It would seem obvious
Event reminder: MGoBlog is coming to Chicago next Friday. Moe's Cantina, River North, 6-9 p.m.
The coping mechanisms kicked in about Tuesday, and the diaries flowed. The best, I thought, was by Ron Utah, who took this base alignment
…from the UFR and pointed out why it's hard to attack this in myriad ways because MSU's defense is good. That is true, but it doesn't invalidate the primary complaints: it isn't cohesive. Indiana faced the same defense and their OL isn't all that great, but they have committed themselves to running option routes and tempo, and it works because it puts the offense mostly on the shoulders of three really good receivers to execute. A short list of some of the hands Michigan gambled on:
- Toussaint's pass blocking vs. Denicos Allen blitz
- Funchess's threat as an inline blocker vs. MSU having watched Funchess this season at all
- Half-hearted play-action on 2nd and 15 when Michigan hasn't shown a run out of that formation in ever vs. MSU safeties' ability to read play-action.
State's defense is great, and that gives teams limited options for beating them. But the offensive coaching was awful independent of that, on the game level more so on a macro level: They haven't been able to figure out from week to week what the hell kind of offense they are, let alone who's going to be playing it. Eventually they want to be a TE-mismatch outfit but right now there isn't a single TE or RB on the roster who can block. I get it, but it's not getting better because in three years nobody on that staff has been able to answer "what are we going to do about it?"
The OL can't block either. Well the freshmen can't and hey, they're freshmen. But since OL coaches are particularly difficult to judge (especially when their oldest recruits are all redshirt freshmen this year) Erik_in_Dayton went over all of Funk's previous OL charges going back to Ball State. No conclusions—almost everybody was a 2-star recruit—but interesting read.
Meanwhile Gameboy has been trying all sorts of ways of assessing Michigan's O-line experience versus that of other teams. In three attempts he's got a bunch of data and no sense to make of it still because Michigan has two extremes and the coaches don't do things to cover up for their weak points. The chart at right shows O-line starts and game experience. His big mistake I think is averaging: Team One has a tackle with thirty starts and a left guard with none; Team Two has a tackle and guard who've started next to each other for fifteen games. Both average fifteen starts, but Team Two has a big advantage that is hidden by your method.
Chunkums put up a survey to ask if you want to fire which coaches, but your feelings are irrelevant since this staff won't be budged unless there's wholesale failure the rest of the year and Dave Brandon's pimp hand has to step in. Even then, what are the chances Michigan grabs the soon-to-be-unemployed Nebraska OC we're pining over? What's that guy going to do with Morris and Speight? It's clear now that Borges should never have been brought here in the first place, but then a world where Michigan hung on to Calvin Magee for a few years (as OSU did with Fickell) comes with its own negatives. Either way the future is what matters now; if we're going to advocate anything maybe it's a consultant who can teach Borges constraint theory.
While you're assessing, here's a handy chart of Michigan's games under Hoke by dnak438, with the betting lines included. I think jamiemac once told me that Michigan's final lines, like ND's and other power programs, are worse predictors because they're responsive to the huge number of people who bet knowing nothing more than that Michigan is traditionally pretty good. Early lines are more accurate. By the way dnak took my suggestion of rotating the chart 45 degrees. This week I'm suggesting overlaying last week's to see progression:
[Jump to find out how Brian got banned, and you can too!]
Tea Leaves Reassessed. If possible seasons were Game of Thrones novels we're down to hoping the sick author of this book at least has some good guys winning at the end, though at this point 800 pages of snuff that doesn't advance the plot is a stronger comparison.
Weeklies: all death. Boxscore was death. Corsi Charts: basically they will die the second they let up the gas, though there's only been like two periods all year like that so far. Stat charts say Michigan is mediocre, Purdue is death. Turnover Analysis: not death?
[EDIT: Revamped because I was unnecessarily/unintentionally being a dick]: I wanted another panel in the Blockhams strip after the dad gives this sanctimonious speech about pride in your M hat after losing to MSU, where the kid just pretends to eat it up because he's got to deal with the reality of the green-clad bully kid. I found this one schmaltzy, even if the sentiment it expresses rings true, and should have left it at that. But then I'm a dour fountain of negativity who wants everything infused with metaphor and irony. It won't ever be as popular as Blockhams, but anyone wanna make a strip with me like that?
Best of the Board
MGOBOARD ISN'T NAM WE HAVE RULES
You are reading MGoBoard. Suddenly somebody posts a link, and Brian's avatar is changed to Jerel Worthy's tattoo, and nothing makes sense anymore.
As with all things that are awful, it began because Ace Williams's weekly fabrication this week was to report some guy on RCMB's wet dream* as reality. Because most humans are not aware of Ace Williams or that somebody with a website and everything could be that much of a horse's ass, people who come across such links put them on the MGoBoard and all hell breaks loose.
After the first few of those were deleted, BiSB put up a friendly reminder of verboten topics on MGoBoard. So of course they went ahead and trolled BiSB with a Drew Sharp thread. Before someone could take the next logical step I threatened an insta-ban on whoever posted the inevitable Valenti one. Then a tall blogger with long hair and a beard sauntered through my swing doors and offered a challenge.
What have we learned? That somewhere out there is an alien species that is assessing whether they ought to assimilate Earthlings into their intergalactic culture, or if it's better to wipe us out and farm our planet, and the existence of Ace Williams is one of those things that could tip that against us. Agreed?
* Not the one about Michigan State blowing out Michigan while Taylor Lewan makes every M fan a hypocrite by pulling some of the same crap Gholston did.
THE TALE OF JON RUNYAN
Oh yeah, let's have politics too. Thread exploding in three…two…waitaminute it's not exploding. Rather they're writing a story:
[Interior: Congressional office]
[Congressman Runyan picks up morning paper. Reads box score from UM-MSU game.]
[Camera zooms in on "-48"]
[Close-up: Runyan's eyes widen.]
Runyan: "Draft a press release..."
[Smash-cut: Runyan steps off greyhoud with duffle bag tossed over shoulder; walks to door of Schembechler Hall.]
…the story goes on. Whatever happened to you, MGoBoard, your sudden behavior is chilling.
SO…YOU WROTE A POEM ABOUT JABRILL PEPPERS HAVING CALF SPASMS?
Your Moment of Zen:
Babies riding roombas.