The British ain’t comin’. [Patrick Barron]
This season is so fun we realized after Ace and Brian did a Gimmicky Top Five of favorite subplots for the podcast that there have been way more good ones they left out. So we reopened the floor to the rest of the MGoBlog crew to see if we could come up with something more comprehensive. We invite you to keep adding to the list.
Favorite Irrelevant Plotlines of this Season
- Will Rutgers get a 1st down?
- PFF hates kickers and punters
Which awesome play will be unnecessarily put on film this week?
- Which possibly correct call will Harbaugh blow his stack on?
- Jourdan Lewis vs. Egg Twitter
- How loud will McDoom chants be at road games?
- Harbaugh's glasses
- Opponent fans sarcastically cheering when their team finally does something good
- Khalid Hill's YPC and TD/carry ratio
- "Peppers is Overrated."
- Hammer Panda
[Hit THE JUMP for sad rivals, sadder mascots, and TRAAAAAAIN!]
If you're new to this site or the boards use this page to familiarize yourself with some of the site-specific terms thrown around here (we'll try to limit these on front page content). I broke these off from the FAQ because the list had grown too long to be valuable there.
27 for 27 When Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 27 yards on 27 carries against Penn State in the dumbest football game ever played.
AIRBHG Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God. The most wrathful position-hating god in the pantheon, inspired by Angry Michigan Safety Hating God.
Big Daddy They're not little brother anymore.
Bolivia Board jargon for banned poster, from "negged to bolivian," meaning oblivion.
Brady Hoke's Pet Viking Former All American center Steve Everitt, who stands behind Brady Hoke and looks like a viking. Also wears MGoShirts.
BRI Bo Ryan Index: the percentage of photos in the first three rows of that person's Google image search in which they look enraged, incredulous, furious, or are expressing something otherwise unpleasant.
Bo Ryan's BRI is 94%
Buckle Up A commitment is impending.
CC Coaching change. Message board header prefix during coaching searches.
Cooler Poopers If you don't get it, take the literal meaning and add Ohio State tailgaters. Origin.
Crimes Against Manpanda Running MANBALL ISOs from the I-formation to no or negative effect when you have the world's greatest running QB on your roster. Origin: 2011 disaster vs. Iowa.
Cumong. "Come on!" with gusto.
(The) Daves The 2002 offensive line (Pearson, Baas & Petruziello), or any nondescript group of maulers from the '90s and aughts.
Dennis Bergkamp! Once upon a time in 2010 this one quarterback busted out for 78 yards for a touchdown. Because American Football Commentators are Boring, the preferred method for reliving this moment is set to a Dutch guy calling a Bergkamp goal.
Disrespekt Refusing to acknowledge an enemy that's very good and worked hard to earn a stellar recent run among the elite programs in the nation, it's called "disrespect." When your toddler calls her green play-doh "Blue!", that is "Disrespekt." (Not all rivals can tell the difference).
Dog Groomers The nine-to-five occupation of the people who wrote "In the Big House" despite the presence of a perfectly good band.
Donkeys / Hating donkeys. Donkeys are defensive ends/linebackers/etc. Donkey hate is a kind of burro abuse practiced by excellent offensive linemen.
Facepalm Guy. When the camera panned the student section in UTL1 for an instant react, this fan gave the camera man a no-no-no.
FAKE! All 40 times are fake.
Football Armageddon The 2006 Michigan-Ohio State game.
Fusion Cuisine Originally Al Borges-Denard Fusion Cuisine, but since expanded to refer to any mismatches between coordinator style/player archetypes.
Game...blouses Remember that Chappelle Show skit where Charlie Murphy recalls a pickup basketball game versus Prince and the Revolution, and Prince hangs on the rim and says... It reminds us of Stauskas.
GERG Term for incompetent person named Greg. Usually Greg Robinson, Michigan's defensive coordinator in 2009-'10, or his Iowa offensive coordinating alterego Greg Davis.
Get Off My Lawn I have been cultivating every blade since 1969 and I'll be hognozzled if some young whippersnappers show the unmitigated gall to trample it like a Buckeye on a banner. What you don't remember that either? /throws up hands.
