I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
There's a new candidate for the Big Ten's "Book of Job" Award previously earmarked for poor, poor Northwestern: Penn State. You've heard about the arrows in the wall, you've heard about the prank phone calls. Now Penn State has lost two important players, albeit via more conventional means. Sophomore WR Mark Rubin injured his ankle and is out for the year. Senior DE Lavon Chisley is academically ineligible.
Rubin, who caught 16 passes last year, was probably the #2 WR behind freshman Derrick Williams. Penn State now has a grand total of three returning receptions in the WR corps. You can expect fellow freshman uberrecruit Justin King to spend his first year in the blue and white on offense. The Penn State WR corps now consists of three freshman and sophomore doghouse resident Terrell Golden.
Chisley was the third DE behind seniors Tamba Hali and Matthew Rice. He started as a redshirt sophomore in 2003. His loss isn't devastating but he definitely would have seen substantial time behind the starters. The drop off after Rice and Hali is now precipitous.
In other opponent news, Northern Illinois has lost its best linebacker for the year.
These are not the droids you're looking for. Dude. Weis E. Coyote has some sort of strange Jedi powers over the minds of mediocre sportswriters. Check this flagrant fanboy AJC article (HT: EDSBS) from Terence Moore. A sample:
First, Weis showed the movie "Rudy" to the team. Afterward, he said he couldn't imagine what the real Rudy experienced, so he pointed to the real Rudy sauntering into the room amidst gasps.
Well, you're damn right there were gasps. If Frodo Baggins walked into the room I was in I'd gasp too. Dude went to Mount Doom. Dude saved Middle Earth. Mad props, in the parlance of our times.
Of course, I'd be disappointed if I found out that instead of a noble hobbit what confronted me was a man with no discernable talent except that of relentless self-promotion and a body that appeared to be an unfunny joke played by a cruel and aloof God. (No wonder Weis likes him so much.) But I do have to agree that introducing Rudy shows that Weis understands Notre Dame: it's incredibly hyped but when you get down to the bottom of it it's just 5-6.
More fantabulous EDSBS content: they find Illini nut site "gotzook.com", hilarious to UF fans and Big Ten cohorts alike. They discuss what you must buy for the upcoming season. And, astoundingly, they drop a trilobyte reference.
(And, yes, they voted for Duke in the BlogPoll. I would have been heartbroken if they didn't.)
New blog props must go to Sunday Morning Quarterback (now side-barred). I've read every word of his Big East and ACC previews despite the fact that I care not a whit for the fortunes of, say, Wake Forest or Rutgers this year. A pleasure to read is SMQ--saying something, that. Bookmark/subscribe today. Mmm, Yoda.
Carr Talk featuring Click and Clack from GBW. (Ha! I kill me.) Plus more on Sargeant Slaughter. Dennis Dodd spends his BT preview talking about that anonymous quote and Mike Hart's reaction to it... and then picks Michigan third. Pat Forde colors inside the lines re: defense. Football Outsiders is a Michigan haven. I am so happy.
Hoops recruit Notamadou Ba (AKA Ekpe Udoh) talked with GBW recently. Udoh, a gangly raw shotblocking post guy, appears to be the best bet for a tall reboundy fellow in this class other than Tom Herzog, who is still seriously considering Notre Dame and Michigan State. Udoh is down to Pitt and Michigan and claims Michigan leads slightly.
Strictly for the ladies and alternative-lifestyled, OMG Wolverine manbeef. (You was warned.) Boi From Troy's "Gay Viewers Guide to College Football" went off without a Big Ten rep, and Wannabeleader corrects the error. Does anyone a link to that modelling website with backup CB Darnell Hood on it? Brother had a pickaxe.
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here. 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.
Now on to the blog-specific rankings. 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 goes to TrojanWire. Their wack-ass ballot features Louisville #3, Georgia #6, Purdue #7 (uh... NTTAWWT), Cal #8, Boise State #9, Tennessee down at #14, LSU at #17, Miami (Florida) at #18, Auburn #25, and completely omits Iowa, Florida, and Florida State. I'm speechless. This is, like, an infinite monkeys voting at infinite ballot boxes job, apparently picked completely at random out of a hat after #1 USC and #2 Texas.
Update! The preseason poll got four additional ballots and Heismanpundit claimed the top slot in Mr. Bold with his effort. Raise your hand if you're surprised.
Mr. Numb Existence is The Mississippi State Sports Blog, which submitted a creepily accurate ballot. The only differences betwen the MSSB's ballot and the poll at large are two transpositions--Auburn and Florida State swap spots, as do Pittsburgh and Virginia. It's also worth noting that Straight Bangin' finished fifth despite placing his own team at #13, way, way off the poll's Michigan position (more on that later).
