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11/18/2018 - 1:35am I'd heard the stuff about…

I'd heard the stuff about Shand. Never heard that account of Defran getting fired, but none of what you report there surprises me at all. 

11/18/2018 - 12:29am Seriously? That must have…

Seriously? That must have been an interesting broadcast. Any details there?

Could have been Shand, I guess my memory has faded a bit. I was never a huge fan--I listened, but the afternoon show with Fithian and Wickett was much more listenable.

Except for those classic highlight intro montages (fatboy slim, maybe?), which were amazing. The Defran morning show was worth it just for them. 

11/18/2018 - 12:19am Bando has certainly done his…

Bando has certainly done his share of picking on you. It may be true that he has been unpleasant to you since you were "a kid."

You're not a kid anymore. His particular post in this thread did not warrant your response. 

 

11/18/2018 - 12:03am Probably still Defran and…

Probably still Defran and Clark at that point, I'd guess. They were in the chair when I left town in summer of 2005. 

11/17/2018 - 11:57pm Seth hasn't done a ticket…

Seth hasn't done a ticket watch column that has featured OSU this fall. Here's his entry from two years ago, a reasonably similar situation.

Tickets are cheaper now than two years ago when Seth wrote the article. 

11/17/2018 - 11:54pm You're not guaranteed to get…

You're not guaranteed to get that. OSU's win keeps OSU in the running for more stuff, so the bottom won't fall out of the market. Check the different sites and see what there is. Figure out when you have to decide; if you have a hard budget than you should approach this week with the conviction that if you don't get tickets for the price you want, you will be ok watching at home.

If you won't be ok watching at home and can get in for $25-$40 over your hoped for price and it won't put you into to debt... then get the tickets and start planning. 

11/17/2018 - 11:44pm Why would the masses ask …

Why would the masses ask "why?" It's a wonderful trip. Thousands of Michigan fans go. For the past 8 trips they have come home disappointed, but it's still an exhilarating experience. There's real hope that the result will be different this year. You are, I think, falsely presuming a reaction that won't occur.

But, FWIW, if you think "reasonable" is mid-200s there are seats available on stubhub. If you think "reasonable" is half that or less you will probably wind up watching The Game on television. 

11/17/2018 - 11:38pm I am well aware of the…

I am well aware of the difference and go to some length to discuss this difference when these two things come up. The point is that there is, in certain circles, some unfortunate overlap in terms. As I said, I didn't begin to understand that influenza was something different than what kids and adults at school not infrequently called the "stomach flu" until I was nearing my teen years. Standard medical terms like gastroenteritis, emesis, and norovirus were, unsurprisingly, not commonly heard. Even in the offices of school secretaries calling a parent to pick up a sick kid in the middle of the day. 

The length of time is an issue, too. Influenza tends to have a longer incubation period but can wipe out a victim for over a week. A 24-hour gastroenteritis case can annihilate someone for a while, but in 3 days they're back to regular diet and energy levels. 

Given Michigan's reluctance to release player health details, I don't know that we can positively conclude exactly what the affected players are suffering from. 

11/17/2018 - 11:21pm Yeah, something is very…

Yeah, something is very wrong with his kicking motion. Very, very wrong.

I really hope he gets it together. He has a great leg and with that comes NFL potential, but only if he can drill field goals with terrific consistency. It's not happening right now. 

11/17/2018 - 11:19pm The way it should be.

There…

The way it should be.

There's simply nothing in American sports that compares to Michigan-Ohio State. It deserves to have everything on the line. And it properly gets Gameday this week.

Now, there's only one thing that needs to happen.

11/17/2018 - 11:17pm The lineman's move should…

The lineman's move should have been penalized. 

But Michigan got tackled in-bounds with less than 15 seconds to go in the half. At that point, getting off another play is luck. Michigan's mistake was calling a play that opened the possibility of the player failing to exit the field of play. A tackle, a stumble, whatever: It was a throw that had a risk attached to it. 

11/17/2018 - 11:11pm Worth noting that there's…

Worth noting that there's still quite a bit of confusion about the word "flu." When I grew up it meant a stomach virus, and I only later learned that it had a rather different meaning. "Flu-like symptoms" still gets used, and I think it is at least occasionally a euphemism for vomiting and diarrhea. 

