[Still time to get in our $5 league before tomorrow]
The Jimmah tag returns. Jimmah: always and forever.
The title suggests this will be another post making fun of NFL beat writers; negatory. This is the latest game with fantasy partner Draft Kings that we're collectively collecting in, a $5 NFL league with a $400k prize pool.
There's just one pick I will stand behind: the Bears benched Cutler this week, meaning good ol' Jimmah is gonna start against Ndamukong Suh and the Lions. For $3100 fake draft dollars you can have the Lions' defense. For $5 real dollars you can have another bracket and take the Lions again.
-$400,000 prize pool
- First place wins $50,000
- $5 entry fee
- Top 18,995 are paid.
- Starts on Sunday, December 21st at 1:00 EST
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense
- Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex and 1 Defense
- First time depositors at DraftKings receive a 100% bonus up to $600
HI IT'S ACE YOU WILL ALL CALL ME BRIAN EITHER BY MISTAKE OR INTENTIONALLY BECAUSE THAT'S HOW IT WORKS NOW.
This is such non-news that I didn't want to write a post about it but people are freaking out because it's on ESPN Radio and such so I guess it's worth a post. Marcellus Wiley, the guy who replaced Colin freakin' Cowherd on SportsNation, hit the radio today saying he's "as confident as [he] can be" that Jim Harbaugh has already signed a contract with Michigan, which is almost assuredly 100% not true. A transcript of his remarks via the Daily's Alejandro Zuniga:
Harbaugh is still under contract with the 49ers. He's coaching them tomorrow night. He's not simultaneously under contract with Michigan. The only reason this is somewhat worth posting (aside from the accompanying freakout) is that Wiley may be getting an actual contract confused with a Memo of Understanding; I'm by no means a lawyer, but my understanding is a MOU is completely nonbinding. Harbaugh signing one of those would be a good sign but not at all a guarantee that IT'S HAPPENING.
Other stuff from today...
MOSS PUMPS THE BRAKES. The DSR's Jeff Moss, who was among the first to say that Michigan was pointing a rather large money cannon in Harbaugh's direction, is less optimistic after hearing this:
Anyway, last night Jim Harbaugh called one of his former teammates. The conversation did not start well as my source states the San Fran head coach asked, “Would you hate me if I didn’t come?”
He also suggested that the Atlanta Falcons, who are backed by Home Depot money, could enter the fray; Mike Smith's tenure there has gone decidedly south over the last two seasons and he could be on his way out.
Providing the rebuttal is The Wolverine's Chris Balas, who said in a pretty optimistic update that he doesn't believe the rumored "would you hate me?" quote ($).
SCHEFTER STATES THE OBVIOUS. Welcome to the show, Adam Schefter.
49ers HC Jim Harbaugh’s family and friends have been encouraging him to take the Michigan HC job, but he is torn because his heart is in the NFL, per sources close to the situation.
Harbaugh first would like to see what head coaching opportunities come available – and he is likely to be a top choice for a handful of teams – before getting back to Michigan with an answer, per sources.
Harbaugh would like to finish coaching this season, go through the players’ getaway day on Monday, Dec. 29, and then make his decision as quickly as possible. As another source said, Harbaugh’s agent, Dave Dunn, already “has a good sense of realistic NFL options already.”
But as one Michigan source wondered Friday, “If he wants to stay in the NFL, who will pay him $8 million per year?”, an indication that Michigan is prepared to go hard after Harbaugh.
There's more at that link. It's entirely stuff that's either common sense or points already covered by Michigan insiders, but I guess it's nice to see an NFL guy get on board with the whole Michigan Has A Real Shot thing.
META: There was a board thread asking for a health update, so I posted one.
Michigan (6-4) vs.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||Noon ET, Saturday|
|LINE||Michigan -2 (KenPom)|
PBP: Dave O'Brien
Analyst: Dan Dakich
Right: You're all right by me, LB.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. %Min and %Poss figure are from this season now—yes, there will be a fair amount of noise in these numbers for a while. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open.
