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11/28/2018 - 4:20pm The perfect is the enemy of…

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

I see our 2018 offense as a compromise between competing factors:

- how much can we install with a new QB, young WR plus linemen who were bad last year?

- how can we get our QB healthy to the Game?

- what do our players do best?

We settled on the creative power-run game built for our senior RB, road-grading line, and our vast array of catchy-blocky types, which we knew could be upgraded in season by adding RPO and QB runs once we had the basics.

Even knowing what I know now, that still seems like a sensible choice.

The flip side is that if we had installed an RPO short passing offense at the start, we might have done better against OSU ... or it might not have mattered because we would have dropped a B1G game, or Shea got hurt, etc.

Overall, I think the staff went for vast improvement, rather than elite passing game, and got exactly that.

Now next year is a different set of tradeoffs, and I suspect that the results will incorporate the points you make above.


11/08/2018 - 7:53pm (No subject)


11/04/2018 - 3:45am The blocked kick was a great…

The blocked kick was a great play by the PSU player - he took a hop/short jump between two blockers without tripping or losing speed and basically appeared in the flight path.  I don't see anything wrong with Nordin there.


11/04/2018 - 3:43am The initial contact was to…

The initial contact was to his shoulder and twisted him around; secondary contact might have gotten the mask but I couldn't tell.  It wasn't clear to me on replay (and freeze-frame advance watching from home) that it did, anyway, although I was convinced live that he had been.

11/04/2018 - 3:34am After all the talk about…

After all the talk about boring safeties, I really liked the play where McSorley broke the pocket and headed for the sideline on a third and long, and Kinnel flew in out of nowhere and absolutely stuck McSorely about four yards short of the marker.  That awareness and closing speed was really nice to see.


11/02/2018 - 2:47pm You can see some of his…

You can see some of his writing at the SI Vault:


10/29/2018 - 3:02pm On the flip side, there are…

On the flip side, there are only 5-6 teams who could realistically win the national championship at all, and I certainly would give Saban an advantage over most other coaches given those teams.

Not to mention, one of the biggest reasons Alabama has that talent is because Saban was the one who recruited it in the first place.  The more I watch and follow college football, the more I think that in-game tactical decisions are visible out of proportion to their overall importance.  The real coaching work starts 2-3 years before the players set foot on campus and the bulk of it is done Sunday-Friday and not on Saturdays.

TL,DR: College coaching is much more about recruitment and development than in-game decisions, and say what you will Saban pulls in top talent and sends it to the NFL.

10/24/2018 - 4:28pm This is really Community…

This is really Community football - the team, the team, the team working together to get the job done.

It all starts with the line - good blocking makes it look like your play calling is good.  And while good play calls can reduce the number of blocks you need to win (and make them easier), winning all the blocks can make nearly anything look good.

Warriner for Ground Emperor (on the Ground)!


10/22/2018 - 3:43pm I have to say, though, the…

I have to say, though, the free verse poem is exquisite.

10/18/2018 - 5:31pm "Patterson needs to trust…

"Patterson needs to trust his protection more ..."

This is not something I thought we'd be saying this year.

"The passing approach in general needs some quicker zone-beating stuff."

Say what you will about Borges, but the route concepts we ran with him were good at this kind of thing.  Hopefully it's just a matter of reps and getting everyone on the same page for those playcalls.

Overall, this looks like even more of a hammering than it was live.  Our OL took the line of scrimmage from the snap and never gave it back.

10/14/2018 - 1:31am We actually got a little…

We actually got a little lucky that the two forced fumbles weren't recovered by Wisconsin.  Other than that, our OL more than held its own, and Higdon had some great cuts, and our QBs were ripping off long runs(!) - this was wonderful to see.


10/09/2018 - 2:39pm We will always have the…

We will always have the articles.  Live, grow stronger, write another day.

I look forward to seeing your writing here again when you're back and healthy.


