MGoPodcast 5.12: Almost



Sorry this is late; there was a ton to talk about and this checks in at almost 1:40.


Where did that come from? How can this team be the other team? Points for that throwback screen. Devin Gardner, man. Jeremy Gallon, wizard.


Pounded. Personnel issues. A discussion of whether Mattison is underperforming against the spread in which I think both Ace and myself disagree with ourselves.


Big ass fight, decisions, and a section from 57 to 1:03 in which we (read: I) discuss meta blog stuff that I am irritated by. You will note that the tone of voice is more exasperation than "meltdown." Norfleet is fun.


The Big Ten game of the week: the Iron Bowl. Fire Bo Pelini and Tim Beckman (and hire Pat Narduzzi please). Talking about OSU versus Auburn: do you take the team that hasn't really beaten anyone worth beating or the one that had to pull multiple games out of its butt and left one in there? This is why the BCS is stupid.


"Across 110th Street."
"Raised By Wolves," Voxtrot
"She Was A Hotel Detective," They Might Be Giants. (This is not a good song, but it is funny to envision a giant John Flansburgh interrupting weddings, funerals, football games, and county fairs by singing this at incredible volume.)
"Maladjusted," Morrissey (Oblig.)
"I'm Going To Town," Robert Earl Keen

The usual links:



December 2nd, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

the lions running game being opened up this season after calvin gets doubled every play is 75% larry warford being a studbolt at right guard and 25% reggie bush juking everybody and their mother. for an example look at last seasons lions with the same calvin johnson BREAKING JERRY RICES RECORD AND WE STILL COULDNT RUN THE BALL because stephen peterman was one of the worst guards in the league. The lions last season faced the most 6 man boxes in the history of ever and couldnt run to save their lives because of the line play.


December 2nd, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

time to listen.  Here are the highlights:

  • MGoBlog staff morale is low, but nobody is quitting
  • Morale so low that Ace preferred to discuss The Game on 11W rather than debate the merits on MGoBlog 
  • Brian is no longer putting up with "people who just come here to crap on [Brian]"
  • "Jerks are gone", they won;t be tolerated
  • Long time posters (5 or 6 years) often have a sense of entitlement on the blog that has led to a dramatic increase in ad hominem attacks that will no longer be toterated
  • "The pre-season loss of board moderation (up/down voting) was catastrophic.  [MGoBlog staff] want it back as much as anyone else."
  • The Board was very stable this season with only one crash (D'Shawn Hand).  This was the benefit realized by making the move that lost moderation.
  • Board is currently "out of control", but changes are coming
  • Brian has no problems with Magnus or Space Coyote or other contribtuors who challenge his argumnets with substantive, thoughtful commentary

In other words, they've got this.  The MGoBlog that most of us know and love is coming back soon.

Worth a listen if you have time (no I'm not kissing ass).



December 2nd, 2013 at 6:05 PM ^

I actually decided to skip forward to just that segment and hear it for myself.  I won't say more than if people are interested/want to comment about some of these items, they first go through the podcast themselves and listen.  Not because you did a poor job summarizing, but hearing the quotes and context directly will hopefully lead to more informed discussion.

Shop Smart Sho…

December 2nd, 2013 at 7:25 PM ^

Devin Funchess hurdled a dude.  I know Gardner and Gallon are awesome and everything, but our 6'5" 245lb TE/WR fucking hurdled someone.  In a real game.  Like, I was there and saw it.  

I don't know why, but right after it happened I thought about how much fun is was going to be listening to the two of you just start laughing when you talked about it.  I now insist that you record an extra 5 minutes of discussion about that play.

And now I've listed to the State of the Blog part.  I'm wondering if you are referencing me as one of the people who has been here a long time that pushed back on the Brandon Brown thing with the recruit earlier in the year.  

Just to be clear, it seemed that the majority of us that didn't like how that whole thing went down weren't angry about the staff talking to recruits.  We were raising an issue with how the contact was happening, and then were annoyed when your employee basically told us we were stupid and had no idea what we were talking about.  That was despite mulitple people telling him that we do, in fact, know what we are talking about because we are coaches.

