Maize n Brew gives you your daily (or semi-daily) rundown of all the Michigan Football, Michigan Basketball, College Football, and College Basketball news you need to get through the tedium of your boring desk job. For good measure we'll throw in a little irreverent information, comedy and commentary to help you salt away the time until the clock strikes 5pm. If you want Maize n Brew in 140 characters or less, follow us on Twitter! Or you can friend us on Facebook and become a fan of Maize n Brew on Facebook for more links. Here's what's ON TAP:
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Stuff You Need To Read Right Now
Keep Me in Your Heart - Genuinely Sarcastic reminds me how much I enjoy their writing and how much I wish they'd write more with this heartfelt piece on Rodriguez and the mountain he tried to climb. One of the best pieces on the heartache many of us feel following Rodriguez' dismissal.
Unfortunately, as fate would have it, the best he could fell well short of even the most modest of expectations, and on a personal level, that saddens me most of all, and it produces a sort of repulsion in my gut that I find myself on the same side of the fence as people like Michael Rosenberg, Drew Sharp, Mark Snyder, and so many others who passed judgment not just on the coach, but on the man. The fact that these people are celebrating today brings me angst that is beyond words.
In Rod We Trust – Final Update (Really) - Farewell In Rod We Trust. You guys did great work. Hopefully you'll open up shop under another name. But if not, you'll be missed.
The Tin Age Of Gold - MGoBrian takes a look at the question that's on everybody's mind, how will Borges implement Denard? The easy answer is "who the hell knows" but the hard answer is much more complicated.
Reading this piece I get the impression that Brian is already in the process of writing the offense's obituary before the season begins. That may not have been his intention, but that's the way it comes off. In fairness, Brian paints both Rodriguez and Borges as inflexible coaches who are where they are because they are good at the one thing they coach.
Coaches are old and crotchety and just are who they are. They have a very specific, gradually moving corpus of knowledge and when they deviate from that performance suffers.
The expectation that Borges will stick with what he knows rather than attempt to GERG himself into coaching a system he is ill-equiped to teach is not only reasonable, it's almost a 100% lock to happen. Michigan's pro-style offense is going to be night and day different from what's been run the last three years. And let's be clear about this, I think this is a good thing.
To an extent I agree that next year's offense will not be as prolific in terms of total yardage as the 2010 squad. However, and here's the big caveat, I suspect it will be more effective. What continues to get lost in the discussion of Michigan's offense is just how lousy it was in the first half of games against decent competition. No matter how pretty the final stat sheet looked and how great we looked piling up points in the second half of a game we had no chance of winning, it doesn't change the fact that Rodriguez' offense was useless against any defense with a pulse. And this was WITH a really good offensive line, good receivers, a slew of marginal running backs and the most electric runner in college football at QB. I don't care what the "numbers" say, the spread n' shred didn't work last season when it mattered.
But one of the main reasons it wasn't successful was the same reason we thought it was so awesome early in the year: Denard Robinson. Robinson's yardage, efficiency, and passing all plumetted as the competition improved. He was making bad reads on the zone read, he was launching balls into triple coverage, and as Brian points out he seemingly refused to run when the opportunity was so obvious it was basically humping his leg. But the other main reason for the offense's sputtering was the play calling. Robinson wasn't put in a position to suceeed by McGee and Rodriguez. In many respects Robinson's running plays were as obvious as the half-back waggle we all despised. The only difference was the half back waggle gained yards against good teams.
The key to this offense depends less on Broges adaptability than it does Denard's. Denard was the key to last season's offense and will be to the 2011 version. If he is able to adapt to Borges scheme then Michigan will be fine. If he's not, well, we're not going to be very good on offense and we're likely looking at Devin Gardner taking over as the starting QB (as he's more of a pro-style QB [height, arm, pocket presence]). To me, this isn't an issue of a drop off from a Rodriguez style offense to a pro-type set. It's an issue of whether Denard can adapt to the system he's responsible for executing.
The spread is dead. You'll pardon me if I don't send flowers.
