Ban the "Check with Me," Swinging Gate Punts, and Teams from Michigan
There are certain things that drive me absolutely nuts in college football, and these three things are among the absolute worst offenders this season:
The "Check with Me" Offense
Where do I start on this one? At one point in the history of this great game, quarterbacks called their own plays. At another very recent point, quarterbacks got their plays from hand signals from the sidelines, and the very good were expected to check off at the line of scrimmage and get their guys in the right play so you didn't run the ball off tackle straight at a blitzing corner, safety, linebacker, and someone hauling the kitchen sink in from the locker room to be thrown at the ballcarrier.
And then the "Check with Me" offense came into being, giving hands on coaches everywhere the thing they needed to keep them unmedicated and allow them to do literally everything but throw the ball.
Here's a clue Coach: if you can't trust your guy to make pre-snap reads without "checking with you," you probably can't trust him to make the right read when he actually goes to use that rocket arm you recruited him for.
Here's another thing wrong with it: it takes away your shot to get a solid read on what the defense is doing. Most wise defensive coordinators are going to tell their guys, "hey, wait until they're done looking to the sidelines before you show anything at all you're actually planning on doing."
In other words, it's a waste, it's bad for quarterbacks, it's bad for coaches, and it's bad for my nerves. Mainly because what could be faster moving offenses (in an age where we already have the advent of the 40 second playclock in college football, a painstaking invention that used to be reserved for the guys who get paychecks for playing the game) slow down to a crawl that consists of more chess matches, more quarterbacks barking plays to their linemen before scrambling to get in position to call for the ball with two seconds left on the playclock.
The "Swinging Gate" Punt Formation
At some point, this one's going to get someone seriously hurt. I do like the fact that it's been turned into more of a slamming door with the middle up-man closing the gap rather than truly swinging in from behind one of the others, however, we're still looking at a very big safety issue here. Due to the spread nature of the formation, defenders come screaming in from all angles, and most of them end up right at the three man wall at the time of the punt, leading them to try to jump over the three man wall to block the punt.
Next time you're watching a game in which a team deploys this formation exclusively, count the number of times a defender gets upended by this wall and ends up falling on his back.
Then take a second to calculate the chances that eventually someone's going to land wrong on the other side of that wall and it's going to be a career-ending injury.
I'm normally the first one screaming "it's football, it's a sport for tough guys, guys are going to get hurt," especially when it comes to the essentially bubblewrapping of quarterbacks. With that said, this one's more dangerous than a lot of the things you can't do to quarterbacks any more.
Teams from Michigan Screwing Up My Picks
Stop me if you've heard this one before? Michigan beat Notre Dame last week, Central Michigan beat Michigan State, and I missed on both games.
Things I don't give about Michigan for 1,000 Alex...