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Recent Comments

Date Title Body
08/13/2018 - 11:48am Yes, this is exactly my…

Yes, this is exactly my point of view. 

07/06/2018 - 9:03pm I  don't think UM offered…

I  don't think UM offered and I don't think he visited, at least by my memory. I think he was strictly an Under Armor guy---at least that were the rumors at the time. Wisconsin offered, OKSU, numerous others. But not UM. But I think it came down to the home school and MD.  

07/03/2018 - 12:35am I have had the pleasure of…

I have had the pleasure of talking to Brian some. Some might say a lot.

While I might characterize myself as "hard left," I doubt if I would say that about Brian, though, of course, he can speak for himself. From my POV Brian is an ultimate rationalist (unlike me) and his POVs may fall all over the political spectrum. I have never found him to be knee jerk in his opinions.

07/03/2018 - 12:26am Glad you got it in.

My…

Glad you got it in.

My favorite UM judge is Frank Murphy, who wrote the (brilliant and prescient) opinion in Korematsu. I would hope a reading of that dissent (IIRC Douglass and Black were in the majority; Rutledge, as usual, concurred with Murphy) would make UM grads proud.

If, say, Scalia were a UM grad, I would find it humiliating. Others, I understand, would feel differently. It makes me feel good (perhaps not rationally) that Clarence Darrow attended UM Law. Not so great that Ann Coulter (who despised UM) did, though her hatred of UM mitigates my own feelings to some degree.

07/02/2018 - 4:20pm Thank you for this, Brian.

Thank you for this, Brian.

I am always curious about your opinions on sports (even soccer) and politics. 

And this is more comprehensive than what I will see elsewhere.

 

06/24/2018 - 7:24pm Thank you. Note that JH…

Thank you. Note that JH continued to offer Falcon as a medical. Falcon declined and then was injured quickly at his new destination. WMU?

06/13/2018 - 1:18am Seth:

Great work, truly.

Seth:

Great work, truly.

The most obvious omission I see is Len Ford, who was a main cog in the Mad Magicians and is in the UM and NFL HOFs. He was the best defender on the Browns/Rams great championship teams.

Alas, I saw Ford play and he died before many on this board were born.

Others I would think about are James Baird, QB from the 1890s who led the Wolverines in the game that put them on the national map---the Cornell win in 1894; Horace Prettyman, who actually could play and George Jewett, the first great UM RB.

Friedman is the most consequential player in football history. He changed the college and pro games and kept the NFL from falling into the dumper. The fact he was a generational defender and placekicker and return man only adds to what he accomplished as the best passer of his time and a fine runner. His numbers dwarf any other QB of the time, until the ball was changed and Baugh and Luckman showed up.

 

 

06/02/2018 - 3:57pm Thank you

 for Ella, at last.

No one has ever compared, but I would inclue Pavoratti and UM Grad Jessye Norman on the list.

 

05/22/2018 - 7:13pm and..

who knows, maybe a withering away of the state.

05/06/2018 - 3:42pm Roger Angell's

writings are the best of a strong genre.

Nothing beats Five Seasons or The Summer Game.

05/01/2018 - 2:46pm If you want just the Video Tapes

they are yours.

No strings attached.

Just don't tell me if you dump them in the trash.

 

CR

 

 

05/01/2018 - 2:35pm Will check

to see if I have any of these and get back if I do.

CR

04/13/2018 - 7:30pm Perhaps...

I should have said he came across as genuine and likeable. I didn't intend to imply anyhting beyond that. He may be a great coach. Or not. I don't know. My guess is he is at least cmpetent.

04/02/2018 - 7:23pm Wonderful writing

again,from a fine man.

Thanks, Seth..

03/30/2018 - 10:51am Yes, you are right...

Joe Johnson needs to be in the conversation, and your description is apt. Green was a good defender, too, but not quite at the level of JJ, Grant or Simpson. No one was ever faster than Green.  I always seem to forget about JJ since I was in grad school in Boston for much of his career. So, thanks for the addition/correction.

Orr was absolutely committed to D (and JIm Dutcher was a major part of that) and was a terrific coach (and person). The best coach we had until JB, though I never saw Ozzie Cowles' slow break.

03/26/2018 - 10:46pm We have

a limited history with these two, other than the fsu game..However, we had Kimble for Texas this year and he was fine. Had McCall for LVille last year and he was OK in that one.

03/26/2018 - 10:11pm I don't trust...

Higgins any more than Phil Bova and Bova was the worst ref (sinceJim Bain) to ever work a UM game..

 

03/26/2018 - 10:03pm Seth...

I had some questions about Wymer from the past, but I think he has given us fair games in the past 3 years. I think we are something like 7-7 against real competition in games he has called. in 2015-18.We had him in the round of 32 this year and I thought he was very good.

