BAR and Hunt Discussion of The Rose Bowl Game...

HUNT

CTG Partner
Staff member
Liked it since it was announced. Put some thoughts in the discussion thread already.

Michigan moneyline -120
24/20

Might be a shootout, might be a fight in a phone booth. Really won't matter. Michigan is winning this game imo.

Look at all the stats, schedule strength, etc. don't matter. Michigan is a special team this year. They find ways to win. They make key plays when you least expect it.

As much shit non Michigan fans want to give this team about iPhone sign stealing that's fine.. No team in the history of college football has had their head coach suspended 6 games in a season and made it this far...beating two top 10 teams in the month of November with an interim head coach who had no prior experience. This is unprecedented and will never happen again. These football players have steel in their spine, iron in their jocks and let no man break their will mentally.

The interim head coach juggled 3 assignments at once. Oline, oc, and head coach. The offense was discombobulated and they still found a way to win. Just an example of being a great team who lets nothing break them. Although I believe Jj McCarthy will look nothing like he did in November and be back to his Heisman looking self for this one. The defense is what they are. I believe it's the best defense I've seen from a Michigan team since 97.

Sometimes football is about it being your time, your year more than the talent on the field. Kind of like that 2002 Ohio State team or the 2008 New York football Giants. I think that's the 2023-2024 Michigan team.

Fire up.
 
Last edited:
Hello all,

I know you all have been waiting with bated breath for this thread in full. Hunt shared thoughts and a play the other night and I will jump in now as well.

To be honest, I was going to make up a thread just before Christmas and life became very busy. This week, I honestly had seen around zero bets on Michigan around here, so I figured there wasn't much of a point of doing an analysis thread when all of the site had bet Alabama already. With that being said, there are lurkers, and we have plenty of other bets to consider as well.

Now, I'll tell you right off the bat I do not have any posted play here. I may not play anything pre-game. I have a lot of thoughts though, not just on this game but about the UM program as a whole. Those will be contained within these walls. As always, there is no format here so try and follow along with my ramblings...

First of all, I know in the next 36 hours I will read here, on SM and here in general people start discussing other bowl results to compare these two teams. That is so ridiculous in both directions. Bowl season is merely exhibitions and, in some ways, glorified early spring games. We have three large examples in the last two nights...

1. Ohio State loses outright to Missouri.


So, with both teams at full strength this is around a 10–14 point OSU victory. Missouri couldn't really even do much on offense until the 4th when the Buckeye's defense began to run out of steam. The team from Columbus was missing a top 5 NFL draft pick and their starting QB, just to name a few. Missouri has mostly a full squad.

2. Penn State defense looks foolish versus Ole Miss

Okay, another top pick is missing here in Chop Robinson. A starting corner is missing. Then, this morning, a few more guys sit out. This was half the defense I believe. Ole Miss is a solid team, but Jackson Dart wasn't going to have that kind of success if this was a regular season or playoff game. Ole Miss, like Mizzou, had a mostly full squad. I applaud both schools for that, by the way!

3. Auburn looking just awful vs Maryland.

So, just as many will dismiss the UM opponents, many around here see Auburn look like Northwestern of last year and decide that is an indictment of Alabama. Here, we need to remember that AU was able to go after some Crimson Tide weaknesses. They also, most importantly, were in a rivalry game! Throw out the records. We all know how bad Auburn all year was.


So, there really isn't much reason to gleam any information from these last two days in the handicapping of this year's Rose Bowl.


Next, I want to stick to the bowl game capping and talk about JH and his bowl record at Michigan....

The record isn't good, but again, this is a reflection somewhat of how useless the postseason is along with some bad preparation.

  • 2015 Citrus vs Florida -- Crushed them
  • 2016 Orange vs Florida State -- Lost by one point late
  • 2017 Outback versus South Carolina -- no show in 2nd half, IMO, the worst bowl loss of his tenure
  • 2018 Peach versus Florida -- Blasted
  • 2019 Citrus versus Alabama -- led at half and then got handled in 2h
  • 2021 Orange vs Geogia -- blowout
  • 2022 Fiesta vs TCU -- Bad loss in a shootout


Alright, those are the short recaps, let me talk more in-depth.

2015 was the first year and the team played great. This was OC Jedd Fisch at his finest. I would say Michigan was the better team coming in. They played great, period, all around. This was a big bowl game for Hoke players who had missed that feeling the year before.

2016 was a letdown game after 'JT was short' game. But, a big game. The big thing here, the UM best player sat out (late scratch Jabrill Peppers). This was such a fun 2nd half, a kickoff return late doomed them. Many said during and after that Jim didn't let the kids have enough fun during the time in Miami.

