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Date Title Body
10/22/2018 - 8:56am Michigan has an outstanding…

Michigan has an outstanding defense and I think Lewerke's injury, which you downplayed, made them look even better.  In previous years, I might have been concerned that the defense would become overconfident, but i don't think Don Brown will allow that to happen.  On offense, I hope Harbaugh develops his 'Inner Brohm" and gets a lot more aggressive and creative with his play calling.  Either way, a win over OSU would make this a really sweet season and maybe become a pivotal turning point in UofM's trajectory.   

09/24/2018 - 3:53pm Good analysis.  Their LBs…

Good analysis.  Their LBs are talented but young and inexperienced.  I don't think people who have never been to a 'Whiteout' at night in Happy Valley against a rival can understand how valuable that is for Penn State.  OSU has the better players and should win, but the Whiteout might make a significant difference and give Penn State a real chance to win.

09/24/2018 - 9:52am  

Yep, kids are great and…

 

Yep, kids are great and you will enjoy them just as much as they grow up.

I agree with your analysis of the Nebraska situation and concur that Scott Frost is the ideal coach for them, given his history and accomplishments.  I would expect that he will bring back and then reinforce that school's best traditions - not unlike JH at UofM, KF at Iowa, PC at UW, JF at PSU, PF at NW, and MD at MSU.  I believe they are all very qualified and well-intentioned coaches and that the BIG 10 is better with them at the helm.  Respectful competition is good. 

 

09/08/2018 - 9:29am No Jerry Hanlon - that's the…

No Jerry Hanlon - that's the problem. 

09/07/2018 - 4:05pm Unbelievably bad post. …

Unbelievably bad post.  Seriously, 12 years later and you're blaming RR for our problems? JH  focused on the QB and skill positions, so that's why the OL play is so poor? That makes no sense!  All of those units/positions have been failures under both Hoke and JH.  At least RR developed several OL players who were successful in the NFL.   

09/04/2018 - 10:05am My first posting since the…

My first posting since the format change.  I always enjoy reading your thoughtful comments.  Maybe I missed it in your analysis, but what struck me about the ND game was the apparent lack of an offensive game plan that was built on the strengths of our offense, protected its weaknesses, and took advantage of the opponent's tendencies.  Other teams (e.g. MSU) see to be able to do that against us on a regular basis.  I'm not a football expert but, for example, I thought rolling SP to the right (away from out LT) on RPOs, with an occasional reverse run to the LT side, would have been effective at slowing down their rush, giving SP more time to make a decision, and minimize the need for good LT play.

07/29/2018 - 10:11am The best way to grade JH is…

The best way to grade JH is to compare his results to what is in his contract.  If he met the basic criteria, but none of the 'extras', he gets a C.  The grade goes up with each of the bonus requirements he meets.  I haven't seen his contract, but I'd guess he's at an average of C+ or B- for the three years he's been here.  Personally, I feel that is disappointing.  2018 looms large.     

05/11/2018 - 4:38pm Disagree, Bando

Please consider this:

  • One of my good friends was a high school band instructor back in the day.  His students loved going to band Day.  What makes you believe the high schoolers don't want to be there?  
  • OTOH, I'd wager there are at least 25-35,000 season ticket holders who don't really want to be at the Arkansas State or Middle Tennessee games.  In a sense, they're being forced or coerced to buy those tickets in order to see the 3-4 home games that really do matter.  
  • The promotional benefits, good will, free publicity and exposure to possible future students and fans would more than cover the 'lost revenue', IMO. 
  • There might be an even higher demand for season tickets if the 'weak sister' game was excluded from the package.

The way the football program is trending, all of this may be moot.  Maybe there will come a time in the not too distant future when the demand for football tickets will look like it did when Bump Elliott was the HC and UofM will once again be looking for ways to fill the stadium. 

05/10/2018 - 12:06pm Bring back 'Band Day'

Years ago, Band Day brought 25-35,000 high school students to play with the Uof M Marching Band on the field at half time.  A lot of those students would probably never have attended a Michigan game.  Great way to bring expose a lot of young people (and probably many of their parents) to Ann Arbor and the UofM.