We also get Oglesby routinely and I think he is a very solid ref. Always happy to see him.

Reffing BB is hard and it is impossible not to make mistakes, but I think Oglesby is very good and Wymer---I have come to believe has no agenda, is not putting his finger on the scales.

03/23/2018 - 7:17am I appreciate the forgiveness...

Go Blue. Beat FSU.

03/22/2018 - 6:03pm hvsiii

I cocede, at times I may have overstated the 6 man thing. But I stand by the idea that teams with short benches tend to over achieve. This was true for UM's teams in the 70s and for all of Ray Meyer's DePaul teams. Maybe Syracuse this year.I haven't made any study and am aware of none. [I also concede, I mention the 6 man thing now and again since it drives Brian to distraction. Don't tell him I said this.]

Beilein's preference seems to be for a short-ish bench, as an aside. He seems to prefer a 7 man rotation, 8 at most. 

I am willing to be disabused of this but might not Izzo have been better with a short bench against Syracuse?

I just don't buy the "getting tired" thing. Just doesn't fit with my experience as a 20 year old. Though I am not sure I can recall that long ago.

03/22/2018 - 5:49pm BB

I hope to be wrong about a lot of what I said today.

03/22/2018 - 5:46pm Bronxblue..

...this is not exactly what I said. At least I hope not. Over the course of the season UM has been a better team than TAM. No question. The season long data supports a UM win. I believe in KenPom's prediction that UM will win the game. As an abstraaction and I sure hope KP is correct. Better, I hope BC is correct that UM wins this one easily. 

My concern may well be "what have you done for me lately," i concede. I watched a terrific UM D weather two awful offensive games. I watched an athletic UNC team, one UM seemed overmatched by, get physically dominated by TAM. Now, certainly, UNC couldn't put the ball in the ocean and it may be a complete one-off. But it didn't feel that way to me.

Watching the games gave me pause and makes me somewhat pessimistic. Now, I hope to be wrong. I hope to be called out on an idiotic opinion. I hope to be a chump.

So, I think UM is a better team---looking to the work of the season. But the way boh teams played this last weekend, i dunno.  

03/09/2018 - 1:31am As of this...

moment UM is #7 in the AP and #9 in KenPom and #12 in the RPI. Looks like a 3 seed to me.

Purdue is #9 in the RPI and MSU is #15.

Of the various metrics I think the RPI is the most heavily weighted..

02/15/2018 - 1:23pm You...

are right. I apologize for my role in this.

Plus, my wife agrees with you (re me).

She has had enough eye rolling for one lifetime.

02/09/2018 - 11:11pm Hey GB in MN

..it is a privilege and that's no BS. I get the chance to talk to a lot Michigan fans with Brian, Sam and Ed. What other UM fan wouldn't jump at the opportuniy---getting up at 3 AM or otherwise.I am blessed. 

But I appreciate the empathy.

02/09/2018 - 8:05pm Exactly...

...and thank you.

Plainly, anyone can "pick" a three star team that will demolish a 5 star team with after-the-fact knowledge. So, the question is, is there some coach who has the ability to do this before the fact? Certainly, no. But what if there is a coach who has some success rate beyond what the recruting services provide? What if, say, Jim Harbaugh or Mark Dantonio is better at evaluating talent than, say Rivals? And what if, as some coaches have suggested [Brad Lawig, IIRC] it is possible for coaches to jake the system by turning 3 star guys into 5 star guys, and minimizing the potentials of others?

Certainly, this particular playing field has frictions---but there is no doubt that a person with perfect knowlege would (easily) beat the services. So, what about well less than perfect knowledge but still better than the services? Shouldn't we assume, after all, that Jim Harbaugh might be a better evaluator of future success than many of the guys who do this for the services?

02/09/2018 - 2:50pm Don..

...thanks for making my point in a different and better way.

02/09/2018 - 1:09pm Brenda...

...thanks for remembering that occasionally I have said something that actually made sense. Or came to frution. I will be the first to concede that I have also said stuff that was idiotic or just plain wrong. Predicting the future is a treacherous matter.I hope I am 55% to date, but concede it might be 45%

Here's one prediction I made a few years back. That UM fans might eventually regret the hiring of Jim Harbaugh because I saw his offense being one that would be hard to sustain; that most HS teams were running spreads and it was a lot easier to find "Denards" than "Tom Bradys." I said Tom Herman would be a better choice; that I felt he had a better opportunity to run an offense that would be routinely good; sustainable..

Now, this prediction was roundly decried by Brian, Sam and Ed. And why not?Off air, at least, they said I was a dope.  My opinion seemed contrarian just to that end. But it wasn't intended that way. I preferred Tom Herman. I thought he was UM's best alternative at that moment.

I sure as hell hope Harbaugh works out. Certainly, he has brought great defense to Ann Arbor. I am hopeful about offense, but worried. Let's see what we see in the spring.

