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MEMBER SINCE   February 01, 2014

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Comment 5 hours ago

You may be right. I don't know. I do believe that most elite coaches have to be a bit "off." You almost have to be obsessed with winning. Can't be lackadaisical or you won't succeed. I mean, there have been things out there about Saban being tyranical. Les Miles was always a bit strange. Pete Carroll had his moments. Bill Belichick, Mike Ditka, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, all of them were characters. There's no doubt that Jim Harbaugh is a character. Is there something wrong with him? Are screws loose? That's beyond me to know or say.

One thing that has often been said:  winning fixes everything. If Harbaugh had beat OSU once in the last four years, if you flipped the one MSU loss at the last minute, if you beat ND last year, we'd be having a bit different discussion. To even say that is almost sour grapes. The fact is that Harbaugh hasn't recruited at the same level as Meyer OR Day, and without the players on the field being a lot better, Michigan isn't going to beat OSU. Oh, and the sad reality (for a Michigan fan) is that I don't know who would want the job right now. Well, we'll see how Michigan and Harbaugh do this season.

Comment 6 hours ago

I vaguely recall hearing that in the late 70's, any Ohio high school grad was automatically granted admission to OSU. Was I always misinformed, or was that true at one time? If it was true, when did that cease being true, and when did the academic caliber of the student body, along with the academic stature of the different schools at OSU, begin to rise significantly?

Comment 6 hours ago

Love this post. Pretty much assumed this was the case when I read the other assertion earlier in the day. As much publicity as football gets, it is miniscule compared to the overall financial picture of a major university. I'm too lazy to check, but I suspect that the percentage of overall university revenue coming from revenue sports is much, much smaller at many universities. For instance, Stanford's operating budget was $5.9 billion in 2018, and I'm pretty sure the contribution from athletics was significantly less than it was at OSU. Thanks for pulling together these numbers.

Comment 7 hours ago

We can agree to disagree. You have your opinion, I have mine. I happen to agree with Harbaugh that he didn't say anything new about Meyer . . . this has all been written about, and talked about, ad nauseum. Meyer is a phenomenal coach, which OSU partisans and Harbaugh and I myself agree with. As regards controversy following Meyer, there's nothing new there. You know the scoop in Florida, and you undoubtedly know more about the composition of the OSU coaching staff and why your WR coach was retained, and what Meyer did or didn't do, and why he sat out several games. Maybe you feel it wasn't controversial:  11W sure made it seem it was a pretty big deal back about 10 months ago.

Regarding Washington and Mattison, I am not privy to anything about accountability, and don't know the context for what Harbaugh said on Sirius or wherever, so I can't make any comments that really add anything helpful to the discussion. I will say that I don't think Harbaugh wanted to cut them loose and have them move on. But it's water under the bridge:  they've gone, wish them well, and focus on your current staff.

Regarding Hudson and transferring, first, I don't recall Harbaugh ever calling Hudson out by name. Second, there is a pretty long and established track record of Michigan and Harbaugh in particular supporting mental health issues. Third, I think that Harbauh's idea of everyone getting a mulligan and being able to transfer immediately to any other school would be a neat and clean way to solve the problem. I mean, we all make choices in life we regret. Wouldn't it be great if we could have a do-over with many choices? The house or car we bought? Who we dated, or even more so, married? Where we went to school and what we majored in? If all D-1 players were granted 1 penalty free transfer, they could go to any other school that would take them and give them a scholarship, and the reasons don't have to be made public. I personally think that some critics are going to jump all over Harbaugh's case no matter what he does, but I think if you poke around a little, you will find that he is very supportive of mental health treatment, and helping athletes with these kinds of challenges.

Comment 10 hours ago

For the most part, I think all of the coaches have been respectful, and most of the players. Of course it sucks as a Michigan player and coach and fan to see Mattison and Washington move on. They are very good coaches. But as has been said repeatedly, you can't blame Mattison for wanting to be OC and double his salary, and you can't blame Washington for going home.

