Unverified Voracity Is In The Computer Comment Count

Brian September 15th, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Radio mishap. Sorry to streaming listeners who ended up getting a nonstop pile of ads about halfway through the show. We don't know what happened there; we've reached out to WTKA and they say that should not recur. Podcasts should be coming, possibly tomorrow. We're still working out the kinks.


[Eric Upchurch]

RAGE now comes with official approval. The Big Ten said "whoops" on the punt flag:

Harbaugh asked the Big Ten for an explanation on the call, and during his radio show Monday night, said the league basically offered an apology for an officiating error.

"You just want to be able to know what to tell your team, that's why we ask, that's why we inquire," Harbaugh said. "Once the punter goes outside the tackle box, you don't know if he's a runner or he's going to punt the ball. He's afforded the same protection a quarterback would be when he's outside the pocket. If he throws the ball, he can be hit like a quarterback.

"They would've rather not thrown a flag on that. ... That's what they said."

They have not as yet apologized for the various other errors this crew inflicted on Michigan: the opening-play PI against Darboh is blatant, as is a hold on James Ross that sprung one of Oregon State's big runs on their touchdown drive. Michigan got hoooooosed on Saturday and still won 35-7.

Chris Brown on Power. An excellent primer on something Michigan's going to be running a ton of for the foreseeable future:

“There is nothing magical about the Power play,” Paul Alexander, the Cincinnati Bengals’ longtime offensive line coach, said at a coaching clinic in 2012. Almost every NFL team runs Power, though some (like the Seahawks, Vikings, Steelers, and Bills) will emphasize it more than others, and it has produced some of the most dramatic plays in recent memory, including Marshawn Lynch’s infamous Beast Mode run. The idea behind Power is as old as football itself, as having an overwhelming force at the point of attack was an obvious strategy as soon as someone first picked up a football; versions of the play pop up as far back as in Michigan coach Fielding Yost’s playbook from 1905. But NFL coaches have spent the past 20 years tweaking and adjusting the play, and now the proper form is gospel.

Brown details the various responsibilities the players have. This one in particular is something De'Veon Smith had trouble with in week one:

Running back: Veteran NFL offensive line coach Mike Solari, who’s currently with the Green Bay Packers, says he prefers to tell the running back to “read the alphabet: Read from the playside A to B to C to D gaps for a running lane.” But the running back’s real key to success on Power is to let the blocking develop. “People ask me what I tell our running backs,” said Shaw at the 2013 clinic. “Mostly what we tell our running backs is [have] patience.”

He improved a considerable amount in week two.

Staples on the State of Michigan. SI's Andy Staples took in the doubleheader this weekend:

Graham Glasgow has just finished explaining the importance of pad level as it relates to play along the line of scrimmage—short version: the low man wins—when the Michigan fifth-year senior center says something telling. "I felt better in this loss," Glasgow says, "than I would after some of our wins last year."

Five days earlier, the Wolverines lost their season opener at Utah. Four days from now, Michigan will make its home debut under coach Jim Harbaugh against Oregon State. As Glasgow says those words, he stands in the Towsley Family Museum in Schembechler Hall. He is a few feet from the "Win Wall," a massive glass enclosure that, on this particular Tuesday, features a football representing each of Michigan's 915 all-time wins. In another part of the room, the words of former Michigan coach Fritz Crisler are carved into wood.

"Tradition is something you can't bottle. You can't buy it at the corner store. But it is there to sustain you when you need it most. I've called upon it time and time again. And so have countless other Michigan athletes and coaches. There is nothing like it. I hope it never dies."

Glasgow's words suggest that in 2014 Michigan's football tradition was dying.

Whole thing is worth a read.

This week in good quotes. Blake O'Neill quizzed about his modeling career:

"All sorts of things,"he said Monday at Michigan's weekly news conference. "Fashion modeling, catwalk, anything.

"I was a little budding Zoolander."

He does not have a "Blue Steel" look.

Who will I scoff at now? Texas deep-sixes Brandon 2.0:

University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves is expected to fire embattled athletic director Steve Patterson, and the move could come this morning, a Houston-based source with knowledge of the situation told the American-Statesman.

Fenves and Patterson are meeting Tuesday morning, the Statesman learned.

It could bring an end to a tumultuous 22-month journey for the athletic department during which fans grew outraged over higher ticket prices and Patterson battled the perception that his cool demeanor simply does not fit UT’s style.

"Cool demeanor" is the nice way of saying it.

