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Date Title Body
09/02/2011 - 11:11pm Sounds good

I'm feeling some good mojo on this one.

01/19/2011 - 8:08am I'm not so sure

I'm not so sure about the Denard Spread-offense part.   I'm not convinced that Borges is really capable of utilizing a weapon like Denard in a full spread offense.  Although I believe him when he says he'll incorporate him into the offensive schemes he does use.  I also don't think the running back situation is a proven one.  Still, this hire does give me much more hope than I had before!

01/17/2011 - 8:39am Why does everything have to

Why does everything have to be about liberal vs. conservative?  Anytime something bad happens, it gets blamed on the party one doesn't like, and anytime something good happens it's because one's personal favorite party and belief system won the day.  It happened with the Tuscon shooting, and with every other news story of the last 15 years.  If your dog gets run over, it's because of those conservative hicks or maybe the SUV-driving ones who can't see over the dashboard; of if you're conservative, it's because of liberal drug dealers/gangsters, or just because liberals like to pass regulations like speed limits way more than they like to follow them.  It's a lazy and specious and bigoted way of thinking, and I'm tired of it.

Forgive my aside.  I know this is a football-related site, and I'd like to keep it that way.  It's nice to be able to come here, away from the maelstrom of political accusations going on in the world outside.

Except for the last sentence which really bothers me, I agree with everything you said.

01/12/2011 - 10:05am Your physical connection to

Your physical connection to the school doesn't matter at all, that's what I'm saying.  That's why so many Michigan fans never attended school there.  What matters is that you're a fan for the right reasons: that you believe in winning the right way, not just that blue is your favorite color or you like the stadium.  

But then, I'd add that I'm not sure I'm a Michigan Man either.  Simply because just being a fan isn't what determines it.  It's not something you are, so much as something you aspire to.  It's about how you live and what standards you hold yourself to, not just who you root for.  At least, that's how I feel about it.

01/12/2011 - 9:55am I don't think you have to

I don't think you have to know every detail of the history and tradition, no.  I think you should have similar values as the ones espoused above.  But I get the sense that Brandon in his search felt too restricted by so many of the fanbase saying things like, "see, we went outside of the family and this is what we got."  

Even for those who don't buy into the "new" (awful) definition of Michigan Man, many now think that you have to get someone connected to Michigan in order to find someone who does espouse those values in this day and age.  You have to find someone who meets the new definition in order to find someone who meets the old.  I don't believe that, and I don't know that Brandon believes that per se, but I do think he believes he has to find someone who meets both, at least to try to unite the fanbase again.

01/12/2011 - 9:24am A Michigan Man

Honestly, I think the term 'Michigan Man' has been severely warped by the media over the last few years.  Bo was a Michigan Man, even though he didn't have any link to the university.  It used to refer to a certain sense of values: of hard work and discipline, of being successful academically as well as on the field, of integrity and winning "the right way," of putting the team above yourself, and of generally representing yourself and your university well.  Although being a big fan of the program didn't hurt either.  

With the problems that haunted Rodriguez though -- the NCAA sanctions, academic violations, and players in trouble with the law -- people started using that together with the fact that he was from West Virginia to label him as "not a Michigan Man."  

When people who don't know otherwise hear that, they assume it simply means that he wasn't connected to the Michigan family.  Especially since both of the previous two coaches were.  It became such a meme in fact, that I think many of the fans and perhaps even some at the university itself have forgotten what it used to mean to be a Michigan Man.

When it comes down to it, Michigan has always held themselves to a higher standard of winning the right way.  And that's what's important about being a Michigan Man, not where you come from or who you know. 

01/10/2011 - 7:41am Alright, but you have to give

Alright, but you have to give the coach time to become that, which Brandon & fans have now shown themselves unwilling to do.

11/14/2010 - 3:08pm Agree with those saying wait and see

I think for now, GERG is coming back.  If we lose both of the next two games, especially if one is a blowout, he goes back to being a borderline case.  But overall, DB will lean towards letting GERG come back with a more mature roster of defensive talent next year.

11/14/2010 - 1:55pm Definitely agree on the turnovers

Definitely agree on the turnovers.  I just wanted to bring up things I thought were less cited and easier to fix.  Turnovers have been an up-and-down but ongoing problem for 3 years, and they come with inexperience.  But some other things like play-calling and going for it on 4th might be easier to change.

