Dear Diary: Misery Loves Company, Jugs Comment Count

Seth October 30th, 2015 at 4:45 PM

[Reminder: submit your #MGoPumpkin to win $200 towards a stay in the new hotel downtown. So far I think Noah Neidlinger is gonna win, unless Michigan scores on the play John Zainea drew up.]


Falk getting his. From the Jug thread.

Dear Diary took a bye last week and it couldn't have come at a better time. My football place was pretty sore for the 168 hours after the one with poor Paul Bunyan being mandled by the least deserving yups to ever play for a program I am preconditioned to think the worst about.

Misery for our company. CR found some more football fans for our healing circle by consulting novelist Jon Rowe, who offered a list of commensurate moments. A sampling:

  1. The Band is On the Field from Stanford's perspective
  2. Leon Lett's muff
  3. Auburn returns Bama's field goal attempt
  4. Baylor gets a 99-yard fumble return on its face when it could have kneeled
  5. Furman goes for 2 up 15-14 with 7 seconds left, but its 2-point conversion is intercepted and returned and they lose 15-16.
  6. The immaculate reception
  7. Wait, what? Why is the MSU game on this list I thought I'm supposed to feel better?
  8. In range for a field goal to avoid a historic upset…AGAIN? Stop bringing up Michigan!
  9. An uncharacteristic offensive explosion should have ended when Anthony T—
  10. Colorado, down…[email protected][email protected]@@@@@@

In conclusion every bit of luck that goes our way ever again is wholly deserved, not that we'll be able to enjoy it because self-awareness is cruel.

Self-awareness isn't always cruel. Math—I mean good math—doesn't do things like overrate the last thing to happen. And out of the randomness comes good news from our resident advanced stats collator Ecky Pting:


Ecky also did this last week for win probabilities. Right now we are looking at 9 or 10 wins most likely, which is to say Ohio State's a coinflip and 85% we get there without collecting any dust. And if you like statistics dust, here's a quaint little piece from the 1980s. It's called "Good at Football Again"


Etc. Alum96 has the stock report and a By the Numbers on Minnesota in the forums. MaizeJacket should update the Coaching Changes diary before we discuss. Best and Worst and Inside the Boxscore from last week.

[Hit THE JUMP for Harbaugh costumes layman's guess at 2016's QB]

Best of the Board


The Chewbacca costume of 2015 is:


MGoBloggers dressing as Harbaugh for work today reported a 60% jump in intensity and 400% increase in enthusiasm—historians at Bentley noted that they could find no other examples such prodigious leaps in the history of man. However I wouldn't recommend going Harbaugh for everybody:

That is the second-most awkward costume choice since Darth Vader went as Chewbacca. The first is when Louisville's athletic department went as transvestite racial stereotypes, which I guess for the South before the Civil Rights movement…nevermind it was this year. FTR I'm going as the Brown Jug.



Mr. Yost decided to use the bye week to sandbox next year's depth chart. This of course immediately turned to thoughts of the position Rudock will vacate this January. I know no more than you do, which are the trickles from Sam Webb and what happens when 2 and 2 come together. That said, here's one layman's handicapping of the 2016 Michigan Quarterback Battle Royale:

John O'Korn: 50% – The wily gunslinger we took from Houston leads in practice but he's very unpolished and might not be the best fit opposite the kind of defense Michigan should return.

Taysom Hill: 25% - The torch has been officially passed to Mangum at BYU. If (and that's a big two-letter word) Hill is healthy enough to keep playing football after his umpteenth injury, considering he tried to commit to Harbaugh at Stanford until Stanford wouldn't allow him to enroll in January, Michigan seems the most likely destination. He's probably just done.

Shane Morris: 6% - Harbaugh has worked miracles before, and there's a lot of good dough here to cook with (namely an arm and athleticism). However Morris is a two-year project if he remains at Michigan, since it's taking all of this year just to tear away the bad crust from Borges's various microwave recipes. Perhaps once that mess is gone the light will go on instantly. Physically Shane's already there, but to call his good parts raw and his bad parts manifest is underselling the scope of the disaster. That's why he's above the freshmen, but his overall chances to start next year are still quite low.

Zach Gentry: 5% - We're now getting into big maybes. Gentry of all the candidates currently enrolled has the highest upside, but he's starting from the furthest behind. It's possible he takes a big leap this offseason and wins the job in late fall, but barring that huge leap he's still very much a part of the distant future, not the immediate future.

