Category Archives: Michigan

Here’s What Mattered in Week 2


Yes, I know this is like five days late. 

As the urgent post stated last night, we had to get the bad taste of the Nicholls embarrassment out of our collective mouths. Let’s talk about it and move on.

What Happened with Georgia

Beat Nicholls 26-24, and it was precisely that ugly. Who said Mark Richt was gone?

Okay, done.

What Happened with the SEC

  • 30 for 30: the Florida/Kentucky rivalry. This is a game played by unpaid 18-22 year-olds and an oblong football. 30 straight wins at ANYTHING is amazing.
    • Sidebar: Kentucky is a straight trash fire.
  • South Carolina’s SEC East lead was short-lived, huh? Mississippi State takes a commanding lead in the SEC West with a 27-14 win over the Cocks.
  • Tennessee beat Va Tech 45-24, but were they any good? Josh Dobbs threw for 91, Kamara and Hurd rushed for a combined 108…Tennessee has recovered 10 of 12 total fumbles in their two games this year. I bet that luck will even out.
  • LSU changed quarterbacks, Nick Saban was mad at a 28-point win over the defending CUSA champ, Ole Miss, A&M, Auburn, Vandy, and Mizzou beat hapless opponents.
  • Arkansas won a wild one against TCU, and it was the best game of the week. When you have a 6’10 O-lineman forcing overtime with a blocked kick, you get giffed.

What Else Was Fun

Got to start with the snark alert: Penn State lost a game to Pitt, who should not be their rival. Setting up the game this coming week in which they…honor Joe Paterno.

Get out of your asses and a little less tonedeaf, Penn State.

Beyond that…gotta be real with y’all. Did not get to watch much non-SEC/UNC football. Oklahoma State got hosed, weird things happened after midnight.

Back in an hour with some analysis on a much more fun week 3.

The Teams that Matter, Ranked

  1. Alabama…go Rebs.
  2. Florida State?? This ish could change by 2:30pm tomorrow.
  3. Ohio State.
  4. Houston. I’m watching them make me regret that pick right now.
  5. Michi…gahhhheffit. I used to like Michigan before Jim Harbaugh got there.
  6. Clemson, with some downward momentum. Like, a lot.
  7. Ole Miss…go Rebs.
  8. Stanford, who could lose 3 games in the next month.

I don’t think Tennessee, Michigan State, Texas, Louisville, Notre Dame, or Georgia merit mention here.

 

 

What We Learned From A Wild Week 1


More rambling thoughts and reactions from Week 1’s stacked slate. 

SEC Thoughts:

It was a pretty strange week in SEC country. Alabama did what it does every year, and asserted its dominance right out of the gate by dominating a name program (beat USC 52-6). One can always hold out hope for the perfect storm of miscues and the Tide loss, but true freshman Jalen Hurts is probably the most talented QB to play at Bama in the Nick Saban era. And he’ll be there for at least the next three years. Yikes. They outgained SC by almost 300 yards, had near-perfect balance on offense, and were dominant on defense.

Outside of that, Georgia and Texas A&M probably tie for the most impressive week 1’s. A&M has a defense for once, but with a questionable offense still likely has a 9-win ceiling at most. Based on what I saw with the Dawgs, they SHOULD be considered the favorites in the SEC East. Here’s hoping they can shore up the rough edges before the big game in Oxford in 17 days.

The rest of the SEC was, quite frankly, trash. Mississippi State literally CLANGA’d the goalpost to lose to South Alabama, 21-20. Florida couldn’t get anything going on offense and beat UMass 24-7. Tennessee should’ve lost to App State. Arkansas should’ve lost to Louisiana Tech.

Among the impressive losers, Ole Miss’ first half against FSU was SCARY good. Second half was typical Ole Miss. Auburn was probably most impressive in forcing an off night from Deshaun Watson and having a couple of chances to win late.

