Now with unstoppable acro-power! Check it, check it... complaints about obscure acronyms begone, as long as you're using Firefox or IE7+. I've discovered the teh sweet "abbr" tag. If you surround text with it, modern browsers will pop up a tooltip if you mouseover said text. So now you know what HWMNBN means! And NSFMF! And TCAIJMU! And, of course, OMG. Don't have Firefox? Get it!
the majesty of decay @ detroitblog
If you had "Terence Moore" in the pool, please pick your winnings up. Moore is the first dimwitted media hack to bag on Detroit. Not that bagging on Detroit makes you a dimwitted media hack: Terence had that all sewed up already.
I've not come here to praise Detroit, but to bury it. The city is a monument to decay. It probably isn't the best place for a Super Bowl. But there's an interesting (and cautionary) tale told by the city. Unfortunately, no one coming into town has the ability to see past the blindingly obvious. That's why they're sportswriters--every time you set the bar for them they manage to snake under it. Luckily for you, the outstanding detroitblog has been chronicling the city's history and architecture for going on three years. A single post is more worthwhile than all the forthcoming Super Bitch columns combined. Highest recommendation.
See! See! Dude, the Knight commission is getting all up in Lemming's creepy business. I'm just going to quote the same stuff Fanblogs did, so here's a link to their fine article on the situation. Here's Rolle:
"He told me if I kept Notre Dame in mind, the NBC (TV) guy would interview me and they would showcase me during the game. He told me I'd have a higher chance of being MVP. I took it as having less of a chance of getting MVP if I didn't keep Notre Dame on my list."
And here's Lemming:
"Myron is the biggest media hound that I've ever seen, I selected him for this game in September, and he played in the game. (Criticism) is part of the business when you select an All-American team. Myron's taking it to a new level. It hurt his ego when he wasn't first-team All-American."
Winner? Well, neither. Both accusations are probably correct. Rolle was hyped as the second coming of Jesus Nagurski earlier in the year as a result of a carefully orchestrated image projection campagin--he plays football! And OMG he wants to be a doctor and has the grades to do so! Meanwhile, Lemming equates Florida State with rectal cancer and Notre Dame with former postman heaven. Pox upon both.
(An aside: if you made me bet on Rolle's future I would say "disappointment." Dude is way too big to play the position he wants to, didn't perform well in the AA bowl, and--this is important--is more than a year older than most high school seniors. This happens all the time in the hockey world, and fans of NCAA Hockey are used to mentally rounding overage seasons down. He's a year closer to his ceiling than everyone he plays against. Note that this also applies for OMG SHIRTLESS QB Jimmy Clausen, who's ranked the #1 player in 2007 by everyone so far. He plays at a school with a ton of DI prospects in a league of scrubs and went through the same "do eighth grade twice" thing Rolle did. Plus, he's a Clausen. This == extremely high probability of hilarious, Powlus-level bust.)
One last thing on the recruiting tip: this Jim__S guy who posts on the message boards is really, really into Michigan high school football and recruiting. He occasionally dumps opuses that are worth reading if you're into the recruting thing. You can read his latest on the Rivals free board... or pay for a Scout subscription(!!!) if you like. You stay classy, Beaver, and I'll continue being that naysaying bible guy.
The Basketball Relevance Tour gets started tomorrow in Happy Valley. Big Ten Wonk discusses the #1 dullest hoops blog topic (officiating) and comes to the conclusion that Michigan is getting pity whistles. Wonk also points out this wack article in the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel that starts with this graf:
What Michigan has done so far shouldn't have surprised anyone.
Say what what? Sure, Daniel Horton operating at unprecedented levels of efficiency was totally expected. That's why we were all telling Daniel to stop shooting, stop shooting, and for the love of God, please stop shooting.
Etc.: Jim Tressel's blog features headlines like "It's a Pitty You Can't Stab Real Hookers," "Global Warming is Horse Shit," and "The Five People You Meet In Mitch Albom's Vagina." It is obviously the best thing ever. I want to stress one point: This is the real blog of Jim Tressel. It is not a fake.
