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02/16/2018 - 6:55pm The entire purpose of this blog

The entire purpose of this blog is to be a home to intelligent, well-researched, informative analysis about Michigan sports, with particular emphasis on football.

For many years, when UM was horrid at football, Brian patiently found the good to go along with the bad.  When he couldn't find the good anymore, he actively participated in getting Hoke removed-- he didn't just whine, he didn't just bitch, and he certainly didn't just shut up and trust the Powers That Be.  

Since Harbaugh has taken over, Brian has written about a lot of different aspects of the football team and the program as a whole.  Many of those have been quite optimistic (IMHO overly optimistic, even).

But when it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and acts like a duck, Brian is not going to call it a Ferrari just to prove he's a Loyal Fan or something like that.  When mistakes are made, he's going to analyze them and write about them, because that's, like, the entire purpose of this site, which has been his life's work for a long time.

This hire is likely to be a bad one.  As he puts it in context, it likely doesn't matter a whole lot if it turns out to be bad, since it's the 10th assistant, which didn't even exist until this year.

Brian supplies factually correct, legitimate reasons to call this out as a likely whiff for this staff position.  If you don't like that, you should likely be reading one of the many other Michigan sites that have never aspired to be anything more than ra-ra pep-talk fan echo chambers.  That's not what got Brian and MGoBlog here, and it's not what's going to make it the place to be when/if Michigan starts dominating on the gridiron in the future.

02/15/2018 - 3:47pm Which was terrible

Those classes were *awful* compared to what a good recruiter would have achieved.

His 2016 class has sixteen 3*, nine 4*, and zero 5*.  His 2017 class had eleven 3*, eleven 4*, and zero 5*.  Neither class cracked the 90 point average player barrier.

That's at the University of Florida, a school with built-in recruiting advantages that Michigan couldn't even dream of having.

That's basically the low-bar for what you can expect at UF.  You could put the names of all Divsion II coaches in a hat, draw one at random, make them head coach at UF, and expect to get a class of slightly more 3* than 4* players with an average player rating of 89.5.

Seriously, those classes are prime exibhits A and B for what an unimpressive recruiter he is.

02/15/2018 - 12:01pm He failed his morale check

The most shocking thing I have ever seen on MGoBlog was the title "Whatever" as Brian's reaction ro the bowl loss.  I knew at that point that he had failed his morale check.  Whether it turns into a complete rout or he's able to rally may depend entirely on the upcoming season.

02/13/2018 - 1:35pm Hazell

His trajectory makes a little more sense when you factor in that he followed Darrell Hazell from Arkansas to Purdue and then Hazell wasn't able to deliver.  If Hazell had succeeded at Purdue, it would have been a great stepping stone for Johnson.

He's not going anywhere DC duties, he's being brought in as the DB position coach and to recruit.  He has strong ties to the Cincinnati area, which is where Coombs excelled.  

He might be a sleight step down from Coombs at either the coaching side of it or the recruiting side of it, but I think there's a pretty decent chance that he'll be basically comparable at both.  I think it's a solid hire, but of course losing Coombs hurts, since he supplied a great deal of energy to the whole team in addition to being a well above average coach and recruiter.

02/07/2018 - 4:41pm Thanks!

Thank you for the kind words.

02/07/2018 - 1:44pm Needs?

Actually, the major criticism of this class isn't that it lacks talent (even though it does, relative to UM's standards), it's that it does such an awful job of filling needs.

How do 5 DBs fill a need?  It's already one of the strongest and deepest positions on the team, and it's not like they're all juniors or seniors.

What's up with 3 RBs?  Is that what the team was lacking?  Are they aiming for 12-15 RBs on the roster, or was there some compelling reason this season needed so many?

The weakest position on the team is OT.  They signed zero.  Yes, they have some highly rated young OTs from the last two classes that may work out.  But if you're claiming that this class filled positions of need, I cannot fathom how getting zero players at the weakest position supports that.

It's one year.  If 2019 is comparable to the 2016 or 2017 classes, it will probably be okay in the end.  But if the quality of this class were somehow to become the new norm, Michigan would be looking at 6-6 and 7-5 seasons.  There were just too many whiffs ths year.

