i find this extremely interesting
I generally avoid thinking about "the Horror", as well as all things related thereto, but this was a fun story to come across in this morning's Freep (which forwards to this Fredericksburg.com story):
Kerry "Brown, a rookie offensive lineman, attended Appalachian State ... This week, Brown is among a slew of [Redskin] roster hopefuls who might as well be called hair because there is a good chance they will be cut."
I walked over and introduced myself, but when I extended my hand, I noticed his were both holding helmets.
"This one's Jon Jansen's," Brown said, referring to the Redskins' veteran tackle who is a--gulp--Michigan alum. "He came over to me and said, 'Hey, rook. Carry my helmet. Where's Appalachian State now?'"
After the morning practice, Jansen strolled into the training facility with both hands free.
"It's great to have Kerry here," Jansen said. "I don't like carrying my helmet."
My favorite day of the off season occurred last week with relatively little fanfare in the mainstream circles of college football fandom. Internet books released the lines for their "games of the year" for the upcoming 2008 season. Some relish the recruiting letter of intent day and the rush of new prospects and stars committing to your school. Others soak in spring ball, scouting their squad to see what next year will bring. But for me, its when this buffet of point spreads are announced for the expected bell weather games of the season. It's closer to the start of the season than those other moments, so it adds to my already anxious anticipation. More than anything, by providing a tangible expectation for specific games, it moves forward the hypothetical arguments we're already making about the upcoming season. I now can day dream an entire three mile run away wondering how notre dame is going to bounce back like many expect when they're not even favored to beat a North Carolina club that has not had a winning record in six seasons.
Sportsbook.com released a little over 100 lines last week and included among them were four games involving the Michigan Wolverines: the home game vs MSU and road tilts against Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State. A few days ago, I wrote a diary breaking down the spread in Michigan's opener against Utah, and now lets take a look at these four showdowns.
Michigan +3.5 at Notre Dame. The Irish pegged as favorites in this game might negate the above doubt about a possible rebound season generated by their under dog status against the Tar Heels. Let's just call that even and say ND is as much of a mystery as Michigan. This line stands out because recent history in this series has seen Michigan as the favorite, often times pretty heavy too, as six of the last nine games has seen them laying at least a touchdown. That's too bad because the underdog has owned this series since its modern inception in 1978 going 19-5 ATS with 12 outright upsets and a tie. That's right, the dog is 12-11-1 straight up in this series. You wont find a more underdog dominant series than this one. Michigan is 8-1 ATS as a dog vs the Irish, but just 4-4-1 straight up in those games. Notre Dame has not covered as a favorite in this series since 1982, and we all know what happened in 2006, the last tie ND was favored in this game. Is it worth mentioning that the Wolverines are 18-3 ATS as a road dog of less than a touchdown? Perhaps. So naturally with that kind of history on my side, I feel real good about Michigan's chances here. Then a harrowing thought washes over me. Does this just mean we're about to be introduced to a new Harry Oliver or Reggie Ho, with an iprobable kick sailing through the uprights to snatch victory away from deserving maize abd blue hands? Sigh. Michigan may have covered those games, but just thinking about those devasting losses will force me to down a couple of whiskey shots before I continue this diary.
Michigan +9 at Penn State. Ok, we have a team whose won nine straight against a certain foe, yet they're catching nearly double digits. In these teams thirteeen games against one another--all since PSU joined the league--Michigan has allowed just over 17 points per game to the Nittany Lions. I just dont see PSU suddenly figuring Michigan out and blowing up the scoreboard. They might break the losing streak, but they'll only do it in a defensive slugfest. Points will be at a premium, so I'll take the nice sized head start. There is a segment of Nittany Lion Nation that is expecting a decade's worth of comeuppance in a Wolverine blood letting this October. But Michigan's defense has a lot of confidence matching up with PSU. Replacing Morelli at QB might be addition by subraction, but its just as likely to mean nothing more than a new QB to gripe about. When Penn State made that leap in 2005 it was because they had a special talent at QB whose talents finally were being used right. I dont see a similar spark on this year's PSU offense, so I think we're going to see the same old Penn State team that we've seen for most of the decade. The one with about as many league wins as Northwestern. I am not sure if thats true, but I am pretty sure I read it somewhere in the back of this year Big 10 media guide. Trust me, dont worry about looking it up. Maybe its too easy, but I really love Michigan and the points here.
