One of the plus sides of Michigan having a Bye week is that there is no possible way for Devin Gardner to disappoint anyone in any way. Except maybe through his actions as a human being rather than a football player, but it's been about 25 years since anyone really put that as a priority in a college athlete so whatever, he's good.
Plus, whatever his deficiencies as a quarterback, Gardner seems like a pretty alright dude. Maybe not as affable as Denard Robinson was (I've yet to find an Ohio State fan who disliked that guy on any level higher than "reluctant obligation"), but decent enough to not be able to outright hate.
So that coupled with a Bye week doesn't give me a ton to work with today. Instead of Ace from MGoBlog, I'm stuck with a bunch of random articles about Michigan written by various yahoos on the internet who apparently were too cool to deign to hang with yours truly online. This is a dark week for me, but I'll try and persevere by making snarky comments about Al Borges and facing a disturbing dark future sportswriter version of myself head on.
THIS IS INDEED A DISTURBING UNIVERSE
I like to think of myself as an okay writer. Like, most of the time my quips are passable and the words that I put in sequence with one another generally make sense potato. And I want it to stay that way, but Bob Wojnowski has given me a grim vision of the future where my jokes reach critical mass and collapse into themselves like a dying star made up of puns your dad refuses to stop making.
Seriously though this column about Michigan and Michigan State's respective football problems is one of the most insane things I have ever read. In the span of like 750 words that seems more like 50 thousand, "Wojo" makes jokes about Legionnaires Disease, Little Drummer Boy, pooping his pants, and God knows what else. I don't know whether I really hate... whatever the hell this is, or love it so much that I'm going to emulate it for ever and ever:
There was Dantonio sitting in the corner, clutching four dolls with names taped to their backs. He was talking to them in a soothing voice, and periodically pounding them on the floor. The room was dark and he appeared to have a five-day growth of beard, although I could be mistaken.
Dammit. I can't help myself. It's brilliant.
Oh also his predicted score of the OSU/Wisconsin game is eerily accurate.
BORGES DOESN'T WANT BACKUPS TO FAIL UNTIL STARTERS HAVE FAILED TO MAXIMUM EXTENT ALLOWABLE
Al Borges is talking about the Michigan offensive line here, and from a macro perspective I get it. There's generally a reason that starters, even crappy ones, are starters, and it's not usually attributable to a twisted sense of glee coaches get from watching their team crash and burn (unless it's John L. Smith who I still posit is a closet masochist).
With that said, Freep identifies three areas where the Wolverines could use some looks at the backup positions on offense, and Borges shoots that down on all three accounts.
- Shane Morris isn't going to be taking over for Gardner anytime soon, which is good because even though Gardner has looked terrible in the last few games, this is a really dumb suggestion that would destroy the locker room.
- Giving Derrick Green some more action is slightly more reasonable because Fitz Toussaint is barely passable at rushing inside the tackles (or most anyplace else on the field), but he's overweight and probably a ticking turnover time bomb at this point.
- It says volumes that the only change Freep can come up with on offensive line is inserting a redshirt freshman at guard.
"The biggest mistake you can make as a coach is to put a kid in a position where he’ll fail," Borges said. "If he fails, you could lose him forever; he could never be the same player."
That's a really weird way at looking at adversity, but yeah, okay.
IT'S THE DEFENSE YOU MAROON
Freep also devoted a large number of inches to dissecting whether the offense or the defense is the strength of Michigan.
In favor of the offense was the fact that they put up a lot of yards against the likes of Akron, UConn, Central Michigan, and an obviously overrated Notre Dame team. The offense also has some good players that are really good when not playing like dog poop. A COMPELLING ARGUMENT INDEED, ARTICLE THAT HAS 20 ONE-SENTENCE PARAGRAPHS!
In favor of the defense is everything else, including the fact that Michigan is somehow still undefeated. So yeah, probably not a great debate to be had here, especially when you actually have a unit on the defense outperforming expectations (linebackers). That's not the case on the offensive side of the ball, where everybody except Gallon kinda has been bad at various points in the last few games.
JUST IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE AND READ THIS
Chantel Jennings over at ESPN easily and simply breaks down what's up with the Wolverines recently without poop jokes, dumb quotes, or an entire premise based on an offhanded quote from Gerry DiNardo. It's a somewhat light but good article which could probably be more in depth but screw it, it's the Bye week and you're reading about Michigan. I can't tell you how to live your life.
Of course, your other option is to go to MGoBlog if you prefer obsessively detail-oriented Michigan discussion, which I have always been both incredibly impressed with and kind of creeped out by. So win-win, really.