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11/18/2018 - 8:46pm Ok IU guy, here’s my take…

Ok IU guy, here’s my take after watching the clip on Twitter way too many times and becoming more and more enraged about 72’s bullshit.  

In the clip we see Chase with his right hand on the turf and his right knee above the turf.  We cannot see 72, nor Chase’s left leg, knee, nor hand as Bush and Gil obstruct our view.  As Gil and Bush move apart, we see 72’s butt and legs and Chase now has his right hand and knee on the turf to the right (our left) of 72’s right leg, his left knee to the left of 72’s right leg, and seemingly (because we cannot see it) his left hand on the turf to the left of 72’s left hip.  Also, we see that Marshall’s right knee is right next to Chase’s left knee and 72’s left foot is on Marshall’s thigh.  Basically, 72 is face down with Chase straddling his right leg with both Chase and Marshall’s knees between his legs — kind of an awkward position.  

But, from the looks of it, Chase is making an attempt to keep from falling on 72, hence the hands down on the turf as his momentum carries him forward.  This is where things get really going.  It looks to me as if 72 might have made a quick upward and leftward (to our right) move with his right heel into Chase’s crotch — notice how Chase’s butt kind of goes up a bit as in, “oh shit, my balls!”  Chase then start to get up, puts his left hand on 72’s left hamstring/butt cheek and we see 72’s big white shoe come quickly back to the right (our left) and crash into Chase’s right shin.  This is clear, and not speculative like the ball kicking, as we see Chase’s right leg bow outward from the blow.  

Moments later we see Chase quickly rise up and 72’s big left shoe slide off Marshall’s right thigh (as he gets up too). Now again, speculation, but it looks to me as if Chase quickly pulls his left foot (the one he’s about to step forward with) away from 72’s left shoe — maybe 72 was trying to kick with his other foot too?  One thing is certain, when Chase steps on 72’s right ankle 72’s foot is still against Chase’s right shin.  

From there, Chase’s head starts to come up — he wasn’t directly looking at 72 — and he steps on his ankle.  Was it intentional? I think so.  But, I think he was kicked twice (once in the balls) and possibly an attempted 3rd time, and he wanted 72’s big old shit kicker off his shin so he stepped on it.

Personally, I feel like had it not been intentional he’d have given a little, “oh shit!” hop like one would do when stepping on dog shit.  I don’t blame him one bit for stepping on 72’s ankle, and when 21-22 years old I’d have done the same thing.  72 is a meathead, cheap shot artist, as we saw throughout the game.  He knows he kicked Chase in the nuts and shin, so he shouldn’t be surprised he got stepped on.  But, for that matter, Chase shouldn’t be surprised, after stepping on his ankle, that the guy cheaped him given the chance — that’s what cheapshot artists, they cheap you first and when you cheap them back, they use that as fuel to keep on cheaping you.  

Fuck 72 and fuck IU.  They clearly came out intent upon hurting our chances to win the B10 — not by beating us — by playing dirty bullshit with hopes of causing injuries.  

11/18/2018 - 2:27pm I disagree with this take. …

I disagree with this take.  I’m not exhonorating Chase — it pretty clear to me, because he didn’t hop off when he felt the leg under his foot, that he didn’t make an attempt to mitigate his action.  However, as I’m trying to be objective as possible here, I think the IU player was flailing his leg around a bit, and the more I watch it, he looks like he might have been trying to kick Chase a bit.   He then tries to get up quickly, even with players on his back. 

Bottom line for me — as someone who wouldn’t shy away from these kinds of interaction on the field back in the day — when you bring that game you need to be prepared for the consequences.  That said, the IU player’s cheap shot is 100% NOT mitigated by what Chase did.  It’s understandable that he’d be looking for his chance to get back at him, and he certainly did, but BOTH should have probably drawn flags.  This idea that posting this vid somehow exhonorates the cheap shot on Chase is laughable.  But, as I said, you bring that game you’re going to get it back.  

11/18/2018 - 2:16pm I disagree with this take. …

...

11/18/2018 - 1:38pm See my post above.  

I want…

See my post above.  

I want to give Chase the benefit of the doubt, but ... 

11/18/2018 - 12:47pm It sure looks 72 moved his…

It sure looks 72 moved his leg under Chase’s foot, and I want to believe that is what happened.  Whether it did or didn’t go down that way we’ll never know.  But, what’s 100% obvious is that 72 took it as intentional and that prompted his response.  I was furious with 72 during the game, and I still think he’s a thug, but at least now I get why he did what he did.

I know football and all, but maybe (assuming it was accidental) Chase would have been better severed to give the guy the, “oh shit, my bad ... “ type reaction in an attempt to diffuse the situation.  I love Chase, and would be very disappointed to know he did that intentionally — I don’t like how he throws his hands up and looks at the ref, that’s usually an indication of some knowledge of what he was doing.  To me, if it’s 100% accidental he would have made more of a hop off the leg once he felt it under his foot.  Either way, Chase needs to be more careful.  

11/14/2018 - 10:55am With all the talk of what…

With all the talk of what the CFP Committee will do, “if XYZ happens ... “ I love the fact that the players and coaches are laser focused on the task at hand, rep by rep, practice by practice, week by week.  I think teams pay lip service to this at times, when in reality they’re listening to the hype.  As is often the case, experience (and often bad a experience) is the best teacher.  As Shea said, the team felt they were on the right track but ND was a wake up call for them and seemed to up their focus and intensity.  

The results are uncertain, but I think it’s clear that Harbaugh has a very specific type of player he recruits and wants on the team — not only schematically, but culturally as well, and we’re seeing the results of that selection this year perhaps more than any other year.  This team is so fun to follow.  Not just because of how they’re playing, but also because of how close they are and how, together with the coaching staff, they’re able to lock in on their task and attack it with relentless focus and intensity.  

This is what I’ve been expecting to see from a Harbaugh coaches Michigan program.  

Go Blue!

11/13/2018 - 8:28pm ^^^ This is 100% correct, M…

^^^ This is 100% correct, M-Dog!

Part of me want that to happen to make a real playoff/CFB Championship, but then I don't want to Michigan to be the martyr.

