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blu.fan


MEMBER SINCE   February 01, 2014

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Comment 06 Jul 2020

Very interesting read. I personally think the offense will be better when they play next. Why?

  1. Replacing Patterson. Smh. I think McCaffrey will be better.
  2. OL. This seems counterintuitive. However, Warinner has done miracles, and recruiting has improved greatly. The projected starters will have been on campus 3 - 5 years. Not one or two years and wet behind the ears. Depth is a very nice thing.
  3. Time with Gattis. I really think many of the problems last year, as noted by Urban Meyer, came with adjusting to Gattis and a new system. They largely figured it out halfway through the year. With more time and practice, things should be better.
  4. Speed at skill positions. They are much, much deeper at RB. At WR, while they lost one key guy, they bring back their best receiver, bring back several solid receivers, and bring in two burners. Future is brighter.

If McCaffrey is comfortable; if the OL gels; and if overall, the offense is comfortable and faster running Gattis' offense, things will improve.

As noted, the question is whether Don Brown's defense will ever be ready to play against elite teams. Thus far, the evidence is not encouraging.

Comment 03 Jul 2020

There is so much I could say. My thoughts are all over the place. I'll rebut a few things, and comment on a few others.

  1. The first thing I'll say is that I really don't have any sour grapes at all any more. You have an excellent team, a great organization, everything is running smoothly, great players at every position, great positional coaches, really, the only other thing would be if you could beat Bama and Clemson every year. At this point, it is going to take some miracles for anyone in the Big 10 to dethrone OSU.
  2. I do believe, as I've said in the past, that OSU was in just the right place at the right time. Here's what I mean. The 4 team Championships have changed everything. Once they started, there was no more arguing. It was clear to everyone that you had to be one of the best 4 - 6 teams in the country. What this meant is that Bama and OSU and Clemson, with some occasional changeover with Oklahoma and LSU and maybe Florida schools, were in the driver's seat for the best players in the country. For the best players, any other bowls are really second rate. It isn't a perfect analogy, but it is a little bit like the difference between the NCAA and the NIT tournament in basketball. Who wants the NIT? No one. Same thing with all other bowls at this point. Just a cash cow for rich white guys that run them. NFL talent on teams not in the championship are reasonably likely to bail and just get ready for the NFL tryouts and workouts, etc.
  3. Obviously, Urban Meyer was also an excellent coach. He was in the right place at the right time to help OSU succeed.
  4. What point 2 also means is that it is very, very, very hard for the rest of the teams below the ones mentioned to catch up. It is not like the NFL where the draft can allow some teams to catch up. In NCAA football, any team below the top 5 is going to struggle. Including Michigan.
  5. Regarding Michigan, they obviously had their worst stretch ever from the end of Lloyd Carr through Harbaugh. Shaking my head. Rich Rodriguez got a bum deal, but that's complicated. Hoke was in over his head. Harbaugh is good, but is in an extremely difficult situation. It is close to impossible to catch up to OSU.
  6. Regarding the fact that Michigan has lost to OSU, and that other teams (Purdue, Indiana,) have given OSU a hard time, cumong. OSU is ALWAYS going to be up for playing Michigan. Michigan is never a trap game. Those other teams sometimes, rarely, catch lightning in a bottle and beat the Buckeyes, when OSU is daydreaming about National Championships.
  7. So let's talk about Michigan's QB situation, and inability to beat OSU. The first thing I've said before is that Harbaugh was stubborn, and tried to win the old fashioned way on the offensive side. To his credit, he saw the need for change, which is why Gattis came in. But Meyer said repeatedly, you can't expect a team to function well with the read option immediately. It takes years, and tons of reps. You saw that last year when Michigan finally figured things out half way through the PSU game. I fully believe that Michigan is going to be fully functioning with the read option spread game the next time they play.
  8. Regarding Patterson, I'm pretty unhappy. The kid was out playing golf the summer of 2019 instead of doing more reps with receivers. Just frustrating. None of the other QB's were fully functioning, so we were largely stuck with him last year.
  9. Regarding the current situation, I believe that Michigan is finally well set, between McCaffrey, Milton, McNamara, and McCarthy coming with the 2021 class. Like everyone else, I expect McCaffrey to win out. Milton has a cannon for an arm:  either he has figured out how to throw accurately, or he will never be a QB, and will either switch positions or transfer elsewhere.
  10. The other thing noted above is the OL. The line was abyssmal for many years. Rodriguez failed in recruiting, and so did Hoke. Finally, finally, after so many years in the darkness, Michigan has depth. They don't have to start freshmen, and the redshirt freshmen are bigger, stronger, and better. They look to bring in another 5 - 7 guys in 2021. I love Warinner. He is doing a great job for Michigan. We finally, after so many hard years, have an OL and TE's who can block for both the run and pass game. This is really the key.
  11. Just a few final thoughts on defense. I love Don Brown. It appears he MOSTLY does a great job . . . until he plays a team with superior speed and athletes, a team like OSU. I agree with the thoughts above regarding the DL. That was the one area that Hoke and Mattison were great at coaching. (I hated losing Mattison. However, you couldn't argue with him taking a huge pay raise, and a promotion, to go to OSU.) I think the key to a better defense for Michigan will actually be a better offense. If the offense stays on the field more, and scores more, this helps the defense tremendously. There were too many times against OSU when Michigan's defense started strong, but by the 4th quarter, they were spent, and Michigan just couldn't win.

