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08/13/2018 - 3:12pm This obviously gives Urban a…

This obviously gives Urban a HUGE benefit of the doubt in that it assumes 1) he didn't know about the texts to Shelley despite her saying she is going to have to tell Urban and 2) he didn't know about the stalking or 9 other calls to the police that were reported both of which would have amounted to a very impressive ability by people around him to hide those things AND a concerted effort by Urban to keep his head in the sand.

Now, there doesn't exist any proof (probably) that he knew these things, but to Brian's point last week, it's his job to know.  That mere fact that he might claim to not know all this stuff is probably fireable if you want to give any impression that you as an institution care that the people working for your institution make sure that they aren't enabling domestic violence.

08/13/2018 - 1:57pm Sometimes it's not always…

Sometimes it's not always clear who the best player is or there may be reasons to play certain guys even if they may not be the best: Nolan Ulizio, John O'Korn, several other offensive players that have started for Harbaugh weren't the best players.

It does seem surprising that he didn't get more looks last year given how badly Crawford struggled and how thin the WR corp became after Black went down. 

It did seem a little bit like the coaches just decided to get the young guys time and experience (like putting Nico Collins in) which they perhaps felt would be more valuable long term than putting in a late career guy even if he might have been marginally better.

08/13/2018 - 1:51am Other than Speight, D Smith…

Other than Speight, D Smith and Mike McCray, who on 2016 would anyone consider to have a "low" ceiling though?

Almost everyone else not only had at least a high-minus ceiling, but they were all at those ceilings! At the same time!  That's how you get 11 guys drafted.

08/13/2018 - 1:45am You've nailed it throughout…

You've nailed it throughout this thread.  People forget how good and experienced that 2016 team was, especially the defense.

08/13/2018 - 1:36am It's funny how quickly…

It's funny how quickly everyone has forgotten how good the 2016 defense was.  Halfway through the season, the defense had broken the S&P+ rating system (they were giving up a "negative" number of points per game with the opponent adjustment) and finished with a rating that is second best amongst any team in the last four years by a WIDE margin.

Per S&P+, the 2016 defense was significantly better than Clemson's 2014 defense and Alabama's 2015 and 2017 defense, all three of which were the best defenses in those respective seasons.

Even in the two losses that year, the M defense was quite literally impenetrable.  OSU scored 17 points in regulation at home and one TD was a pick 6, the other was started on the 5 thanks to another pick.

It was incredibly talented, and incredibly experienced: 7 guys drafted in the first 4 rounds THAT YEAR!.  It wasn't even like they had a couple young talented guy that grew into draft picks later on, they were all draft ready.  And that could have been 8 guys on one side of the ball get drafted in the first four rounds if Mo Hurst decided to leave. 

The 2017 defense was about 11 points per game worse than the 2016 defense adjusting for opponent quality (and you don't have to go further than the compare the PSU and OSU games from 2016 to 2017 to see the big difference).  So the same guys minus Mo Hurst would have to improve quite a bit to get back to that level.

The ends, LBs and CBs are very, very good for 2018.  Don Brown is still Don Brown.  But the safeties aren't NFL players and the DTs are young.  Realistically, this is probably not going to be a top 3 defense, let alone an historically good defense like 2016.

And yes, we are spoiled when we're debating whether we'll have a historically good defense or merely a top 5 or top 10 defense.

08/13/2018 - 1:16am If you think Dwumfour and…

If you think Dwumfour and Solomon as first year starters are going to be as good as 4th year Hurst and 5th year Ryan Glasgow, your optimism knows almost no bounds.  Good for you.

08/13/2018 - 1:01am This couldn't be more wrong…

This couldn't be more wrong.  Wormley and Taco were very, very steady seniors.  Wormley may not have been flashy as a pass rusher but he was (per PFF) one of the, if not the best run stopping SDE in football that season. That was a constant.  Taco was also very good in that Dept.

Winovich has a high sack rate but also isn't nearly as good as Taco was at run stopping so he gives up more plays than Taco did.

I imagine Gary is going to take another leap from last year but he made a lot sophomore mistakes that gave up big plays last year and Wormley never did that his senior year.  Gary could be better than Wormley 2016, but he has further to go in terms of consistency and productivity than people think.

08/13/2018 - 12:54am The thing is, OL makes…

The thing is, OL makes everything go.  They have to make holes for RBs and give QBs and WRs time to get open and throw.

It'll take a much better coaching job and some Shea magic for this offense to go from 85th (!!!) in S&P+ last year to something approaching good.

I'm hopeful but also realistic given the challenges.

08/10/2018 - 5:14pm That 5'8 kid with the…

That 5'8 kid with the national best SPARQ score is the kind of kid that could be a Lionel Messi if it was cool and encouraged in his community to play soccer.  But he's going to get a scholarship to play football at UL and probably never earn a dime playing football.

Sorry to take it off topic, but it gets discussed around here a lot.  It's (probably) not the LeBron James' and certainly not the JJ Watt's that would be elite soccer players.  It's all these really good athletes who are too small to make money playing a sport for which being as close to the 10 foot goal is highly advantageous (basketball) or a sport for which force, as calculated by mass times acceleration, is a big part of the equation (football) that could be elite soccer players with 10,000 hours of practice and the right coaching.

08/09/2018 - 4:03pm The school is far less…

The school is far less responsible here than Meyer is, IMO.

1) OSU may not have known about the charges at Florida.  I think that's been confirmed, correct?

2) OSU also probably didn't know about the photos and the cries for help that Shelley Meyer was receiving.  If that's the case, to Gene Smith and OSU, it was an accusation of DV (singular) without charges.  Florida didn't can him for the same thing (if they even knew) and it's somewhat reasonable to justify giving a guy a second chance for something for which you think is an isolated incident for which no charges were brought.

Where Meyer is so at fault here is that he and his wife and any staff members that knew about the 2009 incident were the ones that knew that this was an repeat and habitual offender.  You can't give third and fourth and fifth chances and not do anything to help.  You can argue all you want that the Meyer's didn't do anything "illegal" and even that they may have complied with the rules in each individual case, but the collection of what they did here was absolutely and undeniably the enablement of domestic violence over a long period of time and if OSU wants to show any inclination that they care about abuse of women, they can't continue to associate with or employ the Meyers.

That said, I think Smith probably knew it was more than an isolated incident and if so, needs to be fired along with anyone else that knew of the extent of the abuse.


08/08/2018 - 5:57pm Kids these days use the term…

Kids these days use the term "a minute" to actually mean "a while" which makes absolutely no sense to me either, but I'm old I guess.

08/08/2018 - 5:53pm 2013 Michigan says hi.  Can…

2013 Michigan says hi.  Can never have enough good OL.  Even OG is probably the 5th most important position group on the team (after QB, OT, DE, DT and maybe CB but definitely ahead of WR, LB, S, TE and RB in terms of importance).

08/08/2018 - 2:20pm But if they can keep him in…

But if they can keep him in zone and let him do what Countess did at Auburn, wouldn't that be just fine for them?  If they don't play man, it doesn't really matter if he's not a man CB does it?

08/07/2018 - 6:25pm My thoughts exactly.  This…

My thoughts exactly.  This is a horrible title.  It's simple reporting of facts.  And her involvement has been a huge question in this story.  She's an employee of OSU, she had the texts and photos, she may have violated Title IX to protect her husband and the program and that's a big story here.

08/07/2018 - 6:22pm It really doesn't matter…

It really doesn't matter what her rationale was though, right?  The question for her as an OSU employee is whether she reported it through the proper channels as required by Title IX, right? She is required and mandated to do that.  There is no grey area in that regard.

If she did report it properly, I think she's fine.  She couldn't fire Smith herself.  There's not much else she could do unless we want to blame her for not convincing Urban to fire him and I think that's a little too far outside of her control. 

If she didn't report it as she's required, that's a big problem because it would clearly have been to protect her husband and the football program.  To keep it within the AD.

She has as many questions to answer as Urban.  Maybe even more considering what she purported to prioritize and evangelize.

08/07/2018 - 5:54pm Totally agree with this.  I…

Totally agree with this.  I get the OP sentiment, i.e. that there may perhaps be a tiny and insignificant silver lining for JH, but I don't think ANYONE should be pleased with this situation.  Lest he or she have her head checked and priorities straightened out.

