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10/30/2018 - 12:00am LJ Scott referred to…

LJ Scott referred to Michigan as "our little sisters" in the summer.


10/29/2018 - 12:49pm Well, Michigan did.  (13-12…

Well, Michigan did.  (13-12 at SDSU; 47-50 lifetime.)

10/26/2018 - 10:59pm Here is the relevant…

Here is the relevant language for this hit. 


No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent (See Note 2 below) with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a foul (Rules 2-27-14 and 9-6). (A.R. 9-1-4-I-VI)

Note 1: "Targeting" means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:

  • Launch (not applicable)
  • ...
  • Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area

Note 2: Defenseless player (Rule 2-27-14):

  • A receiver attempting to catch a forward pass or in position to receive a backward pass, or one who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.


I can only assume the "indicators of targeting" and especially the "leading with..." indicator are not ironclad indicators, and that the ref must still make a subjective intent determination that it was for purposes beyond making a legal tackle or playing the ball.  (Not to mention, the definition of what is a legal tackle must depend, in part, on it not being targeting, so this definition of targeting also bakes in some circularity.)  

10/24/2018 - 3:06pm This is fantastic.  Kudos.

This is fantastic.  Kudos.

10/20/2018 - 5:41pm Where did you see that?

Where did you see that?

10/17/2018 - 6:45pm I had the same thought. …

I had the same thought.  Wearing a strongly contrasting glove makes any grab stick out, while wearing a similar-colored glove helps mask it.  

09/29/2018 - 10:04pm Wasn't the formation with…

Wasn't the formation with four receivers to one side illegal?  It looked like only one of the four was at the LOS, and Michigan had a QB and RB in the backfield as well.  Thought we were going to be flagged for that....

09/07/2018 - 6:44pm Wasn't that Greg Roman?


Wasn't that Greg Roman?

He is not on the staff.  Pep Hamilton is.

09/05/2018 - 12:25am This is spot on, in my…

This is spot on, in my opinion.  And there are other examples closer to home.  Franklin was on the hot seat at Penn State, and brought in an innovative coach from the Patriot League (head coach at Fordham).  Their offense exploded.  What did Brian Kelly do after his four-win season?  Hire the OC of Memphis (Chip Long).  

In my opinion, the Warinner hire was a good one -- the OL needed (and continues to need) work.  But bringing in McElwain as a WR coach (after the short-lived hire of Dan Enos), and leaving the offensive design and play-calling to a three or four member committee (headed by a person who has more than enough on his plate) doesn't address the crux of the problem.  I hope a light goes for Harbaugh, and he sees that he could have a Don Brown type on offense, and that turning over the keys to the offense would not reflect poorly on him or lessen his involvement in the game.  

(And by the way, I think the 1947 Mad Magicians would count as innovative.)

09/04/2018 - 5:46am If he is a non-issue (i.e.,…

If he is a non-issue (i.e., has no effect on the offense), why is he getting paid $1M/year?  Why are you willing to look at the history of Don Brown, Warinner, Drevno, etc. at their previous stops, but when it comes to Hamilton, we just pretend he has no history and no effect on the offense?  

After the game, you were declaring as if told to you by a higher power:

"People who are angry at Pep are literally just demonstrating that they don’t know what they’re watching."

Do you think the passing game you saw from Michigan in 2015-2016 was the same we have seen with Pep (2017-2018)?  Did you see something from the Cleveland Browns offense that recommended him for the job?  On the opposite end, how did UCLA's offense do in its one year under Jedd Fisch (2017)?  (Answer, since it appears there is a contingent that has no interest in exploring the difference between Fisch and Hamilton: it went from 82nd to 15th in S&P+.  That is a Mattison-level jump in one year.)  

While you sarcastically put down other people's opinion as based on "feels," you speak with a level of presumed authority that would make even Belichick blush: "This is a garbage take that discredits anyone who holds it."; "You have some good points and some bad points."; "Playcalling complaints occasionally have merit, but they are usually the default resort of the ignorant fan who doesn't know what they're looking at."  If you believe you are the ultimate arbiter of which opinions have merit, which fans are ignorant, and what we are really looking at, why are you wasting your omniscience posting on this message board?  You could be analyzing film at Schembechler Hall (or Gillette Stadium) and rapidly working your way up the coaching ranks.

