Member for

3 years 8 months

Recent Comments

Date Title Body
02/01/2019 - 1:13pm Johnson thought 15% of…

Johnson thought 15% of Michigan's scholarship players were tight ends?!  Only in Harbaugh's dreams...

01/14/2019 - 10:15am Loved the content of this…

Loved the content of this podcast!  Wish the sound quality were a bit better.

01/02/2019 - 1:45pm I don't disagree that…

I don't disagree that Michigan needs to make changes.  If you'll remember last year, we were saying the same thing about the offensive line coaching and how Harbaugh wasn't talking about fixing the problem, and then WHAM.  Both o-line coaches gone and the new hire has totally turned around the line.

I just don't get the assumption that the Harbaugh year 4 team must represent basically the team he will give us in every future year.  Does he lose the ability to make radical changes or something?  And even without those, right now there's every reason to think the offense will be noticeably better next year, with a good returning QB and the second year of Warinner coaching o-line.  

01/02/2019 - 11:08am It's hard to know how to…

It's hard to know how to talk about this, no?  I feel like I was under a weird delusion before the game, something like, eh, we beat Florida last year.  This year's team was better.  So it probably won't make that much difference that we've got two first-round draft picks sitting out on defense, as well as our all-Big Ten running back.  Right?

No, duh, Florida was really a top 10 team, and without those players, we ... well, maybe we could have squeaked out a win if we hadn't had two more major injuries on defense during the game, in more or less the positions we were already missing our star players?  We certainly hung better with them in the first quarter than the third.

Is that an excuse or a reason?  I never know.  Chase isn't making excuses, and he isn't blaming players, but that makes it really hard to say anything meaningful.  Kudos to him for not descending into blaming people.   And for giving his all for the team.

12/28/2018 - 5:19pm I keep thinking we need…

I keep thinking we need another term than BPONE now.  Because this is taking a bad loss in a good season and magnifying it until it is the only thing you can see.

Giving up on a 10-win team whose only loses are to top 10 teams on the road is just nuts...

12/14/2018 - 2:54pm "No longer the powerhouse of…

"No longer the powerhouse of the 90s and early 2000s either."

I'm not sure how you're evaluating this?  Lloyd's national championship year was definitely awesome, as was his dominance over John Cooper's OSU.

But he only had two seasons with more than 10 wins.  He had five seasons (38% of 'em) with 4+ losses, and another five with 3 losses.

Harbaugh doesn't have a national championship yet.  Other than that, his record here fits right in with Lloyd's.  (Before you say "but OSU" -- Lloyd absolutely did dominate Cooper (5-1!).  But he went a rather less impressive 1-6 against Tressel.)

12/14/2018 - 10:18am <raises hand> I'm interested…

<raises hand> I'm interested in hearing about the Peach Bowl.

I mean, I'm excited about basketball, but as I understand it, we're not playing anyone of interest until after the Peach Bowl, right?  Just talking about how the guys might play when we get to see good opposition again next year isn't that interesting to me.

And football is the sport I love.

I guess this does bring up a good question.  Are bowl games dead now that we have playoffs?  I mean, here we are, #7 team in the country, playing in one of the very top non-playoff bowl games, and much of the fanbase including Brian just seem to have no interest.  Plus of course we have some of our best players literally checking out.  Nothing against them, it's perfectly understandable, but it does make it all feel like a flashy exhibition game.  Except it will make everyone feel even more shirty if we lose, which isn't right if it's an exhibition game.  I dunno...

11/30/2018 - 6:55am My freshman year too.

My freshman year too.

Though looking back at it: the '88 football team's actual record was 9-2-1.  We lost our first two games against good opponents (Notre Dame and #1 (at the time, #2 at the end) Miami), then tied Iowa (6-4-3 for the season!) in October.  But we won our last six games, including narrowly scraping by a terrible (4-6-1) Ohio State team, which felt GREAT.

It's weird, actually.  In a lot of ways, that football season is almost indistinguishable from the 2016 season.  Two losses by a total of 3 points plus a tie, vs two losses by a total of 2 points plus a 2OT loss.  Both seasons with two losses to good teams, plus trouble from a not good Iowa team (6-4-3 / 8-5).