08/06/2018 - 5:12pm I don't really understand…

I don't really understand why you're going to such great lengths to try to change the minds of Michigan fans, but this is a clear attempt to try to show M fans who may have defended or at least didn't call for Hoke's head that the situations are similar. I have two points about that:

1) This blog and a large number of M fans were furious about the way that situation was handled and the way it was communicated,  BUT

2) Urban's lying isn't close to the real problem here.  That's just additional sleaze from him as he selfishly tries to defend himself.  The biggest problem by far, and the difference in the Gibbons case is that he allowed a repeat and regular sex abuser to stay on his staff such that it enabled future abuse and set a horrible example for other coaches, players, staff members, many of whom claim to know that it was going on, unpunished.

Your post says "an accusation of violence against a woman" - singular.  This is multiple over an extended period of time.  And no one can hide behind the "no charges" thing when there were photos and an acknowledgement from the coaches wife that the dude is scary.  This wasn't an accusation, this was a known and recognized issue about which nothing was done.

I don't have a huge problem with him giving Smith a second chance after the initial 2009 incident saw the charges dropped, even though it was probably only granted because of who Smith was.  It was the third, fourth, etc chances that were given to him that turned it from a one-time mistake to full-on, continuous enablement.  Instead of acknowledging the problem and getting the guy help, it was allowed and enabled to continue. He became invincible thanks to Meyer and Ohio law enforcement. It does not matter that the couple wanted him to keep his paycheck.  It is about creating accountability and setting the right example and helping and none of that was done.

08/05/2018 - 1:02pm More importantly (and more…

More importantly (and more commonly) in modern basketball is hitting the pull up three when the defense drops.  And yes, Burke and Stauskas and Walton could do that. Burke had the pretty floater in the lane, and Stauskas the pull up mid-range jumper that made them sort of quadruple threats.

08/05/2018 - 12:44pm Stauskas never was (still…

Stauskas never was (still isn't) a very good defender, but he was still a very valuable player for his offense.  Cole reminds me a lot more of what Stauskas became than what Caris was.  From his recruiting blurbs:

"with the way he shoots it, the way he handles it, the way he passes it...he can be a 6-7 creator"

That was Stauskas in year 2. 

Caris got on the floor as a freshman because he was a long, solid defender and then later developed his offensive game.  It sounds like it'd have to be the opposite for this guy if he were to become a Levert-like player and he probably doesn't have the length to be the steal-getter and general pest that Caris was.  Would be great if that were a part of his game too, but it probably won't be.

08/05/2018 - 12:05am They aren't all arrests. …

They aren't all arrests.  Pretty sure he was arrested only twice.  But there are nine cases in which Courtney called the police on him (mostly for things like stalking her).

08/04/2018 - 2:10am Mayfield may see the field…

Mayfield may see the field this year (see what I did there, see?).

08/04/2018 - 2:09am Pretty sure Higdon is very…

Pretty sure Higdon is very short.  He looked about 3 inches shorter than Kinnel at media days in photos and Kinnel can't be 6 feet tall.

I thought Evans was pretty short though too, but you're right that that must be the difference.

That was easily the biggest shock to me about this roster: that Evans is the second biggest RB on the team.

08/04/2018 - 2:06am Well, you get to the QB…

Well, you get to the QB before he can throw it.

Looks like tackle depth chart.  Fuuuuu...

08/04/2018 - 2:04am You don't need a fair catch…

You don't need a fair catch guy anymore if you have a guy that can bang it out of the endzone and I assume Nordin can do that.

08/04/2018 - 2:02am I'm pretty nervous about it…

I'm pretty nervous about it.  If one guy goes down, things get dicey.  In that case, you'd probably see a bit more of the TEs outside.

08/04/2018 - 12:57am How in your deranged mind…

How in your deranged mind does it matter what Zach and Courtney wanted?  Think about that in any other case of employee misconduct:

A person commits multiple fireable offenses (and face it, no one but Earle Bruce's grandson or Urbans own family would have survived even the 2009 incident) but the employer is stupid enough to NOT fire said employee because he and his wife would prefer he not be fired? 