MSU +4 at Michigan. Well, at least we're still favored to beat Little Brother, right?!?! But even this line is eye opening in how little in the long run the expectations are for Michigan this year. Consider that in the last five games between these two at the Big House, Michigan has been favored by an average of 13 points. This is a line where we could see some serious movement between now and then. If Michigan exceeds expecations and looks like, well Michigan, from a record standpoint and Sparty is amid their annual autumnal tumble, then this could balloon. Michigan as a short favorite at home usually is a solid play and, heck, pay a little extra for the money line and eliminate the line altogether. Sounds like a solid plan, but there is a weird historical footnote that could spell doom for Michigan. Each of the last four first-year Michigan head coaches, Bump, Bo, Mo and Lloyd all lost their first game against Michigan State. Lodged between road games at Penn State and Purdue, Michigan cant afford to lose this game or it could be a ugly wheeze to the finish line.
Michigan +14.5 at Ohio State. If this line is even remotely close to this come game time, that means Michigan's season has been as mediocre as many are expecting while Ohio State's has been as top shelf as many expect. Accordingly this game will be looked upon as a total mismatch and the line could mushroom to closer to three TDs than two. And living here in Ohio as I am, I will have to resort to heavy drinking, possibly some violence and certainly a temporary move out of the area in order to survive game week. And, of course, once Michigan pulls off the upset, like the last three Michigan first year head coaches have done in this series, I will quietly creep back to my home county to help collect and bury the bodies after the mass crimson and silver suicide sweeps the state. Now, if this line shrinks to -7--which is what it was in the epic 2006 matchup--then Michigan will at least be playing for a share of the league title. Conjecture, sure, but nothing short of a 9-2 record coming into this game will keep this line in the single digits if its already opening over two touchdowns.
So there you go. Thats my hope for this year's team. To play well enough to only be a TD underdog to the Buckeyes. Its not exactly the slogan to make any new T-shirts out of, but never before I have been so unclear as to what to expect out of the program. So, making the experts in the desert seriously re-evaluate their price on this game so drastically in our favor means that ninja offense we're all drooling about will have already sliced through much of the competition.
The next generation spread...A-11
A team last year tried to run something similar, the problem is with the eligible number rule. On normal plays, you have to have at least 5 ineligible numbers on the field. Now you can line them up in different places, but there has to be five. Last year it was illegal, at least in our game (we shut that team out, so they were trying to catch us by suprise)
How this offense is claiming to be legal is because of the free kick rule. By putting one more than 7 yards back they say they are in a free kick formation. All can be eligible numbers in that formation. http://www.humphinternet.com/A11/pdf/A11ApprovalProcess.pdf
this is the website for the new offense. http://a11offense.com/
We shall see how it plays out.
On my blog, i go through some of the impressions i have this summer from running two of shafers most popular coverages exclusively. wwww.gsimmons85.blogspot.com I think the thing that most are wondering about in the secondary is how are we going to replace Brandent and Jamar? The thing about Shafers defense is that i dont think we are going to have too. The problem i saw from safties over the past several years at Michigan has been hesitation and second guessing. 90% of time if a safety is unsure, he is beat. Shafer (whom many consider to be one of the top secondary coaches in the country) takes the uncertanity out of playing safety. The biggest advantage for having a blitz happy DC, is that the secondary can read and react to qb keys, and not worrie about being looked off, missdirected, etc. The problem is that many times a blitz happy DC puts the secondary on islands. Shafer however with his blitz fakes, zone blitzes, and delayed blitzes, gives the secondary the confidence to know that a QB will never be comfortable enough sit back and read what they are doing. Shafer will spend a ton oftime in two-a-days working with his defense on reading QB's Arm angles, foot work, shoulder moves, etc. So having said that, I look for our safties to have big years, not becasue they are better than my second sons name sake (Brandent) or the guy from Butler highschool, just down the road from me (jamar) but rather because they are better coached, and have a better scheme for them to have success under.
