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11/14/2018 - 10:11am I'm really happy for…

I'm really happy for Lawrence Marshall. Here's a kid who came in with pretty good ratings and offers, but then for a while it looked like he'd never really be a contributor -- kept changing positions, didn't really show much in spring games, etc. But he stuck around and kept working, and while he's not a star, he's now a solid contributor on the #1 defense in the country -- and as he recognizes, he has a chance to be part of something really special these next few weeks. He's been especially valuable this year, given how much time Solomon has missed. 

These days there's always an eagerness to "process" guys like him to make scholarship room for high-ranked new recruits, but sometimes you have to stick with these kids. Not every guy on your roster is gonna be a five-star; you also need the Lawrence Marshalls, the Will Heiningers -- fifth-year guys who are solid players and help set the tone and form the culture for the team. 

07/26/2018 - 11:38am A subtle but much-welcome…

A subtle but much-welcome improvement -- thank you! No longer feels like I'm staring into the sun after 5 minutes on MGoBlog.

07/24/2018 - 9:31am This sounds a lot like the…

This sounds a lot like the situation with Jaylon Smith, the ND linebacker and Butkus Award winner who tore up his knee in the Fiesta Bowl a few years ago. He had nerve damage and drop foot; the Cowboys still took him in the second round. He sat out his rookie year, and the nerve regenerated; he played all 16 games last year, and now he doesn't need the brace he used to wear for the drop foot. That's probably a best-case scenario in this situation, though.

Hoping for the best with Grant, but it's been clear for a while now that his return to playing would be a pleasant surprise but shouldn't be expected.

06/06/2018 - 12:30pm "Any NBA job is considered…

"Any NBA job is considered more elite than any college job."

Um... I don't think so, for the reasons dcmaizenblue gives. I'm a very casual fan of both NBA and NCAA basketball (outside of March), and if you asked me point-blank to name all current NBA head coaches, I'm not sure I'd get beyond 10. 

Let's say you pose this choice to a guy just starting out coaching hoops -- you can choose one of these as the pinnacle of your coaching career:

  1. You become an NBA coach for a mediocre franchise in a non-glamorous city, say Charlotte. You have a so-so four-year run with one playoff birth and get the ax, but make some good money in the meantime.
  2. You wind up coaching a blue-blood NCAA program, make perennial Sweet 16 appearances and the occasional Final Four, maybe even win a national title or two. You become a legend for that program -- Coach K, Dean Smith, Bobby Knight level. And you still make pretty damn good money.

I'd think most would choose #2. Sure, some might want to grab the NBA money, or dislike recruiting, etc. But you're going to be better remembered as #2.

It's the same thing w/football. Ask a young coach if he'd rather turn out to be Nick Saban -- legend at a blue-blood NCAA program, has 100% job security and total control over every detail of his program -- or someone anonymous NFL mediocrity like, I dunno, Doug Marrone.

I do understand why Beilein would be strongly intrigued, for all the reasons mentioned above. Match wits with great coaches like Popovich, Carlisle, Kerr, and Stevens (and show he's better than not-great ones like ... Scott Brooks). Satisfy his curiosity about whether he could succeed at that level before he retires. etc.  But he is pretty damn close to achieving #2 at Michigan and I have to think ultimately he stays. Plus, he LOVES to teach and see these young men develop -- watch his comments to the media outside the locker room after the loss to Villanova. You don't get those relationships in the NBA.

06/06/2018 - 9:26am First: congrats to the…

First: congrats to the MGoBlog team on successfully updating the site, which we all know was a huge undertaking. Your readers are grateful.

That said, I kinda agree w/Don re: the aesthetic of the new site. But I don't think it's the fault of the MGoBlog guys -- this is the (unfortunate) trend of website design now, where "responsive design" and "mobile optimization" has come to = "looks like shit on a desktop."  See some web designers complaining about this here:




05/16/2018 - 10:38am Seeing problems w/these turbo engines already - Honda CR-V

Lots of complaints about the new CR-V (the Chinese gov't has even forced Honda to stop selling them in China) -- the turbo engines are experience oil dilution problems. Fuel gets into the oil crankcase, leading to bad gas odors in the car, premature breakdown of engine parts, etc.