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 inaugural winner of The CK Awards is The Enlightened Spartan, who put a team with no defense whatsoever and a quarterback more fragile than Charles Rogers at #17 because he likes the helmets. Extra bonus ridiculous bias: Michigan debuts at #20. A completely shameful effort. Congratulations, ES, you've disgraced us all.
Update! Rejiggering of the poll due to the extra ballots garnered more Michigan State support than Alabama support, pushing 'Bama blogger Journalism Is For Rockstars into the position of greatest shameful bias.
Unsurprisingly, the winner of the Straight Bangin' Award is Straight Bangin' for placing the Wolverines at #13, more than seven points fewer than the poll-wide consensus.
Coming next week: "Mr. Manic-Depressive" and "Mr. Stubborn" for the voters who change their ballots the most and least from week to week.
My computer, showing all the incredible timing of a Michigan safety trying to tackle Deandra Cobb, unceremoniously died last night at about 11 PM, wiping out the draft version of the Blogpoll. The good news is that It was mostly IFRAMEs referencing stuff already on the interweb, so not much was lost. But I do have to reconstitute it. It'll be up in a bit.
5'9" freshman CB Brandon Harrison is now 5'9" freshman S Brandon Harrison according to Lloyd Carr (and GBW). This is probably not a good sign. Though practice buzz has various players impressing at CB (Charles Stewart, Morgan Trent, Johnny Sears, and Harrison have all gotten positive pub), no safeties have gotten much mention except for Lloyd Carr saying that Brandent Engelmon has had a "lights-out" fall. Harrison's move means one of three things:
- Harrison just isn't that good.
- Mundy's shoulder injury is seriously serious.
- We're screwed.
I don't think it's the first. It could be the second. Mundy has had his shoulder troubles since last year and he absolutely must be more effective for Michigan's defense to show a semblance of competence. If he's afraid to tackle because of his shoulder, he may not see a ton of time at FS. Three? Sure, we'll go with that. Screwed. We're going to need Harrison to play safety. Even if he does well, his move implies bad things for the existing safeties.
Safety: the big flaming hole on the entire team. The nice thing is that it will be hard to give up another eight 60+ yard touchdowns like we did in 2004. So we've got that going for us.
Also: Avant and Pat Massey are captains, as expected.
You've Got To Be Kidding
Rocket Ismail (Did this guy legally change his name or something?)
The average age of the voters who aren't ex-players I wouldn't trust to add two and two together appears to be 145. mgoblog's projected top five:
- Notre Dame
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Jamestown University
- Tippecanoe and Tyler too!
Watch out for the Williamsburgians. Only half of them died from smallpox last winter.
Hell full of frozen flying pigs: Lloyd Carr opened up practice to the media on Friday, sending local media into a tizzy. The stated reason:
"I want to be popular with all of you," Carr joked Friday.
Good luck with that, Lloyd. Information coming out of the Fort indicates that Brandent Engelmon does appear to be the guy who will start the year at SS. Smart and in the right place at the right time is the rep on Engelmon, music so beautiful to my ears that I wonder if I've died and gone to heaven (quick check: Tressel around? Yep. Okay. Not heaven). Adrian Arrington is the surprising name being thrown out as the #3 wide receiver, though in retrospect he was the guy chosen to not redshirt. Fullback sounds like a bit of a mess. Hopefully Malone will look at the copious non-fullback talent on the roster and decide that lead-blocking is for sissies.
Fifth-year senior Leo Henige appears to have the upper hand at LG. If healthy.
IBFC unverified some voracity of its own in a roundup post that covers a lot of ground that I won't duplicate here. More warranted Matt Hayes bashing can be found. Also a defense of CFN, which I would like to respond to:
But I just love that they believe there is no team, no player and no position that is so irrelevant it isn't worth writing a full-page article about it. Looking for info on the Memphis offensive line? Here you go. How is the North Texas linebacking corps shaping up? Keep an eye on Maurice Holman.
Because this is exactly the kind of thing I hate about CFN. They cover all 100-whatever teams, sure, but the depth of said coverage is strictly kiddie-pool. I try to be a Marinas Trench of Michigan information, an authority in a specialized field. Given what I read at CFN I have my doubts that they know anything not directly listed in a press release. They write one blurb on every starter in the country and then recycle it a hundred different times in various incredibly retarded lists of top this and top that. In the previews I saw not one unit was ranked anything less than a 6 of 10. Literally every unit in the nation is above average. They rank and discuss everything and thus condemn themselves to never really talking about anything.
