January 10th, 2019 at 9:57 AM ^

I know; I liked it much better with baseless speculation. I'll start!

If M was totally blindsided by the Mattison/washington thing, Harbaugh would have said something public by now to try to satiate the natives. 

The complete silence tells me that something is in the works and will be announced as soon as T's are crossed and I's are dotted. 

How'd I do?


January 10th, 2019 at 10:05 AM ^

After OSU and Floriduh, is Brian still twitching whenever football is mentioned?  I mean, we all know he acts like a toddler in a hissy fit at the end of every football season when things don't go our way.  (NTTAWWT - we all act out somehow, some more publicly than others.)  Maybe he just self-denied football news to help stop the twitching? 


January 10th, 2019 at 11:00 AM ^

I don't want to criticize Brian - this is his blog, and the content that we get here is free, so any criticism has to take that into account.  However, because of the quality and content of this blog, Brian has largely become the voice for the Michigan football fanbase.  After big events, or just any events, fans flock here in droves to get Brian's take on what's happening, and for information about the team that we all love.

As a result, Brian has build a successful profitable business that allows him to support his family, pay a mortgage, etc.  While Brian's somewhat eccentric personality is woven into the fabric of this blog, at the same time, when he goes through these periods in which he seems to either turn off, stop caring or just generally protest, it decreases my interest in the blog.  Admittedly, I go to MGoBlog throughout the day, but I immediately scroll down to the Board to see what other users are posting.  What has been lacking lately is the detailed analysis, the more in-depth reporting on events, and even insider tidbits relating to our team.  Some examples:

1.  Everyone knows that the OSU game was a debacle.  But, I, personally, would love to see a UFR to understand (a) which players played well; (b) which players were to blame; and (c) whether the scheme was entirely to blame or whether it really was an execution thing.  Same goes for the bowl loss.  Yes, meaningless game, but because we had so many starters out, many younger guys who will play next year saw significant reps.

2.  What's up with our team.  Many on here have speculated that something happened between our beat down of what was supposed to be the better group of teams on our schedule and the Rutgers game, in which we seems to go flat.  Was it a locker room issue?  Injuries?  Whatever it was, something was off.  I would be curious to hear Brian's take, and possible some information on this issue.  

3.  Coaching changes.  I get that these are only position coaches, but Brian has a ton of contacts - I would be curious to hear his reporting on (a) why these guys are leaving, and (b) who the staff is looking at as new coaches.

Again, this is Brian's blog - he can with it what he pleases - but in my personal view, as someone who has been coming here religiously since 2008 - for the first time ever, I have found that the overall vibe and quality of the blog is less than what it was.  Hopefully this is just a short-term thing.


January 10th, 2019 at 11:29 AM ^

Brian generally doesn't give a lot of insider nuggets and usually avoids staff change stuff. He and Seth hear enough to see things coming, but not enough to actually report. 

When there's a head coaching position at stake, that changes. Obviously Brian kept us quite up to date with the Harbaugh change (what a fun ride that was) but even then he referred to other sources and was pretty open about his doing so. He's not the most inside insider or anything and has deliberately tried to keep it that way. For whatever that's worth.

The OSU UFR thing, of course, a perpetual bug in the system. It's understandable; the OSU loss was absolutely devastating. They all are. Brian's engagement in football between that game and the bowl was, well, similar to the rest of us. 

Still, it's a challenge, because OSU is the #1 obstacle Michigan football faces in the achievement of whatever goals we have for it, and we can't seem to get over the hump, and there is a great deal of disagreement about what to do. And it would help to get Brian's perspective on it, particularly given that he alone can produce the data and the informed analysis that we rely on for every other part of the year. 

In the absence of such data, the louder opinions get heard more and the informed opinions are scarce. And, frankly, it's hard to develop a fully informed opinion. Pep has resumed his position as the scapegoat, in part because the most recent loss was so flabbergastingly anomalous. I mean, garbage time or not, Michigan put up 39 points against Ohio State and the game wasn't close. The defense and the punting teams got absolutely worked. What else can you say?

Well, a lot, but we need data. One of the problems analyzing Michigan's offense is that while it is possible to analyze the running game in great detail, the passing game is a bit harder to evaluate. Individual performances are gradable, of course, but we simply do not have the all-22 footage necessary to consistently break down and understand Michigan's route combinations, the reads made by the QBs, and the decisions forced by and forced upon the defense. 