Alex Malzone: 5% - Gentry in reverse. Malzone arrived on the polished end of true freshman distribution, but by the end of fall he remained well within the freshman bell curve. He's been progressing on pace to be a guy you unwrap as a RS junior, but kinda like John Navarre or Matt Gutierrez, Malzone needs to get close to his ceiling to be a good option.

Wilton Speight: 4% - The playing time he's getting this year means little; I read more into the fact that Michigan stated they'd take the shirt back off Morris if Rudock has to miss any extended time. However it does mean something. Speight is kind of the Geoffrey of the Angevin options. If Taysom the Young King Hill dies early, and Harbaugh II Curtmantle has been betrayed by all of his legitimate sires (O'Korn: you were the best; Shane: you I loved...) and hasn't the time to squire a new generation of Plantagenets with gentle Alais, Speight can be standing there like "I'm your only option father. I'm all that's left."

And Harbaugh Fitzempress will just look at him like "uh, not happening Geoff" then go on a Peter O'Toole drunken rant about how he has no sons; just three whiskered things, but no sons. Then he'll quietly arrange for Speight to marry Constance and transfer to Britttany.

In other words the chances of Speight starting next year are about the same as this being the last time I make an extended The Lion in Winter metaphor on this site. It could happen, but not if the guy who makes the call has any say.

Brandon Peters: 3% - He is enrolling in January and is already far enough ahead in general QB development that he might even be at Henne 2004's level by fall. That is still inadvisable unless the other options really aren't happening.

Victor Viramontes: 1% - Captain Insano's only plausible path to playing time next year would be as a change of pace option option, if Michigan finds its passing game isn't in good shape. If he starts next year things have gone very wrong.

Random Transfer: 1% – Every current redshirt junior in football has a shot at this job. It won't be clear if Michigan is even pursuing anybody else until next spring.



Homecoming 1974 vs Minnesota (via Ann Arbor District Library)

How long was it before Bo filled said House that Yost built and Crisler paid for every cotton pickin' Saturday? It didn't happen right away despite 24-12, though that helped. As you've noticed with Michigan State, having a team get good all of a sudden does not mean the fans will suddenly fill the building every weekend. This is a lesson that Bacon got into deeply in Endzone: building loyalty happens very slowly and deliberately.

Canham used all sorts of promotions to get Michigan fans trickling back in and staying in their seats. And I don't mean short-lived promos. He made going to Michigan games an integral part of community, and made sure communities grew up inside sections and outside at tailgates, always selling the experience, not the team. He made it about the fact that this isn't about making money, and used the scarcity principle. He made it such an awesome deal, and was so transparent and authentic about it, that you could give your loyalty to Michigan and know Michigan wouldn't ever use it against you. Because few endeavors have the patience, the love, or the product to do that with, it was a rare treat, and ultimately, spectacularly successful. But even that took half a decade to accomplish.

ETC. Grantland react thread. Yost's first contract at Michigan. Get money for MGoBlog every time you buy on Amazon. Favorite jug moment.

Your Moment of Zen:




October 30th, 2015 at 5:49 PM ^

I am curious why so many people are so high on O'Korn relative to Morris. I obviously can't defend any on field performance by Morris, but it seems that OK is nearly as raw. I would have Morris more like 20% and Hill more as a footnote. If he transfers, then his % is extremely high. If he doesn't then it is probably 45% OK, 30% Morris, and the rest about equal.


October 30th, 2015 at 7:16 PM ^


Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2013 Houston American FR QB 13 259 446 58.1 3117 7.0 7.2 28 10 133.0
*2014 Houston American SO QB 6 90 173 52.0 951 5.5 4.1 6 8 100.4


Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2013 Michigan Big Ten FR QB 3 29 47 61.7 261 5.6 3.6 0 2 99.8
2014 Michigan Big Ten SO QB 5 14 40 35.0 128 3.2 -0.2 0 3 46.9

EDIT: It's also probably worth adding that people are high on O'Korn because Harbaugh recruited him to Michigan and we trust his ability to identify talent much more than we trust Borges'.


October 31st, 2015 at 11:38 AM ^

I don't know if anyone has proposed this yet, but looking at the QB candidates by class, strengths, needs - I think 2015 is the time to start giving Gentry some snaps.
After the msu UFR it's pretty clear even the biggest Rudock supporter has finally conceded he is what he is and isn't getting better (well I guess technically Harbaugh would qualify as the biggest Rudock supporter). So my thinking is put in a Gentry package now - today.

