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09/20/2018 - 4:38pm I have family in Oklahoma,…

I have family in Oklahoma, and it's really funny - there are a couple of massive HSes that produce (relatively) tons of talent, and not much else.  So doesn't surprise me that getting into a school like Washington would be fruitful

09/20/2018 - 2:22pm "Indefinitely" means 11/23.

"Indefinitely" means 11/23.

09/20/2018 - 2:20pm There is some irony in a guy…

There is some irony in a guy complaining about cramping trotting the tired, retrograde insult of "time of the month."  

I get it.  You don't like players having cramps.  But you seem profoundly unhappy with the current state of the program generally, and you really are spending a ton of time arguing about the weather.

09/20/2018 - 2:20pm There is some irony in a guy…

There is some irony in a guy complaining about cramping trotting the tired, retrograde insult of "time of the month."  

I get it.  You don't like players having cramps.  But you seem profoundly unhappy with the current state of the program generally, and you really are spending a ton of time arguing about the weather.

09/20/2018 - 2:15pm Calling MSU a raccoons is…

Calling MSU a raccoons is disrespectful to trash pandas.  At least trash pandas clean up after themselves.

09/20/2018 - 11:32am PFF has a weird way of…

PFF has a weird way of measuring performance, so I'm always dubious of these lists.  JBB played well this week, but I'm not sure we should read too much into this.  Keep it going a couple of weeks. 

09/20/2018 - 11:26am This has been a long…

This has been a long-discussed, well-answered one.  It's because he hates us and we are terrible jerks.

09/19/2018 - 4:50pm Assuming there will be some…

Assuming there will be some jostling at the edges, this feels like a solid 7-12 class, with a couple of sleepers and some top line talent.  It's a nice bounce back from last year, though as noted it would be nice of there was one larger WR.  The offensive line feels fine and who knows, maybe there is a flip or a late commit to shore it up.

09/19/2018 - 9:57am The 31 arrests over 5 years…

The 31 arrests over 5 years would lead me to believe it wasn't that hard to catch Florida players breaking rules.

09/19/2018 - 9:55am I'm sure Urban has no…

I'm sure Urban has no recollection of those comments, but feels bad about how this revelation will affect Gator Nation.  

09/18/2018 - 9:21pm And this isn't intended to…

And this isn't intended to be an attack at the kid, but when I visited the 247 site I clicked on the decommits link and I didn't realize that Herron had fallen to solid 4* territory from his near-5* ranking when he was at Michigan.  It's all funny math anyway, but he'd be Michigan's 5th-highest recruit.  Which is obviously a good thing, but highlights how fluid these rankings can be and why getting worked up either way about a recruit can be foolish.

09/18/2018 - 9:13pm I would like to point out…

I would like to point out that when Bosa left the TCU game, his team was trailing.  And yes Bosa had a great strip-sack; he made a great play.  But still, once Bosa went out OSU then allowed another TD before they rallied back, all while Bosa was on the sideline.  TCU had picked up nearly 350 yards of total offense when he left; they were held under 150 the rest of the way.  I'm in no way claiming that this shows Bosa's injury was a net positive for the Buckeyes; that would be silly.  But if we are going to cherry-pick stats to argue someone is elite or not, I can point out a situation where Bosa had no impact and OSU arguably played better.

09/18/2018 - 8:47pm Rashan Gary was billed as…

Rashan Gary was billed as the most complete defensive lineman in the country when he was signed; that was the consistent theme of evaluations.  He's big enough to be an anchor tackle and fast enough to be a great edge rusher.  It's that positional flexibility that makes him so appealing, and it's why all these comparisons between players he's supposed to be better than always feel like straw men.  Both Winovich and Bosa are great as edge rushers but, frankly, limited as run defenders, though to his credit Winovich seems to have improved on that front somewhat.  But my point isn't to denigrate those guys as much as point out that it feels like every day someone is complaining about a player here not living up to his potential, then conveniently ignoring all that stupidity when he does well.  Hence why we haven't seen another "is DPJ a failure?" post.  So again, my guess is Gary will have a monster statistical game soon and PFF will say "oh man, this Gary guy is really good" and everyone will jump on board.

09/18/2018 - 8:24pm So there was fire to all…

So there was fire to all that smoke.  Welcome aboard!

