…more day till the scrimmage that's a week till football [SI]
21 versus 1. Three weeks before the season is when I start getting amped. Three weeks is that it-doesn't-feel-that-far spot when you realize you have that thing this weekend, and you get next weekend, and after that the weeks have numbers.
I had this question posed last night: Who's the most exciting player you've ever watched?. Obvious first candidate was Denard. Then the people old enough to remember Carter were like "It's Anthony Carter hands down!" Nobody bothered to listen to my feelingsball about when you'd scan a Grbac ball's trajectory, hoping, and then you'd see it was in fact Desmond, and that moment you realized you are once again about to be treated to things that happen when Desmond Howard interacts with a football. No, I am told: that was AC. With 21 you feel it coming; when it's 1 you can almost touch it.
Playing time. HELLO to a 10-pound baby-in-South-Bend (not actually in South Bend). Bry_Mac's (2nd) kid joins mine, Fuller's, and Schnepp's to round out MGoBlog's huge 2014 class. That should close out the year in MGoOffspring.
Tickets are going cheap. You may have noticed a slight reorganization of the menu bar this week:
We're partnering with TiqIQ this year. They're an aggregator so they'll pull listings from a bunch of secondary markets plus direct from the box office. The current schedule will link to tix. The nice part about them is they have a free, Facebook-based fan exchange (SellerDirect) we can incorporate into the spreadsheet. Hopefully that should clear up some of the security problems the open google doc had. Right now the App State tix are going for $27; the Miami (NTM) are $23 and Maryland is $30. #thisseasonman.
2013 in Gifs. Drkboard is now Red_Lee. Last year he was giving us a spectacular gif per game until everyone switched those off, and those are collected in one diary. Along with, well… Well since the point has already been made and bandied about how the fanbase feels about the AD we've been making a conscious effort to save the griping for gripes. Also the free, open scrimmage a few weeks ago was very appreciated by the hardcore fans who attended, despite the abandoned attempt to get people to register for it. We're trying to be good, but you know what: it's the day before an opening game that only an insane person would schedule, and the gif guy makes it so easy to be bad! Compromise: it's after [the jump].
You said it, pasta.
Maybe I'm over-concerned about giving offense. Maybe they'll include this gif in the next mass email begging you to buy Miami(NTM) tickets to show they're "enhanc[ing] the fan experience" that "make[s] Michigan special and great." Maybe the 100,000 streak was just celebrating our own discomfort, and this will be the first year of a new era when 45,000 "true" fans can finally stretch out and enjoy the impresario's highly leveraged circus.
…which is packaged with Michigan football so yeah: still excited.
Quarterbacks in the B1G. If you are going to talk to someone about opponent/Big Ten QBs at all this year, don't stand there in the pocket; RUN to MCalibur's second-year study. This week's guy:
Kam Bryant, Appalachian State
2013 Rating: 151.1 CMP% YPA TD% INT% Expected Values 0.638 8.29 0.074 0.019 Actual Values 0.712 8.15 0.042 0.012 Single Factor Rating 183.6 148.2 116.6 221.9
Eh boy…Kam Bryant was kind of good last year. And, he actually improved his completion percentage from the previous year. Sure, sure, FCS, but you still have to make the ball go where you want it to. They had a lot of returning players last year and I can’t figure out why they lost so many games. My guess is bad defense and the fact that they we in the first year of a coaching transition. This year they once again have a lot of experience returning on offense including all 5 offensive lineman with 126 career starts among them. So, like, good QB, veteran team, um, uh…eh boy. Its good that we like our defense this year.
Projection: too many unknowns
Last season he was pretty much dead-on-balls-accurate—on a high-low of 160 to 125 he was within about 6 points for every Big Ten QB except he underrated Colter and had a bunch of low-performers replaced by better. This year he's adding schedule strength and in the process of that produced a pretty handy chart for evaluating the pass defenses of Michigan opponents:
The schedule has the bad pass defenses early on, which has to be a good thing.
Bring back life form: Priority One. Eye of the Tiger's Reading the Tea Leaves weekly series always has a year-long theme: Star Wars movies, Game of Thrones books, etc. This year's: ALIEN MOVIES. This is rather appropriate since the spread of possibility for this season isn't all that great: it's easy to have 8 or 9 wins; tough to see them getting less or more unless Michigan sweeps all the tossup (Maryland, PSU, Utah, ND) games and doesn't get tripped up by the semi-dangerous (NW'ern, Indiana, everybody). Here's hoping the end of the year article starts thusly:
Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
Lambert: You admire it.
Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
…because I'm sick of mentally applying that to last year's Spartans.
Etc. Offensive linemanship is like learning math (don't put 9th graders in Calculus II, Al Borges). Gordon replies to Brian's annual tone-setter with remember that time Lloyd Carr went into a make-or-break season with a great defense and averaging 4 losses a year? Comparing two-deeps of M and rivals by recruiting stars. THE_KNOWLEDGE. The programs. Wallpaper options (click the one you want):
Best of the Board
It grows by one or two every year. The M Fanfare has Grapentine announcing the band director as Gary Lewis so has to be from mid-'90s. Readers paint their toenails blue, get a workout or a beer in, and kill bears with their hands.
This year seems pretty obvious but speculators gonna speculate so:
Certainly playing: Peppers, Canteen, Cole, Mone
50/50: Watson, Bunting. Depth is a problem at their positions even though both could do for a shirt. In Watson's case if he plays I hope to Bo they get a retroactive shirt on Dymonte.
Shirts: The rest.
If the top two are the Devins on offense and Ryan/Clark on defense, who are the thirds? I'll take Butt or Glasgow on O, and a Bolden on D with a slice of lemon.
ETC. EGD's annual preview PDF. Volunteers needed for curating the Michigan-friendly bar map. How to watch football with the internet. Freeze ends practice by pretending to murder someone. Rawls looking good against a bad FCS run defense CMU barely beat. Hoke says nos. 11 and 21 won't be given out this year; I expect that doesn't disclude adding a patch to Countess's jersey. Every Big Ten school is harder to get into now but one (hint: it's a rival). Your favorite MGobloggers. Brian's found a punter for future Draftageddons. Attracting this kind of sponsor tells me we're doing something right around here.
Your Moment of Zen:
Tip for playing nickelback:
Always use two hands.