chance of bowl: 13.6%
The University of Michigan and University of Notre Dame athletic departments announced jointly on Monday (July 30) a 20-year contract extension in the Michigan-Notre Dame football series, extending the series from 2012-31. With the current contract expiring after the 2011 season, the new contract guarantees that the two winningest football programs in NCAA Division I history will meet every season for the next 25 years.
"We are pleased to have reached a formal agreement with Notre Dame to extend our football series," said U-M director of athletics Bill Martin. "We are thrilled that the series between two premier college football programs will continue uninterrupted for the next 25 years."
"The Notre Dame-Michigan game has been a red-letter date on the football schedule for a long time, so it made perfect sense to make certain the rivalry continues annually long into the future," said Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White.
Like... WTF? There is apparently no break in the series. Did we give up on the ND/OSU alternating thing? Or did we just say screw it, we'll get an interesting nonconference opponent? I dunno.
A-ha! Please note that Oklahoma's upcoming series with Notre Dame is structured such that Oklahoma will have a home game in 2012, Notre Dame in 2013. You will note that this means Notre Dame will have both OU and USC on the road in the same year. It hardly seems like accommodating Michigan's request to split the ND/OSU games is not doable, hmm? Asking someone for two straight home games is unnecessary, just take a third year off and then resume playing most of the time.
Um... okay. An excellent summary of the trouble newspapers find themselves in:
Check out top recruit McGuffie on the Web
...says the Free Press; then they suggest you go to youtube and type in "McGuffie" to get some highlights. One: duh? Two: when they put this story on the web it did not contain even a single link, let alone actual embedded video. So the offline version basically reads: "the internet is more interesting than this"; the online version reads "we are clueless at the interent."
A watershed moment in this blog's history came when some poor misguided soul wandered by looking for pictures of "tim tebow shirtless." This led to the OMG shirtless scale of recruiting hottness -- Tebow was, at the time, a totally shirtless five-star recruit. Well, SMQB has done me one better.
Spielman says we are the winrar. Freep:
What are your thoughts on the Big Ten season? I like Michigan. I think (defensive coordinator) Ron English will do a good job. The middle of their defense is pretty solid with Terrance Taylor, Jamar Adams, Morgan Trent on the corner, Shawn Crable back at linebacker. I think the most dominating tackle in college football is Jake Long. As far as physical run blocking, he knocks them out. Chad Henne, he's gotta be working on his doctorate by now, it seems. Mike Hart's a Heisman Trophy candidate. Mario Manningham. ... They're going to be good. Wisconsin's going to be good. Penn State's going to be better, and Ohio State's going to be 8-0 when they play Wisconsin. That's how their schedule sets up. Ohio State's defense is going to be stronger than they were last year. It's just a matter of the young offense growing and getting better each week.
What are the chances Michigan goes undefeated? As good as they've been in a long time for Michigan. Now the question is how are they going to replace a pretty darn good defense? Now I know they have some players back, but when you lose guys like Alan Branch and Leon Hall, you're replacing future NFL players. ... They certainly have all the tools in place to go on a big run this year. And they finished poorly last year. I did that (Rose Bowl) game last year for ESPN radio, and that wasn't the Michigan team that I covered numerous times last year. I didn't know what that was. That wasn't the team that I expected to see.
Yeah, about that. David Jones has no fans in Pennsylvania, where he covers collegiate athletics much like Drew Sharpe does: LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I AM NEGATIVE. So they'll love this cracked-out speculation:
If you're thinking contiguous states -- West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Louisville or Missouri -- start thinking outside the box. Way outside.
Texas is known to be displeased in the Big 12, both because of a low revenue stream and a dearth of big-market, high-academic-profile schools such as itself. I would bet anything that if Delany and the Big Ten presidents can't court Notre Dame in a third try, UT would be a great fallback position. Six million TV sets in the state of Texas.
And former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg's recent move to the Big Ten Network only adds to the intrigue. He knows about Texas' TV clout better than anyone.
And if not Texas, stay south. Florida? It's by no means out of the realistic realm. More snowbirds are from the Midwest than any other area. Think UF wouldn't move? Think again.
