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Date Title Body
01/22/2019 - 9:10pm Yeah, ignore these fools…

Yeah, ignore these fools. Michigan put up 70+ the last three games before Wisky and Minnesota. They’ve hit a slight funk shooting the ball. It happens. 

01/19/2019 - 1:58pm That sucked, but y’all need…

That sucked, but y’all need to chill out. 

Iggy and Matthews had bad games. Everyone else was inefficient. It’s at Wisconsin which has always been problematic. 

 

01/13/2019 - 9:42pm I thought I noticed that…

I thought I noticed that. Before, it looked like he was almost aiming the ball and pushing it. Much more rhythmic now.

01/10/2019 - 5:04pm So, current staff:

Head…

So, current staff:

Head Coach - Harbaugh

OC - Gattis

AHC/Passing Coord/QB - Pep

RB/ST - JayBaugh

TE - Moore

OL - Warinner

DC - Brown

CB - Zordich

S/ST - Partridge

So, there's still two spots which means either McDaniels isn't getting the WR job and Gattis is handling that or Pep is out the door with Jim taking the QBs and they just need to hire DL and LB coaches.

01/10/2019 - 4:32pm I’d wager this is the setup…

I’d wager this is the setup. Gattis calls the plays, but if he’s sort of stuck, he talks to Jim to figure something out.

 

01/10/2019 - 10:52am I'll take the positive spin…

I'll take the positive spin and say, hey, despite the RichRod and Hoke years, Michigan is tied for 8th in BCS and NY6 appearances in the past 20 years. The year before this they won the National Championship.

Top 10 program is not a terrible place to be. 

01/03/2019 - 7:35pm JFC Teske you’re 7 feet tall…

JFC Teske you’re 7 feet tall. This team sucks on offense. 

01/03/2019 - 7:36am Haha, yeah, I guess I feel…

Haha, yeah, I guess I feel like my opinion isn't worth much since I never played or coached football beyond HS. You can tell when a team is really poorly coached and when they just need tweaks.

Your larger point about expectations and better coaches is the most relevant one, I think.

Lastly, the loss to Florida is an emotional one. Brian seemed to hint at it in his column. Their season ended in Columbus. Georgia just had the same thing happen to them. The minute they blew that lead against Alabama, I think the coaches and players were done.

01/02/2019 - 4:39pm Here's my random collection…

Here's my random collection of thoughts since everyone is an expert:

- Jim Harbaugh has been an excellent coach everywhere he's been. San Diego, Stanford, the 49ers. He's won 73% of his games at Michigan. Brady Hoke won 60%. RichRod didn't even make it 4 years. Lloyd Carr and Gary Moeller won 78%. He's not Urban Meyer or Nick Saban, but he's in line with every Michigan coach in the modern era.

- Only 8 programs have won more games than Michigan since Harbaugh was hired. That includes Wisconsin who has the luxury of beating up on the B1G West every year. Alabama, Clemson, OSU, and Oklahoma have been way above everyone else. Georgia has 4 more wins in 3 additional games played. Washington has 1 more win in 2 extra games played. Stanford has 2 more wins in 2 additional games played. This is a Top 10 program that happened to be in a division with one of the best college coaches ever. 

- Recruiting has been fine. Ranks according to the 247 composite: #8, #5, #22, #8. Not being in the South means they'll be hard-pressed to come up with a #1 or #2 class.

- Is he immune from criticism? Nope. The time management stuff is mystifying. I know people like to complain about not opening up the offense more, but I'm guessing that's due to lingering pass pro issues. It takes time to run complex route trees that require multiple reads. And, I'm guessing we'd all like to have Shea stay healthy. 

I'd give Harbaugh a B right now. Won double digit games in three out of the four years and the fourth year was one where he was on his 2nd/3rd string QB. He's been unlucky in bigger games (see 2015 MSU, 2016 OSU, 2016 Orange Bowl). Time management stuff needs to change. I do think he needs to stabilize the offensive braintrust a bit and turn over complete control to a non-Pep coach.