The stars! They spread to hockey!
Update 1/30: Linked to a couple articles on DE Adam Patterson, Detroit News article in which Lemming asserts that PA DT Jason Kates will commit to Michigan. There's also an South Bend Tribune article with a mention that ND was going to pursue Kates after losing out on some high profile DTs. Linked to Columbus Dispatch article with reference to Peters (and Greg Mathews) and an older article. At the time it was written Peters was down to UK and Auburn. Linked to short squib in which Patterson's coach declares he's down to South Carolina and Michigan. Removed OL Daron Rose.
The madness! Does not stop! Here's Rivals' initial top ten for '07. Three Michigan recruits are on it: WI OT Josh Oglesby, MI CB Ronald Johnson, and TX QB Ryan Mallet.
Removed CB commit Jai Eugene.
Editorial Opinion: I am extremely upset about a cornerback prospect who may or may not be very good who I have never seen play deciding to play somewhere else! Balls! Eugene decided that he was going to go to LSU and stay home with his kid, which is amongst the best reasons you can have to do a kinda-crappy thing like tell a school you'll play for them and then not. This did not prevent several message board posters from diving into the douchebag playbook and setting off my Internet Pet Peeve alarm, We Never Wanted That Program Savior Anyway version:
we never wanted him anyway. He's a head case, a loser, afraid of competition, who wasn't any good anyway, who beats his mother I heard. He isn't man enough to play for Old State U. He lied to the coaches. He looks suspiciously like a witch. Let's kill him!
Joey eviscerates said Internets creeps, asking if these people are indeed grown-ass men, to paraphrase. This is "yes" for a certain definition of grown, "no" for another.
So, this sucks--I like to get a gradual runup on panic about a position group instead of having it thrust upon me suddenly--but Michigan should be okay as long as the practice hype on one Johnny Sears pans out. The 2007 class in Michigan is knee-deep in defensive backs of all descriptions (see above: Ron Johnson, #6 on Rivals' early top ten), two of whom are widely expected to commit sooner rather than later. A blow that leaves a sour aftertaste (er... um... that didn't come out right), yes. Reason to run screaming into the hills, yelling "only the strong will survive" at the top of your lungs... probably not. You have the permission of this blog to do so if 2007 looks as bare at corner as this year did, however.
A brief rundown on Michigan's remaining targets:
- OL Daron Rose: Dropped us, unsurprisingly.
- DT Corey Peters: Visited OSU and M recently; those two with UK and Auburn are the final four. I think the late visits to Big Ten schools that had not offered indicate serious interest.
- DT Jason Kates: His Scout profile has the following two teams as "high" interest: Michigan and Syracuse. No offense to Matt Glaude, but, uh, I think we win this battle.
- S Jonas Mouton: Down to USC, Michigan, and Texas, though USC has about four guys of the exact same size and build as Mouton--I doubt he ends up there.
- DE Adam Patterson: Down to Michigan and South Carolina, as the article above notes.
- DE McKenzie Matthews: Haven't heard much about Matthews as of late. He still maintains a nominal top four of Michigan, Pitt, BC, and Syracuse. With things looking good for Peters, Kates, and Patterson he may get slow-played to one of the other schools, though with the Eugene decommit we do have room.
Michigan also picked up its first 2007 commitment, though it's decidedly unsexy as these things go: FB Vince Helmuth from Saline, Michigan. Scout has an interview with Helmuth, who is the half-brother of ex-Spartan TE Chris Baker, now with the Jets. Junior fullbacks from Saline are not noted for having a ton of press, so information is slim on him.
Update: We be out with Matthews. Curses! Foiled again! Although... given the low profile schools remaining on his list, what I bet happened is this: Patterson commits; Matthews is informed that his spot has been filled.
Kevin's brother Kelvin Grady, a 2007 PG/WR/RB/CB/KR/pocket magnifying glass, has committed to Michigan (scroll down) on a basketball scholarship. Now a source of confusion in the Grady household can be shared by the entire Michigan family... awwwww.
