The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Hello everybody out there in the series of tubes known as the internet. Just thought I would update everyone on the happenings of UofM's Men's Club Ultimate Frisbee team, MagnUM. Bear with me, I know most of you football, basketball, and hockey junkies have never heard of Ultimate Frisbee, and are wondering why you should care. I ensure you that you will get some satisfaction out of reading on.
First, MagnUM qualified for their 9th trip to Collegiate Nationals in the last 11 years, earning the 9 seed out of 20 teams. The regional tournament was in Oberlin, OH and MagnUM came in as the top seed in the region. On Saturday of Regionals, MagnUM had a lapse in concentration and lost to the 4 seed, Illinois. Since the tournament is double elimination this set up a Sunday with games against Notre Dame (9th in the country) and Ohio State (20th in the country).
MagnUM took the Notre Dame game to what we Ultimate Frisbee players call Double Game Point. Normally games are played to 15, win by 2. This game, however, was tied at 16, and the next team to score would be the winner. MagnUM sent out a line of seniors and they came through, ending Notre Dame's season!
Next came Ohio State. The winner of this game would earn a bid to Nationals. Nationals this year is being hosted by Ohio State in Columbus. Nothing could be better for any Michigan team to eliminate Ohio State from a tournament that they would be hosting, and that is exactly what MagnUM did. The final score was 12-11 (cut short due to time constraints).
Also of note is MagnUM senior Will Neff. He is up for the Callahan Award, basically the Heisman of College Ultimate. You can watch his hype video here: http://www.magnumultimate.com/willneff
Thanks for taking the time to read this! If you feel like following the team at Nationals the tournament is Friday, May 22nd-Monday, May 25. You can follow it online at http://college2009.upa.org/
I'm sure that just about all of you have seen this: http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news;_ylt=AnPpRwCwXXWFFRCU.xKjujs5nYcB?slug=...
sitting on the cover of Yahoo! Sports (Y!S) over the last few days. It's not the first time that Y!S has run an expose type of thing on USC - it happened back in 2006 as well: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ys-bushprobe.
The Yahoo! Sports team has always been my preferred source of news because more often than not, they report the news, without the sensationalism of The Worldwide Leader. They've embraced the blogging culture of sports, and understand that the educated sports fan wants facts, solid analysis, and doesn't give a rats ass about what Brett Favre is doing.
So I would think that if a reputable news agency manages to do the research and is willing to publish something along the lines of what we've seen, something should happen, right? And this isn't like the Ann Arbor News' "Probe" into academics at Michigan. There are actually real figures - "Floyd gave at least $1,000 in cash to Rodney Guillory" - and other pieces of evidence as opposed to fake statistical analysis.
Even with the Reggie Bush affair, nothing happened. Y!S ran that article ages ago. The NCAA was supposedly investigating at the time. Nothing happened. In the meantime, USC won three PAC-10 championships and went to three Rose Bowls.
The NCAA has cracked on other programs for recruiting violations. Alabama football, SMU football, IU basketball, Michigan basketball are just a few. These are (or were) all big name programs with a rich tradition for excellence. However, none of these had the spotlight and widespread following that USC does today. USC right now is college football's equivalent of the Yankees or the Lakers. They have a huge following of fans, and have a huge number of people who detest them. From the NCAA's point of view, this makes them a cash cow. They are a poster program for college athletics.
Having USC go down would be on par with someone like A-Rod or Manny testing positive for steroids in baseball (wait... oh snap! Sorry I had to do it). Actually, it would be closer to Mark Mcgwire and Sammy Sosa testing positive right on the heels of their HR chase. It would shake the very foundations of the sport. And that's why the NCAA simply cannot allow USC to go down. And don't think for a minute that Pete Carroll and Tim Floyd are not completely aware of this. They are milking this for all its worth.
If USC slips over the next few years, falls to mediocrity, don't be surprised if NCAA suddenly discovers violations, and quickly follows with sanctions. USC will be expendable then. But right now, there's just too much money on the table.
*This is a 'fluff piece' with no breaking news - merely a recounting of the first event with the 'Big Three' UM coaches in recent history.*
The UM Alumni Club of DC held a meet-and-greet with coaches Rodriguez, Beilein, and Berenson, as well as AD Bill Martin tonight. Matt Cavanaugh (I think - former drum major) and a guy who looked a lot like one of Beilein's assistants were also there, on the rooftop of a DC office building. Bill Martin said that this was the first time he knew of that all three coaches had met for an event outside of Ann Arbor. Kudos to the UMDC!
