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08/20/2018 - 6:51pm Nobody expects OSU to take…

Nobody expects OSU to take the moral high ground.  In theory though, they could give Meyer the boot simply because:

 

1)   That's the "least painful" path to maintaining their football dynasty long-term.  Then they'll bathe themselves with a moral halo for handling it so firmly.  If they feel like a ton of skeletons will come falling out of the closet due to federal or NCAA investigations, or due to toxic discovery-laden lawsuits, I could see them being willing to cut a big check to Meyer just to avoid that.

 

OR

 

2)  The President overrides the BoT knowing that it will likely be the end of his tenure at OSU.  The dude is an academic from the West Coast IIRC.  He isn't an OSU lifer, so being a pariah in Ohio might not mean much to him.  And if he's an academic that gets booted from OSU because he took the moral high ground & killed their sacred cow, I don't see how that would harm his employment prospects at hard core academic institutions like the Ivy League, Stanford, Cal Berkeley, etc.  Heck, it might even STRENGTHEN his own professional reputation as a "courageous reformer" type.

 

 

Although admittedly those are two unlikely scenarios.  Most likely of course, is that they decide to levy the smallest possible sanction against themselves/Meyer that they think they can get away with and still avoid major investigations or insanely costly lawsuits w/ discovery.   They'll just bunker down & be willing to weather the public relations sh*t storm until it abates in a month or two.

 

 

08/04/2018 - 12:40am Yeah that blew my mind too. …

Yeah that blew my mind too. 

Is Higdon like 4-5 inches shorter or something? Could just be a weight distribution thing. 

08/04/2018 - 12:36am Yep. IF we can get…

Yep. IF we can get protection & if Shea can make it 3-4 deep in his progressions, we’d be unstoppable. 

Maybe a team’s #1 or #2 cornerbacks could blanket our #1 and #2 receiving targets in any given game (or double team them).

But there is NO way any team would be deep enough to cover #3 or #4. Somebody—Gentry, McKeown, Collins, Perry, will be screamingly wide open on almost every single play. 

08/02/2018 - 10:39pm We’ll always have that Ford…

We’ll always have that Ford Field practice catch, TJW....

 

Godspeed!

08/02/2018 - 7:09pm Ben Vansumeren continuing…

Ben Vansumeren continuing the tradition of scary looking photos/facial hair from fullbacks...

08/02/2018 - 7:07pm Bush cut the dreads!

Bush cut the dreads!

McCaffrey listed at 217 lbs.  Even with roster fantasy weights, it's clear he's gained a good several lbs...

07/26/2018 - 11:44am All true, although I don't…

All true, although I don't envision any scenario in which our OL "blows up."  That being said, the great thing about this wide variety of potential 2018 Michigan offense outcomes is that WE DON'T NEED THEM TO BE GREAT. 

Last year we ranked 85th in the  S&P + Offensive rankings. 

All we have to do is not regress in any of the factors you cited, take a solid step forward on 2-3 of them, and avoid absolutely terrible luck from the Football Gods.  We do that & getting our offense up to a top 30ish S&P+ ranking should be entirely doable and getting a top 20ish S&P+ would most certainly not be crazy-talk.

Of the factors you cited, in my view the likely outcomes are as follows:

  • QB play--modest improvement (worst case) or clear improvement
  • TE play--modest improvement
  • OL play--status quo (worst case) or modest improvement
  • WR play--clear improvement
  • RB play--status quo (worst case) or modest improvement

If we retain our top 10 defense as expected all we really need is an offense in the top 30ish type of offense to have a potentially incredible season despite our difficult schedule.  In 2017, notable teams w/ top 10 S&P+ Defenses included:  Alabama (Off. S&P+ Rank #23); Clemson (Off. S&P+ Rank #45); Wisconsin ((Off. S&P+ Rank #41); etc.

 

 

07/25/2018 - 11:46am Had he run behind even an…

Had he run behind even an average O line last year he would have had 1,300 yards. 

Totally true & this just underscores again the completely symbiotic relationship between all parts of the offense.  You get a decent OL/QB for the passing game threat & defenses can't stack the box.  If you can't stack the box, the run game opens up even more. 

Virtuous cycle ensues.  

