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Member since 03 September 2013 | Blog

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Comment 30 Nov 2016

So far, what separates Harbaugh from Brian Kelly (other than mostly winning) is that I've never seen him get in a player's or an assistant's face at a game.   That's pretty much the only thing that could sour me on the guy, but I'm cautiously optimistic that it won't happen.  

He mostly gets mad at bad calls.  (I was in the student section, and most of the OSU guys near me thought it was an OSU false start when the center flinched, at least until they heard the call).

I do agree that the sideline meltdowns are out of line - it wouldn't be OK for a player, so it shouldn't be OK for a coach - and I have no problem if the NCAA wants to start calling them.

Comment 30 Nov 2016

Jumping in:

1) In a game this close, everything matters, so yes, if Michigan throws one fewer interception or Harbaugh makes a couple different calls, it turns out differently.   If you look at the Scout link that Blue Bayou posted upthread, there are some jaw-dropping noncalls, so (a) it is definitely frustrating, and (b) that's life.  For what it's worth, I think that the NCAA should allow a challenge or to for non-calls.

2) If it helps, I was on Jimbo's side when he did this same thing after the FSU/Clemson game.  This is America, and if the officiating is dodgy, call it out.  I'd like to see Michigan pre-pay an extra $10,000 and have Harbaugh spend another 3 minutes complaining about the fine.

3) Nothing changes the fact that that you guys won the game.  Your guys played their hearts out, just like ours did, and Meyer's half-time adjustments shook up our offense, then eventually tired out our defense, so I'd say you won or were at least even in the coaching match-up as well.  (Harbaugh gets credit for a game plan that half worked with an injured quarterback in the Shoe, but Meyer made the adjustments he needed to flip things, and of course won the game).   If we lost because our quarterback got hit by lightning in the fourth quarter, that would be (a) football and (b) very frustrating.

4) I know what they say about opinions, but mine are (a) MGoBlog has me convinced that the spot was most likely correct and in any event correctly upheld once the call is made (but I'm suspicious of whether Alexander is holding Wormley or whether he just grabs on to him after Barrett pushes him over); (b) I think the offsides is wrong and OSU has a false start, but it's so close that I can't say it was the wrong call; (c) the non-calls Sam Webb puts together are pretty jaw-dropping, but MAYBE you can get there by assuming that 75% of the refs decided to let the rivalry go, and we just happened to get unlucky on the few calls that were made; (d) you're right on contacting the kicker - Michigan knowingly takes the risk by aggressively trying to block punts, and under current rules, that's pretty much what happens if you miss.

5) You're 100% right on the atmosphere.   It was a great environment to watch a game, and I had as great a time as possible with a loss.   I've seen several stories around the net of UM fans who had a great time, and we appreciate the hospitality.  

Comment 21 Nov 2016

Well, I can say that we're sure going to miss Peppers, for what that's worth.    He plays so many positions, and gets avoided in so many of them, that he doesn't have huge numbers in any of them, but makes a big impact.

I do think that whether we can shut down Samuel (without making room for Barrett to pad his highlight reel) is the big question.   LJ Scott and Akrum Wadley were both real challenges, and you've got a much more complete team behind Samuel.

Comment 21 Nov 2016

I was kind of hoping the MGoBlog "look what they're saying on 11W" and the opposite would turn into some kind of infinite recursion loop, but so far, no good.  Someone needs to start a "Look what they're saying about what we're saying about what they're saying" thread to get things moving.

Comment 21 Nov 2016

For what it's worth, my guess it's either going to be either team by a few points going into the last couple possessions, or an OSU runaway victory.   Since I have not no idea of the relative probabilities, I can't judge the spread.

Comment 07 Nov 2016

I was looking at student tickets, but my guess is that a Dad wearing Michigan gear is unlikely to get in with a random student ID.   Are the StubHub prices pre-upgrade?

Comment 13 Jan 2015

Grrr.  He's amazing. 

I watched the game with two Gamecock fans.   Their quotes started out with "Wow" and "Oregon has no answer to this guy" to "I think he's the best running back in the country" to "He's like Lattimore, but faster" (that's better to a Gamecock than merely "best in the country") and at the end, one of them was just yelling out "Run number 15!" before every OSU offensive play.    I told him he was spamming the Zeke button and he happily agreed.  "Who could beat me!" (Mimes mashing a thumb button)!

Comment 03 Dec 2013

The respect goes both ways - on this week's MGoPodcast, Ace said that he spent last week commenting on ElevenWarriors because it was the only place to talk rationally about Michigan football.   (He and Brian blame themselves, well, Brian, for breaking the up/downvoting system and for not banning enough people this year.)

Personally, I come here because when there's nothing left to read on MGoBlog, there's often great stuff - I actually started coming for Ginter's off-season reviews of the B1G state flowers, mottoes, etc., but there are some really solid commenters too.   I don't want to weaking the hate too much, but I do appreciate the thoughtful responses you guys have given over the season to people like me and M-Man. 

