Unverified Voracity Has Tire Tracks On Forehead

Submitted by Brian on November 12th, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Let's get Denarded. Since it will be on the message board forever and ever amen and discussed until the weekend: e-reports say that Tate Forcier's facebook status yesterday was about having a bad day and somewhere in the comment thread spawned by that—probably made band fiasco look tame—Tate mentioned he would not be starting this weekend, and then hurriedly deleted that because duh. All of this is in the realm of quasi-fact that the efix* is so good at condescendingly mocking.

…but. But Forcier is probably going to miss a little bit of time against Wisconsin for an exceedingly minor violation of team rules. This is not for sure. It is probable.

*(see what I did there?)

Brabbs! …is through round two of chemotherapy and was on WTKA recently talking about his disease. Podcast.

Elsewhere in terrible diseases unfairly striking young ex-Wolverines, Vada Murray got some excellent news a few days ago:

We heard the word we long to hear......shrink......from his recent ct.  Both tumors are getting smaller and for the first time, his oncologist, who rarely shows emotion, was ecstatic. 

The bus. You are under it. I can't believe we've gone this long without mentioning Troy Woolfolk gently depositing Scott Shafer in the wheel-wells of an AATA conveyance in the Monday press conference:

"Honestly, I feel way more comfortable in this system," Woolfolk said. "Last year, I think we had great execution, but just the defense wasn't working. Versus this year, the defense is working. ... It's just a matter of us being able to do it all the time."

In there is all you need to know about why Scott Shafer got cut loose. Everyone remembers that the staff's first instinct after Shafer was unofficially relieved of duties was to go to the disastrous 3-3-5 that Justin Siller will talk about when he is 65, but also remember what Michigan installed the next week: a dead simple 4-2-5 nickel with Brandon Harrison back in his old spot that shut down Minnesota and did well against Northwestern before getting overrun in the second half against Ohio State.

Yeah, pretty much. Orson's graphs touch on Michigan this week:


That is all.

What is with the cantankerous? Ex-Michigan folk in the coaching ranks are pre-disposed to mouthiness. Miles: "have a nice day." Harbaugh: "Pete Carroll, I bite my thumb at thee." Corwin Brown: "Navy is a dirty cut-blocking team that has no class."

Slightly touchy in South Bend these days.

Freshmen recast. It's typical that the LA Times put together a useful chart of freshman quarterback stats and then ordered them by yardage and didn't even bother to include completion percentage. The stats recast and ordered by YPA (asterisks denote redshirt freshmen):

QB Att Cmp Yards TD Int Cmp% YPA
*Andrew Luck, Stanford 216 126 2076 11 3 58.3% 9.61
*B.J. Daniels, S. Florida 122 64 1096 10 6 52.5% 8.98
Matt Barkley, USC 221 125 1839 10 7 56.6% 8.32
Tom Savage, Rutgers 168 94 1341 8 1 56.0% 7.98
Tate Forcier, Michigan 217 122 1636 10 5 56.2% 7.54
*Kevin Prince, UCLA 184 105 1264 5 5 57.1% 6.87
*Landry Jones, Okla. 287 169 1902 17 11 58.9% 6.63
Jeff Tuel, Wash. State 121 71 789 6 5 58.7% 6.52
*Ryan Griffin, Tulane 135 89 838 4 3 65.9% 6.21
Cody Green, Nebraska 59 33 317 2 2 55.9% 5.37
Brock Osweiler, Ariz. St. 45 19 235 2 1 42.2% 5.22

Forcier compares favorably to every true freshman on the list save maybe Tom Savage when you take rushing into account, and he didn't even get to play against Baby Seal U. Those are real numbers.

The culture of the thing. I've had this open in a tab for a while now and people keep emailing it to me, so it might be time to cite this post on Smart Football from a run-and-shoot devotee (and former Big 12 coach) about installing his offense and his culture. The key point from a Michigan perspective:

Before discussing the technical benefits, let me first say that operating exclusively out of a four-wide environment is the first step a coach makes towards acculturating his program to the offense. To run the run and shoot effectively, it is necessary to commit to it entirely. Coaches that retain the ability to use tight ends, h-backs, and multiple-back sets create a crutch upon which they can fall back on when things don’t go as well as they’d like in the early going. Inevitably, what happens then is that the team becomes a multiple-set team that uses some run and shoot packages on passing downs. What never happens, however, is that the team converts to the run and shoot culture. And without that, the coaches and the players never become fully comfortable in the system, and then when the team struggles more, they blame the system.

When you decide to run this offense you need to burn your bridges with the past. You have to declare, “This is what we will sink or swim with. We are a run and shoot team.”

If anyone is still cranky about Rodriguez installing his offense from day one—default link to "Golden Age Of Tin" here—there it is in black and white from someone who would know. Also you're asking a dancing bear to do your taxes, but whatever.

Quod erat demonstrandum. Deadspin runs anonymous email from asshat that claims Arizona State's baseball coach is a vile person and SHOCK SURPRISE ALARM it turns out the asshat's email was a complete fabrication. At no point does it occur to Deadspin that they are also acting like asshats. Meanwhile, Leitch returns to write an excellent column on Bill Simmons. Deadspin shark-jump QED.