It would be relatively easy to resume.  Schedule it for the 'worst' home game and allow 25-35,000 fans sitting in the south end zone and corners to be reimbursed for their tickets by UofM.  Lots of fans doen't really want to see that game anyway.  Here are the games I'm speaking of:

  • Aug 31 2019: Middle Tennessee
  • Sep 19 2020: Arkansas State

Weak opponents for 2021 and 2022 haven't been scheduled yet, but one can easily predict the quality of that team, given the above.

 

05/02/2018 - 2:49pm I'll go you one better

I think JH should have been able to forsee that disaster beforehand.  He should never have tried to implement it, IMO.  Disappointed in his failure to do so, especially given all of the experience he's had as a player and coach.

I am anxious for JH to define the basic thrust and personality of HIS offense and then go with it.  One knows how Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, etc., are going to come at you, and so do their players.  I would love to see UofM develop that same type of well-defined and understood approach on offense.  Don Brown's done it on defense.  We need that same type of mentality on offense.  

   

03/31/2018 - 11:45am Stand and yell section

I'd like to see a couple of sections devoted exclusively to fans who want to stand, yell, and scream.  Then, everyone who enjoys that and wants to participate in that activity can do so to their hearts content without offending anyone.  

I like to stand up and cheer when the situation calls for it - but that's the rub - everyone has a differnt definition of when that might be.  

And I can see situations where standing up makes it difficult for some of the people behind you to see - e.g. children.

Reminds me of my thoughts when driving - those who pass me are aholes and those who are going slower than me are also aholes.

03/27/2018 - 8:36pm Speight's decision-making on this...

..is just like when he drops back to pass; slow and error-prone.

03/17/2018 - 11:33pm The biggest problem is that...

...no one has been able to step up. 

03/17/2018 - 10:48pm Why doesn't Beilein...

...have some set plays at the beginning of the game to get Wagner started?

03/17/2018 - 1:59pm I've also used routinely used FMEA...

...as well as Design FMEAs.  My point was it doesn't take a guru to anticipate that if you don't have a good & experienced WR coach AND you have no upperclassmen playing that position, you are asking for trouble.  JH should have anticipated the problems that occured, IMO, and should not have had to 'fix' them afterwards.

03/15/2018 - 10:15am Disagree dragonchild

It's the ones who anticipate negative possibilities BEFORE they happen and plan for them who do the best.  They don't allow those mistakes to occur. 

When I consider the lack of development and poor play of the QBs, OL, and WRs during the past 1-2 years, I'm totally in awe of how poor of a coaching job JH has done compared to what I expected when he was hired.

03/09/2018 - 11:11am I'm one of those crazy guys

At this point, I don't see the ROI.  I'd rather see our 3 current leading candidates for the starting QB job get the time and attention that would otherwise go to Speight.  IMO, Shea Patterson is better than Speight, right now, and will improve with time in the system and with the attention of the coaches.  The other two guys are young and inexperienced.  We need them to develop for the long term.  Bringing in Speight doesn't help that. 

03/05/2018 - 10:31am Now that Beilein is emphasizing defense...

...it should make his players even more appealing to the NBA.  It also makes you wonder what might have been if he had recognized the value of this change a few years ago.

02/16/2018 - 12:09pm You spent a fair of time on this. Thank you for doing that.

Some other takes that are contrary, but nontheless consistent with your report:

  • Drevno had little to do with the performance of Stanford's OL in 2009 and 2010.  It was the OL players and not their coach, plus the talent and play of future NFLers Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart.
  • Having a very strong running game AND a premier passer made it difficult for defenses.  That also made the OL look good.  Again, not really Drevno.
  • The Oline players at Standord did most of their development under Drevno's predecessor.  
02/13/2018 - 12:25pm Why not move Tyrone Wheatley Jr. to OT?

He's athletic, has the right build to support what's needed at OT, isn't playing much at TE, and would have better a better chance at landing in the NFL as an OT.

01/31/2018 - 11:46am Here's a solution

ALL of the season tickets have to be picked up at a 'will call' window at least 15 minutes before tip off.

