At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
Let's have a survey. Not a survey about choosing between winning, graduating, and doin' it the right way. A survey about things that are maybe somewhat interesting.
When Michigan chose to partner with Nike for their next apparel deal, it was rumored they did so while turning down more generous monetary offers from Adidas and Under Armour. The details of the Nike contract have been released, and it's safe to say Jim Hackett struck a pretty solid deal regardless. Via MLive's Brendan Quinn:
According to contract details released by the Michigan athletic department, the university's deal with Nike is worth $169 million over 11 years, making it by far the richest of all apparel deals in collegiate athletics. The contract, which will supply all 31 U‐M athletic programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment, will pay $76.8 million in cash and $80.2 million in apparel.
Michigan will receive $12 million upfront, followed by $10.1 million-$10.9 million annually in cash and apparel/equipment.
Notre Dame's 10-year contract with Under Armour, which surpassed Michigan's then-record contract with Adidas, is reportedly for $90 million. From Quinn's article, the next-highest contract for a public school is Texas' deal with Nike, which is worth a little over $5.5M/year.
Yes, saying Michigan signed a deal for $Texas may actually be understating things. Take a bow, Jim Hackett.
UPDATE: The $169 million figure is a little misleading, as that apparently includes four option years tacked on to the end of the deal.
W/o option years, U-M & Nike have agreed to 11-year, $122.32 million deal (includes $12 million upfront). The option is 4 years for $46.68
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) July 15, 2015
As part of the still-record-shattering deal, Michigan will make a pretty penny on royalties:
In addition to shattering the record for the largest deal in NCAA history, Michigan will also receive 15-percent royalty rates on apparel purchases. This passes Notre Dame's 13-percent and is believed to be the highest in the country.
Michigan has a 10% royalty rate with Adidas.
Adding to the list of Adidas wrongs. What really irks me is that the only word appearing on the front of the current Michigan football uniform is Adidas. Unlike most schools, U-M jerseys were famously clean of any identifying words- the signature maize & blue color scheme was all that was needed. The simplistic Nike swoosh, though an identifying trademark, is far less noticeable.
Hoarding disease is a problem with a lot of uniforms these days. In an effort to brand brand brand everything they've cluttered the front of the jerseys with a series of logos: Adidas's clunky stripes, the Big Ten logo, legends patches, bowl patches, a block M or three. There is too much stuff on these uniforms:
They're probably dropping the Legends patches and replacing the Adidas Triangle Of Tiny Text with the swoosh will help; they can ease back on the block Ms.
The Big Ten logo is going to remain a grating presence until the end of time. Because you need to be reminded who is in the Big Ten these days. And that Michigan—surprise!—is in it. But some guy gave a presentation where he muttered something about brand equity, so we're stuck with it. The best they could do is something like they did at Crisler:
Michigan technically complies with the league mandate to have the Big Ten logo on the floor… very technically. If Michigan could get away with a blue-on-blue Big Ten logo that would improve things. I bet some clever person in the league office has already put in a regulation against it, unfortunately.
Maybe a step too far.
Am I crazy for thinking that this is the best look for the away uniform?? Obviously the jersey will be Nike but I love the simple all white jersey and blue numbers. There is enough maize on the helmet and the pants. Maybe put the Block M or number each shoulder pad. I just think simple is better and this jersey is sharp.
I like simple. That might be a bit too simple even for me. It gives off too much of a generic vibe. Is that a Michigan jersey or a random high school from 1950? I do not know.
The above does avoid the clutter mentioned above. It even avoids the many, many iterations of maize trim that have never really come off:
I am so done with maize piping, and maize outlines on the numbers, and maize maize maize on a white road jersey. But the above suggestion needs something to distinguish it. The correct number of design elements isn't a jiggityzillion but it's not zero unless you're Penn State.
Maybe the stripes from the Sugar Bowl jersey:
That everyone liked those is indicative of how low our expectations are these days. I thought they were fine and they have the chest clutter—this partially self-inflicted with a superfluous block M—and weird thin numbers that kind of make it look like everyone is wearing a kids' size. But they weren't a collaboration between a six year old with a glitter gun and the first guy cut on every season of Project Runway so we liked 'em.
[After the JUMP: Bo Xs and Os, and moar Nike.]