 

11/05/2018 - 1:52pm My most profound gripe with…

My most profound gripe with the CFP is the fact that the Committee seems constantly plays a double-standard card when it comes to conference strength.  Meaning, when it suit their need — like when there is chaos in the SEC or the ACC — they’ll decide that it’s because the conference is so good they’re canabalizing each other.  They make excuses for their favored teams and they punish teams and conferences they don’t like.  

Further, and in that same vein, they insist that their decisions are about this season, but it’s clear to me that they’ve got Alabama and Clemson so far above everyone else and, due in part to weak schedules, their bias is confirmed.  If the CFP were like any other normal playoff structure there would be hard and fast rules for invitations.   I don’t care if it’s 4, 6, 8, 16 or 32 teams, there MUST some criteria.  

For example, in the scenarios above, it’s clear that Alabama would have to lose TWICE to be eliminated from the CFP.  Is there any other team afforded that benefit?  Unequivocally, not!  I don’t understand what is so hard about picking 8 conferences — yes even lower conferences — and the conference champions AND ONLY the champion is in ... FULL STOP.   But but but ... YES, I think the MW or MAC or American champ deserves to be in over the 2nd place SEC team.  People claim that it would cheapen the OOC schedule but I think the complete opposite.  

Alabama and Wisconsin, et. al., refuse to play quality OCC road games to pave their way to a top ranking.   OOC games would be awesome when they don’t matter toward your ability to get into the CFP.  We got away from the sports writers picking because it was 100% subjective.  We’ve now seen two pseudo-objective systems which are far worse because they REWARD teams for a) playing soft schedules; and b) NOT winning their conference.   

Maybe if the CFP were structured this way the conferences would do better job of dividing their talent, maybe even making a fluctuating system where there are no set divisions, they’re realigned annually based upon the previous year.  IDK, but anything is better than having 1-2 untouchable teams in untouchable conferences that have a mainline in every year.  

Oh and ND?  Fuck you!  Join the B10 West if you want a chance to play.  This independent bullshit is done.   So yes, CFU deserves a a chance.   It’s ridiculous that we’re going through these mechanations every season.  

11/04/2018 - 10:59pm You just can’t resist, huh? …

You just can’t resist, huh?  

Do you think needing to score only 14, 8 and 8 points (even counting garbage time) to beat Wisconsin, MSU and PSU respectively, has anything to do with this “play calling” bone you won’t seem to let go of?

FFS, it’s as if you don’t pay any attention to what goes on.  Harbaugh calls the plays, and has final call on the design.  If they’re designed a certain way it’s because HARBAUGH wants them that way.  His game plan is one of constriction, of crushing defense, of wearing out the opposition with T.O.P. and selectively taking shots.  Why is that so disagreeable?  

The irony of your post would be impressive if it weren’t so sad that you can’t see it.  

11/04/2018 - 10:48pm I’ve asked this question as…

I’ve asked this question as I never read other sports fan blog ... do other fans seem to have a perverse obsession with pessimism as posters on MGBlog.  

The ND and NW games were pretty much the same — undeveloped offense for Michigan and a few scripted plays by the opposing team.  Waivering is normal, but so many get so irrational.  To me, it seems the ND and NW experiences have had a profound effect on this team.  Add in the humiliations of last year, the Revenge Tour, and this team is playing it’s best, most motivated, most disciplined football at the absolute correct time.  

What more can we ask for?  

10/26/2018 - 8:51am Question: do other programs…

Question: do other programs have characters like Marcus Ray (and Braylon Edwards)?  Guys who played, were champions, but now make a living trashing and disrespecting the program? I ask because I don’t really spend any time reading/listening to commentary about other program except from the national pundits.  

It’s so odd to me.  There are always going to be homers, and being critical when criticizism is warranted is fair.  But, Marcus seems to go out of his way to shit on Michigan.  

10/25/2018 - 1:50pm C’mon man!

You wear your…

C’mon man!

You wear your football knowledge on your sleeve and yet in re: the Northwestern game, your reactionary comments totally discount the opposition, their skill and their preparation.   

We all know Fitz is a quality coach, and he had bye week to prepare and motivate his squad.  Add to that their QB hitting pass after pass to near perfectly covered WR’s and we saw 2-3 series early where Michigan was simply out executed. 

If it were a boxing match, NW caught us with a few quick punches.  Could they have more prepared for those punches?  I suppose so.  But as Coach Brown has said, you don’t want your guys chasing ghosts and sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the opposition.

I find this constant need to find fault very frustrating.  Before you say it, I’m NOT claiming Harbaugh is perfect — no coach is.  But, to say they weren’t ready for NW totally discount NW, and most importantly, the adjustment made that facilitated a 20-0 run and victory.  If they truly weren’t prepared their adjustments wouldn’t have worked and they might well have lost.  

Again, someone like you should know that and be a voice of reason rather than carrying the proverbial gas can.  “Well played, Fitz ... (for 10-15 minutes) but better played by Harbaugh & Co.” Football isn’t math and defense is harder than offense.   

10/25/2018 - 9:00am “We really need Bama to win…

“We really need Bama to win out though. Bama losing to say LSU could easily fuck us out of a playoff spot.”

This ^^^ 1000%

LSU being in the mix along with ND really makes this CFP troublesome if Michigan plays itself in.  Along with TCOB, Michigan needs LSU to get throttled by Alabama and preferably stumble against Arkansas or A&M.  

I’d like to believe that if Michigan wins out and wins the B10 we’re in, but I don’t trust the committee to not put two SEC teams in along with ND and Clemson.

10/25/2018 - 8:53am I made the same speculative…

I made the same speculative argument to a buddy yesterday: Michigan’s defense looks like one of the few that could possibly stop Alabama’s offense.  Flip the coin, however, and I’m not so sure the same holds true.  

Obviously, these takes are hawt, but I think it’s fun for us fans to imagine.  I’d be willing to bet that the Team 100% focused on improving this week, and next week getting ready for PSU.  

10/24/2018 - 11:11am Ok Oldie,

I apologize for…

Ok Oldie,

I apologize for calling you a shit head — especially in light of the effusive praise of the program just yesterday!