But wow, having all your losses over in September feels very different from having them all in the last four games of the season...



11/26/2018 - 7:05pm I'd really love for us to…

I'd really love for us to beat Meyer at least once.  Then he can go away and things can get back towards "normal".

11/23/2018 - 4:42pm I dunno, for me it's not…

I dunno, for me it's not BPONE, it's just history.  I've been an active fan for 40 years or so, and my memory is full of times where the team that, on paper ahead of time, should have won The Game lost.  (And by no means were these all losses for us -- many times in the good old "John Cooper" days it was Michigan stealing The Game.)

This is 100% never a game to take for granted -- and that uncertainty is especially worrying right now because we want it so much.

11/19/2018 - 11:49am I was wondering about this…

I was wondering about this while listening to the discussion of the last drive of the first half.  It made me wonder if instead of 2 minute drills and tempo, our offense practices have been focusing on having competent blocking and getting Patterson up to speed with our system.

And then imagine how things might be when our baseline is decent blocking and a quarterback who has been in the system a couple of years...

11/19/2018 - 11:42am Not to put too fine a point…

Not to put too fine a point on it, the original poster said absolutely none of that.  He didn't allege a conspiracy against Michigan or anything like that.  He said Big 10 officiating sucks.  I agree, at least for O'Neill.  You apparently also agree.  Seth mentions (I think in this very podcast) the O'Neill crew is terrible on the non-Michigan games he watches for FFFF.

The question he considered was, how do we get the Big 10 to improve in this aspect?

11/07/2018 - 12:24pm Nine games into the season…

Nine games into the season AND THE ESTABLISHED BACKUP QB WAS JUST HURT.  A competition now doesn't seem that odd considering that.

Besides, I think we've pretty much established that Harbaugh is going to say there's a competition right up until the moment there's no longer anything to be gained by saying that.  Gives the players an incentive to try harder and opposing coaches one more thing they have to think about preparing for.

11/05/2018 - 10:40am I think the offsetting…

I think the offsetting penalty thing was the first exception here:

If live-ball fouls by both teams are reported to the referee, the fouls offset and the down is repeated. (A.R. 10-1-4:I and VII) Any player who commits a foul that mandates disqualification must leave the game. Exceptions:


  1. When there is a change of team possession during a down, and the team last gaining possession had not fouled before last gaining possession, it may refuse offsetting fouls and thereby retain possession after completion of the penalty for its foul. (A.R. 10-1-4:II-VII)
11/02/2018 - 9:25pm Yes.  Checked the podcast…

Yes.  Checked the podcast version I normally get and the version embedded in the post, and they're both the cutoff at the same point.

10/26/2018 - 10:06am Finally figured out that…

Finally figured out that when I think I'm hearing the unlikely name "Ralph [properly pronounced almost "Rafe"] Vaughn Williams" on MSU's defensive line, it's actually a more reasonable Raquan Williams.

10/15/2018 - 3:52pm At one point in the second…

At one point in the second half, they had what I *think* was supposed to be a rehash of Wisconsin's better offensive plays.  (I was watching with the volume pretty low, and had difficulty following the commentators -- not much of a problem in general!)  I swear it looked like it might have been a "here's a bunch of blatant non-calls of holding" highlight reel -- sort of "Yes, Wisconsin's offense shows promise if they tackle Winovich." 

10/10/2018 - 12:11pm I'm very confused by the…

I'm very confused by the first play here?  "Maryland opens with an extra (ineligible) offensive tackle to Winovich's side and rolls the other way. Winovich splits both OTs and pressures."  What I'm seeing in the video (might be the wrong video?) is very definitely just two players on Winovich's side of the center.  I guess they might have substituted a tackle for a guard to make two tackles on his side, but that seems unlikely?  Whoever they are, he certainly does split them nicely.

10/08/2018 - 1:49pm I'm confused, listened to…

I'm confused, listened to the podcast before watching the game today.  How is it possible that we had a first down after the penalty was assessed against DPJ, but after they realized that there was a targeting penalty against Maryland, the penalties offset and it was down over?