There always are going to be some salty feelings, and in some circumstances, those spill out. For instance, Michigan is very happy with Warinner as OL coach. All I ever hear from 11W is how he sucked as an OC, and what a terrible recruiter he was. And ya know, he may have been a crummy OC, and he may not have pulled his weight in recruiting. He seems to have learned the lesson as far as recruiting goes, and as an OL coach, he is right in his wheelhouse. I personally think he may be the most critical part of the Michigan coaching staff. Oh, and I suspect he is salty about wanting the OL to dominate OSU, and will hold nothing back.

As for Harbaugh, I don't think anything I can say here would convince you of anything good about him. But in terms of coach speak,  you have several choices.

  1. Puffery and BS and cliches. ("The other team is great." "We're going to give 110%." "The new players are faster and nastier.") We've all heard a million of these.
  2. Obfuscation and misdirection. (Tressel was the king of this.)
  3. Mean spiritedness, vindictiveness, nastiness.
  4. Transparency and honesty.

Obviously, there is spillover with these categories. Different situations call for different ways of communicating. However, you would generally put Harbaugh in category 3, I would put him in category 4. I'm not going to get into arguments about Harbaugh on this website. But I'll just say he is viewed here as the enemy, and nothing he does is good in your book. So be it.

Comment 12 hours ago

 I would honestly say that our teams are on a true collision course as both should be trending stronger throughout the season as new coordinators and players gel.

And a new HC for you in Day. The honest truth, as much as most OSU fans and Michigan fans would despise, is that mostly, the other team respectively now has a coaching staff, facilities, and players that are talented and gifted and could succeed in either place on either team.

  • Michigan's facilities sucked during Bo, who was old school. They have been improved greatly, which was a detriment for a while.
  • Michigan's coaching staff has been less than stellar for many years. It improved under Harbaugh, but he now has the right pieces in place.
  • The one area where there is still a talent disparity is on the field with player talent. However, Michigan is slowly catching up. I'll never forget Spielman saying during the game broadcast years ago that Michigan didn't have a single kid who would start at OSU. That stung, mostly because it was true. And I think if you took all the starters, it would still be true. However, there are more places where Michigan kids would be on the field rotating, and in some cases, starting ahead of OSU guys. (And no, don't bother asking me to go through all 25 or so starters and ID who would start. I still wear maize colored glasses, and I'm not savvy enough to know the answer. Besides, sometimes it is a matter of taste and preference. Who's a better QB? Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers? Who's hotter? Scarlett Johansson or Kate Upton or Megan Fox? It's all subjective. Anyway, in many areas, Michigan has talent that OSU would use, although OSU is better overall.)

The point is, as last year made clear, Michigan was not going to beat OSU with it's talent and it's offense. And this year, at least on paper, Michigan won't beat OSU. I give Harbaugh credit for going in a new direction, because what he was doing wasn't working. 

Comment 22 Jul 2019

You are probably right. At least mostly right. You can't really teach speed and athleticism. I will say that some coaches are better at finding talent that is overlooked by others. The OL is notoriously hard to rank in high school . . . some are so much stronger, it is hard to know how they'll perform against real competion.

All I'll say is that I kind of don't get OSU fans . . . you have had consistently great recruiting. The reality is that you SHOULD be winning almost every game, at least until you play someone like Alabama. With that kind of awesome recruiting, it should be expected that you would beat Michigan, and that it would be close to impossible for Michigan to beat you. And yet, all I hear is how Harbaugh perenially "underperforms," and has "done nothing" with the talent he has. The reality is that he has done very well against everyone EXCEPT for OSU. And given your coaching level and your talent level, why would you expect Michigan to beat you? (Regarding MSU, that was a blip, with a truly awful last second loss. And I don't see MSU regularly beating Michigan again.)

For Michigan to beat OSU, there are going to have to be some really lucky (or bad luck) things that have to happen. Michigan will have to scheme and coach in a way that OSU doesn't expect. Who knows:  maybe Patterson exceeds all expectations, and with the RPO offense, is able to shred every defense. Maybe Fields is injured during the year, and your QB depth sinks you. Maybe freshman RB Charbonnet turns out to be a total stud, and does a great job at Michigan. Maybe one or two or your starters is charged and convicted of a DUI.

