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Date Title Body
01/16/2019 - 5:49pm I hope that they name a high…

I hope that they name a high school in his honor that focuses on palindromes.  (Shaun Nua H.S.)

Welcome to Michigan, coach -- Go Blue!

01/09/2019 - 8:00pm Dear Jim,

Remember how in…

Dear Jim,

Remember how in laser tag at your bachelor party you won by going after the 10-year-old (the weakest opponent)?  Why do you not employ that strategy in football -- i.e., exploit the weakest link on a defense (rather than bunch all of our players and the other side's best players into a phone booth to see whether we can gain a yard (or less) on third/fourth down)?

Respectfully yours in football....

 

01/08/2019 - 12:51am And what did Dabo do after…

And what did Dabo do after his first three years?  Make sure his OC landed a cushy job, and if not, take him back for another year?  (I.e., let his preference for "soft landings" dictate his staff?)  No, Dabo went and hired an innovative coach for the college game (not an NFL guy), who brought in an uptempo spread.  

01/08/2019 - 12:29am The composite rankings (in…

The composite rankings (in which our ranking is inflated by quantity) are somewhat misleading.  Here is how the top five ranked Michigan defensive linemen recruits compare to the top ten ranked Clemson defensive linemen recruits:

Clemson DL.JPG

 

01/07/2019 - 9:51pm I'd rather have the NCAA…

I'd rather have the NCAA enforce its rules (paying players, steroids).  We would still be behind these programs, but the gulf might not be as vast.

01/07/2019 - 9:48pm Our interim Athletic…

Our interim Athletic Director told us (basically) that Clemson attempted to buy Rashan Gary.  We get one or two of those type of elite players per year.  Clemson, Alabama, and Georgia stockpile them.

Then (some of) those players test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, based on..."hair gel"?  Isn't that what Dabo said?

And them Clemson throws money at innovative coaches for the college game.  They hire Chad Morris as OC (only one year out of being a HS coach!), while we pluck the OC of not just any NFL team, but one with one of the worst offenses.

 

01/07/2019 - 9:22pm Clemson doesn't hire the OC…

Clemson doesn't hire the OC of one of the worst NFL offenses.

01/07/2019 - 9:16pm Pep's routes are still…

Pep's routes are still developing while modern offenses like these two have already completed one play and are snapping a second.

01/07/2019 - 9:09pm You can't buy a superior…

You can't buy a superior kicker at the college level -- being the best is not always clear-cut, they are few in number, and pure athletic ability isn't at issue.  Nor do steroids help kickers.  Kickers may want to get a degree (from a place better than Alabama).  And it is not like Alabama really coaches up kickers to help get them into the league.

01/07/2019 - 3:42pm If he wanted to coach…

If he wanted to coach another 1-2 years, couldn't we have just made him passing game coordinator?  Some people think that such a person has no influence on the offense ("It's all Harbaugh!"), and he would have been an upgrade as a recruiter.

01/02/2019 - 11:12pm The OC who turned around…

The OC who turned around Clemson did not have multiple years of college football coaching experience prior to joining Clemson.

Chad Morris had been a high school coach for all of his career except for one year at Tulsa when Clemson named him OC (not a position coach) in 2011.  Clemson had gone 15-12 in the two years prior to the hire of Morris.  They went 42-11 over the four seasons that Morris was the OC.  Morris brought in an uptempo spread (i.e., modern college offense).

01/01/2019 - 8:24pm I think you could go back to…

I think you could go back to his time at Miami (Ohio) and hear the same thing.

01/01/2019 - 7:47pm Zach was apparently an…

Zach was apparently an outstanding recruiter.  

12/31/2018 - 4:23pm Jim Leavitt, who is being…

Jim Leavitt, who is being paid $1.7 million annually, is Oregon's DC, and has been mentioned as a possible alternative that Harbaugh considered for DC.  (He has also interviewed for HC jobs, like Texas Tech.)  Oregon's defense ranked in the 60s in conventional stats and S&P+ this year.  (Even after the OSU loss, our defense was ranked 5th in S&P+.) 

12/31/2018 - 4:17am How did they overlook that…

How did they overlook that Manny Diaz's defense allowed Wisconsin to put up 34 points in the 2017 Orange Bowl?  Michigan must have allowed 50 points, right?

12/28/2018 - 6:39pm Did we bring in a new OC and…

Did we bring in a new OC and forget to tell everyone?

12/27/2018 - 3:04pm It is only in the context of…

It is only in the context of the past three years that I think our defensive coaching staff is fantastic.   By S&P+, we were 2nd, 10th, and 5th in the country.  I do not judge them by one game alone, although I definitely have concerns, which I think I mentioned.  If you just looked at the OSU game against MSU where Urban Meyer forget he could run Ezekiel Elliot, you would think he was not a fantastic offensive coach.  He is.  Anomalies happen.

12/27/2018 - 1:43pm Thanks for your reply.  I…

Thanks for your reply.  I really appreciate it.  You (and some others on the board) have likely forgotten more about football than I will ever learn.  But I enjoy learning what I can!