 

01/02/2019 - 4:04pm Appreciate the insight and I…

Appreciate the insight and I see no reason to disagree. Penn State is not Michigan State. You never know because of injuries, etc., but 8-5/9-4 seems to be the floor for a healthy-ish Penn State team. 

Honestly, your program and Michigan's seem to be in very similar places right now. 

12/31/2018 - 11:16am Correct. 

I'm almost at the…

Correct. 

I'm almost at the point where I want Harbaugh to go to the Jets or something and win the Super Bowl while Michigan hires this genius offensive mind that is hanging around waiting for the Michigan job to open up and promptly goes 8-5 every year while losing 56-55 shootouts to Purdue. 

 

 

 

12/31/2018 - 9:28am This is the correct take.

This is the correct take.

You guys can sit here and be doom and gloom about the last two weeks. I remember how much fun it was to watch this team beat down three straight ranked opponents. 

I get it. It didn’t end well. Doesn’t take away what this team did accomplish. 

12/30/2018 - 9:34pm I posted this in another…

I posted this in another thread, but this board (and fanbase) is toxic as hell right now.

Michigan is a Top 10 program since Harbaugh took over. End of story. He hasn't gotten them to the level of Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, or Ohio State. Like he said in the post game, we've gotten to the hump, just haven't gotten over it.

Honestly, the last two games sucked. Doesn't take away the previous 10 weeks where they were one of the best 4 teams in the country.

I'm okay with Michigan being consistently in the hunt for the CFP, winning 10+ games every year. Without Urban at Ohio State, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and realize that it's been a 'B' so far. The lack of titles/CFP appearances and wins over OSU keep it from being an 'A'.

 

12/30/2018 - 9:02am This is officially one of…

This is officially one of the most, if not the most, toxic fanbases in all of sports.

Here are the number of wins for various programs over the past 4 years:

Alabama - 56

Clemson - 54

Ohio State - 48

Oklahoma - 46

Georgia - 43 (assuming they beat Texas)

Wisconsin - 42

Stanford - 39 (assuming they win their bowl game)

Washington - 39 (assuming they lose to Ohio State)

Penn State - 39 (assuming they beat Kentucky)

Michigan - 38

Notre Dame - 36

Others of note: FSU (32), Miami (34), Texas (26), MSU (32), LSU (36), USC (34), Auburn (33), Florida (33)

Is this a Top 5 program right now? No. Is it a Top 10 program? Yes, without a doubt. That's the level Harbaugh has set.

I don't understand this reaction that in a game that 99% of the blog said they couldn't give a shit about that the result ends up being a referendum on Harbaugh's tenure as a whole.

I'd rather be at this level than the level we found ourselves at starting in 2007.

Step back for a second and realize that this program is solid right now and that Michigan isn't entitled to be Alabama or Clemson. Realize that our primary rival and chief foil just lost one of the three best coaches in college football and replaced him with a guy who has coached a total of 3 games.

As for the original question:

Coaches - B-

Pretty much the grade I'd give all four years. Lost two of the three biggest games and the Ohio St. loss was embarrassing. But, it doesn't take away the utter domination over a 10-week span. Michigan was in the CFP conversation until the last week of the regular season. It's not a success, but it sure as shit not a failure, either.

Players - B

I have zero idea what happened to the defense the last two weeks. It's like they all forgot how to play, simultaneously. Offensive line improved (and some of that is the coaching), receivers all took a step forward. Need more athletes on the outside to really take the next step.

12/21/2018 - 7:15am Only if it ends with Batman,…

Only if it ends with Batman, stoned, talking to The Joker before bursting out laughing and saying "I finally see what's so funny."

12/19/2018 - 5:00pm Best guess is that both will…

Best guess is that both will wait to hear what the NFL guys say. If they hear that both (or one) are a Day 1 or 2 pick, they leave. If they hear Day 3 or undrafted, they stay and work on what the NFL guys say they need to work on. 

Similar to Shea in that regard I'd imagine. 

12/18/2018 - 3:44pm Is it done that both Hill…

Is it done that both Hill and Long are leaving? If one of them stays, that could be an absolute boon. 

