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Date Title Body
01/18/2018 - 4:43am YES

This is the best perspective on Michigan football I’ve read in weeks. Absolutely correct.

Outsidethebox, no one denies some schedules are more demanding than others. The point is that we can and should be able to develop a team that can beat anyone and contend for it all. The 1997 schedule was a gauntlet; it felt like a breeze. The question is, are we getting to the level of our 1997 and 2016 (it’s true) teams that could have beat anyone, including in a playoff. Last year the answer was no way—but the key thing wasn’t the numerical W/L outcome, it was the level of play and trajectory of personnel.

10/29/2017 - 1:25am Here, I'll make it easier

Energizer Mason Bunny LINK


10/29/2017 - 1:19am Holy Ben Mason

Peters, obviously.  But my personal runner-up is Ben Mason. The man is a persistent road-grader. with good instincts. Roll through Higdon's 10-yd touchdown on slow-mo and behold the glory that is Mason. Similar, not-quite-as-glorious blocking on Walker's touchdown. And other plays I can't recall off the top of my head.  We have other great FBs this year, but this kid is a delight. We are going to have a ball watching him for another 3.5 years.

10/30/2013 - 8:05am Reading comprehension 101

He didn't call MSU little brother. He recounted Hart's comment as a way of explaining why MSU hates UM.

09/26/2013 - 12:58pm Crean

The coaching score for Indiana was the highlight of the entire piece for me.  Worst in the top 20 and far below most similar schools.  No argument here.

08/06/2013 - 4:23pm "Ground Can't Cause A Fumble"

The ruling of a completed pass at the 7:00 mark in the '85 Minnesota game is pretty hilarious to watch now that it can be considered alongside the Calvin Johnson incompletion where he did not complete the act (or whatever the phrase is).

04/27/2013 - 2:41pm Per ESPN, they plan to use

Per ESPN, they plan to use Denard as a running back.

03/15/2013 - 5:58pm The Loss was...

Frustrating, but a blessing in disguise.  The big dance is what matters and a third loss to IU on dead legs was not going to help us going in.

02/13/2013 - 1:57pm Calm Down

We were not going to win last night's game.  MSU is a strong team that had been waiting all year to put (more hyped) UM in its place.  They had a soft three games in February before us to gear up (only decent challenge was a road game at crumbling Minnesota).  We had a late night prize fight in Bloomington, a roller coaster overtime game against OSU, and a gut-wrenching overtime loss at Wisconsin.  We were on fumes.  They were lying in wait.  We got crushed.

I was so certain of the result this was the one game all year I taped but did not watch the same night.  Glad I did not, I might be in meltdown mode like everyone else.

Cool reason does not suggest time for panic.  We lost three games on the home courts of three teams in the KenPom top 13.  That is disappointing, but not unexpected in college basketball.  We are still #5 in KenPom after last night's game.  We have a favorable slate going forward.

It's all about the tournament and we have the talent to play with anybody.  The key is having our confidence at a crescendo when the tournament starts.  In that, the recent schedule may actually be a blessing.

01/01/2013 - 10:58am Great Question

Yes. Yes he is.

12/20/2012 - 5:30pm $$ =/= Success

You lost me right out of the gate with:

Dave Brandon is an AD who understands that his role is to make the university money

If that's your view, I can see why you like Brandon.  I disagree completely with the role of the AD.  I think it is to achieve success as measured by: (1) on-field performance and (2) school reputation.  We play sports because it brings the community together, makes alumni proud (and more apt to donate through means other than buying yet another random new jersey), and gives Michigan great exposure.  I have made judgments about countless other schools based on the way they conduct themselves in the world of collegiate sports.  Wisconsin sports improve my opinion of Wisconsin the school.  Ditto Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Georgia Tech.  I have the opposite opinion for many others--e.g. Ohio State, Miami U.  Those are both pretty good schools but it's hard for me to regard them that way because of the image they project through sports.

Would you really put money ahead of on-field success and school reputation?  Admittedly, all three can work in cooperation and reinforce one another, but money has to be third.  And there are many instances where making more money is detrimental to on-field success (e.g. giving students far-away seats) or image (see everything Brian hates).

10/27/2012 - 10:57pm Unbelievable

Unless Gardner has regressed to an epic degree I do not understand it. Putting Bellomy out there for additional series in this game, at this point, is an act of cruelty.

10/25/2012 - 2:09pm Tank Lives!

