Mailbag: Lear, Rudock Deep, Punt Agonies, Whoville

Submitted by Brian on October 22nd, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Pretty much

As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods,
They kill us for their sport.

Scott

What's going on with Rudock?

Brian - you made some comments today on the podcast about how Jake Rudock's inability to hit the deep ball has finally bitten us in the collective asses, which I agree. You also mentioned that when you watched him last year, while he wasn't dead-on every time, he was able to hit the deep pass from time to time - something he clearly can't do this year.

My question is this - to me, this does not seem like a 'new coach, new system' type of a problem. Those issues seem to be the ones where he fails to even attempt a throw to a wide open receiver (which he does all the time - but I give him more of a pass for that as the "new system / new coach" issue). But when he throws the deep pass, only inaccurately - that suggests to me an issue with maybe his mechanics or something else that has thrown off his accuracy past 15 yards. Any thoughts why that might be? If anything, I would expect his deep accuracy to improve with a guy like Harbaugh teaching him the fundamentals. Again, I separate this from other issues such as "stares down Butt" or "ignores screamingly open routes every once in awhile."

Thanks,
Jeff

Yeah, you got me. Some of the Rudock problems are issues that make sense given what we saw from him at Iowa. Not throwing at sort of covered Jake Butt on second and goal from the 18 is a Rudock problem I can understand. That is his reputation. Rudock not  finding receivers is a problem I can understand. He's in a new system.

Rudock underthrowing Amara Darboh by about 20 yards is inexplicable. Any quarterback is going to be off on some long throws; to miss as often and as badly as Rudock has is not something that I saw last year. That's not just homerdom. Preseason, PFF put out an article titled "Michigan can win with QB Jake Rudock" that noted he was 12th in downfield (20+ yards in the air) accuracy by their system last year. In the Maryland game, BTN had a similar stat:

rudock not so much

The disparity is certainly bigger now.

I don't know if he's hurt or his mechanics are messed up or what, but for whatever reason his ability to hit downfield passes has collapsed. Why? I dunno. Is there something different in what he's doing here?

2014

2015

Since one is in the middle of the field and one on the sideline. Those are throws of about the same length. Am I crazy or does the 2015 video look like a guy who's loading up to get it as far as he can while 2014 sees Rudock make a throw that's comfortably within his range? I dunno.

Something is wrong. A problematic injury, possibly one that caused the weird Iowa QB depth chart thing, is a possible explanation. The other explanation is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ref hot take

Brian:

Having read Seth’s analysis of the officiating (and you really should make him do that weekly) my question is why – why did this happen to us?  If you ascribe these “errors” to incompetence, shouldn’t there be an equal number of blown calls going in our favor?  Incompetent referees should be just as likely to screw things up for team A as team B and over the course of a 60 minute game shouldn’t it balance relatively out if they are simply incompetent?

The obvious alternative to incompetence is the officials had an agenda and carried it out.  Granted, we still should’ve won the game but with so many critical calls being made against Michigan it made the game much closer than it needed to be and allowed the last play to finally tip the scale in MSU’s favor.   And if it’s an agenda – why does it exist?

What say you?  Incompetence, agenda or something else?

MGrowOld

If you flip a coin a million times there are going to be stretches in there where you get a long series of heads or tails. Michigan just ate an game that was virtually all tails. There's no need for a further explanation. Over the past decade or so it's been definitively proven that the replay officials are not good enough at their job, but that's all. The Big Ten tends to use retired referees in the booth, with evidently disastrous results.

If there was any sort of "plan" here Michigan wouldn't have gotten a free touchdown when their receiver barely scraped the pylon a few years back in this very game. Remember that? That call was overturned from the correct call to free TD. Replay officials should no longer be people with rotary phones. Actual officials are probably the best we've got. That sucks; not much to do about it.

[After THE JUMP: HSPs future, Whoville analogy, we should have done this or that]

Hybrid space players of the future

With the success of Jabrill Peppers in the HSP role and the HSP as the future of defense, what does the future of the position look like for Michigan? Michigan could have as little as one more year of Peppers, his replacement is likely on campus or committed right now, but it isn't clear (at least to me) who the heir apparent is? Who are your top candidates to take over the spot after Jabrill Peppers moves on to the NFL?