I'd love to see MGoBlog have Johnny over for a weekly OSU wrap-up too.  

Comment 26 Nov 2013

That's true, and Hoke himself will tell you that this season is unacceptable, but if year 5 is going to be good, throwing the guy out isn't going to help much.  

The biggest problem is that RichRod only recruited one offensive lineman in 2010, and 2011 recruiting was a debacle, so Hoke's first class are now redshirt freshmen or true sophomores.

The second biggest, but still quite serious problem, is that (1) there are a bunch of teams doing much more with equally young teams, and (2) the BEST case scenario is that Borges spent the off season coaching the line into a package that they're too green for, and is now trapped in suck.   (Seriously, that's the POSITIVE scenario, because it implies that with more experience on the line, Borges can deliver).

So yeah, it's totally not OK, but I'm not in the business of dispensing football justice.   If Hoke and Borges are going to be better than whoever we get to replace them, then we're stuck.

Comment 26 Nov 2013

I'll take a shot.   Here's my personal take, followed by my feeling of the general fan base.

1) Dumping Hoke seems like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.  He's got good recruits coming in, and if we lost those recruits, we basically have to start all over.   

2) Before the ND game, we thought this year and next year would be rebuilding years, but we didn't know how bad it would be.

3) Next year probably isn't going to be much better, but if recruiting stays good, it's possible that Hoke's plan works in the long run.   Borges's history is that he's very effective with good teams, and very bad at compensating for weaknesses in unbalanced teams.   I don't think Hoke is a better offensive playcaller than Borges, so running down to the control room and throwing a bunch of levers probably doesn't help.    We're all hoping for that.

4) There's a huge debate over whether there is an easy fix.   The core of it is whether Borges is making bad play calls because he's just not set up to playcall an unbalanced team, or whether he's making bad play calls because the players are young and haven't mastered a consistent set of more rational play combinations.   

The first idea is that Hoke should just tell Borges to spread the field, take more slant passes, etc., and then things will be somewhat less awful.   

The second idea is that the flaw is much earlier in the season - Michigan's lack of pass rush and/or coachs'' mistake caused Borges and Hoke to overestimate the team's development, and they spent the off season developing an offensive package that teams have now figured out how to blow up.  If so, at this point, flailing about trying to change what they run just makes things worse.   If true, that's still on the coaches, but it's too late to do much about it this season, especially as Devin's injuries add up.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I'd like to see Hoke on a headset just so that he can hear from Borges, but I'm not sure it would do any good.   Any adjustments we've made work for a play or two, but then get blown up once the other team counters.   We probably need a few more months of work and a few months for Devin to heal.

As for the other fans, I think they're divided between (1) very frustrated with Hoke; (2) mildly frustrated, but cautiously optimistic that things will get better; and (3) serious homer support-the-team types.   

Comment 12 Nov 2013

Oh, it's always reason to celebrate - I'm sure there will be Buckeyes who will be glad about beating 6 and 5 Michigan, if (when?) we end up there.

To be fair, the advantage in the Game had flipped before, and back then, it felt like the advantage was flipping again.  

A few years later, it's pretty apparent that Meyer is a better coach and recruiter than Tressel, you guys are on track to being a pretty regular top ten team, and the best we can really hope for with Hoke is that he'll make some end of year adjustments.   I haven't given up hope of things improving over the next few years, but it's an awful long shot at this point.

Comment 22 Oct 2013

I still trust Mattison, so I tend to assume he's doing about as well as possible with what he's got.   Hopefully, now that Ryan is back we'll get more pass rush, which should help out the rest of the defense.

Comment 22 Oct 2013

IMHO, the takeaway for you guys is that you either have to find a way to shut Indiana down or get ready for a game of basketball.    I'll bet on you outscoring Indiana even if you can't stop them, but it will be a good opportunity to seek if you're working out the issues with your defense.

Comment 08 Oct 2013

We can't decide whether he's:

1) a mad genius;

2) a pretty smart guy doing his best with the players he inherited; or

3) a one trick pony who can't use the players he got the way the Good Lord intends.

Maybe all of the above.  

Comment 25 Sep 2013

I think most people just want to see solid improvement.   As long as each area of the game is better than it was last year, Hoke can probably take a while to win Big 10, and frankly, if he can beat you guys half the time and keep producing top 15 recruiting classes, winning B1G is probably not that important.

IMHO, the kiss of death for RichRod is that secondary and special teams were actually getting worse, year after year.   

Comment 24 Sep 2013

Not yet, but I've been lobbying for it.

To be fair, we don't have anyone as funny as Ginter, but I'd still love to see it. 

Comment 24 Sep 2013

It was cooler when Gardner was pwning Notre Dame, but it's in honor of Tom Harmon, who was one of those outrageous old-timey athletes in the leather helmet days.   (And is also Mark Harmon's dad).

It's still kind of cool because it drives traffic to Tom Harmon's wikipedia page, but it would be cooler if it was on a Heisman candidate.*


*Like Kenny G!**


 ** Aaaargh!