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blu.fan


Member since 01 February 2014 | Blog

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Comment 20 Sep 2014

This is a problem for the Big 10.

Interestingly, as regards your rival Michigan, they've been doing ok in recruiting. You could argue that they are actually approaching Ohio State's level. In fact, right now, they trail only Alabama and USC on Rivals in terms of the average ranking of each recruit. And that includes a kicker, which drags everything down.

Still, the original point stands, and the Big 10 as a whole really needs to pick up the pace with recruiting.

Comment 15 Sep 2014

I seriously doubt Hoke is going anywhere, at least not this year. If Michigan ends up 9 - 3, even with losses to OSU, MSU, & ND, he'll be given another year. Should Michigan actually win against the Buckeyes or Spartans, it will take quite a bit of pressure off. I won't presume to predict that is going to happen. There are at least three factors, in my mind.

  1. Injuries and other player losses. Who could have predicted that Miller and Spence would be out for Ohio State this year? Certainly not me. For Michigan, to have at least four starters out against Miami hurt  their play (Funchess at WR, Desmond Morgan at LB, and Countess and Taylor at CB.) Getting Jake Butt back at TE has been important, and he is only going to get stronger. Having critical players in or out can affect the balance in a particular game.
  2. Player development. It appears things are finally beginning to jell for Michigan on the OL. There also has been a learning curve for Michigan's secondary with press coverage. There also are quite a few raw WR's who are learning the ropes and getting things down with route running. If these units get things down, Michigan is going to improve significantly over the course of the year.
  3. Turnovers. If Michigan continues to have turnovers at the rate they have over the last 3 games, it is going to be a long season. If they put and end to that, and the defense causes turnovers, well, that would be a huge change for Michigan.

I'm comfortable predicting 9 - 3 this year. Anything between 8 - 4 & 10 - 2 means that Hoke will not be going anywhere.

Comment 02 Sep 2014

You can't underestimate what is involved in a gifted and experienced OL that works well together. Your OL, along with losing a great RB, are key factors, obv. along with Miller being out for the year. Getting back to my original point, how the OL at OSU performs is probably the most critical factor for OSU this year. This week's game, along with MSU, will tell you a lot, and it looks a bit ominous right now. With the tire fire that has been Michigan's OL for the last five years, I feel your pain.

Comment 02 Sep 2014

Hope he figures it out, as he seems to have plenty of talent. Meyer doesn't want to cut him from the team, but Baugh is now on a pretty short leash. It is sad when a gifted young man who has been given such a great opportunity throws it away. And the reality is that there are plenty of other guys ready to step up and step in.

Comment 30 Aug 2014

Look forward to the day when this isn't newsworthy. I suppose, with all the publicity he got, as the first openly gay player to be drafted, it makes sense that Sam get publicity as the first openly gay player to be cut. He should be judged not by his personal preferences, but by his abilities to make tackles on the field. In fact, his personal preferences should be completely irrelevant to whether or not he makes an NFL squad.

Comment 30 Aug 2014

I love Brady Hoke. (no homo.) I love everything about him. I love how he relates with his players, and with their families, how he doesn't take himself too seriously, with how he just has fun. I love his coaching staff. I love that he feels really bad about Braxton Miller, and comes from the same town. I love that Brady Hoke isn't fake and plastic. I love that he isn't mean and miserable. I love that he can make fun of himself, flub his line, and he just comes off as a coach. I don't even care about the fat jokes, because let's face it, he isn't thin. I love that he says "Ohio," (which I don't do,) and that he won't wear red. You can tell that at least some players feel the same way, because his recruiting keeps on getting better, even though the record hasn't. Ohio State has an awesome coach with a great record, which I doubt Brady Hoke will ever match. But you know what? I'm happy for you, and I'm happy for Michigan. I know a bunch of y'all think Hoke is on a hot seat. He isn't. He'll be around for a long time, which makes a bunch of OSU fans giggly. Ummh, time will tell, but I don't think OSU's recent overwhelming winning record against Michigan is going to continue much longer. Don't know if it will be this year, or next, but Michigan will be punching OSU in the face. Finally, my boy is only in 8th grade ball, and I'd be shocked for him to play in college. Just doesn't have the speed and size. But if he did play in college, Hoke is the kind of coach I'd want him to play for. Ted Ginn feels the same way, and that's why Frank Clark and Willie Henry are at Michigan.

Comment 22 Aug 2014

Fascinating article. It has always been my contention that you are looking for trouble any time you are starting a Freshman QB, especially a true Freshman. The problem is the time it takes to master the playbook. It takes repetition, and time to work out the kinks, both in practice and in game situations. When a QB has a couple years of seasoning, hopefully as an early entry, then a redshirt and then a full year playing only in mop up duty, they have learned the playbook and have the timing down cold. You'll just have to see how Barrett does. Sometimes early season success can be particularly cruel and deceiving. A Freshman QB can think they have things down, only to be destroyed by a crafty DC and seasoned secondary.

There is one set of circumstances where Freshmen QB's have more success. It involves a highly skilled, motivated and gifted QB, surrounded by veterans at every position. When that happens, they can make things work. The fact that OSU is breaking in many new guys at OL gives me pause. OSU has a tremendous defense, but I don't know if they will be completely able to carry the team. I don't know, but I think you really now are one year away from significant success.

One last thing:  someone here who is more of a stats wizard should find the NCAA stats on Freshman QB's in a starting role. I believe that will corroborate my position (Freshman QB's are trouble) and give you a picture of what OSU might expect this year. (EDIT:  yes, you would need to separate true Freshmen from redshirted Freshmen.)

Comment 22 Aug 2014

I don't even know what to say. I mean, I believe in miracles, and that would qualify, but really? All I can think of is Desmond trolling OSU and SEC fans and being a homer. If Michigan ends up 6 in the country, every last doggone thing went right (OL came together, Gardner stayed healthy and played within himself, defense completely gelled and was dominant, key injuries to some of our strongest opponents.) Hope springs eternal, and I am an optimist, but this is beyond me to predict. Or even hope for.

Having said that, I don't think Hoke is nearly as fat and stupid as many OSU fans think, and Michigan is on the rise. It has taken years to rebuild after the disaster and travesty that was RR. Michigan has been doing a good job of recruiting, and right now is on track to have the highest average star rating of anybody in the Big 10, albeit with only 14 - 15 total in the class. I am really looking forward to 2015 and beyond. Just not this year, not yet.

Comment 22 Aug 2014

Bittersweet photo. I've seen pictures of my mom from that era, who was in college in the early 50's. She is gone now, and it reminds me that time stops for no one. A few years ago while on campus for a game, in a crowd of students, I realized that I was no longer anything like one of them. Instead, I was old enough to be their dad. Now my daughter is a 21 year old in the Navy, and I continue to get older. Great memories of being young once, and all the excitement of being a freshman. I suppose part of going back to games has to do with hanging on to those good memories.

Comment 22 Aug 2014

It always hurts to have a decommitment, but as already mentioned above, there is a severe scholarship crunch for OSU in 2016. Between one and done players, and those who stay two years, maybe three, you can hardly bank scholarships anymore. OSU is going to be just fine without Mitchell. As regards Mitchell, I suspect the reality of his father's condition, along with the realization of being so far away from home, finally sank in. There are still two top 50 uncommitted recruits for 2015 in the State of Ohio, and one of them, Carlton Bragg, at least lists OSU as a possibility. As you well know, Michigan has benefited greatly when OSU has not had scholarships to give. Trey Burke and Caris LeVert were two ballers from Ohio signed by Michigan fairly late in the recruiting process. Neither were offered by OSU, and I'm sure both would have been interested. With the sustained success Matta has had at OSU, this is a great opportunity for OSU to either go after a late blooming prospect in 2015, or have another spot for one of the 2016 recruits on the horizon.

Comment 19 Aug 2014

The Buckeyes will be fine. You have a great coach, and have done an incredible job recruiting year in and year out. I feel bad for Braxton, who is a class act and an incredible QB. It is extremely hard to lose a senior QB, even more so when the QB is as gifted as Miller. I suppose this will make your season more interesting, but maybe it will bring the whole team much closer together. I do think your games against Michigan State and Minnesota just got a lot harder. It gives me more hope as a Michigan fan, but we have so many problems on the OL, I don't know that your losing Braxton makes a difference. But again, condolences, as you deal with this bad news.

Comment 19 Aug 2014

It was only a matter of time, and was the right thing to do. Sad situation, but totally necessary. Due process and going through the evidence doesn't happen overnight. Here is what Hoke said in the release:

“Csont’e York has been dismissed from the Michigan football program. Representing the University of Michigan is a privilege and, while second chances are certainly deserved, sometimes it’s better for everyone if that happens somewhere else. Overall, I have been proud of how responsible our team has been this offseason and how hard they’ve worked to prepare for the season.”