Regardless, ON PAPER, there is no way Michigan will beat OSU. You have great coaching, and an embarassment of player talent riches.

Comment 22 Jul 2019

They are at a disadvantage in recruiting because Harbaugh has underachieved at Michigan

26 - 5 against everyone in the Big 10 except OSU. Three double digit win seasons since 3 seasons where the combined record was 20-18. 73% of games in last 4 years are wins, good for number 10 nationally. 74% of conference games won in the same span, better than all but 4 power-5 teams in the country. What you are saying is that anything short of being in the CFP, anything short of beating OSU, is "undereachieving" for Harbaugh. That's partially true, but only partially. Michigan really has sucked since Rodriguez, and Carr was mailing it in the last few years as well. You aren't going to catch up quickly in those circumstances.

The problem? OSU has just been absolutely great. Meyer has been phenomenal, with multiple national titles. And OSU is not standing still, and not going to cede any ground to Michigan or anyone else. You are 100% right that Michigan hasn't won anything. The most important record? 0 - 4. And neither Harbaugh nor the team are hiding from that.

I'm too lazy to run the numbers, but Michigan recruiting has improved under Harbaugh. Not to the level of OSU, but much better than previously. In fact, the last 4 years, Michigan has averaged #11 in recruiting, and that is going up. If a team is in the top 10 in recruiting, and has a little bit of luck, they are going to be good.

Comment 22 Jul 2019

I'm on the fence on this. I could easily believe that teams ranked 5 - 10, who just miss the CFP, could be pretty disappointed and disgruntled and have some kids, especially those who will go in the first round in the NFL anyway, kind of check out and move on. Be thankful that you haven't had to deal with this much at OSU.

I agree with you that when players check out, it isn't "The Team" anymore. However, we live in a different time and world than the one Bo lived in.

Comment 22 Jul 2019

I am curious why so many people just assume that UM will have a top tier defense

  1. Because Brown has done it before.
  2. Because two of the supposed cogs were less than perfect. Winovich was too much about himself. Gary was too much about the NFL, and not "all in" for Michigan. Their DL could truly be better.
  3. Because they didn't lose much in the secondary, and ADDED a lot of speed.

I personally expect the defense to take a small step back, but for this to be more than compensated for by the offense improving.

Comment 22 Jul 2019

Great post. This is why we play the games. We'll see if Brown adjusts or not. Several commments:

  • D Brown's defense:  After the 2018 PSU game, Brown adjusted. We'll see how much he adjusted after 2019 OSU. The reality is that Michigan didn't have the secondary speed to keep up with your speed at slot receiver. We believe that Dax Hill at safety, with laser timed 4.3 speed, will make a difference. And that Brown will be prepared for you this year.
  • OL Performance:  last year they were mediocre, and knowledgable UM fans knew this. They could help with the run game, but sucked at pass protection. I believe that with 4 starters back, they will improve to "good" from mediocre, and will be able to finally provide pass protection. Whether this is wishful thinking or not, we'll see.
  • Performance against top teams: the one game that was truly awful was OSU. Michigan started on the road against ND, and that was too much to handle. They'll play ND at home in Ann Arbor, in game #8. A lot better. Re:  Florida, it was a meaningless bowl game, and too many of the guys had mentally checked out. Gary, Winovich, Bush:  you can't lose them and expect the defense to perform.
Comment 22 Jul 2019

There's a lot of unknowns. It could line up for Michigan, but I don't know . . . 

 if Zach Charbonnet comes in ready to go

Big if. However, RB is one position where Freshmen can make a huge difference. As for Walker, I think you (and ultimately UM) knew that was going to be a bust. Charbonnet is nothing like that.

It's one thing to plug in a new QB to your offense

Normally I'd strongly agree. With Patterson, I think he was pretty familiar with the RPO from Ole Miss prior to Michigan. They've been working at this since Spring Ball, so it is possible that this will work well for Patterson almost immediately.