Not sure what the situation is here--I could be way wrong. 

11/17/2018 - 10:22pm I'm looking forward to…

I'm looking forward to winning comfortably against Indiana some day.

But not as much as I'm looking forward to Saturday.

Word of the flu spreading around is a bit troubling, and might explain why the team seemed a bit lethargic. I hope it's done with--this is not the week to get sick. This is the week to practice hard. To play hard. To play the best games of their lives.

Beat Ohio.

11/17/2018 - 10:15pm Gutty move to put him out…

Gutty move to put him out there, and he made everything. Huge. A big deal going into a game where we might need to make some kicks.

We still win without him, though; Michigan probably goes for it on fourth down and gets a couple of tds. But I'm fine with this.

11/17/2018 - 10:13pm Congratulations!

Congratulations!

11/17/2018 - 10:13pm It's my birthday today.

My…

It's my birthday today.

My birthday has always, basically, had a Michigan-Ohio State flavor to it. I was born the day of the 1979 game (OSU won that day, alas). Birthday parties? Guys playing football in the front yard. A bunch of cash for my 18th birthday? Scalped a ticket to attend in person for the first time, in the student section. It was 1997. 21st birthday and I don't want to drink? Scalp tickets to the 2000 game, invite my friend who was in school in Steubenville, have a deliriously great time way up in the nosebleeds, go bananas as Henson runs that bootleg into the end zone.

And, of course, there was 2006. Bo, that day. The Game, the day after, as big as it has ever been.

I have a wonderful life. A calling. A wife. Kids. I have a modest place to live and working vehicles to drive. I live in a beautiful place. I don't have need of anything.

So I get asked, what do I want for my birthday? What do you ask for when you have everything you could ask for?

There is but one thing.

Beat Ohio. 

11/17/2018 - 9:18pm I don't think it was pain…

I don't think it was pain. Looked to me like he really wanted to get a sack (first since he's been back, I think) and it is almost certainly his last home game. 

11/17/2018 - 10:05am USC-UCLA taking place today…

USC-UCLA taking place today isn't a bad remark on the rivalry; USC always plays UCLA a week earlier when it hosts Notre Dame, because ND visits thanksgiving weekend. When USC plays at ND the game is in October.

The USC-UCLA isn't anything impressive this year, but that's because the teams stink. They'll be back.

11/16/2018 - 11:54pm Not hugely surprised.

Yeah,…

Not hugely surprised.

Yeah, it's a concern if Hill is still dealing with stuff. But then, he can't practice while in protocol, so even if he's feeling better now he's not ready to go on the field. So this could be nothing.

Going to be really interested to hear about his status early next week, though.

11/16/2018 - 2:09pm Because it's weak. After…

Because it's weak. After Herbert and Will Grier the selection of QBs available right now is baaaaad.

11/16/2018 - 2:05pm Actually, the issue with…

Actually, the issue with Hurst is that his talent was known but that teams believed his health was a ticking time bomb. Most aren't surprised by his performance on the field to date; it's the possibility that things could go very wrong unexpectedly at an indeterminate time that had them spooked. In that sense, the jury is still out for them. 

11/16/2018 - 1:53pm My thoughts? ND will look…

My thoughts? ND will look wretched in those uniforms. 

Beat Indiana. Beat Ohio. 

11/16/2018 - 1:52pm You just tried to hand-wave…

You just tried to hand-wave Tom Brady but you can’t hand-wave Tom Brady in any conversation about the “biggest steal in any draft.”

 

11/16/2018 - 1:49pm I don’t care that he’s at BR…

I don’t care that he’s at BR, but who knows what kind of sourcing he’s using. I doubt this guy is so plugged in that he has sources that have real access to BOTH Haskins and Patterson. 

We’re talking about insight that hasn’t gone around at our level here. Why would that stuff get to this guy?

Shea and Haskins might go pro, but this article isn’t the key indicator. 

