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Michigan Football, 2021 Season

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  • I thought this was interesting from Bill Connelly via mgo (Brian's piece there today is really good - Linesman, you'd like the opening part about how he describes his hesitancy to think there might be something good going on here - unmistakable signs of of a well coached and lead team that simply wasn't expected given the last two seasons and the massive coaching changes that, in the past was nothing more than moving deck chairs, advancing cronies and accomplishing little.


    Bill C.PNG :

    There is such a thing as redemption. Maybe we're seeing one. We just saw it!!!. M 42, OSU 27. 11/27/21.

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    • There's more. Liney, you're not going to like this. Per AA, all of this is no more than a "point of reference." But you have to love living in this "point" ...... for the moment. Beats the other options and that's pretty much what's happened over the JH HC tenure.

      https://mgoblog.com/diaries/b1g-expe...e-wins-outlook

      Snap shot: this post compares all three fancy states and builds a standings projection (after week 3) for each one. It also builds a graphic of wins distribution by probability for each. I find these graphs the most useful. Both M and OSU are projected to have 8 conference wins with one loss. Neiter are shaded to 7 or 9. PSU also has 8 wins though shaded to 7. M is projected to beat OSU (53% win projection) in Ann Arbor and lose to PSU in HV (55% loss projection). For M the game that decides whether or not M wins the BIG East is at Madison in two weeks is Wisconsin. Right now, the only fancy stat that's projecting an M win there is ESPN Power Rankings that heavily incorporates FPI (59.6%). The other three project < 50% chance of winning but not by much (49.7 and 49.8).

      If you take out all preseason expectations weight and base the numbers only on games played so far, here's the S&P projection for the final top five:

      SP+ top 5 if all preseason projections were taken out:
      1. Michigan
      2. Georgia
      3. Ole Miss
      4. Texas Tech
      5. Florida

      Caveat: I've followed these posts at mgo carefully in the past when M was at least competitive and not making my head explode. Early season games don't do a very good job in forming the basis for any of the fancy stats. Things tend to change drastically as the season progresses and as it gets past its midpoint. I also found that M typically lost more games than they were projected to win arguably because the coaching staff sucked and failed to optimize player skill sets to build functional (successful) units despite talent advantages....... IMO, one of Harbaugh's greatest failures as M's HC.
      There is such a thing as redemption. Maybe we're seeing one. We just saw it!!!. M 42, OSU 27. 11/27/21.

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      • I've seen things in Michigan's early games that would normally give me some optimism. Obviously, the running game's revival is a good thing. Haskins and Corum's emergence as a 1-2 punch of power and speed that I really like, and haven't seen in many years. The red flag for me is, how will this look on the road, against good teams? We'll start finding that out next week. If they can put up 200 yards on the ground against the Badgers, even if they lose, I'll allow myself a bit of optimism. The blocking for the running game seems to be just as impressive as the RB's are. Linemen are running to spots on the field, and pushing people out of the way. The offense isn't putting Corum and Haskins out on an island, throwing them a 2-yard swing pass, and telling them "good luck". They're actually putting large bodies into each play, and hitting opposing players. So, we'll see how all this pans out against stiffer competition, in hostile arenas.

        We haven't seen enough of the passing game (IMO) to know anything on what to expect. McNamara appears to be efficient, but McCarthy seems to have the biggest upside.

        Again, we'll see. I'm enjoying the good, and expecting the bad.
        "Some people think when they are standing on 3rd base, that they just hit a triple" -- Jim Harbaugh 2021

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        • And I'm still not buying any possibility of defeating OSU in AA, or Toledo, or Detroit, or anywhere.

          A team that sits a 5-star QB, and has 2 - 5-Star QB's sitting on the bench to replace him, has nothing to worry about. They have similar talent edges across the board.
          "Some people think when they are standing on 3rd base, that they just hit a triple" -- Jim Harbaugh 2021

          Comment


          • After M's thumping of the Badgers on the road, a great win for the program and for Harbaugh, Linesman is still right about not predicting a rosy future for Michigan football. The Badgers just aren't very good. M's D is vastly improved under DC McDonald, just look at the box score. Wisconsin's offense is putrid. ND pounded them too and then lost to Cinci convincingly. M's offense still teeters too often.