Grady's going to be the anti-Matt Trannon: he's short (5'10"), will start with basketball and may move over to football after his first year, and has the good sense to stay the hell away from East Lansing. As a football player he had a trio of impressive early offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, and Michigan State; he also had a basketball offer from Xavier. Here's an MLive article if you're so inclined.
The fact that Grady will be occupying space on Tommy Amaker's roster does not stop the super geniuses at ND Nation from proclaiming that this is obviously a sign of Lloyd Carr's desperation:
...what interests me here isn't the pledge itself but what the pledge signifies. It seems to me that Carr is adopting a far more aggressive posture earlier in the recruiting season than what he has operated under recently.
This is the approach that Weis used in his first year in order to build his reputation as a recruiter, some class momemtum and a sense of ineviatably about ND landing a top class under an untested coach.
What's interesting is that in 07 ND and UM seem to have reversed their postures with ND, having established itself under Weis as a strong recruiter/gameday tactician, taking a wait and see approach while Carr jumps out of the gate early.
While I can't pretend to be objective about Michigan the move by Carr reeks of panic.
Here's to you, Mr. Totally Insane Overanalyzing Weis Ballwasher (Mr. Totally Insane Overanalyzing Weeeeeeeeis Ballwasher)!
Kevin and Kelvin have
another brother cousin Kervin... ha! I kill me! His name's actually DeMarcus. He's also a junior who plays basketball and football. No word on whether he'll get an offer.
As it stands, Michigan has three commitments for '06 and six open spots for '07. NCAA rules declare that the maximum number of recruits you can have in a basketball class is five, so if Michigan does not pick up a fourth member of the '06 class they have to sit on that scholarship for a full two years. I would expect someone, anyone, to fill that spot, hopefully Illinois SG Patrick Beverly. Michigan now has Alex Legion and Grady in the '07 class and will be scouring the nation for posts.
I'll take implausible names for $1000, Alex. The gentleman at right is a freshman walk-on on the Minnesota basketball team from Shakopee, Minnesota. Recently inserted into the starting lineup, he helped spark the Gophers to a massive upset of Indiana. His name is...
- Chris Webber
- Fjord Fjordsson
- Samuel H. Jackson
- Jamal Abu-Shamala
If you guessed Jamal Abu-Shamala you guessed right! A truly astounding clash of stereotype with reality. I rate it a 2.0 on the K'len Morris scale of Truly Implausible Names.
Deep insights only found here are few and far between, but I can offer you penetrating analysis into the obscure peculiarities of NCAA member institutions and their reporting of football game play-by-play. I previously mentioned how Ontario Sneed haunts my dreams. Now I bring you this exciting play from last year's Louisiana-Monroe versus Troy slobberknocker:
(1st and 10) Foster, Julian HAIL MARY! pass incomplete to Williams, Darius (Williams, S).
Outstanding. A salute to you, anonymous, underpaid, and bored sports information intern at Troy! Thanks to you, we now know that the Sunbelt is not completely and totally without merit--it is merely 99.99% without merit.
I know we said local, but... Former Michigan cornerback Jeremy LeSueur is on the Seahawk's practice squad. This warrants an article from the Free Press. Seahawks Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson gets a profile in a Pittsburgh newspaper.
On this date in 1998... the basketball team was ranked. It dropped out of the poll on April 11th. It returned today at #20. A listing of things that happened in between:
- two presidential elections
- one poperation
- three instances of Notre Dame "returning to glory"
- zero Notre Dame bowl wins.
Also, Chris West ponders the enigma that is Graham Brown:
Michigan's Graham Brown has always intrigued me. I remember seeing him as a freshman, and thinking that I'd never seen a freshman who's frame was as filled out as him. Four years later, he actually looks like he's lost some of his bulk, but he's still a huge physical presence. Heck, just ask Kammron Taylor, who ran into one phenomenal screen set by Brown.
National Creepy As Hell Day, AKA "Signing Day," is Wednesday. As such expect a temporary flood of creepy recruitin' news followed by an even creepier post-coital cessation. MLive Michigan blog The Diag has a roundup of the various things going on. One caveat: they quote Lemming saying...
