It's about the hypocrisy, not about whether UM is a better academic school. (They clearly were up until about the year 2000 or so, but the gap has virtually disappeared since that time - which isn't even necessarily a good thing, it just really depends on what specific criteria you value in a university.) The average Michigan Man latches onto that notion of "superiority" and clings to it for life, because they darn sure aren't superior to OSU in athletics. And it isn't the "smart" people at Michigan walking around arrogantly spouting about being the "Leaders and the Best". It's the Walmart Wolverine crowd whose only hope of seeing inside a UM (or Ohio State) classroom is through a Youtube video.
Short anecdote of the sort of fan arrogance I'm talking about. I grew up hearing second hand accounts of that arrogance but I'd never really experienced it first-hand for myself, and probably had doubts about how real it was. Then I had the pleasure of attending an OSU/Michigan game in Michigan Stadium for the very first time. It was 2013, and my wife and I went dressed in full Ohio State gear, so there was no mistaking which team we were rooting for. Some point in the first half, I believe, Ohio State punted and pinned the ball on the Michigan goal-line. This Michigan Man sitting in the row just below ours starts railing to high heaven about how the Ohio State player was clearly in the end-zone and there's just no way that's not a touchback. Guy is going ballistic, even starts insinuating that Ohio State "once again" has the refs in their pocket, yada, yada, yada. I lean over and very politely tell the guy that in college football, it only matters where the ball is, not the player... that players are allowed to be in the end-zone while downing the ball outside of the end-zone.
The guy looks me over and with an expression and tone of voice that can only be described as a combination of pity and condescension says, "Son, did you even go to college?" I just stood there staring blankly at him, completely flabbergasted and at a complete loss for how to respond to that, beginning to question if my normally safe assumptions about being the same species on the same planet might not have been a bit hasty in this particular case. Is this guy actually serious? Naah, he's just trolling me, right? No, the look on his face says he is completely serious.
As I'm standing there looking dumb-founded, I'm sure the guy's mind was clicking into place every bad conversation snippet he'd ever heard about the dumb hicks to the south, who probably only recently got running water and indoor plumbing. Ironically, my mind was doing the same thing, except in my case I actually had evidence right in front of me to validate what might have been mere unsubstantiated prejudice previously. All I could think to do was smile stupidly as the dawn of recognition came over my face. This guy was a living/breathing embodiment of the arrogant Walmart Wolverine Michigan Man who is so desperately looking down his nose at others that he cannot see that he is the VERY THING he thinks himself above.
Well for one thing, with the early signing period now there just isn't the level of exciting, "critical" news about high-level recruits as there would be in years past at this time of year.
So not only is eleven warriors in the process of rebuilding the recruiting contacts, etc, but the resident forum recruitniks aren't posting nearly as much either.
Man, this may be the best sub-thread EVER! I'm absolutely terrible at puns, but you guys are the Masters. Teague that for what it's worth.
Football fans just find it intolerable that there are aspects of the game that are highly complex and multi-dimensional, and that they simply have nowhere near enough information to be able to adequately place "blame".
And place blame they must. Otherwise, the horrible truth that large swaths of their lives are completely out of there control might seep in.
Oh man, all of you somehow arriving at the notion that Day told anyone that Fields is his guy and that Martell should look elsewhere need to get over your unhealthy Tater infatuation and stop letting your butthurt cloud your judgement.
There is no chance in hell Fields was made any promises or that Tate was told he wouldn't be given a fair opportunity to win the job. At the same time, Martell's not stupid. He knows his particular skill set was more suited to an Urban run offense than a Day run offense. In that respect we all may be missing where the real competition was going to come from. From what I've seen of Fields, it's going to take some work to break his run-first tendencies and turn him into a Troy Smith like deadly-assassin who only used his legs as a last resort when his reads broke down. Tate Martell clearly has an advantage there. He also has an overwhelming advantage in knowing the offense.
There is, however, another quarterback on the roster who is rumored to have similar accuracy and timing as Dwayne Haskins, and no run-first tendencies. I'm talking of course about Matt Baldwin, who could well be the dark-horse player that Tater may think has skills that better fit Day's offense.
Although I'm calling him "Tater" now, I don't really have anything against Tate Martell deciding to go elsewhere. Quarterback is a different animal. It matters a whole lot who your coaches are and what they like to do on offense. And it's not always "fair", even though coaches will never say anything publicly to give that impression. There really only can be "one" at a time. You're either that one, or you're the one coming up. It's difficult to have any players in between and make it work. So coaches often have to make some highly subjective decisions before they've been able to adequately evaluate players with real game time.
LOL, me thinks the Ben (W)eb (B)ot needs some tweaking.
Man, I think a lot of you aren't as happy as you should be about Mattison. When TTUN hired Harbaugh, they had 99 problems, but Mattison most definitely was not one of them. He's a great recruiter, and exactly the kind of vastly experienced and knowledgable defensive coach you want to re-build a struggling defense, when you know that you (Day) are going to be more involved on the offensive side. He's the right coach at the right time in his career to put the defense on a solid foundation.