05/16/2018 - 10:26am THIS ^^^ - Gov't regs are what's driving boring design

Here's a good article on this from a few years ago:…

TL;DR -- Mileage standards and safety regs (there are over 200 that go into building a car) leave very little room for auto designers to create anything visually unique. They're also a big reason why it's damn near impossible now to get a relatively cheap new car. It used to be that buying a used car from a reliable brand was the frugal thing to do. Now, it's a necessity for most people, me included. I don't care how reliable new cars are now, I'm not about to take out 7- or 8-year loan on a depreciating asset (which is what I'd have to do to afford anything new).



05/09/2018 - 2:50pm Great thread, thanks for posting Sheepdog

I don't travel for work nearly as much as most of you in this thread (if I'm lucky, I get 1-2 work trips a year), and I'm glad I don't. I love my wife and kids and miss them a lot when I'm on work trips. But I wouldn't mind doing a bit more business travel -- it's a great chance to get away from the usual routine and enjoy some peace and quiet (and sleep), especially if you have young kids at home!

Lots of good options and tips listed above. Exercise, avoiding chain restaurants as much as practical, and sightseeing stuff that's unique to where you're visiting are all key. Don't become a veg-in-the-room all the time person; it's depressing.

I'll add a couple:

* Visit a museum (if you can make museum hours work with your job hours). I've enjoyed first-time visits to the Met in NYC and the Art Institute in Chicago on recent business trips. Doesn't have to be high art, though. For example, there are lots of Denver travelers in this thread -- try visiting the U.S. Mint there and see how they make coins. There are quirky cultural attractions in many U.S. cities.

* Do (non-naughty!) things you can't do at home because your wife or family don't enjoy them or they're inconvenient w/the family in tow. Eat food they don't like. Go see a movie they wouldn't want to see. See a baseball game without the kids whining they want to go home after the fourth inning. Someone else above mentioned clothes-shopping. You get the idea.

Finally -- when you get home, take a moment to appreciate how good it is to be home and with your family. And bring home some cheap souvenirs for the young kids -- they always love it.

05/03/2018 - 10:00am An alternative - Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls

Fascinating thread here with good arguments on both sides. Count me in the camp of those who think there's real value in boys and girls having single-sex spaces and activities while growing up. It's a shame that male-only spaces seem to be under assault from a variety of angles these days. You can say all you want that in this new dispensation "things will work out, and you can still have an all-boy troop!" -- but let's face it, that's not how this sort of thing works. Something distinctive will inevitably be lost.

For those who'd like to explore an alternative to Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, I highly recommend you check out Trail Life USA (for boys) and American Heritage Girls. (I have a child in each.) From what I can see, AHG does a much better job of providing more of the well-rounded scout-type experiences and programming that many people seem to believe Girl Scouts fails to provide. Trail Life is still a young organization, but they seem to be well run and my son enjoys it.



04/19/2018 - 2:40pm Living cheap at U-M

Boy, this thread brings back memories, not all of them pleasant. I came to U-M in the mid-90s from normal middle-class circumstances, but the combo of out-of-state tuition and my parents divorcing while I was in school meant I was pretty broke as a student. Having lived through the stress that my limited means at school brought me, and the agony of paying off student loans afterward, I often think I would've been better off going to a cheaper school. But I very much wanted to go to U-M for a specific degree program (School of Music) -- and even though I ended up not making music my career, the experiences and connections I gained pursuing another extracurricular interest on campus made possible the career I have today, so I suppose it all worked out.

Had a lot of strange jobs as a student. One summer I worked in U-M's Housing Design office. (Yes, there's actually an office that thinks about how to furnish the dorms!) I spent the summer going around all the dorms with a clipboard, ranking the condition of the furniture in every single dorm room on a scale of 1-5, then crunching all the results in a spreadsheet so they could prioritize which dorms should get new beds and desks first. Another summer, I stocked groceries overnight at the Kroger on Plymouth Road by North Campus. That sucked.

The best work-study job I had was during my last year -- I was a piano key room worker at the School of Music. Basically, you just sat in a tiny room where they kept the keys for all the grand piano practice rooms, which only piano majors could use (they had to sign them out). Essentially, I was getting paid to study.

Living off campus after two years in the dorms on the meal plan was also a rude awakening. I wasn't much of a cook so my diet was mostly pasta, canned tuna for sandwiches, and cereal. (When I send my own kids to college, they're going to know how to shop and cook for themselves, dammit.) "Eating out" was dollar slices at Back Room, cheap Taco Bell on East University, etc.. When it was really cold, the 99-cent chili at Wendy's in the Michigan League was a good deal. Places like Zingermann's or the Gandy Dancer were just names to me. A splurge was ordering Cottage Inn or getting Chinese food at Lucky Kitchen!

