"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
From the looks of things, we've got two "meh" games tonight, but it is football and I think even these might do us some good. They are:
9 PM - San Jose State vs. Utah State - ESPN
9 PM - Middle Tennessee vs. Brigham Young - ESPNU
According to StubHub, there are still seats available for SJSU vs. USU, if you're interested.
I was just able to listen to WTKA round table with Brian on-line (the downloads were screwed up yesterday) and I was particularly intrigued by Brian’s passionate defense of allowing pay-for-play using NFL agents.
While I don’t disagree with everything Brian was espousing, I really don’t think Brian has really thought this through and how much of a disaster that scheme would be.
From my point of view, I see many huge potential pitfalls, including but not limited to following:
- Once you let agents in, they will control the system like they do in prep basketball. And I am not talking about just funneling kids to particular schools (which will most certainly happen), they will also take over the athletic departments. Do you think the agent will be happy if the clients that they represent do not receive “proper” playing time or if play calls do not showcase them? They will threaten the coaches will pulling current players and future recruits if coaches do not do as they are told. This already happens to some degree in pros where agents threaten to guide future free agents away from the team if the agent does not get what he wants. And that is with the team paying the salary. Just think about what will happen when the agent is the one who is playing the salary. This would be a disaster.
- Brian also posits that NCAA would be able to put in safeguards to prevent shady practices like fronting salaries and making the players pay for it later if they never make it in pros. Now, I am not a lawyer, but organizations like NFL can certify agents and have some say in contracts because they have collective bargain agreements with the players’ union. There will be no such union as NCAA is not paying anyone and players don’t have unions. As an independent entity, the students would be free to sign whatever contract they want. There will be a host of shady characters who will take advantage of these vulnerable kids and abuses will be rampant, including…
- Here is something I am sure Brian never thought of – gambling. You know what would be a GREAT way for an “agent” to make money from even no name players from SW Missouri and EW Iowa State? Force players to throw the game for gamblers. You are already paying these players. How are you going to prove that they are paying them to throw the game when they are already paying those guys “for future earnings potential”? Unless it is something blatant, there is a huge opportunity for gamblers to shave points here and there to make this very profitable and very, very difficult to prevent.
That is just three off the top of my head. There are probably dozen other scenarios that are probably even worse that I have not thought of.
I can may be see just allowing people to hire athletes for endorsements as long as the contracts are registered, but allowing agents (and agents only) seems like a colossally bad idea to me would eventually kill NCAA sports as we know it.
I’ve only been married for a couple of years, so Wife Day is a relatively new experience for me. The last two years have seen my bachelor pad converted to something less than bacheloresque. Perhaps my wife’s biggest annoyance with our living room was the TV stand in the corner (probably built around the time we were or weren’t landing on the moon) so we finally decided to replace it with an electric fireplace/media unit. We looked around and found one online that we really liked. The downside to the purchase: some assembly required.
To say that I am challenged at assembling large pieces of furniture would be an understatement. The only way I passed wood shop in high school was by notching two grooves in every project and submitting it as an ash tray. My wife is from the Philippines and grew up with staff to handle such tasks. I even went so far as to suggest we hire someone to assemble the unit. She would have none of that. This would be a great “opportunity” for us to spend quality time together during the bye week, right? Right.
A week later two large boxes were delivered to us. Their combined weight: 103 pounds. My wife barely weighs 103 lbs. We opened them, removed the packing and fished out the assembly manual. Three things immediately caused me to panic:
1. Made in China.
2. Only tool needed: a screwdriver.
The prospect of a guy who nearly flunked shop class and a Filipina deciphering directions originally written in Chinese, translated to English, and then executing said directions, seemed slim to none. Slim left the building.
Determined to push on, my wife meticulously inventoried all of the cams, dowels, hinges, screws, wood pieces and even a couple of things that didn’t appear in the manual. I got the screwdriver.
The manual estimated assembly time to be around 2 hours. I figured we could do it in four, maybe. We assembled the first few pieces pretty easily and things seemed to fit pretty well. We started at about 11:00 a.m. and it was 1:00 by the time we got the main body put together. It looked like a large “M” without the top or the base. There were 28 cam and dowel contact points on the top of the unit and 28 on the base. Each contact point had to line up in order for the piece to be installed. Here’s where things got
I don’t usually swear a lot. The exception is on game day when things aren’t going well for Michigan. My wife only swears on game day when things aren’t going well for Michigan. Even then, she’s not very good at it. After 2 hours of trying to fit the top of the unit onto the center console, I was in full game day mode. Hell, even the wife was getting in some quality practice. I got the hammer.
