Monday, January 17, 2022

Congratulations Schlissel

Good job, Mark Schlissel, you made the front page of The Daily Mail.  Actually, you made the top story.

Next time buy a burner phone or a spare computer.  Or get another email address.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The 2021 Orange Bowl

It was a tremendous football season.  

The best thing about winning the Big Ten East is playing another game.  In 2021, Michigan played a 14th game that really mattered.

It didn't go so well, but it still mattered a lot.


Friday, December 31, 2021

UCF

 

He is a scary man.  

Please, get rid of the BLM patches.

I have always been skeptical.  The starters are not good.  The bench is worse.  And then there is that part of the team, family included, that is unseen and assumed to be incapable.

Thankfully, here is the way it works:  Two losing seasons and you are gone.

It is a real shame.  On the verge of, but already immersed in something earned and really big, this is a real downer.

Yesterday Michigan was up by about 15 and then they totally disintegrated.  They don't have a go-to guy or on the court or leadership and experience.  The lineup is irreparable.  The coaching--now is the time you have to make improvements--is inept.

I tuned in and that was no fun because this team is going nowhere and they are going to get slaughtered in the Big Ten.  I cannot watch Devonte Jones and every time he scores that is reinforced.  I looked a few times at my phone for stats during the game.  The first thing to look at is assists:  there are very few.

I see it getting much worse.

But again, there is solace in time.  Two years.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Georgia - Michigan

 

.

The Arch on the University of Georgia campus.  The Terry School of Business is on the right and the law school is to the left

 

It has been great to watch the replays of the last two games for weeks and the season is still going.  The stands were full and people were happy or very dejected.  Already the rumors/news is starting, and after UCLA (four hours notice) it is anyone's guess as to what will happen and who might not be participating.  It is almost hard to believe that we assume it will happen.

Underdog is not the Michigan way.  Michigan is almost never the underdog and there is no reason they should be one now.  Even when they are bad, their reputation precedes them.  They are a big game on everyone's schedule.   Quick, what games were most-watched this year?  Michigan always gets the attention right or wrong and there is none as news or copy-worthy than the only teams left playing for a national championship.  We can forget all the dancing, like holding out for the NFL draft, because these games matter.

Michigan students don't think of themselves as underdogs.  In athletics, and with their resources, Michigan should never be the underdog either.

Scrounging for opponents and including teams that didn't even qualify--no postseason practices--only adds to the farcical nature of the bowls.  Aside from the CFP, they are no longer match-ups among champions and a reason to celebrate.  Player and coach shuffling hurt too.  Then there are the empty stadiums.  The games mean nothing.  Every time I was tempted to tune in, the teams playing and the whole situation just didn't work.  Covid is the last straw.

Alabama-Cincinnati is in the afternoon on Friday and the Orange Bowl is right after that.  All four teams have a chance.

Michigan under Harbaugh has been a victim of the new bowl world.  Remember Jake Butt and Karan Higdon.  More recently, there was the 2020 season and Penn State at Michigan in particular.

Michigan should not be an underdog.  But today everyone uses it as motivation.  Michigan has the most wins in history, the biggest stadium and audience, it can claim to be a better school than almost all its opponents.  Michigan is always the favorite.

Ceasar's Palace says we're going to lose by a touchdown, that is disrespecting us!  Coach-speak.

Michigan has done everything asked this season short of State.  They are playing their best now.

I tried to read about Georgia and previews are mostly about 5-stars, as in high school recruiting rankings.  Favorite.  Motivation.

Lest we forget this too, here is the list.  Hawkins, Hill, Ross*, Hutchinson, Vastardis, Stueber, Haskins, Moody, Robbins.  The projections are all over the place and no one knows who is staying, going, transferring, etc.  This is the closest I can come to Michigan's nine senior/leaving stars.

Georgia is an outstanding football team.  It is also one of the top 20 public universities in the country.  I went to graduate school there in the Master of Marketing Research program.  They do not employ "bag men." 

