Mailbag: ACC Openings, Arkansas(?), Mustache Tricks, Tempo, Flan Comment Count

Brian October 5th, 2012 at 3:47 PM



ND replacements open up.

Hi Brian, I don't know if you've caught up with this yet but the ACC is going to an 8 game conference schedule in football from the present 9 games.  This will create immediate schedule openings for ACC teams.  The article below from the Atlanta paper discusses the impact on GA Tech and of ND coming into the ACC. Tech and Notre Dame will be permanent partners for home and home series in basketball.  I wouldn't want UM to play GA Tech in football, with their Air Force/Navy type offense but there are a ton of other possibilities for us now within the ACC.

This puts Florida State and Clemson more on the table—and I should mention that FSU did have an Oklahoma series in addition to their annual Florida series recently, so they are not entirely averse to a second quality opponent. FSU will have to make sure they don't get Notre Dame in one of those years before anything firms up, but there are five years Michigan is looking for a sexy opponent. At least two of those years FSU will have an opening.

I'd bank on at least one ACC entering the picture in the 2016-2020 window, since two-thirds of a game every year has just opened up.

BONUS INSIDERY THING: This is not on the same level as the Alabama game prediction, which I was certain of, but I've heard from a decent source that Arkansas may be a team that pops up on the schedule in the near future. Jeff Long is a Michigan guy—thus the basketball series we've just completed—and only has TCU in 2016 as a quality opponent in the time frame Michigan will be looking for partners.

Arkansas is not on the level of a Notre Dame but as part of a schedule in which Michigan has two real opponents they're a good choice.




Do you think that Danny Hope is being vague on the status of Marve and Bolden just to keep Michigan off-balanced in game preparation? I doubt that we will see either player, but having to game plan for both a predominately pocket passer and a more mobile quarterback eats up a lot of practice time and film time. If Bolden and Marve were to be in the game, that back field if both healthy would be an athletic one which could give our defense issues.



Did I answer this question just because it came with a subject of "Mustache tricks (UNCLASSIFIED)"? That's classified.

I wouldn't put anything past coaches in their never-ending quests to gamesmanship themselves an extra yard or two, but I'm not sure about your policework there. TerBush is the athletic QB, Marve the more effective passer. Bolden is either available or not. Purdue's offense isn't going to shift that drastically based on the QB—routes will be the same, they're still going to be operating from the shotgun, etc.

In general, football coaches' manic attempts to get every edge possible are ridiculous. That stuff going down in Los Angeles is doing more damage to either LA program than the miniscule advantage provided by pretty much but not quite knowing the injury situation going into the game. It's especially grating when the same guys are like "scheme is overrated." You know what's overrated? Insane North Korea secrecy.

Can we go fast?


I'm a huge spread guy and I noticed that not once under Hoke has Michigan pushed tempo on offense unless late in halves or games. Can you explain this?

Ali Maki

There's a cost to that. Tempoing a defense requires everyone to be on the same page, restricts the package of plays you can use, and requires you to move to a different system of play-signaling.

I think it's a cost worth paying. One of the big takeaways from the Mott open practices is how often guys are not doing anything. That would drive me crazy as a coach, and does drive Chip Kelly crazy, so he set about cramming as much stuff in as possible during practice and then thinking about it after. The results have been pretty good.

Michigan doesn't, at least not right now. I get it. They've got a lot of stuff they're trying to cram into Denard and the OL without putting that extra weight on his shoulders. They haven't taken Tempo 301's prereqs.

Pretty much, buddy.


Do you or do you not support sending Denard on a safety blitz when Ohio State has a 3rd and 9 on the Michigan 40 with 3 minutes to play in a tie game-seems like a near guarantee that he would missile himself into Braxton Miller's spine, forcing a fumble which could then be returned by laquon treadwell who is visiting and has run on to the field in uncontrollable excitement.  

If this happens I will donate my entire income for the 2013 fiscal year to Vincent Smith's estate.

I'd rather have Denard throw a poisoned flan at the guy, but I guess your plan could work too.



October 5th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

Can we just play Rutgers already?  They're ranked, in a BCS conference, and the 12 zillion M alums on the East Coast would be happy.  This would be the one time I'd be OK with playing in an NFL stadium, too.


October 5th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

I would personally be happy with it. But these decisions are made years in advance. The fact that Rutgers is on the fringe of the top 25 at the moment is irrelevant. Based on Rutgers' history, you can make a pretty good guess as to the probability they'd be ranked in a game played 3 or 4 years from now.

Although East Coast alumni would enjoy the road game, is Rutgers the kind of opponent that would set pulses racing in Ann Arbor? In terms of the quality of football that they usually play, Rutgers is practically the equivalent of a MAC school. Brandon can get a MAC school any day of the week, without having to give back a return game.

I think Brandon's main priority is to improve the quality of the home slate, and I'm not sure Rutgers does that. A pretty good SEC team, like Arkansas, is quite a bit different than Rutgers.


