"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
We solemnly swear not to be productive today. Work? What work? It is the basketball day of basketballing, and since we don't want to work today either we shall discuss all of this basketballing.
We shall also play games. Liveblog sponsor Draft Street is hosting a FREEROLL game on their site, with a prize of $$$ to the top finishers. For those who haven't played before, it's just building a team out of the available pool of players. You can pick any player from tomorrow's tournament teams and we'll have the winners by the end of the day. I encourage you to sign up when there's a break in the action—it takes only a minute to make team and hey, free money.
Who's this sponsor? Draft Street, our fantasy sports partner. They host a ton of various fantasy games you play against other users over weekly or daily scoring periods. I like it because I don't have time anymore for long-term fantasy leagues but when I have an off week it's fun to have a few bucks down on something. For those interested in doing more than our freerolls, they're offering 20% on top of your deposits right now.
Prevent Chaos. Before you enter, remember your friendly neighborhood Liveblog Chaos Mitigation Post.
If you didn't do it above, take a second to draft your team.
Remind me what this is:
It's fantasy except instead of drafting one team at the beginning of the season they've broken it up into quick-hitting night leagues. Enrollment in our pool is free for MGoReaders, and this time there's $300 (up from $200) in the pool paid out among the Top 12 finishers as soon as each freeroll ends. Since there were way more interesting games on Saturday we chose to go with that day, although Michigan-Ohio State (and MSU, and like nobody else of any relevance whatsoever) plays Sunday.
This free contest will be salary-cap style drafting where everyone tries to assemble the best team out of the available players. You will have a $100,000 budget to build a team of 3 forwards, 3 guards, and 2 utility players. Each CBB player has been assigned a price based on their expected fantasy performance. You can adjust your roster up until the contest starts this Saturday at 11:00am EST at which time your rosters will lock and the Live Scoreboard will be available.
Note: you can't be eligible for prize money, even though entry is free, if you're from Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Vermont, or Puerto Rico.
About last time:
Unbwolverine rode Seth Doege and…Akeem Shavers? to victory, proving why did I waste so much gold on Venric Mark when Purdue was facing Indiana's rush defense. Also guys named Seth are can't-miss. Also this was a long time ago and you don't really care.
Number 1 don't listen to anything I have to say about baskertball. Number 2, I think the trick to hoops is look for bad defenses: South Carolina (plays Auburn) is 289th to KenPom. Texas Tech's D is nearly as accommodating and they face Kansas!
CLICK HERE to register for this week's league.
Late last year, and then again last February Draftstreet.com let us host a freeroll for those interested in testing out their daily/weekly fantasy games. Lots of folks participated, knowledge was tested, fun was had, personal respect was destroyed, time was wasted, and then people won currency.
It's fantasy except instead of drafting one team at the beginning of the season you build a new one each week. Enrollment in our pool is free for MGoReaders, and there's $200 in the pool paid out among the Top 12 finishers as soon as each freeroll ends.
Way it works is you get a salary cap of $100,000 and use it to build a team of two QBs, three RBs, two WRs, a TE, and two FLEX positions. Each college football player has a price based on their expected fantasy performance [insert Ohio State joke]. So you can have your very own Matt McGloin for $13,597, but Whoa Johnny Manziel will cost you $21,040. It took me like five minutes to build my team:
(That I went with Devin in no way constitutes information—I know what you know)
The goal is to see how much people like it the next few weeks since it's a cool way to keep track of player value, and to do a basketball one starting in January. We'll have some of their guys on here from time to time and charts and stuff to show how and explain why Michigan's players are moving around the list. Fun AND educational guys!
You can adjust your roster up until the contest starts on Saturday 11/17 at 12:00pm ET at which time your rosters will lock and the Live Scoreboard will be available.
CLICK HERE to register for the league.
Freeroll part II. Late last year we had a Draftstreet freeroll for anyone interested in testing out their daily/weekly fantasy games, and they've given us the opportunity to run a basketball-focused one that kicks off Thursday. Purchase a starting five with a set salary cap [insert Ohio State joke here] and score more points than anyone else in the pool to win some money.
Enrollment is free and there's $150 up for grabs. Hit the link to sign up, or log in to your existing account.
App status update. I thought the apps were kind of a niche product that a couple twitter mentions and board threads would adequately handle, and in this I was massively wrong. That's good and bad news for me: it's good that we have that kind of engagement and bad because I've annoyed a bunch of people.
Anyway, our status:
- Android. The Android app works for reading. We are still working on getting logins going; hopefully that can happen within a week.
- IPhone. Pushing iPhone apps is a more involved process and we are a little behind here, but reads work on the development copy and a blocking issue with logins has been fixed. We should be able to get an update up within a week or two.
