in town for free camps
The season so far, if it were a series of movies:
- Aug. 31: Back to School
- Sept. 7: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
- Sept. 14: The Expendables
- Sept. 21: Chariots of Fire
- Sept. 28: The Princess Bride
- Oct. 5: Any Chuck Norris movie
- Oct. 12: Shaun of the Dead
The last couple times we saw Indiana, unstoppable throw-god Ben Chappell took all the points from Tony Gibson and Bill Lynch took bubble gum out of his mouth. Jordan Kovacs was chasing Darius Willis from behind and everyone else was chasing Denard Robinson.
My goodness, how time flies. Gibson has since run out of points and Lynch has run out of gum. Kovacs stopped having to chase people, although people continued to chase Denard. Sometime at the end of 2010, everything collapsed momentarily and then exploded.
What we have now is a sort of post-apocalyptic situation where the folks in Bloomington are trying to remember how society, civilization, and football are supposed to work. The good news is that nearly everyone from last year is returning, ostensibly in an effort to learn from their mistakes and try to do better. Progress so far has been minimal but sustainable, and the earnest spirit is nice to see. The Hoosiers have learned how to advance themselves from the line of scrimmage, although they are still struggling with the concept of opposing defenses. To make matters worse, they are constantly ravaged by marauding running backs and wideouts.
Head coach Kevin Wilson seems intent on rebuilding the program from the ashes, though, and good on him for trying. Will Indiana finally make the leap in year three? Are they doomed to an endless cycle of promise and disappointment? Would the program be better suited for the MAC? Is this the real life? Are we actually living in the Matrix?
DUN DUN DUN.
Unstoppable throw-god lies low.
Indiana’s starting QB Tre Roberson broke his leg during the second game of 2012. Naturally, backup Cameron Coffman filled in and posted the Big Ten’s best passing yardage in 2012. Wait, what?
Yeah. These things happen sometimes. Even to Indiana! Which has had one winning season (2007) in the last 20 years!
Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that Indiana’s quarterback might be good this year, I should point out the passing competency is a little exaggerated. Coffman completed 60.7% of his passes for 2734 yards at a 6.7 ypa clip. In any other conference that would be unremarkable (Big Ten!). The 15:11 TD:INT ratio is pretty pedestrian, too. The only thing Coffman’s stats tell us is that he threw a lot of passes – like 60 vs. Penn State a lot – not all of which were aimed downfield.
I’m not saying he’s not actually a decent player. The Big Ten just sucks. (Or prefers a nice running game as opposed to wussy throw-ball. However you want to spin that.)
Anyway, as a first-year starter Coffman was pretty streaky. There were plenty of moments of awesomeness (like throwing 3 TDs, 0 INTs against Michigan State) intermingled with general mediocrity. For example, here is awesomeness:
And here is not awesomness:
Over the course of the season he had really great performances against MSU, Ball State, and Iowa, and he tanked against Northwestern, Navy, and Purdue, of all teams.
If he gets the consistency thing down, the Hoosiers passing offense might actually be kind of good. The receivers will certainly be talented enough: Cody Latimer (51 rec, 805 yards, 6 TD), Shane Wynn (68 rec, 660 yards, 6 TD), and Kofi Hughes (43 rec, 639 yard, 3 TD) were first, second, and third on the team in yardage last season, and they all return. At 6-3, Latimer and Hughes are the bigger downfield targets; Wynn is the 5-7 smurf trying to juke guys. I’d expect at least one of them to crack 1,000 yards this season.
If Indiana wants win games, one of them will pretty much have to. That’s because the ground game is pretty stinky. RB Stephen Houston will be a senior this fall, and he has his own consistency issues to work out. Last season he was more cold than hot, although he did manage to end up with 749 yards, 12 touchdowns and a 4.7 ypc average. His 10-ish carries a game as the team’s top rusher suggests that he got his yards mostly by surprising opponents with the ball. As far as ability goes, he’s the type of player that lives and dies by his offensive line, which is bad news for him because his offensive line is crap. Against the competent defenses of MSU, Wisconsin, and Penn State, Houston barely averaged 2.0 ypc.
To put the ground game in perspective, Indiana finished at the bottom of the conference in rushing attempts. That’s a pretty solid vote of no-confidence. But hey, they all return! One year older, one year better, hoorah.
Speaking of guys returning, the whole Coffman-led offense thing could go entirely out the window if Roberson gets his job back.
This photo would be way cooler if they were playing futbol.
Well this looks pretty GERGian. Indiana gave up 35.3 points per game in 2012, and they’re not even a little bit ashamed because they beat Iowa.
So what’s there to look forward to in 2013? Lots and lots of points.
The Hoosiers defensive coordinator is Doug Mallory. He’s the son of former Indiana head coach Bill Mallory and older brother of current Michigan DB coach Curt Mallory’ older brother. Like Curt, Doug also played DB for Michigan under Bo. At the moment, the data on his ability to DC are incomplete. Mallory inherited Tony Gibson’s negative infinity points (literally, since Gibson actually went to Indiana for a little while [ED: Actually that was Greg Frey and Rod Smith; Gibson went to Pitt. Uh, let's pretend his spirit was at Indiana, though.]) two seasons ago and has probably been popping antidepressants ever since. In his moments of clarity he’s done well enough to improve total defense by two points per game up from the 37.3 they gave up in 2011. And here’s a nice little stat I guess: in 2012 the Hoosiers led the Big Ten in sacks and tackles for loss. That’s progress, and progress is happiness.
While the defense returns 10 starters this season, it loses its two relatively talented players in DT Adam Replogle and DT Larry Black, Jr. Even with those guys, however, Indiana gave up 5.3 ypc, good for 8th worst in all of college football. How will the Hoosiers replace them? I don’t know. I feel bad naming anyone because publicly associating individuals with the Indiana defense has to be a HIPAA violation of some sort.
But I suppose I should. This is why we’re here after all.
So. Senior S Greg Heban will be the main guy trying to chase people down from behind. He had 68 solo tackles last year, so it looks like he was pretty good at catching them at least. Good for him. He also had 7 tackles for loss and a sack, so it looks like he has some blitzing ability. For comparison’s sake let’s call him Hoosier Kovacs.
Hoosier Kovacs will be assisted in running-after-people-and-occasionally-blitzing by fellow safety Mark Murphy (70 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 sack), and sophomore LB David Cooper (86 tackles, 9 TFLs, 3 sacks). Together those three will serve as the entire defense while others stand around having intense internal struggles about spots and getting to them.
This team is kind of like: Northwestern’s dystopian alternate reality.
Vs. Michigan: Michigan’s defense will probably play a nickel the entire game, which means we should see a lot of Dymonte Thomas. Seven games into the season seems like a pretty good time for a true freshman to blow up.
Other than that I think the only other thing to pay attention to in this game is when to do the wave. I always miss the first go-around.
Anyway, here is some fun stuff from 2010:
- Aug. 29, Indiana State
- Sept. 7, Navy
- Sept. 14, Bowling Green
- Sept. 21, Missouri
- Sept. 28, BYE
- Oct. 5, Penn State
- Oct. 12, @Michigan State
- Oct. 19, @Michigan
- Oct. 26, BYE
- Nov. 2, Minnesota
- Nov. 9, Illinois
- Nov. 16, @Wisconsin
- Nov. 23, @Ohio State
- Nov. 30, Purdue
Outlook: 5-7 overall, 2-6 B1G
- Wins: Indiana State, Bowling Green, Illinois, Purdue
- Too close to call: Navy, Minnesota
- Losses: Missouri, Penn State, @Michigan State, @Michigan, @Wisconsin, @Ohio State
Dilemma: The HTTV proofs were delivered at the same time as the game.
First a confession: the last time I bought EA's college football game was 10 (the 2009 season) for PS2. I used to get it every year from the Woodson cover to the Desmond cover and play until it was taking more time than I could excuse because an exercise bike was involved. The exception was '05, which I played for four days before going back to 2004, still the gold standard of the series.