(The) Happening Nickname for the coaching "search" of 2014 that netted Harbaugh, from the constant "It's Happening!" memes throughout that process (see The Process)
Hennechart Passing chart in Upon Further Review. MGoBlog's system for charting quarterback play, named for the first man to be charted. Abbreviation explanations can be found here.
Henri the Otter of Ennui An otter with a French name that rhymes with the proper pronunciation of ennui. Henri appears when the numbness sets in. Origin.
(The) Horror Think of something so horrifying that could happen to Michigan football that it would thereafter only be referred to as "The Horror." Think of the first thing that an enemy fan will use when they want to give a Michigan fan a taste of what hell must be like. That's "The Horror." Now stop thinking about that and think about how adorable kittens can be. Soooo adorable!
HOWEVA Stephen A. Smith reference; if you don't know, be thankful.
IANAJTTP I am not a journalist, that's the point.
JMFJ Jack Mother-[Nice thinging] Johnson. Variants: JMFR for Jake Ryan, JMFH.
Lloyd Brady A fan with a distinctive bowl cut who always seems to be captured by the TV cameras in the front row, and is usually pretty happy looking.
Manbearfreak Carson Butler. A commenter or two still refers to Butler as "manbearfreak" or "MBF," which was confusing even to me until I looked it up. A conflation of "Manbearpig" from South Park and "freak," generally used to describe any unusually athletic specimen who plays football. Appears exactly once in the vast and multifarious MGoBlog archives:
Carson Butler. Manbearfreak.
Manball Manblocking and power running offense concepts predicated on pushing the defense out of the way to create lanes.
MANBALL (see Crimes Against Manpanda)
Miami (Yes That Miami) or Miami (YTM) the University of Miami in Florida is That Miami.
Miami (NTM) (Not That Miami), Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
MIKE (verb) Cardinal rule of pass blocking assignments. Always MIKE before you hike.
M00N How the scoreboard read for most of the 2014 Michigan-Northwestern game:
Monkey Rodeo An animated gif of monkey cowboys riding dogs, favored by livebloggers.
Mr. Plow Justin Boren, who was incensed that Rich Rodriguez wouldn't let him go back home on the weekends to help out with his dad's snowplow business. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
Muppets After important victories MGoBlog posts the Muppet Glee Club versions of "Temptation" and "Hawaiian War Chant", the two songs the band plays after wins.
Nachoshorts See Tacopants
Negbang Board jargon for excessive downvoting (antonym: "Posbang"). A person who posts an unpopular comment on the board and receives 50 negative votes or more can be said to be "Negbanged."
Never Forget … the erstwhile defensive backs of 2009-2010. Usually posted with the official banner:
(The) New Math Nickname for Mario Manningham. Comes from post conveniently titled "The New Math" after the 2005 Penn State game. General implication is that 86 == 1 and Manningham is unpossible.
NSFMF Not so fast, my friend.
(NTM) or (YTM) or (NT[any letter/s]): See Miami (Yes That Miami)
NTTAWWT Not that there's anything wrong with that.
(nv) Nisi Vanderbiltum, a Latin shorthand for excluding Vanderbilt from blanket statements made about the SEC. Coined by Seth.
Oakland is Still in Play for Jim Harbaugh because no amount of evidence will convince NFL beat writers a marketable pro head coach would take a college job.
OHIO! Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. In caps and punctuated to differentiate from how Brady Hoke referred to Ohio State.
OMG Shirtless Sometime during the 2005 recruiting year I received a number of hits for "Tim Tebow shirtless." At that point Tebow was a heavily pursued quarterback recruit and not Chris Leak's china-destroying sidekick. I endeavored to help this lonely, lonely person but could only find a picture of Tebow in a basketball jersey. Thus was born the Shirt Scale of recruiting rankings; these days it's about 50-50 as to whether or not a panting reference to a five-star freakystud gets tagged as shirtless, depending on whim.
OT Off topic. Used in message board headers to denote something not related to Michigan sports, Big Ten, relevant college athletics, or University of Michigan/Ann Arbor things.
Poor Damn Toussaint or Poor Damn [name] because we couldn't tell how good he is from the pile of nobody blocking around him. See 27 for 27.
