Butterfly Effect

Submitted by Jinjooappa on November 24th, 2014 at 2:52 PM

We've all heard about the lack of leadership on this team. One explanation for that is Lewan's staying last year created some factions within the team.

Where do you think we'd be if TL had gone pro?

First, the Lions would be worse off. They wound up having an epic draft. They probably would've drafted a tackle with their first pick and probably not gotten all the steals later in the draft.

Michigan Football would be in a better place, I think. People would've known our OL would be terrible and expectations would've been lower. I don't think we'd have all the negativity surrounding the program that we do now.



November 24th, 2014 at 3:14 PM ^

If I remember correctly, the OL performance (of several teams) was analyzed based on position and experience.  When it was posted here, it showed that LG-C-RG positions were much more representative of OL perforamnce than the LT-RT positions.

edit: also got to mention Cole at LT played light's out this year for being a FR


November 24th, 2014 at 4:51 PM ^

It's not that much of a surprise. Michigan has a lot of talent on the offensive line. Maybe it's taking them longer to realize their potential than at some other schools, but we're running out two redshirt juniors, two redshirt sophomores, and a true freshman on the offensive line. 

Last year was frustrating because the interior of the line was young/bad, and having a G-C-G combination is bound to screw up the whole offense. You can get away with mediocre tackles when the interior guys are solid, because you can chip with backs, help with tight ends, roll away from pressure, etc.

I've been pointing to 2014 for a few years as the time when Michigan would see an upward trajectory with the running game. And while I thought Michigan would be better by now, at least some of that can be blamed on Gardner, Funchess, the running backs, and Green's injury.


November 24th, 2014 at 4:54 PM ^

No more boom or bust playcalls with long-developing Borges pass routes.  Those had something to do with the team's inconsistency.  Good or bad, it's different but it contributes to the OL looking good that our O is so much more conservative this year.  We also run a lot more often in obvious passing downs which keeps the sacks down.

snarling wolverine

November 24th, 2014 at 6:35 PM ^

The OL's biggest improvement has been in run blocking.  I don't think it's that related to playcalling because we're doing better in pretty much all running situations, obvious or not.  I think the OL is just coming together as a unit.   If anything, I think our playcalling is hampering our run game by not establishing a deep threat to keep safeties honest.  


C Tron

November 24th, 2014 at 2:58 PM ^

Jinjooappa would have probably strangled himself with his own umbilical cord to prevent this post from occuring.

/sry. low hanging fruit :)

turd ferguson

November 24th, 2014 at 3:08 PM ^

I'll bite.


Things I believe:

  • The fan/media negativity has hurt this program over the past couple of years.  These are 18-22 year olds who are human, and who probably react in unhelpful ways (e.g., by disengaging) when they're mocked nationally and ridiculed locally.
  • Some of our great talents over the past couple of years haven't seemed like great leaders (Lewan, Funchess, etc.).
  • Last year's O-line problems weren't just the result of Funk being an inexplicably horrible coach.  Something weird was going on there, and it was probably chemistry-related.

Things I don't believe:

  • Taylor Lewan's return for the 2013 season is anywhere near the top of the list of explanations for why the 2014 team is a mess.


November 24th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

"Fan negativity?"  Sorry, but MIchigan fans are smart enough to know when an AD and a coaching staff are rolling a "turd" in flour and calling it a "doughnut."

Michigan has the resources to be a perennial top five program.  Mismanagement and shoddy coaching have turned it into a "middle forty" program.  Fans and media have the right to hold the AD and coaching staff responsible.  Some fans go too far on players, but the Michigan fanbase as a whole hasn't really been given very many reasons to be positive this year.

turd ferguson

November 24th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

I'm not saying that fans aren't entitled to be upset.  I'm just saying that I think that stuff rubs off on people, especially when they're that age.  Reading about your disaster of a team everywhere on the internet - and hearing about it on campus - probably doesn't make too many guys that age really excited to go all out at the next practice for that disaster of a team.  I just think it's human nature to disengage emotionally from those kinds of things.

