Friday, October 22, 2010

Football as Art

I have seen the light.

It is the spread and shred offense, and is shines brightly from Eugene Oregon casting it's divine beauty across the college football world.

It is the middle of the fourth quarter, and Chip Kelly's squad is winding down the latest clubbing, this time of UCLA.  Now this isn't a huge accomplishment (unless you're Texas.  ZING.) because UCLA really isn't a good team.  They have little to no pass offense   118th in the nation at 95 yards per game   and rely on runs out of the pistol formation for the majority of their offense.  Hell, even their defense is decidedly worse than average.

Yet, the beauty of the Oregon attack is independent of the opponent because Oregon's offense operates at such a high level that the other eleven players on the field hardly matter.  They move up and down the field like ghosts.  Never a play for loss, never a bad read, and rarely a dropped pass.  They simply execute on a level that seems almost above what humanity is capable of.  Their current drive chart features eleven drives that read like this:  TD, TD, TD, TD, FG, TD, turnover on downs, TD, TD, punt, TD.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We Surf the Inter-webs, So You Don't Have To

Who wants some links?  Sweet, sweet manna of blogfrica.  I'm bored, so I figured I would throw out some links to things you should read to pass time in this, the worst week of the season: the dreaded bye week.  Enjoy.

First, if you aren't reading EDSBS on a daily basis, you are missing out.  This week I would recommend two things.  First, Gentle New-Testament God and Crazy Old-Testament God discuss the fates of the remaining unbeatens.  Orson is his best when impersonating vindictive deities.  Also, check in for Howard Schnellenberger's semi-regular Top 25.  Big surprise this week as suspenders fall from the top spot.

Dr. Saturday examines Les Miles plan for stopping Cam Newton this week.  It's Les Miles, so it is just crazy enough to work.

BHGP sums up last weeks Iowa/Michigan game in twelve pictures.  Quick, to the point, and as much as it pains me to say it extremely accurate.

Now that the Tim Brewster Error (amirite?) is over, it is time to endlessly speculate who will replace him.  No, Tony Dungy isn't interested, but Mike Leach might be!  No word yet on whether he will have to supply his own windowless shed for "concussion therepy" or if the University will supply a janitorial closet.

SBN provides its normal one two punch of greatness with The Alphabetical and an absolutely exceptional edition of This Week In Schadenfreude.

In news from mgoblog, Brian is starting halfway evaluations starting with....the secondary.  Who's excited?  I don't want to spoil too much, but it's bad.  Also Brian looks at games from the next three opponents in The Road Ahead.  Three winnable games, but I won't be comfortable with any of them until they are over.  What can I say, the last two years have jaded me.

Lastly, if you haven't been over to Maize n' Brew this week, I have a piece up on Denard Robinson's struggles the last two weeks.

I leave you with something unrelated to college football, but dripping with awesomeness:

"Oh shit, Darren Sharper" indeed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

(I should have a column on Denard Robinson up at Maize n Brew tomorrow, but for now, here are my postgame thoughts.  Enjoy.)

Best backup QB in the country?
I couldn't quite put my finger on what was different about yesterday afternoon.  In the hours leading up to the game I watched Illinois drop opportunity after opportunity in their upset bid against MSU (who is week in and week out executing and not breaking down mentally.  It's a brave new world for Sparty it seems), and I threw on an episode of Breaking Bad at halftime.  As the FSU vs. BC game finished and the coverage shifted to Ann Arbor I settled into my seat with a beer at my side and the computer tuned to scores across the nation.

The strange thing was, I wasn't nervous.  The last six games have all began with me nervously pacing around the apartment and yelling at the TV until I settled in somewhere near the end of the 1st quarter.  I sent a text message to my old roommate asking why I was so calm.  His response was simple, "I'm calm too.  I think it's because the pressure is off."  The pressure wasn't really off, but the difference from the previous weeks was palpable.  UConn and Notre Dame would set the course for the season and UMass and Bowling Green were opportunities for a gigantic regression that was worrisome until the game was in hand (making UMass one of the most nerve wracking wins since Ball State in 2006).  Indiana posed a huge threat to our defense, and the prospect of losing to Michigan State a third year in a row was maddening.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Putting the Past Behind Them

(Back so soon?  Yes, yes I am.  Sometimes you need to get all emotional without crowding the front page of a widely read blog.  This seems like as good a place as any to do that.)