#25 was a real blast from the past -- Tank Carradine!  Sad how many of the defensive guys were players I onced thought might come here (Hankins, Montgomery, Carradine)

10/11/2012 - 11:49am Not much better...

But we also had a punt return TD from Odoms later on in 2008 (horribly quality video link)

09/30/2012 - 2:15pm concussion =/= leg injury

You can walk without assistance after a concussion.  And Gholston was not quick to get up.  He took a nap with his arms attached to his body like limp noodles.  Hope the kid is ok, but I mostly agree with the OP.  You don't throw someone back onto the field after short term paralysis because they can recite the score to you.

07/20/2012 - 12:09pm as a technical point...

I wouldn't say disputed.  It is just not officially confirmed.  The article has a PSU spokesman saying he has not been briefed on a decision yet.  That does not mean "no decision has been made."

07/12/2012 - 3:48pm I don't follow

If you're trying to deflect attention from a pedophilia scandal, I don't see how publicly issuing a hard-hitting report on another institution helps the cause.  If anything, it gives victims more confidence to speak up and brings the issue more into the public consciousness so people wonder 'where else is this happening?'

07/12/2012 - 3:43pm Port Salut

I completely agree on Port Salut.  Among other things, the best grilled cheese cheese in the history of mankind.

06/13/2012 - 6:01pm Thank God

There is another live sports fan familiar with this classic question and its use as a reference point.  Apparently no one at ESPN (where I first read the story) has heard of "have you stopped beating your wife" before.

06/08/2012 - 10:40pm Me

Founder's Red Rye IPA -- on draft in DC -- yum.

05/31/2012 - 3:58pm not all felonies are equal

This is not an assault charge.  He slid his fat body over the hood of a car.  I don't see how that warrants more than a 1-3 game suspension. 

04/22/2012 - 11:03am 2 cents

You have already done well for yourself.  I will be very candid because this is a huge decision.

  1. Do not go to law school unless you are sure you want to be a lawyer.  The schools you are looking at will not put you on a path to riches.  (To be clear:  the sky is the limit for what you can accomplish after school, wherever you go--but it will have to be your own hustle, it will not be there for you just because you're holding a degree from Wisconsin, Kent, etc.)
  2. If you are certain your want to be lawyer, and certain you want to practice in Michigan, it is probably not worth leaving the state, even if you could get in to Wisconsin or Iowa.
  3. If you are looking to move to a large city in another region of the country go to the school with the best national reputation among your options (i.e. Iowa or Wisconsin).

I graduated from Michigan and work at a firm in DC.  To be very candid, if I had a relative or close friend considering law school I would not suggest it unless (1) you can go to a top 15 school or (2) want to practice local criminal/family law.  And let me be clear that local law practice can be a great life.  Fine pay and much more fun/entertaining than what I am doing.  But make sure that's what you're after. 

Best of luck to you whatever you choose.

02/24/2012 - 1:06pm What a mess

I love that Michigan is ranked so high, but these rankings seem completely flawed.

  • Academic reputation is most important, but every school has a 99.something, making reputation fairly meaningless as a discriminator
  • Faculty-student ratio is obviously assessed in a bizarre and inconsistent manner (e.g. Michigan's ratio is significantly better than Princeton's?)
  • Ditto employer reputation (again, I'm sure employers love us, but much more than they love Princeton grads?)
  • % of International students and faculty -- this does seem important to me...if you're trying to boost the standing of schools from a small country closely connected to several other small, nearby countries (i.e. the UK)

Like I said, no complaint with the results, but if you look at the methodology and the scores they came up with...doesn't make a lot of sense.

02/06/2012 - 4:57pm ok with it

I think they both serve a useful purpose.  The board "hello" post is instantaneous news.  The main page "hello" post is shortly-after-the-fact news with substantive commentary and analysis.  I don't mind knowing the news right away.  And the "hello" is something I will admit I scan for on the board post titles.

01/31/2012 - 1:17pm love it

I noticed that and I love it.  I don't see "Ohio" as disrespectful.  It is just a more efficient way of referring to the school, since there is no confusion about whether our coaches mean Ohio State or Ohio U.  I think more than anything it shows familiarity with OSU, almost like being on a first-name basis.  It is totally different from something stupid like "that school down south."