You tell and O-line to block one way for 4 years and then suddenly flip a switch

I'd agree in many cases, but I think Warinner is not going to need to change hardly anything for this OL to run an RPO offense. And Michigan is returning 4 solid OL veterans who don't stink. First time in a long time for that.

Comment 22 Jul 2019

Which I don't get because Day has completely run circles around Harbaugh on the recruiting trail as of late. 

In 2019, Michigan ended up recruited ranked 8 in recruiting, OSU ranked 14. So far in 2020, OSU is ranked 3, Michigan ranked 7. I expect Michigan to drop down to 9, 10, or 11 when all is said and done. The point is that they are in the same vicinity.

Regarding recruiting, I posted it elsewhere, but Michigan  is at a distinct disadvantage in recruiting. There was an article today in the Free Press that touched on this.

This is about as strong a roster as Michigan could hope for considering the fact the Wolverines haven't had a CFP appearance to leverage in recruiting. You're not going to put together mega-classes like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State do until you make the playoff and win a national title — like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have. 

2019 is critical for Michigan in recruiting in 2021 and 2022. If somehow Michigan can finally beat OSU, and make it to the CFP, they may turn the heads of more of the better talent out there. This will especially be true if Gattis' offense is lights out:  that begins to turn the heads of some of the skill players out there.

Comment 22 Jul 2019

But they still need to get this new offense down live,

You're completely correct. Michigan does need time to get the new offense down live. But 2019 is very well set up for Michigan.

  • First, the defense is not going to take a significant step back. I have heard from a player on the team that while the DL was good, Winovich was too much about the spotlight and himself. And Gary was too much about the NFL and moving on. The DL might even be better this year. With the LB corps, Bush is a huge loss, but Michigan, like OSU, has good depth. And the secondary should have more speed this year. The defense will keep the team in games.
  • This is where the schedule is very, very kind to Michigan. Michigan has a rugged test against Army, but that game is at home, after a tuneup game. The first half of the season will allow Michigan to get the offense down. Last year, Michigan started against ND. This year, ND is in Ann Arbor, and doesn't come until game 8. I am less worried about PSU and MSU this year. It is all about OSU

I don't know how much honeymoon is left up there

There's lots of honeymoon left. Baumgardner had a good article in the Detroit Free Press today. He rightly points out that Michigan's challenge isn't to be very good . . . it is to be elite, which it is not. Here's the link, and a few quotes:

Michigan has won 73% of its games over the last four years. That's No. 10 nationally. Michigan has won 74% of its conference games in that span. Only four Power Five teams in America have done better. One of those teams happens to be Ohio State, Michigan's chief rival and a club firmly entrenched among the country's most consistent and seemingly bulletproof powerhouses for — well, basically forever. 

Harbaugh's record is what it is. He's 26-5 against everyone in the Big Ten not named Ohio State. And 0-4 in what most consider to be the most important game on the schedule.

Michigan football is somewhere between No. 5 and No. 10 nationally in strength of program, a spot most would be envious of. But with the four-team CFP, that's no man's land. Good, but not great. Purgatory.

This is about as strong a roster as Michigan could hope for considering the fact the Wolverines haven't had a CFP appearance to leverage in recruiting. You're not going to put together mega-classes like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State do until you make the playoff and win a national title — like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have. 

I really think the OL is what is going to be the huge difference this year. For the first time in what seems forever, Michigan's OL has depth, and will be good, if not great, at BOTH the run game and pass protection.

I am shell shocked after the OSU debacle last year. But Michigan has 11 games to get the offense operating well. I am looking forward to November to see if Michigan is finally able to really compete with you guys on the field.

Comment 20 Jul 2019

Here is a statement from Harbaugh to clarify his comments. I believe this was first put up at 10:49am EST, Saturday July 20, 2019. Harbaugh addresses his motivation in saying anything. He also addresses mental health issues. Imhe, nothing Harbaugh says will be received well by those who are predisposed against him and Michigan. Nonetheless, I personally agree with what this clarification states. If all student athletes were allowed one immediate transfer to any school, with no justification whatsoever needed, it would maintain their privacy. It wouldn't matter if they transferred for mental health, homesickness, or for an opportunity for more playing time.