Okay, just checked the rules, and this is what is says: "If live-ball fouls by both teams are reported to the referee, the fouls offset and the down is repeated (A.R. 10-1-4-I and VII). Any player who commits a foul that mandates disqualification must leave the game."  So I guess the refs got it right.

But it sure seems weird that assessing a penalty against the OTHER TEAM can make your situation markedly worse.

10/04/2018 - 12:22pm Got all excited at the…

Got all excited at the prospect of seeing SMU's tackle score the winning points, but actually 88 is a tight end who lined up at tackle, right?

10/03/2018 - 12:49pm "First win in 3 years vs. ND…

"First win in 3 years vs. ND."  Thought that couldn't be right, but it was, because we tied them in 1992.  (Off-by-one error in my brain, I think I was forgetting that since I graduated in '92, my senior year ND game was the '91 game.)

So actually, in my time as a student, we played ND every year.  Won in '91, tied in '92, lost '88, '89, '90, and '93.  Ugh.

09/11/2018 - 11:01am I was pondering along these…

I was pondering along these lines the other day, and came to the conclusion I was probably over-thinking it.  If there's a good chance a player might be needed later in the season, then surely it makes more sense to get him playing time now so he's more ready when needed?  If he's needed, then you burn the red shirt.

The only strategy that stuck me as potentially useful (beyond the straightforward approach) was maybe reserving good up-and-coming players so that most of their games are against the BEST teams we face?  But you'd have to be pretty sure they were already playing at a high level and not likely to leave early to go pro.

09/05/2018 - 12:47pm I can't speak to NCAA Div-I…

I can't speak to NCAA Div-I lineman skills directly, but I did play both OL and DL in high school.  For OL, we had a playbook, maybe ten pages long, and we had to know what our blocking responsibility was for every play in the book.  Ideally we would know what EVERY offensive lineman's responsibility was for every play -- there was one period in junior year where I was the starting left tackle one game, then played center for the next three days in practice, and ended up being the starting right tackle on Friday.

On the other side, I was in the inside of the defensive line for the goal line package.  I don't remember any positional training at all, my job was basically to go in there and make sure nobody on the offense was able to move downfield within my arm span.

I'm sure the college game has a lot more going on, but I'm pretty sure the ratio of required knowledge for the two sides is about the same.

09/04/2018 - 9:25pm It's really important to…

It's really important to remember that tough non-conference schedules came with routine losses to those teams -- a quick check shows there were, I think, three seasons from 1980-1992 that we got through September without a loss.

09/04/2018 - 9:18pm Note too that Bo's last…

Note too that Bo's last three seasons (8-4 / 9-2-1 / 10-2) opened with losses to Notre Dame.  The first of those (1987) was not a good year, but the other two we were undefeated in our conference games and won the Big Ten.

08/22/2018 - 11:16am Are you still sore about…

Are you still sore about 1990?  I definitely am.  And hadn't seen this video before, with the extended audio of Mo berating the officials for the terrible non-call.

05/03/2018 - 9:03am My guess based on the same

My guess based on the same information was exactly the opposite. It seems to me it's entirely plausible that they did an okay (or at least, as good as could be expected considering our awesome defense) job blocking against our defensive scheme.  After all, they had months to learn how to do it.

But then when the season started and they had to face a difference defense every week, the glaring holes became apparent.  Because they only had the blocking schemes learned just enough to look like they knew what they were doing against one defense -- the one they never actually played in a game.

01/15/2018 - 5:23pm I remember being obsessed

I remember being obsessed with it for months afterward, even though I suspect at least 50% of it went straight over my head.

On the whole, though, Brian is wildy wrong to say cartoons for kids aren't getting better.  I regret it every time my life carries me away from the episode of Phineas and Ferb, Milo Murphy's Law, or Star Wars: Rebels my son is watching -- any of those is vastly better than any Saturday morning TV cartoon I remember from the 70s.  (WIth the exception of the classic Chuck Jones stuff made in the 40s and 50s, of course.)

And movies, OMG!  The first nine years of my life, the only animated movies for kids worth mentioning were (Disney's) Robin Hood, The Rescuers, and The Hobbit.  Pretty certain there's been at least one animated kid's movie better than any of those every single year of my son's life.

