Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Score one for unsubstantiated Internet rumors... and one for actual reporting, too. Intrepid Marc Snyder of the Free Press went straight to Boren and Kolo's parents to get the scoop on their situations. Boren's injury is not as bad as initially speculated:
"Basically he did sprain his ankle -- it's the same as a sprained ankle," Mike Boren, who played football at U-M from 1980-83, said Wednesday. "He's doing what he can do. I don't know how long he'll be out, but he did not break his ankle." ...
"He's not in a cast and he's not going to have surgery," Mike Boren said. "It could be three weeks, who knows? But it's nothing that serious."
Kolodziej's mother was less helpfully specific; this is the only reference to his situation:
His mother, Cindy, would not discuss her son's condition other than to say it might compromise his career.
So that's vague, but something of a confirmation. With rumors of another lineman getting dinged you might see redshirt freshman Mark Ortmann sooner rather than later.
Yes. College. We called it "man fun" when we lived in the house with the purple door on Geddes. Despite the thoughts knocking around in your puerile mind, O Reader, man fun was an innocent expression of childhood glee via the medium of unprovoked amateur wrestling, albeit one that often had dire consequences for knees, elbows, and -- in one memorable incident -- walls. Man fun was unpredictable and could be spurred by almost nothing. It was dangerous enough when average-sized people were participating, but this is on another level. Folks, watch out for seismic disturbances in town. Terrance Taylor and Jason Kates are having man fun:
Terrance Taylor's Michigan football initiation came in the middle of a living room last summer.
He was low to the ground and really got worked up.
But this wasn't a secret hazing - it was senior Gabe Watson trying to take down the high school state heavyweight wrestling champ.
Now that Taylor is a sophomore defensive lineman, he's extending the tradition and dishing out the punishment.
"Me and Jason Kates have played a little bit," Taylor said.
Talk about taking on all comers. Taylor is getting his weight down and said he's about 300 and dropping. Kates, a freshman defensive lineman, looks every bit of his listed 325 pounds.
"It just happened," Kates said. "We were hanging out, playing NCAA `07 when I was up here earlier and we were hanging all around, the defensive line. ... It happened a couple times. I'm going to get him before it's all said and done."
So far, Taylor has not lost the wrestling matches, just like his senior year at Muskegon when he was 24-0 on the mat and his team was 14-0 on the football field.
More Avant, this one from the Eagles' official site. Much is adone about the 4.8 40 that dropped Avant to the third round. Wide receivers coach Erik Campbell tells you how he really feels:
"If he was a 4.4 guy, he would have been the first receiver taken in draft," said Michigan receivers coach Erik Campbell in a matter-of-fact tone like he's telling you the sky is blue or Texas is large.
David Baas is also doing well according to John Clayton's latest:
With the announcement this past weekend that center Jeremy Newberry is out for the season awaiting microfracture surgery, the 49ers look brilliant with the selection of Baas. He will be the starting guard while Eric Heitmann gets the nod at center. Baas already has become one of the best on the line in San Francisco.
Jed Ortmeyer is not doing well. He has a blood clot in his lungs ("pulmonary embolism" for those who like doctor lingo) and may miss a large chunk of time if he decides to go on blood thinners. I still owe Jed some portion of my soul; good luck.
In the beginning, there was college football as rap. Then college football as the Simpsons. Then college football as South Park. Now... the SEC West as fancy paintings. With book larnin'. I'm shocked that something from the oeuvre of Daniel Moore wasn't the 'Bama pick.
Etc.: IBFC has compiled all upcoming Michigan appearances on Classic; Pickin' on the Big Ten is BACK, baby; The MZone finds something affiliated with Ohio State that may be more humiliating than library masturbation; Maize N Brew turns the negative recruiting on Notre Dame (projected to be most effective: "Tom Lemming and Mel Kiper get keys to your rooms. It's part of the deal."); RBUAS breaks down the offseason weight changes, includes standard amounts of Gittleson-bashing.
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
Cal returns a plethora of talent on offense and the defense should be the best in the Pac-10. This pick is a wild guess, and I'm hesitant to pick a Pac-10 first overall, but the chief weakness on offense appears to be at QB, a position that Jeff Tedford seems to be able to coach pretty well. Ask me again who the best team is after about four games.
I dunno about that defense. They didn't exactly stop any of the good offenses they opposed, and by "didn't exactly stop any" I mean "were massacred by all."
Fallers: Next poll.
Risers: Next poll.
Wack Ballot Watchdog: It's just preseason, so we'll let wacky expectations stand. I could point out my ballot... I've got Iowa #2! I suck!
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.
USC repeats as preseason standard deviation champion, though their margin this year is significantly lower than it was last year when the Trojans got all but one first place vote.