            Linesman points out this persistent penchant for running between the tackles and in this game a 2.6 ypa v. Wisconsin's D. Out of the Badgers 3 units the D is clearly the best. Maybe that should be taken into consideration. But M's offense wasn't much better v. Rutgers either so, on balance, there is that. Questions about not testing runs outside the tackles, I think are answered by how Leonard deploys his LBs and DEs and the talent levels of those units. Why burn downs running to the edge when pregame tape demonstrated how quick all these guys are and when sweeps or jumps outside got blown up early, these can be sensibly shelved.

            As I posted elsewhere, the RO and RPO were called v. Wisconsin's D. It's clear that Harbaugh wants a run centric offense. I don't think he is committed to the RPO and RO as key features in M's offense. They are one offs and often signaled by substitutions. There's a heavy dose of zone power in his offense. Gattis responds and the run game, IMO, is limited because of that. I'm not sure you can mix these two approaches successfully as in jack of all trades, master of none. At least at the CFB level. This is not an unknown characteristic of how Harbaugh approaches the game.

            I think M will finish at best at 10-2, more likely 9-3; 11-1 is an outlier along with 8-4. Most penciled in M losing to Wisconsin on the road and in Madison. This even though fancy stats had M as high as a 63% chance to win. In this case the numbers that form those fancy stats didn't lie. So this win bumps expectations up a couple games. 8-4 to 9-3, 9-3 shifts to 10-2 tops. 9-3 still the more likely, IMO.

            Observers were calling Ms game at Madison the key game for M to have any chance of winning the BTE. After M's win there, the path forward then has a couple of options: (1) M wins out up to OSU and beats them for the BTE Championship (10%). (2) M loses to one of MSU or PSU and faces OSU and wins (49%). The other options include a pathway that relies on both OSU and M losing one BE league game and facing each other in AA for the BE championship to end the season. Lots of other options for M that all involve losses to the likes of Neb, MSU, IU or Maryland.

            Because of those "other" options for M, more likely than for OSU, I'm pumping the brakes on a breakthrough season for Harbaugh. Less of them it seems but still, too many red flags for expectations to rise significantly after this win. 8 to 9 wins seems reasonable more or less, unlikely
            There is such a thing as redemption. Maybe we're seeing one. We just saw it!!!. M 42, OSU 27. 11/27/21.

            Comment


            • I give M credit for over achieving so far. I had them losing to both Washington and Wisconsin, .. and they've won. Tip the cap, good job, .. thanks for the wins. I'm fine with being wrong about those.

              I still think the remainder of the season is going to be more like Michigan v Rutgers, than Michigan vs Wisconsin/Washington. Michigan is going to struggle more than they'll overwhelm. If they can manage W's while struggling, or winning ugly, .. that's fine with me. I just don't see them winning every game where they have to struggle. I think we'll see that this week with Nebraska who has an excellent multi-threat QB who is just now coming into his own. He's going to be hard to defend. McDonald has a tough task ahead of him planning for the Huskerz running game as well.

              After the Huskers, Michigan will get a bye week before NW comes to town. They should handle the now-Mild-cats, but then they run into a buzzsaw where they have to play Sparty, Indiana and PSU, with MSU and PSU on the road. If they can come out of that 3 game stretch at 2-1, I'll consider it a success.

              Still lots of football to be played, and there are many scenarios that could occur. I'll enjoy the good, and expect the bad.
              "Some people think when they are standing on 3rd base, that they just hit a triple" -- Jim Harbaugh 2021

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              • Nolan Rumler in the portal, apparently.

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                • Originally posted by Hannibal View Post
                  Nolan Rumler in the portal, apparently.
                  I think he did that on Friday. He didn't travel to Madison.