And since I've mentioned Lemming, let me go ahead and start by linking you to a chat that he had on CSTV.com last week. Of note is that he says safety Jonas Mouton "will wind up at either USC or Texas" and that Michigan is an early favorite for coveted 2007 quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Lemming's information on Mouton is wrong; Michigan is still in it.
1/28/2006 - Michigan 85-76 Wisconsin - 15-3, 5-2 Big Ten
Well, this is different. If you had told me in September that the best team on campus would be the basketball team, I would have punched you and called you Sparty. So it is, though. On Saturday Michigan leapt out of the gate, controlled the game from start to finish, and was never seriously threatened by a team that is in the top twenty of the RPI. At home, sure. Wisconsin's missing three guys due to academics, sure. Still: a comfortable victory over a team in the top twenty of the RPI and on top of the league, right after beating Michigan State. Thees... how you say... happy fun.
It says something when the only negativity in comments of this very blog is directed at a player who went 8 of 10 from the field and scored 18 points in 15 minutes on the floor. It says something good.
Update! Whoops. I forgot that I promised video of Graham Brown's thunderous screen from the heavens on Wisconsin's Guy Who Looks Exactly Like Chris Rock Guy. And, thanks to Tony of Have You Met Tony fame, here is the Graham Brown Screen Of Doom.
Now with non-pejoratives! Big Ten Wonk's "Is Michigan back?" test: fill in "As expected, Michigan _________" with something non-pejorative. We now have some non-pejoratives (all stats from Ken Pomeroy, hero of the proletariat):
- battered their opponents senseless on the boards. This isn't quite "As expected, Michigan." It's more "As expected, Graham Brown," but he's on the team, isn't he? Michigan rebounds 35.7 percent of its misses and allows its opponents only a 29.1 percent o-rebound rate, a significant gap that translates into several possessions a game. This helps mitigate the vast quantities of turnovers the team produces.
- powered through injury and the omnipresent Big Ten foul trouble with unexpected contributions from the bench. Seriously. Though Petway and The Riddler have a multitude of flaws, they're both productive players. (Hunter had 15 points against Wisconsin.) How many Big Ten teams can say that about posts #3 and #4? I think Michigan State's fourth post is Drew Naymick or The Gods Must Be Crazy-refugee Idong Ibok.
Couple the post depth with Ron Coleman's emergence as--I swear to God I'm not kidding--something of a defensive stopper and Jerrett Smith's uncanny ability to provide assists slightly more often than he turns the ball over and that's like a bench and stuff.
- shot the freakin' lights out. Pick a number that corresponds with Michigan's nationwide rank in effective field goal percentage. Wrong. Try five more times. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. The answer: 13th of 334 teams.This is not entirely attributable to Courtney Sims going all Brobdingnag on the Delaware States of the nonconference schedule, either. Michigan has four players above 40% on threes: Lester(s) Abram(s) (45.5), Jerrett Smith (42.9), Daniel Horton (41%), and Dion Harris (39.7... crose enough!). Plus they have Hunter and Coleman hovering around 35 to 37 percent.
This puts Michigan's 3PCT well into the range where Big Ten Wonk would probably sign off on it being a Perimeter Oriented Team with a couple of exclamation points and a reference to Michigan's Edvard Munch-level horrific turnover rate, but only 31% of Michigan's shots are its undeniably effective threes because they're shooting 55% on two-pointers. The mind! Boggling!
- played pretty OK defense. Despite not having any particularly outstanding features save the aforementioned rebounding, each portion of the defense is at least okay. The parts of it that are good (two-point field goal percentage, defensive rebounds, blocked shots) lift the meh parts to a place that's fairly secure: 69th in schedule-adjusted efficiency.
So, there you have it. A team that doesn't suck. I held back on the swanky new Horton/Cazzie Russel banner until after the Wisconsin game... you know, just in case. I've long been emotionally disengaged from the basketball team for obvious reasons, but at one point on Saturday I swore at the TV and I meant it. Long live inappropriately prioritized sporting events!
Two critical games today for the basketball and hockey teams. 123... don't suck.