2017 was brutal. That team had injury issues on offense all year. The defense was damn good, and they had a real chance to beat OSU late with O'Korn at QB. Bad passes unfortunately. That was the worst bowl game to me. They were lethargic and there were some staff issues as well.

2018 was the first year of mass sit-outs. That team lost to OSU in a bid for a playoff spot. So many stars sat. I made a thread early to take Florida +7 knowing those opt outs before the linemakers did. Florida exacted revenge from 2015 Bowl and 2017 season opener. This was easy to see, a big loss was coming.

2019 the TV execs decided they wanted Bama and UM in a bowl game when Bama lots their playoff chance. These were not equal teams, at all. Michigan played so good in the 1H but kicked 3 FGs to lead 16-14. Shea was hungover from partying all week and had like 20 incompletions. So many were to wide open guys. Najee took over late. Again, Michigan probably didn't deserve this bowl game -- TV decided that matchup.

2021 was a playoff game -- versus a generational defense -- with a statue at QB. Nothing more, nothing less. Bama and especially UGA were head and shoulders above that season.

2022 versus TCU was so many things, my gosh. Most of all, a loss. Michigan was overconfident and TCU felt disrespected. Blake Corum wins the Heisman without injury and did not play. Minter came up with his worst gameplan of the year. Veteran defenders made major mistakes. The refs took away a sure TD to Roman. The play-call with Philly Special was idiotic. Everything that could go weird, went weird. Most of all, TCU wanted that game and deserved it.

So, the record sucks. I get it.

I toss out Florida, Georgia and Alabama games. Two were versus superior teams and the other half the stars sat out.

South Carolina and TCU were bad.

FSU was just a weird game without your biggest playmaker.

Yes, I think the bowl prep can be better. Yes, they have sheltered players too much at times. In the past guys have mentioned feeling tight due to being overprepared. Think of taking a test back in school and cramming too much. There are many factors.

Have they remedied those? We'll see. We know they won't take a 'name' opponent lightly at least. After the 2020 season, Jim and company decided to take Ohio State seriously. Yes, that sounds ridiculous. The thing is, when Tressel and Meyer came to OSU they made Michigan their priority year-round. Nothing meant more than that game. Michigan hadn't gotten serious enough about it. I would assume the staff felt pretty comfortable outplaying them in 2016, nearly winning in 2017 with a brutal QB and being favored in 2018 on the road. But that wasn't enough, and they played dearly. They finally started treating prep for the game in a 365 fashion. That culminated in the first win in a decade and a few more since. So, back on topic... Michigan has had a 'Georgia' drill all offseason and into the season hoping to find a match-up with the 2x defending champions in the postseason. Will that carry over to their SEC brethren? We shall see. Either way, they have been focused on preparing for an SEC level team all of 2023.


I know a big thing that people want to discuss all season is strength of schedule:

Michigan definitely didn't have the toughest schedule. Although Bowling Green and UNLV outperformed expectations, that isn't the name opponents anyone in the media and fandom wants. They had UCLA on there, but that was cancelled due to other reasons. The Big Ten was very top-heavy this year. That happens. The NCAA as a whole was top-heavy with 6-10 very solid teams and a bunch of average teams after that. That is part of the process of the game changing, Corona years and the portal. With that being said, the meat of the schedule was in November. I don't care of they won every game until that point 80-3, no one would care. Hey, I've been in the same boat in previous years laughing at OSU schedules and whatnot. I get it. Let's do a quick recap from the MSU game onward...

@ Michigan State


This was a profitable game versus a really bad team. The score wasn't reflective of how much of a mismatch this was. Jim and company took it easy on MSU in the 2h. I do think he would have run things up if Mel hadn't masturbated his way off the squad. Harlon was a 1990's contemporary of Jim's and seems nice enough. This was also when the support staffers stuff started becoming a media thing as well.

vs Purdue

Night game, which Jim hates and although they rolled this was an uneven performance. The Purdue ends are solid. They gave JJ his first pressure of the year to be honest. They also are not the cleanest team. The UM staff wanted JJ to play into the 4th to work on conditioning, with upcoming tougher games. Purdue delivered some hard/cheap shots, and this is where the JJ injury issues began.