The versions I had were all great for power runs to set up bombs but in the summer of 2009 I was mostly interested in wrecking offensive rushing records with Rich Rod's offense. Like anybody with a touch of ASD, I cannot play until I've filled in and fiddled around with Michigan's rosters. Tate Forcier was like an 80 overall when I was done. Denard was probably set to move to cornerback—remember this was the 2009 offseason, when old men in conference hotels were dancing to Weapon of Choice:
Then I started playing and videogame Forcier would throw 8 interceptions per game because linebackers could leap 100 feet in the air. There was no such thing as an incomplete pass; you threw screens or you threw interceptions. It took just three games for my frustration to turn me off from the series and turn me into one of those people who delights in The Consumerist ripping on EA. Other than goofing around on my 2004 dynasty NCAA the game was dead to me.
Then they put Denard on the cover (and the wife let me get a PS3 once I proved how awesome it is at Netflix). And since I'd moved on from guy at convention hotels to guy who works for a college football blog, it turned out I could get an advance copy of the thing with Denard on the cover in return for telling people how I felt about it. A part of me finds it ridiculous that I can get away with this. Since I've been out of things for awhile (and Misopogal has grown skeptical over all this "work" I've been putting in) I'm gonna deliver the game to Ace after I post this, and next week you'll get a review from someone with a frame of reference within the current console generation. Here's the things you should know now:
1. IT HAS DENARD ON THE COVER. Truly it is the most beautiful thing to grace a cover since...NCAA 06? NCAA 99? A baby swimming toward a dollar on the album where music got its balls back? If Denard was smiling maybe.
I adore all of you!
He is actually the most appropriate cover athlete for a version of this game since they put Ricky Williams on the one with unstoppable running backs because…
2. OPTION OFFENSE is awesome. They completely redid that and now read options work the way they're supposed to. EA also gave the defense its option-crushing corner blitzes and scrape exchanges.
I keep forgetting to sub Green in at FB
However the counter to the counter sucks. They put bubble and PA split end screens in the playbook, but the defense reads these way too quickly on any difficulty worth playing. Also I've found my skill position guys tire so fast that when I go to it I keep getting Jeremy Jackson. Anyway the option stuff is the most fun, specifically the read and triple options. Too bad Michigan went back to the future on offense since...
[after the jump]
Previously: CB Reon Dawson, CB Channing Stribling, S Delano Hill, S Dymonte Thomas, CB Ross Douglas, CB Jourdan Lewis, LB Ben Gedeon, LB Mike McCray, DE Taco Charlton,DT Maurice Hurst Jr., DT Henry Poggi, OL Patrick Kugler, OL David Dawson, OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, OL Kyle Bosch, OL Chris Fox.
|Plymouth, IN – 6'5", 290|
4*, NR overall
3*, NR overall
3*, NR overall
3*, NR overall
Nebraska, Pitt, Minnesota, Illinois
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post.|
Decommitted from Pitt for Nebraska, then decommitted from Nebraska. Also, 'murica.
Nothing embeddable. Does have a hudl page.
Wait… what is… three stars? Is that how you say? What? Yes, it's true: some recruiting services think a 2013 Michigan offensive line commit is a middling prospect. We cannot use the well-established script this time out. Panic!
Even so, Samuelson was decently well regarded for… uh… three stars. He got a fourth from Scout and was the first guy with three at 247. In our hybrid eyeballin' star system he'd get 3.5. This would qualify as a lot of Big Ten teams' highest-rated lineman. Here he's sixth. Viva Brady Hoke.
Samuelson watchwords include "blue-collar," "tough," etc. Trieu:
“Absolutely he could bring with him toughness and a blue-collar work ethic. He really has the mental makeup of an offensive lineman. He’s a hard worker and a tough kid. He is a grind it out and get the job done kind of player.
“Samuelson is not going to go to any combines and put up ridiculous numbers. He’s not going to have that stellar 40-time or shuttle time, but he’s the kind of player that you win with especially in the Big Ten."
It does say something that the primary teams on him before Hoke swooped in were Pitt, now in possession of the Wisconsin offensive braintrust, and Nebraska. Scout liked those grinding aspects enough to bump him to four stars, again emphasizing he is a "tough, hard-nosed lineman" and his "blue collar" nature.