Why would Denard change positions? - Along these lines our buddy and contributor here at Maize n Brew MagnusThunder tackles this subject over at his home blog Touch the Banner, and gives you his opinion on whether whether or not Denard is really a good fit for Al Borges offense. He reaches an answer that you might not like, but deep down, you know very well he probably right. The question of the 2011 season will be whether Denard Robinson can become a pocket passer or whether this offense is better suited for Devin Gardner.
The Process - Dear lord this is funny. The WLA take a humourous swipe at the Brady Hoke hiring process. They knock this one out of the park, and it would've been above the fold (sotospeak) if I hadn't gone off on a rant about the offense. Like I've said before, I think that Brandon did a pretty good job in the search process, but this is too funny not to link.
Discussing the Divisions (WTKA audio) - A modern Michigan Classic. Greg at MVictors and Craig at Hoover Street Rag compiled a list (humorous list, people) of the different Michigan factions emerging from the Rich Rodriguez Hire/Fire. Hysterical and well thought out stuff. Here it is in graph form with audio.
The Clans. The Factions. Defined. - And here it is broken down into descriptors.
Expanding on the Clans - And here is is expanded upon by MGoBlog.
Clans Expanded - And here it is with Northwestern thrown in.
Much more after the jump...............
Ex-player, bosses rave about Michigan's Greg Mattison - The tounge bathing an incoming, former NFL Defensive Coordinator with Michigan connections deserves. Former players (pro and college) put new DC Greg mattison on a pedetal and genuflect.
Preview in Review: 2010 Predictions Revisited - For some reason Ace feels like punching himself in the nuts, so he decided to go back and review his 2010 pre-season predictions. Despite his prediction of a 6-6 season, he really wasn't that far off. Re-live the pain, if you're so inclined.
Holdin' The Rope: Thermidor - Comparing the coaching debacle (Rodriguez hire/fire and Hoke's eventual hire) to the french revolution. I'll co-sign this portion though:
I don't want to talk about whether I think Brady Hoke is a good coach or not, or whether I think he can provide us the success that we all know. He might be. He might not be. Projection is useless.
10 Things to Know About Alaska - Michigan hockey has a big weekend at Yost with Alaska Fairbanks coming to town. The 'Nooks split with Notre Dame (league leading Notre Dame) last weekend and are a solid middle of the pack CCHA squad. As such, they're fighting for a NCAA tournament berth, and beating Michigan at Yost would go a long way towards a climb up the Pairwise standings. The Blog That Yost Built breaks it down with a gusto.
Having a Seat Over There: Travis Lynch - Red Berenson secured the commitment of forward Travis Lynch of the USHL Green Bay Gamblers. Lynch is a "defensive-forward" who Yost Built projects as a third-liner.
More on Kampfer; JMFJ in his own words and more - Massive hat tip to Jason over at Michg for the links on Steve Kampfer's arrival and subsequent broken nose with the Bruins, as well as two awesome pieces by and on former Michigan great Defenseman Jack Johnson.
Jack Johnson will stick to his roots - Jack Johnson RULES.
Johnson, who left Michigan after his sophomore season and signed with the Kings, has also been keeping his promise to Wolverines coach Red Berenson, taking a few classes at Michigan each summer to complete his degree.
My Story: Jack Johnson - More Johnson awesomeness, this time in his own words.
When I did get to Michigan I was determined to simply enjoy every minute of college. I wanted to win four national championships when I first got to Michigan, that was the goal and those were the expectations. I think the reason I left school, I think hockey-wise, athletically it was the right decision but emotionally it was really hard to leave.
Michigan Hockey: Wolverines Sweep Dogs, Nanooks Sled Into Yost Next - Nice wrap up of last week's sweep of a decent Ferris State team with an eye toward Friday and Saturday's matchup with Alaska.
Michigan Football Recruiting
Big Recruiting Weekend on Deck - 5 big prospects coming to town this weekend. According to BHB, we've got 11 commits and 9 spots to fill in roughly 11 days. Keep your fingers crossed folks.
Welcome to: Recruitin' California - Brice Brings us up to date on Michigan's California targets and what Hoke's hire might near in their pursuit.
The Potential of Michigan's 2012 Defensive Recruiting Class - UMGoBlog.COM looks ahead to the potential of Michigan's 2012 defensive recruiting class.