In summary, as I said last year, I predict OSU will win. And I will continue to predict this as long as the talent gap between OSU and Michigan is as severe as it currently is. You guys are in a great position, and all I can do is tip my hat to what you have.

Michigan is not going to find a better coach than Harbaugh. All the Wolverines can hope for is a miracle . . . a fluke of a game where every pick and tip and penalty goes Michigan way, a year when OSU is beset by key injuries, or by players getting into trouble with the law. You can't predict when or how those things will happen, but that day will come.

Comment 18 Jun 2020

Ever since the bowl championship series, a majority of the best players have ended up at Bama, Clemson, and OSU. Those are the three teams I think have a good chance of winning year in and year out. Every year, a single outside sneaks in . . . LSU, Oklahoma, Georgia. But I don't see how anyone else on the list can win. Michigan has far too great of a talent gap with OSU to beat them.

Having said that, lightning will strike at some point. Some year, a combination of bad luck for OSU and good luck for Michigan will allow Michigan to win. However, until they significantly close the talent gap, Michigan will struggle greatly to beat OSU. They just don't have the horses.

Comment 15 Jun 2020

Yes. OSU should apply to get wins back, and shouldn't take no for an answer. Make sure that the NCAA knows full well that it robbed OSU, and that neither Tressel nor any players at OSU did any wrong at any time. OSU was unfairly targeted, just because it has a successful football program. OSU should definitely make noise about this travesty, and keep it in front of people as much as possible. Eventually, if OSU keeps on complaining and protesting and loudly expressing outrage, something good will happen.

Comment 08 Jun 2020

Just a few comments.

  1. You are completely correct that Coach Harbaugh's tweets didn't help. Interestingly, I think he realized this. Why do I say this?
  2. Harbaugh tweeted condolences to the Elliot family Dec. 1, 2019. Since then, crickets.
  3. Until the end of May. Harbaugh's only tweet in 2020 follows. Feel free to criticize.
I am really proud of
@JayHarbaugh
@JamesHarbaughJr
@grace_harbaugh
for expressing themselves. I believe in equal justice for all. All injustice should be confronted and punished. It has to be equal and fair for all, and no one can be above the law. I pray we can get there!
This was in response to the following:
Comment 04 Jun 2020

I'm optimistic for Michigan's season (obviously, except against OSU.) I was disappointed by QB play last year, and believe things will be better this year. Here are a few reasons I think Michigan will only lose a couple of games.

