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Date Title Body
11/06/2017 - 1:42pm I think it was his TOTAL LACK

I think it was his TOTAL LACK OF RESPONSIBILITIES that allowed him to make so many plays.

11/06/2017 - 11:46am Pretty hard to ascend when

Pretty hard to ascend when you're the second-best program in the country.

11/05/2017 - 10:20am I thought the Peters-to-DPJ

I thought the Peters-to-DPJ third down conversion was encouraging. It was third and long, obvious passing down, and they didn't go for a screen or draw or anything like that. Just let a freshman throw the ball downfield to a freshman and they executed it perfectly.

10/25/2017 - 10:28pm I played poker for a living

I played poker for a living for many years, so I've thought a lot about the benefits and drawbacks of adding complexity to your strategy. In poker there are two main styles, LAG (loose aggressive) and TAG (tight aggressive). Loose means you play more hands. You have a wider range, similar to a football team having a wider range of plays. What I realized is, the LAG style makes the game more difficult for both you and your opponent. The "both" is key - it's more difficult to pull off, but more difficult to respond to.

You need a minimum level of complexity such that you're not exploitable by an obvious counter-strategy, similar to in football having constraint plays to protect your main plays. Beyond that minimum level, additional complexity increases the difficulty for both sides.

So when does it make sense to get more complex? When you can handle that difficulty better than your opponent. Typically that's when you're very skilled and experienced. Using this principle, Michigan seems to be exactly the sort of team that should minimize complexity as much as possible, since they're young and inexperienced. In fact, this seems so obvious, that I feel sure I'm missing something, since surely the coaching staff would recognize this. Maybe Harbaugh has in mind a very complex offense that he believes is the best way to go at the end of the day, and he's willing to take his licks while his players learn it.

10/08/2017 - 2:54pm D played great, no question,

D played great, no question, and of course MSU would have loved to move the ball. My point was that conditions were uniquely hostile to offense and it would have been necessary to take large risks to try to score. It seemed pretty clear Dantonio made a choice not to take those risks and put the game on his D and M's O.

10/08/2017 - 9:23am Game situation

This was largely dictated by the game situation. With MSU having the lead when the monsoon arrived, the onus was on M to take risks and try to score. Dantonio decided to pack in the offense, take no risks, and dare us to score, and it worked.

10/04/2017 - 7:25pm The crazy thing about the way

The crazy thing about the way he went in head first is he was almost as likely to injure himself as the prone player he was trying to attack, by dropping all his weight onto his head/neck. A terrible play all around.

08/31/2017 - 5:24pm A lot of people have said

A lot of people have said this, and it always confuses me. 33% isn't 0%. If they correctly predict something as a 2-1 dog, it will happen 1 out of 3 times. So if their predictions are perfectly calibrated, you'll "lose faith" in statistical predictions in 1 out of 3 events.

08/22/2017 - 5:21pm Unless I missed it, he didn't

Unless I missed it, he didn't specifically say how he split up the data. For this type of analysis you should probably split it randomly. If he split it chronologically (first half of season vs. second half) it could cause some issues, as you say.

08/22/2017 - 5:09pm One possible interpretation

One possible interpretation of this finding is that big plays are the result of defensive breakdowns (mistakes) that the offense has little control over.

I find it a little hard to believe that the offense can't do much to control the frequency of big plays though. Surely if you throw more bombs compared to runs up the middle, your big play frequency will go up?

08/14/2017 - 7:57am The book was written by a

The book was written by a High Septon, not a Maester. Still, it's odd that this bombshell about the most important and famous guy in the realm didn't attract more attention.

08/14/2017 - 7:41am Exactly. And wouldn't Sam be

Exactly. And wouldn't Sam be like, "I don't wanna hear about this guy's shits... Wait, RHAEGAR? Like Price Rhaegar???" As a learned man Sam would certainly be familiar with the story of Rhaegar Targaryen, one of the most important and famous people in the realm.

08/08/2017 - 4:27pm Business is a two-way street

Don't have any problem with Saban going with the best player, but bashing the kid on his radio show is bushleague. Saban runs his program like a business. That's fine, but don't be surprised when a player makes a business decision.

08/04/2017 - 2:56pm So pumped about this WR

So pumped about this WR class. I wonder if we spread it out a bit to get more of these guys on the field.

08/03/2017 - 4:40pm I'm gonna want something very

I'm gonna want something very long and re-readable. Let's go with the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.

08/01/2017 - 2:04pm Roughhousing?

I find the repetition of the word "roughhousing" really odd. Roughhousing suggests play-fighting, what kids do. I rarely hear it applied to adults. What exactly does it mean in this context? Were they play-fighting on the lawn? Would it maybe be more accurate to say neighbors saw them engaged in a physical altercation on the lawn? Like the rest of us, I have no idea as to the actual nature of the incident, but "roughhousing" seems to imply it was non-serious in a way that's weirdly assumptive, unless it's a direct quote of someone involved.

