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Member since 01 February 2014 | Blog

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Comment 22 Jun 2017

You're plumb crazy. Obviously, Florida, Wisconsin, and Penn State are tough. I'm comfortable putting those as tossup games, and think it's reasonable they lose one or two of the three. As things stand, you have to predict a loss to OSU. But Cincinnati? And a definite loss to Florida? What are you drinking? I'm a homer, but I see Michigan again with 3 losses, and if things go well, 2 losses. You've got 3 definite losses and think another 3 are possible? Nope. No way. Insiders have made clear that while Michigan is young, their talent level (athleticism, speed, strength) has gone up, up, up. I think they lose a couple due to youth, but they are heading in the right direction.

As for comparing Harbaugh to Rich Rod, that's even worse. Rich Rod wasn't competitive. Harbaugh has improved, to where OSU's offense did nothing on Michigan through 3 quarters last year. And I really don't think the defense is going to step back much, if at all. Brown is a great DC, and having Mattison with the DL is awesome.

How patient will Michigan fans be with Harbaugh? It depends. If Michigan plays OSU tough, instead of getting curb stomped, that counts for something. I don't believe in moral victories. A loss is a loss. But being humiliated and dominated is another thing, That's what I can't stand. This year, Michigan is awfully young, and could / should lose. Next year, the game is in Columbus, which is always a very hard place to play on the road. Michigan could easily lose again. The year after, definitely no excuses. In other words, Michigan fans will accept staying even this year, improving next year, and beating OSU by 2019. So here's what Michigan fans need:

  • Be competitive.
  • Continue to improve.
  • Beat OSU by 2019.

If those things happen, Michigan fans will be satisfied with Harbaugh.

Comment 22 Jun 2017

Minimal comments. Yeah, watch out for the trap games.

As regarding Michigan - OSU, I'm looking forward to that game. But it won't be until the end of October that Michigan will know whether or not all the new starters are capable of competing. And Michigan still doesn't have nearly the depth OSU has. Right now, as much as I want Michigan to win, I just can't see predicting it.

As regards 80 - zip games . . . whatever the score is, I'm thinking Michigan will continue to be competitive going forward.

What would be a perfect Michigan game? This year, it would be poetic justice . . . for OSU to lose because of bad calls, or interceptions, or a kickoff / punt return TD by Michigan. To tell the truth, I wouldn't want that to happen, but oh, the schadenfreude if OSU lost in some inexplicable freak fashion. It is always more of a dong punch to feel you lost a game you could have or should have won.

Comment 22 Jun 2017

Good luck getting Wi-Fi in the Shoe. This isn't gonna happen any time soon.

Now, if OSU wanted to add a $5 Wi-Fi surcharge, to each and every home game ticket, for the next 5 years, that would about pay for it to be installed, and to have free Wi-Fi.

Alternatively, if OSU wanted to allow Verizon to install Wi-Fi at Verizon's cost, but for Verizon to retain the rights to charge all Wi-Fi users into the future until such time as their costs were recouped, plus receiving a reasonable and customary profit above and beyond the cost of installation and the cost of on-going maintenance, well, Verizon might go for that.

But at the end of the day, Verizon, and all cell service providers, are in this business to make money. There is no free lunch. Nothing is free:  someone always pays.

Comment 21 Jun 2017

Very impressive. You guys are in your glory. Nothing to be said by this Michigan fan until Michigan actually beats OSU.

I will simply note that the world doesn't stand still. Enjoy your team's excellence while it lasts. Things change, however, in ways that none of us can predict. There may well come a time when the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. So I would merely suggest that you be measured in your pride and gloating, both at your success and at Michigan's lack thereof.

Comment 21 Jun 2017

Michigan recruiting is definitely not at the same level as Bama and OSU. The rest? I think UM recruits would stack up ok.

Regarding Michigan playing with Harbaugh recruits, they are most of the way there, but this year will field a very young team. Next year is when we really will see what JH does with guys who are all his.

This year, I don't think Michigan can beat OSU. But I like their chances vs. FL, PSU, Wisconsin, and obviously the rest of their games. If Michigan can finish the year with 2 losses (OSU and one other,) and with a bowl win, that would be improvement.