Texas is a weird suggestion, but has some precedent because when the SWC started breaking up the Longhorns and Big Ten had serious discussions about the possibility of a union. Florida has no such history and is in a stronger conference in a location farther away. But hey, it's in a newspaper so it's got to be credible.
(via Dave Heller.)
Update 7/30: Added FL LB Tarik Rollins(then immediately removed him), NC DE Quintin Coples, KS WR Chris Harper. Linked to articles on TX WR Jeff Fuller, MN WR Michael Floyd, VA WR Deion Walker, video of CA RB Darrell Scott (interview), more articles on IL QB John Wienke, NJ LB JB Fitzgerald, MI RB Jonas Gray. Removed AL OL Antoine McClain (dropped us), IL LB Steven Filer (ND), FL DE Cory Liuget (dropped us). Linked to Bucknuts chat w/ mentions of IL DT Garret Goebel and PA LB Shayne Hale. Also a Bucknuts thread with more Hale. Now: Scout article on Hale.
Another article on Walker, and Goebel Goebel Goebel. First: Scout article. Second third and fourth are threads from Buckeye message boards featuring XPUNISHER posts -- XPUNISHER is Garrett's uncle. Nevermind. He committed to OSU. Moved TX RB Sam McGuffie to committed.
Editorial Opinion: Well, a lot of this was "where is Garret Goebel going?" type speculation stuff, which is moot since Goebel told everyone where he was going: Ohio State. This was the inverse of the Koger recruitment. One school had a presumably large lead at one point, then the trailing school made a late charge complete with visits and encouraging/discouraging quotes, then picked the presumed leader. It would have been nice to have him, but with Martin in the fold and Campbell for next year Michigan is fine at DT. I would be surprised to see another in this class.
Other guys off the board were peripheral guys Michigan wasn't heavily involved with save IL LB Steven Filer, who we finished third for. He's another blue chip headed to Notre Dame; though Michigan's class is looking fine -- better than fine, it's looking like the best class Michigan's had in a few years -- Notre Dame is doing well.
The other bit of bad news isn't particularly unexpected: MN WR Michael Floyd is leaning elsewhere, naming a top two of ND and OSU. No big deal given Stonum, etc.
Anyway, on with the show: I don't know what to make of PA LB Shayne Hale. First, he and cousin Cameron Saddler set three official visits to their three mutual finalists. The Buckeye insider guys at Bucknuts seem to be writing him off:
jimmy (Jul 24, 2007 12:51:37 PM)
Is Shayne Hale a linebacker or DE at Ohio State?
Bill Kurelic (Jul 24, 2007 12:52:40 PM)
Linebacker. But I don't think he ends up at Ohio State.
Duane (Jul 24, 2007 12:52:43 PM)
I see a linebacker but he is a big kid. he could grow into a DE. He is so athletic and so quick he could stay at linebacker longer than most kids would as they add weight.
Duane (Jul 24, 2007 12:54:18 PM)
I too think he does not come this way. I am more of the mind that this package deal is real. Saddler is the dominate [sic] personality. Hale is going to be reluctant to walk away from what amounts to is his shield.
atlanticrob (Jul 24, 2007 1:25:25 PM)
Considering we didn't take a pure linebacker last year (Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines might both end up at safety), why can't we seem to get Hale and Sabino more interested in us considering Laurinaitis and Grant will be gone, and Freeman will be a senior?
Bill Kurelic (Jul 24, 2007 1:27:31 PM)
In the case of Hale, the biggest issue is his desire to go to school with his cousin, Saddler. Without that issue I would tend to like OSU's chances. I will also say, I think Hines is going to be a very good linebacker at OSU eventually. I can tell you, the people at the Woody Hayes Facility really, really like him.
Kurelic also posted this on their board:
In my front page story on Saturday on Shayne Hale, Hale discussed his interest in going to the same school as his cousin, Cameron Saddler. Hale basically said the two would like to go to the same school, but it's possible they could go their seperate [sic] ways.
For my print publication, "Midwest Football Recruiting News," I needed to talk with Saddler. While doing so I asked him about going to the same school as Hale and here is what he had to say.