I have some fond memories of my time at Ann Arbor, but very few involved money or food! 

04/18/2018 - 12:48pm LOVE this recruiting class

Can't wait to see Beilein play with all these shiny new toys over the next few years. Castleton looks like a perfect Beilein 5 - a true 7-footer who can alter shots on defense, yet skilled enough to be a real stretch 5 on offense. Pair him up with Brandon Johns at the 4 doing his rim-running, 3-point shooting Blake Griffin impression, and surround them with other guys who can score...  <HOMER DROOL/>

04/05/2018 - 3:38pm That was ugly ... but also one reason golf is great

How many other sports are there where even the world's best players are occasionally so humbled by the game that they look like a mediocre amateur?

That was brutal. I'm watching the tournament casually on ESPN in my office w/the sound off -- looked up at my TV a few times and saw Sergio's ball going into the water and thought, "Man, how many times are they gonna replay that?" Then I realized each one was a different shot! Yikes.

03/07/2018 - 10:13am Adding to the chorus here

Love these write-ups, Ace. Not only do your posts help me appreciate even more the genius of John Beilein, I learn things that will contribute to my enjoyment and understanding the next time I watch a game. Thank you.

Can we also have a shout-out for Sanderson and our training staff? As others noted above, our team looked fresher and sharper than Purdue even though we'd played an extra game, and just a day after a slugfest with all the athletes Sparty has. They're doing a great job.

02/21/2018 - 9:58am Yes, UM School of Music is terrific (SoM alum here)

This won't surprise many people reading this thread, but U of M does indeed have a terrific School of Music. My viewpoint is biased, since I earned my bachelor's in music performance there, but it really is one of tops in the country -- right at the same level in terms of talented students and accomplished alums as Julliard, Eastman, Curtis, or any other big-name conservatory you can think of.

If you're a student at UM or live in the Ann Arbor area, you're missing out if you don't get yourself to at least a few (free!) SoM performances a year. Most of the chamber/small-scale stuff is at the School's building on North Campus, which is out of the way, I realize, but all the big orchestra, concert band, and opera performances are on Central at Hill Auditorium or the Power Center. As PM mentions, the annual collage concert at Hill is a great chance to experience the whole variety of musical genres and ensembles at the School. The Halloween Concert is also a treat for the whole family (and one of my favorite memories as a performer), though I recall you do have to buy (fairly cheap) tickets for that one.

I'll also second all of the praise in this thread for the University Musical Society -- they manage to bring so many great performers to A2, the kind of stuff you'd think you'd only hear in a big city. (Which also benefits the School of Music, since many of these performers do masterclasses at the School during their stay in Ann Arbor.) The student tickets are a fantastic deal.

Having a world-class music school w/in the setting of a major university is a great thing, both for non-music students (who can hear lots of great performances for free) and the music students themselves, who can see how what they do fits into a bigger picture. And for those SoM students like me, who end up deciding that a career in music isn't in the cards, it's a great place to discover something else you'd like to do with your life. :-)

12/21/2017 - 1:20pm Shouldn't hurt -- he's Aaron Donald 2.0

After watching Aaron Donald (6'0", 285) wreck their offensive lines for the past 4 years as a three-technique DT, smart NFL teams aren't gonna pass on Hurst after watching his tape. The Rams took Donald with the 13th pick in 2014, and I imagine Mo won't last much beyond that range.

John Randle, 6x All-Pro with the Vikings and Seahawks, was another player like Hurst -- a little shorter and lighter than "ideal," yet lightning quick and explosive. Current Bengals DT Geno Atkins is another good comp. Atkins went in the fourth round but is a 3-time All-Pro.

11/28/2017 - 10:05am Curious why Malzone hasn't been more of a factor

Anyone with insider insight know why the kid hasn't been more of a factor in the QB competition? I get he wasn't a Harbaugh recruit, but it's not like Malzone was some middling 3-star recruit, a roster-filler afterthought like Ron Bellamy. Had a better recruiting profile than O'Korn and Speight, and his senior year highlights were pretty good. Were there character/work ethic issues? Or simply not talented enough? (arm strength? reading coverages? etc.)