Otherwise, those tickets are given out to students on a first-come basis for a minimal charge.

That would require some major staffing changes.  A Huge # of staffers and windows would have to be added to eliminate long lines. 

Some of the students would likely not get into the game on time, but they'd still get there.

The season ticket holders who are true fans could feel good about 'donating' their tickets to students who really want to go to the game but otherwise would not.

01/18/2018 - 5:13pm Way too late

What took him so long to recognize that the Oline was not functioning and he needed to fix it.  Why didn't Harbaugh get this addressed in October?  In business for profit organizations, he would be demoted or sent packing.  Really, really poor managment all the up up to and including JH. 

01/18/2018 - 2:34pm Agree w HateSparty

Apparently Harbaugh has seen the error of his ways and is going back to the basics.  MSU and Wisconsin (7 recruits from Michigan in 2018) were taking advantage of UofM's focus on the East Coast and Southeastern US and bringing in kids from Michigan and Ohio that were legitimate Big 10 material.  Glad to see this reversal by Harbaugh. Very difficult to compete with elite programs and regional powers when you're not an elite program.  Once JH gets the program on a level with OSU, he can spend more time looking harder outside the Midwest.

01/17/2018 - 3:16pm I love UofM's schedule

I love UofM playing top-notch opponents almost every week.  For me, the lead-up to each game, the game itself, and the after the fact analysis are all big parts of each game.  I would much rather see UofM be at #1 than #57.  

BTW, I also respect ND playing a Top 10 schedule every year.  It's great for their program and for the teams that play them.

I suspect UofM's players and coaches much prefer playing against good teams rather than patsies.

 

01/14/2018 - 9:51am x and y axis

I found it difficult to interpret the meaning of your Fig .1 & 2 as the y axis was not labeled and there was a definition of the terms Game Feelz and Season Feelz was not provided.

01/04/2018 - 7:20pm You do realize Bo was an OSU man...

...don't you?

01/04/2018 - 4:14pm Couldn't agree more with you, Alumnus93

Myself and several others have expressed concerns on multiple occasions on how UofM has been ignoring Ohio and how that is hurting us now and will hurt us even more in the future, if it isn't addressed.  

Harbaugh and his staff seem to have focused on NE and the SE at the expense of Ohio, and to a lesser extent, Michigan and the Midwest.

Michigan State and Wisconsin have gained from this neglect.  Just check out their current and forecasted recruiting classes.  I believe MSU has 9 from Ohio and Wisconsin has 7 from Michigan.  

If UofM was performing as an elite program, it might be able to compete effectively with other elite programs like Ohio State and Alabama, on a national basis, and with regional powers in those geographic areas, but it's not.  

Once the glitz and glamour wears off, and in the absence of high profile wins, it becomes more and more difficult recruit in places far from home.  And, if you've neglected your Midwest high school coaches and programs, you can be in big trouble.  

01/04/2018 - 3:51pm If Washington is our new DLine coach...

...it sounds like a can't miss for several reasons:

  • Don Brown knows him inside and out and I trust Don Brown's judgement
  • Washington played DLine for Brown at BC, so he knows the position from a player's perspective
  • He's coached DLine and a smattering of special teams
  • He's young and reportedly a good recruiter
  • Probably has built relationships with high schools in Ohio and NE

What's not to like?  Re Mattison, didn't he and Hoke co-coach the Dline?

I could see Waashington having a key role to play in both DLine coaching and special teams.

01/03/2018 - 10:18am My 'Hot Takes' on recruits and recruiting

Overstated a bit for emphasis:

  • The importance of UofM's 'world class' academics is way overrated.  Maybe even a detriment to getting many of the 4 & 5 star athletes whose main interrest in college is as a pathway to the NFL.
  • A key reason, and maybe the main draw, for many athletes coming to Michigan is it's Michigan.  That might not always be best.   
  • Maybe we need the kids who want to go to the NFL more than we do the kids who want to go to Michigan.  Maybe they have a harder edge, are tougher, will work harder in the weight room, be more dedicated to being successful on the football field, etc.  
  • 'Recruiting' should be a non-negotiable performance requirement in any job description for a coach at UofM.  If it's not, then the HC is a problem.  If it is and the HC isn't demanding it be fulfilled, the HC is a problem. 
  • Why is Partridge so important?  Why is a 'great recruiter'?  Is it because of his ability to 'relate' to high schoolers? Is it his connections in New England?  Who is recruiting Ohio for UofM and building the relationships with HS coaches and schools in that state?  
  • Why doesn't UofM seem to see pipelines from Ohio and the Midwest being a key to long-term, sustainable success?  Are the rivalries between Uof M and MSU/OSU more important to kids from Ohio and Michigan than to players from other states?
01/02/2018 - 4:44pm Please, enough of the 'Blame RR' schtick

It's tired and old.  UofM's decline started in the later years of underachieving LC who would have selected Mike DeBord as his replacement.  Mike DeBord!  Now that would have been a 'colossal  mistake'.  With no succession plan in place, and LC unable to identify an acceptable successor, Martin was left to his own devices.  Martin & Coleman botched bringing Les Miles on board.  That was a also a debacle.  So, somehow, they came up with RR who looked like a pretty good choice at the time, but many of the students, fans, alums, and former players at UofM (who falsely pride themselves on embracing 'diversity') never gave the Hillbilly from WV a chance.  He wasn't a 'Michigan Man'.  I agree that RR failed in Ann Arbor, but never got a lot of help or support, unlike the two 'Michigan Men' that followed him.  They're not doing so well either.  But don't try and blame all of this on RR.  That's just sad.

01/02/2018 - 11:19am Brian's attitude reflects how a lot of us feel

If UofM loses its fanbase, there will be severe repercussions.  We saw a little of that when some of the fanbase quit on RR before he really had a chance and more during his tenure.  We saw most of them return when Hoke came in, but a lot of the fans (I was one)  questioned the hire because it appeared being a 'Michigan Man' was much more important than actual performance.  We saw Dave Brandon lose more students and fans.  With Harbaugh, we were all hoping he was the 'right' hire at the 'right' time and that he could pull everyone back together.  That has not materialized because the on the field performance hasn't matched the rhetoric.

I'm 'old school', so maybe my take doesn't matter, but I could do without all of the theatrics and what I'll call 'glitz' (e.g. romping on the beach, visits to Rome & the Pope, Florida vacations, the  overuse of social media like twitter, sleepovers, "Signing of the Stars', false 'meritocracy' in that it doesn't seem to apply to the coaching staff and their lack of results).  To me, those are distractions that take you away from the real basics of football - blocking, tackling, toughness, not making mistakes, etc.

So, I have kind of 'exited' as a fan.  I don't try to get back to Ann Arbor for home games or to get tickets to 'away' games that are close to where I live.  In fact, I've been turning down opportunities to attend games because I just don't have the interest I once had.

I know I don't really matter, in the scheme of things, and won't be noticed as an individual,  but if a substantial number of fans develop similar attitudes and feelings, it will be noticed and they'll be hard to bring back.  They'll have moved on and relegated 'football' to a much lower priority.

 

01/02/2018 - 9:24am Higdon needs to improve in three areas...

...in order to be assured of being drafted:

  • Pass protection blocking
  • Receiving
  • Securing the football 

He's been able to demonstrate his running ability and to find holes to run through, but that's not enough.

01/01/2018 - 11:02pm I hate this excuse for Harbaugh

JH knew for two years that Chesson, Darboh, and Butt would be gone after the 2016 season.  He should have had some other WRs and TEs ready for 2017, but he didn't.  It's on Harbaugh.

01/01/2018 - 6:06pm The worst coach on this staff is Jim Harbaugh

He's responsible for the offense, offensive coaches, and QBs, and that's been the weakest part of the program.  Harbaugh made one really good move.  he brought in Don Brown and the n stayed out of his way.  

01/01/2018 - 4:37pm The problem with replacing the offensive coaching staff...

...is the head coach who hired the current coaches.  What gives anyone confidence he will get it 'right' this time?

01/01/2018 - 4:10pm If all of the coaches on offense were let go...