01/02/2018 - 11:48am I Would Love to See Smart Commentary

Smart commentary is where MGoBlog shines, and letting its voice be drowned out by "toxic-ass fanbase screaming" is a terrible thing.

For instance, the postgame post mentioned "playing behind a line down three starters by halftime".  I missed this detail during the game, and don't know what it means.  But now that I look, I see… explains that Ben Bredeson and Juwann Bushell-Beatty were not able to play, and Patrick Kugler went out by halftime.

That seems a pretty major detail that I don't hear many people mentioning.  I know the rabid portion of the fanbase hates it when you make "excuses", but they seem to have a hard time distinguishing excuses from, you know, REASONS.  Me, I want to understand what's going on, and yes, that means looking for reasons.

I just peeked at ESPN's box score summary and the offensve UFR for the Florida.  Guess what?  Our leading passer, our leading reciever, our leading rusher from that game -- NONE of them played in this bowl game.  Also the #1 fullback and the #3 reciever from that game were absent yesterday.  It's a bit fuzzy, but it looks like to a first approximation more than 50% of the starting offense we played against Florida did not play yesterday.

12/08/2017 - 2:12pm My first reaction was that

My first reaction was that this board could easily put together funding to get Mo insurance for the game, or at least legal advice about it --- but that's probably violating multiple NCAA rules, isn't it?

12/08/2017 - 9:30am I know the first thing I did

I know the first thing I did when I opened up this page (after listening to the podcast) was look for a link to the video:

12/06/2017 - 10:29pm Just looked it up -- this

Just looked it up -- this explosion killed more than twice as many Canadians as died at Dieppe.  As always I've just had trouble finding the number of Newfoundlanders who died at the Somme, but they only had 700-something troops there total, and 900-something Canadians died at Dieppe, so even if you counted Newfoundland as part of Canada then for these purposes, Dieppe was much more disastrous in terms of raw numbers.

(The Royal Newfoundland Regiment loss was crazy because it was such a huge percentage of the troops Newfoundland sent to the war, all gone in one charge.  If I just did the math correctly, something like 0.4% of the total male population of Newfoundland was killed or wounded that day.)

11/27/2017 - 2:47pm I believe it happened in

I believe it happened in 1984, the year Harbough was injured half of the season.  We had three guys start two or more games that year.  I don't remember the details more fully (though I was in my second decade of being a Michigan football the) but we went 6-6 for the season.

11/25/2017 - 6:36pm Well, first, the specific. 

Well, first, the specific.  You are completely ignoring context.  Yes, it's ten years with one really good (or really lucky) year in there.  But since Harbaugh took over, we are 10-3, 10-3, and 8-4.  These seasons would have been pretty unremarkable seasons under Lloyd or Mo -- there were only 2 times in their combined runs where we had more than 10 wins in a season, and there were 7 seasons with 4 loses.  In a fairly real sense, Harbaugh already has the team back where it was under those guys.

So, yeah, so during Harbaugh's three years we lost to OSU, which SUCKS.  But if you look at the games, each time OSU had a top ten team.  We got blown out the first year.  Last year we literally came within a play.  This year we walked in there with the youngest team we are likely to have any time in the foreseeable future, with multiple key injuries on top of that.  We then sustained multiple additional injuries in the course of the game.  And we still had the ball with a very real chance to take back the lead with 2:45 left in the game.

If you look at that and all you take away from it is "we lost three times in a row to OSU"..... wow.

Then there's the big picture.  I've seen soul-crushing things, and if anything, I've been lucky in this life.  One good friend's wife died of pneumonia, leaving him the single parent of an elementary school-aged kid.  Another friend was taken by cancer, leaving three school-aged children behind.  There's the parents whose kids have major learning disabilities that mean there's a pretty good chance they will never be able to live independently.  That stuff?  That's soul-crushing.

My alma mater losing to their archrivals?  When it's close, we played hard, and we could have won?  Yeah, that stings.  It's annoying exactly BECAUSE WE COULD HAVE WON.  It is not even vaguely close to soul-crushing or numbing.