|G||11||Nic Moore*||Jr.||5'9, 170||80||24||No|
|The rare sniper point guard. Tiny, great shooting #s, high assist rate, TO-prone.|
|G||1||Ryan Manuel||Sr.||6'4, 185||57||15||Very|
|Relative non-factor offensively. More FTA than FGA. Athletic defender.|
|G||4||Keith Frazier||So.||6'5, 190||68||19||No|
|Good shooter, mostly takes threes. Solid defensive rebounder.|
|F||00||Ben Moore||So.||6'8, 205||76||22||Very|
|Active off. rebounder and shot-blocker. Gets to FT line. Iffy finisher (45% 2-pt).|
|C||2||Yanick Moreira||Sr.||6'11, 220||60||25||Very|
|Efficient finisher, very good rebounder and shot-blocker. Welp.|
|G||21||Ben Emelogu||So.||6'6, 205||46||14||Yes|
|Same profile as Manuel except he takes some threes, hits 27% of them.|
|C||15||Cannen Cunningham||Sr.||6'10, 225||44||22||Very|
|Good shot-blocker, only okay rebounding #s, decent finisher.|
|G||3||Sterling Brown*||So.||6'6, 200||44||13||Kinda|
|Tiny usage. Good rebounder, finisher. Shot 3-pt well LY but 0/6 this season.|
Larry Brown's SMU squad is off to just a 7-3 start, but their losses are all of the quality variety: road games at #7 Gonzaga (by 16) and #51 Indiana (by six) and a home contest against #31 Arkansas (by six). They've tallied a pair of home victories against top-100 opponents: #64 Wyoming and #88 UC Santa Barbara, though they needed overtime to dispatch the latter. Outside of a win over #108 Eastern Washington, the rest of their triumphs have come against relative dregs.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
Harbaugh wears ties for these kinds of events
IS IT HAPPENING? More unconfirmed reports that it's happening, including a number of people sending me a receipt for ties from Van Boven—a local upscale men's retailer—destined for one Jim Harbaugh in California. HE GOT SOME TIES is in the THEY'RE SHOPPING FOR A HOUSE vein of circumstantial evidence, except… somewhat less convincing. But I'm pretty sure Jim Harbaugh just got some ties from Ann Arbor. Or at least someone who knows him sent him some.
Please do not send Jim Harbaugh ties unless he's coming back, readers.
In less speculative connections: players on the team are pretty optimistic. Some recent grads have the same agent as Harbaugh and they are feeling good about it, and it's filtering out as they tell the people around them. The telephone chain is pretty long here (Harbaugh to agent to recent graduate to current player) and there's a natural inclination to turn "it might be happening" into IT'S HAPPENING along the way, but… yeah, players on the team are thinking it's happening.
I have totally unconfirmed reports that there's a verbal agreement and the only thing that could nix it would be an NFL team coming in with a ludicrous deal. I don't know if that should make you feel better or worse, because a ludicrous NFL deal is definitely a possibility. Conflicting reports on whether Hackett and Harbaugh have actually met/talked or if this is still at the agent stage. I don't buy the verbal agreement bit—too much telephone for that to be meaningful.
I can state that there is stuff going down at the regents/AD level, with meetings scheduled today and Monday. It is possible some of these meetings may turn into public events. Something is happening. Is it IT?
FWIW. I find the react posted by thosewhostay7 to be pretty credible; people have been questioning whether I still buy it. I'm not saying it's gospel, but it is a data point, one that agrees with other stuff I've heard: Harbaugh is just now seriously considering his future, Michigan wants this done by January 1st, and that even if an NFL team promises him the moon the fact remains that he has an owner who is likely to meddle. "Autocracy" is in fact what college offers, for the most part. Bayesian reasoning, man: this is not as good as getting a call from Hackett but it's enough to move the needle some.
This is in conflict with the done deal stuff, yes. I think the done deal stuff is less accurate than the above. I know you don't want to hear some of it; don't shoot the messenger. My current status: considerable, but fearful optimism.
ROSS IS NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN THE BAD WAY (FOR NOW). Ross puts it out in the media that he's not interested in being an NFL suitor for Harbaugh:
Despite widespread media speculation that the Dolphins will pursue 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, owner Stephen Ross has shown no indication that he has any interest in making a coaching change, sources told the Miami Herald on Thursday.
Furthermore, the organization has no desire to be used as leverage in Harbaugh’s upcoming negotiations — which some see as inevitable based on Ross’ previous relationship with Harbaugh.
Given previous speculation that he would jump in if Michigan was out, that's good news. For now.
MORE ON TIMING. December 23rd has been kicked around as a potentially important day; it is, but not because it's Harbaugh's birthday. I mean, it is important because it's Harbaugh's birthday. If he comes that's New Christmas. In terms of the coaching search, though, it's important because it's one of two scheduled meetings between Hackett and the team. That's a point at which we might get unofficial word, or at least a vibe on whether it's happening.
