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09/07/2011 - 6:28pm dear the knowledge

i am much admire your the knowledge.  michigan for victory 31-28.  brendan gibbons will become a left footed hero of lore.  it will suprising everyone but myself.

07/28/2010 - 12:29pm one wonders

greatest part:

bear trapped under ice comes to life, creates energy hockey stick and smashes ship that rescuses him?


earth explodes for no reason?

they are both so greatness for so many reasons, it's hard to decide.

05/25/2010 - 12:59pm detnews comments

Because I am stupid, I read the comments under the Detroit News article just now, and the unwillingness of people to read and understand the specifics of this very frustrating.

Most people read the article, cry something like "cheaters never prosper" and then say the coach should be fired and the university burned to the ground.

I know, I know, it's my own stupid fault for reading the comments, but yeah.

Thanks Brian for posting non-reactionary, informative articles, that reference, you know, facts.   

05/19/2010 - 2:53pm strategy is behind

Interesting point Brian brought up at the end - that I think is essentially correct -  about strategy being behind statistics.  I think this is very true, and I always hated when Lloyd punted from the opponent's 38. 

This is a great column because it shows how far behind that thinking is.  Despite RR's first few years being....less than stellar....I am encouraged at his risk taking usually and I think he will be much more willing to not punt on the opponent's side of the field.  

Couple of things about that though that I think go a long way in explaining the behavior - not excusing of course, but expaining- first, old habits die hard, and back when Lloyd started with Bo, 4th and 7 was a lot different then it is now.  (Actually, I would love to see this chart from a prime Bo year, like 1972 or something, and see what the decision chart looked like then.  I bet back then anything over 4th and 5 anywhere had really low returns.  Then we could see what years current coaches are trapped in!) Anyway, when Carr had Henne and Braylon that 4th and 4 short pass was a very effective play, back in the day it was much less reliable.  One of my principal complaints with Carr was that even though we obviously used Braylon to great effect, we could have used him even more on those stupid 4th and 3's at the Notre Dame 39 instead of punting.  In fact, given Carr's willingness to use short passing much more than Bo I'm surprised he didn't go for that more often.  In that way I totally agree with the column that the decion making is way behind what offenses can actually do now.   

But I think what explains that in part is what one might call a strategic decision verus what you might call a tactical one - Carr in general wanted to play a low-variance game.  He wanted a game with no surprises more than he wanted to maximize one possession.  This was usually a good thing for Michigan - against Indiana there was NEVER a reason to take chances no matter what.  There was no reason to maximize one possession because, all things being equal, it was only a matter of time.  And it's important to keep in mind that Carr was good at that part.  What I think a lot of us would liked to have seen is more risk taking (and not even that big of a risk...) in close games where one possession had much more importance. 

This is kind of a related question, but due to all the data you had I wondered if you thought it suggested anything along these lines - is there any percentage at all in keeping the game within a score?   Let's say we are down 10-0.  Does that make a field goal make more sense statistically than if we are down 14-0?  I know that kinda falls under game specifics, but I only wonder because I think a lot of coaches make decisions to keep the game within a score, and I was wondering whether there was anything to that or just a preference not to take chances?

05/14/2010 - 1:26pm run the damn ball

I do understand that the offense is quite a bit different these days but it is hilarious that the ABC commentators said "Michigan doesn't just run anymore, they pass sometimes" because we were passing so much more than before.  That was 1986, and people are still saying it today. 

Also, how about Brent's hat?

04/09/2010 - 1:00pm that's me!

I am the kid in the blue jacket in the Mike Legg video.

02/25/2010 - 9:25am I like this post, because it

I like this post, because it gives you a feel for the allegations. Sadly, there is actually some lapse in all of this on UM's part, and it's a shame, no matter how small the lapses may be.

I also like the reasoned approach and can now feel more comfortable than ever in my previously held opinion that the Free Press is a bunch of slobs, and malicious slobs at that. To me, a huge mischaracetization is a huge lie, and I blame a lot of the outcry from the rest of the country on the Free Press.

A lot of what this shows, actually, is how useless the NCAA can be. Lots of rules that don't make things any better.

11/06/2009 - 9:16am yeah

i have to say, this is about the greatest thing i have ever seen. of course that could be friday morning at work but whatever.

11/04/2009 - 10:47am kinda disagree

We did have them on the ropes in the first half, but we didn't take advantage. To me, scoring only 13 after all the opportunities we had wasn't good either. I was extremely concerned after the first half.

11/03/2009 - 3:55pm on target

I absolutely agree with your 6-6 or 7-5 before the season started, and that people are being too emotional now, because we have a fair shot to end up where we were going to end up generally.

However, there is one thing that I find a little dissapointing, though, and of course this will depend on the Purdue game as much as Illinois- if we had beaten Illinois and Purdue, then we could say we took a huge step forward and beaten all the teams we should have beaten, plus maybe one extra, and lost to all the teams better than us, and I would have felt pretty ok about things. It would have been really nice to be absolutely comfortable that we had progressed from last year's disaster to being a real team again. An average or below average big ten team, granted, but a real big ten team.

I think part of the reason people are so worked up is that after Illinois they are afraid that no such progress is being made. Illinois is really bad, and has been pounded by pretty much everyone- so I think the fear is that we just aren't getting any better. Is it too early to tell? Of course. Is it just one game? Of course. But, man, it was a stinker.

So, I'm not saying that's right necessarily, or that the freak out crowd is right, but at this point it's more than simply whether we hit the 6-6 target or go -1 and go 5-7 or whatever. If we lose to Purdue, and go 5-7, then depending on manner of said loss, I think you could argue- with some fairness- that we really haven't made much progress this year. Maybe 5-7 would be more preogress than it seems, because we didn't lose to a MAC team, but only 1 big ten win would kinda suck.

Now, I'm not ready to fire up the torches or anything extreme like that, but like Brian said yesterday, there is really legitimate concern at this point.

It feels like every game this year is the most important, but once again Purdue will tell us a lot. If we can beat Purdue, then maybe we did just suck against Illinois and oh, well, shake it off and whatever. But if we lose to Purdue then I think there's a real possibility that something larger is wrong with the team that goes beyond youth or game mistakes.

There is a real difference between reactionary whackos and a legitimate cause for concern, and right now I think there is legitimate cause for concern.

02/23/2009 - 10:03am nickelback

Yes, making fun of Nickelback is lots of fun.

Surely James Buchanan has to be in consideration here. His primary contribution to the presidency was to not intervene when the Southern states started seceding and grabbing control of federal arsenals. All poor WHH did was get pneumonia.

01/27/2009 - 4:52pm right

i think this current uproar was more about the two players and the response of the school to this specific incident than state over time.

i think really the proof of that is that over time state wins. you can't appeal to the lowest common denominator all the time and have a long history of winning. so no, i don't think anyone can reasonably say that state has a long standing committment to hooliganism.

more proof: ferris state, which quite obviously does. rough teams that aren't any good.

01/27/2009 - 4:51pm right

i think this current uproar was more about the two players and the response of the school to this specific incident than state over time.

i think really the proof of that is that over time state wins. you can't appeal to the lowest common denominator all the time and have a long history of winning. so no, i don't think anyone can reasonably say that state has a long standing committment to hooliganism.

more proof: ferris state, which quite obviously does. rough teams that aren't any good.

01/27/2009 - 10:40am not sure

that "forcier exp threet" explains as much as you think it does...especially purdue, where we scored 40+ and lost. surely that one was on the defense, and it was the defense that lost with time running out...

01/09/2009 - 12:20pm im almost 30

and i must be getting crotchety too because i kinda agree. at least back then it was just a few good games (for the sake of the game) and we really didn't know who was champion. but since we still don't im pretty unsympathetic to the bcs.

for nostalgia's sake i watched the 1986 fiesta bowl (jaime morris!) over the holidays and enjoyed it more than any game i watched this year.

one caveat: 1997 was kinda annoying. but since the bcs hasn't really helped at all going back to old system doesn't seem so bad.

