From left #3, #24, #23. [Fuller]
Come tailgate, support kids. A reminder that you can join us and former players tomorrow at the Go Blue Bowl Tailgate organized by Marlin Jackson's organization (specifically through the efforts of an extraordinary lady named Kat Mills). This is for charity so suggested minimum donation of $5 if you're just coming for the Q&A and more if you plan to drink beer and hang for awhile.
A couple of Marlin's high donors deserve recognition: Huron Valley Financial, the Bank of Ann Arbor, and MDen. Christians Catering is bringing food, and the Beer Grotto in Dexter is providing the beer. Full details at the link.
If you ask me, it's better to go. Everyone wants to do something to demonstrate that Michigan fans are fed up with a director who treats this program like his personal play toy, and that the public who do own this public institution are sick of it being hoarded, and its name besmirched by dishonesty and obfuscation (Best & Worst).
But for the record, I'm not in favor of boycotts, walkouts, late arrivals, or any other form of protest in which the protestors miss a snap, because I think it misses the target while undermining the one thing we all care about the most.
I know after the Minnesota game that Brian called for a boycott of Maryland if Brandon and Hoke were still here, and I know what name's on my paychecks. I know the players aren't made of glass, and that they're well aware that the vitriol toward the people in charge is not directed at them, although they generally take attacks on their coaches personally (they chose them after all).
But I didn't know until fairly recently why it's so important to them that fans show up: To a player, fans equal energy. Human brains are not wired to grant conscious access to the body's full capacity. Put a hungry lion behind the 20th fastest man on the planet and Usain Bolt will be left in his dust. Whatever our expectations for athletes we paid massive sums to see, they cannot escape their own psychology.
CSG president Bobby Dishell's heart is in the right place, but he's wrong: you're not hurting the players; you're hurting their performance.
Athletes draw motivation from the crowd. Michigan Stadium's size is a huge recruiting tool because an athlete brain understands intuitively that 109,000 shouting faces will get more out of him than 84,000. The number gets in their heads, but empty seats do as well. Go watch September baseball at a bad team's venue long after they've been eliminated: it's crap. Every play that your seat is empty contributes a tiny bit to Michigan (and, coincidentally, their opponent) playing a bit worse.
Weigh that against the maximum that you will realistically move the decision of Mark Schlissel. Your empty seat speaks, but you can also be in that seat screaming "Go!" at Blue to the furthest extent of your vocal capacity whenever they take the field or need a boost, and screaming "Fire Brandon!" whenever he starts trying to blast you. I think we can get that message across while taking a cue from old blue, and using this weekend to show the players we haven't checked out on them. You can make a statement with where you choose to put your ass, but that's hardly the most effective communicative tool in your anatomical package.
Here's what I suggest we do tomorrow: From the moment the band finishes marching off until kickoff chant "Let's Go Blue!" as loud as you fucking can. At the end of the the game, win or lose, stand in your seat and chant "Let's Go Blue!" AS LOUD. AS. YOU. FUCKING. CAN. In between, scream your head off on Penn State 3rd downs, boo the attendance lie, and sprinkle in "Fire Brandon!" as necessary.
Let's leave Hoke alone, since it does us no good if he loses the team now, and his fate is sealed to his record (Ron Utah with some candidate grades) so any more dogging from us is superfluous. ST3 made the case that the coaching staff has cost Michigan perhaps three wins with strategic errors: dumb-punting vs. Utah, starting Shane, and giving Rutgers that end-of-1st-half drive. I think it's more accurate to say that these coaching errors put Michigan at a small strategic disadvantage, and that the team is not so good that it can win without every scrap of advantage it can get.
Yes, showing up and laying off the coach is what Dave Brandon wants you to do. Fuck him; we come to root for Michigan.
[Jump: clans, coaches, etc.]
The clans and their coaches. Remember the clans?
Saveferris revisited them four years hence. We got diaries this week from most of these sides.
Ever critical of the Empire, the Rebellion managed to find proof that Michigan was playing a man down on one punt return after a timeout. Yes, it happened. Again. I remember John L. Smith's Spartans having this problem, and that he "solved" it by having a mat with each 11 jersey numbers on it—a friend remarked upon seeing it that this really puts the "special" in "special teams." I don't think it's such a huge deal; it happens way more often than you think.
For the fierce pragmatists, MichAero put together an interesting diary of offensive YPC judged against what the opponents usually give up.
Last year/this year
By this metric the running game is improved; it's the passing game that's inexplicably gone off a cliff.
THE_KNOWLEDGE I guess represents the estate, who have convinced themselves they can keep Brandon and Hoke and make it work out if Urban and Saban come to coordinate.
"CC:" in a thread title stands for "coaching change." It is there so that anyone who doesn't want to discuss that can stay away from it. There were a lot of them. Alum put together a fairly comprehensive update on some coaching candidate targets and how they've been faring. Libertine produced a helpful list of ages. Mark Stoops was added to the pile, as was Gary Patterson.
Best of the Board
WHAT WE WANT
M-Dog finally put down a list of things fans want changed about out athletic office other than Dave Brandon and his cronies thrown out of it. Shortly:
- Don't gouge us so blatantly
- Act like adults when you get in trouble.
- Treat it like a public institution and stakeholders as people.
- Transparency and honesty in all things wherever possible.
- Stand up for tradition.
- Non-profit in deed, not just name.
- Include students and general fan representatives in decisions.
- Don't play ingroups against each other.
- To this I add take your hands off things you don't need to be involved with, specifically local charities with various ties to the university, and things the band does outside of athletic events.
WE NEVER LEARN
|Michigan's Third-Quarter Point Differential vs. Power 5 Schools (Last 8 Games)|
|Date||Michigan||3Q Pts||Opponent||3Q Pts|
|Nov. 16, 2013||Michigan||0||Northwestern||3|
|Nov. 23, 2013||Michigan||0||Iowa||7|
|Nov. 30, 2013||Michigan||0||Ohio State||14|
|Dec. 28, 2013||Michigan||0||Kansas State||0|
|Sept. 6, 2014||Michigan||0||Notre Dame||7|
|Sept. 20, 2014||Michigan||0||Utah||7|
|Sept. 27, 2014||Michigan||0||Minnesota||17|
|Oct. 4, 2014||Michigan||0||Rutgers||0|
Via MNB, Michigan has been outscored 55-0 in the 3rd quarters of games vs. Power 5 teams, going back to Northwestern last year. I suggest we start a fan movement to change the traditional halftime speech from "Go punch yourself in the face for 15 minutes!" to anything else.
GET MAD, BRADY!
No it's not why Michigan got double-hosed on one ludicrous call, nor is it why the other team got hosed a few times on bad calls, but it's just a fact: Brady doesn't seem to get mad at the refs. Fans want less clap, more Bo. I think this is just a character thing; some coaches lose their shit and some guys have more composure.
Your Moment of Zen: