Saturday, November 28, 2015

Can't Stop The Run, Can't Win

Michigan's defense which got exposed against Minnesota and Indiana, equaled a loss against a good team today.

OSU went IU on Michigan's defense today and the Buckeyes never looked back. Michigan got out coached, out talented and out played. The play of the game was the stupid roughing the kicker penalty. Michigan had no business trying to block that punt and should have set up for a return. That play and the next long run, got the Buckeyes believing they could win.

Michigan's special teams mistakes and very poor linebacker play killed the Wolverines today.

Now the Wolverines might have to play a bowl game with out their starting QB. Michigan finished 8-3 and lost to every good team that they played. What was new, is they beat the teams they should have. Today's result proved this program still has a lot of work to do.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ohio State Preview

Time: Noon
Location: Big House
Weather: H 41
Line: Michigan +1

I've been mad for what seems like a long time.   I was mad that RR wasn't ready for the Michigan job and his teams just don't play defense.  I was mad that Brady Hoke was hired to do a job he wasn't capable of doing.   I have been mad that Michigan just hasn't been Michigan for a very long time.  

Then I look at the Buckeyes, they had a big NCAA scandal that ruined the career of one of their most successful coaches in the history of the program.  I figured, here they go, they would be in need of a similar re-building that happens at schools like Michigan, Texas, ND and even Alabama before Saban got there.  Then Urban Meyer falls into their lap and their rebuilding turns into undefeated Big Ten seasons and last year an un-likely National Championship.   I've been mad their re-building years was one year under an interim head coach. 

It brings me to this year and this years game.   I was mad when I watched the Utah game and Michigan looked like the Michigan of the last few years.   Then I was mad that our punter dropped a punt and we couldn't beat MSU when we clearly had.  

Tale of the Tape
Michigan D-line vs. OSU O-line= Michigan
OSU offense vs. Michigan D = Push
OSU D-line vs. Michigan O-line = OSU
Intangibles = Michigan
Special Teams = ?
Coaching = Michigan

MSU exposed the OSU offense last weekend in bad weather.   Michigan has struggled with mobile QB's that can complete passes this year.  It will be interesting to see which team out coaches the other.

Sing Hail to the Victors if..............
  • Michigan's Defense stops the OSU offense like Sparty did last weekend
  • Rudock plays clean and Michigan's offense can score in the high 20's
  • Michigan doesn't have any more special teams blunders
  • Michigan plays like Jimmy wants them to
Yell, here we go again if...............
  • OSU fixes their problems from last weekend
  • JT is gaining first downs with his feet and arm
  • Elliot has over 100 yards
  • OSU's defense is not giving Michigan any scoring opportunities

This is a pick 'em game.  Vegas had OSU favored then Michigan and now back to OSU.  They have no idea who is going to win this game.   Michigan is playing better - but OSU has more talent - but they are playing in the Big House in Jimmy's first game against the Buckeyes.   Even if you had a crystal ball, this game is hard to predict.  Which leads me to this.....

Michigan is back to where it should be.  It has one of the best coaches in the country and this team really believes they can beat any team any Saturday.   It's amazing how a great coach can turn a program in what seems like a very short time.   This game is coin flip and could be for the chance to play for a Big Ten championship.  Exactly what it should be. 

I'm not mad anymore, I'm finally at peace this program is back on solid ground and that this rivalry means something. 

Michigan 21 OSU 17

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Big House Blog friends and family! We Michigan fans have plenty to be thankful for this year!   Go Blue!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wolverine Wednesday: 2016 DL Recruiting Remaining

Michigan continues to host a number of defensive line prospects as they see this a major need in the 2016 class.   Here is a quick look at some of the top prospects:

  • Rashan Gary: Of course he continues to be Michigan's #1 prospect as the #1 player in the nation.   The buzz continues to be very positive for the Wolverines.  A recent Ole Miss trip didn't seem to go very well.

  • Jordan Elliott: A DT from Houston was planning a trip to Ann Arbor in December and pushed it up to a trip this weekend.   Could he be the first one to drop?

  • Chris Daniels: Another DT from Texas and just announced he will announce his decision on 12/18.   My guess is, this is not a decision for Michigan. 

  • Keyshon Camp: from Lakeland,  Florida and currently is a soft commit to USC.  He took his official visit to Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago and now is paying his own way to visit again this weekend.
I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan took 3 guys on defensive line still in the class.  Of course, Michigan has 3 guys at the DE position already committed to the Maize and Blue:
  • Rashad Weaver
  • Ron Johnson
  • Carlo Kemp
With Durkin and GMat as your position coach, this has to be a great opportunity for these guys.  I would be very happy if Michigan gives a few commitments on the D-Line and at LB.  David Reese's commitment to Michigan is a soft one right now.   . 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Michigan Tuesday: Looks Ahead To a Big Recruiting Weekend

Many prospects who are interested in Michigan will take their official to the Big House this weekend.   They of course want to see Ann Arbor, U of M academics and meet with the coaches.    The real reason is, they want to witness the best rivalry in college football.