Posbang see Negbang
(The) Process Dave Brandon's buzzword for why we needed seven weeks (OSU game to mid-January) of reveling in the Glory of Dave Brandon before firing the obviously fired Rodriguez and hiring the only guy Brandon ever considered whom he could have hired any time.
Rapture Guy Basketball fan who reached pinnacle of human capacity for happiness. Interviewed.
Rock. See RPS
RPS Rock, Paper, Scissors. UFR phrasing for what coordinators do against each other with play calling. Mike DeBord believed anything could be defeated by proper execution of rock. Good ol' rock.
SIAP Sorry if already posted. Message board header that shouldn't exist because if you posted something you have already diligently checked to see if someone else did so already.
Snowflakes Board header prefix for hot takes. We are all unique and special, like snowflakes, thus all of our special snowflake thoughts are unique and special and belong in Snowflakes threads.
Special K Kenny Fisher from Can't Hardly Wait, who graduated with a degree in having sex from UCLA and now makes music selections to pump out at Michigan home games, with consultation from Pepsi.
StAEE Their football team may be Big Daddy (see Big Daddy) but if there's one fanbase you would guess could misspell their own name when vandalizing a car...
Swampball A swampy game played by an angry, legalistic species of sentient bug people on a planet near Rigel. Virtually indistinguishable from Wisconsin basketball under Bo Ryan (origin).
Tacopants is Jason Avant's eleven-foot tall imaginary friend. Chad Henne spent much of 2005 hitting him between the numbers, which are unfortunately eight feet off the ground and made of dreams. Blessed with infinite eligibility and the ability to sneak on and off the field without alerting the referees -- made of dreams, remember -- Tacopants has taken a lesser role in the offense as Henne matures but still pops up at inopportune times. The term has its genesis in this post. Cousin Nachoshorts is three apples high and yet still too tall to grab turfed Steven Threet screen passes.
UFR or Upon Further Review The painstaking play-by-play analysis of offensive and defensive performance after football games. A database of past UFRs is available in the User HoF.
Uniformz Alternate uniforms, not good ones.
Unverified Voracity Voracity is a weird word to come after "unverified," especially when dealing with a sports blog and not, say, a blog about rumored hunger. The deal: back when the sporadic link-filled posts were untitled, some Iowa sportswriter penned what was to the the first in a long line of intemperate columns ragging on blogs for having the audacity to not be written by sportswriters. Unfortunately for that sportswriter, she inserted the following sentence:
In the new "journalism of assertion," as the report calls it, information is offered with little time and little attempt to independently verify its voracity. [sic]
Sarcasm being what it is, UV was born shortly after.
We Had Subs, It Was Crazy. Beilein endearingly describing the chaos of two grandkids' birthdays in two days between the Elite 8 and Final 4 weekends in 2013. Became a handy bit of nonsense to yell when this occurred:
Win the Game! Mitch McGary's sage advice for beating MSU.
(The) Year of Infinite Pain is 2005, a time before we knew what pain was.
YMRMFSPA You may remember me from such players as. Used in recruiting profiles to say what kind of player a recruit may turn out to be if he works out.
(YTM) or (NTM) or (NT[any letter/s]): See Miami (YTM)
Dear Diary was going to be in this spot this morning, but the site was 504-ing and I couldn't get at all my precious tabs. So instead you get Esther McCleery.
My good friend Nate is certainly the most interesting person I've ever met. He's one of those diamonds from the middle of nowhere that the University of Michigan goes out of its way to collect, the nowhere in this case being Eastern Kentucky and the middle being a small town called Grayson. I'll save you his list of accomplishments because he'll be famous enough one day for all of them to end up in a book.
In a town like Grayson hoarding is one of the things that register on a list of pastimes. While sorting through one trove Nate found a stack of old copies of Life magazine and brought them with him to our college reunion last weekend. Inside he found and framed enough ads for bourbon to keep Kentucky bars well-tchotchke'd for a decade.
This he was doing at the breakfast table on Saturday morning while another friend and I were trying to justify to our wives why we're blowing what could have been a Europe trip on a few upcoming Saturdays.