07/25/2018 - 11:38am Agreed on Evans on his…

Agreed on Evans on his running style.  I know for a fact at the end of 2016 he admitted he hit a bit of an endurance wall towards the end of the season--adjust from high school to college.  Last year Evans definitely seemed a bit thicker/durable.  Not to the same level as a power back of course (and absolutely not like how 2018 Higdon looks to be), but enough meat on the bones to take a bit more than when he was a frosh.

07/25/2018 - 11:36am That's my major concern with…

That's my major concern with our offense this year as well. 

Obviously 2017 offense was a train wreck.  We saw that early on when we didn't have the ability to demolish the tomato can non-conference opponents by another 4-5 touchdowns. 

But even looking at the 2016 offense, we had some concerns. We'd light up Hawaii, Rutgers, and Penn State with a totally decimated linebacker corps, but then really hit the wall with teams fielding even B or B+  defenses.

I certainly hope we are better offensively in 2018 than we were in 2017 (it's hard NOT to be).  And I know statistics & offenses don't work like this, but.....

My hope is that in 2018 we can also field a more "even keeled" offense than what we fielded in 2016.  I'd gladly sacrifice the 78-0 and 63-3 and 49-10 bloodbaths in exchange for more reliably getting another 7-14 points versus the stronger teams on the schedule.

 

 

07/25/2018 - 11:22am Evans might have been *meh*…

Evans might have been *meh* last year, but IIRC, in most of the UFRs that this blog did, it was pretty clear that at least a big % of his mediocre performance was just some disproportionate bad luck RE: blocking & play set ups compared to Higdon's snaps.  Not quite to the level of "poor damn Evans," but close.

Could be wrong, but that's what my memory of the UFRs were.

07/25/2018 - 11:15am NOTE---Apologies for…

NOTE---Apologies for formatting.  I guess the new blog doesn't let us edit our comments right now?

07/25/2018 - 11:14am As others have said, this…
  • As others have said, this could be simply spin or pumping a guy up after-the-fact.  If it was one of the two, I'd guess it's pumping the guy up.  The recruiting class closed out in February, so if this was spin to mitigate any impression of a bad recruiting class, you'd think this party line would have been trotted out back then.  Plus it's SO specific to one guy.

 

  • That being said---what if it isn't?  I'm sure the "5 star" part is short-hand/exaggeration, but I could easily see a scenario where they think he's way better than what the public scouting services had him ranked.  And as others have said, with the public scouting service infrastructure taking a major nose-dive, it does put a bigger premium on using what OTHER big programs think of a kid as a short-hand/signaling if a program is either under-staffed or simply on copycat mode.

 

  • A team could swoop in early on an under scouted/under valued kid in the hopes of getting in on the ground floor.  A team could swoop in at the end as well.  There are pros & cons to both approaches.  It depends entirely on where the program wants their risk allocated.  Getting in early shows your genuine interest but risks bigger dogs coming in & having to fend them off for a long period of time.  Pulling a submarine and surfacing very late with your interest reduces that risk but increases the risks that either a big time program beats you to the punch, or the kid happens to be very loyal to a smaller school that offered earlier/the kid holds a grudge that the last minute big program didn't notice/offer him late or viewed him potentially as an Plan C or D.  My bet would be which strategy would work best is probably a case-by-case scenario depending on several variables including geography, personality of the kid, what the rest of your recruiting board looks like etc.

 

  • I certainly don't think that the "hang back to avoid copycats, then swoop in at the end" is a viable as a BLANKET strategy.  However, I'd be utterly shocked if that's what Michigan is doing here.  If we've got nearly unlimited resources to staff up a good recruiting department, what I could easily imagine is a strategy where we designate 2-4 talent scouts specifically for a "diamond in the rough" desk/department.  Of course, you lock down your local powerhouse feeder schools in your state & as best you can in other regions of the country. 

         But if we've got the money & manpower, WHY NOT earmark a small unit to specifically           scour the prep landscape for the under the radar kids?(whether it's b/c of remote                       geography, kids who are late bloomers physically or late to arrive at the game of football, kids           who just didn't "play the recruiting game" and go to a bunch of camps, etc.)?  Then,                           depending on how your board develops over the year, pull in a certain % of that identified                 pool.  Maybe one or two would even be at the top of the recruiting board above other kids                 who are on everybody's radar.  Even if they aren't, it might be a good parallel strategy to                   develop so that if you DO have to go with your Plan B or Plan C kids, you've got potentially               far better options teed up & ready to go.  Then if your Plan A kid falters at the 11th                             hour, you're not grasping at straws in some emergency file drill scenario but instead have a               turn-key contingency plan ready to execute at a moment's notice.