12/27/2018 - 3:58am Thanks for putting in the…

Thanks for putting in the work on this (and bringing your football knowledge to the discussion).  I don't have the football experience to make any conclusions on this side of the game -- e.g., can Brown adapt like he apparently did to the PSU game plan that decimated us last year?  (Moorhead and Barkley leaving also helped, admittedly.)  How much of this comes down to Jimmy's and Joe's?  (OSU recruited on an Alabama-level during Meyer's run, and has 4.3 speed guys that OSU knows how to use in space.)  How much of it was confidence and momentum?  (E.g., a few early hits on their QB might have knocked him off his game.)  I don't know the answers, but I appreciate reading you and others dissect the issues.  I can see us getting better on offense if Harbaugh embraces a modern, college football offense (one that uses tempo, can catch defenses off-guard, etc.), but I think our defensive coaching staff is likely the best we can reasonably hope for (and is fantastic).  So I wonder how much of the defensive shortcoming can be attributed to talent, scheme, injury, momentum, or other factors.  

12/22/2018 - 5:11pm Disciplined, mistake-free,…

Disciplined, mistake-free, as in fewest penalties?  None of the four playoff teams this year are ranked in the top 30 teams with the fewest penalties.  Ohio State was ranked 125th -- only five teams had more penalties per game.  

One half of a bowl game, in which a terrible defense (Houston), made even more terrible by the lack of their starters, does not prove anything regarding the value of a modern, college offense (that uses tempo, etc.).  Watch the playoffs and see if any team huddles, goes for "body blows," and is completely unable to get a play off with any urgency, even if down by multiple scores in the second half.

12/21/2018 - 9:23pm I wish this were printed out…

I wish this were printed out and put on JH's desk.  I'm still waiting for him to have his epiphany about the college game.  (It's not the NFL; different rules apply.)  

Remember that at one point we had scheduled a summer camp with Art Briles as a guest speaker.  That was canceled when the scandal broke, but in an alternative universe, I imagine Harbaugh seeing the light after hearing Briles' thoughts on college football offenses.  (Remember when his team was down its top two QB, top RB, and top WR in a bowl game, so he installed a bunch of single-wing concepts, had five different players snap the ball, and ran for 645 yards in a win.)

12/21/2018 - 9:07pm Any sense that we will be…

Any sense that we will be making a change this off-season?  (I know some thought it looked like he was departing last off-season....)

12/01/2018 - 1:55pm I assume if our coaches are…

I assume if our coaches are watching this game, they are wondering why Oklahoma, with 90 seconds left and needing to march 80 yards down the field at the end of the half to score, is not huddling and getting plays off with about five seconds left on the play clock.  

11/29/2018 - 7:04pm Why would we want a person…

Why would we want a person who isn't known for an aggressive/successful passing game, and is not a plus recruiter, to be our PGC?

(Meant as a reply to poster who suggested moving McElwain to Passing Game Coordinator)

11/28/2018 - 3:30pm A MAC team?  Why not just…

A MAC team?  Why not just follow Alabama's lead and schedule The Citadel the week before The Game?

11/28/2018 - 5:28am Georgia had a similar or…

Georgia had a similar or better defense than us last year (S&P+/FEI).  Oklahoma still hung 45 points on them in the CFP semi-finals.  Georgia, however, could keep up with their scoring and prevailed in 2OT. 

In 2018, you need a dynamic offense if you want to have a shot at a national championship.  Even Alabama, with the number one recruiting class six (?) years in a row and basically a semi-pro team, recognized that they needed to adapt and utilize the advantages of a modern college offense (e.g., using tempo to prevent substitutions, etc.).  

11/28/2018 - 5:09am To have the intended meaning…

To have the intended meaning, the term would be a "hot commodity."

11/27/2018 - 5:04pm Urban's recruits - right at…

Urban's recruits - right at number two.  But you didn't answer my question.  How many murderers do you estimate your coach has recruited/hired/retained/"counseled" at OSU?  (You can signal the number with arm gestures like you do with letters if that is more comfortable for you.)

11/27/2018 - 3:16pm You want to add something to…

You want to add something to a Michigan board about Urban's recruiting?  Which of his current recruits are most like Aaron Hernandez?   How many current or future murderers has he signed/hired/"counseled" while at OSU, in your estimation?  (It's all worth it, because it's about the wins, right?)  

11/27/2018 - 12:57am I'm a huge Don Brown fan,…

I'm a huge Don Brown fan, but his comment in an interview about the number of snaps that a defense should able to handle without breaking down did give me pause.  It seems complementary to Harbaugh's whole establish-the-run, wear out the opponent's defense philosophy, but it seems to me that when you face a Clemson, OSU, Oklahoma, or Alabama, there is a good possibility that you will need to be able to play good defense for more than 65 snaps.  I'm not sure we are building a defense that can do so.  (And some of that may be based on roster depth.)

Also, remember that when we went after the S&C coach from Arkansas, who emphasized that their OL was the largest in all of football, some posters familiar with that program described that we would be trading off endurance/conditioning for size.  

11/26/2018 - 4:41pm Excellent post.  There are…

Excellent post.  There are inherent, structural disadvantages that Michigan faces (based in part on the choices that it has made as an institution).  I would also put more weight on geography/location of talent.  If the state of Michigan had the level of high school talent as, say, Louisiana, that would alter the landscape.

11/20/2018 - 12:14am Couldn't help thinking of…

Couldn't help thinking of Jedd Fisch (working for the Rams this season).  Would like to see him back next year as OC/passing coordinator.

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

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

https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/07/27/lj-scott-michigan-our-little-sisters-michigan-state

 

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?

He…

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....