11/14/2010 - 1:50pm That's true

I just thought one of the touted reasons for picking up RichRod was the unpredictable nature of his spread offense.  It was to achieve the lethal combination of "you can't stop us" with "you can't even begin to guess what we're gonna do."  

Anyway, I believe Roriguez will get us there soon enough.  We're just quite not there yet.  And with the holes in the defense, we need every advantage we can get.

11/14/2010 - 1:36pm Not completely wrong

Actually, no I've looked at the numbers.  In fact, I just went through every play.  Here's a chart:

Yards Frequency
<0 10
0-2 31
3-5 12
6-9 10
10+ 17

Out of 80 plays, we went for 0-2 yards on 31 (3/8) of them.  I think that's pretty high.  The 17 plays of 10+ yards is also pretty high, and is what saved us.  But when you look at the numbers, more than half (41) of our plays went for 2 yards or less!  Overall, the picture is pretty schizophrenic.

I don't think it's limited to just this game either.  RR himself has emphasized how we've had trouble making 3rd down conversions all season.  Although this game was certainly a more extreme example of it, I think it points to why.

Don't get me wrong, our offense is awesome.  It's #5 in the country.  But it's also a little schizophrenic, which is why those conversions have been more sparse than we'd like, and why I no longer think going for it on 4th down is such a hot idea.  The offense is terrific in terms of yards-per-play average, but there's a wide variance beneath that average which makes it not so reliable in terms of moving the ball forward consistently on every play.  Ideally, we'd like to see a few more plays in that "3-5" category.

On a side note, I also checked the play-calling on first down.  We ran on first down 28 times, and passed only 5.  That includes 9 1st-down runs in a row in the 1st half, and 16 in a row in the 2nd half, during which our only 1st-down pass came on the first play of the half.

11/14/2010 - 12:09pm OT doesn't count

Overtime doesn't count because all judgment is relative and 65 points only sounds as bad as it does when you're comparing it to other games that don't have 3 OTs.  I guarantee you: if every game went an extra 20ish minutes, with possessions starting on the 25 yard line, 65 points would sound a lot more normal.  You can compare triple-OT scores to other triple-OT scores, or the regulation score to other regulation scores, but it's deceiving to mix-and-match.

As you say, 45 points in regulation is still a lot, but see above for why it wasn't as bad as the final [regulation] score made it out to be.

11/14/2010 - 9:39am Kudos to Purdue

You're right, Purdue's D was excellent.  And rain always makes defenses look better too.  That may have contributed to why there were so many downs with 0-2 yards.  I don't think it had anything to do with the predictability of our play-calling though.

11/14/2010 - 9:26am Defense vs. Illinois

I understand that if you just look at the points scored by Illinois, it looks bad.  But 20 of those points came because of the 3 overtimes.  Those don't count.  Some more came because of possessions without Martin -- by far our best defensive player -- on the field.  And others came because of really bad offensive turnovers, where the defense still held them to a field goal.  In fact, the defense stopped them with a really short field several times, and forced them to punt on half of their possessions.  Depsite what the points say, I think that was the first decent game of the year (or at least since B10 play started) for the defense.

11/12/2010 - 9:33am You could certainly make an

You could certainly make an argument about the degree to which Detroit has or hasn't earned its reputation.  I think that's missing the point though.

It's kind of like saying that some kids really do deserve to get bullied.  Yeah you know what, some kids really do.   Good social skills is an important part of growing up and having success in life.  You and I both know though that bullying can go too far.

The point is that Detroit has great places and great stories that never get reported.  Places like the DIA, the Zoo, the Fox, the Whitney.  Not to mention all of these places.  Detroit also has a lot of good people (in both downtown and the burbs), who've had a lot of bad happen.  The real problem is that the longer Detroit's reputation burns, the greater chance we have of losing the great things that are still there, and the longer it will be before economic recovery.

11/12/2010 - 9:11am Like the two posts above me,

I've got to disagree.  Detroit 187 is pretty darn good for the D.

Anywhere you go outside of Michigan, people think Detroit is full of nothing but gang-bangers who want to kill each other.  

The show puts real, human faces on what's going on.  It's a chance to talk about what the media doesn't: the people who really care about their city, and want to make it better.  It's a chance to show all the beauty that Detroit once had, and all the little gems that it still has, and the potential it will always have to be great again.  

Of course, bringing jobs into the city is good too.  The real benefit though, is empathy (not sympathy).  It's getting people to see Detroit as not just a hole in the ground and an object of derision, but as a living, breathing place full of people they know.

