Quote of the year. Mike Sainristil on prepping for MSU:
“Coach Harbaugh says: ‘A faithful man forgives; a smart man forgets; the Harbaughs remember,’’ Mike Sainristil quipped.
This does not put the Harbaughs in the "smart man" category, admittedly.
Don't get cocky, kids. The Athletic has an Anonymous Coach Quote article about this weekend's OSU-PSU game that touches on Michigan towards the end, and well, neato:
“Michigan is above both of them,” said a staffer who faced Penn State. “Ohio State and Penn State are 2-a and 2-b in some order, but Michigan is well above both of them.”
“Michigan brought the fight to them in my mind,” said an assistant coach who faced Ohio State. “We really won’t know about this year’s team until we see them play against Michigan. That game is going to come down to the line of scrimmage. I don’t know how physical they are. Notre Dame was a fairly physical game, and they struggled to move the ball. That’s the only team they’ve played that can really match them up front so far.”
It seems like the coaches surveyed for this article give PSU the edge this weekend. We're going to learn a lot about how far the OSU OL has come since they got overwhelmed by their own defensive ends in their spring game:
“Their defensive ends, they have three that are elite P5 players, and they may have the best collective group of linebackers in the country,” said one head coach who faced the Nittany Lions. “They have two NFL Draft picks at corner who can play man; one’s a first rounder, the other is probably a third- or fourth-rounder. Their third-down package is good, but they don’t have to do anything crazy. (Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz) likes to be creative, but they don’t have to do a ton to get to the quarterback.”
Against Michigan last year Diaz got creative to the detriment of his own team; it's possible they can play Michigan more straight up this year and not get thrown into the ocean by Michigan's ground game.
[After THE JUMP: a tale too toxic to tell]
Also in Penn State. But you might have to throw the ball somewhere in the vicinity of "downfield". Yeesh:
Drew Allar's 6.9 yards per attempt ranks 83rd nationally among 113 qualified passers. His 6.3 air yards per attempt ranks 108th.
PSU has been able to grind out wins against the meek and lovelorn; probably going to take some explosives to beat OSU since I don't think the PSU ground game is likely do do much.
Something interesting from Yet Another NIL Hearing. Yesterday Congress had its tenth(!) opportunity to rabble about college football players getting rights literally everyone else in the country has; I'll spare you the counter-rabbling… most of the counter-rabbling. I will allow myself one counter-rabble:
— mgoblog (@mgoblog) October 17, 2023
Anyway, the most newsworthy thing coming out of this hearing was outgoing ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick talking to reporters after his testimony:
“It’s a fairly radical notion, but if we could find a way to reach binding agreements with our student-athletes, most of this goes away,” the Notre Dame athletic director said, referring to what industry leaders say is a chaotic compensation system around name, image and likeness (NIL).
“We don’t have a mechanism to [collectively bargain] without them becoming employees. It would require a new mechanism that would recognize the rights of student-athletes to negotiate for the terms and conditions of their participation as athletes without being employees. I think it’s worth considering.”
Swarbrick is still holding on to the "they're not employees" fig leaf but once you have collectively bargained with your Not Employees you're 99.9% of the way to making them employees.
"Thanks, Alejandro" – Seth. Michigan's odd-looking interception at the end of the first drive against Indiana, as explained by Sainristil:
“It was kind of a zone between me, Rod and Junior. Will was out there locked man-to-man. And when three sits, I sit. So he sat and I went to make a play on the ball. I’m not 6-3. My arms aren’t long enough to pick it myself. But I batted it up to him. I could have dove for it, but I saw he was in position.”
So it was probably Rod Moore who needed to get over the top of the #2 guy going to the endzone.
Prediction: overblown. Austin Meek has an article on the "toxic" Michigan-Michigan State rivalry in the Athletic, but the only things cited other than the tunnel incident are light press conference sparring, Michigan State dysfunction that doesn't have anything to do with one specific football game on the schedule*, and the State News quitting the annual flag football game because they always lose. The specter of fan violence is brought up:
As the teams prepare to meet for the first time since the tunnel altercation, fans are understandably wary of another incident. In July, a Detroit radio host cautioned Michigan fans to stay away from Spartan Stadium or risk “eating a battery.” The game will be played at night, which tends to encourage a rowdier crowd. It also will be the first Michigan-Michigan State game since the passage of a state law that allows schools to serve alcohol at sporting events.
We are fortunate that circumstances have conspired to lower the temperature in the MSU fanbase. Instead of hoping against hope that Coach Sunk Cost Fallacy can turn it around by going 3-1 against Michigan, MSU fans are looking at a potential 2-10 season headed by an interim coach. Judging by the Red Cedar Message board, anyone who actually attends the game is going to pull the ripcord if Michigan gets up a couple scores. The game will likely pass without much incident unless one of MSU's periodic attempts to injure a Michigan player works, and I'm not even sure MSU has enough GAF left in them to try it.
Meanwhile, this guy is so close to getting it:
Why does the number of calls the fire department got matter? In a piece about a toxic rivalry where many things from one side are included and the only thing from the other side is from 1949? Which is just linked, not explained out.
— Sean Deere (@SDwyer_21) October 18, 2023
Cogitate just a little further.
*[Except insofar as everything wrong with the MSU athletic department is about one specific football game on the schedule; in any case none of the Tucker/BOT stuff has anything to do with Michigan.]
Etc.: Step 1: complete. Step 2: Samuel L Jackson commencement speech. Bill Connelly names Jaylen Harrell Michigan's midseason MVP, which is bold. The Chronicle on Santa Ono's tenure to date. NIL has not led to a collapse in ratings. Inside Washington and Oregon's move to the Big Ten. Michigan –156 against Fitchburg State. If A&M axes Jimbo you can probably eliminate Mike Elko from the MSU search.