At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
Butler Visits, Doesn't Commit
— TONY BUTLER (@TonyKnows2) July 15, 2015
Three-star Lakewood (OH) St. Edward CB Tony Butler, who finally decommitted from Pitt a couple weeks ago, visited campus for a few hours yesterday. While Jim Harbaugh was still in France, Butler spent time with Mike Zordich and his former high school coach, Rick Finotti, and he told Scout's Bill Greene the visit helped Michigan's chances:
"It was helpful spending the time with the person that could be be my position coach some day, rather than talking to a lot of different coaches," he continued. "The visit moved them up with me, and I could see myself in that environment. I feel comfortable there, and think I could fit in well."
While a commitment was in the realm of possibility, that didn't go down, and Butler mentioned that he wants to take all five of his official visits—including one to Michigan. The Wolverines are considered the favorite, so long as they have room and want Butler in the class, but there's a new entry into his recruitment: Clemson, which offered on Tuesday, per 247's Steve Wiltfong. They should receive an official, as well.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Let's have a survey. Not a survey about choosing between winning, graduating, and doin' it the right way. A survey about things that are maybe somewhat interesting.
When Michigan chose to partner with Nike for their next apparel deal, it was rumored they did so while turning down more generous monetary offers from Adidas and Under Armour. The details of the Nike contract have been released, and it's safe to say Jim Hackett struck a pretty solid deal regardless. Via MLive's Brendan Quinn:
According to contract details released by the Michigan athletic department, the university's deal with Nike is worth $169 million over 11 years, making it by far the richest of all apparel deals in collegiate athletics. The contract, which will supply all 31 U‐M athletic programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment, will pay $76.8 million in cash and $80.2 million in apparel.
Michigan will receive $12 million upfront, followed by $10.1 million-$10.9 million annually in cash and apparel/equipment.
Notre Dame's 10-year contract with Under Armour, which surpassed Michigan's then-record contract with Adidas, is reportedly for $90 million. From Quinn's article, the next-highest contract for a public school is Texas' deal with Nike, which is worth a little over $5.5M/year.
Yes, saying Michigan signed a deal for $Texas may actually be understating things. Take a bow, Jim Hackett.
UPDATE: The $169 million figure is a little misleading, as that apparently includes four option years tacked on to the end of the deal.
W/o option years, U-M & Nike have agreed to 11-year, $122.32 million deal (includes $12 million upfront). The option is 4 years for $46.68
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) July 15, 2015
As part of the still-record-shattering deal, Michigan will make a pretty penny on royalties:
In addition to shattering the record for the largest deal in NCAA history, Michigan will also receive 15-percent royalty rates on apparel purchases. This passes Notre Dame's 13-percent and is believed to be the highest in the country.
Michigan has a 10% royalty rate with Adidas.
Adding to the list of Adidas wrongs. What really irks me is that the only word appearing on the front of the current Michigan football uniform is Adidas. Unlike most schools, U-M jerseys were famously clean of any identifying words- the signature maize & blue color scheme was all that was needed. The simplistic Nike swoosh, though an identifying trademark, is far less noticeable.
Hoarding disease is a problem with a lot of uniforms these days. In an effort to brand brand brand everything they've cluttered the front of the jerseys with a series of logos: Adidas's clunky stripes, the Big Ten logo, legends patches, bowl patches, a block M or three. There is too much stuff on these uniforms:
They're probably dropping the Legends patches and replacing the Adidas Triangle Of Tiny Text with the swoosh will help; they can ease back on the block Ms.
The Big Ten logo is going to remain a grating presence until the end of time. Because you need to be reminded who is in the Big Ten these days. And that Michigan—surprise!—is in it. But some guy gave a presentation where he muttered something about brand equity, so we're stuck with it. The best they could do is something like they did at Crisler:
Michigan technically complies with the league mandate to have the Big Ten logo on the floor… very technically. If Michigan could get away with a blue-on-blue Big Ten logo that would improve things. I bet some clever person in the league office has already put in a regulation against it, unfortunately.
Maybe a step too far.
Am I crazy for thinking that this is the best look for the away uniform?? Obviously the jersey will be Nike but I love the simple all white jersey and blue numbers. There is enough maize on the helmet and the pants. Maybe put the Block M or number each shoulder pad. I just think simple is better and this jersey is sharp.
