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Date Title Body
09/08/2016 - 9:23am 32-0

31-0 michigan

11/20/2015 - 4:48pm correction

There were two delayed releases, Poggi and Smith.  Both were just getting into routes when the pass was released.  Smith looked to have some room in the right flat.  Whether the time was there to wait for him to come open shift your view all the way to the other side of the field is debatable.

11/20/2015 - 4:41pm The Pick

I was at the game.  One thing that probably wasn't seen on the film was a very late shift by the safety.  Pre-snap, it looked like M2M with no safety help to the offfense's left.  This was essentially a 2-man route, and that read would have been all about hitting the corner route over the top.  Very late, the safety moved hard to the offense's left, essentially turning a single-covered WR (I think Darboh) into a double covered one as he rolled over the top.  

The box safety, as Brian mentioned, ended up in a robber-look and undercut the throw.  There were only 2 players in the route, so that was the logical check-down.  Obviously this was a mis-read, but I don't think the play call can be so easily blamed.  

When you're choosing plays at the line, these kind of late shifts can burn you.  In this case, it did.

01/27/2015 - 7:55pm 46 covered middle

One addition, the 46 also put DL over both guards and the center which was a big change and one that offenses really struggled to deal with, especially given the personell

01/27/2015 - 7:52pm Plank

Agreed Plank was the namesake but Fencik played the position on the mid 80s Bears. '82 was Planks last season.

12/16/2014 - 10:01pm No way

The last time the Bears hired a coach with NFL had coaching experience, Papa Bear was in charge.

No way they pay that salary or trade for a coach.

12/16/2014 - 10:08am good place to see the game

Life-long Chicagoan (and Bears fan) here - I've been to several games in recent years.

1 - Great place to see a game - it's small on the inside (I believe the 2nd smallest capacity in the NFL).  Not really any bad seats.

2 - Parking isn't great.  If you want to tail gate, go early - like by 8 AM.  There are Cash lots south of the stadium - the other side of McCormick place.  They fill up, but given the Bears fortunes this season and the time of year, you'll get a spot as long as you're earlyish.  It's a 1-1.5 mile walk from there depending on your spot and the location of your seats.

If you're not driving, take public transit.  There are buses from the el and metra train stations.

3 - Getting into an NFL stadium can take a long time.  They pat down everyone.  So, regardless of how you get there, arrive at the stadium 30-45 minutes before kickoff.  That doesn't mean start your 1 mile walk 30 minutes before the game or you'll miss the start of Stafford witnessing the QB he's bound become show him the proper way to throw interceptions using poor mechanics.

4 - As others have mentioned, there's no worry about rowdy fans unless you're being an idiot.  If you feel the need to get hammered and talk smack, things won't go well for you.  If you're good natured and stay away from the obvious drunks, you'll be fine.

Enjoy the game!

11/08/2014 - 7:47pm Tale of 2 games

I've now taken my 4.5 year old son to two Michigan games. They won both by stopping 2 pt conversions to win the game. The first game featured over 130 points. Today was... Different

10/30/2014 - 11:55am NO ENTRY - IM official

I officiated IM Sports in 1996-1997.

I was calling the Open League Men's Basketball championship game which was essentially between the football team and the athletic department.

I whistled Jon Jansen for an offensive foul. He politely explained to me that despite the fact that the far smaller gentleman went flying across the floor, that doesn't necessarily make it a charge. I choose not to disagree to his face. (he clearly lowered the shoulder and initiated contact FWIW).

10/06/2014 - 1:39pm Reception Rule

The rule is silly, but when you read it in full - it makes the call and the non-overturn at least understandable.  Arguable, no doubt, but it wasn't the obvious call that both logic and our hearts wanted it to be:

See clauses B & D.  It's tough, is he still in the process of making the catch?