Of course they didn't want him fired.  That's completely irrelevant.

That's a very, very bad reason to not do the right thing and do what you'd do to anyone else under those circumstances.

You can rationalize this all you want, but Urban kept this dude on staff in 2009 because he was Bruce's grandson.  And I can even sort of understand, especially because it was his MO, that he'd give him a second chance since Courtney did herself.  But dude, after you convince the wife to drop the charges because you argue it won't happen again, and then it happens again, you gotta get rid of the guy.  That's it.  But he gives him a third chance? At minimum.  And then he lied about it? 

Urban is an enabler and a liar.  Not sure how you can justify keeping a guy around given those facts.

08/04/2018 - 12:12am Where do you think the texts…

Where do you think the texts came from, dipshit?

Courtney supplied the texts messages.  Can easily supply the phone records to prove who it was sent from. Not that anyone is denying who they were sent from.

HOWEVER, he doesn't necessarily admit to the physical abuse.  He could just say, I was saying "I know" and "I'm sorry" about the lying.  With no other evidence, these texts wouldn't hold up as proof in any kind of trial setting I wouldn't think.

But anyone that denies this dude abused her at this point has their head in the sand.

08/03/2018 - 12:09pm Grant Perry is still…

Grant Perry is still expected to start in the slot too, right?

08/03/2018 - 12:06pm Given the circumstances, I'm…

Given the circumstances, I'm not sad that he left the program since it was probably best for everyone.  But sad in general that he didn't have the drive to see where his potential and talent could take him.

08/02/2018 - 10:56am Political campaigns aren't…

Political campaigns aren't run tightly AT ALL.  That's why they're such an easy target for hackers.  They're super short-term, all-hands-on-deck so it's just a bunch of random people coming together without much security infrastructure, no central controls.  They are as loose and fast as it gets.

Probably not the best example.

08/02/2018 - 12:49am But the fact that they all…

But the fact that they all talked Courtney out of the first charge kind of committed them. They probably did that as a favor to Bruce and convinced themselves it was a one time thing. 

Once it happened again (and again and again) they either had to admit they f-d up the first time and take what almost certainly would have been a hit, or double down and hope they could keep covering it up/avoiding accountability, which they almost did but for a persistent reporter.

08/02/2018 - 12:41am This seems like the answer.

This seems like the answer.

Urban reportedly idolized Bruce, was mentored by Bruce and said that Bruce was the closest person to him other than his father.

When the first incident happened in 2009, Smith's wife said Bruce and Zach's mom (who would have been Bruce's daughter) drove down to Gainesville from Ohio to plead with her to drop the charges.  So of course Urban was going to keep his beloved mentors grandson on staff and help rehabilitate him.

Any other intern with those kinds of charges gets booted without a thought. This clown continued to get enabled because Bruce undoubtedly has very powerful connections in Columbus, Meyer included.

08/02/2018 - 12:10am I agree that Herman is…

I agree that Herman is unlikely to leave, but he would have to be their #1 target.  I merely listed the guys I would think should be their priority order when seeking interest.

I'm not sure it's quite a long shot.  Anyone that thinks Texas is a superior job is being totally biased.  There isn't an easier school in college football for recruiting.  The floor at OSU is much higher.  With Texas now having to compete with Fisher at A&M, a very solid TCU program and other Texas schools putting more and more resources into football, it's not nearly as automatic for UT and that's been very apparent the past 5-8 years.

There is no better combination of institutional support (resources) and easy recruiting than there is at OSU.  And my list would go as follows in those combined categories in terms of attractiveness to a coach:

1) OSU

2) Georgia

3) LSU

4) USC (drops a couple spots with presence of Kelly at UCLA)

5) Texas

6) Alabama

7) Florida

8) PSU

9) FSU

10) Michigan/Notre Dame tie (almost no regional recruiting advantages so have to recruit nationally)

08/01/2018 - 7:16pm I bet he'd be on the list…

I bet he'd be on the list but not near the top after just one full season as a HC.

08/01/2018 - 7:15pm EDIT:

I would think their…


I would think their list would go 1) Herman 2) Stoops 3) Dantonio

Forgot about Stoops.