@ Penn State


Team is left without their coach less than 24 hours before. Sherrone Moore replaces Jim. Early on, Chop Robinson is an issue versus our RT. Yikes. They change the gameplan quite a bit. JJ is running well though as are the backs. Sometime in the 2h JJ breaks loose on an 8-10 yard gain and gets up gingerly. This is the knee injury that occurred. Michigan runs the entire 2H and dominates PSU late for what turned into an easy win.

@ Maryland


Once again, Sherrone coaches. JJ actually cannot even walk on Friday but decides to play. Michigan is up early and probably starting to think about OSU. Here comes Maryland. This game gets tight, but the defense makes 'winning plays' in the 4th and here we are heading to another 11-0 'The Game'.

vs Ohio State "The Game"

Tight game early, Michigan takes a lead but then for some reason a backup is inserted at LB and gives up a huge play to Stover. TD ensues (I don't think many understand this happened -- major mistake by staff -- great job OSU recognizing it and both teams make excellent 2h adjustments. Ohio State runs for 3.8 a carry overall but has a nice 9 rush 49-yard drive. The Michigan offense though is also different in the 2h, and starts passing well in middle of field and gets some chunk plays running the ball. QB Orji enters in 3rd and makes a few big plays. Michigan makes the stop late, wins the game.

vs Iowa @BTCG

This was ugly, children should not have watched. Is the Iowa defense good? Big time. Did Michigan seem flat? Kind of? Did guys drop passes? Absolutely? Did JJ hold the ball too long at times? Uh huh. Did Michigan know they could win scoring once or twice? ABSOLUTELY. I said the last few years the Indy game would be tough to get up for. This time, it was.


So, wow we're in the middle of all of this, let's talk about Mr. Stalions:

First of all, I am not a huge fan of incorrect narratives. You read enough regular and political news coverage and you start to get that mindset. This whole 'thing' has taken a life of its own on. My goodness. So, a few things I wanted to add for now...

1. Jim didn't know about this guy doing this. The NCAA and conference have basically said as much. The narrative of 'cheater' etc has gotten a bit ridiculous. You can call that man many things -- weird, quirky and arrogant at times can fit for sure. The guy doesn't knowingly cheat. There is such a weird aura built up on him, it's wild. Honestly until the process of him leaving SF to come to UM happened, I thought some different things as well. The guy is a family man, and he wants his players to become men and leaders. Overall, his players tend to behave and do great in school. He also has a lot of guys drafted.

2. The NCAA hates Jim. Period. He likes to be innovative. Remember satellite camps? Okay, Remember the one-time transfer rule was his idea (and others, but he brought it to the forefront). A lot of Jim ideas have come to fruition. This summer, he started barking about revenue sharing. No big wigs want to hear this. That takes money out of their pockets. Now, I am not saying there are direct correlations but trust me if they can find a way for him to go to the NFL, they will try and make it happen.

3. There are Connor Stalions types on almost every staff in the county. That is a position for an analyst on staffs. He happened to be damn good at it, but 'allegedly' was doing things that were out-of-bounds.

4. The allegations stem from a 1990's rule about in-person scouting. Why was this outlawed? Money. That is all. Big schools could afford this while small ones cannot.

5. The in-person scouting rule was being debated this summer to be abolished. The phrase 'outdated' was used by some in the NCAA offices.

6. The elephant in the room is the guy that appears to be Stalions on the sidelines in a CMU outfit. This had ZERO to do with Michigan. Someone with Central had asked him there to help them in their game at MSU. Many don't know this, at all. The Chips have been investigated and basically are keeping very quiet. Good for them, screw the NCAA. Trust me, Michigan didn't need extra help to beat fricking MSU this year. C'mon.

7. The whole 'injury' thing cracks me. Walters was an assistant at Illinois last year. They had all of Michigan's signs. They "allegedly" had received some from other schools. Michigan had to go full wrist-band the 2nd half. This was also the game Corum suffered his major injury.

8. Oh, Ohio State had Michigan's playbook back in 2018/2019. That was a dirty little time with two staffers fleeing for the south while also recruiting Harrison for OSU while they were still at Michigan. Just saying.

9. As you are starting to hear the last few days, there was some issues with practice footage and the Catapult system. This involved several schools. There are some wild rumors out there, but we'll let more info come out and start a different thread there. You'll find all this VERY interesting. Michigan hasn't been using their Ipads since November due to this. This isn't new, many have been working on the investigation for a few months at least.

10. Michigan had to build more fencing around their practice facility back this summer. This also included them changing a lot of their playbook, due to some suspicious activities. So, if they looked indifferent at times the first few games, maybe think about this.

11. Lastly, Jim is the CEO so he has to face punishment -- although due process should have come as well. I'll leave it at that until a later date.


