clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Film Focus: Michigan at MSU (And Corgis!)

New, 3 comments

Given the state of the Michigan program, I wonder aloud if I should even write the "Film Focus" column for the rest of the season. Do the X's and O's even matter anymore? Or is the focus solely on the changes that are sure to happen at season's end? Oh, and CORGIS!

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Should I even continue to write the "Film Focus" column for the rest of the season?

I began the "Film Focus" series after Michigan's season-opening win over Appalachian State because I wanted readers to learn what was actually happening on the field. What schemes is Michigan using? Why is Michigan trying to run this play out of this formation against this opponent? Why was this play successful? Why did that play fail? Was it really Player X's fault that the opponent did this? How is Michigan adjusting to its previous letdowns? I wanted this to be a space where we could discuss football's X's and O's and not the new narratives that are crafted after every game.

But do you even care about the X's and O's anymore? This season is over. Yes, there are still four regular-season games remaining, but, for all intents and purposes, it's over. Michigan is 3-5 and can't even claim to have been competitive against Power 5 teams. In fact, Michigan has been outscored, 161-77, in six games against Power 5 schools. Sure, the Wolverines still have a shot to become bowl-eligible, but the idea that they will win three of their next four games is laughable. Michigan State's 35-11 romp over Michigan only served as another reminder that the Wolverines are a poor football team that will not improve significantly over the final month of the season.

And the Spartans also drove home the final "stake" into Brady Hoke's coffin. I have made it known for a month that Hoke should be fired after the season, but GoBlueWolverine's Sam Webb, who has sources inside the program, opined before the MSU game that Hoke would be "back for sure" if Michigan won out ($). I just can't see how Hoke can be back after this. I think any hopes Hoke had of saving his job at Michigan dissipated as the Spartans delivered the Wolverines their worst loss in the rivalry since 1967 for the second straight season. The nature of this loss -- Michigan didn't look like it belonged on the same field as MSU -- and another public-relations blunder sealed his fate.

So why am I even writing this "Film Focus" column? My hunch tells me that this is the last thing you want to read right now. Why would you want to rehash Michigan's underwhelming performances week after week, let alone read a piece that dissects exactly what the Wolverines did that makes you want to pull out your hair? It'd be one thing if we could use this time to break down what Michigan is doing wrong to determine the adjustments Hoke and his staff need to make in preparation for next season to avoid a repeat of this year's colossal disaster. But there'll be no next season for them -- at least not in Ann Arbor. So reading -- and writing -- a column that analyzes how Michigan screwed up week after week seems more like a form of self-torture than anything else.

And, from what I've gathered, it appears you have stopped worrying about this season. It appears you have already begun to look ahead. No longer are you concerned with questions like "How can Michigan fix itself and finish the season strong?" Rather, you are more concerned with questions like "Which coaching candidates are most likely to replace Hoke?" and "Will Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon be relieved of his duties?"

I do not blame you one bit.

This is why there'll be no X's and O's analysis this week. Sure, there are things that popped out as I watched Michigan State pound Michigan in real time. I could write about how Michigan repeatedly tips its blitzes, only not to make any adjustments after the offense audibles. I could write about how Michigan has a success rate near zero percent on corner blitzes, which led to Tony Lippett, the Big Ten's best receiver, burning safety Delano Hill for a critical 70-yard touchdown catch. I could write about how Michigan ran a pin-and-pull zone, which pulls the center and play-side guard, against a defense that loves to blitz the A-gap and was dropped for a seven-yard loss.

I could. But I won't. Not this week at least.

You deserve some happiness. So here are some corgis GIFs to brighten your day:


(via Corgi GIFs)


(via Corgi GIFs)


(via Corgi GIFs)


(via Corgi GIFs)


(via BuzzFeed)


(via BuzzFeed)


(via BuzzFeed)


(via BuzzFeed)


(via BuzzFeed)


(via BuzzFeed)

And let's hope that, one day soon, Michigan fans will be as happy as this fella when discussing X's and O's:


(via Kelly Cohen)