Mailbag: Heartbaugh, Super Bowl Game Theory, Demoralization List(!), Beilein Recruiting Comment Count

Brian February 16th, 2015 at 10:18 AM


Good Morning (Afternoon in Ann Arbor) MGoBlog Team,

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, the attached picture was being passed around by the 49ers fans here in my office.  One had the insight to share with me.

Go Blue.


I want to see a version of this with the MVictors glare photo.

Not at all timely response to Super Bowl question.


You briefly mentioned how you believe Belichick not using a timeout at the end of the Super Bowl was a colossal overlooked mistake, and that the ends don't justify the means.  In almost all cases I agree with you on coaches' inability to properly use timeouts (e.g. Hoke giving up a free hail mary).  However, in this particular case, I disagree and I think the statistics and "feels" may bear out that Belichick didn't necessarily just get lucky.

Everyone knew that, at some point, Lynch was going to get the ball.  With only one timeout left, Belichick knew that Seattle couldn't run it three straight times. In addition, Lynch had not been very good, going only 45% successful in short yardage situations all season, and 1/5(!) at goal to go from the 1.  Belichick had to know that, and was potentially making a statistical gamble on being able to stop the run there.  There is also something to be said in the "feels" category with putting pressure on the other
team to make a decision they may not otherwise make.  It was also made clear by Butler that they were ready for that exact situation.  Belichick knew they could defend it.  I think even though it may appear that Belichick got lucky, he in fact knew exactly what he was doing.  It may look like high risk, but in fact the season statistics and his preparation tell me that he knew the odds were in his favor by letting the clock run and limiting Seattle's choices.

Thanks, and I love the blog as well as discussions like this.
-Kyle (Carolina Blue)

I think that's dubious at best. Seattle snapped the ball on second down with a timeout and 26 seconds after having run the clock down from just under a minute. Seattle has the option to run on either second or third down. By not calling timeout you get to impose that constraint on their playcalling.

But that's all, and that's not much. You cite some stats that have been floating around; those are not serious. (Five attempts? Cumong man.) Football Outsiders' OL rankings have Seattle the #2 team in the league in their "power success" stat, which is defined like so:

Percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Also includes runs on first-and-goal or second-and-goal from the two-yard line or closer.

Lynch and Seattle had in fact been excellent at punching the ball in, and forcing a pass is a good idea. You give up some expectation when you throw on the doorstep of the end zone.

Meanwhile, the Patriots were dead last with an identical rate: 81% of the time Seattle tried a short conversion they got it; 81% of the time the Patriots tried to stop one they failed. Even leaving aside the passing down, 19% squared is about 4%. Without a miracle—the first goal-line interception thrown by an NFL team all year—the Patriots go home losers. How likely is that miracle? Not likely. Russell Wilson had seven interceptions on 495 throws this year.

Your win percentage is unbelievably grim in the situations the Pats put themselves in. But how grim is it

  • down three with a minute left with a TO
  • on your 20
  • with a unanimous first-ballot HOF QB

Not nearly as grim, I think.

[After the JUMP: demoralizing: we're experts]

Demoralizing has so many more options.

Hi MGoBlog team,

What was a more demoralizing event;  
a)  the 2012 Michigan / Alabama game
b)  OSU winning the championship this past year
c)   Something you think that was even worse than these two things  


Well, B is just out unless you were under the impression that Urban Meyer wasn't a good coach and OSU was going to be excellent for the duration of his tenure. It's not like Michigan wasn't already staring up at the branches of a pretty tall tree. The whole winning a title with your third string QB is a downer, but many things that have actually happened to Michigan are worse.

The Alabama game was totally demoralizing but to go grab that from all the recent humiliations as the one that stands above the rest is a bit odd. I mean, Alabama does that to a lot of teams and many of them go on to live healthy productive lives afterwards. Hell, Michigan was in the midst of having one of those when Denard's elbow smacked harmlessly to the turf at Nebraska.

No, that Alabama game was terrible, but the recent Hoke era has far more demoralizing experiences. Here is one man's attempt to parse humilation:

  1. Rushing for –48 and –21 yards in consecutive games
  2. The Shane Morris Incident
  3. 27 for 27
  4. The Bellomy portion of that Nebraska game
  5. Getting shut out 31-0 by Notre Dame
  6. Alabama pounding our face
  7. Allowing Gary Nova to throw for 400 yards
  8. That two point conversion attempt at the end of the Kansas State game after losing the OSU game on a two point conversion
  9. #m00n
  10. OSU national championship, I guess.