Solomon leaving is unfortunate, but he didn't contribute much this year and neither Mone or Marshall were All-B1G level so you're hoping you get that same level of "average" from some combo of Kemp, Dwumfour, Mazi, Jeter, and Hinton. Depth will be the biggest issue just like it was in 2017. 

But, replacing 4/5 starters in the secondary could be a problem given what Don Brown demands from those guys. 

12/18/2018 - 3:31pm Didn't read through all the…

Didn't read through all the comments, but Jake Butt tore his ACL in a meaningless game against Florida State and it's set his NFL career back. 

If an unpaid athlete doesn't want to risk their future career to participate in a virtually pointless game, they shouldn't.

 

12/13/2018 - 2:03pm You aren't alone.

And, how…

You aren't alone.

And, how is that even possible? 

12/13/2018 - 10:35am It’d be nice to have someone…

It’d be nice to have someone from my former HS on Michigan. We had that QB commit for a little bit. Doyle, I think?

12/08/2018 - 12:49pm Refs missed a travel on…

Refs missed a travel on Silva and a kick ball on two straight possessions. JFC how hard can it be to find decent officials?

12/08/2018 - 12:44pm Davis seems like a good dude…

Davis seems like a good dude, but he has no discernible basketball skill. Can’t dribble, shoot, pass, block shots. Just a zero across the board.

12/08/2018 - 12:39pm On that last bucket when…

On that last bucket when Livers got mauled, I’m pretty sure the shot clock froze at 3 and it should’ve been a violation.

12/08/2018 - 12:32pm They’re shooting 55% which…

They’re shooting 55% which is not what they usually shoot.

We’ll see if that holds for the next 30 minutes.

12/08/2018 - 12:19pm Sloppy first 8 minutes and…

Sloppy first 8 minutes and bench guys not knocking down wide open 3s.

 

12/07/2018 - 10:37am This is a salient point…

This is a salient point because every state is different, but these things DO matter. Especially, when a man like T. Boone Pickens is an Okie State booster. And I guarantee you that he has significant pull in the state legislature and would not be thrilled if his university got left behind in a broken Big XII while OU got to rake in the cash in the Big Ten. 

12/04/2018 - 10:53pm Just took a clothesline to…

Just took a clothesline to get a call. 

12/04/2018 - 10:51pm Holy shit fuck these refs…

Holy shit fuck these refs. Matthews got hammered.

12/04/2018 - 10:49pm I mean I love Z, but it’s…

I mean I love Z, but it’s fair to say that he missed 3 straight 3s leading to a 7-0 NW run. 

12/04/2018 - 10:40pm Best guess is that Johns isn…

Best guess is that Johns isn’t big enough to bang in the post and doesn’t understand the rotations, etc. yet.

Davis just has zero offensive skill.

12/04/2018 - 10:32pm Livers has been bad tonight…

Livers has been bad tonight. Two weak And 1 plays given up and a zero on the other end. Need a guy or two on the bench to step up.

 

12/04/2018 - 9:36pm Why are you the way that you…

Why are you the way that you are? 

 

12/04/2018 - 9:18pm I’m going to go out on a…

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Northwestern’s offensive strategy off banked in 3s and one leg fadeaways from 20 feet is not sustainable.

12/04/2018 - 9:25am I like that this fan base is…

I like that this fan base is so broken that the assumption is that a guy who has coached 3 total games in his career is on the same level as a guy who has won 3 national titles. 

Lincoln Riley is one guy who walked into a conference where the only other traditional power was also going through a transition phase and had two potential Heisman-winning QBs in his first two years. 

Ryan Day will probably be fine. They recruit well enough that I can't imagine there will be too much downturn. But, he's also not some unstoppable coaching machine. 

 

11/29/2018 - 7:13am I was just going to say the…

I was just going to say the same thing. This team seems capable of playing any style of basketball. Shots not falling? Win a 54-51 slugfest? Uptempo shootout? Sure. We can score with you too. 3s not falling? Matthews mid-range, Teske inside, and Iggy drives can still get buckets.