Once again, I’m 100% tolerant of opinions with which I disagree.  However, if I disagree I will challenge them — in large part, that’s was fan boards are for.  

Sans name calling (see apology above), I’ve neither the time nor the inclination to sift through 1000’s of MGoBlog posts looking for those that display the negative  slant of which is spoke.  But, your post yesterday aside, do you deny that you’re often negative?

10/24/2018 - 9:45am Yes, I’m sure.  

Yes, I’m sure.  

10/24/2018 - 9:43am No I just detest shit heads…

No I just detest shit heads like you who are always trying to stir the pot and find ways to discredit and shame the coaching staff.  

If she’s taking a “direct shot at the staff” and believes it’s their fault he’s in this predicament, why would she continue to point out his commitment to the team and the program?  You LOOK for these things over and over, just like Don, Butterfield, etc.  It’s like you desperately want something to go badly and wrong.

It’s not about being contrary to my opinion that rankles me, it’s being anti-Michigan — and nearly everything you post has a subtle (and overt, at times) anti-Michigan/Harbaugh tone.  

10/24/2018 - 9:29am You couldn’t resist, huh? …

You couldn’t resist, huh?  Did you call Don and have a good old fashioned grumble session before you posted this? Always stirring the pot, always trying to foment discord and outrage!

She commenting that at Michigan it’s “go or no go” nothing in between — oh the humanity ... won’t someone please think about the children!

Grow old faster!

10/24/2018 - 9:05am Love the use of, “fuck all” …

Love the use of, “fuck all” (one of my favorites) ... sorry to be one of those guys, but, fuck all means, “nothing” as in, “I’m doing all the work and you’re sitting there doing FUCK ALL!”

Drop the “doesn’t” and you’re 100% right ... Rashan owes Michigan fans fuck all!

10/24/2018 - 8:50am I’ve never doubted Rashan…

I’ve never doubted Rashan one iota.  Rashan is, as his mother said and we all know, a Michigan Man and a warrior.  

Rest up, get well, and come around that corner in Columbus for a game-changing strip sack!

Go Blue!

10/23/2018 - 9:39am True.  But usually, it’s…

True.  But usually it’s just a bad game and it seems to galvanize the squad.  This, IMO, is much more than just a bad game.  I believe they’ll be ready for Michigan, but like MSU found out last week, this is a very different Michigan team.  Obviously, nothing is guaranteed and it’ll be a fight.   But, OSU looks as vulnerable — both culturally and schematically — as I’ve ever seen then, and certainly under Meyer.  

 

10/23/2018 - 9:31am Although the Purdue score…

Although the Purdue score was a bit surprising because, Purdue ... to me, at least, I’ve been expecting this sort of chaos within the program and the fan base.  

Meyer looks like hell and is not well, IMO.  I have to imagine this scandal has really exasperated what seemed to be ailing him.   Further, and perhaps most importantly, the players — like I expected — seem to be having a hard time trusting and playing up to their potential for Meyer after his facade was lifted for everyone to see.  How does one — even a dimwit Buckeye — sit in meetings and listen to all the rah rah from a man who you KNOW is a pathological liar?  Unless you’re a complete sociopath, you can’t.  

You can fake it and pretend you’re 100% locked in, but trust and belief are HUGE aspects of success in team sports.  What I saw Saturday night were two teams on complete opposite ends of the motivational spectrum — OSU quit on Meyer because they cannot remove the reality of him being exposed for what he really is.  

I’m not saying it’s over, by any means.  But, between the way he looks and the way his players quit, things are not looking good in Columbus.   Clearly those that made the decision to keep Meyer overlooked or downplayed these concerns and they took the poison pill.  It’s festering inside the program, gnawing away at all those talented players minds.

Couldn’t happen to a better group of delusional, myopic sacks of shit! 

10/21/2018 - 2:00pm Oh Aggie, such a sad comment…

Oh Aggie, such a sad comment.  It’s a team sport, with three phases of the game.  

Underperforming implies that there is a metric by which the offense is measured. Wait a minute, there is one ... I wonder what Michigan’s offense is ranked in that metric?

Now, I’ve said this before, where’s the stat that shows how the offense and defense play together?  Meaning, when you have the #1 defense in almost all categories, when you can consistently hold the meat of your schedule well under their offensive average output, do you REALLT have to have the greatest offense?  

Is there room to improve? 100% there is.  That’s what’s so exciting (for most of us) about this team — they’re improving weekly, and the defense is so damn good 8 points would have effectively won our last few games, and 15 would have beat NW.  

Also remember, Shea is still learning and growing into this scheme.  If there’s one player who is underperforming, it’s him — and he’ll admit as much.   But yet, look at how well they’ve played as an offense, and Shea individually.  That, IMO, is a far more productive and positive attitude to take.  Yes, it’s not clicking 100% — like the defense — but it’s building steadily.  

Glass 3/4 full!

10/21/2018 - 2:20am I think we have to remember…

I think we have to remember two things about the offense, and about Shea.  First, his chemistry with the WR and his split-second anticipation still have developing to do, and as a result, his decision-making seems a bit tentative.  Add to that his clear desire to not force the ball because we have such a great defense, and he’ll miss some for now.  One could also say, with this defense take MORE risks, but I don’t think that’s how he’s coached. One thing I’m certain of is that he’s being coached about every read and he’ll improve over time.  

10/20/2018 - 10:37pm I think Shea's willingness…

I think Shea's willingness to throw downfield and, as Klatt said well, "give his guys a chance to make a play … " is and issue, and should improve over the bye week as I am sure it will be addressed by Coach.  That being said, however, I am sure that part of that reluctance comes from Shea's understanding of the defenses awesome dominance.  If he's at all unsure (which maybe he shouldn't be), he's making the decision to protect the football.

It's frustrating considering when he's decisive his downfield throws are great, but it's hard to argue with him.