12/12/2008 - 4:03pm theory of idiocy

actually i have a theory about that...i think wherever you are the percentage of stupid people is always the same. i did not run into more (or less) idiots at michigan than i have anywhere else.

12/12/2008 - 3:59pm disagree

RR has proven his ability to use different QBs - although Shaun King at Tulane did get very good rushing yards, he was primarily a passer. Mallet was a good athlete and would have been fine in this offense just like King. I think people over-rely on the "he wasn't right for this offense" memo. He wanted out almost from day one- Carr had to convince him not to tansfer before the season even started. Mallett may have had the PERCEPTION that he wouldn't fit in this O, but that is a misnomer.

I would not clalk up any poor outings Threet did have primarily to poor running. That was not among his most glaring defects, actually. If he would have thrown the ball well he'd have been fine.

This is not to say RR wouldn't prefer to run- almost any coach would prefer to run. But don't be blinded by Pat White/Steve Slaton. They ran almost always because they had an awesome running game AND were also did not have a super great downfield passing game. If Threet could throw more consistently, he could well be successful in the spread.

12/03/2008 - 2:37pm kinda agree

with divisions, you have the silly result as this year, but without divisions, you have the possibility of rematches. i know this is a possibility with divisions too, but doesn't no divisions increase the posibility of silly rematches? look at this year- if you took #1 and #2, which have played already, it's possible that the other team wins, the teams are 1-1 against each other, and the only deciding factor is who won last. that doesn't seem quite right.

think if the big 10 had a conference championship but no divisions, and the game was simply #1 vs. #2. think about the number of years where this would still have been michigan/ohio state even after the michigan/ohio state game- all those years that m/osu finished #1/#2 in the big ten they just would have had to turn around and play each other again in the conference championship....

12/03/2008 - 10:56am i guess we don't need

another person saying sharp is dumb, but man, he just is, so i can't help it.

the thing about it is sharp just fixates on the most banal things he can possibly find (as pointed out above) and fixates on it forever. i really don't get it.

also, he likes to act like everything occurs to him first, which is only true when he's saying something so asinine it wouldn't have occured to anyone else at all.

12/03/2008 - 10:46am actually

just some background on our "dinky tv's" -as far as michigan goes, those boards are pretty new- you obviously didn't attend any games before 1998 (i think it was 98). anybody remember the awesome black rectangular boxes? they didn't take those out that long ago, and i was shocked they did. i'm still thrilled with what we have to be honest...see this 98 michigan daily article

i get your point about the tech, but i also understand people's fear about the game becoming an "experience" rather than a game. i am kind of in agreement with them that if we make stupid gitchy crap possible then stupid gitchy crap will happen. if they started to make wolverine sounds when we make a first down like the crap they do at northwestern and penn state i will tear my diploma into little pieces and mail it back to the universtity (dagnabbit).

some old photos:

12/02/2008 - 4:03pm liked

the post. yay Catholics.

11/26/2008 - 3:25pm i did read it

I did read the article in full, but with respect, I still disagree.

While I agree that Central and Michigan are different, i think this argument might be a little too nuanced- the only evidence we have of his coaching was a disaster.

Accepting your argument for a moment, however, consider that Central was a pretty successful program when DeBord took over, and he immediately drove it into the ground. CMU has been good before and since.

So, actually, DeBord did take the reigns of an already successful program, and didn't do very well.

11/25/2008 - 2:24pm we dont throw downfield

The passing metric is a little misleading since we throw a large number of 2 yard passes.

11/25/2008 - 2:18pm um, yes?

Well, actually yes, considering we lost to Toledo this year- so, yes, I would consider beating both Eastern and Western (who beat Illinois and is much better than Toledo) quite an improvement.