11/12/2010 - 8:46am I'm not sure

I'm not sure that "Yeah, well you're too safe" is really the counter-argument we're looking for.

11/06/2010 - 11:55pm Yeah I'm not sure yet how

Yeah I'm not sure yet how that game makes me feel: a little more worried about Purdue or a little less worried about Wisconsin!

But at least with Michigan's win today, I feel just a bit less worried about all of them!

11/06/2010 - 9:43pm You're right, he'll never forget it

Since that was the age I went to my first Michigan football game.  It was the 1990 game when MSU came into Ann Arbor and ended up beating Michigan and Desmond Howard by 1 point.  

It wasn't a triple-overtime win, but I'll still always remember how much fun I had at that game with my dad.

11/06/2010 - 4:43pm WOW

SO many good things the team can take from this game!

The defense showed it can force a Big Ten team to punt!  Even from awful field position.

People will stop talking about Rodriguez losing his job!  

And most of all....


11/06/2010 - 4:07pm YES!!!!

I did all my chores for the last 3 days, I stood up at just the right times, and cheered and shouted words of encouragement to the TV at just the right times.  I'm sure you guys did too, and with all that karma, we won!  Oh yeah, and the players were awesome too!!

GO BLUE!!!!! 

10/28/2010 - 1:57pm My house

My house is just a couple blocks east of the stadium.  Winds have been insane for the last couple days.  This was so stupidly avoidable, it's just tragic.  

10/28/2010 - 1:52pm So sad

This really could go bad for Kelly too....  The facebook post from someone named Kent Rieger looks like it's advising Declan to tell someone about his concerns: "tell brian kelly that, or someone who....."  

It was clearly acknowledged as a big risk by multiple clear-thinking people.

10/25/2010 - 9:47am The problem isn't

The problem isn't that BSU/TCU would get 2-3 losses in one of the big conferences, because there's no way of knowing how good they really are.  The problem is that half of the major conference teams would get 0 losses in their non-AQ conferences.  That's the reason, in turn, for the former problem of not knowing how good BSU/TCU really are.

10/21/2010 - 7:47pm Regarding Big Ten division names....

I asked Rittenberg about it during one of the lunch-time chats, and he said that they weren't planning on even thinking about division or trophy names until December.

10/21/2010 - 7:41pm Is this a sign

that the Big Ten is already making plans to have their own Big Ten hockey conference?  The timing is interesting, that they would do this so soon after Penn State announced plans to set up their own team and rink.

10/21/2010 - 2:36pm That was my favorite line

That was my favorite line from the article too.  Anyone who says that Rich is nothing like Bo, well they don't know Bo.  Anyone who says that Rich doesn't know what a Michigan Man is hasn't looked closely enough.

10/21/2010 - 8:54am Because

Because of the one thing that Tate has shown that Denard hasn't: a remarkable ability to pass on the run.  While their passing numbers are about equal, the situations that they got those numbers in have been very different.

Denard can run when the game's on the line.  But we've also seen him struggle to pass under pressure.  Tate can scramble out of the pocket under pressure, and still get the ball off.  Does that mean Tate is the better quarterback?  Not at all.  But it could mean he's better under certain situations.

When the opposing defense is able to apply pressure and contain the run, and the team is down a couple scores near the end of the game, so that passing becomes more critical, then why not go with Tate for a bit.  Especially if Denard is struggling.

You make it sound like their skill sets are the same, Denard's just better in every way.  Not true.

Also, it was a legitimate topic.  With due respect, your attitude isn't justified.  We're a message board, for fans of the team to enjoy themselves.  What's decided here doesn't matter: it won't affect who's played next week, or even public perception at large.  So, chill.  Have fun.  Respect others.

Batman out.

10/21/2010 - 8:45am Agreed

Not sure why you'd be negged for asking someone to be more respectful.  Which probably means I'll be negged too.... :P

10/21/2010 - 7:13am Because

Because Minnesota actually has good players.  Brewster was an excellent recruiter; he was just terrible at coaching, at decision-making based on the Xs and Os.  

Now Minnesota will be starting a new coach.  While that often means upheaval, it also sometimes means the beginnings of improvement.   Minnesota couldn't be any worse.  With someone new doing the play-calling at home, anything could happen.  

Also, Penn State really has no offense.  And rumors have it that their coaching staff may be in even more upheaval than Minnesota's, bickering and jockeying for position when Joe's not around.

I'm not saying the Gophers will win.  But they could... if I were a betting man, I might take them as an upset.  And that's all you were looking for.

10/20/2010 - 1:23pm Patterson already turned them down

Patterson already turned them down once, and has since gone on to even bigger and better seasons at TCU.  I don't see him suddenly changing his mind and going to Minnesota now, even if they did offer more money this time.

10/17/2010 - 11:31pm I would be perfectly happy

I would be perfectly happy to see the SEC in a minimal number of bowl games.

10/17/2010 - 3:22pm Tate and Denard

I'm thinking that Tate is the way to go against excellent rush defenses (Iowa's is #2 in the country).  Otherwise, run Denard.

10/13/2010 - 2:00pm Definitely fun to watch!

The guy is definitely fun to watch!  It's hard to say how he'd stack up against Robinson until they play each other next year.  Boy, won't that be a treat!  

I think you're right about his pass game not being all there yet.  Of course, Robinson is a year up on him in that department (even if DRob never started during his first year).  And Husker fans would point out Denard's three interceptions this weekend.  As for top speed, I don't think there's any way to tell who's faster on the field.  But if we really wanted to, couldn't someone look up their sprint times and compare?

It's also interesting that this same discussion is going on right now on one of the Husker blogs, if anyone cares to take a gander at what the other side is saying.

10/12/2010 - 9:07pm Diversification

I'm totally new to following this whole recruiting thing.  But does it surprise anyone else that we're trying to pull so many people from the same school?  Is that how it's usually done?

I can see how that creates a little more bonding and charisma among some of the guys on the team, although it could also cause some clique-forming at the exclusion of others (hopefully not!).  And  I can see how being accustomed to playing together might help out on the field.

But isn't there something to be said for diversifying your investments?  In football, we often see teams exposed to be less than what we originally thought.  I'm not saying that's true of Dr. Phillips.  But it seems like there's a small chance of it being true for any school.  So is it really wise, as a general policy, to draw so many eggs from one basket?

I'm not saying it is or it isn't, but it's something I've been wondering about.

10/11/2010 - 7:50pm I'm thinking

I'm thinking that Purdue and Penn State are probable wins, Illinois and Wisconsin are closer to 50-50, and Iowa and OSU are longshots.  If that holds up, we should still be able to come out 8-4. 

10/11/2010 - 6:42pm Ticket prices too

If it's not true that they fudged the numbers down because of the loss (above), then the last minute ticket prices may have had something to do with it.  Often, the prices come down a little in the final week, and even more in the last 24 hours before a game.  For this game, they just kept shooting up and up.  I remember checking StubHub several times and having trouble finding anything for less than $300.

10/11/2010 - 1:58pm The defense and crowd noise

The Michigan defense is a bend-dont-break defense.  Because of its lack of depth, it's forced to depend on the other guys making mistakes.

I believe that's one of the biggest reasons they played so much better in the 1st quarter.  Because when everybody's hyped up, and the crowd is screaming, and the Sparty offense has trouble calling plays, that's when they made those mistakes.  

As soon as our offense sputtered, the crowd died down, and Sparty started to roll.  One thing I've learned about our team this week: the defense depends on the offense playing well, especially at home, in order to keep momentum going and force the other guys into those mistakes.

10/11/2010 - 11:48am Awesome post

Thanks for letting us in on this, it's good to know we've got such a great guy coming in next year.  And great job putting forth a welcoming face, even in a random place.  It's one thing for a player like Kellen to hear a program talk about the values they emphasize while they're selling themselves, but it's another to hear it from random strangers like yourself.  It really speaks for how many of us feel that way about Michigan.

10/11/2010 - 11:14am Iowa State

Guess I'm not sure what makes you call ISU competent.  They got demolished by Iowa, and lost to KSU who was demolished by Nebraska.  The only halfway decent win I see for them is over Texas Tech, but TT also lost to Texas.

10/11/2010 - 10:48am I was going to write the same thing

I was going to write the same thing too.  I think MSU deserves to be ranked above LSU, whose wins were a lot less convincing, and Utah, who hasn’t beaten anyone of note and almost lost to a crappy Pittsburgh team.

10/10/2010 - 11:01am Disagree

We knew the defense had holes going in.  But they played well enough to keep us in the game, which is all we can ask of them this year.  They made MSU punt 4 times and held them to a FG twice.  That should have been enough.  And if the offense had played better so that the crowd stayed in it (like in the beginning), it would have been easier to stop them too.

If the offense completes a few more passes, or the defense covers the correct gaps, it’s a much closer game. Then if MSU makes a few more mistakes, maybe from the louder crowd as the game stays close, we might actually win. If not, it’s at least pretty darn close.

10/10/2010 - 10:55am Half right

I agree with you on Ezeh, and on the tackling.  At one point, when State was running over us in the 2nd half, my wife turned to me and asked, "Why do all of their guys look bigger than ours?"  

But we knew about those problems going in.  The defense is young, small, and not all our first-choice guys.  Still, I felt like they stepped up and did a better job of stopping MSU than any other team they've played except maybe ND.

I really disagree with ya on Denard though.  I think the UFR will show that a lot of those interceptions were on the receivers.  Take his first one, on the first drive.  When he threw that, Roundtree was leading the defender by a couple steps, and Denard threw it ahead of Roundtree.  Roy should have gotten to that ball first, but he slowed up (I guess to be sure he caught it, not knowing there was a guy behind him), and let the defender race past him.  

Denard wasn't at his best, but it wasn't for lack of talent.  And the receivers really did not play like they needed to.

10/09/2010 - 10:47pm I agree

I agree.  If we even make a couple more of those TD passes, it's a much closer game.  Then the dynamic changes.  The crowd is still into it, and maybe MSU makes more mistakes like they did in the 1st half.  

MSU executed very well with few mistakes, whereas Michigan made several.  At least mistakes can be fixed.

10/09/2010 - 10:26pm Here's the positives

Here's the positives that I took from this game.  For once, we didn't lose because of a huge lack of talent.  In fact, a lot of the guys in the backfield where our talent/experience is the most shallow really stepped it up today.

No, we lost today for two reasons: Sparty stepped up, and we made mistakes.  I can live with that.  Good teams make mistakes once in a while.  It's how we bounce back from it that matters.  

Fixing a lack of talent would mean waiting until next year, which is what the last 2 years were about.  Fixing mistakes, like dropped passes,can be done in a week.

10/09/2010 - 10:18pm Here's the positives

Here's the positives that I took from this game.  For once, we didn't lose because of a huge lack of talent.  In fact, a lot of the guys in the backfield where our talent/experience is the most shallow really stepped it up today.

No, we lost today for two reasons: Sparty stepped up, and we made mistakes.  I can live with that.  Good teams make mistakes once in a while.  It's how we bounce back from it that matters.  

Fixing a lack of talent would mean waiting until next year, which is what the last 2 years were about.  Fixing mistakes can be done in a week.

10/08/2010 - 11:23am For Braylon-Fest

For Braylon-Fest, I was driving with my then-fiancee from Chicago to my parents' house in Hartland (just north of Brighton).  I had the game on the radio, and somewhere around the first overtime, had to pull into a gas station where a bunch of people were huddled inside to watch the game on a tiny TV in the corner over the register.  I watched the rest of the game on that tiny TV with total strangers in a gas station in Paw Paw.

10/08/2010 - 10:07am Going by the years

Going by the years of the most dramatic games, it looks like we're about due for another one.  1990, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2007,....

10/07/2010 - 12:40pm Some feedback

1 & 2.  Definitely agree!

3.  I have a feeling one team is going to start off with a huge lead... as in, two unanswered touchdowns in their first two possessions.  I hope that team is us.  Whether the other team fights back is anyone's guess.  This game is almost always close, but it's also almost always unpredictable.  I feel these rivalry games (MSU, OSU, ND), are often close when they shouldn't be (usually), and sometimes not close when they should be.

5.  Wear your shirt.  But if any stranger looks like they're coming to say something to you, stick your fingers in your ears and go, "La la la la la, can't hear you."  At least, that's what I would do.

10/07/2010 - 11:56am Here's some variations on the

Here's some variations on the ideas above, to make them more specific to us:

  • Family Fight - Feud is too southern, makes me think Hatfields & McCoys, and game shows
  • Family Fracas - Sounds a little more Ruckus-y, although the State fans would probably have to look it up....
  • Brotherly Brawl - Sibling Rivalry meets Backyard Brawl

Or, for something new, how about:

  • Big Brother Bowl - hmmm...
  • Domestic Dispute - Actually, I like this one