11/09/2017 - 10:46am Not sure Kugler deserved the -3 on that Evans screen

Hard to tell with just the sideline camera angle, but it looked to me like Runyan was taking the defender that ultimately blew up that promising 3rd and 17 screen, and whiffed completely on a cut block. (i.e., if Runyan's not trying to cut that guy, then why's he falling to the ground?)

11/08/2017 - 11:13am Really enjoying this feature on MGoBlog

Always interesting to hear what the players are thinking about on a given play, and all the prep/thought that goes into their success along with the physical talent.

Mo is making himself a TON of money right now -- no doubt multiple NFL teams are watching his tape and seeing the next coming of Aaron Donald.

11/07/2017 - 11:53am When will our OT commits actually stick at OT?

It's dismaying hearing from the very connected UMbig11 above that Filiaga is destined for OG. I remember from his recruiting profile the concerns about his pass pro technique being raw to non-existent, but he seemed to have enough athleticism to stick at RT as a Jon Runyan road-grader type. We have more than enough bodies inside w/Bredeson, Onwenu, Ruiz, and Runyan Jr., maybe Spanellis and Vastardis too. The need at OT is dire and we need some of these OT recruits (Steuber, Honigford, Hall, Hudson) to pan out as tackles instead of getting moved inside.

11/07/2017 - 10:29am Maybe my best memory as a Michigan fan

As a UM student at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed that entire season, but to me this win was the most satisfying of all -- as some others noted above, even more satisfying than the wins vs. OSU and Wash St. in the Rose Bowl. Nothing like seeing your team go on the road to a place like Happy Valley and utterly dominate the opposition, especially with the rankings and everything that was at stake. Probably the best single-game performance I've ever seen from a Michigan football team.

11/06/2017 - 3:52pm This Taco sack was kind of a big deal

Besides the game situation, Taco's sack meant a lot because his pick at #28 in the first round has been getting a LOT of second-guessing from armchair GMs in the Cowboy fan base (which I know well, since I'm a Dallas fan). Lots of hand-wringing over passing up T.J. Watt to take Taco, rumors that Jason Garrett overrode the team's scouting department to make the pick, etc. (And seeing Watt rack up sacks while Taco rode the pine for much of the season so far didn't help.)

So with luck, this will be the start of good things for Taco in the NFL. He needs an offseason to get stronger and refine his pass-rush technique before he'll really take off, but this was a good sign that his work so far is paying dividends.

Meanwhile, the other Wolverine rookie on the Dallas D, Jourdan Lewis, has been spectacular -- certainly the team's best cornerback since he finally got over his hammy issue. And by the way, the DT on that play whose pressure up the middle forced Alex Smith toward Taco for the sack? That's Richard Ash, one of the Pahokee guys who played for Michigan and transferred to play his fifth year at WMU.


10/11/2017 - 11:54am Argh, you beat me to it

Brevity has its advantages!

10/11/2017 - 11:53am Mitch is ... bowling. No, really.

I was curious about the same thing, and a quick Google search reveals this Chicago Trib piece from April:

Mitch McGary is now competing in ...  bowling leagues back in Indiana. I kid you not. But he says he's not trying to become a pro bowler, and plans to return to "the NBA or overseas." It's too bad Mitch couldn't stay off the chronic...

It still surprises me that of that group of 5 starters from the 2013 team, THJ looks like he'll end up the best pro (though I suppose GRIII still has time to blossom). I figured Stauskas would at least make himself a useful Kyle Korver/Redick-style gunner, Trey would be a passable PG, and Mitch would be a versatile big on a team that knew how to use his passing skills and high motor... shows how much I know.

06/06/2017 - 6:34pm Crappy way to treat a cornerstone vet

Lots of NFL observers saw Harris getting released as a real possibility. The real terrible thing here is the way it was handled; as Harris's agents are pointing out, the Jets could've released him much earlier to give him a better shot to find a spot with another team. Way to show a decade-long franchise cornerstone some respect.

05/31/2017 - 11:30am To put a literary gloss on it...

"Boredom is the shriek of unused capacities" -- Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March.

04/28/2017 - 4:02pm This is awesome on so many levels

Great way to end the week. :-)

Not to sound like a ridiculous homer, but man ... if you are a recruit with a Michigan offer, how could you not want to be part of this? Blue blood program, fantastic coaches, great academics, and experiences you will have nowhere else, like your coaches having gladiator fights during your team's spring practice week in ROME!