To give one example, a lot of people complain that Michigan doesn't have enough short passing routes. But is this true? It's not quantified. How many times are intermediate or long passes thrown where the pass was thrown long because a defender, forced to choose whom to cover, covered the short receiver? That's a big deal, because Michigan faced a lot of zone and a lot of route concepts that attack zone do so by forcing defenders to pick between a receiver. If defenses are consistently, deliberately forcing longer reads that they expect Shea to struggle with, well, that tells us something.

We just don't know.

The silence we're experiencing now is pretty normal. It's frustrating, but it has been this way basically every year since I've been reading, and probably every year since 2006. 

It's just a bug in the system. 


January 10th, 2019 at 12:29 PM ^

An OSU defensive UFR would be instructive, especially with regard to what happened when Bush went out. Just how important is that position to Brown’s schemes. We hear a lot of talk about his Viper, but it seems like stellar linebacker play is even more critical for the system to work as designed.

I’d like to see it for the preseason content. Maybe enough time will have passed by then so I could look at it. Maybe, maybe not. Probably not...


January 10th, 2019 at 1:11 PM ^

Bush's absence can't be fully quantified because, in addition to being a great MLB that was central to Michigan's defensive prowess, he was also the mental leader of the defense that Brown relied on to help with alignments and calls. There's a reason Bush was on the field late in blowouts when everyone else was out; he was the guy QBing the whole operation.

I will go to my grave believing that Parris Campbell does not score a TD on that jet sweep if Bush is on the field. Remember, Michigan had a chance to come back in the game until that happened. The defense was bad, but it didn't get completely trucked until Bush got hurt. 


January 10th, 2019 at 11:59 AM ^

Yeah, how did Runyan do against elite competition?  Is Steuber a long term fix at the other spot? 

How did Brown get owned in both games, but especially OSU.  

How was Gil before he went down?  Who backed him up. 

TBF I haven't re-watched either.  Any of us could do it.  But what the hell do I know 


January 10th, 2019 at 10:45 AM ^

Remember he walked away from hockey a couple of years ago too.  I don't follow it much myself, but remember he threw up his hands there.  Thrown up his hands now for football.  

He'll turn to soccer full time when Beilein retires (unless a spread guy comes in at HC who does things in a way that Brian can discover and appreciate) 


January 10th, 2019 at 11:02 AM ^

I distinctly remember after the "Wilton Speight broken collarbone, done for the season" post in 2016, when they were "wrong", he made a post about not posting "rumored" stories until its confirmed. Since then, they only post items when its confirmed and accepted news. Egg on the face killed that for us.


January 10th, 2019 at 10:39 AM ^

I think it's interesting that neither mgoblog nor umhoops has ever been able to create a direct line to the coaching staffs or athletic depts. such that they could supply the inside story in critical moments. Could be smart to have some distance; could be a lucky thing, long-term, since that way they'll never get too close to any hot fires and get burned. But it is notable after a decade-plus here. (And of course maybe from time to time Brian et al do know a little something, but wisely play their cards close to their chests.) 

I guess the best thing would be to have some truly reliable anonymous source from outside that chimed in from time to time, and we have candidates. But

4th and Go For It

January 10th, 2019 at 11:57 AM ^

Brian actually addressed this a bit on the podcast he did with Nick Hopwood. He said he didn't even want them to have press passes and such at first because he wanted to impartial and able to view the athletic department as an outsider. They've eventually acquired press passes but Brian himself almost never uses those and instead watches games in person or on TV and doesn't attend things like coach/player press conferences. 

I'm sure he's developed some trusted sources but I don't think they're directly staff members of the teams.


January 10th, 2019 at 12:43 PM ^

I don't think this is a bad thing at all. This is not To maintain a community outlet that act like outsider/monitor is good. This also provide a forum/portal for fans to provide their "inside" information. It's our fan base to justify whether this is reliable or not.

Imagine that, if Brian announce he is leaving, we will have 10x worse melt down that Mattison/Washington leaving for OSU, or even 2x worse than Harbaugh going back to NFL. simple as that.