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MnB Roundtable Feels Positive About the Direction

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Michigan welcomes Indiana to the Big House, but hardly anyone will be talking about football after today. Let our writers handle that.

Joshua Lott

That went about as expected in East Lansing...what's it going to take for Michigan to finally look prepared and hang with their competition?

Atticus: New helmets. All this talk about coaches - really, to be frank, their impact is overrated. But the feel of a perfectly prepared, ear-hugging helmet is unlike any other. That's my opinion.

Kevin: Maybe a hearty breakfast?

Peter: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha...prepared! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Ahem. /clears throat...Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Zach: Nothing short of a new coaching staff and a lot of time is going to make Michigan look like it knows what the hell it's doing at any given time.

KB: Ooh I got it! They need to practice harder and receive more clapping.

Drew: As everyone above has alluded to, for Michigan to finally look prepared, Michigan needs a new coaching staff and an entire offseason. However, for Michigan to hang with their competition, all the Wolverines need is to face another poor football team that struggles to do much of anything competently. Good news: Indiana fits that description.

Nick: "Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, be true to yourself, true to your country, be a Real American."

Zooby: I can't focus on anything. Dave Brandon is dressing up as ‘NSync for Halloween and going BYE-BYE-BYE! Seriously though, for Michigan to look competitive, it's the same story on a different day: limit turnovers, win the day.

Indiana can score points. Michigan cannot. Nothing seems to work offensively, but what will work against the Hoosiers?


Peter: Hey, Kevin, you don't have anything next to your name yet. Is that your answer? If so, it's the best one. Actually, it will probably come down to the defense rattling Zander Diamont. He's completed only five passes, so there's no reason to believe that Michigan won't have the pressure on and forcing some serious mistakes from the young man. Am I the only one who is incredibly annoyed by his name? That's coming from a guy who's name is Peter Putzel! So I know stupid and annoying names!

Zach: Something will work. Indiana's defense will give Michigan's offense a run for "most inept unit on the field". Somebody is going to win. It won't be the people watching the game.

Drew: In my Q&A with SB Nation's Indiana site, The Crimson Quarry, I predicted that Michigan would win, 27-20. Yes, a win! With Indiana down to third-string quarterback Zander Diamont, who went 5-of-15 for 11 yards against MSU in his only start, the key for Michigan will be to shut down the nation's leading rusher in Tevin Coleman. Since quarterback Nate Sudfeld went out with an injury, Coleman has 23 carries for 249 yards (10.83 YPC). This is outstanding. However, once you remove his four carries that gained 30-plus yards, he's had 19 runs for only 40 yards (2.11 YPC). This tells me that, with the extra defensive attention focused on Coleman, he hasn't been able to move the chains unless he rips off a big gain. The good news is that, not only do the Wolverines have a stout run defense, they haven't surrendered a 40-yard-plus rush all season. I think Michigan will be able to keep the lid on Coleman and, therefore, allow the offense to edge Indiana, which has a porous defense, on the scoreboard.

Nick: Even with Indiana's miserable defense, I have no confidence in our offense anymore and agree with Drew that it's going to come down to our defense shutting the door. I have no idea what will work. Let's try moving guys from offense to defense and vice versa. Give DG a chance to return the favor and not be on the receiving end of hits all game.

Zooby: Indiana will try to run the ball repeatedly. Michigan needs to not let the time of possession get out of hand.

How quickly does Michigan get a new AD now with email-gate and stake-gate blowing up in the last few days alone? Oh wow he actually resigned, so hooray for everything!

Peter: Not soon enough! I don't think they'll have anyone in place right away, but I'm sure some negotiations are in the works behind the scenes. My guess is that someone will be in place by the first of the year. I can confirm that my name is NOT on the list of candidates. Much to my own consternation.

Zach: I don't remember where I read it, but I agree with the argument that if these emails are the thing that finally gets Brandon fired then I'm not going to be very happy.

I mean, yeah, I want him gone at almost any cost at this point, but his systematic destruction of Michigan's football program, his all-out assault on the gameday experience at Michigan, his fleecing of the fanbase through higher ticket prices, and the constant PR nightmares are the big issues that are fireable offenses. Sending a bunch of shitty, condescending emails to fans and alumni is more a cringe-worthy thing than a turning point in the war of everyone v. Dave Brandon.

Michigan will likely relieve Brandon of duty sometime in the next few weeks, and I wouldn't be surprised if the next hire came within a week or two after (as you have to imagine the search for a new AD has already been well underway in the backchannels). I'm rooting for an accelerated timeline so that we can be sure Hoke is gone and the coaching search is run in a well-timed, sensible way.

Drew: What Zach said. Dave Brandon's condescending emails to students, alumni, and fans are not the smoking gun. The smoking gun was how Brandon completely mishandled Michigan's response to Shane Morris' concussion. That, along with other previous PR gaffes and his corporatization of Michigan football, are grounds for his termination, not the emails that shed more light on Brandon's personality. And he needs to be fired in the next few weeks because Michigan's next coaching search once Brady Hoke is let go cannot be supervised by Brandon.

Nick: I was late to this, so the news has already broke that Brandon's out, so YES! YES! YES! I can't hear ya, gimme a HELL YEAH!

Zoob: I will second what Nick said. Brandon can go pick up a large pizza at his favorite pizza place. HE GONE!

KB: Well we were -- for once-- all surprised by UM having an accelerated timetable. A negotiated exit, but a decision that had to be done for the long-term health of the program. It's not that Brandon is a bad guy, or hates the University. It was never about his behavior as a human. When you fail to justify an increase in ticket prices for fewer games and an inferior product on the field, release public statements in the middle of the night, botch coaching searches, promotions, and alienate the people you're supposed to work for, it accumulates to what we see currently. All that amounted to a culture of aloofness and arrogance that truly made Michigan a joke nationally.

Bonus Q: what Michigan related Halloween costume will we all be dressing up as?

KB: I'll be going as a Dead Man Walking, dressed in a block M sweater and no headset. Or a gravestone with "Michigan Offense" emblazoned on it with 2014 as the date.

Peter: Well, I'm actually at Disney with the family, so I won't be dressed up as anything. However, if I were spending the day at home--I would put some hash marks and numbers on my lawn, along with a 3rd-and-12 "graphic", wear a #98 jersey, and then just lie down in a heap in my yard...11 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Zach: I'll be Michigan football attendance for Halloween. I won't show up to any of the parties I said I would, but people will just pretend like I did and lie through their teeth to put on airs.

Zoob: Nice costume Zach. Drew, I don't know if you watch ‘Modern Family,' at all but they did a great theme of Waldo on their recent Halloween episode. For Halloween, I'm be dressing up as nothing cause I'm boring and don't really dig Halloween. I might try to go help a Hire Me sign and hold a Domino's box. You can figure out who I am trying to look like :-)

Drew: I'm dressing as Waldo this Halloween. Maybe, in addition to my candy-striped shirt, red poof-ball hat, and flimsy glasses, my costume will include an offensive playbook. Good luck finding me now, Michigan.

Nick: If I were dressing up in a Michigan themed costume, it'd be a deflated football, because manball is dead.

KB: Should we all dress up as Dominos men with "Dave" name tags now?