04/28/2017 - 9:18am Maybe not so bad for Jabrill

Yeah, it's Ohio, and a pathetically inept franchise. But Cleveland's actually putting together the pieces of a potentially damn good defense and just added both Myles Garrett and Jabrill to it. They avoided the temptation of overdrafting Trubisky at #1 and took the best player, and they've been stockpiling picks like a team that's finally gotten smart. Maybe Jabrill will be part of turning things around there. Best of luck to him.

04/28/2017 - 9:03am Very happy Michigan/Cowboys fan here

I think I'm one of the few MGoReaders who's both a Michigan alum and a Cowboys fan (I spent a big chunk of my childhood in Dallas, so sue me).  Really stoked about this!  The Cowboys have almost never had a Michigan player on their roster; I was cautiously optimistic that would finally change this year. They need good D-linemen and defensive backs in the worst way, and perhaps an heir apparent for Jason Witten, so I thought Peppers & Taco might certainly be options for them at #28, and Wormley/Lewis/Butt on Day 2.

Happy for Taco -- sounded like Dallas was one of his preferred destinations -- and very happy for the Cowboys, because I think Taco's best football is still ahead of him.

02/08/2017 - 3:42pm Darboh in the 2nd? Not likely.

I love the kid and think he'll be a solid NFL player. But when the SI mock draft linked above has an explosive WR like OU's Dede Westbrook going near the bottom of the 3rd round, it's really hard to see Darboh going any higher than that.

I agree w/you on Peppers -- very hard to predict where he'll go in a mock. But all it takes is one team to fall in love with him and see him as Troy Polamolu 2.0 to land him in the top 15 -- and someone probably will. No doubt some teams are even encouraging the "Peppers isn't really that good" talk in hopes that he'll fall to their spot. 

02/08/2017 - 3:05pm No way Peppers gets by the Cowboys at 28

Another MGoCowboys fan here (how many of us are there?). The Cowboys need difference-makers on defense so they won't need to lean so hard on their excellent offense -- the D dug too big a hole against Green Bay in the playoffs. If either Peppers or Taco fall all the way to 28 (very unlikely, IMO, especially Taco, who's zooming up boards), the Cowboys will snap that guy up. I wouldn't mind them taking Jourdan Lewis at that pick either, though I think they prefer bigger CBs in their defense. Really too bad that Lewis's size seems to be dropping him on so many boards -- somebody's going to get a steal picking him in Round 2.

The Cowboys also have a fine tradition of blowing 2nd round picks on mediocre TEs in recent years searching for Witten's heir-apparent, so maybe they'll get it right this time and steal Jake Butt at the bottom of Round 2.

Would be nice to have at least one Wolverine to root for on the Cowboys, especially with having to root for Ezekiel Elliott on the team...

02/03/2017 - 9:11am So fun watching a guy who's "in the zone" like that

Thanks for posting these highlights. Happy for THJ as a Wolverine, of course, but I enjoyed this even more because it's always beautiful watching someone who's truly "in the zone", "locked in," "playing out of his mind" -- however you want to call it. Check the look in his eyes after some of those baskets, or the way he was skipping around -- like he knew NO ONE could stop him.

As someone mentioned above, a very rare few can play at that level consistently for long stretches -- the Jordans, LeBrons, Kobes, Birds -- and that's why we love to watch them play. But it's just as fun, maybe even more fun, to see a non-megastar enter "The Zone" and play like that. And that goes for almost anything, not just sports -- music, writing, business, whatever. Just a joy to watch someone transcend even their own usual ceiling and light everything on fire, in ways you didn't know they were capable of.

01/10/2017 - 9:28am Penn St. & Wisconsin ahead of us?!?

Polls are stupid, of course, and full of recency bias (among other things), but it's still pretty galling for us to be ranked behind both Penn St. and Wisconsin. (And USC jumping all the way to #3 just because they won the Rose Bowl? A team that Alabama beat by 46?)

I guess the lesson of this year is take care of your damn business, like that game at Iowa... (or, take all your bad losses early, like USC.) Anyway, we are complaining about finishing the year ranked #10. These are First World Problems after the RichRod/Hoke years.

12/07/2016 - 10:16am Um, how about the D-line on our '97 nat'l title team?

Hoke coached that unit. People tend to better remember the back 7 talent on that defense(Woodson, Tommy Hendricks and Marcus Ray, Ian Gold, Sam Sword, Dhani Jones), but the d-line was also outstanding and a major reason why they were so dominant. Rob Renes, Glen Steele, Josh Williams, James Hall, Juaquin Feazell -- that was a great unit. Hoke is in over his head as a Power 5-level coach or coordinator, but the dude can coach a D-line.