-Mathlete

Tyree Kinnel. Kinnel is an excellent athlete who is a corner/safety tweener, but don't just take it from me:

“Kinnel is just a great athlete. I would put him up there with guys like Cam Burrows and others like that from years past. He’s half safety and half corner. He has great coverage skills. He has good size. He is a fit kid.”

All three major recruiting services made that exact comment about Kinnel. While he's not Peppers his reputation is the kind of guy who can cover in space and lay a lick when that's required. He is, or will soon be, the heir apparent.

I mean, probably. Safety is looking mighty thin right about now. Next year Michigan will have senior versions of Hill and Thomas plus Kinnel and true freshmen. The only safety type they have committed right now is Josh Metellus, a sleeper out of Florida. Kinnel might get drafted at safety and then you're back to Countess-style nickelbacks.

Acquiring safeties is a major priority in recruiting the rest of the way.

How likely is the OSU game to be a defacto division championship now?

Enquiring minds want to know:

What is the predicted probability of State winning each of their remaining games? We need them to lose two. We have to count on them losing to the Buckeyes. What is the other game we need to pin our hopes on?  Is it at Nebraska?  Home against Penn State?  Do the Hoosiers have a chance?

Joel

If you go by the advanced stats there's a surprisingly good shot. S&P has the Spartans just 26th. If we assume a loss to OSU, S&P gives MSU just a 21% chance of winning out otherwise, with games at Nebraska and home against PSU near coinflips.

That is optimistic. The stats don't know that MSU has been missing big chunks of their OL that has returned; also the outstanding weakness of MSU's defense will be difficult for Nebraska and Penn State to take advantage of. But if MSU was in dogfights against terrible Purdue(#98) and Rutgers(#92) outfits, every game on the schedule is losable. Except Maryland.

All of the infinite "we should have done X" emails.

This can stand in as a proxy for the rest:

In a situation like the one M found itself in on Saturday, have you ever heard of or seen a team put a man back behind the punter, sort of like the safety man on a kneel?  He could protect against a high or low snap that goes past the punter, or in the case like Saturday, or a simple block, he's there for a potential tackle.  Might be silly to plan for catastrophe like that but high/low snaps, bobbled snaps, and blocked punts collectively are not uncommon.  And I can't help think that if Pepper was ten yards behind Blake we might be having a different conversation right now.

In Jim we trust,
Tim

Yeah, that would have been better than having Jourdan Lewis amble downfield by himself. Yes, they probably should have been in whatever formation they have for punts from their own goal line. No, they shouldn't have tried something weird or fancy to drain the last ten seconds. It took both a fumbled snap and a very bad decision afterward and that bad decision ending up directly in the hands of a guy running full speed for that to happen on a play that won't happen for another 20 years across CFB.

Practice time is limited and better spent on things that had won the game until a series of highly improbable things all happened at once.

But yeah next time have a safety.

Whoville man

Hi Brian,

I've encountered something odd, and after looking around, it's more common then I thought. It seems that Spartan fans, are angry that Michigan fans, aren't as upset, as they feel we should be. They want us to be devastated. To admit that it was the most gut wrenching, soul stealing thing that's ever happened in our lives. The fact that most of us are keeping things in prospective... this is Harbaugh first year, building a culture, waiting for a QB to make his offense go, ect.... well, it's disturbing a lot of Spartans. They feel like this should be a referendum loss. That this loss should define Michigan, and Harbaugh.

It's almost to the point they're more upset about us not being upset, then they are happy about winning. I even heard Wojo talking about this strange phenomena. He said it reminded him of, the Grinch stealing Christmas, yet all the people in Whoville coming out and singing... and the Grinch perplexed as to why... that's Spartan fans right now.

Chris

For real. Twitter's been interesting this week. I put up the game column and had a pile of Spartans descend on me for calling their trash program for what it is. Sorry guys, but if you play a guy who pulled a gun on someone this summer and repeatedly try to injure Michigan players once a game is decided and have a linebacker suspended from the Rose Bowl for still-undisclosed reasons that your beat writers scramble to cover up and run all the way from the other endzone to taunt the Michigan student section, I am going to call your program trash. You can call me whatever you want; the difference is that I don't care and won't read it.