09/18/2018 - 6:54pm Nick Bosa had 24 less…

Nick Bosa had 24 less tackles than Gary last year despite playing one more game; if you ignore the bowl game (or the big 10 title game, whichever you want) he has about 1.5 or 2 more sacks and 3 or 3.5 more TFLs.  He also has been mediocre as a run defender.  Ed Oliver has fine counting stats (again, not much better than Gary's and at a different position and against inferior competition), but when not playing Rice has 1.5 TFLs and 0 sacks despite playing Arizona and Texas Tech, teams with atrocious offensive lines.

So I don't know what the expectations are he has not met, but it sure feels like it's arbitrary and based mostly on people expecting a level of play that isn't realistic or applied to anyone else.

09/18/2018 - 4:38pm Reading some of the…

Reading some of the arguments by people who purport to be referees somewhat drives home the fact that, well, referees make mistakes and will almost always rally around each other regardless of how correct the call is.  That whole situation looks like a screw up by the ref, a *shocking* occurrence in what was an otherwise superbly-run football game.

I don't get the concerns about Gary, but I've also come to question PFF's grading metrics generally.  He seems perfectly terrifying, and my guess is that an NFL team that picks him up will realize the same potential.

09/18/2018 - 4:27pm Cris Carter also told NFL…

Cris Carter also told NFL rookies that if they are going to break the law, they needed to have a fall guy in their crew to, well, take the fall.  So he's maybe not all there.

Michigan's issues running the ball against OSU have existed for decades it feels like.  

09/18/2018 - 4:23pm That makes sense, but for…

That makes sense, but for that particular offensive system it made sense.  

09/18/2018 - 3:38pm I largely agree with the…

I largely agree with the general statements made by your friend, but I don't understand the argument that Michigan's offensive line wasn't "big" enough for the Big 10.  Last year's line averaged 6'4", 316lbs, which is larger than the national average and a solid 10 pounds more than average in the conference.  I eyeballed OSU's depth chart, and their offensive line averages around 6'5" and 310 lbs; PSU came in a tiny bit shorter (6' 4") but heavier (323 lbs, which is apparently a record).  Michigan is around 6' 4" and 320 lbs, though a lot of that is Onwenu being listed at 350 lbs and being 6' 3".  And even in PSU's case, I'm not sure how much it's helped them on the ground; while they average about a half-yard more a rush than Michigan, their second leading rusher is Trace McSorley, which is mostly on scrambles and designed runs that I'm not sure matter all that much in terms of size.  

There was a nice diary a couple of years ago that mapped out the average weights in the conference, and outside of Iowa and Wisconsin virtually everyone was bunched together around the same weight.  So maybe a half-inch here or a couple of pounds there matters to someone in the trenches, but to my uneducated eye that doesn't strike me as all that relevant.  

So again, it's always good to hear outsiders' views on the state of the program, and I'm sure he picks out really interesting nuances in how the line has played.  I just was surprised about the size comment, unless he really believes that the size difference is a major detriment to the type of offense being run.

09/18/2018 - 2:28pm Michigan was up 28-7 the…

Michigan was up 28-7 the first time SMU had a drive longer than 39 yards.  SMU had two scoring drives, helped immensely by terrible officiating, but that was it for them.  And that was really only the third quarter.

As for the Notre Dame game, Michigan had basically 1 bad quarter defensively.  That happens to even the best defenses; Iowa has the #1 defense per S&P and gave up 2 straight long TD drives (in a game that was well decided by then) to UNI.  Stanford, the #4 team in the country, gave up 300 yards to UC Davis and 330 yards to USC, the #87 offense in the country (worse than Western and basically the same as SMU).  And all three teams have about the same 3rd-down defense (~33%).

It's early in the season, and because we follow Michigan sports we notice when things go wrong and don't notice when those exact same things happen elsewhere.  But I'm not worried about the defense at all, provided the tackles hold up.  There is a metric ton of evidence that Don Brown's defenses play well, and only scattered bits of information that would work against that.  Color me an optimist, but this defense feels like one of the best in the country and I think any concerns about garbage time against SMU is looking for issues.

09/18/2018 - 2:14pm You hear presidents say this…

You hear presidents say this periodically and nothing comes of it because, for all their bluster, they don't really care all that much about athletes either way.  But railing against them plays into that weird base of people who are jealous there are people better at, and get paid more for, what they view as a "game" than whatever serious job they think they have.

09/18/2018 - 12:46pm I think you run the offense…

I think you run the offense you need in the situation at hand.  There will be games when Patterson will need to throw the ball a ton, and that's when you call it.  But Michigan is at their best when they have a nice balance between running and throwing the ball, and artificially attempting to alter that dynamic for no other reason than "he's the man" isn't important.