  • Gattis running the offense for the second year. Urban Meyer pointed out that a new offense is always hard to run. It really wasn't until the 2nd half of the PSU game that Michigan's offense clicked. I believe they'll be running on all cylinders this year.
  • QB play. This is a huge unknown. However, I believe McCaffrey will be much more prepared than Patterson. I doubt that Milton will surpass Patterson, but if he does, Milton has a cannon for an arm. However, I think QB play will improve over last year.
  • OL play. Warinner has had several years, they finally have depth, and plenty of upperclassmen. Too many fans underestimate the importance of strong line play. It allows RB's room to roam, and gives QB's time to find open receivers.
  • Brown will keep the defense going strong against almost everyone.

The problem for Michigan, as always, will be OSU. You have too much talent, along with competent coaching, for Michigan to surpass. As I've said elsewhere, Michigan will eventually win, but right now, it isn't an even playing field. OSU, Bama, Clemson, maybe LSU, are at a different level, an elite level. And the playoff structure is going to keep it that way. Good for you, bad for us. C'est la vie.

Comment 02 Jun 2020

You're almost exactly correct. There is an "elite" recruiting status that Michigan is nowhere near. I just don't see Michigan at anywhere near the level of OSU, or Bama, or LSU, or Oklahoma.

You can start to see some of Michigan's recruiting strategy. They are definitely taking some "raw" kids who are 3 stars, but who have the physical size and the raw athletic potential. This makes those kids "boom" or "bust." For instance, they got a commitment from  a 6'8" 280 pound kid today, Tristan Bound. He is good, but is definitely a project. However, he has the size that means if Warinner can coach him up, he could redshirt, get cleanup playing time as a sophomore, and then play extensively junior year through 5th year. Michigan has to go for this kind of kid, because they are not going to beat OSU straight up for a 5 star OT.

Comment 01 Jun 2020

Michigan will probably fall back. Their ceiling is around 5th, and the floor is around 15th. I'm guessing they end up around 8th? They really are working the northeast, with a bunch of kids from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Some of those kids are underrecruited and under the radar, and could outshine their rankings. I'm looking forward to seeing how Bennett and Guy pan out. (DL guys from Northeast.) A ton really depends on how many of their top remaining recruits go to Michigan. Very few, as noted, have offers from OSU. If Michigan gets Donovan Edwards, Rocco Spindler, and Drew Kendall (another OG out of MA,) they'll be happy.

I'm again especially pleased to see what looks like 6 recruits on the OL. Because they are solid there, they can afford to take some guys that might really be very good, even though they are only 3 stars. Some of them are raw, but if Warinner can coach them up, they could far outplay their high school ranking.

However . . . the reality, as already stated, is that OSU (and Clemson, and Bama, and generally LSU,) are at a much higher level. And OSU's recruiting this year is obscene. Y'all are a juggernaut, and are leaving Michigan in the dust.

Comment 28 May 2020

Michigan is going to have a good recruiting class, probably ranked somewhere between 5 and 15. I'm guessing 8th? But the reality is, OSU's class is just in a different universe. Sure, Michigan might be improving. But until I see them actually compete on the field vs. OSU, it is all just hot air.

What I really will be watching for is the improvement of the OL. It has been getting better and better. They have put together some good recruiting classes there. If they finish strong, with 3 OL kids in the top 100, and a total of 5 or 6 guys on the line, all in the top 200, they will have solid, solid depth. Warinner has done wonders, and the line is only getting better.

Comment 28 May 2020

I think you're paranoid. OSU never takes Michigan for granted.

  • Your raison d'etre is to beat Michigan. Tressel, Urban Meyer, and Day all got that, and get that.
  • You have better talent on the field, and more speed.
  • Your recruiting is obscene. Totally unreal.
  • Don Brown hasn't shown that he can field a defense to deal with your speed.
  • I haven't seen the ball handlers at Michigan (QB, RB, WR) who can beat OSU.
  • OSU has every reason to be confident, and really, to be cocky.