That's when Nate serendipitously discovered an article on Homecoming in the November 1959 issue. Hey it's our band:
That's the only photo in the article that's pointed at the field. Life's photographer instead spent the 4th quarter with his camera turned toward Class of '34 alumna Esther McCleery. I'll reproduce that for you now:
HOMECOMING SPIRIT at game is shown in the mobile face of Mrs. Esther McCleery, class of '34 at Michigan. Above Mrs. McCleery screams, "Go, Team, Go, this is it!" as Michigan, behind 16-10 in final quarter, intercepts pass deep in Wisconsin territory. "All right, Blue," Mrs. McCleery bellows. "This is it, we've got 'em now."
But a moment later Michigan fumbles and Mrs. McCleery's face falls (below)
In the final minutes of the game, she dejectedly watches Wisconsin wrap it up with a field goal. "We've had it but good," she mutters.
But she brightened. "Next year we'll get 'em," she says.
Everyone ought to see Notre Dame du Paris (NOTE-rruh Dahm) one time in their life just to appreciate the feats of art and engineering that mankind can accomplish when we feel like it. To understand why we'd ever build such things, first you ought to experience something like Notre Dame at Michigan, since there are few other things in the world—other than gaining or losing another human being—that can make you truly appreciate the depths of emotions that make being a human animal quite worthwhile.
29 days, Esther.
…or "install a 3-4 defense," or "hedge on screens," or "replace Martin & Van Bergen," or "excuse bad threads with 'OT:'," or "take a bus to North Campus," or "find parking on 4th street." But starting a Facebook meme page for your school? Oh man, there is evil there that does not sleep. Not with a 100 memes could you do this. More best of the board:
NO TIMEOUTS IN CRISLER (WE'RE JUST GONNA COME OUT IN ZONE ANYWAY)
Also peasy is identifying the Maize Rage shirts from Amaker's first season because they said "No timeouts in Crisler!" on the backs. The fronts said "Pass around the perimeter, have Bernard or LaVell take a bad shot, give up a layup, repeat until Avery Queen turns it over!" Then we'd all turn around in shame and Amaker would see "No timeouts in Crisler!" and oblige as his former team scored 104 points on his current one. If you still have your Maize Rage t-shirts from any era, Wolverine Devotee could use your help for his project. Tell the story of that season when you post and this thread will get either good, or really bad but easy to root for.
RIVALS 100/250 ARE OUT
Tremendous, who goes by aquaman2342 on MGo, posted the relevant folk to Michigan, and Hill.FootballRecruits did la même chose for the Rivals 250. Shane Morris is No. 16 overall, the third QB, and well within the range that eventually becomes 5-stars for Rivals, so of course the board is putting out conspiracy theories for why he's so low. Dymonte is 77th. Bluestreak points out that the in-state crop isn't as deep as it was this year, but 2012 was just a really deep year.
DON'T YOU ALL HAVE HOMES?
The Red Wings and Maple Leafs are coming to Michigan Stadium to break the Big Chill's hockey attendance record, the GLI is moving to Comerica Park, and if you're wondering why it seemed the negotiations were so edgy just imagine both Dave Brandon and Mike Ilitch in a room when it comes time to order lunch. Actually they negotiated this from different rooms. Pizza is srs business. I love outdoor hockey, and love anything that brings back the Wings-Leafs rivalry, and I love love love the Red Wings. But srsly January 1st? I don't care about the record; that "backup date of Jan. 2" clause had better have something in there about roses is all I'm saying (it doesn't, but it oughtta).
JOIN THE BOOK CLUB
Only you. User aiglick wants to start an MGoBookClub this offseason, starting with Bo's Lasting Lessons. I'm in so long as you all promise that the June book is Hail to the Victors.
HIPSTER, BRO, OR LATE-AUGHTS MICHIGAN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN?
'Pre-Gaming with' Pat Stansik made a movie that I think takes place on Ann Street about a new roommate who defies his friends' attempts to place him in social categories. I bet the dude has a stache-tat on his finger. But if avant-garde is more your style I put up a … thing discovered by Orson where … oh hell screen caps:
Fair warning: if you get past a thread title that says "Un film dérangeant" and "Catlab" in it, plus the images above and the nonsensical introduction, and you still watch all 2:37 of this video, I am not responsible for any amount of your life you can't get back.