02/07/2018 - 12:57am Point?

What does being hired for a job have to do with a college's rating?  I'm genuinely confused.  Not once in four years of undergraduate life did I pause for even a single moment to worry about what I'd do for a living some day.  I was there for an education, not as a job training program or vocational school.

And you're willfully misreading what I have wrote.  I have not  trashed UM's education.  I have merely said that it's not so amazing that it justifies sneering at decent state university like OSU.  UM is a very good university, but it's not so great or so much better that you have any reason to make fun of someone who decides that they can get a reasonably comparable one at OSU if they take advantage of all the extra support and opportunites available to football players there.

While I am not an OSU grad, I grew up in Columbus, mostly on or around campus, and am a fan of the football team.  That does not entail that I hate UM, and it doesn't change the fact that before Brian failed his morale check, he was one of funniest and most erudite college football writers around.  It doesn't change the fact that for most of this site's existence, it's been among the best places to read and discuss college football in general, and Big 10 football in particular.  

02/06/2018 - 8:46pm OSU

Why would I care where OSU is rated academically?  It's just a football factory to me.  It's not like I attended school there or anything.

I graduated from The University of Chicago, currently ranked #3.  In fairness, when I graduated it was down maybe as low as #5 or #6.  If I wanted to talk shit about your alma mater, I'd have at least as much grounds for doing so as you do for talking trash about OSU.

But UM is a perfectly fine university, and it would be rude to talk bad about it on a website devoted to one of their teams.  I'm not trashing UM; I'm merely pointing out that it's silly for you to throw shade at OSU as if you're Harvard or something.

02/06/2018 - 6:10pm Glass houses

First, people in glass houses sholdn't throw stones.  Michigan isn't even the top rated school in the Big10 (that honor goes to Northwestern), and its national ranking of 28th is not particularly impressive.  There are many people who attended much more prestigious institutions who see Michigan as just another Big10 football/basketball factory.  The degree of pride UM alumni take in the academic reputation of their alma mater is grosssly disproportionate to the actual prestige the univeristy has.

Second, you are simply willfully ignorant about the uniqueness of the Ohio State Real Life Wednesday program, and the number of 4* and 5* recruits who have chosen OSU over the last few years because of it.  Five minutes skimming articles from a simple Google search would validate Scarlatina's observations for any reasonable person.

02/02/2018 - 12:27am Okay

FWIW, the guy that didn't "come here to play school" had above a 3.0 GPA when he tweeted that, and was by all accounts an above average student.  He also graduated on time.

But if it makes you feel better to believe that football players take academics more seriously at UM than they do elsewhere, that's fine.

02/01/2018 - 9:11pm Really?

How can someone that's been a member of this site since 2009 continue to repeat the myth that it's somehow appreciably harder to get into Michigan as a football player than it is to get into any other school, such as MSU or OSU or PSU or Alabama?  It's been repeatedly debunked by people who, like, actually work in the admissions department.  

It's harder to get into UM as an every day student than it is to get into OSU-- a *lot*  harder.  But if you are a worthy of a football scholarship, there is no evidence to suggest that won't get into UM if you got into OSU, and over a decade's worth of multiple threads and articles detailing why the idea is nonsense.

I mean, the current head football coach of Michigan once publicly complained that he wasn't able to get marginal students into Stanford the way he would have been able to if he had been at Michigan...

01/31/2018 - 3:23pm 3rd

The #15 class is a distant 3rd behind OSU and PSU in the Big 10 East, so surely 3rd place in the division seems like a reasonable expectation moving forward.  I believe wins against MSU are about to start piling up.

01/19/2018 - 2:50pm Assumption

It also assumes that Meyer would have called the same ultra-conservative game plans both years even if Michigan had a great QB and were racking up 40 points per game.  Just because they scored 31 last year does not mean they couldn't have taken some moderate additional risks and scored 42.

For some reason, fans always talk about hypotheticals in which every other team stays the same while their team improves.

01/19/2018 - 2:32pm Today

Today is my last day at Microsoft.  After 22 years, I've accepted a job at Unity Technologies.  It's very exciting, but also a bit scary.  Wouldn't object to a few bangs of support. 

01/18/2018 - 2:44pm Composite

Based on composite rankings, Michigan's only top 150 recruit is Reese, who checks in at #77.

Half of the class is ranked #500 or worse.

There's no good way to spin that.  Michigan is coming off of two very good recruiting years, so the sky isn't falling, but they certainly can't afford another year like this one in next 3 years with the way OSU and PSU are recruiting.

01/11/2018 - 9:45pm WA

Out here in Washington State, we legalized it a couple of years ago.  

Pros: Lots of tax revenue, Opiate overdoses down

Cons: Homeless population in places like Seattle up drastically as a result of teens moving here from other states, anecdotal accounts from people like therapists that it's negatively impacted some users' lives

On the whole, as someone who used it once when it became legal just to confirm it makes me paranoid and jittery and in no way does anything pleasant for me, it seems like the rise in homeless teens is the biggest change.  I'm not sure how to consider that: I assume most or all of these people were homeless somehwere else before moving here, so it's not a net loss for society, but it is a negative locally.

01/11/2018 - 9:37pm LBs

Man, I dunno about linebacker.  The OSU staff that watched the championship game came away from that concluding that their linebackers were not big enough and not mean/aggressive enough.  I saw the same thing: Alabama in partiuclar had these huge ahletes that absolutely attacked the ball carrier to do damage, not just tackle.  I honestly don't think any team in the Big 10 right now has that kind of LB play.

01/11/2018 - 9:34pm PSU

In general, I like your optimisim, and I do think there are a lot of the pieces required to make Michigan a conference contender in place.

However, as a minor correction, UM does not have superior talent to PSU.  They're very, very comparable to one another; I think it's impossible to say which one is marginally better than the other.

01/11/2018 - 9:31pm ?

Please forgive my ignorance, what are the rings for?  I know you get them for winning the Big Ten, what do they get them for besides that ?  I'm guessing for winning a Bowl?

01/09/2018 - 4:11am No

UM's recruiting is not in the same timezone as the top teams.  UM does nor have athletes even close to what you saw on display tonight.  

Using the 247 composite scores for individual players, the difference  between Ohio State's 2018 average recruit and UM's 2018 average recruit is almost exactly the same as the difference between UM's average 2018 recruit and Rutgers' average 2018 recruit.

Michigan has many very good players who will play professional football some day.  Saying they have a roster that is close to comparable with Alabama or Georgia or OSU is just delusional.

01/08/2018 - 5:22pm Pedant

The most useless, tired, obnoxious, pedantic meme on the internet.  Please stop.

01/05/2018 - 12:32am I doubt it

Drevno has 4 years left at $1 million per year.  Is Michigan really going to eat that contract and tell him to walk?  I mean, it's not out of the question, but I can also imagine the administration balking at that.

UM finds itself in a position very similar to what Ohio State was in during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  A very good OL coach got promoted to OC and did terribly at it, but couldn't be demoted.  It was a decision that very possibly cost them a National Championship, but to his credit, Urban corrected it after only two years.

01/03/2018 - 6:01pm Hypotheticals

The problem is you're cherry-picking your hypotheticals.  

The trait that Ohio State fans find 2nd-most maddening about Urban Meyer is his complete willingness to go completely conservative on offense once he has a lead and rely on his defense.  So if you assume in your hypothetical that a good QB gives Michigan 14 more points, you should also consider that Ohio State could have called a very different game if they hadn't been ahead and playing really well on defense.  (For the record, the trait Ohio State fans find most maddening about Urban Meyer is his insistence on running the QB instead of RBs so often.)

Another hypothetical that seems almost as likely as the better-Michigan-QB one is what if Ohio State had a better QB?  There's a reasonable case to be made that Ohio State has won in spite of JT Barrett at least as much as they've won because of him.  It was probably due to horrible QB coaching, but even still, he was a truly awful passer for most of the last three years of his career.  There are plenty of Ohio State fans that will tell you a better Ohio State QB would have won them a National Championship in 2015 and led to blowout wins against Michigan.