And they play HARD.

(The FT thing is very weird. Z is understandable. But everyone else on the team can shoot a little bit. Just bizarre.)

It's also a reminder that sometimes patience is a virtue. Not even two years ago, a large section of Michigan fans were openly wondering if John Beilein should be fired. That is not the case anymore.

 

11/28/2018 - 8:40pm Isn’t it somewhat rumored…

Isn’t it somewhat rumored that Fryar threw that national title game as well? Or was it a different game?

11/28/2018 - 4:53pm There is, I suppose an off…

There is, I suppose an off chance that we could end up in the Holiday.

If Pitt, Northwestern, Georgia, and Texas win that would probably mean...

CFP (4 spots) - Clemson, Georgia, Bama, ND

Rose (2 spots) - Northwestern + Washington/Utah

Sugar (2 spots) - Texas vs Florida

Fiesta/Peach (4 spots) - Pitt (guaranteed as a P5 Champion), UCF or Boise/Fresno (G5), and then 2 spots would be available for Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan, and LSU. You might see a Pitt vs G5 in the Fiesta and then Oklahoma vs OSU in the Peach?

11/28/2018 - 4:45pm I believe because of the way…

I believe because of the way the tie-in is structured that it can't be West Virginia. It has to be one of the two Big XII title game participants.

So, it'll be Oklahoma if they win but don't make the playoff or Texas in all other scenarios.

However, if Georgia beats Alabama and BOTH make the playoff, then Florida is going to the Sugar Bowl and LSU probably plays Michigan in the Peach. As much as I'd hate to see the SEC get two teams in again, I'd much rather play LSU than Florida.

11/28/2018 - 4:42pm I think this is a fair,…

I think this is a fair, accurate assessment of some of the issues, but I would like to give credit to Harbaugh and the staff for figuring out what works best for Shea Patterson and tailoring the offense to that.

I mean, they ran a ton of plays out of the pistol and shotgun when for the past three years, they've been a primarily under center team. So many coaches refuse to adapt THEIR system for the individual talent, but I'm optimistic because JH and crew have shown a willingness to change things up to better fit their personnel.

11/28/2018 - 4:31pm So, I went through the Depth…

So, I went through the Depth Chart By Class and if everyone we think MIGHT leave DOES leave, there will be a few spots that will be question marks.

QB - OUT: Shea / IN: D-Caf

We saw what McCaffrey can do. It will be a slight downgrade, but he can run those read options and RPOs. Needs to build up some arm strength. Hopefully, the collarbone heals.

RB - OUT: Higdon / IN: ?

I can't imagine they'll go with just Evans and Tru as a 1-2 punch next year. Harbaugh likes his Gerhart/Gore/Higdon downhill guys. Seems like a three man competition between Samuels, Turner, and Charbonnet. My hope is that Charbonnet is an impact guy immediately.

SLOT - OUT: Perry / IN: Martin

Martin will be fine. Does McCurry still play or do they try to get one of the true freshmen on the field? I'm still confused as to why McCurry was out there vs OSU.

RT - OUT: JBB / IN: Stueber

We saw what that looked like last week. But, shouldn't be too much of a downgrade if Stueber is better in pass protection.

3TECH - OUT: Marshall / IN: Chris Hinton

Best guess. Kemp and Dwumfour return and will probably rotate as they did this year. Depends on how good Hinton is right off the bat

NOSE - OUT: Mone / IN: Jeter? Mazi Smith?

Solomon HAS to stay healthy next year and have a huge season. The depth here is not great.

ANCHOR - OUT: Gary / IN: Paye (with hopefully either Harrison or Karlaftis taking Paye's snaps)

I actually liked what Paye brought to the table. He'll be okay as a pass rusher (and Gary was never a terror in this regard). If they can land one of the big-time DE recruits, that would be huge.

DE - OUT: Chase / IN: Uche + Hutchinson

Chase will be sorely missed, but Uche is ready to break out and Hutchinson can probably plug in on obvious running downs.

