The Penitent Man

Submitted by Brian on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:55 AM

11/21/2009 – Michigan 10, Ohio State 21 – 5-7, 1-7 Big Ten

 tate-forcier-ohio-state-scramble tate-forcier-ohio-state-interception

Well… that could have gone worse.

Unlike last year, it is possible to construct an alternate universe in which Michigan wins the game. This universe contains 80% fewer crippling Forcier errors; not much else is different. Like last week's admission of crippling ennui after game 11, this is progress of a sort. The sort is still "not very fun progress at all," but it's progress.

Better than the slight competitiveness: now it's over and we don't have to watch the team/roadkill grind its jaw away any more. The focus turns to getting some cornerbacks and other assorted defenders, reviewing what happened, and waiting for what will be a telling 2010.

There should be no more stupid rumors that Rodriguez is getting fired. Bill Martin immediately announced that Rodriguez would be the coach in 2010, which like duh. CRACK REPORTERS then attempted to detect weaselly out words in the Martin statement and got a flat denial. There will be no more stomach-churning on-field events or stupid rumors that Forcier and Robinson are transferring. Maybe that latter is optimistic given the flimsy justifications for transfer rumors to date, but since Forcier and, oddly, Vincent Smith, have clearly denied any transfer intentions recently there's little that could convince them to leave other than Devin Gardner showing up in fall—not even spring—and proving himself God. Which isn't likely to happen.

There will be some sort of NCAA announcement that has a 1% chance of crushing Rodriguez, a 10% chance of actually increasing the heat he is under with the people who decide his fate, and an 89% chance of being either nothing or minor enough that it won't make a difference in a year or two when the wins and losses are likely to make the decision.

And then this two-year period of misery and flailing about will be over. Even if you are a tinfoil hat who wants Rodriguez fired yesterday and thinks the team will be just as bad next year, at least that won't be as bad, because the last half of the season will be talking about the next coach. More likely than that is that a non-freshman, non-walk-on quarterback and 16-19 returning starters and some consistency at defensive coordinator and progress everywhere and roster not operating 14 scholarships short see Michigan get off the mat.

The long dark of the offseason is merciful now and steadily builds to a yes or no answer in 2010. Or, more likely, a "maybe" answer leading to a surely definitive 2011. Either way, this unpleasant limbo existence has ended. Patience is a virtue because it is incredibly frustrating and painful, and we don't have to be patient any more.

BULLETS

  • Big post-game news is that Donovan Warren has tentatively announced his return. There is some wiggle in as long as Warren is going to put his name in for an evaluation, but unless that evaluation comes back more positive than he's been told it will he should return for his senior year. That's obviously huge, and may allow Woolfolk or Justin Turner to slide to safety next year.
  • In other corner news, Adrian Witty is qualified($) and will be on campus in January. Nice to see Michigan stick with the kid, and hopefully he can contribute. He was just a two-star but Michigan liked him a lot.
  • You will not believe this but I will say it anyway: Michigan's corner depth chart might be a little crowded next year. Young, but crowded. Both starters return, Justin Turner will get in on the action, and then you have Witty, Avery, and Talbott coming in with potential/probable commits from Cullen Christian and Tony Grimes coming up. That's suddenly five-deep in scholarship players (Floyd and Teric Jones also exist). Some of those guys will get bumped to safety, surely.
  • Many people are talking about the Ohio State fans who showed up en masse. I didn't think it was much worse than 2007, especially not in my immediate proximity. Two years ago there was this pack of Git-r-dones a few rows behind me that would literally say "ain't nothing wrong with that" after every four yard Wells run; this year there were scattered OSU fans but nothing as concentrated and annoying.

    But it was worse, and this has caused a lot of muttering about season ticket holders who gave up their seats. I don't think that's the case thanks to an excellent diary on the situation:

    …the Athletic Department has been "banking" all of the non-renewed season tickets. With those "banked" seats, the Athletic Department plans to be able to do the aforementioned aisleway widening, handrail additions and (hooray) widened seat-numbering, with a minimum of inconvenience and movement to existing season ticket seat holders.  … In the meantime, it means that the Athletic Department has larger numbers of individual and/or package tickets to sell.

