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Date Title Body
12/18/2017 - 1:22pm I am thinking at it from a Team vs. Team perspective

Perhaps I have a recency bias, but when I look at the 2016 team, I feel that they would beat quite a few of the teams that are above them on many of your lists.  I remember that summer.  I specifically reached out to my nephews, asking them to come back to Michigan in the fall so we could go see a game together.  They asked me why, and I said very honestly that I thought that this team was historically good.

12/12/2017 - 11:10am That is a great attitude

And I love the quote as well.  It feels like the future is very bright at the quarterback postion for the University of Michigan.

12/11/2017 - 8:00pm I respect your motivation here

Eyerolls aside, there is an element of nostalgia in your post that is likely not entirely objective.  That said, College football is a huge money maker and I feel that it is this more than anything that is fueling the demise of the game that you describe.  Furthermore, I am not certain how you put the genie back into the bottle.  I am not comfortable with Michigan going fully commercial, but I am unwilling to have us take the moral high ground and go full University of Chicago on the NCAA.  Something will have to give eventually, but in the meantime, I hope that you can find some solace in the fact that you have a head coach who values the Michigan tradition above all else, yet has the competetive drive to do everything within the rules to make this program successful both on and off of the field. 

12/11/2017 - 10:10am I feel the same way

If I can start a thread, then the bar is too low.  I will feel that way at 100 or even 1000.


Back to the topic at hand, I think that certain dodgy individuals have shown that the bar is too easy to achieve.  Furthermore, having a low bar indirectly encourages trolls to troll.  If the indoctrination is harder, and the cost higher, then less worthy individuals will not even bother.  This would make herding this collective of cats easier for the moderators, thereby improving the quality of the content for the community.

A change is beneficial in my opinion.

12/07/2017 - 3:20pm Perhaps this is a synergy that you can exploit?

Elect 1VaBlue1 for moderator.  He can go to work, get his job to pay him to work on the message board.  Everybody wins, except for his current employer.

12/07/2017 - 3:15pm Agreed, we got shafted by ND on this

I feel like we got dumped by them, and then went back to be insulted further.  Yes, it is a great rivalry.  Yes, we need to suck it up to get it back on the schedule.  But it is painful how the Dave Brandon years are like an STD, a gift that just keeps on giving.

12/07/2017 - 8:49am Allow me to echo your comments

Call it ass-kissing if you like, but it was a very big week in terms of content. There was so much good, and only a little bad. After the post game O'korn meltdown, the ejections made the board surprisingly sane. Not being able to reply, seems to make you fully appreciate the community's commentary on the state of the football program. Thank you Brian, I sent my emails without any hope of action or a reply, ready to embark on a 4-year prison library email writing campaign.

Incidentally, I thought of pulling a WD and coming back as a clone, but I just couldn't come to grips with the duplicitous nature of it all. Nobody would have noticed- I am an unknown around here. But it is strange how that 2015 start date is valuable to me. Maybe it is because it begins the Harbaugh era and ends the Hoke era, I don't know. It doesn't matter, but I might have a goal in my mgoblog existence now- to post in 2025 at my 10 year anniversary, never having said anything of particular value, nor particularly offensive, and all of it with less mgopoints than the board regulars manage in a week.

11/22/2017 - 11:38am Thankful, but miss the old ways

I am thankful for LSA's comments, and for this community.  The feeling here is often more negative than I would like, but that is Michigan Football in the 21st Century.

I am also very thankful for the rivalry, it was the formative feature in how I perceive sports and fandom.

There is one thing that I do not feel thankful for- the change to the 13 week season.  I remember the old days, when The Game was the week before Thanksgiving and wasn't impacted by the everything that the holiday entails.

I suspect that I am part of just a small sample in the community, but Thanksgiving Holiday has put a serious hurt on my Ohio State week tradition.  I find myself getting into trouble with well meaning but completely clueless in-laws and relatives.  They just don't get the sacrifice of not going to the game, or the intensity with which I watch it.  After last year, I immediately went outside and raked their leaves for 5 hours.  Nobody asked me to, and nobody came out to help, which is good, because I felt like beating them to death with the yard rake. 