Many programs could claim that their rival winning a title in hilariously unlikely circumstances (Cardale Jones versus Bama and Oregon!) would be the most demoralizing thing that had happened to them in a while. Michigan has emphatically not been that program.

Harbaugh, though.

Basketball recruiting.

Brian -

This has been rattling around in my head for a while... Apologies if this has been covered before, but here's a thought about basketball recruiting. Does the current state of our team simply stem from the fact that Beilein hasn't gone after / doesn't want the guys who are one-and-done? Rather he has gotten good players who he turns into guys the NBA wants after a couple of years. The solid players who follow aren't then ready to fill the shoes of those who departed early. The UKs, KUs, and Dukes of the college basketball world, however, pull in class after class of guys who leave after a year. In other words, they have another one-and-done (or something close) to come in and fill the shoes of the guy who just left.

In a way Beilein is a victim of his own success. His staff develops the heck out of guys and makes them coveted players and then has to do it all over again rather than relying just on the raw ability of guys who come in and can play at a high level already.

If this is the case, is it also simply a matter of Beilein not getting the 5* kids?



I don't think it would have done much good to go after the one and dones that seemed vaguely acquirable. That was Tom Izzo's strategy, and he has a 5'9" point guard who can't shoot and some guys Michigan had on the back burner to show for it. They got really burned by pursuing the Cliff Alexanders of the world. Michigan is fighting uphill for those guys. It takes a weirdo like Mitch McGary to be that level of hyped recruit and show up.

Michigan got unlucky that their early targets blew up into Kentucky-level recruits. If Kentucky gets Emanuel Mudiay and passes on Booker, he's probably in Ann Arbor and we feel better. That's just life. Michigan is not competing with UK and other schools on certain things, like Kentucky and Kansas's "dorms" that are essentially luxury hotels that host 14 normal students and the basketball team.

I do agree with you that if you're going to have the kind of attrition that Michigan's had over the last few years, you need to be bringing in that UK and Kansas level talent to prevent a hiccup—and even then Kentucky has been an 8-seed and missed the tourney entirely in recent years.

I maintain that a potential solution to this is the NBA moving to the NHL style of drafting:

  • everyone is automatically eligible after high school
  • draftees remain eligible because they're not opting in
  • teams and colleges can work together to determine when the appropriate time to go is

More information is always good, and that provides it.

Walk-ons in anti-signing day regime?

Hey Brian,

You suggested this in today's UV, and have written something similar many times before.

"(Optional but highly desirable) NCAA does away with 85-player cap and allows everyone to sign up to 22-25 players a year, no exceptions. Transfers and JUCOs count.

Changing the cap from a roster limit to a yearly limit instantly does away with any oversigning mutterings since your motivation is to keep players instead of cut them."

I like this idea for the reasons you state, but have been thinking about a potential unintended consequence. This approach seems to all but eliminate the opportunity for a Jordan Kovacs, Graham or Ryan Glasgow, JJ Watt or any walk-on to earn a scholarship.

Theoretically, the coach would have to forgo giving a scholarship to a freshman to give it to a walk-on. The walk-on is already on the team, why "waste" your scholarship on him? I thought perhaps have a 1 or 2 scholarship walk-on exception each year or two, but you know that would get abused immediately by certain coaches.

Maybe Michigan has had an unusual rash of worthy contributions from walk-ons in recent years, but I like the idea that someone can earn their scholarship.


Yeah, that is a problem.

I still think that under the 25-a-year-no-exceptions-no-limit system guys like the Glasgows would end up on scholarship for team purposes. It's a cost to Michigan to have them fill a slot of 85; it would be proportionally less to be one "signee" of 25. The situation gets murkier with long-snappers and fullbacks in a spread era.

I don't really have a good solution here. I guess you could set a reasonable number (100?) under which guys who haven't signed can get a scholarship for that year without counting against the cap. Or maybe you could use a couple scholarships per year that people have vacated for your walk-ons. They can figure something out, I think.

And the upside of having a retention-focused scholarship policy outweighs that cost by an order of magnitude.



February 16th, 2015 at 10:39 AM ^

Solution to the walk on issue with scholarships could just be that players who leave before their eligibility is up can have their scholarship transfered to a walk on who has paid their way for at least 2 years.  Might even leave more scholarshipsf or walk ons than the current system.