07/23/2018 - 6:53pm FWIW, folks on Eleven…

FWIW, folks on Eleven Warriors are now saying that this guy's attorney went on local radio & announced that all of the charges/allegations are going to be dropped.

 

Don't know if THAT'S true (attorney on the radio) or if so, whether what the attorney said on the radio interview is true, but there you have it.

It's like the mask slipped for a moment, then the OSU folks scrambled to put it back on & are hoping nobody will notice.

07/22/2018 - 10:58am Six weeks from now I'll be…

Six weeks from now I'll be sitting down to brunch with my wife somewhere in the vicinity of South Bend, Indiana proudly wearing my Michigan gear & enjoying the afterglow of our victory the previous night.

 

 

07/18/2018 - 1:00pm Actor portrayal of  rumored…

Actor portrayal of  rumored John Bielein & Luke Yaklich meeting slated for later today......

 

 

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07/18/2018 - 12:51pm True.  I've always been…

True.  I've always been impressed by the high rollers who occasionally donate as "Anonymous."  

I don't think I'd have that level of humility.  If I somehow won the Powerball or Mega Millions, I'd definitely give a lot to charity & to institutions that I want to see flourish.  But I'd definitely be one of the money cannon jerks who'd want my family name to be prominently displayed.  Partly for my own ego, but largely to help open doors for my (now 3 year old) kid and other relatives who theoretically get a halo effect.  

 

 

07/18/2018 - 11:37am Although to be technical,…

Although to be technical, they aren't naming people after the rich people--they're naming positions after the rich people.

I find it annoying in the press releases, but if it allows our alumni to legally aim more of the money cannon towards our school then, it's a small price to pay.

07/13/2018 - 6:49pm FWIW, I believe Ford does…

FWIW, I believe Ford does have family with Michigan connections.

 

Pretty sure his uncle (who’s apparently one of the relatives involved in the recruiting process) has actually been a member of one of the Michigan football pay sites for years. So on the margins that’s gotta help. 

 

Whether its ALREADY helped (got us in Fords top 2-3 whereas we wouldn’t be there at all otherwise) or whether it can help put us over the top is anybody’s guess. 

But you’d think due to the 2018 class, our depth chart should start to look pretty good for 2019 and 2020 WRs. 

 

That being said, if we whiff on the WRs this year, it looks like some of the other kids we are recruiting (All at TE, some of the other athlete/slot back types) could fill in the reception void once Black, DPJ, etc move on, even if they aren’t technically classified as WRs. 

07/09/2018 - 11:19am FWIW, I've got an iPhone &…

FWIW, I've got an iPhone & the podcast app pushed this new podcasts out to my feed without any issue.

07/09/2018 - 11:17am Two more follow up points:

Two more follow up points:

 

1)  This is a great idea for a podcast.  It's been a continuing theme we've seen this past year or so (degradation of the recruiting industry infrastructure).  As a mail bag question or even a follow-up podcast with THIS topic exclusively, I guess my question to the MGoBlog staff is---"what's next?"  As in, considering all of these developments, what's a fan/recruiting addict to do in order to get a reliable read on guys?  Is there something around the corner developing?  Or if not, what do the MGoBlog guys do short of just independently pouring over a ton of film themselves?  Any good boutique sites or services that they respect that they find supplanting Rivals/ESPN?

 

2)  On a META topic, this is one of the first times I've posted to the new board & I'm not seeing a way to edit my own posts.  Am I missing something?  Or is that a function just not available on this new site?

07/09/2018 - 11:07am Man I LOVE substantive…

Man I LOVE substantive content in the middle of summer. 

To me, substantive football content any time during the off season is like 10x more potent & valuable than the exact same content would be from September thru the bowl game.  

 

07/09/2018 - 10:56am (No subject)

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06/24/2018 - 10:00pm Also hearing that among the…

Also hearing that among the flood of several commits we will get in the next few days is potentially a flip from another program. 

06/22/2018 - 2:20pm Ditto on #s 3 and 4…

Ditto on #s 3 and 4 specifically.