OSU fans, too. Eleven Warriors just put up a boutique site dedicated to the bad things that have happened over the past eight years thanks to Michigan's "institutional arrogance"; I pointed out that a school that…

  • had its last coach fired for repeatedly lying to the NCAA
  • went undefeated and missed a bowl game because their athletic director thought they could get away with the previous bullet point without a post-season ban
  • actually calls itself THE Ohio State University

…accusing anyone else of institutional arrogance was ironic, and RIP my mentions.

I mean, at this point I've seen a lot of bad things. After the immediate stun effect of that game I was more or less fine. As I said in the game column, it's clear where this is going and I'm just happy to have actual football back in my life. If this happens when M has a big opportunity in year five they I might get shook up. Right now I am calm because I like where this is going… and rivals are foaming at the mouth at me for that take.

Previous stops are not this stop

MGoBloggers,

What is the likely Harbaugh tenure at Michigan if all goes according to plan?  And by “according to plan” I mean successful seasons of 10+ wins, BCS bowls, and possibly an NC?  Am I unrealistic to think 5 years is too much considering he doesn’t coach for more than 4 years at each organization he’s been at?

Thanks,

Jordan Davis

Harbaugh left his coaching stops before San Francisco because they were steps up the coaching ladder, not because he had "worn out his welcome." Getting the Stanford job is a great move when you're at a non-scholarship I-AA school. Getting the 49ers job is a great move when you're at Stanford.

The only actual evidence that Harbaugh can't stay in a place for a long time is what went down in San Francisco, and at this point the entire world knows who the problem actually was. Jed York's a version of Dave Brandon the 49ers can't fire.

I'm not making any promises about Harbaugh because he's an extraordinarily strong-willed guy who is not necessarily a lifer. But he's building homes here, his kids are in school here, and this is his home. I think he'll be around a good long while.

Comments

A2YpsiBlue

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:02 PM ^

keep in mind Harbaugh chose to live on the street Bo used to live on.  No short-term coach (especially one which knows UM history!) would dare to do that.  Harbaugh plans on being here for a while.  

Lanknows

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:31 PM ^

Let others worry about it if they want to.  Few outside the Michigan fanbase right now are going to get the affinity Harbaugh has for AA/UM and even fewer are going to appreciate the deeply-felt ties to Bo. 

So just sit back and appreciate that YOU don't have to worry about this, even if others want you to.

tsabesi

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:38 PM ^

Yeah I could see him leaving back to the NFL at some point, but it won't be until he has the program humming in such a way that he can pull one of his former coaches (e.g. Drevno) who has been highly successful as a head coach at another school for several years.

evenyoubrutus

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:21 PM ^

I think the only reason he would leave is if something completely unexpected happens- like we somehow get another Dave Brandon or something catastrophic like that, and even then it would only be a special case, like an NFL team offers him a coach/GM job or something.  It seems clear from what we know that Harbaugh is turned off by the culture of the NFL.  Maybe that will change in the future as the taste of the last 4 years wears off.

wolverine1987

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:01 PM ^

we get in the playoff. That will be a prime time to pull him away. And I can see that happening within a couple of years. That will be the sign that he brought us "back," and the program when that happens will certainly be stable. He loves challenges, and he hasn't won the Super Bowl--I think that's a challenge he wants to conquer.

A Fan In Fargo

October 22nd, 2015 at 9:51 PM ^

Now that he is in Ann Arbor, I don't think there is a chance of him leaving. I understand Jim. He is just like me. He is home again. Cant just pick up and leave when so many want you there. Family, friends, good community and many other important things. His new goal now is to bring Michigan national championships. Something that has eluded the program for so long. Except for that one year! That goal right there trumps any Super Bowl victory for some random NFL team. My apologies to the Colts, Bears and whoever the hell else. Everything is in place for him there. Where could he go and find a better situation? The guy doesn't need the money. He coaches there for a good while.

uminks

October 23rd, 2015 at 2:40 AM ^

I think He will stay until they all are college bound. I think his youngest daughter is only 6, so we may get 12 years of Harbaugh before He may attempt another NFL coaching gig! He will have 1 or 2 NC and have us as a perennial top 10 program before he may leave. I could see him coaching the Bears or Colts and getting them a superbowl win 3 years after taking over the coaching job at age 64, so 67. Then he will retire from the NFL at 70 and become our AD for 10 or 12 years!

