MGoPodcast 10.1: Think of the Worms Comment Count

Seth September 4th, 2018 at 7:15 AM

1 hour and 39 minutes

Ace still out so Seth and Dave sit in.

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1. Mourning

starts at 1:00

David talks about the press box. Brian is staring down a season of everyone angry at each other and the takers leaping over themselves to channel that anger into relevance. We try to talk Brian into continuing to do this for a living despite doing this in the most depressing period in Michigan football history since the 1960s.

2. Offense

starts at 19:12

Half of the time Michigan's offensive tackles were asked to not get the quarterback killed they didn't get the quarterback killed. Runyan even managed to ruin plays where he was given a job like "pretend to lose this block" and still screwed it up.

3. Defense

starts at 42:52

Much happier section, for the second half. Brad Hawkins got lights in his eyes. Hill got beat. A few bad calls made it harder than it should have been to get off the field.

4. Around the Big Ten wsg Jamie MacMillan

starts at 1:12:06

Spend some time wondering if Penn State and Michigan State are bad because of near losses to bad teams. Spend not enough time deconstructing Maryland beating Texas AGAIN. You won't like the theme that emerges.


  • "The Heart Of Saturday Night"—Tom Waits
  • "Bills, Bills, Bills"—They Might Be Giants (orig by Destiny's Child)
  • "We Are ND"—Freekbass
  • “Across 110th Street”


    It was a performance as bad as Braylon Edwards's tweets.


    carolina blue

    September 4th, 2018 at 7:32 AM ^

    Sometimes Brian is just too emo. I’m not going to listen to this podcast except for the part with Jamie Mac. The bullet points give me enough to know to skip the rest. 

    Seriously, this isn’t 2014. This team does not suck. It is coached by good coaches. Maybe not all of them, and we aren’t flawless. But for crissake it’s not like we’re terrible. Stop acting like this. 


    September 4th, 2018 at 7:58 AM ^

    Dreams die hard.  The hope was with Harbaugh Michigan would elevate to OSU status and be considered among the elite of college football.  That's hasn't happened.  More to the point, the dying dream says it may not happen.  A dream like that is a tough thing to let go.

    That said, it's better to let go and enjoy what we have.  As you say, we're not terrible; in fact, we'll probably end up being pretty good.  


    September 4th, 2018 at 9:30 AM ^

    Michigan finished within the top 10 of S&P for the first two years Harbaugh was here.  Despite a massive loss of talent and injuries last year, they finished a respectable 27th.  They got beat by one score, on the road, to a top-12 team with a pretty good defense.  I didn't think Michigan would win a national title this year, but considering how badly a bunch of other "elite" teams played their first weekend, this "woe is us" bullshit is just a bad cry for attention.  Michigan might be trash thisvyear; I don't know.  But nothing we saw Saturday should have surprised anyone coming into the year, and this damn site said Michigan was going to win 9-10 games and maybe more.  So either people are reactionary or they are lying so they don't have to acknowledge their hubris.  Either isn't a great look.


    September 4th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

    This year is likely to be our peak for at least 2-3 years though. And given our performance Saturday, that's a depressing thought. Continued problems with recruiting elite offensive tackles, no sign of development of the ones we've got, plus recruiting holes at DT and WR... I don't know man. We need a good year or we're going to be severely limited going forward.


    September 4th, 2018 at 11:19 AM ^

    I think they have two good young tackles with Mayfield and Hayes, plus Hudson will probably push through and be a starter by the end of the year.  That's not nothing.  

    They have some issues at WR that I hope they figure out, but they've got a couple of DTs in this class and I assume they'll try to bulk up an end or two if necessary.  I'm more worried about the offensive tackles because that's an area where scheming can only get you so far, but with defensive tackles Brown plays the type of defense that can do quite well without a Mo Hurst.


    September 4th, 2018 at 11:04 AM ^

    "But nothing we saw Saturday should have surprised anyone..."

    100% agree, but that didn't prevent the vast majority of fans here from confidently predicting a Michigan victory, and an easy one at that, according to many of them. Hell hath no fury like when assumptions of victory are scorned by reality.

