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Date Title Body
09/17/2018 - 2:23pm Dexter Williams didn’t play…

Dexter Williams didn’t play for ND against us either

09/17/2018 - 12:39pm He knows better than to go…

He knows better than to go pro, too. You can’t run your QB 15 times a game, and you don’t get to have a massive talent advantage over every pre-playoff opponent. 

09/16/2018 - 2:46pm Alabama and Clemson, but…

Alabama and Clemson, but point taken 

09/07/2018 - 6:25pm With all due respect, of…

With all due respect, of course Martin said that. It’s his sport. He knows what the gap is between fan and athlete knowledge—and doesn’t know it for sports he didn’t play.

09/04/2018 - 12:10pm It’s a good question. The…

It’s a good question. The answer is U-M has holes on the OL. There’s a huge difference between being mediocre or even below-average and being nonfunctional.

If you can trust your OL, as Utah State, App State and Oregon State could, you can just run your offense, and from time to time you’ll string together some drives and/or hit some big plays even against an opponent like Ohio State.

U-M couldn’t approach the game that way. They had to build their whole game plan around keeping Shea upright, which limited their options and made them predictable. The fact that he still got pressured a lot says it all.

08/16/2018 - 1:28pm Excellent post. A question…

Excellent post. A question here:

—Michigan's quarterback situation is still not excellent...

How much better can it get, realistically? U-M has three non-true freshman QBs, two of whom have starting experience.

These days, you’re just not going to have a quality fourth-stringer who isn’t a freshman. Such a player will leave if his path to playing time is that blocked. 

08/15/2018 - 7:07pm It’s fine to think MSU is…

It’s fine to think MSU is better, but the writer’s rationale is baseless.

2016 MSU was experienced. 2017 MSU wasn’t—it was one of the youngest teams in the country. For instance, none of MSU’s top 4 receivers in 2016 were on the team last year. It makes no sense to say 2017 was the result of a 2016 youth movement  

For some reason, evaluations that relate to U-M and its rivals are often based on contrived narratives like this. 

08/11/2018 - 9:48am Really? Louisville is…

Really? Louisville is unranked in the preseason poll. Things can change, of course, but Jackson is gone and it’s not like they have a big national following. 

08/08/2018 - 7:58am The rankings aren’t an…

The rankings aren’t an impediment:

2010: Auburn began #22, won the title

2012: Notre Dame began unranked, reached the title game

2013: Auburn began unranked, reached the title game

2015: MSU was 13th on Nov. 14, reached the playoff

2016: Washington began #14, reached the playoff

2017: Georgia began #15, reached the title game

If anything, we should expect a team to come from outside the top 10 (either preseason or midseason) and get in.

07/30/2018 - 3:07pm Could be, but the NFL isn’t…

Could be, but the NFL isn’t out of the question yet. Ryan Mundy was no further along at the same point in his career. Then he had a strong 5th year and wound up playing in the league for several years.

07/30/2018 - 2:51pm All of the big-three sports…

All of the big-three sports in one UV—verr nice

07/28/2018 - 7:29am The playing-up-north thing…

The playing-up-north thing is a bit overdone. Auburn just played a home-and-home with Clemson, which is tougher than anything else they possibly could’ve done, including a home-and-home with Ohio State. 

07/26/2018 - 1:12pm Have to agree with TrueBlue…

Have to agree with TrueBlue on this one, especially the park-the-bus line.

When Dantonio has a lead, he is indeed quite like a soccer coach in how he sits on it. You come away thinking that you forced X punts in a row should’ve won, but that’s only because they shut it down to avoid turnovers and bleed the clock. Just like Tressel, actually. 

07/13/2018 - 2:34pm It’s very easy to make the…

It’s very easy to make the argument for Franklin/PSU because people tend to project based on what just happened.

If you get away from narratives (“Michigan hasn’t done X since 2006”) and just focus on the roster, there’s much more reason to believe U-M can rise from 8-5 than there was for Penn State when they went 7-6. 

07/10/2018 - 11:43am Agreed, so long as US gas…

Agreed, so long as US gas prices remain a global outlier.

If they rose to Europe’s level ($6 to $8 a gallon), things would change. 