Again, this is my fault for not realizing the test server originally intended to be the place where these apps were developed was still pointing to the main database until it was too late. By that point I'd blown up the kludged-together existing infrastructure. I thought the best course of action was to quickly forge ahead with the new stuff instead of wasting time restoring a system I didn't want to keep around; unfortunately some login issues slowed us down. This is one of the downsides of being a totally independent entity, but the upsides are significant as well.
APR with teeth. Cynics everwhere are surprised by the NCAA's decision to uphold UConn basketball's 2013 postseason ban for crappy APR scores. Power conference basketball outfits have previously gotten hit with scholarship reductions—OSU, Purdue, and Indiana all suffered—but no one has gotten the nuclear bomb of a postseason ban.
High level players are likely to flee at the prospect of not getting to play in an NCAA tourney. With Jim Calhoun's health increasingly an issue, not keeping up with their books seems likely to bust UConn's program status down for years. The UConn Blog:
This would be devastating news for any program, but it is especially crippling for UConn. It will almost certainly encourage any NBA prospects on UConn's roster who had even the slightest doubt about staying to leave for the pros. Recruiting will certainly be hurt as well. Most importantly, Jim Calhoun, who is currently out on medical leave, would have to coach well into his 70s to get the program back to a position of strength. Realistically if he wants to hand off his program in anything close to its usually strong state it would probably require him coaching through the 2014 or maybe even 2015, at which point he'll be 71 or 72.
While that's painful for Huskies fans it does provide the NCAA ammunition for anyone who suggests they won't hurt a power program. Here they even retroactively applied new standards to existing scores, preferring punitive measures over perfect fairness.
The dates! Spring practice dates:
Michigan's spring camp begins March 17, according to a team spokesman, and culminates with a public scrimmage on April 14.
Goodnight, sweet prince. Mike Comrie is calling it a career:
TORONTO -- Mike Comrie, who twice scored at least 30 goals in a season, retired from the NHL on Monday after a third hip operation in five years.
The 31-year-old center announced his retirement two weeks after his latest hip procedure, saying in a statement he was no longer able to "manage the rigors of NHL play." Comrie was limited to 127 games over the last three seasons.
My first year at Yost was also Comrie's first and the magic he worked with the puck was a major reason I fell in love with both Michigan hockey and 5'8" puck wizards. Here's to Comrie lighting it up at an alumni game in the near future.
This is not 'Nam… let's make it more like 'Nam. The NCAA would like to slash out various bits of their rulebooks to pave the way for college town Taj Mahals:
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Bring back athlete-only dorms with unlimited food. Let coaches talk publicly about their recruits. Allow transfers in all sports to immediately play.
Those are among the ideas being discussed as the NCAA tries to produce a slimmer and more efficient rulebook, according to documents obtained by The Birmingham News.
While I'm generally for athletes getting more freedom and money from the NCAA, I dislike the near-free-agency immediate transfers create. I'd love it if kids who got Sabaned could transfer immediately; for everyone else the one-year sit out seems appropriate. Even coaches who are taking advantage of the grad-year transfer rule like Izzo seem to think it's icky.
Everything else, whatever. The parade of secondary violations distracts from actually important matters. In a world where everyone has Facebook communication restrictions on phone calls and texting seem like laws prohibiting whipping your horse.
Nein, Doc Sat, nein. Hinton's suggestions for a four-team playoff:
- Keep the BCS ranking system.
- Put the semifinals at bowl sites.
- Bid out the championship game a la the Final Four/Super Bowl, etc.
- Restrict the field to conference champions (or Notre Dame)
He admits the first is likely to cause a spit-take; I think all but #3. It's unfortunate that many years the Rose Bowl will serve as a consolation prize for the second-place Big Ten team, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the prospect of home sites with real atmosphere for semifinals both as a person who will watch on TV and one who would attend any time Michigan makes it, home or road.
this >>>>>>> bowl game
I've mentioned this before: I'm probably not going to Dallas this year because I can get a generic NFL stadium experience at many bowl games. If the game was in Tuscaloosa you could not stop me from going. If you shot me in the head, my zombie would rise up and hitchhike to Alabama. A playoff semifinal on the road in Austin or Baton Rouge or Tallahassee is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity far superior to any bowl game. And at home? Good god.
As far as conference champs only, I'm torn about that. Notre Dame remains a problem. If a one loss ND team gets in over a one-loss major conference team ranked higher than them because that team didn't win something ND doesn't even try to, that would be annoying. Given the state of college football it's a much lesser threat than, say, a team that didn't win its own division getting in ahead of an impressive one-loss conference champion.
Etc.: ESPN post asking you to vote on your most disliked Big Ten coach features Bielema, Dantonio, Hoke, and Meyer. If someone on that list seems out of place it's because three of them are likely to coach in a future Rose Bowl.