10/20/2018 - 10:17pm I don't understand people…

I don't understand people that complain about the play calling incessantly.  I tend to view the MGoBlog community as highly educated and with "football IQ" that is well above the blogosphere average.  But, it seems that many STILL believe that every play that doesn't go for a TD, or gash the other team is a failure.  There were a lot of points and yards left on the field, but at least from what I saw, it wasn't due to poor concepts or designs, it was due to poor execution. 

I know people find it fun to rip on Hoke for his comments about execution, but just as Coach Warriner said in his interview, "the game will be won by players making plays …"  If one were ask Shea why the offense struggled with those short fields, he would unequivocally be self-deprecating and say that he needed to do a better job of trusting his eyes/reads.  That's not him covering for the coaching staff, that's him understanding that players make plays, coaches put them into position to make those plays.

Further, when you're a play caller and you have a defense like this defense you don't have to take chances like teams with weaker defenses have to take.  I am not saying it's isn't frustrating, but if it's not clear to you that Harbaugh is perfectly willing to play defense and field position, I don't know what to tell you.  Do we have to get into a game into a shootout and see Shea throw 45 times for people to see this?  With this defense, I don't ever see that happening.

This was a MASTERFUL job coaching by Harbaugh and Co.  Not so much because of X's & O's (although that was pretty solid, especially on defense), but more so for attitude and fortitude.  So often we've seen Michigan teams of late let those Sparty moments get the better of them and lose, or make it way too close.  This team, by contrast, looked ready for those moments, and shook them off and started making plays.

10/20/2018 - 9:52pm I do have a superior…

I do have a superior definition.  As others aptly point out, Lil Bro is about a lot more than football.  It's about the obsessive/compulsive way in which they relate to everything concerning the University of Michigan.   

Besides, Michigan is NOT 2-2 against MSU, Michigan is 70 - 36 - 5 against MSU.  We've dominated them before, and we dominated them again tonight.  I think if it weren't for the pre-game bullshit and the dirty play in-game, Chase wouldn't have said anything.

Personally, I think you're scared of Sparty and you're using your outrage about class and record to cover for it -- no offense.

10/20/2018 - 8:59pm Yes, they have been ... been…

Yes, they have been ... been, not any longer.  So, once again they’re, Little Brother.

We tried being classy with them.  We tried to show respect for what they accomplished, but add some perpective. Nope.  Just like a little brat, they gave us raspberries and snark.  

Listen clearly:  FUCK Sparty!  They can dish it but can’t take it.  You meet class with class, you meet dog with dog!  

Great win, and great stretch of defense versus MSU and Wisconsin.  Offense is very good, not great yet, but they’re improving every week.  The throw to DPJ might be the play Harbaugh tenure thus far. 

Go Blue!

10/20/2018 - 8:16pm Was it "lame" when Gholston…

Was it "lame" when Gholston tried to rip Denards head off?  How about when their players taunted our players as they exited the tunnel in the Big House?  Was it lame when Dantonio asked, "where's the threat?"  MSU has been "lame" and the ones disrespecting Michigan and the rivalry when they had the better of it lately.  That's why they are, and always will be, Little Brother.

Because, like a little brother, they gloated and bragged with no long-term perspective, and just assumed that it would remain the same forever.  As much as I hate to admit it, they were the better program from 2008 onward, but they're clearly not right now … not by a LONG SHOT.  As coach Dantonio said, they were content to lay in the weeds and seize on the opportunity to strangle their biggest rival when they were down -- and they did just that.

But, make no mistake about it, their behavior towards Michigan during this past decade -- today pre-game included -- just made so they can never lay in the weeds again.  They will NEVER surprise Michigan again, ever.  They had their run -- along with a flukey continuation in '15 and '17 -- but the #1 factor in that run (Michigan being down) is over.

I absolutely LOVE the fact that Michigan's players and coach decided that enough was enough and are willing to give it right back to them.  Clearly you're not.  That's what's lame, if you ask me.

10/18/2018 - 1:53pm What was your prediction for…

What was your prediction for the Wisconsin game?  

Is there anything more pathetic and miserable than a little cunt troll trying to pass himself off as a Michigan fan on a Michigan board?   

10/14/2018 - 10:05pm Plus a billionty trillion!

Plus a billionty trillion!

that’s what all that butter is doing in the field — waiting to be harvested to use as lube when he follows Clancy’s directive!

10/14/2018 - 5:25pm This ^^^^ !!!

All we heard…

This ^^^^ !!!

All we heard all week leading up to the game was how it’s going to be a physical test and anything productive from the Michigan OL abs RB’s would be a marked sign of improvement.  Now, the “Pump the Brakes” crew come out to rain on the parade — surprise, surprise.  

Further, maybe people will understand now why, early in the season we saw Shea give and give and give that zone read.  So many bitched and moaned because they don’t understand how play calling works in real life.  Just like the “trick plays” or Milton’s cameo in the 1st qtr.  Those are “set-up” plays meant for future results.  

This was the most complete win of Harbaugh’s tenure, against a team (yes they had injuries, but so do we) who was highly respected and thought to be a contender.  Michigan smoked them in every phase of the game.  They made one play on offense and one or two on defense.   Even with leaving 10 points on the field we dominated them like most in here would have never predicted.  

Go Blue! Beat State!

10/09/2018 - 11:14pm This ^^^ x 1,000!

Not to…

This ^^^ x 1,000!

Not to quibble but we’re discussing intercollegiate athletes, interscholastics is high school — but your point comes through nonetheless.  

I’ll never get the venom we see many so-called fans spew towards student athletes.  When someone is a professional, it’s different, although many still take things way too far.  Further, I think many Michigan fans — as represented by what I read in here far too frequently — have allowed their pain and want of wins to cloud their vision of what Michigan football is all about.  To me, above all the winning, Michigan football is about excellence and integrity.  Unfortunately, excellence and integrity don’t always win — especially not in CFB.  Our biggest rivals displays the complete antithesis of this concept, and although they’ve both had the better of Michigan of late, they will never beat Michigan where it really matters.  

