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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Post from Yost: Lloyd vs. History

I don't know exactly when it happened, but college football fans have become as content as a gold digging millionaire's wife when a billionaire widower moves in next door. Bitching about one's team is almost as popular as singing the school fight song. Perpetual disconent is now the norm.

Nowhere is that more true today than Ann Arbor.

To hear Michigan fans on sports radio, read their rants on message boards and peruse most maize and blue blogs, the sky is falling in A2. Under Lloyd Carr, the "popular" belief goes, we are witnessing the "slow, steady decline" of the Michigan football program. Hell, to listen to all the naysayers, one would think last year's 7-5 season was the norm (nevermind that Michigan went to back-to-back Rose Bowls before that).

So let's take a look at Carr and see how he stacks up against Michigan's Big Three former head coaches -- Yost, Crisler and Schembechler.

Why are they the measuring stick? Between the three of them, one of them was head coach for roughly half of the 115 seasons of Michigan football before Lloyd took over the reigns in '95. They combined for 25 conference titles and 7 National Titles. Furthermore, their legacies live on today in Ann Arbor: Michigan's hockey arena is name after Yost, its basketball arena after Crisler while its football building carries the Schembechler name. Thus, these are ghosts, two dead and one living, which will always haunt the present Michigan coach.

So how does Lloyd compare next to coaches so good, buildings were named after them? Well...

Fielding H. Yost (one of my personal favorites as you might have guessed) was Michigan's head coach for 25 years in the first quarter of the 20th century. In that time, he had a winning percentage of .833, the best of any Michigan coach in the last 106 seasons. Pretty damn impressive. And in those 25 years at the helm, Yost won or shared 10 conference titles. Not too shabby, right?

Well, in his 11 seasons, Lloyd Carr has won or shared 5 Big 10 titles.

Yost's conference winning percentage was .778, Carr's is .773.

Fritz Crisler had an overall winning percentage of .805 and a .777 mark in the conference in his 10 seasons as the head coach. In those 10 years, he won or shared two conference crowns with one national title to his credit, same as Lloyd.

In its entire history, Michigan has an overall winning percentage of .744 and a conference mark of .727. Carr is at .750 overall and, as mentioned before, .773 in the Big 10.

Then there's Bo Schembechler who probably casts the longest shadow around the U-M campus. In his 21 seasons at the helm, Bo had an overall winning percentage of .796 and a best-in-the-history-of-Michigan .850 in the conference. He won or shared 13 Big 10 titles. Great stuff.

And while Lloyd's recent September struggles on the road are frustrating, Bo had a few glaring blemishes on his record. Taking nothing away from Schembechler, don't forget that from his first season in 1969 through the 1979 season - his first 11 years as head coach, same as Carr so far - Bo never won the last game of the season. Not once. Zip. Nada. Whether it was one of 5 Rose Bowl defeats, one Orange, one Gator and a couple heartbreakers to the Buckeyes (when only the Big 10 champ got a bowl bid those days), Michigan ended each of those years with a loss (and one tie in'73).

Finally, while Lloyd won it all in '97, Bo, unfortunately, never won a National Title. His best finish was #2 after an 11-1-1 campaign in 1985.

So while last season was terrible and unacceptable to all Michigan fans (I'm sure even Carr would say the same thing, as he basically did with the changes to his staff), taking a bigger look using history as our guide reveals that things aren't as bad as they might seem in many parts of cyberspace.


Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

I know (but don't always want to admit) that Carr has done a good job. If you look at his actual record, yes, he has done well in the Big 10, he has done pretty well against tOSU, and of course, he has a national championship, which alone goes a llllloooooonnnnnggggg ways in my book.

But I think, and many others would agree, that there's always that feeling that he could be doing just a little bit better. It seems like there is at least 1 game every year they lose that they have no business losing, usually a September non-conference game, likely on the road. His conservative nature has led to a few losses over the years that should have been in the other column.

He has gotten good results, but it seems like with the talent they've had, they could do a little bit better every year.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article - one point to clear up, however: the way you put it makes it sound like both Crisler and Lloyd have 2 conference titles and one national title... Lloyd actually has 5 conference titles.

Anonymous said...

...he has done pretty well against tOSU...

6-5 lifetime and 1-4 in the past 5 years against Tressel? Guess we just have different definitions of "pretty well."

As for those consecutive Rose Bowl appearances, how many of those did we win?

An honest question: what would it take before you agree that we need a coaching change? If he went 5-7 this year, would that do it? Or will you just come out with some article that shows a coach who wins a National Championship his first year, then progressively worsens, eventually leading to a losing season is actually a good thing?


surrounded in columbus said...

love your stuff. respect your opinion, but I have to respectfully disagree w/ you on this call.

if you had told me in 1995 that our next coach would after 11 seasons be 6-5 against tosu, win 5 conference titles, play in 8 straight new year’s day bowls, coach a heisman winner, and win a national championship, I’d have said “sold” and signed up for the job of president of the Lloyd Carr fan club on the spot. no one contests that Carr’s numbers aren’t impressive or that his 11 year record isn’t excellent overall, and I still have no regrets looking back at the past decade as a whole. however, your numbers hide some glaring problems.

even w/ the two rose bowl seasons, his numbers over the last 5 or so years just suck. he’s 1-4 against tosu, 1-3 against ND. he’s lost 6(?) straight first road games. we’re 1-4 in bowl games (we beat Ron Zook- yippee). if you were charting a trend line over those 11 seasons, it would be steadily “downhill” over the last 5, w/ last year’s 5 loss season anchoring it.

I know the 2003 and 2004 conference title teams buoy the trend, but only to a degree. both of those teams lost 3 games and any time your two best seasons combine for 6 losses, it’s not that good.

and when you look closely at those two seasons, it’s even more disheartening. the ‘04 team got spanked by a 4 loss tosu team and an ND team that finished 6-6 (and fired their coach). the ’03 team was good enough to be a BCS contender, but we couldn’t figure out how to punt against Oregon, and Carr couldn’t figure out how to replace a coach until AFTER the second special teams debacle against Iowa. no doubt these were “good” seasons, but certainly both had the potential to be better, and 2003 could have been terrific (if Carr had fired the sp/k coach after one debacle, instead of waiting for two).

and those are the two best seasons over the last 5. the others were much less spectacular. add up the losses of the other 3 seasons (which were complete disappointments in pretty much every sense), and that means even w/ the two rose bowl seasons, he’s lost 18 games in 5 seasons. that’s more than 60% of his career losses all in 5 years.

I think w/out question that there is a 5 year down trend and it’s the single biggest source of complaining. if the last 5 years had been close to as good as his first 5, we’d be naming buildings after him on campus as I type. even if you flipped the seasons (the last 5 years had been like his first 5, and vice versa), people would still be in love w/ him (like Longhorn fans are w/ Mack Brown now) because the trend would be up, not down. but it’s not. the trend is down and it feels like a slide. and his numbers bear that out.

I’m not advocating firing him yesterday. changing out coaches (finally) is a sign that he recognizes the need for improvement/change. and the ’97 season has earned him a little slack. but he does have to at least stop the slide, if not reserve the trend this year. a 6 season record of 1-5 against tosu, 1-4 against ND, 7(?) straight losses in the first road game, and a 1-5 bowl record might just be bad enough to make a convert out of even you!

Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...


"Pretty well" is winning more that you lose in my book. "Good" would be probably 7-4, maybe 8-3, and great would be anything better. If you beat tOSU more than they beat you, I'd say you're doing pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Then obviously in the last 5 years UM has not been doing "pretty well." How about "abysmal?"

surrounded in columbus said...

Anon 7:16,
"abysmal"? sorry, but that's where i have to agree w/ Yost. 44 wins against 18 losses (roughly 9-4 on average) is mediocre, even disappointing for Michigan, but it's not abysmal in any sense of an objective perspective. there's maybe a dozen programs in NCAA DI that have a better record than that over the last 5 seasons.

not to speak for Yost, but i think one of the salient points of his post is that as disappointed as the michigan faithful may be (myself included), the sky isn't falling and the program isn't crashing to the ground in a heap of ashes.

Anonymous said...

"not to speak for Yost, but i think one of the salient points of his post is that as disappointed as the michigan faithful may be (myself included), the sky isn't falling and the program isn't crashing to the ground in a heap of ashes."

Nope, that happens when Mike DeBord takes over for Lloyd.

surrounded in columbus said...

Anon 7:55,
okay. you may be right about that one.

Papa Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Papa Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Papa Steve said...

The fans that greouse about lloyd and the results of the past year are the same ones that show up on Saturday and have a civilized meal with cocktails included (won't call it a tailgate, doesn't qualify as a party) then head into the stadium to sit on their hands. The only time they get emotional or 'activated' is to hiss at anyone who is standing up to cheer their team. sometimes they even muster up enough gumption to shake their keys on third down situations, less cheering their team on than warning of the consequences of not being successful.

UM has some of the best and classiest fans in football, but there is also a large segment of boring, whiney piss-bitches that really don't contribute much beyond money (some) and taking up the best seats in the stadium so real fans can't attend.

To those who are coming down on Carr....please name me a major football program that has not had a few down years in the past decade. Programs go through cycles and college football isn't an environment where you can be 100% in control of your own destiny all the time. If 7-5 is as far down as we go, which by all indications it will be, we should be grateful that we didn't slide into a few years where we missed bowl games, had a losing record, etc.

The UM/OSU matchup is is always going to even out someday...you win some, you lose some. 4 losses is what will make beating them this year that much sweeter. They have fielded some of the best teams in their history in the past few years and we have not. It will swing back the other way sooner rather than later, but to expect to dominate that rivalry year in and year out is not realistic.....and it wouldn't be a rivalry.

Is Carr perfect? No. Who is?

July 25, 2006 9:08 AM

Peter said...

Yo, Yost: my emails to you are bouncing back. Not sure why.

CaliGirl said...

Well Said! Coaches basically have 3 good years with players, the roster is constantly changing. We can't always expect to be #1 EVERY YEAR...it would be nice, but unrealistic.

People that constantly talk about how bad we sucked last year, remember the 2 previous years we were in the Rose Bowl...we may have lost, but none the less, we were there. When was the last time most schools made it to the Granddaddy of all bowl games back to back?

As for losing to ND and tOSU several times, I am the first to throw a pity party for myself as each clock ticks down to the final minutes and I realize we will suffer another year of defeat to these respective schools...but it happens. However, you must remember Bo lost to Woody 4 out of 6 years (a 5th game was a tie 1970-1975)...not the greatest numbers, yet, he is still a "hero." His overall record vs. Hayes is 4-5-1.(I admit, last year's 7-5 record would have been a little less painful if one of those losses wasn't to the Buckeyes...ok any loss is less painful than one to the Nuts)

So we had one not so stellar season...that's why there is always this year!

39 days to go...

imafreak said...

Papa Steve, your suggestion that those who complain about Carr are also people who are silent at games is bizarre and without merit so I won't address it.

Surrounded in Columbus covered my view pretty well so I'll just respond to your statements. Yes, all programs go thru down periods. Very often they fire their head coach during these down periods. Yes, the OSU/UM rivalry has cyclic periods. Often, the coach on the losing end is fired. Personally, I'd rather not lose 4 in a row to have one really SWEET win. It's news to me that OSU's 2001 and 2004 teams were 'some of the best teams in their history'. In all honesty, Carr beat better OSU teams in the 90s. The same certainly cannot be said of ND's recent teams. In fact, Carr seems to be in down period for ND, OSU, and bowls. Is that just fate or is he responsible?

The laws of nature don't decree that sports are cyclic. There's reasons for these things. Reasons like your coach has lost the edge or had a run of bad luck. Here's to hoping it's luck and Carr rebounds brilliantly.

Based on the evidence, there is little reason for optimism for a huge turn around. I know my optimism was exhausted last season after watching the ND, OSU, and Nebraska games. The Nebraska debacle really brought it home.

Saying we should be grateful UM hasn't had a few seasons missing bowls and such is ridiculous. It's a bit like saying eventhough your girlfriend slept with your best friend you should take her back and be thankful she didn't give you the clap. I expect more from people making millions of dollars. This isn't a life time appointment. Carr's earned this season to turn it around. Let's see if the old guy's still got it. We won't have to wait long to find out. Sept. 16 should do it.

surrounded in columbus said...

papa steve,
in my personal experience, the whine & cheese crowd that only stands up to yell: "you paid for your seat, use it" is the same bunch that doesn't care about the difference between 7-5 and 10-2. the people pissing and moaning, including myself, are the ones constantly being asked to sit down.

maybe living in columbus 16 years has changed my perspective. hell, maybe i've even "gone native" living amongst the buckeye nation. but i don't see how anyone can shrug the last 5 seasons off w/ an "oh,well" and just call it a "down cycle".

IF this is the end of the "down cycle" and we're headed back up, great. maybe we are. but if it isn't? what if changing coordinators doesn't produce any better results? how many losses to tosu & ND does it take before it's more than just a cycle?

i honestly hope Carr's made the adjustments necessary to turn things around (but that's what he said at the end of the '04 season, too). but i don't sit on my hands at the game, and i don't when i think/talk/type about M football. and if we dump games to ND & tosu AGAIN? i'm not going to sit on my hands then.

as caligirl pointed out- only a month to vanderbilt- only 7 weeks to south bend. i'm guessing by that time either the Lloyd Bashing crowd or the Lloyd Apologist crowd will have begun to change sides come Sunday a.m. i'll be more than happy to jump on the bandwagon come 9/17, but until, i remain doubtful.

Yost said...


Good points...except that Bo was actually 5-4-1 against Woody, having won his last 3 against him (as well as '69 and '71).

surrounded in columbus said...

BTW- aside from triggering my knee jerk Lloyd bashing, this is a very good, thought provoking post. the comparisons to Yost and Crisler are more telling than i realized. makes me wonder what building we'll name after Lloyd? hopefully, a sports building parking structure- the "Carr Parking Garage" is too funny to pass up.

the comparison to Bo is a good splash of cold water/reality. as i grow older, i (and my contemporaries)tend to invoke the ghost of Bo w/out pausing on his short comings (which i'll admit to pissing and moaning about back then- i'm consistent, i guess). you do well to remind us that Bo never won the big one, struggled in bowls, and let's not forget- always played so conservatively as to make you cry (i was at the '88 Miami game when he blew the 16 point lead in 8 minutes, never got a first down, and only tried one pass ....).

Bo's biggest contribution was reviving a program that had pretty much slept thru the late '50's and early '60's. against that history, Carr's '97 season was a gem, and w/ out a doubt, our best since Oosterbaan was coach.

that said, Carr still better beat ND.

Yost said...


Trust me when I say I think there is no excuse for some of the recent M collapses. I'm not cheering for the current situation with my eyes closed. I was just trying to put it in perspective which never seems to happen in the hysteria of cyberspace.

More importantly, I was also at the '88 Miami game. Had to leave for out of town event with, believe it or not, about 7 minutes left. First, and I think only, time I left a game early. COULD NOT BELIEVE what I was hearing on radio as I drove away.

That was as bad as any collapse from 2005 b/c the game meant so much.

john said...

In 11 seasons at the helm, Carr has lost 3-5 games in 9 of them. The record against OSU/ND/bowls/road openers has been beaten to death for bout two years, yet it's still relevant to discussing Lloyd's career.