“In response to some who say I am deflecting and dodging or pushing an agenda, they could not be more wrong. Rather I am choosing to be forthright and transparent. As asked multiple times yesterday at Big Ten Media Day, I offered an opinion. My belief is that a one-time transfer should be allowed for all student athletes. I am clearly advocating for rights that college football players have not had. This would put the decision totally in the hands of the student-athlete and family and would protect all from disclosing information and rights afforded under HIPPA and FERPA.”

Comment 11 Jul 2019

1. If Harbaugh goes 0-5 vs Ohio St with another 8-5 type season, you wouldnt be ready to move on?

I'd be ready to move on if Harbaugh goes 0-5 vs. Ohio State with another 8-5 type season. My question for you:  is that what you're projecting in this coming year? If that happens, yeah, that'd be total disaster imhe. Thing is, I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen. On defense, I don't expect much of a step back with Brown and the way the defense is functioning. On offense, I'm putting a lot of eggs in the Gattis basket. But I really do think that the combination of Patterson, an OL that can finally pass protect, and the current lineup of receivers, bodes well.

As regards the 0 - 4 record, my hat is off to Urban Meyer. But I think Michigan did fairly well in several of the games. It was last year that the wheels really fell off. I will say that as much as I hate to lose a close game, sometimes you can understand it. If Michigan is competitive and loses by a touchdown or less, what can you say? But a loss like last year? That's a lot more unacceptable.

 How is it possible for Michigan fans to excuse the lack of elite recruiting/elite recruits going into year 5.

This one is complicated for me. The first thing I'll say is that a ton of elite recruits are going to Bama, Clemson, OSU, LSU and Georgia. Every kid wants to win. If one of those 5 schools offers, most 5 star recruits are going to go there. It is worse in basketball . . . the elite kids end up mostly at Duke, Kentucky, some at UVa, some at Louisville. Michigan has to really win a lot more before they turn the heads of elite recruits. But it is hard to win a lot more without elite recruits. Yeah, if Michigan wins the way national pundits are predicting this year, it could make a small difference for 2020 recruiting and bigger for 2021. The other factor for me that is huge is the OL. I truly, honestly believe that THIS YEAR is where we see things come together for the OL. Last year they managed to create lanes for the run, but they still sucked at pass protection. I believe that this year, between Gattis, the WR corps, the QB, and a couple solid years of coaching by Warinner, you will see the OL provide GOOD run protection AND pass protection. The OL is one of the areas where I really don't expect to see solid performance until 3 years into the cycle. (first year redshirt, second year backup and still gaining strength, third year start, fourth year and possibly fifth year, shine.) The OL is also the key area where 5 star recruits don't pan out, and where 3 star recruits can really develop. Finally, a good coaching staff really identifies and unearths kids with the right skill set who no one else sees. It is fairly easy to see a 5 star kid as a junior and senior in high school who has the raw speed or strength or size to succeed. But to find a 3 star talent who has hidden and latent talent that can be developed is harder to do. I think that Brown and a couple of the defensive coaches have been great at doing that in the Northeast.

Is Eddy really making a huge difference?

Kind of answered above. I think that he has done a lot better job at recruiting. Lot, lot better. I am borderline ecstatic about last year's OL recruiting. And all of them can redshirt this year because Michigan FINALLY has OL depth. This year on the field we'll see if there is a difference in OL play. And next year (given the incoming Freshmen OL) we'll see if he has really improved in recruiting. But between 2019 and 2020, I feel the OL recruiting has improved massively. And Warinner is a big part of the reason why.

It seems like all UM's eggs are in the Gattis basket.

Guilty as charged. Only thing to say is to see what they actually do on the field this season. As regards speed, there are several in the incoming 2020 class who have it. This post is too long already so I'll quit. But if they are successful this year, you'll see that reflected in recruiting going forward.

Comment 10 Jul 2019

Short answer:  it will take a lot worse before he will be fired.