February 16th, 2015 at 12:35 PM ^

There's no motivation for a coach to cut a player in order to give that scholarship to the walk-on.  The coach already has the walk-on secured on his team--giving him a scholarship is just a nice gift.  Not allowing the coach to use those scholarships on new recruits eliminates the bad incentive.


February 16th, 2015 at 10:42 AM ^

I voiced this in the comments, but maybe you have 25 "slots" of eligibility in each class, or a hard cap of 125. That way coaches could reward walk-ons after attrition in their "class". Very few teams would ever hit 125 - that would require everyone redshirting/staying or repopulating all attrition with Jucos, but I think that would work.

If someone transfers after his sophomore year, a walk-on could get his "2 years of scholarship eligibility". Honest question - are there holes in this idea?


February 16th, 2015 at 10:59 AM ^

That's up to thirty additional scholarships to get Title IX compliance, and would require the Purdue and Illinois type AD's to voluntarily raise the scholarship limit for Michigan and OSU (the 70's would have been very different in an 85 scholarship world).

Other than requiring juco's to count for the class they enroll in, I think you're good except for the 25 number. I'd guess that needs to drop to ~20 for Title IX and competitive balance.


February 16th, 2015 at 12:02 PM ^

I highlighted a few different ideas for Title IX compliance in that original thread here:…

Basically my ideas were

  • Make all spots cap-free and have yearly limits. If a school magically was retaining 125 football players and about 80 female athletes over a 3 year period that could cause an investigation or something (are they cheating to pay less?) 
  • Make revenue generating sport scholarships not count against the title IX cap - a bit tougher sell, as this would decrease the amount of available female scholarships
  • Make the school carry the maximum number of female scholarships at all times - for example if Football became capped at 25 players per year, the title IX number for football is now 125. That actually increases the number of available scholarships and provides more student-athletes with opportunities. The downside is it will cost Universities more, so they'd never go for it.


February 16th, 2015 at 12:51 PM ^

I think the walkon issue solves itself. Being able to award 25 scholarships each year will eliminate some of the demand for walkons, which probably occur in years when teams only have 15-20 scholarships to give out. If a player walks on and proves himself worthy after two or three years, the coach will probably give him a scholarship (thinking he is more of a known quantity than the high school player that would otherwise get the 23-25 scholarship. Also, allow the player (if turned down by his current team) to transfer to another school (that is willing to give him a scholarship) and allow him to play immediately.

I am assuming the annual cap is 25, so you have 15 more (100 vs 85) to work with.

Mr Miggle

February 16th, 2015 at 2:12 PM ^

rarely are.

if the annual cap is 25. There needs to be a provision allowing teams that take less than 25 in a class to hand out the balance to walkons already on campus. With so many scholarships available it should be good for walkons, but it's also probably an impracticably high number. Whittle that annual cap down to 20 and walkons should feel the pinch. Teams will make room for starters like the Glasgows, but other contributors that get a paid year or two now probably just get left out.

It also needs to have some provisions for accepting transfers. JuCos come early, but many others come well after NSD. If they can only go to schools that deliberately kept a spot open, there won't be many options. I understand the desire to not reward teams for losing transfers, but it could easily punish the players too.

There's also the issue of counting scholarships for Title IX. Since teams could theoretically have 125 scholarship players, do they all have to match that number in women's sports? Can they use another formula since no one will likely ever have the maximum? The numbers could be all over the place. It either gets a lot more expensive or complicated than it is today, probably both.


February 16th, 2015 at 10:42 AM ^

I have often wondered why the NCAA doesn't regulate all of their sports like hockey.  Current NCAA regulations in football or basketball seem to help the professional leagues and screw both the NCAA and its players.  

If they insist on making stupid rules that restrain trade and somehow don't get busted for it, I would rather see them make freshmen ineligible again, especially in basketball.  Imagine what it would do to the UK business model of turning the other way while boosters buy one and dones?  UK would become a decent team but not a great one almost immediately.  

I would rather see players allowed to take money from wherever they can, but if they can't, going back to freshmen ineligible might be best for all concerned.

oriental andrew

February 16th, 2015 at 10:43 AM ^

Oh Jim. Will you be my Baugh-lentine?