09/04/2018 - 12:20am Jeremy Gallon holds the…

Jeremy Gallon holds the single-season and single-game receiving yards records for Michigan.  

09/03/2018 - 7:15pm If Harbaugh's not here, who…

If Harbaugh's not here, who do we get?  Who would the old guard like/accept?  It's hard to come up with any names, much less appealing ones.

09/02/2018 - 7:48pm Do you expect a head…

Do you expect a head coaching change (and if so, where does Michigan look)? 

I wish Harbaugh would just go and find a great OC, like he did with his DC, and turn over the keys to the offense.   

09/02/2018 - 2:21am You don't think there is a…

You don't think there is a difference between a close loss between two excellent teams where both teams play well, make plays, but one has to lose, and a loss with a ton of mental errors, an inability to play with tempo when down by 14 with 4 minutes left, etc.? 

09/02/2018 - 2:00am Penn State, with Moorhead,…

Penn State, with Moorhead, had an elite offense, despite having poor offensive line play.  It's like some people do not want to admit that our passing coordinator has anything to do with our passing game.  If that is the case, why are we paying him $1MM/year?  For his recruiting prowess?  Is he the grandson of a Michigan legend?

09/01/2018 - 11:39pm Exactly.  What Harbaugh did…

Exactly.  What Harbaugh did with Don Brown (hire a great college DC), Franklin did with Moorhead (hire a great college OC), is what we are asking for.  We do not even have an OC this year.  Harbaugh has enough on his plate.  We hired the Cleveland Browns' OC as our passing coordinator, and we are surprised when our college passing offense does not succeed.  What did we expect?

09/01/2018 - 11:32pm Did Moorhead recruit the…

Did Moorhead recruit the tackles at Penn State?  Even with a bad offensive line, Moorhead turned around that offense quickly.  Our passing offense has regressed significantly from the Jedd Fisch years.  When we talk about Don Brown, we point to his years at BC, UConn, etc., when assessing him.  Yes, we cannot make a definitive judgment based on one year and one game, but can you point to the Cleveland Brown or Colts or Howard offenses to bolster this $1MM/year passing coordinator?  In the 5 Questions about Offense piece today, our $1MM passing coordinator was not even mentioned.  We think Warinner, Drevno, and Frey can affect the offense, but our passing coordinator cannot?  (UCLA's passing offense last year with Fisch improved significantly, by the way.)  We do not have an OC.  Regardless of the tackle situation, if you think the absence of a real OC (and a $1MM passing coordinator who disclaims any responsibility for the offense) is meaningless, let me simply say that I strongly disagree.  I won't follow your lead by simply calling your "take" a foul name.  That's not an argument.  It's just an unreasoned attack.  

09/01/2018 - 5:02pm Not to be dour on opening…

Not to be dour on opening game day, but it appears most of us are choosing to ignore that we have the 2017 passing coordinator (and not Jedd Fisch).  Unless we believe that he has no role in the offense or QB prep....

08/28/2018 - 5:49pm I would want Harbaugh to go…

I would want Harbaugh to go out and hire the best college OC possible, just like he did with Don Brown.  (That OC would likely focus on what makes college offenses effective -- use of tempo, spacing, option, QB as at least a threat to run, etc.  Magnus's website had a link to Smart Football article about a week ago that went over these elements.)

08/23/2018 - 2:05am Urban Meyer deleted my other…

Urban Meyer deleted my other signs

07/17/2018 - 6:53pm Less frequently, less time…

Less frequently, less time on the site.  Part of that is due to the fewer board posts, but I think that can be attributed, in part, to the new design as well.  

For example, I can fill my laptop screen with a single, one-word response (posted by one of our favorite posters) in this thread.  (I'm on a PC, and use Android on phone.)  I recognize that designing and implementing a website is very hard, that there was a ton of content to migrate, etc., but a message board with such a layout is significantly less enjoyable to read.  

05/02/2018 - 12:26am Moorehead's first year (and fourth game)

I hear what you are saying, but the 2016 PSU offense ended up in the top 20 in S&P+ Offense, and went on to hang 41 on Iowa, 45 on Michigan State, 38 on a top-ten Wisconsin, and 49 on a top-ten USC in the Rose Bowl.  We caught PSU in the fourth game of Moorehead's tenure.  The offense he implemented there was remarkable (and likely saved Franklin's job).  (PSU's offense in 2015 was ranked 62nd.)