Now, don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t some mushy feelingsball bullshit.  I would honestly rather Michigan lose every game it ever plays than have it forsake its integrity in the pursuit of wins.  That, to me, is the Michigan difference.  We’re (almost) always good, and sometimes great, but we NEVER sacrifice the integrity of the university to get there. If that means we don’t win as often as those cheating fucks in Columbus, so be it.  Michigan, especially under a coach like Harbaugh, can have both — not many other programs can do that.  Build excellence, while maintaining integrity.

Although it sickens me, I’m almost proud of the fact that OSU has to pay refs off just to beat us.  Those sorry pathological sacks of shit don’t have enough pride in themselves to allow a fair contest.  They gloat and act like they’ve got the better of us, but deep down inside they know they’re nothing but cheating losers — that’s why, in 2016, they shit the been so badly vs. Alabama.  Every player knew that whomever made the ref fixing happen had so little faith in them that they had to fix the outcome, and it gnawed at their psyche for weeks.  How do you prepare for a game you know you didn’t deserve to be in because the higher ups rigged it?  You can’t, unless you’re a sociopath. 

 

10/09/2018 - 9:42am The questions about the…

The questions about the Twitter discussion of Shea — and recent Nick Baumgartner articles — make it patently obvious to me that these so-called “reporters” do little actual investigation and just scour the web looking for idiotic fan memes and then ask/write about them.  

The question asked about Shea would be equivalent to a reporter in the past asking Bo, or Mo, or Carr, “hey, I was sitting at the bar at Bicycle Jim’s the other day and I overheard a few guys — who really seemed to know what they’re talking about — discussing whether Steve [Smith] (or Elvis, or Chad) is playing well enough to stay the starter, what do YOU think?”

This is what passes for “journalism” today?  People bitching up a storm about play-calling after Northwestern prompts Nick B to pen an article critical of play-calling.  Then, following the Maryland game, people online express how they’re impressed with the creativity and new wrinkles, and surprise surprise, out pops an article parroting the same.  

I cannot believe that these people can bring themselves to ask Coach the “hey Coach, people on Twitter are saying ... “ questions.  Have they no pride in their professionalism?  Worse still, I cannot believe that a media outlet would pay these hacks to ask these questions and write what they write.  

Coach’s response was beautiful!

10/08/2018 - 12:27am Two words: Andrew Luck.  

Two words: Andrew Luck.  

Teams are different.  Programs are different.  Rivalries are different.  Go ahead and ask questions.   But you’re never going to get the answer that you seek because nobody knows why these things happen.  Maybe, just spit balling here, Stanford didn’t have ANY expectations (very zen like) and their fans didn’t whine and complain, and social media wasn’t what it is today, so the players performed better sooner.  

Maybe Stanford had better QB and OL recruits early on.  Maybe Michigan had some bad luck with QB and OL recruiting, development and injuries.  I dunno.  But, one thing is certain that it’s not because Jim Harbaugh somehow forgot how to coach and develop a football team.  It’s clear that comparing gets you upset.  Maybe you should stop and realize what happened at Stanford, or SD, or SF is meaningless when it comes to Michigan.

I'm sorry if you think it’s an old refrain.  But just because you’re tired if hearing it doesn’t mean that IMPATIENCE is the right course of action.  Again, is there legitimately someone else who you think would have Michigan in a better spot at this moment in time?  If not, then what other mindset can we take?  Some choose to be perpetually anger, or concerned.  As Coach Brown loves to say, it is what it is.   We’re where we are because of the choices Michigan made.  Why compound bad choices with impatience?

10/07/2018 - 10:27pm 7-10 years!?  Only LOSERS…

7-10 years!?  Only LOSERS think it should take that long!  The guy is getting paid a Brazilian dollars a year to win for me to feel better about myself!  UNACCEPTABLE!

obvious /s

Listen, I agree with you a Brazilian percent.  Just a few weeks ago I was talking with a guy, a Nebraska fan, who was spouting off (before we played them) about how Harbaugh is going to wear out it's welcome, blah blah blah, same old tired meme's.  I told him that The University of Michigan has existed for 201 years and has been playing football for almost 150 of those years.  Harbaugh is not only a beloved Michigan son, he's a great coach, and if there is one thing of which I am certain, its that Michigan is not going to make an impatient choice about its football coach again.  I told him that if I were him I would hope to be saying the same thing about Scott Frost if I were a Nebraska fan.

This day and age, in many ways, can be characterized as an immediate gratification, disposable world.  Are there better coaches out there?  Perhaps.  I'd never say never.  But, realistically, is there anyone that could be better suited for Michigan right now given its recent historical lows?  Not only can I not even imagine such a person, I find it laughable to think that anyone honestly could name someone.  Is he perfect?  No.  No coach is.  But, again, we've been playing football -- much of it at a very high level -- for around 150 years.  Since 1997 Michigan was on a collision course with it's own historical legacy.  It was unprepared for a passing of the proverbial torch, made a hasty, unpopular decision, then compounded its poor choice with a series of hires from AD to HC, to OC's, etc.  

Finally, in 2015, after all the crap, Michigan FINALLY made the right decision and hired Harbaugh.  Despite all this, there are STILL people out there complaining, calling their fellow Michigan Men losers because they're willing to be patient with Harbaugh, and although they'd love to win it all right now, they also realize (as you said) that building an elite program from a program that was where Michigan was just a few short years ago can take some time.  I can say personally, I don't every want to go through the kind of humiliation we went through beginning with App St. and Oregon in 2007, and leading all the way until 2014. 

We've seen program after program reach for the golden ring, to try to get "back" to where they felt like they should be historically, and fall short -- often because they got impatient.  Not this time.  No real Michigan Man, IMO, for want of immediate or short term gratification should ever want to see Michigan go through that turmoil again.  To me, hiring Harbaugh, above all else insured that Michigan will, at the very least, be relevant for the next 20 years.  Will we win the B10 every year?  No, obviously not.  Our biggest rival -- who just happens to be one of the two most consistent football programs in the past two decades (and maybe ever) -- stands in the way every year.  I cannot think of another coach in the nation who I would say could insure that same thing.