One of the "entries" today on ESPN's new Big Ten blog is a phone interview with Kirk Ferentz, in which he speaks about the University's handling of a sexual assault victim - if you haven't heard about this story by now, you haven't been paying attention.
Some key quotes from the interview:
Ferentz on how he feels about addressing the situation publicly: "I would hope people would realize there may two different sides to this last release, if you will. I don't have access to information, to every degree of the letter that came out. But certainly the part I have knowledge of, I'm very confident that the Regents will find that the steps taken by the members involved were first and foremost, of the best concern for the young woman and her family. Everything was followed very properly, procedurally."
What. I mean really, what? Procedure was followed to the letter, never mind the fact that the procedure was fucked up as all hell.
But maybe Ferentz will redeem himself when asked about how he would change those procedures?
Was there anything you would have done differently?
"Not to my knowledge. The bottom line is it certainly appears there was an incident. That will be decided in the proper place, which is not on our campus."
Except that it wasn't decided in the proper place, BECAUSE the people on your campus told the girl to keep it "in house." Gah.
"I'm totally confident that everything was done the way it was supposed to have been done. There's a strict protocol that has to be followed. It was followed, to my knowledge. It's sad that an alleged incident took place, but nobody can do anything about that at this point. What happened after, from my knowledge, everything was handled extremely well."
It's sad that the victim's trust was betrayed by the very people who are supposed to protect her. Man, it's so sad that the University basically engaged in a cover up operation for the benefit of two football players, trampling all over this girl's rights.
"From what I know, at least everyone on campus exhausted every possible option available to them and everything was handled very well. The Regents already came to that conclusion after an investigation, and I'm very confident they're going to come to the same conclusion down the road. The only other aspect of that, I would not be surprised if they readjust the procedure one more time. That may be a result of this investigation. But that's up to them. All the parties involved could do was follow the procedure that's been laid out.
What could that adjustment be?
KF: I have no idea what that might be."
Oh dear lord. All the University could do was follow a fucked up procedure like robots? He has no idea how this situation could be remedied in the future?
I was ready to give Ferentz the benefit of the doubt on this one. I was ready for him to come out and say "I'm not happy about what happened, and I hope it will be remedied in the future because this was WRONG." But no, instead we get repeated statements that the University did all that it could and that since the Regents approved the procedure before (importantly, BEFORE the victim's mother alerted them to the gross miscarriage of responsibility that happened here) then the procedure will obviously be found A-OK now.
Does this interview piss anyone else off, or just me? Full interview here.
EDIT: Apparently a second letter from the mother has been published here. This one's from May 16, 2008. I wonder how much worse this situation can get before it gets better. If it ever does.
A friend of mine who's an Auburn fan sent over some funnies about 'Bama. Well, for our purposes there's nothing like a good joke about the Criminals down at The University of the State University of Ohio State University, so here ya go:
A lady in Columbus calls 911. Hysterically, she says, "Someone's just broke into my house, and I think he's going to rob me!"
The police officer says, "We're really busy at the moment. Just get the guy's jersey number and we'll get back to you."
Q: What is Jim TresseLL's biggest concern?
A: Does the NCAA count bail money as a recruiting violation?
Q: What do you call a drug ring in Columbus ?
A: A huddle
Q: Three Bucknut players are riding in a car, who's driving?
A: The police
Q: Why can't most of the Bucknut players get into a huddle on the field?
A: It is a parole violation to associate with known felons.
The Bucknut team has adopted a new Honor System.
"Yes, your Honor; No, your Honor".
The Bucknuts are expecting a 7-6 season this year.
7 Arrests, 6 convictions.
Q: How will the Bucknuts spend the first week of Spring Training?
A: Studying their Miranda Rights