Golf is complicated. I used to play all the time because my apartment was on a course and it was an excuse to hang out with certain buddies. But I never got past a level where anyone you golf with thinks it's their duty to correct every muscle twitch in your swing.
You start by having your body perfectly balanced: hips back, torso forward, knees bent, so you don't have re-balance to move. Then you push back, and angle down, checking to make sure the arch of your back is in line with your kneecap and the ball of your foot. Push your hips back, angle your spine toward the ball, flex your knees slightly, check your posture, and set your right side lower than your left so that the ball is in line with the left side of your face and the clubface is facing the target. Start your swing with clubhead first, then hands, arms, shoulders, hips, and shift your weight as your swing comes across your knees, keeping your wrists…
[So a five iron does sink. Good to know.]
Playing to that point did give me quite an appreciation for the guys who do it well. The pros may not move at the speed of Denard, but encoding all of that stuff into perfect muscle memory is absolutely an athletic skill. So I watch the majors, if not with the same gusto as football/hockey—more like the peaceful appreciation I have for baseball.
Also because there's $3 million on the line.
Our fantasy partner Draft Kings is having their biggest game yet to coincide with this week's golf tournament. THREE MILLION DOLLARS will be in the pool. The winner takes home $1 million. And the best part: you don't have to know how to swing a golf club; just know who does it well.
- $3,000,000 prize pool.
- First place wins $1,000,000
- Enter for $20
- Top 37,676 win money
- Starts on Thursday, July 16th
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 6 golfers
The Highlights: WolverineHistorian
The Setup: Despite giving up just three offensive touchdowns all season, Michigan entered The Game looking to prevent Ohio State from a chance at the Rose Bowl; a Buckeye win combined with an Iowa loss would send OSU to Pasadena because of M's last-second loss to the Hawkeyes five weeks prior. The Wolverines still had plenty to play for: avenging the previous year's 21-6 defeat to OSU and making another New Year's Day game.
While the leadup to the 1986 edition of The Game would live on in Michigan lore, the week before the 1985 version was pretty eventful, too. Bo Schembechler suspended kicker Mike Gillette and kickoff specialist Rick Sutkiewicz that week for unspecified violations of team rules, leaving redshirt junior Pat Moons, who'd never attempted a field goal in his career, to handle both jobs.
Ohio State had a wheelchair-bound Woody Hayes give a pep talk before the team made the trip up to Ann Arbor. Bo Schembechler one-upped his friend by bringing in... Bo Derek. Seriously, there's an archived LA Times piece with an incredible Harbaugh quote to prove it:
The last few days were particularly enjoyable. The Michigan coach's friend and namesake, Bo Derek, stopped in Michigan to pick up a custom-made Lincoln Continental at a local auto plant. The Schembechlers invited her to their home for dinner, and she also dropped by Thursday's practice.
Derek really didn't do much except pose for Polaroids with the players. Harbaugh taped his to his locker. "To see her was pretty impressive," the quarterback said. "Although she did look kind of nervous around so many big guys. It's probably because she's so short. Oooh. Maybe I'd better not say that."
Maybe not, but then you wouldn't be Jim Harbaugh, and we'd all be worse off.
[Hit THE JUMP.]
I'M IN FRANCE. Harbaugh in the city of lights.
Bonjour! Go Blue! pic.twitter.com/EoBL4i5Svh
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) July 11, 2015
This has no doubt angered many SEC coaches and Frenchmen. The number of people who have pretended not to speak English as Harbaugh increases his volume level to jet-takeoff levels must be truly prodigious. I would watch a reality show of this. "Football Coach Vacations." This is a million dollar idea.
Random. Denard Robinson retweeted this.
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) July 13, 2015
That Wiz Khalifa is a card.
Skate with Jack Johnson. August 1st at the Cube, for charity. MGoBlog not responsible if Jack Johnson turns you into a pylon or a bird or is just so pretty on skates that you forget how to drive. Jeff Moss will be there, too! You can find out if he is a real person or just a floating sack of anger!
TJ Weist, 1992. Via Dr. Sap:
Northwestern, 1981. Via Wolverine Historian:
Also 2002 Minnesota.
…Al? Syracuse used one cadence last year.