Hutch's softball program—shout-out to the ones at the airport Wendy's last evening—may be nearing its apex with three players on the pre-season All-America watch list . They also picked up a shortstop recruit from Georgia who's hitting .568 in an area not known for softball. Wrestling recently was on the short end of what numerous people who know wrestling have now assured me was the worst call in the history of wrestling. Oh, and we got a diary on Men's Tennis.
Diaries Play Five
Hey look at Moffie. See your glorious forward playing an unhindered Holmstrom spot—this is very bad for Miami by the way. CenterIce is your diarist of the week for his new regularish feature he calls "Special Teams Breakdown" and your alliteration-loving editors would rather he call "Picture Paging Power Plays." The theme for this week's is Miami is bad at the penalty kill.
High Five, Fab Five. In the basketballs, buddhafrog put up a heart-warming story about when the Fab Five showed up to a hospital for mentally disabled kids—the kind of kids it's hard to face because you start mentally shaking your fist at deities who would do such things to kids—which makes this kind of remarkable:
Weber and Rose saw through their disabilities; they saw through the wall that makes most people much more comfortable by just turning away. They treated the boys as real boys, as real people. It meant the world to my boys at the Center and was probably the highlight of their year.
The raison d'être for this blog was because Beilein wants to get $100,000 in charity to the same center, and is in a tight race on ESPN with Motta and the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
Demi-sabermetric Alabama fans don't exist, but if they did… Maize_in_spartyland investigated that turnover margin last year equals wins/losses this year metric on its face and finds that yes it works in his too-easy-to-work definition. Notable exceptions were Alabama and Oklahoma State; this means somewhere out there is an Alabama fan who is saying Bama's +12 turnover margin in 2010 was…okay yeah you are never going to have that conversation with anyone, because once you start down the path of analyzing turnover margin to predict next year's win totals you're not going to stop half-way.
4/7/2011 – Michigan 1, North Dakota 0 – 29-10-4, national championship berth
[Ed-M: M 2, NoDak 0 if you count the empty-netter but it felt like 1-0]
42:40: The first time I looked at the clock. You'll note this is still in the first period. At this point I was a bit uncomfortable with the way things were tilted and wanted them to get to the locker room to regroup so they could get back on the relatively even footing it seemed they'd grasped. I mean, North Dakota seemed better but there was a bit in there where this looked like a plausible hockey game.
40:59: Ref gives Michigan embellishment call as player tries to hop around defender to grab the puck. Furious.
40:00: Exhale. Pop on twitter to complain about Rust's elbowing call. Think back to the 2003 Yost regional final when Mark Mink turned a harmless shorthanded CC turnover behind their own net to a wrap-around goal. Remember shouting "you haven't done anything all year but I FORGIVE YOU" at Mink. Half wince at persistent complaints about amount of playing time handed over to Ben Winnett over the years, half take credit for goal since universe tends to say "oh YEAH" at blog assertions.
39:30: This isn't going well. Already.
36:55: Derek DeBlois is headed off the ice when the puck approaches the bench; he hesitates for a second, looks like he's going to play it, and then continues. They call too many men.
34:55: Michigan kills another power play without really letting North Dakota get set up. That's their third; at no point has UND looked dangerous.
35:00: Still not going well at all.
33:03: Ref fails to call a matching minor on a Sioux slash. Power play.
29:50-ish. Hunwick robs Chay Genoway as he plunges into the slot, Eric Werner-style. He receives a cross-slot pass. A pass that goes from one prime shooting area from another is completed and Hunwick makes the save with his body. He's outside the crease as he does this.
29:05: The point at which I look at the clock and say "over half this period is gone" with sudden relief and realize I have been looking at this hockey game as the world's longest penalty kill since the 42:40 mark. I admit this to myself now. We are going to look like Wayne State against Colorado College the night before Mink scores the goal that forgives all: lined up on the blue line like men being executed for treason.
25:00-ish: Gregoire turns Langlais and comes swooping in on net right-to-left. He's on his forehand and has the entire net; Hunwick slides with him and stones him.
24:12: Hunwick drinks water. A friend who sits in the end zones at Yost told me that Hunwick is finicky about his water. Whenever a ref comes by to drink some his body language reads "why do you have to be like that?"
