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Date Title Body
12/14/2018 - 1:49pm I admittedly offer…

I admittedly offer speculation when others might have facts, but I don't think we have unique problems recruiting safety as much as elite safeties are damn hard to find.  They need to be fast, shifty and leapy to cover all types of receivers, yet also read the run game, unerringly tackle in space, and stop everyone from moosebacks to tight ends short of the sticks whenever possible.  They need to be genetically gifted, rigorously conditioned, and mentally disciplined.  Modern offenses are structured to stress the safeties on the premise that it's very difficult to find ones that can handle everything.  Because offenses amplify the limitations of "3-star" safeties by design, there's now immense demand to recruit 5-tool safeties.  That is in fact arguably why modern spreads persist -- it's not so easy to go out and find a 2-deep of 5-star safeties to shut them down.

So, since they're so essential to take a modern defense from decent to elite the five-tool guys can go anywhere, but there are only a few of them born per year, so it's not that we can't get them as much as we're not getting them any more than any other school that isn't Alabama.

12/14/2018 - 11:01am The ironic thing is that…

The ironic thing is that playing fullback is the closest thing to legalized domestic violence.  During practice you get to hit people you know as hard as you can.

/ try the veal

12/14/2018 - 6:25am NEVER SCHEDULE AIR FORCE. …

NEVER SCHEDULE AIR FORCE.  Don't need to see their undersized center and guards diving at the knees of our starters.

12/12/2018 - 5:19pm We need Hill to have a “fuck…

We need Hill to have a “fuck Michigan” moment. It could work twice!

11/29/2018 - 10:23am EH??!?

EH??!?

11/27/2018 - 11:29am Yeah you can still get to…

Yeah you can still get to MGoBoard by scrolling to the bottom, but the ads are literally covering up site functionality.

I'd mind the ads less if they weren't designed to get me to click on them by accident.

11/26/2018 - 8:29pm Precisely. OSU played one…

Precisely. OSU played one game at 100% this year. NFL is gonna love those guys but I understand why their fans were so infuriated by the Purdue game. Their players lack maturity. Unfortunately that wasn’t going to be a problem against us, but god what a bunch of crapheads that don’t deserve their blessed talent.

11/26/2018 - 2:51pm The way I see it, this…

The way I see it, this Michigan team wins with some talent, but mostly by consistently playing at a high level.  It won games decisively, but not overwhelmingly.  It was an 8-4 team that got to 10-2 not by luck but by sheer effort and diligence.  That's a credit to them, I mean that, but asking them to give more is disingenuous.  What's needed to beat OSU is a team so dominating that they literally run out of things to do against lesser opponents.  It's not out of reach.  The '16 team was close to that.  They ran out of ways to waste game clock against Rutgers and looked bored for much of their schedule (until Iowa, arrgghh).  And, they pretty much beat OSU in Columbus.

However, I'm a tad concerned for the future because I don't see any up-and-comers on the D-line that can replicate the embarrassment of riches we had back in '16.  To beat OSU you need a dominant D-line, and the well's mostly run dry in the short term unless somebody blows up next year.  As Brian said, this is a problem Brown has genuinely good answers for, but I'd add that they only go so far against an elite team in a rivalry game.

11/26/2018 - 2:28pm Gary, Bush, Long and Hill…

Gary, Bush, Long and Hill probably had nothing left to learn [at the college level].  Something to prove, maybe, in Gary's case, because of his injury, but what would that be?  Just to rack up stats against overmatched opponents for a year at the risk of getting injured again?  I can see his case.  Long and Hill are so feared they're actively avoided, and Bush has put up all the tape he needs to show what happens if you don't scheme around him.

Shea Patterson stands to benefit the most from staying.  He had a pretty efficient year, but one in which he clearly hadn't hit his ceiling.  Don't get me wrong, he'd be drafted, but after some chin-stroking by scouts I think he'd be a Day 2 pick with some serious danger of getting cut if he couldn't instantly prove things that just take time to learn.  OTOH, with another offseason under Harbaugh's wing he could torch the B1G and leave next year with a much bigger payday, barring injury.

Yes, I have a huge conflict of interest here, but I think I'd say the same thing if he was wearing a different uniform.

11/26/2018 - 2:05pm Basically.  With a neutral…

Basically.  With a neutral officiating crew the '16 team wins by a blowout.

11/26/2018 - 2:03pm 5-7 is easy if you're used…

5-7 is easy if you're used to it.  Ask an Illinois fan how they'd feel about a 5-7 season.

Hell is built by expectations.  It's taking a long elevator ride to heaven and merely getting thrown down back to Earth.  Any further down is superfluous.

11/26/2018 - 1:37pm I agree, but the context I'd…

I agree, but the context I'd like to draw attention to is that their program had so much more "want to" to give in the first place.  It's not that Michigan came into the game with inadequate emotion or preparation.  It's that MGoBlog's previews were based on an opponent that was farting around at well under their full potential, to the point of giving their HC panic attacks, especially their offensive line.  What do you get when a team that scores 40+ points a game in a stupor of apathy and dysfunction puts it all together for one week, vs. what you get when a team that (with some tactical exceptions) always goes 100% tries to discover a 110%?  What do we realistically expect from the Michigan side, here?

It's not that Michigan didn't give enough; it's that the difference between what they give against a Penn State and Ohio State is insignificant because they play all-out against both. Michigan's coaches repeatedly emphasize this in pressers -- that if you play for Michigan, you play with maximum effort, every play.  In fact Michigan tried to hold stuff back, but Indiana was too much trouble.  So the difference when it came to The Game would've been. . . what?

TBH Michigan's struggles against Indiana got me nervous about The Game for this reason -- because I didn't doubt their effort, so I could tell that what I was seeing wasn't going to be enough against a galvanized OSU.  I swallowed those doubts because it looked like OSU might fail to pull it together, but compare M's run-up to '16.  It's a different story.  78-0 against Rutgers, barely trying even.  They looked bored & frustrated against Illinois.  They got a frenzied MSU AND crappy officiating in East Lansing and made it not matter.  Maryland was a romp.  Then the wheels fell off in Iowa, but the '16 team -- that basically beat OSU if not for the worst officiating since the Bolton ejection -- so overmatched its opponents it was bored, and so bored it was frustrated.  This year's team might be one of my favorites because they mostly took care of business week in and week out, but in large part because they couldn't afford complacency.  They consistently pulled away in the 4th quarter, but it was more a decisive victory by attrition than shows of overwhelming force.  I mean that as a credit -- the team played hard every game.  But for their efforts we weren't seeing opponents crumple in the 2nd quarter like they'd do against an Alabama, and OSU is that good when they're not farting around.

11/26/2018 - 1:24pm You're looking in the wrong…

You're looking in the wrong place.  The receivers did what we thought they'd do.

Their O-line was getting PWND in pass pro by linemen inferior Gary, Winovich, or Uche.  Then suddenly they're perfect against the #1 havoc rate defense in the country.  We didn't get the OSU O-line we'd seen all year, and it was a forgone conclusion that their QB is a different guy if he has time in the pocket.

11/26/2018 - 1:12pm If you think things should…

If you think things should come around or go in cycles, ask the Greeks how long they've been waiting for their turn to come back around as a world superpower.

This isn't to say things won't change -- everything does, eventually -- but there's no logic or reason underlying the thought of "I've waited long enough".

11/26/2018 - 12:45pm In terms of player…

In terms of player motivation, sure.  But there's evidence Dantonio prepares the hell out of the Michigan game, even at the cost of losing some games.  There's only spotty evidence that OSU is as obsessed, at least the coaches.  Meyer has damn near dorfed some Michigan games if not for Michigan dorfing them even harder.  No, I think all the circumstantial evidence we saw that he was losing control of his program was real, except the naivete on our part was that would be a factor at all in the Michigan game.  This is the game they'd give their all for even if the players happen to hate Meyer to his core (we don't know that's the case, but my point is it wouldn't matter anyway).

The flip side of it is something of a hot take, which is that -- with a few obvious exceptions -- I don't think Michigan is nearly as talented as their statistics indicate.  This is NOT to say those statistics lie -- they were in fact the #1 defense.  If anything that's proof of our excellent coaching staff, and the effort of the players.  They play at an elite level by getting the absolute most of their ability, by practicing hard with great coaching.  But the sad reality is that when you face a bunch of genetic lottery winners who fart around for half a season until they decide to give it all at once, you're always going to be a heart-breaking step slow or a foot-pound short of making those plays you made all season.  Folks keep saying Michigan doesn't take OSU seriously enough but that take lacks perspective -- our guys give their all almost every game.  How much more effort do they have to give for The Game?

Make no mistake, Don Brown is more than acquainted with despair-inducing talent gaps and he has a thousand answers for them.  But he's never seen vastly superior talent converge against him the way OSU does against Michigan; BC has never been under that sort of pressure.  I honestly don't know if there's any answer for it at all, except maybe generational talent like Charles Woodson or Mo Hurst.

11/26/2018 - 11:28am If that was the case they…

If that was the case they were playing with fire a little too much for Occam's Razor.