 New language to clarify “catch” (2‐4‐3) E

Catch, Interception, Recovery
Article 3.  
a.  To catch a ball means that a player:
  1. secures control of a live ball in flight with his hands or arms before  the ball
touches the ground, and  
2. touches the ground in bounds with any part of his body, and then
3. maintains control of the ball long enough to enable him to perform  an act
common to the game, i.e., long enough to pitch or hand the ball,  advance it,
avoid or ward off an opponent, etc., and
4. satisfies paragraphs b, c, and d below.
  
b. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without
contact by an opponent) he must maintain complete and continuous control of
the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field
of play or in the end zone.  This is also required for a player attempting to
make a catch at the sideline and going to the ground out of bounds.  If he loses
control of the ball which then touches the ground before he regains control, it
is not a catch.  If he regains control inbounds prior to the ball touching the
ground it is a catch.
c. If the player loses control of the ball while simultaneously touching the
ground with any part of his body, or if there is doubt that the acts were
simultaneous, it is not a catch.  If a player has control of the ball, a slight
movement of the ball will not be considered loss of possession; he must lose
control of the ball in order for there to be a loss of possession.
d.  If the ball touches the ground after the player secures control and
continues to maintain control, and the elements above are satisfied, it is a
catch.
09/04/2014 - 6:51am 24-20 Michigan

Defense steps up

07/03/2014 - 11:05am collective licensing

Keep in mind that when you buy Denard's NFL jersey, he doesn't get an extra cut of that either.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but NFL licensing is split amonst the teams and the players.  The NFLPA has agreed to all sorts of uses of the players names and likenesses (Madden, jerseys, t-shirts, etc.).  For those, the NFLPA receives some amount which is then distributed to the players in equal proportions.

07/03/2014 - 11:02am that just forces another trial

Obviously a lot of speculation about possible outcomes involved in both the article and your comment, but supposing that all comes to pass ...

While the Big Ten may not be immediately the subject of the ruling, the ruling would establish the precedent by which a similar case could immediately be brought against any conference attempting to do those things that the NCAA was just told it couldn't do.  I doubt they'd bother.

That said, there would be a lot of change coming and a whole bunch of schools and conferences would have to establish their own rules for dealing with whatever the new landscape looks like.

06/17/2014 - 1:25pm will M be this "zoney" though?

The Bears have run the over since Lovie arrived, but they ran it with a lot of zone behind it.  When they were at their peak, it was almost exclusively zone.  They were essentially Bend but Don't Break except with lots of turnovers.  Blitzing was rare.

I'm assuming (with no source at all), that Michigan is planning more of an aggressive 4-3 that sees Ryan playing aggressively down hill and uses more man concepts in the back.  

Do we have any idea whether that's the case?

06/17/2014 - 10:59am K down BB up

His K's are down (6.4/9 vs career # of 8.4/9)

His BB are up (3.8/9 vs career # of 2.8/9)

This is typcial of a pitcher who doesn't have the same stuff.

Beyond that I can't say as I haven't seen a ton of him throwing, but I'd cast a suspicous gaze toward that 2011 season where he threw 251  innings plus another 20 in the post season.  It was one of the best seasons seen in MLB in recent years.  Then he followed it up in 2012 with 238 innings plus 28 more in the post season.

By 2013 his #'s look like a solid starter in a 2 or 3 spot, but not the ace he was previously.  This year, he's stepped down another notch.

06/15/2014 - 8:13am Tired but happy

Eating breakfast in bed made by my 4 year old while my 2 week old sleeps on me. Tough to beat, though the hourly wake up calls since midnight might have been over the top.

06/14/2014 - 7:46am Freddette

Jimmer Freddette, was a college superstar at BYU a few years back and a 1st round pick. The Bulls signed him off the street late in the season to add shooting.

06/13/2014 - 4:58pm what's the floor

If the ceiling is Curry-level, what's the floor?

Keep in mind this is a Bulls team that had the Jimmer firmly stapled to the bench down the stretch because he can't play D.  That's the #1 concern for Stauskas as well.  I loved watching him play, but in the NBA, it's easy to isolate a sub-par defender.  IF that's what he turns out to be, it's going to be really hard having him in the game down the stretch at the 2 or the 3.