...it would be fine with me.  My problem is that Harbaugh hired them.  Who would he hire as replacements?

01/01/2018 - 4:10pm If all of the coaches on offense were let go...

...it would be fine with me.  My problem is that Harbaugh hired them.  Who would he hire as replacements?

01/01/2018 - 3:27pm Now I undeerstand why DPJ

lets so many punt hit the ground.  And, stupid me, I negged him for that.

01/01/2018 - 3:27pm Now I undeerstand why DPJ

lets so many punt hit the ground.  And, stupid me, I negged him for that.

01/01/2018 - 3:19pm Harbaugh was right about one thing

Peters is 'weak'.  He hasn't got it.  Can't believe JH put him back in.

01/01/2018 - 3:03pm I give

I was all for giving Brandon Peters some slack.  I'm done with that.  He's been absolutely horrible.  It's way more than QB play.  It's coaching, especially Harbaugh.  After almost 3 full years, we've got this? 

Harbaugh's big on meritocracy.  So am I.  Let's see him put his money where his mouth is and be paid according to performance.  I guarantee he wouldn't be getting $9 MM.

01/01/2018 - 2:52pm No fire in the belly

Including on the sidelines.  Why was Metellus allowed to go back to the sideline without getting his ass reamed?  

  

01/01/2018 - 1:36pm Brandon Peters cannot make a quick decision...

...for the life of him.  Why hasn't Harbaugh been able to coach him up to fix that?

01/01/2018 - 1:04pm Unfortunately - same old, same old
  • Poor QB play
  • WRs not making catches
  • DPJ letting punts hit ground
  • Awful punting
  • RBs can't make blocks to protect QB
  • OL mediocre at best
01/01/2018 - 12:40pm Don't need Winovich's theatrics

Play football.  Bringing attention to yourself is pure BS.

12/31/2017 - 10:34am I like UofM playing a difficult schedule

I enjoy watching good football.

I enjoy seeing UofM playing quailty football against a quality team. 

I like Uof M playing ND every year instead of teams like Delaware State, Hawaii, UNLV, Akron, Massachusetts, Eastern Michigan, or Connecticut.

I'm glad MSU, OSU, and PSU are in our division.  I look forward to those games and all of the hoopla that goes on before & after each of those games. .

I would rather see us go 9-3 or 10-2 playing against multiple top 20 teams than 11-1 or 12-0 against weak competition.

Winning a national championship would be nice but winning the Big 10 East and the Big 10 Championship Game on a regular basis is much more meaningul and enjoyable to me.

I would bet that a majority of the UofM players feel the same.

12/25/2017 - 11:00am Maryland went 73-15-4...

...under HC Jim Tatum in 1947-1955 and won the National Championship in 1953.  Under Jerry Caliborne, they went 77-37-3 in 1971-1982.  Their record under Bobby Ross, during 1982-i1985, was 34-14.  So, it's been a while, but there has been some good football played at Maryland. 

In today's world, having to play OSU, PSU, MSU, and UofM every year just makes it very difficult for any coach to have fewer than four losses.  If a HC can average 7-5 over a 2-3 year period they would be doing a very good job.  8-4 or better would outstanding. 

If someone can consistently get Maryland to that level, I could see them being compared to Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin and Hayden Fry at Iowa and, like them, staying at the school for the rest of their career, to leave a memorable legacy.  I think that person would have to develop a 'culture' and 'system' that distinguishes their program from others, but I think it could be done.

12/23/2017 - 4:16pm Your're wrong

People from Chicago don't really know how to hunt or fish.  But they're pretty good at spending money.

On amore serious note, being born & raised in Michigan, I was very surprised at the unique geology of northern Wisconsin.  Just a huge number of spring fed lakes (big & small) and yes, lots of ponds too.   

12/23/2017 - 1:14pm Wrong

Wisconsin got the Packers.  BTW, except for the weather, northern Wisconsin is very unlike the UP.  It's a huge vacation destination for people living in the Chicago area and has 10,000+ crystal clear lakes.

12/22/2017 - 11:13pm I gave you the references...

...you can do it all by yourself.