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Recent Comments

Date Title Body
02/21/2012 - 10:09am Be kind to the rest of the

Be kind to the rest of the world...if anyone is thinking about wearing this yourself...don't.

02/21/2012 - 10:02am Classic design, traditional

Classic design, traditional colours.  Simple, straightforward.  Love it.

02/21/2012 - 9:58am I hate to be cruel, but that

I hate to be cruel, but that hat just screams "Wallmart Wolverine."  Stick to Maize and Blue.  Please.

02/21/2012 - 9:56am There is only one hat I wear,

There is only one hat I wear, the Coach's Sideline hat.  I buy a new one at the beginning of each season and that becomes my "Dress Hat" that I wear to business meetings and only get worn if I am absolutely sure I won't be sweating in the hat or getting them dirty.  Some years they are the velcro back, some years a slider with a buckle clasp, but most years they are the flex fit or a fitted hat.  The older hats get used for various outdoor activities involving dirt or perspiration.  The very oldest hat is my "renovation hat" used for drywalling, sanding and other extreme dust situations.  Eventually the wife gets a look at the decrepit condition of the "reno hat" and it heads off to the trash bin.  My current reno hat is the same velcro model that RR wore on the sideline during Lloyd's last bowl game, the only M hat I bought at the end of the season.  

Here is the current version of the Coach's Sideline Structure Flex Hat:



02/15/2012 - 9:17pm I found this site in the

I found this site in the summer of 2006 as the hype was building for that season, when 2005 was labeled by Brian "the year of infinite pain," and remember fondly that we ran a lot of 3-3-5 on defence and Brian was making crazy arguments that some spread team from West Virginia was nothing more than an over rated gimick offence and had advanced stats that placed them no better than 13th and there was no way they should be rated higher than Michigan.  Those were the days.  The board was fun and intelligent and this place felt like a small insiders club.  That was before accounts and upvotes and negbangs and almost all the content was about football. 

12/13/2011 - 8:53pm Too cool, thanks.  I have

Too cool, thanks.  I have been looking for M branded compression wear for the longest time.

12/13/2011 - 3:48pm Can you purchase retail the

Can you purchase retail the compression shirts with the "Victors Valiant" or the block M on the sleeves?  No matter what you think of the uniforms, having a set of those would make some super cool workout wear.

11/09/2011 - 5:28pm Actually, that is what the

Actually, that is what the "10 man football" comment is all about.  He does not call out specific players, but indicated that way too often, there was one guy blowing his assignment.  That is on the players.

11/08/2011 - 12:34pm I am with you there...for

I am with you there...for someone who started watching Michigan football in the 2000's it would seem like those were the "good old days" when we played great defense, but I cannot remember how many times in the later Carr era where I would be shouting at the TV for some sin the defense would be commiting. I would always wonder how we suck so bad and could not stop anyone. Yeah, compared to today they would seem stout. It was watching the defense decline in the late Carr years that it became increasingly obvious that a malaise was settling on the program. And in 2006 they never really inspired confidence. We were winning, but there was this uneasy voice telling you it could not keep going like this...and it didn't. Wheras in 1997, you know in the core of your being that we could beat anyone. Someone would have check the stats, but we had games where in the second half teams were negative yardage against us and no one scored on us in the second half until the final game of the Big 10 season, and evemn then it was a meaningless TD. When I hear Hoke talk about Michigan football I know that is what he means...and that is why he is able to say we are an over rated team. I like the trajectory we are on...

11/08/2011 - 9:41am Ummm...he won that mostly

Ummm...he won that mostly with his legs, throwing screens, and wide open receivers (this RR's credit...but many of those throws required help from the receivers).  Watch, really watch the balls that Denard throws, then go watch some of the top college QB's in the nation.  Watch the beautiful balls they throw.  Watch the good decisions they make.  Then watch Denard.  He cannot throw the football.  He makes terrible decisions.  Because of that, defenses can key off on him.  One of the reasons our season imploded last year...other than the lousy that when it mattered, we could not keep defenses honest and open up running lanes because WE CANNOT PASS THE DAMB BALL.  For the most part this is on Denard.  He throws a lousy ball, has terrible footwork, and makes bad decisions.  Nice kid with great character, but not    a QB.

11/08/2011 - 9:27am The word of the week should

The word of the week should be "Perspective."  I completely agree with you about defense.  This is the most exciting part of this year is seeing what Mattison is doing with the recruits he was given.  This is a respectable defense.  Not dominant, but respectable.  We live in an era where offence is the thing.  We all want to talk about innovative and funky offence.  The X's and O's on offence are far more interesting than defense which is much more about boring "fundamentals."  But as Alabama and LSU make painfully clear, it is defense that wins championships.  (In the NFL, the best predictor of success is a team's "Defensive Passer Rating" ... the flip of the QB rating).  The young guns among the Michigan's fan base, which seems to be the largest demographic here, who came of age during the RR era or perhaps during the malaise years of the Carr era, don't really understand "Michigan Football."  Our football is about suffocating, tough, defense first, offense second.  This is exemplified in the 1997 team.  What I liked about watching Saturday night's contest is how much it reminded me of old Michigan teams.  So, yes, this old timer is excited about what I see with this staff, but not for today, for tomorrow: excellent recruiting, great defense, and a pro style offence waiting for a QB who can throw the football.  Stop the hand wringing and enjoy that during this transition we are average and getting better.

11/07/2011 - 3:37pm Dittos.  Could not agree with

Dittos.  Could not agree with you more.  I remember watching the first spring ball highlight videos with Denard and thinking to myself..."my goodness he can't even throw a nice tight spiral. Look at that wobble ball."  Still to this day he struggles with throwing a nice dart of a ball.  He is not a QB.

11/07/2011 - 3:20pm Welcome back Emo

Welcome back Emo Brian! 

Last week it seemed that Brian was beginning to see the first glimmers of Borges genius, as in we have no base offense, we are "multiple."  Now, not so much.

We are seeing one of the deeper truths of the QB position playing out before our eyes: you must be able to throw accurate balls and make good decisions, quickly under pressure.  Other than at a few places, such as Georgia Tech, perhaps Oregon, having a run first QB will only get you so far.  A QB must be able to throw a football.  This is why everyone is salivating over Andrew Luck.  Stand in the pocket and throw darts! (As an asside, I am not sure any team, no matter how good defensively, if they cannot move the ball downfield can be called the best in the is my vote for Stanford as the best team in the nation and Alabama should be ranked below Oregon as at least they moved the ball against LSU)  It is clear that Denard on a good day is maybe an average or slightly below average passer.  He throws so many wobble balls it is painful to watch. He makes so many bad decisions.  Teams load the box, put a spy on him, pound him till he is not himself and when called upon he cannot make the throws necessary to open up running lanes.  Nice kid with thousand watt smile whome I would be honoured to let date my daughter, but the only reason he has not been converted to reciever is that we don't have any better options.  There is a reason he was so available to us late as a QB prospect.  He is not a QB!  He cannot throw the football!  Not having QB's who can throw on scholarship is on RR.

As for the "Toughness" meme, anyone who has been a part of any organizational change knows that you have to pick a few major themes and hammer them and then demand changes consistent with those themes and eventually they will take hold.  This is no different than RR wanting to "Play Fast."  Whether or not we are "Tough" in any given game or on any given play, the meme is going to stay untill it is so ingraned in the team culture that it no longer needs to be preached.

Here is the big thing to wrap our heads around as a fan base.  Hoke was right when he said we were over rated.  We are not a top 15 team, never have been this year in spite of our record.  Too many thought that Michigan was "back."  I remember when we were good (and I don't mean one really thought...we hoped...but deep down knew we were not going to beat the team that does not 1997 you knew every game that we were the best team in football.  We passed the eye test, the feel test, the numbers test.  That was a good football team).  We are not good.   We are aspiring to respectablity, and that is it.

This is not time for emotional highs or lows.  Certainly there is no cause for Emo Brian to come out of the closet again.  Give it a couple of years.  I am encouraged that with our undermanned and undertalented team we are doing as respectably as we are.


10/13/2011 - 8:31pm I think it is not so much the

I think it is not so much the roll outs that are bad, but the rollout messing with his footwork.  If I have been reading the analysis correctly, the problem is he is not getting his feet set right on the rollout and this is causing bad things to happen. 

