Dear Diary Desires More Tacos for Effing Wall

Submitted by Seth on January 9th, 2015 at 4:50 PM


Those Van Bergenian thighs. That Clarkian pass rush. That responsible chin…[Fuller]

Final reminder to settlers along Lake Erie: We're coming to your Cleveland on Monday to talk about…I dunno…basketball or kickers or something. We've now added "Big Ed" Muransky to the lineup. Here's some footage of Muransky (#72 right, sometimes left tackle) as a sophomore against MSU, courtesy of WH. The rest of "we" are Brian, John U. Bacon, [huge gap in how much you care] and myself.

We've got the area reserved behind the bar through 11, and there's about 100-120 people coming, which means when the Ohio State fans show up later to watch the national championship game there'll be this wall of Michigan fans to greet them. And a bearded blogger guy rooting loudly for Oregon…while  standing behind Big Ed Muransky.

Huge thanks to this lemon-eater for setting it up.

OT don't care SVG is boss: The Pistons cut their best player then ripped off a seven-game win streak. To win #6 they had to preserve a 1-point lead from the defending champions on the road, so Van Gundy used the last rasps of his weakening voice to demand the stones "Just form a [bleep]-ing wall." So I formed an effin' t-shirt.


If you hate this one you're all fired. My "IT'S H4PPENING" shirt is gone now but we've got several other new offerings if you haven't been on the store lately:


Not this again! New coaches mean new schemes to learn and WMUKirk did an amazing job in two diaries of showing how Durkin likes to play chess. Part 1 got into the base stuff and Part 2 was about how he mixed those to stay one step ahead of Jameis Winston's reads. There's this from Part 1:

What I've noticed is he doesn't deviate from 4 basic coverages. Quarters, Cover 3 Press, Cover 1, and his favorite blitz is the Fire Blitz from the QB's blind side. He hardly ever runs Man Under, Tampa 2, or Cover 0. He values speed and isn't against running a 3-4 with 3-3-5 personnel.

Florida's 3-3-5 was lifting one of the middle linebackers for a safety/spur/hybrid space player dude, and looked thusly:


The WDE is a pass rusher type and is standing up. On 1st and 15 this is Xtreme speed.

That's a 3-3-5 but not a Casteel stack; it's more like one of Mattison's okies except the MLB is a LB, not Mike Martin.

[Cont. after the jump]

He didn't mention in the diary but Durkin's defense has its conceptual roots from various branches in the Belichick/Carroll/Saban tree. The front seven are Carrollian—he mixes up 2-gap (i.e. nose tackle as immoveable object) and 1-gap responsibilities. The DBs run Sabanesque pattern-matching. I'll get into that in more detail in a future Hokepoints/H4 but it's basically the Cover 1&3 hybrid the way quarters is the Cover 2&4 hybrid.

No, it's not this again I swear.  Via MNB

If you're leery of 3-3-5 because Rich Rodriguez's 4-3 over defensive coordinators ran it badly, that is silly, but I understand; when WMUKirk mentioned Durkin will rush three more often than five I twitched.

Speaking of personnel. That's a perfect segue (a word I mispronounced for years until the two-wheeled runabout with the punny name came out) into 2014 diaries MVP alum96's position group analyses articles this week on defense, offense, and ultimately recruiting needs to address in time to have them ready to stock the 2017 depth chart. The 2015 class is tiny and a lack of redshirts means there are going to be some depth issues after 2016 at a lot of positions. Major areas of concern are S, CB, and especially DE. This:

With the misses of Hand, McDowell (who is probably more of a DT down the road), and now Roseboro we are thin in 2015 (4 DEs on roster), and very thin in 2016 (3).  An urgent need for both the 2015 AND 2016 recruiting classes.

I agree with strongly. This is like the OL situation Hoke inherited, where there was a tiny 2010 class because of entrenched young starters ahead of them and a whiff of coaching uncertainty, then the 2011 class was totally undermined by imminent coaching change, and the new coach had to play catch-up in 2012-'14. Fortunately DL is not like OL; whereas if you only have four functional offensive linemen you are guaranteed to be playing a guy who can't hang, you can do a lot of different things to paper over the flaws in your DL talent. On the other hand you need a lot of rotation there, and the bullets in the chamber rule applies always.