Good on Texas for dumping their version of the buzzword-spewing Emperor's New CEO after less than two years. That Patterson got himself fired after making what look to be excellent hires in both football and basketball speaks to just how hated he was by just about everyone. Justifiably. Hell, I have no connection to Texas whatsoever and I hated him because he was bad for college football, all of it.

Hopefully they've got a Hackett hanging around.

That would be a terrible idea, but on the other hand I would no longer have to listen to him relentlessly praise every coach in every situation. ("Not many coaches would feed their quarterback to an alligator at halftime, Rece, but Tim Beckman is an innovative thinker.") I approve.

Oh right. The legend:

I'm sure that will last.

Injuries and more injuries and Rutgers. Michigan's gotten through the first couple weeks of the season without anything serious happening to their players; other than Bryan Mone they're as close to completely healthy as a group of people playing football can be. This is not the case for a number of upcoming Michigan opponents.

BYU is of course down Taysom Hill and relying on freshman-ish Tanner Mangum, who was a big recruit a couple years back and is just off his Mormon mission. On the other hand, that linebacker who bingle-bangled a Boise State player right in the dingle-dangle will somehow not be suspended—nice to not have a conference sometimes. Michigan players will have to keep an eye on the family jewels.

Minnesota has a number of guys out with relatively minor issues but may have lost WR KJ Maye to a broken rib.

And then of course Rutgers. Star WR Leonte Caroo was the latest Scarlet Knight to get arrested. He's been suspended indefinitely for an "altercation" outside the stadium Saturday night that resulted in a domestic violence arrest. What exactly went down is still unclear, but if you poke around On The Banks the impression their comments give is that Rutgers insider types think it's pretty serious and we may not see Carroo for a while. Oh and they didn't list Darius Hamilton on their most recent depth chart because he has an undisclosed injury of some variety. And of course five guys got arrested for armed robbery and transferred to Michigan State before the season started.

Rutgers fans are now calling this "their darkest hour," which may be true if the history of Rutgers football started with Greg Schiano. It does not.

Speaking of Rutgers. Julie Herrmann has a job! Still! She is employed and everything! She probably has a company car and a dental plan!

Unhappy Moeller. Via Dr. Sap:

How the Norfleet thing went down. Via the man himself:

“To be honest, everything caught me off-guard,” Norfleet said. “It just happened. (Harbaugh and I) weren’t seeing eye to eye. Nothing real big. We had disagreements but nothing serious. He thought I was going to be ineligible, and I wasn’t. He is real big on academics. That’s one thing I can say about Jim Harbaugh — he’s going to make sure these players are going to class.”

Norfleet said Harbaugh never told him he wanted him on the team.

“I never got that at all,” Norfleet said. “The only thing I got was, come back a semester to get a degree. Not play football. He wanted me to use my scholarship. I still love Michigan, though, as a whole. Sometimes, you’ve got to move on.”

Unfortunate all around, but it seems like Michigan was willing to have him around even if he wasn't going to play. That seems to have smoothed over things with Detroit King.



It's not a crisis if you complain about it every year and things are just fine. The only person more prone to complain about spread offenses than NFL scouts and coaches is Gary Danielson, and the arguments the NFL has are about as good as Danielson's:

…if current trends continue, NFL insiders say, quarterbacks who have the sophistication to outfox NFL defenses to deliver the ball to open receivers are “going to be on the endangered species list,” said Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine. “The quarterback may not be gone yet,” he added, “but if you have one, protect it.”

“It’s doomsday if we don’t adapt and evolve,” said St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead.

These people are just in charge of things for no reason and should be given the Patterson/Brandon treatment. Half of the top ten rookie QB seasons in NFL history have come since 2011. Those five seasons came from Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, and Mike Glennon. Three of those guys came from out-and-out spread offenses. After one game Marcus Mariota looks set to join them.

I mean:

A parade of general managers, like Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert, think that if the current model holds, the notion of drafting a quarterback to start right away will need to be scrapped.


Cleveland’s Farmer has one idea: What if you could design an offense to minimize the passing deficiencies of modern quarterback prospects?


Etc.: Mike Riley literally has his team yelling "hip hip hooray" after games. Flanders, the coach. Local news talking with El Harberino. Jake Lourim with a longform on ECA, Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson's school. Wide pin down. Harbaugh profile (autoplaying audio warning). SMH NCAA. UNLV is not good. Holdin' The Rope.



September 15th, 2015 at 11:55 AM ^

Agreed, they've had this issue for years.  I stopped even bothering with their Sunday morning programming.  I'd get the first 10 minutes of Morris/Bacon and then it would never come out of commercial break.  I'd email their [email protected] about the issue.  Sometimes they'd get it fixed, other times they wouldn't.