11/16/2018 - 1:45pm If by deep you mean there…

If by deep you mean there are a lot of mediocre guys then you are correct. There’s no reason that Haskins and Patterson both can’t get higher grades than guys like Drew Lock and Ryan Finley, and beyond that you’re looking at players like Jared Stidham. 

Shea and Haskins are both in the top 5 neighborhood of QBs if they come out. The top ten lists that didn’t have them simply didn’t evaluate them or are out of date. 

You really don’t think Shea is getting drafted behind Clayton Thorson, do you? 

11/16/2018 - 1:40pm Well, we can’t, obviously…

Well, we can’t, obviously. More pertinent, there will be no intention to do so. 

I avoided the hot take threads but I think most fans understand that once PSU was salted away Michigan was going to enter a shell they would only emerge from in Columbus. 

11/16/2018 - 1:31pm Someone from 2 weeks in the…

Someone from 2 weeks in the future drops in and gives me a subtle thumbs up? I’d be good with that. 

Win the Game. Stay healthy. 

11/16/2018 - 12:06pm Time for me to chime in with…

Time for me to chime in with my "I actually went to an Indiana game, here's all the neat stuff I learned" post on the defense:

It's not great.

Minnesota brought an all RPO/slant/inside zone strategy to their game and had a lot of success with some not-so-great players. After Indiana came back to tie, Minnesota did one pretty cool tactical move--bringing on Seth Green, their wildcat QB that they use basically for runs, and putting him next to Tanner Morgan (who had basically thrown nothing but slants all game long). This, to my eyes, served as a run tip for a team that was playing for overtime. 

The result was that Rashad Batemen got single coverage in the slot. He ran right past his defender and Morgan hit him with a great pass for a loooong TD that won the game.

Minnesota murdered Indiana with its receivers and meh running game. It seems like Michigan should have good success even if they basically just xerox the Rutgers gameplan Saturday.

11/16/2018 - 12:18am That’s fine. Not everyone…

That’s fine. Not everyone will agree with me. 

But it’s unquestionable for me. 

11/15/2018 - 11:11pm I love Harmon's smooth cuts…

I love Harmon's smooth cuts and his vision. The TD he scores when he drops back and then decides to run is a masterclass of setting up blocks and lanes to get into the end zone. 

And on that first TD pass there's a great example of the "never turn upfield" blocking thesis. 

Score was pretty good, too. 

11/15/2018 - 11:07pm Man we need to win. Doesn't…

Man we need to win. Doesn't get bigger than this.

We'd all trade Michigan basketball's win over Villanova this week for a win in April. The whole postseason was incredible, exhilarating, legendary. Only beating Nova could have made it better.

Me? Given the choice between beating Nova in April and beating Ohio in November, I take a win over OSU. Given a choice between Michigan's entire postseason run in basketball this year and beating OSU, I take a win over OSU. Given a choice between the last two years of basketball success and beating OSU this year, I choose beating OSU. If we get to the end of the year and we've lost a basketball national title and a precious hockey national title and beaten OSU on the way to the playoff, and I was asked if I would change anything, I would say no. 

Would I sacrifice every game of every other team and athlete I pull for for a win next week? The magnificent gold medal run for the men's curling team based out of my city? The hockey team's magical run to the FF? All of my favored Detroit professional teams? Favorable results in the World Cup, including USA making the tournament and/or progressing in knockout rounds? Would I give all of that for a win over OSU next Saturday?

Yes. 

Beat Ohio. 

11/15/2018 - 11:00pm That's too bad. I'd love to…

That's too bad. I'd love to have him. Two great RBs in one class would be awesome; it can also be hard to pull off. It's not like Harbaugh won't be chasing great RBs next class, too. But it's obviously over.

That's what happens when you're in on elite players. I hope Michigan keeps finishing this class strong. 

11/15/2018 - 10:56pm If Shea comes back and all…

If Shea comes back and all the receivers stick around and are healthy next year...

I mean, they're rounding into really good form now. We're a step or two from having a devastating all-around offense with significant implications for THIS season. Next year is going to be huge. 

I want to see Black get serious targets this week. Partly because he's good; partly because he wants to get them (as his social media history suggests, per the thread earlier this week). And significantly because DPJ in the slot could be absolutely huge. That YAC slant? He's in the slot. Imagine what he'll do if Harbaugh can get him matched up on a bad safety or an LB.