Some of you may comment about Harbaugh's confidence, or the mouths of several Michigan players predicting victory. Come on:  what do you expect? For Harbaugh to say, "there's no way we can beat OSU?" For players to be defeated before they even play you?

Now, Michigan can beat OSU. There are any number of ways it can happen:

  • OSU loses key players to crime, grades, injury, substance abuse, etc.
  • OSU loses key players and coaching staff to Covid-19.
  • The Buckeyes are hit with significant, verifiable, crippling NCAA infractions, leading to NCAA penalties.
  • Weather events that are unpredictable.
  • Huge disparity in fumbles and interceptions.
  • Michigan ends up with "diamond in the rough" players who are much better than recruiting rankings.
  • OSU ends up with a disproportionate number of 5 and 4 star duds who don't pan out.

While some combination of these things will eventually lead to an OSU loss, they have nothing to do with your being confident and cocky. I hate OSU, but you have earned the right to be confident and cocky, and should be expected to beat Michigan, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Comment 26 May 2020

I'd guess UM lands somewhere around 10-12

Sounds about right. Even if Michigan managed to be ranked as high as 6 or 7 or 8, they still are way behind OSU, Clemson, and Alabama. The reality is you three are going to be in the National Playoff Group year in and year out, and virtually no other team has a chance. LSU or Oklahoma will sneak in, but it will continue to be OSU, Clemson, and Bama. And honestly, I don't see any reason with the current setup that it will ever change. Every kid wants to be in the playoffs. The teams that are already there have the best shot of making the playoffs. Why would any 5 star kids in the Big 10 footprint want to go anywhere else? The only reason 5 star QB ended up at Michigan instead of OSU is because Day didn't want him. It is pretty demoralizing to all but 5 or 6 teams in D-1 football, but no one else really has a chance. Possibly NIL will change things, but I'll believe it when I see it. The only way Michigan beats OSU is for Covid-19 or crime or alcohol abuse devastates the Buckeyes. Straight up, with your huge recruiting advantage, Michigan is not going to beat OSU.

The one place I'll disagree with you is with regards to the rest of the Big 10. I see Michigan playing everyone else . . . PSU, Wisconsin, and the rest of the teams . . . better and better. But that's still 2nd place in the East, and 2nd place is ultimately a loser.

Comment 21 Apr 2020

I am 100% fine with completely opening up Ohio, and with OSU filling the horseshoe and playing in front of 100,000 adoring fans. Please, go right ahead. /s

All kidding aside, I do believe that people are going to do what they're going to do, and there will be clear health and death consequences because people abandon social distancing. And the cynic in me believes that when a lot more people die, and when the hospitals are overwhelmed, and when most of us know people personally who have contracted the virus, and have been miserable because of it, and have died, things will change. Until that time, there will always be naysayers who think this is much ado about nothing, and who think that the economy should just be opened up and movies and concerts and worship services and sports events should just resume.

Comment 10 Apr 2020

Always enjoy reading what you write. Well, almost always.

Here's my challenge. I agree with most everything you write. I agree that measures of social distancing, masks and gloves and isolation, being the best thing we can do. I agree that ignorance and stupidity and lack of understanding of big words is bad. But I don't know good practical things to do to combat the ignorance. I have a number of friends and relatives who rant about the problems and pull their hair out and bloviate (use lots and lots of words again and again, usually on social media). But I don't think this does any good. Maybe some of them feel a little better by "getting things off their chests." But does it change things? Does it change the ignorant? I don't think so.

I pine for (long for, want) civil discourse (talking nicely with each other) and working towards real leadership and real solutions. I am not particularly hopeful.

Comment 05 Apr 2020

Hard luck, but I definitely believe this is the current state of college ball. Right now, Michigan is one over the limit (for next year.) And they are still recruiting one more recruit, and are pursuing several grad transfers. If they get Josh Christopher and one transfer, that puts them three over the limit. The only way this makes sense is if they are expecting 3 players to leave for the NBA and to enter the portal. It is a crazy world.