10/07/2018 - 6:13pm This meme will never die,…

This meme will never die, despite the fact that's is so completely false.  What is "innovative" to you?  You keep saying this but you never really come out and say what you think this offense should look like.  Personally, I think that's because you've not got a clue what you're talking about you just see teams like Oklahoma racking up 500 yards of offense, slinging the ball all over the lot, and you get excited.  Well, did you notice that they also DO NOT PLAY DEFENSE by chance?

This is very simple.  This innovation that you're so intent upon is not really innovative at all, it's just a different way of accomplishing the same thing -- getting the defense to adjust to what you're doing and exploiting their shift.  Harbaugh does it inside-out, while spread concepts do it in outside-in.  Why is this so tough for people to understand.  Neither is better, neither is right, neither is wrong.  They're just different philosophically.

It's clear you don't think highly of Harbaugh's philosophy, and you seem to want Michigan to shift to a spread concept -- don't hold your breath.

10/07/2018 - 5:53pm There's only one way to find…

There's only one way to find out.  Clearly, you've staked your claim and just keep parroting the same old line and refuse to admit that we're seeing improvement from the team in the two main question marks leading in to the season.  Nobody can predict the future, but if you say that improvement can ONLY be seen against the most elite in the schedule that's completely false.  Michigan, just last season, struggled to move the ball against almost EVERY team on the schedule except for the most woefully out matched opponents -- and even then it was often ugly.

10/07/2018 - 5:48pm You mean in the first game…

You mean in the first game of the season, on the road, at night, and the first game in a new system for the QB?  Ok, if you say so.  Michigan lost the ND game on three plays:

1) the lucky ass bomb that hit (after a bullshit targeting ejection, I might add);

2) the botched FG;

and, 3) the 3rd & 18

Don't act like that was an abomination of a game.  Michigan got hit early, then closed off the ND offense, but hadn't come together as an offense enough to tie the game up in the end.  So be it.  I don't mind lose to ND under those circumstances -- especially as ND is looking like a real contender this season.  Do you think if Michigan played ND after playing WMU or SMU that the result would have been the same?

NW is not a cupcake, and neither is Maryland.  Both teams are flawed, and aren't B10 contenders right now, but neither team is a complete pushover and Michigan beat both.  You can predict whatever you choose -- surprised surprise it was a "glass half empty prediction"  -- but at least give some credit to the opponents.  If you'd like a prediction, I predict if Michigan beats Wisconsin you'll say be in here saying that Wisconsin lost to a horrible BYU team, at home, and that we shouldn't get excited until we beat MSU, PSU and OSU.  Then, if we beat MSU, in their building, you'll say how far MSU has dropped off.  Then, if we beat PSU, you'll say they're not the same without Barkley … blah blah blah.

 

10/07/2018 - 5:13pm I agree, he's a special…

I agree, he's a special player and he's been a godsend for the program already.  However, if I had nit pick (which the NFL scouts certainly will) I think some (too many?) of his passes are not hitting the WR/TE in perfect stride to all allow them to continue running and get those extra YAC. 

His game, in all facets, is light years ahead of what we've seen at Michigan of late (maybe ever), but he's not a fully polished QB … yet.  I have no doubt that he and Coach are working hard on that (and other) aspect of his game, and by the end of the season he's going to be much improved from where he is now. 

Really, the question comes down to whether Shea feels he can learn/improve more at Michigan under Harbaugh, or in the NFL.  His WR/TE corps will largely be intact, so he's bound to hit the ground running through the air quicker should he return as the chemistry is already establish.  The one thing I can say is that I really hope he plays his best football in the biggest games of the year that we're about to enter. 

10/07/2018 - 1:21pm Wonderful improvement by the…

Wonderful improvement by the team!

I know that the whole "saving play for …" meme gets everyone riled up in here, and I am not going to fuel that debate.  But, I've always thought that Harbaugh's biggest strength in game planning is that he's got an amazing blend of stubbornness AND creativity.  Meaning, he's shown opposing DC's that he -- with a game like the NW game -- is perfectly willing to play smash-mouth football, rely upon his amazing defense and good/great kicking game, even when he's coming from behind.   But, in reality -- like we saw yesterday against a very fast, aggressive Maryland defense -- it's all really a rouse to get you sucked into the box and exploited.  For a rouse to work it MUST be sold with the utmost sincerity and conviction.

It's been there all along, but it just needed 1) a QB that could hit the passes when the opposing defense was sucked exploitable -- think JOK vs. OSU '17; and 2) an OL/RB/FB combination that can keep the offense on schedule -- so much fewer TFL's in the running game and sacks in the passing game.

The Big Tests are coming, but I think that Harbaugh has put a lot on film for the opposing DC's to have to wrangle with, but most importantly, the team is executing both the base run sets and the "gotcha" plays at a high level -- it could be slightly higher at times, IMO, and the refs have really hurt those numbers, but it's WAY better than last year.  With regards to the defense forcing turnovers it's odd that we don't force more fumbles.  I think the emphasis is on sure tackling rather than stripping the ball.  That's fine with me, to be honest.  Similarly, I think with the INT's -- not that I have any stats to back it up -- but I think that playing tight man coverage limits them a bit as the defense often has it's back to the QB.  When we do get INT's the are either amazing individual coverage plays, or in those rare zone instances -- at least in my mind.

Go Blue, Beat Wisconsin!

10/06/2018 - 9:40pm What does the "C" in your…

What does the "C" in your name stand for.  Can I guess?  Is the C follow by a U, an N and a T by chance?  If not, I am going to pretend that it is because it suits your so well.

-- sorry Arb Lover … don't forget the Scottish accent! 

10/04/2018 - 11:53am When I heard Coach Brown's…

When I heard Coach Brown's comment I took it as confirmation of why we saw what we saw on offense, even though he was referencing the defense.  Meaning, the staff got together and said two things:

1) give up NO POINTS on defense 

2) DO NOT turn it over on offense

knowing that more than likely breaking the latter would lead to breaking former and a loss.  Duh, right?  Further, add into the mix the flags or lack there of (of which Harbaugh and Brown clearly well aware -- like never before, according to Brown) and it might become clear(er) why the playcalling looked so conservative.  I am sure they told the players what they were thinking, "we've got to go pitch a shut out in the second half, and we MUST score but be VERY careful doing it!"  Once again, rather than showing how archaic Harbaugh is, it shows his amazing grasp of situational football, and how well he's coached up Shea to NEVER force a ball downfield, just take off and use your legs.