20:00: Exhale. Type "shitshitshitshitshitshitshit" into twitter because at this point analysis is impossible. I'm pretty sure Clare isn't playing much and there have been points when the fourth line has gotten trapped in its own end against the Frattin line that I can remember now but it's fight or flight.
18:00: Ten percent.
16:00: Twenty percent.
15:51: Frattin plays in on Malone as Glendening gets beat around the corner. Hunwick goes for a poke check and gets it; I realize this about five seconds later since the animal terror had been focused on the area behind Hunwick where the puck would pop out as the inevitable, devastating five-hole goal was scored.
I think about how I've seen this story before.
In 2004 Boston College was bombing Al Montoya but Michigan was hanging on to a one-goal lead thanks to goals from Mike Brown and Andy Burns—basically Winnett, except Burns was a defenseman scoring his first of the year. After a hectic nine-minute stretch without whistles in which Michigan finally started playing BC even, Michigan gave up a goal off an offensive zone faceoff. Whole self deflated, etc. BC won in overtime; shots ended up 42-15 BC.
12:33: I am being hunted. A shadow passes to my right as I scurry, tiny legs whirring through wildflowers. The shadow is getting larger.
10:01: AAAAAIIGH FRATTIN—HUNWICK!
I have no idea where the puck is but I don't care because it's not in the net. Air Force did this to us. God, we were good that year.
When I came home my then girlfriend had someone over. I said nothing, went into the bedroom, and closed the door. She silently brought me a glass and some whiskey, and I thought she was as wonderful as anything could be in a universe of total blackness.
9:32: Nothing much is happening righ—DON'T EVEN THINK THAT
8:50: Merrill holding call. This is all my fault.
6:50: Merrill comes out of the box without North Dakota getting much more than a point shot, but Michigan gets stuck in their end just as the penalty expires and is clearly gassed. I remember a game against Maine in which Michigan was down to five defensemen, one of whom was a walk-on, but not like Hunwick is a walk-on. Like a walk-on walk-on. They mostly played four guys. Mike Komisarek was a giant, a future pro who was unbelievably good, but by the end of the game he could barely move, and Maine put the Comrie era to bed.
The puck slides to the blue line, but not out. The linesman doesn't see it that way. Good linesman. I take back everything bad I've ever said about offsides.
5:00: Seventy five percent.
4:00: Now counting in minute increments. At 3:14 I decide there are three minutes left. I hate that 2:37 is still three minutes. 2:16: two minutes. Kill one power play. Come on.
1:13: Goalie gone. "Get it out," someone screams. The puck does not get out.
57.5: A pass slithers out from behind the net and manages to avoid the mess of sticks and skates camped out there. This memory does not require a refresher from wikipedia because it's terrifyingly recent: UMD just scored into a wide-open net against Notre Dame on this exact same pass. Hagelin throws himself at the shot and blocks it. The puck turns heel and ends up right back on Trupp's stick. He walks into the slot and lets it loose; Pateryn has thrown himself at this one and the puck deflects into the corner. It's thrown back out into the same spot on the ice, where Trupp waits; Hagelin has recovered and chucks the puck into the other corner.
44:1: UND recovers and throws a couple passes around the perimeter. The second one is one-timed; Hagelin is again there. He blocks it. Puck turns back into an American hero by somehow lying directly at Hagelin's feet after the block. He's attacked by the defenseman who just fired it; Hagelin evades him; Michigan breaks to center ice three on two; Hagelin passes it over to Caporusso as another Sioux player comes up to stop him; Louie does the same when the last remaining defender approaches him at the blue line; Scooter—of course it is Scooter—slides the puck into the empty net.
Someone tries to shake my hand or something and is hugged.
I didn't want to lead the post with this but there was quality work done on the board last night, most of it inspired by this guy:
[click for big]
Usually bird-flipping maniacs don't look like accountants. Our previous experience tends more towards lawyers:
Two things to note:
- Louie Caporusso giving him the bird right back—I didn't even know you could do that in a hockey glove.
- See the guy in the white giving a death stare that moves from Scooter to the bird-flipper? Yeah, if you watch the Winnett goal that guy flips off Winnett. North Dakota fans: classy.