ESPN's evaluation is pretty positive relative to their "meh" rankings:
Is quick out of his stance when releasing up on linebackers or pulling to trap; flashes the ability to reach on offset down linemen and get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. Can get tossed at times needing to improve his agility and balance when playing in space. This guy is a tough customer who finishes with the effort we like to see when evaluating offensive linemen. His long arms should be and asset in pass protection.
They have a lot of technique questions and think he's a little bit stiff, FWIW. That evaluation conflicts with some others, which—get this—actually say a high school lineman has good pad level. Josh Helmholdt:
"He's an above average athlete for the position. He really moves his feet well. He plays with great leverage. I think that something that really stands out in his film is that he's always up underneath the pads of the defensive lineman. He just does a lot of things well. I wouldn't say there's any one thing that makes you say 'wow', he's just a well-rounded offensive line prospect."
I think a high school lineman underneath dudes pads is a wow experience but like okay. Clint Brewster also praised his "well above average technique" and mean ol' block finishing—another pattern. A negative: Samuelson's team barely passed, so protection is an unknown. Another from Allen Trieu:
"He plays at a small school that is a little bit in the middle of nowhere. It took some schools some time to find out about him. I think that one of the major areas of concern that was holding schools back from offering was level of competition."
As the scouts say, this is the kind of guy Wisconsin and Nebraska have plucked out of the Midwest for years. His weird recruitment—a quick commit to Pitt followed by a decommit to Nebraska and a decommit to Michigan, no camps at all—is of the variety that holds down reported offers and scouting interest.
At Michigan, Samuelson will play… somewhere. ESPN's profile contains a first:
Samuelson plays effectively at the guard position showing the upper body playing strength needed to control defenders when single blocking. However his size and athleticism appears better suited for the offensive tackle position.
His coach agrees.
"We run the football a lot, but Dan is really long and his arms are long. If you look at him you'd say he was a tackle, but he plays guard for us. So he could play anywhere. I think the sky's the limit for Dan. I think that he could be a real special player on the next level."
Scout projects him at guard, FWIW. The point is Samuelson also comes off the 6'5" swing guy assembly line and could play anywhere on the line according to Funk. Given the recruiting rankings and the odd fact that his high school used him on the inside—almost never the case for high-level D-I prospects—he's probably going to end up at guard, technically. Michigan seems to go with a next-guy-in setup that has sixth and seventh linemen that will pull into the lineup no matter who goes out. Samuelson will train at guard and tackle.
It does seem like Samuelson will stick around even if the depth chart looks brutal for much of his career. Staying close to his family was a major reason he decommitted from the Huskers and he knew what he was signing up for when he made that decision. His coach:
"The thing that separates Dan from a lot of the other kids is he wants to be good. Sometimes you get a big kid that's a superior athlete at the high school level, they're 17 or 18 years old, and they don't have a real strong work ethic. Dan wants to be good, he wants to prove himself. I think that's something that's going to carry him over when he gets into that program and into that strength training program, I think he's going to do really well."
Even if he doesn't start for a while, having a kid like that in your back pocket is a huge asset.
Etc.: The pattern from his coach:
He has been a multiple sport athlete in high school, and he is a great kid. He has never been in trouble, he is a really good student and he has got all of the intangibles. He looks the part… I can tell you that.”
Why Rueben Riley? Riley was a G/T swing guy who probably should have been a guard but was forced into action as a not-very-good right tackle, where his pass protection was exposed. His athleticism was pretty meh, his recruiting rankings in the generic three-star range.
Samuelson has an inch or two on Riley and could have higher upside on the outside with his long arms. I'm just looking for a run-oriented swing guy with middling recruiting rankings. OL YMRMFSPAs are hard.
Guru Reliability: Low. Relatively large swing in opinions, zero camps, not a highly scouted area.
Variance: High. Poor competition in Indiana, never really pass blocked.
Ceiling: Moderate. Punt!
General Excitement Level: Sorry sorry sorry: low. OL are weird and all that but I'm finding it hard to see a situation where Samuelson sees the field early given the strenuous competition. See below. Not that Samuelson cares what I think:
"I'm not scared at all (of the competition)," the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Samuelson said by phone this week. "I knew who's there, and that they're great, but it never scared me. I never looked at it that way.
"I looked at it like two years down the road, this school could be like Alabama, where no one can stop us because of our line."
