Whatever Comment Count

Brian January 2nd, 2018 at 10:06 AM

1/1/2018 – Michigan 19, South Carolina 26 – 8-5, end of season


[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

I don't know how people get mad about this shit still. I just turn off, because for the last decade Michigan football has been either a disappointment or in a brief interim period that sets you up to be disappointed. But yes many many people still get fucking furious about Michigan football for some reason.

I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of this cycle that always seems to be at the bottom. I'm tired of this toxic-ass fanbase screaming at stuff. I could muster some takes, I guess, but I've already said them and anyway they seem beside the point. December was nice since it lacked football. 2018, so far, is bad because it had football.

In a situation like that I'd rather not talk about football. Especially because I have nothing left to say. Maybe it'll be better next year. Maybe it won't. Either way it's a meaningless distraction on the way to the grave. Eat at Arby's.



January 2nd, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

I would love to know the demographics of the portion of the fanbase that is less than thrilled with the state of our football program.  I am assuming it is made up of peope like me.  Over 40 who actually saw Michigan be a winning program.  QB, WR, and RB get drafted year in and year out.  Enjoying Michigan beat MSU, ND and OSU on somewhat of a regular (every 2 years) basis.


January 2nd, 2018 at 11:57 AM ^

It feels to me just the opposite. The main whiners seem to be kids. I graduated from Michigan in 91, saw the transition from Bo to Mo to Lloyd etc., and remember when we would regularly be ranked in the top 5 only to lose silly games and then to the Pac 10 in our bowl game. That was an entirely different time. I used to hate it when Bo would say that his goal was to win the Big 10. I think Harbaugh will have us regularly in the national conversation going forward, which to my mind where we need to be and a bit less provincial than Bo's perspective used to be. 


January 2nd, 2018 at 12:35 PM ^

And none of it prevented the kind of squawking that regular;y occurs after losses now. It just happened in different and other venues on a lesser scale.

Brian's bitch about toxic commentary could have applied to any era of Michigan football that I'm familar with although there was less to really complain about and losses to rivals were less frequent. But the nature and competition of college football was also different with far less coverage and saturation of commentary access.

But that's like complaining about the state of the program at a time of elte strength and what it is now when the expectation for elitism doesn't meet the current condition of the program at critical spots. It never changes the expectation but perspective is hard to come by when you've experienced so much winning over time and your school has the winning history of this one.

It is what it is, and money only goes so far to compensate or justify responsibility for winning and losing, though we use it as a crutch for both depending on circumstances. We've lost sight of what the game is really about and we perceive it with a personal and emotional tide of virtual oersonal prosperity even if we have no physical connection with the program whatsover.



January 2nd, 2018 at 1:34 PM ^

Also '91 here, and I share your memories. I think Bo's feeling was that beating Ohio was the best prep for winning the national championship, but he just didn't like to say that.  I agree it did feel a bit provincial though. 

I'm with you, I think Harbaugh is going to find his rhythm and we will be back to elite status.   It's way too early to give up on him; it's just going to take longer than any of us would like. 


January 2nd, 2018 at 12:37 PM ^

Exactly.  True disarray was the program in 2014 when Harbaugh took over.  People need to go onto Rivals and look at the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes (Harbaugh was clearly fired too late to save this one) and the number of contributors for each class.

Sure, the South Carolina collapse was painful.  But we lose almost no one this year or next numbers wise and we have so much talent coming behind them.  It's darkest before the dawn


January 2nd, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

Harbaugh is a good coach, but he's not a god.  Maybe this season was needed so people would stop fawning at every thing he says or does.  Until he has a championship under his belt, he's nothing but our version of Jim Caldwell. 

I'd hate to piss in anyone's cereal, but so far, Dantonio has been a better college coach.  

And if that offends you, go humble yourself in a corner with Baker Mayfield. 

The Fan in Fargo

January 2nd, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

It's exactly right. You will not find a better head coach that is also the Michigan Man that you all demand. However, he could find a way better offensive staff I can almost guarantee instead of working with friends and family but maybe thats what he believes he needs. Some people need to make up their own mind. Especially all of you old stubborn pricks of the world. I just look at guys like Saban and him being a defensive minded coach who doesn't have anything to do with their offense play calling wise I'm pretty sure. They do just fine. If Drevno was a good coordinator, Jim wouldn't need to be involved there as much. I mean, how in the hell do most NFL teams do it? You have one guy calling the shots and others assisting him but that one guy is in control of that and thats his only job right? That's how it fucking needs to be then. Just like the pros. You cant have three chiefs in the tribe trying to call the shots. 