LSU was not an impressive loser. For the first time, I understand the “Fire Les Miles” camp.

The most hilarious things transpired with the remnants of the SEC East. South Carolina and Vandy proved that, while stubborn, are going to have to drag teams into rockfights to compete in-conference this year (they won’t). Mizzou…only gave up 26 to West Virginia? Scoring 11 registers as an improvement over their vs. P5 points per game a year ago. And Kentucky. Oh, Kentucky. The offensive coordinator they fired this offseason put up the final 34 points CONSECUTIVELY in a hilarious 44-35 Southern Miss win.

If Tennessee and Florida don’t get it together, Georgia had freaking better return to Atlanta in December.

Teams I Like Better Than Others, Ranked: 

  1. Alabama– self explanatory.
  2. Florida State– I was ready to bury them as they fell behind 28-6, Deondre Francois looked completely lost, and the defense looked even more lost. A couple of Chad Kelly mistakes let the Noles back in, and the rest was history. Second-half FSU is the second-best team in the country.
  3. Ohio State– drubbed Bowling Green 77-10, which is fine. If they can take advantage of Oklahoma’s unwillingness to run the ball on Sept. 17, I’ll call them a playoff lock.
  4. Houston– not their fault that OU didn’t run the ball.
  5. Clemson– the defense (probably because Auburn) was stout, and Deshaun Watson won’t be that off again all season.
  6. Stanford– Pac-12 is hot garbage.
  7. Ole Miss– yeah, they lost, but the Landsharks were SWARMING and the offense was unstoppable…for a half. If they can put that together consistently (they probably can’t!) they can still be a problem.
  8. Michigan– (begrudgingly)
  9. Louisville– Lamar Jackson had 8 first-half TD’s. Sure, the opponent was Charlotte, but…damn.

Cool Things That Happened:

This is the coolest sports thing I’ve ever seen: Nebraska took a delay of game to honor fallen punter Sam Foltz. And Fresno State declined the penalty.

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Texas and Notre Dame played an amazing game. Shane Buechele and new OC Sterlin Gilbert looked like a possible answer for Texas’ long-running QB problems, and Charlie Strong got carried off the field for the second time in under a year. He doesn’t deserve the criticism he’s gotten for cleaning up Mack Brown’s program, and he may be turning the corner. Or not. You never know with Texas these days.

FCS UPSETS! Virginia’s 37-20 loss to Richmond was too predictable. Washington State lost to Portland State to open last year, and finished 9-4. They followed that template with a loss to Eastern Washington. Northern Iowa ruined Matt Campbell’s debut at Iowa State 25-20 (and makes you wonder if the Big XII expansion rumors can include relegation of ISU and Kansas). EVEN THOUGH KANSAS WON A FOOTBALL GAME, knocking off fellow FCS member Rhode Island.

Back later today as we start looking towards week 2 (which is garbage, by the way).

Crootin’: Attention to Detail is Important


For all the nice things one can say about the job Jim Harbaugh has done at Michigan, he’s not perfect.

jim harbaugh shirtless

See, a couple of typos and clerical errors cost the Wolverines a highly-touted offensive line recruit. They misspelled his name and thanked him for attending a camp he…did not attend.

Harbaugh was unable to keep one recruit, but he retained Clint Copenhaver. Wisconsin could not sway him, and one wonders why.

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CONFERENCE PREVIEWS: The B1G East


Man, look. The B1G West took it out of me, just like I said it would.

I abhor Big Ten football. I liked Michigan fine in the Charles Woodson era, and now I want them to go 3-9 due to Jim Harbaugh’s obnoxiousness at a name program and not a novelty. I liked Michigan State last year because they beat Ohio State, but they’re just a B1G team better than the mediocrity spread throughout the B1G. I’ve always hated Ohio State. And Penn State covered up the rape of children for the better part of 30 years.