I hope Nik becomes a star - and I'm a Bulls fan, so all the better if that stardom is in Chicago, but let's inject som realism here.  There is a long list of really good players at hte college level that could shoot and score (Bo Kimble, Steve Alford, Adam Morrison, JJ Reddick, Shawn Respert, Kyle Korver), but who had average (or worse) NBA careers because they couldn't play D or generate their own shots.  He'll have to do both of those things to become a star.

06/11/2014 - 6:01pm drafted but never played

As pointed out by others, Suton was drafted (2nd round, 50th overall), but cut in the preseason.  He's been playing in Europe.

06/11/2014 - 4:57pm and Randolph, Richardson

Hard to figure this list.  According to Wikipedia (I'm too lazy to do real reasearch)- 13 guys who played for Izzo @ State were HS All Americans of one flavor or another.

He's had 13 guys go to the NBA - this list:

Jamie Feick, Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson, Jason Richardson, Zach Randolph, Andre Hutson, Charlie Bell (Undrafted but played), Marcus Taylor, Erazem Lorbek, Alan Anderson, Shannon Brown, Maurice Ager, Paul Davis, Goran Suton, Draymond Green

05/16/2014 - 4:24pm Not an Accurate passer

Right on point yellowdart

He's just not that accurate a passer.  At Michigan he was a 58-60% passer all 4 years.  I understand that he was in an "NFL-style" vertical passing offence, but if you look at those years, the top QB's were routinely in the 65-70% realm.  If you take the top 5 in 2006 (Henne's Jr year) passer rating - Brennan, Beck, J. Russel, Palko, Kolb (I think they all at least played in the NFL) the lowest completion % was 67.6%.  It's far from a perfect stat and has loads of dependency on scheme, protection, receiver talent, etc., but it's one reason he's struggled.

Part two of my theory - Henne was always seen as a pretty finished product coming out of HS.  The advanced training he got made him ready to start as a freshman at Michigan.  But, it also left him with little room to grow.  That's why his numbers didn't improve appreciably over a very nice career.

Fast forward to the NFL, and he's yet to have a season with more TD than INT.  It doesn't help that he's been on bad teams, but that's a lack of accuracy (and poor decisions as others have pointed out).

 

05/16/2014 - 9:21am There's still competition

That content needs to make into your home somehow.  You have the option of using the internet, but only if the channels choose to distribute that way.  Something tells me if you're paying $37 a month to get ESPN via a cable or satellite provider (and actually choosing to do so as opposed to having little choice), then ESPN won't be likely to stream their content for free.  If the cable/satellite providers are going to remain competitve, they'll have to deliver value adds to differentiate themselves.

Niche channels can still exist as long as they keep their costs down, just like today.  Except, instead of getting $0.03/month from every cable/satellite subscriber, they'll get $1.50/month from the much smaller # of subscribers that choose to pay for them.

05/15/2014 - 5:38pm lots of assumptions

It's an interesting take and I think these economists have some useful theories.  The one glaring omission I saw was anything about competition.  Right now, the competition for everything that's on "standard" cable (think you're typcial package), competes only with the other channels in that lineup for viewers, and hence ad rates.  

If you unbundle, all of those channels will now have to compete to convince you to subscribe before you can watch.  Economic theory would tell us that this would have a positive impact on both quality and price, as one of the ineffeciencies in the market (the bundling of packages) is removed as an obstacle to competition.

You also have ot factor in alternative delivery methods.  What happens to streaming video, netflix, youtube, etc.  Viewers and providers are going to have to consider the benefits and costs of delivering and consuming content in a way other than via cable tv.

05/15/2014 - 5:26pm amen

I've been a ref (at the rec level) and this stuff happens all the time.  You overlook the ticky-tac foul but give the ball to the right team.

05/13/2014 - 5:25pm tackle data sketchy @ best

Isn't tackle data notoriously unreliable?