I am genuinely curious to find out if Michigan's offensive woes have been due to personnel or not.  Their QB play certainly has been terrible, but it's not clear to me how much of this is due to lack of talent, and how much of it is due to scheme and supporting cast.  If it's purely personnel, then there's a great chance for a quick fix.  If it's more scheme and offensive line issues, I'm skeptical we'll see championship level offense in 2018.

01/01/2018 - 8:08pm Other teams can improve, too

Ohio State was younger then Michigan this year.  And has a much better recruiting class coming in. 

Michigan State was younger than Michigan this year.

Wisconsin is bringing back almost all of their key players.

The Wolverines may very well improve next year; it's questionable to assume they'll necessarily win more games as a result.

12/03/2017 - 2:31am Apparently

Apparently no one who weighs in with their opinions on who's making the CFP actually bother to pay attention to what the CFP committee says.  Which one would think would make it a bit harder to accurately prognosticate.

When they released the rankings last week, they specifically went out of their way to say that there was very little separation between the teams in the #5 - #8 positions.

Since that ranking came out, Alabama did nothing.  The team Alabama lost to got beat.  And the only team they beat that was currently in the top 15 got beat, meaning they have no wins over any top 15 teams.

Also since that ranking came out, Ohio State beat the #4 team in the country.  They also won a conference championship.

So there are only two options:

1. The committee, for some unknown reason, blatantly lied when they released the last set of rankings, and in reality there was a significant gap between #5 and #8.


2. Ohio State just easily passed Alabama in the rankings, without there even needing to be any time spent on discussing it.

There isn't some magic third option where there wasn't much separation between Alabama and Ohio State prior to today's events, and somehow Alabama still maintains some razor thin margin.  That is not a possibility.

Personally, I would put UCF in at the #4 spot.  They don't deserve it, but neither does Alabama or Ohio State, and at least they're undefeated, and score a ton of points so they'd probably put up an entertaining game.  But I do not think there is any reasonable argument to make that the committee will put in Alabama over Ohio State (although there may be reasonable arguments that they *should*).

12/02/2017 - 2:18am Why the down vote?

Why the down vote?  It's not a secret that Shea is going pro after his next season.  His family is looking at him to make bank, and he and his family have been open about that.  Unless he has an injury that makes him undraftable, he'll be going pro next year.  

11/30/2017 - 6:53pm Running QBs

There is no evidence to support the idea that running QBs get injured more often than traditional drop-back passers.

The only real study I have ever found on the subject looked at NFL QBs, and concluded that mobile QBs were less likely to be injured, but the difference was not statistically significant.

11/30/2017 - 1:19pm No.

The head of the selection committee went out of his way to say that there was very little separating #5 through #8.

If Ohio State beats theunly undefeated P5 team and wins a conference championship, that is more than enough to separate them from the rest of those teams.  There is literally zero chance they would not pass Alabama. 

Note that I don't necessarily agree with this evaluation-- in my mind, getting blown out by Iowa should be disqualifying-- but the comments that the committee has made when releasing rankings the last three years have always been pointed and true.  If he said there's little separating them, then that's what their evaluation is.  

11/30/2017 - 1:07pm Bosa

Bosa did not deserve the award.

However, this is due to his lack of playing time, not lack of talent or lack of production when he was in the game.  He's playing behind two first-day NFL draft picks, and DE is a position where you really want to keep your players fresh, so he only plays about half the snaps.  

This should keep him from winning the award, and I don't understand why it didn't.  But saying that he doesn't deserve it because he's not as good as Hurst or other players, or that he just gets attention because of his name, is ridiculous.  He is a great player and had a great season; it just shouldn't have netted him this award.

11/30/2017 - 12:46am FYI

Just a friendly FYI in case you care about such things: "jobbed" is not a casual slang word, it is an anti-semetic slur.  It comes from the old testament book of Job, and the implication is that Jewish people screw people over in deals.