Oh and yeah, I think I love Don Brown more than any other man in the world save my father -- and I don't even know Coach!

Go Blue!

10/03/2018 - 7:59pm Absolutely!  Motive AND…

Absolutely!  Motive AND means.  There's no question about the means as we know that he ALREADY has directly targeted a Michigan coach in the past.  Motive?  Well, that's different animal all together.  But, one thing is for certain, he clearly doesn't look upon Michigan and OSU in the same light … not by a longshot!

10/03/2018 - 4:24pm You do realize that there is…

You do realize that there is actual testimony regarding Delany specifically using officials to target Bo, right?  Was that, "just a coincidence" too?  In relatively rapid succession Michigan brings in Dave Brandon, a "Bo guy", and also an insufferable prick that butted heads with Delany, followed a few years later by another outspoken "Bo guy" in Harbaugh.  Do you really think since we KNOW FOR A FACT that Bo was directly targeted by Delany (with impunity, I might add), that the next two "Bo guys" wouldn't also be similarly targeted?

Do you really think that Delany conducted a blind draw on the conference schedule reshuffle that sent us to MSU two years in a row and fucked up all our season ticket holders every other year?  Really?  You think that was just a coincidence?  Now, add in penalty chart.  Is that such a stretch?  Or is it just too much to believe? 
 

10/03/2018 - 4:00pm Are you serious?

But if I…

Are you serious?

But if I call them bastards that’s derogatory toward those people who were born to parents who weren’t married.  If I call the assholes, since everyone has one, who would that be degrading?  What about those poor unfortunately souls born without an asshole?  Would I be rubbing that fact in their face?

Certain words like, prick, cunt, asshole, dick, bastard, pussy, shithead, fuck stick, douche bag, bitch, tool, twat, jackoff, etc. have, at least in my mind, transcended their literal meanings and are simply words we all use (except you Captain PC) to express frustration, anger, etc.  But make no mistake about it, Delaney and his OSU butt buddies (is that ok?) are cunts — try saying it with a Scottish accent, it’s sound better and maybe you won’t find it offensive.  

10/03/2018 - 2:38pm Gee thanks, B10!

Personally…

 Gee thanks, B10!

Personally, the obvious (yes, obvious) officiating bias against Harbaugh is far more demoralizing than the lowest of the low points of the past decade.  It's such a helpless feeling because there is nothing we, nor the university, can do about it, and speaking out only makes us look like lunatics.

I just don't know how any rational person watching the game, and now looking at a statistical analysis, can think that it's "normal."  Every big game is stressful leading in, but then there's that sinking feeling that no matter what we do, no how well we play, we're always going to get screwed by the officials because they fucking hate Harbaugh.  OSU '16 and the circumstances surrounding who the officials are, their reputation, etc., will live forever in my mind.  How, in this day and age, is that even possible?!  That sounds like something we'd read about happening in the 1921 Game, not the 2016 Game.  Further, how can an officiating crew call the penalty on the WRONG team and not catch it before the next play ensues?!  When did they know they made an error?  If they figured it out after the next play, could they do anything about?  How can there be no ramifications other than am, 'oppsie daisy!"  HOW?!

Honestly, as much as I love Michigan football, it is THIS issue, and not anything to do with the team's performance that makes me cringe and not want to subject myself to the inevitable trauma.  I hope it will change, but I feel like OSU and the B10 are sitting somewhere laughing at us and they're going to keep fucking us because they can and there's nothing we can do about.

CUNTS!

10/03/2018 - 10:15am This polarized argument of …

This polarized argument of “boring, archaic out executing-style offense vs. creative (or what fans think is creative)” needs to die right now!  It’s such a spurious argument that many in here take as gospel and parrot over and over that you’ve convinced yourselves of its verisimilitude.  

Harbaugh, as we’ve heard since day one, has a spread mindset but it’s housed inside a more “smash mouth” style.  Meaning, he understands with the concepts that a spread offense embraces — making the defense defend sideline to sideline, but he goes about implementing in a unique way.  

For example, watch pre-scandal Baylor offenses — up tempo spread, but more of an outside-in method.  They’re a run-first spread that went super wide, then hit it up inside when they sucked fhe LB’s and Safeties our wide.  Harbaugh, by contrast, likes to suck the LB’s and Safeties INSIDE with “smash mouth” concepts characterized by heavy tight sets with a FB, multiple TE’s, H backs etc — i.e., inside-out.  

This is where ignorant fans don’t get it.  They see “up the middle” runs for 2-4 yards as abject failures, but at the same time they praise the same 2-4 yard quick outs and WR screens as innovative and modern.  The problem is they’re both seeking to accomplish the same thing, just on the opposite end of them spectrum — they both seek to force the opposition to shift their defense so the offense can exploit the area they just shifted away from.

What I saw vs. Northwestern was a scripted offensive game plan set to break tendency in that they came out passing more than expected.  The problem was, the QB and WR/TE’s weren’t executing for whatever reason.  Three series in a row Harbaugh stuck to the plan but Shea was off and the WR weren’t getting separation   Thankfully, Shea was smart and well-coached enough to not force balls into coverage and give up an INT.  

There were two field position errors on the kick returns, a penalty (IIRC) and Michigan’s averagestarting field position was very bad.  Again, this so-called stubborn, archaic play-caller stuck to the plan of NOT coming out playing man-ball right away, for three series.  Unfortunately, at the same time, Fitz’s offense (that had two weeks to prepare) out-schemed and out executes our defense.  Boom ... 17-0!  

This moment in time in the game is when Harbaugh’s excellence should really become apparent.  You’re down 17-0 on the road, flags are flying every play (seemingly, and they’re almost all against you) and the temptation is to panic and go full on air-raid to “get back into the game” probably something that Fitz was expecting.  Instead, he did the opposite by working hard to establish the running game, but he did it from spread sets.