11/15/2018 - 2:03pm 1. It's a Big Ten school and…

1. It's a Big Ten school and we care about the conference.

2. More importantly, there's a good chance that a Brohm departure could allow Michigan to land a 5-star recruit previously committed to Brohm at Purdue. 

11/15/2018 - 2:02pm Seriously?

Cause if you're…

Seriously?

Cause if you're serious, well, Louisville's negative is a troubled athletic department given recent legal issues.

But it is otherwise loaded with positives. A modern new stadium. A strong recent history that includes BCS bowl wins and teams that flirted with national title contention. Looser academic standards that can allow him to get athletes on campus. Access to more, better recruiting areas. A P5 conference in which it's easier to be competitive but not so easy as weaken the prospects of the team.

But, ultimately, he's a Louisville guy. He played there. His family has all been there. We of all programs can understand that.

11/15/2018 - 1:58pm Dakich isn't known for false…

Dakich isn't known for false news reports, is he? I can't believe he'd just report something that didn't have some substance behind it, even if it's Herbstreit-level shaky.

This isn't a huuuge surprise. If it flips Karlaftis to Michigan, it's good for us; it's unfortunate for the B1G, which has struggled with poor coaching. Brohm was a guy who quickly elevated a basement team to mid-level; good for everybody in the conference (except for, you know, OSU, but I for one enjoyed that). 

 

11/15/2018 - 11:29am I was pretty plugged in that…

I was pretty plugged in that week. There were a lot of calls for Hamilton to go. There was little, if any, assertion that Harbaugh needed to be fired. Even by the most negative of nancies. 

Basically everyone understands that Harbaugh is as good a coach as this program can get. 

11/15/2018 - 11:27am Yeah. They lost a ton of…

Yeah. They lost a ton of talent. So did the other good teams. So the media played “spin the wheel of B1G basketball teams” to predict the winner and MSU had 50% of the spaces because they’re MSU. 

It’s not that there’s another team that is clearly better established, it’s that the media has no idea what the league will look like (can’t blame them, honestly) and liked the SAPS on the Dallas when it detects a hydrodynamic propulsion unit on a Soviet missile submarine, they run home to mama when they get confused. 

11/15/2018 - 11:20am I went to Minnesota-Indiana…

I went to Minnesota-Indiana so I’m all hyped to provide Eye-Witness Expert Analysis.

Basically what I learned is that Indiana’s offense looks pretty good when they’re playing a defense that’s so bad that a week later they fired their DC for getting pounded by Illinois. 

They do like their slot receivers down the sideline when given time (and a depleted, young secondary to torch) and against Minnesota’s pitiful DL they ran a bunch of outside zone schemes that were successful (how pitiful was Minnesota’s DL? I don’t recall seeing a single QB pressure on any drop back). 

So if Michigan is as bad as Minnesota on defense, we’re in for a long day. 

11/15/2018 - 9:02am Warinner’s interviews are…

Warinner’s interviews are really good. 

I saw a clip of his answer about the OSU game, I was amused by how carefully he was wording his statement. I think he wanted to say “after we beat Indiana,” but self edited to “after we play Indiana.”

Also, two good pieces of insight: a lot of people wanted the line to shuffle (eg Bredeson to LT) but he is pretty explicit that there has been real value in Runyan continuing to rep at his one position. And it’s interesting to hear him openly say that the OL had a confidence problem when he came. 

Not surprising, but interesting. 

11/14/2018 - 6:51pm I agree. It's fair, it gets…

I agree. It's fair, it gets the best teams in, it gives a token to a G5 team. There will still be controversy, but it provides a backdoor way to emphasize the regular season by making the conference title more important. 

The downside is that you'll get scenarios where vital rivalry games are literally meaningless. Bama-Auburn this year; UM-OSU would have been meaningless in this scenario if MSU had beaten OSU last Saturday. 

But there are always expenses like that. 

11/14/2018 - 3:26pm Several chunk runs, so that…

Several chunk runs, so that's not good. But it's not clear to me from this rundown that there's some exploitable flaw that Ohio State could use. Just a combination of lesser-used players and a game that is... not a point of emphasis. 