Also, I do not hate the blog.  I love the blog.  I buy your magazines and your tshirts.  I read every article that is front-paged, aside from Brandon Brown's stuff.  (I don't boycot it because it is recruiting stuff, I boycot it because he came off as a jerk to me, and I don't like his writing style.)  I read Diaries and the MGoBoard.  I've been a supporter since you were writing stuff about poker.  But I do think we raised some good points in that conversation that were not just ignored, but bashed by your staff member.

And yes, a 100 is the highest possible score when bowling.  Your 101 was obvously snake-oil magic.  Please don't ban me.

beat ohio

December 2nd, 2013 at 7:45 PM ^

Love hearing what you had to say about people shitting on you for no reason. I come to this blog for interesting football analysis (along with the other sports, to some degree) and really love the stuff y'all put out AND the interesting contributions by Space Coyote, Mangus and their ilk (the intelligent contributions). More power to ya Brian - makes the site a higher quality place in general

Mpfnfu Ford

December 2nd, 2013 at 9:30 PM ^

I wish people would stop acting like the spread is some kind of newfangled communist ball. It's just the latest way to run the option. Option football is pretty synonymous with college football, and has been for what, 70 years? If it was the 60s, these teams would run the split T. The 70s, the Wishbone. The 80's and 90's, the I formation. 

That's all the spread and shred is. A way to run the option while still being able to recruit top wide receivers and have a passing threat that goes beyond the EVERYONE RUN DEEP AND LET'S PRAY passing offenses a lot of option teams used to have. Bo Schembechler ran the option. If he was coaching today, he'd probably run a spread offense. 

In the history of college football over the last 70 years, if you couldn't recruit future NFL QBs, you ran the option out of some formation. Why people continue to resist it is beyond me. 

But maybe Ohio State's offense is just a mirage, and Minnesota being able to run the ball as well as anyone in the conference with 2 star talent is just a strange fluke. 


December 2nd, 2013 at 11:29 PM ^

I don't think there is a lot of that anymore. This blog has done a tremendous job in educating people on the tenets of the spread.

There are a ton of people, though, that think anything else is just inferior. That's to be expected, I suppose, since Brian and the MGoBlog staff seem to feel that way. I think that's just as misguided as the other side. Football is football. There are a lot of ways to gain yards and score touchdowns. The best offense is the one that works best for that team.

Mpfnfu Ford

December 3rd, 2013 at 12:05 AM ^

Sure, any offense can win and succeed if you have the players for it. If you have Dan Marino, you don't ask him to run the zone read 20 times a game. But I think recent history has shown that a pro style offense is far more quarterback dependent than a spread offense. Now, I don't mean that to say that the spread doesn't run plays through its quarterback, because obviously it does. But option football is far easier to teach, is played far more extensively at the high school level, thus guaranteeing that your players will have far more background with what you want to do, and there's just a wider net to cast to find a good quarterback.

If you don't have an Andrew Luck, your pro style offense will probably be at best mediocre. So why base your attack around schemes that require you hitting the recruiting jackpot? Wouldn't you rather have an offense that can function with a converted defensive back at quarterback? 


December 3rd, 2013 at 12:41 AM ^

You're also right...sorta.

I don't think there is any difference in QB dependency. In fact, one could argue that the option is more QB dependent. Look at 2012 Michigan. We had no running game outside of Denard. In the end, good players are hard to replace, and you become dependent on them. This is true in all systems. I suppose its easier to replace a primarily running threat than a passing threat, but I don't know if its a slam dunk.

And, the tendency is for good running QBs to be poor throwers. So, while the option is a good scheme and works and so on, read option teams are generally not great passers of the ball, which hurts their chances of making late game comebacks.

Pros and cons to everything.