11/24/2017 - 12:29pm Not the whole story

Using the class rank doesn't tell an accurate story.

You get a more relevent comparision when you compare the average ranking of the recruits.  There is a vast gulf between the player ratings.

For example, in 2017, 247 sports ranked Ohio State #2 and Michigan #5.  Those classes seem comparable.  However, Michigan had 30 recruits and Ohio State had 21.  If you look at the average player rating, Ohio State's was 94.59 (#1, over a full point higher than Alabama's #1 ranked class), while Michigan's was 91.20.  To put the difference between those numbers in perspective, that's roughly the same delta as there is between Michigan and Nebraska's #23 ranked class.  Over a three-point gap is enormous.

This year, barring disaster, Ohio State will finish with a top three class (they're currently ranked #1), and Michigan will probably finish with a #8-#10 or thereabouts.  Which again, might seem like no big deal, they're both in the top 10.  But Ohio State's average player rating is 95.07, while Michigan's is currently 89.40.  Putting those classes in the same bucket under a "top 10" labels is simply misleading.  Using the same method as I did for 2017 to put that difference in context, that's about the same gap as between Michigan and Minnesota's 35th ranked class.

Ohio State's recruiting is, by far, the best it has ever been in the modern era of limited scholarships.  If it keeps going as it has been, they're going to be at a significant talent advantage every year, mitigated only by the fact that they players they're getting are so good that most starters will be gone after their 3rd year, meaning that unless they play as true freshmen, they'll only contribute for two years.

None of this is to say that Michigan shouldn't expect to beat Ohio State with some regularity; there are a lot of factors that play into a team's success and the outcome of any individual game beyond just the native talent of the players.  But I don't think the evidence supports the idea that Michigan is closing the talent gap, at least at this point-- primarily due to Meyer's unprecedented level of recruiting, rather than a failure on Harbaugh's fault.

11/20/2017 - 9:20pm Clemson

A two-loss Clemson team that is not a conference champion does not get in ahead of a two loss OSU team that is a conference champion that just beat an undefeated top-5 team.  Literally zero chance of that happening.

Unless something really strange happens, the committee will be faced with choosing between two outcomes they've never had: either two teams from the same conference, or a team with two losses.

They have previously stated that conference championships carry a lot of weight.  Last year's selection of OSU over Penn State would seem to contradict that, particularly given that Penn State even owned the head to head matchup.  However, they evaluate many different factors, and it's certainly possible that they do give conference champions a bonus, but that bonus wasn't enough to make up for an extra loss when comparing teams in the same conference who played many of the same teams throughout the year.

I honestly don't know which would be the right thing to do.  Say Clemson beats Miami.  Taking Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Miami makes just as much sense to me as putting OSU in instead of Miami.  But Miami has has some very close games against really, really shitty teams, so maybe that's not the most likely way two teams from the same conference happens.  How about Auburn beats Alabama and then wins their conference?  Can you really leave Alabama out in favor of OSU?  I don't think so.  I think in that scenario, we have our first year where two of the five power conferences don't get in, while the SEC gets two.

Of course, Michigan beating OSU would make all this mute.  Wisconsin has almost no chance of beating the Buckeyes, because the game is played on artificial turf in a dome; the speed advantage is just too overwhelming in those conditions.

11/19/2017 - 3:50am Performance matching talent

If your expectation is that performance should equal talent intake, then you should be fine with beating OSU once every four or five years.  The two teams are recruiting at very different levels, and that is before the 2018 classes, which will be OSU's highest rated of all time and a thoroughly average one for Michigan.   The gap between a 7th or 8th rated class and the monster classes Alabama and Ohio State have been putting together is very substantial.  The only thing allowing other Big10 teams to play competitevely with OSU right now is the rate at which they are losing star players early to the NFL, coupled with the ridiculously inept offensive staff the last two years prior to 2017.

A better hope would be for Michigan to gain an advantage in development and scheme so that they can compensate for the talent discrepancy and win 50% of the time against the Buckeyes.


11/18/2017 - 8:51pm Point?

I'm unclear what the relevance of this is.  What point are you trying to make?