For the position group analyses he gave a grade between 1 (best) and 5 and then a +/- variability, so for example quarterback in 2015 is a "5" (oh no!) with the maximum distribution (it could be awesome or 2008), while TE is a "2" (just fine) that could be a 1 if Butt is sweet and a 4 if he's hurt. His variability is such that it undermines the predictive nature of the article, but sadly that says more about the state of the team than the author's conservatism.

How to fire your Ferentz. Alum also made the case based on a Forbes story that Iowa could have fired Kirk, hired Herman, and made up the ~$10 million hit in not causing their fans to run for the hills. What he hasn't considered is whether winning would actually make much more for Iowa, since their fans are incredibly loyal even when forced to watch Greg Davis offenses pass two yards downfield all day. Iowa's outsized fan loyalty gives the program a sort of Wrigley Field Effect: the outfit reaches market saturation with only a decent enough team. If you hire Herman and he's successful, you're now paying $5 million/year for head coaching (his salary plus Ferentz), but since Iowa is already taking in Bama-level profits with Ferentz, it's hard to imagine the added success brings in enough money to justify itself.

Best of the Board


Who else—alum96—went fishing (HA!) for dope on the passing game coordinator/WR coach. I disagree re: Herman, because I remember his ISU offenses getting national attention in the hot minute the Cyclones were hot.



A few days ago it was a pic of him from Stanford. That's a nice shot there. I have noticed various MGophotos showing up on Wikipedia because we're creative commons-licensed.


  1. Know enough.
  2. Make sure you know enough.
  3. Make damn sure you know enough.
  4. Think "should I do this?"
  5. Don't do it.

Those who skipped any steps from 1-5 were banned.

While we're on it, steps for when somebody gets cratered:

  1. Notice that the comment you replied to is gone but your comment is still indented. Hmmmm.
  2. Don't say anything about #1.
  3. Think about the cratered person futilely responding while his posts take 10 minutes apiece to post to our old server that hasn't had a virus definition update since 2010.

I cannot guarantee #3 but it is fun to imagine.


A thread for remember that guy who used to post here. Amazed nobody brought up Haloscan. I'm gonna start a thread to be like "remember when we had threads where people remembered Haloscan?"

A few of the missed folk popped up immediately to be like "I am here; I'm just a lurker," or "I changed my name" or "I am A STAFF WRITER AND HAVE BEEN FOR SOME TIME I JUST USE A REAL NAME NOW!" FWI Aquaman is Steve Lorenz. BiSB is BiSB who writes for us. Roll Damn Tide is…


Local newspaper whose writer is totally not a friend of a friend keeps churning out positive stories on a certain cornerback from New Jersey. While we're on it, a reminder that Peppers is still the best musician on Michigan's roster since Coner.

ETC. Durkin will work for Urban Meyer but there are some things he just won't do. Baseball HoF ballot is boycotted until a certain shortstop goes in. Why we didn't get Marrow.

Your Moment of Zen:

(NSFW if volume's on)



January 9th, 2015 at 8:17 PM ^

Before he was cut, the list of best players ran something like:

Josh Smith

Took the most shots, shot the worst percentage, and his D was something to be desired.  To be fair to him, he's a power forward.  And if he ever worked on a midrange jumper, he could be a top-5 power forward.


January 9th, 2015 at 5:20 PM ^

I didn't mean to instill fear when I said the 3/5 blitzers thing haha. I just wanted to highlight how efficient Durkin is in getting unblocked blitzes using just 4. When he does send 3 he usually delay blitzes the guy who is assigned to spying the QB. 


January 9th, 2015 at 5:50 PM ^


My position as the leading advocate in the NO NOT DAN MULLEN, WE CAN DO BETTER campaign put's me in Brian's doghouse. ;)

I will be VERY interested to see how Miss State does next year - I think Mullen's star could fall very quickly by this time next year.

I just like analyzing data and doing research so a lot of the coaching search stuff and football stull relates to it since there is a lot of data is to be had.  So once I do that for my own knowledge, I might as well spend some extra time and type it all out.  I had another one on Wheatley's impact at Syracuse earlier today but a computer fail made it go away. 