Projection: Is OL, redshirt.
Then he's in the melee. Seems to be a heavy underdog to start as a redshirt freshman, and if that doesn't happen he's got a wait in front of him. The 2014 line projects to be a junior (Miller), three sophomores (Braden, Magnuson, Kalis), and a freshman (no idea but Bosch or Dawson if you put a gun to my head). If those projections are wrong the net effect will be to make the line younger, not older, unless Chris Bryant comes out of nowhere.
So… Samuelson is probably hanging around as the seventh or eighth lineman for a long time, with injury and washout his best shot at starting until he's a fifth year player. But OL are weird, you know the drill.
Jordan with Bluiett, via UMHoops
Well, nuts. Brad Stevens has shockingly bolted Butler for the head job with the Boston Celtics, throwing over lifelong employment at a place that loves him for an awful lot of money right now and getting fired in like three years because he's an NBA coach not named Gregg Popovich.
This would be pretty dang good for Michigan's pursuit of IN SF Trevon Bluiett, who is basically down to Butler and Michigan, except for…
“He asked us personally, ‘What do you think (would make) an ideal coach for this program?” Butler forward Khyle Marshall said. “We told him a couple of things. We told him we want someone who is familiar with Butler basketball and knows our identity.”
Butler has long hired from within. Possible candidates to succeed Stevens include former players LaVall Jordan, now an assistant at Michigan, and Brandon Miller, a current assistant with the Bulldogs.
“(Collier) told us, ‘Don’t be surprised if we get a new guy this Friday,’” Marshall added.
ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports that Jordan is the frontrunner in a group of candidates that are all Butler alums or former coaches. Unfortunately for Michigan, slam-dunk candidate Matt Graves, a longtime Stevens assistant, just finished his first year at South Alabama and has taken his name out of the running. If Jordan goes that would break up Beilein's new-look staff that turned his program around; Bacari Alexander and Jeff Meyer would still be around, but the guy coaching Trey Burke and THJ would be in Indy.
Jordan getting the Butler job would give Michigan an obvious option to turn to when Beilein retires… or at least it would have if Butler wasn't joining the new Big East this fall. The only thing that pirated Stevens away was a 6 year, 22 million dollar contract from an NBA team.
If Jordan does go, everyone and their aunt will clamor for Jalen Rose to become an assistant… which is not happening. Rose has not coached and has a cushy job with ESPN. It'll be a current Midwestern assistant.
UPDATE: Jordan is interviewing today, and Miller interviewed yesterday. They're the only two candidates, it seems.
The 2013 rosters were updated yesterday afternoon with the freshmen added little tiny bits of else. Could have used this two weeks ago for HTTV. Anyhoo, this kind of thing is what passes for a holiday around these parts. The weights weren't changed so Brian will have to wait until the football media guide comes out (usually early August) to do his WEIGHT GAIN 2000 thing but no amount of "take the day off" is going to stop me from obsessive attention to rosters. Obsessive attention! To rosters!
People from the Spring Roster Now Missing
Nobody. Wait: not nobody. Dan Gibbs is gone but he wasn't on the spring roster despite participating.
Just some stuff on the defensive line. Most intriguing is Brennan Beyer's move to SAM isn't reflected; he remains listed as a DE. Wormley was a DE on the spring roster, is now the nebulous "DL" which I am taking to mean could be either 3T or 5T. Preferred walk-on Ryan Glasgow got "DL" as well, changed from DT. Tom Strobel is a DE instead of DT; since I took it as a bad sign when he seemed to be listed as a DT, going back to the SDE depth chart must be seen as a good sign. These signs are huge overreactions.
We have some!
|Ross Douglas||DB||Fr||7||29||Everybody else wanted to be 7.|
|Drake Johnson||RB||Fr*||29||20||Ann Arborite and program kid knows his Michigan RB numbers.|
|Dennis Norfleet||RB||So||26||23||Jourdan Lewis wanted 26 I guess--still think his DB days are done.|
|Bobby Henderson||RB||Fr*||51||37||More appropriate.|
|Anthony Capatina||DB||Jr*||95||41||95 was a weird number anyway.|
|Jonathan Keizer||WR||So*||27||89||Not the last object Derrick Green will shove out of his way.|
The Freshmen Have Numbers!