The explanation I offer -- which of course I can't prove -- is tribalism.  Everything we saw from the outside was real -- the lack of cohesion, the lack of focus, the team scraping by inferior opponents, Meyer looking like he was going to puke.  IF we played the Ohio State team that everyone else had the luxury of playing, OSU wouldn't have had a chance.

The simplest reason is that we didn't play that team.  This was the game that everyone who signs a letter of intent to OSU gets up for.  This was the game that, even if the players and coaches all hate each other, will bond for a single game without a word of pep talk from Urban Meyer.  It's common knowledge that Michigan always gets their opponents' A-game, but The Game is always terrifying because one side or other will invariably have an epiphany and realize its full potential, whether it's implosion under Cooper or a transcendental performance under Meyer.

Ohio State WITH all its problems is still a Top Ten team; when those vanish you see all that Top-100 recruit talent unleashed at once.  That team Michigan faced on Saturday spent the whole season farting around in their own BPONE of dysfunction, going as far as their best player shutting it down for the season and the coach clearly wondering if he was going to lose his job, but last Saturday they got the sense of cohesion realized when a grass-wearing tribe's internal petty disagreements vanish upon seeing an existential threat.  It's stupid, because it's not really a point in their favor, but unfortunately Michigan is always the victim of this circumstance.

11/23/2018 - 6:39pm I’ve been in this universe…

I’ve been in this universe long enough to expect the officials will throw a flag on every damn big play by M. Everyone outside of Ohio will agree M got robbed. Teeth will be gnashed. Nothing will happen. Michigan might win anyway.

And if I was Meyer I’d have the WRs, CBs and O-line hold on every play. They’ll need it to even the odds, he clearly has no integrity, and it’s highly likely they won’t get called. So why not. Michigan might win anyway.

M has a lot of advantages this year so I don’t necessarily predict a loss. But I do predict an unwatchably infuriating mess of injustice that Michigan is going to have to outplay, making the outcome much closer than it should be.

11/23/2018 - 2:37pm IIRC we don't run it a lot…

IIRC we don't run it a lot though.  They've gotten better, but it's still mostly a changeup, and that's not gonna change in a week.

11/23/2018 - 1:12pm Thinking back to how …

Thinking back to how #CHAOSTEAM Indiana gashed Mo Hurst back in the day, are OSU's DTs vulnerable to outside zone?

11/22/2018 - 3:34pm Does this make you. . …

Does this make you. . . thankful?

11/21/2018 - 12:53pm This.  Actually I'll go a…

This.  Actually I'll go a step further and say that Haskins wasn't a complete unknown so much as everyone was pretty darn sure they knew what he was, and everyone was wrong.  Everything we knew about Meyer's last decade as a college HC said that any QB he lost to injury would be replaced by yet another QB who excelled at the run game and couldn't throw very well, because that's every Meyer QB, ever. . . right up until Haskins came in.  Haskins is the antithesis of Barrett and there's no way anyone saw that coming.

In any case you gameplan for the starter, so the defense prepped to stop Barrett.  Once the game started, the adjustment Brown could've made were very limited.

11/21/2018 - 12:36pm I'm thinking the Indiana…

I'm thinking the Indiana gameplan wasn't holding back per se, but (UFR pending) it was uncharacteristically conservative.  The guy known as Dr. Blitz had lately been keeping guys back to discourage slants.

Up against a QB who's vulnerable to pressure, though, I anticipate he's gonna have the front 7 pin back their ears.  Even if Winovich is questionable, we've got a pile of guys who can get to the QB -- Dwumfour, Uche, Gary, Bush, Hudson.  I'm worried about the DTs getting picked on by the run game but Indiana needed the QB run threat to open things up.  We can force OSU to choose between Haskings getting hit as a runner or Haskins getting hit in the pocket, and Haskins won't like either option.

11/21/2018 - 12:29pm Kind of hard to tackle when…

Kind of hard to tackle when holding is legal (for one side only).

11/21/2018 - 12:28pm Hell I'll take just…

Hell I'll take just outscoring them.  If we score more points than them, I like our chances.

11/21/2018 - 12:27pm OL are big?  What world am I…

OL are big?  What world am I living in?!

11/21/2018 - 12:26pm I'm not sure if I agree with…

I'm not sure if I agree with OP's take, though.  The last two games weren't won by good QB play so much as lost by bad QB play, and that's pretty much the argument presented.  We didn't lose because Speight or O'Korn had conference-average games that were transcended; Speight coughed up the ball three times and O'Korn couldn't make plays at all.  So, OK, I guess the point is technically correct, but "low floor = bad" is pretty much the case for any position.  At this level, any weakness is going to be picked on.