11/23/2008 - 12:27am ok, but

not all ctiticism is pure negativity.

for example, two types of criticism:

1. RR is a shit
2. i might have chosen to run a different play on 3rd and 8.

the first is overtly negative, and patently non-constructive. the second simply denotes a difference of opinion. part of the fun of football is arguing about what a coach should have done in a certain situation, what personnel should play, etc.

i can get on board with quelling the unconstructive rants about how RR should be tarred, feathered, etc. those are silly. but to say a coach should never be criticized can't be quite right either.

i think you're railing against what you see as unfair criticism to a team you love, so fine, but not everyone who has ever offered criticism is simply being a dickhead.

11/21/2008 - 3:16pm good

as usual. thanks. always enjoy reading these.

11/21/2008 - 12:55pm yay!

hope its true. where does one obtain these forms? i need mine stamped....

11/21/2008 - 12:53pm maybe?

not sure what you mean? we were in peace corps...

11/21/2008 - 12:52pm so, i just realized

that Brian just posted something fairly similar- my only defense is that i wrote this mostly yesterday, at work, if that surprises anyone, before i saw his posting today.

11/21/2008 - 11:50am is.....

...that good or bad?

11/20/2008 - 1:16pm yeah but

ok, but the 90's were vastly different. then we had a "bad for Michigan" squad. now we have an objectively bad squad. we are not bad for michigan, we are not bad for the big 10, we are bad, bad, bad.

same goes for the other side of the coin- yes, osu is not as good as everyone thought, you're totally right about that. but they are a still a decent team. we are exponentially worse.

11/20/2008 - 10:41am second

yes. i first read it on foxsports ( i know, my fault) and then, in my only moment of wisdom ever, said- WAIT, let's just see what he really said before i get mad.

yay mgoblog.

now instead of being mad at RR i'm mad at "the media."

11/20/2008 - 9:44am skepticism but

Lately I have been a leading proponent of skepticism because i think it is not unfair to be skeptical after this season. But I think your reasoning is a bit off.

The logical dilemma people are having seems to be that "RR has clearly been successful before, but he doesn't seem to be now- what gives?"

I agree with you that you can't just ASSUME that RR will be good, but i think at this point you are really ignoring facts if you don't admit that RR's past suggests PROBABLE success. It's not as if he's coming off of 4 jobs where he was a complete failure.

11/19/2008 - 11:21am this is very amusing

and also- if the spit hits a pylon on its way into the endzone is it a touchdown?

11/18/2008 - 2:58pm no,

no, i get the part about the points handed to other teams. but, while interesting, that is a very esoteric analysis.

in my mind the fact that we are losing so many players (and all the good ones) is just a far more important point. let us suppose, that as you say steve brown does improve. hey, he might, who knows? but that is only the first of about 8 huge issues we have to address on defense. SB must improve AND the linebackers much be much better AND we will have 4 new DL starters AND a new corner, etc.

improvement this year does not necessarily mean good for next year. sure, the OL is better. that doesnt mean they will turn into good in the offseason, but once again, even assuming they do there are LOTS of other big ifs.

i admire your optimism, i really do, im still just not seeing it.

11/18/2008 - 8:35am 6-6

If I were offered 6-6 I would take it right now. We are losing 5 of our best 6 defensive players (Graham will leave).

Plus, Threet has been hurt, which means that he is losing a lot in development time right now.

Love the optimism, but this team has about 1000 ifs to get any better at all.

11/17/2008 - 12:23pm agree

Yeah, I don't see the problem with this post, it seems mostly right to me.

I think it bears repeating too- for not only the reason stated by tbliggins, but also for the other side of the extreme opinions coin- people that think that RR is somehow blameless this year.

The following statements are NOT mutually exclusive:
1. RR should not be fired
2. RR is having a bad season.

I think both of those statements are true.