A lot of these were already reported. Here you go anyway.
|Name||No.||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||EE?||Hometown (High School)|
|Kyle Bosch||65||OL||6'5||307||✔||St. Charles, Ill. (St. Francis)|
|Jake Butt||88||TE||6'6||231||✔||Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington North)|
|Taco Charlton||33||DE||6'6||265||✔||Pickerington, Ohio (Central)|
|Reon Dawson||20||DB||6'2||175||Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)|
|David Dawson||55||OL||6'4||282||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)|
|Ross Douglas||29||DB||5'10||176||✔||Avon, Ohio (Avon)|
|Jaron Dukes||83||WR||6'4||197||Columbus, Ohio (Marion Franklin)|
|Chris Fox||73||OL||6'6||297||Parker, Colo. (Ponderosa)|
|Ben Gedeon||42||LB||6'3||215||Hudson, Ohio (Hudson)|
|Derrick Green||27||RB||5'11||220||Richmond, Va. (Hermitage)|
|Delano Hill||44||DB||6'0||198||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)|
|Khalid Hill||80||TE||6'2||230||Detroit, Mich. (Crockett)|
|Maurice Hurst Jr.||73||DT||6'2||305||Westwood, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers)|
|Da'Mario Jones||14||WR||6'2||185||Westland, Mich. (John Glenn)|
|Patrick Kugler||57||OL||6'5||280||Wexford, Penn. (North Allegheny)|
|Jourdan Lewis||26||DB||5'10||159||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)|
|Mike McCray||9||LB||6'4||230||Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)|
|Shane Morris||7||QB||6'3||183||Warren, Mich. (De La Salle)|
|Henry Poggi||7||DT||6'4||260||Baltimore, Md. (Gilman School)|
|Dan Samuelson||74||OL||6'5||275||Plymouth, Mich. (Plymouth)|
|Wyatt Shallman||33||RB||6'3||245||Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central)|
|De'Veon Smith||4||RB||5'11||218||Warren, Ohio (Howland)|
|Channing Stribling||8||DB||6'2||170||Matthews, N.C. (Butler)|
|Scott Sypniewski||43||LS||6'1||230||Ottawa, Ill. (Marquette)|
|Dymonte Thomas||25||DB||6'2||187||✔||Alliance, Ohio (Marlington)|
|Logan Tuley-Tillman||72||OL||6'7||285||✔||Peoria, Ill. (Manual)|
|Csont'e York||81||WR||6'3||185||Harper Woods, Mich. (Chandler Park Academy)|
The freshman heights and weights were almost certainly taken from Rivals, or perhaps the same book that Rivals uses. Other than the early enrollees, the only height or weight difference is they put Derrick Green at 5'11 instead of 6'0. The big disagreement seems to be on Shane Morris (pre-/post- mono?), who's 183 to Rivals/MGoBlue but 202 to Scout and 201 to 247Sports; ESPN split the difference at 190. Other weight disagreements I'm keeping an eye on: Scout had Gedeon, Delano Hill, Chris Fox, and Mike McCray 10-15 lbs heavier, David Dawson 8 lbs lighter.
The new walk-ons. Preferred guys I know of are quarterback Garrett Moores, receivers Blaise Stearns and (EDIT) Jack Wangler, guard
s Dan Gibbs and (left team) Greg Froelich, and kicker J.J. McGrath. DeAnthony Hardison, the nifty running back wearing 18 in the Spring Game who wasn't on the listed roster is still not on the listed roster. Wait for the media guide I guess. Happy 4th.
This Week in the Twitterverse takes a look at the social media happenings of the previous week, or whatever else I feel like talking about. Mostly I make fun of people who are better at things than I am. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Consult your doctor if this column lasts more than four hours. If you come across anything you think should be in next week's column, send it to @Bry_Mac.
I should be down as “@Bry_Mac plus 148,000”
Yesterday saw quite the interesting Twitter event. Michigan football's official Twitter account, @umichfootball, went private. Like a bouncer at the club, @umichfootball clicked the velvet rope tight, and they only allowed you in if you were on the uber-exclusive list of 148,600 followers of the account.