"We most likely will go to the same school. He has four schools and I have four. The one that is different is Syracuse for me and Ohio State for him. We're going to make the best decision for each of us, but most likely we will go to West Virginia, Michigan or Virginia. Ohio State recruited me, but they didn't offer. I was interested, but they didn't offer."
So all that is like k-rad, right? Not going to OSU and you have to like Michigan's chances for a couple of PA recruits who are also considering Virginia and West Virginia. Then, this Scout article from yesterday throws cold water on everything:
"Ohio State will be really strong again this year," he said. "They stand out every year and are probably my favorite, slightly now. It's a great program and I love the facilities. They are all new and you couldn't ask for anything more. I went to the Penn State (at Ohio State) game last year and it was amazing there. I love how they shut things down and the atmosphere is all that. Everyone shows up to the game."
There are also nice things said about the other schools on his list (M:
"Michigan is great because I like Ann Arbor a lot," Hale said. "There's a lot to do there and it's a fun place. The people there are great and I like how hard and fast they practice."
), so maybe panic is not quite called for, but jeez man. Way to harsh my buzz. So like WTF, dunno. Ask again later.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of the stuff linked above is probably irrelevant fluff: noncommittal articles on that WR (Deion Walker) who has like 50 schools on his list and probably isn't coming here; a noncommittal article on another WR (Jeff Fuller) who has seven schools on his list and probably isn't coming here; stuff on RBs (Jonas Gray, Darrell Scott) probably not coming here, especially after McGuffie's commit; obviously one-sided quotes from the GatorCountry replacement on Scout from JB Fitzgerald that probably don't mean much. Goebel announcing really stole a lot of thunder from this particular edition of Monday Recruitin'. If he wasn't already a Buckeye I would ratchet up my undying hatred, but it only goes to 11.
Hello! Sam McGuffie, who you may have heard of (or watched a six minute highlight reel of twenty-plus times), announces in approximately one hour on a Houston area television station. Here you'll find his announcement, when it is announced -- things look good -- and a sort of choose-your-own adventure followup.
If Sam McGuffie chooses Michigan, GOTO OVERREACTION-POSITIVE.
If Sam McGuffie chooses Texas A&M, GOTO OVERREACTION-NEGATIVE.
OVERREACTION-POSITIVE: The dossier on our new shiny internet video toy.
OVERREACTION-NEGATIVE: A brief burst of swearing and then retirement to fight again another day.
Should be fun. In the meantime, check out the extremely erratic Michigan sports branch of Logic Times and their take on McGuffie and, um, profiling.
OVERREACTION-POSITIVE: Yea, peal the churchbells and go forth proclaiming the good news: McGuffie is in our sweaty internets clutches. Here is a youtube dump of stuff you've probably already seen before.
McGuffie taking a screen for a touchdown:
This one's on the ground:
This is titled "jtrain 2" for some reason but I am pretty sure this is another McGuffie run (it's labeled "cy fair," the team running the ball wears Cy Fair colors, and the running back appears to have the same body type as McGuffie. Can't make out the number but it's definitely only one digit -- he wears #2 -- and isn't a one), this one taped from the stands:
That's a Mike-Hart-like ability to evade certain doom right there.
There is also this one, featuring the rarely-seen NCAA back juke:
That appears to be all the plays available. There are duplicates of single plays in the mixtape: the famous hurdle; the 90-yard I-run-forwards-and-backwards touchdown, a playstation spin move in the first round of the playoffs, and another touchdown from that same playoff game.
More in the morning.
Update: You can watch the announcement here if you so desire. Nothing earth-shattering, except for the brief moment in which it seems the Rivals guy there is talking crap about him right to his face before it becomes clear he is doing the usual cheerleading, but maybe worth watching if only for the highlights in the background.
Yesterday's FanHouse post on Big Ten expansion must have set a record for number of intelligent comments without someone who types in all caps interjecting his learned opinion. And it's an interesting subject, so let's expound.
The situation: the Des Moines Register talks to Jim Delaney and Kirk Ferentz; the subject of conference expansion comes up. Delaney points out that there is a powerful new motive to expand: the Big Ten Network. A new school provides that much more content for the channel to carry and, if it's in a place not currently a part of the network's footprint, that many more basic cable subscribers. Hopefully. Maybe. Probably not if it's Rutgers.