Thanks for listening to us. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all persons who listen, even those who might not care much for me. 

02/09/2018 - 12:45pm Thank you...

...UM1944, for more accurately characterizing my POV. I have never said recruiting ratings are meaningless or not relevant or without predictive value. To the contrary, I think they are relevant and do have predictive value. That said, most of the good college players in any year will not be 5 or 4 star guys since, plainly, there are only about 300 such guys in any year. Plus, some high percentage of these guys crap out. Half or more. 

If you take a random group of four stars, they will outperform a random group of 3 stars. But who says a coach is stuck with random choices? The question is "how good are the coaches at evaluating and projecitng talent" because there are plenty of guys who are 3 stars who will  out perform 5 stars. After the fact, if you let me choose from among 5 star guys and 3 star guys, I can construct a team of 3 stars who will run the 5 stars off the field.

So, if you believe that JH has a limited abilty or an average ability to discern, well, this class is worthy of concern. I looked at some tape of the lower rated guys, however, and I had a hard time seeing them as much or any different than some higher rated guys at their positions.Now, I am no coach or talent evaluator. But JH and his staff should be. Or mght be well better than average. Let's hope so.

I wrote about this extensively in The Search for the Unified Field Theory (Football Version). Forgive me for mentioning this, since I do get about $ 2 per book of royalties on that (maybe $ 100-$200 per year) and I prefer not to talk about anything in which I have a financial interest, regardless of how nominal. But in that book I provide some data and examples and a fuller argument on point.

Thanks, again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02/07/2018 - 10:57pm Don..

this is truer than you know.

Good read of the strands of info.

otoh, who knows, might all work out.

 

02/04/2018 - 2:58pm Good article

Thanks for posting this.

1. What a curious team. We are #4 in the country (#1 in the BT) in TOs and #11 in the country (#1 in the BT) in DRB. These are team qualities that don't seem generally conencted; certainly, I can't recall any such connection on Beilein teams.

2. OTOH, unlike most all JB teams, this one struggles shooting the ball. Average from 3. # 342 in FT %---worst of any major team---and the latter is hard to understand. Certainly, it isn't practice or work ethic or any such speculation. My guess is it is mental/psycholgoical, and as the team struggles at the line the mental aspect of it becomes worse. I suggest hypnosis---it worked for me. [Not a joke.] But it might be as simple as the fact that UM has two guys (Matthews and Simpson) who just can't shoot free throws, for whatever reason.

3. The good news is that we don't get to the line much (that may change) and we continue to be a good defensive team and one that has the flexibility to transform to a zone (won the game) even though the strength of the team would generally be checking on the perimeter.

4. It is hard to make a prognosis for this team. One would think that a team that is average from 3, and terrible from the line, has limited post-season potential. OTOH, they have gotten hot (Purdue at Purdue) and they are a routinely good defensive team that makes few mistakes. So, I dunno.

 

 

 

02/02/2018 - 12:22pm I agree...

I fear Brian has some nasty flu.

But I don't think this debacle/tragedy is going away soon. We will have the benefit of Brian's POV.

Craig

01/31/2018 - 12:53am Actually...

he was there six years, a couple short of Horace Prettyman, Brian's GGF.

01/14/2018 - 12:32am Hawaii

any time but especially in the winter or early spring is a good choice.

01/14/2018 - 12:29am Aero you are

well too kind...

I hope I just qualify as about average among those who follow Brian's site.

Hey, if you are in AA in the spring or fall, give me a call.

 

CR

01/13/2018 - 9:40pm Hey, thanks for asking FapNo

I was playing tennis over at the Royal Kona (Kailua-Kona, Big Island) with former Ann Arborite and former lawyer-turned novelist Jon Rowe.

Jon's wife sent an emissary (my wife) saying we should stop and go home. That an ICBM was on the way.

Jon said "forget it, we are finishing our match. No one is bombing the Big Island (Hawaii). What's the point? A'int nothing here."

So we finished. I have to admit it was a bit creepy. Even in the early AM Ali'i drive is active. Not this AM for about 30 minutes. Eerily quiet. No people. Almost no traffic. A stray old bi-plane hovered over the ocean. It seemed weirdly out of place and added to a sense of unreality.

Somehow, Jon and I both concentraated and played better than usual.

Then I went back to the condo and learned that all was good. I watched the DVR of UM/MSU, high fived my bro Tom Izzo on his genuis, went over to KTA and bought some Ahi for dinner and then watched the game again, this time savoring a Maui Porter.

Wonderful day.

 

CR

01/12/2018 - 4:57pm Agree...

...my all time favorite dog was a Corgi---looked just like this one. Thanks.

12/07/2017 - 9:45pm Yes.

 Student Legal Services is available to all UM students.

 They have some strong lawyers in the office who can help him.