Despite all odds, we finally succeeded in our task. It only took 7 hours. No one was hurt, nothing was broken, I’m still married and we have a lovely fireplace/media center to watch the Wolverines on crisp, fall Saturdays.
"I'm unhappy because we sucked." - Al Borges did not say this, but was thinking it.
As we continue our transition to "MANBALL," I was curious to see, statistically, how that transition is going. The questions I'm trying to answer are: "What is this team good at? What are they bad at? What is the logic behind the play-calling? Are we ready to be a MANBALL team?"
What follows is a chart (based on Brian's UFR) of all the formations used against UConn, the type of plays that were run, and the averages. It's a big chart. It's also copied from my post in the UFR thread, as are most of my comments below it. A few notes:
- Plays that had a pre-snap penalty or penalty other than pass interference are not counted.
- Pass interference is counted, since it is assumed the play was successful enough to draw a penalty
- Sacks are rightfully categorized as passing yards
- Yes, I'm aware that this analysis has limited variables and misses important data points. If you want to add something, please do.
|Ace H twins||1||0||0.0||1||0||0.0|
|Ace twin TE||2||17||8.5||1||0||0.0||3||17||5.7|
|Ace twins stack||1||0||0.0||1||0||0.0|
|Ace twins twin TE||2||16||8.0||1||-16||-16.0||3||0||0.0|
|I-Form twins stack||1||2||2.0||1||2||2.0|
|Pistol FB twins||1||-1||-1.0||1||-1||-1.0|
|Shotgun 2TE twins||1||9||9.0||1||9||9.0|
|Shotgun 3-wide jet||2||14||7.0||2||14||7.0|
|Shotgun 4-wide tight||2||14||7.0||2||14||7.0|
|Shotgun double stacks||2||20||10.0||2||20||10.0|
|Shotgun empty TE||1||6||6.0||1||6||6.0|
|Shotgun trips TE||5||27||5.4||5||27||5.4|
|Shotgun twin TE||1||0||0.0||1||0||0.0|
While it doesn't take into account some easy missed plays and some heroic efforts to make something out of nothing, the chart does show that we seem to be much more successful when we're not under center. We ran 35 of our 68 plays from the pistol or shotgun, and the shotgun was our best bet.
I agree with Brian's conclusions that this team benefits greatly from being in the gun. I'd love to see more MANBALL out of the Pistol, but the under center stuff didn't work for most of the game.
That said, the Ace formation gave us critical rushing yards during our comeback. I believe it was effective because UConn feared we might actually pass when we were behind in the 4th quarter. When they know we're going to run, the under center stuff just doesn't work.
For those of you calling for more simplicity--you have a point. We used 26 different formations for 68 plays.
Some interesting data points:
- We are really efficient in the goal line set. That's because DG is running, and he's good at it.
- The Ace set worked fine for running (mostly late), but the passing ruined it. Some of that is on DG, so this set might improve.
- The I-Form was generally bad, and the Big set was terrible. A big play on a PA pass was missed by DG though, so it's not quite as bad as it looks.
- Shotgun was our most common set with 31 plays.
- Not much Pistol at all, and from the plays we did run, it doesn't look like we're practicing this much.
Was a Michigan commit MT @SeanLafortune now official, former St. Michaels Buzzers D Jared Walsh has signed with the Mississauga Steelheads.
College hockey coaches have the hardest task when it comes to recruiting. They aren't just fighting against other schools, they're fighting junior hockey leagues off. This is the second commit of the 2014 class lost, and the second player taken away by the Steelheads.
|Dexter Dancs||F||6-2||190||Vancouver, BC||Vernon Vipers (BCHL)|
|Dylan Larkin||F||6-0||184||Waterford, MI||US NTDP Under-18 (USHL)|
|Cutler Martin||D||5-11||200||East Lansing, MI||Tri-City Storm (USHL)|
|Alex Talcott||F||6-1||198||Kentwood, MI||Indiana Ice (USHL)|
|Nick Boka||F||6-0||175||Plymouth, MI|
|Kyle Connor||F||6-0||165||Shelby Township, MI|
|Hayden Lavigne||G||6-3||195||Brampton, Ontario|
|Christian Meike||D||5-11||150||Arlington, VA|
|Brendan Warren||F||6-0||170||Plymouth, MI|
|Sam Miletic||F||5-11||155||Bloomfield Hills, MI|