So, one of my favorite CTG cappers El Capo, who I respect immensely thinks that the 2021 team was better than this one. I like a good debate, so I have been chewing over some things and how that relates to this year. So, let us start to open the discussion on the Michigan side. I am going to post a position and tell you which year I believe to be strongest with some quick notes:

QB: 2023 easily
RB: 2022 with a nod to 2021
WR: Tough here, probably 2022 but less utilization
OL: 2021/2022 TIE
TE: 2023
DL: 2021 then 2023
LB: 2023
CB: 2022
S: 2023
K: 2022


JJ is easily the best QB since Chad Henne. Yes, Denard was fun but that was a different style.
The overall defense is the most solid this year, imo.
Now, the OL is easily the weakest it has been. Why? Too much changing early on and bad combos.
Last year Blake and Don were at their best. The line helps, but they both were in their perfect shape.

This was just such an interesting debate to think about to me. I might expound on this more, but that leads me to talking injuries...

JJ McCarthy -- He has been banged up since Purdue game. JJ is the perfect UM QB. I don't think many other 5 star QB's would last a career at Michigan like he has. No way you get a JD5 or Caleb Williams to run an offense like this one. They wouldn't be happy. They would want to play more 4ths and pad stats. JJ is a different breed. He has grown immensely. Many forget he wasn't totally 100% till late last year as well from the shoulder injury in mop-up duty vs Georgia. The big reason they can compete for a national championship, is having an elite QB.

*JJ reportedly still with a slight limp but should be good as anyone can be late in the year.

Will Johnson -- Sat out versus Iowa. They knew he wasn't needed. He hurt himself vs Ohio State. You might notice the Buck's passing attack picked up a bit after he left. He was doing a nice job on Marvin after totally locking him down last year. He should be fine to go.

Zak Zinter -- out for year with the broken leg


I mention Zak because that brings an interesting dynamic to this game. He left the OSU game in the 3rd and the line played the same or even better the rest of the way. Is that adrenaline or did they find a better combination? Barnhart at RT had been driving most of us crazy. Inserting former starter Trente Jones there helps the run game and Barnhart seems to be better inside. We shall see. I do want to point out this line was banged up vs Iowa as well (C-Nugent).

THIS IS MY BIGGEST CONCERN -- OL-- PERIOD


The rest of this game comes down to the coordinators -- IMO. They need to dial up good gameplans.

On offense, Sherrone is the OC and OL coach. Hopefully a month of not juggling 3 jobs helps him focus on the task at hand. We saw some of his creativity in the OSU 2nd half. They have a bunch of offense we haven't see yet. Hopefully they can showcase some of it. Hopefully they don't need to much of it. They have to use JJ's legs here. I do think Loveland will be schemed against a lot. He is a problem for Alabama. Remember, ole Nicky tried to steal him last minute. Enter AJ Barner: He has been a huge addition and I think he is a major factor in this game.

The Bama secondary is damn good. The schemes will be very important as well as the run game. As hit and miss as the run has been this year, UM should be able to find some success here. Hopefully they can pass to help open this up a bit.

On defense, my biggest fear in the last 25 years of Michigan Football is a mobile QB. The year was 1998 and Don McNabb came into the Big House and sent the defending National Champions to an 0-2 start. Brutal. Ever since that day, I've hated us defending them. I watched the 2005 Rose Bowl the other night for the first time since the original airing. Brutal. VY man.

Anyways, Minter needs to come up with a great gameplan here. I know Milroe likes deep balls. Michigan loves to bend and not break, that will be fascinating to watch. Have yourself a game, Minter, and showcase yourself to the NFL (or head with Jim).


You all have read enough, I should of hidden some easter eggs in here. Anyways, I have had some weird feelings about this game. All summer long I told @HUNT we needed to enjoy this season. This was the culmination of a very nice 3 year stretch for Michigan Football. With OSU game at home, a playoff spot was in reach if we could win in Happy Valley. I tried, and it was tough even at the beginning with some weird play at times. Now, my favorite Bowl game is here and a brand opponent. I feel some sadness. This very well is JJ's last game and Jim will go to the NFL if given the chance. I know many will be very curious on Jim but I'll save that for when it gets real. UM waited too long, twice. Yes, he has a nice contract ready to sign and NO it's not the one Rap reported. He promised UM 7 years back in 2014 and has stayed longer, kudos! The Michigan NIL game has taken aa nose-dive in recent months. The leadership is terrible. Those of you wishing for a fall, might get it. As of this week, it seems many more guys will leave. JJ may be tied to Jim, who knows? NIL is a shitshow. Next year brings 1 of the two toughest schedules in the conference. It is what it is.