I am a "overall, recruiting stars matter" type of guy, but context also matters. 

Some solid kids are just lightly scouted for whatever reason (lives in HS football backwater part of the country; injury robbed a kid of the ability to show out during critical evaluation months; recent football convert or dual-sport kid; just a ghost & never bothered to go to camps).

Timing also matters.  A nondescript 3 star kid offered earlier in the process is very different than us snatching up a nondescript 3 star kid at the 11th hour after it's clear that we whiffed our way several players down the board and it's clear a kid is Just A Guy.

You look at the context on this guy & I can easily see how he could be much better than what his generic 3 recruiting profile indicates.

 

06/21/2018 - 11:19am I'll defer to an expert on…

I'll defer to an expert on the matter, but my understanding was that they just couldn't do any mandatory or substantive team meetings/film sessions or practices/drills.

05/29/2018 - 10:37pm Obviously stats don’t work

Obviously stats don’t work this way, but if Black has stayed healthy and played every game, you extrapolate out his statistics and he doubles the production of Perry.

05/28/2018 - 7:38pm I'm a Shea optimist but Hintz

I'm a Shea optimist but Hintz is right.

And that Auburn stat line looks pretty OK until you realize that at half time the score was 35-3.  I didn't watch that game but my bet is that Auburn went into garbage mode pretty early in the 3rd quarter & it's likely that Shea racked up all of his decent stats against non-starters playing soft prevent style coverage.

Doesn't mean Shea isn't a hell of an upgrade for us & worst case scenario he provides amped up competition & better depth than last year.  His abilty to hit a guy downfield & escapability should ease up some pressure on our weak OTs as pass rushers/blitz packages might get scaled back.  

But the guy still has some question marks he'll need to address.  It's entirely possible he WILL.  And it's entirely possible the rest of his 2017 team didn't do him any favors.  Their overall S&P Defense was like 113th in the country & the rushing S&P rank was a very middling 42nd.  So it's possible opponents knew the only way Ole Miss would beat them was through the air on offense & so by the middle/end of the season they tee'd off on the Ole Miss passing game.

So it's entirely possilbe a top 10 defense & a top 15 rushing attack can open things up & that he can do it. But he's definitely got something prove.  

05/26/2018 - 12:53pm Yeah that’s the hard part

Yeah that’s the hard part about this game. I like regular Risk, the armies/players on a losing battle aren’t destroyed. Which means that the fewer territories a team has, the more likely they are to be fiercely defended. The only cure for that is hoping that a team has a major drop in morale/interest to the point that the members stop playing the rounds.

05/19/2018 - 11:22am Is there any other school in

Is there any other school in the nation other than us that would benefit more in recruiting if/when Stanford ever regressed back to their mean and became an entirely mediocre/sub par team winning only 5-7 games per year?

Just seems like we sometimes suffer for being a “tweener” program in some recruiting circles. We aren’t an SEC or major juggernaut where we are in the CFP every year and where you don’t have to play school, but we aren’t quite as high caliber academically as Stanford. Maybe Notre Dame is in the same boat as us, but they’ve also got the Harvard for Catholics thing built into their sales pitch too.

05/17/2018 - 11:01pm Plus didn’t he run the scout

Plus didn’t he run the scout team his true freshman year? I’m not privy to how teams are run, but if a guy spends his time running the scout squad mimicking an opposing offense for our team’s defense to practice against, doesn’t that rob him of the ability to really throw himself into learning how to run our own playbook?

05/11/2018 - 7:28pm I mean yeah definitely. If

I mean yeah definitely. If the choice is “join randomly” vs “not at all” then we definitely want any help we can get. But if you really want to be efficient, get vetted through Discord & not only follow the specific orders, but make sure to log your intentions too, so we are flying less blindly.

And we do want to avoid getting too specific on MGoBlog. Lurkers/spies are everywhere.

05/11/2018 - 6:02pm MGoHorde

BTW, the guys over at Reddit have already adopted a nickname for users joining from this discussion board--the "MGoHorde."  Baiscally large volume yet low power (since many of us are new).

The way to maximize that is through efficient communication/strategy.  Otherwise we end up throwing way too many bodies at a territory than necessary. 

So, once you sign onto the game & pick Michigan flair, the next big thing you can really do is get vetted & confortable using that Discord app/chat.