ILB - OUT: Bush / IN: Ross + Gil (instead of one)

Hard to envision McGrone or Anthony pushing out essentially co-starters this year. Not saying it's the right call, but just hard to imagine.

CB - OUT: Errrrybody / IN: Thomas + ?

Honestly, after Ambry there's about 6-7 guys that slide in here.

S - OUT: Kinnel / IN: Daxton Hill

Hawkins might start at the beginning of the year, but I expect to see a lot of Daxton Hill as the season goes on.

When I look it over, the big concern is CB. I think Paye, Hutchinson, Uche, hopefully Harrison and Karlaftis won't be Chase/Gary levels, but are probably an A- unit together. But, Zordich is going to really have to earn his money if both Hill and Long leave for the NFL.

11/28/2018 - 1:07pm Here's your rooting guide:

Here's your rooting guide:

If you want Michigan to play Florida in the Peach Bowl:

Root for chalk. This likely sends Oklahoma to the CFP, OSU to the Rose, and Michigan to the Peach.

If you want Michigan to play Washington/Utah in the Rose Bowl:

Root for Texas, Ohio State, and Alabama (try not to gag). This sends OSU to the playoff and Michigan into the Rose.

If you want Michigan to play UCF/Boise St./Fresno St. in the Fiesta Bowl:

Root for Georgia and Northwestern. Alabama and Georgia would likely go into the CFP. Northwestern would go to the Rose. OSU probably gets Florida in the Peach. Michigan heads to the desert against the G5 team. 

If you want Michigan to play Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and make the CFP:

Root for Alabama, Northwestern, Texas, Utah, and Memphis. 

Not that even in this scenario could I envision Michigan getting in, but they'd have the two best losses of any 2-loss team. Washington could theoretically get in at 10-3 with a Pac-12 title, but Texas and Utah aren't/ jumping from the teens to the Top 4. Maybe Georgia still gets in? But, then the committee would have a SEC Championship rematch in the CFP semis? Can't see it. Also, Michigan would create the most HAWT TAKES. 

 

 

11/28/2018 - 10:56am And maybe it was just a bad…

And maybe it was just a bad day at the office. Here's the list of every team ranked in the Top 10 that lost a game at home this year.

BYU at #6 Wisconsin

#12 LSU at #7 Auburn

#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State 

MSU at #8 Penn State

#1 Alabama at #3 LSU

#6 Georgia at #9 Kentucky

#16 Washington at #8 Washington State

That's 7 games total. 

Hey, you know that Georgia team we yearn to be like? The one tough road game they had all year was against LSU. They lost by 20. 

It's unfortunate that the two years Michigan could've beaten Ohio State they played them in Columbus instead of Ann Arbor. 

I'm not ready to run a coach that has three 10-win seasons in 4 years out of town because he lost in South Bend and Columbus to Top 10 teams. 

11/27/2018 - 12:14pm That was an excellent read…

That was an excellent read. The point about stacking the receiver so Watson couldn't get his hands on him at the line was something I didn't even think about, but makes perfect sense in hindsight. He relies on his physicality to disrupt timing because he doesn't have the pure speed. 

 

11/27/2018 - 10:25am I think it was Brian’s…

I think it was Brian’s preview that mentioned Haskins is a very different QB when pressured. We just didn’t get to him. That was the difference. McSorley, Lewerke, etc. rushed throws and were off because they knew they’d get smacked. Haskins stood in there and fired at will. 

That’s what happened. It’s not a coincidence that Indiana’s pass pro held up well considering and Ramsey had an okay day.

If you can pass protect against Michigan, you can move the ball. 

11/26/2018 - 8:56pm Here are the likely…

Here are the likely scenarios...

If OSU makes the playoffs...

Rose - vs Washington or Utah

If OSU doesn’t make the playoffs, they go to the Rose Bowl.

We won’t be playing Georgia because they are going to either the CFP or the Sugar. 

We could play Oklahoma if they lose to Texas and Georgia beats Bama meaning Georgia and Bama go to the CFP, Texas goes to the Sugar against either LSU or Florida and OU would get a NY6 bid most likely. 