11/14/2008 - 11:50am i hope you're right!

but, keep in mind that some of those 3's are on the OL, what's more ferrara was a 3 at not OL, and that the OL are very young, which has a disproportionate impact on the team.

same with the LBs.

also, not all talent pans out, and i'm about ready to call ezeh a miss, also charles stewart is not on there, and he is a very bad player playing a very important position.

11/13/2008 - 12:08pm not only

Not only what blueman says, but part of our pride was based on the fact that we had NOT gone through such doldrums/adjustments. It was great that we had been at least pretty good year in and year out and part of our having the most wins of any program was that we never sucked.

So actually I think we lost a lot with this year- the no- losing-record-streak, the bowl streak, and the we-don't-suck-ever-streak.

We could differentiate ourselves from USC, Alabama, and Notre Dame because even though they might be better than us in a given year, we had never experienced the pain that they had. It wasn't inevitable that we would have that pain, and it sucks that we do.

I don't think RR should be fired or anything like that, but that doesn't mean that this year hasn't sucked, and perspective can only get you so far. The fact that we even need perspective makes me sad.

11/13/2008 - 12:01pm this is almost certainly the

this is almost certainly the correct view. rodriguez will have a couple of good planned drives, we will take the lead, but as the game goes on osu will take over. the score will be close b/c tressel will eventually put it in lockdown mode, so something like 20-9.

11/13/2008 - 10:42am i like your optimism

i like your optimism but i have never been more comfortable saying we have no chance this year. someone is sure to bring up the brian greise upsets here, but circumstances were certainly different then, when we either had a raging awesome tailback, or a better defense, or both. our team was way better then than now.

i think the score will be close but only because tressel will score 2 or 3 touchdowns and go into super lockdown let's not make turnover mode just like last year. our offense is still not good enough for more than a drive or two against big time defenses (we started well against penn st, but they adjusted pretty well, didnt they?) and so (to all of our supreme annoyance) tressel will beat us something like 17-6 or 20-9 but it really wont be that close.

the game will look just like last year- yes, for totally different reasons, but the outcome will be the same.

11/13/2008 - 10:34am what if factor

i agree with nearly all of what you say BUT one caveat i would add is the big "if" of threet's offseason improvement. i agree that threet has been hampered by injuries, etc, and with some mechanical adjustment he COULD take a big jump in the offseason, but this doesn't mean he WILL.

unfortunately at this point there is still a lot we don't know- so i agree with you that it is too early to write off threet, but it is also too early to embrace him as The Answer. it is still just possible that if threet does not make some offseason mechanical improvement that forcier will start next year.

threet must also improve his decision making in the running game, ie, when to hand off on the zone reads and when to keep, apparently forcier is already quite good at this.

11/06/2008 - 12:14pm yeah but

Still, I think the point is well taken that Paul Johnson was a good coach at Navy and is doing a nice job at GaTech with a new offense that does not resemble their old one much at all.

Yes, we HAVE had bad luck nearly across the board with injuries/graduations/transfers that have made the OL much worse this year than previously, leading to the fact that we had much higher attrition than we normall would have, but I think to simply say "we weren't going to be good this year, see talent deficit" cannot possibly we quite right. We cannot have gone from alleged nat'l title contenders to we suck b/c we simply don't have any talent. Yes, I get it, Henne and Long graduated, we had a lot of talent leave, but we're still Michigan and it should not ever be the case that we have such a huge turnaround.

The question isn't whether RR's first year would be an adjustment- I think everyone acknowledged that it would be- but whether it would be this bad, which it shouldn't be.

It is almost certainly wrong to say if we had Paul Johnson we would end the year 9-3, but it is not unfair to say that our adjustment should have been better than it is, and it's not unfair to point to Paul Johnson as an example of how it could have been easier. I don't think pointing to Johnson as an example of doing a nice job in a transition year necessarily presupposes that we should be 9-3 or anything like that, it just simply says that a transition year doesn't necessarily mean RR should get a free pass on 1-11 or 3-9 or whatever.