    To put it another way (parenthetical insertions mine and only partially tongue-in-cheek):

    "In the 1960s researchers in sociology and political science applied the concept of the revolution of rising expectations to explain not only the attractiveness of communism in many third world countries but also revolutions in general, for example, the French, American, Russian, and Mexican revolutions. In 1969 James C. Davies used those cases to illustrate his J-curve hypothesis, a formal model of the relationships among rising expectations, their level of satisfaction, and revolutionary upheavals.

    He proposed that revolution is likely when, after a long period of rising expectations accompanied by a parallel increase in their satisfaction (Michigan football 2015-2016), a downturn occurs (Michigan football 2017). When perceptions of need satisfaction decrease but expectations continue to rise (2018), a widening gap is created between expectations and reality (predictions for game at Notre Dame 2018). That gap eventually becomes intolerable and sets the stage for rebellion against a social system that fails to fulfill its promises ("Fire Harbaugh!")."


    September 4th, 2018 at 11:23 AM ^

    It definitely is true that people were like "yeah the tackles are bad and Michigan has issues keeping them upright, but they'll still crush ND because...reasons."  I thought Michigan would win because I didn't think Wimbush would be as successful throwing the ball earlier; I said this elsewhere, but he was just good at stringing together a couple good throws into his scoring drives.  Spread out one or two of his completions and ND probably struggles to get to 17 points and this is a totally different game.  That's not to discredit him, but the guy finished with 54% passing and a TD and a pick, plus 50-ish yards on the ground and everyone is talking like he Lamar Jackson'd Michigan.  

    I agree about the expectations changing reality in a lot of minds.  I think you'll see a bunch of people jump back on the bandwagon the next couple of weeks, even with the ever-present dread of another loss floating around.  What I honestly think would help a lot of people's psyche would be for MSU, PSU, OSU, etc. to struggle in their coming games.  Like, let OSU lose to TCU and MSU lose to ASU and people will realize that every team has flaws and Michigan just ran into a good team that barely got by them.


    September 4th, 2018 at 11:38 AM ^

    " I thought Michigan would win because I didn't think Wimbush would be as successful throwing the ball earlier..."

    The same dynamic is setting up now for MSU—it's received wisdom on the MGoBoard that Lewerke is a mediocre QB whose running ability ain't all that and he sucks throwing the ball etc etc etc. Don't be surprised if Lewerke is more productive against us in EL than Wimbush was in South Bend.

    I've been an active Michigan fan for a hair under 50 years, and over that time the extent to which Michigan fans have routinely discounted and dismissed the ability of opposing players and coaches on good teams while inflating the talent of the guys in the winged helmets has really been impressive.


    September 4th, 2018 at 11:09 AM ^

    I think the defense is what we generally thought and will be quite good, but I think we were disappointed that the tackles were not better and were a bit surprised that the DBs got beat so often and frustrated by giving up so many 3rd and longs.  But, you have to give credit to ND for making plays.  ND I think was all together better than expected, particularly the o-line and QB.


    Regarding JH's first two years I think the defense is what it is and is in capable hands with Don Brown.  However, there seems to be an emerging voice that thinks the offenses success of '15 & '16 was due to the departed Jedd Fisch since we have not been as good last year and this was year was a rough start.  We were again vanilla and could not execute simple plays and were quite predictable.


    We are by all means better.  The QB was better.  The WRs were better.  The RBs were what we expected, although it's curious Evans didn't play more.  I think many were a little disappointed with Gentry.  And, the offensive line actually worse than last year and that is a major problem.  But, there is room room for growth.  Unfortunately it looks more like a 7-9 win team than a 9-11 win team.  I just hope we can beat MSU and either PSU or Wiscy.  OSU seems like a lost cause without a ton of season long development from the o-line.

    double blue

    September 4th, 2018 at 12:19 PM ^

    I hate to say it but I think part of this was because it was the first game.  I know it was for nd as well and it should not be an excuse because if we are good we should be good always.  But I hated it when we played nd first years ago and I hate it now.  I think 2nd game is better. 


    Ithink our our defense is fine - they didn’t come out ready and that a black mark but I’m not worried about the rest of the year. 

    Oline sucks and that’s a problem. 