Most likely, though, it’ll be what ESPN predicted:

CFP will be Bama vs OU and Clemson vs ND. They won’t pass up a chance to match UCF and Florida. OSU and the PAC-12 winner go to the Rose. Meaning Michigan gets either LSU or Washington St. in the Fiesta.

 

11/26/2018 - 11:31am This isn't directed at you,…

This isn't directed at you, Brian, but I'm frustrated by the coaching hot takes. 

The offense put up points. 39 might not have been a true 39, but even 28 points wins every game on Michigan's schedule, except this one. 

Don Brown has been the architect of a Top 5 defense for three years running. He's proven he's a good DC. He devised a game plan that was predicated on the following:

1. Winovich and Gary would be able to pressure Haskins (look at Brian's preview for what happens when Haskins gets pressure vs. when he doesn't)

2. Our secondary would hold up in coverage. 

Both of those things were true for 11 games this year. They weren't true for this one.

That's it. That's what happened here. Why did they happen? A few of the starters weren't athletic enough (I do have some issues with continuing to play Gil over Ross). 

As for Winovich and Gary? Man, who the hell knows. 

The offense didn't show up in the ND game. The defense didn't show up in this game. 

But, I'm not going to look back on this season and despair. People were saying 8-4, maybe 9-3 if everything breaks right. They beat the crap out of everybody but the two Top 10 teams they played on the road. I'd rather be 10-2 and going to the Rose or Fiesta Bowl than not. FWIW, if Michigan wins their bowl game, here are the seasons that were better (or similar) in the past 40 years...

2011 - 11-2 (win vs OSU and Sugar Bowl vs VT)

2006 - 11-2 (loss to OSU and Rose Bowl loss to USC)

1999 - 10-2 (wins vs OSU and Orange Bowl vs Bama)

1997 - 12-0

1991 - 10-2 (win vs OSU, lost Rose Bowl to Washington)

1986 - 10-2 (win vs OSU, lost Rose Bowl to ASU)

1985 - 10-1-1 (win vs OSU, won Fiesta Bowl against Nebraska)

1980 - 10-2 (win vs OSU, won Rose Bowl vs Washington)

So, we're looking at one of the 10 best seasons in the past 40 years. At this point, the Ohio State stuff is all that's a negative mark against Harbaugh. We finished above 3rd in the Big Ten East, we won versus a ranked team on the road, we showed up in three consecutive "big games". 

They've won the 7th most games of any program in the country over the past 4 years. This is a Top 10 program. And, yes, I'm upset, but honestly after surviving the late Carr, RichRod, Hoke years, I'm okay with it too. 

 

11/25/2018 - 9:47am I was going to post this as…

I was going to post this as a separate diary, but screw it.

It isn't as bad as it looks, even after yesterday. Since 2015, Michigan is tied for the 7th most wins among P5 programs with 38. The ones ahead of them are:

Alabama (53), Clemson (52), Ohio State (46), Oklahoma (45), Georgia (42), Wisconsin (41)

I'm going to go ahead and discount the Badgers for feasting on what might be the weakest division in P5.

You have Alabama and Clemson who have made or will make the CFP every year for the past 4 and win their conference (minus Bama last year). You have OSU and OU who are just a step below that  and then Georgia who is getting to that level. FWIW, Washington and Stanford are the other teams at 38.

So, yeah, Michigan isn't elite, but they are consistently really good. I don't know if you guys realize this or not, but winning 10-11 games every year is hard to do.

FWIW, here are some of the other numbers that might interest you:

Penn State - 37

Notre Dame - 36

USC - 34

FSU - 32

MSU - 32

 

11/24/2018 - 3:18pm I don’t know what to say. 

I don’t know what to say. 

The defense just didn’t show up. Don Brown got outschemed. 

11/24/2018 - 2:58pm If anybody believed in karma…

If anybody believed in karma, this game is proof it doesn’t exist.

11/24/2018 - 2:50pm This entire year was one…

This entire year was one long con to get us pumped for this game.