My wife has in recent years tried to allow me some form of quarantine, if only to keep her father from feeling so unwelcome as he tries to share something with me that he just will never understand.  The end result is that if we stay the whole weekend, I get pissed off about the hassle.  If we leave early so I can watch it in isolation, she feels cheated out of a full holiday, and if I go someplace else to watch it, her family feels marginalized.

11/21/2017 - 4:55pm It is content, pure and simple

When you consider the quality of content at MgoBlog, it makes sense for any student of the game, regardless of their alma mater, to have a membership here.

Given that, and a genuine desire to truly engage in a meaningful discussion of football, and being a troll is counterproductive.

Yes it is rivalry week, so take it in whatever manner you like: Buckeye Chuck has no buckeye friends, so he needs to come over to our board, or Buckeye Chuck is a super-clever kind of troll, whatever makes you happy.


11/16/2017 - 7:29pm Qualifying the index for individual games
I am 47 years old and started following Michigan closely in the 80's, so that is the lens through which I have to view the Wolverines.  I wish I had the time to catalog 350 games into a data set and then give you a histogram, but here are few that come to mind when I think of ordinals in the satisfaction index. 
90-100 Michigan over Penn State, 1997 A dominating performance against what was up until that point, a terrifying opponent.  Going in, I thought we were good, coming out, I could feel that the team was potentially historical.
80-89 Michigan over Ohio State, 2003 #5 Wolverines put the #4 Buckeyes in their place, it was the lone bright spot in the Carr-Tressel series and put the Buckeyes out of the contention for the National Championship.
70-79 Michigan over Notre Dame, 1991 Famous for the Grbac to Howard TD on 4th and 1 from the 25.  Even Lou Holtz would have to agree that it was the gutsiest call in the history of the rivalry.  The problem with Notre Dame games, is that they always came so early in the season.  It dampens the effect.  Much as the Ohio State rivalry is affected in the opposite direction by coming at the end of the season.
60-69 Michigan over Northwestern, 2013 The Dileo slide and walk off field goal made it a memorable victory, but why are we in a dogfight with Northwestern? 
50-59 Michigan over MSU, 1994 It is always good to beat even a shitty Sparty team, but not much to remember here.  We were good, MSU was not, we won.
40-49 Ohio State over Michigan, 2006 It hurts to get hit in the nuts playing raquetball, but even when you play well, sometimes that is how the ball bounces.  I remember feeling upset, but proud of the team, how they fought after Bo died.  See three spots below for the alternative.
30-39 Ohio State over Michigan, 2013 It all came down to the last play.  We had Devin Gardner playing like a superhero.  Maybe if OSU didn't know the playcall, this one might have been up in the 80's range.  I was depressed for most of the Brady Hoke era, but he always seemed to find an extra gear to play OSU.
20-29 Ohio State over Michigan, 2010 The score is just as ugly as below, but at least we had Denard Robinson to make the beating seem not quite as bad. 
10-19 Ohio State over Michigan, 2008 It was clear we didn't even belong on the same field as them.  Worse still, it was clear that Rich Rod didn't get the rivalry.
1-9 Notre Dame over Michigan, 2014 I could pick one of many awful losses over the years.  But this 31-0 drubbing was soul draining, I went into it cautiously hopeful, and left wanting the Brady Hoke era to come to a merciful end.
11/13/2017 - 12:55pm That was so overblown

The exact comment that Harbaugh made, was about his arriving at Michigan, wanting to major in History and then being told to choose a less difficult major and him being pleased that Stanford was not doing the same thing to football players.  That was the entire thing.  When pressed about it later, he repeated the exact comment.

But, this being Michigan, we overreacted like we always do about everything, and it became a story about him slamming the University of Michigan academics.  The fans circled the wagons, it built up momentum in the press, and then former players started lashing out.

