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MEMBER SINCE   December 16, 2015

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Comment 26 Nov 2019

Any Michigan fan that's confident going into this game is silly...seriously.

I have never been more confident in Michigan than last year, and I consider myself a pretty grounded fan. Michigan's DL had been generating pressure all year and OSUs OL looked suspect. Then comes The Game, and OSUs OL turns out their best performance of the year by a WIDE margin in a way that no game film could've predicted.

The Game makes any reasonable predictions look stupid. So, sure, while Michigan is ascending at the right time this year, it's a historically good OSU team. Has the feeling of a game where Michigan plays extremely well, maybe even their best game of the season, and still loses 31-21. That's my prediction.

Comment 28 Aug 2019

Shea Patterson had the best QB rating last season (149.8) of any Michigan quarterback since Elvis Grbac (150.2) back in 1992. There's plenty of positions that could potentially cap Michigan's ceiling, including RB, interior DL, and DBs. The latter two in particular are what I think will make or break the season for UM. QB is one of the biggest strengths of the team.

Comment 22 Aug 2019

No, the point is that the outcome doesn't matter at all.  Maybe Harbaugh could have helped, maybe not. Maybe nothing he did mattered either way. 

I agree the outcome doesn't matter at all. The point is that there is no maybe about whether or not Harbaugh could have helped. The lawyers who actually work on these cases have said as much. The coaches have no say on swaying the outcome and that is the point.

 But when it comes down to it, he's at best not willing to put in a good word for these two kids and at worst is actively trying to keep them from gaining immediate eligibility.

Him "putting in a good word" means absolutely nothing in these cases. You want him to call in to the NCAA and say "Hey guys, James Hudson is a good kid and he should be immediately eligible"? That's now how any of this works. And if he's' actively trying to keep players from gaining immediate eligibility, how did Singleton slip through the cracks? That simply doesn't make sense.

Comment 22 Aug 2019

Of course I don't know the Singleton case. My point is that we don't know. The person who would know, a lawyer in these waiver cases, has said that there's nothing Michigan “could have possibly done to change the outcome in the James Hudson case.”

In terms of Myles Sims, he and OSU transfer Baldwin both submitted their transfer requests after spring practices, on 4/18/19. Neither were approved in their waivers for immediate eligibility. So why are you upset with Harbaugh when it's not in his hands to approve these waivers? What do you possibly think he has done to "block" these situations? What was the case in the Baldwin situation that resulted in his denial? The point is: we don't know, because it's up to the NCAA.

The decision is in the NCAA's hands. That's what the lawyers who deal with these cases are literally saying.

It's not a hard concept.

You're right, it isn't.

Comment 22 Aug 2019

If Harbaugh truly believes that all kids should get one transfer with immediate eligibility no questions asked, then what possible reason is there for him to not support these requests fully? 

A fair question, but why would he fail to support two requests fully, while fully supporting Drew Singleton transferring to Rutgers and getting immediate eligibility? That's the only team of the transfers they play this year. But nope, that doesn't fit the outrage.

Comment 21 Aug 2019

Fair points to both Byah & Teddy, and you both have good points.

Whether or not that was on purpose to make it harder for Sims to get immediate eligibility is a conclusion you need to jump to get to, so I'm not making it.

I appreciate you for presenting the conclusion while leaving it open. So I guess my issue here is, why would Harbaugh / Michigan purposefully make life difficult for Sims & Hudson, but not Singleton? There are intricacies to each case that I feel we do not know, so sure, it's POSSIBLE Michigan made life more difficult for those two guys specifically, but it doesn't really support the "Michigan makes all transfer waivers difficult" belief. I admit my bias, but I also think it's more likely that Michigan's compliance handled all situations the same, and the NCAA doesn't have a handle on this.

For example, 3 GT transfers had their waivers denied, including Sims. What was the reasoning for the other 2 guys not getting approvals? How did those other schools approach the process? How did they differ than Michigan? They're critical questions that likely won't get answered.

I find it hard to believe Coach Day would be trying to block transfers right after getting Justin Fields and Jonah Jackson.  My guess is the NCAA just took the matter into their own hands and said nah for some unknown reason.

That's also a fair take. The NCAA has been inconsistent in these cases, overall. The main difference, which you pointed out, is that Michigan's the only program that had 2 recruits families speak out against it. So, the main issue is again, why do two families speak out vehemently against a program that had another recruit (Singleton) get immediate eligibility? I feel like there are a lot of questions without enough answers.