That's not criticism of fans.  A lot of Michigan fans invest a lot of time, money, and emotion in this program, so I totally get that frustration.  I'm frustrated myself, obviously.


November 24th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

We should note though that there was very little negativity entering the 2013 season.  We were ranked in the top 20 in both polls.  We then opened the season with a 59-9 victory and a win over ND before 115,000 fans.  Fan excitement was extremely high at that point.  In retrospect it's crazy how quickly everything fell apart.


November 24th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

Sorry Turd but I could not disagree with your first bullet point any stronger. As a matter of fact I think the lack of "negativity" inside the coaching staff is one of the primary causes of the shitstorm we find ourdselves in the middle of.  Who is held accountable for the stream of missed assaignments, blown plays, bad penalties and poor execution? Who has been benched or pulled from a game for not performing up the apparently lofty standards set in practice?  Where is the negative feedback loop Bo used to give to players who screwed up?

If you've seen it ever applied I sure missed it.  I think we have a team full of t-ball players where everybody gets to play first base and every hit is a HOME RUN!  And as far as the coaches go - all games end in a tie cause it's effort, not results, that matter and we woudn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

turd ferguson

November 24th, 2014 at 3:27 PM ^

Wait, I don't disagree with that.  I just think that "negativity" from the coaching staff and being a national embarrassment are two completely different things.  I'd love to see this coaching staff light a fire under someone's ass for once.  I think good coaches do that, and the really good ones understand how to balance getting players to trust them with making their players feel like they need to keep pushing themselves.

I don't see how that's the same thing as reading headlines about how you and your coaches and teammates have destroyed Michigan football.  That, to me, is much less likely to light a fire under anyone's ass.  I think the best possible balance is the exact reverse of what we're getting -- have the outside world believe that you're a bunch of badasses to get these kids fired up (e.g., what I think MSU's defense reads about itself), then have your coaches pound into you that you're not as good or secure as you think.


November 24th, 2014 at 3:32 PM ^

This is not our fault. In fact, it's amazing how people have showed up at the Big House despite this team massively underperforming. The booing has clearly been directed at Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke and people have said that time and again so if the players take umbrage to that they need to get tougher since this is football afterall.

The fault lies with the coaching staff and with the players, in part, for failure to execute. At the end of the day even players not executing is on the coaches since they are paid lots of money to teach these guys how to be good at their jobs.

We have been frustrated and I agree that people should not contact players directly through social media. Also, personally attacking them here is not good either.. However, this is not fricking pee wee football. These are people who are nearly adults and as such are subject to some criticism when they are representing our University. I'm not sure how the fan base could be better in your mind given the circumstances but IMO we are executing pretty well.

turd ferguson

November 24th, 2014 at 3:40 PM ^

How many more times should I have explicitly said that I don't blame the fans, and that I'm just as frustrated as everyone else?  My point is that I think these things affect people.  It's a shitty situation.  I think bad performance by our football program produces bad feelings among fans and national mocking (since people love seeing Michigan down), which produces even worse performance by our football program, which produces even worse fan feelings and mocking, and on and on.

I'm not blaming the fans for this.  I'm frustrated, too.  I'm negative, too.  I detested Brandon and I want the entire coaching staff removed.  All I'm saying is that psychology is an actual thing, and most kids that age can't completely tune this stuff out or be motivated by it.  At that age, I wouldn't have.  Shit, if I were hearing every day about how much I suck now, as an adult, I think I'd have a hard time tuning it out or being motivated by it.  


November 24th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

that this team's problems are mostly due to having people in charge who are bad at coaching football.


I don't really understand why this is such a hard concept for some people to grasp.


November 24th, 2014 at 4:06 PM ^

but I do believe that Antonio Bass is one of the 2 guys I really would have liked to see a full career from.  I think he would have ranked with Woodson, Carter, Harmon, Oosterbaan and Kramer as M greats.  (I also would have loved to have seen Tony Boles his senior year).


