Playing with House Money: 2022 Michigan Football

Zososoxfan

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From 11Warriors, the OSU version of MGoBlog.

Re the stakes this season:



Not sure about the framing of the 2006 game, but this year's iteration does seem immense and of national import. An OSU win and they keep their blood deep blue, and get the honor of continuing to compete with SEC monsters UGA, Bama, and whoever else joins the elite ring in the rotating seat. A Michigan win probably launches Michigan into another level of recruiting and program momentum. Last year could've been enough, but instead of following up a hugely successful season on the field JH stepped all over his dick, flirted with the NFL, and Michigan didn't make quite as many strides as a program as they should've.

Re the offense:



This little section does not say nearly enough about Donavan Edwards. Even before the Corum injury I expected Michigan to feature Don a ton this Saturday because he's such a matchup nightmare and he showed the patience necessary to take advantage of this terrific OL. Speaking of which, if everyone on the OL is healthy, they will pound OSU effectively whether Corum's healthy or not, because Edwards is good enough.

I didn't see much incisive analysis re the D, except that they think Michigan's DBs can be beaten by OSU's receivers. A balanced offense should try to throw on Michigan because M is better against the run than the pass IMO.


The prediction:
This thread was quite the read after a week off for Thanksgiving. Respect to @Rick Burlesons Yam Bag for the avatar--who was the bet with?

Specific to the game, the second bolded section came true, with some nuance. First, Donovan Edwards is a beast and should be able to carry the load against against Purdue. While he wasn't the matchup nightmare I expected him to be, once Knowles played safeties in the general vicinity we expect them to be, Don proceeded to torch them repeatedly. While OSU is only the second team this season to stop Michigan's run game (Illinois also sold out to stop the run), it came at a huge cost. That cost being 50+ yard TDs all over OSU's faces. Once OSU switched to a more balanced D approach, they were toast, and Don ran over them, again, for 50+ yard TD runs. On their stupid faces.

Michigan's approach on D was much more sophisticated and showed that this coaching staff did their homework. Michigan played 2-deep safeties most of the game and kept everything in front of them. OSU struggled all season with the RZ and it was no different in The Game. The one time Michigan blitzed from the safety level, OSU punished them with a sublime throw and catch by Stroud and Harrison Jr. Other than that, OSU struggled converting 3rd downs, and put up 3s instead of 7s far too often.

Coach Day is just not that good of a coach at the moment. Perhaps he has the gravitas and nous to keep the job, but Urban Meyer/Sweater Vest he is not. His (and Knowles') approach on D was cartoonish. The offense was far too reliant on the pass all season, and it really came back to bite them. And while OSU has been playing the 'Field Position' game all season, it felt like the wrong approach on Saturday.

I don't know a single Michigan fan that wasn't terrified that OSU was going to go on 4th down on the OSU 'Penalties lol' drive midway thru Q3. To recap, the score was 20-24 in favor of Michigan, and OSU's D had just kicked Mich off the field with an impressive 3-and-out. OSU had the ball to start the drive just inside Michigan territory. I was personally filled with dread. Then on 1st down there was a holding call plus a brutal personal foul (from an impact standpoint) that set OSU back to 1st and 35 from the OSU 27. I personally was certainly STILL not comfortable with this situation. OSU's 1st down play was a dud, 2nd down got them back 10-15 yards, and then on 3rd down OSU picked up 14 (!) yards to setup 4th-and-5 from Michigan territory (!!). OSU punted, and then Michigan went on the most impressive drive of the day by either team--marching 80 yards on 15 plays, over 8 minutes of game clock to put them up 31-20. *That drive started with OSU having a 65% chance to win the game. On 4th down, OSU still had a 40% chance to win. After the punt? 33%.*

From a broader perspective, this now does feel like a potential turning of the tide. First, OSU has lost that air of invincibility IMO. Every year beginning around 2013 or so up to and including last year, I dreaded The Game. It was just another opportunity for OSU to stomp shitty Michigan teams or burst the bubble of the better ones. 2018 nearly broke me as a Michigan fan (or maybe it was 2016, or 2019, or...you get the idea). Now though? I think the Buckeyes are the ones worrying about broad implications. In the short term, there's a real question of whether Day keeps his job. Next year's game is obviously in A2 and if Mich makes it 3 in a row, Buckeyes will understandably lose their shit. Michigan returns a ton of young talent next year, headlined by JJ, Edwards, Moore, Colson, and likely some upperclassmen that don't declare (looking at you Kris Jenkins!).

Perhaps even more importantly, Michigan has received the commitment of 5 OH players since Saturday. There's a story out from one of these recruits that OSU was very slow in offering, that this is standard practice by the school, and they expect every in-state prospect to jump at the opportunity to play at OSU regardless of the recruiting process. Some of Michigan's best players of all time are Ohioans--Des Howard and Charles Woodson to name the 2 most cited ones. Recruiting the state effectively could be a huge swing in the relative power of the 2 schools.

For now though, I'm still relishing the win, trying to keep some focus on Purdue, and enjoying the rest of the buildup to Championship week.

*All percentages according to collegefootballdata.com. I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly, and perhaps the punt is the event that actually raises OSU's win probability from 33% to 45%, but then the question is the relative likelihood of making that first down.
 

Average Reds

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View: https://twitter.com/chengelis/status/1598343957284544514?s=20&t=voteDWgBWQI3bueAvqWDlw


Tweet: Mazi Smith, Michigan defensive lineman, charged with carrying concealed weapon

I assume we will learn more about this at some point, but unless there is some mitigating info (and I can’t imagine what that is) I don’t know why/how Harbaugh didn’t suspend him immediately after the incident in October.

It may be that Smith kept the info secret, but I have a hard time believing that.

Edit: We have our answer:

Statement from Warde Manuel:

“We are aware of the charge against Mazi from a traffic stop back in October. Mazi was honest, forthcoming and cooperative from the very beginning and is a tremendous young man. He is not and never has been considered a threat to the University or community.

Based on the information communicated to us, we will continue to allow the judicial process to play out. Mazi will continue to participate as a member of the team.”

Harbaugh:

“I have respect for our judicial process and with that respect brings confidence that a fair and just resolution is forthcoming. Mazi’s character and the trust that he has earned over the past four years will continue to be considered throughout the process.”

https://www.si.com/college/michigan/football/michigan-football-mazi-smith-jim-harbaugh-warde-manuel-big-ten
 
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dhappy42

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Smith apparently had applied for a concealed weapon permit. Don’t know if that’s a mitigating factor or not. He didn’t even have his drivers license on him when he was pulled over.
 

troparra

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Smith apparently had applied for a concealed weapon permit. Don’t know if that’s a mitigating factor or not. He didn’t even have his drivers license on him when he was pulled over.
I think Harbaugh looked into his eyes and determined that he has love in his heart.
 

dhappy42

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Smith apparently volunteered to police that he was in possession of a firearm. I was wondering about that. There was no mention of how a speeding stop produced probable cause for a search in the earlier news reports.
 

thehitcat

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That was a tricky Purdue team who was fired up. I really enjoy watching this team wear other teams down and break their will.
 

Granite Sox

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Erick All departing via the transfer portal. Early reporting is that he may be following McNamara to Iowa. Took a swipe at… someone(?)… on the way out. Medical staff on back injury?
 

Zososoxfan

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I'm pleasantly surprised by this. Does he just not have much of a chance in The League?

Erick All departing via the transfer portal. Early reporting is that he may be following McNamara to Iowa. Took a swipe at… someone(?)… on the way out. Medical staff on back injury?
I read more about this story than I care to admit. The short of it is that Erick didn't get good news from UM docs re his back injury. Those docs told him they didn't recommend surgery, but he went and got a second opinion at the Bio Spine Institute down here in FL. Not surprisingly, BSI recommended surgery, and Erick went for it. After that, UM docs told Erick they wouldn't clear him to play for UM again. Harbaugh fits into the story somehow, but that part's not entirely clear. Erick claims JH said he would get Erick cleared, whereas other sources say JH told Erick he would 'go to bat for him'. The other relevant aspects of the story are that Erick is a new dad, Michigan handles NIL very differently from other places, and that Erick's dad is kinda nuts.

I loved Erick's game and I thought he would be a huge piece of the O next season. I'll never ding a kid for getting paid, especially when he has family depending on him. I can only hope that JH didn't PROMISE Erick he'd get him cleared, but rather he would merely do his best. Best of luck to him.
 

Jason Bae

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I'm pleasantly surprised by this. Does he just not have much of a chance in The League?



I read more about this story than I care to admit. The short of it is that Erick didn't get good news from UM docs re his back injury. Those docs told him they didn't recommend surgery, but he went and got a second opinion at the Bio Spine Institute down here in FL. Not surprisingly, BSI recommended surgery, and Erick went for it. After that, UM docs told Erick they wouldn't clear him to play for UM again. Harbaugh fits into the story somehow, but that part's not entirely clear. Erick claims JH said he would get Erick cleared, whereas other sources say JH told Erick he would 'go to bat for him'. The other relevant aspects of the story are that Erick is a new dad, Michigan handles NIL very differently from other places, and that Erick's dad is kinda nuts.

I loved Erick's game and I thought he would be a huge piece of the O next season. I'll never ding a kid for getting paid, especially when he has family depending on him. I can only hope that JH didn't PROMISE Erick he'd get him cleared, but rather he would merely do his best. Best of luck to him.
I can't imagine he was getting any real NFL consideration until the last few weeks, it is his first season as a defensive player. He's been really good all year. I'm very happy he's coming back.

Losing All sucks, especially with Schoonmaker accepting a Senior Bowl invite. I'm very excited to see what Loveland will do next year though. Feels like we could have our own Bowers.
 

trotsplits

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It appears UM docs are less risk-averse than the players. There was a similar situation a few years ago re medical clearance with CB Benjamin St Juste who ended up in Minnesota and later the NFL. I don't think these situations are the medical "grey shirts" that Bama was giving players a few years ago because All was presumably going to be a valuable piece if healthy - JH likes to pile TE's into every formation.
 

Zososoxfan

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Bump! Michigan favored by about a TD in betting markets and advanced stats. TCU is explosive with stars at QB, WR, TE, and RB, but their OL is butt, and their front 7 also isn't very good. I'm feeling pretty confident about this. Convince me otherwise!
 

dhappy42

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I don’t want to sound like a sore loser because Michigan was outplayed by TCU and shot itself in the foot a number of times, but the 1st quarter TD that was called back and the non-targeting call at the end were atrocious calls. (Not to mention mis-spotting the ball 4-5 yards on the play prior to the 1st quarter TD.) I don’t think either call was necessarily a game changer.

What surprised me most though was the ineffectiveness of Michigan’s offensive line and TCU’s success shutting down the run. I’d expected Michigan to be the more physical of the two teams.
 

Jason Bae

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I don’t want to sound like a sore loser because Michigan was outplayed by TCU and shot itself in the foot a number of times, but the 1st quarter TD that was called back and the non-targeting call at the end were atrocious calls. (Not to mention mis-spotting the ball 4-5 yards on the play prior to the 1st quarter TD.) I don’t think either call was necessarily a game changer.

What surprised me most though was the ineffectiveness of Michigan’s offensive line and TCU’s success shutting down the run. I’d expected Michigan to be the more physical of the two teams.
Should have tried more read options/keepers with McCarthy earlier.
 

Average Reds

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I don’t want to sound like a sore loser because Michigan was outplayed by TCU and shot itself in the foot a number of times, but the 1st quarter TD that was called back and the non-targeting call at the end were atrocious calls. (Not to mention mis-spotting the ball 4-5 yards on the play prior to the 1st quarter TD.) I don’t think either call was necessarily a game changer.

What surprised me most though was the ineffectiveness of Michigan’s offensive line and TCU’s success shutting down the run. I’d expected Michigan to be the more physical of the two teams.
The missed spot followed by the blown call on the TD in the first quarter hurt them badly. The targeting no-call was irrelevant, IMO. (Right or wrong, that’s never getting called in that situation.)

Regardless, Michigan made too many mistakes early and then gambled defensively trying to catch up. The hole they dug was just too big .

Add in the fact that TCU played much physically tougher than I expected and Michigan really can’t complain about the outcome.

This one stings a bit, but JJ will only get better and they are still loaded. We move forward.
 

Zososoxfan

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What a kick to the nuts. Boo. I can't even process that game analytically, other than saying some big mistakes were the difference. The TD non-call was brutal, but Michigan also benefitted from calls--the most egregious being the phantom roughing the passer. Fumbling the ball into the EZ from the 1, that hurts the most.