I know in the NFL the coaches typcially update the tackle stats the day after the game.  This can lead to big inconsistencies in how things are counted between different teams.  Does anyone know if college works the same way?

05/13/2014 - 11:02am uh 4 starters as rookies last year

Bama had 4 guys picked in the 1st two rounds of the 2013 draft

1-9 Dee Milliner (CB) NYJ - started 12 games, 3 int, 45 tackles - struggled, getting pulled a few times, but rookie CB rarely are anything better than passable

1-10 Chance Warmack (RG) TEN - started all 16 games, that's pretty good for rookie OL though he was thought to have just an ok debut

1-11 DJ Fluker (OT) SD - started 15 games, holding his own @ RT but stuggling at LT.  He graded out ahead of the 3 big-name OT from his class (Fischer, Joeckel, Johnson)

2-61 Eddie Lacy (RB) GB - started 15 games despite a training camp injury and ran for 1178 yards, 11 TDs, 4.1 YPC

It's early, but I wouldn't say any of those guys are looking like busts at this point.  Fluker and Lacy look like excellent players and Milliner & Warmack need time for a fair evaluation.

05/08/2014 - 5:29pm surplus

My point is they're not losing money at all.  At least not the big programs like Michigan.  They're just choosing to plow the "surplus" into facilities and other things that would make no sense in a true "business" sense.

05/08/2014 - 2:54pm define "money loser"

Being a money losing department doesn't mean it's a bad business for the school.  When you build $20 million practice facilities and other top-shelf amenities for revenue and non-revenue generating sports, you may lose money on an accounting basis, but you're not really losing.

Schools are not-for-profit, so when they have excess revenue, they plow it back into things like coaches salaries, facilities, and whatever perks the NCAA allows.  This isn't unlike "not-for-profit" outfits that pay enormous salaries to their CEO's and other top employees (see many hospitals, NGO's, and Charities). 

"Profitability" is just a bad measure in this cirucmstance.  Successful atheletic departments bring prestige and attention to their university.  They increase alumni involvement and offer many opportunities for student athelets and others around them.  Measuring success at the criteria with something like "profit" is like saying we "won" a baseketball game because we got more shot attempts.

05/05/2014 - 12:40pm I'll take ...

PG - SO Trey Burke

SG - 89 Glenn Rice

SF - 66 Cazzie

PF - SO Chris Webber

C - JR Juwan Howard

 

That leave a bench with Stauskas, Jalen, Rumeal, Terry Mills, and Tractor Traylor

 

04/30/2014 - 10:29am What if he keeps it?

Imagine for a second that he just decides to keep it.  This isn't totally outlandish as any forced sale tha he opposes might be tied up in the legal process for years.

If he continues as the owner next year, even if he can't really be involved in any way, won't sponsors and fans just boycott the place?  I have a hard time believing that too many companies will want to be associated with the Clippers as long as he is.

Some have placed the value in the $700 million range.  Assuming that's true, how much of that value is destroyed by him keeping the franchise?  It's almost ceratainly in his best financial interest to sell the team soon for the best offer he can get.  

That said - the dude is clearly crazy, so he might not care.

04/14/2014 - 2:13pm better pro than college player

I have to disagree with those of you saying he should have stayed.  As a Michigan fan, I would have loved to have seen him back, but he's the type of player that's going to be a better pro than college player in my opinion.  He'll thrive with the more wide open game and more opportunities to showcase his athleticism.  

02/24/2014 - 9:47am Risking Ryan

Moving Ryan to MLB scares me.  Is he still going to be the disruptive player at MLB that he was outside?  I've always felt like he was at his best making plays in spce that nobody thought a guy his size could make.  When you put him @ MLB, he's going to be dealing with a lot more traffic.  That doesn't mean he can't do it - he might be great at it, but until we see it, we don't know.

We do know that the winner of the SAM position will be a downgrade from what Ryan brought.  So, Ryan really needs to be a top notch Mike for this to make sense.

All that said - the coaches see a heck of a lot more of him that we do, so the must see something.

01/28/2014 - 9:25pm Eric Swann

He couldn't get into college, but played semi-pro ball instead.  He was drafted 6th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1991.  He had a solid, if unspectaular NFL career until 2000.

01/27/2014 - 11:35am recruiting titles - no something I care to expect about

Winning some mythical recruiting title isn't all that important to me.  Yes, I'd like us to recruit well as that's a big factor in being successful.  But, to say we'll have the top class in the conference with some expected frequency just doesn't do much for me.  All the other stuff, worth discussing.

01/17/2014 - 9:39am clash of opposites

Wow - playing them will be a clash of opposites.

1 team can't play offense but has a fantastic defense.

The other has struggles on defense but one of the top offenses.

01/17/2014 - 9:36am That was my point

right - because Schiano has no NFL head coaching options.  He wants to be a coach, he's going to have to do it at the college level.  My point was, few people competitive and talented enough to be NFL Head Coaches voluntarily step down a level in competition.  When it's not voluntary, sure.

12/30/2013 - 5:38pm The best of the best

Because successful coaches, like successful athletes are hyper-competitive.  Hyper-competitve people want to test themselves at the highest level.  For football coaches, that level is the NFL.  If you reach that peak of your profession, you stay there as long as you can, you don't step back a level.

Sure there are exceptions, but as you point out they're exceedingly rare.  Most of the guys that move from pro to college take a step up in level (say from coordinator to head coach) or their opportunity at the NFL level has vanished.

12/11/2013 - 5:56pm Second City

excited for some college hockey in chicago

09/12/2013 - 9:17am Maybe a little harsh on Fitz

I think Brian's a little harsh on Fitz for the one cutback.  Yes there appears to be a lane, but look at Kerridge's helmet vs. the LB's pre-cut.  The lineback is filling that very large gap the way he is supposed to.  As soon as Fitz cuts, the LB tries to re-direct at which point he's moving backwards and Kerridge buries him.  If Fitz had continued into that gap, so would the linebacker.

Now, I agree, there was a lot of space to operate and Kerridge is definetly getting a hat on the guy, but I know in the past (at very low levels of pee wee football), I've taught RB's to head only which side of the helmet the defender is on and to cut away from it.  That's way to simple for how these guys are being taught, but I think Brian's criticism assumes that Kerridge is going to bury the guy which probably doesn't happen without he cut.

08/07/2013 - 1:19pm The Why

I read FOA and I certainly don't agree with their predictions, but take a second to understand what you're criticisizing.

This is a 500 page book about Pro Football that tries to give a VERY brief insight on the major college conferences.  The Michigan write up is 1/2 page long and ranks them #28 (in the FOA published version anyways).  It does predict 7-5, but as others have pointed out, in between all he comments saying how crazy this is, FOA has a strong belief that teams revert to the mean of their past several seasons.  So, for Michigan, this inclues some truly awful years.

It's a pretty sound theory, they are VERY few Boise St. stories where a program comes from nowhere to be excellent and stays there.  There are far more tales of teams having a really good year, based partially on luck, and then stepping back in the next season.  You know, like going squeeking into a bowl game and getting blown out, to winning the Sugar Bowl the next season.

Also - the Michigan write up says this:

"because the team’s recent history has been only decent and not great, Michigan is projected conservatively. But if blue-chippers in the trenches and elsewhere begin to click pretty quickly this fall, the Wolverines could be a threat to vastly exceed their projection."

Finally - in the Projected Win Probabilities section, they lay it out thusly for UM:

11-1 1%

10-2 3%

9-3 11%

8-4 22%

7-5 28%

6-6 22%

5-7 10%

4-8 3%

07/19/2013 - 11:13am Recovery

Still recovering from a 8-5 softball defeat last night.  It's never easy when your 3, 4, & 6 hitters are out (2 wives giving birth, 1 business trip - poor planning I say).

We still scrapped together 10 players, 9 gloves, 2 bats (1 broken, 1 old and bad) - but just didn't have enought to beat a 1st place team.

