Dear Diary Plays Michigan Defense

Submitted by Seth on November 18th, 2011 at 9:15 AM

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News note: Late last night 11Warriors posted a tweet claiming two sources and 99.7% certainty of Urban to OSU. If it happens it happens.

Hey look, it's MGoBlog's gift-giving grinch, Gohblue. I do this thing every year where we go to a homeless shelter and throw the kids there a Christmas Party, complete with Santa and gifts, and the past few years MGoBlog has been the difference between two sizes too small and playing Michigan defense. If you can't volunteer, you can still buy something for the kids on Amazon. The date this year is Dec. 3 so if you can contribute now's the time. I still need a photographer. The diary explains in further detail.

And while you're in a holiday donation mood you know what else we need? Your blood, for the annual Michigan-Ohio State blood drive. M-Wolv sent in the details, which you can find here.



One throws like a girl, one says "WHAAAT?" like a girl, and one's a little bitch. BlueSeoul breaks down some other comparisons between our QB and two very different dual-threats remaining on our schedule, by running style, favorite move, most dangerous running play, weakness, passing style, most dangerous passing play, and how to defend.

You saw the post-Illini weekly 'With Pics' article on the front page. But did you know you can also read his scouting report on Nebraska and Ohio State from when they played each other (or is one of them Wisconsin—damn these exactly alike uniforms).

I know, right -- THREE diaries in one week from BS? We are not worthy! BS is supposed to be out of the running for Diarist of the Week, and there is another good candidate, but three of the best four diaries in a 7-day period means he can share with the other guy.

That other guy was also front-paged. It is Space Coyote, who explains the Drag-Follow play (video) in the latest session of his Football Fundamentals series (link to article). Want to be a Diarist of the Week too? Become a football coach, watch tons of video of Michigan and their opponents, then spend hours putting together an article that can make important trends comprehensible to the masses. Easy.Slide3 Michael Scarn also has a Nebraska preview from his visit to "Happy" Valley* that gave us the tag "Taylor Martinez Seizure Throwing Motion."


You can also just get good at maths. We got two diaries this week from dnak438, the second (better) an update of the first, tracking M's defensive performance since the year I was a freshman, and Donovan McNabb was running all over us, and everything bad in the world became the fault of James Whitley. For example you see how that red line is higher in 2000 than any year but last? Whitley. See the big blue dip in '06? That's how good Michigan was against Illinois. Mattison plus all the points!

Recruitniks we got two for ya: Ace (the good one) received two very detailed, very glowing reports from Hardware_Sushi and Justin on M targets Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown, Ryan Watson and Kendall Fuller (the last two are juniors) from Blake Countess's alma mater in MD. MGoGarbs and joeyb saw Catholic Central take on Pioneer and came back with scouting reports for Godin and The Drake.


* We joke, we're all kidders around here. Can I give you my headshot?



M Fanfare provides a review of Black and Blue, which is that documentary about Willis Ward, President Ford, and that '34 Georgia Tech game. There's also one up at MVictors.

After the jump, the boards and the weeklies

This Week in Things That Are Weekly


But first, the above is actually a follow-up post by Enjoy Life that I wanted to highlight. It seems about 18% of the improvement in defense is Michigan's offense not playing at breakneck speed anymore, and 37% is due to turnovers. The other 45% is Greg Mattison plus all the points.

  • EJ's Turnover Analysis is still coming out way ahead in turnover metrics, even getting a 3-to-1 margin on turnover-scores.
  • ST3's Inside the Box Score finds Mike Martin leading the team with 9 tackles, and JT Floyd, and in a world where Illinois only needs to get to the 50 yard line to score, they still would have been shut out until late in the 3rd quarter.
  • Damn you East Quad (no reason)Ugly Games are getting harder for stubob to find late in the conference schedules, but now we get to be on "will they win at all?" watch for FAU.
  • The Stats Story by CollegeFootball13 goes over the season stats and gives grades for them. Personally I prefer the R.C.'s method of giving out written evaluations instead of letter grades for numerical performance. Man, remember those RC kids who'd stumble into class in East Quad like they were in bed 5 minutes ago when you've been up for an hour and your hair is still frozen from a shower-wet death march through campus. His diary has nothing to do with that but I thought I'd share.
  • Hoke for Tomorrow by Lordfoul learns that Ron Zook suuuuhhhhhcks after bye weeks and probably should be axed. Please wait until they rotate off Michigan's schedule kthx.
  • Bowl projections (oriental andrew) sees Michigan back in the Lloyd zone, somewhere between the Citrus Bowl and the Outback Bowl and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl for having the same record as Michigan.
  • Maize_in_spartyland has the weekly Upset Watch but Y U No Chart this week? Maybe because his preview has a lot of numbers that show Nebraska's gonna be a tougher nut to crack than the current line suggests.
  • In Pick Six the Leaders are mostly guys who picked Michigan for their 5th so yay to that. The Legends (ie losers) include Brian. I am still dead dead dead and tied with "Wincey Courtbooth."