12/06/2016 - 11:47am The players in the piece don't seem to feel sorry for themselves

That's one of the striking things. It's not particularly pleasant, going through the pain and physical punishment, but every one of these guys seems to think the trade off is worth it, whether because of the money or the competition or the chance to live out a dream. As long as they are clear-eyed about it, OK. But I do wonder how many will feel differently 5 or 10 or 20 years after their careers are done.

Mostly, I'm just fascinated at the lengths these guys will go to endure/manage pain so they can stay on the field and get through the season. There's a reason Harbaugh said (using a bit hyperbole, no doubt) in that HBO interview that he feels football is the "last bastion of hope for toughness in America in men."

11/18/2016 - 3:45pm Glasgow nicked up?

I seem to recall hearing from The Edge of the Internet or another such place that Glasgow's playing through an injury, which might explain the subpar performance by his standards for this game. (Maybe UMbig11 or someone else can confirm?)

I'd also echo those above who'd like to see more Gary. Particularly on passing downs, I'd rather give Glasgow/Mone/Godin a breather and see Hurst and Wormley on the interior and Gary and Taco at end, with a healthy helping of Winovich as well.

But this is a minor quibble. This defense is still very, very good, and if we manage somehow to win the next two games and get to the Big Ten championship, it'll be because they give us a great chance to win any game we play, no matter how much the offense sputters.

11/17/2016 - 2:45pm Exhibit A for Speight's wonky mechanics limiting his ceiling

The usual disclaimer: I'm not a QB coach, I never played the game competitively, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Express last night. I just watch a lot of football. To me, this game showed the limit that Speight's unorthodox throwing motion places on his ceiling -- and my concern is that Harbaugh and Fisch won't rebuild his mechanics to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

In one of the Harbaugh coaching clinic videos on YouTube (I think it's when he was the coach at U. of San Diego), he says he doesn't like to mess with a QB's mechanics *too* much if he gets the job done. And I get that. If you're coaching Philip Rivers or Bernie Kosar and that sort of weird throwing motion works for them, fine. Same thing with a golf swing. Jim Furyk has anything but a textbook golf swing, but the guy's won a U.S. Open and $67 million in his career. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

That said, one reason a "textbook" throwing motion (or golf swing) is preferred is that its mechanics are more natural and repeatable (and thus more consistent) under pressure. And what we saw in this game was that once Wilton tightened up a bit under the Kinnick night-game atmosphere, his wonky mechanics went further to hell and his accuracy suffered accordingly. Those underthrows of Darboh on the long balls in particular are brutal. Earlier in the year Speight had similar problems caused by his shot-put throwing motion combined with his habit of not always stepping into his throws, etc. -- and they cleaned things up over the bye week and he was much better. But those issues came back with a vengeance last Saturday. (I'm actually surprised this stuff didn't surface again at MSU; to his credit, Speight made some damn fine throws in that game.)

If the coaches are unwilling to totally rebuild Speight's mechanics over the offseason, then we may have to expect this sort of thing out of him occasionally, and that might place a hard limit on how good a QB he can be. I hope that's not the case.

11/14/2016 - 1:56pm F--- Iowa and Kinnick

I've been dreading that damn Iowa game since last summer when I saw it was scheduled as a night game -- we just have bad juju at Kinnick. Losing the game was bad enough, but losing our starting QB 9 games into a potential CFP season ... argh.

That said, I can't imagine having a much better situation at backup QB. This isn't Russ Bellomy or Nick Sheridan we're talking about -- i'ts a guy with two years in the system with legit starting experience at a Division I program, and he's got two weeks to get ready for OSU. My confidence in this coaching staff has dimmed a bit after the shitshow on Saturday night, but I'm still confident they'll have O'Korn as prepared as he can possibly be. Let's hope the kid embraces the moment.

10/26/2016 - 9:43am Jaybaugh is proving his worth

Took some nerve for Harbaugh to give his son a spot on the staff, but gotta give him credit -- Jay is doing a bang-up job.

Others have noted in this thread that Jay got the train formation idea from a Colorado high school named Chatfield that has a TE whose film he was scouting. Chatfield uses the train on occasion but their coach's father, also a coach, used it for every play back in the day (to answer another question in the thread).…

[Coach] McGatlin said Chatfield calls the play their Speed Line, and it's part of their Pyscho offense. The Chargers typically it run a few times a game, depending on the situation.