TrueBlue2003

October 22nd, 2015 at 4:25 PM ^

He could probably have a coach/GM role at just about any NFL organization that has an opening (and probably had a few 5 opp at that last year).  I don't think the availabiliy of that is anything to worry about.  

He's here because he didn't want that...at the time.  He wanted to come home to the challenge here.  I think there's a small chance that he does take that NFL opp in 3-5 years, but probably only if he's won a couple B1G titles and and a NC.  I think he'll only leave if he's won what he can at Mich and needs the only challenge remaining: the Super Bowl.  In which case, I'll be happy for what he's done for Mich and will wish him success if he leaves.

m_go_T

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:04 PM ^

My only fear is that Dantonio and Meyer leave the Big Ten.  If this happens, the only real challenge for Harbaugh is the overal playoff chase each year.  There is no enemy and no real competition.  For a person addicted to competition, we need at least one of Meyer and Dantonio to stay in the BIG.  

This is not meant to put the cart before the horse.  I just can't see a scenario where we are an upper echelon program by next year.  I mean, Meyer, Saban (twice), Stoops, Carol, et al. all achieved some sort of greatness in not only their first three years, but in their first two years.  I am assuming we will follow a similar trajectory, where a playoff berth next season, with road wins at OSU and MSU is a realistic scenario.  

Trebor

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:46 PM ^

I mean, you do know that MSU/OSU could feasibly hire a coach to replace Dantonio/Meyer who could still provide a solid challenge, right? Or that Penn State could come to the realization that Franklin is nothing more than a successful used car salesman and replace him with an actual solid coach?

jmblue

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:41 PM ^

OSU will always be good.  They just have too much of an institutional advantage not to be.  Their worst-case scenario is having an Earle Bruce or John Cooper as their coach.

And don't forget PSU, which has its own strong institutional advantages.  I have my doubts about Franklin, but if he's not the answer, they'll probably eventually find a good coach.

 

dankbrogoblue

October 22nd, 2015 at 9:20 PM ^

Unfortunately no, but it's luck really. Michigan had 2 dips in the last 75 years (the first dip was at least twice as long as this one) and OSU has been at worst mediocre for short stretches in that time. But I don't think it's cause they have a "rock solid" institution, over that much time, it's luck.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

uncleFred

October 22nd, 2015 at 10:12 PM ^

Check my math 136 - 75 leaves 61 years you choose to ignore in your 2 dips in 75 years. Bottom line here, as an institutional program, Michigan football is by far elite, more so than Ohio State or any other school you care to name. Had a hard time recently and in the 50s and early 60s? Sure, but on balance, still elite and with Harbaugh, a sane AD, and all the rest of the university's resources united behind the program, Michigan will be back at the top of the heap much more quickly that you'd imagine. 

I understand that the last several years have been difficult, but even the greatest programs wax and wane. Michigan is back. It may or may not have another couple of tough seasons in its immediate future, that's hard to predict at this point, but if you take nothing else from the last seven games, recognize that the team is playing winning football again.

jmblue

October 23rd, 2015 at 8:50 AM ^

There are two key differences between Michigan and OSU: OSU is located in a more talent-rich state, and it is the only Power 5 program in it.  

We have lots of institutional advantages, to be sure, and they pretty much ensure that we'll never stay down for too long.  But OSU has even more advantages.  Their odds of experiencing something like our 2008-14 are very slim.  

 

uminks

October 23rd, 2015 at 2:54 AM ^

all my 45 years of following this team, up until '06. I never thought Michigan would lose to a DIV 2 school or finish a  season at 3-8. So it is possible the OSU hits a drought like several traditional programs have went through over the last 30 years. I hope Harbaugh has started a new 48 year run for us!!!!

mgobobb

October 25th, 2015 at 9:30 PM ^

It is essentially their pro team and as long as the Browns remain putrid the Buckeyes have picked up NEOhio fans making the Buck their favorite team also.

Plus, Ohio plays great high school football and THE Ohio State University has NO real competition in-state for talent.

Their well will never go dry.

MichiganMAN47

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:25 PM ^

He can do more to make lives better here than he ever could in the NFL. I think he likes the idea of being able to see that the players get the education that they need. He posted the GPAs on Twitter. He's involved in this Michelle Obama initiative. His kid is going to school here. There are some things more important than Super Bowl rings, I think to Harbaugh that Michigan may be that thing.