Best of the Board



When we say that Ohio State's and Michigan State's fans are dicks, that's because we have very good in-conference comparisons with the evident class shown by fans in Minnesota and, from reports, Nebraska. FHSHockey suggests we roll out the red carpet for Big Red fans this week, and I co-sign. Also, if you're going to the game, be there early for a tribute to Lloyd Carr. Brady asks that you show up by 11:45. That's not 12:45 RC kids.



..and Michigan had to settle for Bo Schembechler's far superior control of his program. It's been five years without him as of this week. Brian put this in and it's a quick must-read about how a coach ought to behave when scandal rears its head. President Coleman's letter is also available. Jon06 provides both.



Trueblueintexas nabbed the family portrait from Big Ten Media Day and the board set about adding thought bubbles. Hoke isn't allowed to point, but he's doing it with his eyes anyway.


MM2424 goes through the conferences and picks out various teams that may go to the big bowls. Michigan has a shot if we beat our last two opponents


ReadYourGuard shows is all about beating their average points allowed. Michigan's defense being average(!), what kind of day the O has determines which way the W goes.


Join Muttley and co. to celebrate the best CB performance at Michigan since… Donovan? Hall? Marlin? Dare we say…? Big Ten refs are standing by to flag anyone who arrives so much as a millisecond early.


Ziff72 noted some rational mitigating factors about the defense this year and got negged for being the calm guy during the Illinois afterglow. I agree that the defense is probably closer to average than great right now but there's a lot of week to week improvement in that.


A question posed by iawolve. All the points to Caesar for his response:

1. Why the underscore between 'top' and 'staff?'

2. "Tremendous"


Errr, the flag football team. All you gotta do is like them on Facebook to get them in. Eerily similar to how Urban Meyer got Florida into the '06 national championship, innit?


SEC graduation rates. Enhanced viewing of UFR.


Six Zero

November 18th, 2011 at 9:47 AM ^

The period in which it is permissible to NOT HATE Urban Meyer is now officially finite.

Like him now, if you must.  He may soon be our Lucifer.

Speaking of the damn Buckeyes, DeVier Posey will be back in action this week and will certainly start next week in Ann Arbor.  As per (soon-to-be-ex) Coach Fickell:

"He'll be playing his last game at home," Fickell said. "And those guys, just like when (Herron returned), you look around and you're in the huddle and you've got a guy that's got some confidence and has been there and done it, hopefully they can feed off that. That's what we're looking for."

Translation:  'Yeah, he screwed up, but he can really help us, so he's forgiven.'


November 18th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

Doesn't sound likely; keep in mind this guy retired because his ticker was legitimately in trouble.  And why would he go back to the cold Midwest?  OK he's from Ohio but AFAIK his family's in Florida and he's got the keys to that job any day he wants it back.

Most people who've worked for him seem to like him but he's a notorious panderer so I've always been suspicious of him.  I'd take Hoke over Meyer any day, even if Meyer is more accomplished.  He'd fit OSU well.  OSU's a business school and Meyer runs football teams like a businessman.

FWIW, Mattison strikes me as a very sincere guy and he left Florida for the NFL.  He then left the NFL to work for Hoke.  Maybe I'm speculating too much but go figure.


November 18th, 2011 at 11:28 AM ^

To me he'll always be the whiny bitch who whined and bitched his way into the NC game in 2006. I was amazed when ESPN had Lloyd on and asked him if he thought there should be a rematch. Lloyd was gracious, refused to campaign, blah blah blah. Then they have Urban on who goes on an insane rant about how great his team is and how they deserve a shot, etc. etc.

