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Date Title Body
11/12/2018 - 12:28pm No, but he is the head of J…

No, but he is the head of J.I. Harris & Associates. So, not very far removed.

And even if it isn’t outright corporatism, it is oligarchic. Not much better, in my estimation. 

11/12/2018 - 12:20pm Yes, that’s the joke. Maybe…

Yes, that’s the joke. Maybe we can do better. But let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

11/09/2018 - 12:07pm Dunno, but it’s doubly…

Dunno, but it’s doubly effective because we have a defense that causes a lot of short drives on the other end. So the opposing D not only has to handle our long drives, but doesn’t have much time to rest in between the drives.

11/08/2018 - 5:25pm UFR is the shit, straight up.

UFR is the shit, straight up.

11/08/2018 - 5:24pm I’ve been beating that drum,…

I’ve been beating that drum, but he has looked good even late in games. Then again, his weakness has always been in protection and we haven’t trailed late and been in passing mode. That’s where I’m afraid his feet might get a bit heavy, and misses in protection are usually worse than misses in blocking.

But I’ll also disagree with Brian on his movement in general. Yes, he moves well; very well for his size. But that just means he would move even better AND he would keep his power as a drive blocker at, say, 320.

11/07/2018 - 3:10pm It’s not me that doesn’t…

It’s not me that doesn’t understand statistics in this case. You seem to have lost the forest for the trees. Those models (S&P, etc.) are an effort to quantitatively decide what’s happened and what is likely to happen. 

But are you really prepared to argue that S&P is better indicator of the quality of football teams than actual football games? I feel like this is a satire of firejoemorgan.com and you’re arguing that statistical modeling should just replace the actual sport.

For a sophisticated statistician, you sure went right to the anecdotal evidence to straw man me into some untenable positions. Meanwhike, you just said, “Actually, [playing football games are] a pretty terrible way to determine which is the better team.”

Your position is bad. It is possible, maybe likely, that we are better than ND. But they have the best piece of evidence, an actual game of competitive football, whereas we have statistical models and transitive properties.

11/07/2018 - 12:25pm Because Notre Dame beat 12-1…

Because Notre Dame beat 12-1 Michigan.

You can’t be serious.

That win is more impressive than any of our wins.

It’s also a knock on us. 

And, of course, a really good way to determine which is the better team is by having the teams play and keeping score.

11/05/2018 - 11:23pm I also think this analysis …

I also think this analysis (and all similar analyses) suffer from one major confounding variable -- people never even attempt to control for the effect that being recruited by winning programs has on the recruiting rankings.

If people awarded stars based purely on observation, you could maybe read something into this. But recruiting stars are based largely on the offer list. So, kids who sign for Alabama get high recruiting rankings by virtue of signing for Alabama. We all know that whenever we sign a totally unknown, unranked, unscouted player, they come in at three stars, for example.

11/05/2018 - 11:11pm You don't think that was a…

You don't think that was a joke? I laughed.

11/05/2018 - 3:14pm Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky,…

Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah still have straight ticket voting.

I’m not sure where North Carolina has come down on it — I believe they’ve done away with it legislatively, but I think there’s a fight there as well.

Perhaps interestingly, each of those states is controlled by the same political party, and polls have demonstrated that party line voting helps that party in those particular states. It looks like the party leadership in those states does not care enough about its citizens to assure that the citizens remain well-informed. 

11/05/2018 - 2:33pm It’s not the one bad game…

It’s not the one bad game. It’s the lack of a good game.

I don’t think we’d be hopeless if he had to play, but that’s admittedly more of a feelings thing than anything based on evidence.

11/05/2018 - 2:16pm The MI state legislature has…

The MI state legislature has thrice done away with party-line voting. Twice, statewide referenda overruled the statutes, and it’s on the ballot again.

You wouldn’t strike me as the type to be against this kind of direct popular sovereignty with respect to other issues. The voters of Michigan have consistently been in favor of the party-line voting option.

11/05/2018 - 2:12pm I might have been the person…

I might have been the person most high on him in the entire readership, and he’s outplayed my expectations. 

11/05/2018 - 12:45pm States’ Rights. If the…

States’ Rights. If the voters of a state want to have straight party voting, cool.

But I do find the push against straight party voting strange, in that it is just limiting the voter’s options. If someone feels that no extra information is needed than the candidate’s party affiliation, why remove that option? Everyone else can proceed as we currently do.