On the other side of the ledger, an unsurprising list of teams no one can figure out:
- Oklahoma: no Bomar.
- Cal: Bad QB or Tedford magic?
- WVU: fluke?
- PSU: Good this year or death by graduating senior? (Also: PSU bloggers going buckwild did not help.)
- Tennessee: good Lord, Phil Fulmer is fat, isn't he?
Ballot math: First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.
Mr. Bold is Tulane blogger Frank McGrath, apparently the last person on earth with faith in the state of Florida. He ranks the Florida-Miami-FSU triumverate extremely high (3-6-7, respectively), but that's only the tip of the iceberg. I wonder if the placements of LSU (20) and Michigan (24) have something to do with McGrath's split Tulane(NR)-Notre Dame(1) fandom. Other sources of BOLD: Tennesee and Georgia in the top ten; Penn State and VaTech 12 and 13; Louisville unranked. Let's try to keep the writhing hatred somewhat better cloaked, kids!
Mr. Numb Existence is Tennessee blogger View From Rocky Top. No doubt last year's loss to Vanderbilt was well worth it now tht VFRT has demonstrated his ability to predict the actions of a mass of football bloggers.
Next we have the Coulter/Krugman Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
The CK Award for oustanding bias in the name of making the poll look silly has several strong contenders, but none could best new SBNation GT blog Ramblin' Racket's LSD-inspired placement of Georgia Tech at #7. What part of "Chan Gailey always finishes 7-5" equals "#7"?
Two Penn State blogs feature in the irrational exuberance -- 50-Yard Lion ranks PSU #8, Black Shoe Diaries #13 -- as one might expect from the comments found on this very blog whenever things like four new offensive linemen, a new secondary, and Anthony Morelli's potential lead poisoning are brought up. Braves & Birds ranks Georgia #4 but has the decency to try to explain himself:
Why Georgia at #4? Because the defense has been consistently excellent under Mark Richt, because there are worse scenarios than picking between a 5th year senior and a ballyhooed freshman under center, and because the team ought to be able to run the ball well.
Sure, there are worse scenarios. But Tereshinski != Shockley in the realms of long-benched fifth year senior quarterbacks if Tereshinski's lone start last year is any indication.
Straight Bangin' Award for reducing expectations to reduce future pain goes to EDSBS for their reservations about Florida's offensive line and Chris Leak's tendency to squeal and duck when faced with incoming defensive linemen.
(This might be a good opportunity to find a name that doesn't sound like the world's worst Halloween candy and enter the Witness Protection Program.)
Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.
Mr. Manic Depressive and Mr. Stubborn debut next week.
...But first I must kill a couple bugs.
Some notes on revisions:
- Georgia was an oversight and moves from NR to #16. Tennessee moves out and there's some reshuffling towards the end.
- Penn State fans who think I'm crazy have obviously not examined the recent history of their program, in which PSU has a senior-laden team and an excellent year, then drops of a cliff and does something like lose to Akron. Two starters return across both lines, the secondary is entirely new, and Anthony Morelli may indeed be OMG shirtless but perhaps you'll agree that Penn State isn't exactly a slam dunk.
- Ohio State: Jesus, they were #8 and are now #7. That's, what, one or two losses? And don't give me that Pittman stuff. Anyone with two legs and the sense to run in the right direction would have racked up 1300 yards against the motley collection of defenses OSU faced. Albert Young is by far the superior back.
- Nebraska: irrational exuberance for a team that will probably have a crap offensive line. Down five.
Poll coming up.
IBFC has an assessment of the latest injury rumor to hit the internet ("two offensive linemen out, one with a career ending condition, the other with an ankle break," to paraphrase). The condition belongs to Mike Kolodziej, the ankle is Justin Boren's. Reading between the tea-leaves of moderator reaction, Vijay concludes that there's something to said rumor. And he left out some grumbling by The Wolverine's John Borton on WTKA yesterday to the effect of "Kolo has to prove he can stay healthy."
So... something's up. Boren's alleged injury is unfortunate but should have a minimal effect on the season and his career. Kolodziej, on the other hand, was battling Alex Mitchell and Jeremy Cuilla for the last starting job on the line. Though I don't think there's much difference between a Mitchell-Riley right side and a Riley-Kolodziej right side, his absence would hurt the line's depth -- the first tackle off the bench likely becomes redshirt freshman Mark Ortmann -- and would be a generally nasty blow to a player who [Lloyd] deserves better [/Lloyd].
As with all rumor-mongering, keep in mind that this is that Internet Irresponsibility the papers keep telling you about and nothing is guaranteed until Carr refuses to speculate on a particular player's condition during a press conference. This one is rated "probably true" but with a "details/severity unclear" rider. More baseless speculation as it becomes available.