Comment 21 Aug 2019

Expecting downvotes for this, but this also happened today...

So, the Hudson & Sims families are upset with Michigan as a result of their failed waiver requests at their new schools. However, Drew Singleton transferred from Michigan to Rutgers and got immediate eligibility.

Meanwhile, Fickell praises OSU & other schools for their transfer help, yet a player transfers from OSU to TCU and is denied immediate eligibility.

The verdict for me? The NCAA has created a mess of this, and I think Harbaugh's solution (1 free transfer for every player, no waiver needed) is the only fix for this.

Comment 21 Aug 2019

Honest question here -- how is he the one drawing attention to himself? This quote seemingly came from an interview with John Bacon as a part of his new book. So, he does a 1-on-1 interview with Bacon, then Bacon tweets about it / uses it to promote his work. Isn't it more on Bacon / Forbes for pulling a quote out of the book for promotion?

Comment 21 Aug 2019

but it just seems like he can't own up to the fact that he hasn't been able to get it done.

I wouldn't go thaaaat far in regards to that comment. The context is in regards to recruiting and specifically recruiting. Take into account the academic hurdles, as well as the distance from most of the prominent "paying players" programs, and the phrase "hard to beat the cheaters" is a bit more understandable.

If he were talking about overall performance as a program, then sure, that's a big fat excuse. Despite some programs not playing by rules in terms of player payment, there are ways you can close that gap and still be an extremely successful program despite being cleaner. That was not the context here, though.

Comment 21 Aug 2019

I'll disagree with you on this one. Of course, there will always be idiotic fans who point towards the reasons you described as the primary culprit of their teams misfortunes. That includes Michigan as well as other fanbases as well.

However, with the success Beilein had at Michigan, I think a lot more fans have realized that those reasons (paying players / cheating / etc) != success. At least, the ones worth listening to have realized that.

OSU has been the best they've possibly ever been as a football program in the past decade, and Michigan is only recently getting back to a level where they could be considered "great". Takes time, development, some luck and persistence. If any Michigan fan is claiming that cheaters are the reason they haven't beat OSU in forever, they're idiots, just like any other fan of any other team with that excuse.

Comment 21 Aug 2019

Ehhh, I think there's some validity, here. Although, John Beilein made quite a few very deep tournament runs while still running a super clean program. So, sure, some schools will pay players and that's across multiple sports, but it doesn't define your performance.

Comment 19 Aug 2019

Here's the prior fake tweet that blew up a bit ago, for those that are curious about this accounts shenanigans. It's an interesting case of what defines "parody" vs. "false information". Seems like it is obviously the latter, despite the account claiming to be the former. I wouldn't be shocked if they got in some serious trouble in the near future if they keep in up.

Comment 19 Aug 2019

3 reasons I think Michigan fans are excited about the change in offensive philosophy:

1. The personnel is set-up well for it. Patterson does better on the move and has adequate speed. As does McCaffrey & Milton, if injuries plague the QB position. The strength of the team is in the WRs, with 2-3 likely heading to the NFL next year (DPJ, Collins, Black). The OL spent a lot of last year working with zone concepts, which will continue this year. The biggest unknown, RB, isn't utilized as much in the offense and can be utilized in a more "platoon" style until someone separates themselves.

2. No-huddle / speed. No, I'm not talking about #SpeedInSpace. I'm talking about the actual pace. How often did Michigan snap the ball within 3 seconds of the play-clock last year? They were one of the slower-paced teams in the country, offensively. That means a couple things: 1) It won't be until the third quarter that you start to pull away from teams, and 2) If you're behind in a game, you are in TROUBLE. It felt like if Michigan had the ball in a 2-minute drill, it was already game-over. They moved extremely slow and didn't know how to operate outside of huddling. I think it'll allow them to get experience for back-ups quicker against the Rutgers of the world and still have a shot when they fall behind in games against teams worth a damn.

3. Dynamics. Similar to #2, how often did Michigan feel doomed if they didn't get 3/4 yards on 1st down? It was a grinding offense that relied on wearing teams down over time. However, you're severely limited if you're not getting positive plays. In contrast, against OSU, I felt like if you guys weren't in 3rd & 15+, you had plenty of plays to get yourself out of that situation. It didn't feel the same for Michigan the past few years.