The beginning of the end.
I couldn't think of any other picture to sum up the collapse of 2009 better than this.  There isn't a picture out there that would evoke as strong a memory as this one.  I almost want to look away.  Nothing could possibly hurt more than watching Roundtree tracked down from behind just like the Wolverine's bowl hopes.  The moment the 2009 season died.

God knows there were struggles before this moment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taking My Talents to SBN

It has been one helluva first month and a half here at Dreaded Judgement.  What started as a way for me to pass time while I searched for jobs and read obsessively about Michigan Football has turned into a pretty good blog that got much more exposure than I ever would have imagined.

Exciting news, isn't it Mike?
That's why it is bittersweet to announce that the Michigan football content you have all grown to love from DJ will now have a new home.  One of my biggest supporters, Maize n Brew Dave, over at MnB has decided to sweep me up from the dregs of and into the glamorous world of Sports Blog Nation.  (I am sure that fame and fortune are soon to follow.)  I will now be posting regularly at Maize and Brew which will allow me to reach a much wider audience than Dreaded Judgement provides.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the people that got me to where I am.  Dreaded Judgement will not die, but rather change focus.  Outside of being an obsessive UM football fan, I am also a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and a wide range of other amateur and professional sports, and I hope to find time to post more wide ranging content about all sports and sports media while still keeping some of my Michigan edge.  So if you have liked what you've read here in the past, please continue to stop by.

Once again, thank you for everyone who has read my work here or passed on a link to a friend.  This has been a great month and a half, and I look forward to sharing my love for the Wolverines with Michigan football's great fan community from my new digs at Maize and Brew.

Go Blue!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coast to Coast: Les Miles, Dumb Luck, and Insane Girlfriends

(Things have been slow to develop around here over the past two weeks because of various obligations, travel time, and anxiety about the MSU game.  I will try to produce more regular posts this week and beyond.)

Tell me he isn't crazy.  Crazy like a fox.
We've all been there.  You are just starting to get over a bad breakup and you meet a girl and everything clicks.  She seems perfect.  She's cute and talkative and she busts your balls just enough to get you riled up but has a really sweet side that only comes out when the two of you are alone.  You're into it and have to pinch yourself because things are going so great, all the while in the back of your head you worry just a bit that the other shoe is going to drop.  Could she be this great?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Wake Up Call

Rude awakening.
I have been putting this off for over a day now.

I first sat down with the intention of writing my postgame thoughts Saturday night after the seven Michigan State fans I spent most of the weekend with left for the bar, leaving me alone with a glass of whiskey and the hum of Florida vs. LSU in the background.  I typed maybe five or six different openings but wasn't happy with what came out, and on top of it I was only half interested in writing anything.  I clicked back and forth between other open tabs on Chrome and felt myself pulled further and further into Les Miles world of madness.  Finally I pushed the computer away.  Sometimes you just need a little time to let things sink in.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Time to Believe

I've been over all the numbers.  I have watched every second of Michigan's season and the better part of three games that Michigan State has played.  I have read no less than a half dozen full fledge game previews and listened to the predictions of friends on both sides of the rivalry.  I am now at data overload.

And what do I know after all of this?  Nothing, really.  But that's why they play the game.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rabble Rabble Rabble

This: an outrage.  Thanks to the ESPN overlords, I am forced to watch this weekend's football game in standard definition so that the denizens of the Hampton Roads area can enjoy ESPNEWS is all its high definition glory.

Bravo gentlemen, bravo.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Rewind: Indiana

Excellent play from the receiver position has taken this offense to the next level.
I watched the first half of this weekend's game in a loud sports bar surrounded by about 12 friends, and I listened to the second half on my car's radio.  Needless to say I didn't get a chance to focus on much.  Here are a few observations I had when re-watching the game today.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another One for the Win Column

The legend grows.
A friend of mine got married Saturday, which put me in the uncomfortable position of leaving the house to watch the game.  After the early wedding ceremony I drove to four different bars within the immediate vicinity of the reception in hopes of finding one that had the game.  Two of the bars were permanently closed, and a third had two TV's and no ESPNU.  Needless to say I was getting very annoyed that the city of Wixom   and its inability to support a decent sports bar   might cost me a chance to watch the game.  I switched on the radio as I drove to the fourth bar and caught the tail end of Indiana's first touchdown drive.  As I pulled in to the parking lot a commercial came on just after the extra point.  I was barely inside the door before Denard Robinson broke free for his first touchdown.  That quick strike touchdown set the tone for the whole day.