05/02/2018 - 12:18am PSU's offense

It's not magic, it's recruiting.

PSU signed the nation's top receiver, a 5 star top-10 overall player.  PSU signed the number one ranked all-purpose back, a 5 star top-30 overall player.  They signed the nation's number 4 ranked TE.  They have the top running back (5 star) from the 2016 class.  They had a top 10 offense last year.  Ours was ranked 85th, and we retained Pep Hamilton.  The Shea transfer (and eligibility) was huge, and Moorehead leaving PSU is great, but the idea that their offense will fall off a cliff and ours will rise meteorically seems like wishful thinking.  (I hope it happens, but there are plenty of reasons for being cautious in optimism.)

05/01/2018 - 11:59pm PSU's advantages

Also, last year it was Moorehead vs. Pep Hamilton/Drevno (and McSorley vs. O'Korn).  McSorley actually rushed for 76 yards as well. 

We are fortunate that Moorehead moved on to be a head coach.    


05/01/2018 - 11:52pm PSU's OL

But why does that matter?  Moorehead showed that with his offense, even with that terrible OL, he could score on us at will.  Penn State had a top ten S&P+ offense last year even with that OL.  Give me that offense over any Pep Hamilton/Jim McElwain offense ever.  Hopefully Moorehead's departure has some immediate effects.

05/01/2018 - 11:39pm Miles Sanders

I haven't watched him, but Miles Sanders was a 5-star recruit, the number one running back in the 2016 class, and has averaged over 7 yards a carry in his limited time behind Barkley (who averaged 5.7 and 5.5 yards per carry the last two years).  I assume Sanders was playing in garbage time, but it is not crazy to think he will perform at a very high level.  Barkley was drafted extremely high (and added a lot in special teams), but I feel like we are already forgetting about Fournette, McCaffrey, etc. just from the past couple years and lionizing Barkley to an unreasonable extent.

The best thing for us is that Moorhead left PSU.      

02/16/2018 - 12:10pm Fisch v. Pep

Those quotes are describing the offense we had when Jedd Fisch was our passing game coordinator.  

2017 was a different offense, with a different passing game coordinator.

02/08/2018 - 11:53am Scot Loeffler

Boston College 2017 S&P+ Offensive rank: No. 101

Boston College 2016 S&P+ Offensive rank: No. 124

VA Tech 2015 S&P+ Offensive rank: No. 72

VA Tech 2014 S&P+ Offensive rank: No. 94

VA Tech 2013 S&P+ Offensive rank: No. 91

Auburn 2012 S&P+ Offensive rank: No. 73

Instead of hiring coaches on the offensive side of the ball based on familiarity with one particular (outmoded) scheme, I would suggest we do what we did with Don Brown: hire a college coach with consistent past college success.  This isn't a guarantee of future success, but what is it in the numbers above (for Loeffler) or the numbers for Browns/Colts offenses that would suggest that it is more likely for those coaches to bring highly productive offenses to Michigan?


02/08/2018 - 11:19am Offensive coordinator

The biggest change at PSU was that they brought in Joe Moorhead.  If we had made a similar move this offseason, we would be looking at a much brighter future.  While we might not have OSU/Alabama talent, we do at least have top 10/15 talent.  And coupling very good talent with an innovative, modern college offense and excellent coaching can lead to pretty amazing results.    

02/06/2018 - 12:15am Unwillingness to move on from disaster on offense

Harbaugh's unwillingness to pull the trigger on a change after one of the worst passing offenses in UM history, be it out of a desire to help a friend/good human being get a "soft landing" at a new job or UM not wanting to eat three years of an extremely expensive, ill-advised contract, is probably the biggest sign so far that my expectations for Harbaugh were too high.  UM has some built-in disadvantages against programs like Alabama/OSU -- we don't cheat in recruiting, our state is not as talent-rich, etc.  The administration has opened up the purse strings for Harbaugh at an unprecedented level (and it can be justified).  But bringing in the Cleveland Browns' OC, running an outdated "pro-style" offense (I put it in quotes because successful pro team offenses are much more like modern college offenses), and then not being attuned to just how bad the results have been are all not good signs.  I'm glad the RPOs in the Super Bowl caught his attention.  I wish, however, he had been paying attention to successful college and pro offenses for the past few years, and had chosen to go with a modern, successful approach after the 2016 season ended and he was faced with replacing Fisch.   

02/03/2018 - 9:17pm 2018 Passing game coordinator vs 2016 Passing game coordinator

(And QB coach and WR coach.)


01/27/2018 - 3:56pm Georgia's OC offseason

Looking at endless hours of tape, studying the top 10 colleges offenses of the past year and the top 10 NFL offenses of the past year.  Learning from Oklahoma's offense, Penn State's (Moorhead's) offense.  Adding in RPO.…

I have no sense that Pep and Drevno are approaching the dumpster fire of the past year with this approach -- a willingness to learn, evolve, adapt.  At best, we have the metaphor of continuing to pump the same water pump, hoping that eventually water will come out.  That's not what Georgia did.  (And I think Georgia is an outlier for other reasons as well.)


01/27/2018 - 3:27pm Even younger on defense than offense

If youth was the cause of the problems, our defense would have fallen off a cliff this year.  It didn't.  We have excellent, proven defensive coaches.

We brought it in an NFL (not college) OC, who led one of the worst offenses in the NFL.  Prior to that, he was fired from a different NFL team, which also had less than stellar offenses.  The two years he was OC at Stanford, Borges at Michigan put up better offenses (and didn't have the benefit of Andrew Luck).  He was also OC at Howard, where his offenses were also, again abysmal.  He may be an excellent person and human being.  Why, however, is anyone surprised that our offense (and especially our passing game) regressed significantly under his watch?


01/20/2018 - 3:39pm 2016 v. 2017

In 2016, we had Jedd Fisch.  In 2017, he moved to UCLA.  UCLA's offense this year (its one year under Fisch) improved dramatically (Greg Robinson to Greg Mattison level improvement on S&P+).  Meanwhile, we brought in the OC from the Cleveland Browns (one of the worst offenses in the NFL), who had been let go from the Colts the year prior.  

01/19/2018 - 11:10pm Please hold on to the ball at least two steps pass the goal line

Just saw the first TD highlight.  Immediately thought of all those plays where runners have dropped the ball just as they were crossing into the end zone....

01/09/2018 - 1:20pm LSU's 2017 offense akin to our 2016 offense, not 2017 offense

2017 S&P+ Offense Ranking:

LSU: 42nd

Michigan: 86th



01/09/2018 - 12:29pm The defense lost more (player-wise) than the offense

There were far more starts among the players returning on the offensive side of the ball. 

Despite the youth and inexperience, the defense did not crater. 

The offense was historically bad.  

01/09/2018 - 12:16pm We are pulling for you, Ace

And thank you for sharing with us.  You are not alone. 

01/09/2018 - 4:31am Talent

Georgia just signed 9 out of the top 50 players in the 2018, including 6 five-star players.  We signed none.  Some of those top 50 players will play well as true freshmen. 

(Also of note: Alabama is trying to poach our one true elite recruiter (Patridge).)  

If I had to weigh the two, coaching/scheme on the offensive side is limiting us far, far more than recruiting.  According to 247Sports, we had the seventh highest team talent in the country this year.  Yes, Alabama, OSU, Georgia, and USC beat us out, but we were still well within the top 10, and ahead of teams like Stanford or Oklahoma..

That said, given the in-state talent disparity between Michigan and states like Georgia, Florida, Texas, and California, the fact that we do not cheat in recruiting the way SEC/certain ACC teams do (we thankfully hung on to Gary despite the inducements that our AD publicly mentioned were offered by another program, but we have clearly lost others), and that we have somewhat higher academic standards (e.g., we basically do not take JUCOs), we will likely be unable to consistently beat out Alabama, USC, Georgia, Texas, and LSU recruiting-wise (when those programs are not cratering). 

I think the better model for us is Oklahoma.  Not a ton of in-state talent, not known for shady recruiting practices.  They were ranked #16 in the country in team talent this year.  They have a good amount of talent, but they are not going to out-Alabama Alabama.  Rather, they utilize an explosive offense with Air Raid principles, and that offense gives the chance against even the best defenses (as in their game against Georgia this year).