I did see that Kris Jenkins said he's returning, and that's a huge piece back from this year's stellar D. Him, Mikey, Colson, Will J, and Graham are a solid start to a D. Does anyone know of a list with declared/returning?

The other big piece here is that JH is apparently really looking at the NFL again. After how last season panned out, that would be disappointing. Everyone's entitled to change their opinion, and there's been more change to NCAA football than JH probably expected, but it would still suck after that whole episode.
 

Average Reds

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Per ESPN. Harbaugh being investigated for recruiting violations during Covid and on field coaching activities by defensive analyst.
Based on what I read yesterday, the allegations were supposed to be technical in nature. (Mostly surrounding the analyst being used as a coach.)

That said, the allegations actually made by the NCAA include one “Level 1” violation - that Harbaugh provided “false or misleading information” during the investigation.

IMO, short of the “loss of institutional control” charge, this is one of the worst things that the NCAA can hit you with. Not because it’s evidence of serious misconduct, but because it forces the school/coach to prove the negative in a situation that is a matter of interpretation. (As we have learned about the NCAA, “misleading” is whatever the NCAA says it is.)

Michigan has obviously known that these allegations have been coming, and my guess is that some of the ambiguity surrounding Harbaugh’s return was based on this, so I take his statement yesterday about the support of the AD and the new President to be a sign that the school thinks the NCAA allegation is not terribly serious.

We’ll obviously learn more as we move forward, but this is an unwelcome development.
 

Zososoxfan

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Based on what I read yesterday, the allegations were supposed to be technical in nature. (Mostly surrounding the analyst being used as a coach.)

That said, the allegations actually made by the NCAA include one “Level 1” violation - that Harbaugh provided “false or misleading information” during the investigation.

IMO, short of the “loss of institutional control” charge, this is one of the worst things that the NCAA can hit you with. Not because it’s evidence of serious misconduct, but because it forces the school/coach to prove the negative in a situation that is a matter of interpretation. (As we have learned about the NCAA, “misleading” is whatever the NCAA says it is.)

Michigan has obviously known that these allegations have been coming, and my guess is that some of the ambiguity surrounding Harbaugh’s return was based on this, so I take his statement yesterday about the support of the AD and the new President to be a sign that the school thinks the NCAA allegation is not terribly serious.

We’ll obviously learn more as we move forward, but this is an unwelcome development.
What's the old quote about the NCAA and technical violations? They're so mad at Kentucky that they've decided to suspend Cleveland State for another year?

I'm surprised the NCAA still has any teeth to enforce anything. Michigan should fight this tooth and nail, but that's not the MO.

More importantly, after learning a bit more about the JH situation, this NFL "reporting" mostly sounds like his agent trying to get leverage on Warde. JH is out of contract or in his last year, and JH has never used an agent before. The agent is John Harbaugh's guy. In sum, my read is that if Michigan treats JH with deserved respect (read: $, control, mostly whatever he wants), he's back next season.
 

dhappy42

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This reminds me of Deflategate. The infractions are relatively minor (or in Deflategate’s case, nonexistent), but the NCAA will likely hammer Harbaugh for “misleading”investigators.
 

Zososoxfan

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That's a huge get for Michigan. It will hopefully help keen Edwards healthy, and by extension Edwards can help keep Corum healthy. It also gives Michigan's O the opportunity to put them both on the field, and have Edwards terrorize defenses as a RB/WR.

The biggest decision left is Zinter. Dude is a monster and a big reason why Michigan paved nearly everyone this season. Keegan would also be nice, but I expect he stays to build up his draft stock further.
 

Average Reds

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Zinter, Keegan, and Michael Barrett all returning.
Cornelius Johnson, as well.

I realize that I may be reading too much into it, but those decision would seem to signal both that Harbaugh's new deal will be announced soon, and that real changes to the administration of NIL (which Harbaugh has reportedly been pushing, backed by the new President) are a part of it.
 

Granite Sox

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I wasn't aware that CJ also announced his return. I like it.