Comment 21 Jun 2017

I mostly agree. OSU is ahead of everyone, obviously. I defintely disagree with you about PSU. Michigan has been significantly higher ranked than PSU with the exception of 2015, the year of transition between Hoke and Harbaugh when Harbaugh had all of a month to try to put together a recruiting class.

I agree that Michigan needs solid wins, particularly against OSU. They stomped PSU last year, beat Wisconsin. I am so mad about the injury to our QB Speight vs. Iowa. Smh. His inability to throw downfield, along with a sucky OL, killed Michigan vs. Iowa, OSU, and the Bowl game.

I am much, much more confident about QB now. Michigan has depth at the position, which they haven't had for many years. I am much less confident about the OL. I "hope" they improve over last year this season, but that may not happen until 2018. Regardless, this year or next, Michigan should be much, much more competitive. They actually were competitive with you last year, and also competitive in the bowl game. But competitive doesn't matter:  coffee is for closers, and Michigan couldn't close out their biggest games.

Comment 21 Jun 2017

We'll just agree to disagree as regards pulling 5-star recruits. Partly, it comes down to fandom of the athlete. Partly, it comes down to "fit." At least a bit, it comes down to PT for the respective team. I mean, this isn't rocket science. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. But I expect Michigan to lock down most 5 star recruits in the state of Michigan, just as I expect OSU to do the same in the state of Ohio.

As regards Hoke vs. Harbaugh, Hoke started well, but dropped off a cliff. What will be critical will be how Harbaugh recruits this year and next (2018 and 2019.) If Harbaugh has 2 more years in the top 10, well, Michigan should be able to compete. It is my contention that being in the top 10, averaging maybe around 4 - 6, is more important than being "number 1" in recruiting one year,  but dropping way down the next year. Harbaugh and Hoke were in the same range for 2 years. OSU, on the other hand, has done better than Michigan every single year. You have a great thing going, and it is a bit easier to maintain, then to build up from nothing. Here's a table comparing OSU and Michigan from 247:

2017 2 5
2016 4 7
2015 7 37
2014 3 20
2013 2 4
2012 5 6
2011 6 30
Comment 20 Jun 2017

OSU continues to knock it out of the park with recruiting. Vapor is mind blowing. Smh.

I will be watching OL recruit Devontae Dobbs out of Belleville closely. Currently, crystal balls have him 67% to Michigan, but y'all know that Meyer and crew are going to be recruiting him hard to the very end. This is the kind of thing that might pull Michigan closer to OSU:  if they are able to close on 5 star talent from the state of Michigan. Getting Peoples-Jones last year was great. Dobbs would be too. Michigan can't afford to whiff on instate 5 star talent . . . Ohio has a lot more football players than Michigan does.

Comment 20 Jun 2017

I fully support this message. FTR, I read the article. And lastly, whoever gets Tyreke Smith is getting a great kid. Of course, you'd think he goes to OSU. (that's where most of the crystal balls are pointing.) But we'd surely love to have him in Ann Arbor!

Comment 20 Jun 2017

Do you really think so? I mean, of course Woody wouldn't approve, nor would the Board of Regents approve, of spending OSU money. But if a donor wanted to send the team overseas, I'm thinking Woody would be all over that. There is just something about being in a place, and experiencing it, that is different from watching a video or reading a book. This is true in most areas of life. I suppose it is paternalistic of me, but I love seeing students given experiences like these. I spent 3 months in Cuernavaca, Mexico as a boy. Time in Europe 10 years ago. 6 months studying in Asia. There is a much deeper, richer, more memorable experience "being there" than just reading about it.

Comment 20 Jun 2017

Completely agree. (nix to Tapestry and mussels/oysters.) However, they might be interested in the memorial museum of the Battle of Normandy, Omaha Beach landing site, museum, and cemetery, and maybe Mont Saint-Michel? It'd be cool to have a WWII history prof join them, and talk about what happened in various sites. A pretty cool interactive experience would be to spend a day with a Navy SEAL on the beach doing team building, or to have the team skydive in Normandy.

Regarding food, I think they probably would enjoy chateaubriand, beef bourguignon, coq au vin, streak frites, creme brulee, croissants, baguettes, cheese, french pastry, etc. Since it is legal, they could probably drink wine and beer, if they wanted to. If they only spend 3 - 4 days in France, they'll be fine. Food probably is better than London anyway.

