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02/08/2018 - 10:48am Just to add to the misery

I live in Columbus and Holtman was in my undergrad class at Taylor Univeristy (a small liberal arts college in Indiana).  Just salt in the wound.  With NSD, yesterday was rough. Buckeyes on top of the world and I just have to watch it all day every day.

02/07/2018 - 12:35pm I am going with bourbon

Recently won this at a charity auction:

02/07/2018 - 10:25am Brutal Brian Quote

"Let's not mince words: this isn't going to be enough if it continues like this. Not to beat OSU."

Ouch, that hurts.

01/09/2018 - 12:19pm Thoughts and Prayers, Ace

As others have noted, I can't even imagine wrestling with these issues.  I really apprecaite all that you contribute to the site.  I hope and pray you get things figured out, to the degree possible, and get back on a more positive track.  Remember that you have a lot of people pulling for you.

01/04/2018 - 9:38am Coaching records against rivals

Bo was 11-9-1 vs OSU while Carr was 6-7.  Bo and Woody were evenly matched in The Ten Year War and that is what really made The Game.  Michigan dominated during the John Cooper years.  Carr won five of his first six but then lost four of the next five and the only Michigan win since was the Fickle year. Obviously, not being able to beat Ohio State last year was a huge opportunity missed to change the narrative (as the kids say these days).

State is different in some ways because Michigan State dominated in the 50s and 60s but once Bo came Michigan dominated until 2008. The State dominance started with Carr's retirement.  and yes, Harbaugh's snake bitten record against MSU is part of the story.

01/02/2018 - 12:51pm So don't read the comments

or heck shut them down again.  Brian has to find a way to offer value to the Michigan football world without letting the jerks and idiots ruin it.  The internet has ruined a lot of good things but that is why successful people achieve, they find ways to innovate or push through when others quit.

01/02/2018 - 11:15am Difference between blogger and professional writer

In some ways I get this post but in others it is pretty disappointing. I have been reading Brian for something like a decade. I get that the comments can be toxic and can't imagine his Twitter mentions.  But I hope he can find time to offer something more than this.

Does it suck to be a passionate fan of Michigan football right now? Obviously. But as others have pointed out upthread, Brian has made a career off writing about Michigan from a dialed in fan's perspective.  But he can't find an angle to write about other than Eat at Arby’s?

Was the problem with Peters not seeing the field?  WRs not getting separation? Scheme?

What exactly happened with the OL?  Did the surprise scratches have a big impact or was the problem elsewhere?  Did the RBs miss opportunities of was there no holes created?

What happened in the second half where the defense couldn't seem to get pressure and SC made some huge plays?

This is why we come to the site.  There is all kinds of anger and emotionalism, but the idea is that Brian understands that emotion but can offer something more.  If he can't then the value goes down substantially for me.

A blogger can just say screw it, and not write if they don't feel like it.  But someone who makes a living at covering sports needs to find a way to offer an opinion and perspective, IMO.

01/01/2018 - 8:48pm Was there ever any explanation for the starters?

Injuries or somthing else or both?  I didn't see a good explanation.

01/01/2018 - 4:06pm My family doesn't want me to watch Michigan games anymore

These games just depress everyone and ruin my day.  My wife predicted the end zone interception.  This team simply finds ways to lose big games.  Other teams find a way to win even when it is ugly but Michigan just can't.  Embarrassing.

01/01/2018 - 3:58pm My thoughts exactly

I couldnt beleive he slid there when he could have gotten a first down.  He looked seriously rattled in the fourth quarter but was off most of the game.  To be fair ther receivers can't get open and the offensive line can't handle pressure.  He certainly didn't look like any type of answer for out offensive woes.

11/27/2017 - 3:55pm Difference between great and good
I think this was a good but young defense.  A great defense makes plays that can change the game on its own (turnovers, critical stops, etc.).  This defense isn't in this category against quality opponents.  They have not come up with game changing turnovers and they have given up one long TD drive even to teams like Rutgers.
But to hold down a very talented OSU team, that destroyed MSU, for most of the game is pretty solid.  The most frustrating aspect of the defense for me is how they give up a TD drive immediately after something positive happens on offense.  OSU's drive after Michigan had taken the lead 20-14 was the maddening example on Saturday.  But there were a couple of plays that made that drive. A holding penalty on 3rd down that resulted in a first down and the infamous 3rd and 13 completion.  They also let Haskins and Barret break contain a couple of times on scoring drives.
But the defense played well enough to win the game. The offense had three possessions when it was a 4 point lead and couldn't score or manage more than two first downs.  If the defense holds after the O’Korn interception and OSU only gets a field goal. Michigan has the ball down 7 with 90 seconds. I guess it is possible O'Korn pulls of the touchdown drive but it doesn't seem like that last TD meant much given the circumstances that had played out.
As others have pointed out, Brown's aggressive defense can get busted.  And a young aggressive team doubly so.  But to me, teams are just making plays when the game is on the line.  Both Saturday and against Wisconsin their QBs stepped up with dead accurate throws on critical downs while ours either got sacked/hurt or missed wide open throws.
I think we need more experience in key spots on defense to truly get to that higher level.  And an offense that can get leads and grow them helps a lot too.
11/26/2017 - 6:45pm Just got to get better seems like a cliche

but it is a fact.  Ohio State has been recruiting lights out and has athletes all over the field. Even when they struggle they seem to have a player step up and do what it takes to win close games.  Michigan is behind and just needs to keep getting better players and developing those players.  Get better, stronger, faster, etc.

Nothing quite came together with this team this year against a quality opponent for more than a quarter or two but at times they looked quite good (QB & OL being the most problematic).  But taking this teams talent and adding experience and more coaching means getting better.  Adding more high end talent every year means getting better.  That is the only way to compete at the top of college football.  This wasnt a game lost by x's and o's.  At some critical moments Ohio State just played better; better players in critical positions.

Harbaugh is getting those players and putting them in position to win.  But this year he didn't have the talent or the experience to make it work.  Just have to get better.

11/25/2017 - 6:01pm I would kill to be Auburn at this point

Being competitive and beating OSU once in a while is all I want at this point.  The idea that Michigan is anywhere near going on a run like OSU has in the last 6 years is ludicrous.  They simply have better players and system.  Meyer shows no sign of slowing down in recruiting.  We stunk under Hoke and RichRod and have moved up to good.  But even a young and strugging OSU team scored 31 on us.

11/25/2017 - 5:20pm Perhaps the most disappointing part?

The defense giving that TD to Haskins.  Yes, I realize it looked like all the world like holding and the coverage on the big 3rd down was tight but why does this defense seem to give up TD drives at the most inopportune moments?  Is it youth, scheme, or something else?  I thought they played good enough to win this game obviously, with competent QB play as Ace notes, nbut it bugs me that against Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State immediately after something good happens the defense gives up a TD drive (to a redshirt Freshman thrown into The Game while behind).

This is what truly makes these game feel out of reach.  When the offense steps up and makes a play, the defense promptly gives up points.

11/25/2017 - 5:15pm It just boggle my mind

That a fifth year senior can miss open play after open play.  It is like every tenth pass he throws a great ball into tight coverage but the rest of the time it is like his brain is not functional.  Wide open plays that are obvious from couch and he just won't pull the trigger or sails the ball out of reach.  He was given the opportunity that he must have wanted since coming here: to prove the skeptics wrong and win a game for the ages and just fails at an epic level.  Even after half a dozen or more missed passes he still has a chance to win the game and throws the interception to seal the loss.  Someone described it on Twitter as soul curshing.  If it feels like that for fans, what must it feel like for him and his team mates?

11/20/2017 - 4:08pm I think some of frustration

is with program furstration and history versus individual games and seasons.  Our incredibly bad luck in The Game (see coin toss diary), with MSU of late, and in top-10 opponents colors the emotions of fans.  Ohio State is a dominant team and MSU and PSU are going to chamionships games.  Michigan is in the longest drought in recent memory.  But this 15-16 year history is complicated, contingent and even random at times and can't be blamed on one person or issue.  So fans have to lash out at someone. The current coach plays that role.  Given how much he makes and how much hype there is surrounding the program, that is almost understandable; the emotions are understandable not the comments or logical used to justify them.