January 2nd, 2018 at 11:41 AM ^

Shredder, I think you nailed it.  I need to stop viewing Michigan as an elite program.  Michigan is now a team like Iowa.  Michigan will put a decent, not great, but decent product on the field. 8 wins a year will be our average and every 4-5 years or so we will get that 10th win.  That is who we are.  Time to move into acceptance.  Most poeple's angst are surrounding their expectations still being anchored to a "Michigan" that doesn't exist anymore.  Michigan Consumers out there, just know what your buying and temper your expectations around that.  You will be much happier and be able to enjoy the games.

Ghost of Fritz…

January 2nd, 2018 at 11:43 AM ^

M has in fact been an average program for a decade.  So what?  This is college football.  The past is not destiny.  But by hiring JH the expectation is to make Michigan a top 10 program. 

At the collge level the right coaching staff can take a program that has the fundamentals and turn it into a top 10 program.  Not very complicated.  

Can't be done at Purdue or Georgia Tech.  But it can be done at Michigan.  Or Texas.  Or Alabama.  Or USC.  All programs that had extended mediocre periods. 

Do yourself a favor.  Go look up Alabama before Saban arrived and USC before Pete Carroll arrived.  Extended periods of mostly underperformance at places that have big winning traditions.




January 2nd, 2018 at 11:53 AM ^

Ghost, if what you are saying is true, Harbaugh has 2 years to perform a miracle.  I think it is much more reasonable / realistic to look at this team and see that it is still going to be a 8-9 win team next year.  Harbaugh had weeks to get the team prepared for SC, not GA or AL, but SC and that is what we got yesterday.  Do you think that the Spring and Summer is going to change this team into something significantly different?  Serioulsy?  I mean I am just trying to be honest and look at who we are and reasonable expectations.


January 2nd, 2018 at 12:12 PM ^

"Do you think that the Spring and Summer is going to change this team into something significantly different? "

I think that the coaching is of high enough quality and the talent on that team is great enough that between now and September 1st, this team can become significantly better. So the short answer is yes. Were you saying this at the end of 2014? I admit that I'd rather be playing ND in the second game and at home, but even so the answer remains yes. 

Ghost of Fritz…

January 2nd, 2018 at 1:23 PM ^

[edit: meant to reply to lakeyale 13]...what you are saying is not inconsistent with what I am saying. 

For me the loss to SC was by far the worst loss since JH arrived, precisely becasue I expected that the offense would look competent with the extra practices and seeing some creativity and nice situational play calls against OSU. 

But the offense was terrible.  Peters was inaccurate and made game changing turnovers.   The game plan and situational play calling were...not good    Five second half turnovers.  Give me break. 

But my only point was to refute the idea that Michigan is condenmed to be a mediocre level program just becasue it has been mediocre for a decade (and I would argue mostly underperformed slightly in the latter Carr years).

That is not how CFB works.  The coaching staff is more than half of the equation.  Get the right staff in place at a place like MIchigan (or Texas, or USC, or Alabama) and the wins will happen.  But even with the right staff, great seasons do not always happen immediately.  Again, look at Dabo at Clemson. 

JH is still a great HC.  But he needs to be his own strongest critic and fix the mistakes that he made this year.  And he needs to make changes on the offensive staff. 

Only 9 passing TDs?  That is preposterously bad.  That is not just youth.  That goes to offensive game plan and staff dysfunction.  How is it possible that Purdue (53rd) had a better offense than Michigan (96th) this year? 

IOW, JH is still the guy that can get Michigan to playoffs.  But not if he refuses to examine the weaknesses and take strong steps to fix them, both with the offensive staff and the offensive game plans/play calling. 





January 2nd, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

main concern with this is that he doesn't really look all that primed to take these strong steps to fix these problems and weaknesses.  I want to look past what I am seeing with my own two eyes and see a guy who looks dialed in to his team and its players, and who looks like he wants to solve these issues and turn this into a championship program.  That is just not what I am seeing.  I guess I step back and take a look at everything that has happened since the OSU game.  There is just a randomness to Harbaugh's actions right now that I think create legitimate doubt as to whether he knows what he is doing with this program.  Speight peaces out the minute the season is over.  Harbaugh then goes Full Ole Miss for like two weeks, goes hard after safety that doesn't come (grades?), he offers a basketball player with no other football offers, he tweets some inexplicable shit talk to Dantonio for like no reason.  Meanwhile, the team comes out looking like it hasn't held a legitimate practice since the end of the season after a near scuffle at the bowling alley?  Like, what?  What is going on in this program?


Ghost of Fritz…

January 2nd, 2018 at 1:45 PM ^

know no later than February (after signing day).  Probably some coaching change rumors will leak out before that. 

The Frey thing is already known. 

Anyway, if JH makes no real changes to the offensive staff (other than Frey leaving), I would be concerned.

Not concerned yet though. 

Mabel Pines

January 2nd, 2018 at 10:13 AM ^

I'm with you. Sorry people are triggered, but come on. Did people think the o line would magically improve? Did people think our problems would just go away and we'd beat an 8-4 team with our third string QB? We were LAST in all of FB in turnover margin. Last. It's actually surprising we won 8 games. High expectations are bound to disappoint. We were what we were last year, but no one wanted to see it.


January 2nd, 2018 at 10:21 AM ^

And yet almost everyone thinks the problems will magically go away next with a harder schedule.  I see 8-4 again with losses to all rivals.  Offense doesn't do anything well and the defense gets figured out by good teams late in games.


January 2nd, 2018 at 10:38 AM ^

I think it's less the defense getting figured out than it is they just can't hold the entire team on their backs any longer. I agree it was frustrating watching us continually blitz on SC's first TD drive as they dumped screens against us all the way down the field. But in general, only giving up 26 points while having to defend against 2 drives starting in our own red zone isn't the worst thing. And also having to overcome 5 turnovers. Substitute a mediocre offense that just doesn't turn the damn ball over and we win a lot more games this year. 


January 2nd, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

They make huge stop after huge stop only to have the offense go 3 and out.  They have no time to breathe.  If they were to get a short break every now and then I think they would be even more dominant.  They are actually even more impressive than the stats suggest because they are on the field for most of the game.


January 3rd, 2018 at 8:49 AM ^

"That people make terrible, non-factual arguments on here all the time?"

Mostly that.


"That our defense is bad? I disagree."


Not that - our defense is good... but -


1) that our defense is not elite

2) giving up more points than the SC defense was not caused "because they are on the field for most of the game" or because "they consistently had to come back on the field close to their own goal"


Given very similar circumstances (less time on the field, equal number of drives started in their end) they gave up more points than the SC defense.


January 2nd, 2018 at 1:38 PM ^

Agreed.  Our late Defensive collapses seem to me due to two factors:


  • Psychological letdown.  Of course can't URF this thing, but I wonder if you can almost anticipate the defensive letdown as a function of the offense turning the ball over, going into repeated 3 & out mode, etc.  It's one thing to bail our offense out 2-3 times per game, or to bail them out 100% 6 or 7 times per year.  It's another thing entirely to be asked to bail them out 7-8 times per game or to bail them out 100% 10+ times per year.  Reminded me how some of the (maybe 2013 or 2014 ??) Mattison defenses against Michigan State played a few years back.  Strong for most of the game until it became crystal clear that the offense was never going to give the team a chance to win.    And also possibly....


  • Fatigue due to lack of rotation on the D-Line.  Maybe this changed later in the year as our younger guys got stronger, but the amazing thing about our 2016 defense was our true two deep rotational system on the line to keep guys fresh with very little dropoff.  My understanding is that Chase Winovich was a virtual iron man this season RE: the number of snaps he played.  Did other starters play that many as well?  And did those snaps diminish over the course of the season?  Or were we basically asking them to play far more snaps per game all season long compared to 2016?  Or alternatively, did we start to rotate that 2nd line in but there was a marked drop off in skill/talent?


Bottom line is I don't blame this loss on the defense at all.  It was our O that was the problem--from the turnovers, to the inability to get sustained drives.  Heck, at the start of the game when SC gifted us those super short fields, I had a foreboding feeling in my gut when our O only came away with 6 points instead of 10 or 14.




January 2nd, 2018 at 2:59 PM ^

I shared the same sinking feeling when we couldn't build an insurmountable lead after being gifted so many opportunities the first 2.5 quarers. & Also to your point about D-line substitution, last year was a rare case where you have so many upperclassman and NFL talent where there wasn't a significant drop off between 1st and 2nd string. This year we had an elite starting 3 with Gary, Winovich, and Hurst, but you could tell a noticable difference when Gary was out for Kemp or Hurst out for Dwumfor/Solomon/Mone. Winovich truly was an ironman though.


January 2nd, 2018 at 10:21 AM ^

"Did people think the o line would magically improve?"

No, we thought the millions of dollars spent on some of the most expensive coaching in the world would improve them. There are people that Michigan literally pays who's main job is to improve the players

Coach: one who instructs or trains

"We were what we were last year, but no one wanted to see it."

Yes? No one wants to watch their sports team shit the bed in an ugly ass fashion. Hope is literally the reason people watch sports. If you told me Michigan would go 8-5 for the rest of eternity I would literally never watch another Michigan game again.