Criticizing RR for the awful season is not the same as saying the transition year wasn't going to be tough, and it is not the same as saying he should be fired.

Saying RR should still be coach next year is of course reasonable, and saying that he should be given some leeway for a transition year is further reasonable. Saying that RR should be given a free pass on the season simply "because
transition" or "because talent" is not reasonable. Is Purdue tons more talented than us? No, they are the worst Purdue team in years. How about Toledo? Hardly more talented than us.

At the beginning of the year I thought that "if x were coach, we'd be better" arguments were kind of dumb because they are rather useless. At this point, however, I think the poster is simply noting that it is not necessarily true that "transition season = huge disaster."

3-9 (even assuming we win a game or two) is never ok at Michigan ever, ever, ever.

10/27/2008 - 10:04pm i wasn't saying he CAN'T

i wasn't saying he CAN'T complain about it or anything like that.  he can complain about what he likes.  I'm just saying given the usual nature of his comments I don't see giving this a lot of traction. 

10/26/2008 - 12:21pm vitriol

While I agree with most of your what you said, your comments would be much easier to take seriously if you didn't post comments like this all the time: chitownblue: Hoyer is getting double-dong raped, for those who complain about no pressue. While I actually agreed with that particular assesment as well (came after a B Graham sack I think), it is hard to post comments like that and then chide others for being "too vitriolic". The response will undoubtedly come back that I've missed the point entirely, and that chitownblue only talks about the other team getting 2x dong raped and ergo his comments are not vitriolic, etc. But I still think it's difficult to spew out the amount of profanity that you do and then ridicule others for comments that aren't that awfully different. I'm not saying it's the profanity I have a problem with, it can be funny, and in this case it was sort of funny. I just think it's not quite on for someone that spews what you do to be chiding others about it. I do get that you are criticising others for their specific comments about Michigan players and not theit vitriol in general, but it's not like your comments on the board encourage restraint, is it?

09/23/2008 - 3:45pm in support of your point

Just look at Shaun King (RR was offensive coordinator at Tulane). While his rushing numbers in college were good, no way is he as talented a rusher as White, and he was primarily a passer.

This from Tulane's website:

When it was all over, he had become the first NCAA 1-A player ever to amass 3000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing in an 11 game regular season, and had established a new NCAA 1-A passing efficiency record of 183.3. While impressive, those statistics do not begin to describe the game-by-game impact that Shaun King's 38 TD passes and 11 rushing touchdowns had on Tulane's unbeaten run to the Conference USA football championship, a decisive win over Brigham Young in the Liberty Bowl and a season ending No. 7 national ranking.

09/23/2008 - 11:45am definitely

definitely true that michigan will get picked over other 6-6 teams all the time- hey, we travel well.

im just hoping that our mistakes are an anomaly and we actually make it there....

09/23/2008 - 9:32am i think the point is that the

i think the point is that the blitz focus is on linebackers, as opposed to english, who used different actions (like stunts) to create opportunities for the DL. natutally if you are trying to create blitz opportunities for DL you will be sometimes out of position, like coach d said above- but i think i would take the chance since our LBs are blah anyway. am NOT/NOT saying english was better- just our DL was good and he did have some luck with those stunts.

i am worried that we blitz our slower LBs this year rather than create opportunities for our more athletic DL.

but it's still early in the year so we will see.

09/19/2008 - 12:08pm but that's my point- it was a

but that's my point- it was a one man route---what underneath routes?

09/18/2008 - 10:48am good post

This was a very good post. I always like it when people that have played post so i can see if my reactions are right or wrong.

One question: I have heard that S. Brown did not have deep responsibility for the deep ND TD pass and this was corner error. This cannot possibly be right, can it? Brown was the deep safety on a one (or was it 2?) man route...he let the WR go. That can't have been the correct play, right? I thought this was obviously bad coverage by Brown but people are telling me I'm wrong...not to totally exonerate the corner (Trent, I think) but didn't he have safety help coming?