The notion that Harbaugh will "jump in" at the first sign of struggles in the offense is pretty asinine. They spent the entire spring / fall prepping the offense with the RPO system. To scrap that and try to re-implement an entirely different offense is coach suicide.

Comment 14 Aug 2019

As far as I can tell the Oline coach did nothing to develop a relationship with the kid, at least not enough of one to truly see how he is doing and offer some encouragement. The kid felt he was on an island and drifting around with no direction.

This is quite the speculation on your part. Unless you have insider information, it's a bit audacious to talk about the relationships (or lack thereof) between players and coaches.

So here we are now where UC, Fickell and the Hudsons are laying it all out on the table and Harbaugh takes the company line by saying hey it's not up to me

It literally is not up to him. It is up to the NCAA. The school submits the waiver on the player's behalf with the details behind the transfer. The school submitting the waiver (Cincy) can contact the school the player transferred from (Michigan) for details about the transfer. Let's look at a quick timeline.

October 2018 - Transfer announced

December 2018 - Hudson confirmed transferring to Cincinatti

March 2019 - Fickell calls JH

May 2019 - Hudson releases tweet about being denied immediate eligibility

Hudson himself said that he did not make aware that he was struggling from mental illness. So, at the time the compliance office came to JH asking "hey, why is this guy transferring," what do you expect JH to say? All the signs pointed to the position change and the lack of playing time. We don't know what (if any) discussion with Hudson entailed, but we know for fact from Hudson himself that mental illness was not brought up.

This is a direct quote from Hudson's tweet:

Like many football plaayers I was afraid to speak up about my depression not wanting to look weak. Now the NCAA is tellilng me that my courage to step forward and speak about my issues was done too late and subjectively my "Circumstances do not warrant relief."

Harbaugh had not been aware of Hudson's mental illness at the time of the transfer or any time while at UofM. So when asked about reasons to transfer, you think it's appropriate to lie or send an additional letter saying, "oh yeah, and he was struggling with mental illness and should be granted immediate eligibility"? Firstly, I'd call that unethical, since it was unknown to Michigan that he was struggling at the time and there was seemingly no indication that it was the reason for transfer. Secondly, even if JH did say that, it's not up to him, it's up to the NCAA.

JH went on to say that he thinks every player should have one free transfer, without waivers. It helps cut out these situations where a player may have very good reasons to transfer (mental illness) but be blocked because the NCAA decides he shared it too late. It's not fair to the player and creates a mess for players, coaches, and the NCAA alike.

The uproar against JH is misdirected, though. He shared what he knew at the time. The NCAA has created a mess and should allow the players to transfer as easily as coaches can.

Comment 14 Aug 2019

Did Mars represent James Hudson, legally, in obtaining the waiver? I haven't been able to find anything that says he has; the context for which Mars spoke about Hudson, then, is a bit different than a quote about Fields (someone he DID legally represent).

It's still possibly hypocritical, but the context is important, as well.

Comment 14 Aug 2019

From The Athletic, here's a quote from Tom Mars (attorney who represented Patterson & Fields in their transfers):

I'll admit I haven't followed this as close, but Mars seems like a guy who would know these sorts of things.
Comment 09 Aug 2019

You have some excellent points, but some things I think already have some answers:

A, B, & C) You're definitely right. This will be a new role and a lot of new responsibility that Gattis hasn't seen, yet. Of course most of the offensive staff have some influence on play-calling, play-development, and building the playbook overall, but exactly how integral Gattis was that at Bama is hard to say, and obviously isn't nearly at the same level he'll be responsible for at Michigan.

D) I would argue that Michigan's offense this year is as close to a "Bama-level" offense than in years past. Patterson is an established QB, with 2nd best QB rating in the B1G last year despite having a limited offense under Harbaugh / Hamilton. DPJ & Collins are good, established receivers, and Black comes back from injury and Bell will be a solid 2nd-year starter, as well. The OL may actually be the strongest unit on the team, with both guards and center almost certain early-round NFL picks in next years' draft. NO offense is what Bama has year in, year out. However, this is likely to be Michigan's best in terms of talent and experience in the past 5 years.