01/30/2012 - 1:55pm i hear ya

I confess, I am a little taken aback by the hysterical and persistent it wasn't the tweets! movement.  I understand that Michigan fans are supposed to hate the author of the Yuri Wright twitter article.  That's fine.  I agree to hate that guy.  But I think it's silly for us to bend over backwards to ignore any evidence that the tweets might have mattered to someone. You say the tweets were a reason he was dismissed but not the only reason.  I believe that.  But I think being a full IWTT truther (denying that even his hs cared) is a bridge too far.

01/30/2012 - 12:47pm Yuri's tweets

Don't understand this:

"Also: no, Yuri Wright did not get expelled for some frickin' tweets. That does not happen."

Wright's coach is on record as saying that's exactly why he was expelled.

"He was expelled from the school for the things he had written on Twitter," Toal told "It was pretty simple really, what he wrote were some graphic sex things. This is a Catholic school, things like that cannot happen. It was totally inappropriate."

Do we have some reason to think Wright's coach is wrong?


01/25/2012 - 9:16pm withdrawn.


01/20/2012 - 1:40pm why highly doubtful?

Why is it highly doubtful that the tweets were a reason Wright was dropped?  We know the UM coaches are aware of twitter.  You don't think it's possible one of the dozens of people working for Michigan's athletic department or football program noticed some of the tweets?  It is amazing to me how many people are buying the Tom Beaver explanation that Michigan dropped him because of character but absolutely not because of the tweets (which evidenced questionable character).  No Michigan coach is going to "corroborate" the story and say:  "yes, I can confirm that it was the tweets, specifically the ones about..."  What you ask for is absurd.  They are not going to do that.  They are going to vaguely cite character and move on.

01/20/2012 - 11:04am you are right

I have actually looked at the NFL draft data and come to the same conclusion.  But that points to an independent question, which is:  what are the sites' ratings supposed to mean?  I have always assumed it means "how well this guy could contribute to a typical NCAA football team."  I assume that was at least the original point to the ratings.  Which college football team was getting the best future college football players.

Now the ultimate worth of a player is his ability at the NFL level.  But assigning recruiting rankings based on NFL potential seems like a different undertaking to me.  Guys like Eric Crouch or Desmond Howard are not potential All-Pro players, but had amazing college success.  I would not rank those guys too high out of high school if I knew I would later gauge my success by looking at how many of my Top 50 made it to the NFL as a regular starter.  The interesting question to me is:  what is the approach for the various sites?  I honestly have no idea and suspect it may not be the same.

01/20/2012 - 9:48am Thanks

Thanks very much for the guidance.  I followed your method to massively improve the formatting of my recent ESPN rankings diary.

01/18/2012 - 5:01pm Great video

I forgot how jaw-dropping Webber's talent was, and how historically ugly those warm-ups were.  Great game from Pelinka.

01/17/2012 - 11:32am Excellent Analysis

Brilliant work.

The spin on a study like this is always "see, stars do matter."  As though in answer to the commonly-held belief that stars mean nothing.  I think the opposite is true.  Everyone hyperventilates over stars (to the point of begging analysts to add a star to a player you're already going to get (however good he is), just so you can see him on a web page with 4 or 5 stars next to his name and feel even better about things).  And so I think the more interesting thing to note is the incredible variance in your charts -- notwithstanding the strong overall trend, which certainly must be acknowledged.  As you say, coaching and player development matter a lot, and you are by no means doomed by mediocre talent (esp. on offense).

The stronger correlation on defense is very interesting and very persuasively presented.  Again, great work.

01/13/2012 - 2:51pm no offense to either guy

But I laughed out loud when I saw the thread title.  I look forward to the day when we will need to genuinely worry about this.


01/11/2012 - 10:18am thanks

I think this kind of multi-site aggregation is very useful.  What you did here is great. 

Even more wonderful would be a master rankings presentation that includes ESPN and provides the mean overall or positional ranking for each player.  (I realize the positional thing becomes difficult because the sites don't use the same categories and sometimes categorize the same player differently anyway.)

12/22/2011 - 11:31am well done

Excellent analysis, excellent post.  Thanks!

12/20/2011 - 4:33pm These types of Qs are silly

To me this is one of the classic moves of the recruiting analysts that are actually de facto recruiters for a certain school.  Some circumstance suggests a reason for a player to de-commit and the analyst gets the kid on the record and says people are saying you're going to betray us....are you going to betray us?  Then the kid says of course not.  Then you have that statement of loyalty on the record and hope it makes the kid feel locked in.  And I can't say we're not guilty of the same thing sometimes (e.g. Kalis most recently).