We're number #4 (again) in the AP Top 25, which has a total of five Boi From Troy-infuriating non-USC first place votes, four for Texas and one for... Louisville? Sweet mother of mercy. And get the rationale behind that first place vote:
Joe Giglio of The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., voted Louisville No. 1 after examining the schedules for all BCS conference teams. The Cardinals moved to the Big East this season.
"Â“Louisville was the only one that I came up with as going undefeated,"Â” he said.
I was going to thoroughly smite this person's logic, but Section Six beat me to it... and, quite frankly (HATE YOU HATE YOU HATE YOU), we've got a couple guys in the blogpoll voting Auburn #2 because they "deserve it," so we should attend to our own house before throwing rocks into those of others, no matter how brittle their glass walls. Though I will hurl a couple of well placed ones at ESPN for posting a poll minus two teams but in full possession of not one but two "TEXAS AM"s, as Struggling Joe pointed out.
Speaking of dumb Louisville-related stuff, the Courier-Journal of said city has, uh, let's say jumped the gun:
Bigger than Michigan now?
[Former UM lineman Doug] James wanted no part of Louisville. He signed with Michigan. You could play in Rose Bowls and play for national titles at Michigan. Today you don't have to make many calls to find experts predicting U of L will have a better season than Michigan.
Cute. Call us in, like, 120 years. (And did this guy not check the recruiting out of his own state last year? Top three guys will all don winged helmets this fall.)
What is with Penn State and really, really weird ways to get suspended? First you had the whole EZ Smith shooting hundreds of arrows into a wall thing. Now comes word that three Lions, most prominently sophomore linebacker Dan Connor, are suspended for making prank phone calls to a retired PSU assistant coach. Fanblogs has all the details. Connor's suspension is "indefinite" which is usually code for "until we play someone we can lose to." Since it's Penn State we're talking about here, look for Connor to go against South Florida. (Sorry, 50YL, cheap shot.)
Fanblogs also has a hard hitting expose on Purdue's recent practice popsicle break.
Several players said the day [new OK State Coach] Gundy replaced Les Miles as head coach he established guidelines that players attend class, be on time for team meetings, adhere to workout routines, represent the program well and play hard."
Example #3,890 of "Blogs Will Change The World" can be found over at Blog Maverick, which is Mavs owner Mark Cuban's pale mgoblog imitation (just kidding, Mark, please don't put a hit out on me). He's wrapped up in some boring business thing and was interviewed over email about it. The resulting New York Times headline:
Mark Cuban Is Mad (Again). But Why?
The article portrays Cuban as really, really mad. Cuban responds by reprinting the entire email exchange he had with this NYT guy on Blog Maverick. The verdict? Busted. Totally. Here's a representative sample of Cuban's responses:
1) Clearly the sale price of register.com was lower than you and many other investors - some who may have followed your lead into the stock - believed the company would be sold for. Why did you expect it to be sold for so much more?
Its worth much more. A simple analysis to compare it to comparable companies show the expenses clearly out of whack.
2) Are you surprised the Yahoos and Googles of the world never bid?
Not at all. Its not their business. Register.com has a legacy business to build on and cash flow to return to investors if it gets its expenses in line. Thats not the type of business they go after.
3) If you think it's such an undervalued business, why didn't you make
a bid yourself?
Im not in a position to run the company. My
goal was to work with the new board that would have been voted in during the next shareholder meeting in a couple weeks to help the company
4) Do you think the auction was somehow rigged?
Rigged ? I dont know if it was rigged, but i think the board definitely incented themselves to sell the company. There is so little board and management ownership( the only board member with substantial ownership filed a proxy leaning against the deal ) that their greatest reward came from change of control bonuses they gave themselves. Plus I think much of the board just wants out.
Thats not conducive for doing whats best for the company.
And here's the intro to the article:
MARK CUBAN, the entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, has a reputation for screaming like a deranged fan from the sidelines during games. He has been fined more than $1 million by the National Basketball Association for his antics since he bought the team five years ago.
Now, Mr. Cuban, who became a billionaire by selling Broadcasting.com to Yahoo in 1999, has focused his infamous bark on a corporate boardroom. The target of his anger is the board of a small Internet company called Register.com, which sells domain names (for example, yourcompany.com) to people and small businesses. He may deserve the Wall Street equivalent of a technical foul for his latest outburst.
SWEET FANCY MOSES! I was literally LOL at that. OMG. O. M. G.
The moral: keep your magic spinny device at home when you're dealing with a public figure with his own media platform.
And, finally... There's a new Soonerfark Internet hero. Check him out with the Ambiguously Gay Ohio State Linebacking Corps: