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Date Title Body
12/09/2018 - 11:26am I don't have the time right…

I don't have the time right now, and the data would be hard to find, but I'd be interested in doing a study on how many starts players have averaged at the majors over the years.

Was it a couple of years ago that Alabama got a top-100 recruit to grey-shirt? I'd imagine that fewer players these days expect (not the reality of course) to stay in school more than three years.

College football is "helped" by having talent more evenly distributed. But then Alabama or Michigan wouldn't be possible. I'm not sure the scholarship limit, as high as it is, makes a huge difference.

12/06/2018 - 6:40pm These aren't countries where…

These aren't countries where American football is even on the map. I'm surprised, if they want to experience a place most of us don't get a chance to see where there are increasing opportunities for football players (mostly those whose parents emigrate here before high school), that they don't choose Nigeria.

Or when our neat little supply of kickers runs out, maybe Australia or New Zealand. Rather remarkable how many punters in the NFL grew up playing Aussie football.

12/05/2018 - 12:37pm As be-all-end-alls are…

As be-all-end-alls are concerned, I wouldn't expect any less. There's a reason why we don't call UM/Indiana "The Game."

I'm generally happy that Meyer's gone, but I'd be 100 times happier if he had gone out with an L rather than 62 stabs to our hearts.

He's not coaching again. I think he'll end up reinventing himself as an analyst after he takes some time off.

12/04/2018 - 7:28pm Sorry you're irked, WD, but…

Sorry you're irked, WD, but I lean toward meaningless. Bowl games are exhibitions. They get you extra practices. There's benefit to both, but it's a lot closer to meaningless than it is to their previous game.

And, yes, the whole bowl system is largely irrelevant. That doesn't make the sport suck, but the post-season system is terrible. Most of these bowls draw crowds that would embarrass the better Division II programs.

I can't blame Gary for sitting out. He'd be out there if the game meant something. He played hurt when he knew it might affect his draft status. I won't forget that. This bowl game? Too much risk for something that leads to very little.

An opportunity for some youngsters to get real snaps against quality opposition, so it's worth playing. But probably not worth watching.

12/04/2018 - 12:33pm I'm not sure there's anyone…

I'm not sure there's anyone better at the quarterback sneak than Brady. That's a skill that has served the Patriots well.

Kneels are negative yardage, but sack yardage, unlike in college ball, is its own category and counted against net passing yardage (but not gross passing yardage, which is what is reported for quarterbacking stats).

Sometimes it's a judgment call whether a quarterback is making a rushing attempt or getting sacked. You even see the occasional 0-yard sack. Usually, the determination is whether the quarterback gets out of the tackle box and is moving forward, but there are qb draws to consider as well.

12/01/2018 - 9:36pm Congrats again. Knocked off …

Congrats again. Knocked off #12 Pitt on the road, which had the best record in the country at 30-1 going into the match, in five sets. On to the sweet 16 against #5 Texas.

11/28/2018 - 4:20pm It's a fair argument given…

It's a fair argument given the four-team compromise "playoff" system. The question is whether there's momentum to change the system.

Anyway, Michigan went into Columbus, winner-take-all, and really didn't make a good showing. I'm not sure why we'd want this kind of reward.

It's a terrible system. Let's say Michigan is 11-1 or 12-0 right now, then lost to Northwestern. Is it fair that the conference is penalized by not having a playoff team?

Or let's say the stars align, and Alabama destroys Georgia, Northwestern does its Fitzgeraldy thing to Ohio State, Oklahoma drops one to Texas. Even throw in a Clemson howler for good measure, though it's not necessary.

Now we're trying to compare Michigan to UCF and its schedule strength of tapioca pudding? No thanks. I want a real playoff system where the major conference championship games are part of the round of 16 so that they're not rendered even less useful than they are today.

11/27/2018 - 3:08pm So, they gave us a parking…

So, they gave us a parking meter to celebrate, um, whatever it is we're supposed to celebrate after Saturday?

Does it count down the minutes until the Wolverines can win a real trophy?

Yeah, I'm passing on this one. I hope Harbaugh does, too. Rather than putting it in Schembechler Hall, they can nail it to a post outside the Law Quad and laugh as exhausted students try stuffing quarters in it.

