Let's Stop with the Glasgow / Miller "Panic"

Submitted by jg2112 on August 14th, 2013 at 12:10 PM

A constant issue I read in articles in print and online is the supposed "panic" we're supposed to have regarding the center position battle. This is my argument in favor of not panicking.

First off, it's August 14th. If you're worried about something like this, get a hobby. Let's talk again on September 1st when we have to data to analyze.

Second, there are certainly untold examples of walk-ons pushing starters that are harbingers of doom (think back to 2008-10). Likewise, there are plenty of situations where walk-ons (not preferred walk-ons like Glasgow) turn into NFL players. The "walk-on challenging the scholarship player" is not a storyline worth worrying about.

Third, your reason not to worry proves itself when you look at this particular position battle. When Glasgow entered the recruiting process, there is a specific reason he only garnered preferred walk-on offers from Ohio State, Michigan, MSU, Minnesota and NIU (his parents were team doctors at NIU and Kill offered him in the latter two places as a PWO, and maybe the question should be why didn't other Big Ten schools offer this kid once the big boys showed PWO interest?). He only played one year of high school football. He was all-state that year. However, he had previously played basketball (I could insert talk about footwork here) and switched over late.

SO what do we know? He's a great athlete, he started playing late, the programs offering him probably were playing poker, hoping to get a guy into a program without committing a scholarship to him. He's now in his 3rd year in the program (same as Miller), he's played in one game fewer than Miller (5 v. 6), and is sufficiently developed and ready to play.

And don't forget one more thing. He was on scholarship last year and I suspect this year as well. Evidently, this guy is proving his worth.

So my message to you all - get rid of the "walk-on" talk, and don't worry. If Glasgow is playing, choose to view it as him developing in his third year of the program, and beating out a solid alternative, and pretend this is what Jordan Kovacs's career development would've looked like had the program had solid (hell, any) roster alternatives in 2009 and 2010.

I'm now going to watch a replay of the 73-yard rushing TD Berkley Edwards pulled off in last Saturday's scrimmage at TCF Bank Stadium.



August 14th, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

I am not panicking, but I am worried. Not because a walk-on is battling a scholarship player, but because our offensive line, in the admittedly limited footage we've seen so far, is struggling mightily against our d-line, and even our linebackers.

I thought our offensive line would be better this year by default, but I am not so sure anymore. Then again, watching M vs M never really does tell you much...


August 14th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

I haven't heard anything about this... Isn't this going to create more panic rather than less? Also with the depth of your analysis may I suggest fishing? Usually fun this time of year.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

Glasgow and Miller couldn't beat out Barnum or Mealer, who weren't very good themselves.  How much better can these third-year guys be (plus Bryant) than last year?  If they're comparable to Barnum and Mealer, then we'll see the same trouble running the football that we saw last year.

Hence, panic.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^


I think your answer comes from the fact that Mealer and Barnum were both Seniors. Obviously Miller is now a 3rd year player, as is Glasgow. Lineman are truly not expected to contribute until their 3rd year or later (RsSo) unless they are truly elite. While I expect their to be some growing pains, they cannot be much worse than last year. 



August 15th, 2013 at 2:20 AM ^

The guard play should be better. It will be plus if one of the OC can play as well as Mealer. Last year our guards never improved through the season. This year will be different. Barnum and Omamaeh had problems pulling all year! That was the real disaster for the run game.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

So, you're telling me that all this time we should've been panicking?  I'll get right to it so that when I read the thread, my newly found panic will be cured...


August 14th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

If you're worried about something like this, get a hobby

But worrying is my hobby! :-)

The way I look at this, the coaches will settle on the best center from the available talent.  That's simply reality ... we can't magically conjure up a Molk 2.0 out of worrying about it.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

Who is panicking? Glasgiw is one of the more hyped walk ons I can remember, and Miller hasn't proved a thing yet.

Competition is competition, and I am sure either of them will perform better than Mealler last year, since they're both actually prepared to do so.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

While I agree we shouldn't panic, your request that we "get a hobby" is odd considering obsessing about college football kind of is our hobby, for a lot of us. Well, that and drinking, apparently.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:23 PM ^

...be the right term, but the walk on beating out the scholarship player meme is trite and a too often used crutch. 

Let the players compete for a starting job. Let the coaches evaluate the players. Watch the games and make your own evaluations based on the results.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

okay then.

In all seriousness, my panic level just went from 0 to 3 reading your thread. I just kinda figured people were talking about the center, hb, wr battles because they were interesting/moderately newsworthy. I had no idea we were supposed to panic...until now.

You want something to panic about...There's something like a 1 in 4 chance that Gardner will miss games due to injury. Not so worried about center anymore.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

Why would I stop now?  The only thing that mitigated my panic so far was a)Lewan returning (HUGE) and b) the Kalis and Braden hype machine since hitting campus.