I'm so glad we got him Lloyd's bowl game.

/Sorry about the language, but that really is the best way to put it.


November 18th, 2011 at 11:32 AM ^

If this happens we will have much more to hate about Meyer. But I fear him, because he is undoubtedely a fantastic coach on the field and as a recruiter. This isn't a knock on our coaches, who I am very happy with. But theirjobs are going to be much harder now than if almost any other coach but Meyer went to OSU. He is that good.


November 18th, 2011 at 10:02 AM ^

"FHSHockey suggests we roll out the red carpet for Big Red fans this week, and I co-sign"

What exactly is the expectation here?  Football isn't nearly as fun if there isn't a little trash-talking.  I mean, yeah, there's a difference between a good ribbing and thuggery, and I never cross that line anyway.  When I heckle an opposing fan I don't throw stuff, make obscene gestures or use offensive slurs -- basically, I don't treat a random fan any worse than I would a personal friend with a thick skin.  But if I'm supposed to say happy fuzzy stuff on gameday like "may the best team win", that's asking for a bit much.

Six Zero

November 18th, 2011 at 10:13 AM ^

I'm sure it's safe to assume that you'll be wearing Michigan gear as you heckle... so then, Leaders and Best?

We're living in a society where people are being stabbed and hurt in places like Oakland and L.A.  Obviously Ann Arbor isn't necessarily the same situation as the neighborhood outside Dodgers Stadium, but I'm all for a movement to keep the practice of attending a sporting event something that is safe, civil and-- dare I say it-- family friendly.  As for Michigan, I'd like to think we could not only follow the trend, but set the standard.


November 18th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

Act however you want. I've been an away fan many times and I am much more appreciative of the fans who act like gracious hosts. For the record, I'm pretty sure Brian is with you on this one.

For my part, I've yet to go somewhere and come away thinking "those fans give a good natured ribbing." Here's my experiences: Northwestern fans were generally cool in 2000 but I was being an ass at the time and anything I got back was just return fire. At ND the fans don't even know the other team exists; they go on about Notre Dame and their greatness and might as well be playing NIU that day. At MSU they go out of their way to be douchebags and spend the whole time trying to get under your skin, and nobody's actually clever enough to make a comment that can be taken graciously. At OSU they want you to fear for your life -- that's where they knocked my beer out of my hand and threw peanuts at us. Some dudes in our section tried to pick a fight with us (my buddy was making a few smart comments) and later on actually got in a fight with another group of M fans nearby. Minnesota I've not been to a Gophers football game but I've been to a Twins game during football season and that was a waaaaaay bigger game than the Gophers have played in 50 years, yet I was blown away by how friendly everyone was. The train, the restaurants, the blogs, outside the stadium, inside, and three different sections -- not a single person being a dick to obvious away fans. I've since hosted two Twins bloggers, and communicate with them still, and I've had other fans of M and other schools confirm my perception of them. With Nebraska I've got a good friend at CU who hates the Huskers but says the same things about them I say about Minnesota fans.


November 18th, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

Also, I've been to WVU, during Rodriguez's first season. I wasn't even an away fan, and the team was already dead-done, but I still felt so uncomfortable around those crazy fuckers on Friday night that I slept in my car and in the morning grabbed the two guys who'd ridden down with me and drove home instead of going to the game as planned. We ended up watching the 2001 "clockgate" MSU game at some stank-ass Ohio bar.


November 18th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

For my part, I've yet to go somewhere and come away thinking "those fans give a good natured ribbing."

OSU students are pretty much like that.  They're distinctly different from the dropouts that drive in from the sticks on gameday.  The campus isn't hostile to anyone wearing maize & blue from Sunday through Friday.


November 18th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

Idk what campus your referring to I played hockey several times in cbus and got ripped everywhere I went for wearing something Michigan. Even other students that went there who were my friends said that I should stop wearing Michigan stuff before I get beat up. Even my friends car got keyed in 06 for having Michigan plates. I hate that school, their red neck fans and the lack of class the entire university has.