January 9th, 2015 at 5:33 PM ^

Herman's offenses at ISU were marginal at best. Let's just make that clear. Obviously talent discalimers and such but it's not like the offense was carrying that team when they had some marginal success. The defense actually was doing that. That success was also only a 7 win season which was not the same season they beat #2 OSU (ntosu). Don't get me wrong here, I still think he's a great coordinator and I think he will do well as a HC because he seems to have a decent personality while still running a tight ship. If he's running ISU now instead of Mangino, I think they are a few points better per game but they aren't an 8 win team or something. Also, quick, name me a team that has had two higher thought of OCs in the past 4 years that is as bad at offense as ISU? 


January 9th, 2015 at 6:01 PM ^

I am not sure where this mythology of Herman's ISU offenses being anything but mediocre comes from.   They were bad - Michigan 2014 bad for 2 of the 3 years - not just "ho hum middling Rutgers bad".   He had 1 great year at Rice.  And 1 mediocre one.  But ISU? Bad to mediocre.

And there is no excuse if you are innovative of having bad offenses, especially in the Big 12.  You can "scheme" good offenses to a degree - look at Kevin Wilson at Indiana with worse talent than ISU.  Scheming good defense is difficult - you just plain need decent athletes.  Offense you can find ways even with average athletes - look at Mike Leach at Texas Tech (same conference).  Mike Leach was considered an offensive genius with talent no different than ISU.  He is doing it again (offense only) at Washington State.  Same talent as ISU.  Herman did squat at ISU.  Even Paul Chryst's offense this year at Pitt - same talent as ISU - looks way better than anything Herman did at ISU and he left Narduzzi a star RB, a star WR, and a solid QB (all sophomores).

FEI, S&P+, YPP (not sure what YPP is but that is Brian's 3rd column below).   2009 was "average" for a hot minute, 2010 and 2011 were horrid.  UM 2014 bad.

2008 Iowa State 74 105 55
2009 Iowa State 51 42 78
2010 Iowa State 79 83 111
2011 Iowa State 82 101 106

I have no idea what sort of HC he will be - he may turn out great, I'll know better in 3 years.  But he struck the jackpot IMO when Urban tapped him.  As did Adazzio.  As did Mullen.  As will whichever coach Urban hires next for OC who will be a HC somewhere circa 2018.


January 9th, 2015 at 6:16 PM ^

Was never a big deal...wrote a few diaries back in the cranky one day and had all my precious points taken from now I just lurch these days...I remember Haloscan, the old site, the neg bang, the grammar police...all of it...I have a "day one" account too...


January 9th, 2015 at 6:20 PM ^

Really surprised at the lack of acknowledging Coach Harbaugh's impact on the pistons.  

When it became clear on 12/26 that he was coming to coach the Wolverines, the pistons began their current winning streak.

Some fools have attributed this to releasing Josh Smith???????

Ha!!!!     Winning streak = Coach Harbaugh

Coach Harbaugh is very powerful and a big fan of basketball.  Just ask Coach Durkin. 

The Force is strong with this one.

Darker Blue

January 9th, 2015 at 6:28 PM ^

Final reminder to settlers along Lake Erie: We're coming to your Cleveland on Monday to talk about…I dunno…basketball or kickers or something. We've now added "Big Ed" Muransky to the lineup. Here's some footage of Muransky (#72 right, sometimes left tackle) as a sophomore against MSU, courtesy of WH. The rest of "we" are Brian, John U. Bacon, [huge gap in how much you care] and myself.

Seth I had the pleasure of meeting you during the Miami (NTM) game this year. You need to give yourself more credit. You were an incredibly funny and engaging guy.


January 10th, 2015 at 8:18 AM ^

Question about the shirts:

do you guys kick any of the profits back to the people who they represent (harbaugh, SVG, etc.) or do you have to pay some sort of licensing to the university?

I'm genuinely curious.




January 10th, 2015 at 9:33 AM ^

3-3-5!! You know it seems to me that Jake Ryan would have been the prototypical hybrid DE/LB that these systems require to run against a spread. Too bad we wont get to see it.

I totally agree-nobody has it better than us!!!