    If you had wanted to conduct an experiment at the time of the OSU game, all you had to do was ask to see the tickets of any of those OSU fans; I have every presumption that in most cases, the tickets held by Buckeye fans would surely have been small and white, not the larger color photo-background tickets that go to season ticket holders.

    This problem will be less and less of an issue in the future, as season-ticket assignments within the bowl get settled after renovations are completed.

    … And, for people in Columbus, the Michigan game is the biggest day of the year.  They smelled blood in the water this year, and many of them made the effort, got the tickets, and came north.  Do not for a moment think that ticket brokers missed an opportunity to purchase a package of tickets that included Eastern and Delaware State, simply to get ahold of OSU tickets, and sell them in Columbus.  Those tickets, the package tickets, are quite likely part of the "bank" of tickets that the Athletic Department is holding only until 2010 or 2011, for the completion of the stadium renovations.

    This is definitely what happened: brokers snapped up the publicly available tickets and when game time rolled around the double-digit favorites are naturally more inclined to pay the premium to get into the stadium. There were some traitorous bastards who need to be hung by their figgins, but most of it was just Michigan fans not buying available tickets. Which means everyone complaining about how the stadium looked on TV has scarlet and gray on their hands.

  • Vincent Smith is your tentative 2010 starter after averaging 4 YPC on eight carries to Michael Shaw's 1 on 7. Smith also had three catches and Michigan's only touchdown on a sweet juke after Forcier scrambled himself into and out of trouble and threw back across his body…

  • …which was awesome but it's pretty easy to draw a straight line from that to Forcier's endzone interception, which was a slow-motion "nooooooooooooooo" moment if I've ever experienced one. The instant Forcier looked to the left side of the field I felt a disturbance in the force, and my main concern was that the guy not score a defensive touchdown.

  • Forcier in toto: is it crazy for me to suggest that I thought that was sort of an encouraging game? Five turnovers are horrendous and he made some terrible throws into coverage but he also made a number of outstanding plays; if he has the usual leap from freshman to sophomore and cuts down on the errors there's so much playmaking potential there that he could be crazy outstanding. There is also the possibility that he never calms down and he just makes killer mistakes, but most guys get a lot better as they age, especially folks who played crappy high school ball, as Forcier did.

  • Why the hell doesn't Michigan have That God Damned Counter Draw in its arsenal? Michigan is now a shotgun team that uses a metric ton of rolling pockets and in my experience TGDCD is 80% touchdown, 20% fail. Ohio State didn't even mean to call it and they scored on it.

  • Anyone talking about "class" re: Mike Shaw's pre-game run-in with some Ohio State player should probably look on his own rhetoric about how hating Michigan because some crazy dead bastard hated Michigan is part of his soul, man, and consider the logical twists and turns taken to arrive at the conclusion that bumping into mortal enemy and then woofing represents a character flaw.

  • Every time Terrelle Pryor morphed from arm-punter into terrifying tank on the edge, I thought to myself "Jim Tressel is an idiot." He isn't. He is self-evidently a fantastic football coach. He has gotten six straight wins over Michigan—though it's not like Michigan's made it hard the last three tries. But virtually every criticism leveled at Tressel about his neolithic Pryor offense is true. OSU's scoring offense is the zone read, and Tressel didn't even bother hauling it out except on like two drives, one of which was the quick first-half touchdown. The risky scoring offense is running your tank of a QB on the edge, and instead Tressel spent large chunks of the game in the I neutralizing Pryor's legs. What a waste.

Elsewhere

MVictors was on the field and got some shots, including one of Brandon Graham walking for senior day. Senior day side note: much better logistically this year than before, with the seniors walking under the banner. Previously they had them along one endzone, which was weird.

Mike DeSimone has pictures from the day. Maize n Blue Nation has flyover video.