If you're going to worry about anything at all related to our football team, "walk-on challenging the scholarship player" IS worth it.  Having 3 new starters who've hardly played a down of college football is worth worrying about too.

Glasgow is not Kovacs, because Kovacs is a special and rare player.  The next Mike Hart, the next Kovacs, the next Woodson, the next Denard -- they don't exist.  These are special players, with special traits.  We'll get different special players with different special traits and different special stories. We shouldn't take away from what those guys did by assuming there will be a 'next' version.


August 14th, 2013 at 1:17 PM ^

Besides the 2008 OL being the worst thing ever, I watched our RBs get no holes last year and can't remember a single time where we were breaking in 3 new starters who haven't played a down of college football (or in Millers case, only a handful). 

I think we had two in 1997 (my memory doesn't extend with clarity THAT far).


August 14th, 2013 at 12:41 PM ^

Please show me the myriad of threads where the Board is melting down into "OMG Miller hasn't sewn up the Center spot over Glasgow" emo mode.  We already know that of all the positions out there to recruit, the hardest one to predict success from HS to college is the offensive line.  Sometimes walk-ons turn out better than expected.

The only  thing we can probably say with some certainty is that neither Miller nor Glasgow is going to come out this season as Steve Everitt 2.0, which was never the expectation anyway, so yeah.

We'll be fine.


August 14th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

When Miller didn't compete for a starting job at the fall of last year, many excuses were made (namely - he's too small and young to play.)  Nevermind that (smaller) Burzynski competed for a starting spot to the end and Kalis and Braden are assumed to start at the same age.

When Miller didn't play during the 2012 season (and Burzynski did) most shrugged it off or said we needed a guard, not a center (even though Barnum and Mealer had just flipped and neither was a true center).

Now, in his 3rd year, Miller is still not seperating from a walk-on (sorry, PREFERRED walk-on) people are choosing to rationalize it by assuming that Glasgow is a hidden jem. 

The board hasn't melted down, but (realistic) people are right to cast doubts until Miller or Glasgow prove they can play. 

On the bright side, both have clearly passed Burzynski who wasn't a totally awful player.  So, we're probably not doomed, but we're all hoping for a Big 10 title, not just averting doom these days.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

But chastising Michigan sports fans for analyzing the depth chart in mid-August... by starting a thread on a Michigan sports fan blog of known Michigan addicts... is not productive.


August 14th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

Here's an article from AnnArbor.com regarding the battle at center, in the event this was missed...LINK. From Brady Hoke:

“Jack’s done a really good job. I think him and Graham and, Joe Burzynski being the third element there, I think they’ve all competed well,” Hoke said at the team’s annual media day on Sunday. While Hoke opted not to tip his hat at which player is leading the race for starting center, he also offered a new name in Burzynski. But Glasgow indicated that the battle is between the two sophomores, as did offensive line coach Darell Funk."

Funk also mentioned that, in his mind, it is about even right now, but they appear to be aiming to have this battle decided fairly soon, according to this. 


August 14th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

You know what I hate? When people say "get a hobby." Is being a sports fan not a hobby? If I was worried about the paint for my model rocket, would that be better than worried about Michigan football? I don't get it.

I'm not that worried about center. I mean, I'm worried about any position where we don't have a returning starter or a somewhat experienced guy coming in (like a James Ross situation). But the fact that we have multiple guys competing for the spot is a good thing. It's not like we have one scrub handed the job because we really don't have anyone else (which was kind of the spot we were in last year). We have a handful of capable (albeit unspectacular) guys competing for interior spots, so the ones who rise to the top will likely be pretty good.

Ron Utah

August 14th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

I don't think panic is the right term, but definitely concerned discussion.

Your points are all good and I appreciate some of the info, but to pretend our interior O-line isn't full of question marks is naive.

No matter who wins the jobs at G and C, they will be first-year starters, which is generally tough on the O-line.  And, no matter who wins those jobs, it will be guys that were on the roster last year and couldn't unseat two below-average players in Barnum and Mealer.

Compounding those concerns are the type of offense Borges wants to run.  While it's not based around the inside and outside zone like 'Bama's is, the offense is designed to set-up big pass plays through effective running, play action, and hitch routes.  Running and play action won't work if our interior can't block better than they did last year.

Also, I think for most of us the concern is relative; it's not "O MY GOD WE'LL BE 6-6 IF MILLER CAN'T WIN THE OC JOB!"  It's more, "Winning a B1G Championship with our schedule is going to require a really good interior O-Line, and I'm not comfortable with what we have at this point."

If the latter is panic, then yes, this is me:


August 14th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

show topic. Set up all the straw-michigan men who are supposedly making ridiculous assertions about their football team, then knock them all down by asking yourself questions and answering them, all because you're the real voice of reason.