Suggestion: write in totally fabricated stories to Deadspin and publicly retract them via this space when and if they get published. 1,000,000 mgopoints* to anyone who successfully executes this maneuver.



I stole this bit from Joe Posnanski.)

Em. Pahokee native, Michigan recruit, Florida decommit, Kiffin controversy source (who isn't), and current and possibly soon-to-be ex- Tennessee Vol Nu'Keese Richardson is in a spot of bother:

University of Tennessee freshman football players Janzen Jackson, Nu’Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards were arrested near campus this morning and charged in connection with an armed robbery, multiple sources confirmed to the Times Free Press.

That Mike Edwards kid was also nominally a Michigan recruit, as he's from Cleveland and went to "Glenville Academic Campus," the home of Ted Ginn Sr and a bunch of recruits who only list Michigan to screw with them.

Relevance to Michigan's program? Tangential at best. I guess it's good we dodged a bullet there.

Etc.: I can't believe Corey Tropp is playing against Michigan this weekend. Seriously: the hell. That kid should be in junior with his goon buddy, not facing off against Steve Kampfer.



November 12th, 2009 at 11:48 AM ^

The plot thickens.

Seriously though if there is one thing that I love about RR is that he doesn't take shit from anyone on his team. It's his way or the highway. He doesn't care if you're the starting QB or a 4th teamer the punishments are the same if you screw up. And I for one LOVE this.

the Bray

November 12th, 2009 at 11:53 AM ^

Tate is not starting because of a violation of team rules... or Tate was not starting, posted about it on FB, and will miss more time because the act of posting about it on FB is what is the violation?


November 12th, 2009 at 12:06 PM ^

Everyone loves Bo for his firm stand that nothing is bigger than the team. I believe RR's approach to this program is closer to Bo than the way Lloyd ran things. The question is do we still care about the principles Bo established/continued for this program if we don't win?? Bo continually points out things in his book that may have cost the team wins in the short term, but in the long term benefited the team and the player. Bo was cemented here and his team was a winner already so it was much easier. You have to give RR huge props for suspending Tate with so much on the line in this game if Brian's report is true. The truth is 90% won't give a shit and just bitch that RR is a bum and a retard and get their pitch forks sharpened up. Then when we win they'll claim moral superiority over douchebags like Tenn, Alabama, OSU and teams of that sort. Pick a side. I pick THE TEAM.


November 12th, 2009 at 12:06 PM ^

FWIW, the author of the Smart Football article specifically mentions Rodriguez in a later comment.

A worthwhile passage from that comment:

It would be easy for him to modify things, perhaps put some pro-style wrinkles in, but that would not help him achieve his long-term goals. Winning one or two more games at the expense of your program is not worth it. I’ve been on staffs where this happened, that is, the HC came in and brought with him a system, but the talent on hand was not exactly what he needed in order to make it go. What did he do? He watered it down and three years later he was still muddling along without an identity – he eventually got fired.


November 12th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

Ok, the above point that a coach must be 100% committed to a system or else he will fail is logical. However, then how do we fans distinguish between "necessary" losses [needed for the players to learn the new system] and "unnecessary" losses [because our team is good enough now but the coach is not doing the job]? By this criterion, last season was a success because the beginnings of the spread "mentality" were taught to the 2008 team, even though many of those players were ill-suited to the spread offense.

Fuzzy Dunlop

November 12th, 2009 at 12:21 PM ^

If it's true that Tate's not starting, even if only for a series or two, posting it on facebook was stupid for a number of obvious reasons, including that it cost the team the element of surprise. Denard would probably be a lot more effective on the first series if Wisconsin was prepped for Tate.


November 12th, 2009 at 1:30 PM ^

and that is exactly why I have been dumbfounded all year by UM winning the coin toss (8 out of 10 times by my count) and electing to defer to the second half. I know that is standard strategy, but why would you do that when the offense is the strength of the team, you have one of the best punters in the country, your D can't stop anybody, the other team usually opens the game with a TD (PSU, Ill & PU) and you play flat in the 3rd quarter? Why would you not want to get the ball and try to establish the early momentum?
And don't even get me started on why we don't use Denard more in the Red Zone. How about DR in the backfield with Tate? Is it a pass or run? Tate pitches to Denard, is it a run or pass?


November 12th, 2009 at 12:40 PM ^

I just love how coaches probably now have employees who have to scour the Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter pages of players to make sure they don't give away strategy.

I'm not totally against Tate sitting for a series or two against Wisconsin irrespective of team rules violations. The running game probably needs to be established by the team earlier rather than later, and DR is a nice change-of-pace to Tate, who is more slippery than speedy. Plus, if the offense starts with the ball, a longer run-based drive might calm down the UM defense a bit, which seems to start slow and then slowly becomes competent for at least a quarter.


November 12th, 2009 at 12:53 PM ^

Corwin Brown displays a lack of situational awareness accusing Navy of being dirty and classless on Veterans Day. But then again, schools like Navy and their ability to recruit thugs does place them at an advantage over Charlie.


November 12th, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

I am more than ready to yell things of questionable decency and tact at Tropp all game tomorrow night. I can't believe that goons playing again. This games gonna be chippy.