2016 class visitors this weekend include:

  • 5 star athlete Mecole Hardman Jr.
  • 4 star LB Devin Bush, Jr.   Playoff game
  • 4 star OG Terrance Davis*
  • 4 star LB Dontavious Jackson
  • 4 star CB LaVert Hill*
  • 4 star WR Velus Jones
  • 4 star WR Donnie Corley
  • 4 star DT Keyshon Camp (unofficial)
  • 3 star LB Jonathan Jones
  • 3 star WR Keyshawn "Pie" Young*
  • 3 star S Chris Brown
  • 3 star DT Jordan Elliot
  • 3 star kicker Quinn Nordin*
* Recruit is on commit watch this weekend

Some of the highlights from this group include: Hardman Jr. the best athlete Michigan has recruited since Peppers, Davis has had Michigan as his leader for a long time, Camp is paying his own way to see Michigan again, Pie Young has some great offers but also has Michigan as his leader. 

Camp and Jones are soft commits to USC
Hill and Nordin are soft commits to PSU

  • Four-star OT Jean Delance had to re-schedule his official as his team continues to move forward in the Texas playoffs.
Michigan will also be hosting a number of commits for their officials:
  • King Davis
  • Chris Evans
  • Brad Hawkins
  • Devery Hamilton
  • Chris Evans
  • Ron Johnson
  • Dytarious Johnson
  • Ahmir Mitchell
  • Brandon Peters
  • Erik Swenson

Goals for the weekend:  Beat Ohio State, lock down current commits, and get 3 new commitments!

There are also a number of 2017 and 2018 guys in as well.

Monday, November 23, 2015

RIP Chad Carr

God be with you.

Michigan Monday: A Look Ahead To The Game and Possibilites

This is the place where we look ahead to this weekend's opponent.   This week Michigan will host currently #3 Ohio State.   The Buckeye's will drop out of the top 4 after a loss at home to the Spartans over the weekend.   We all know the Buckeye's too well and it seems they are coming apart at the seams a bit.   Urban Meyer proved last year he is one of the best college coaches in the country, this year he proved why he ran away from Florida.   OSU looked terrible on Saturday and only scored when MSU sent them two 7 point gift cards.   Urban's Heisman trophy candidate RB ripped his play calling after the game and his National Championship QB said he walked out on the Horseshoe for the last time.  Some are now pointing out that last year's run was more Tom Herman former OC and now head coach of Houston, then maybe Meyer.   Urban hasn't dealt with OSU's adversity well this year well and got out coached on Saturday.  

Even though it was disrespectful for Elliot to rip his coach, what he said was the truth.  I think you give him the ball until they stop it.  It will be interesting to see what Meyer does this weekend with him.   

I expect some Michigan fans were sadden a bit on OSU not beating MSU this weekend and not setting up a play-in game this weekend to the Big Ten Championship.   I'm not one of them.  The game even though close in score, wasn't close.  MSU dominated the Buckeye's on both lines of scrimmage and with two back-ups QB's.   Another thought Michigan fans might have is, "we were one punt away from a un-defeated Big Ten season going into the OSU game". 

Here is where my head is:  If Cook doesn't play on Saturday against Penn State it will not be an easy win.   Penn State might have one of the best defensive lines in the league.  Michigan didn't even try to run the ball on them.  It's obvious that MSU is not comfortable having their back-up QB's throw very often.   Penn State has a great shot at winning the game if Cook is on the bench.   My big concern is with James Franklin, who is known has a great recruiter but I have big concerns on his overall coaching ability.  To me he seems like a coach who is over is head being at a major program in the Big Ten.  We have had two recent coaches with that same problem (RR & Hoke) and to me it looks like a similar situation. 

OSU will be ready to play on Saturday.  Yes, their goals for this season are gone.  Even if they win on Saturday and MSU loses, I don't expect Ohio State to make the playoffs even if they win the Big Ten Championship game.   The weather on Saturday was so extreme in Columbus it completely killed their passing game.    Michigan will still have to play one of their best games of the season on Saturday to win.    Michigan's D-line will have to play like they did against Penn State and not like they did against Indiana.   Michigan will also have to try to find a running game and Rudock will need to be perfect. It will be fun to watch and feels great that this game has meaning again.

ESPN Big 10 Power Rankings has OSU #3.  Michigan is #4.

Michigan is favored by 2 points. 

BTW: Iowa is ranked #1 in the Big Ten by ESPN power rankings.  Not sure they will leave Lincoln, undefeated on Friday.

My power rankings:

1: MSU
2: OSU
3: Michigan
4: Iowa

  • U-M Athletic Department announced that Gerald Ford (#48), Tom Harmon (#98), Desmond Howard (#21), Ron Kramer (#87), Bennie Oosterbaan (#47) and the Wistert brothers (#11) -- Albert, Alvin and Whitey -- will have their jerseys retired in a ceremony against Ohio State next Saturday.   These were the former Legend numbers worn by players under Hoke, another good move by Jimmy!