Oh well - it's Friday.

06/12/2013 - 4:25pm Procumbo,
I don't know.  When

Procumbo,

I don't know.  When I was there - a lot of people snickered at the major as a joke, but if you really wanted to work in Sports, it's not a bad way to go.  Is it odd that a large percentage of students that have such athletic talents might be interested in Sports Management as a career?  I don't think so. 

That said, the schedule was also slanted to accomodate practic/game schedules, especially for football.  I had a ton of 830 am classes which was conveniant for players that had to be at practice by 230.  That was no coincidence.

06/12/2013 - 1:21pm Uh No

I was a Sports Management major - and not an athlete.  It's far from the most difficult major at Michigan, but it's basically a generic business degree with all of the classes slanted toward Sports.

I'm class of '97, so it's been awhile, but I had a wide variety of experiences in Sports Managment Classes and the School of Kinesiology in general.  Many of the athletes were smart, hard-working students like the rest of us.  Others weren't, but isn't that true in every major?

As for feeling skeezy - it's far and away the most common major for athletes, and the athletic department has long steered kids there if they're weren't sure where to go.  So, if you don't feel right about it, than you should probably feel skeezy about a whole bunch guys that have been Kinesiology majors and on the football team for the last 20 years.

06/12/2013 - 1:12pm GO SMC

Proud Sports Management grad.  I will say, it's an interesting place.  Lots of athletes, and like many majors there are hard classes and easy classes.

It's good to see an SMC prof gettting some credit.

06/10/2013 - 11:12am couldn't agree more

There's a big diference between college and the NBA and one of the key factors are the athletes involved.  You don't have to have everything to be successful in the NBA, but teams are always going to draft that athletic upside over the college production.

02/15/2013 - 5:28pm It's a simple Calc

RPI calculates Stregnth of schedule as simply your opponents Winning % weighted at 2/3 plus your oppenents opponents winning % weighted at 1/3.  It doesn't claim to be anything more than that and it's not a bad approximation as long as you understand it for what it is.

New Mexico might be surprising up there, but they've played only 5 of their 25 games against teams sub 150 of RPI.  They play in a league that's pretty good this year Moutain West, and scheduled Uconn, Cincinnati, USC, Indiana St., Valporaiso, and Davidson among their non-conference games, all pretty good teams.

Michigan had only 6 sub 150 teams, but 2 of those are among the worst teams in college baseketball and play in AWFUL conferences.

It's really nothing to get worked up about.

01/04/2013 - 9:51pm 3rd round - but should he be?

It's a fair question and one I would have as well.  The good news is that very few teams use a single bell-cow type in the NFL anymore.  There are places on teams for a guy that get 10-12 carries and maybe be a threat out of the backfield as a reciver a la Darren Sproles.

However, he'd have a long way to go blocking which is a BIG deal in the NFL.  The Giants basically kept David Wilson on the bench all year because he couldn't block and he's the most talented back on the roster.

Someone will use a 3rd rounder on him, and it's probably too high given all the unknowns.

10/10/2012 - 11:19am Fun, but no

Looking across that roster, as much as I love those guys, the only spot where you're above average for an NFL team is QB.  O-line is maybe close to average, though it's pretty think on the interior, and the LB are probably a solid average as far as NFL starters go.

Do we get to count Jim Harbaugh as the coach?

10/10/2012 - 11:14am U of M 34 - U of I 23

31-23 - still dread this game, because I have tons of U of I friends that feel it's still appropriate to taunt me about that silly Johnnie Johnson pass to win @ the Big House in 1993 (I think it was 93)

05/09/2012 - 4:48pm not Vick - at least not by NFL standards

Love Denard - but Michael Vick had a cannon arm.  By NFL standards, Denard's is probably below average.  He's also shorter and lighter than Vick.

Anyone taking him to play QB is doing so with the idea that they'd install some sort of package or totally overhaul the offense like the Broncos did mid-way through last season.