So,

I am hoping for a very good game and obviously a win. I'll talk more matchups around the ball-drop tomorrow night...

I'll be 100% real here. Last years playoff game, I watched on a 27" TV in a hospital bed in brutal shape. That game sucked. More than anything Monday, I want to enjoy what is a great playoff game in the last year of what we know NCAA football as. That is how I felt about "The Game" this year. That was the last true OSU-UM game of that magnitude in a regular season as we know it. I'm trying to enjoy. But, this game is for a chance at all the marbles. I just hope for a clean game with no controversy and let the best team win. This should be fun...

With that being said...

Leans FOR NOW

JJ Rush yards over
AJ Barner Receiving prop


I do lean over. As much as this should have some great defense and a fast clock, I think we'll see scoring a bit.

31-27 and 27-23 keep popping into my head for some reason.

Anyways, Hunt and I will banter until gametime, please join us and we'll be here late Monday either way.

 
Hunt said it, no team in recent memory has gone through as much as they players have.

They needed that break, no doubt. If this game was played a week after Iowa I don't think they have it in them to get up for it. Remember, these guys are 18-23 years old. They play hard, work hard and have had so many discredit them. They are damn good players, and they most definitely feel disrespected.

A few of these guys came back for this moment. A few have the scars of previous playoff losses. Put up or shut up.

Hey, it's possible they just are not good enough. We shall see. Anything can happen, any given day. We saw NMSU handle Auburn who promptly had the game won versus this Alabama team until some terrible coaching late.
 
I spoke of narratives, and I'll speak of another...


Social media and gamblers/fans alike decided that Michigan was upset to play Alabama. That wasn't the feeling at all. They were just shocked that an undefeated conference champion missed the playoff. Remember, until 5-6 am that day the books favored FSU making the playoff.

I mean, that was a fun story to run with but that is today's information age --- hence my 'let the dust settle' mantra. Take it all in, don't look foolish. We all have been on both sides.

As far as the match, I wanted Alabama over FSU. Why? Michigan could easily have slept walked into an FSU match-up. No thanks. Also, if Bama is playing in the playoff, I want them first. They have a legendary coach. I would rather have weeks to prepare than 6 days. Simple as that.
 
Great writeups guys. I have some thoughts on the Bama side of things and will post them here once/if I get organized. Nothing like what Mr BAR prepared, but hopefully not just a stream of consciousness word salad
 
Great writeups guys. I have some thoughts on the Bama side of things and will post them here once/if I get organized. Nothing like what Mr BAR prepared, but hopefully not just a stream of consciousness word salad

Looking forward to it bro, Happy new year.
 
Nice thread!! And the CAPS statement says it all for me. OL is biggest concern. Iowa had 4 sacks, Bama has better edge rushers. Penn St edge rushers hounded JJ.
Recognize and conquer that issue and you win the game.

Not at all concerned on JH's bowl record. He couldn't beat ranked teams on the road and now he can, could not beat Ohio State and we have 3 in a row. Just another hurdle to overcome.
 
Only two teams have ever hung at the LoS against Bama/Jorja in the playoff. Ohio St and Clemson. I feel also that last year's version of UM had a better shot to do so. Guess we'll see.
 
Only two teams have ever hung at the LoS against Bama/Jorja in the playoff. Ohio St and Clemson. I feel also that last year's version of UM had a better shot to do so. Guess we'll see.
Washington would this year, just not sure they get the chance
 
If Bamas players egos Are 1/4 the size of it fans its a bloodbath. Frick those arrogant cunts. Took a miracle to beat Aweburn. GTFOH. BUCK FAMA!
 
And, that jealousy is because we've had a lot of 50s in December but wet.

Awesome to play in NYE.
Maybe I should have stayed home. Haven't played much, didn't warm up and I had a sore back from deconstructing Christmas at our house and promptly doubled 4 of the first 5 holes. Settled down a bit, but was probably my worst ball striking round of the year. Oh well, at least it was golf in December
 
Maybe I should have stayed home. Haven't played much, didn't warm up and I had a sore back from deconstructing Christmas at our house and promptly doubled 4 of the first 5 holes. Settled down a bit, but was probably my worst ball striking round of the year. Oh well, at least it was golf in December
It's a new year!
 