The second meeting is scheduled for the 28th. You will no doubt read something into that whether I tell you to or not.
THE PRECISE NUMBER. Bruce Feldman and John U Bacon both said the Godfather money mentioned by the NFL press is not accurate. If so it's not that far off, as I've heard numbers ranging from 45 to 49 pretty consistently and Webb is saying that is the number, period. PFT is on point with their article, noting that the offer is disputed "because of course it is." This coaching search, everybody!
The number that is likely in dispute is how many years it is, as that has ranged from six to eight. Have heard that in lieu of a traditional buyout, the contract is backloaded to encourage Harbaugh to finish out the deal.
Either way we are talking Saban money, enough that if Harbaugh does stay in the NFL it isn't about said money.
LET'S READ EVERYTHING INTO PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES. Harbaugh did not say "screw you guys, I'm going home" yesterday, but in terms of reasonable presser outcomes this was pretty good:
-Q: Have you been offered a contract by the University of Michigan?
-HARBAUGH: As you know, I only talk about the job that I have. We’ve been together a long time. Always been my policy.
-Q: Trent mentioned recently that you and he met briefly this week and agreed that you’d talk about everything at the end of this season. Was that something you asked for? How did that come about?
-HARBAUGH: As you know, Trent and I have discussions every day. So…
-Q: You said in the off-season that your intention was to coach out this contract. Is that still your intention?
-HARBAUGH: Umm… Yeah, I’ve said I’m going to finish this ’til the end. My focus is the same as the players’ focus, it’s the same as the coaches’ focus, the focus on the practice field, the focus in meetings, by our players, by our coaches and by me.
That is our focus–this football game against the San Diego Chargers. And playing well and winning. That’s where our energy and focus is.
San Francisco beat writer and licensed internet troll Tim Kawakami thought there was something a bit different with Harbaugh:
I've been around Harbaugh a lot. I've asked him a ton of questions. This was the calmest I've ever seen him. http://t.co/bppIIxl3CD
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) December 18, 2014
You wont have Harbs to kick around anymore? Let's read into that excessively, okay? Okay. It's agreed. Based on a licensed internet troll's opinion of Harbaugh's body language, Harbaugh is a lock. Glad we could come to this opinion together.
YOU OWE US A DOLLAR. Steve Addazio signs an extension based on rumors that Michigan might be thinking about thinking about considering making him a part of their long list. This turns into:
This development removes Addazio from the search for a new coach at Michigan, where he was considered one of the prime candidates after San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan didn’t make direct contact with Addazio, but a source said the school reached out to gauge his interest.
My eyes roll so hardcore at that. Yes, Michigan pinged Addazio's agent. They pinged David Cutcliffe. They pinged a number of people who aren't in need of an extension right now. None of that means anything except you are on the long list. Football Scoop of course took this as evidence that their previous take on Addazio was gospel and I mean… cumong man.
A lot of this is people talking to coaches. Why would coaches know anything about Michigan's search unless they are actively involved in it? Coaches are not sources.
I AM NOT IN HARBAUGH'S BUSHES. I had to miss my weekly spot on WTKA because I'm out of town, leading to a joke about how I'm in San Francisco. I am not, please don't blame me if everything falls apart. It is not because I'm creepin'.
A REMINDER. Chatsports is not credible, even if they've moved on from the Ace Williams moniker. Good luck at prom this spring though.
Harbaugh Madness. The Harbaugh above, the Harbaugh of Moonlight Graham, placed Michigan a four seed. Many NFL types were Harbaughing that Michigan would be left out of the Harbaugh. He then predicted a Michigan-Miami finals. Since then Michigan Harbaugh'd the 49ers, but the Fins were dispatched by Oakland, who will now take on Michigan for all the Harbaughs.
Harbaugh? This Harbaugh the Harbaughs were hard for Harbaugh Harbaughs. To get a better Harbaugh for the Harbaugh of Harbaugh, alum96 looked into the 2010 Stanford Harbaugh. The Harbaugh Hars will Harbaugh this:
The commonly held belief that Stanford offense was all Andrew Luck is just wrong. Luck had a great 2010 and 2011 (post Harbaugh) and a decent 2009. But the Stanford offense of 2009 and 2010 was centered on the run - which did include Luck to a significant degree.