11/25/2018 - 1:10am There's a wide gap between…

There's a wide gap between great season and not-so-great season. Today was a bad day. Today was also the only day on the calendar that really mattered.

It is not unreasonable to expect the team to focus on this game, to the point where focus was almost lost on Indiana and maybe even Rutgers as well.

The effort put forth today was not good enough. That's not about entitled; that's about how to measure priorities within Michigan football. I think they got caught up in this "revenge" thing when a couple of flukes against Michigan State hardly constitutes urgency. Today was urgency.

Sure, the sun rises tomorrow. But I think it's reasonable to be upset and it's not reasonable to call today an anomaly. It is a real problem that Harbaugh must put first next year above all other distraction. He knows this. He will be better next year.

11/24/2018 - 4:38pm I credit Winovich and Gary…

I credit Winovich and Gary for playing hurt. Quality players; just bad luck that they couldn't be their best in a game of this magnitude for the program.

11/24/2018 - 4:21pm I never want to hear …

I never want to hear "revenge tour" again as long as I live. There is no other game that matters at this school. If you can't beat OSU, who cares about the others?

I'm glad there's a bowl game because of the extra practices, but I have no interest in seeing it.

You can never have enough healthy defensive linemen. Can't play man-to-man against real receivers without pressure on the QB.

11/24/2018 - 2:58pm Haskins has almost as many…

Haskins has almost as many yards passing as there have been commercials on Fox today. It's insult to injury - just about at the three-hour mark and they're drawing this out like Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. I think it's time to turn this one off.

11/24/2018 - 1:33pm I'd rather see them 0-11…

I'd rather see them 0-11 right now and putting forth a plucky effort than whatever this is. Revenge tour? Tour? None of it matters a bit if they don't get this one right.

11/24/2018 - 10:44am What's sad is that if one…

What's sad is that if one single call goes Michigan's way, you know everyone down there is going to accuse Delany of rigging the game for the good of the conference's playoff chances.

11/22/2018 - 5:50pm Oh, I don't hate the Bears…

Oh, I don't hate the Bears. I've watched them many times lately. We can argue what Nagy is doing with the extra points, but I don't agree with your take at all. They aren't children.

Daniel has never earned the starting role because he has a noodle arm. It's just what it is. A solid backup who you don't want to see starting for any length of time. He knows the game, he's somewhat mobile. He can't make many of the throws NFL starters need to make. That's all.

I poked fun with the Grossman comment not because they're all that similar (aside from both being small, Grossman was not mobile at all, and his arm isn't that weak), but because the Bears made it to a Super Bowl with him and he was a weak link in that team, so that represents something to Bears nation.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the holiday. Turkey's just about ready here.

11/22/2018 - 2:16pm After Parkey plonked the…

After Parkey plonked the uprights four times in one game a couple of weeks ago, they stopped trying extra points. Maybe that made a small amount of sense with Trubisky, but it's not a percentage move when A) you've downgraded to Rex Grossman (I mean, Chase Daniel), B) your opponent is expecting it, and has done extra work on your goal-line plays and C) it forces you to exhaust your good goal-line plays rather than save them for regular offense.

The bottom line is that if you don't think your kicker is naturally a 95-98% kicker on extra points indoors, you should examine the scrap heap.

11/22/2018 - 1:15pm After one quarter, Wladimir…

After one quarter, Wladimir Klitschko seems to be slightly ahead on the judges' cards. This one looks like it will go to the scorecards.

11/18/2018 - 5:41pm ESPN became dead to me when…

ESPN became dead to me when they ran the Tom Osborne "retire with a championship" campaign in '97, culminating with audible cheering from behind the scenes when they announced their final poll live early in the morning following the Rose Bowl.

I don't think I've watched SportsCenter since that morning. Doubt I've missed much.

In the meantime, their assessment of the rigors of the AAC schedule... sounds like their analysis hasn't improved in the last 21 years.

11/17/2018 - 8:02pm Post-game interview:

---

Post-game interview:

---

"So, <random Michigan offensive player | clock management coordinator | play-caller>, your word this season is FINISH, what does that mean to you?"

