is there such a thing as an etsy genuis? if so, this is it.
Here's a great story. The Willis Ward Lounge at the Michigan Union was dedicated on Wednesday, with several members of Willis Ward's family in attendance.
I still get mad at how David Brandon resisted any effort to honor Willis Ward when the "Black and Blue" documentary came out. It took an online petition to get him to agree to let Ward be honored at the Michigan-MSU game.
The two players from the past I wish I could have seen play are Tom Harmon and Willis Ward.
Bill Connelly over at SB Nation does a offseason preview series where he does a write-up on every single D1 team and today he reached Michigan.
He does a lot of stuff with stats, including work on creating FEI and S&P+ (which Brian references with some frequency), so the preview is focused a lot on Michigan's statistical profile and the range of outcomes that suggests for next year. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's always an enjoyable offseason read.
I'll embed the tweet below however, in a brilliant move, the satellite camp in Florida is a night camp being held at the Dolphins Training Facility and hosted by Coach Devin Bush. He happens to be the father of Michigan target Devin Bush Jr.
I know it was stated that the Fresno camp was at the suggestion of Caleb Kelly and he felt it was set up just for him. I now think he's right.
Going to 8-man officiating crews and now a "Brady Hoke rule" that is mentioned on the front page.
Here are the other rules...unfortunately, I like all of these and wish all conferences adopted them. Pretty logical stuff coming from a backwards conference.
Proper ball inflation: Shaw said the SEC is not changing a rule regarding proper inflation of game balls -- it remains the standard 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch -- but the league's officials will pay close attention to the issue following the "Deflategate" controversy that marred the New England Patriots' run to a Super Bowl title.
Coaches will have the ability to have balls rechecked at halftime if they believe something is awry.
"If there's a concern either way -- whether through the officials or coaches -- we're going to take them all back in at halftime and test them and they'd better still be where they were," Shaw said. "So we're going to be more cognizant, but we're not going to change. Our procedure has worked very, very well and so we're just going to have kind of a heightened awareness and the coach will have an opportunity to have us retest them if he feels he needs it at halftime.
"And then if balls are out of scope at that point, from a game perspective, we're just going to fix them, but we're going to make a note and report that."
New uniform rules: Shaw addressed two new rules related to player uniforms: a ban on overbuilt facemasks and a change that prevents players from tucking their jerseys underneath their shoulder pads.
Any player not wearing his equipment properly will be asked to leave the field for a play, Shaw said, or until the issue has been corrected.
Some within the sport expressed concern that the ornate facemasks that became popular in recent seasons might cause players' fingers to get caught within the bars of the facemask, and Shaw added that the additional weight of those masks created a safety issue.
"Some of them with the weight can impact the integrity of the helmet," Shaw said. "But secondarily, and probably more importantly, the weight tends to pull the head forward. And as you know, we've all talked about heads-up tackling, see what you hit. The last thing we want guys doing is lowering their head."
As for the jersey rule, Shaw said the intent is to prevent the player's back from being exposed and also to aid the officials if they need to identify his jersey number, such as when they would be assessing a penalty.
"Now when you [hear], ‘What's the big deal if they wear their jersey up?' and all that, they need to keep those back pads covered to protect themselves, and for identification purposes," Shaw said.
Pile penalty/new replay possibility: Shaw said a new rule will make it a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to pull an opponent off the pile following a play.
The rule is intended to reduce post-play skirmishes.
"You've seen it where we have a fumble, we have a big pileup and then people start going in and pulling people out," Shaw said. "And now all of a sudden, we're having to officiate to keep from having fights all over the field."
Shaw also discussed an SEC instant replay modification that will apply to onside kicks.
Officials will now be able to review whether players from the kicking team began blocking opponents before they were eligible to do so. By rule, players on the kicking team are not allowed to touch the ball -- or to block their opponents -- until the ball travels 10 yards unless a player from the receiving team touches the ball first.
More on medical observers: SEC commissioner Mike Slive said earlier this week that the league plans to have an independent medical observer in the replay booth for all conference and nonconference football games.
The medical officials will be able to stop games should the teams' on-field training staffs and the officiating crew miss a potential injury.
Shaw revealed on Thursday that Florida was the pilot program for the initiative during the 2014 season.
"I think it will be very rare when the medical observer takes impact in the game," Shaw said. "But in that situation where they might, it could save a player from worse injury or concussion or whatever. So I think it's a safety component. It's a no-regrets. If they never stop a game, you haven't lost anything, but if they stop and protect one player, [it's useful]."
The movie night vote winner (as expected) is
Here is the link for your print at home tickets that you need for it.
Football Season Ticket Holders: Stadium tunnel open at 5 p.m. General admission seating will be available exclusively for Michigan Football Season Ticket Holders on the field of Michigan Stadium on a first-come, first-served basis.
General Public: Gates 2 and 4 open at 6 p.m. General admission seating for the general public will be in sections 8 through 15 in the south end zone of Michigan Stadium.
Locker Room Tours
Season Ticket Holders will have the opportunity to take self-guided tours of the football locker room from 5-7 p.m. Entry will be outside the Michigan Stadium Tunnel on the east side of the stadium.
• Blankets and pillows are allowed. Lawn chairs are prohibited.
• Limited concession items will be available (excluding popped maize) for purchase.
• Merchandise will be available for sale at the M-Den inside Gate 4.