Would you be in favor of removing party affiliation from the ballot altogether? That would seem reasonable according to your rationale above — a truly informed electorate is better than an uninformed one. Informed voters would know which candidate belongs to which party. It would force people to pay attention more than they currently do. Yet, I don’t think that’s a good idea? You?

11/04/2018 - 6:31pm You passed the test. That…

You passed the test. That was a shibboleth. No one in Michigan uses actual powder.

11/04/2018 - 1:42am I hate you.

I hate you.

11/02/2018 - 2:06pm Whoa. I’m listening to the…

Whoa. I’m listening to the audiobook of IJ at my desk right as we speak. Weird, man.

11/02/2018 - 12:25pm Unfortunately, he’s had to…

Unfortunately, he’s had to write elegiac pieces for Michigan football for a decade.

11/02/2018 - 10:14am Actual garlic powder or…

Actual garlic powder or granulated garlic?

11/01/2018 - 12:24pm I once heard Lloyd Carr tell…

I once heard Lloyd Carr tell his team that he would trade every offensive lineman on his team for just one of the opponent’s tackles. His line had something like 7 current or future All-Conference players in the meeting room and a couple All-Americas. They’d allowed like 5 sacks in a whole season and the running back led the nation in rushing.

Maybe Marcus is trying something like that, but he’s not the comic genius Lloyd was.

11/01/2018 - 8:03am I’ve always thought the…

I’ve always thought the point of the season was to determine who has the best season. I’ve never considered it a matter of determining the best team, and I think that’s a silly goal with 120 teams over 12 games.

With that aim in mind, and considering college footballs regular season is special because it wasn’t about playoffs for 100 years, I’d hate to see this weird sport become just another version of every pro sport, where the playoff primarily determines who got hot at the end.

There will come a day when a 2-loss team will win the championship, maybe even beating a previously-undefeated team in the final game. That day will make the whole stated purpose of the playoff a farce.

11/01/2018 - 7:49am Worse than my opinions on…

Worse than my opinions on Borges?

10/31/2018 - 11:14pm In a perfect world, the…

In a perfect world, the playoff is a flex thing that doesn't even happen most years. If there is one undefeated P5 school, they are champs. Two of them, have them play. Three of them, give the #1 ranked team a bye. If no undefeated teams, move to one loss conference champs under the same rules.

10/31/2018 - 11:10pm I used to watch an hour or…

I used to watch an hour or so of C-SPAN every morning before junior high and high school. They used to run some good interview shows in the mornings. I thought it was fun, but I am also an insufferable prick.

10/31/2018 - 12:13pm Who knows, man? But I have…

Who knows, man? But I have to say, if I was a quarterback, I’d quickly tell my guys to shut the fuck up and block someone. 

10/31/2018 - 10:10am Is that a thing now? Linemen…

Is that a thing now? Linemen audibly announcing they’re beat? Game’s come a long way.

10/30/2018 - 10:43am He’s contractually obligated…

He’s contractually obligated to attend these pressers, and he doesn’t see any value in them. He’s doing something he doesn’t want to do and doesn’t believe in. It’s that simple.

This leads to answers like, “We practiced, watched tape, and lifted weights.” I think that’s the best answer I’ve ever heard.

 

10/30/2018 - 12:18am It's use is to be the 2nd…

It's use is to be the 2nd best technique (out of 2).

I'm a bit doctrinaire on this issue, as you might be able to tell. 

10/29/2018 - 11:52pm I don't doubt that, last…

I don't doubt that, last year, the pulling guards often got caught up in the wash on power when running the drop step. I'm actually kind of arguing in favor of that. I'd rather have Onwenu get caught up on Mason's defender in the above-clipped video than what actually happened. If he was using the drop step, he would have been in position to move the guy, and maybe Higdon can make a play. Instead, he gets no movement on the guy, still doesn't get to the 2nd level, and Higdon has no chance.

It all goes back to first principles -- block the first level as best you can, and get the running back to make a play on the 2nd level. This is why, even if our guys were getting caught up last year, we still ran power pretty well, because the first level was blocked.

I'm also being facetiously strident here. If we keep running the ball well, it's all good. I just cannot be convinced that this is the better technique under any situations which are not 100% optimal, as drawn up on the chalkboard.