DairyQueen

October 23rd, 2015 at 11:34 AM ^

 

This.

 

The NFL is a business. Michigan Football is a culture.

Harbaugh says wild things like, "I drive down this road in the morning and imagine what Bo would have thought driving down this road..."

In the NFL they all have to wear hot-pink for a month.

Jim wants control. He's a details guy. He wants to control every little thing. He loves tradition. But he loves HIS view/take on tradition.

The NFL will NEVER let any one coach stick out too much. It's a business. Pure and simple.

But Michigan? Michigan will let him have his way and institute his brand of college football. That's why college football is so interesting and fun. 

The NFL has too many egos, too many people playing for paychecks, too many owners coming in and wanting to be "the boss".

Is anyone here familiar with the economics of professional sports teams? They are the equivalent of Bugatti Veyrons or Exotic pets. They almost ALL lose money. It's a terrible investment to "own" a team. The only reason you do it, is because you want to say you own it. You want to "play". You want to have a place you can come into and eat/be entertained (like some restaurant owners do), and get the special treatment.

This glorification of professional sports is so hyper-capitalist-american that pro-sports are "the best" because it's the most money, or the fastest, etc instead of considering the quality of the game/culture itself. Professional sports are the worst. /rant

Harbaugh isn't likely to go back to that, at all. He'll be here for a while.

The culture. The culture The culture.

BLHoke

October 23rd, 2015 at 1:42 AM ^

State fans are miserable that we are not miserable because deep down they know this is probably going to be their last opportunity to make us miserable for a long long time. Their collective pulse mirrors that of their His & Hers goddess. I thought it was great that she was repeatedly called out on Mike & Mike yesterday morning for her classlessness, pettiness and obvious small man's complex.

As for Jake... I have an unproven theory. He's made these throws in the past. His arm is strong enough. I think following the Utah game, with those misses being so crucial, egregious and such a large part of the post game rhetoric... I think he has the yips and is also trying to overcompensate for the early turnover bug by playing it too safe in 50/50, 60/40 and even 70/30 situations where his targets could win the battle for him on reasonable misses.

Lumpy_wolverine

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:04 PM ^

On the question of how long Harbaugh will stay - I think that he is classy enough, and he cares about Michigan enough, that he won't leave until he knows that the program is stable, and will be in good hands. Plus, he is likely to develop enough of a coaching tree that we will have a long list of top-notch talent to consider.

Amaizing Blue

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:04 PM ^

I've been dealing with this irrational Spartan reaction since Sunday.  "Well, did you sleep last night?  Surprised you're at work today after Saturday.  What do you think about Jesus Harbaugh NOW?!"

I know if Michigan had stolen the game in similar fashion to move to 7-0, with a game vs. OSU coming up that could very well decide who plays for a NC-none of us would be wasting time trying to figure out how much Spartan fans were hurting.  We would be talking about next week, next game, and beyond.

Hate to be stereotypical...but it's such a little brother attitude.  YOUR team has a chance to do great things.  YOUR team is undefeated and just had a victory for the ages over the team you love to  beat most.  YOUR team is on a historically unprecedented 5-year roll.  Why the hell do you care if I'm feeling really awful, or just kind of bad?

TennBlue

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:16 PM ^

There isn't that much extra zing in the pain due to it being MSU. I was keyed up for the game because we had a damn good opponent - if that opponent had been Iowa or Wisconsin coming in 7-0 I would have felt much the same. There's some rivalry there, but not a lot.

MSU fans desperately want us to hate them more than we do OSU, and it's never going to happen. Their "How do you hate me now?" antics are not actually hate-inducing, just annoying.

UM vs MSU is indeed one of the most unbalanced rivalries in the country. That's not going to change no matter how much Sparties want it to.

NQ8293

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:37 PM ^

I have to admit, I did hate MSU a lot, maybe more than OSU, for a couple of days after the game but then I realized that it really was the way we lost that I was most pissed about and that I would have felt the same way if it had been to some completely unrelated team like say Virginia Tech. The only reason why a loss to MSU is worse than another team is dealing with all the Spartys in your life, who seem to feel the need to go out of their way to make you feel bad. I got multiple phone calls and texts right after it happened from them taunting me about it. They all seemed to take far more enjoyment from the fact Michigan had a painful loss than MSU winning the game. Even now, all they seem to talk about is how much this loss hurt us, even though their team is well in the playoff hunt. Could you even imagine us doing that if we beat MSU in that fashion? We would be talking about winning the Big Ten and possibly the national title and focused on ourselves.