09/26/2018 - 2:13pm Not frequently but it does…

Not frequently but it does happen.  Larry Bird started at Indiana (when they were perhaps the best or second-best basketball school in the country) before transferring to Indiana St.

In a similar vein, Elena Delle Donne committed to UConn before transferring to Delaware St.

Closer to home, there's Kyle Bosch.

Athletes have non-sport concerns and issues with "fit" just like anyone else.

09/23/2018 - 2:49am Gary had one play where he…

Gary had one play where he surged through 2-3 blockers and sacked the QB on a sprint rollout before he could convert the 3rd down (they had high-lowed our CB on that side and the deeper receiver was open).  Bush had both a rabid squirrel sack and that dominant chase-down of the receiver on the flare route.  Glasgow had a few nice plays.  Hutchinson got blatantly held and still forced a safety.  And the DL dominated the line of scrimmage all day.

Well done, gentlemen.  Very well done.

09/23/2018 - 2:45am Whether it was level of…

Whether it was level of competition or genuine improvement (as others have said, likely a bit of both), it was nice to see the OL dominate the line of scrimmage.  My son was marveling at Higdon's TD run and I pointed out that he had a huge hole and a great block from a WR to spring him free (DPJ, IIRC).  Lots of runs over Runyan's spot too - I will be interested to see if the improvement holds up in the UFR.

One of the deep passes featured two blitzers up the the middle and the RB (Tru Wilson, I think?) correctly ID'd the first one and stoned him, which was long enough for Patterson to get the pass off before the safety got to him.

Both our lines were keys to the win.

09/17/2018 - 4:57pm I am all for better referees…

I am all for better referees.  The problem is how we get there, and who pays.  The NCAA/conferences won't do it because a) it makes their amateur model harder to defend and b) they likely wouldn't pay enough for anyone to do this full time.  And that's before getting into the thankless nature of the job.

Right now the referees are people who love the game and do it as a hobby, so you can pay them poorly; they get rewards elsewhere.  How many of them would give up their primary job at all?  How many would do so only if they didn't have to take a pay cut in total?

At the 30K-foot-level, this is a job where the best you can hope for is to go unnoticed, and the worst is having people hunt you down for bodily mayhem even when you did your job well.  You have to really love it to sign up for that, and if it's your livelihood, you better get paid that way.


09/10/2018 - 7:16pm "The 6th Circuit Court of…

"The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals handed a major victory Friday to those who believe the nation's universities have trampled the rights of those accused of sexual assault ..."

That's the opening sentence.  Anyone have an axe left unground?

09/06/2018 - 2:17pm This is excellent - clear,…

This is excellent - clear, concise and descriptive.  Unfortunately, it is not prescriptive as in "the solution is X".

I normally shy away from "replace Joe with Jim - what's the worst that could happen?" solutions, because it can always be worse.  I suppose a true freshman might both blow these blocks and get the line calls wrong too, but there doesn't seem like there's too much left to go wrong here.

On the other hand, Runyan might improve - he does have experience and bloodlines to draw upon, so it's not out of the question for him to get better.

Either way, our problem is the same as we thought it would be, just possibly more dire, and our options are limited.

09/04/2018 - 4:09am I just ... no longer have…

I just ... no longer have expectations.  I no longer invest emotions into the outcome.  It's nice if they win, and if they lose I can shrug it off in an hour or so.  (It helps when I watch or follow along with my son; perspective and a way to work through analysis all in one.)

Between the big picture (concussions, corruption), our context (rivals ignoring bad behavior to keep their superb on-field coaches), and the shape of our failures (o-line for the last seven years - the Molk/Lewan line was our last good line, and not co-incidentally the last time we beat OSU), investing emotion in this program doesn't make me feel better, it makes me feel worse.  And life's too short for that.


09/03/2018 - 3:00am GoBlue80 has started…

GoBlue80 has started insulting other posters:


08/16/2018 - 4:13pm Years of reading Dr. Z…

Years of reading Dr. Z columns in SI taught me to watch from the lines out once the play starts.  It is amazing that I can often tell whether the play will succeed or not just on the first second or two of the line brawl, without knowing the play call.

I also watch my favorite players, but save most of the analysis for afterwards or rewind.


08/09/2018 - 5:46pm I think that after six…

I think that after six postings, the board now knows that our basketball coach, hallowed by his name, had double bypass surgery earlier this week.

08/07/2018 - 6:15pm Upvoted for the Thomas…

Upvoted for the Thomas Jefferson reference.  The original Kennedy remark is below because I try not to pass up a chance to quote it:

Extract from John F. Kennedy’s Remarks at a Dinner Honoring Nobel Prize Winners of the Western Hemisphere

April 29, 1962

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet...


07/18/2018 - 4:25pm Whether Patterson can keep…

Whether Patterson can keep up with the McSoleys and Haskins is the big question for our season,  but I am not sanguine.  We simply don't have the horses up front to inspire confidence.  We will need serious improvement from every line position in one offseason with new coaching, and not much high-grade clay to be molded.


07/03/2018 - 4:33pm There are only two sides in…

There are only two sides in the US because we almost exclusively use first-past-the-post elections.  The incentives push towards a two-party system (Duverger's Law):



06/19/2018 - 4:12pm Thanks for fixing the login…

Thanks for fixing the login issue!  That was a huge sticking point for me.


06/13/2018 - 1:49am And so it begins.  At least…

And so it begins.  At least he's a hitter and is less likely to fall apart all at once.


06/11/2018 - 5:06pm The layout needs some work. …

The layout needs some work.  Like others, the excessive whitespace and lack of actual content in most places is decreasing my desire to stay here and keep hitting page-down every other sentence.

The problem with the existing "sidebar design" (which, to be fair, existed in the old site too) is that the sidebar lists are much shorter than the content they frame.  This is exacerbated by having popular topics with lots of comments, which tend to showcase the literally glaring design choice as we scroll and scroll through sparse, centered text amid acres of white background.

I would suggest that you remove the sidebars and put those lists in a menu accessible from the floating banner instead.  Use your real estate for the things that matter - the content, and the comments.

05/21/2018 - 5:57pm On the bright side

I know several people including my spouse who have had their gallbladder removed and all have been much happier afterwards.  When it starts acting up it can be rough so hopefully that's one more hurdle on your journey to health.


04/27/2018 - 2:21am The biggest problem with in-the-aggregate studies

is that they treat Barkley as though he's just another top college RB.  If you really think he's Barry Sanders or Marshall Faulk, then you take him and don't look back.  No pick will break the bank on their rookie deals - it's the next deal that kills you.  Nothing says that you have to sign him to the next deal if he's not all that.

Yes, an elite RB isn't that much more valuable than an average RB, but so what?  That only matters if you can pick up another elite QB or pass rusher with the pick instead, and your odds of finding one of those in this draft aren't that good.  If you think Barkley has better odds of being elite than one of the QBs/pass-rushers, he's still the right pick.  It's not like any of the QB's are Luck (and look what happened to him!) or the pass-rushers are Von Miller.


04/15/2018 - 2:24am Ave Atque Vale

Hail, Moe Wagner, and farewell.  We'll always have ankle-breaking dribble-drives and multi-lingual trash-talking to remember you by ...


04/09/2018 - 1:26am Another Russian Troll


03/07/2018 - 7:58pm Winning fixes everything but the effect fades quickly

When you're winning, all those problems - recruiting, development, legal woes, scandal - it can all be ignored.  But when you do you're only as good as your last win, and the swamp gets deeper the further into the rear-view mirror that win recedes.

We are fortunate to have the coaches we do.  Take a long hard look at the coaching picture being painted so starkly between us and MSU, and hopefully we'll remember that in the doldrums when the team is still gelling and we're struggling.


02/27/2018 - 4:51pm My proposed solution is twofold

1. Olympic mode, for outside incime. If someone tells Rashan Gary that after his first year at Michigan, they'll pay $1M for his signed game-used jersey, let them. If T Boone Pickens wants to top that, let him try. Yes, people will make stupid decisions both buying and selling, just like they do everywhere else. And?

I sometimes wonder if people primarily object because they're jealous of the fact that Gary-esque athletes might make so much money in one shot while they walked uphill through the snow with no shoes because they had to sell them to make tuition this month ...

2. Lifetime health insurance for all graduate student athletes (minimum game time requirements for each sport so walk-ons don't swamp you) for DIvI/major colleges. This should syphon money out of the athletic departments and provide a Title IX compliant benefit to each athlete, while also addressing the potential long-term injuries our players currently risk. In addition, it certainly seems like a benefit that is deserved, especially considering CTE.

Yes, that's potentially a huge amount of money. Yes, the entire bottom half of Div I might give up football or drop to Div II. to So? That would be an additional benefit as far as I can tell - those schools might save money to be used for other things like their primary purpose, and the overall qualifpty of the sport would improve tremendously. An unbeaten record when playing no one ranked lower than 60 today would really mean something.

The goal is to rationalize the under the table benefits which are only hidden because the NCAA wants the cash, and to divert some of the money from the ever-growing athletic departments to the athletes.

02/27/2018 - 2:10pm I never recognize him

It always comes as a surprise when I see the credits and his name is there - he subsumed himself into each character so completely. He's the opposite of Jim Carrey.

Btw, you forgot Dracula :)

02/08/2018 - 5:17pm Almost like he was the next elite-or-potential QB to sign

Gee, who'd a thunk it?

It's a huge bet on seven games and a half-season, but the 49ers have information we don't. I will follow his future career with some interest :)

02/05/2018 - 3:12am Then consider how many of those plays are under his control

and you will start to see why Super Bowls are a lousy way to determine a legacy.  It's not like any QB gets control over their defense.  "I only design the weapons, I cannot fire them".

Brady's case for GOAT is greatly aided by the Patriots SB record but the real merit is in the regular seasons, capped off with the Year of Randy Moss.


02/05/2018 - 2:34am Free throws are important

... because they're an easy way to get better.  Larry Bird's famous advice to people wanting to know how to win more is just that "Make more free throws".

It's easy because as others have noted, for most players it is largely mental.  The way for them to get better is to practice and get in the zone where they can tune everything else out and repeat the mechanics consistently.

For some players though, it's a matter of rebuilding their mechanics because of some flaw.  Shaq rather famously had a broken wrist as a teen that healed crookedly that made his free throw shooting near-comical at times.  One solution there is to adopt the granny shot - Rick Barry shot over 90% in a long career in the NBA, and it is likely the best way in the long run:…

However, even great free throw shooters miss 1 out of 20.  Good free throw shooters miss 1 out of 4, and some back-of-the-envelope-math will tell you that something like 1 out of 20 games will end up being a brick fest for average shooting teams.

Anyway, yes, the team will be in trouble if they keep shooting like this, and unless they get better and more consistent it will likely cost them a game.  But to suggest that they're not working hard enough because they've had a couple of bad games from the charity stripe says more about the suggester than the team.


01/30/2018 - 8:41pm Ave Atque Vale, Mr Bunting

May you succeed wherever you end up.  Go Blue!


01/09/2018 - 5:40pm Hang in there

Medical science grows our knowledge daily, but we still don't understand why chiropractic care works better for some people than any more traditional care. Chronic pain and fatigue are still poorly understood and only recently have doctors made progress with differentiating and unraveling CFS, Hashimotos, Epstein-Barr and all the other subtle variations that present with similar symptoms.

I hope that you find the person who has solved the part of the puzzle most relevant to you. Good luck in your search and hopefully one day you'll be living large again.

01/09/2018 - 5:50am Thanks for the pictures

The Ministry of Silly Walks is brilliant.


01/02/2018 - 2:07am I don't have any answers ...