08/01/2018 - 7:10pm Hm, why not Dantonio?  Now…

Hm, why not Dantonio?  Now that I think about it, he has history in Columbus, he's an Ohio guy. He would probably jump at the opportunity to get out of what may be a precarious situation at MSU without being accused of bailing because it would be a completely understandable step up for him.

From their perspective, he's a guy that's been very successful in the conference already, knows how to hate and beat M. He's basically Jim Tressel but grumpier.

I would think OSU's list would go 1) Herman 2) Dantonio.

Only reason I can think why not him, is Dantonio's age but if they whiff on Herman, hire Dantonio for a few years until someone better becomes available maybe?

08/01/2018 - 7:02pm "Urban's regime at OSU is…

"Urban's regime at OSU is strong in large part because of his staff, so you can keep things moving pretty well if you keep the gang together."

I have to disagree.  He's had a lot of turnover on the staff his entire tenure.  There's no one on it that couldn't be replaced relatively easily.

He is the one constant and his success at every stop speaks for itself.  And part of what he is, is a great recruiter.  He's stepped up already excellent recruiting under Tressel to be nationally dominant.

Their floor is extremely high because of the talent in Ohio that would play for OSU if Kermit the Frog was the coach, but I'm not sure there's a coach available that could keep them as dominant as they have been.

Herman is probably the best bet for them. They should go after him hard.

08/01/2018 - 4:56pm Yeah, "mandatory reporters"…

Yeah, "mandatory reporters" of child abuse and neglect are usually based on profession, like social workers, teachers, counselors, care providers, etc.  And that makes sense.  Those people are the most likely to know/become aware of abuse and they should be trained and licensed and held accountable professionally to reporting.

Most situations aren't as black and white which is what Ed Warinner would have been in.  From a psychological standpoint, it's more difficult to report a "peer" as Smith essentially was to Warinner than it would be to report a subordinate.  So again, he should feel terrible, he could have done something, he had the opportunity to help someone and didn't, but should he be punished for having not done anything?  Probably not. To someone in his position, it's a learning experience.

The people with more power and more responsibility (Urban, Gene Smith) should be held more accountable to that power and responsibility.  And they're the ones that set the tone on culture.

08/01/2018 - 1:21pm Yes, he could have quit.  He…

Yes, he could have quit.  He could have said something.  He contributed to a culture of silence and enablement that put football and reputation over peoples safety.

That said, it's really hard to be the one guy to "snitch" and rock the boat and this is why these situation happen so frequently and escalate to a point that people are like "how could happen, how could it go so far?"  There's a whole study of organizational behavior that shows how and why these kinds of things happen over and over again.

So yeah, I don't think it's a terrible thing that Warinner wasn't able to be the hero in that case. Most people wouldn't stand up.  But if I were Warde, I'd ask about it, ask what he knew, ask what he did, and make sure Warinner knows silence is an unacceptable response to something like this at Michigan.  Warde should be encouraging a culture of openness to make it easy for people to come forward. 

And that's something that should already be encouraged with everyone in the AD.

08/01/2018 - 1:03am If you buy the S&P+ expected…

If you buy the S&P+ expected win percentages, which give M a 45 percent chance of beating MSU and a 26 percent chance of beating OSU - both very reasonable expectations and maybe even overly pessimistic - then they do have a better chance of splitting those two games than losing them both.

So the probabilistic expectation is actually that M will split them.

HOWEVER, when you also include the probability of beating ND on the road, you're still looking at one in three of those tough road games as the expectation.  They'll need to outperform and steal two of those to have a chance at the playoffs.  It's about time they do that.

08/01/2018 - 12:47am Sorry, correction: PSU is…

Sorry, correction: PSU is after MSU.  I still stand by the general point of emphasizing divisional games.

08/01/2018 - 12:45am So you're not counting…

So you're not counting Northwestern in the "top" group?  They won, what, 10 games last year?  They should be pretty good, even if they take a step back from 10 wins to 8ish.

Also, Nebraska is going to go to a bowl and I wouldn't be surprised if they won 7 games next year. They won't be chopped liver.