My source for this comment is Bacon's book.  It is well researched and clearly written with direct quotes from the people involved.  I was amazed we were able to move on and hire him. 

11/05/2017 - 3:42pm Agreed

I commented in the other thread how it was the most un-Ferentz thing I had ever seen from Iowa.  It was a thing of beauty.  There is a write up over at SB Nation that tries to give more detail on the origins of the formation.  Given your history, you might enjoy it.

11/05/2017 - 3:37pm [email protected]

I wanted to encourage anyone who hadn't watched the Iowa victory over Ohio State to check it out.  It was nothing like the game the Hawkeyes stole from us last year.  They destroyed Ohio State.  Seriously, please go look at the highlights, if only to see the 3rd Quarter fake field goal.  It was the most un-Ferentz thing I have ever seen from Iowa.

10/14/2017 - 4:19pm More man blocking is good

It was nice to see more Man Blocking today.  I recall that the experts here felt that the Bushell-Beatty addition to the line warranted the change in scheme, but it was good to see us rely upon it more.

10/14/2017 - 4:12pm Missed tackles

The D has been pretty sure handed when tackling this season, but today was ugly.  Hopefully it is an outlier and we can get back into form tacklingwise.  Make even one or two of those tackles and Indiana isn't in this game.

10/14/2017 - 4:07pm Feature back?

It has been clear for weeks now that he is runs stronger and has as good or better vision than the other two backs.

Props to the young man for all of his hard work in the offseason.

09/21/2016 - 8:54pm  I logged in to echo your

 I logged in to echo your comments.  I am so psyched to watch this defense evolve this season and over the next 2-3 years.  The attitude that Don Brown brings is incredible.

02/13/2015 - 2:36pm Football-wise, there is not

Football-wise, there is not alot going on at the moment.  I am glad for twitter updates, particularly as I do not follow twitter.

02/12/2015 - 12:56pm Performance

I love Brady Hoke.  I didn't want us to hire him, but once he arrived, I loved his sincerity, his focus on the entire player and not just on the field performance.  But how can we look back over 2014 and not come away with something being very wrong with coaching.

What did we finish, -16 in turnover margin?  How about some of the fiascos on special teams, or the fact that we took players like Golson and Nova and made them look like future NFL 1st rounders.  Or how about Leidner and Brown, who "randomly" played their best games of the year against us.

Somebody has to take the blame for breakdowns in coverage, missed tackles, missed blocking assignments, receivers dropping half the balls thrown to them, and turnovers like nothing I have seen in watching Michigan for 30+ years.  It was painful to watch, and as much as I like Brady Hoke, I can't chalk it all up to bad luck, or youth, or even bad coaching of fundementals.  Something happened that wasn't due to scheme, or X's and O's, something was wrong with the attitude of the entire team.  And it not being disloyal to point out that things need to change for Michigan to compete against the likes of Maryland, Minnesota and Rutgers, let alone MSU and OSU.

02/10/2015 - 1:23pm Agreed, that is a brilliant

Agreed, that is a brilliant post.

I am happy for Weber and wish him luck, except during the game each year.

02/09/2015 - 5:43pm It looks like I needed to hit

It looks like I needed to hit refresh.  Thanks for clearing that up gjp.  I hope Bells is good to you, 

With respect to the beer tastes and demand, I think that there are more hops and varieties now than ever before.  You can't swing a stick these days without finding a Citra or Mosaic based PA or IPA, whereas both were in high demand just a couple of years ago.  There will never be a shortage of Cascade hops, even during the hop shortage 7 or so years ago there was Cascade to be found for anyone that wanted a citrusy beer.  The demand for hoppy beers is not scarcity driven.  It feels more like it is publicity driven and relative to things that are very subjective: like where you are at, what you can get, how long you have been drinking beer.  I think alot of it is just hype.