Great writeups guys. I have some thoughts on the Bama side of things and will post them here once/if I get organized. Nothing like what Mr BAR prepared, but hopefully not just a stream of consciousness word salad
Didn't get around to it last night, as after golf and family NYE, I fell asleep on the couch around 1030. Woke up just in time to see the ball drop and go to bed.

I won't go into with as much depth as BAR, but looking back on the season for Alabama, I think it's clear this was one of, if not the best coaching jobs by Saban at Alabama. I said before the season that I thought we'd be good, but we were so young with so many new faces on the field and the staff, that 2024 was the year where we'd possibly be a championship contender. After 3 weeks, I wasn't sure we'd even be good. I think a lot of the problems were directly attributable to not settling on Milroe as the starter until the Ole Miss game in week 4. That's when we saw the steady improvement begin that got us to where we are today. If that had been decided in spring or fall camp, maybe my heart would have suffered fewer palpitations during the season. It wasn't always pretty, and improvement is rarely linear, but you could see the team getting better, trusting in each other, and best of all, never giving up or in. This is a very tough team mentally. Much tougher than the group last year that whined about anxiety

Playing Texas in week 2 may have been the most beneficial thing for the growth of this team, because it gave the players and coaches an idea of where we were compared to an elite team. We knew very early on where we were deficient and needed to improve. I think that knowledge was massive for the growth of both the players and coaches. I think the lack of that knowledge hurt UGA in the SEC Champ game, and why it took them until it was too late to adjust. I'm not sure we beat UGA if we played again this season. And as mentioned, seeing what was behind Milroe during that USF game had to get everyone (players, coaches, and fans) on board with where we needed to be at QB.

I have a hard time evaluating Michigan, because I'm not confident in the teams they've played. While it's very true that they did what elite teams do to inferior competition, I think it sticks in the back of my head what I just said about UGA. It's possible that Michigan learns some things in this game that they can't recover from in time. Not saying it will, but it's a thought.

What I think I know about Michigan:
Very well coached
Experienced
Smart
Commitment to their identity
Great defense
QB who can beat you with arm and legs and decision-making
Won't beat themselves and very patient
Mentally tough

All of those qualities are championship traits, so I'd expect Michigan to a formidable opponent

BAR or HUNT mentioned the biggest concern for Michigan fans being the OL, and I'd echo that for Alabama. Once we settled on Roberts at RG, they have played much better and Milroe hasn't walked into as many sacks as he did in the first 6-7 games. But it's still not an elite unit. It may not have to be, as we saw them play with toughness against UGA. It's also hard to not be worried about Milroe making a fatal mistake, but as I mentioned in another thread, Alabama has 1 offensive turnover since the first half of the Tennessee game. They have played much better in that regard over the last few weeks of the season. Even with some of the mistakes in the AU game, Milroe is the first Alabama QB to not turn it over on their field since Jake Coker

Where I think Alabama has advantages in this game:
Milroe as an athlete
Secondary is truly elite with 3 first rounders potentially in the starting lineup. That should allow Alabama to play the run and rush the passer with positive numbers
Having a fully healthy Deontae Lawson at MLB
Coaching
Intangibles

I want to expound on the Intangibles a little, because it sounds like the guys who follow Michigan closely feel the same way about their team this season that I do about Alabama. For different reasons, both teams have had to deal with a lot of noise. I'm sure y'all can imagine some of the vile stuff that got directed at Milroe early in the season. We played pretty poorly for significant stretches of games. Hell, our OC last year told Milroe to play another position. But the team never broke, never seemed to complain when certain roles were diminished for the better of the team. This isn't the best team we've had at Alabama clearly, but they may be the most cohesive one we've had since the beginning of the Saban run. Because of the early season struggles, this team is playing more free than any recent Alabama team, with a chip on their shoulder, and having a lot of fun doing it. This all seems like playing house money to everyone involved. For the first time ever, we aren't the team with the pressure on it, which is a really nice feeling.

I don't know how to cap this game because of the way that Alabama got here, it's hard to be confident in a lot of things I normally could be. Here's what I think I know though. There won't be anything in this game that will cause Alabama to blink. They will be very well prepared. We are as healthy as we've been all season. I expect us to play our best game of the season today. Will it be enough is the question? I tend to think it is, but I won't be surprised if Michigan proves to be the better team today. They've been the better team all season, now we get to see if it was for real. I do not expect it to be high scoring, we just don't play games like that. I think if either team gets to 27 points, that will be enough to win. My prediction on our home board was Alabama 23-17, and I will stick with that. If it doesn't work out, I will be back to congratulate BAR and HUNT before going into hiding until the Masters haha

Should be a fun one today guys!
 