---

"Well... I guess a good post-game sauna, and maybe we're flying to Helsinki for next year's spring trip."

11/17/2018 - 5:48pm I'm trying to see the…

I'm trying to see the positives in that first half, and it's just mistake after mistake, even though it's a close game. Wasted opportunities, defensive lapses, winding up with throwing away points at the end of the half.

I never thought I'd see Long flat-out beaten in a head-to-head without a deep threat.

This is why the SEC schedules FCS games the week before rivalry week.

Hopefully a fire can be lit right now. For a lot of these guys, it's their last appearance in Ann Arbor.

11/17/2018 - 4:57pm Hopefully, the DL can win…

Hopefully, the DL can win some battles now. Really uncharacteristic start for them. One three-and-out and this game looks a whole lot better.

11/16/2018 - 9:21pm Normally, I'd say it's a… Normally, I'd say it's a good idea to declare early if your name is getting out there as a top prospect. I think quarterbacks, however, should use every single college playing opportunity they have. The numbers correlating NFL success to number of college starts for quarterbacks are far too strong to ignore.
11/08/2018 - 6:51am Since we're stuck with 14…

Since we're stuck with 14-team conferences and conference championship games, they should mean something.

I've been advocating this idea for a couple of years now.

Take the 5 major conference champions. Seed them 1-5. Add six more teams, by committee. 6 plays 11, 7 plays 10, 8 plays 9. Those three winners reach the round of eight along with the champions.

This eliminates the Notre Dame advantage of not having to risk a solid championship game, while giving them a six-seed as reward. There's room for UCF in this model. There's room for that second-place divisional team (like LSU) that seems good enough but has key losses.

11/06/2018 - 5:42am Are we certain Brady Hoke…

Are we certain Brady Hoke isn't the poster in question?

11/05/2018 - 12:03am What I want is for Michigan…

What I want is for Michigan to go into Columbus with the Big Ten on the line (can't have everything, so I'll settle for division) and come out with a win. Preferably a win that leaves absolutely no question that Michigan went on the road and dominated a Buckeye team that had a lot to lose.

I don't care what happens afterward. If Michigan is 12-1 and not in the playoff, that's on the NCAA, not on the Wolverines.

As for the state college of New Jersey, spreads are just informational. I'd be happy with a ten-point win as long as no one gets hurt. Happier if Peters gets some real playing time (not because of injury) and looks good.

11/03/2018 - 11:11pm This time by a combined…

This time by a combined score of 101-27. Hard to wrap my head around that one.

Current Big Ten win streaks: Michigan 8W, MSU 2W, four at 1W.

10/31/2018 - 11:28pm Michigan is loaded at the…

Michigan is loaded at the pitcher position now. Schaefer is no slouch, and would be #1 at many programs.

From Storako's UM bio:

Prep
• Graduated from Lincoln Way East High School (2018)
• Named to the 2018 MaxPreps All American first team
• MaxPreps Underclass All American as a junior (2017)
• Two-time Illinois All-State first team (2017, 18), second team (2016) and special mention (2015)
• Named Daily Herald Player of the Year (2018) and Co-Player of the Year (2017); also named 2017 Daily Southtown/Chicago Tribune Player of the Year
• Named Southwest Suburban Conference Softball Player of the Year (2018); three-time All-Conference selection (2016, '17, '18)
• Selected as 2017-18 Lincoln Way East High School's Senior Female Athlete of the Year
• Posted a career record of 70-19 with 918 strikeouts; went 21-2 with a 0.76 ERA and 255 strikeouts as a senior (2018)
• Played travel ball with the Sparks Premier 18U club
• Named to the 2018 PGF Central Region All American Team 
• Honor Roll; National Honor Society

Lincoln Way East High School's Senior Female Athlete of the Year... she has that particular award in common with my wife.

10/31/2018 - 9:12pm Nice job with the scheduling…

Nice job with the scheduling.

It's too bad the Big Ten won't support softball by ensuring Michigan plays the solid west division teams every year. It would be imbalanced, but the results of the current system have been a consistent downgrade from the NCAA when it comes time to make tournament invites. It has hurt Minnesota and Nebraska as well.