October 5th, 2012 at 6:32 PM ^

Next year is the year for east coast alums, with the game in Hartford an easy drive from Boston and NYC and State College a relatively easy drive from NYC and DC.


October 5th, 2012 at 11:26 PM ^

For what it is worth.....this year Rutgers beat Arkansas, at Arkansas, 35-26. In addition,

Rutgers beat University of South Florida, at USF, 23-13.  Florida State just beat USF by only 4 more points. 

Rutgers is 4-0 with a new head coach. No doubt Arkansas has a bigger football tradition than 



October 5th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

I have family down in Arkansas, and they're telling me that Long has put himself in a very tenuous position with his idiot hire of John L. Many Hogs fans are much more angry with Long than with JLS.


October 5th, 2012 at 5:03 PM ^

Then it sounds like Arkansas people are about aas bright as I would expect them to be.  What was he supposed to do?  His HC royally fucked up, and he needed someone to take over last minute.  Then his starting QB got hurt.  JLS might have looked halfway decent with a starting QB this year.  

If you play in the SEC and you lose your HC mid-off season and your QB week one, you're gonna look like shit no matter what.  


October 5th, 2012 at 6:11 PM ^

Certainly Long was not in an enviable position having to fire Petrino in early April, but that doesn't mean that hiring a guy with a checkered on-field reputation who's also $40 million in debt is a good decision either. I think it would have been better to promote one of Petrino's coordinators than to bring in Smith, with all his baggage. The man's entertaining, but that's because he's a goofball.


October 5th, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

He had been an assistant at Arkansas under Petrino up until sometime in 2011. He left Arkansas for the head coach position at Weber State for only about 4 months before coming back to Arkansas.

Apparently all the other in-house candidates made less sense (link to an old Mandel column). UAB had hired away their old offensive coordinator to be their head coach, Petrino's brother was the new offensive coordinator, and both the defensive coordinator and the assistant head coach were newcomers from Ohio State. 

Yeah, Arkansas is a train wreck, but with the starting QB down Petrino would be struggling (although admittedly not quite as badly as they are).


October 5th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

Easy to say that after the fact, but I don't know how much Long knew about JLS's debt, and he was an assistant under Petrino who has HC experience at a BCS school.  They knew it wasn't a long term gig.  When naming an interim HC, you don't always name the highest ranking coach.  The picked JLS because he was familiar with the team/program, and they could keep their coordinators in place.  

Again, they've also had injuries, and JLS's personal baggage has come out so it looks like a dumb move now, but at the time it made sense, at least as much sense as any other option he had.


October 5th, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

Long had a better option. Hire a real coach, the best guy you can find. Not an "interim" coach. It's no wonder Arkansas has vastly disappointed.

Team under turmoil + guy you know isn't going to be around in a year = timebomb. 

Imagine how their SEC counterparts are destroying them on the recruiting trail right now.

This plan totally backfired and Long's going to pay for it.


October 5th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

...was an accommodation for Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech. In years they play Notre Dame in South Bend, they would be looking at 6 road games, which (in general) no BCS team ever does. I know that Michigan played at Jerryworld this year, but that was a one-off, not a game built into the schedule on a recurring basis.


October 5th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

In 2016 we'd want Arkansas at home (already have Colorado at home in non-conference), especially with our Big Ten away schedule having us at Wisco, at Nebraska, and at Ohio State.

Can we assume this would be a home-and-home with Michigan making a trip to Fayetteville in 2017? Could be an incredible road trip.

Future Michigan schedules:

User -not THAT user

October 5th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

...the same Ga Tech who got housed in their own joint by Middle Tennessee State this past weekend?  I live in the Atlanta area, and A LOT of the Tech fans/boosters are calling for Paul Johnson's head right guarantee Tech will be running Navy's/Air Force's offense much longer if the present trends continue.


October 5th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

Large studium, great college town, party school, pretty open schedule!  I would love to see Clemson get in the mix.  As an added bonus, feel free to google your own pictures of Clemson co-eds.

Section 1

October 5th, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

One word, and it isn't "plastics." 

When we are thinking about the ACC, and the opening up (by one game) of their football schedules, and our own out-of-conference tomato-can season, and generally getting off on beating the hell out of somebody in football for the fun of it, I have one word:


And, I'd be happy to make it a home-and-home.  Because I'd be happy to go into that little movie-set of a football stadium in Durham, and lay 72 points on them in something other than basketball.


October 5th, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

So I can see from that standpoint it might have looked like a prudent decision... it's just that John L seems like such a crazy man sometimes. It's hard for me to believe he'd really command much respect in the locker room.

I think I read that Long knew about Smith's financial problems when he hired him, but to what extent I'm not sure.

The real jackass in all this is Petrino...great coach, but what a douchebag.

Decatur Jack

October 6th, 2012 at 12:44 AM ^

I hate the no-huddle. Not saying it can't ever work, but I prefer the huddle because you get to make sure everyone is on the same page and a huge weapon is clock management. I want the offense to stay on the field and wear the other defense down, and give our defense time to rest up. You don't really get that with a no-huddle.

Just my opinion.