Makes me wonder if their web stream has a manual button that needs to be pushed in order to flip from studio to commercial feed and back, and somebody just forgets from time to time.


Wolverine In Exile

September 15th, 2015 at 11:47 AM ^

are probably the most intractable group of human beings known to man. This is a group who wildly discarded Bill Walsh early on as a gimmick offense. This is why I really hope that Chip Kelly succeeds in Philly just to change the paradigm much like Walsh changed it in the mid-late 80's.


September 15th, 2015 at 11:55 AM ^

I love Norfleet's quote about Harbaugh being big on academics. Love it. We can argue all we want on the justice of paying players, but one thing that is undeniable is that they ARE here to "play school." Go to classes, young men, as football is fleeting like all things...


September 15th, 2015 at 1:51 PM ^

if he could have gotten his degree from Michigan though. With a redshirt this year, he could have gone and played somwhere else next year with a Michigan degree. I'm thinking he will still do well.  A charismatic personality goes a long way in the business world. Glad he is enjoying himself on the new team, and felt bad about his 26 yard return that was called back.  It's a curse. 


September 15th, 2015 at 12:02 PM ^

The 34 points are the most Michigan's been favored by in a game since it was called a 35 1/2-point favorite against Akron in 2013.

Oh gosh, we almost lost to Akron that one time. I had literally managed to block that memory from my mind.


September 15th, 2015 at 12:20 PM ^

Glasgow's words suggest that in 2014 Michigan's football tradition was dying.

It's fair to say that it was.  It wasn't just the losses; it was the fact there appeared little competitive fire.  Michigan was at risk of becoming Purdue.  Hoke played a role, but it wasn't for lack of trying.  Good heart; insufficient ability.

It was the hope of change that sustained.  Had we been assured there'd be no change for a dozen more years, I think the memory of the tradition would have faded into the background.

Harbaugh could not have come at a more critical point in time. 

Right now, Texas is at some risk of slipping into a tailspin.  They too have a long, rich tradition of football, but with each year of keystone cops play the tradition dims in relevancy.

Tennessee seems to be on a good path back to some relevancy.  Time will tell there.

Nebraska -- once a powerhouse -- seems relegated to permanent "good but not great."



September 15th, 2015 at 12:34 PM ^

I'm in the unfortunate position of being a Michigan fan and a student at Rutgers, a fanbase that knows next to nothing about football or BIG 10 football. That being said, I have connections in the athletic department and the word is that Caroo's girlfriend was jumped by another girl outside of the stadium, and Caroo threw the girl to the ground. I can't officially confirm that, but it lines up with the story.


September 15th, 2015 at 12:37 PM ^

To have both my Browns HC & GM quoted on the front page here is something I thought I'd NEVER see in my lifetime.

FWIW if you saw any of the Browns/Jets game this past weekend you should immediately realize that anything that either of them suggest should be immediately done George Costanza style in reverse.


September 15th, 2015 at 1:18 PM ^

With the disclaimer that I didn't watch the Browns Jets game....

...what was the deal there?  Obviously 31-10 speaks for itself, but generally I like Mike Pettine.

He's not Bill Walsh, this is true.  But, call me crazy (I'm a Browns fan after all) but I think he's the best coach the Browns have had in a while by some distance.  It's fine to ding him for handing the QB controversy, but that is choosing what flavor of shit you want on your sandwich.


September 15th, 2015 at 1:54 PM ^

Browns actually dominated most of the first half in a macro sense. Held the Jets' offense to one first down and a punt on their first drive, then took the ball about 90 yards, eating up about 10 minutes of clock. Then Josh McCown tried to run15 yards into the end zone on third and goal, got concussed, fumbled into the end zone, and the Jets recovered.

Browns also had a nice INT from safety Tashaun Gipson, who after intercepting it immediately had the ball taken out of his hands by Brandon Marshall:


Jets scored a few plays later.

Penalties, turnovers. Dumb football.

The Browns *should* have been up anywhere from 17-7 to 21-7 at halftime. Instead, they were down 14-10.

In other words, typical Browns.

Ronnie Kaye

September 15th, 2015 at 12:40 PM ^

Other shaky calls on Saturday: the PI on Peppers. The Oregon State receiver initiated the hand-slapping. Easy one to get wrong, but it was wrong. Also, while the Chesson call of offensive PI call was technically correct, it was so far away from the ball that you'd hope the officials would use their discretion and not throw it since it didn't affect the play. In fact -- and maybe someone could shed some light on this -- don't "uncatchable" calls go both ways on PI? 