Rutgers, Penn State and Maryland, especially, should not be scheduled until they start fielding competitive programs. I get that softball isn't big in the northeast so it would be difficult for them, but those weekend series' late in the season are RPI killers.

Michigan has to react, and this is a good reaction. They have to be everywhere there's a good tournament during the early spring.

10/29/2018 - 5:48pm I used to be a vi partisan,…

I used to be a vi partisan, but the tools that come with environments like Visual Studio and Eclipse are making this argument a little less relevant. Whichever one you decide to learn should become ingrained enough in muscle memory (like typing) that switching would be difficult.

10/24/2018 - 4:37pm It would probably violate a…

It would probably violate a lot of rules, but I'm for hiring Ms. Coney-Shepherd as team spokesperson.

10/23/2018 - 7:31pm If there's a playoff and…

If there's a playoff and Michigan is 12-1 with this schedule and isn't invited... Honestly, that's more an indictment of the system than something I could find myself caring about.

10/22/2018 - 5:57pm We've just had the best two…

We've just had the best two-week run since, I don't know, at least the Carr era.

I don't think it's a terrible question. At least to an old-timer conditioned to equate success with Rose Bowl trips and National Championships were more media constructions.

For most of my life, beating Ohio State meant more Rose Bowl. Bo vs. Woody. Life itself. I can't divest myself of that.

Now we have a split Big Ten where we're somehow lumped with Maryland and Rutgers, but not Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa (and with the eight-game conference schedule, each will visit Ann Arbor once every seven years), and a conference championship that seems to do more harm than good. And then this bizarre playoff, which penalizes the most competitive conferences while giving Central Florida even more reason to pointlessly woof.

It would be interesting to see if this defense could stop Alabama, but if it can't, that's something that won't make this season any less interesting. Losing to Ohio State would mean 2018, as nice as the last couple of weeks have been, has still left a lot of unfinished business.

So while I'm inclined to say "let's enjoy this for the moment, focus on good practices and Penn State," the answer is really an easy one for me: beat OSU. I think this will always be the right answer.

10/21/2018 - 5:58pm Even with the lack of title…

Even with the lack of title hardware so far, I think the evidence is building that Harbaugh is restoring the Michigan swagger, for lack of a better description. College football has evolved from the "Big 2, Little 8" days, and it takes an exceptional coach to navigate the higher-competition, higher-scoring field and build a consistent winner.

Harbaugh's putting together that resume. Success against Ohio State is the missing piece, but his teams have been quite competitive and the 2016 game was, frankly, stolen. I'm not normally one to blame the refs for a loss, but the calls in that game combined with the demographics of the crew... that wasn't a good look for the Big Ten. See my join date here as evidence of just how frustrated that game made me. I was a long-time mogblog lurker, but had never posted before.

Anyway, some numbers on our last few coaches. Keep in mind that Harbaugh's are a little skewed because he has four seasons of early non-conference fodder and three seasons of OSU and bowls. But they're still quite encouraging numbers:

Overall Winning Pct
Schembechler (194-48-5) .796
Moeller (44-13-3) .758
Carr (122-40) .753
Harbaugh (35-12) .745
Hoke (31-20) .608
Rodriguez (15-22) .405

Big Ten
Schembechler (143-24-3) .850
Carr (81-23) .779
Moeller (30-8-2) .775
Harbaugh (23-8) .742
Hoke (18-14) .563
Rodriguez (6-18) .250

Michigan Stadium
Schembechler (115-16-3) .869
Carr (74-12) .860
Harbaugh (22-4) .846
Hoke (23-5) .821
Moeller (22-8-1) .726
Rodriguez (11-11) .500

True Road Games
Moeller (19-4-2) .800
Schembechler (74-20-2) .781
Carr (42-21) .667
Harbaugh (11-6) .647
Hoke (7-12) .368
Rodriguez (4-10) .286

