Dear Diary and Borgesian Strategy Part II Comment Count

Seth November 29th, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Selfie: Go save Christmas again.



Kids! Gandalf the Maize's follow-up on which factors seem to be the most predictive of offensive line play compared the r-squareds of 19 things, from o-line experience as a whole, to their recruiting stars, to the left tackle individually, depth, QB talent, how much the team goes long, etc., and found the ONLY factor with relatively high significance is…





Interior. Offensive. Line. Experience!

Let's get a DotW to the wizard, and tell Funk to put some years on his charges, RIGHT NOW.

Ron Utah followed up by showing the relative age of Michigan's whole roster versus teams of significance.

Part II by dnak438 on Michigan's offensive regression this week went back and added 2011-12 to the study of YPP versus opponents, tracking it by dividing Michigan's yards per play each game versus the average that team gave up. The results are charts that really show the history of Al Borges's various offensive strategies:


Here's the progression:

[after the jump]


WMU, ND, EMU, SDSU: MANBALL! [Doesn't work.] Fine—(harrumph)—spread. [works.]

Minnesota: Let's use every trick play we know.

Northwestern, MSU, Purdue, Iowa, Illionis, Ohio State: We have no idea what our offense is; let's run the other team's.

Sugar Bowl: Mayday, Molk is down, secondary OL options: nil. Complete shutdown. Let's not even call plays; just run around and if you're not on your back after 8 seconds chuck it deep to Hemingway or something, I dunno.

As soon as he didn't have a David Molk in the middle Borges's offenses began to fall apart. [Upchurch]


Bama, Air Force, UMass, ND, Purdue, Illinois, MSU: Try to MANBALL while leaving Denard in the shed until it's absolutely necessary for us to score, since if he were to ever get  hur…

Nebraska: DAMMIT!

Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, OSU, Outback Bowl: Lol we have no plan. Let's run PLAYS and put Denard in PLACES and have Devin go do stuff. [Devin goes and does stuff].


CMU, ND, Akron: Lol we have no plan. Let's run random plays and have Devin go do stuff. [Devin goes and does stuff].

UConn [Devin doesn't do stuff].

Minnesota, Penn State: Let's get rid of passing and receivers and make everyone an offensive lineman, then run into brick walls. [Defense adapts to this].

Indiana, MSU, Nebraska, Northwestern: Okay, fine, if we can't run like that let's replace two of those offensive linemen with TEs/FBs who can't block and have Gardner sit back and wait until Gallon or Funchess gets open. [Indiana decides not to cover Gallon] Whee!!!! [Everyone else does] Doh!!!!! [Defense/special teams get NW'ern to third OT] Hey, a winning strategy!!!

Iowa: Play for triple overtime when the defense is so worn out from tackling us in the backfield we can just shove them into the end zone! [Devin fumbles on game-tying drive]. Doh!

Did this make any sense? Of course not!

Weeklies: Turnover Analysis says Michigan is now +4 on the year; obviously the interceptions were a huge factor in Michigan remaining competitive against the team that lost to OSU by 10 and no that's not a sliver of irrational hope leaking through yes I know it's emo week. LSA looked at down differentials in addition to the weekly Boilerquest chart. This is depressing:


PROGRAMS HEEEYAR! Best and Worst. Inside the Boxscore.

Etc. Big Ten Hockey returns this weekend, and Gordon Berenson [NNTGB] has your history of the conference that was and is again. AC1997 showed what you already knew: before 2007 Michigan nearly always had a major something on the line going into the OSU game. We usually had a chance, too.

Best of the Board


Wot is sez on th' tin. No fair changing avatars. Some coaching possibilities Michigan can look at it if it comes to that (it's not coming to that, at least not for a few years yet):

michimoby's picture: DantoniYoNoid. Positives: has a strong system that his players buy into and gets wins. Negatives: is an insane jerk whom nobody has ever liked. So basically Brian Kelly.

htownwolverine's picture: Skeleton Boy. Positives: thinks the read option is "old school football," gives players juice boxes after practices, can relate to the "Wow experience" demographic that Michigan targets. Negatives: not very polished before a camera, prone to temper tantrums, wasn't planning on moving to Arizona but has made new friends and it wouldn't be nice to pull him out of school to move again.

GoBlueinMN's picture: Horace Prettyman. Positives: tough. Negatives: just learned the forward pass is legal, so expect a severe regression in route running.

a2_electricboogaloo's picture: Rocket Half-Novak. Positives: knows what it takes to beat rivals. Negatives: will always have that walk-on asterisk next to name.