Mpfnfu Ford

December 3rd, 2013 at 6:06 AM ^

I feel pretty confident Devin would have replaced 90% of Denard's production, maybe even been better in a spread system because of his better ability to throw down field. It's FAR FAR FAR easier to find an athlete capable of executing option reads and one read passes than finding a guy savvy enough to manage the audibles of a deep pro style playbook while also having the arm and touch to fit balls into tighter windows. Like, there's a reason this is what college offense has been for our entire lives+ (I dunno how old you are, but you're on the internet, so I'm assuming you weren't a big single wing fan from the 1930s).

And ya know, who needs to pass when you can run the ball for 300-400 yards? That's another reason why shotgun option teams like to push tempo: it allows you to move the ball quickly while still running your base offense. Auburn ran a 2 minute drill with option runs that set up that option pass that tied the game. They did all this to ALABAMA. With a DB at quarterback, not a guy who can throw at the level of Devin or even Denard.

Like, sure, it would be great to be able to run for 7 yards a carry and also average 11.5 yards per passing attempt with a killer drop back playaction passing attack. But who is doing that? And which teams usually look clueless in a come from behind scenario? The pro style teams or the no huddle spread teams?


December 3rd, 2013 at 2:47 AM ^

Let me explain why I think the spread isn't the best option for Michigan.

. If we were most teams in the Big 10 (i.e., Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, even Iowa, maybe even Penn State, MSU and Wisconsin) I think the spread is the way to go. This is what RR tried to do at Michigan.

However, I believe that there are a handful of teams in the country, of which Michigan is one, which don't have to resort fully to the spread. USC, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Ohio State, Texas, Auburn, Georgia, Stanford, ND, and Michigan have the history, the facilities, the cachet, to be able to try and recruit for "Big Boy Football." If this is done right, on average, I believe those teams will beat a good spread team.

If Michigan had recruited another spread coach, the transition would have been easier from RR. Conversely, if Michigan had recruited a "big boy" type coach after Carr, the transition would have been easier. Our problem was in transitioning first from big boy to spread, and then second, from spread back to "big boy." In a sense, this has largely meant a loss of six years. (2008 through 2013.)

I believe the number of QB's who can run a pro style offense is limited, but not that limited. More than that, Michigan has historically had success in putting QB's in the pros (Brady, Henne, Grbac, Collins, Harbaugh, and Griese all saw significant time in the NFL.) USC, ND, Washington, UCLA, Stanford, Miami, and Michigan have all produced a significant number of pro QB's. This in itself makes these schools, and Michigan, attractive to the Andrew Luck's coming out of HS.

Mpfnfu Ford

December 3rd, 2013 at 6:21 AM ^

I totally agree there, and I can't imagine a sane person not agrreeing. Switching wildly from one system to another is just setting yourself up for failure. 

But as far as Michigan: pro style quarterback factory, most of those names are from an era in which being a drop back passing team with pro style quarterbacks was a bit novel. That's not the case any more. You don't see 4-4 defenses that smart drop back passers can just pick apart.

And at the end of the day, what did most of those guys win at Michigan? Griese won it all, but most of those more recent guys were associated with teams that never fully played up to their potential. All those future NFL quarterbacks, and what? From 1997-2007, 1 national title, two big ten titles, a 2-4 record in BCS bowls and one of those guys was MAYBE THE GREATEST QUARTERBACK TO EVER PLAY. You've GOT to have that level of talent to make a pro style team work, and Michigan WAS able to assemble that level of talent, but it still didn't get the job done.

I just have a hard time thinking that a 90's pro style offense is going to be a better mouse trap than "option offense you can't play 8 in the box against." 


December 3rd, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

I agree with you about switching systems.  It's a big change and it's a difficult transition.

However, your attitude towards a spread offense is very telling.  Using phrases like 'big boy football' and 'resort ... to the spread' indicates you view the spread and inferior by nature.  It's not.  It's a method of scoring points and moving the ball.  A great spread team is just as potent as a great pro style offense.  They both have their positives and negatives.

The fact is that this coaching staff is refusing to play to their CURRENT rosters strengths because, like you, they believe their system is 'better'.  It's not, otherwise we would be better then 7-5 and we would have played every game like the OSU game.