Bowl Games
Moeller (4-1) .800
Carr (6-7) .462
Hoke (1-2) .333
Harbaugh (1-2) .333
Schembechler (5-12) .294
Rodriguez (0-1) .000

vs Michigan State
Schembechler (17-4) .810
Carr (10-3) .769
Moeller (3-2) .600
Harbaugh (2-2) .500
Hoke (1-3) .250
Rodriguez (0-3) .000

vs Ohio State
Moeller (3-1-1) .700
Schembechler (11-9-1) .548
Carr (6-7) .462
Hoke (1-3) .250
Harbaugh (0-3) .000
Rodriguez (0-3) .000

Points Per Game
Harbaugh 32.9
Moeller 31.9
Hoke 29.2
Schembechler 28.8
Carr 28.7
Rodriguez 27.6

Points Allowed Per Game
Schembechler 11.4
Harbaugh 16.1
Moeller 16.7
Carr 18.3
Hoke 21.6
Rodriguez 30.7

Percentage of Total Points Scored
Schembechler 71.7
Harbaugh 67.2
Moeller 65.7
Carr 61.1
Hoke 57.5
Rodriguez 47.4

10/21/2018 - 3:05am I have to look away. Instant… I have to look away. Instant motion sickness. If it weren't a game I really wanted to watch, I'd find something else.
10/17/2018 - 7:03pm It's not baseball. Gary is… It's not baseball. Gary is so disruptive that the offense has to work around him. Brown can be confident that if Gary has an assignment, he will not only hold it, but if the offense does use extra resources to negate him on a play, other defenders will be free to blow it up. Bush can use his extraordinary talents with confidence that being aggressive won't hurt the defense. The DTs won't draw double teams. Winovich might be left with just one guy in space. Gary is a difference-maker on defense, and he can do it against any opponent. There just aren't many in college like him. Losing him is almost as bad as losing a starting QB.
10/15/2018 - 6:27pm Another point to make here…

Another point to make here is that through last week, he was in on 61% of Oakland's defensive plays. That's a full load for a defensive tackle in the NFL. Pro teams do not skimp on medical evaluations, and it's unlikely the Raiders would risk the fallout if they overworked Hurst and caused harm. They are not holding him back in the slightest.

Since there really are no secrets in the NFL and the Combine is designed to provide opportunity for medical evaluation, I'm really puzzled by this case. Why was he drafted so low if A) he has first-round ability and B) he apparently passed what he needed to pass to assure teams he was healthy?

Frankly, this is a mystery to me. Admittedly, I don't know everything about the NFL, but I've got nothing here.

10/13/2018 - 4:56pm I assume the reason Nebraska…

I assume the reason Nebraska scheduled Bethune-Cookman to replace the canceled Akron game was to completely ensure not having a winless season (much like he-who-shall-not-be-named and Delaware State).

But even when they do show up and aren't terrible, they find a way. Frost is not off to a good start.

10/10/2018 - 3:29am Another idea, and perhaps it…

Another idea, and perhaps it's not a good one... I read that Houston was shutting down those parlors with those realistic looking dolls that people could rent. So there are probably a lot of, um, used (for lack of a better term) life-sized dolls flooding the market right now at a reasonable price. Put some Wings paraphernalia on them, break them out to fill out the crowd. Win/win. As long as the guys in neighboring seats don't get carried away...

10/09/2018 - 7:31pm It's not a tired argument…

It's not a tired argument. As I said, it's not simple. There's a piece of this agreement that returns the "loan" of tax revenue to preferred recipients like the schools. Not sure if all the schools that lost this funding get it returned, but since I mentioned Detroit's schools, they are included.

So there are essentially two money issues related (and this is a heck of a lot better than the situation in the '90s with most stadium construction). First, when you get this kind of access to funding, other sources can't obtain the lower cost loans. The stadium "cuts" to the front of bond funding line. So what isn't going to be funded because of this? This is 30 years of funding opportunity that will be replaced only at a higher lending cost.

And second, when you increase taxes in a DDA, for the health of the business community (and therefore the health of those who work there), are you buying something that actually helps as much as other possible uses of the money? Studies suggest a new stadium has less business impact than one retail block, but perhaps that's changing as the Amazon model gains more of a foothold.

There's a vanity value in having professional sports and pumping that into a recognizable metro area. That's something. It might not be much in the way of revenue, but the area itself benefits. There's a reason the Pistons didn't become the Auburn Hills Pistons when they were there.