I mean, good God, y’all. Every national publication insists this is the second best conference in the nation. Truth is, I am watching Sun Belt on the CW before another Minnesota/Rutgers slog. If its not lightning-storm-in-a-desert Indiana, its not entertaining football. Ohio State plays an aesthetically-pleasing style, but they kill everyone. And, you know, Urban Meyer. This year’s iterations of Michigan and Michigan State will be fine football teams, but they’ll play the sit-on-you-at-arms-length style that the B1G’s middle class plays to 16-13 thrillers.

Maryland may actually be the most entertaining team in this conference this year. Maryland. (Based on potential hilarity/young, untested coaching staff/Under Armour’s experimental plaything.)

I suddenly only have five weekends to tell you what’s going to be fun in college football this year, so let’s get this over with so I can talk about the immensely entertaining Pac-12, the absurd Big 12, our regional friend the ACC, and the all-important SEC.

B1G East

7) Rutgers. Look, I don’t know. They return a strong defensive line, but that’s by Rutgers Standards. They’ll probably beat Illinois at home, but their home/road splits make it hard to see another win.

6) Maryland. Randy Edsall went 6-18 as a coach in the ACC, and was quoted saying the following:

I’m glad to be moving to a conference that values football. It should be more fun to compete with more like-minded programs.

A few problems here. 1) The only reason Maryland left the ACC was because Kay Yow bankrupted their athletic department (and they just cut the ACC a $31 million check for the privilege of moving). 2) Edsall actually went 4-4 in his first year in a ‘football’ conference. 3) Edsall got canned last year, and the Terps went 3-9 (1-8).

Enter D.J. Durkin. He’s probably a year or two too green for a head coaching position, but I love the hire. He’s consistently put together OUTSTANDING defenses (Florida under Muschamp, Michigan under Harbaugh) but…he was coaching insane talent. He put together a GREAT coaching staff (Young OC Walt Bell was a recruiting stud at UNC before running the offense at Arkansas State) and former head coaches Mike London and whomever left doing a decent job at Ball State to be a position coach at Maryland.

Its the Justin Fuente approach of delegating his weaknesses out and bringing on guys with HC experience. That’s a good start. They’ll be intriguing at best, entertaining at worst.

5) Penn State. I wanted to drop them further, but James Franklin won 18 games over two years at Vanderbilt. The bowl game vs. Georgia makes me think they can’t not be awful, but…whatever. Their offensive line can’t be worse, or will at least put not Christian Hackenberg’s statue behind it, and I assume they have talent? They draw Minnesota/at Purdue/Iowa from the West, and those are three winnable games.

4) Indiana. They should’ve been 10-3 last year with wins over Ohio State and Michigan. In a middle tier full of the ‘three yards and a cloud of dust’ of yesteryear, Indiana is the meth addict with a heart of gold who comes to the strip mall with an AR-15. In other words, they may appear docile, but you’re not coming within a quarter mile of them. You don’t know what you’ll get from Indiana, and that makes them dangerous.

3) Michigan. Their schedule sets up for the easiest 10 wins in the history of football. They play 8 home games against Hawaii, UCF, Colorado, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, and Indiana. They return their whole offensive line, and get a lot of injured D-lineman back. They have a DE named Taco. Jim Harbaugh made a Jake Rudock passing game top-10 in the nation in efficiency.

I just think the hype is a year premature. They blew out Florida in the Citrus Bowl, and Jim Harbaugh was THE ENTIRE NEWS CYCLE for the offseason. Of course people are picking them for the playoff. They pay visits to the other two competent B1G teams, and that’s enough for me to NOT pick them.

Also,

Never ceases to make me happy.

2) Michigan State. Look, Connor Cook wasn’t great last year. Hell, new QB Tyler O’Connor was awful and still won at Ohio State. The pass D took a major step back due to attrition and the loss of Pat Narduzzi, and they still won the league.