The evening started with an autograph session during which each coach was scattered around with throngs of people surrounding. The first humorous event of the evening was watching Bill Martin wander around with... fewer people, and at one point introducing himself to a confused little boy for someone to talk to. Rodriguez obviously had the longest line, but listening in on some of the conversations, the coaches were refreshingly honest and down-to-earth in their dealings with the fans.
The speeches started with Bill Martin, who said mostly boiler-plate stuff. He mentioned that both Beilein and Rodriguez were hired without ever setting foot in Ann Arbor; something I didn't know. It was really awkward/funny when he was talking about Carol Hutchins' softball team, and said, "boy, they have some real horses on that team!" Uhhhhhhhhhh, whatever you say, Bill! He blabbed a little about our success this year with the APR, how some other institutions in the B10 didn't, and how well the athletes are doing academically. Had a direct quote of "Don't ask me any questions." He introduced Red as the 'Dean of Coaches' at Michigan, and the guy that he uses as a mentor for all new coaches. Also told the story of Red scoring 6 goals in one game in the NHL. Also plugged the December 2010 hockey game at the Big House. Oh, and there are only 24 private suites still for sale btw. Oh, and Red has one hell of a championship ring. Wowsa.
Bill then introduced Beilein and mentioned that Beilein's team this past year had the biggest improvement in GPA of all varsity teams. No mention of practice facility. Mentioned the SI coaches survey that proclaimed Beilein as the most creative coach in the game. Also said he talked to Ben Howland recently and Ben told him that he would never want to play Beilein again in his lifetime. While Beilein was being introduced, he was pre-occupied with helping a child fix a chair:
A few moments later, the arm fell off again :) Beilein spoke a little of recruiting, and how his biggest recruiting success recently was keeping Sims and Harris on the team, which got a lot of applause. He fondly recounted the season, particularly Selection Sunday. Nothing else of much note but a very endearing speaker.
Then time for Martin to introduce Rodriguez. Like Beilein, stressed that his creativity, success at building programs, and doing a lot with a little are what most impressed Martin. In short, Rich Rodriguez is massively gifted at working a crowd in a 'down home' way. Snake Oil Salesman extraordinaire, to the max! I told my friend before he came onto the stage that I thought the over/under on "tickled to death"s should be set at around 8. To our dismay, there were NONE! However, the Lion King story about the monkey getting hit in the head or whatever made its standard-issue appearance. Aside from that, it was about 10 minutes of non-stop one-liners, self-deprication, and good-natured humor. When he first got the mic, said "when they told me that, after going 3-9, that I should come up to the top floor of a 20-story tall building to face 600 alums, I was pretty suspicious", and "I think I'll stand back here by this wall!" Mentioned that, even over a year later, West Virginia is still "pissed" at him. Said, "I should have murdered a family of 5 with an axe - I would've been less hated". Also, when responding to a question about his Twittering, said he isn't much of a technophile because "West Virginia just got cell phone coverage about a month ago," to which Beilein stole the mic and said, "see, he can get away with saying that stuff, but I never could!" Then Rodriguez said in response, "Hey! After the way I got sued, I owe 'em somethin in return." Much applause. Also, in response to questions about Detroit-area recruiting, said, "some may say that another school up north is doing better, but we actually get the recruits that we want." Zing! In response to questions about young quarterbacks, joked that he'll be taking many QB recruits every year because he never wants to be in the situation he was last year. Rich said that, on an academic front, that this year should break at least a 25-year record for the football team's average GPA. Also significant was his discussion of 'buying in' - he said, "last year, some people said that certain team members didn't buy in. That's not true - everyone bought in, but with questions. This year, they all know about the system and what they should be doing."
*Thanks to my friend Bonners for the photos.