Comment 19 Aug 2014

I'm one Michigan fan that isn't gloating or happy at Braxton Miller's reinjury. He has always been a class act, and terrorized defenses everywhere with his mobility and arm. As a savvy, gifted, senior QB, Miller was critical to OSU this year. Of course, it is next man up, and OSU will do fine, but you don't just replace someone like Miller with a freshman. I don't know when Michigan will be back. Lord knows Michigan has plenty of problems, especially on the offensive line. But Michigan won't really be back until they can beat a team like the Buckeyes at full strength. I know it would hurt Michigan just as much to have their senior QB (Devin Gardner) go down to injury.

Comment 19 Aug 2014

I'm sorry for all Ohio State fans. Not this way. Braxton Miller always was a class act, and will be sorely missed. His mobility terrified defenses and defensive coordinators throughout the Big 10. With Braxton at QB, OSU was always in the game to the very end. While it is true that you always have to be prepared, and it is always "next man up," a senior QB as gifted as Braxton is pretty irreplaceable. You really could have used Guiton this year, but it wasn't to be. You can't replace senior leadership, with a strong and full knowledge of the whole playbook. How quickly a season turns.

Comment 12 Aug 2014

York needs to be off the team, and will be off the team. There is no excuse for a sucker punch like that, and he needs to be released as soon as possible.

I would expect any decent coach out there to release a player who pulls a stunt like that. Meyer would can him right away. I personally am very glad for the video evidence, and wish there were more video evidence in more circumstances.

Comment 07 Aug 2014

This is sad. Too bad that Greg's career in the NBA hasn't turned out better, and now this. I won't pile on, and won't troll. In fact, the only reason I came on line is to say that anyone who does this, at any school, or in the pros, or after school and the pros, is way out of line. You can't make excuses for hitting a woman, ever. I don't care if you are a student at UofM, or OSU, or any other Big10 School, or the SEC, etc. It doesn't matter if you're a star in the NBA or NFL or in the MLB. It is just wrong. Unfortunately, too many women refuse to press charges, or to hold accountable those who have done stuff like this. The best I can say is that I hope this is a positive turning point for Oden.

p.s.  The shirt? Every Michigan fan knows where that came from, and can even understand some of the frustration. But make a shirt memorializing it? I dunno, not something I'd wear (obviously,) but even if the shoe was on the other foot (i.e., a Michigan player doing the same thing,) I wouldn't have the shirt, nor would I like it to be worn by anyone.

Comment 28 Jul 2014

There's no doubt Urban Meyer is a great coach and is doing a great job. But I honestly think Hoke is doing just fine. He isn't on the so-called "hot seat." Offensive Line recruiting was terrible under Rodriguez, and it takes time for an O-Line to be up to speed. This year should be better than last year, and next year better yet. Michigan fans believe that virtually every unit of the team will improve from last year. We look at the linebackers as a strength, the defensive backfield being stronger, the QB with more experience, the receivers more seasoned, and the RB corps improved. The big question will be how long it takes for the OL to gel as a unit. I honestly expect 9 - 3 this year (expecting a loss to OSU, MSU, and one other game.) Am I satisfied? Nope. But I'm willing to be patient. 2015 and 2016 are the seasons where Hoke will rightly be judged.

As regards recruiting, there seem to be plenty of recruits who still want to play for Michigan. While "stars" don't ultimately matter, right now, Michigan has the highest rated recruits in the Big 10 on average for 2015, even including a kicker. The class is small, and so far, Michigan has filled it's needs. I personally love Hoke's style, and the staff he has assembled. Mattison is no slouch, and neither is Nussmeier. One last thing:  the fat jokes are fine. At least Hoke isn't insufferably arrogant (like Charlie Weis.) And I seem to recall a former Buckeye coach who wasn't particularly svelte. This didn't affect his record, as I recall.

Comment 14 Jul 2014

Fireworks are nice and all, but I completely agree with Eleven Warriors . . . what will attract fans is a quality winning program. Winning cures and fixes lots of problems. I do, however, think that Michigan will win more this year than last, and more next year than this year. I especially am looking forward to what the defense under Mattison will do.

Regarding Brandon, free donuts won't attract anyone. Who cares about a donut. What really cheeses off some Michigan fans is nickel and diming us for every last thing. You can't bring sealed bottled water in with you, and they were trying to eliminate seat cushions. You have to pay for seat licenses, more for parking, etc., etc., etc. Some of us old crabby people feel like he would allow any advertiser in if they paid enough money. And I'm just waiting until there is some stupid faux Wolverine mascot. "Get off my lawn."