11/14/2018 - 2:50pm Will Grier seems solid, too…

Will Grier seems solid, too. After that you've got guys like Drew Lock and Ryan Finley. And by the time you get to #5 the conversation includes Clayton Thorson.

This is not a good QB year. Haskins could burnish the class a bit by coming out, but I would guess he comes back. Herbert and Grier seem like the first two QBs taken, but if you have three NFL teams looking to draft a starting QB, Shea has a chance to be in that conversation if he comes out.

11/14/2018 - 2:38pm Other than Kiper ranking him…

Other than Kiper ranking him high among guards, I don't see how Bredeson is a likely early entrant. He's good but not great. OL rarely leave early. He's not going to be a first-rounder. I'd be shocked if he left.

11/14/2018 - 2:37pm This is bigger than 2016…

This is bigger than 2016. 2016 was huge, but this (assuming victory over Indiana) is bigger.

It's not because the ceiling is higher--a playoff berth (possibly resulting in a loss) is the same for each. But the floor is lower now. In 2016 Harbaugh was new and fresh. The 2017 offensive disaster hadn't happened. Nobody was saying "Harbaugh can't win the big one" or sniffing at his record in road games. Coaches couldn't honestly argue that recruits under Harbaugh would underachieve.

Now all that negative stuff is on the table. It's quiet right now, but you can count on the fact that a loss in Columbus will bring all that stuff back up to the top again. In the national media, on this board, in the living rooms of recruits, everywhere.

If Michigan wants to be an elite team, it has to recruit like an elite team. People who say stars are everything and people who say they don't matter are both wrong. Stars aren't everything, but they DO matter. You need talented athletes to compete with the Clemsons and the Alabamas of the nation. 

OSU is rough right now but they do have those players and will continue to get them. And as long as they recruit like that, Michigan has to at least keep in the same ballpark, or we're looking at winning 1 out of every 4 years for the forseeable future (forget the fact that we've only won once since 2003, the future could be equally bleak). 

Michigan wins in Columbus and makes the playoff, we're an elite program. We close strong on the current class and restock the shelves for the coming years. Harbaugh has big wins under his belt, and the feeling in Ann Arbor is good.

Lose? Then James Franklin can legitimately go to a guy like Zach Harrison and tell him "at least I can beat Ohio State." Prospects in the South stop taking Harbaugh's phone calls. We have to revert to a "find the diamonds in the rough" strategy with few top prospects giving us a look. You know, Michigan State's strategy. Developing players and getting a couple of good athletes and hoping to beat the big boys on rare occasions. 9-3 as a typical year. Being a "little brother" to a clearly superior rival.

Lose a couple of times to finish the year and Michigan's ceiling is what Michigan State is now. 

This is the most important game of this century and it's not close. 

11/14/2018 - 2:27pm Promotion from within? Head…

Promotion from within? Head coach Mike Debord? Mallett and Boren stick around, but the rest of the team is... pretty much what we had in 2008, except instead of zone stretches for nothing you have power and counter runs for nothing. 

Basically, we're talking about being Tennessee instead of whatever it was we became. 

I think the program erosion had already plunged into critical mass territory, and one win (followed by a bad loss to Florida) wouldn't have changed it much. Still would have liked to win, mind you, but the problems were already festering.

11/14/2018 - 12:49pm Great post, great thread.

Great post, great thread.

11/14/2018 - 12:46pm Najee is a backup at Alabama…

Najee is a backup at Alabama who gets time on the field and makes some excellent runs. He's solidly behind Damien Harris (man...) at the moment. He'll emerge next season.

Weber is a backup that gets almost equal PT at OSU and OSU's running game is underperforming without a running QB. 

11/14/2018 - 12:45pm I'd be good with him rushing…

I'd be good with him rushing for 300 yards against OSU.

11/14/2018 - 12:43pm That's an error. Kiper isn't…

That's an error. Kiper isn't perfect and gets stuff wrong, of course, as does everybody. And Shea isn't the best QB prospect in the country right now.

But there's no way he isn't at least borderline top five.