I currently live in New England and let me tell you that watching the New England Patriots each weekend is a pleasure.  They adapt their gameplan each week to their opponents.  One week it's power running, the next week might focus on quick passes, or 5 WR sets.  There's none of this silly notion that if they go power running one week, that they are suddenly a better team then when they spread out the defense the week before.


December 2nd, 2013 at 11:06 PM ^

Cheer up guys. Things will improve! Yeah we had a bummer of a season but the only way we can go is up! Things will improve every year for the next several. Just wait until we get a 11-1 season and are in the hunt for one of those national championship playoff spots. This board will be hopping by then!

Hair Raid Offense

December 3rd, 2013 at 1:13 AM ^

Could not agree more about the comments regarding the board posts. The only other time I remember it being so hostile on here was that week or so between Rich Rod's firing, and Hoke's hiring; except that this time it's been going on since the bowl loss to South Carolina. I don't comment on things often, usually just read them, but lately I feel hesitant to post a comment on an article because I know some jackass is going to jump down my throat and try to start a fight. Too many A-holes on this site these days...


December 3rd, 2013 at 2:57 AM ^

I have always skipped the podcasts, but listened today for the first time, largely because of interest in the meta issues. I am greatly encouraged by a number of things.

  • The affirmation by Brian that the loss of points has been disastrous (for board self-moderation.)
  • The statement by Ace that "it's about time" (to ban or remove or cut back on old entitled users, of which I am one.)
  • The realization that I'm not alone in how I feel about the overall tone and tenor of the blog.
  • My sadness in hearing Ace say that it has gotten so bad here, he has better discussions at 11W.
  • The statement that Brian can live with contrary views (i.e., Magnus, Space Coyote,) so long as their comments and posts are reasoned and thought out. This is great, because I love their contributions, and the point - counterpoint they can bring to some posts.

The reality is, I personally am not a great contributor to the blog. I'm not close to the program, and I'm not a great football mind. However, I come here for enjoyment, as a fan, for fun, for escape. When it becomes a chore to wade through comments, when it isn't fun anymore, when it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I'd rather clean out files and rake leaves and wash the dishes than come to mgoblog. I'm hoping that in the next few months, the blog will return to some approximation of what it was, and what I want it to be.

Wolverine Devotee

December 3rd, 2013 at 8:06 AM ^

I saw some of the idiots on Brian's twitter. Is there any way to trace their IP from their twitter to see if it matches up to anyone here?

Is there an IP banhammer?

I'm not very good with interwebs things like this so pardon my dust. 



December 3rd, 2013 at 8:36 AM ^

I have been visiting this site semi-frequently over the past two years but just registered for an account last month. What attracted me here initially was the back-and-forth between posters who at least had relatively cogent points. Of course, I was used to MLive, so by comparison, most anything else reads well.

I do have to say over this past season I've seen way more snarkiness and just plain meanness between the two warring camps.

I also don't get the attacks on Brian. I don't always agree with him, but I think he does a great job.

And you can't beat the price.

matty blue

December 3rd, 2013 at 9:27 AM ^

i appreciated the 'meta' comments.  i've been here for a long time, although i generally only comment on front-page stories (as opposed to the MGoBoard), and the comment sections have been a real downer for a while now.  it's not because the football season has been disappointing, either - even during the basketball team's run there were trolls a-plenty.

looking forward to the comment sections moving back away from youtube territory.


December 3rd, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

I don't know which would concern me more;

The idea that I viewed the discourse at my employer's site to be so bad that I preferred my rival's site.


That  I thought my arguments were better received by fans of my rivals than fans of my own team.

Although, I am quite sure that the tenor of the discussion at 11W is greatly improved by the fact that they haven't lost in 2 years (and are on a pretty impressive streak against Michigan) and Michigan. Well has and isn't. If 11W had existed in the 90s, I'm sure it would have been a pit of negativity and despair as well.

If you want to find some OSU fans that you don't want to talk about anything with, my Facebook feed is full of them.