Nobody's demanding a national title every year. But with a program of Michigan's calibur and the yearly talent pool they pull in, I don't think it's asking much to start off a season 5-0 or finish 11-2 every two or three years. It's frustrating for fans, players, and coaches alike to wake up on the fourth sunday in September and realize you're already out of the NC hunt and only have a conference title to look forward too (possibly).

And to those who say "Hey do want them completely fall of the map and win 3 games? Carr keeps this team afloat." He's kept them mediocre to above average every year except for '97 and '99. Would fans be willing to endure four or five years of truly bad football and then rise into five years of perrenial top 3 finishes a la Miami and USC?

Cliff Keen said...

Bo rebuilt the house that won only 1 Big Ten title from 1951 to 1968 (and had 7 losing seasons) but as mentioned earlier, he was only 1-3-1 against OSU from 1972 to 1975. What also should be recognized is that the Big 10 (err, Big 2, Little 8) absolutely sucked in the 1970's then outside of UM and OSU. From 1969-80 (when UM & OSU battled it out every year for the Big 10 title), of the 82 Big Ten games UM played outside of OSU, only 6 schools were ranked when UM played them. So while we should be impressed with Bo's 79-5 Big Ten record against schools other than OSU from 1969-80, the Big Ten by all purposes stunk.

The reality is, once Iowa emerged (and then everyone else) in 1981, Bo's teams suffered some pretty Lloyd-like debacles. Other than Miami in 1988 (which was already mentioned), how about blowing a 14-3 lead against South Carolina at home in 1980, blowing a 21-point lead at home against UCLA in 1982 and going comatose against ND that same year on the road for a 23-17 loss, blowing a 14-point lead on the road in the 4th quarter against Washington in 1983, the 6-6 season of '84, including a 26-0 whitewash loss at Iowa, and the string of losses to ND from 1987-1989.

I love Bo but parody did not reign for the first 10 years of his coaching career, and his record in the 1980's was very similar to LC's record.

Still, the statistical problem with LC is that he is "Earle Bruce-like" - that is 9-3 is the norm (if not worse). In his 11 years, he has only lost 2 or less games twice (1997, 1999). And as far as I'm concerned, that 1999 team got hosed out of a national title chance because it took LC six weeks (and a loss to MSU) to figure out Tom Brady was the man.

Anonymous said...

Well boys and girls...the doctor has diagnosed a case of Cooperitis in A2. A statistically successful coach who is hard to dismiss because of image repercussions. LC was fortunate to have Cooper as the rival coach, since THE GAME was beyond his grasp as to the importance to both schools. I recall we lost with great teams in 93 (w/o LC) 95 & 96 where we entered undefeated and then lost 2x including a bowl. I commented then that without the TOSU wins he has 3-4 losses a year with what must have been pretty good talent but saves his season(s) against us.

Some would say be careful what you wish for, you might get it. TOSU fans wished for a coach who understood the rivalry and would not get beat before the game began. Well after 2-10-1, the tide is turning as we took the risk that there is someone out there who can coach 'em up. I'm sure after a while the ebb and flow will even out, but we have a long way to go to get even for the Cooper years. I want you to win all of your games (particularly ND), except for the last one in November. Until then, remember, there is no known cure for Cooperitis. You can treat it with alcohol but the effects linger.

See you in Columbus, love your blog, even when we are dragged thru the mud.

surrounded in columbus said...

Anon 11:55,
appreciate the thoughts, but Carr's not really Cooper/cooperitis. Coop never won anything to speak of, but Lloyd has had his day in sun. Carr's more like a great party and following hang over rolled into one. we had a helluva drunk in '97-'99, and 6 years of excederin head aches every morning since...

Anonymous said...