Comments

woodfeld

November 23rd, 2009 at 12:54 PM ^

"if he has the usual leap from freshman to sophomore and cuts down on the errors there's so much playmaking potential there that he could be crazy outstanding."

Isn't there some concern though, given that Forcier has been groomed to play QB since he was in grade school, that the freshman to sophomore leap won't be as big as it normally is? I mean, he came in quite developed football wise. Granted, I think he can make a big leap in being more developed for the mental challenges of college football.

Huntington Wolverine

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:05 PM ^

I think improvement will come:
1) physically (he never lifted weights before Barwis)
2) being better adjusted to the speed of the game (there is no way to practice the speed of the college game while you're in high school)
3) mental toughness (not breaking down after bad plays like we saw at the end of this season),
4) and improved ability to read coverages and check down (he did well but struggled against better defenses)

jlvanals

November 23rd, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

Brian, you're an amazing blogger. Everything any fan base could hope for and far more intelligent and level-headed than many of your less journalistically inclined peers. However, calling this game (or season for that matter) progress is more than slightly off base.

This game was a microcosm for why we've sucked the last two years: turnovers, mental mistakes and a generally porous defense. We were in that game based solely on the good graces of one Mr. James Tressel. If he decides to run it up the gut less than 75% of the time, we would have easily given up 30-40 points. Also, if Terrelle Pryor could hit the broadside of a barn on any of the 3-4 wide open go routes I counted during the game, we would have been down 3 scores multiple times.

I agree with the "let's just all stop engaging in the mindless fire RR" meme, but we are a fundamentally awful football team. The kids played hard, but they are nowhere near consistent or well coached. 1-7 in the Big Ten is bad enough, but even more than the record, the failure of our team to improve as the year went on is the most disconcerting development.

Two star recruits and walk-ons can be taught to tackle. Freshman offensive players can be taught to hold onto the football. Punt returners of any recruiting grade or experience level can be taught how to fair catch a ball without fumbling. Four star linebackers can be coached to do a 7 yard zone drop instead of (maybe) 2.5. Four star safety recruits can learn not to leave their feet everytime they make contact. The trend on this site is to find anything, anyone to blame for these deficiencies other than Rich Rodriguez. Maybe if we were a fundamentally strong football team that was consistently athletically overmatched (i.e. Navy, Northwestern) I could understand arguing it wasn't the coaches' fault, but that isn't the case here.

Phyisical errors (Kovacs getting roasted on play action because he lacks anything approaching "recovery" speed; Van Bergen or Roh getting blown back because they are each about 30 lbs shy of any realistic weight for the positions they play) are understandable, mental errors are not (fumbling punts, fumbling in our own end zone, linebackers not knowing how to execute the most basic technique, i.e. scraping!?!?!!, zone drops, or the ever elusive, "when assigned contain, always keep your outside arm free").

If we can't execute or stop shooting ourselves in the foot, that isn't a player problem, that's a coaching problem. We need to (without resorting to retarded calls for RR's head, let me just reiterate that firing RR does nothing for us) stop deluding ourselves that this hasn't been at least partially caused by poor coaching (not macro, game level decision-making or play calling, but micro level failures to teach technique, such as those shown by four star athletes across our defense: Jonas Mouton/Mike Williams, I'm looking at you).

And here comes the neg bang for even suggesting RR might be at fault for going 3-13 in Big Ten play.

ijohnb

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:16 PM ^

but why would Jim Tressel take one single measure to keep that game close unless he was afraid of something? Please do not deter any suggestions of progress by insinuating that Jim Tressel nearly let Michigan win a game it had no business being in. Tressel coached the way that he did because Michigan has speed on offense, undeveloped and unrefined, yes, but please know that Michigan will have an offense that will score points, and lots of them in the future. Tressel did not "keep Michigan close" he coached his ass off. Michigan performed admirably and nearly won that game, nothing was given to them.

jlvanals

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:43 PM ^

I wasn't literally implying that Tressel intentionally let us stay close. I was arguing that his risk averse strategy, while self-serving, allowed a sub-par team to stay within two scores. I would not call what we did "performing admirably," but the players did play very, very hard for what it's worth. This disagreement is mostly a difference in semantics over what constitutes "being in a game" (which I would argue we never were, at least after the Tate fumble in the end zone) and "gift" (which I use to refer to Jim Tressel's suboptimal playcalling and coaching decisions).

DMadCat

November 23rd, 2009 at 4:10 PM ^

Personally I think you're overestimating Ohio State's offensive ability. Living in Columbus and listening to Herbie and Spielman and the other 'football geniuses' they air down here, a couple things were clear. Their offensive line was one of the worst they can remember and when Pryor throws he throws interceptions.
According to ESPN, Forcier had 10 total on the year, which means he came in with just 6 interceptions. Pryor lost 1 that game meaning he came in with 9 prior on 23 fewer attempts.

I just won't buy the argument that they didn't try to do something on offense and that they sat on just an 11 point lead with the way we were moving the ball. Frankly and for all they knew WE could have scored at pretty much any time, barring costly turnovers.

bouje

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:25 PM ^

"This game was a microcosm for why we've sucked the last two years: turnovers, mental mistakes and a generally porous defense. We were in that game based solely on the good graces of one Mr. James Tressel. If he decides to run it up the gut less than 75% of the time, we would have easily given up 30-40 points. Also, if Terrelle Pryor could hit the broadside of a barn on any of the 3-4 wide open go routes I counted during the game, we would have been down 3 scores multiple times."

Why is it not okay for Brian to say "hey he's a freshman he made some pretty stupid mistakes and hopefully that'll get corrected and if he doesn't throw a million picks we are for sure in this game and could maybe pull it out" but for you to say "well if tressel had called anything but rock and if Pryor could hit the broad side of a barn."

Maybe just maybe Tressel didn't call anything else but rock because he knows what his qb is capable of? Maybe there's a reason that Pryor isn't a very good passer and can't hit the broad side of a barn. He's a sophomore and has another year in the system and has regressed. Tate on the other hand has been injured (from what I've heard) and he's a freshman. Freshmen make mistakes and not scoring in the red zone/turning the ball over are symptoms of a very young team and that is what we are a very young team.

jlvanals

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:51 PM ^

All I'm arguing here is that while some of what happened in this game (and in this season in general) is due to inexperience, some of it has to fall on the coaches. I'm not saying it isn't OK for Brian to point out that having a Freshman QB was part of the problem on Saturday, but failing to place any of the blame for this season on the job RR has done is insane.

As to your Tressel point, I couldn't agree more. Tressel knows his players, his team better than anyone and does a great job of putting them in the position to succeed. This is why he is a good coach. Also, with the 3-4 wide open go routes, I was just stating that Tressel's game plan + Terrelle Pryor covered up still glaring weaknesses in our defense. That, IMO, is not really progress, more a combination of luck and suboptimal playcalling by Tressel.

bouje

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:59 PM ^

We played our asses off and for you to say that we were never in this game is completely bat shit crazy.

If we score a TD on one of those last drives what does Tressel do? Rock rock rock punt and expect his defense to win it for him. If we score we could have won the game and I don't think that that is crazy but with every almost touchdown I thought that we could have won the game.

I think that it shows just how much some of the fans have given up on this team and on RR.

Go Blue Toledo

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:18 PM ^

Tressel knew his defense could stand up to our offense so he had no reason to put Pryor out there throwing the ball. His gameplan was crazy conservative because he knew he could. If OSU's offense takes snaps out of the shot gun every play and gives Pryor a run/pass option we lose by 3+ scores. Hell, on their drive after we cut the deficit to 4, the majority of their plays were of the read option variety, out of the shot gun, and they marched right down the field. I'm just thankful they didn't do that all game.

This game was only close because Tressel let it be close.

bouje

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

"This disagreement is mostly a difference in semantics over what constitutes "being in a game" (which I would argue we never were, at least after the Tate fumble in the end zone) and "gift" (which I use to refer to Jim Tressel's suboptimal playcalling and coaching decisions)."

Because I have no f'ing idea what game he was watching. Let's say that we score on one of our last drives in the 4th quarter.. What does Tressel do? He puckers up his asshole just like Lloyd did when he was up

Fuzzy Dunlop

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:51 PM ^

You don't seem to understand that the fact that you might not AGREE with criticism, or even the fact that the criticism might somehow be faulty, does not been that the critic has given up on the team. You seize on any flaw in logic, whether perceived or real, to argue that the commenter is not a real fan. It's very one note.

ShockFX

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:35 PM ^

Two star recruits and walk-ons can be taught to tackle.
Kovacs and Leach tackle exceedingly well actually. Both break down and tackle nicely.

Freshman offensive players can be taught to hold onto the football.
Most of the fumbles this year were Tate, correct? Freshman QBs fumbling is not a new thing. I can't imagine the coaches endorse how he holds the ball, so why it's still prevalent is beyond me. However, he doesn't seem to fumble when he's running the ball, just when he's in the pocket scrambling.

Punt returners of any recruiting grade or experience level can be taught how to fair catch a ball without fumbling.
I think we had ONE muffed punt this year. Not horrible.

Four star linebackers can be coached to do a 7 yard zone drop instead of (maybe) 2.5.
No argument that our ILBs are awful. It is possible, given that Leach and Fitz didn't suffer from this, that it's just Mouton and Ezeh are lost causes.

Four star safety recruits can learn not to leave their feet everytime they make contact.
Mike Williams doesn't seem to listen very well.

The trend on this site is to find anything, anyone to blame for these deficiencies other than Rich Rodriguez. Maybe if we were a fundamentally strong football team that was consistently athletically overmatched (i.e. Navy, Northwestern) I could understand arguing it wasn't the coaches' fault, but that isn't the case here.
Given the improvement of the offense from year 1 to year 2, despite another freshman QB, an Oline missing it's best piece, and no game breaking receiver, I'm content with the direction of our offense. Given the lack on anything resembling continuity (or talent) on defense, I'm willing to give GERG another year to show improvement. A new LB coach would do wonders for my thoughts about the defensive staff.

Look, Stevie Brown was excellent in a brand new position. Craig Roh did an outstanding job despite being 30lb undersized. VanBergen was solid in a newish position. Woolfolk was reliable at 2 positions. Leach and Kovacs were serviceable outside of physical limitations. Even Floyd was in position on the whole, just physically limited as well.

I don't think anyone would argue that with average play from Mouton, Ezeh, and Williams the team would be 7-5. It's possible that Hopson is a horrible coach, and it's also possible that those 3 are just as irresponsible as Shawn Crable, but without the pure talent (and non crucial position: essentially rush DE vs LB/SS), and that not much can be done to fix them.

jlvanals

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

Appreciate your well thought out response to the post. I'll try to be brief in response, but will not succeed.

1. Stevie Brown was not excellent at his new position. Give the kid credit, he played his heart out, but he was often overmatched because of his weight and, not surprisingly since he never played the position before, often fails to constrict his gap and fight through blocks, especially on zone stretch plays or the like. This is also not that surprising, again because of his size, so I agree that Stevie Brown was not the issue here dude, but calling him excellent is a bit of a stretch. Dave Harris was excellent, Stevie Brown=undersized, slightly above average.

2. Muffed punts. We had way more than 1. Of course, the discrepancy might be that I'm counting every time we fumbled the ball on a punt, whether we recovered it or not. IMO, luck is the only thing differentiating a muffed punt from a turnover. I don't have exact statistics on that, so in that sense my post could be stronger. If I get bored at work today, i'll have to research that.

3. Tackling. If two star recruits and walk ons can be taught proper technique, so can the Mike Williams/Obi Ezeh/Jonas Mouton's of the world. My guess is that Fitzgerald and Kovacs came in more fundamentally sound that the previously listed players and this is why they made the team as walk ons in the first place. However, I fully admit that might not be the truth (don't have video of pre-michigan versions of any of those guys) and may also be overly pessimistic about our defensive coaches.

