Thursday, November 4, 2010

Floyd and the NCAA (unrelated)

Watching the Penn State game any more than I already have this week would end in unceremonious sepuku, which would usually be fine, but I'm more or less house sitting right now and I'd hate to ruin someone else's carpet. Instead, I'll touch on some of the odds and ends floating around this week.

Like everyone with a clue had expected, the NCAA accepted Michigan's self-imposed penalties for the "major" violations. I don't have much to say about this besides, "well, duh" and other things that have been more eloquently expressed elsewhere. Michigan's crimes were minor in nature but major in name, and only surfaced because of an obvious agenda by the Free Press. Anyone trying to deny that anymore is of the same mind and probably still complains that Rich Rodriguez has a West Virginia accent.

Michigan had a press conference just now and David Brandon predictably dropped bombs on the Free Press,
We believe that a thorough investigation would show the allegations to be false and misleading...

There was nothing found that even remotely suggested that our players welfare, safety, or wellbeing was at risk.
which was basically Brandon giving the middle finger to the Free Press. The only bits of relevant information otherwise were that Michigan was given a third year of probation, and that 32 of the 130 practice hours Michigan will sacrifice have already been completed. Michigan plans on getting through these hours in 18 months rather than the 24 months they were allotted.

Now we can go back to being casually uncompetitive at football in peace.

Floyd and the depth chart
With the loss of JT Floyd for the season, Michigan now turns to three true freshmen to try and carry the secondary load. This may not be as harrowing as it sounds because Floyd hasn't been particularly effective and, well,

What exactly are we so afraid that the freshmen will do, fail to cover people and miss tackles? That's what we were getting with Floyd. And now we'll gain at least 30 yards a game back in facemask penalties. At least now we'll get to find out what we've got in this freshman group. It's sink or swim time.

My guess is that Courtney Avery is the first off the bench to replace Floyd. Aside from my general excitement about Avery in the face of his obvious coverage miscues, I don't know if anyone else has been taught the position. Michigan's secondary moves around a lot during games: corners drop to safety depth, they move into linebacker-type positions, and they play corner. But the concern is that left corner and right corner are not mirrors of one another. It has seemed like Avery has come in to replace Floyd and the platoon of Cullen Christian and Terrence Talbott have relieved James Rogers when he comes off the field. So starters of Avery and Rogers is what I'm anticipating with Rogers being replaced sometime in the game with one of the other freshmen. It's going to be terrifying.

The talent drop off from Floyd to the freshman should be basically zero, and this will give the young players a chance to really get their feet wet. The other bonus is that with the younger squad, Michigan will probably have to simplify its schemes in order to protect them, meaning the defense may very well find a formation and stick with it for most of the game. This would be a big step up from the mish-mash of formations that they brought out against Penn State.

Then again, Michigan's two corners and free safety are true freshman (or James Rogers. Their other safety is a sophomore walk-on. Their linebacker/safety hybrids are freshmen. So... Nathan Scheelhaase is going to pass the ball a lot.


Post a Comment