 

11/05/2017 - 8:47am This was Daniel Capron...

.He did the OSU game last year,

11/05/2017 - 8:47am This was Daniel Capron...

.He did the OSU game last year,

10/29/2017 - 10:12pm I like his tape...

1. He is slow for a RB.

2. My guess is his low rating stems from his speed. However, he has great feet, terrific vision, is quick even if he isn't fast, has good balance. He breaks tackles.

3. Looks like he can catch the ball and he is a willing blocker. I would be stunned if he can't pass block at the next level.

4. He is also a DE and while I can't see that at UM, I can see him as a Sam or maybe even an ILB if he doesn't work out as a RB. He might also grow into the FB spot, a position of need for us.

5. Right now he has gained over 1900 yards thiis year and has 29 TDs.

6. Speed is nice but it isn't the #1 requisite for a RB. Balance, vision, strength are more important.

7. It is hard for anyone, even experts, to project success but I will be surprised if he doesn't make a contribution at UM.

10/27/2017 - 4:23pm I was born

just after his/her/its last concert/duel/road race/poetry slam.

So, uh, no idea.

 

CR

 

10/27/2017 - 11:14am Colorado Blue...

...You're The Man.

10/19/2017 - 3:07pm I look to net yards...

...per pass attempt and it provides a remarkably good sort once a season is completed. As a predictive matter it is only "fair," but does tend to track the line, if vaguely.

  UM is 5.81 (awful) minus 3.59 (awesome)=+2.22 or about 11 points better than an average team on a neutral field.

  PSU is 7.16 minus 4.15=3.01 or about 15 points better than an average team on a neutral field.

  So, at PSU, at night, I would expect a line of UM +8.

  This (a) adjusts for sacks (the NCAA lumps sacks with run plays) and (b) assumes equivalent competition. I think I saw something that shows UM's schedule to have been harder, to this point, and hence, a "neutral field" prediction might be UM+2.5.

  Why do I avoid run yards? Well, first, I think run yards tend to be baked into the pass numbers. Second, the more "run" realities I put into any equation the less predictive it seems to be. Right now, with some anomalies (pretty limited) these numbers are pretty good at tracking team quality. I would say, in fact, it is a better measure than wins and losses. See Bud Goode's NFL site (Bud is now gone, alas) to see his NFL work/writings on point.  

 

 

10/13/2017 - 10:17am Very smart...

...commentary regardless. How one disagrees is probably more important than the nature of the disagreement. Unless it is "Hitler was a reallg good guy. Or John O'Neill's crew is very solid."

 

10/12/2017 - 5:29pm Thanks, dnak...

...I was wandering around the NFL site and found (maybe 10-12) games where teams were negative 5 in TOs (or more; there are a couple of negative 7 games where the TO team won) and won---from 1940 through 2104. All of those games, however, had "competeing" TOs. Two games stood out to me---

1983 Pitt and Tampa Bay where Cliff Stoudt threw three INTs, and Pitt lost 4 fumbles, yet beat TB 17-12. TB had zero TOs.

In 1948 (in the AAFL) the Los Angeles Dons beat the NY Yankees 20-10 with a 6-0 TO margin, 3 INTs and 3 fumbles.

These seemed the closest pro "matches" I have found to our most recent debacle.

Are you a therapist? because your comment re: the conversation in question is right on.

 

 

 

 

10/12/2017 - 4:01pm Thank you...

...for correcting my error. Tarkenton was the QB with Foreman, Kapp having departed a year or two prior. Tarkenton was a fine passer and fun to watch. No one, not even Staubach, was more able to evade the rush.

 There seemed to be some "bleeding" between Walsh's West Coast offense (at the Bengals with Virgil Carter at first; later at SF) and the ideas coming from Bud Grant and Burns. Both offenses used a RB to stretch the field and occupy a DB(s). Walsh would use big wide receivers (Jerry Rice, most notably) to attack the weakest part of the pass defense, the LBs. Burns used a RB similarly, helping to clear space for "long handoffs" to the other RB.

   In 1975 Foreman, as gifted a receiver at RB as anyone I can recall, caught 75 passes. The other RB, Ed Marinaro, caught another 54. Both were hard to tackle one on one, but Foreman was exceptional.

 

10/02/2017 - 10:51pm Sorta...

The question related to the plausibility of an odd stack as a base against a more traditional team, not what um planned against msu. But, yeah, only ĺoyd would try to answer that, or maybe bo.

09/15/2017 - 11:43am With you completely...

...re: the band and re: OSU. OSU, coming off in a  shellacking in the FF and now getting creamed at home by OK, I don't see their prognosis as very good. UM, PSU, Wiscy still alive.

Band is being wasted in deference to 3rd rate piped in Muzac.

 

09/08/2017 - 11:21am Hey, thanks...

...it could even be unendearing I would be happy for it.

CR