A lot of fans are also in denial about the whole Harbaugh is digging out of and the challenges he faces.  They assumed based on the first year that it was National Championship or bust. A down year becomes "unacceptable."

Fans want a game that makes all the pain and suffering of the last decade and a half seem worth it.  Maybe Saturday will be it.  More likely is a long hard slog until the talent matures and a great year happens.

11/20/2017 - 11:15am Reads this post

Starts drinking ... Brutal, just brutal.

11/18/2017 - 7:07pm Trying to find a middle ground

Not surprisingly there is a great deal of over-reaction tonight. I get the emotions. We have improved from bad to merely decent. We can beat up on bad teams but struggle against good teams particularly on the road. We seem unable to pull off the upset or win a big game. Other than Florida bowl game and Penn State and MSU last year there haven't been any emotionally satisfying wins. Beat MSU this year or any of the three losses last year and things feel different right now. But instead it feels like Michigan will never take the next step. It certainly feels like it to me. It has been a long time since this program felt truly elite.

But there is a great deal of talent on this team and Harbaugh is a proven coach. We just need the experience and maturity that comes from time. Youth and injuries derailed this season, and that sucks, but I still believe the future is bright. I get the frustration and anger but calling for a program rebuild or restart is cutting of your nose to spite your face.

11/17/2017 - 2:32pm Great to read about someone who didn't give up

Had every chance and maybe even some good reasons to, but didn't. Love to see that.

11/13/2017 - 2:08pm Dread or excitement for next two weeks

Not sure which honestly.  I would give up a finger for a win against Ohio State (I live in Columbus) but an upset win in either of the next two would be a huge boost and salvage a rough year with a young team.  I know realistically and statistically losing to superior teams shouldn't change the trajectory of this program but it <<feels>> like winning one or both would be huge psychologically. 

Minnesota was fun because of the break out runs and the sheer numbers on the ground but, yeah, the Rutgers and Maryland games were enjoyable but easily forgettable.  I am trying to take a Zen approach for the next two weeks in hopes of not being an emotional wreck.

11/11/2017 - 8:31pm For the record

I wasn't upset that Michigan was playing conservative nor was I worried they were going to lose obviously. I just was hoping they would find a way to get in rhythm and give the offense more snaps playing together. Not panic but frustration that everything seemed out of sync in the third quarter. Figure if Peters could gain confidence and read the defense that would bode well. As many have said, competition takes a big jump next two weeks so just looking for reasons to be confident or to feel better about the passing game.

10/24/2017 - 12:57pm Patience and calm are hard

Sending out riddiculous cheap shot emails and Twitter Hot Takes are easy. So that part doesn't surprise me.

I also think some of the bitterness comes from just how close Michigan was to a great season last year.  Just a couple plays go differently and the whole conversation changes. But they didn't and so there is nothing emotionally satsifying to fall back on.  "Almost great" just doesn't satisfy even though looked at objectively it is an improvement and indication of where things are headed.

Worth noting is just how the rivalry and prime time games warp your emotional reaction as well.  As Brian and Ace discussed on the podcast, I would trade a dropped game against Indiana or Maryland for a win against MSU or OSU.  Instead the upsets always seem to be against us in those big games.  More smack talk and more anger from fans.

People also forget that it only takes one breakout star to change the offense in significant ways.  You see today's talent and output and struggle to see how it changes but young football players can grown in leaps.  We have a lot of young talent and if it makes the jump next year it could be formidable despite looking unworkable this year.

I wish we had a breakout talent this year but we just don't.  It also burns me that years of incrediable recruiting means that teams like Ohio State and Alabama always seem to have mutiple five stars waiting to break out.  Dobbins at OSU is yet another example of a difference maker RB even as a true Freshman.

So I think the program is in good hands and headed toward great success, but I understand why it doesn't feel that way as a fan after these painful loses.

10/23/2017 - 1:51pm Man, that was depressing

Not sure what I expected but this one was depressing.  The Eat at Arby's, Team Nihlism aspect just sucked all the energy out of everything. Instead of excitement for a let up in the schedule for the next three games, I am waiting for the season to go pear shapped in a larger way.