Maybe if everyone else throws a perfect block and the defense plays it absolutely straight up, the crossover is marginally quicker through the hole. But those plays are few and far in between. Indeed, we've seen an alarming number of plays in which our power pullers cannot adjust to a kickout block. Our tight ends, for all of their strengths, are not great blockers at the point of attack, and so our guards will have to be able to make those kickouts on a regular basis. And that's only one eventuality in which the drop step is the better option.

I'm only partly joking when I say that I am confident that I could convince Warriner to change his mind if he let me bend his ear for a minute. It's physics.

10/29/2018 - 11:21pm You'd have a bigger problem…

You'd have a bigger problem if he got rocked back into you and you had your legs crossed over each other. Ass over teakettle you go. 

It's nonsense, and I won't have it. 

10/29/2018 - 11:20pm Yeah, the crossover is used…

Yeah, the crossover is used for when the lineman expect to lead up into the hole, like on power o. Theoretically, it lets him get his eyes on the linebacker, and also allows him to keep his shoulders square to the line, making turning into the hole easier. You couldn't run this technique on a short trap, or a kickout, because your shoulders wouldn't be facing your target.

And that's one of the main problems with using it even when running power! On something like 1/3 of power pulls, the pulling guard will not get to the man he's designed to block. The rule on the pull is to clean up anything that comes free on the way to your block, because it does you no good to pass up a first level defender trying to get to the 2nd level. This happens all the time -- someone misses a block, they have a run blitz on, etc. And if the fullback gets lost in the wash, you've got to make the kickout block. This is near impossible if your shoulders aren't facing down the line.

And on the other 2/3 of power pulls, in which you actually can get to your target man, the crossover step puts you in a tough position -- your center of gravity is high. Try bringing your legs together without popping up. That linebacker comes downhill hard, and you're not in optimal position to hit him. 

It's a matter of physics -- it is easier to turn up into the hole if you take the drop step and turn down the line than it is to turn out and make an emergency kickout block when you take a crossover step and face the 2nd level. 

I urge you all to stand up where you are and do a demonstration. Take your first crossover step (I know they call it other things, but I refuse to use euphemism here. Your feet cross over, something no lineman should ever do) and now imagine someone flying through the hole. See how difficult it is to get depth with your second step and turn your shoulders out to get him (see the clipped play above, where Onwenu can't get him and Higdon is stopped short)? Now take a drop step, and imagine someone flying through the hole in exactly the same way. You are facing right at him. He's dead. Now, imagine no one there -- see how easy it is to plant your left foot, turn your shoulders a bit, and lead through the hole? 

Warriner is a good coach. Alabama is a good team. This technique is 2nd best, period. Even if the Good Lord came down from on high and told me to run the crossover step, I'd offer to sacrifice my only male child instead. 

10/24/2018 - 2:05pm If your avatar was still…

If your avatar was still sexybits of your wife, you wouldn’t have gotten that kind of reaction.

10/24/2018 - 12:25pm She didn’t answer any…

She didn’t answer any specific questions, but she gave a recounting of facts that none of us were previously privy to.

Would your suggestion give fans more insight? Maybe.

Would your suggestion benefit Gary, Harbaugh, team doctors, or Michigan in any way? No.

You sure come off as believing you’re entitled to things you definitely are not. That seems a contradiction to me, considering your beliefs in other fields.

10/24/2018 - 12:19pm I don’t think you’re a…

I don’t think you’re a shithead or a bandwagon fan. I’m still disappointed you gave up your season tickets, though. Did you get them back? Are you planning to?

At any rate, your interpretation was plausible, so I didn’t neg you or anything. I just think it was wrong. Seems like she actually kind of complimented M for trying to have him play through it, giving the correct diagnosis to the further injury, and leaving the decision whether to play or not with Gary.

But then again, I still defend Borges, so I tend to side with the staffs, generally.

10/23/2018 - 9:57am I can recall one, and maybe…

I can recall one, and maybe another (can’t remember if it was mid-season or right after the season).

Whether it’s a ‘social media age’ thing is in the eye of the beholder. If you tend to see that as a cause elsewhere, you’ll probably see it here. I think that would overlook the importance of more banal procedural changes like the early signing date making transfers want to look around and lock up a spot on another team earlier. Or the relaxation of transfer restrictions in general, and the more professional-like and more mercenary approach kids now have to teams because of it. Or the insane pay of coaches, which leads to more pressure and shorter tenures and thus fewer “programs” and more “teams.”

But heuristics like “social media age” help people organize ideas quickly and are sometimes right. I tend to think of almost everything political through a lens of the materialist conception of history, so I know how powerful that kind of thing is.