Seventeen minutes later, things were going pretty well.
And 13 minutes after that?
C’mon Twitter, you know I don’t speak Spanish
Talk about a failure. Something called #TUMHAYRANGRUPLARISALITAKIBI was trending ahead of #GoBlueVIP (Michigan football's chosen hashtag of the day). I Googled that phrase, and all it returned was, "the fingers you are using to type are too fat. Did you mean to search Special typing wand?" STEP UP YOUR GAME, super special @umichfootball follower people.
Still, for a college team to be trending worldwide on a Tuesday morning is pretty impressive, so you're probably wondering what they did to generate that kind of interest. Fear not, intrepid reader, for I have chosen to break all manner of local ordinance, state and federal law, Twitter mandate, and mattress tag proscription to bring you a minute by minute accounting of this private event. I may have to go Snowden for sharing this information, but that’s how I roll. Among the high points:
10:05 AM: Peewee Pipkins did his Hoke impression.
10:07 AM: Peewee Pipkins ran the stadium stairs for the remainder of the event
10:20 AM: A question-and-non-committal-answer session with Brady Hoke. A short sampling:
Q: What are the strengths of the team you have coming back?
HOKE: Welllllllll, we had several areas in which we executed pretty well, so we need to build on those. Beyond that, it's about performing and playing Michigan football in all phases of the game. Effort. Intensity. Gumption. Verve.
Q: What does the team need to do to improve over last season?
HOKE: Welllllllll, we had some areas in which we didn't execute, so we need to shore those up. Beyond that, it's about performing and playing Michigan football in all phases of the game. Effort. Intensity. Gumption. Verve.
Q: Coach, how's the team's health?
HOKE: We've got some boo-boos, a couple of ouchies, two recurring walk-it-offs, and a particularly nasty rub-some-dirt-on-it. We'll be fine. Next man up. Chick dig scars
Q: Can you give us an idea of how the depth chart will pan out?
HOKE: We've got a few guys, so we'll really know once we get the pads on in August. It's an open competition. The best player will play, regardless of age or experience.
Q: But surely you know a few positions already. Quarterback?
HOKE: Wait until fall. Open competition. Best man.
Q: C'mon, man. Left Tackle?
HOKE: Did I stutter? WAIT UNTIL FALL OPEN COMPETITION BEST MAN.
Q: Any update on Will Hagerup?
/Twitter shuts down
10:45 AM: Roy Manning posted a series of Instagram photos of Brady Hoke pointing at stuff.
11:20 AM: Greg Mattison gave a podcast lecture on the finer points of defending 4-verts out of a 4-3 under set. Don't even pretend you understood what he was saying. The takeaway seemed to be "to defend 4-verts out of a 4-3 under, be Greg Mattison or hire someone who is Greg Mattison."
12:00 PM: One randomly selected person won the chance to hold Brady Hoke's headset cord during an upcoming game (granted, this probably would have been a cooler giveaway under prior regimes)
1:20 PM: We saw a series of Vines of Taylor Lewan battling assorted animals. He took it to the black bear, but the moose fought him to a stalemate. Needless to say the donkey reps were pretty one-sided.
2:30 PM: We heard the debut performance by the OMG Shirtless Michigan Bell Choir. They played Carol of the Bells by Leontovych and Keep Their Heads Ringin' by Dre.
3:15 PM: Coach Hecklinski crank called Mark Dantonio pretending to be an elite recruit interested in committing to Michigan State, but only if Dantonio would sing The Victors while hopping on one foot. Sure it was mean, but Dantonio should have seen through this ruse. After all... elite recruit.
Good times, man. Goooooood times.
Dan Dakich has been known to be a little headstrong on Twitter, and this week was no exception. If you follow Dakich, you probably know that he enjoys a role as something of a media-critic-in-media, which is pretty fertile ground these days (if you don’t believe me, do a news search for ‘Aaron Hernandez and Urban Meyer’ or ‘Aaron Hernandez and Bill Belichick’). However, a recent Indiana University Sports Communication grad named Tony Adragna noticed the somewhat odd dichotomy that Dakich attacked “the Media” while being very much a part of “the Media,” and made a rather innocuous comment to that effect.