The thing that separated Ginn from like, EVERYBODY, was his top end speed and how quickly he got to that top end speed. Parris is at least in the same league, and that is saying an awful lot. I think Paris has a bit better power in his lower body, whereas Ginn was a bit more elusive in open space.
Man, now I gotta go watch that youtube video of Ginn highlights, the one with "Black Betty" playing.
I think this is a situation of comparing us to the elite of the elite, Alabama, and being disappointed we're not quite at that level. The fact is, for as incredible as our recruiting has been under Urban Meyer, Alabama's has been about twice as good. They've had the equivalent of our completely awesome 2017/2018 classes for about 8 of the last 9 years. They also still pay their elite assistant coaches better than we do, so if their staff is in fact superior to ours it wouldn't be terribly surprising. To be down on our program because of that is just downright silly, because what Nick Saban has done at Alabama is completely unprecedented in college football history. Wooden's UCLA basketball dynasty is the only college sports run that even comes close to being on the same level.
Something else that elite teams in general have to face is that opposing teams often devote an inordinate amount of time to preparing for them. The boost to a mid-major program to pull off an upset of an Ohio State or Alabama is significant, probably worth 3 to 4 wins in the minds of boosters and recruits. So it's not that surprising to me when it appears 3 or 4 games a year that the other team "has our number" for the first half or so. Most of the time our coaches are smart enough to make the right counter adjustments. Sometimes, though, the other team has discovered a match-up weakness that takes multiple game experience, if not a full season, to overcome. Our linebackers responding to Oklahoma's/Iowa's TE pass routes, for one very prime example, LOL.
"Hold onto 16 as long as you can..."
"Changes come around real soon,
"make us women and men."
Noooooooooo! The little girls and boys in all of us KNOW that Haskins, Burrow or Martell are going to take over a well-oiled machine and make it run even better than old number 16 did.
60 points per game next season, baby. 60 points per game!
That's because the offense did not evolve over the course of last season. By the end of the season, the play-calling had several tendencies (tells, if you will) that defensive coordinators picked up on film. Hopefully, Kevin Wilson will keep that from happening.
Football is really not that complicated. Given relatively equal physical ability (which we have with Alabama and Clemson) and sound scheme, a perfectly executing offense cannot be stopped by even a perfectly executing defense. The sound scheme and execution is where the human factor comes in, and why we can get enigmatic results like Clemson clubbing us 31-0 when overall we appeared to be fairly evenly matched teams.
Ross was an enigma. He had that great game as a freshman against Indiana, and it pretty much went downhill from there. Part of it no doubt was due to cobbled together offensive lines in 2003 and 2004 that underwhelmed, but I think there also had to be a physical aspect where Ross may not have been training correctly. By his senior year, he seemed to have lost a lot of agility and balance. I distinctly remember way too many occasions of running into the backs of his offensive lineman or tripping up and falling down with very little contact.
I wonder if it's possible to out-muscle your twitch factor? By all accounts, he was a very hard worker and put the time in the weight room. I also wonder if he adopted one of those crazy extra-curricular training routines that ended up hurting him more than helping him. It's also possible he had something un-diagnosed, sort of like what Johnnie Dixon has been going through.
Another important point to make is you can have the best strategy in the world for attacking a particular defensive scheme and it isn't going to amount to squat if there is a breakdown in execution or the defensive players are simply overwhelming the offensive players with superior physical talent.
I'm really surprised only one commenter, Zimmy07, picked up on the illogical nature of what this article is asserting. I know we have some very football knowledgeable commenters here. I expected to see Tom Allen taken to task for being a bleeping idiot. But instead it seems like almost everyone took the bait of arguing about Barrett's accuracy.
Basically, what is being asserted is Tom Allen decided on a strategy to try to further take away the opposing team's weakness and make themselves more vulnerable to the opposing team's strength. If Barrett is indeed still an inaccurate passer on intermediate to long balls (remains to be seen), you take advantage of that by stacking the line more to shut down the run and short passing game. You force Ohio State to try to beat you on those intermediate and long throws.
I don't think there's any way Tom Allen is actually that dumb. He had to have been misquoted, or simply did a poor job communicating what was probably a hybrid defensive strategy to confuse the offense. Or maybe he actually felt his defensive line was good enough to handle the line of scrimmage without much help. Still, dropping 8 means there are 8 players whose first step is going to be away from the line of scrimmage, which sounds like a prescription for disaster against a strong running team like Ohio State.
And given the final score of 49-21 was primarily a product of two short passes taken to the house and JK Dobbins torching them for 181 yards, it looks like it was a disaster.
Finally, this. Someone else sees the absurdity of the article's premise. If Tom Allen decided that was actually a good strategy, he's a bleeping idiot.