So, goal for expansion:
- Maintain the CIC's high standards. The CIC is an academic consortium consisting of the Big Ten schools and the U of Chicago. It's a big deal to people, so any school admitted should have serious research going on in their grad schools and so forth and so on. Large public state schools are the preferred targets, although exceptions can be made.
- Expand the geographical reach of the conference. This increases the core recruiting area for the conference, the number of eyeballs watching on television, and the amount of money flowing into the BTN's coffers.
- Add interesting football teams.
- Add interesting basketball teams.
- Try to keep travel costs down by picking someone reasonably nearby.
And on with the contenders...
The Big East
PROs: An academic fit. Good basketball program. Adds upstate New York as a television market -- NYC won't care. Considering the addition of hockey. Football program has rich history.
CONs: Football program stuck in long-term malaise since departure of McNabb. Plays home games in snoozy dome named for maker of air conditioners. Sort of an awkward geographic fit, though it's a shorter distance to Syracuse than it is to Penn State from here if you use the wonder of Canada.
Verdict: A plan B school. It would bring in a decent-sized market that has few pro sports, but sexiness level is very low.
PROs: Also an academic fit. Better location than Syracuse; has the only program in the universe that could get New York City interested in college football even a little; even if it doesn't still brings in New Jersey. Provides a real rival for Penn State.
As potential world domination plans go, "conquer New York" is third only to capturing Notre Dame or audaciously (and mildly senselessly) picking off Texas from the Big Twelve.
CONs: Has been a total doormat for the enter non-Schiano existence of their program. Last year's Texas Bowl win was great... but as a 40 year high point not so much. Basketball program also bleah.
Verdict: A high stakes gamble, and how. Michigan's in on a ton of New Jersey recruits this year, so I've noticed a new trend: these guys are actually listing and seriously considering Rutgers. Safety Brandon Smith has them slightly trailing us. JB Fitzgerald has them in his top group with UF and us. Witherspoon listed them. They're probably going to get offensive lineman Art Forst. This is a new development, and even if they're striking out on the kinds of guys that get offers from Michigan and UF they're probably going to recruit better than a lot of mid-level Big Ten schools this year. Joining the Big Ten would probably be another boost. So... I don't think this is a flash in the pan. As long as Schiano stays.
That's the bet here: that Schiano can be a program patriarch for the Scarlet Knights. That Rutgers success can be sustained. That when Joe Paterno finally retires, he stays. That the move to the Big Ten provides a further boost. That the program is relevant enough to retain people's interest. Because the downside here is stark: my God, we've admitted Temple.
PROs: An up-and-comer in college athletics, dumping money into their programs. Poised for long term success in both football and basketball. Adds a foothold in SEC country, bringing in markets in Kentucky.
CONs: Academics don't measure up; are reputedly not even close. Definitely a new money situation here: stadium named after a pizza company, JUCO-heavy basketball team, etc. Will they continue their success under Kragthorpe?
Verdict: But for the academics, a good choice. I would prefer them to any other available team save the real home runs; unfortunately I think the CIC thing is a dealbreaker.
PROs: Geographic fit. Finally had the stones to jettison Bob Huggins; basketball team now sucky but not a haven for delinquents. Would provide instate competition for Ohio State.
CONs: Just recently jumped out of CUSA and unlike UL has experienced scant success. Only real success was under the shadow of Huggins. I don't know about their academics.
Also: I always, always spell it "Cincinatti," and I'd have to correct it a lot more often. No thanks.
Verdict: What's the point? Is anyone going to think to themselves "oooh, Cincinnati"? No.
PROs: Geographic and academic fit. Also provides natural rival for Penn State. Football program has rich history; basketball program would be a fine addition.
CONs: Michigan and OSU are already raiding the hell out of the WPIAL. Adding Pitt opens no new recruiting grounds and only marginally raises interest in the Pittsburgh market. Their football fanbase would be amongst the worst in the conference.
Verdict: I guess. I would rather take a chance on Rutgers, personally.
PROs: Killer basketball program. Would expand the Big Ten into some new England media markets.
CONs: Football program remains fledgling. About as much of a geographic fit as Nebraska.