All in all, this was a wonderful evening, attended by around 600 alums. Signed basketballs and footballs were auctioned, and all those proceeds, plus the ticket sales, went to the UMDC scholarship fund. The kid who won it this year was introduced. Again, thanks to the UMDC Alumni Club for organizing this. In the last year or two UMDC has become what I believe is a great club. For example, during the winter and early spring, we had 2 - 3 locations around DC reserved for members just to watch regular season basketball games! We even watched hockey *gasp*! Anyway, a great time, and 3 very impressive men. Plus one accomplished sailor :)
There isn't a whole lot of information running through the series of tubes that is the internet about Wrestling recruiting, but I thought some might be interested that UofM could be putting together a stellar class this year.
Heading it up is Eric Grajales, #2 overall to Intermat.com. He is out of Brandon HS in Florida, and is good enough to step right into Michigan lineup at 133 and be All-American level. I might be a little fuzzy on the particulars, but IIRC he went through all 4 years of high school with only 2 losses and over 200 wins, probably closer to 250, and was a 4 time Florida state champ. He comes from a GREAT wrestling school, one that went on an undefeated streak that stretched over something like 30 years. He is a great catch for McFarland and will fit in nicely at a weight UofM struggled at last year with Zach Stevens.
Next up is Sean Boyle, #32 overall to Intermat, and a native of Lowell, Michigan, although he transfered to Blair Academy in New Jersey, consistently one of the top 2 high school wrestling teams in the country. Boyle doesn't have the star power of Grajales, but he is very highly rated, and with Micheal Watts graduating from the 125 spot, he should step in and contribute right away. I'm not as confident about him being as solid in the lineup as Grajales, but with a coach like McFarland he has the chance to be All-American level sometime later on in his career. I won't completely count him out though, as another wrestler who was ranked a little higher than him, but not considered a superstar, stepped in 2 years ago and shot up the rankings to number 1, Kellen Russel. They even come from the same school, so there is some hope that he, Grajales, and Russel could turn what has been a weakness in Michigan wrestling for a few years into a major strength very quickly.
Michigan has also gotten a commitment from Pete Rendina, a strong performer in 4 years at Dundee, but not receiving the national praise of the other 2. He is probably in the middle weights, 149 is probably the best unless he really puts on a lot of muscle, although he does have a longer frame that could put it on. I've seen him a lot in person, and he has skills you want in a college kid, namely very good offense, especially leg attacks. Probably doesn't contribute for a little while, as 141 up to 157 should be filled by young wrestlers for a while, but he could surely step in later in his career and be a solid wrestler, maybe knock off a few ranked kids, maybe even place sometime. Think Aaron Hynes, but smaller, and probably not stepping in to his spot until later than Hynes did.
Another in state commitment to UofM comes from the same HS as a current teammate, Justin Zeerip, his younger brother, Brandon. Brandon was part of a star studded Hesperia team this year that lost to eventual D4 champs Hudson. I only saw him once this year, and that was where he bumped up from 152 to 160 and manhandled our 160 pounder, the eventual runner up in d3. Doesn't have the resume of his brother, but a very talented wrestler who also could contribute late like Rendina.
Theres also some nice Uncommited recruits in the state of Michigan who would be great to fill in the upper-weights now that Luke and Todd are leaving. The big one, probably the top target right now, is Dan Yates, who is 12th to Intermat, and is a giant. He was at 160 this year for states but wrestled most of the year up at 189 for his team, and lost only once, in the team state title match to Gabe Elliot, the D4 189 champ. He comes from Hesperia, same school as the Zeerips, but I didn't get to see him wrestle because he injured him arm earlier in the tournament we were at. Yates would be a great pickup to this class, sadly, michigangrappler.com says Michigan isn't on his list at the moment. Thats liable to change though, especially with McFarland, who is an excellent recruiter.
The same goes for Kyle Elsworth, from Goodrich, who was ranked higher earlier this year, thanks to some impressive victories over other highly ranked kids, but has fell thanks to some rather unimpressive performances late in the year. He won all of his matches this year, but some of them were a little tougher than they should have been, causing him to drop in the rankings. Elsworth is also not listing Michigan, but his former teammate, Mark Weber, is there, so again, anything is possible.
I'm sure Michigan is on some more out of State kids, but I have no idea who...Perhaps they pick up some more commitments from other in state kids later as well, Robert Nash might fit in nicely, other than that, thats all I've got.
Alright so I decided to look this up among the “Big Ten Expansion” hoopla. It’s obviously BS media frenzy cause the Big Ten will only consider Notre Dame and the Irish have that oh-so-lucrative NBC contract – or is it?
Notre Dame’s NBC contract – granted it’s just for football – is worth $9 mil/year.
Big Ten’s ABC contract – which includes some deals for Mens/Womens Bball and Volleyball – is over $100 mil/year. That’s $9.1 mil/year for each Big Ten team.
Add Notre Dame to the Big Ten and I’m pretty sure those contracts improve enough to more than cover those financial issues OR sharing the money evenly appears to balance quite nicely.
Plus the Big Ten gets royalties from the NCAA Tournament which I imagine are comparable, if not more, than what the Big East gives Notre Dame (cause we have the same amount of successful teams in the tournament and less teams to share it with).
The only thing I can’t seem to find is how much the Big East gives Notre Dame for Basketball TV deals – which I don’t think is a whole helluva lot considering they have 16 teams to share the money with and the Men’s Bball regular season doesn’t generate NEARLY the money football does. Not to mention the Big Ten has a pretty huge fan base that will generate comparable money for basketball regardless of the quality of our conference. Also I heard Notre Dame has agreed in the past to join the Big Ten for every sport except Football – which means their only issue appears to be Football finances which I just disproved earlier.
My point: the money issues are non-existent and should be easy to work out. The real reason behind Notre Dame’s independent status must be more about tradition than actual financial concerns.
If anyone knows more details about Notre Dame’s financial arrangements do tell cause this isn’t adding up. Does the BCS pay Notre Dame an unfairly higher amount than the major conferences? Is there football revenue that I didn’t account for which Notre Dame would have to share with a conference if they joined? Do tell.
Conclusion: Notre Dame coming to the Big Ten and adding a conference title game should more than make up any difference in money and actually make Notre Dame more than before. I’m surprised by this and no longer understand the business arguments they put out there.
Also, for the record, I’m completely against conference title games. I think they’re just de-facto playoff patchwork to make money. If you want a 12th game, conference title game, and a bowl game (not to mention a +1 national title format) – isn’t that enough games to just put together an 8 or 16-team playoff? YES IT IS!
Sound off por favor.
I keep hearing a lot of things said about our dearly departed QBs of the last couple years, and some of the assumptions don't make sense to me. This is the way I hear the story told, without dates but in chronological order:
1. Threet chooses Georgia Tech and Mallett chooses Michigan
2. Threet chooses to transfer to Michigan
3. Mallett doesn't like Michigan and decides to transfer to Arkansas
4. Threet chooses to transfer away from Michigan
Tell me if this doesn't make more sense. Bear with me as this is intricate:
1. Mallett grew up a Razorback fan but he wouldn't start over Mustain (or he assumed as much), so he goes to the next-best statue-QB school available: Lloyd Carr's Michigan Wolverines
2. Threet grew up a Michigan fan, but knowing that Mallett would be there, he shied away
3. Mallett doesn't like Michigan and Michigan doesn't like Mallett. Even the football seems to hate Mallett, as it finds ways to slip out of his hands time and time again.
4. Mitch Mustain transfers to USC. Mallet transferring to Arkansas becomes a question of when, not if. Carr knows this.
5. Carr looks furiously for the best available option. He knows Threet would transfer if he knew that Mallett was leaving, so he tells him that. Threet can't tell anyone that he knows Mallett is transferring, though.
6. Michigan has a bad season, Carr is gone, Rodriguez is hired.
7. Threet sees he's not in our long term plans anymore. His transfer is a question of when, not if. The wide open starting job of last season kept him at bay for a year.
8. Rodriguez knows the situation and looks furiously for two QB recruits. He is telling them that Threet is as good as gone. (How do you get two comparably talented QBs to be part of the same class, with last year's starter returning? Perhaps the reason we kept losing commits was because they kept being assured Threet was transferring, but it wasn't happening.)
9. Threet transfers; hello starting freshman QB! (edit:
Notice that we had no more QB decommits as soon as the transfer was made public.)
The big difference in timeline 2 is that everyone's actions are reactions to something external rather than unprovoked. What do you think? Is there evidence that Threet really opted to transfer to a volatile coaching situation, knowing he would sit behind a 5-star QB for four years? That makes no sense to me, especially since he transferred again this offseason because he doesn't want to be a benchwarmer.