 

Edit: Also, I’m not excusing anything. If he’d asked me, I would have encouraged him to stay and would have had a lot of good reasons for him to do so. But I also have the (bad) luck of having been in shoes very similar to his, and so I thought I could provide some insight into what players might tend to think.

10/22/2018 - 9:27pm That’s one reasonable way of…

That’s one reasonable way of interpreting it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to give her the benefit of the doubt, either. That’s just me.

10/22/2018 - 8:28pm It wasn’t common, but…

It wasn’t common, but neither was it unprecedented. Then again, everything was different when I played. The world is very weird right now.

10/22/2018 - 8:25pm The old man is right. As you…

The old man is right. As you said in another post, it doesn’t really make sense. But, young kids with big egos and a lot of testosterone who are always thinking about a future as a millionaire athlete don’t always make perfect sense.

As for the adults — who knows? Those young kids with the egos and the rest are also the less likely to listen to the adults in these types of situations. 

Speculation will get us nowhere. We have no idea who is telling him what.

10/22/2018 - 8:20pm You’re assuming that PT and…

You’re assuming that PT and coaching issues can be separated. They often can’t.

If you think you are better than the guy ahead of you and you are not playing, you tend to blame the coach, since he’s the one making personnel decisions. You consider him either stupid (why can’t he see I’m better?) or as having a personal problem with you (why is he fucking me?).

Or, even if you’re pretty level-headed and don’t start to hate the coach, you can get really discouraged (I’m already playing better than him, how good will I have to play to get a snap?).

PT concerns tend to become coaching concerns very quickly if you think you’re being unfairly limited. 

Again, I have no idea if this is the case. But this is as common on football teams as jock straps. Not everyone leaves, but a lot of people are dissatisfied on every team, even ones having good seasons.

10/22/2018 - 7:58pm If you are unhappy as a…

If you are unhappy as a ballplayer, be it with PT, or relationship with your coaches, or injured, or literally whatever, it can become really easy to hate going to the building every day. And then it starts to make perfect sense to leave immediately and move on as quickly as possible.

No idea if that’s the case here, but your sound logic doesn’t account for personal, emotional, or psychological factors.

10/22/2018 - 7:49pm Genuinely interested — which…

Genuinely interested — which do you prefer to instant gratification? Delayed gratification or no gratification? 

It seems to me that if someone is worried about never receiving any gratification, he should seek some gratification elsewhere.

10/22/2018 - 3:39pm First off, fuck your coach…

First off, fuck your coach and the clique you claim.

10/22/2018 - 12:28pm Please update on Michigan…

Please update on Michigan jersey sales.

10/22/2018 - 12:24pm Dantonio is probably lying,…

Dantonio is probably lying, but it’s possible the OC is lying and doesn’t want it public that his QB is hurt, thereby putting a bullseye on that shoulder in all upcoming games.

I like Harbaugh’s approach better. No discussing injuries at all, unless they’re season ending or whatever.

10/22/2018 - 10:35am Bob Timberlake is concern…

Bob Timberlake is concern trolling, but he’s also quite right about “if, not when.”

Everyone hopes we win a national championship, and I think everyone believes we will, but come on guys. These things aren’t preordained. Downvote his original post, but not that one.

10/21/2018 - 11:41am Even after all of your…

Even after all of your complaints, Michigan won by 14, and MSUs only scoring drive was of 15 yards or so. MSU’s longest drive was 45 yards, 55 coming from penalties.

There is very little to complain about as far as footballing goes.

Please recognize that what you are actually complaining about is your feelings of insecurity about the outcome of the game lasting longer than you would have preferred. 

10/20/2018 - 6:38pm Alabama has multiple play…

Alabama has multiple play calls per game that are terrible. You know, because they don't work. 

10/19/2018 - 10:04am Your taste in movies runs a…

Your taste in movies runs a bit decadent, comrade.

10/19/2018 - 8:00am That’s because we tend to…

That’s because we tend to see “trends” when we’re really seeing discreet events.

If we played ND this week instead of week 1, and the performance was the same, we’d all be going on about what an aberration it was and how he should revert back to his mean.

10/19/2018 - 7:54am I think he is worse than…

I think he is worse than Borges, at least in the passing game.

/ducks

And while I agree on fades being garbage, it seems like 0 offensive coordinators agree with us. Can we do something about this?