I wish I knew more--Kirby Smart has built Georgia into another Alabama, but I give Michigan the edge because of coaching.

Michigan football is entirely different this year.  They have a system that works and they are able to work off of that and adapt.  They play to their strengths and the nine players listed above lead the way.  They will not give up and they will find a way. 

Michigan 27 Georgia 24.

 

* Josh Ross has not indicated a decision or offer.  He is playing fantastic and is an inspiration to everyone else.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Preparing to Watch the Orange Bowl

Cookies, advertising, Android, and everything else, I don't think Google has it out for me.  This is the first speed test link in a search.


Five years ago I cut the cable and there is no reason to look back.  The main reason--getting rid of Comcast--is even more relevant today.  Now I took a similar step with CenturyLink (a.k.a. Lument Technologies).  Gone are the ugly wires originating from the distant telephone poles and the intolerable customer service.  These people actually think their services are in demand?  I am completely wireless.

The main thing is simplicity.  Decades ago I didn't want a satellite dish on my house or property and now I don't want the cables either.  Or the holes in the wall and wires inside.  The cell towers are on the roofs of nearby businesses and the coverage is perfect.  It is all at least as mobile as the web of wires.

To watch the Orange Bowl it will probably cost me about 3gb of data.  I'm OK and prepared for that.

Hit the jump for how-to.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Orange Bowl: Georgia vs. Michigan

Why is Michigan, #2 and the home team, a 7.5 point underdog?

The answer does not lie in the third quarter of the Ohio State game.  We didn't see it in the Big Ten championship game either.  

More to come...  Above.


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Congrats and Kick in the Shins

Congratulations.  

Monkey off back.

The Iowa game was nothing compared to Ohio State.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Iowa and The B1G Championship

Let's move on to Iowa because this is really big (no pun).  Michigan has reached an incredible #2 in the CFP.  What a massive accomplishment.  It doesn't have to end there.

Iowa is good but lucky to be 10-2.  Their biggest win is against Minnesota.  (EDIT:  That is what I read but they also beat Penn State and looked good doing it.)  I don't think they can stop Michigan's running attack and M's defense should be able to handle the Hawkeye offense.

Iowa does not have the explosive playmakers--Hutchinson, Haskins, D. Hill, C. Johnson, et al.--that Michigan does. That is why they have looked worse at the end of the season than they did in the beginning.  Their primary weapon is "solidness."  They win through attrition.

This is Michigan's chance and this one is going to easier than anything that may follow.  Michigan is peaking and I don't see them blowing it now.  They are not going to be attritted and that is not a word.

For fans and yours truly, it is a bonus game.  It's gonna be a great Saturday night.  It is is like the bowl games of years past--a celebration of the season and a competitive game too.  

Even Michigan-Georgia, if all the stars align, won't be as fun as this one.  Wherever it is played it will be away and tense too.  That game may not end as well.

Michigan 35 Iowa 17


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

MBB

Tonight we are watching Michigan basketball for the first time this season.

So far Juwan hasn't punched anyone.  And Dick Vitale is older than 100.

North Carolina doesn't look very good.  Michigan looks awful.

The two players I wanted most to see before it were Devante Jones and Caleb Houstan.  Vitale is repeating himself.  I had read some fan reactions and they are not positive.

Devante lived up, or down, as it were.  He is terrible; I have never seen anyone put their head down like that, dribble around in circles, and accomplish nothing.  He provides nothing.  He is not a ballhandler--even a 5-year old is taught to keep his or her head up when dribbling.  He does not rebound or create shots and he doesn't pass unless he circles around to your chest to hand you the ball.  He has no jump shot and if he tried I would look away; it would be a paraplegic nightmare.  Someone wrote that he looks as if he was in a car wreck--heaven forbid--and he sustained two severe knee injuries.  He has this floater, but it looks tortured--he doesn't look at the basket, or the defender, or the court, or his teammates--and it doesn't go in.