Verdict: Meh. They're like Louisville except their football team hasn't proven anything yet.
West Fuckin' Virginia
PROs: Darling of the moment with Rich Rodriguez staying, and if he turns down 'Bama's millions he's probably in for the long haul. Will have a good, if sleazy, basketball team with Huggins around.
CONs: Isn't WVU a really crap school? Huggins should be a net negative. Football program has strong flash-in-the-pan characteristics.
Verdict: Academics are a dealbreaker, I think.
The Big Twelve
PROs: Geographic fit with decent academics. Natural basketball rivalry with Illinois. Opens up Missouri, St. Louis.
CONs: Hasn't won anything in football since 1969. That won't change in the Big Ten. Basketball program mostly known for having gel-slicked cheater Quinn Snyder in charge for way too long.
PROs: It's in Iowa.
CONs: Inept at every sport it ever tried. Brings in no new markets. No upside here.
Verdict: No way.
PROs: Rich football tradition. Would be competitive and bring cachet. Nebraska fans travel like mofos and would probably be fun to have around.
CONs: No other sports of note. Geographically distant. Nebraska is not a rich area to pluck recruits from. They would remind us of [
BOWL REDACTED] and force us to strangle them and then we would be in jail.
Verdict: Nebraska fans occasionally bring this up as a possible escape hatch from the Big Twelve and their unbalanced TV contracts. An interesting possibility, but the geography is a negative and they don't bring anything except football. Tempting, but no.
PROs: Outstanding academics, outstanding football, outstanding basketball, outstanding fans. Austin is a great city. Brings in huge television and recruiting benefits.
CONs: Is in freaking Texas.
Verdict: Except for the bizarre geography, a perfect fit. Would be an earth-shattering move tectonic in scope. Would be better than Notre Dame.
But... really doubtful Texas would ever go for this. Would restrict their ability to schedule anyone ever again, as I assume OU would stay on the schedule plus probably A&M, then they'd just have to rotate two Texas schools for the rest of time. Non-revenue sports would all of a sudden have killer travel costs... and what do they do with their baseball and softball teams, both of which they like quite a bit? Playing in a virtual mid major is going to be a harsh blow.
Sadly, this is never going to happen.
PROs: Geography, academics, football. It keeps coming up because it's an obvious fit. Rivalries with MSU, Purdue, Michigan. No new markets, but they are kind of a big deal in college football.
CONs: Midwest would be full of suicide bombers from NDNation.
Verdict: One of us... one of us... one of us...
PROs: Fine academic school with the appropriate geography. One of the more successful MAC programs historically. As the "Cradle of Coaches" has long-standing ties with the conference.
CONs: Is a MAC school, brings no new markets, and probably wouldn't be that competitive. Like Northwestern++.
PROs: Like Louisville except with a killer basketball program and a dire football one (this year's pending aberration excepted). And they're a better school.
CONs: As noted, dire football program.
Verdict: As a charter member of the SEC they wouldn't go for it, I don't think. And though the basketball program is interesting, football runs the world.
PROs: Perennially decent at both basketball and football. Hockey team a national power (not that we'll all of a sudden have a Big Ten hockey conference, but we'd probably set something up regular-like w/ them). Academically a fit. Provides access to Boston media market and, by, extension, much of New England. Weird fit geographically but less weird than their current conference.
CONs: Geography. Check any Bill Simmons column for the general interest in collegiate sports in the Boston area.
Verdict: A strong candidate behind the home runs.
One Man's Order of Preference
2. Notre Dame
5. Boston College
...the rest I don't care for.
One Man's Order of Likelihood
This is hard to project. I assume this is what will happen: the Big Ten tells everyone plans are afoot, gets the BTN up and running. Once we know how that's going, the Big Ten waits until ND's NBC contract expires and tries to get the Irish again. Once that doesn't work, it settles down to business. So... we have three years to see if Rutgers is going to hold it together and if UConn is going to step up. If Rutgers remains good and interest holds up...
4. Boston College
Book update! Maple Street says that the book should be in bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble across Michigan, as well as newsstands at Meijer, Walgreens, and wherever fine book-magazine-preview-type things are sold. Should be arriving sometime this week. An excitable commenter inquired at the local Borders:
Borders in Ann Arbor just said that it hadn't been shipped to them yet and it would be at least a few more days before they had it. Hearing that, I broke down and ordered it online.
They are coming, I assure you. Anyone who sees one in the flesh, please let me know.
Amazon orderers are spooked by the projected ship dates (September?); Maple Street assures me that this is a fiction borne of Amazonian caution to not over-promise and under-deliver and that they will have the books shortly as well.
If you'd like to check out what the book actually looks like in the flesh, as it were, here's a PDF of the first half of SMQB's schedule preview.
I have been inundated with email (two pieces!) about this, so, yeah:
The photo proves a few things. One: It doesn't matter if you're 5'8" on a good day if you've got a jaw like that. And millions and millions of dollars. (Not only is Comrie a well-compensated NHLer but his father is the owner of a chain of Canadian furniture stores.) Two: holy hell Hillary Duff is tiny. I can't believe she can even lift her enormously oversized purse-type thing. Shouldn't she have a manservant or something?
That would be awesome. If I was preposterously wealthy and famous instead of getting all coked up my vice would be hiring a tiny elderly man from the Indian subcontinent to carry around things for me. Not even heavy things. Like, my cell phone. Because my jeans profile must not be disturbed, I say!
This appears to be a digression.
Schedule bits. As soon as a break in the ND series is dropped everyone wants in. Texas:
Two readers emailed me this morning with links to this story noting that both the Wolverines and Fighting Irish are seeking opponents for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. I've beaten the "please schedule tougher" horse to death by now, so I won't take the podium for that particular lecture again.
Instead, a quiet sigh of resignation as I note our current schedules for both seasons in question
Peter's actually got the years wrong, as it's 2012 and 2013 that are the open slot. Texas is very feasible.
As Hydrotech wrote before in our most controversial post to date, while it's rather unfortunate that while THE Ohio State University (seriously, what is up with that?) decided to cancel our series with them in 2012-2013, it does leave us with other opportunities. Like the opportunity to schedule a habitually underachieving Big Ten foe whose fans somehow got more riled up about our dis of Ohio State than their own fans did. Maybe it's an inferiority complex.
Still, just like Ragnarok suggested, our Bears have an open date in 2012. So do the Wolverines. The two haven't played since the 1950 Rose Bowl. And we are a national power from a major conference.
This would be great if this was true, but it isn't. Cal's not even a Pac-10 power: the Bears' last Rose Bowl was in 1959. The reason Jeff Tedford is such a sexy candidate for the hypothetically open Michigan job is that he's managed to drag Cal into respectability. Next.
Doug Karsch got on the radio -- I did not actually hear this, but have seen it multiple places on the message boards -- and said that Michigan was looking at Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and the big three in Florida. FWIW.
Meanwhile, I will enjoy watching the pretzel logic from a certain genre of Notre Dame fan that turns this Bill Martin quote on its head:
"Certainly, we will be playing them; we'll never discontinue playing with Notre Dame," Martin said. "We may take breaks now and then so that we can add other prominent programs to our schedule."
Szzzzabo. Brief excerpt from a GBW interview with Steve Szabo with interesting bits. Graham and Thompson lead for their spots at the moment. Szabo on Austin Panter:
Spring was rough for Austin. He played eight-man football in high school in Kansas and then went to junior college out there. He doesn't have a vast background in 11-man football. He struggled in the spring, but I think he'll come back a different man this fall. He's become acclimated to the university and his teammates and I think he'll come back much more competitive in the fall."
Yikes. On Thompson:
John's got to step up to the plate. He's got a ways to go, but I'm often reminded by the coaches of some comments that I made last spring about David being a little mediocre (laughing). Thompson is the same way. He's not a house hold name right now, but you never know with how hard he'll work.
I am not particularly assured at the moment.
This will be next to Yost next fall.
Click for big. Construction info here. All the windows are reflective. Curses! Foiled again.
Etc.: Lake The Posts is counting down the top games in Northwestern football history. They've reached #6. You
probably don't want to read about it. And you definitely don't want to read the Anthony Thomas fumble one, whenever that is.