Once you go through all that trouble & actually get vetted by the Discord guys to check out the specific orders/strategy, please make a point to LOG your intentions!! 

The faster certain territory assignments fill up on Discord (and the only way we can know for sure is people log their intentions), the more quickly/efficiently we can re-allocate the overflow to an under-served territory or possibly expand our ambitions for that turn.

Otherwise we run the risk of just totally nuking one or two territories while either falling short in others and/or missing an opportunity to pick up an extra territory.

05/11/2018 - 5:50pm Right.  You'd think if they

Right.  You'd think if they dont' do that, then Chaos would just have a totally insurmountable advantage unless snuffed out pretty quickly.

05/08/2018 - 3:06pm Long/Hill
Selfishly, I

Long/Hill

Selfishly, I woudn't mind one bit if the two of them are overlooked for another year.  Was hoping the same for Bush & Hudson but it doesn't sound like that will be the case.

05/08/2018 - 3:04pm Seems to me a mix of 3

Seems to me a mix of 3 possibilities:

 

  1.  He got Peter Principled.  Maybe his OC ambition got the best of him & he wanted the complex plays/line calls made so he could get the high risk/high reward benefits of having the offense improvement show up on his watch.  And/or he just got too much stuff on his plate and the OL suffered most. 
  2. Personality mix/dynamic with Frey gummed up the works.
  3. Maybe line calls were about the same from 2016, but for whatever reason the personnel mix on the OL changed & certain key people couldn't grasp the advanced concepts.

 

05/08/2018 - 2:48pm Exactly. 
 
We also need to

Exactly. 

 

We also need to remember that it's likely we will have a top 10 defense this year.  In order to compete for the Big Ten championship even WITH a tough schedule, we don't need a top 10 offense.  We just need a somewhat competent one. 

Our S&P+ Offense overall ranking was 85th, whereas our RUSHING S&P+ was 14th. 

Granted, I don't know how S&P works, so maybe the Maryland/Minnesota games skews that too much.  But if not,  then being14th in the nation rushing is when everybody and their sister KNEW by mid-season that we had no passing game and could likely stack the box without being punished too much is pretty dang good.  So if we can just bring up our passing game to merely average, I'd make a bet that we'd also see our S&P Rushing crack the top 10 nationally.

Basically, this stuff all feeds on each other.  All we need is for the passing offense not to be a major anchor weighing everything down.  The factors in our favor here:

  • Likely Shea at QB, who seems more accurate & has that escapability factor to keep the defenses honest/punish them for overpursuit or stacking the box.  Or worst case an improved Peters or a McCaffrey who by definition would have beaten out an improved Peters.
  • Athletically elite 2nd year WRs (hopefully more assertive/reliable route running)
  • Better S&C (if you believe the hype)
  • Warriner/Simplified OL calls

That last point also might not be a permanent situation. 

As long as we can survive ND on September 1st, the OL will have 2 weeks of tomato can games to solidify basics and start to add in more complexity during practice.  Then they get a doable 3 game stretch of Nebraska, @ Northwestern (aka Chicagoland Michigan Alumni Game) & Maryland where our defense should be able to tide us over.  So by the time we hit the meat of our schedule--Wisconsin, @ MSU, Bye, PSU--the OL will have had an additional 6 weeks of practice to start throwing in some additional wrinkles.

Even if just 2 of those 4 bullet points above end up panning out, I think our chances of at least moderate passing game improvement is more likely than not.

 

05/07/2018 - 10:23pm Plus, I don’t give a rip

Plus, I don’t give a rip about Ole Miss’s current roster. The only question that’s relevant is whether Shea is an upgrade for US.

05/07/2018 - 10:19pm True, but IIRC, they also

True, but IIRC, they also threw the ball a lot more than we did. So overall passing yards wouldn’t be a good measurement to compare.

05/03/2018 - 12:00am I mean, as a

I mean, as a compromise.....how about a 6 or 8 panel posterboard?

05/01/2018 - 2:46pm I was a law student so

I was a law student so Dominick’s hands down in nice weather. We could walk 3 minutes immediately after class on a nice Friday and stumble home to our beds in the law quad easily at the end of the night.

We’d go with one of two different bars for the “all seasons” category when it was too cold outside or when Dominick’s was closed seasonally or if we wanted to keep the party going after it closed at 10pm.