10/24/2017 - 7:11pm Cardale

There's lots of valid criticisms about the Ohio State football factory, and I'm certain there are recruiting violations to be found, along with players who don't put in much effort to the "student" side of being a scholar-athlete.

That being said, the QB who made that comment was Cardale Jones, and at the time that he made it, he was a pretty good student-- above 3.0 GPA.  He continued to be a good student up until he graduated.  He was young and immatue and frustrated and said something stupid on twitter, but his actions thankfully did not match his words.

I have no way of being certain, but I find it highly unlikely that any Big10 school, including Ohio State, actually employ bagmen, or anything close to it.  There may be discounts and loaners and hundred dollar handshakes, and the amount of that probably varies from school to school.  If you claimed you had evidence that Ohio State was among the worst offenders in the conference, I guess I wouldn't be shocked.  But there is a long, long way from those sorts of recruiting violations and what goes on in SEC country, where instead of an alumnus stepping out of line and spreading some cash around, you have assistant coaches arranging for donors to give thens of thousans of dollars to a recruit's family, literally paying him to come play at the school.

I'd also be at least a little careful about throwing stones in glass houses.  Although it was 'legal', hiring Rashan Gary's high school coach during his recruitment seems ethically as shady as any confirmed recruiting violation I can remember in the Big 10.  Michigan fans hailed it as a brilliant maneuver, but if Meyer had done it, those very same people would have been morally indignant and completely outraged.

10/12/2017 - 8:54pm Out of all the things

Out of all the things Harbaugh gets blamed for, and all the things he is given a pass for, I am continually stunned by how many people give him a complete pass for the "fluke" punt, which is actually one of the few things you can definitevely, positively, without any question identify that he did wrong.

There is no excuse to have had gunners split off on that play.  None.  Zero. That was not a tricky aspect to notice, it wasn't some subtle small-percentage-at-the-margins that was overlooked.  That was an epic failure of coaching, that may very well have cost Michigan that game.

I think it's ridiculous to say Harbaugh is overrated, just as it's ridiculous to throw out his long track record as a successful coach because the team has some holes this year.  I think there are two absolutely legitimate things Harbaugh deserves criticism for:

First is the lack of a QB in year 3.  True freshman are starting and being successful for National Title contending teams (Alabama last year, Georgia this year, plus plenty of other examples).  It's really not acceptable that QB bad is so play, even if you write off his first recruiting class, he should at least have a RS freshman ready to play.  But this isn't indictment of his overall coaching ability or of his future success; it's something that he whiffed on that he shouldn't have that it's legitimate to criticize.

And the second is that so-called "fluke" punt block.  That was inexcusably bad gameday coaching.  Again, it doesn't say much about his overall ability or career trajectory, but it's baffling to see people casually write this off as an act of God that he had no role in.

10/12/2017 - 6:50pm Punt

Why does Harbaugh get a pass for the punt block loss to MSU?  He had gunners split out when MSU had no one back to receive, coming out of a timeout.  They called it "fate", but Harbaugh had a significant role in that.

10/08/2017 - 4:00pm Sounds good, but I don't think it's true

This would be a much more compelling argument if other teams weren't doing much better when fielding similarly inexperienced teams.

The Spartans, for example, are even younger than the Wolverines.

Ohio State won the first CFP Championship with one of the youngest teams in the country, including wins over the #13, #1, and #3 teams in the country while starting a 3rd string QB.

Georgia is looking extremely impressive with a true freshman at QB.  Harbaugh has had 3 recruiting classes, youth does not excuse such consistently mediocre quarterback play, with no obvious upgrade waiting for year 4.

And if Harbaugh ever manages to recruit at the same level as OSU or Alabama, he's going to discover that he gets one or two seasons out of his best players, because they're leaving early.  If you want to get that 3rd year, you need to play them as true freshmen.  That's why you see true freshmen in the 2-deep and playing significant snaps for Clemson, Alabama, and OSU.

So yeah, your argument sounds reasonable.  If there was no evidence one way or the other, I'd be pursuaded.  But I think there's quite a lot of evidence that college football teams can and do excel when playing lots of young players, and that even championship caliber teams are liable to play multiple true freshmen and redshirt freshmen.  


10/08/2017 - 3:39am MSU could lose to anyone

MSU is not a good team.  They could lose to any team in the B1G.  They could lose to Rutgers with a few breaks going the other way.  They will finish no higher than 4th in the East.

10/08/2017 - 1:36am Recruting the previous years

Recruting the previous years wasn't amazing, either.  You can count on one hand the number of players UM signed over the last 3 years that Alabama or Ohio State really wanted (DPJ, Gary, Solomon, and ?).  There might have been some miscellaneous 4* that they would have happily accepted, but those are the only 3 guys I can think of that they weren't able to replace with another equally good 4* anyway.  

In contrast, Ohio State had *at least* 10 players in the class of 2017 alone that the Michigan coaching staff would have shit themselves for a chance to sign.

So yeah, the fact that 2018 recruiting isn't shaping up as well as 2017 is... concerning.

10/08/2017 - 1:09am John Cooper

You know what you get when you don't understand rivalry games? You get John Cooper vs. Michigan.  

10/02/2017 - 6:27pm That was not a dirty hit

I've watched the replay multiple times at .25 speed, and I am genuinely baffled why so many posters seem convinced it was a dirty play.

He fell on him.  With his chest, not his helmet.  He immediately got off him.

It could have been called a late hit.  In the course of a game, similar plays happen a dozen times or more, and they almost never get called, but sometimes they do when it's the QB on the receiving end.  But a borderline late hit is not some sort of head-hunting, deliberate injury-seeking beahvior that deserves to be reviled. 

As I said in chat at the time, targetting and unnecessary roughness penalties are booth reveiwable even if no flag was thrown on the play.  In fact, not more than a few hours after I point that out, it happened in the Rutgers-OSU game: the replay offical buzzed down to stop play so he could look at a potential targetting penalty.  Given the duration of the injury timeout, and the apparent seriousness of the injury itself, it is simply not credible to suppose that the replay booth didn't look at multiple angles of that play to see if that hit was worth a flag.  It simply wasn't.


08/29/2017 - 4:03pm That's not how I remember it.

That's not how I remember it.  I thought I had a pretty clear memory of maximum HARBAUGH!!! leading up to that game, with most threads literally devolving into gifs of HARBAUGH!!! and most questions answered with HARBAUGH!!!.

It's possible that my memory is incorrect; if so, I apologize.

08/29/2017 - 4:00pm Yeah, typo with the 2014

Yeah, typo with the 2014 instead of 2015, sorry.

I think Michigan players should be working as hard as they can within the confines of what's psychologically and physically healthy throughout the year, and I think they should have maximum motivation to beat Ohio State every year.  If revenge or bulletin board material or a Buckeye stealing your girlfriend gets you more motivated for The Game, then I consider that to be a very real problem, because you should already be at maximum motivation for that game.

It just seems to me that a bad call in last year's game is the very epitome of the sort of thing that fan's obsess over and talk show hosts give airtime to and announcers hype up before the game, that means way less than a single player slipping on a single play.  If the effect isn't zero, I think it's at least so negligible that it is highly unlikely to amount to a single point's difference in the outcome.

08/29/2017 - 2:56pm The last two years Ohio State

The last two years Ohio State did not play as well as they should have, given the talent they had.

This is directly attributable to a criminally incompetent Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback coach.  

Meyer deserves blame for waiting one year too long to fire them both.  The regression from 2014 to 2015 was so painful and so obvious that it merited an immediate change.

The current coach that probably should have been shown the door by now is Zach Smith, the WR coach.  For the lofty ratings and absurd physical traits of the WRs they have, it is absolutely unacceptable how much problem they all have getting separation.

With the Offensive Coordinator and QB coach problems taken care of, I do not see anything short of a massive injury bug that would keep Ohio State from performing at a level consistent with their talent, i.e. a National Championship once every 3 or 4 years.  The annualy early departures for the NFL are going to be a perpetual issue, but every team that recruits near Ohio State's level has to deal with that.