Comment 07 Jul 2014

Well, ok, let me explain why I justify Hoke in terms of recruiting.

  • He comes onboard in January 2011. I don't blame Hoke for recruiting when he had about a month, and think he did pretty well for that short time span.
  • Year two is 2012, the first year he really stacks a bunch of OL recruits (five total.) Most redshirt, as is the case for 90% of the OL.
  • Year three is 2013, with the OL recruits from year two (2012) now freshmen, and the year three recruits (2013) largely redshirts.
  • Year four is 2014. On the OL, we have zero junior or senior tackles, and zero junior or senior guards. There is a single junior at center, who was a walkon. (Glasgow.) There are five with sophomore eligibility, six with freshman eligibility.
  • Year five, 2015, we should have a healthy mix of juniors, sophomores, and possibly a freshman. And still, no seniors with the exception of one walkon.

This is why I am among those giving Hoke a pass.

As regards Urban, I agree that he is a great coach. I personally like Hoke's style more, but you can't argue with Urban's results.

Comment 07 Jul 2014

I always appreciate hearing the perspective of Eleven Warriors as regards Michigan. That whole thing about keeping close to your enemies applies here.

It is hard for Michigan fans to predict what the current season will bring. As a long time follower of Michigan football, I will say that Michigan fans were spoiled by many years of success. Being down for some time is not easy. I am one of those who attribute many of the problems to the woeful OL recruiting under RR. If you were really interested, you could look to several years where OL recruiting was abysmal. And once your line is gone, you're sunk. It takes years to build a solid OL & DL. Honestly, I still think Michigan is a year away from having both talent and experience in line play on both offense and defense. Having a bad interior line just ruins any kind of running game.

Because the OL is still young, I believe that Hoke isn't particularly on the hot seat in 2014. If Michigan wins 9 games, that will be ok this year. The real test comes in 2015 and 2016. If there is improvement in 2015 (while breaking in a new QB,) and even more improvement in 2016, Hoke will be set.

Regarding comparisons between Hoke and Urban, I don't think enough information is available yet. Certainly long term, Urban's record is much, much shinier. However, I think that Urban came into a much better situation (in terms of the recruiting cupboard not being bare.) And, to be sure, while Urban has done well during the regular season, the post season and Big 10 championship record in 2012 and 2013 has to be disappointing for Buckeye fans.

Comment 12 Jun 2014

I'm sure that there are other school fans who stoop to impersonating asshole fans of their rivals. (But I don't think any of the examples given by Ramzy fall in that category. For instance, I don't think someone from OSU was pretending to be Twitter CEO Costolo.) Trolling another team by pretending to be the fan of another school, that's a whole different kind of assholery. Honestly, I think that anyone doing that needs to get a life, and has way too much time on their hands.

One other thing:  The Big Lebowski and the Dude . . . is there a more perfect movie to comment on assholery?

Comment 12 Jun 2014

This article was so good, it was linked on the front page of mgoblog by Ace, who focuses on recruiting. This is required reading. In fact, I hope there is a permanent tab to this article at 11W. I'll be linking to it regularly if there is. I've already referred another mgoblogger to the article . . . someone who doesn't get why the coaches have given an offer to a mere "3 star," a guy who wasn't offered by Alabama or Ohio State, etc., etc.

As an aside, I generally enjoy 11W. As miserable as it is to have lost to OSU so many times, I hold out with hope that things will eventually improve. I'm one of those who is glad RR moved on, and think that Brady Hoke and the Wolverines will be doing well by 2015.

Comment 12 Jun 2014

Great philosophy! Seriously, Urban Meyer and any decent coaches have their own means of assessing talent. The number of stars, or group think on who is good, simply isn't nearly as important. I'd rather watch the games than follow all the recruiting drama.

Comment 05 Jun 2014

MordenoftheSith, your pithy, succinct wit and fandom are outstanding. You, sir, are a wonderful example of an OSU fan. My hat is off to you. I am sure your eloquence was appreciated by said skunk bear. You left a Michigan fan speechless, with no response. After all, what could he say to such brilliant repartee? The next time I have a drink, I'll tip my glass in memory of your cleverness. For Buckeyes everywhere, you epitomize that difficult to define "je ne se quoi," that essence of all that is of THE Ohio State University. I too, smile as I contemplate your recent verbal exchange. Please, continue your endearing interactions with your Michigan fan co-workers. It underscores and highlights the beauty and brilliance of Ohio State.