                  Gattis has been rotating OL's to keep them fresh, and apparently he wasn't in that rotation.
                  "Some people think when they are standing on 3rd base, that they just hit a triple" -- Jim Harbaugh 2021

                  Comment


                  • This apparently showed up int Freep (from mgoboard):

                    Mark Schlissel out .......

                    ​​​​​​https://www.freep.com/story/news/edu...ts/6002080001/

                    From the story:

                    "University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel will leave his post one year before his contract expires, the school announced Tuesday. That means his tenure will draw to an end no later than 2023.The school's Board of Regents, which has been deeply divided in recent months over Schlissel's performance, will immediately launch a national search for his replacement. It's unclear what will happen if the board finds a suitable replacement before 2023."
                    There is such a thing as redemption. Maybe we're seeing one. We just saw it!!!. M 42, OSU 27. 11/27/21.

                    Comment


                    • This is unlikely to affect the football program in any immediate way. Long term? Probably. By that I mean the next two years and Jim Harbaugh's contract.
                      There is such a thing as redemption. Maybe we're seeing one. We just saw it!!!. M 42, OSU 27. 11/27/21.

                      Comment


                      • Harbaugh still has time to mess this season up. Don't underestimate the man.
                        "Some people think when they are standing on 3rd base, that they just hit a triple" -- Jim Harbaugh 2021

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                        • HARBAUGH!!! 34 BERT'S BEYOTCH'S 17
                          Shut the fuck up Donny!

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                          • You have been sniffing airplane glue again.
                            "Some people think when they are standing on 3rd base, that they just hit a triple" -- Jim Harbaugh 2021

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                            • ...
                              Attached Files
                              Shut the fuck up Donny!

                              Comment


                              • I posted this in the wrong thread and reposted it here. Mike has already posted,

                                You thought the basketball thread was the best place to post this?

                                That said: Fire him. Hasn't won shit. Not going to.
                                Linesman liked MIke's post. Next?

                                This is as good of a place as any to post this. All over the blogosphere, TV sports shows and message boards, talk about Harbaugh is present. He's this week's "main character."

                                Of course the talk breaks down into two sides: keep him or fire him. This is a much more nuanced discussion this time around. Supporters of the keep him side offer that this is a rebuilding year for M and Harbaugh after hiring McDonald as the DC, reshuffling of the coaching staff and finally having a young QB with a 5* in the wings who both look competent.

                                The MSU loss is being pinned on McDonald for not being prepared for the kind of tempo Tucker runs and trying to substitute, unnecessarily it is pointed out, between plays. Support for that conclusion demonstrates that KWIII had two TD runs where he broke through the LOS and was untouched by LBs or DBs. That's because the D wasn't set. Supporters of keep him go on to say this is a learning curve for this young DC and that he's used to the slow pace of the NFL where the referees don't whistle plays to start for up to a minute (as offenses huddle) while CFB refs whistle the play to start within seconds of the spot. IOW, wait until next year.

                                The fire him side points to JH's pitiful record in big games and against rivals with 7 seasons of coaching M under his belt, well, 6.5. This side pushes the probable reality of keeping Harbaugh will result in year after year of 8-4 or 9-3 with losses to P5 teams that are good and rivals continuing unabated. This is Harbaugh's celling and this side offers, somewhat closely to what I've said about Harbaugh's observed sideline demeanor, that he appears frenetic and disorganized, is the fundamental basis for that ceiling. The anecdotal evidence strongly supports this hypothesis. Gaining leads and losing them in the 4th quarter isn't just a once in a while thing. It has happened on the regular.

                                Fleshing out reasons for that regularity isn't as important as acknowledging that his shitty record exists and making a decision on whether you want Harbaugh retained or fired. I already know what Linesman will say, "Ward won't fire him." That may be but I'm more interested in what posters here think. I also don't care about deciding before he's fired who's available. Fire him or Retain at the end of the regular season and state upon what basis do you hold your position.
                                There is such a thing as redemption. Maybe we're seeing one. We just saw it!!!. M 42, OSU 27. 11/27/21.

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