    Patterson didn’t impress but he was running for his life. Mcaffrey impressed since he did well in a tough situation. I’m more confident in him than any of the qbs we threw out there last year. 



    September 4th, 2018 at 9:24 AM ^

    If we continue to play like we did Saturday night for the rest of the season, we'll lose to every single quality opponent we face, and probably a toss up game or two. Which means 8-5 would be best possible case scenario....AGAIN.

    This absolutely would define the team as terrible, especially in year 4 of one of the most heralded coaches in all of Michigan history and college football.

    This coaching staff is going to need to work some serious miracles in order to improve the current trajectory of this team. At this point in the year, it appears that the next possible chance to beat a quality opponent would be September 22nd against Northwestern...assuming Northwestern is good again like last year; also I'm chalking Nebraska up to a tossup game since it's Frost's first season so you can't expect them to be world beaters. So until Sept 22nd (unless Northwestern falls apart before then) we won't actually know if the staff is able to turn things around because beating up on the likes of Western Michigan and SMU doesn't mean jack squat.


    September 4th, 2018 at 10:15 AM ^

    Well, if both PSU and MSU continue to find ways to win games, like they did Saturday, they'll be just fine. And giving up 31 points won't matter to OSU if your offense is unstoppable. And most importantly, how they all relate to US, they could all repeat their performances from game one when they play us and unless this O-Line gets a miracle, they'll still win cause we can't score.

    Also, these teams all have recent trends of actually improving throughout the course of the season. So far, in 2018, this O-Line has picked up right where they left off after the 2017 bowl game...terrible. I don't know about you, but personally I was hoping to see some legit improvement after all the talk, and changes made during the off-season.

    We got our first answer Saturday night. Big ole' NOPE. The next chance will probably be Sept. 29th to change the script.


    September 4th, 2018 at 10:24 AM ^

    Oh right, because finding a way to beat Utah State and Appalachian State at home is the same thing as finding a way to beat Notre Dame on the road. 

    Both the 2015 and 2016 team improved as the season went along (yes, blah blah blah they lost 3 of 4 in 2016, doesn't factor in Speight's injury and Peppers' injury, officiating at OSU, etc.). It's only last year where things looked bad later on. 

    Even then, the team was in it vs. Wisconsin till Peters went out and then probably beats OSU with any other QB than John O'Korn. 


    Ty Butterfield

    September 4th, 2018 at 11:37 AM ^

    We have seen this multiple times from Staee. They have one or two early season games where they look like total dogshit but somehow still win. This board goes nuts saying this is the year Staee falls back to earth. They somehow seem to fix whatever issues they had as the season progresses, something that the Michigan staff seems incapable of. I still think Dantini is the luckiest coach in the history of football but the fact remains they didn’t lose to Utah State. I think they may struggle again this week against ASU but will still win. I don’t give two shits about all the fancy stats. Find a way to win. 

    I Like Burgers

    September 4th, 2018 at 9:28 AM ^

    Counterpoint: I really enjoyed that first segment.  Might be my favorite segment from the entire podcast history.  While it did feel like listening to a therapy session for Brian, I can 100% relate to him and the feelings he is having.  Because I had a lot of those "what's the point" and "not again" feelings during and after the game and working through the whole concept of maybe Michigan is just a program like Iowa or Northwestern that wins 8-9 games a year and occasionally puts it all together for a double-digit win season.  And if you go into a season with those expectations, its probably all a lot more enjoyable.  So hearing them talk about that, and work through all of the thoughts and feelings...for me, I really enjoyed and appreciated it.

    Also, I forget who brought it up, but the main reason I've been coming to this site as long as I have been is there's really no one better in the Michigan community at parsing all of the content out there and reading the tea leaves to give you a pretty honest take on what everything really means.  That's what Brian is better than pretty much anyone at.  So good job Brian, keep it up.


    September 4th, 2018 at 11:06 AM ^

    He's not depressed about the team. He's depressed about the state of the fan base and having to interact with people about Michigan football as part of his job. I think he has a legitimate point. The fanbase is about as toxic as I've seen in a long time. The team's not nearly as bad, but the expectations are way higher and people are really losing their shit over it. 