Comment 20 Jun 2017

No. It was ruled a no no taking Spring Break to practice down in a warmer clime. That is what is forbidden. It is cruel and unusual punishment for football players to have to sacrifice their Spring Break and be forced to go from Ann Arbor or Columbus or Happy Value to a horrible place like Miami or Sarasota or Key West or South Padre Island for part of Spring practice. They shouldn't be forced to do that.

Comment 19 Jun 2017

Enjoy Meyer. Enjoy the memory of Tressel. You are in a golden era for OSU. Meyer will do everything he can to see this domination continue. As one of you said, however, don't take it for granted. Personally, I am doubtful that Harbaugh will ever catch up to Meyer, because of the head start Meyer has. However, I also think that by 2018, it will be much more evenly matched. At that point, I think it is quite possible that we will see each team win about half the games in a 10 year period. We shall see.

Comment 19 Jun 2017
  1. Regarding Harbaugh and publicity, he is certainly in the news. But partially, it seems like OSU fans are obsessed with him. There sure aren't a lot of Urban Meyer threads at mgoblog.
  2. Regarding Obama and politics and being invited to be an honorary captain, some Michigan fan boards had a meltdown. I think it is a great PR move, and it will resonate with a number of fans and players. The general tenor of Michigan's campus trends that way. Having said that, there are some who were apoplectic.
  3. Regarding Harbaugh and his coaching acumen, I suspect he is a very good coach. Having said that, it is extremely hard to catch OSU. You still have significantly more athletic talent on the roster. And Meyer is a very good coach. I blame an awful lot on the offensive line, and that is the position group which takes longest to build up. I really think it is in 2018 and beyond that you will see Harbaugh fielding a competitive team. (This year they are so young . . . smh.)
Comment 17 Jun 2017

That's the thing that gets me. Most of the kids will never even get a sniff at the NFL. I know that my travels in Asia, Central and South America, along with Europe and most of the US, really expanded my view of the world. I really hope that opportunities like this are given. Personally, I think that athletes work extremely hard for the dream of pro football, but so few will make it. I feel just a bit uncomfortable that fans and schools want every ounce of energy, and there is very little room for the athletes to learn and have fun and enjoy life. This seems like a great way to do that. We'll see how it goes over the next few years.

Comment 17 Jun 2017

Those are great questions. I have pondered them myself, because I have led students on trips. In my experience, you have to have balance between education and practice and food and fun. Remember, they did spend time in the Vatican, and museums, and opera, and history. Food is funny:  I have learned that sometimes, you have to cater to very simple tastes. My own teens would often rather have hamburgers and pizza than steak or lobster, let alone sushi or haute cuisine. Go figure.

I know they watched "Gladiator" before going to the Coliseum. I assume they will watch "Saving Private Ryan" or "Band of Brothers" before going to Normandy. My father-in-law dropped paratroopers from C-41's behind the lines on D-Day. I'd love get there myself someday. For me, one of the most haunting things in visiting Europe is all of the memorials with all of the names of those from that region who died, either in WWI or WWII.

Comment 17 Jun 2017

I've thought of at least the first fly in the ointment. For me, it raises one question I alluded to. Namely, is it unfair that OSU has better football facilities than Indiana? Or that Alabama and Auburn have better facilities than Troy or Jacksonville State or Tuskegee? The reality is that fans and donors and alumni at football factory schools have much deeper pockets, so the facilities are much better. And thus, on the face of it, the facilities make it "unfair." This has always been the case, but the obscene amounts of money flowing in mean that the top 20 - 30 schools have more money than they know what to do with. And the divide between the rich and the poor only increases. Every top 5 - 10 school wants every possible advantage money can buy. Well, except maybe for buying players. And we all know there are some bagmen who are willing to do that in some places. I digress. My point:  yes, it is unfair, but that has always been the case in life and in football. You can't eliminate all the "unfairness" out there.

Regarding the second objection, actually, I think there are benefits non-athletes can receive which most athletes aren't eligible for. Sometimes, I shake my head at the draconian regulations imposed on athletes, many coming from very humble circumstances.