01/04/2018 - 8:33pm Sam Pittman to Kurt Anderson

Arkansas might not have the same level of recruits as Michigan, but they recruited fairly well, and very consistently under Bielema -- always or almost always ranking in the 20s of 247Sports composites for recruiting classes. 

Nonetheless, their offensive production did suffer when Sam Pittman was hired away by Kirby Smart to Georgia and Anderson was hired to replace him. 

Pittman: 2014: #22; 2015: #4. 

Anderson: 2016: #39; 2017: #43.



01/04/2018 - 6:46pm Top 20 average S&P+ last four years

I like the idea, but I think you may have the wrong numbers for Enos:

2014: 88th (at CMU)

2015: 4th (at Arkansas, with Pittman)

2016: 39th (at Arkansas, after Pittman left for Georgia)

2017: 43rd (at Arkansas)

01/04/2018 - 6:39pm Primary reason

His offenses historically have been very, very bad.  (Auburn in 2012; Virginia Tech in 2013-2015; Boston College in 2016-2017.)

01/04/2018 - 12:23pm Exact opposite

That would be the exact opposite approach.  Don Brown had no prior to connection to Michigan or Harbaugh, but Harbaugh researched who had the best college defense statistically (and a history of success as a college DC).  Loefler's name would not pop up with that type of search.  (Boston College's offensive S&P+ ranking this year was No. 101, even worse than Michigan's.)

01/04/2018 - 5:13am 2015 and 2016 versus 2017

We had a different QB coach and passing game coordinator in 2017. 

Note that the passing game coordinator and QB coach who left UM after 2016 ended up at UCLA, whose S&P+ Offensive ranking jumped nearly 60 spots this year under his command. 

01/03/2018 - 4:35pm Borges's worst year (and Greg Robinson's worst year)

Even in Borges's worst year (2013), we still had an offense that ranked in the top 50 in Offensive S&P+.  This year, we were 86th -- i.e., much worse. 

Our offense this year was even worse than our defense in 2010 (in RR's last year, with Greg Robinson as DC), which was ranked 81st.


01/03/2018 - 6:41am His last (of two) years coaching NCAA

It's worth noting that he had a thirteen year run in the NFL, then coached as a high school OC for a year, coached at Stanford for two years, and has been back in the NFL for the past seven years.  

01/03/2018 - 6:29am Not sure

I'm not sure I follow or agree with you, but either way, I don't how that recommends Roman.  Even though the talent is closely aligned in the NFL, he could only coordinate an offense into the top 20% of teams once over six years.  That is not stellar.  Admittedly, that is better than hiring the OC of the Browns, with one of the absolutely worst offenses in the NFL.  

Also, P5 teams do appear frequently in the bottom half of the 130 teams when it comes to Offensive S&P+ ranking.  For instance, we were 86th this year.  (I believe we were 44th in Al Borges's last year.)

01/03/2018 - 6:17am Harbaugh needs to find a way to retain Partridge

The fact that Saban wants to poach him says it all.  Excellent coach and excellent recruiter -- elite teams (like Alabama) go after assistants who are both.  Crucial that we find a way to retain him.

01/03/2018 - 4:56am Out of 32

It's important to remember that there are only 32 teams in the NFL, unlike the 130 in the S&P rankings.  So that #16 in 2014, for example, would be the equivalent to a #65 ranking in the S&P in college.  There's only one year in that six year run in which his offense finished in the top 20% of NFL offenses.  Given what appears to be an absolutely awful hire last year (from one of the worst NFL teams), this hire might be an improvement, but it is definitely Harbaugh doubling-down on people he or his brother know, instead of looking for who is producing the best offenses (like he did when he went after Don Brown as a defensive coordinator).

01/03/2018 - 4:45am Overall

Overall, it seems like we might gain a slight bump in recruiting prowess (assuming we can hang on to Patridge) with these changes.  But plenty of folks are saying Roman hates recruiting (he has only spent two years coaching at any level in college), so the bump is limited.  If Harbaugh doubles down on the old NFL friend approach this off-season, I sure hope he demands that they pull their weight on the recruiting trail, even if it doesn't come naturally to them.  A conservative NFL offense not geared to the college game combined with lackluster recruiting is unlikely to lead Michigan to the results the fans are looking for.