We better not draw that shit crew again. They're horrible. Same guys who made all those mistakes in the OSU/PSU game last season.


September 15th, 2015 at 1:07 PM ^

Peppers has twice been called for interference on plays where, at best, the action should have resulted in no-calls or offensive pass interference. The blatant no-call on Darboh, the shirt tug and then early wrap, was a function of the angle of the back judge and no other official taking charge. 

Let's be clear about something, the B1G doesn't want this kind of attention. And Saturday's crew is one of the conference best. This crew has worked major bowl games and Michigan-Ohio State games. So, for it to miss so many calls on Saturday including the roughing the punter call is a bit unusual. 

Something else, even if Harbaugh was right about the flag on that play, his reaction is going to draw another flag. He showed up the head linesman and the referee. And it was the referee who made the call. The head linesman just happened to be standing on the sideline. 

I think he knew right away the call was in jeopardy just watching his body reaction to Harbaugh's challenge, which is why Harbaugh didn't get a call for unsportsmanlike conduct on himself. Not saying this reaction wasn't great for the fans and TV audience and fun to comment on, just saying that this over-the-top response cannot be tolerated by the league. 

In no other sport, would this reaction go unpunished. I mean in baseball, he's gone. It's only in football where the crowd is so far away and there is only audio which gets picked up by a sideline mike that may give you an idea what was said. Although in this case, you could see what was said and the crazy reaction with playbook and papers flying, leg kicks and spin-arama moves by the coach. Harbaugh was right about the rule and the call, no doubt. 

The coach responded very professionally after the game and in response to league reaction, and he didn't pile on when he very easily could have after being right in the first place. So, kudos to this behavior as well. I think it matches the kind of response we've come to expect from Michigan coaches. 



September 15th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

But every crew is evaluated after every game by the conference and themselves. 

This crew worked the spring game, too. So, it worked both of Harbaugh's initial apperances in the Big House. Do you think that was a coincidence? 

The crew blew a number of calls based on judgment and rules interpretation, which is hard to accept. The league doesn't want a coach telling the crew chief he blew a call and rubbing his nose in it. But that's what happened on Saturday. And so the league clarified it's position rather than apologized for making the wrong call. Now, if that led to a TD for OSU, things might have been dramatically different in the aftermath, with a big apology in order. 


September 15th, 2015 at 12:43 PM ^

Cleveland’s Farmer has one idea: What if you could design an offense to minimize the passing deficiencies of modern quarterback prospects?

Obviously this is a hypothetical question, given that Cleveland's needed an offense like this since Bernie Kosar retired and has yet to show one. (Also maybe Cleveland wouldn't think this was as necessary if they didn't keep drafting QBs with serious passing deficiencies.)


September 15th, 2015 at 1:22 PM ^

is something Harbaugh was seeking so his players know how to respond in that situation. Looking at the play in real time, Clark recognized that by missing the ball on the kick and then hitting the punter on his follow-through block attempt, he was probably guilty of a flag. And the  official obliged his reaction. If you watch it, you will see Delano Hill making a similar gesture as Clark, one of guilty recognition that a penalty has been committed. But, of course, they don't know the rule, which their coach did, and that explains why he went haywire on the sideline, even taking a timeout to get an explanation from the referee after the head linesman runs away from Harbaugh after getting an earful and not able to adequately explain it away. 

TV commentators did a good job of telling us why the call could be made if it was technically wrong, because the hit could be interpreted as unsportsmanlike if not roughing. But it wasn't either of those two calls, because the punter once he leaves the tackle box, having run 5 or 6 yards toward the sideline, is now a potential runner going for downfield yardage and the defense has no clue what his intention is, whether he is delaying a kick or running to daylight for a possible first down. If you extend protection outside the tackle box, you are saying this guy can't be hit under any circumstance. And that is what so upset Harbaugh who knows this rule because it also applies to quarterbacks and when they can be legally hit and not touched. 


September 15th, 2015 at 12:53 PM ^

Maybe they can throw in the 41 Buck Sweep from the Delaware Wing-T and bash some more cornerbacks into the bleachers?

Usually one guard destroys the DE and the other goes upfield to destroy a CB or LB.

Since Drevno is bloodthirsty, the Wingback might as well be a TE like Strobel or something

The play is lot of fun, effective and very demoralizing.

"Coach Harbaugh said I could"