Since he was officially named the Syracuse Orange offensive coordinator for 2015, Tim Lester's been a bit of a sharer. We're fine with that since it's nice to actually get updates from the football staff, especially with the honesty and candor he seems to deliver it all.
Sometimes it's a point of debate.
Sometimes it's just a description of the Orange offense, compared to last year.
And others, it's a something that will send you into fits of rage, directly aimed at George McDonald, first and foremost:
If Syracuse tried other cadences, the linemen "wouldn't have been able to stay onside," because reasons. This makes me feel slightly better about Tyus Battle.
…Rich? Let's check in on Kansas.
The Jayhawks would finish 1-11 in 2012, and with the roster ailing, Weis desired a quick-fix strategy for what he once famously called a “pile of crap.” In early 2013, Weis signed 16 junior-college recruits in a 25-man class. If a majority of the players hit, Weis figured, perhaps Kansas could claw to respectability in a year or two.
The move was a massive failure. By last fall, just eight of those players remained in the program. The volume of junior-college players — many of whom were borderline qualifiers and academic risks — weighed down the program. Six of those junior-college recruits — including highly touted players Marquel Combs, Kevin Short and Chris Martin — never played a down. After senior safety Isaiah Johnson transferred to South Carolina in the spring, and defensive lineman Andrew Bolton left the team this month, not one of those 16 junior-college players remains on the roster.
So here we are, two years later, and just five players remain from Kansas’ 2013 recruiting class.
This fall, Kansas has 60 scholarship players. It's a self-imposed punishment twice as bad as anything that happened to USC or Penn State. Charlie Weis is the king of "people in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason."
More on cable bubbles. The WSJ has an article on ESPN doing something they haven't even had to think about in a long time: belt-tightening. Cord cutting is on in earnest and it's no surprise that the most expensive channel is amongst the most affected:
Only the Weather Channel—which is now completely superfluous thanks to the internet—is suffering more. The WSJ attributes Keith Olbermann's departure to simple finances. It is not hard to trace a line from ESPN's current trend and the long-term contracts they have signed with sports leagues and find a point at which it is impossible for them to make money.
ESPN has lost enough subscribers that they have the contractual right to yank their channels from Dish's $20 Sling service. Meanwhile, they are limited in their ability to move to a Netflix/HBO model since if they introduce a stand-alone service cable providers can sell ESPN a la carte—a disaster for a channel that gets six bucks from my grandmother.
Fred Jackson was right! Sort of! Via Austin Roberts, another running back makes good after he departs Michigan:
Another “real bright spot” was running back Thomas Rawls, a 5-foot-l9, 215-pound undrafted rookie free agent out of Central Michigan.
“I love his style of running,” Carroll said. “He’s really a head-knocker. He really goes after guys and when you guys get to see him put the pads on you’ll see how physical of a runner he is. He had play after play in college of just smacking people and running and breaking tackles and all that. He showed very good feet, he caught the ball well, he’s going to be a very-willing blocker.”
All of those came against Purdue or at CMU. Remember when Michigan's running game was so good it got their running backs drafted too early? Those were different times right there. By the end Jackson was stealing money. And various beverages. Holding him over on coaching staff after coaching staff was a major sign of the complacency that overtook the program over the past decade.
Gary Danielson was not right and has never been right. Gary Danielson is pretty good at looking at one specific play and telling you what happened on it. Once you get any more abstract, he turns into a parody of sports commentary. The latest example is Danielson fretting that the SEC is going to lose its way because it might try to score some points.
“The big advantage the SEC had against other conferences was they were the most physical, NFL-like conference there was,” he said. “If they try to morph too much into becoming a fantasy league, they are going to cede their position as the toughest and best conference in college football.”
"Fantasy league." Gary Danielson saying that after Urban Meyer, who was rather successful in the SEC, blew Alabama to bits with his third string QB is a top ten "Is Gary Danielson Having A Stroke?" moment.
Etc.: Hire a Beilein, you get to play a Beilein. Brandon Graham back in town for a bit. You are on the Butkus watch list. Smart Football made another book, which you should buy. BLOOM COUNTY BACK? The Graham Couch bot is either becoming self-aware or has improved its trolling algorithm. Jim Hackett is the best.