12/08/2011 - 9:22am (No subject)

12/08/2011 - 8:53am (No subject)

12/08/2011 - 8:49am (No subject)

12/08/2011 - 8:46am (No subject)

12/08/2011 - 8:42am (No subject)

11/30/2011 - 5:33pm I think you're the one who was duped

A scam?  If the scammer's goal was to embarass the Big 10, why not come right out and say in the post that they're trying to fill seats for the Big 10 championship?  If the scammer's goal was to get email addresses to run a further scam, why not put the supposed giveaway in neon lights to get more takers?  Your theory is that someone took the time to write a discreet initial post and then sit around for the next few hours sending follow up emails to people that responded.  All for the sake of embarassing the Big 10 or getting email addresses. I guess that's possible but it seems unlikely to me.

You link to a post that mocks certain people who stuck their neck out by attributing the Craislist post to a specific entitiy.  Because those entities publicly deny being responsible for the seat-filling, you think that makes this a scam.  I don't.

The Craiglist poster said he/she was working for a client that wanted to accomplish the seat-filling quietly.  I think that's still the most likely explanation.  You will not get a public "Yes, that was us!" statement from anyone.  Because the only organization that can say "Yes, that was us!" is a random PR firm that never puts its name out publicly because that would defeat the purpose of its services.  I think said random PR firm is in fact trying to fill seats for the game.  I don't think that has been disproven by the public denials of the Big 10, convention center, etc.

10/12/2011 - 6:07pm The vulnerability you're

The vulnerability you're describing is correct, but true, I think of any aggressive reaction to the bubble and almost any type of outside blitz.  Teams already run corner blitzes (at the QB) or flow like crazy toward the bubble action -- and sometimes get burned.  I'd love to see someone take it to a different extreme.

10/12/2011 - 5:34pm Bubble Blitz

My bold theory for defending the bubble, that I would love to see some DC try, is to run what I would call a "bubble blitz."  What you would do is have a defender floating out near the receivers, may five yards off the line and a few yards inside of the near receiver -- and you'd have him try to time up a run at the line of scrimmage on the snap.  But not toward the backfield -- toward the flight path of the bubble pass in its last few yards, just short of the receivers.  I.e. if done perfectly, and the pass is thrown, it's a pick 6. 

Now -- could a defense simply pull out this stunt and expect an interception?  No.  But wouldn't you be terrified as an offense if you knew there was a chance some crazy defender might be streaking into your pass lane?

09/14/2011 - 5:39pm as plausible as Pryor being the one distributing $$ in envelopes

This is a bit like saying "it's a fallacy that he was forced to resign because of poor performance -- he has clearly stated that he resigned to spend more time with his family!"

09/14/2011 - 3:37pm No Al, No

The top two RBs last year, LaMichael James and Mikel LeShoure, both ran out of shotgun offenses.  I'm not familiar with all of the offenses on the list, but I bet the same is true for many of the other top RBs.  It's just not true that you can't use the RB effectively from the shotgun.  People are doing it everywhere. And not just on read-option and outside stuff.

09/01/2011 - 5:37pm ?

Denard is my favorite Michigan athlete I've ever cheered for and I'm afraid I pretty much agree with Mr. Austin Murphy's take.

08/22/2011 - 10:20am found the piece irritating

The author of the piece works in legal writing.  The constant struggle in legal writing is to be more direct, simple and clear.  And your argument never gains force by using equivocal language.

The same rules don't apply to the topics DFW was usually writing about in non-fiction. 

His qualified, self-conflicted tone served a purpose when he was telling you to believe in politicians or not eat lobster.  If he had just come roaring out of the gate telling me eating lobster was awful, or instructing me to be open to putting my hope and trust in guys like John McCain...I would have chuckled cynically and stopped reading.  The reason I didn't stop reading is because he conveyed the fact that he too had the same cynical eye-rolling initial stance as me and was working past it himself.  That made his arguments more persuasive. 

The article ignores this, and seems to think DFW just didn't have the guts to say what he thought.  In truth, I think he often was frankly describing a conflicted take on things.  I think his writing was better for the sorts of phrases this article selectively quotes to deride him.

08/19/2011 - 9:25am signatures are pushing this site Scout-ward

MGoBlog should be programmed so you cannot make a post where your signature has more words than your post.

I know everyone likes their own signature but they are dreadful and annoying to read.