TrppWlbrnID's picture: NyanFett. Positives: modern, doubles as halftime show. Negatives: does just 3 things over and over and over and over and over

Giordano Bruno's picture: (Is this Guy Faukes, or V, or a member of Anonymous? I'm going with C.) Anonymous. Positives: Press conferences! Negatives: seems intelligent but doomed by lack of cohesive strategy.

Seth's picture: Positives: relatively safe choice, properly attired for walking around athletic campus given AD's endless construction plans. Negatives: like we really need another rebuilding project.

The rest of the board was emoquest and ST3 singing a crazy song and the answer to your question Erik_in_Dayton is "yes," and links except for that one thread where people were like "let's think about how cute puppies are."


Your Moment of Zen

Here is my dog.




November 29th, 2013 at 8:33 PM ^ that makes girl seem like weak inferior beings.

It's a football game guys. We struggle this least in part....due to a statistically relevant yong oline (and OK, some questionable play calling). But to really try and take the last 3 years and cast them as a complete disaster is a bit much. This year is tough, it'll be over soon and we will be better (perhaps not the best) next year on the OL because of experience where it counts.

Time to leave the pity party is starting to get embarrassing.

Beat Ohio!!

Sten Carlson

November 29th, 2013 at 11:39 PM ^

You've got to remember that being "predictable" on offense isn't necessarily a bad thing if your offense can execute those plays well enough to force the opposing defense to over commit to stop it. It is upon that over commitment that unpredictability becomes important, and lethal. You, with all your lack of expertise, being able to call the play is meaningless because that is only a negative to you when the play is blown up -- which takes us right back full circle to execution.

Michigan's problem is a near complete lack of execution on its base plays that are designed to make the defense over commit. Michigan cannot punish opponents for over committing because they cannot block well enough to give DG time to throw. With even an average OL Michigan would ground and pound until the opposing defenders got nosey to stop the run, then go over the top with PA. All those runs that people think are horrible calls are set up plays, but the set ups aren't executed and thus don't work. It's a viscous cycle that most certainly DOES have to do with a young interior OL.


November 30th, 2013 at 6:20 AM ^

People don't give Al Borges enough credit.

We know his play calling is pathetic.  But it goes deeper than x's and o's.  

Al Borges is destroying the mental toughness and competitive spirit of these young football players.  Al has no swagger; they have no swagger.  Al is confused about his strategy; they get confused.  Al is not a tough man; they lose toughness.

Watching the MGOBLUE interviews, you sense these kids bring a good attitude.  You want to see them do well.  They deserve a coach who gives them the opportunity to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience and do the best they are able.  Al is not living up to his responsibility.

We hear how players must compete to be on the field.  While this football fiasco is a downer for alumni and football fans, it's worse for these kids who work so hard, risk injury and play their hearts out.  Al Borges is not doing his job at a competitive level.  There is no reason for him to be anywhere near that field of honor.

Sten Carlson

November 30th, 2013 at 9:42 AM ^

You deemed this post so utterly profound that you felt it appropriate to simply cut and paste it into a new thread? You had no clue what you were talking about the first time you posted it, and the second, well now just add lazy to the growing list of negatives.

Ironically, it's the mental toughness and the competitive attitude that has been a positive for this team despite the tough season. Teams that lack what you claim they lack don't come back against NW the way they did. They hang their head and pout -- probably like you'd do. While I am not saying Borges is the best, maybe if the player did THEIR jobs better, i.e., execute, they'd have a better record. We all seen team do it from time to time, and the coaches more so. Putting all the failure on the coaches is ignorant. You bitch about play calling but if the players execute better and more consistently, a huge percentage of those plays people think are crap are actually ok, and some might even be great. One play sets up another, a one two punch if you will, but if your first punch misses and your second punch misses -- what then?

Bobby Boucher

November 30th, 2013 at 8:24 AM ^

So I guess the moral of the story is we need an identity once and for all.  Well, looks like it's going to be MANBALL because I don't think Hoke would allow a spread type offense.


November 30th, 2013 at 11:53 AM ^

What is leadership? 

In my line of work, I'm responsible for making decisions that can be a matter of life or death.  Maybe that's why I don't take time to post a lot, though I like this blog.  It's not about me; the people who I serve come frst.

Sten C, do you really think this offense exemplifies good leadership?  What actual evidence of good leadership do you see?  Apparetly, either you don't know what leadership is, or you don't find it important.

I never made it to pro football, so I asked a friend who had a successful 7 year NFL career if coaching made a differece at that level.  He was pretty emphatic: Leaership makes all the difference in the world at every level.

How did Greg Mattison come in and make such a big dfference?  Leadership!

So when I see these hard working players being let down by lack of leadership, I'm going to speak up for them.  Borges lovers gonna' love their Al.