I am biased towards Bell's because they are Michigan made and have an excellent lineup of beers that I believe could compete on a national level.  I really believe that if you put Bell's Eccentric Cafe down in in SF right next to 21st Amendment they would still be awesome.  Even the hipsters out west would recognize the care and attention that goes into the beer.

But things like Two-Hearted and Oberon can't be mega trendy beers.  They are made in too large of quantity, have been around to long, they have a history and are a product from the past.  I still think they are great, just like I still love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at 37 IBUs.  It is not particularly hoppy by today's standards, and most hop heads would turn their nose up at something as mundane as Cascade and Perle.

I lamented the state of beer in my earlier post.  In the rush of publicity and excitement around craft beer, the subdued gets overwhelmed by the loudness.  I live in Grand Rapids- Beer City USA.  We have great beer here, but alot of it is lost on me- I am in my 40's now and tend to value an All Day IPA over a Dark Penance.  So I guess it is sort of like listening to the young hipsters music.  Perhaps I just need to sit back and try to enjoy the young hipsters beer?

But there is something to be said for missing out on the more mundane but still truly great.  Best beer I ever had- Koslch Hofbrue Fruh, served cold in a in stange.  Nobody in the GR beer scene would dare make a Kolsch Style- it would be labeled as beer for girls, or for pabst fans. 

02/09/2015 - 4:31pm Cellaring an IPA

People really buy up Hopslam and store it?  That is hilarious.

Anyone out there who doesn't know this- hoppy beer is best fresh.  It doesn't age well at all, you can see the hop flavor fade appreciably in just a few months.  I have a harvest ale that was incredible in November, and only good now.

I was down to K-Zoo a couple of times last summer to visit the Eccentric Cafe, and each time I took the time to drink the Experimental listings.  I thought alot of it was the testing of unamed cultivars.  The last time they had what I thought was a test of a Tahoma beer.  But now that you mention it, Hopslam does seem to have some variation.  I will have to pay attention this summer and look for a connection.

Slightly off topic, I think that the beer scarcity thing is getting out of hand in the media coverage.  I see writers claiming that Founders is creating scarcity for KBS by deliberately not releasing as much as Bells releases Hopslam and other "trendy beers".  KBS has to be aged in a barrel.  That barrel has to be at a very controlled temperature.  The only place to get the controlled temperature without massive refridgeration costs is in the gypsum mine here in GR.  The demand isn't manufactured, it is a legitimate bottle neck in the process of making a barrel aged stout.

It is strange how much beer culture has changed in the last 5 years.  I hope the pendulum swings the other direction soon.  I am getting frustrated with 120 IBU 8.5% ABV beers.  It seems like everyone is making them now, and most of them are poorly balanced.  

02/09/2015 - 1:43pm A decade of weakness

I think our problems over the last decade stem from other than scheme related issues.  The late Lloyd period had tons of talent, but strange lapses where the team seemed sloppy and unmotivated.  Sure the conservative playcalling garnered alot of criticism and spawned the term lloydball, but I never felt that it was the real problem.  We just seemed to lack intensity and focus.

Richrod's teams were also very sloppy and unfocused.  Completely different scheme, but when executed well, it put up points.  I think he was a very good coach for Michigan and would have succeeded here if only on the field factors were in play.

The Hoke period starts with an anomaly, then degenerates into something that we all know too well.  I often felt that the team lacked intensity and decisiveness.  This was really obvious on offense over the last two years.


Looking ahead, I think the two most important things that Harbaugh has going for him and Michigan is that he is an intense guy.  I expect our teams to be intense, motivated, decisive, physical.  I expect their personality to be in alignment with his personality.  That should be a huge step up from the last 15 years.

The final and most important thing however is that he is Harbaugh.  I am sure that there will be some grouchy comments after losses, but this is the one top end coach in the world that can unify the fanbase behind him.  It is all right there; "If you are for us, then be for us."  This is huge and extends beyond scheme, team personality and any of the other things that this blog discusses so well.  It is the intangibles that excite me about the future of Michigan football.

02/06/2015 - 5:26pm Outrage is overblown

We tend to focus on the noisier elements of a fandom, as such, it is easy to find asshats anywhere.  For my part, this was a non-issue, Weber chose not to go to Michigan.  So to watch UM fans get all worked up about it tends to reinforce the notion of the noisier elements making our fandom look like something that it isn't.

It is likely that things weren't done in the most sincere and open manner in OSU recruiting Weber, but Michigan fans can't be the people to gather the facts and shout the news from the rafters.  By being Michigan fans, we are immediately disqualified from impartially judging the actions of Ohio State football.  The info needs to come from outside our fandom if it is to have any effect.  Any comments from our community comes accross as sour grapes and doesn't hurt OSU at all.

Regarding the blog and the community here, I have been impressed with the fairly even handed coverage of the staff, and even more impressed with the attempts at self policing by our members.  But after witnessing a couple of years of snowflake threads after Hoke losses, it seems a bit disingenuous to claim that the mgoblog community is a gentlemen's club of rational and dispassionate discourse.  It is more a hotbed of emotional and passionate types, willing to lash out at the first sign ineptitude or wrongdoing that could hurt UM.

This is probably a good thing, if everybody thought like me, Harbaugh probably wouldn't be our coach, I thought RichRod deserved a 4th year, and only decided that Hoke had to go after the Maryland loss.

Anyway, I hope that people will at least refrain from bashing a 17 year old who has made some poor decisions in the last week.  I would rather that we felt bad for him, than angry that he chose our hated rivals. 

01/23/2015 - 3:03pm Great topic

This has all been covered beautifully in the posts above, but here is some additional information to consider.…

I hope that you are all familiar with the recent cartographic explosion that has arisen from mainstream social networking sites.  We can track the spatial extent and even demographic information for football fandom, baseball fandom, etc. from Facebook and twitter.  Incidentally, my favorite is a beer vs wine map- A2 is the lone standout in an otherwise beer swilling Michigan.

When you look at the map in the NY times URL I linked above, you can see that the college football fandom extends well beyond the confines of university towns.  There are certainly a number of teams whose fandom is still limited to a very specific locale, but the vast majority of state level institutions are regional in nature and some are truly nationwide in scope.  I am fully convinced that the trend for the future is an increasingly complex map for this subject.  Look at the Oregon Ducks and their popularity in North Dakota, or consider that Notre Dame and Michigan can be found as a top 3 in popularity in portions of New York City and Long Island.  Fans of teams are everywhere and the lines of these formerly regional divisions are increasingly blurred by a media coverage that is nationwide in scope.

For my story, I grew up in Flint, Michigan and fell in love with Michigan Football as a kid in the 80's.  My father loves Michigan Football and can cite details and specific game facts from all of Bo's teams.  He never went to Michigan, but his passion has been handed down now for three generations (although some of the younger grandkids are Spartan fans, so we need to get things fixed ASAP).  I went to Michigan and it was a big deal for my family, but I am the only one to have gone there and I am certain that my family is not any more a family of Wolverine fans for my degree from Michigan.  We were all fans before, were fans during those glorious days in the late 90's, and with the exception of two of my pesky young nephews are fans now.

So considering my experience with the topic, I can't believe that the categorization "walmart wolverine" is a valid one.  We are talking about collegiate athletics here- being a fan of a team or school does not require that you are actually a member of that team or school.  All that it requires is that you are passionate, loyal and committed, particularly after seven years of frustration.

01/22/2015 - 12:41pm Thanks Mean Joe!!!

Thanks Mean Joe!!!

01/22/2015 - 10:34am Thanks for the walk through history

Respect and gratitude to Fred Jackson, he was the one constant over the ups and downs of the last 20 years.

Post #1 as an official member- Thanks Seth, this is exactly the kind of detailed analysis that has made mgoblog one of my favorite lunchtime visits.