While the osu natty was depressing, i wouldn't call it demoralizing. Pretty much everything after year 1 of the Hoke era, though. Looking back at the games and the records, it seems like the msu game in 2013 was the beginning of the end. Before that game, Michigan was 25-8. From that point forward, Michigan went 6-12. 


February 16th, 2015 at 10:50 AM ^

more demoralizing is because of Harbaugh. Hoke or pretty much any other coach would be getting slaughtered in recruiting. Harbaugh mitigates the damage by allowing us to recruit with OSU and every other team in the country.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:27 AM ^

Meyer is at the top of the game and is a huge challenge for us.  But if you had to take a step back and ask what coach would be the best the best weapon for us to go up against Meyer, it would be Jim Harbaugh. 

Imagine if the powers that be decided that we should just muddle along with Hoke?  

I still wake up in a cold sweat now and then thinking that Hoke is still our coach while Meyer is running wild at the SEC on the Olentangy.  It's how an Iowa fan must feel.


February 16th, 2015 at 1:45 PM ^

Getting either demoralized because of OSU success or the opposite when they have failures just seems so much like the Sparty relationship to Michigan, to the point where they seem more upset/happy with Michigan's ups and downs than their own.  All I want is success for Michigan.  Part of that could be that I live west of the Mississippi, though; I don't have to deal with Buckeye fans regularly.

Red is Blue

February 16th, 2015 at 10:52 AM ^

not only would a hard annual scholarship cap dampen the ability to reward walk-ons, it seems like it would also hurt transfers. How about a system with a number limit on incoming players with 4 years of eligibility left and a diiferent limit for walk-ons and transfers that have less than 4 years of eligibility left when they start with a program. The walk-on/transfer pool could only have so many players at any one time and has to stay below a certain number of points. The points being assigned based on how many years of eligibility a player has left. A player is counted in both metrics as if he was with the program until his eligibility runs out (even if he leaves). I'd imagine there would still be inequities or chances to game the system almost no matter the approach, but at least this does away with the incentive to cut kids Or force them to take medicals...

Perkis-Size Me

February 16th, 2015 at 11:04 AM ^

Yeah, its hard to classify the Bama game as truly demoralizing. I mean yeah it sucked, but like Brian pointed out, Bama has a habit of doing that to a lot of teams, and in many cases, those teams can still go on to have productive years.

Games like Akron and UConn are demoralizing. Where your guys have to dig down deep and beat a team that, normally, your third string guys should still be able to handle with ease. We almost added "The Horror" Versions II-III in consective weeks.

MSU 2013 and 2014 were demoralizing. We weren't just beat. We were crushed, humiliated, and emasculated by our in-state rival that is traditionally a second-rate, inferior program. It was after 2013 MSU that you knew whether it was the next day, the next week, or the next year, Hoke's days were numbered.

Getting sent out of the ND rivalry on the heels of a 31-0 beatdown, a beatdown from a mediocre team no less, was demoralizing. It doesn't matter that we've traditionally fared very well against them. All their fans will point to until we play again is 31-0.

Letting teams like Utah and Minnesota come into your stadium and push you around was demoralizing.

But I have never in my life been more demoralized after a sporting event than 2013 OSU. Went into the stadium that day with zero expectations other than getting blown out by halftime. To see the team fight so hard, go toe to toe with its most hated rival and come within inches of pulling arguably the biggest upset in the history of the rivalry. I wasn't demoralized for me, but for our players.



February 16th, 2015 at 11:33 AM ^

Plus the Bama game came when everything was looking up for us.  We were young and adjusting to a new system.  We had work to do, but it looked like we were getting there.

Nobody thought we were going to do well against Alabama at that particular time.  It was viewed as just a useful learning experience.

We were inconsistent in the game as expected, but we actually did have a few bright moments like scoring one of the few TD passes they gave up that year from Denard to Devin.  

That game was nowhere near the top of demoralizing games we've had recently.


February 16th, 2015 at 12:16 PM ^

Yeah Bama was our 2nd biggest loss in terms of points in the last few years, but Bama went on to win the national championship in 2012. They beat 9 other teams in 2012 by more points then they beat us. Shoot they beat ND by 31 points in the National Championship game. Did the game suck...yes. Should it be in the in the top way. Top 10...possibly but not on my top 10.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:14 AM ^

Sorry Brian I'm with Kyle (Carolina Blue on this one).  I would have much rather lived with trying to stop Lynch than relying on a Hail Mary attempt against the Seattle secondary.  While Lynch was the primary reason (Brown and OBJ didn't hurt) I secured my fantasy football championship this year, there were more failed attempts from within the five than you would expect from "Beast Mode".