4. Mike Williams, Jesus H. Christ. Many 6th graders have better tackling form than him. Just so pathetic in so many ways.

5. Completely agree with you on the trajectory of our offense. However, we must remember last year was an utter disaster and our defense this year is much, much worse than last year's even if that doesn't bear out statistically in scoring (which I would argue is driven primarily by the fact that last year they were constantly put in horrible positions). In sum, we are last year's team with the relative competence of the offense and defense reversed.

This all being said, I want to reiterate that I agree Rich Rodriguez is not entirely responsible for this mess. However, he is responsible for an ever increasing portion of it. No fire RR banner, but I hope we enter spring ball with a renewed emphasis on blocking, man coverage skills, zone coverage skills, tackling, and holding on to the damn football.

ShockFX

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:34 PM ^

Stevie Brown was a 220lb LB playing his first year at the position, made no critical mistakes, made a couple really nice plays (TFL against MSU to force a kick) and fought for everything. Yeah, he was outsized and not David Harris. But given what he went through the past 3 years and the fact that he was a small bright spot this year, I'm filing the season for him under excellent.

msoccer10

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:39 PM ^

I agree that the sloppiness of play has to be attributed to coaching, at least to some degree. But all of your complaints above are about defense. Sadly, I don't think Rodriguez does much with the defense. I blame Rodriguez for not taking control of the defense, but not because of his coaching. I think Greg Robinson has to get the defense to play more soundly next year and that will hold the key to whether Rodriguez keeps his job.

The offense clearly made mistakes, but most of those are by a true freshman and I don't think you can coach all those out of a guy this young. In general, I think Rodriguez has done a good job of coaching, if a poor job on coordinating a staff.

I also worry about special teams coaching. Who is in charge of that mess?

jlvanals

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:16 PM ^

That is one of our biggest problems: there is no special teams coach at UM (some nebulous rotating goes on, it makes no sense). This obviously needs to change. And you're right that RR doesn't control the defense, but it is his ultimate responsibility as head coach. I agree with keeping GERG, we need some continuity right now, but this offseason needs to be about our players relearning the basics (tackling, zone drops, man coverage and the importance of reducing cut back lanes in a gap based defense).

matty blue

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:28 PM ^

a) our special teams were generally pretty good this year, phantom muffed punt turnovers or not.
b) nobody that i looked up has a dedicated special teams coach. florida's special teams coach is urban meyer. alabama's is our pal bobby williams. texas' special teams coach is defensive tackle coach mike tolleson. oklahoma? defensive ends coach chris wilson. ohio state doesn't even list a special teams coach. i'm sure there are some dedicated special teams coaches out there, but i didn't find them in five minutes of google-stalking.

ShockFX

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

"I agree with keeping GERG, we need some continuity right now, but this offseason needs to be about our players relearning the basics (tackling, zone drops, man coverage and the importance of reducing cut back lanes in a gap based defense)."

This will probably be a lot easier this year with players not learning a new system/terminology, new positions, etc. I felt like fundamentals were outstanding against WMU, that tackling was best I've seen in years. Then it slowly broke down over the course of the season as the coaches probably spent more time trying to mitigate the gaping holes on the defense through scheme.

DMadCat

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:37 PM ^

Yes. ^H^H^H^H

No.

There, fixed that for ya.

Forget the "who we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to do" expectations for a minute. You just watched what was essentially a team of underclassmen, many of whom were still playing high school ball last season, put up 309 yards total offense on what was billed as one of the country's top Defenses. You watched a freshman Quarterback tally 229 passing yards and six drives of 40 to 50 yards (compared to their two drives of 80 to 90).
What you saw were three key mistakes. A missed Field Goal, a fumble in the end zone, and an intercepted rope thrown to Matthews in the end zone that should have been a lob to the back corner. Two were mistakes made by a freshman Quarterback who, for all his talent, still tries too hard to make something happen and needs to learn patience. The third was just a "WTF, how do you miss that?!" wide right kick. Erase those three and we win.
Frankly for us to be that close to being in that game with the season we've had gives me great hope for the future. We're not as bad as our record. We just need to learn how to finish games.

blueheron

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:11 PM ^

I liked the comment on "class" and Michael Shaw. Wander over to MLive (if you dare) and you'll see that many posts contain that word or "punk." Anger one of the self-appointed arbiters of good taste there (the one who gives daily -- and unsolicited -- SW Michigan weather reports) and you may also become acquainted with "maroon" (his way of saying moron, apparently).