Run him in QB options, reverse it to Chesson, backward throws, plays that utilize particular set of skills... burn his redshirt asap.
That leaves an experienced Gentry option in '16, along with presumptive favorite O'Korn, redshirt Jr Shane, RS Frosh Malzone and early entry Peters, plus Speight.
If, as so many have posited on this board, we start seeing attrition in the QB ranks, having more players who've seen the field will be crucial.

Then in '17, let's asume for this exercise we have redshirted Peters, and some of the QBs have moved on. Now we're looking at a group of a RS Sr incumbent, true Jr Gentry, RS Soph Malzone, RS Frosh Peters, plus McCaffrey or other top '17 incoming Freshman.
I think that balances the classes out better than playing only Rudock & garbage time Speight this year - but more importantly, may give us a better team in '15, right now, where the ultimate objective following the punt disaster is winning out and somehow making the B1G title game.
Minny game has often been the game when we bring out some new formations and sets - let's do this today!


October 31st, 2015 at 1:39 PM ^

Respectfully disagree, for all the reasons detailed above. There's lots Rudock can't do, and throwing 40+ yds & making people miss in space are 2 that very much COULD help this year.
The way it's setting up now, in '16 there's Shane, essentially having played 1.5 games of mediocre football since he was a Jr in HS, Speight and his kneel down experience, O'Korn coming off a mediocre Soph season and then a year away from game action, 2 RS freshmen and a true freshman.
So...there's all the reasons playing Gentry now HELPS now. How does it hurt?


October 30th, 2015 at 5:54 PM ^

Is a "wish you well" salute as Kill tries to cope with the decision he was forced into making. 

If so, then I tip my DIlly Bar in sub-freezing weather to you too, Jerry Kill, for being an upstanding football coach and person. 


October 30th, 2015 at 8:58 PM ^

Thanks Seth!
To share another cool story bro from the night that I was at the Jon Falk retirement party through Kickstarter on the Mgopatio. It is a little pat my self on the backish so if you don't like that, quit reading. I was 1 of 5 that bought a ticket to be at the party. I got there early and waited in my car on the street to see who would show up. I was not sure if there would be former players, coaches, or what. I thought I recognized a guy but couldn't think of his name. Not a lot of people were walking in so I went in. Ann Arbor brewing had a table serving their amber lager, which is awesome. I asked for Martin with whom I needed to check in with.

I found him in the finished loft of the garage and introduced myself. He said, " Oh great, you are Todd Schultz? You get a jug!" There were only about 10 people in the room at the time including Jon. Then a woman came up to me and said, "Wait, you are Todd Schultz?" I said yes I am. She said " You were one of the first people who bought some of my acrylic block M's from the ad." I did buy them but wasn't sure it was that big of a deal. She the introduced herself as Jill Gordon and said she paints the jug. I did get her to paint my commemorative jug the same wat she does the real one. We talked for a bit and I asked her who the guy was that I kind of recognized. She said it was Bruce Madej. Oh yeah. He had come down to the U of M club of Toledo events to tell tales in the past.

A patient of mine has a cottage next to Bruce at the lake and has wanted me to come up and meet him for years. I then went up to Bruce and introduced myself. He exclaimed, " You're Todd Schultz? That's great! ". I told him my patient was his neighbor, and he said Terry kept talking about me. Bruce then said to go over to his wife and introduce myself. I did and she then laughed and said "You're Todd Schultz? That is so funny!" Now I think it is hilarious and look over at Jon Falk and he is looking at me like who the [email protected] is this guy at my party? So then I went over and started chatting him up. Greg Dooley was there and gave a great talk about The Jug and Jon told some stories from his first book. Bruce on a side conversation mention his dislike for Brandon and how he was treating the suite holders. A great night and funny too. Sorry to shine the spotlight on me, But that ia the backstory on that picture.

snarling wolverine

October 30th, 2015 at 10:43 PM ^

MGoStaff, you guys do an awesome job but I have one meta-criticism: front-page content gets pushed off so quickly in part because too much of each article is shown.  You guys should take "THE JUMP" earlier on - like after one paragraph/photo.  That's all you really need to draw in the reader.