Mike Hart was totally right about MSU being little brother. Jemele Hill's tweets and rant after the game perfectly encapsulates the Spartan mindset of how they care more about Michigan hurting than MSU succeeding. Even after all these years of success, they are still seem to need collective validation from Michigan to feel good about themselves. They are the ultimate Little Brother program.

wolverine1987

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:08 PM ^

If you want a Spartan to rail at you, just mention that they won the game on a lucky break, or even worse, a fluke. Even though that is undeniably true and a fact, they go crazy when you state that. You will then hear for five minutes how they outgained us, that the final play happened because Dantonio rushed eleven and we didn't keep our gunners in (he outcoached Harbaugh there to them), and that they would have won earlier if not for dropped passes. They refuse to even countenance that they won on a lucky break. How far gone are you when you can't even admit a fact? If we beat OSU this year on the exact same play I'll be delirous with joy and happily say yep we won on a lucky break. Also we won.

03 Blue 07

October 22nd, 2015 at 5:31 PM ^

I know Hart said this after we beat them in 2007 after coming back from down 10 in the fourth quarter; it's generally cited as the first usage of the phrase vis-a-vis M-MSU: "I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. (The Spartans) got excited, it's good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball and let him get the lead. Then you just come back and take it back."

 

TennBlue

October 22nd, 2015 at 6:07 PM ^

Remember, Michigan was "The Harvard of the West" (with its own massive Little Brother issues regarding eastern schools, but that's another matter) while the MAC was teaching its students how to milk cows. They have always felt inferior. Beating Michigan has always been the only thing that mattered (their original fight song had the line "smash right through that line of Blue" instead of "go right through for MSU").

They have had an inferiority complex forever. Even as they improved to rough parity with Michigan and the rest of the Big 10 in both academics and athletics, they have always felt like the one that didn't belong, that they continually had to prove they were just as good (even though they really didn't - everyone else was cool with them).

The main freakout came in the '60s, when MSU under Duffy Daugherty put together some real rock-crusher teams, while MIchigan had been mediocre for many years. The Detroit news media was completely MSU-centric and Cinderella was the belle of the ball.

Then Duffy stopped winning and Bo started. The Detroit media dumped MSU and embraced Michigan. MSU panicked and fired Duffy, and spent the next 40 years floundering for a coach desperately trying to catch back up.

That gets us to the arrival of Dantonio and the current situation. Hart's comments hit them just as they were emerging from their Dark Age and struck a nerve. He didn't invent the phrase, it was a matter of timing.

Tex_Ind_Blue

October 22nd, 2015 at 9:04 PM ^

I used to think the same. But there was an interview earlier in the year where an MSU player called themselves little brother. Hart's repply was in response to a question which brought up that topic. There was a poster on this board who put up the link.

apparently Javon Ringer said that they are not Michigan's Little Brother.

Hermosablue -> October 20th, 2014 at 7:39 PM. 

TennBlue

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:21 PM ^

"Why does it matter what we think? Why can't you be proud of your team and its accomplishments on its own?"

As long as they define themselves in contrast to us, they remain Little Brothers voluntarily. They're not Little Brothers because we make them that, it's a role they choose for themselves.

charblue.

October 23rd, 2015 at 12:23 PM ^

Suffering is misery best enjoyed when somebody else is sharing that experience at your expense.

This might explain why the lessened feeling of Whoville response to the Grinchy theft of Saturday's endgame giving MSU the win is so perplexing to Green and White faithful. In the aftermath, Sparty reaction to that bargaining stage of Michigan mourning seems hard to fathom with their own brand of gutpunch shock about the rationalization....... because Harbaugh everything is all right. 

Or you could just look at it and shrug in song, while parodying the words of Paul Simon, searching  for the ultimate answer why we keep inventing new ways to lose to Little Brother.