09/18/2018 - 12:42pm Thus far this year Michigan…

Thus far this year Michigan has given up 2 plays of over 40 yards and 4 over 30 yards.  They gave up that long pass to Proche and the other against ND.  That's been it.  We remember the mistakes, but this is a really good defense that people get annoyed with around here because we are generally emotionally unable to handle football rationally when it involves our team.

09/18/2018 - 12:38pm Have at it.

http://www…

Have at it.

http://www.cfbstats.com/2017/leader/national/team/defense/split01/category30/sort03.html

09/18/2018 - 12:37pm In 3 games, Michigan has…

In 3 games, Michigan has given up 2 plays longer than 40 yards.  Move it back to 30 yards and we're at 4.

What I've noticed around here is that people assumed this defense would be better than Michigan has ever had, and when that's your barometer every transgression looks bad.  It's like last week when someone complained that Michigan was terrible on 3rd-down defense, despite being a top-5 unit in that department every year under Brown.

09/18/2018 - 12:30pm Because nothing engenders…

Because nothing engenders constructive conversation like random people on the internet calling out others for being too negative.

09/17/2018 - 10:35pm There's a real chance MSU…

There's a real chance MSU isn't ranked when Michigan plays them.  They've got to go to Indiana and PSU coming up, two undefeated teams with decent defenses, plus play Northwestern, which could be semi-competent.  

09/17/2018 - 10:33pm I have no idea how PFF…

I have no idea how PFF scores college games anymore.  I thought the defense largely played well, but Winovich seems grossly under-rated here.

09/17/2018 - 10:30pm To say that Chip Kelly's run…

To say that Chip Kelly's run at Oregon was a "fluke" is pretty stupid.  I don't blame him for being frustrated, but there's also no reason for a dad of a current player to sub-tweet a coach on Twitter in his first season as the HC at your school.  

I guess I'll never be a good sports dad because apparently it requires you to "stand up for your child" by passive-aggressively calling out another adult in public.

09/17/2018 - 10:25pm I agree that the ban on…

I agree that the ban on sealed water bottles is crazy.  But at least part of the problem is simply that the day was just quite warm for a football game, and Michigan Stadium isn't really designed/run like a place to handle that type of weather.  I remember being a student in the early 00s and there were a couple of games like that as well, and even with water people would pass out.  I honestly don't know what the solution is beyond altering the concourse during games so that there are multiple covered areas for people to have shelter under intense heat.  

09/17/2018 - 2:47pm He definitely got a warning,…

He definitely got a warning, but I couldn't tell if it was on him or someone else on the sideline.  Plus, these refs were so insanely weird about stuff that a student assistant farting could have set them off.

09/17/2018 - 2:27pm To be fair, half of those…

To be fair, half of those guys were under arrest at the time.

09/17/2018 - 2:26pm True about him not yelling…

True about him not yelling directly at players to humiliate them, though I do remember him going off on Nordin on the sideline to a degree that might have rubbed other players the wrong way.  I get a sense Harbaugh knows how far he can push his players.

As for the change, I agree that penalty was probably the inciting incident, but he was also toning down the sideline stuff as the season progressed; I think we just remember that moment because it was one in a series of shitty things the refs did in that game.

09/17/2018 - 12:34pm Even if the ref is telling…

Even if the ref is telling him his pads are off and he needs to get off the field, then you need to throw a flag/call a timeout there.  He simply pushed Bush aside, set his ass down, and then didn't do a thing afterwards.

I hope Harbaugh and co. send this to the conference and this guy gets an earful.  

09/17/2018 - 12:32pm I don't totally disagree,…

I don't totally disagree, but people keep saying this and I have to believe the reason they don't is (a) because if you miss then you've sailed a ball well beyond your receiver and possibly into the defender's hands, (b) while we like to think TEs are always "open", simply being tall doesn't necessarily mean it's a safe throw if the guy has to fight for it.

09/17/2018 - 12:30pm JFC, the guy was banned from…

JFC, the guy was banned from 3 Saturdays, and he's already acting like a martyr.  I hope they keep hammering him on this for the rest of the season.  

09/17/2018 - 10:49am I've never understood the…

I've never understood the issues people have with Harbaugh's sideline demeanor.  I think he's cooled down a bit as he's aged.  Not saying you are questioning it, only those people who say he doesn't seem to care (as you noted) because he isn't screaming at refs.

