these many months. And yea, I will harvest your acorns. Mark these words. Acorns. Harvested. Eventually."

Now in something other than Speight talking. Rich Eisen talking:

Injuries. As near as I can tell:

  • Probably back Saturday: David Long.
  • Could be back Saturday, could be another week or two. Taco Charlton, Jourdan Lewis. Lewis's injury was described by Harbaugh as a "muscle strain" unrelated to the issue that kept him out of the opener. He "did some things" and ran around on Monday. Charlton had a slight limp after getting his ankle rolled. Michigan could keep both guys on the bench in a game they expect to win.
  • Definitely another few weeks: Bryan Mone.
  • Unknown but doesn't look great: Noah Furbush and Drake Johnson. Radio silence on Furbush's issue probably isn't good. Johnson has similarly been out of uniform without much in the way of explanation.

Etc.: Ross Fulton on OSU's early offensive struggles against Tulsa: didn't want to get the QB hit and Tulsa banked on this. Won't apply for M. Chase Winovich on his first start. Matt Godin on his last go-around. NCAA removes events from North Carolina. Colorado plays fast and has a good secondary. When you have two quarterbacks and one of them is a Purdue transfer, you have zero quarterbacks. Possibly negative one quarterbacks. Urban Meyer on his brain and how he fixed it.

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Hawaii

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Hawaii

Submitted by Brian on September 8th, 2016 at 3:00 PM

HomeSure-Lending_logo_tagSPONSOR NOTES: We have determined that if the Iowa game goes badly user Sauce Castillo is the person to blame. This because it is not our fault, and it certainly isn't our lovely sponsor Matt's fault. We are going thanks to Matt, you see, and last time we did a blog road trip it ended… unwell. But that won't happen this time. Unless Sauce Castillo screws it up again.

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

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

FORMATION NOTES: There wasn't anything worth screenshotting as unusual. Here is a picture of how this game went.


[Bryan Fuller]

PERSONNEL NOTES: Speight was your QB until the last three drives when things went O'Korn-Morris-Malzone. The RB depth chart looked to be Smith-Isaac-Evans-Higdon-Davis, with Isaac and Evans getting the bulk of the work once Smith's rib issue sent him to the bench. Poggi (15 snaps) and Hill (21) split things about down the middle at FB.

No surprises at WR, and the lack of passing cut into opportunities to see guys down the depth chart. McDoom may have passed Drake Harris? Way too early to tell. Nate Johnson was about the only guy who surprisingly didn't play, FWIW.

At TE it was all Butt and Bunting early. Wheatley and Asiasi didn't get snaps until the second half, I believe. Those two and McKeon all got around 15.

OL was Newsome-Bredeson/Kugler-Cole-Kalis-Magnuson, with Kugler getting the first and third quarters while Bredeson had the second and fourth. The second team line was JBB-Bredeson-Kugler-Onwenu-Ulizio. With Kugler on both lines he actually got 59 snaps, more than anyone else on either side of the ball. FWIW, Michigan left Newsome out for one drive after the established players left w JBB at RT and Ulizio on the bench.

[After THE JUMP: hair]

One Frame At A Time: Central Michigan

One Frame At A Time: Central Michigan

Submitted by Ace on September 3rd, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Football is back, and major props go to drum major—and Belleville native—Jeff Okala for nailing the traditional back-bend in his very first game:

I love that the BTN showed large portions of the pregame show; they had three(!) different camera angles of Michigan touching the banner. This one's my favorite:

Of course, I'm sure you want to see GIFs from the actual game. For Kyle Kalis and Devin Funchess setting their phasers to "kill", Taylor Lewan dominating with however many arms he pleases, epic ninja Hokepoint, and much more, read on below the jump.