I smirk thinking of all the basketball and tennis and other teams who play in Europe and elsewhere, that is paid for, but for some reason, it can't happen with football.

Regardless, I give credit to JH for coming up with something creative that perhaps no-one thought of before.

Comment 17 Jun 2017

I'd love to see football players paid too. But I'm not holding my breath on when that will happen. However, FTR, I wouldn't call trips to Italy, London, Paris, or Normandy spending "dollars for nothing." As much as I l love football, I put a lot of value on what JH is doing.

Comment 17 Jun 2017

It will indeed be interesting. I suppose it depends on the nature of the trips. If they are educational, or service based, I don't think the trips will stop. Obviously, if they were taking trips to Cancun or Cozemel ore Hawaii, there would be more eyebrows raised. But if they are going to Europe, or Africa, or India, or Israel or Asia, I think they can do what they want. As long as donors want to pony up and pay for it, why not? It is worth mentioning that like OSU, Michigan's athletic department operates in the black. This isn't costing taxpayers or general students a dime. In fact, the athletic dept. GIVES money to the general fund. That being the case, there is a lot more freedom to do what you want to do.

Comment 17 Jun 2017

Very cool. The cost of attending college is obscene. My kids couldn't afford to attend Michigan (I don't live in the State.) They have to do something. The reality, however, is that most families limited financially don't have the other kind of resources needed to help kids get admitted (let alone pay for school.)

Comment 16 Jun 2017

You will go through significant pain. I don't know what will happen this season, but it will probably be a lost year, another year without going to any tourney. You might have to fill the roster with walkons just to have enough depth to field a team. Offer too many scholarships right now, and you hurt yourself by not having them to offer next year. 2018-19 might be a bit better. But honestly, I don't think you should expect much until 2019-20. And the rest of the Big 10 isn't standing still. It would help if you had some recruits that were really lifelong OSU fans. Michigan just got a commitment from a kid who wanted to play in Ann Arbor his whole life. (cue the "loser" commentariat.)

Comment 08 Jun 2017

There is not a lot of consensus among Michigan fans on this topic. Some love the Fab 5. But a significant number hate Webber and what happened to Michigan in the aftermath. The thing for Michigan fans with Webber is that he never really admitted blame or took ownership, at least imhe.

I will say, being more than old enough to have watched them, the Fab 5 were just a tremendous amount of fun to follow. Of course I am biased. But they certainly captured my imagination, and seemed to have a lot of fun on the court. When they were on, they could play with almost anyone. They were balanced, and it was tremendous to watch Webber in the paint.

Beyond the Fab 5, there are some teams and players and moments that are just enjoyable to cheer for. I can't put my finger on it, but there is a combination of swagger and personality and skill and luck and likability that is hard to define, but you know it. A lot of it is personal. The USA Olympic hockey team in 1984 had that quality for me. Even some of the women's Olympic gymnastics teams had that. I liked some of the teams Magic Johnson played for . . . even though he went to Michigan State, I couldn't help but root for him at times. Wayne Gretzky was that way for me. In pro football, I am a Bears fan. Their Superbowl team had personality. For obvious reasons, I cheer for the Patriots. Sometimes, I have enjoyed the Packers. Which seems absolutely crazy.

When a team is made up of thugs, or is insufferable (Laettner,) or when "all they do is win" and have no sense of being an underdog in the least, it is harder. The Fab 5 were freshmen and sophomores and weren't at a tradition laden school (Indiana, UCLA, Duke, Kentucky) so they were new, fresh, underdogs, etc.

While there would be some pain, if a new coach at OSU was able to snap 1 guy from the state who was a generational talent (think LaBron, or Magic, etc.) 2 guys from the state who were 5 stars, and 2 guys from the state who were 4 stars, and there was someone at the top who had a lot of personality (like LeBron, or Shaq, or Webber, or Magic, or Rose,) that's a team I might root for. Personality plays into this. I don't think I could ever root for Laettner. I am a Chicagoan, and love the Bulls, but MJ was a killer:  great to have on your team, but not someone easy to root for when elsewhere. There are some coaches I don't know I could ever root for:  Coach K, Pitino. Urban Meyer is a GREAT COACH, but his smirk makes him close to insufferable to opposing fans.