So while I agree that one of MSU or PSU will probably have a 7 or 8 win season, I think a couple other teams in M's schedule will get up to that total as well.

08/01/2018 - 12:34am If we're undefeated going…

If we're undefeated going into that Wisconsin game, which would mean wins against ND, NW, and PSU, I honestly would prefer we spent half the week on MSU.

You have to win the division to win a conference title.  A loss to Wisconsin in that scenario would not matter one bit in terms of making the playoff as long as M goes on to win the division.  So at that point, heavy focus should be on MSU and OSU. 

08/01/2018 - 12:30am If 2006 is indeed the last…

If 2006 is indeed the last season (and wow, is that sobering), then you have the correct game, yes.

08/01/2018 - 12:11am Wait...I just realized that…

Wait...I just realized that.  I can't believe they scheduled the BBQ for that weekend.  Could they not have done it the weekend before?  That soccer game was scheduled a while ago.

I also wonder what recruits thought about that.  Could actually be a positive thing. Like, oh btw, our stadium is so awesome it's being used by two of the biggest soccer teams (and hence two of the biggest sports teams) in the world. NBD. 

Or would 17-18 year old football players be like, Manchester United, who?

07/31/2018 - 3:38pm It's not even close though. …

It's not even close though.  Have you been to Columbus?  At least Lansing is in the state of Michigan and residents not associated with the University aren't overwhelmingly partisan towards MSU (per facebook like data as of 2014, EL zip codes were only partisan towards MSU by a ratio of less than 5:1 (between 15 and 20 percent of residents "liked" UM football).  In Columbus area, it's OSU by a ratio of about 25:1, which is a huge difference.  You have allies as an M fan in EL.  There are enough fans there that it isn't cult-like.  Not the case in Columbus. It's OSU or literally GTFO.

Plus, OSU football fans are even more toxic and "fanatical" than MSU basketball fans.

07/30/2018 - 12:37pm I think at least one of them…

I think at least one of them will be all conference (first team) or better...unfortunately, it won't be this year.  Maybe not even next year if it's Mayfield and not Hudson (but also could be both).

07/29/2018 - 4:30pm Kentucky is actually ranked…

Kentucky is actually ranked 22th and Duke is 9th. 

I would argue that it undervalues incoming talent and dramatically overvalues returning production.  They say it heavily weights returning production which is why teams like Marquette (4th), Wisconsin (8th), Iowa (19th) and Illinois (21st) are ranked so high despite all being bad to worse last year.  Those are all pretty absurd rankings.  I don't think it matters that much if a team returns a lot of players from a mediocre to bad team.  That probably just means they'll be slightly better than mediocre to bad the following year if they didn't bring in a big infusion of talent. 


07/29/2018 - 3:47pm It also rates teams on a …

It also rates teams on a "coaches past performances on offense and defense."

So assuming that takes into account numerous years, it would factor in a lot of meh Beilein defenses and not be weighing Yaklich defenses into that part of the formula.

Given that they were 3rd in defensive efficiency, will probably have better defenders playing more minutes this year, and are in year 2 of Yaklich, I would expect the defense to be top 5 in the country.  Elite once again.  This has them ranked 13th, probably dragged backwards by Beileins deeper history which isn't relevant to next year.

07/29/2018 - 3:41pm Yeah, that stood out to me…

Yeah, that stood out to me too.  They were 53rd team in kenpom last year.  Had an absolutely horrendous defense (at like 180th after being 160th the season before).

They even lose their highest usage offensive player, so it's not like they even get everyone back.  That's a total head-scratcher.

The weird thing is that the article says "though BPI's projections won't come out until the fall..." so if these aren't projections, what are they?

My best guess as to why this is such a bad ranking is that I assume they're just applying the the same Ortgs and win shares per minute that players produced the prior year.

So for Michigan, a guy like Poole with a meh Ortg of 108 is perhaps "projected" to do that in increased minutes.  And if he plays 75 percent of minutes at only 108 Ortg, the offense will struggle mightily.  But he's probably not going to be that inefficient.

Perhaps that's what they're going to "project" in the fall: actual improvement (or a lack thereof) from players already on the roster.