If I just wanted to hang out w buddies it’d be Ashley’s. Better beer & you can actually hear yourself talk. But pretty terrible for meeting women. Just not conducive to meeting new people.

If the goal was to mix it up and maybe meet women it’d be Connor O’Neils or if we were being lazy, cheap, or really wanted to meet undergrads it’s be Scorekeepers.

05/01/2018 - 11:31am Don’t know about pass

Don’t know about pass protection but Ole Miss running offense was in the 100’s last season. So was their overall defense. So bottom line there was A LOT of pressure for them to just win games by airing it out in the passing game.

My hope is that this is the reason for his TD:INT ratio. If teams know they need to stop the run then receivers should be more open, and if Shea knows he’s got a top 10 defense behind him he won’t feel the need to play hero ball and take as many risks.

04/28/2018 - 10:30am You can ask that about a

You can ask that about a whole host of folks who haven’t been honorary captains yet. Has Denard done it yet? Navarre? Henne? Braylon? Griese? Hutchinson? Maybe yes to some of them—I don’t keep track myself. But I guarantee you Long isn’t the only one and it isn’t some slight or intended oversight by the school’s part.

04/28/2018 - 10:21am I think people forget what

I think people forget what Brian’s opinion of Tate was when Tate was on campus. IIRC Brian was a big fan of the RR offense and of Tate in particular. Brian has said many times that Shea is like a moderately taller/more athletic Tate & that it is a compliment.

People seem to remember that the actual team records were horrible and that Tate didn’t play school. Those two things do not translate to the Shea comparison. Brian is simply saying in terms of playing style and skill set, Shea reminds him of Tate.

04/25/2018 - 4:40pm Slow day at work so apologies

EDIT:  Apologies for formatting.  Don't know how to fix some of it.

 

Slow day at work so apologies for the longer posts/replies, but I've got nothing better to do today, so...

 

TL:DR Version--no we are not a basketball school now, I dont' think Brian quit but my guess is he is doing a reorganizaiton behind the scenes so that other folks will be producing more of the football content from now on--which actually is a good thing for everybody involved.

I obviously have no special knowledge of any of this since I'm just a random poster, but here's my read on the situation--

We aren't a basketball school & I sincerely doubt that the blog content will move AWAY from football.  Maybe as they grow, they grow the basketball/hockey content MORE so that as a percentage, the football content shrinks.  But I don't think that the actual raw amount of posts/content for football has or will drop in any meaningful way.

If I had to guess what was really going on w/ Brian, it's a mixture of this:

 

  • He's a grown ass man with a young family and doesn't want to be a shitty husband/father.  His kid I think is a toddler now?  If so, then even more than infants, the toddler phase requires just a TON of time & attention.  Infants distrub your sleep patterns, but you can just put them in a rocker as they cat-nap all day long & you can blog your ass off for hours at a time mostly uninterrupted.  Not so with toddlers.  They require actual human socialization and active monitoring. 
  • Football may just be the easiest content to delegate.  He's got a solid staff that has a pretty damned good handle on the football stuff already.  It's a more popular sport, so the ability to find new/additonal staffers to crank out the football content in the future may be easier than some of the lesser sports.  Lastly, I think the annual/seasonal football features/content is older & thus perhaps more "mature" in the development phase--more templates, samples of older work, etc that can be used to coach up newer staffers into how to produce good quality football content in the future.  
  • As was the topic this winter, if he is broken/burned out by the football stuff, I don't think it's in a way that some casual observers might think.  I think a lot of people in the heat of the moment (myself included) misinterpreted his infamous "Whatever" post after the bowl game as totally giving up on Michigan Football writ-large.  I don't think this is really the case. The way I understand it now is that it isn't that Brian PERSONALLY is giving up caring about Michigan Football.  And it isn't that he thinks the program is totally doomed and thus not worthy of his attention or passion/heart or antyhing.  It's that he's frustrated with some of the meta issues that come along with directly interfacing with some of the crazier HOOOOOTTT TAAAAKKKKE aspects of our fan base who swing radically up or down disprportionately to the most recent event on the field. 

            At first when I realized this may be the case, I was offended.  After all, I am a loyal                reader of this blog.  And even though I'm not one of the big Hot Take perpetrators, I              certainly don't feel good being lumped into a guilt by association thing.  Plus feeling              like our vaunted leader might disdain some of his own readership offended my                      sensitbilites.  One ought not bite the hands that fees you after all. 