I do need a new mattress though ...

10/22/2017 - 12:30am This is what bugs me as a fan

"Michigan has now lost 15 consecutive road games to ranked opponents, going back 10 years."

I just want one big upset or unexpected rivarly win.  As Ace and Brian noted in the podcast this week, it just never seems to go our way against Ohio State or Michigan State (or Iowa, etc.).  I know things can change quickly in collefge football but it feels like Michigan does get enough of the big upsets to offset the painful loses. I would trade a couple of losses to Indiana for a big road win against a ranked opponent (preferably Ohio State).

I think the fire everyone crowd is ridiculous but there hasn't been much to hang your hat on for UM other than the big bowl win against Florida.  Being patient would be easier if we could beat Ohio State at home this year.

02/03/2017 - 1:02pm My thoughts exactly

I mean my hibachi beef was pretty good but I was trying desperately trying to get thewings to transfer from the screen to my desk ...

12/31/2016 - 2:25pm Question

When was the last time Michigan beat a team they were not favored to beat?  When was Michigan's last big upset win?  I am not in the burn the house down approach but it is legitimate to be bitter about this season and express some disappointment that the program can't seem to get over the hump in these games.  Caveat: two huge injuries last night in a game UM was favored to win.

12/31/2016 - 2:17pm The what ifs will kill you.

Imagine Michigan with a Zeke Elliot or Carlos Hyde, a Melvin Gordon or Larry Johnson ...

But how big of an issue is blocking in all of this?  How much has the oline and bad coaching undermined the talent we have had?

12/31/2016 - 1:53pm Good point

I think this gets it just right.  And half full half empty is a good metaphor.

12/31/2016 - 1:46pm This sees fair but a perhaps a little harsh

[Just lost a long comment when the blog timmed out but going to try and recreate it]

I think you have to count losing three huge games with the lead late in the tfourth quarter against Harbaugh.  If he gets the credit for the good he has to bear responsibility for the bad.  

Does this mean he is a bad coach? Of course not. Would I want anyone else coaching Michigan? No.  But this doesn't erase some bitter loses the last two years.  And three games that Michigan should have won this year.  With the game on the line the team did not make the plays they needed to (special teams, offense and defenses).

Yes, the oline is the most obvious culprit but it is also frustrating that the special teams could give up a 66 yard kick return with the game on the line.  I can't believe the game winning TD came against Lewis but it did.  In each of the heartbrakin losses Michigan couldn't find a way to win. This team did not live up to its potential. That is the bottom line.

Much of my bitterness may come from living in Columbus. Ohio State has had 9 eleven win seasons since 2006 and 14 since 1995.  Michigan has 2 and 3 respectively. (FYI, FSU has 3 in the last six seasons.) I have seen OSU win close game after close game; often when they looked like the inferior team for most of the game.  They find ways to win these games

I wanted Michigan to prove that they were a top five program this year and they just didn't.  You can argue all you want about 3 losess by 5 points and this or that call.  But at the end of the day they did not win those games.

I can't give a team or a coach an A when it doesn't beat its hated rival, doesn't win the conference and doesn't win its bowl game.  If Michigan wants to be a title contender it will have to prove it can win big games in adverse conditions away from the Big House.


11/28/2016 - 3:23pm But this is what makes it so depressing

This is what has Michigan stuck at good and not great and has made The Game a decade and a half torture routine.  Why can't Michigan make the play it needs when these huge games are on the line?  This is what is undercutting the confidence I am trying to bring with me in the aftermath.

Ohio State has beaten Michigan five times in a row twice since 2000.  Michigan hasn't beatn Ohio State five times in a row since the 1920s.  After relative dominance in the 80s and 90s we are in a deep, deep hole.  I thought this was the year to prove we were on our way out.

The inability to make the play needed to win moves from frustrating to depression and near despair.

11/27/2016 - 9:09pm This is so true

Living in Columbus during this decade and a half losing streak has just about broke me.  The constant n your face of it all is just impossible to avoid and makes it hard to not grow bitter.  I am trying to see the bright future but right now all I see is the complete inability to beat Ohio State.

11/26/2016 - 10:48pm Feels like we will never beat OSU

Living in Columbus has made the last 15 years absolutely brutal.  I will probably get beat up for this, but this game felt like our chance to finally win a big game on the road but ended in the same depressing.  A senior-laden Michigan team facing a talented but young Ohio State whose offense was clearly rattled against quality defenses.  But instead we get yet another gut wrenching loss.  Hard to win with three turnovers.  And it felt like all the calls went against us at critical momements.  But it also felt like the offense simply couldn't make a big play with the game on the line.  Championship teams find a way to win games.  Michigan just doesn't against Ohio State.

If this team couldn't win with a lead in the 4th when can we expect a win?  OSU is going to add to this team with propbably the best recruiting class in the country while Michigan loses like 17 starters. 3-13 is what it is.  We are the underdog in The Game and Harbaugh has't changed that. Maybe he will but so far it is the same old, same old.

BTW, I am a long time lurker here but haven't psoted in a long time.

03/28/2016 - 1:31pm Great post, Great Practice
Can I just say how much fun this practice was for me?  Living in Columbus I usually have to live vicariously through this blog, twitter, etc.  But I took my family to the practice on Saturday as the wrap up to spring break and had a great time.  It was kind of cool to read Brian's reactions to things I had seen in person.  Deep behind enemy lines, it is good to get the chance to hang out with Michigan fans for a few hours and see the team coming together.  I also realized what a challenge it is to makes sense of what is going on in a practice lke this and come away with useful intelligence.  Not as easy as it looks. I just soaked it all in without thinking too much.
Only problem now is that I want it to be football season immediately.
12/12/2013 - 8:28pm point still stands

OK, my count was off. I will admit I didn't know what to do with the 3 ties no loss season. But Michigan stil has half as many 2 or fewer loss seasons than Ohio State. In fact, OSU has 8 one or fewer loss seasons (or 7 if you take out Tressle's vacated season) while Michigan has 2.

My point was simply that OSU found a way to win a couple of more games pretty consistently over this period.  Is it some definitive statistic? No.  But significantly more 1 or no loss seasons means more great seasons and it feels like Michigan just hasn't been able to consistently accomplish that.

12/12/2013 - 1:32pm I wonder when the leap occurs

(if it ever does- yes, that is depressing).  Mchigan has a history at this point of losing three games or more. Since 1990 Michigan has had seasons with two or fewer loses four times. Ohio State has done it 13 times! With three or four undefeated regular seasons and a national title game. Michigan has one undefeated season and a shared title. Michigan State has won 11 games three out of four years.

This is what worries me about Michigan football.  We need to get out of that rut (3-5 losses) before worrying about being a national contender.  But as Brian notes above, competing for Big Ten titles more than likely means a national contender in the East.

12/12/2013 - 12:16pm I chuckled outl oud more than once

Thanks for the lunchtime entertainment. I have to laugh about college football or I might remember what happened this season and start crying.

12/11/2013 - 8:21pm Long time lurker without much commenting

means a long road to be able to post. Man, can't believe I have been reading this blog for over five years and can't manage more than 17 points ...

12/02/2013 - 4:55pm Just a thought

Ever thought about breaking this up into segments and posting one a day?  Easier to listen to and more pageviews for the advertisers ...

12/02/2013 - 3:03pm The past has a huge impact on my reaction

I am totally with Brian on the emotions of this game. If we beat Penn State, Iowa and maybe Nebraska this game feels different.  A great game after that season is both inexplicable and maddening. Winning was the only way that game felt good, IMO.

But the even bigger picture is what really makes me depressed and even angry. Michigan has not won a truly big game or pulled the massive upset outside of Notre Dame in a decade or more. How many close games has Ohio State won? How many times have they upset us or pulled the big road win?  The 11w writer was right about this game: stealing wins on the road is huge and we just don't manage to pull it off while OSU has.

Living in Columbus makes this a nightmare for me as I have to have it thrown in my face practically every single day.  But the record speaks for itself.  In that context this was an opportunity of a lifetime and we blew it.  Was it exciting and incredible while it lasted? Yes, but at the end of the day it is just another loss in a long series of losses. Two wins in thirteen tries!

On top of that, since 1990 Michigan has had seasons with two or fewer loses four times. Ohio State has done it 13 times! With three or four undefeated regular seasons and a national title game. Michigan has one undefeated season and a shared title. John Cooper couldn't beat Michigan but he beat everyone else with some regularity. Tressel and Meyer had added beating Michigan to that recipe.

If this does not depress you I don't know what to say.

Does that mean I have no hope for the future? No, I think the young talent on this team has a great deal of potential but you have to be naive to believe that Michigan is going to be an elite team without some consistent proof on the field.  They have been a 3-5 loss team with the occasional two loss team thrown in since the early 90s.

11/30/2013 - 4:47pm Great game, still sucks

I don't agree with the call to go for it. At home I say you play for OT when anything can happen instead of risking everything on one play. But I understand why Hoke did it and wished we would have pulled off the upset of the ages. To come so close and lose is a bitter pill.

What is so frustrating is that it seems for the last ten years, Ohio State finds ways to win games like this and we find ways to lose. They win ugly,

When was the last time Michigan actually pulled off the big upset? Feels like forever.

11/23/2013 - 10:11pm I get the anger but

I get the anger I really do. It has been maddening to watch this offense implode and become a laughing stock incapable of winning a game that is practically handed to them (Iowa, Penn State) or get manhanled and not respond (MSU, Nebraska). The defense has played their hearts out even as they eventually give up the game late.

But this nuke the coaches from orbit and start over mindset is more madness. Continuity in coaching and players is critical in football. An offense has to become second nature, players have to gel, repition breeds success, etc. i am not syaing Borges is the answer on offense or I would be upset if we brought in someone new but we can't clean house.

Just a few plays and a few games can change a seson very easily.  Especially when you are talking sophmores in college. This year we just haven't found a way to make those plays. Missed field goals against Penn State ruined a nice second half. Today a number of dropped passes killed drives and momentum (Funchess in particular).  Things just are not clicking.

Everybody is talking about how Michigan State is in better shape than we are but have you forgotten last year? They lost a bunch of close games. Andin 2009 they lost 7 games. They have built a tought defense and found their offense. They used to have a reputation of not being able to win close games but this year they have been solid.

Yes, the offense looks lost but an inability to block, a lack of identity and critical dropped passes will do that to you.

There is no silver bullet that will magically make this team a contender. It will take time and development. Firing Hoke and starting over would be a disaster. We need to make some changes but wholesale change because the season went south is not the answer.

11/22/2013 - 11:10am "you'll all likely be angry at several points on Saturday"

Um, yeah, bit of an understatement, no? Given past performance, etc.

Perhaps it is ridiculous optimism but it has felt like Michigan is often just a few plays short of getting on track but just can't seem to make those plays.  A dropped pass, a bad read of inaccurate pass, a missed assignment, not holding a block for half a minute longer, all these things keep the team from getting first downs or splash plays and destroys an rhythm.

I wonder if the win last week and the success in OT could carry over and we could see some actually real live offense.  Another ugly performance heading into The Game would be so depressing.

11/19/2013 - 12:34pm Thanks, useful

I was looking for something along these lines. Less Argh, Borges an idiot and more here is something we could do that is not a huge change but would work marginally better and that could add up to an offense that moves the ball more consistently.

I agree that this spread them out more as a way to back off the pressure could work.  I remember when on one of the Steelers Super Bowl runs they couldn't run the ball until they had success with passing early on. Against both the Colts and Broncos they came out passing more agressively against stacked fronts and then were able to go to more ball control offense with a lead and the defense backed off. The Steelers have never had a great offensive line but try to find ways to make it work and hope the line can gel at some point. Obviously, Gardner isn't neccesarily Ben Roethlisberger but since I am a fan of both teams the similarities struck me.

11/15/2013 - 12:50pm "why are you the dumbest dumbass in the history of dumbasses?"

That's a clown question, bro ... [but I will admit it has crossed my mind a time or two ...]

11/13/2013 - 1:29pm What can we do in the short term to win games?

This is really what I would like to see from the X and O folks (not me).  What tyype of plays do you think would work and how can Hoke/Borges keep making progress on the offense they want to run while still winning games.

My gut sense is that Brian and Space are both right to some degree. This is an execution and preparation problem but it is also play calling stubborness that is costing Michigan games this year.  The eyeball test tells you that these runs have no chance of success. They are just running into bodies behind the line.

So with a o-line that can't block and has serious confidence issues, a QB that has been abused for weeks, how can we move the football. Is it West Coast style quick hitting dink and dunk with some constraint plays that offer the opportunity for chunk gains?  Is it some spread elements? A hurry up pass heavy style that gets the defense off rythym?

If this has been posted elsewhere I would love to see it.

11/12/2013 - 11:39am Very useful

if incredibly depressing post. It is hard to acknowledge that we are still digging out of a hole. Would love to see an x and O breakdown of the kind of offense we should be running give our current players.  

11/09/2013 - 7:24pm losing confidence

I am not sure how you can have confidence in anyone at this point. It is one thing to get beat it is another to look absolutely clueless and lost at home for a critical conference game.  I have not been on the fire Borges train but that game was attrocious.  Key turnover and two runs for lost yards?  That is just like giving up. And they just kept doing it over and over. Madness.

Yes, the oline is a dumpster fire but a creative coach has to find a way to use the talent he has effectively. It is not like Nebraska is Alabama. As Ace notes, one drive of creativity and then hang on and hope not to lose?

How can you possibly pick this team to win any of the game left? And then what? I am wondering just where the bottoum is at this point.

04/09/2013 - 12:13pm Surprisingly less angry about this game

I am not a big basketball fan. I grew up watch Michigan football and that is the strongest conenctionf for me. I didn't live in AA nor did any of my family go to UM. It was just a cultural aspect I picked up before I even realized it.  I watch Michigan football and hated Ohio State.

By a weird twist of fate I ended up living and working in Columbus, Ohio. I have now stocked and nursed my hatred of OSU into a fine sharp point.  And with all of the ups and downs of football have developed a somewhat tragic sense of life when it comes to sports.

And so I was afraid to start carrying about Mcihigan basketball again (I got caught up in the Fab Five frensy while in college and paid the psychic cost when that all unraveled). I followed the teams (mostly through this blog) and the last couple of years slowly began to increase my interest. Last year, I started to actually watch the games.

This year I got sucked in. I started watching the games from the start and found myselfing reallying caring about the team again.  As I watched heartbreaking losses to Ohio State, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc. I thought "what have I gotten myself into?" It isn't like I need more sports heartbreak, right?

But I wasn't going to be one of those fans who abandones the team once they struggle and so I kept watching.  And man did the tournament pay off that committment.  It felt so good to see everything come together and see the players not only make big plays but seem to really have fun and play as a team. It felt like they were able to shake off the demons and bad bounces of earlier in the year and just play at a higher level.

The first half last night felt like that trajectory would continue.  But then Hancock began to rain down threes and my gut began to clench and suddenly it was more like a heavyweight fight - less joy, more determination.  And in the end Michigan just didn't quite have enough to get past an incredibly determined and focused Louisville team.  In the end I felt not anger but frustration a sense that those players were so close to an incredible opportunity only to fall just short.  I wished all that joy could have continued in one last improbable victory. As Brian notes, I wished somehow I could reduce the misery they felt.

And of course, lving in Columbus I had to deal with the jerks on FB and Twitter and everywhere else savoring the loss and the misery.

But as my duaghter (age 8) said to me this morning as we were discussing it in the car, Michigan is clearly a program to be reckoned with again.  And I think that takes a little of the sting of the loss away somehow. Michigan feels back somehow.

Maybe I am a bandwagon fan compared to all of you longtime fans but it feels good to committ to a team and feel good about where they are and where they are headed.

04/05/2013 - 9:05am Thanks for the insight into your world

Having been involved in blogging, both personally and professionally, I know how hard it can be even when you love your subject.  Your unique health situation adds another wrinkle.

I appreciate what you do and the passion you bring to it. Thanks for bringing the joys, and disappontments, of this season to me through your writing. Best of luck finding the right balance moving forward.

03/25/2013 - 7:16pm This thread reminds me of this