I read Moussa is good and he is.  But he and everyone else on the team is playing one-on-one.  I haven't seen a pass yet.

Houstan--someone hit a pretty nice jump shot and I think it was him..  Then he fell down shooting a free throw.

Johns doesn't start anymore.

Earlier Houstan looked...  remember that woman on Seinfeld who couldn't swing her arms when she walked?  Vitale is babbling incoherently.  I remember from recruiting that he has a large torso.  He looks too pumped up on weights, steroids, or both.

Frankie Collins made a pass and could have gained an assist.  Michigan has no perimeter shooters, a la Beilein at all.  Can Juwan coach?  (Not saying Beilein with walk-ons and stubborn benching is the standard.)  If  this team doesn't learn what a pass is it is going to be a very long season.  They look like an ad hoc pick-up team.

Which is why Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks are barely contributing.  Dickinson has expanded his repertoire (small jump shot, trying 3's); he may regret coming back because he could have done that in the NBA with a million dollar paycheck.  He is not being utilized and he is not the player he was last year because of it.  He is still young and he cannot lead the whole team from the center position.  At the moment, he is a wasted talent.

This was commented on by others too:  Collins helps form the offense.  Did I mention, Devante Jones is awful.  But yeah, he removed himself from the NBA draft.  Anyway, Frankie is one of those hair flowing, fast running, energy guys.  

Diabate is good and he is the reason Michigan is ahead, but he just got chewed-up in the low post.  Dickinson is out and North Carolina is, almost, will they...

Oh God, Jones is dribbling the ball up court now.  That was the worst offensive set and shot by Brooks I have seen.

Frankie looks like a Cheech and Chong movie.  

They did it North Carolina 29 Michigan 27 at the half.

Vitale, if you don't hit the cough button I will.  The guy from Duke was really good in the State game.

I don't know, Zeb Jackson is injured.  Terrance Williams, haven't seen or noticed him yet.  From the box score:  Brandon Johns has 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 0 points.  Jace Howard?  Don't get me started.  Whatshisname, checks roster, Adrien "I want to graduate" Nunez has played in four games and averages 4.5 minutes; if I see him in this one I will turn it off.

Who is the halftime talking head.  Diabate all one-on-one.  Spacing.  Dickinson 3 shots.  "Michigan:  they just don't have it."

Actually, I'm pretty bored by the whole thing.  Carolina and their new coach, maybe they are on the upswing; they get recruits and they should be a top 20 team every year.  They're playing and they'll win.

Big news, checks ESPN...

He doesn't look like an athlete, or skilled basketball player, to me.


I agree with Vitale in that Dickinson (on the bench with 4 fouls) looks out of it because he needs a team to support him.  Michigan shouldn't have been ranked; they should not have been favored, and Brooks--smash a guy his off hand--looks lost without a team too.

41-33 UNC.

What are they saying?  Carolina doesn't have great big men but they have talent.  Hubert Davis looks intellectual; Howard looks like the screaming father-coach of a middle school team.  Wait.  He is the father-coach of a pick-up team.

46-35.  Brandon Johns--in your face!  (In his face.)

Devante Jones:  1/7 with one assist.  Dickinson is sulking.  Michigan seven deep only.  It is very weird; it is as if Juwan Howard is not coaching at all.  The young players are trying but they need coaching!  

Let's think here.  Jones is not a D1 basketball player; Eli is not going to the NBA; Johns is a role player if you can find a role for him.  Dickinson is on the way to becoming a head case.  

Diabate is showing the biggest motor and skill.  He set screens.  He is trying to be court-aware.  He has a ways to go in terms of strength, defense, and post play.  He is Michigan's best player but not a Big Ten game winner by himself.

T. Williams is in, 53-38 eight minutes to go.

I missed it:  Jones with the reach in foul.  Did you see the one in the Seton Hall game where he...  That is not reaching-in.  It is never going to work.

Last year's Michigan basketball team was this year's Michigan State football team.  Transfers and they were really lucky it worked.

