run run run run run run run away oh oh oh [Christopher Cook]
We're #3.5. Spencer's top whatever:
Handing Florida two pick-sixes was only sportsmanlike, really. Without them, this is a 41-3 game or so, a complete wash, an elimination. Michigan’s chief concerns coming into the year were finding playmakers down the field. Tarik Black and Nick Eubanks did that serviceably enough, particularly so when you consider that Wilton Speight didn’t really have a great game and that the run game took a minute to lock in a stranglehold.
In sum, this Michigan team has great bones, is a handful along the defensive line, has two running backs capable of following an mean offensive line down the field, and has a quarterback who needs help from all that. But really, who doesn’t need a team? And who, among Michgan fans, will ever question the team? The team, the team, the team?
Alabama is a boring #1, as they always are.
Further Florida aftermath. I forgot to check Matt Hinton's weekly column on the SEC since usually it doesn't include extended treatises on a Big Ten team. This time it does:
It was, as McElwain said, a “plain and simple, take your whooping” kind of defeat. But the response from Florida fans was obvious too: Just how long do they have to keep taking it? Is Florida content to be a “take your whooping” kind of outfit? The Gators are nearly a decade removed from national relevance, or even from fielding a remotely competent quarterback for more than a week or two at a time. They’re no closer to filling that role after flip-flopping between Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire on Saturday, to little effect, or to identifying a reliable playmaker among the skill players. The top two candidates, tailback Jordan Scarlett and receiver Antonio Callaway, were both among the late-breaking wave of suspensions before the game, but anyone who thinks either would have made a notable difference against the Wolverines hasn’t been paying close enough attention over the past two years.
Hinton also includes a long discussion of what the hell was going on with the illegal formation penalty—"dunno," more or less—and surveys the wreckage of the Florida offensive line:
That play — exactly the type of overwhelming debacle that used to unleash “S-E-C! S-E-C!” chants on beaten and broken-down Big Ten teams — was irrelevant to the outcome. But it was thoroughly emblematic of the line’s gradual deterioration over the course of the game. The play that preceded it was also a sack resulting in a fumble; in retrospect the Gators would have been better off if Michigan had recovered the first one just short of the goal line, or frankly if they’d just conceded at that point to taking an intentional safety. At least taking a knee in the end zone would have saved Zaire from a blindside hit everyone else in the building saw coming a mile away.
Every year you take up the banner of whatever P5 team you played in the nonconference. Last year Colorado worked out spectacularly well. This year... it's going to be weird and frustrating to be a proxy Florida fan this year. I fear I will understand the mindset all too well.
Also in aftermath, audio versions. Do you like goofily uninformed folks yellin'? Here you go:
How about the reasonably informed?
This was a bit of a comedown for a fanbase that was a wee bit optimistic headed into a game they were solid underdogs in.
They're not wrong though. Michigan's defensive performance was highly encouraging but it would be wise to pump the breaks at least a little. Florida's wasted more talent than anyone else in the country on that side of the ball:
Since Tebow left, Florida has failed to reach 250 yds of offense TWENTY TWO times, 2nd most in P5. Compare UF talent to similarly bad Os… pic.twitter.com/WhU9FKy6BS
— #DaHale (@DavidHaleESPN) September 3, 2017
That is incredible. Tim Tebow left eight years ago. Florida has endured eight years of Al Borges.
Is this the best sideline reporter moment of all time? Yes. Yes it is.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 3, 2017
It's pushed over the top by Orgeron standing in the background of the shot. Congratulations to Allison Williams for surviving this stunt; going in there was a 50/50 chance Orgeron would overhear and turn her into gumbo.
I mean, okay, I guess you are Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh on the first INT, which I still think is mostly on Crawford:
"Not throwing the ball high over the middle. Those balls get tipped and have a tendancy to go up in the air. During camp we played a lot against man-to-man defenses (vs. Don Brown), with a lot of pressure," Harbaugh said. "I take this onto myself coaching. There are times you throw high and you get away with it because it's zero coverage and there's no deep safeties back there. ... But when you're playing against (zone) safeties, you have to keep the ball below the shoulders.
"Shoulders down, so the arms of the receivers don't go up and tip the ball. We've made more of an emphasis on that."
Speight could have thrown it better; Crawford still had it hit him in the hands, and it looked like he wasn't even fully extended when the ball hit.
I don't really get the other bit of Harbaugh press conference Speight critique:
"Quarterbacks, they want to show that they're the one and they're the guy. And sometimes that leads to always trying to make a big play or always trying to make a play that proves that," he said. "We talked about that (with Speight). You have to let that come to you. Operate within the system, with the reads, be a disciple with mechanics and those big plays will come to you.
Speight's deep shots in this game:
- completions to Tarik Black and Nick Eubanks
- PI drawn by Crawford on accurate post
- Fade route down sideline to Crawford is OOB
- pick six on high-ish ball at open receiver
- incompletion when Speight makes a killer check only to miss a wide open TD
I think that's it. The only one of those that was even a little forced was the PI. Speight's decisions against Florida were excellent. His execution was occasionally lacking. I imagine that's a response to a leading I-already-wrote-my-article question and not something Harbaugh's pulling out of thin air.
Wild Thing Nordin. Says he hit a 63-yarder in practice the other day pic.twitter.com/ohqJWhcP9J
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 3, 2017
Wild thing. Yes, this occurred:
Harbaugh said he’s looking for “a season of increases.” That applies, he said, to everyone on the roster -- the coaching staff, the starting quarterback, players on both sides of the ball and even the rookie kicker who carved a zig-zag pattern into the back of his hair last week as an ode to the closer mentality of Rick Vaughn.
Yes, that would be Charlie Sheen’s heartthrob, fire-throwing, near-sighted ex-con character from "Major League" -- yet another reference that predates the referencer’s existence on this planet. Nordin said he had to show YouTube clips to a couple of his teammates for them to understand what he was going for. When asked Saturday if the similarities between him and Vaughn stretch beyond their hairstyles, Nordin smiled. “Yeah, I think so,” he said. Then he turned and walked back into the locker room.
Even the damn kicker on this team has some attitude.
Etc.: Georgia will be without Jacob Eason against ND this weekend; ND favored by almost a touchdown. Here's a new Michigan tumblr. Maryland's win over Texas came at high cost: torn ACL for Piggy, fractured ankle for Aniebonam.