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Monday, October 03, 2005

Don't think, steal: Jon Chait provides a theory that rings sadly true which is reproduced here and thus rescued from Internet Oblivion:

The Law of Conservation of Michigan Football

Any improvement or decline in any unit will be met by an equal and opposite reaction by another unit. This has been true since 1997. We had a fabulous defense, pretty weak offense. In 1998, the offense started getting more explosive, but the defense began declining. This trend continued trhough 1999 and 2000, by which point the offense was great and the defense awful.

By 2001, our defense suddenly became very good, but the offense collapsed. In 2002, the offense got better but the defense got worse.

2003 is in some ways the exception but in other ways the apotheosis of the rule. The offense and defense were both very good, but the special teams became a giant, inescapable black hole of suckitude.

In recent years the trend has accelerated, and happened within seasons themselves. We started out with a strong defense and a pitiful offense. The offense slowly got better, and the defense slowly worse, so by the end of the year it was just the opposite.

It was only natural that our offense blew against ND while our defense was near-dominant. It is the Law of Conservation of Michigan Football.

A corrollary to the Law of Conservation of Michigan Football is that we will go 9-3 every year.

Blogospheric content re: Kitten Redemption 2005 (HT: IBFC) can be found many places. IBFC has a dose of video (including the "fumble" video I stole) and some general thoughts. Offtackle weighs in as well. Joey says he still doesn't exactly think Carr's ready to join Flipmode Squad (sorry, all rap references are stuck in 1997) just yet. He makes a good point in his "random stuff" section:
- Long-lost Carr family member John Borton asserts that UM is 5-0 if Mike Hart is healthy all season. Thoughts? I would imagine that Hart could have been the difference in both games, but UM shouldn't need to lean on that excuse. Michigan has the personnel to beat ND and Wisconsin without Hart; it just doesn't have the coaching (or, at least right now, the quarterback?).
Seriously. Hart may have had some incremental effect but let's be serious: the problems in those games were only tangentially connected to the running game. Hart doesn't fumble against Wisconsin or Notre Dame, sure, and he probably picks up an extra blitzer or two, but no one's going to run to the recordbook with an eraser to correct the "error." Michigan had the opportunity to win those games anyway but did not.

Also, SMQB is back and kicking with his weekend wrapup worth your time, though I think he's slightly harsh in his assessment of both teams. To wit: he says Michigan State "blew" their first two plays in overtime, making the HP-ish mistake of crediting every non-succesful offensive play to poor execution instead of a good defensive play. Points taken on the missed field goals and the ugly MSU third down in OT, but the ugliness was mostly contained in some questionable playcalls, three missed chipshot fieldgoals, and officiating best described as "indescribable." There were a total of six penalties in the game, and nearly 900 yards of well-executed offense. Let's not miss the forest for the trees. (FTR: I still think SMQB is a top-tier CFB blog. Hugz.)

So this blog thing and Michigan's 2-2 start have given me strange rooting interests. Generally I root for whatever aids Michigan in their (perenially futile) bid to recover from the road opener loss and force their way back into the national championship game and against specific teams I find distasteful (ND, OSU (obvious), Miami(Michael Irvin), Nebraska ('97), Tennessee(waah Peyton)). Now I tend to root for teams I didn't have a previous opinon about based on how much I like their respective bloggers. Therefore I am a quasi-fan of Florida (EDSBS), Alabama (WSJ), and Georgia (Kyle King, Paul Westerdawg), which poses problems when the two meet. This happened last weekend when 'Bama Rammer Jammered the hell out of the Gators. Alas, Orson! Hurrah, Warren! I sympathize/celebrate.

Speaking of Kyle, he's offered up an interesting candidate for the next Michigan head coach: former Georgia DC and current Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Brian Van Gorder, who has roots in the area, an impressive resume as the Bulldog DC, and extensive recruiting contacts in Florida and Georgia. It's an interesting name but I don't think he'll be a serious candidate since he's never been a head coach and is currently just a position coach, and since Michigan specializes in finishing second for southern recruits I don't know how much his contacts will help. The culture of southern football is such that only rarely do big names escape the south--more focus on Florida may be wasted effort. I suppose I should address this. And then this publicity-yielding Carty article. My stance: John Lynch, the proprietor of, is a loon and should be fired from whatever his current job is, as he is liable to shoot his coworkers should they fail at any task.