    September 4th, 2018 at 7:46 AM ^

    I like Dave. 

    Brian brings up a good point about the O line that I think is the crux of my frustrations. 

    Why isn't Bredeson starting? He would seem lhyike he would be better, or as one of them said a true freshman would be better. The coaches aren't idiots and they have a track record of success. But we have keep seeing decisions that seem inexplicable. 

    So... why??? We'll never know because these there is zero transparancy.


    September 4th, 2018 at 9:37 AM ^

    I've always enjoyed Dave on these podcasts, and this was a nice booth.

    It was nice to hear people with different opinions talk for a bit.  At times it feels like this site and content ping-pongs between extremes of "we'll beat everyone" and "we are going to watch this team lose 8 games" on alternating weeks.  It was nice to hear a more measured, if still resigned, outlook.


    September 4th, 2018 at 9:15 AM ^

    Re: Bredeson at tackle, Spanellis at guard

    I also wonder why this hasn't been tried. 

    The only reasoning I can think is that last year scared them off it. It was speculated here that if the staff could go back, they would just keep Cole at center as opposed to flipping him out to tackle despite him being the best tackle on the team. Perhaps Warinner and Harbaugh think (maybe thought after Saturday) its better to have a good nucleus inside of returning starters as opposed to flipping Bredeson out and weakening a strength just to make minimal strides on the outside. 



    September 4th, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

    I personally think they should go with Bredeson-Spanellis-Ruiz-Onwenu-JBB (or maybe one of the young guys) but I'm just a guy whose never seen a practice. 

    More than likely Runyan looked okay (I know Brian and co said he must have been lying about winning 8 out of 10 match-ups against Winovich and Gary, but maybe familiarity with those guys made him look better than he was, similar to O'Korn or Joe Bolden looking good in practice, then never living up to it in actual games) during the lead up to Notre Dame and then just bombed worse than they could have imagined. 


    September 4th, 2018 at 9:45 AM ^

    Man, we miss Hurst and Cole even more than I expected, and I'm a pessimist.  Hence the tone of the board -- even the most pessimistic pessimists mired in the depths of BPoNE had to be shocked at the depth of the team's issues.  We might as well be playing puppies at OT.

    As depressed as Brian is, it's difficult to overstate how bad this is, because we don't have even any potential replacements.  These project to be season-long issues.

    There's the root of the BPoNE -- this isn't like Utah when the game was dorfed away by newcomer mistakes mixed with intriguing potential.  That team got better over the course of the season.  Brown figured out the problems with his defense by the second half, I think they'll be fine, but the offense is going to get killed by any defense with a pulse, because apparently there's literally nothing they can do about it.


    September 4th, 2018 at 10:25 AM ^

    But even if this team was as good as the 2015 squad, we'd STILL barely scrape out wins against teams like MN and IN, and lose to MSU and get blown out by OSU. If getting back to 2015 level football is as good as it can possibly get in year 4 of Harbaugh, then how can there possibly be any hope left for the future?


    September 4th, 2018 at 9:46 AM ^

    Off the top of my head, here are teams less fun to follow than Michigan:



    Texas A&M

    PSU and Clemson until relatively recently.


    Check out Twitter than Alabama loses.  Every fan complains, but I'd rather follow Michigan than a lot of "good" teams.


    September 4th, 2018 at 10:52 AM ^

    The spots were a joke all night, there was absolutely no way they got that 48 yard field goal off in time. Patterson gets dove on when he's sliding but that's not roughing. McKeon gets targeted, nothing.

    The team played plenty bad to lose it, but the refs had an equally bad game.


    September 4th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

    I think Brian made the comment that it looked like Hawkins footwork was weird on the TD pass to Finke.  I agree.  It looked like there was a wonky step just before the ball arrived.


    September 4th, 2018 at 12:36 PM ^

    He was leaning back a bit awkwardly and off-balance because it was sailing high, but the bigger point for a DB when he knows a guy is behind him (as opposed to a WR who has the DB in front of him) is that you don't have the luxury of reaching way back with two hands, and you have to know that. Because that's exactly what happens. In that situation, you swat at the ball 10 out of 10 times, and that has to be drilled in practice.