November 24th, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

I honestly don't know.  What I do know is I never was a fan of the kid early on.  He obviously had some natural talent at the position, but man was he undiscplined.  From the moment he was starting, if there was a flag back at the line of scrimmage, you pretty much knew who it was on.  Even with the Gholston thing (the punch, not the facemask incident), as much shit as we gave "Tom," we all knew it was Lewan who seriousl egged him on (verbally and physically).  He was just a flat out dirty player.  All of this on the field behavior finally reflected off the field with the assault after the OSU game and the allegations of his involvement with the Gibbons situation coming to light.

I obviously don't know him personally, but the evidence points to him being a man with extremely questionable character, or an undisciplined kid who has a lot of growing up to do.  Either scenario doesn't lend well to a leadership position.  So, yes, I think Lewan was problem who hurt the team, but there were plenty other issues that helped hold that team back.


November 24th, 2014 at 4:26 PM ^

Congrats on making the long trek back all the way to the States from Bolivia.  I'd be curious to know what you said about him that caused such lashback that it led to your temporary exile, but for the sake of the points you've earned back, I will not ask you to rehash those details.  As for me, I'd hope I'm at the point with my fellow MGoBloggers and the mods where I'd pretty much have to insult one of their mothers in an egregiously and overtly prejudiced way before they back my bags for Bolivia...


November 24th, 2014 at 3:31 PM ^

Lloyd does not announce his retirement until after his New Years Bowl and he and the aristocrats dont bumble through a coaching search. They allow Les Miles to coach out LSU's NCG before coming over to lead Michigan. Mallet and Boren stay and we bring in a top 5 recruiting class and Miles is still here kicking ass.


November 24th, 2014 at 3:33 PM ^

is Rodriguez firing all of Lloyd's staff - might be before that - but the division started then. Which led to practice-gate, which led to Brandon's hiring, which led to Rodriguez's firing, which led to a sub .500 Michigan-man who's staff down to the water boy breathed defense, and so on.

It doesn't matter though - what matters is what is done about it, and how the players and stakeholders around them respond.

lexus larry

November 24th, 2014 at 4:24 PM ^

Read this


Even if those guys could just go laterally, it still took months of LC begging other coaches to hire Mike Debord as an ASSISTANT Line Coach and Moeller as an ASSISTANT TE Coach for the Ravens.  RR's subordinates got jobs (laterals) within weeks of January 2011...yes, even Gibson.

Coaches typically bring their own in, which is another reason LC, before he left, made sure Sailor Bill and the AD paid all the coaches an extra year salary prior to his announcing his retirement. 

Wrong butterfly...



November 24th, 2014 at 3:34 PM ^

You wanna talk Butterfly Effects? Let's talk about a certain AD, Bill Martin, sailing around while his cell phone was going off. Imagine if he answered his phone... 


November 24th, 2014 at 4:10 PM ^

Pat White doesn't break his thumb during the 2007 Backyard Brawl with Pittsburgh, and WVU narrowly beats Pitt 17-13. RR and the Mountaineers end the reg. season 11-1, earning a spot in the BCS Championship game with Ohio State.

LSU wins the SEC championship game, but their late season 3OT loss to Arkansas keeps them out of the BCS Championship game, which in turn frees up Les Miles to answer Bill Martin's message sent via homing pigeon offering the UM job, which Les immediately accepts. The 2010 National Championship validates Lesticle's place in the UM coaching Pantheon.

Wings Of Distinction

November 24th, 2014 at 7:19 PM ^

Of angst and frustration have been wearing. To me it all started to go downhill the day after Bo died in Columbus.

However, I think it pre-started when Henson bolted early and we forced a high school defensive lineman from Wisconsin named Navarre at qb and had to suffer 4 straight years due to the fact that Lloyd refused to recruit a qb for a year as promised to Henson.

Then, a true Freshman got the start (Henne) immediately following.

Now, both had fine statistical careers, respectively...However, I beleive that the lost qb recruit year would have offered both a chance at seasoning (redshirt), which would in turn have likely made them better in the long run...both played with some of the strongest all-around teams, talent-wise, in memory.

My two cents, and hopefully gotten across as meant.

Go Blue.