I agree with the signals. I've seen a lot about the fact that the collectives tied to the program have stepped up to make a return worth it to the individuals. Corum and Zinter were probably the highest-rated returnees (3rd round grades?), so if you look at the average contracts for players drafted in that round (bonus ~$800,000, salary ~$650,000), the NIL money being discussed is in the ballpark for a year of contract length. All things being equal money-wise, it makes it easier to cement a legacy at Michigan vs. a likely anonymous (and short) NFL career.

edit: ... and Kris Jenkins just announced he's returning as well. Exits: Eyobi and Smith gone from the D-line, Green and Turner from the CB position. Hayes and Oluwatimi from the OL, Schoonmaker, Bell, and Anthony from TE/WR. Lots of returners should allow for lots of redshirts with a "development" recruiting class.
 
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Average Reds

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The statement from Ono seems like a shot at Manuel. Seems pretty clear that this was a power struggle and Warde lost. Inexplicable that Manuel didn’t work together with Harbaugh, but it is what it is.

I’m guessing Manuel will announce his departure at some point soon.
 

thehitcat

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The statement from Ono seems like a shot at Manuel. Seems pretty clear that this was a power struggle and Warde lost. Inexplicable that Manuel didn’t work together with Harbaugh, but it is what it is.

I’m guessing Manuel will announce his departure at some point soon.
That was exactly my read. Why wasn't there a statement from Warde. Seemed pretty telling and yes I would assume he's on his way out. Wonder if he was on the other side of the NIL issue which seemed to be the driver here as much as contract was.
 

Zososoxfan

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Huge news getting Zinter, Keegan, and Jenkins back--wow. Mgoblog is giving props to the Valiant Management Group's One More Year Fund:

Introducing the One More Year Fund™ — the crowdfunding campaign designed to retain key Michigan football players, starting with Blake Corum, Cornelius Johnson, Trevor Keegan, and Zak Zinter.

By donating, fans have the chance to make a meaningful contribution to the Michigan football team in pursuit of the 2023 National Championship by supporting NIL opportunities.

Help us show the players how much we appreciate them and want them in the Maize and Blue!
 

Granite Sox

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Weiss on administrative leave. Criminal investigation into "computer access" issues. (Allegedly) occurred just before XMas, investigation filed early January.

Scuttlebutt is illegal access to email accounts.

Bro...
 

Average Reds

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Weiss on administrative leave. Criminal investigation into "computer access" issues. (Allegedly) occurred just before XMas, investigation filed early January.

Scuttlebutt is illegal access to email accounts.

Bro...
If true, that an awfully stupid way to blow up your career right as it was taking off.
 

Zososoxfan

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Only new reporting I see on this is that the Univ. Division of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating, not federal law enforcement. That basically rules out certain crimes (which would only be investigated by federal enforcement apparently), among them some of the more nefarious things being floated around.

View: https://twitter.com/JoshHenschke/status/1615559164323069953?s=20&t=dgvwkLqdbOfzczLy_g_KKw


UMich’s DPS reports are public, by the way. This is what I was able to find with the timelines matching. Link (Click on Jan. 5): https://dpss.umich.edu/content/crime-safety-data/daily-crime-fire-log/
 

dhappy42

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More than you may want to know about the NCAA charges against Harbaugh:

https://www.maizenbrew.com/football/2023/1/19/23562788/michigan-football-jim-harbaugh-ncca-investigation

The situation is bizarre considering that part of the offence is rumored to be because Harbaugh took two recruits for cheeseburgers at The Brown Jug, a hole-in-the-wall joint that isn’t extravagant and can be defined as blue-collar.
Been there. It's a student burger joint/bar.

It sure sounds like the NCAA doesn’t have anything on Harbaugh to lay a Level I violation down on him, yet they want him to dig his own grave with an admission of guilt.
Again, the NCAA's "admit it or we'll find you guilty" approach reminds me of the NFL in Deflategate.
 

Zososoxfan

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Michigan promoted football analyst Kirk Campbell to QB Coach in the wake of Weiss' AIM shenanigans. They're probably still a coach short with Moore likely to get the OC title officially, but he's also responsible for the OL. They really need to find a way to get Partridge back--they need him recruiting chops. I'd also be A-OK with Roman since he's such an overqualified guy and he's not always going to be available, but I doubt there's a spot for him unless Roman agrees to a 1 or 2-year deal and Moore is told he's got next. Griese will be an option for the next opening and don't think they need to rush to get him back in A2.