07/03/2018 - 4:02am 100 plus his jersey number

100 plus his jersey number

06/10/2018 - 6:03am That’s just Doc being a good…

That’s just Doc being a good guy. If you notice, he also makes mention of the AHL and ECHL when he can. He attended a couple of hockey schools (Miami and BG) and just seems to appreciate all levels of hockey. 

05/19/2018 - 8:48am It’s baffling that anyone

It’s baffling that anyone considered Nebraska a possibility. They’re on OSU's schedule through the rest of Burrow's eligibility.

05/16/2018 - 6:02pm The bowl record is a fair

The bowl record is a fair point. Bo shines more as a program builder/maintainer.

At the end of his tenure, U-M’s recruiting was such that they could march into Ohio and take their very best players. That is not nothing. No matter what Harbaugh does, it is difficult to imagine that ever recurring.

05/16/2018 - 5:54pm The buildout of sports

The buildout of sports facilities on South Campus has gone way too far. It looks like an Olympic village, not a school.

05/16/2018 - 2:09pm Breslin has said he isn’t

Breslin has said he isn’t running

05/10/2018 - 4:47am Least bad option?

That's illogical. It’s only the least bad option if you’re thinking solely about the 2017 season—which CLE shouldn’t have been, since the team was going to suck no matter what.

Given that Peppers is one of their top assets, they should’ve been prioritizing his development by playing him where he belongs.

05/09/2018 - 12:31pm Eh—2020 still has Bucky and

Eh—2020 still has Bucky and Penn State

05/08/2018 - 1:27pm They said the same thing to

They said the same thing to Daniel about his crane crap

05/03/2018 - 2:19pm Recruiting

Recruiting explains why it isn’t a great OL. It doesn’t explain why rushers are barreling through untouched.

Michigan has some physical limitations with its tackles, but it’s not like we’re throwing 280-pound freshmen out there. The bigger problem is confusion.

04/30/2018 - 10:00pm That said, Brady and Brees

That said, Brady and Brees are the two oldest QBs in the league (by some distance), and Wilson was found by and developed at NC State. Cousins is the only current pro starter that the Big Ten has truly produced in over a decade.

04/30/2018 - 4:59pm Fair points all, but remember

Fair points all, but remember who he’s competing with. McCaffrey hasn’t stepped on the field yet and Peters had the training wheels on big-time last year.

That latter point is critical. Michigan was far more cautious with Peters (despite his familiarity with the playbook) than they were with Rudock, who didn’t even have a spring practice. Patterson also is a better fit for an OL that’ll need the QB to improvise.

I would take the opposite point of view: The only reason the starting job is even in question is because Patterson just got here.

04/30/2018 - 1:00pm Gary, sure, but who else?

Winovich is a SR but we already have options on the roster. Bush’s production is outstanding, but I’m not sure he’s an early entry guy at his size. Higdon and Perry have plenty of guys behind them.

And then there’s Patterson. He’s an early entry threat, but again, by 2019 one of Peters/McCaffrey/Milton should be good to go.

04/27/2018 - 4:17pm Crazier than subs?

Crazier than subs?

04/21/2018 - 1:58pm Wimbush

The weird thing about him is it’s not like he can’t throw it. When they went up to EL, Wimbush tore State up through the air. This is a Brian Kelly team; you know he wouldn’t bring in a QB who can’t throw.

04/21/2018 - 1:43pm No chance

Nebraska is on OSU's schedule through the remainder of Burrow's eligibility. There’s no way OSU would release him there. (Still needs a release even if it’s a grad transfer.)

04/20/2018 - 2:38pm But on the flip side, State

But on the flip side, State was one of the youngest teams in the country last season. Qualitatively, they should improve.

If Lewerke gets hurt, yes, they’d be in trouble, but that goes for just about any team losing its starter (save Bama and, unfortunately, OSU).

04/14/2018 - 3:06pm Yeah, it’s a good move

He’s been in the national spotlight for some time now; that’s not an issue. And he’s not a crazy athlete with untapped ability, or a supporting-cast guy who needs to show he can get his.

Staying in school can’t just be about hiding out from the draft. There has to be something to gain—otherwise you’re just delaying what’s going to happen anyway.

04/12/2018 - 12:39pm It’s not that Stanford has a lot of sports

It’s that they’re good in a lot of them.

The scoring system takes your best 19 sports (4 of which are mandatory), so it doesn’t matter if you play more.

04/07/2018 - 11:18pm South Carolina

Touch the Banner did a great breakdown of who was actually on the field for U-M that day. It was basically a B or C team relative to who played in the season opener.

In other words, while it might’ve looked like they rolled over, the real problem was that they were on their 3rd-choice RT, 2nd-string QB, etc.

04/04/2018 - 2:07pm On the contrary, people are

On the contrary, people are overplaying Simpson’s offensive shortcomings.

Defense is half the game. PGs have even more defensive impact than their teammates since he guards the ball and thus can disrupt the entire flow. Aaron Craft likewise had major offensive limitations, but OSU won a lot of games with that dude.

It’s easy to point at Simpson because a broke jumper is an obvious deficiency, but you win on both ends. Even after this season, people still struggle to see that.

04/04/2018 - 1:53pm This should take care of itself

Seems unlikely that both Wagner and Matthews stay. But if they do, that creates a playing-time logjam that would bring about a transfer.

04/03/2018 - 6:45am If everyone returns, we're

If everyone returns, we're one over. But that’s unlikely. Even if both Wagner and Matthews returned, that would raise the likelihood of a playing-time transfer further down the roster.

04/02/2018 - 5:08pm In the words of Marko Ramius

I give us...one chance in three.

04/01/2018 - 3:17pm Not necessarily.

The greatness is in outplaying your opponent six straight games. Maybe that’ll require a game for the ages, but maybe it won’t.

03/31/2018 - 3:35pm The block was clean, but it’s

The block was clean, but it’s ridiculous how people attach so much meaning to that call. Louisville was up 3 with about 5 min left. If they get the call right, our odds of victory still aren’t even 50%.

Now the Barrett spot, on the other hand...

03/31/2018 - 11:54am There needs to be a job

There needs to be a job opening, and it needs to be in an offense that doesn’t run the QB. When you put those two factors together, there aren’t many schools out there.

03/28/2018 - 1:11pm This is changing, actually.

This is changing, actually. Golden State is now starting to embrace longer 2s, recognizing that teams have overcorrected in their avoidance of them.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mid-range-jumper-is-the-nbas-worst-sho…

03/25/2018 - 8:57am Would they?

If anything, Wagner might drop to 3rd team. These awards are made for guys who have counting stats or clear-cut NBA potential.

03/22/2018 - 2:13pm Does it work overseas?

Like in, say, Porto, Portugal?

03/22/2018 - 4:17am Not nearly as good? Gedeon

Not nearly as good? Gedeon led the team in tackles by a mile as a senior and also co-led in TFLs (with Peppers).

McCray is fine but there’s a reason opponents schemed to get him in coverage. Gedeon was a better pro prospect because of his athleticism.

03/22/2018 - 3:46am People keep saying this.

People keep saying this. Gotta remember: The 4 and 5 are totally different in U-M's offense. If you put Wagner at the 4, you’re asking him to take on an unfamiliar role. In the biggest game of the season. Against a tough defense.

Playing two bigs also creates more foul risk (they’re both on the court, so they’re both susceptible to post-defense fouls, over-the-backs, etc.) and throws off your rotation. If there’s five minutes of up-and-down action and they’re both gassed, what do you do—throw Davis out there?

U-M beat MSU and Purdue because it created its own mismatches, not because it tried to imitate those teams. The two-big idea should only be considered if things are going sideways and we’re desperate.

03/20/2018 - 8:20pm The spring game is

The spring game is technically a practice, so Patterson can participate no matter what. But he isn’t going to cause a spike in spring-game interest unless he’s 2018-eligible. Casual U-M fans are lukewarm on the spring game as it is—it’s hard to believe they’d be fired up to see a guy who might not play for another year and a half.

03/18/2018 - 8:00am Textbook example of why it’s

Textbook example of why it’s important to ignore narratives (“long-term decline”) and just focus on actual events.

U-M had a bad year on the field and had a lot of turnover at Schembechler. As the house gets back in order, it’s only logical that things will pick up.

03/18/2018 - 5:20am A long time ago but

Rumeal vs. MSU at Crisler in 1990