... especially when everyone had a hand in coughing up that lead, but I do know that if you adopt the Soviet Russia system of shooting the losing leaders/firing the losing coaches, you'll get Soviet Russia results.


12/15/2017 - 3:51pm He'll be with them through his current deal

Despite his declining numbers, he's not bad in the field and one of the few teams getting less from 2B than Detroit was LAA.  He's a modest improvement with no on-field cost, and the Angels are clearly going to be a contender; pairing Otani with Trout adds an all-world talent to last year's playoff team.  The deal makes a lot of sense for them unless he falls off a cliff (and 2B increasingly tend to crater at his age).

Overall, it's a win-win and hopefully a win for Kinsler too.



12/14/2017 - 5:10am This is sadly a fair return for Kinsler

He's being paid a ton, coming off his worst year ever at the plate, and is on the wrong side of the 2B age curve.  The Angels sent over a 19-year-old pitcher with mid-90s stuff and an OF who held his own in AA at 23, and we're not sending any money back.

That might even be more than Kinsler was worth.

If we'd wanted more talent, we would have covered Kinsler's salary (or at least a piece of it).

I don't see anyone else offering more, and we could have done worse, so I think it's a painful but necessary step.


12/11/2017 - 3:10am This I can totally get behind

I acknowledge that Morris's case is among the weakest of any in the Hall of Fame and don't give a shit.

That is exactly how I feel.  That Game 7 will always be a bravura performance, and watching his no-hitter against the White Sox in Chicago is one of my treasured baseball memories.

Trammell was simply overshadowed by Cal Ripken and Robin Yount, much as Tim Raines was unlucky to be the second-greatest leadoff hitter of all time ... playing at the same time as Rickey Henderson, the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.  All Tram needed was time to get people to appreciate that three great shortstops had played at the same time.

Hopefully that's all that Whitaker needs as well, is time.



12/09/2017 - 2:37pm Back from down four with 50 seconds to go

And they did it with decent to good defense. Time and again I saw UCLA players drive and have nowhere to go with the ball because the roller was covered. A few steals and an air ball later, and Michigan had a 12-0 run to tie the game and put up a lead in OT.

Go Blue!

12/06/2017 - 5:07pm Peters goals are not necessarily all Michigan's goals

That's why he might leave. For example, if Peters wants to be an NFL QB, he will need two years as a starter somewhere with good production, or one year with amazing production. If Patterson transfers, that goal is in jeopardy. Peters might decide that the best way to achieve that goal is to go somewhere else.

Just as Harbaugh wants everyone to compete and work harder to achieve team goals, Peters could be working hard and making decisions for his own goals. That doesn't make him afraid to compete or less of a player/leader/human, it makes him someone who makes a decision about what's best for him. (Since its likely to be unpopular it could point to more courage than the anonymous people who would be calling him out on the Internet.)

Peters should decide what's best for him, not what's best for us. That's why he might leave if Patterson comes.

12/04/2017 - 5:52pm The issue is whether we end up better more of the time

For example, we take Patterson, he wins the job and Peters transfers. Are we better?

Or we take Patterson, and Milton bails. We lose out on 2019 recruits because they don't want to sit for two years before having a shot.

Obviously we're better if he comes in and no one leaves or is deterred by the depth chart. It's the coaches job to determine which scenarios are how likely and what the picture looks like taking all possibilities into account.

12/01/2017 - 6:06pm And we had decent line play in that game

We're losing Cole, who passed the eye test, and JBB went out after paving the way for a good running day.

Not to mention that we might have had better QB play if our line (and RBs) hadn't contributed to our 3rd string QB starting ...

12/01/2017 - 5:55pm This is far more common than most people realize

We grieve with thee, and grieve anew for our own losses.

As you're now seeing, many people have similar stories, myself included. Like most of the stories above, ours also had a happy outcome (our son is 9.5). My advice is also similar. Take your time to process and grieve, enjoy your wedding and the life in front in front of you when you're ready.