11/24/2017 - 10:23pm I've watched it a bunch of

I've watched it a bunch of times now, and I've never been convinced it's a block in the back.  There's some sort of contact, and then it looks like our guy (#1, dunno which of the two it is) stumbles.  Or is there something else in the play I'm not seeing that's what everyone is complaining about?

(On the flip side, the tackle that knocked Peters out of the game did look to me like there was something dodgy on there -- like the dude made a great and possibly injurious tackle, but then jammed Peters' head into the ground a little bit extra at the end of it.)


11/21/2017 - 2:40pm Our Rivals

What killed me was someone on one of the previous comment threads bitching about the the ten year record against our rivals, as if we should blame Harbaugh for the seven previous years which were the disaster that required us to bring him in to turn things around.

Or -- admittedly I don't know how to prove this one way or the other without more evidence -- the people complaining about how bad our coaching is, how we're consistenly getting out-coached.  Harbuagh's coaches took what was the youngest team in the country bofore getting multiple leading players knocked out in key skill positions, and had them going toe-to-toe with the #5 team in the country for 2.5 quarters, right up until the point where the guy who shouldn't have been playing QB for another season or two was also knocked out of the game.  At a first glance, that seems like it could easily have been the product of a great coaching staff.  Maybe the reason they aren't making brilliant RPS plays out the wazoo on offense is they are effectively coaching with both hands tied behind their back right now....

11/20/2017 - 2:54pm 6-6 season

It's actually the 6-6 season there that catches my eye.  That was the year (1984 I think) QB Harbaugh was knocked out for most of the season and so there were two other QBs who had multiple starts.  I was actively following Michigan football that year -- it was my JV year of high school football -- and when I looked up the names of those other two QBs last week, I had zero memory of either of them.

At least superficially -- I obviously don't have an in-depth memory of the season -- that year looks like it might be comperable to this year in terms of injury / lack of depth problems.  Clearly this season the team did better record-wise.  In the '84 team's defense, I think their wins generally had a better record than our wins this year.

I'd be really interested if someone had a more detailed comparison of the two seasons.

11/20/2017 - 1:40pm Ace Tweeting

Just wanted to say I really appreciate Ace's tweeting during the game.  Circumstances are such that I don't usually have anyone who knows football to watch the game with, and having the chatter of a sensible person also following the game is a huge plus for me.

11/16/2017 - 1:42pm "Acceptable"

I just ran some numbers to get perspective.  The overall winning percentage of the previous five coaches was .608 (Hoke), .405 (RichRod), .753 (Carr), .758 (Mo), .796 (Bo).

If we lose out the remainder of the season (including bowl game), Harbaugh's record here will be .717.  If we lose to Wisconsin and OSU but win a bowl game, .743.  Either way, he's still very significantly better than the previous two guys, and if we win the bowl game, he's very close to the two before that.

And that's with a team this year which was incredibly young even before our starting quarterback got knocked out for the season.  If you pick, say, 1984 as a comperable season, 2017 has already seen us get two more wins than Bo did that year.

Long term, hell yes I want Harbuagh's winning percentage to look more like Bo's, ideally even better.  But I've no problem waiting until all the Hoke players are out of the system before starting to get worried about things.

11/04/2017 - 8:07pm Man, I forget most people

Man, I forget most people didn't spend years playing the piano music to the Victors, which included the lyrics to all the sections of the march, and not just the trio that everyone knows.  They're actually pretty nice, it's a shame they're not heard more often.

PS My possibly inaccurate memory says it's "Far we their praises sing"... (checks and I'm right!)

10/27/2017 - 3:44pm Yup.
Scoring Plays ARTICLE 1.


Scoring Plays ARTICLE 1. The point value of scoring plays shall be:

  • Touchdown — 6 Points
  • Field Goal — 3 Points
  • Safety (points awarded to opponent) — 2 Points
  • Successful Try: Touchdown — 2 Points
  • Successful Try: Field Goal or Safety — 1 Point

Looking over the rules, I'm not sure if the method Seth suggested (kicking a field goal on the other team's try) actually works?  But then, I don't remember ever hearing of the Safety on Try possibility before today, so who knows?