Au contraire mon frere. Cooper beat UM in the Rose Bowl in 86 and promptly got hired by TOSU. Where he was #2 in 98 season after the inexplicable loss to MSU, only to be fired after the debacle of the 2000 season and loss to South Carolina. So you may surmise that LC has had some season saving wins early on but not since the new sheriff came to town. On the up side, you haven't had the off field problems that plaged Cooper the last few years either.

surrounded in columbus said...

i'm sorry. "off the field problems"?? to which tosu coaching are you referring?

Papa Steve said...

I will admit my statement that the boring fans are the ones that complain the most isn't necessarily true, however I wouldn't consider them 'bizarre' or 'without merit'. I know a LOt of alums from several generations (myself, younger brother, older sister , both parents and a grandfather......and a lot of their friends). It has been my experience that many of the people with which I am familiar (not my family) who don't know much about the team (or football)...do sit on their hands in the stadium, are the ones jumping on bandwagon to have Carr's head...just because they aren't being served up their usual number of wins for 1 year. Your mileage may vary ;)

Surround: I'm not shrugging off 7-5, believe me if you had any idea how much shizzle i eat as a UM fan..grew up in East Lansing, my Mother's side of the family are all in Columbus and i now live on the West Coast and am surrounded by Pac 10 weenies from places like Berkeley and Stanford. All I'm saying is that I don't think it is that clear that Carr is the reason the program is in a slump. In my opinion Carr elevated the program and aside from last year has had them competing at a very high level every year.

Papa Steve said...

The girlfriend analogy you employ doesn't really apply in any way, as I don't think Lloyd has committed any morally reprehensible acts and as far as I know he has not cheated on me.

True...some programs fire coaches in down years...sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts. I don't think their is any guarantee that bringing in a new coach is going to get the results you want, in fact it could possibly make things worse. I give it a 50/50 shot at best.

With re: to OSU...that is why I said 'some' of their best teams, not all.

I'm not sayiong Carr is perfect, but I just don't believe you can attribute everything that has gone wrong to him and therefore I don't believe dumping him is the answer.

It is not realistic to belive that the UM program should be able to avoid the same sort of cycles that every other powerhouse team has endured. I mention losing seasons and no bowl seasons because those are depths that a lot of other powerhouse teams have sunk to when they cycle down. If 7-5 is as low as we go, we did very well and righting the ship. That is TBD though.

I'm not even saying I'll be that all that sorry when Carr is gone, but nor do I think he is the source of all evil either.

I do hope the UM Administration makes good on their promise to do an external search to replace him, as I think if anything is a problem it is the promote within program that keeps UM from updating their strategies/methods.

Please Dog...let it be Mr. Tedford.

surrounded in columbus said...

Papa Steve,
as for shizzle, i feel your pain, brother. and i understand those (like you and Yost) who don't want to pull an Earl Bruce. my problem is simply that i've lost my faith and i'm bitter!

several of my friends/class mates/etc., began jumping on the "Blame Lloyd" band wagon after he bungled the whole drew henson debacle (Carr will forever be remembered as the guy that recruited, and then platooned Tom Brady). i was for the longest time the last defender of Lloyd, patience, and steadiness.

but over the last few years, he's finally worn me out and i've had to throw in the towel. for me, it's not merely the losses to tosu & ND. you're right- those go thru streaks. but it's the OTHER losses that have killed my faith.

last year's Minn/Wisc/Alamo games were just embarrassing. they took what would have been another lackluster but respectable season (10-2, w/ losses to ND & tosu) and turned it into a disaster.

same for '03. how the frick did he lose to BOTH Oregon AND Iowa because we couldn't punt/cover kicks?

and why? because he just wouldn't make changes. we had to blow two games in '03 before changing the special teams coordinator. we had to blow a dozen leads in the last two seasons to finally change the DC. we had to rank 9/11 in rushing before we got a different OC.

i could go on, but i've beat this horse to death. he's made some changes (frickin finally) in his staff. if they work, all will be forgiven. if they don't, there's only one person left to change out....

john said...