Back to the roster.  Houstan and Collins can probably play in time as average Big Ten players.

56-40.  

Devante Jones plays basketball with his shoulders.  Three times he has put his head down and banged someone with his shoulder.  That is, when he is not reaching in.  Eli Brooks is kind of a clod too.  He just knocked someone else to the floor, from behind, while he was shooting?  From what I read he has been doing it all year.  He has added 3 more turnovers too.

Michigan is now getting creamed (68-43).  Gotta get a coach, Coach!

Geez, Jaron Faulds is playing now.  Kobe Bufkin (long, thin, wild) is in too.  

It is embarrassing.  Most of the players played hard.  As a team they never even tried to win.

---

What I remember most is Dick Vitale screaming "He was a big-time scorer at Coastal Carolina!"  That was the last straw for both of them.

I am not onboard with Juwan Howard as head coach yet.  It is not going to change anytime soon--the coach or the team--so I will have plenty of time to observe.  

As I read on Mgoblog just yesterday (game day) Big Ten teams are going to see this and salivate.  I didn't look but I don't remember seeing any BLM patches this time around.  I think Howard should provide Michigan scholarships to deserving recruits outside his family.  I don't know what this collection was doing (trying to) play in Las Vegas at midnight.  I would have to do some research (which I am not going to do) but I don't think top recruiting classes necessarily translate into great teams; look at Kentucky and now everyone will transfer anyway.  Finally, I think a one-year extension to whatever contract he had would have been more appropriate.

In terms of the team, the one brightspot was a double post with Dickinson and Diabate.  Due to all kinds of other problems, they only did it for a few minutes, but they were getting shots and rebounds.  It didn't actually work, but it looked promising.

The stars are gone from last year and the year before that.  What is left is a collection of bit- or role-players.  The transfer-in market this year looks to be a total failure.  What else could Howard do?  He recruited the best class he or just about anyone could get.  In all reality it will take another one, maybe transfer help, hard decisions and a lot of coaching to get anywhere.

And yeah, the fans, the bloggers, and the very intelligent alumni are going to tear it apart.  The biggest thing I learned from Michigan football this year is that Harbaugh wanted tough guys over ones with extraordinary talent or rankings.  Sainristil and AJ Henning are under the radar examples; Haskins and Ojabo are blatant ones.  You need to want to play in Michigan Stadium.  And you have to weather it when it rains down like it does on me (i.e., Jim Harbaugh).

We saw it with the very-experienced former coach:  the best teams ever at Michigan and some really rotten ones too.  It is like a writer with a blank page; can you do it, Coach Howard?  It is a completely open question right now.

In the meantime, or for a long time, it will be ugly.


Musing

Internet works for a spell--a fully cellular solution will arrive later today--and it is important to start.  Forget about BLM, Coaches Against Racism, and nepotism.  This week is as good as it gets in football.

Warde, long 'e' but we don't make fun of names here, did the right thing in extending Jim Harbaugh.  It was never in question in that he wasn't going to get fired or go anywhere else, but however it was done worked.  I stopped looking into coach's contracts long ago.  In a number of ways, I think Harbaugh and everyone else realized enough is enough.  Obviously, it isn't always sincere, but Coach himself said "this is where I want to be."

Everyone speculated, including

Internet works for a spell--a fully cellular solution will arrive later today--and it is important to start.  Forget about BLM, Coaches Against Racism, and nepotism.  This week is as good as it gets in football.

Warde, long 'e' but we don't make fun of names here, did the right thing in extending Jim Harbaugh.  It was never in question in that he wasn't going to get fired or go anywhere else, but however it was done worked.  I stopped looking into coach's contracts long ago.  In a number of ways, I think Harbaugh and everyone else realized enough is enough.  Obviously, it isn't always sincere, but Coach himself said "this is where I want to be."

Everyone speculated, including (caugh) mental health experts.  We all know Harbaugh does not like to lose.  It ate at him.  And it got worse.  He didn't know how to react, and it got worse still.