Brain Kelly seems like a tremendous asshole at all times and he wins a decent number of football games, but they seem to be called for an average number of penalties just like anyone else.  Conversely, Mike Riley (formerly of Nebraska) was a really decent human being and his teams lost a bunch and were called for almost exactly the same number of penalties.  

I think players like a coach who treats them as human beings, and sometimes that means yelling and sometimes that means talking.  When you go too far one way or another that's when you run into problems.  And yeah, my guess is that he realized that maybe the refs were taking out his "antics" on his team, and he's smart enough to not hurt his chances of winning by being a distraction.

09/15/2018 - 11:19pm My understanding from a…

My understanding from a couple of places is that FSU has a pretty bad offensive line, and that has killed their efficiency running the ball.  And Francois hasn't taken to the offensive system the way they sort of hoped.  It's probably all fixable, but we should all remember that FSU had to play fast and loose with NCAA standards for "wins" to even make a bowl game last year; this isn't a 1-year issue.

09/15/2018 - 8:42pm It can be BOTH a badly…

It can be BOTH a badly officiated game and a comfortable if ugly win for Michigan.  Like, just because I get comped the meal doesn't take away the fact there was a dead mouse in my sandwich.

09/15/2018 - 3:33pm James Franklin reminds me of…

James Franklin reminds me of Dantonio, who would run up the score after his team struggled for half of the game so that people wouldn't notice it.  Like, PSU should be trouncing Pitt and Kent St., but it's telling that playing even a semi-competent defense seems to really disrupt what they want to do.  

09/15/2018 - 3:29pm Listening to FSU fans talk…

Listening to FSU fans talk about their team must have been like listening to UM fans round 2006/2007.  That's a team that apparently can't recruit a QB or tackle to save their lives.

09/15/2018 - 1:35pm Are we sure Trace McSorley…

Are we sure Trace McSorley is a good passer?  It's now three games and he's barely over 50% completion.  And I know he played in a rainy game and also against a good pass defense in App St...but still, that feels like an offense Michigan will have well scouted and also able to slow down.

09/15/2018 - 1:24pm Kansas is noticeably better…

Kansas is noticeably better than Rutgers right now.  I never thought we'd be in a world like that.

09/15/2018 - 9:37am Maybe they'll find their…

Maybe they'll find their running game underneath a burned couch.

09/15/2018 - 9:37am There will be an uptick next…

There will be an uptick next week when he's off suspension, but as a general rule we as a society, especially in sports, don't care all that much about domestic abuse or sexual assaults.  We have decades of evidence that if you are still good at the sport, you'll get another chance as long as you didn't cheat within a very precise set of rules.  Honestly, the only offense that seems to stick is, apparently, protesting systemic violence against minorities.

09/14/2018 - 1:21pm Not surprising, but always…

Not surprising, but always sucks when a guy has to retire due to injury.  But he had a great career.

09/14/2018 - 12:07pm Sometimes you're scaring a…

Sometimes you're scaring a spider, sometimes you're being ripped apart by your future self.  Such is life in the Big 10.

09/13/2018 - 1:06pm Run them off the field, get…

Run them off the field, get a couple of passes in, and then set up for Nebraska.  

09/13/2018 - 1:04pm I don't know if there is any…

I don't know if there is any combination of tackles that makes life demonstrably better for Michigan this year, but I do believe that a 5th year of a guy like Mayfield is way more valuable.  So he's out.  And while JBB did fine as a run blocker, putting him on the other end of the line probably won't magically fix his pass blocking, and my guess is as a pass blocker he's no better than Runyan.  So I think Michigan should just roll with what they have, gameplan as much as possible, and hope that they can stay out of the types of massive 3rd-down holes that spell doom for them.  It's not perfect, but this is a hole that probably can't be plugged by anyone on the roster all that well.  If anything, throw Hudson out there at Runyan's spot and see what happens, though I assume they did in the practice and the end result was Hudon < Runyan.

09/13/2018 - 11:41am The point totals need to…

The point totals need to come back and matter.  That's what kept the trolls away before; you couldn't create a post unless you had something like 500 points, so unless you were a dedicated asshole (and let's be honest, most were), it took some time to get to the point where you could be disruptive, and then you'd get smacked back down, create another fake account, then upvote each other to look clever.  You could never stop them, but at least it halted the "MKs tots right man, and I'm totally not that guy, you guys." weird person around here.