After getting back late with fellow alums at a Charlotte bar, my longtime Sparty wife offered me this smirky advice:

The problem is all inside your head, she said to me.The answer is easy if you take it logically, I'd like to help you in your struggle to be Dantonio free, there must be 50 easier ways to kill 10 seconds than snapping to an Aussie punter.

She said it's really not my habit to intrude after another rivalry loss, furthermore I hope my meaning won't seem cross or misconstrued, but I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude,  there must be 50 ways to kill 10 seconds than snapping to an Aussie punter, 50 ways than snapping to your punter.

You just run around, go for it on 4th down, then take a knee.

Try a trick play, give it to Peppers on an end around, or put someone behind O'Neill without discussing much.

Just fall on the ball, and you're Dantonio free.

You gotta have a better plan than having an Aussie punter kick the ball

Ten seconds from sending us home on the bus, how much do you need to discuss, make a good call or fall on the ball. Just listen to me!

Just pass or run the ball, get a first down, then take a knee.

If your gonna punt, how about more blockers, a tighter formation without gunners?

Slip a back or receiver downfield, pooch punt or shovel pass,  you gotta have a better plan than having an Aussie punter kick the ball.

She giggled and said it really grieves me to see you in such pain, I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again.

I said I appreciate that. But right now I really don't want to hear you explain about the 50 ways.

She said why don't we both just sleep on it tonight. And I believe in the morning you'll begin to see the light. And then in truce she kissed me and I began to realize she probably was right.

There might be 50 better ways to win a game besides snapping to an Aussie punter, 50 better ways to kill 10 seconds than snapping to your punter.

Maybe we should have had a better plan, taken a penalty, used a tighter formation, with 10 seconds to put them on the bus.

What if we slipped a back or receiver downfield, threw a shovel pass, gave it to Peppers on an end around, we get a first down and then take a knee?

No matter, I began to reason days later, whether MSU had another Gd'day at our expense, the Harbaugh hooroo gives us an Aussie salute to future days of Dantonio passed.

So, at the risk of being crude, I'll repeat the mantra of another rivalry truth, MSU never threatens Michigan's winning record, never threatens Michigan's overwhelming winning record now pridefully in place regardless of our current fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soulfire21

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:26 PM ^

Hah, someone at work said "What do you think of Saint Jesus Christ Harbaugh now?"

To which I asked if she had even watched the game, or knew the circumstances surrounding the final play.

But again, MSU's accomplishments are always viewed, by themselves, through a Michigan lens.  It's not enought to win the game, they are still so intently focused on Michigan.

You Only Live Twice

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:59 PM ^

Difficult to explain the MSU fan base and I've never been a good student of human nature. 

Someone I never knew was a Sparty fan, made it a point to be truly obnoxious on Monday.  (And no, they didn't even watch 5 minutes of the game that they were so passionate about).  What's interesting is that even though we've talked off and on, work stuff, non-work, family stuff, politics, some football, this person never said a word until Monday, and the hatred came spilling out.  Was it because Sparties were more on edge about the game this  year?  I have no idea.

GoBlueX2

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:05 PM ^

second to last question you addressed here and your answer.

At first after the game of course I was upset. Devastated. But it didn't take me long to comprehend the bigger picture. Meaningful football games are back at Michigan and I think this is just the beginning. Obviously it sucks to lose, but I think we'll be alright and grow as a team because of it.

Also to your point, I don't think I have seen such an aggressive fan base after winning. Sparty just seems unreasonably mad still. I mean they are always a little angry, but after that win you think they would calm down a bit. Yet you get people like Jemele Hill who feel the need to yell at us through a tv screen. 

Gordon

October 22nd, 2015 at 1:28 PM ^

Jemele Hill got fired from the Detroit Free Press in 2005.

Think of how amazing that is, considering all the journalistic malpractice that we've seen over there, and yet it was only Jemele who actually got fired.

It's pretty remarkable.

kevin holt

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:01 PM ^

I have only seen Jemele Hill when they have to have somebody vigorously defend MSU (I don't watch ESPN very often, granted), but geez is she annoying. The segment last week where she was ranting about how they were going to beat us and Harbaugh and blah blah was so satisfying. But when I saw a link to her ranting about how they deserved the win, I ran away faster than I would from a replay of the final play.

Anyway yeah, stop yelling and maybe I'll listen, Jemele. But unless you provide some actual analysis, you are not a good sports anchor.