In Malik McDowell and Riley Bullough, they bring back a STOUT middle. I just don’t bet against Sparty any more.

one) Ohio State. They may get slapped around at Oklahoma on Sept. 17. They just had the best NFL Draft since 2001-2003 Miami, so they’ll be inexperienced. But…they still have a freaking stable of talent back. J.T. Barrett, former Heisman finalist? Back. Too many skill guys to name? Back. Top recruits at every single position who will be experienced by their Nov 19 & 26 matchups against the Michigans? Present.

Ohio State is gonna win this division again.

Five Games Worth Watchin’

GUESS WHAT? They all involve the big three. I tried hard to avoid them when writing about the West.

  1. Michigan at Michigan St., Oct. 29. Its number 1 because its the first shakedown game. None of these teams should lose to anyone else in the conference. Also, see above GIF.
  2. Ohio State at Michigan State, Nov. 19. Second shakedown game.
  3. Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 26. Let’s be honest, Ohio State’s gonna steamroll them again, and it’ll be funny.
  4. Ohio State at Oklahoma, Sept. 17. Hate to say it, but an Ohio State upset means we’re back to cheering for everyone to beat them.
  5. Indiana at Michigan, Nov. 19. While Michigan is scoreboard watching the OSU/MSU game, Indiana is planting kilos of cocaine in the Michigan locker room. My dream scenario is that a 10-0 Michigan team goes up in flames to a tempo team and eliminates the B1G from the playoff.

Players Worth Knowing

THERE ARE PLENTY!

Jabrill Peppers, LB/S Michigan: He could play corner more than competently, but he’s playing Will behind a stout D-line. Imagine a smaller Kam Chancellor with more speed and better instincts.

Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State: He was a key piece to the 2014 championship team as a true freshman. Georgia let him out of its backyard. He had 119 tackles last year. Ugh.

J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State: Simply has the weapons and the system to be a backdoor Heisman like another Ohio State quarterback.

Demetrious Cox, S, Michigan State: Dude makes plays and rocks headshots.

SaQuon Barkley, RB, Penn State: The junior class of RBs is insane. Fournette, Cook, Chubb, McAffrey, Perine, Hood, whomever Alabama chooses, Michel…its amazing. Barkley is a sophomore, and hit 5.9 yards per carry as a true freshman. He’ll get ridiculous Doak/Heisman hype next year based on his exploits this year.

Divine Redding, RB, Indiana: Our local Falcons fans know Tevin Coleman (over 2000 yards in 2014). Jordan Howard missed four games last year and still put up 1200. Redding ran for 1000 yards as a backup last year, and threw up a casual 227 in the bowl loss to Duke. Guarantee you he’ll run for 1800+ if he stays healthy.

Will Likely, CB/PR, Maryland: Crap, this dude’s a senior already? He’s the dude that you straight up don’t punt to. I have NO idea how you average 17 yards per punt return on more than like, 3 attempts, but Likely did it over 23 and is a two-time first team B1Ger.

There’s actually fun, dominant, watchable talent across this division. I came up with two such players in the B1G West.

B1G EAST FOOTBALL, Y’ALL! Only three teams can actually win it, but there are at least two heterogeneous teams (Indiana and Maryland) making the noon ESPN2’s palatable.

 

 

100 Days of SEC Dominance: Jim Harbaugh is morphing into an ATLien


Honestly, early onset writer’s block set in this morning. Thank you, Jim and your trolly ways, for giving me some material.

Jim Harbaugh LOVES poking the SEC bear. He has gone out of his way to troll (by my count) Nick Saban, Butch Jones, Bret Bieliema, and Kirby Smart…and Jim McIlwain famously dodged him, saying satellite camps were fine.

Harbaugh has adopted the prison mentality: find the biggest guy in the room on the first day, and punch him square in the face. Has it worked? Maybe. Does it show who the biggest guy in the room is? Absolutely.

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The Hank Aaron jersey …while sitting next to Hank Aaron. Y’all, this man is a LEGEND. And he’s proving our point.

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