December 1 - Thursday
A guest post from Jon Chait about the state of the defense. TL;DR The Carr/Herrmann plan to play a defense that just limits big plays has failed and will continue to fail.
Unverified Voracity Yay University College with speculation on bowl games and lamentations about hockey players recruiting others, but never playing with them (Cammalleri to Tambellini to Cogliano). Also, I never realized that Brian was a big Pistons fan.
December 2 – Friday
A look at what the football team would lose on offense because of graduation. The biggest concern is from losing Avant and Stenavich, but overall, there shouldn’t be a lot of damage going into 2006.
December 4 – Sunday
The bowl game has been announced. ‘M’ will face perennial Big XII power Nebraska (that already looks weird) in the Alamo Bowl.
December 5 – Monday
Michigan basketball beats Notre Dame. Graham Brown is very important to this team.
Unverified Voracity Red Raider on the Black Sea with a spectacularly terrible rendering of Lloyd Carr in wood. Also, Mike Leach likes pirates.
Football Recruiting Board update. Demarco Murray drops ‘M’. Ricky Stanzi added to the board. Perry Dorrestein commits.
December 6 – Tuesday
A look at how graduation will damage the defense. Conclusion? Not much. Cornerback depth was a concern. Maybe Johnny Sears and Chris Richards will be the answer! (Also, Brian went to Sunday School for 10 years. Who knew?)
Unverified Voracity Sarcastic Hurray discusses hockey players being pulled away during the GLI, and Nick Mangold and A.J. Hawk having normal, everyday college student stuff stolen from their apartment.
UFR: Offense vs. Ohio St. Yikes, up 21-12 with 8 minutes left in the 4th. Poor interior play and a desire to punt doomed this game.
December 7 – Wednesday
December 8 – Thursday
Unverified Voracity No Rebounds for You (!) recounting bad plays on Courtney Sims name. I guess that’s something that happens when you have a good game against Delaware St. Also, Louie Caporusso commits.
UFR: Defense vs. Ohio St. This is an interesting take going into a very good 2006:
What does it mean for next year?
I don't know. Watson is the only player who we'll miss, but if Michigan doesn't take advantage of an experienced secondary with two fast corners by playing a more aggressive brand of defense it won't matter. Other than the outside linebackers, everyone on the team executed what they were supposed to do.
The caveat: their tasks were designed to minimize their shortcomings instead of take advantage of their talents. It's obvious that the Michigan coaches did not trust their team to play both aggressively and responsibly, so they went with the responsible, cut off the big plays, and superficially improved the defense by slowing the game down. The truth is somewhat murkier (and something I hope to explore in the offseason).
The good news is that Michigan does seem to swing towards more aggressive play when they have veterans at their disposal, something which will be true of both the offense and defense next year.
December 10 – Saturday
MGoBlog turns 1. What have we learned?
The colon and its bastard cousin the semicolon are useful for breaking up the monotony of "clause, yay more sentence, but what if not sentence?"
When you're down on your luck, kitten idolatry is a pick-me-up and how. Especially when one of 'em's got a rifle.
Brian accurately predicts where the next 10 years would lead…
In short, hurray football! Hurray blog! I hope you thought this enterprise was worthwhile and useful... at least parts of it, anyway. The future holds many things, probably tables and ALL CAPS EXCLAMATIONS!!! and zone-bemoaning. I hope you'll, you know, read it and stuff.
December 12 – Monday
Unverified Voracity: I Feel Much Better. The basketball team beat South Florida, and it’s possible they might have a good year. Can they muster the defense they need?
December 13 – Tuesday
Brian rants about the problems with analyzing NCAA football data.
An update on how the hockey team has progressed thus far.
And for whatever reason, a picture of Tim Tebow, slightly shirtless.
December 14 – Wednesday
Recruiting update. ‘M’ might have a great shot with Ryan Mallet in the ’07 class. Also of interest is that Brandon Minor was listed as the #1 Fullback in the country.
December 15 – Thursday
Unverified Voracity: Stop Being Nice To Us. National optimism continues to grow about the basketball team’s 7-0 start.
December 16 – Friday
A Pistons post about how much they changed since Larry Brown left. Not sure what it has to do with Clinton Portis in the title; I think there is a picture that has been lost that would help explain it.
Unverified Voracity: Disappointment is Tennessee. The title comes from a Pierre Woods quote referring to Tennessee missing the playoffs for the first time in many, many years. If only everyone knew what was to come in three short years… Also, Lloyd Carr advocates for a 16 team playoff.
December 19 – Monday
Ha, Brian didn’t check the tip time of the Michigan-UCLA basketball game and missed it. He didn’t miss much though.
Brian continues his work on an analysis of every play from the college football season. Unfortunately, the pictures are not available, so there’s not much relevant info left.
Unverified Voracity: THEY ARE FIRE NOW!!!! talks about how ‘M’ wouldn’t be playing Minnesota or Northwestern in 2009 and 2010, and how because of that, those two would probably be the worst teams in the conference. Again, little did anyone know what was to come.
To the surprise of everyone, “uber-recruit” Carlos Brown commits.
Recruiting board update. What will Jonas Mouton do? Will Aaron Gant commit? (spoiler, he goes to OSU) If he does, it will likely mean Dionte Allen is coming in ’07.
December 21 – Wednesday
Unverified Voracity: Madness, Baby. What do to without college football? Also, bowl game gift allotments are bumped up to $500.
College football as characters from South Park. I can’t say I’ve ever watched the show, so I leave it here without comment.
December 22 – Thursday
Game preview, Alamo Bowl vs. Nebraska. NU came in ranked 110th in rushing yards, but…
Michigan is not exactly Ohio State in the rush defense department, however, finishing the year a thoroughly meh 43rd nationally. Undoubtedly you've heard this before: Massey, weak tackling secondary, outside linebackers who think outside the box but run inside of it, etc, etc.
December 25 – Sunday
December 30 – Friday
The Alamo Bowl did not go well. The refs were a big reason why:
I'm at a loss as to why the Alamo Bowl couldn't have found some illegal immigrants from Botswana who thought they were watching a bizarre form of rugby to officiate. Or a pack of ravenous hyenas prone to consuming wounded participants. Or people who enjoy "Everybody Loves Raymond." I don't want to go too far: none of these three groups of totally incompetent, unqualified people would have been an improvement. But they wouldn't have been any worse, and they would have come cheaper.
The bigger deal here though is just how awful 2005 was, but in comparison to what 2008 would bring, it seems pretty ok. Now it just looks like an off-year, a reset. We have come through so much since then that when I read the following, I partly feel like scoffing at it, but I also want to go back and plead with 2005 ‘M’ fans to not take it for granted. Mostly I want to curl up in a ball and not think about what was soon to follow.
Here's your UFR: screw 2005
So: here lies 2005, killed by its own incompetence and that of others. Its gift to future generations is the phrase "well, at least it wasn't 2005." Try it: "well, we may have lost to MSU, but at least it wasn't 2005." "Well, I may have inoperable pancreatic cancer, but at least it isn't 2005." "Well, that rapture thing happened, my bet on Hinduism came up craps, and now I'm faced with hell on earth during Armageddon, but at least it isn't 2005."
December 31 – Saturday
After that, it seems the appropriate way to end the year is a post about possible nicknames for a Tulsa player named Germany.