Comment 26 Mar 2020

I have absolutely no idea how good Crippen actually is. I have no idea if the parting from ND was mutual, or something he initiated. And I have no illusions about Michigan's recruiting . . . we are light years behind OSU. You already have an incredible class. We're not catching up, no way, no how. Smh. The only thing that astounds me is that the first half dozen or so posts are all about U of M. I mean, I know that your raison d'exister is to obliterate and destroy Michigan. But for crying out loud . . . the hurry up was mostly about potential OSU recruits. There was a small throwaway about Michigan getting its first recruit commitment since last May. And that one tidbit is what you focused on. Y'all take an unholy satisfaction in gloating about your continuing good fortune, especially in relation to Michigan. Smh, again. Well, enjoy it. As long as it lasts.

Comment 20 Mar 2020

From ESPN:

a number of players have reached out to Tampa Bay to express interest in also playing for the team and its new quarterback, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Although much harder in the NFL than the NBA, this is similar to what has happened with free agents going to play with Lebron. There are guys who could choose to get paid less, for the chance to be with Brady and the Bucs. And the sad thing is, as a result, the haterz will continue to dog Brady, and suggest that he's not all that good, and the only reason he won is because of the players around him.

Comment 19 Mar 2020

Why have I not been here that much? Let me count the ways.

  1. I've decreased my time at all sports blogs.
  2. It is demoralizing how much better OSU is than Michigan.
  3. It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time at a place where you're not really welcome.
  4. Michigan sucked at football, hockey, and basketball this year. (I guess it could have been worse, but this was not a stellar year.)
  5. If I come here, OSU fans will gloat, which isn't fun, and Michigan has nothing much to cheer about.
  6. Just look at your next football recruiting class. Smh. The rich get richer . . . we'll never catch up. Never.
  7. I don't belong at a Buckeye website.

So yeah, there really aren't many good reasons for me to come here too much.

Comment 19 Mar 2020

Wish Carton all the best. Hope he gets his head straight, and receives all the care he needs. Wonder if he is going to just try to stay closer to home . . . Iowa or Iowa State. Regardless, he is a great talent and will be sorely missed by the Buckeyes.

Lucky for you, TOSU is a football, not a basketball school. And for the record, I fully expect Michigan basketball will have a bunch of kids enter the transfer portal as well . . . probably two, possibly three. They currently are one over the scholarship limit. And Juwan Howard is pursuing at least three grad transfers.

Comment 18 Mar 2020

Legit question:  do you think there are some QB's who have intangibles, who know the playbook inside out, who have leadership moxie, who refuse to lose, and yet they don't have the passing stats, the speed, the size, the strength, etc.?

Football definitely is a team sport. I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of QB's in Brady's shoes would have done very well with the team Brady had surrounding him. But he is the one who happens to have done it.

I'm curious what metrics measure the kind of intangibles I'm talking about. Maybe the whole point of an intangible is that it is not measurable.

To answer your question partially,

  • in passing yards, Brady is second to Drew Brees (and yet, I wonder how much passing yardage is a factor of the OL and the skill of your receivers.)
  • QB leading a team to wins, Brady has it (but that's a team stat, right?)
  • Brady is in the 500 club (more than 500 yds passing in a game)
  • He has a ton of postseason records . . . are those all team stats?

Anyway, it's obvious that part of Brady's success is tied to being with the Pats. I really think part of leaving is his burning desire to prove that he is a winner without Bill Belichick and the Pats. Oh, and the money doesn't hurt either.

Comment 17 Mar 2020

I think that's why Brady is moving on. To prove to himself and the haters how good he is. If he wins a superbowl in Tampa, will that change your opinion? Probably not, but that's what Brady is after. He doesn't need the money.

Comment 14 Mar 2020

Yes, they will beat the lousy or mediocre teams consistently, but how do they fare against top flight teams. 

There is a category you're skipping . . . the good or very good teams. They won't beat the elite (Bama, OSU, Clemson, a few others.) I believe they are moving to be able to give everyone else a good game.