It's a new year!
To be fair, I kept my score in the 80s, but it wasn't pretty. Probably my biggest improvement in my game this season is to play bad but still shoot a reasonable score
 
To be fair, I kept my score in the 80s, but it wasn't pretty. Probably my biggest improvement in my game this season is to play bad but still shoot a reasonable score
That's called aging

My great uncle always beat me and he hit a 4.5 wood at any distance outside of 75 yards :rofl:
 
Alabama secondary and 3.5/4.0 parts of the Michigan secondary are just fantastic.

I think that for capping purposes NEXT week many should focus on that TODAY.
 
That's called aging

My great uncle always beat me and he hit a 4.5 wood at any distance outside of 75 yards :rofl:
I play with old f*ckers who hit hybrids when I'm hitting wedge. Then they roll in every putt inside 15 feet haha. We have a lot of OB on our course, so if you're hitting it crooked, the score can add up in a hurry. I played Shoal Creek in Birmingham last week with a borrowed putter. Best I've hit the ball all year because I was swinging free knowing there wasn't OB everywhere. Game is all mental
 
  • Like
Reactions: KJ
I play with old f*ckers who hit hybrids when I'm hitting wedge. Then they roll in every putt inside 15 feet haha. We have a lot of OB on our course, so if you're hitting it crooked, the score can add up in a hurry. I played Shoal Creek in Birmingham last week with a borrowed putter. Best I've hit the ball all year because I was swinging free knowing there wasn't OB everywhere. Game is all mental
Yeah here you're either in the fairway or it's a lost ball

My low 80s in Missouri in college turned in to low 90s here very fast. It was a humbling move.
 
Yeah here you're either in the fairway or it's a lost ball

My low 80s in Missouri in college turned in to low 90s here very fast. It was a humbling move.
I'm an 82-85 golfer pretty much no matter where I play. I can get in the 70s, I can scare 90s
 
I'm an 82-85 golfer pretty much no matter where I play. I can get in the 70s, I can scare 90s
I pretty much lose 2-4 balls every round depending on the course, that's when I'm playing a lot. Miss the days of hitting an 8 iron over a tree to get out of jail. It's just jail here. Again depends on the course, TPC and Kierland are much more forgiving than real desert courses.
 
I think you've played out here at times, I'm sure you know how it works.

Just tough if you aren't hitting fairways
 
I think you've played out here at times, I'm sure you know how it works.

Just tough if you aren't hitting fairways
I really enjoy TPC Scottsdale Stadium. Only course I've played out there. Played in August once and January once. Like two different courses
 
I really enjoy TPC Scottsdale Stadium. Only course I've played out there. Played in August once and January once. Like two different courses
Stadium course is one of my favorites to play. Very forgiving. Rare chance I had to break 80 once, it was Summer and 3 over going to 16. In the front left bunker and drop kicked it because the sand was only sand on top. Triple. Then bogey 17 and 18.

That hole ruined my round because of Summer sand
 
Only two teams have ever hung at the LoS against Bama/Jorja in the playoff. Ohio St and Clemson. I feel also that last year's version of UM had a better shot to do so. Guess we'll see.
Absolutely.

There will be two times in this game to judge that.

Early on, obviously... and 3rd quarter start for Michigan.
 
Stadium course is one of my favorites to play. Very forgiving. Rare chance I had to break 80 once, it was Summer and 3 over going to 16. In the front left bunker and drop kicked it because the sand was only sand on top. Triple. Then bogey 17 and 18.

That hole ruined my round because of Summer sand
I birdied 16 and 18 with the stadium up to shoot 79 in January. Might be why I like it
 
  • Love
Reactions: KJ
Necessity and they'll use designed runs.

The only way he doesn't run is if they take a huge lead early and they save him. Not happening.
 
I do understand the sack element...

I think he rushes for much more than the started number.

I'm factoring in up to 20 yards of sack losses.
 
Didn't get around to it last night, as after golf and family NYE, I fell asleep on the couch around 1030. Woke up just in time to see the ball drop and go to bed.

