Thursday, January 04, 2007

What Michigan Can Learn From Boise State

Brian over at MGoBlog is still too shaken up to write about the gut-wrenching football performance Michigan laid egg-style in the Rose Bowl on Monday. Instead, in his first post since the Rose Bowl, on his Michigan football blog, he's given us a blow-by-blow
of the Tournament of Roses Parade
. Good grief. Or shall I say good display of grief. (Though I did enjoy the part about the "Petite Elite Miniature Horse Precision Drill Team.")

What we're all getting at here is the deep shock and hurt at Michigan's inability to close a season in proper style since, uh, 2000?

We all have our theories (one still cooking in my noodle has to do with the appearance of a string of uncannily horrendous haircuts on the Michigan QBs since Drew Henson left for the Yankees after the last big-time Bowl win for Michigan in the 2001 Capital One Citrus Bowl (ack) over Auburn).

But the truth is probably less meta-physical than some dim connection between cool haircuts and winning big games, though I still say it wouldn't hurt to see a little more bad-ass swagger out of UM QBs so long as it stays below the realm of coolly-coiffed chach-factory losers like Chris Rix and the Clausen clan. (What hope have we for Mallett?)
But back to arguable facts, the truth is so simple my girlfriend said it during the Fiesta Bowl later on Sunday. She said, Michigan doesn't play aggressive enough. Boise State went after the win against Oklahoma with the fevered tenacity of a rabid dog.

Michigan doesn't really play that way. There are no surprises up Lloyd's sleeve anymore. It's off-tackle, off-tackle and five-step drops. The offense isn't strategic and sets up only to win when Michigan has a clear advantage in sheer athletic ability. This will work fine for most of the Big 10 and the non-conference schedule, but against the upper echelon of teams this has been a losing strategy.

From the DetNews:

The Wolverines might pay heed to this observation from [USC defensive end Lawrence] Jackson, the USC end who intercepted a pass: "Michigan is a traditional offense and they don't hide what they do. They don't try to out-think you. They rely on their players being better than yours, and ours were better."


So when your players are not reliably better, which can never reliably be the case between teams like Michigan, Ohio State, USC and Texas etc. what can a team do besides get QBs with cooler haircuts?

Try spicing up the playbook a la Boise State.

Fuck it, try anything but what you keep doing. After all one definition of insanity it repeating the same things over and over and expecting different results. I don't care how old and traditional Lloyd Carr is he's got to see that his methods aren't producing results when it matters. That or he's insane.

So come on Michigan, how about a New Year's resolution of shaking shit up?

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