10/13/2017 - 2:16pm Radio Calls

My favorite radio call that I remember happening was some time the first half of the 1980s.  "That's Rodgers and Hammerstein on the tackle."  I believe it was Frank Beckmann?  I just remember the call and then racous laughter for 10-20 seconds and "I've been waiting all season for a chance to call that."

(Mind you, we listened to pretty much every game we weren't at (which was most of them) from as early as I can remember until around the time I got season tickets in '88.  If the game was on TV, it was still pretty common for us to have the sound down and the radio on.  I just don't remember the details of things like the '79 Indian game.  Though in that case, I know my dad was at the game, and it's possible I was as well.  Getting old is hard on the memory.)

09/11/2017 - 12:19pm Funny, I just assumed we were

Funny, I just assumed we were getting "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" because the morning after an OSU loss is beautiful, and of course there was the "obvious" Oklahoma connection.  Never occurred to me they might just have picked the wrong track from the album!

Now I'm wondering what kind of justification my brain would have formed if they'd accidentally gotten "I'm jist a girl who cain't say no" instead...

09/08/2017 - 10:25am Rules Change

Thought I remembered something had changed since 1973, and this article seems to confirm:

(TL;DR: NCAA narrowed the goalposts' width by nearly 5 feet in 1991.)

09/06/2017 - 3:13pm "five consecutive Big Ten

"five consecutive Big Ten Titles from 1988-1992"

I feel vaguely like I should take credit for that, except I was still a student in 1993 when they didn't.  Guess I slipped up that year!  (Not that I did anything but watch the games, mind you.)

Now I'm scratching my head trying to remember if I was at this game or not.  We had season tickets back then, but my cousin got married the Saturday of a Colorado game in the 90s.  I just don't remember what year it was, other than it was sometime after the one we lost on the last second Hail Mary (I was present for that debacle) and I was still somewhat traumitized by the thought of playing CU.

08/24/2017 - 11:51am Theme Music

And just to provide additional context to copacetic's helpful link: it was the theme music to "Michigan Reply" for at least a decade.  And back then, Michigan Reply was absolutely essential viewing for the Michigan football fan, because it was the average fan's only chance to hear Bo's opinion on what had happened on the best and worst plays of the game.  Plus in the 70s and early 80s most of the games were not televised, there was no ESPN, and at best you might see a minute coverage on the evening news.  So tuning in to Michigan Reply Sunday morning let you actually see the highlights and lowlights that you'd heard on the radio the day before.

06/22/2017 - 12:50pm Radically Undersized

"a radically undersized DT in high school"

When I was a sophmore, our varsity football team made it to the Michigan class B semi-finals.  Our star nose tackle wrestled (very, very well) at 135 and was an unholy terror on the football field, strong and fast and low to the ground.

06/07/2017 - 2:49pm Quiz Bowl Stories

My favorite positive Quiz Bowl story -- early on in the season we'd seen three or four questions about lumber, and the answer was always "64 board feet", and we had no idea how to calculate board feet.  Towards the end of the season we're trying to come from behind in a match and quickly running out of time.  Our bonus question -- the ones that normally have no time pressure -- starts "How many board feet" and our captain instantly evaluates the situtation and cuts in with "64", figuring that either it's the same question as before and that's the answer, or we have no idea how to calculate it and will not get it right, and either way speed is of the essence.  The look on the everyone else's face as we got the question right without having actually heard any numeric details of the question was priceless.

03/27/2017 - 10:52am How Many Teams in Big 10?

Hotel ad keeps saying there are 13 conference rooms, one for each team in the Big Ten.  Is it supposed to be one for each OTHER team in the Big Ten?  Or have we eliminated one of the Big Ten teams?  (I vote for Michigan State.)

03/15/2017 - 10:52am Podcast End missing?

Maybe it's just the podcasting software I'm using, but Brian (I think) is cut off in mid sentence just after the closing music cue has started and there's just silence -- my software thinks there's a minute left, but there's nothing there at all.

Missing just the last minute is about a best possible scenario for something going wrong, mind you.