The FannMan

February 16th, 2015 at 12:44 PM ^

The play only gets stopped if the DB instantly reads correctly, reacts immeidately by firing hard for the spot where the ball is going to be and gets there before the WR.  That an undrafted rookie would do all that is such a low percentage.  It just happened that is how it went down.  There is probably a greater percentage of a vetern DL beating a block and putting his helmet on the ball to cause a fumble.


snarling wolverine

February 16th, 2015 at 5:25 PM ^

Ah, but there is a method to Jim's madness.  He's strategic about whom he goes after.  Carroll isn't his rival anymore.  If he's going to rankle another coach's feathers, it would be the one of the gentlemen in Columbus or East Lansing.

(But even then, I've pretty much never heard any coach criticize another coach's playcalling.)



February 16th, 2015 at 1:43 PM ^

"I would have much rather lived with trying to stop Lynch than relying on a Hail Mary attempt against the Seattle secondary." How are the two mutually exclusive? If you think you can stop Lynch, call the TO - the Seahawks had plenty of time, and a TO, to run Lynch at least twice anyway if they wanted to. At worst calling the TO gives them one more chance to run where they'd otherwise need to pass. For that you trade significantly more time to respond if Seattle scores on the first or second try. All else equal, it seems like that favors the TO.

The "Belicheck liked what he saw and didn't want to give Seattle a chance to change their mind/get better organized" seems much more plausible and defensible.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:18 AM ^

I like how Brian said "they can figure something out" in regards to the NCAA making positive changes to recruiting and over signing. I think it's cute that he still has faith that those morons could figure out how to microwave popcorn yet alone something that matters.

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February 16th, 2015 at 11:18 AM ^

Office guy seems to have copied a picture Holly Anderson had on Grantland last week. Although if the guy was just taking her idea he probably would have just taken her image, maybe he just also came up with the idea on his own since it's a completely different image and editing.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:31 AM ^

Brian - 

If you read the (admittedly biased) Sports Guy recap of the Super Bowl he believes that Belicheck avoiding calling timeout on purpose.  His logic was that he felt he had a better chance at a goal-line stand and confusing Seatle by NOT calling the TO than he did at a 45 second hail-mary drive with no timeouts.  

While I'm not sure I agree with him, his evidence is the chaos you saw on the field before the snap where Seatle kept moving guys around to get them in the right position and the fact that the Patriots had prepared for this play all week plus had the right defense on the field.  Simmons thinks that perhaps the best NFL coach of all time wanted to shift the pressure on Seatle to make an uncomfortable run/pass playcall with the clock ticking rather than giving them a timeout to call whatever play they wanted.  

(granted, had they rammed Lynch into the line they likely score anyway.....but the odds fell to the Pats this time whether it was genius or stupidity)


February 16th, 2015 at 11:39 AM ^

I'd rather be lucky than good.  Belichick was lucky.

Without that miracle interception, Seattle would have scored on that drive and NE would have had no time to answer.

Don't forget, NE only needed 3 points.  I would much rather take the odds of having a minute left with Brady and company needing to go 50-60 yards, than hope for a miracle.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:55 AM ^

Well, maybe you could argue that the Patriots were lucky on the interception.  Keep in mind, however, that the only reason Seatle was in that position was because of a miracle lucky catch that hit about 10 body parts before giving them such good field position.  

I read another piece about Brady's career and how many close plays have gone both ways to help define his legacy.  I think over enough time the luck and randomness even out with the number of chances they've had.  

snarling wolverine

February 16th, 2015 at 3:04 PM ^

His logic was that he felt he had a better chance at a goal-line stand and confusing Seatle by NOT calling the TO than he did at a 45 second hail-mary drive with no timeouts.

Didn't NE have two timeouts? If so, they could have kept one in the back pocket for the ensuing drive.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:37 AM ^

Everyone, including the Seahawks, expected Belichick to call a timeout immediately. He saw the Seahawks had sent in their 3wr package as the pats send in their goal line group. Belichick felt good about stopping the run in that situation and they had obviously identified the Seahawks tendencies including the slant and coached their guys up for that.

I don't know how you can call that a colassel overlooked mistake. Is it the absolute only way they could have won the game at that point? No, of course not. It was unconventional, but that does not make it a mistake. In fact, that is the reason it worked.