Looking at overall records recently you have the following:

  • Harbaugh:  38 - 14 (.731)
  • Hoke:  31 - 20 (.620)
  • Rodriguez:  15 - 22 (.410)

The reality is that this isn't disastrous, although not great. Even looking at the total debacle last year vs. OSU, Michigan has been competitive with OSU.

There are many issues I give Harbaugh somewhat of a pass on. One of them, the biggest for me, is the OL. I have consistently said here that Warinner has been huge. He has done a better job of developing the linemen. And I believe that this year we will see a significant difference.

I also give Harbaugh somewhat of a pass in how things have gone vs. OSU. Why? Basically for two reasons. First, Urban Meyer was a great coach and really had things rolling. He wasn't going to let up, nor should he let up. Second, along with Meyer being a great coach, he has been a great recruiter. This is where a bunch of you guys are kinda inconsistent. You gloat about the superior talent you bring in, and then suggest that Michigan should be winning even though the level of talent is much lower. Couple the crappy OL, with the level of competition, and it is no surprise Michigan has lost to OSU regularly.

As much as it pains me to say it, OSU is and has been the big dog, the king of the mountain, in the Big 10 for some time. When you are at the top, whether you are OSU or Alabama or Florida State or Southern California, you keep that position as long as possible.

With all I've said, Harbaugh really needs to improve just a bit more. That's why you play the games. We'll see if this year it goes any better. There's no way I'm willing to predict anything for the record this year, but I don't think firing Harbaugh is the answer.

Comment 09 Jul 2019

Because the OP has run it's course, and this response is buried, I don't expect much of a response, yet I have a question.

How much hell and wrath is it appropriate to bring on people who do this kind of crap? (That is to say, people using their internet and editing skilz to create fake and malicious tweets, posts, etc.) More specifically, I am pretty irritated and pissed at idiot trolls sitting in their parent's basements trying to wreak havoc on the lives of others through fake tweets, posts, etc. I don't find it amusing. When computer sleuths can figure out the real identity, name, address, cell number, work place, FB Acct, Twitter handle, IP address, of douche bags who do this stuff, how much harm can be released? For me, the limits would be:  no physical harm to their person; no material harm to their physical property; no hacking into their financial acccounts. Short of that, I would fully sanction just about anything. Publicly post their picture, release their name and address and alma mater and phone number and employer, call and email their employer to complain about them, spam their cell phone number with endless texts and calls, post to their FB account, their twitter account, etc., pose as them on their accounts, having them do and say incredibly offensive things (which they really didn't do.) In other words, do the same thing to them that they did to others.

I am curious your limits. I personally think internet anonymity has caused plenty of harm, and would love to see those who do this publicly outed and shamed and hit with repercussions. Oh, and FTR, I don't care wheter they are alumni of UM, MSU, OSU, PSU, or other schools. A jerk is a jerk is a jerk, and needs to be called to task. Imhe.

Comment 08 Jul 2019

I generally assume something like this is fake . . . regardless of whether it comes from a Michigan or OSU or Bama or any other prominent D-1 athlete. It generates clicks, and is something many people WANT to be true. There are plenty of enemies out there who want players to look vindictive and petty and self-absorbed.

I also think that this kind of social media use is just a huge mistake. I don't have a twitter account, don't tweet, snapchat,. facebook, instagram, none of it. And I don't try to contact coaches, athletes, or recruits. None of us should.

Comment 05 Jul 2019

One question:  do you think Urban will ever get the itch to coach again? If he does, and if he goes to USC in particular, that could have major implications for you. If Urban did that, it is possible, even likely, he would pull some of your coaching staff. He also could pull some of your recruits away, kids who committed to him, and who would play for him in a heartbeat. The nightmare scenario for OSU is that Urban really gets better, is treated successfully and completely for the situation causing headaches, and goes back into coaching. Of course everyone wants him to get better. But if he does, and if he returns to the sideline elsewhere, at a historical power D-1 school, OSU will be affected.

Comment 03 Jul 2019

I've heard the bagman is involved. But I have no way of knowing or corroborating this information, and it sounds like sour grapes, which is not the intent.