Complete this photoshop espectacularrrrr.
Hell Yes Bullets
Random guys who played well unexpectedly. Luke Moffat had as much of a game as you can have as a third/fourth liner in a game where you're pinned in your own end most of the time. Melrose was all about Rust, and with reason. Moffie was not exploited—he went with Frattin in the first period and tied up his stick, turning what looked like it was going to be a dangerous chance into a weak shot Hunwick had no problem with.
Rust. RUST. I think we're getting a sense of just how silently good he is. Michigan's late-season renaissance has come with Rust logging huge minutes against top lines and it doesn't seem to matter who's on his wing. A win tomorrow makes Shawn Hunwick a legend and it should probably make Rust one too—Schwartz, Frattin, and UNO's big guns have little to show in three nerve-wracking games. If UMD says the same tomorrow he instantly becomes the most underrated Michigan player in the last decade.
Ref complaint. Seriously, the reason people say "keep your head up" is so you can get hit in the head with someone's shoulder, and calling a charge on Michigan after an obvious charge on North Dakota makes me want to die, not to mention a trip on the goalie late in the game that was totally ignored. Yost Built heard it was Scott Hansen from HE and immediately said "that's the guy who waved off the Ryznar goal in Buffalo"—so, yeah, basically any time Michigan gets a HE crew they will have screwed Michigan at some point in the past.
ESPN non-complaint. Melrose was all about North Dakota last night and people were all about ripping Melrose, but he was right. This was a "sometimes the best team doesn't win situation" and it was obvious on the ice. Kudos to Michigan for doing what they needed to but asking Melrose not to marvel at the Sioux is asking him to turn a blind eye to reality. Red agrees:
“I’ll tell you, they’ve got to be stunned,” Berenson said. “I know we were in '97. We were stunned. There’s so much momentum built up in your season. They rolled through the season, they rolled through their playoffs, they rolled their playoffs, they rolled through the first regional.
“But they’re stunned. They can’t believe it. They’re going to second guess themselves.”
Michigan just beat '97 Michigan. That team was stacked, and saying so doesn't make you a bad dude.
Also, I love Gary Thorn so much.
Gurrrrrgh. Someone retweeted Lee Moffie apologizing for nailing some dude in the crowd:
I followed Moffie since that's entertainment right there, and then it suggested I follow "ajtrea23," which is obviously AJ Treais even if the number is messed up, and I clicked through. Treais's bio:
University of Michigan 13'. The Andover High School 09'. A less dynamic version of TJ Hensick.
My spidey sense told me to Google this and sure enough:
Tell Winnett I'm so so sorry.
The highlights in non-picture format:
Yost Built on the flipper:
didn't you feel like that when Andrew Volkening shut us out 2-0, despite the Wolverines outshooting Air Force 43-13? Didn't you feel like that when Ryan Miller beat us 1-0 in a game that we outshot Michigan State by a 31-13 count?
This is how it feels to have the goalie that makes opposing fans do...well...that.
Sioux fans are going to think about this game--this season--for the next decade as the one that got away. This is going to be their 1997. The year their team was near unbeatable during the year, actually unbeatable for the 2 1/2 months heading into the tournament, and that damn tiny walk-on goalie slammed the door on them.
Bring the Payne. MI CB LEVITICUS PAYNE has just achieved more than most of us will over the course of our lives: he's made the Name of the Year bracket.
[click for big.]
He's a 12 seed in the Bulltron regional against a "Silverberry Mouhon," which is mellifluous but is no LEVITICUS PAYNE. The Mercedes Bunz/Col. Many-Bears Grinder winner in the second round might be tough.
College football is also represented by South Carolina uber-recruit Jadeveon Clowney and former Michigan recruit Quinta Funderburke, who ended up signing with Arkansas. 2013 Purdue basketball commit Basil Smotherman Jr. also makes it. I'm pulling for Smotherman because for the duration of his career I'm going to pretend everything he says on the court is a Fawlty Towers quote.
Also everything Matt Painter says is going to be "BASIL!" I might watch every Purdue game during this era.
Schedule bits. The Big Ten released conference schedules for 2013 and 2014. Illinois and Purdue rotate off; Penn State and Indiana rotate on. Michigan won't see Wisconsin until 2015. That's why the Big Ten will add a ninth conference game sometime in the near future—four years off is a bit much.