So, to me, a statement that QB play is going to be key implies it needs to be remarkable in some way, and I doubt that's the case this year, either.  Neither coach seems inclined to put it all on the QB.  Based on last year it seems Harbaugh's going to scheme to give Shea wide-open targets to hit, and replaced his O-line coach to keep him upright.  OSU, for that matter, is just asking their QB to deliver the ball to jitterbugs in space and have them YAC for yards.  If there's any aspect where QB play will be key, it's how far both teams are willing to risk running the zone read.

My point is that both coaches -- based on all evidence I've seen -- are approaching The Game asking no more from their QBs than an average performance, relying on TEs (in Harbaugh's case) or receivers (in Meyer's case) to be the difference.  If either QB implodes, sure, that's gonna be a huge problem, but if the O-line busts a call on a passing down it's the exact same situation.

11/20/2018 - 1:59pm Not that OSU fans' takes are…

Not that OSU fans' takes are relevant to the outcome but actually it's downhill running that Brown's had issues with.  He gave opposing offenses the short stuff to shut down the deep pass.  OTOH, Wiscy exposed our DTs then willingly shut down their own running game (what the hell are you doing, Paul Chryst) so we never saw Brown provide an answer to that.  Indiana also picked on our DTs but they according to Brian they did that by doubling them, which Brown stopped by adding another guy.  I'm waiting for this week's FFFF but I'm guessing OSU's line is closer to Wiscy's than Indiana's, at least in terms of physical shape.

What has me nervous and excited at the same time is the idea of a fully weaponized Michigan offense with the limiters taken off.  The playbook should have tricks in the bag.  We have not fully utilized our receivers (we could practically run an air raid with these guys).  The offense is nowhere near its ceiling.  But the players could get over-excited and dorf the plays (they're human), Harbaugh could get conservative with the playcalls, and the refs can always take over the game.  They could score anywhere between 10 and 70 points, which has me irrationally terrified of ghosts.

11/20/2018 - 11:56am The true wisdom behind the…

The true wisdom behind the adage is you can set up the pass by making the defense play unsound against something you're good at because you're good at other things too.

Indeed, so not to refute this one bit, but I think "run sets up play-action" has become an oversimplification on a level beyond this.  Yeah an offense that finishes the day with -48 yards rushing running play-action on 3rd and 20 is doomed, but it's not just unfavorable conditions that make PA fall apart.  PA is inherently a feint, and I've seen some laaaaaazy play-actions that wouldn't fool a middle-school linebacker if the run game was averaging 9YPC.  I could swear that some OCs are so fully into the "run sets up the pass" mantra they don't rep the fake.  Why bother, then?

I agree that this play isn't a good example of exploring play-action, because as Seth noted, there isn't much play-action, uh, action, whereas we've seen Shea and Higdon fool the cameraman.  Indiana made adjustments that made them unsound.  Generally though, the only way you can get a QB OH NOES off run threat alone is through such mismatches that force the defense to absurdly overplay the base play, like Denard running QB power.  But then the problem with dinosaur coaches is that they're always in pursuit of that base play that opens up other things through sheer execution.

11/20/2018 - 11:23am shattered screen


MSU '15…

shattered screen

MSU '15 or OSU '16?

11/20/2018 - 11:22am "IP block" sounds inaccurate…

"IP block" sounds inaccurate then.  Temporary username lock, maybe.

11/19/2018 - 12:57pm There ya go.

There ya go.

11/19/2018 - 12:46pm It's crazy that we have to…

It's crazy that we have to have a conversation about the officiating crew for The Game merely hoping for impartiality, but here we are.

11/19/2018 - 12:33pm That wasn't the O'Neill crew…

That was a garbage game but I wouldn't call it worst ever.  Obviously the refs were biased trash but 2015 MSU had calls so outlandish they broke my suspension of disbelief and took me out of reality.

11/19/2018 - 12:30pm I think it's more Chaotic…

More like Chaotic Incompetent.  Obviously he has no regard for the integrity of the game, but if he was taking dirty money I think he'd be forced to be more brazen.  Also, he doesn't always seem necessarily biased; a lot of his calls are just inexplicable trash.  For example, ejecting Joe Bolden. . . that shell-shocked the defense and MSU took advantage, but FWIW he was one of the worst players on that defense.

He could be placing bets himself, though.  If he was managing his own risks he wouldn't necessarily need to panic if a team outperformed his expectations.

11/19/2018 - 12:28pm He should be banned from…

He should be banned from officiating, period.  It's not like other conferences deserve to have him.

. . . OK, maybe the SEC.

11/19/2018 - 12:27pm The only way to become…

The only way to become famous as an air traffic controller is to crash a bunch of planes.