Tater

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:30 PM ^

I didn't read any mlive or A2.com coverage on Sunday. I figured that I had already watched the game and read a lot of people here, and didn't need to subject myself to the mind-numbing torture that both outlets have become to read.

I am also at a point there where I don't even read others' comments anymore at either outlet. I use tunnel-vision to find the sign in and comment boxes, comment, and move on. For awhile, A2.com moderated trolls and topic-kidnappers by calling their posts "off-topic" and deleting them. Now, though, they are just mlive lite.

Since every UM-related post in any sport will result in a referendum on RR's job status for at least the next eleven months (maybe 7-1 will shut them up, but I doubt it), I don't need to read their crap anymore.

We get everything we need here, anyway.

GoBlueBrooklyn

November 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 PM ^

Using "Maroon" as a pejorative is a huge pet peeve of mine. It survives, of course, because of early Bugs Bunny cartoons that continue to run on TV (and ran a lot on TV through the early 1980's)--"what a maroon" being one of Bugs' early catch phrases. Today, lots of older folks use it mindlessly as an "old-timey" insult that is cartoonish (in their minds).

Maroon, however, as it is used by Bugs, is actually a racist term; it refers to the Maroon people, a community of escaped slaves who formed settlements throughout North and South America. The phrase "what a Maroon" implies an ignorant, primitive person and is used as a pejorative. It is essentially a racist term from the minstrel-era and has no business being used in common speech, but of course, most people who use it are simply repeating an old phrase and don't even know where it comes from, mostly because of the absence of many other references to the Maroon people in our culture. In the same way no one in their right mind would use the word "niggardly" to describe another human being, so too "maroon" is a phrase that should be wiped from the vocabulary of most people.

Not implying that people who use it mean it in a racist way; just saying...

colin

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:24 PM ^

of 5 turnovers committed by one player. So maybe it's more like "it's easy to see him being very good if and when that problem goes away". And it's not that hard to see the INT problem going away; he didn't really have much of one. Tate was just below Big Ten average in INT/attempt and would have been above average if not for the OSU game. And keep in mind that he played the big 3 defenses in Iowa, PSU and OSU while some did not.

ish

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:29 PM ^

shaw needs to stop dancing and get north/south quicker. he was doing a little fargas back there. if he can concentrate on making his cut quicker and heading downfield, he'll be a good back.

STW P. Brabbs

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:50 PM ^

It looked to me like Shaw could have bounced runs outside and turned the corner, but forced cutbacks directly into tacklers. It almost seemed like the coaches had emphasized 'just get going up the damn field!' and he didn't trust his speed as much as he should have.

I still have hope for Shaw - he's got crazy physical talent and seems only to lack ideal instincts. If he can learn to trust his ability and find the yards reflexively, he could be a monster. I'm just worried that he's cut a little bit high to be a force between the tackles.

MichiganIndifferent

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:41 PM ^

Recruits care what "the rest of the country thinks [of] the Big 10." So do BCS voters. If Big Ten teams don't start winning BCS games, we'll soon have, at best, a shot at the Rose Bowl and that's it. When (not if) Michigan gets out of the Big 10 basement, you too will care what the country thinks of Midwest / Big 10 football.

STW P. Brabbs

November 24th, 2009 at 9:16 AM ^

I was fucking flipping out over the amount of air time Big Nut was getting. The only thing that made me more angry was Holly Rowe's makeup-encrusted jowls doing a little commercial for Nike while the game was going on.

[Texts between my friend and I]

Me: I hope someone strangles Holly Rowe with Nike underwear
Friend: It would be a 40% lighter way to be strangled