Dear Diary: A New Hope, Special Edition (Han Still Shoots First)

Submitted by Seth on September 7th, 2015 at 6:31 PM


wallpaper by beangoblue

Programming note: We’ve got so much great user content coming out of the Utah game I’m putting up an extra DD this week to cover all the postgame stuff.

The diaries sections had quite a bit of attrition from their 2008-‘09 heyday, with many star diarists moving on to start their own blogs and such. Since then we’ve developed a new lineup of regulars putting out better stuff than 95% of power five schools’ best blogs. And since we’ve got a lot of new readers and returners around right now perhaps this is a good time to reintroduce you to some of the people putting out MGo-quality content just because they want to.

The force is strong with this one. First and foremost, bronxblue is now in year seven of diary writing and year four or six of “Best and Worst” depending on whether you count the ones when he’d tell the story with ~50 thematic images. This week’s asks the question we were all trying to tamp out of our brains and which resurfaced the minute we saw the blocking take another one of those now familiar new system plunges:

But there so many moving parts that have to be “right” for it to run optimally.  I know people talk about the spread offense as a sports car, but to me the RR/Urban Meyer-style offense is like a souped-up Toyota Corolla.  It works because of its simplicity, its reliance on replacement-level parts at most positions.  It obviously runs best with premium talent at the skill positions, but I can’t imagine a world in which you could take Alex Malzone and drop him into Harbaugh’s offense and beat Indiana comfortably, let alone what OSU did against Wiscy, Alabama, and Oregon.

After an offseason of hearing Brian tell various audiences “of course I still want Harbaugh; I’m not crazy!” it looks like there’s no way out of paying that offensive line transition cost once again.

[Jump for a very bad feeling about this.]

The tracks go off in this direction. The other diary all star developed the last few years is alum96, who began what seems destined to be the next great regular weekly: Opponent Stock Report. I know, you’re thinking we just dragooned BiSB out of his pleasant life of law things and family having to produce the front page’s weekly Opponent Watch. This is a good complement, building off of his preseason prediction articles.

You don’t need to see his identification. Okay Hoover Street Rag is technically not part of the MGoBlog diary section. But due to the wonky Thursday game Craig Barker’s postgame for Utah didn’t make “Elsewhere” in Brian’s column. Let’s remedy that:

Jake Butt, in triple coverage? Why not?  (Photo by Bryan Fuller)

If we're truly honest with ourselves, it wasn't that different than our usual collective delusion of a summer.  We overinvest in the positives, we paper over the negatives or doubts with rationalizations or dismissing them as unknowns.  We talked ourselves into the notion that the guy who only had 1.9% of his pass attempts last year intercepted would take better care of the ball.  We told ourselves that the O-Line would have improved technique and hey, throw in some Harbaugh and boom, problems solved, past buried, ship righted.

I’m surrounded by Sparties, who have now taken to complaining nonstop about Harbaugh hype by sarcastically taking it way over the top. I’m sending them to Hoover Street.

The damage doesn’t look so bad from out here. And then Inside the Boxscore still lives. If Ann Arbor was hit with a nuclear bomb and declared a radioactive zone for 100 years (or 7 football seasons), ST3 will still be there digging out scorecards and sharing the gory details. We just tried this and it worked; the organism is more on point than ever:

Jake Rudock was everything I was hoping he would be, except for the three interceptions. He threw X+1 yard passes on third and X. He completed 27 of 43 passes for a 62.8 completion percentage. I'm thrilled to see a number there north of 60%. He passed for 279 yards, good for 6.5 yards per attempt.

This jives with my Jake Take. There were one or two that could be attributed to new QB in a new system targeting a kid who was playing at Maple & Lahser last year, then the pick six was him pushing while in 4th quarter comeback mode.

That’s great kid don’t get cocky! I’ve never heard of Pit2047—I like to imagine this is a Pitt fan from 32 years in the future who, knowing how the next three decades would turn out, decided Michigan would be the most rewarding. He too faulted Rudock for just one of the three INTs while going over each starter on offense and his individual performance.

Etc. Thanks again to mgoweather for the game day meteorology. Ron Utah’s “If they could say it” attempts to present the thoughts of M’s coaches if they could realspeak is hit and miss, and with Harbaugh at least is starting to feel a bit superfluous.

Best of the Board


What will the helmet stickers look like? There’s a thread speculating; count me with the people in favor of the late ‘80s snarling carcajou, exemplified by this helmet courtesy of Michigan helmet collector Jim Dack, via Dr. Sap:

We’ll see the stickers debut this weekend on the dudes who earned the most. In the meanwhile I remind you to re-read the Kryk article from 2009 HTTV that we republished earlier this year.


MGoNukE you just saved me a ton of work that I was really not looking forward to. You are hereby made official judge of Guess the Score, Win Stuff, if you want the job. There’s a free tshirt involved, probably. Also the gratitude of three pessimistic, off-by-one guessers who are getting free copies of Endzone Brandon’s Lasting Lessons. Also enjoy an MGopoint for every one of the 523 scores you had to sift through.

ETC. The depth chart for OSU (NNTOSU) is the same minus a few “OR”s, Gene Rodenberry apologizes to KSU band, laughs from grave that it took us this long to notice what the Enterprise looks like minus its nacelles. The nice Utah fan who was bouncing around on our board the last few weeks thanks all the MGofolks he met and stuff.

Your Moment of Zen:

Moeller was not happy with how PSU built their schedule. (Dr Sap)


Mr. Yost

September 7th, 2015 at 7:20 PM ^

I'm usually VERY picky when it comes to wallpapers made on this site...great effort, but usually very "meh," IMO...not something I want to stare at every day.

This? This shit right HERE? This is a thing of beauty. New wallpaper for me.

Nothing like Harbaugh's backside. In all seriousness, this is awesome. Great job.


September 7th, 2015 at 7:30 PM ^

"After an offseason of hearing Brian tell various audiences “of course I still want Harbaugh; I’m not crazy!” it looks like there’s no way out of paying that offensive line transition cost once again."

This doesn't really surprise me. And it wouldnt surprise me had we gotten a spread guru I here either. This line has had a rocky road for a long time. I further I don't know this game result is that different with a spread offense.

By all accounts we have one of the better o line coaches in the biz. Let's give him time.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


September 7th, 2015 at 7:45 PM ^

I felt pretty let down after this game, I admit. More interceptions than TD passes, mediocre OL play, backs still inexplicably changing trajectory to run into crowds. Yes, Rudock is no Pat Sheridan, but jeebus, he's Iowa's second stringer.

Truly, I am fatigued of hoping.

Anyone else watch the WMU-MSU game? There was this crazy thing that happened: Some dude playing for WMU returned a kick for a touchdown. I'd almost forgotten that was possible. And WMU's QB was 33-50 for 365 yards. And the Broncos played Sparty even on points after the first quarter. They were one pass away from trying for an onside kick and a chance to tie the game.

I want to believe and I want to have hope. But FAR more than either of those two things, I want to be really good at football again. You know, like it's not news that we're ranked in the top 25 because it's so rare that we aren't. Back when we didn't all hang on a post-game presser for signs of hope. We didn't need a new hope because we were busy tossing the Emperor into the bowels of the Death Star. Remember those days? I do.


September 7th, 2015 at 8:59 PM ^

Compared to our rivals, our talent gap is huge. Maybe the coaching will bring it out as the season progresses, or maybe we have over valued recent recruiting classes. But, at first glance, we appear to lack difference makers on both sides of the ball.


September 8th, 2015 at 12:22 PM ^


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