He was trying of course, but he was not fully engaged.  Winning cannot be the only difference--this year he is engaged.  In the past he stood alone on the sideline and this year he is part of a group.  You can see people whispering or yelling in his ear.  He is after the referees and he is jumping up and down when someone gets their helmet ripped off.

You can tell he is happy.  Once he smiled!  Leadership absolutely starts from the top.  Everything is different this year; Harbaugh deserves credit.

Internet doesn't work and that is just fine.  Just need to get used to writing offline again.

I've seen Iowa play and Kirk Ferentz is rejuvenated too.  Writing a game preview will be fun because Michigan will have to flop to lose.


Friday, November 26, 2021

Ohio State (aka, The Game)

I have to write this now because I am pretty sure my internet will not work again for The Game.  CenturyLink sucks.

I don't think Michigan can do it.  I am certain they will try.  And, unless I am wrong, it will be another season of losing to both Michigan State and Ohio State.  Nonetheless, it has been a strong, rejuvenated  season so far.

In the meantime, Michigan beat Penn State and Penn State never really puts it all together.  Almost never.  Maryland doesn't put it together either.  Michigan's wins have come against some mediocre competition:  the Big Ten East isn't so great.

You never know.  Turnovers, sacks, or just a great match-up for Michigan, it could happen.

I don't think so.

Before it happens again and I am forced to join those who are disconnected, two things are important to remember:  Michigan is described as the epicenter of wave four and, remember, it is about the showcase.

Insert picture of Michigan Stadium here.

 

Editing is allowed but you never delete in blogging.  My excuse:  the weather and I had no idea Ohio State would become so rattled.

For Michigan it was a dramatic showing of their strengths all season.  Hassan Haskins was fantastic.  Grit:  Cade McNamara made a bad play (interception), and Michigan went from 14-0 to 7-3, and the team responded.  This one includes leadership.  Speaking of, the Michigan defensive ends were game-changers AND the defensive tackles played great.  The defense was excellent.

Michigan won because they didn't play prevent, they scored more.

Field position, weather, crowd...  The Buckeyes were not at their best.  Michigan caused it an won.

They get to play another game!  Who is the opponent, Nebrsaska?  That is huge. 

There is a legitimate path to the CFP.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Win Over Penn State

Michigan won because of Hassan Haskins, Aiden Hutchinson and David Ojabo, Erick All's 49-yard touchdown, and because Penn State is not very good.

Michigan won and that is not an easy thing to do in Happy Valley.  The real story is James Franklin.

I think maybe Allen Bowman could have guided Penn State to a win.  (Harbaugh was smart to go get him.)  Sean Clifford looked like Shane Morris out there.  Penn State was lucky to succeed on all those 4th downs and then they tried once too often. The Cade McNamara sack and fumble could have won the game for Penn State.  Bigger picture:  Penn State has had better recruiting classes than Michigan for about the last five years; also, they have had a ton of transfers out.

Up until this season they were about even in trouble winning.  

What did you do today?  I looked-up Pennsylvania city populations.  I thought Philly was bigger- it is just one large urban area and tough to tell.  Pittsburgh isn't huge either.  12.8 million as a state is big.

And there is no discernible difference between a crowd of 110,00 and one of 109,000.  Penn State football is huge.  James Franklin to USC?  (I believe that is as top of a top job as you can get.)  It makes no sense for anyone, health aside, to voluntarily leave the Penn State job.

Despite the power of Penn State, Franklin presents a beatable image on the sideline.  The team has tough, mean, elite players but Franklin is meek.  He was as gracious as anyone after the Michigan game.  He clearly is an excellent overall manager and recruiter.  Penn State's record of failure is worse than Michigan's.

For Michigan, all eyes are on Michigan State.  I still don't think Michigan can beat Ohio State, but it is certainly worth going-for.  If that game really means something, Michigan could win it.