I won't go into with as much depth as BAR, but looking back on the season for Alabama, I think it's clear this was one of, if not the best coaching jobs by Saban at Alabama. I said before the season that I thought we'd be good, but we were so young with so many new faces on the field and the staff, that 2024 was the year where we'd possibly be a championship contender. After 3 weeks, I wasn't sure we'd even be good. I think a lot of the problems were directly attributable to not settling on Milroe as the starter until the Ole Miss game in week 4. That's when we saw the steady improvement begin that got us to where we are today. If that had been decided in spring or fall camp, maybe my heart would have suffered fewer palpitations during the season. It wasn't always pretty, and improvement is rarely linear, but you could see the team getting better, trusting in each other, and best of all, never giving up or in. This is a very tough team mentally. Much tougher than the group last year that whined about anxiety

Playing Texas in week 2 may have been the most beneficial thing for the growth of this team, because it gave the players and coaches an idea of where we were compared to an elite team. We knew very early on where we were deficient and needed to improve. I think that knowledge was massive for the growth of both the players and coaches. I think the lack of that knowledge hurt UGA in the SEC Champ game, and why it took them until it was too late to adjust. I'm not sure we beat UGA if we played again this season. And as mentioned, seeing what was behind Milroe during that USF game had to get everyone (players, coaches, and fans) on board with where we needed to be at QB.

I have a hard time evaluating Michigan, because I'm not confident in the teams they've played. While it's very true that they did what elite teams do to inferior competition, I think it sticks in the back of my head what I just said about UGA. It's possible that Michigan learns some things in this game that they can't recover from in time. Not saying it will, but it's a thought.

What I think I know about Michigan:
Very well coached
Experienced
Smart
Commitment to their identity
Great defense
QB who can beat you with arm and legs and decision-making
Won't beat themselves and very patient
Mentally tough

All of those qualities are championship traits, so I'd expect Michigan to a formidable opponent

BAR or HUNT mentioned the biggest concern for Michigan fans being the OL, and I'd echo that for Alabama. Once we settled on Roberts at RG, they have played much better and Milroe hasn't walked into as many sacks as he did in the first 6-7 games. But it's still not an elite unit. It may not have to be, as we saw them play with toughness against UGA. It's also hard to not be worried about Milroe making a fatal mistake, but as I mentioned in another thread, Alabama has 1 offensive turnover since the first half of the Tennessee game. They have played much better in that regard over the last few weeks of the season. Even with some of the mistakes in the AU game, Milroe is the first Alabama QB to not turn it over on their field since Jake Coker

Where I think Alabama has advantages in this game:
Milroe as an athlete
Secondary is truly elite with 3 first rounders potentially in the starting lineup. That should allow Alabama to play the run and rush the passer with positive numbers
Having a fully healthy Deontae Lawson at MLB
Coaching
Intangibles

I want to expound on the Intangibles a little, because it sounds like the guys who follow Michigan closely feel the same way about their team this season that I do about Alabama. For different reasons, both teams have had to deal with a lot of noise. I'm sure y'all can imagine some of the vile stuff that got directed at Milroe early in the season. We played pretty poorly for significant stretches of games. Hell, our OC last year told Milroe to play another position. But the team never broke, never seemed to complain when certain roles were diminished for the better of the team. This isn't the best team we've had at Alabama clearly, but they may be the most cohesive one we've had since the beginning of the Saban run. Because of the early season struggles, this team is playing more free than any recent Alabama team, with a chip on their shoulder, and having a lot of fun doing it. This all seems like playing house money to everyone involved. For the first time ever, we aren't the team with the pressure on it, which is a really nice feeling.

I don't know how to cap this game because of the way that Alabama got here, it's hard to be confident in a lot of things I normally could be. Here's what I think I know though. There won't be anything in this game that will cause Alabama to blink. They will be very well prepared. We are as healthy as we've been all season. I expect us to play our best game of the season today. Will it be enough is the question? I tend to think it is, but I won't be surprised if Michigan proves to be the better team today. They've been the better team all season, now we get to see if it was for real. I do not expect it to be high scoring, we just don't play games like that. I think if either team gets to 27 points, that will be enough to win. My prediction on our home board was Alabama 23-17, and I will stick with that. If it doesn't work out, I will be back to congratulate BAR and HUNT before going into hiding until the Masters haha

Should be a fun one today guys!

Thanks GPS. Lot of similar thoughts on both our squads. It is interesting. Should be a great game. No injuries, no refs deciding bullshit, let's have a game.
 
Thanks GPS. Lot of similar thoughts on both our squads. It is interesting. Should be a great game. No injuries, no refs deciding bullshit, let's have a game.
Exactly. No injuries or controversy.
 
Thoughts on the total here? Seems low to me. Can’t see either offense held under 20.
 
Just picked up golf a few years ago. Im addicted. Going to palm springs in feb!
Incredible place to enjoy and not worry about poor shots. Played a few times there. Scenery is great, bad shots aren't usually lost balls. Enjoy that trip!
 
Back
Top