Notice the guy didn’t use Dakich’s Twitter handle, so he wasn’t actively trying to engage him in a fight. However, being a noted own-name-searcher, Dakich found the comment and responded on air. Awful Announcing has a nice summary of how things escalated, but the bottom line is that Dakich sorta threatened to blackball this poor kid from IU broadcast media:
And in fact, if you do something stupid enough I know the head of NBC, I know the head of ESPN, I know the head of CBS Sports. You want to get into that, all I gotta do is make one phone call and you're done.
And then, for some unknown reason, Dakich invited Adragna to co-host a radio show with him on his Indianapolis-based radio show. The kid accepted the offer and co-hosted yesterday, and Dakich gave him high marks:
I’ll let everyone draw his or her own conclusion about who acted well and who acted dickishly in this whole ordeal, but I think we can agree that if Dakich’s intention was really to discourage Twitter sniping of his character, holly hell did he do a terrible job of it. In fact, if you’re an IU grad looking to get into broadcasting, the best advice I can give you right now is to try to tweak Dakich. It seems to have given one kid’s career a nice little bump.
Honor among thieves
Not much is sacred in the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State. The schools don't even refer to each other by their actual names. But some things have always been over the line, such as this guy, who has been retweeting stuff from Steve Lorenz that Steve obviously never said. Like this:
"@TremendousUM: Hearing Artavis Scott was arrested for dealing drugs yesterday, which is the reason Michigan pulled his offer"
— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) July 3, 2013
"@TremendousUM: Hearing Hoke cooled and actually pulled Jones' scholarship offer due to off the field/academic concerns"
— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) June 27, 2013
There's trolling, then there's libel. This, folks, is the latter. I encourage thee to report this gentleman for spam. I also congratulate him, @AthletesInSpace, on being named the TWITTER CREEPER OF THE YEAR OF THE WEEK. May your account be suspended, may your dog poop in your shoes, and may you mistake the salt for the sugar the next time you bake a pie.
Nothing to see here folks. Also, don’t look over there.
For those who aren’t regular readers of this column, (a) WHY, and (b) you might not be familiar with the saga of Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. Long story short, back in February he challenged people accusing his program of impropriety to provide evidence or shut their yaps. Predictably, people emailed alleged proof, and a reporter FOIAed those emails. Yesterday Ole Miss told the Clarion-Ledger (a Mississippi paper) that they had concluded their review of those emails, and had concluded that none of them pointed to any NCAA violations.
The only problem with this self-congratulatory declaration of victory: Ole Miss only disclosed about two thirds of the emails they received. One of the reasons they gave was that “the NCAA requires institutions to keep information confidential while the matters are being examined.” In other words, they found no NCAA violations in these things, but they are still being examined by the NCAA or the school for potential violations. Ooooookay.
They also refused to disclose the emails because doing so would have a “chilling effect on future sources of information, thus frustrating our compliance and enforcement efforts.” I’m a lawyer with a pretty solid handle on typical FOIA-type laws, and I have no idea what that means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a thing. They’re refusing to disclose emails that were sent to you by someone who intended to expose behavior on the grounds that by making that information public they would disincentivize future whistleblowing? Looks like someone needs to retake Gordon Gee’s Claim Everything Is Covered By FERPA 101.
The derp will be televised
Storming the field is a dumbass idea. You WILL be caught, you WILL be arrested, and there’s a non-zero chance that you will get absolutely owned. But with that said, if you’re going to be stupid, at least be creative. For example, the three girls who so annoyingly rushed the field in the 8th inning of a College World Series game at least had the decency to create a (since deleted) Vine of the incident. All that remain in the public record are a couple of stills from their escapade:
Like that machine in Twister, perhaps we need data from INSIDE the field-storm to understand why people do this stupid crap. And only by learning can we hope to prevent. Also, you might get proof that you were tackled by one of the cops from Reno 911.
Decided wardrobe advantage
Charlie Weis sent out this Vine of the Jayhawks’ new uniforms for next season:
But it’s Kansas, so does it really matter? It’s just a question of what these guys are going to look like on Sportscenter trying unsuccessfully to chase down players from other, more talented teams.