The highest honor of a referee is anonymity.  Yet I am all too familiar with the name O'Neill.

11/19/2018 - 10:49am So does Harbaugh, and he's…

So does Harbaugh, and he's said as much.  But his first two priorities are getting the playcall right, and executing the play right.  Third priority, based on his track record, is to increase the diversity of plays.  He does like being able to go tempo, but he's also said if he prioritized that, he has to give up something else -- logically, the execution and quantity of plays has to go down.  You don't get to have it both ways.

Not to mention, the Harbaughffense doesn't get as much benefit from tempo as most offenses.  Harbaugh runs various plays from the same look and uses shifts to mess with defenses and expose coverages.  Lining up for these sorts of plays faster doesn't necessarily create more confusion.  About the only benefit is locking certain defensive personnel on the field, but Harbaugh seems he'd rather scheme around a playmaker than wait until he's hit the bench for a breather.

That said his veteran offenses have been known to go tempo, so to reiterate, he's certainly not against the idea.  Unfortunately, many of these guys are in their first or second year of the system.  Tempo is going to have to wait.

11/19/2018 - 10:05am Hi, you must be new here.

Hi, you must be new here.

dt0tk3oturp11.jpg

11/19/2018 - 8:08am No, they're the crew that…

No, they're the crew that ejected Joe Bolden for getting thrown on top of Connor Cook and officiating the "miracle" Sparty finish where they bowled over our long snapper.

They did rob Molester State the next week by allowing a Nebraska receiver to go out-of-bounds, so it seems they're less motivated by agenda and more a very chaotic variable, like weather or a drunk air traffic controller.

11/18/2018 - 10:53am I’m getting tired of the…

I’m getting tired of the refs leaving points on the field.

11/16/2018 - 3:20pm Maaaybe.  This can go in two…

Maaaybe.  This can go in two ways being predicted here (warm-up before OSU / early blowout then rest the starters), but I doubt it'll go both ways.  I think it's unlikely we'll run a glorified scrimmage AND blow them out.  We blew out PSU because we threw everything at them.  We blew out Rutger because Rutger is bad.  Rutger is 1-9.  Indiana is 5-5.  They're not great, but they might finish the season bowl-eligible.  They actually have a pulse.

It could easily become a 42-7 blowout, but likely not by following last week's gameplan unless Shea's Rudockening is still a thing underway thus we see an even more powered-up form tomorrow.  Otherwise this will be a blowout only if M comes out punching to put the game away early, which for Harbaugh generally means a 4- or 5-TD lead by the middle of the 3rd quarter.  That's plausible, but it'll mean using Shea as a run threat, or something like the Nebraska game where they start by putting new stuff on tape and then realize it's not necessary.

Michigan could also turtle, which they can probably get away with because the pressure is more on the defense, so if they're up to the challenge the offense shouldn't need to take risks.  A non-BPONE but conservative prediction of this gameplan would be an artificial #SLUDGEFART game where Michigan relies on its defense to keep the offense in the barn, with a final score of around 21-10.

Of course I could be completely wrong because football can be nonsense whenever it wants, but I'm just saying, Indiana isn't Rutger, and Harbaugh definitely isn't making that mistake.

11/16/2018 - 2:59pm Personally I'm not…

Personally I'm not particularly worried but FWIW I don't understand a trap game to contradict the notion that the team getting trapped is legit.  To the contrary, I always understood a trap game to be a legit team punching below its weight against an inferior opponent immediately before or after it plays a tough one.

11/16/2018 - 1:27pm One FG, one TD with a 2…

One FG, one TD with a 2-point conversion, fourteen safeties and a Calvinball.

11/16/2018 - 1:23pm injured freshman Michael…

injured freshman Michael Penix

Injured Penix sounds painful.

11/16/2018 - 11:29am They'd be all shields.  In…

They'd be all shields.  In fact you might as well make the All-American roster the Alabama roster.

/s. . . ec, baby

11/16/2018 - 11:26am When he comes on America it…

When he comes on America it is kinda scary.

Phrasing!

11/15/2018 - 5:25pm yuh huh

yuh huh

11/15/2018 - 1:57pm Surely, we have nothing to…

Surely, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  And don't call me Seriously.

11/15/2018 - 1:08pm Could there be some sort of…

Could there be some sort of mystical connection between these two teams?

My friend's girlfriend's sister's cousin's roommate said that they were going steady for a while.  Saw them make out a couple times.  Seemed pretty serious.

11/15/2018 - 1:00pm In what way?  I find the…

In what way?  I find the proofreading to be already quite rutgerous.