10/05/2011 - 4:43pm Looking down the list of top

Looking down the list of top 25 schools on any list you can dig up, do you have the feeling "We should beat them"?  I am not sure I get that feeling.  I love our new coaches, I love the vector this team seems to be on, but I agree with our coach that we are wildly over rated.  I will believe that we can beat any of the teams on that top 25 list when I see the final box score.  Until then, I have sworn off kool-aid.   I am old enough to remember Jonestown.  Not going there.  Not doing that.  This team has not shown enough in my mind to be considered a top 25 team.

09/20/2011 - 11:56am The ACC will likely add two

The ACC will likely add two more schools (UCONN and perhaps Rutgers).  Four 16 team super conferences are coming.  

Texas will be more of a headache than a boon to whatever conference they end up in.

ND could be left begging to enter the Big 10.


09/16/2011 - 3:52pm Ummm...both of the coaches

Ummm...both of the coaches are Hoke "cronies."  What I like about our co-ordinators, other than their competence, is that both Borges and Mattison are at the tail end of their careers.  Michigan is not a stepping stone for either.  There is a real chance for everyone to settle in an build something lasting and great.

09/16/2011 - 1:02pm What I like about seeing this

What I like about seeing this is the warm blanket feeling that Mattison and staff are the real deal.  It seems that Mattison is trully working with the talent he is given.  He has a secondary that is just not althletic enough to do all the finer things, so they are just making sure he can put them on an island in man coverage, knowing that they can get the incompletion. 

It also seems to me that Mattison also knows that he cannot get pressure with his front four (yet???).  It seems like he has improved the secondary play enough that can put guys on islands and start doing all kinds of mad scientist blitzes to get pressure.  It seems like he is tinkering with the guys he has to find packages that work.

Even with the small one and three quarters game sample size that Mattison is the real deal.  I am wicked excited for what this defense can become in the next few years. 


09/14/2011 - 8:05am The frankness and honesty of

The frankness and honesty of both men is refreshing.  Both are very realistic about where things are at.  You can see what they are describing in watching how they played.  And Mattison confirmed that they are basically at the "Stand there when they snap the ball" phase of things.  I think we will see both the offense and defense make steady progression as the season goes on.

09/13/2011 - 11:24am Look at Oregon/Auburn and

Look at Oregon/Auburn and Oregon/LSU ... both of those games were won with toughness and effort and yes speed.  They won the important battles at the point of attack.  As funky as that offense is, those games were won with suffocating defense.

That is in a nutshell the argument that many of us are making.

[As an asside...a stat we need to start doing more with here is defensive passer rating...more so than FEI]

09/13/2011 - 11:08am That is so true!  When we had

That is so true!  When we had an offense that was ripping up and down the field, why so little angst about defense?  I do think it was the coolness factor.  Again, there was all the focus of teaching and analysis about the offense, but little to help understand/critique/defend?!? the defense.  Yet it was the defense that was the black hole.  In the Lloyd era, both defense and offense were ripped with equal ferocity.  But then ripping everything about a winning program in malaise was the cool thing to do.  Then the cool thing to do was to love the RR offense.  But Brady Hoke is not cool.  So now what is the cool thing to do?  Pine back to RR?  MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ?

The funny thing is, for those of us old enough to know, the thing that has made Michigan, well...Michigan, was not so much "off tackle right" or "QB waggle" but defense.  Stout, suffocating defense.  Its what defined us.  I came of age in my love for Michigan football in '97 just as I was finishing up grad school.  That is the image of Michigan football seared into my mind.  We were also "Drop Back QB U"   We were a feeder school for pro athletes.  With Mattison back and Borges here I get the sense that we will become "Michigan" again.  Don't get me wrong, I liked RR.  I liked his spread.  It was funky and cool and advanced stats friendly.  But I like Hoke more, in that for him it is about Michigan first and his "system" second.  In fact his system is not really a system.  Its about teaching fundamentals, managing the program well, being a shaper of young men and letting his co-ordiantors do the "system" thing.  The whole approach just seems more "Michigan."  Will it succeed more?  Time will tell, but I like the early returns.

What does this mean for Brian?  Well, I think he has to start learning so he can start teaching and analyzing.  He has to learn what Borges does and what Mattison does and then reviewing the film in the UFR and in other articles begin teaching the rest of us the concepts that they are using in their systems.  For me, I know a bit about the west coast offence, but I am looking forward to learning more about it and thus to recognize what we are seeing, much in the way we learned how to recognize the scrape exchange.  I would also love to learn more about the blitz concepts that Mattison uses and has used so that I can watch the game more intelligently.  That, I beleive, was what spawned this blog, a frustration that no one in the main stream media took the time to do this kind of analysis.  We need to get beyond the cliches (Borges has to run more spread option plays to take advantage of Denard) to delve into the schemes and data that get beyond hypothesis to actual facts.  We have glommed onto this blog not just because we are Michigan fans, but because we are "intelligent" football fans.  We need that intelligence back.

09/13/2011 - 10:20am Amen to that.  I am not sure,

Amen to that.  I am not sure, though, that the problem has been consistency or hypocrisy, but a lack of research based learning.  When we did get numbers, they were presented to bolster a philosophy (MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ) and thus suspect.  When RR came to town we spent the summer learning the basics of the read option run based spread.  Then I think Brian fell in love with RR the offensive tactician and the sick numbers his offence could put up and its total contrast to Lloyd Ball.  Brian was never objective about his disdain for Lloydball or his new found love for a new, intelligent, funky and dare we say "cool" offense. 

Then RR got himself fired. 

Then the "cool" pick went the NFL, the "crazy"  pick chose to stay in the south, and we ended up with the guy singing the Proclaimers song.  He was pining for what was.  We were no longer cool.  It looked like Lloydball was back.  (MANBALL=Lloydball=Boball)

But instead of dispassioned analysis of what to expect with an Al Borges offense or a Greg Mattison defense, we got the spring/summer of emo.  There were no teaching pieces showing us the basics of the west coast offense and how it works and what Borges has done in the past to modify it, we got Free Press like analysis that said, Hoke/Borges will have to adapt to the players they have.  It just sounded sad and pathetic to see Brian become the people he criticized for saying the same things three years ago.

He is slowly emerging from his shell, but we are still not getting pieces resembling the level of analysis that we got during the RR era where great pains were taken to show frame by frame what a genius RR was, how much smarter he was than everyone.  We are still not getting the same level of teaching or analysis, but it is starting to return.  I guess this is what love does to people...

09/09/2011 - 4:58pm Seeing how things got better

Seeing how things got better as the game went on gives me real optimism that this group of young men on defense could actually exceed expectations.  

09/09/2011 - 1:54pm I think there is also the

I think there is also the "thinking too much" effect going on as well.  Even for someone like myself who is not adept at breaking down plays, our defense seemed to gain confidence as they game went on and it also seemed that Mattison was making changes as well.  It seems like at the moment guys are still thinking about the fundamentals like being in the right spot and running to the right place, reading the offence and then moving to the new right spot and running to the new right place that some of that last 5-10% is being lost.  From what I saw on Saturday and in the above picture pages, that a time will come that you will see players turning their heads at just the right time because they are no longer thinking about where to stand and where to run.  When the fundamental become ingrained and the game starts to slow down, we will see some of these finer points begin to creep into the game.  Right now it seems like the only one who is beyond fundamentals, where to stand, where to run and how make changes and then still do all the little things right to make plays is our walk-on turned star, Jordan Kovaks. 

09/08/2011 - 5:48pm As the game wore on and

As the game wore on and Mattison started dialing up the blitzes, despite the "OMG-here-we-go-again" feeling early in the game, I really began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  A little more time, a few more of his type of players, and Mattison is going to build us a killer D.  I am so excited to see Michigan Football come back...or is it going to be a slightly, smaller, younger version of the Raven in Michigan uniforms...either way, I relish the thought that it is now possible, one day soon, that teams will be afraid to play us.  I get goose bumps thinking about it.

Carder should thank his lucky stars that the game did not continue.  A couple more of those helmet poppers and they might have carried him out. 

09/07/2011 - 4:16pm And once again Kovacs saved

And once again Kovacs saved the day...

09/07/2011 - 1:38pm I wonder what are the chances

I wonder what are the chances that we will see a "Kovacs" jersey? 

Kovacs is by far my favourite Michigan player.  And the whole "walk-on" thing is one of the reasons that I love college football and prefer it to the pro game.  In this day and age of recruiting watchers and assigning stars to players, seeing a young man like Kovacs come to Michigan, pay his way, and then work his tail off to make the team and earn a scholarship embodies the essence of collegiate athletics.  I love being reminded that he is a "walk-on."  I hope he gets a shot at the next level for his football intelligence, being some team's defensive QB.

Baring that, i would hope he enters the ranks of coaches.  I think it would be a first rate feel good story to see him come back home to UM as a top flight defensive co-ordinator or head coach some day.

09/05/2011 - 6:24pm I am from London (hence

I am from London (hence Forest City Blue), and Lucas is an "academic" school, that is parents of smart kids move into the neighbourhood.  It services all the expensive to live in parts of the city and most of the kids are children of academics, lawyers, doctors, and the like.  If they wanted to play a decent football team (and this is not to say that they would have won), they should have played last year's city champ, Catholic Central.  At least there might have been a chance for a competitive game.  It would be fun for some Great Lakes area schools to do home and home series, one played with American rules and one played with Canadian rules (wider field, three downs, larger ball and the running recievers as the most notable differences.  Plus it would be nice to see some top talent play here as well.

08/22/2011 - 8:35pm Would rather see Woodson play

Would rather see Woodson play in Michigan Stadium one more time...just saying...

08/11/2011 - 3:15pm Nice to see Brian doing

Nice to see Brian doing actual research again.  Hopefully his emo period is behind him for good.

08/11/2011 - 3:13pm Amen!  This is what I

Amen!  This is what I remember about this thing we call "Michigan Football."  Defense.  My fandom came of age during 1997, and what made that team fun to watch was not the offence but the defense.  Killer D...Toughness...that is music to my soul.

08/10/2011 - 5:14pm I don't believe I ever

I don't believe I ever claimed that I would never make one, just that the argument in question was not one.  For what it is worth, I was not refering to any one particular person.  It was more a wry observation on the power of group think and social cohesion.   That you were moved to comment on my remarks is in itself interesting.

08/10/2011 - 11:54am The OP is just not funny.  It

The OP is just not funny.  It would be nice if he were funny.  Funny is good.  His writing is not even really all that clever.  But the lowest common denominator group think crowd here deems him hilarious, therefore it must be so. 

07/13/2011 - 11:24am I respectfully disagree,

I respectfully disagree, Captian.  What separates an ad hominem attack from other lines of argumentation is that the ad hominem attacks the person separate from any reference to the argument at hand as a way of discrediting the speaker such that the substance of the argument does not have to be dealt with.  An extreme example might be to say something like, Person X cheats on his taxes, why whould anyone listen to a guy who cheets on his takes.  If overall character is a part of credibility, as in the example of a courtroom setting where the credibility of a witness can have great importance, then such an ad hominum attack might have some validity.  Because person X cheets on his taxes we cannot trust what he is saying here today. 

This is very different from the process of uncovering bias.  One might argue (quite credibly too), that because of Brian's overall "downer" attitude on the Hoke hire that I am biased against giving his arguments a fair hearing.  I can accept that my reaction to Brian's reaction to the Hoke hire colours how I percieve his argumentations as of late.  You have to take that bias into account when I make the argument that I find his "cautions" about what we can expect with the Hoke regime to be weakly researched and inadequately developed, especially when compared to the depth of material he prepared when Rodriguez was hired.  To say that he has a bias against Hoke and this is playing out in his articles is a perfectly fair line of argumentation and completely germane to the topic at hand.  Bias deals directly with the substance and content of the material at hand and the process by which it became a finished product.

Uncovering methedological bias in research is an intergral part of the scientific process and the quest for knowledge.  Rather than shying away from dealing with our biases, when someone confronts us with out fundamental biases we need to deal with the issue with honest self reflection.  We might come to the conlusion after such reflection and realize that our bias has in fact skewed the results.  We might go back to the data and after taking into account our bias towards a particular conclusion, realize that the data still supports what we have to say, bias and all.  It about fully owning and taking responsibility for our ideas, begining with all the issues of prolegomena through to conclusion.

Saying, "You conclusion is affected by your biases" is not an ad hominem, but rather meant to sharpen the research and conclusions of the presenter.  It should be seen as a valuable counterpoint that shapens the saw and not an unwelcome interloper meant to sidetrack the debate. 

07/12/2011 - 4:46pm No, dumbass (that is an ad

No, dumbass (that is an ad hominum), bias is part of any argument.  Part of picking apart an argument is to tease out the bias and see if the argument is weakened or falls apart.  Claiming an opinion is biased, does not nullify the argument; rather it should give you cause to go back and review the conclusions drawn from the data and see if it changes the results once bias is accounted for.  Sometimes bias can affect which subjects are dealt with and how.  Bias and uncovering bias is a perfectly valid line of argumentation and a necessary part of the pursuit of the truth of any matter.

07/12/2011 - 4:18pm It means "against the

It means "against the person."  An ad hominum attack completely disregards the argument being made and attacks the person rather than dealing with the substance of the article.  Its like saying, "Did you know that he is gay/cheats on his wife/beats children/is racist/etc. therefore you can't trust anything he says."  I simply have taken his wel documented opinions of the past and say that they are colouring his present outlook and arguments.  It is in fact the opposite of an ad hominum attack.  The exposing of methodological bias is a perfectly valid form of argumentation.

07/12/2011 - 2:46pm Saying that someone's

Saying that someone's underlying and well documented prejudice against someone (Brian ridiculed the idea of Hoke being a serious candidate for the Michigan) is now colouring and affecting his thought processes in regards to the new administration is not an ad hominum attack.  Saying that someone's basic biases are affecting his ability to think objectively is a perfectly valid line of argument.  Its an argument that goes behind the surface reasons being presented as a valid argument to deal with issues of prolegomena.  The line of my counter argument is this: Brian, you are no longer credible when criticizing the current staff because you have not overcome you inherent bias against them.  It is the same reason most around here don't see the Free Press as credible.  Wrapping those arguments in statisitics simply masks the underlying bias. 

I don't expect him to embrace Hoke with a big love fest; but when you look at the level of excitement he showed when RR was hired and extensive analysis and educaitonal efforts in regards to the spread offence the contrast is startling.  Now we get negativity, fears over his expectations that the offence will be screwed up and Denard's talents squandered (MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ) and now a "Don't Expect the Defense to Improve that Much" post.  It bears a spooky resemblance to the Free Press' handling of RR.


07/12/2011 - 2:26pm Unless of course you look at

Unless of course you look at last year's Syracuse team.

07/12/2011 - 2:21pm But all that is swept aside

But all that is swept aside once you hear the words: "I coached Ray Lewis"

07/12/2011 - 1:01pm Naw, its more than that. 

Naw, its more than that.  Brian has been down on the Hoke hire and now seems to be fixated on looking for negatives to the same degree that he looked for points of optimism in regards to RR.  One almost gets the sense that he will be disapointed if Hoke et. al.  succeed where his boy RR failed. 

07/12/2011 - 12:55pm I don't disagree.  We will

I don't disagree.  We will not be world destrying overnight.  But I expect we will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of improvement a top quality DC will make, even with below average talent by historical standards for Michigan.  Remember the power of this one truth: "I coached Ray Lewis."

07/12/2011 - 12:52pm Exactly!  Brian's fixations

Exactly!  Brian's fixations with how bad he expects this team to be and his use of stats to prove his point is getting as tiresome as his use of stats to prove how great out team was under RR. 

07/12/2011 - 12:44pm I expect with the combination

I expect with the combination of coaching staff overhaul and 9 returning starters we will have a middle of the pack defense, say 60th on the list, perhaps a little higher, rising into the 50s.

07/12/2011 - 12:26pm I might agree with that

I might agree with that assessment if our OC continued to be GERG.  But we now have 9 returning starters and Mattison.  Will this defense be earth destroying?  Naw.  But I expect we might rise to the level of "average" or "slightly better than average."  I expect we are going to be pleasantly surprised this year by the improvement. 

07/11/2011 - 1:12pm Is that a Nike medium or an

Is that a Nike medium or an Adidas medium?

Can't help you with either...I wear a 2x

07/02/2011 - 11:53pm Ummm...yes it has everything

Ummm...yes it has everything to do with RR.  The basic thrust of the article is MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ (see Brian's own conclusion).  Everything that is written up to that point is meant as support or evidence for the basic premise.  What is underlying this?  Borges has stated in a number of interviews, backed up by the plays they ran in the spring game, that is intent was for Robinson to take more snaps under centre.  Obviously this has Brian a little worried, hence this long staw man article where Brian proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that RR's shotgun run heavy offense was the end all to be all as is clearly demonstrated by FEI and other stats too complex for the average man to understand.  He also drags out stats from NFL teams in regards to those that take snaps out of the shotgun.  All this to support the conclusion that Borges is an idiot for thinking it is best to use Robinson under centre.  (I am overcharacterizing for sure, but that is a rhetorical divice used to make a point in its starkest contrast)  The article still feels like he is clinging to what was, rather that moving forward to attempt to come to a reasonable understanding of what is to come. 

07/02/2011 - 7:39pm   "The post was an attempt


"The post was an attempt to determine where the balance between Borges and Denard should be "

I am not sure what that means, but ok.  I stand by my words.  Go look back at the articles from when RR was hired and the type of analysis we got was far superior, better researched and more objective that MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ.  He actually UFRed a Rutgers v. WVU game to show us what to expect from the offence.  All we have gotten so far are bogeymen and snide "Manball" references.  My only conclusion from this and other pieces of recent vintage is that Brian honestly believes that Borges is going screw up Denard and ruin the best offence in football.  All the obscure stats are not going to erase the fact that we could not win football games.  Being the most offense ever between the 20's does not a winning team make...MOAR SHOTGUN or not.

07/02/2011 - 12:01pm Bang on!  Nice turn of phrase

Bang on!  Nice turn of phrase too.  "...beyond contestation..."  Love it! 

07/02/2011 - 11:51am But because of his fixation

But because of his fixation on the MANBALL meme, he has stopped looking at the actual data and has this parinoid fear that somehow Borges is an idiot who will completely screw up an awesome machine like offence that can move the ball at will ( the red zone or the first half agains Wisconsin) and replace it with some stupid outdated version of the off tackle run. 

So Brian has concocted some statistacal mash that seems to offer insight but instead sets up a number of straw men to knock down.  Rather than offering actual football insights they tell us more about Brian's love for the Rodriguez run first spread offence and his paranoia that failure is imminent if we deviate from what was working so well under Rodriguez. 

Truth is: it wasn't working.  We could move the football between the 20's but could not punch it in the end zone because...wait for it...we were not "tough" enough on the O-line, nor did we have a running back who could buldoze into the endzone, nor could we pass well enough, a la Tom Brady darts, to score consistently inside the 20.  You can call this flamebate all you want, but its the truth.  Personally, I am excited to see what Borges will do with the players he has on offence.  I think his resume should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Frankly, if Brian had done a UFR like look at a number of SDSU's games last year and come to some horrifying conclusions, I might be willing to listen.  But this bit of tripe that he has written says more about Brian's psyche and how he is dealing with the coaching transition (poorly, but we all know that) than it offers any real meaningful football insights about what we should expect in the upcoming year with a Borges led offense. 

When Rodriguez was hired we had several months of explanations of how the run spread worked, the zone read, zone blocking, one cut running techniques and so forth. It was informative and insightful and filled with the kind of research heavy material that Brian built his reputation on.  Now we have been given nothing, except fear and loathing about what might be when Borges comes to town.  No in depth looks into the west coast offence and how it is run and what Borges has done over the years to adapt it to different personel.  We have gotten a lot of whining and pouting and articles like the above: MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ.  Give me a break.  It is superficial, facile and lazy.  Brian has become what he used to criticize in others.  He needs to move on and start providing real football analysis like a professional.  He is no longer just some engineering student in his pajamas writing for a lark.  He needs to stop pouting, grow up and start acting like a professional.

07/02/2011 - 11:19am Or more important even than

Or more important even than points is wins.  In that category we woefully underperformed.

To me his reliance on FEI in Michigan's case is like a defense mechanism, a way for Brian to protect himself from the truth.  We moved the football and put up a lot of yards, but we had trouble scoring in the red zone, we had trouble stopping the pass, we could not kick worth a damb.  And then to drag out a comparison of under center vs. shotgun just seems...well...desperate. 

If he is looking for a meaningful stat (beyond wins and losses) he should try first of all "Defensive Passer Rating" which would likely tell him that we were completely incapable of stopping the pass and as a result we had no business winning football games.  We did manage to win a few not because we were able to run the ball so effectively, but because our "Passer Rating Differential" was a positive number

What excites me about the staff that Hoke put together is that Borges is a West Coast passer efficiency guy on offence and Mattison will have a possitive impact on all aspects of our defence, including Defensive Passer Rating.  There is nothing wrong is regressing in terms of how many yards we put up on the board if we improve enough in how we stop the pass to generate a possitive Passer Rating Differential.  And the likelihood that improving that stat will improve things in the win/loss column is very likely.

Because, in the end, the only stat that matters is wins and losses.