I think most people outside of Columbus are going to be shocked when they see what a difference moving from one of the worst Offensive Coordinators in all of college football to a well-above average one makes.  

08/29/2017 - 2:34pm If your coaches and players

If your coaches and players aren't trying as hard as they can for every game, that's a problem.  If there's an "extra gear" they can kick in if they're properly motivated, and they don't use that gear for their biggest rival normally, but by gosh if there's revenge on the line then they'll deign to apply themselves, then that team is full of losers and doesn't deserve to win anything.

Also, I have never seen this board more confident of a win in a rivalry game than they were in 2014, when the idea that Harbaugh could possibly lose against Ohio State at home his first season was genuinely considered heresy.  It was silly then, and it's silly now.

The game will be won based on coaching, talent, matchups, and luck, just as it always is.  Revenge for last year is going to be worth exactly 0 points on game day.


08/24/2017 - 3:50pm Housing is very expensive

Housing is very expensive here.  A starter house needing some fixing up in a not-so-great neighborhood is gonna run you $350,000.  My wife and I are currently house shopping in some good-but-not-great areas and we don't have any kids, and we still may wind up spending 7 figures for a less than 3,000 sq. ft. house on a probably less than 7,500 sq. ft. lot.

Renting is, believe it or not, even worse in many places; you'll wind up paying more in rent than you would on a mortgage.  Also, watch out for HOA fees; I always thought of them as just being for condo owners and people that live in gated communities, but it turns out they're more common than that out here (not sure how it is in the midwest), and can be quite expensive. I work with someone who pays north of one grand a month for his condo HOA fee.

Traffic is genuinely awful.  If I drive home from work at 11pm, it takes be about 17 minutes.  If I drive home at 5pm, it takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  And I'm paying close to $150/month in tolls on the 520 bridge for the privilege.

If you're looking to socialize, outdoor activities are really big here.  Lots of people spend the weekends biking or on the water or hiking in the mountains.  If that sort of thing appeals to you, I don't think you'll have any problem finding people at your work that can invite you along.  Failing that, there are a gazillion meetup groups for those activities.

Seattle is a big film town: we've got lots of small independent theaters, and we host the Seattle International Film festival, which is quite good.  You have the chance to see a lot of movies that never show in most cities, and can meet some cultured and interesting people along the way.

Your go-to place for watching Michigan games is Buckley's pub in Belltown.

Welcome to the area; I moved here in 1990 and have never really wanted to live anywhere else since.

02/02/2017 - 1:03am Kevin Wilson

The #1 recruit in OSU's class this year is Kevin Wilson.  If you offered me a choice of losing all 5 5* recruits or losing Wilson, I'd choose to keep the new OC.

OSU should be significantly improved next year.  I would not be at all surprised if they raised their scoring average by a touchdown per game.

12/06/2016 - 3:22pm Best != most accomplished

You are conflating two seperate concepts: who the best team is, and who has demonstrated/accomplished the most.

If we formed a league consisting of the New England Patriots, Michigan, Clemson, and a Pop Warner team, and after the first week of the season the Patriots had beaten the Pop Warner club and Michigan had defeated Clemson, the Patriots would still be the best team.  The fact that Michigan's win over Clemson was much more impressive would have nothing to do with it.

12/05/2016 - 10:14pm Mistaken assumption

Championship games do not decide who the best team is, they just decide who won the champtionship game.

A 162 game baseball season doesn't decide who the best baseball team is, it just shows who won the most games.

If you are starting with the premise that it is the job of a system that awards a championship to determine who the best team is, your assumption is flawed.  Alabama is the best team this year, period, end of story.  That will be true if they lose to Washington, and it will be true if they lose to OSU or Clemson.  Using your logic, the perfect system would be to not have any playoffs this year at all, since it is so completely clear to everyone who the best team is.

Part of the glory of sports is that the better team doesn't always win.  That isn't a bug, it's a feature.  It isn't likely, but UW could beat Alabama, and go on to win the National Championship.  That won't make them the best team, it will just make them the National Champion.  That's a good thing.