            HOWEVER, now that the bitter disappointment of last season has faded, I don't feel              that way at all. 

            First, as a practical matter, this is Brian's own blog.  It's his house & he can do &                    say whatever he damned  well pleases.  We aren't even paying customers.                            Second, upon reflection, I think Brian stepping back (if he so chooses) from some of               the public-facing aspects of the football content is actually an indicator of several                   positive things under neath the surface. 

             In no particular order:

  • Assuming my interpretation of the true meaning of the "Whatever" post is somewhat accurate, it shows that he actually DOES still care and have a passion for the fortunes of the football team.  If he was truly detached & didn't give a rip about the squad, then the comments & hot takes from his readership about the team wouldn't affect him.  And yet it does.
  • Assuming he does in fact still care about the footbal team & therefore experiences amplified highs & lows because he has to deal with some of the crazier aspects of our fan base to boot, then taking a step back is a healthy/mature level of self-awareness on his part.  Viewed through that prism, it is a move towards self-preservation.  This means that in theory, although Brian himself would be less directly involved in the football content, it's also a more emotinally sustaining model for him in the long run.  So less direct content from Brian, but the fewer times he chimes in directly it'll be on his own terms & theoretically it would enable him to either expand the non-football related content of the blog or alternatively give him the stamina/interest to maintain the blog overall for a longer period of time (versus going on an emotional bender after emotional bender & then burning out in a much shorter time).
  • Related to the above, on a logistical level it also means delegating content to his staff members.  This again means more blog sustainability over the longer term.  If Brian takes long hiatus or something for personal or financial reasons, it isn't like the the blog has to come to a grinding halt.  He's got a team that can continue on if Brian (or any other staffer for that matter--Ace & his health issues as a recent example) need to take a step back for any reason.

 

Anyway, that's my super long totally uninformed guess as to what may be going on w/ the blog behind the scenes.

 

04/25/2018 - 3:36pm Totally agree, but it's

Totally agree, but it's important to remember that 2015 was a lost recruiting year.  Harbaugh had 3 weeks to look around the recruiting landscape & grab JOK out of desperation and whiffed.  Then he saw what he had in the QB  room in the spring of 2015, grabed Rudock & turned him from a soon to be medical student into an NFL propsect within a season.

And as others have said in this thread, Peters--our 2016 QB recruit-- had a super awkward 2017 development path.  He was bound to make freshman type mistakes, and once the competition level ratcheted up at Wisconsin that required him to perform beyond the simplistic game plans against Rutgers/Minnesota/Maryland, those showed.  The bowl game was an offensive shit-show, but I'm not ready to put a ton of blame on Peters for that as in my view, in terms of snap counts, that was basically his 4th game of his entire career.  If he keeps making those errors into Big 10 season without signs of imporvement, then I'd worry about Peters, but not before then.

Bottom line is we've got a ton of bullets in the chamber at QB now.  So, one of two things will be true one year from now, regardless of whether Shea was eligible for the 2018 season, whether Shea did or didn't do well in 2018 if he does play, whether Shea enters the 2019 NFL Draft, or whether he decides to come back for the 2019 season.

Either.....

  • We will have ZERO concern as to the QB position going into the 2019 season  (some combo of Shea returning in 2019; Peters improving to the point of being solid; McCaffrey and/or Milton being very solid); 

OR

  • Harbaugh will be on a very hot seat  because it's clear we don't have a QB solution on the horizon & the #1 crtiticism of him will be--irony of all ironies---his utter failure to develop a reliable QB position for any sustainable period of time.

 

I think the likelyhood of the first outcome is 95%+ chance and the #2 outcome is exceedingly unlikely to happen.

04/25/2018 - 3:15pm This is an excellent point,

This is an excellent point, but unforunatley probably impossible to break down in any meaningful way.

But that does largely remind me of the whole Tom Brady vs. Drew Henson QB battle back in the late 1990's. 

Henson was always the better raw athlete, so his skillset & ceiling would theoretically show up earlier in his development.  He never played much in the league, but it's clear the uber athletes at QB also tend to see a drop in their careers earlier as their legs start to give out (not unlike RBs who get their bodies beaten up).  Conversely, Brady's major skillset is the field vision, football IQ, killer instinct/psychological advantage.  That stuff usually doesn't bear fruit until a few years of development, but the up side is that it also enables a QB to play longer in the league.