01/29/2017 - 8:38am I was already bracing for

I was already bracing for another gutwrenching defeat, so happy Fed got this one!

I wouldn't be surprised to see him retire after this year. These matches are so punishing physically, and at this point what more could he possibly prove?

12/03/2016 - 8:48am Agreed. Yes, we lose a lot of

Agreed. Yes, we lose a lot of experience, but I think it's likely that the transition from Hoke to Harbaugh means better practices at all levels of the organization. There are going to be some benefits from that. I think we can expect some pleasant surprises. Not saying the 2017 edition is going to go out and win a National Championship, but we look to be on a good trajectory going forward.

11/04/2016 - 11:52am I think one of the reasons

I think one of the reasons this comes up against MSU is they seem to have a strategy of pushing the envelope with fouls. They identify an area of the game where they can gain an advantage by pushing the rules and they go after it. Honestly, I think this is just good strategy. Trying to hurt someone is dirty, but strategic fouling is just part of the game at this point. We've adopted their strategy of constant borderline pass interference on D to great results. 

11/03/2016 - 11:04am This sort of massive

This sort of massive rope-a-dope strategy, where you go to great pains to establish a tendency, then break it at a crucial moment, doesn't tend to be very effective. See: Debord, Mike. Motion left, run left all year, then vs Ohio State, motion left, run OMGRIGHT. In a good offense, deception isn't an elaborate ruse that takes a year to shake out; it's built into every package. As others have pointed out, opposing coaches are not idiots (well, most of them): they're aware of the possibility of a trick.

In any case I don't think that's what Michigan's coaches have in mind. I think they just recognized that Morris has some strong attributes and tried to design a package around them.

09/23/2016 - 11:04am These are great. You can

These are great. You can really see the love the teammates have for each other. A nice glimpse into what it's like to be on the Michigan football team.

09/07/2016 - 11:31am I'm glad the Ringer exists,

I'm glad the Ringer exists, but yeah, it does seem to be a step down from Grantland. There are a lot more bizarre, self-indulgent pieces...it's almost as though Simmons just told everybody, "Go nuts, do whatever you want, I won't stop you," and they went through their file drawers and pulled out everything they could never get published. But there's some really good stuff as well.

08/23/2016 - 6:14pm I have to go with the

I have to go with the all-time leader for rushing yards by a QB, one Denard Robinson. He was by far the most productive player from that era. Much as I'd love to see what Harbaugh could do with DG, if I'm taking one guy to help me this year, gotta be Denard.

05/11/2016 - 10:51am Pull-ups

I made a bet with a friend about who could do more pull-ups after a certain amount of time. Working on pull-ups was a really good start for me towards getting in shape.

If you can't do any/can do very few, there are some good ways to work your way up.

-Chin-ups (palms up) are easier than pull-ups (palms down). You can start with chin-ups, then switch to pull-ups when you're strong enough.

-Hold in place: jump or step on a chair to get yourself above the bar, then hold yourself there as long as you can.

-Negatives: again, jump or step on a chair to get yourself above the bar, then lower yourself as slowly as you can.

I followed this workout I found on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRznU6pzez0. The guy in the video is kind of a weirdo, but the workout progression is quite sensible.

Oh, and make sure to record and track your results. That's really important.

03/03/2016 - 5:12pm Maybe there's a good reason

Maybe there's a good reason other coaches don't do full contact every practice. While Hoke is obsessed with toughness, he doesn't seem to understand the methods for instilling it. His teams never looked tough on Saturday.

02/04/2016 - 7:14pm The LB play wasn't really

The LB play wasn't really exposed until injuries wore down our Dline. With so much depth on the line next year, barring terrible injury luck we should be able to stay strong down the stretch and keep some of the heat off the LBs.

02/04/2016 - 1:23pm I don't know who will start,

I don't know who will start, but I don't think it matters much. All eight of the top guys should get plenty of rotation time. I'm pumped that we have two full lines of excellent players. Our Dline has been a strength the last few years, but if it had a weakness, it was that sometimes we couldn't generate much of a pass rush without blitzing. I think this will be the year that we get a great natural pass rush as well and this unit is going to be a terror vs run AND pass.

02/02/2016 - 1:52pm I recommend the abridged

I recommend the abridged version, Moderate Jest.

02/01/2016 - 10:33am Isn't the preferred

Isn't the preferred nomenclature cheesemonger?

01/12/2016 - 1:19pm Awesome, best of luck to the

Awesome, best of luck to the young man.

01/12/2016 - 1:16pm I find this a source for

I find this a source for optimism, along with our bizarre special teams fiascos. Both seem likely to be completely random, so we should expect a boost next year simply from regression to the mean in these areas.

11/30/2015 - 1:32pm I think we've had some bad

I think we've had some bad luck this year with an amazing number of almost-blocks turned disastrous penalties. With average luck at least a few of those are blocks.

11/18/2015 - 2:21am We haven't played like the

We haven't played like the #12 team in the country the last two games. I actually think we played alright against State, despite the result, but vs. Minnesota and Indiana were the worst games of the year along with week 1 vs. Utah. Well, we still have a chance to prove something in the next two weeks.

11/12/2015 - 12:19pm To be fair I said the same

To be fair I said the same thing when I got pulled over in Ohio. Didn't work for me either. Those Ohio cops are tough.

11/02/2015 - 2:30pm It seems to me that the first

It seems to me that the first tackler could also be called for a penalty here. He launches himself and leads with the helmet. I thought you weren't allowed to do that?

11/01/2015 - 10:44am I thought the play that took

I thought the play that took Rudock out was ambiguous. It wasn't a clear-cut case of targeting, but I've seen targeting called for much less this year. Had they called it, the announcers would say, "Well, tough call, but they're always gonna protect the quarterback there..."

The bottom line is there doesn't seem to be any clear standard on how it's called and the stakes are very high - it can lead to a player being ejected.

10/18/2015 - 11:50am I think the targeting rule

I think the targeting rule needs to be changed. In cases of accidental or non-malicous hits to the head, the refs' only options are no call or ejection. There probably needs to be a less severe non-ejection penalty. Would be subjective, but the situation now is untenable.

10/18/2015 - 11:44am I mean, I don't want to be

I mean, I don't want to be too results-oriented and the punt as designed probably had a 98% chance of winning the game. But from Baxter and Harbaugh I would have expected a more creative approach for that specific situation. It looked like they just lined up in their standard punt coverage with no adjustments for the situation.

As someone else said in another thread, with < 10 seconds on the clock, is it really smart to zip it 20 yards towards your own endzone? If you just snap to Peppers and he runs in circles, is there any chance they catch him in time? I guess it's problematic to spend practice time and brainpower working on a weird play for such an unusual situation.

10/18/2015 - 11:33am Woke up early and took a few

Woke up early and took a few ibuprofen and chugged water, feeling pretty good. Btw, I highly recommend this method if you know you will be hung over and absolutely can't afford to be. Set your alarm 3-4 hours before you need to wake up, take a bunch of ibu and chug a water bottle, and go back to sleep.

10/18/2015 - 11:25am Some teams could get really

Some teams could get really demoralized by this. I mean, it was arguably the worst play in the history of college football, no exaggeration. But I think Harbaugh will use it as motivation and they will come back hungrier. I expect them to bludgeon the next few opponents.

re:  the playcalling, there are no good calls when your O line is getting crushed. The biggest surprise for me was that our D line wasn't able to get more pressure on Cook against their decimated O line. They had no running game whatsoever, but Cook generally had a pretty good pocket to throw from. With Cook-to-Burbridge MSU at least had a way to move the ball sporadically, whereas M basically had nothing but pulled ahead with special teams and opportunism.

At the end of the day it was a close, hard-fought game between two flawed teams that ended in a bizarre way.

10/15/2015 - 4:56pm Is it so clear that having a

Is it so clear that having a great defense tips punt-go for it decisions towards punts? A great defense is better at stopping a team from their own goal line and from midfield. Of course in this game Michigan could do whatever they wanted and it didn't matter.

10/14/2015 - 7:39pm The rational part of my brain

The rational part of my brain notes that all available evidence points toward a decisive Michigan victory...which just makes the irrational Michigan fan part of my brain even more terrified.

10/06/2015 - 3:46pm I've always had a lot of

I've always had a lot of respect for Devin. With his talent he had a legitimate shot to be one of the top players in college football and an early pick as a QB. Who knows what could have been, there are a lot of things that can go wrong along that road, but the program never game him a fair shake. With chaotic management, poor coaching, and a porous OL he never had a chance. But he gutted it out, always played hard, and never complained. Always a classy representative of the university.

10/03/2015 - 3:40pm Millen gives me hope that

Millen gives me hope that there is some order in the universe. He clearly is just not a very bright guy and indeed his results as a decision-maker have been disastrous.

10/03/2015 - 3:11pm Seems like Jabrill's the only

Seems like Jabrill's the only guy on either team who can hold onto the ball in the rain.

10/03/2015 - 3:06pm Did O'neill just bust out a

Did O'neill just bust out a non-Aussie technique there?

10/03/2015 - 3:02pm Hard to tell with the camera

Hard to tell with the camera angle if our receivers are blanketed downfield or Rudock's not seeing stuff. Seems like he's holding the ball for a long time, not seeing anything he likes.

10/03/2015 - 2:59pm Follow the fullback up your

Follow the fullback up your ass, Millen

10/03/2015 - 2:40pm Haha Willie almost looked

Haha Willie almost looked surprised to be in the backfield so easily there

10/03/2015 - 2:37pm Blood in the water

Blood in the water