Accoring to jbbiza, Harbaugh Harbaughed to Harbaugh with Harbaugh, certainly, but also with some Harbaugh recruiting and development. A Harbaugh metric that Harbaughed Harbaugh back into Michigan Harbaughs was the number of Harbaugh-fers that turned up around recruits Michigan (and many Harbaugh schools) wanted.
Not Harbaugh. A timeline, from Three & Out, of how Michigan was well into screwing up the 2007 coaching fiasco before a blue chip fell right in their lap (and they proceeded to screw even that up). At that point Harbaugh was one 4-8 season into his Stanford career, so he wasn't really considered.
Filling out your bowl bracket. Years ago I put out a bowl picking and watchability chart based on Football Outsiders' stats, and club_med has been keeping that tradition alive.
Harbaugh of the Harbaugh
WTKA SAID BRIAN IS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Gameboy took it from there.
FELDMAN SAYS THE MONEY'S WRONG
I wish I could help here; I'm confident that a contract was written because we got that from multiple sources. I personally don't have any sources or even know who put the $8+ million/year number out there, except Sam Webb suggested six years as a plausible term, and I figured that was getting echo chambered into an e-fact he never meant it as.
MORE HARBAUGH STORIES WE CAN'T CONFIRM
The thread took awhile to pan out but this call for Jim tales yielded a few fun things, like Harbaugh drumming at 3 a.m., doing the macarena, having a posse.
MICHIGAN LEGISLATORS ARE ALL OHIO STATE FANS APPARENTLY
They passed the superfluous bill that would ban student athletes at state universities from unionizing (superfluous because they would be classified as state employees and therefore not subject to the same laws that govern a private institution like Northwestern). Ultimate effect will be to give Urban Meyer one more thing he can tell recruits about why Michigan and MSU don't like their players (Ohio legislators tried but have yet to pass the same thing).
The "no politics" rules are suspended for things that directly affect Michigan sports, though the mods are watching these threads closely because—there's no way around this—in this case one party is absolutely the problem: it was a strict party line vote in the House and off by three of that in the Senate. My biases: I've never done anything more political than write stuff or vote (split ticket), but I've joined the people trying to undo the gerrymandering that led to the supermajority (despite the other guys getting 51% of those votes) that's creating this stuff.
ETC. Open Harbaugh thread. Rehashing that old thing. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh if no Harbaugh? Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Hokebaugh? Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh staff. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh. Harbaugh.
Your Moment of Zen:
I DON'T WANNA WAIT FOR OUR LIVES TO BE OVER
I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW WHAT WILL IT BE
wow never thought I'd be quoting Paula Cole on this blog
okay that's a lie
at least I can admit it, unlike NFL reporters
PRETTY MUCH. Clint Brewster talked to two guys($), one of whom said it's a "total ploy," no chance, lol GTFO. The other said it was a done deal. This coaching search in a nutshell.
ON THE LEAK. I've seen a lot of commenters and some respected media folk speculate about whether the numbers and existence of a hard offer becoming known to the public is good or bad for Michigan. I don't know; I do know that assertions that the agent is flogging it publicly in order to set Harbaugh's market price are not the whole story even if they are accurate.
The approximate number was out there in the Michigan paysite sphere for a week or two, and the first example of it breaking into the wild was a local news guy in Arizona who again got it from the Michigan side of things.
At that point Michigan makes a bonafide offer to Harbaugh. By bonafide I mean it is a you-can-sign-this-now contract Michigan had drawn up Sunday and Monday—I am certain of that information. NFL reporters start banging on his agent to find out what's going on, asking if the Joe Pequeno tweet had the right numbers. Agent says yes, things go to plaid. The "leak" was out there for any NFL reporter to see well before this happened, but if they don't hear it from an agent it can't be true.
Michigan didn't put it out there on purpose, but it was out there already. It is too hard to keep that under wraps when you need to gather the donors to make the big-ass offer happen and ping the regents to make sure your big-ass offer is okay by them. People talk.
Then once it's out there, it's a lot harder to flat-out lie to a guy you have to have a working relationship with when he has a specific number instead of a vague idea. I'm not bothered by the numbers getting out. Once they were on paper it was bound to happen.
ALSO. Emailer notes that this is a very mergers and acquisitions move from Hackett, a "bear hug" offer that is difficult to escape from. As a bonus it uses the window in which only Michigan can act with authority. NFL teams can whisper into his agent's ear about giving him the world; Michigan has put its meat on the table, so to speak. Look at all of it.