At the college level--especially with the newer 3 & out model--it seems like a college team may be better off with that raw athlete b/c they'd be more likely to get an extra season or so of productivity out of him, whereas going the cerebral route may give you a great upperclassman QB for a year or so, but you may only have a 1-2 year starter on your hands versus a 2-3 year starter.

 

 

04/25/2018 - 2:58pm Context

First, I just want to say thank you for Seth for putting all this together--awesome job man.  I don't think some people realize how long this can take to pull togther & it's like mana from heavan in the off season for a college football junkie.  

Second--Guys--cut Seth some slack when he's on the MGoPodcast.  It seems like you were running him through the ringer there a bit.  Nobody puts Seth in the Corner!

 

Third--and to your point RE: various season records being a bit over the map with the QB years just above Shea's hypothetical 2018 season---all true observations, but obviously context matters.  Like the strength of that team's defense overall:

Defensive S&P Ranking for the following seassons/teams:

  • 2017 LSU--D S&P #18; Record of 9-4 (Etling)
  • 2005 Minnesota--D S&P #71; Record of 7-5 (Cupito)
  • 2006 Ohio State-- D S&P #1; Record of 12-1 (Smith)
  • 2017 Ohio State--D S&P #8; Record of 11-2 (Barret)
  • 2010 Iowa--D S&P #19; Record of 8-5 (Stanzi)

Tons of caveats apply of course, but to me it seems like when you look at Seth's made up "QB Efficiency Percentile" stat & the grouping right above "Shea 2018" line, what you get is possibly a pretty decent correlation (admittedly not causation necessarily).

I'm not a fancy stat guy, but it seems to me one observation could be, "If a team's starting QB gets a QB Efficiency Percentile rougly in the projected Patterson 2018 zone, you can rougly expect the season record to break down along the lines of the team's S&P Overall Defensive ranking." 

In other words, if a QB can get to that level, then that year the offense overall won't be a net drag/hinderance on the defense.  Doesn't mean they're necessarily good enough to pull UP or compensate for a bad defense, but the team's season record won't significantly under-perform their Overall Defensive S&P ranking.

 

Michigan's Overall Defensive S & P since Coach Brown has arrived:

  • 2016--#2
  • 2017--#10 (with a ton of new starters)
  • 2018--????? (with only 1-2 new starters & losing almost nobody from the 2nd string)

So, my totally unscientific feelings-ball conclusion just eyeballing Seth's QB Efficiency Percentile stat versus Overall Defensive S&P ratings is this:

Assuming this 2018 season:

  1. Michigan Defense can stay in the top 10 S&P overall l ike we did in 2016 & 2017 (I think a pretty reasonable assumption); and 
  2. IF Shea gets eligible, avoids major injury, and he performas at or near the "2018 Patterson Projection" line that Seth cooked up (lots of IF's there....); then... 

.....it's not an unreasonable projection to say that what we're looking at is a 10+ win season. 

 

Again, major caveats apply (strength of schedule, youth of the rest of the roster, avoiding key injuries, flukish football-god type events not breaking against our favor disproportionately).  And some optimists have been saying 10+ win season is doable since the saltiness of our bowl game has worn off.  But it seems to me that if you pair Seth's post & the Defensive S&P observation, there's a least a bit more hard data that seems to point to that 10+ mark as being a real possibility beyond mere hope/feelingsball.

04/22/2018 - 7:51pm Ain’t that the truth. As a

Ain’t that the truth. As a fan base I think we had a tendency to get really down on BP for that bowl game, but we need to remember he was bound to have a few freshman mistake type games against teams with a pulse. I think part of the overreaction was just as a fan base we had PTSD where QB play was concerned, this a hypersensitivity. If for whatever reason BP is our starting QB this year, he’s going to be a good 30% better just from getting the freshman mistakes out of his system plus adding another 6 months of getting a bunch of snaps with the 1’s.

04/20/2018 - 12:24pm Other Transfer Requests

Would we really know soon? Or is it possible NCAA waits for the other 4 or 5 petitions of former Ole Miss players at other schools and review/rule on them in the aggregate? Especially if the fact patterns are overlapping.