He, brilliantly, used Fitz’s “adjustment to his adjustment” against him, and it worked, except for flags and drops — both of which fall under the “execution” heading (assuming all the flags were legit, which they weren’t).  The plays were there to be made due to the scheme — players got to make plays and coaches put them in position to do so.  Michigan got wide to run, and big to pass, and but for the refs the game isn’t close at all.

Further, as I’ve said elsewhere, the continued and sustained “up the middle” conservative play calling later in game and was “Situational Football 101” at its finest.  You’re already getting the shaft on flags, the absolute LAST thing that your team can afford is a turnover.  Rely on defense, special teams, and field position to squeeze the life out of Northwestern.  It might not be what YOU want to see, but it’s smart football and it worked.

Now, let’s suppose that the scripted first few series worked perfectly but the defense still gave up three scores — then we’d likely have seen a 17-17 or 14-17 game at the half.  Or, if the defense played better early on it might have been 14-3 or 17-0.  Maybe then, we’d have seen that “creativity” you so desire.  Remember, Coach did call several “creative” plays that were either flagged (the Phantom hold) or dropped.  If those two plays came out differently, the game has a very different feel.  

It didn’t work out that way, so Coach did what he does best and worked out a way to win.  Again, it might not be what you want to see, or what makes Sports Center, but it’s the percentaget play and will likely go a long way toward building the character and identity of the team as the tougher schedule approaches.

 

10/02/2018 - 7:11pm Two points.

First, when we…

Two points.

First, when we're looking at offensive ranking we're comparing ALL offenses on a continuum -- from the GT and Army triple option all the way to the Air Raid/Basketball on Grass offenses who routinely gain 300 yards in the first half -- even against the "quality opponents" on their schedule.  Perhaps a stat exists where we can see which teams play offense, defense, AND special teams, not just offense.  If that stat exists, I'd bet we'd find Michigan near the top in the nation.  Harbaugh wants Michigan to be a complete football team, with the ability to score, defend, but also to play proper situational football.

As someone pointed out above, Oregon's offenses under Kelly were lethal.  But, in Championship scenarios, when playing elite defenses, they actually became lethal to their own offense because they ONLY go at warp speed.  What we saw against Northwestern was well executed "situational football."  As Stephen King aptly stated above, "Boring is meaningless."  Harbaugh isn't putting on a show to thrill and excite us fans.  He's playing the game to give his team the best chance to win.  Sometimes, that means hunkering down and slogging it out, take no chances, and squeeze the life out of the opponent.  Other times, it means throwing it all over the lot.  But, with an elite defense, most teams in most games aren't going to need to throw it 50 times a game. 

One of the things that I point out to naysayers as often as possible is that, with only two exceptions, in every loss under Harbaugh Michigan has had the ball with a chance to win or force OT.  That, my maize and blue brethren, is "giving your team a chance to win" at it's finest.  Obviously, they've not won or tied up all those games.  But, if that's "boring" football, so be it.

Second point: why?  Obviously, there is no hard and fast reason.  But, why does everyone just discount defense and point to the offense?  Is it because Harbaugh was a QB, and somewhere people starting calling him a QB Whisperer?  Did he say that?  Did he say, "we're going to have the best offense in the nation"?  Michigan's defense has been elite, and looks like it will REMAIN elite in the near future.  Why is that overlooked?

The success of the defense and struggles of the offense are a mirror image of the same issue: the roster.  The defensive roster was stocked full of great players, thankfully, recruited by Hoke & Co.  Now, flip that same equation around and ask whether the offensive side of the roster (while paying specific attention to the most important positions of OL and QB) is the same.  Give credit where credit is due, and point fingers where fingers need to be pointed.  The defensive roster has been elite, the offensive roster has been less than elite.  Imagine that could have been had Shea (oer a guy like him) transferred in 2015 rather than 2018.  Now imagine further what could have been had Harbaugh inherited an OL like Chryst inherited at Wisconsin.

I get it, Harbaugh is an offense guy, he's the OC effectively.  So yeah, point the finger at him.  But, at the same time, try to understand and appreciate from whence the Michigan offense has come.  We're 5 games in the FIRST season where Michigan has had anything even bordering on "elite" QB play like we saw at the end of 2015.  People were ready to give up on Rudock and the team in '15 too.  I'd say we're WAY ahead of where we were in the beginning of 2015 and the ceiling is SIGNIFICANTLY higher.

 

 

10/02/2018 - 6:04pm This tired ass meme of …

This tired ass meme of "spreads are easier to run …" because they don't require perfect execution of all 11 players is complete and utter horseshit!  What's worse, is that those that propagate this myth -- along with those who consume it in here -- believe it to the point where any time Michigan has a bad running play they cry about our offense being a dinosaur.  Complete, ignorant bullshit!

Go back and listen to the Northwestern game broadcast, Klatt (who most people respect, and who respects the heck out of Harbaugh) said that Michigan added the wrinkle of "going big to pass, and going small/wide to run."  Further, we've heard this similar idea before -- Harbaugh's offense is based upon lulling defenses into BELIEVING it's the old "3 Yards and Cloud of Dust" then throwing out something different.  It's not "overly complex" just like a basketball on grass isn't more simple.  It's football, and no matter the style you play it ALWAYS comes down to execution.

Again, if we've payed attention we've come to see that Harbaugh's offense actually utilizes many of the same concepts as the spread, but in reverse (see above).  As Ron Utah aptly pointed out above, Michigan is using "modern" running concepts, but they've not gone away from the old school either.  The offense is a mix, and that mix can be very difficult to defend properly -- IF (like any offense) it's executed properly.

You guys get that Baumgarter reads this blog, sees what everyone is bitching about, then writes a piece on it knowing he's going to get clicks, right?  The problem, and why his article was written, what the collective freak out about the Northwestern game play calling.  It's very simple to understand and has NOTHING to do with some short coming on the part of the coaching staff.  They're SUPPOSED to demand high levels of execution, and no, Urban Meyer's offense doesn't enable players to fuck up and still work.  The QB issue has been solved.  The OL, IMO, is WAY better, but still not elite.  An elite OL is the cornerstone of any elite offense.  Simple.