ON MICHIGAN'S SUPPOSED CHEAPNESS. Adam Schefter continued to throw cold water on things today during an appearance on ESPN radio, to the point of implying he did not believe the offer is even real. He does not aid his credibility when he says things like this:
"Michigan has balked at private planes for recruiting, balks at iPads for the players, increasing the size of it's support staff. Now they offer all this money to Jim Harbaugh."
The assertion that Michigan is cheap like that is either outdated or just wrong. They're building everything for everybody, and the opulent basketball PDC renovation gives you a good look into what revenue athletes (and the non-revenue ones, actually) are furnished with:
The new practice court area also features four overhead cameras that allow coaches to record practice. In addition, coaches are equipped with a hand-held remote to track various in-practice moments on film, and monitors inside the facility allow for instant teaching moments during practice.
After practice, players are offered a chance to unwind inside the player's lounge, a recreation area featuring lounge chairs, video game systems and an 84-inch television screen that also has the ability to be split into four separate 42-inch monitors.
The lounge is adjacent to the Michigan locker room, a circular high-technology facility featuring individual iPads for each player. Players have the ability to watch game film and go over other team material from their individual iPads, and coaches have the opportunity to cue up film from a large flat screen monitor inside the locker room itself.
This article just keeps going in this vein. Bathroom-conscious Jim Harbaugh will surely be pleased to note this:
Michigan men's coach John Beilein has the largest office in the wing, complete with a personal restroom and shower facility.
It's kind of gross what all the money goes to but Michigan's spending it just as furiously as everyone else.
I'm not quite sure what Schefter means by "support staff," but many of those positions, even the non-coaching ones, are limited in number by NCAA mandate and Michigan fills all the slots. They have four football analysts, an executive assistant to the head coach, an administrative assistant to the head coach for recruiting, four equipment guys, two video guys above and beyond the analysts, a dedicated counselor, etc etc etc. Recruiting budgets are weird—OSU was amongst the smallest spenders in that category in 2012 and 2013—but even so Michigan is on par with the rest of the league save Nebraska, which has no local recruiting base, and Illinois, which is just desperate.
Consider items about Michigan being cheap to be pulled from the buttock area. It is just about the only charge you can't level at Dave Brandon's AD. Brady Hoke averaged four million a year as Michigan's head coach. QED.
ON TIMELINES. I've heard a lot of different possibilities, with most asserting that this will happen only after the 49ers season is done. There is a wild rumor that a bunch of people have been told to clear their schedules this weekend that I can't confirm at all, and Steve Lorenz relates that Michigan's current commits have been told to expect something before Christmas($).
ON JUCO ADMISSIONS. Colin Cowherd apparently said something about how the offer includes the ability to admit JUCOs. This statement has no validity. Even if Michigan said they'd bend a little bit on that, that wouldn't be in writing or anything Cowherd is privy to. And the chances they did offer that to a guy who made Stanford into a power are minimal. For one, that promise is not one the athletic director can give.
I know I know, Austin Panter. Panter was an exception to the JUCO rule: he was a kid who qualified out of high school and still went to JUCO because he was at a school so small they played 8 man football. Michigan also had Russell Shaw back in the late 90s. It is not impossible; it is unlikely and will remain so.
Private jets, meanwhile… whatever. Michigan's got those coming out their ears.
ON TOPPING MICHIGAN'S OFFER. It can be done, of course. It'll be harder to do for the Raiders than other people, because California. Via Rivals user SevenToEightySix:
$8,000,000 in Michigan is going to end up being about $4.546mil after federal and state taxes.
$10,000,000 in California is going to be $4.89mil after federal and state taxes.
I don't think this is going to come down to money. If it does the Raiders will have to go to 12, at least.
I THINK WE JUST MADE IT PRETTY CLEAR. Reasons to stay in the NFL!
THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT AT MICHIGAN REMAINS UNCLEAR
That is not your best argument today.
STAY TUNED FOR GENERIC DENIAL. Standard weekly Harbaugh presser scheduled for 4:40 Eastern. Hopefully it'll be one sentence…
…but more likely it's I AM RELENTLESSLY FOCUSED ON OUR GAME THIS WEEKEND again.
ETC: Eric Adelson on the offer. I've got your unseemly right here in my pants. I had to miss my WTKA spot this week with family things but I was on the Solid Verbal. About the 20 minute mark. Tim Kawakami could take some twitter pointers from Charles Robinson. I'll revisit this in more detail if we in fact get Harbaugh, but here's Nick Baumgardner talking to an old USD player of his.