It originated from McGatlin's father, Don McGatlin, the legendary former coach at Green Mountain. Don McGatlin and Green Mountain ran it "every play," Bret McGatlin said, during the 1999 season when they won the Class 4A state title.

Chatfield is known for its fast-paced spread offense, which Bret McGatlin specializes in and is a leading proponent of in Colorado. Psycho is actually a separate offense Chatfield runs and is designed to not allow the defense to make pre-play adjustments.

"What Michigan was trying to do and what we try to do is we line up so quick that it makes it difficult for anybody for adjust to it," McGatlin said. "Our goal is to line up in less than three seconds. You really catch teams off guard. We run maybe two-to-three different formations out of it. It really is crazy."

[...] Michigan had been recruiting Chargers tight end Dalton Keene recently, McGatlin said, and actually just offered him a scholarship. Jay Harbaugh complimented Chatfield's offense, and "He just asked me to make sure we watched the game this week," McGatlin said.

"They were watching (Keene's) film. He told me they had watched every single one of our plays," McGatlin said. "Jay Harbaugh texted after the game and he said, 'Did you see it?'"

Oh, he saw it.

"I got a little emotional. I was like, 'That's my dad.' He's put that together over the course of two decades," McGatlin said. "My wife was like, 'Are you crying?!' 'No. This is just really emotional!'"

10/25/2016 - 11:04am Yes - upset the Urban succession plan at OSU!

I like this rumor the most because of this. Herman's a great coach, and I've always worried that whenever Urban finally steps down at OSU, Herman would be the obvious successor to keep the Death Star in Columbus fully operational. Ain't gonna happen if he's the coach at Texas.

And it's the most logical move for both sides. Herman's going to be Plan A for any major Power 5 team with a coaching vacancy, so it makes sense for Texas to lock him down now if they're certain they won't keep Strong. And if Herman wants to jump now to a blue-blood job, Texas is the best fit. He has roots going way back in Texas -- besides his current time at UH, he was a grad assistant coach at UT in 1999, and coached at Sam Houston St., Texas St., and Rice early in his career. He knows the state and can recruit all the talent he needs at UT without ever crossing the Texas border.

10/05/2016 - 3:06pm This was my thought, too

Of all the guys from the Final Four team to go pro, I thought Stauskas and McGary had the best shot at long, solid NBA careers, because they both had what every NBA player needs to survive -- one superior attribute to hang your hat on. For Nik it was his shot, for McGary it was his insane motor and handle/passing for a big man. Leaving McGary's issues aside... I'm surprised Nik's shot hasn't translated to the next level. We knew he'd have trouble on defense and with the higher level of athleticism in the NBA, but I was certain his shooting would still allow him to carve out a nice Redick/Kyle Korver type role. But he seems to have lost his shot and all his confidence -- which is amazing, considering the cocky alpha dog he was his sophomore year at UM. Remember his dagger 3 at Wisconsin that year, or him blowing kisses to the crowd at Breslin after beating Sparty? What happened to that guy, Brass Balls Stauskas?

10/05/2016 - 2:21pm Iowa at night at Kinnick

I dont' disagree with anything mentioned already -- further injuries, field goal kicking, a trip to East Lansing for a game that is essentially Sparty's entire season, Chaos Indiana the week before The Game. But for some reason it's the night game in Iowa City that screams danger to me. Our last few visits there have been annoyingly close losses, and even our three most recent wins there were close shaves -- 23-20 (2005), 32-26 (2001), and 12-9 (1998). I would find winning convincingly at Kinnick this year almost as satisfying as doing the same in East Lansing or the Columbus toilet bowl.

08/03/2016 - 2:28pm The whole Chesson thing makes me nervous

Everyone seems to be saying he'll be back for the season, no problem, but boy, this mysterious bowl-game injury recovery has dragged on for a long time and Harbaugh and the team have been awfully coy about it. We still don't even know exactly what the injury was. I really hope Jehu is back "100%" soon so he can develop some chemistry w/O'Korn and Speight; him missing the spring was not ideal. A big factor behind the future-high-draft-pick Jehu we saw the second half of last year was him finally getting on the same page with Rudock, especially on the deep throws. 

07/29/2016 - 5:28pm Yes, please Brian!! UFR of Defense vs OSU

I get it. Yes, it would suck to put together and suck to read. No one wants to re-live that; we're not masochists. And I know Brian needs a break from UFRs after OSU, because he's been grinding them out all season, for which the entire MGoReadership is grateful.

But you gotta learn from the bad games as well as the good -- and a UFR of the D vs OSU would tell us a *lot* more about what to expect in 2016 (and how realistic all the Big Ten/playoff hype around Michigan is) than looking at this performance against Florida's craptastic offense. For Harbaugh to get this program where we all want it to be, he's got to slay the dragons in Columbus and East Lansing. The biggest obstacle to that is slowing down Meyer's offense, which has dropped 42 points on us three years in a row. So a UFR of our D vs OSU last year, while painful, would be really useful. How much of that disaster was on Durkin/poor scheme/lack of adjustments? How much was on our injury-ravaged D-line? How much of it was on poor play by guys who are gone vs guys who are coming back?

Some might say, "But Durkin's gone and Brown's here, so how useful would it really be?" But you could say the same thing about the Florida UFR, and Brian still did it. Looking at what went wrong against OSU on defense would help us know what Brown needs to fix -- and maybe Brian could give us some insight on how likely it is that Brown will do better, based on what we know about his scheme already.

Pretty please, Brian?

05/05/2016 - 11:49am Donlon and "Pack-Line Defense"

I've noticed several people, including some on UMHoops, saying that Donlon runs a "pack line defense" system like that used to great effect by Virginia, Wisconsin, and Xavier. I'd never heard the term before so I did a little googling. Some good primers here on the basic concepts:

From what I've read, it seems the basic idea is to apply lots of on-ball pressure combined with funneling penetration toward help defenders (who stay within the "pack line"), deny post touches, force contested jumpers, and crash the defensive glass with all 5 guys. What's the pack line's Achilles heel? An offense that has good ball movement, ball handlers who can create off the dribble, and shooters who can hit contested 3s consistently. (Sounds a lot like the ur-Beilein offense.)

I'm very curious to see how much of this system Beilein chooses to implement...

04/01/2016 - 1:37pm Bingo - and it's the remaining OL in that class that worry me

2013 is still pretty darn good w/the exception of the OL, which everyone thought might be the class's centerpiece. Fox, Bosch, LTT -- as Brian notes, not much you could have done to make any of those situations turn out differently, besides perhaps some more due diligence on LTT's character.

What worries me though is that neither Kugler nor Dawson -- both highly rated guys who are now redshirt juniors -- have seriously pushed for a starting spot yet, despite the uneven performance of guys nominally ahead of them (Jack Miller, Kalis, Braden, Magnuson etc.) We're going to need both to be good starters in 2017 to avoid taking a huge step back on the OL next year.

04/01/2016 - 12:54pm Grazie

Much obliged.

04/01/2016 - 10:38am In-game dunk or dunk-contest dunk?

Happy Friday to all - please bang.

When talking about greatest dunks, we need to stipulate whether we're talking about real in-game dunks, or dunk-contest dunks. In the latter category, Aaron Gordon's dunk at this year's NBA dunk contest was the most spectacular I've ever seen -- the degree of difficulty and display of athleticism was just incredible (still can't believe he didn't win!). I can't seem to embed a gif right now, but most of you know the dunk I'm talking about. Back in the day, Vince Carter had some great ones, too.

As for in-game ... the Pippen over Ewing dunk referenced above is definitely a contender. I'd also nominate Jordan posterizing Dikembe Mutombo and then given Dikembe a taste of his own finger-wagging medicine afterward.





02/25/2016 - 12:00pm Yep, Brian posted for contractor help back in December

He was looking for a contractor to help with migrating the site to Drupal 8:

02/19/2016 - 4:10pm Bravo

What a great way to end the week. Thanks Brian.



02/19/2016 - 9:39am Right - here's a good blog post on the tech involved

A very technical post that explains exactly what the FBI is asking Apple to do, and says it's technically feasible. Summary point:

"I believe it is technically feasible for Apple to comply with all of the FBI’s requests in this case. On the iPhone 5C, the passcode delay and device erasure are implemented in software and Apple can add support for peripheral devices that facilitate PIN code entry. In order to limit the risk of abuse, Apple can lock the customized version of iOS to only work on the specific recovered iPhone and perform all recovery on their own, without sharing the firmware image with the FBI."