November 18th, 2011 at 12:10 PM ^

I was at the Gator Bowl last year and the Mississippi State fans were great both before and after the game.  We trash talked with them a bit before the game, but always with a smile and a laugh, with no one taking it seriously.  After the game, the sympathized rather than mocked.  Perhaps because it was Mississippi State, a team we have no rivalry with and whose fans are used to utter demoralization on the football field.  But it was a much more enjoyable experience all around than if everyone had been hostile to one another.


Ohio State is different: I support being hostile (though by no means violent or offensive) towards them.  Other than that (and maybe ND), why can't we have friendly rivalries?  Or am I utterly naive?


November 18th, 2011 at 10:14 AM ^

now about Urban. Tired of it.  Noh moar speculation until he signs - sad to say I even know where Upper Arlington is now because 6000 Ohio slappies have been saying he's purchased a house there for the last 11 months.


November 18th, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

to roll out the red carpet for Big Red to get something started on the right foot - I was in Columbus last year for the clock-cleaning we had and after the game I was nearly accosted by a 7-10 year old who managed to whiff on his sucker punch to my crotch while screaming "Michigan fucking sucks you homo!"

When he ran away his mom gave him a hug and said "that's my boy."  I was about to feel shocked when all my friends standing right behind me started laughing uncontrollably. 

I can imagine an oatmeal minor difference between OSU fans and Nebraska fans.

Chris of Dange…

November 18th, 2011 at 10:59 AM ^

['Like'-ing the flag football team to get them into a bowl game] Eerily similar to how Urban Meyer got Florida into the '06 national championship, innit?

I contend that a better analogy would be "Eerily similar to how Tom Osborne got the other half of Michigan's '97 MNC, innit?"



November 18th, 2011 at 12:21 PM ^

Ziff72 wasn't negged for anything in particular he said about Hoke/Mattison.  He was negged because that post was another leg of his never-ending crusade to rehabilitate the previous staff.   RR is gone, but he (and a handful of other posters) just can't let it go.  


November 18th, 2011 at 12:45 PM ^

If we run the tables, and a few other teams have losses, could we be considered the #2 team in the B1G and thus have to face the Sec #2? LSU/Bama both are somewhat terrifying this year. Ill go to the game, just like I went to the Gator bowl last yeat, but sitting through another beating like that doesn't sound enjoyable... I think I would prefer hot sand shoved in my ass.


November 18th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

1. He's a succesful football coach and a great recruiter.

2. There's also a lot of interesting entanglement with Meyer and Michigan.

Mattison and Strong were Meyer's most trusted DCs from 2005 to 2009.  Even Teryl Austin, his 2010 DC at Florida, was a former Michigan assistant coach.

Plus Urban Meyer is the kind of coach that many people love to hate, which I think spices up the rivalry a bit and can allow Michigan and OSU fans to perhaps forget the recent past (for different reasons) and focus on the future.

Most Michigan fans bitch and moan about the 2006 politicking by Meyer to get to the title game.  I don't blame him for that at all.  What I think about is this: In 2006 Florida's one loss was to Auburn (11-2) in Jordan-Hare Stadium, 17-27.  In 2007 the same thing happened, but in Gainesville, Florida again losing to Auburn 20-17.

Michigan's Al Borges was the OC for Auburn both years.



November 18th, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

They absolutely let loose all their Penn State jokes in half an hour haha.  It may as well have been November 9th at the Penn State trustees meeting.

Haha we like to kid around here

Soooooo can i give you my headshot? Here it is.. It never hurts


November 19th, 2011 at 12:36 AM ^

I hope Meyer does go to OSU. I want Michigan and Hoke to beat the best they -- or anybody else -- have. You're measured by the people you beat. So bring it on.


November 19th, 2011 at 1:30 AM ^

hooray i got front paged


..and Michigan had to settle for Bo Schembechler's far superior control of his program. It's been five years without him as of this week. Brian put this in and it's a quick must-read about how a coach ought to behave when scandal rears its head. President Coleman's letter is also available. Jon06 provides both.


but you misdescribed the first link, which is to my post on peter ludlow's huffington post piece. (i assume the bo article you mentioned is the thing about the former FBI agent, but i don't think i ever reposted that one, and the link doesn't go to a post about it.)