I think Michigan State will beat Penn State because no matter where they stand, Sparty will not let up; the Nittany Lions will finish 6-6 or 7-5.  They were number four in the country.  How can you fire James Franklin, or would he choose to leave?  A lot of people will be saying that Penn State should be better than around .500.

Michigan is in a good place football-wise this year. They're on an even keel, whatever that means for a football team.  On the other hand, it will be worth keeping an eye on what happens with Penn State.

 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Two of the Biggest Head Coaches in College Football

Hassan Haskins has a point:  legs cannot get CTE.  In every other respect, I wish him the best because he is indispensable on the field.  He would also be a major positive even if he were not on the field, but if that is what he chooses, I hope he has a short and hugely-successful career.

The other thing about Michigan football at this stage of the season is Aiden Hutchinson.  First he impressed by rolling through and over others in the backfield, now he is dancing?  I cannot explain it but that is the visual.  If you run at him, you will be clobbered.  If you do it somewhere else, somehow he will have an impact too.

No one can tell what they will get with Penn State; James Franklin is as close in terms of college football to Jim Harbaugh as you can get.  Black Shoes Diary includes a piece saying the home, overtime, loss to Illinois was the worst of the Franklin era.  Harbaugh and Michigan have already had a number of those.  Like Wisconsin, when Penn State is on they are as good as anyone.

James Franklin will no longer be a household name if Penn State loses.

Last year didn't exactly happen as expected for Michigan fans.  Michigan was relatively healthy Covid-wise.  Penn State was 0-5.

Michigan did not look inspired, by the Michigan State loss or otherwise, against Indiana and, as good as Haskins is, he cannot do it all on every play.  More to the point, Michigan did not look like a team ready to win the Big Ten East.

It is futile to try and predict a nonexistent injury report.  Others can analyze Michigan's path to the championship, but I think if Penn State wins, it will all be for dreamers.  

Both teams have the tools to do it even with a  depleted line-up.  It doesn't take a statistician or blogger to see that at 3-3 in the Big Ten, Penn State is out of it.  I still do not think Michigan will beat Ohio State at home, but if Michigan wants it badly enough, they can beat Penn State.

Please, don't play McCarthy  unless you are 20 points up or he has orders not to pass.  Macdonald, hold a stopwatch in your hand as a mental reminder if you have to!  Just like against Michigan State, if Michigan loses, it will be on the coaches.

Fool me once...  Penn State 31 Michigan 15+6+6=27


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Sponsor Note

This site does not have sponsors because no one has offered to be a sponsor.  Here is a great tip from personal experience and he is "12 minutes from Ann Arbor" (he says).

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AmeriSave offered the best product and Ziad provided the best service.  When the website failed, Ziad told me there is no back room...  He makes it happen and you'll be glad you chose him.  Give him a call or send him an email, and like me, you may find yourself with a refinance that is almost too good to be true. 

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Wait, the story gets better.  This is not a typical sponsor plug.

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Sunday, October 31, 2021

MSU 37 UM 33

It was a great win, if you are a Michigan State fan.  Kenneth Walker's 200 yards and 5 touchdowns was too much.  Up-tempo was smart and effective.  Confidence helps.  Run defense does too.

Michigan State turned the ball over too and overcame it.  Michigan is a solid team and in this one they were beaten.

Maybe they could have won if not for the failure to change defensive substitutions, the two fumbles, and better tackling against Walker.

37 points is too many.

Michigan had chances and they lost.  Andrel Anthony, Erick All, and Cade McNamara led a gallant effort, but the passing game was not enough.

Walker's breakaway runs in particular,  Michigan could not stop them. 

Michigan was ahead by two scores and cruising, yet they lost again to Michigan State.

This is a woke, or aware, football game review.  It is dull and boring.  It doesn't contain any Twitter screenshots or incendiary click bait.  There are no derogatory jokes about Michigan State either.

Michigan could have and should have won this game, and they didn't.  

Dantonio is gone.  Don't blame Mel Tucker.