February 16th, 2015 at 12:16 PM ^

Agreed - to some extent I think both Belichek and Carrol are being over MMQB'd on that last minute. Belichick said he thought about calling the timeout but liked the personnel matchup he saw. Butler said he was keyed up for that play.

As far as Carroll, while I'd have given the ball to Lynch, Lynch had been stopped in short yardage situations earlier that game. The Pats had stopped him on a read option and another 3rd and short in the red zone - it wasn't a 100% certainty that he scores. Managing the clock does matter. Carrol wasn't necessarily wrong for calling a pass - he was wrong for calling a play the Pats were ready for.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:39 AM ^

Most demoralizing game of the Hoke era was the ND one this year, for me at least. It was bad enough getting shutout for the first time in 30 years, it was bad enough losing to that school our last time playing them ever (in the foreseeable future, whatever.) But add in that before the season we were all cautiously optimistic that Nuss could turn things around and the D could be elite - well that door was emphatically closed against Notre Dame. That was the day I definitively stopped believing in Hoke.

For Rod, that was the Gator Bowl, fwiw.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:41 AM ^

OSU winning as not that demoralizing.  It actually makes climbing the mountain easier in a way as Michigan gets to play all their games settle the roster issues then play OSU and see how they stack up.  Lets say bama blasts OSU and wins by 35 points resulting in more trashing of the BgTn conference by the media.  Then the Mich-OSU matchup is viewed nationally as a meeting of lightweights and a loss by M means they are still terrible.  Now if M wins or plays really well against the defending NC it means something and signals the return of Michigan to national relevance.  Its really a good thing for the entire BgTn that has been taking it on the chin from the national media for the past 10 years.  But I also feel like most of you that it was hard to watch bucky celebrate afterward! 


February 16th, 2015 at 11:48 AM ^

What people haven't talked about is the personnel situation.  I really believe if the Patriots didn't like the personnel matchup they had, a time out would have been called.  In a similar situation earlier in the game the Patriots stuffed a 3rd and 1.  The Seahawks were in a spread gun package and couldn't get the first down.  I just believe the Patriots liked their odds if the Seahawks decided to run the ball.  A stop for a loss puts the Seahawks in a situation without a great passer, on a shortened field, without a timeout...WIN again for the Pats.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:48 AM ^

To me, nothing has ever been more demoralizing than that. It was after we'd just been pasted by Notre Dame. But there was still some hope. It was a home game that ended hours late because of a weather delay, off TV, in a nearly empty stadium with happy Utah fans that had moved down to be right next to the field.

Our team was forced to play out the game in those conditions when they knew they simply had no chance of coming back and getting a win.

That was utterly humiliating, and embarassing, and if it was up to me, I'd have fired Hoke that night. To me, that was rock bottom.


February 16th, 2015 at 11:50 AM ^

Removing the cap on football scholarships means being aware of the fact that the NCAA then has to allocate more scholarships to women's sports so they don't run into Title IX issues...

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February 16th, 2015 at 12:01 PM ^

should have explianed my thougths a little bit more on the demoralization question. 


2012 Alabama Game - what made this game so demoralizing was that it was the first game of the year, and it completely ruined the 2012 season for me.  After that game nothing seemed to have mattered anymore as Alabama made it very apparent how far behind Michigan was.  I agree there's been more pathetic games, but there was something about that game that just wiped out a whole season for me. 


OSU Championship - With everything that has happened to Michigan the past decade, I felt like the one thing that would redeem us would be if we were to win a championship before OSU.  Now that OSU has won one, I feel like they just cashed in for the past 10 years, and there's no way for Michigan to regain their losses.  


February 16th, 2015 at 12:17 PM ^

In terms of walk ons not getting scholarships because they are already on the team, a rule change that said non scholarship students can transfer without waiting a year would work


February 16th, 2015 at 12:35 PM ^

I don't quite get why removing the total roster limit and putting in place a hard yearly limit would remove the opportunities for walk-ons.  Are we assuming that every single year there'll be 25 signees?  I don't think that's likely; coaches would certainly try, but circumstances would conspire against that happening.  In years where there aren't 25 signees, there'd then be room for the Kovacs of the world to get a scholarship.  More incentive and more room, in fact, because coaches wouldn't be incentivized to wait til their senior year.  Am I missing something?