At least that's good in terms of schedule strength… unless that thing where any team that doesn't play Michigan is guaranteed to collapse keeps happening. If Illinois and Purdue are insanely good next year our curse continues. Illinois could actually… naw, nevermind.
Monocle follow-up. Women's basketball is out of control:
Some schools paid their coaching staffs many times what their teams earned, the data show. The Texas A&M staff received $1.36 million, or 114 percent of operating revenue of $1.19 million, and Michigan State paid out $833,931, or 87 percent of operating revenue of $954,779.
At Auburn University, salaries and benefits cost $1.14 million, or 1,783 percent of the Tigers’ operating revenue of $64,225, and the program posted a $3.16 million operating loss.
Auburn continues to live by the motto "go big or go home." The 53 BCS schools vulnerable to FOIAs collectively lost over two million dollars each.
Those numbers are insane. Money is being transferred directly from football and basketball players to women's basketball coaches. At least with revenue sports there's some justification for paying the head of your program a lot of money—he's in charge of something that makes money and might stop doing so if you suck. There's no reason any women's basketball coach not at UConn or Tennessee should be making more than 100k. What's going to happen? Are the empty seats going to stop coming?
There's a lot of blather in that article from administrators talking about "the market," but that market is shaped by all the extra cash sloshing around because revenue athletes get the same scholarship as everyone else. Even UConn lost nearly a million dollars last year because it paid its head coach nearly two. There's an easy way to close that gap.
Do it or I'll burn you with my eye lasers. Outstanding find from MVictors, as he runs across a wire photo showing what Yost used to look like in the days of Cazzie Russell:
Greg advocates putting the old man back up—"Extend the Yost brand," he exhorts—and this is obviously the most fantastic idea ever.
BONUS: it reminded me of the Martin Van Buren alert system, wherein Old Man Murray put up a picture of MVB on their page and would change it to a "dramatic approximation of Martin Van Buren as he would appear if he were alive today" in the event some random person important to misanthropic gaming nerds* in 1999 updated her "page":
MVB, devil MVB
Michigan could do the same whenever Michigan State came to town or something. Best idea ever? Best idea ever.
*[so, so guilty as charged.]
Exit Fiesta. The NCAA's going to meet about the Fiesta Bowl whatnot soon and could pull the licenses from both the Fiesta (which would be a big deal) and the Insight (which would be a big deal to Minnesota). The shocking, shocking abuses uncovered have caused at least a few guys within the ivory tower to grumble about a playoff:
“The bowls ought to be put under the control of the N.C.A.A.,” said William E. Kirwan, the chancellor of Maryland’s university system and co-chairman of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which discusses and sometimes makes recommendations on the major issues of college sports.
“One way to accomplish that is to go to a playoff and let it be an N.C.A.A. championship. That would be one way of breaking the back of the B.C.S. I’ve never been in favor of a playoff, but given what I see going on, I think it’s time to press that issue.”
He's got a point. Money currently being spent on strippers and golf by bowl executives could instead be used on strippers and golf by women's basketball coaches.
Nervous yet? In an article heavily laden with moody pictures of confetti, Luke Winn drops the bomb you've been bracing for in a way-too-early top 32(?):
13. Michigan John Beilein is on the verge of a breakthrough in Ann Arbor — that is, if point guard Darius Morris returns for his junior season. Tim Hardaway Jr. was perhaps the nation’s most underrated freshman in ’10-11, and the Wolverines showed flashes of their potential by nearly knocking off Duke in the “third” round. They could make an outside run at the Big Ten title.
Deliciously, Michigan State does not feature. Draymond Green's reaction to this:
As for the Wolverines, that 13 is uncomfortably close to the #15 ranking they got in the preseason AP poll before they imploded two years ago. It's also ridiculous to make these lists before the NBA draft deadline, not that it stops CBS (16) or ESPN (also 16).
Etc.: Corn Nation covers Bo's final season as part of their countdown to joining the Big Ten. Via On The Banks, here's an academic economist who actually seems to have a clue about college athletics. Polynomial efficiency margins from Maize Colored Glasses.