Can't say much to the John Oliver argument. I know who he is, but I've never seen the show.

10/09/2018 - 4:49pm I remember the controversy…

I remember the controversy over using hundreds of millions in tax revenue to build the arena. Money that was supposed to go to the Detroit schools, not that school funding is that simple.

I studied the issue of using public money for new stadiums. Owners want them because they can charge more for the suites (and have more suites with the latest amenities). But they always say it will increase attendance and create jobs.

However, attendance in every sport is linked to the quality of the team and the jobs from stadium construction are mostly temporary and often not filled by locals, meaning the multiplier from employment is much lower.

It's $100 for the cheaper seats now? Yeah. Not sure I'd pay that even if the team were good.

09/29/2018 - 5:59pm That just wasn't a good…

That just wasn't a good penalty to take. Very frustrating. I wasn't that troubled by Notre Dame. This one seems significant. They're not properly prepared today.

09/26/2018 - 9:08pm If only my ad-blocker worked…

If only my ad-blocker worked to keep me from wondering what the hell is a rental complex and snap-on franchise.

Yeah, those ads... I figure divorce lawyers are the ones running all those mail-order bride sites. No other way it makes sense.

09/21/2018 - 2:43pm Pep Hamilton and X, Y and Z?…

Pep Hamilton and X, Y and Z? Sure. They walk into a bar. Pass protection breaks down. Third and 14.

09/15/2018 - 7:19pm I am disappointed that they… I am disappointed that they fell just short of the program record for penalties. But, aside from that and some lapses against Proche, the defense had its moments. What do you do? The game may have been competitive more than we would have liked, but the Metellus pick effectively secured it and it's hard to evaluate SMU's second-half drives because the flags were flying at a silly rate and that has to affect the defense, too. You're told by a coach who KNOWS (Don Brown) to play aggressive and it works, and then you're told to be careful because the referees are calling things a lot closer than you're used to seeing... that's hard to process. The game was in hand - they did what they needed to do to put up a 25-point win over a bottom-five conference opponent. We really don't know what we have this year, and in all likelihood because of Nebraska's QB situation, it might be a while before we do know.
09/15/2018 - 5:05pm OK... Metellus impresses… OK... Metellus impresses sometimes.
09/09/2018 - 12:35am He's completely at peace now…

He's completely at peace now, knowing full well that even if Nebraska finishes 4-7, he can "legitimately" claim a share of the national championship.

09/04/2018 - 9:54pm Not to mention he completely…

Not to mention he completely left out Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And now poor Cedric is dead.

09/03/2018 - 3:18pm I think it's a good idea, as…

I think it's a good idea, as long as he's continuing to look at the backups (which, of course, the staff is doing). If UM can't mop the floor with WMU (not a bad team, but not the same talent level as ND), then this season isn't going to go well anyway. Give the tackles a bit of confidence, and hopefully they'll respond. I know... Runyon seems to be in a place where improvement is unlikely. But the staff is far better able to make that decision. They have the tape. It's not like they don't want to win.

09/02/2018 - 12:35pm An offensive line is…

An offensive line is somewhat of a unit. A good play system understands what individuals can and can't do and covers those weaknesses.

It seems clear the tackles aren't capable of executing the current play system against what's probably the best defense Michigan will face until Ohio State (unless they've morphed into the Tecmo Bowl Ohio State we saw yesterday). That's a lot of time to figure things out - assuming they noticed what we all noticed about the tackle play.

I'm less discouraged than most. Partially because I just don't give a damn about any game not involving the Big Ten and partially because this team clearly has a lot of talent. Unfortunately, we won't know more for a few weeks.

09/01/2018 - 2:12pm I'm trying to enjoy all…

I'm trying to enjoy all these choices. I picked today to start cord-cutting. Switched from cable to a Roku with Vue.

For those of you who have made this type of a switch, what do you do without channel numbers? It takes about 20 button presses to switch channels on a Roku. I like to go from game to game during commercials and video reviews. No back button, no anything that resembles navigation. Even getting to the program guide (which cuts off many titles so you don't know what game is on anyway) is always a minimum of three button-presses away.