to Michigan Jim Harbaugh
Hey rambling boy, why don’t you settle down
SFO ain’t your kind of town.
There ain’t no gold and there ain’t nobody like me
I’m the number one fan of the man with the OSU guarantee
-Ann Arbor, shameless cougar
In the NFL, schemes are constantly evolving. Plays can become outdated in the span of a quarter. But a handful of teams are adjusting to life in the modern game by borrowing strategies from a most unlikely source: the boring offenses of the 1970s Big Ten.
The NFL has spent the past few years getting smaller and faster, with speedy wide receivers who are as light as 170 pounds. Knowing that, NFL linebackers and defensive linemen also shed weight, creating a league of (relative) Smurfs.
But, NFL observers say, the league is now experiencing a backlash from a cabal of coaches with heavy Big Ten influences who prefer, well, heavy players. Their idea? Find the biggest players you can find and run simple, powerful schemes. It is a trend that former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, now an analyst for the NFL Network, said was the story of the off-season—the explosion of bigger players to counter the shifty speedsters.
Dave Brandon woke up in a cold sweat. Was it real? Did it really happen? Yes, he had ignored Sailboat Bill‘s crowning moment of stupid heresy and scheduled Appalachian State for a redux. Yes, he too went for the seemingly easy dollars of a 1-AA cupcake school as a 2014 home opponent, without even looking at whether the cupcake was made from glass shards and live piranhas – like Appy State last time (2007).
Can football season come. Meanwhile, the greatest:
Watching that video, I felt the same anticipative stirring of the Michigan Stadium crowd — or, on the road, the same petrified silence — when AC touched the ball that I’ve only experienced at Michigan with Denard Robinson; there’s greatness, and then there’s pure electricity, and each had them in abundance. That feeling alone captures more than numbers are capable, but the numbers still speak volumes:
- In Carter’s final three seasons, Michigan completed 366 passes as a team for 5,383 yards. Carter caught 124 of them, covering 2,219 yards. Of the Wolverines’s 51 passing touchdowns in that span, Carter hauled in 26, more than half of the team’s total. He was an All-American in each of those seasons.
- Despite playing in a remarkably different era from those around him in the Michigan record book, Carter still ranks fourth in school history in receptions and second in both receiving yards and touchdowns. Of the top five players on each of those lists, only one played any part of his career before the 1990s: Desmond Howard, a freshman in 1989.
- He also ranks as Michigan’s second-most prolific kickoff and punt returner, trailing only Steve Breaston in both categories.
- Carter recorded 14 100-yard receiving games in his career, a mark surpassed only by Braylon Edwards. Jack Clancy, the previous record-holder, set the mark in 1966 — at four.
- AC still — still — holds the NCAA career record for average all-purpose yards gained per play: 17.4, with 5,197 career yards on 298 touches.
I could go on. Needless to say, my opinion on Michigan’s greatest receiver has changed. From a pure football perspective, there’s so much about his game to love…
Summer conditioning letters from
Mike Barwis Fritz Crisler, for one…
The back story (via 8 Barrel):
To those of you who bleed Maize and Blue, know someone who does or just might find it interesting, attached is a letter from Fritz Crisler to an incoming player. It was forwarded to me by an acquaintance of a descendant of the addressee, who found it while going through the man’s personal effects. Interesting training regimen in ’41.
Reforged In Fire | mgoblog. Michigan won? What? Where the fuck was I? Oh yeah,
passed out asleep on the couch. I saw it go to 17-17, then it was 2 a.m. and ESPN was blaring everything that happened that day EXCEPT the Sugar Bowl. No score on the crawl. No telltale upcoming blurbs about the game. It may as well have been 3 days ago.
Anyway, congrats Michigan. The offense looked nothing like Rich Rod’s. Thankfully, neither did the defense.
This ^^ is what happens when:
So, now Raoul own this glorious barge, this rolling boudoir of hookers and blow. He just has to find a way to pay for it, and a place in Michigan to store it until fetched. Seemed simple enough last night. Either that or get ready for the old eBay account to be “negged into Bolivian.”
Now comes gravy time. Any bowl. Any where. Just let us keep on rolling.
Finally beating the Buckeyes didn’t just end a humiliating streak: At 10-2, the Wolverines are guaranteed to move into the top 14 in the final BCS standings, and virtually guaranteed — assuming bowl officials consider the prospect of a sprawling, revved-up Michigan fan base a more attractive draw than a revved-up Kansas State fan base, or deflated, dejected Oklahoma State fan base if the Cowboys lose to Oklahoma — to receive an at-large invite to their first BCS bowl since 2006. It’s a catharsis, but it isn’t just salve on a wound. Beating the Buckeyes was further, final confirmation that Hoke has fulfilled his promise: Yes, shotgun offense and all, this is Michigan again, as Michigan fans have always understood it.
Whether Hoke’s version is actually better than the version Rodriguez would have delivered if he’d been granted a fourth season with a veteran team of his own making and a new defensive coordinator, we don’t know. But those questions are beside the point now, anyway. It’s Hoke who’s delivered the 10-win season, the (likely) BCS bowl, the end of the subjugation to Ohio State and the first sense of sustained progress and goodwill since Schembechler’s death. Michigan is back. Now comes the business of staying back.