I like simple. That might be a bit too simple even for me. It gives off too much of a generic vibe. Is that a Michigan jersey or a random high school from 1950? I do not know.
The above does avoid the clutter mentioned above. It even avoids the many, many iterations of maize trim that have never really come off:
I am so done with maize piping, and maize outlines on the numbers, and maize maize maize on a white road jersey. But the above suggestion needs something to distinguish it. The correct number of design elements isn't a jiggityzillion but it's not zero unless you're Penn State.
Maybe the stripes from the Sugar Bowl jersey:
That everyone liked those is indicative of how low our expectations are these days. I thought they were fine and they have the chest clutter—this partially self-inflicted with a superfluous block M—and weird thin numbers that kind of make it look like everyone is wearing a kids' size. But they weren't a collaboration between a six year old with a glitter gun and the first guy cut on every season of Project Runway so we liked 'em.
[After the JUMP: Bo Xs and Os, and moar Nike.]
Golf is complicated. I used to play all the time because my apartment was on a course and it was an excuse to hang out with certain buddies. But I never got past a level where anyone you golf with thinks it's their duty to correct every muscle twitch in your swing.
You start by having your body perfectly balanced: hips back, torso forward, knees bent, so you don't have re-balance to move. Then you push back, and angle down, checking to make sure the arch of your back is in line with your kneecap and the ball of your foot. Push your hips back, angle your spine toward the ball, flex your knees slightly, check your posture, and set your right side lower than your left so that the ball is in line with the left side of your face and the clubface is facing the target. Start your swing with clubhead first, then hands, arms, shoulders, hips, and shift your weight as your swing comes across your knees, keeping your wrists…
[So a five iron does sink. Good to know.]
Playing to that point did give me quite an appreciation for the guys who do it well. The pros may not move at the speed of Denard, but encoding all of that stuff into perfect muscle memory is absolutely an athletic skill. So I watch the majors, if not with the same gusto as football/hockey—more like the peaceful appreciation I have for baseball.
Also because there's $3 million on the line.
Our fantasy partner Draft Kings is having their biggest game yet to coincide with this week's golf tournament. THREE MILLION DOLLARS will be in the pool. The winner takes home $1 million. And the best part: you don't have to know how to swing a golf club; just know who does it well.
- $3,000,000 prize pool.
- First place wins $1,000,000
- Enter for $20
- Top 37,676 win money
- Starts on Thursday, July 16th
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 6 golfers
The Highlights: WolverineHistorian
The Setup: Despite giving up just three offensive touchdowns all season, Michigan entered The Game looking to prevent Ohio State from a chance at the Rose Bowl; a Buckeye win combined with an Iowa loss would send OSU to Pasadena because of M's last-second loss to the Hawkeyes five weeks prior. The Wolverines still had plenty to play for: avenging the previous year's 21-6 defeat to OSU and making another New Year's Day game.
While the leadup to the 1986 edition of The Game would live on in Michigan lore, the week before the 1985 version was pretty eventful, too. Bo Schembechler suspended kicker Mike Gillette and kickoff specialist Rick Sutkiewicz that week for unspecified violations of team rules, leaving redshirt junior Pat Moons, who'd never attempted a field goal in his career, to handle both jobs.
Ohio State had a wheelchair-bound Woody Hayes give a pep talk before the team made the trip up to Ann Arbor. Bo Schembechler one-upped his friend by bringing in... Bo Derek. Seriously, there's an archived LA Times piece with an incredible Harbaugh quote to prove it:
The last few days were particularly enjoyable. The Michigan coach's friend and namesake, Bo Derek, stopped in Michigan to pick up a custom-made Lincoln Continental at a local auto plant. The Schembechlers invited her to their home for dinner, and she also dropped by Thursday's practice.
Derek really didn't do much except pose for Polaroids with the players. Harbaugh taped his to his locker. "To see her was pretty impressive," the quarterback said. "Although she did look kind of nervous around so many big guys. It's probably because she's so short. Oooh. Maybe I'd better not say that."
Maybe not, but then you wouldn't be Jim Harbaugh, and we'd all be worse off.
[Hit THE JUMP.]