Papa Steve, we may see the A.D. actively pursuing Tedford in the near future, since supposedly Lloyd will only be here for what, 2-3 years before his age and supposedly declining health take a toll?

When that happens I just hope the athletic department doesn't get suckered in by some overrated, up & coming hotshot with a gimmick offense that won't work in any major conference (Urban Meyer).

Anonymous said...

"Abysmal" was merely a tongue in cheek response to "Can't spell Lloyd's" immediately prior post of "If you beat tOSU more than they beat you, I'd say you're doing pretty well."


imafreak said...

Papa Steve, your comments make sense to me and I was making the same argument one year ago. We all want the same thing. I just reached a point last season where I came to the conclusion that the UM football program had problems that went beyond the excuses I'd been using. I hope that the changes brought can return UM to where it should be.

I thought the quiet fans comment was odd because I suspected it was just the oposite. I always thought the fans that attend the games and ask people to sit down (clearly not me) were the same people that were happy with program that looked good on paper but really wasn't getting it done.

Yost's original article raises some interesting points about the aggregate stats. I just think that if you take a closer look it is apparent that UM hasn't been up to par this decade.

CaliGirl said...


Thanks for correcting my err.

I have a question...am I the only one that thinks that the losses we have suffered in the last year(s) were more than just a head coach thing? We had/have some SERIOUS issues on the defensive line. I for one would like to see what Ron English will do this year taking the reigns. Does anyone else agree, or am I way off base?

Papa Steve said...


I have to admit that your arguments make sense to me too and even go as far as calling myself a quasi-hypocrite as I have had 'spells' where I wanted Carr run out of town on a rail and have made the same arguments you have. So far i have always recovered and reverted to my 'big picture' view of Lloyd's overall record.

Give me a call a few hours after the ND game if we lose and I will likely be happt to make a substantial donation to the Fire Carr Foundation ; )

Maybe it is just that it is still summer and for me hope srings eternal with UM football and I expect them to have a much better year.

surrounded in columbus said...

no, i don't think you're the only one who's noticed the play of the D- line (or the O- line either).

they both struggled last year. we were miserable on sacks and couldn't get to any qb w/ out a blitz.

we were miserable running the ball. not just against top notch defenses like tosu or psu, but nd, northern illinois(??), minnesota??

and the failure to run the ball and stop the run/rush the qb w/ out a blitz contributes meaningfully in our 4th quarter collapses.

as for english (and debord), like papa steve, i'm quietly (desperately?) optimistic about this season. we've heard a lot of talk from players/coaches all spring about the focus on physical play, knocking people down.

the '03 team knocked people off the line on both sides. when you watched them, they looked like they played "michigan" football (the o-line's performance against ND & tosu were epic, the d-line's too).

the '06 team needs to do the same thing. cross your fingers.

Anonymous said...

Here is a little recent history:

1) Michigan is 7-7 in it's last 14 games.

2) Michigan has lost 4 of 5 to OSU, 3 of 4 to ND.

3) Michigan has lost its last 6 road openers and has not won a non-conference road game since 1999.

The sky is not falling, but there should be cause for alarm as the trend is downward in the new millenium.

Anonymous said...

Surrounded: "if they work, all will be forgiven. if they don't, there's only one person left to change out...." Amen, brotha! I couldn't have said it any better myself.

If we blow like a $2 whore again this year...Carr best be on his merry way. Oh, I'm TRYING to stay optimistic...but MAN is it getting hard.

And now I'm out here around all these ASU knobs who can only say "Hey, we beat you guys back in '86, right?" Yeah, yeah...bite me. (But at least they're still better than the Cols folk.) Hang in there, man!

CaliGirl said...

Hey watch it, I date an "ASU Knob" (haha) Although, he never brings that year up...unlike our UCLA Homer friend who talks a BIG game...as if the Bruins have been to the Rose Bowl AT ALL in recent years (and not for a regular season game either)!