Barwis' role in the W

Submitted by might and main on November 7th, 2010 at 8:01 PM

How big was Barwis' role?  I don't know, but quotes from Lewan:

"We just kept playing," Lewan said. "All that hard work with Mike Barwis definitely helps in the end. These are the kind of games where you know things Mike Barwis is doing are helping. When you see guys running around like it was the first play and there's no problem … Mike is a phenomenal coach."

From The Detroit News:



November 7th, 2010 at 8:11 PM ^

In RichRod's postgame presser he was asked if he considered going for two in either of the first two overtimes.  He mentioned conditioning as one of the reasons to not go for two.  He said that he feels that the longer a game goes on, the more their superior conditioning comes into play. 

It was something like that.


November 7th, 2010 at 8:12 PM ^

In other games I had watched, Illinois seemed to fade and tire out in the 4th quarter.  I felt as long as we kept it close, we could put them away late.

The game didn't actually go like that and Illinois played tough the whole game.  Nonetheless, we certainly didn't fade, and that jailhouse blitz in the 3rd OT to win the game was entirely thanks to Barwis.

Love the man, one of Rich's best hires.


November 7th, 2010 at 8:15 PM ^

Sorry. I do think that we are better conditioned, since I remember with dismay how opposing teams were quoted on a couple occasions during LC's tenure as saying M players were gassed at the end of games. So that is definite improvement. But apart from that, I don't know why we al assume that Barwis makes our players Beast men who never tire. RR even said so in the presser after the game that we were tired.


November 8th, 2010 at 9:32 AM ^

Did they look any more tired that our guys did?  I agree that the Barwis stuff is overhyped.  Michigan didn't beat Illinois because of better conditioning.  Both offenses were flying around throughout the overtime periods.  Michigan won because it came up with a huge defensive stop on the last play of the game.  But not because Illinois was "more tired."


November 7th, 2010 at 8:33 PM ^

But when the players themselves are talking about Barwis like that then the point is pretty hard to argue. The longer our players are in the strength program the more beastly they will become. I don't think there is any doubt he is one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in college football. You even have pro athletes (not just football players) praising Barwis and his methods.


November 7th, 2010 at 9:16 PM ^

Over the offseason he put on like 25 lbs of muscle. Also guys like Molk and Mike Martin, pretty much our whole offensive and defensive lines got bigger. Mouton bulked up more, even Denard and Roundtree added muscle. Brian had a list at the beginning of camp on the gains of the team and pretty much everyone who put in the work got bigger.


November 7th, 2010 at 9:29 PM ^

His injury, Braylon has not been to a pro bowl that is correct but I don't think you can say that's because he's been working out with Barwis. And to be fair about Foote, the Lions tried to resign and he didn't want to come back and play for them. Now he's only the starting middle linebacker for the best defense in the NFL with Pittsburgh. I'm not saying Barwis is God, just that if you put in the work with him it will pay off. Brock Mealer was never suppose to walk again, then Barwis and his staff starting working with him and you saw what he did before the UConn game.


November 7th, 2010 at 8:18 PM ^

The transformation of the OLine over the past couple of years has been amazing. The type of athleticism and conditioning required to play in this system is very demanding. Lots of schools have good S&C programs but the results here cement the reason Barwis was described by RRod from the beginning as perhaps his most critical hire


November 7th, 2010 at 8:50 PM ^


I said it in the liveblog yesterday, but on one of our TD runs (I think it was the first OT Shaw run), Molk got around behind Liuget on a head to head block, and drove him from behind out of the play, opening a huge hole for Shaw. Liuget is a great D-lineman, and circling behind like that would normally be incredibly risky, but thanks to Barwis, Molk had the speed to get behind him and drive him out before Shaw hit the hole.

True Blue in CO

November 7th, 2010 at 8:19 PM ^

We did not have this level of physical and mental endurance. Last year we lost it at Illinois as we did not have the physical or mental strength we had yesterday with even younger players against a better team. Cannot wait to see these sophs and freshies as they continue to get stronger on the Barwis watch.


November 7th, 2010 at 8:49 PM ^

It was not conditioning, but just a freak bounce, that allowed Junior Hemingway to catch the TD in the 2nd OT. It was not conditioning, but just a “rock-paper-scissors” guess, that allowed Michigan to stop the Illini’s potential game-tying 2-point conversion at the end.

Full props to Hemingway for catching that pass, and to the coaches for calling the sell-out blitz. But in a game decided by 2 points in triple overtime, I wouldn’t say Michigan was better conditioned than Illinois. I would say that both were very well conditioned.

Monocle Smile

November 7th, 2010 at 9:14 PM ^

how we got to overtime in the first place.

The defense:

-stopped Illinois when we hadn't stopped them all day when they had possession with under 2 minutes left and all they needed was a field goal. The defense had been on the field all day due to FIVE turnovers.

-stopped them AGAIN about 30 seconds later when Tate threw that godawful pick. Illinois had the ball near midfield, still only needed a field goal, and we held them despite just getting off the field.

That, my friend, says it all about our conditioning.


November 8th, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

You're overstating things a bit.  It's not accurate to say we "hadn't stopped them all day."  We forced six punts and four field goal attempts.  And that last "drive" in regulation, after Tate's interception, began with 14 seconds left (and Illinois immediately got hit with a holding penalty). 

Both teams scored TDs on all three possessions in OT.  I really didn't notice a conditioning advantage on either side.  As I said above, I think it's probably more accurate to say that Barwis has brought us up to the level of most other programs, rather than claiming that he's actually brought us beyond everyone else.


November 7th, 2010 at 8:53 PM ^

After all, what would the players know.

On the other hand, it is a good thing for the News that they did not post that article here.


"When you're backs are against the wall you can go two ways,"



November 7th, 2010 at 8:54 PM ^

The main improvement with Barwis is that he is using modern training methods.  Gittelson was quite a few years behind the times.  It worked well with Carr's anachronistic schemes, but time was passing both of them by, and Michigan sorely needed to catch up with the rest of the football universe. 

Barwis may not make Michigan better-conditioned than everyone else, but he does make them better-conditioned than the old regime did.  That is why veterans of both regimes who stayed raved about Barwis when he first got there.  And it is why some players couldn't hack it and transferred. 

Ultimately, though, this team plays hard and flies around the field from the first play to the last.  I don't care who is responsible as long as it keeps happening.


November 7th, 2010 at 9:08 PM ^

I'm not sure that the endurance really mattered because both teams played hard, but let's not forget the physical improvements we've seen along both lines and at QB with Denard.  


November 8th, 2010 at 7:28 AM ^

but Illinois didn't lose the game because their team was tired. They went point for point with Michigan, except for a great play by our D at the end.

I love Barwis, but he's overhyped, but also a great S&C Coach.