E) 3 most important positions for a Gattis-style offense: QB, OL, WR. Patterson is a clear dual-threat guy, so his skillset wasn't quite utilized last year, and this offense fits his attributes better. McCaffrey (back-up QB) is also a quick guy, so dual-threat fits him, as well. The OL had a ton of zone concepts last that align with the RPO mindset, so that tracks well. The biggest "missing piece" is the slot jitterbug type WRs. Michigan has about 3-4 true freshmen they'll look at to try to fill that role. Otherwise, I think between DPJ / Collins / Black, they are guys who fit well in just about any system.

F) I think it takes a LOT longer to fully install a new defensive system than it does an offensive system. Defense is almost always reactionary, so having to teach a new defensive approach for every single type of offense you face is extremely difficult. Teaching a new offense is most impactful on the QB, then the OL, since most of the other positions are scheme-agnostic, beyond some new techniques. I mentioned most of it in E, but I think a lot of the changes for the offense fit the OL and QB relatively well. Having a senior QB helps, too.

G) A fair point -- this article states that Harbaugh is taking the hands-off approach this year. I think it's fair to question that, especially in the scenario that you said that if things get shaky, how will Harbaugh react? However, if he is TRULY hands-off through spring / fall practice, I feel like it would have to be an insane level of incompetency from Gattis for Harbaugh to feel like he has to re-implement the offense. A thing in favor of Harbaugh actually being hands-off is the absence of the FB on the roster. They've eliminated that position and the main FB from last year (Ben Mason) has shifted to DT and added a bunch of weight during the offseason. So, if he's willing to give up his main FB to a primarily defensive role, I tend to believe he's letting Gattis run the show, though I am biased :)

Comment 12 Nov 2018

According to S&P+, the top 5 defensive teams Michigan has played:

  • ND: #3 (10 offensive points, 307 total yards)
  • MSU: #4 (21 offensive points, 395 total yards)
  • PSU: #14 (35 offensive points, 403 total yards)
  • NW: #27 (20 offensive points, 376 total yards)
  • WIS: #38 (31 offensive points, 444 total yards)

So, what this tells me is that Michigan's played 2 "elite" defenses and improved from the ND game to MSU game, offensively. Against "solid but not great" defenses (PSU, NW, WIS), they generally did well, but failed to convert a lot of the yards they gained against NW into points (think OSU vs. Purdue).

As a comparison, let's look at OSUs output against the common opponents with solid or elite defenses:

  • MSU: #4 (17 offensive points, 347 total yards)
  • PSU: #14 (27 offensive points, 389 total yards)

Comparable, no? TCU was the only other team in the top 40 defensively in S&P+ that OSU has faced besides MSU and PSU, as well. Plus, can't bash Michigan's 20-point offensive performance against #27 NW without bringing up OSU's 20-point performance against #63 Purdue.

The 2016 match-up displayed a decent but not great Michigan offense (#41) against an elite OSU defense (#5) and solid OSU offense (#23) against a scary defense (#2) for Michigan.

The 2018 match-up with showcase a solid Michigan offense (#21) against a "good not great" OSU defense (#32), and a very solid OSU offense (#10) against a still scary Michigan defense (#2).

The difference from OSU's 2016 defense to the 2018 version is by far the biggest between the two years. The next biggest is the improvement of Michigan's offense.

I'll agree that stats only tell some of the story, but it holds some weight.

Comment 12 Nov 2018

Not to discredit your defense against the Spartans, but I'd put their offensive performance about 60% on them and 40% on the Buckeyes. Did you guys do well to shut down their run game and overall keep their offense in check? Absolutely. But OSUs MVPs of the game were:

  1. Drue Chrisman
  2. MSU's offense

Their offense IMPLODED. Of course the defense has a hand in that, but some of the shit MSU was doing on offense was...well...offensive to the game of football.

Comment 11 Nov 2018

I know advanced statistics don't always tell the whole story, but MSU's offense checks in at #103 and Michigan's is #21. Similar style? Sure. But Michigan's is operational and MSU's is borderline dysfunctional.

Looking at those same stats, they rank behind UConn (#94), Bowling Green (#98), Louisiana Tech (#99), and Colorado State (#101). Michigan's in the same category as ND (#27), Texas (#24), Fresno State(#22).

Comment 24 Oct 2018

Definitely feel a lot of those frustrations when I'm watching, too. Whenever a game has a second stream of just the skycam or an alternate angle, I usually put that on my laptop or second monitor (if I'm watching at my computer) so that I can shift my focus there while the main feed is focusing on the glove that a player just switched out on the sideline.