alternate headline: man does job
If you're looking for the MSU preview, scroll down or click here.
Huh? We are bringing back the MGoPumpkin carving contest, this time with a DO-WANT prize for the victor. You, you, know, carve a pumpkin.
How do I enter? When you carve your masterpiece, take a photo and put it either in this thread, or on Twitter with a #MGoPumpkin hashtag. I'll judge the winner based on originality, concept, execution, and Michiganness. I'll see if I can rustle up some more prizes—I want to see ALL the pumpkins.
A prize you say? Winner gets $200 toward a stay at the brand spankin' new Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown. That's the hotel they just built on West Huron, next door to the Ann Arbor News building.
Why would this fabulous new hotel who seems like a sponsor…wait is this an ad? Kinda? The hotel is owned by the Martin family and friend of the blog Mike Martin. No not THAT Mike Martin, though this Mike's ties to the Michigan community are just a biiiit closer. Anyway this Mike Martin (NTMM) just got the go-ahead-and-open notice a few hours ago, so he's letting our readers be among the first to know. He's also running ads here for it.
Okay tell me of this hotel. Other than being brand spankin' new, it is a block from Main Street, which is pretty meaningful if you're the type who prefers dinner and a pub crawl to sitting in State Street traffic after a game. It's priced competitively, and has a free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens in every suite, and an indoor pool.
The thing I like most about daily fantasy games is having a thing to do with all this football knowledge that "it's my job" is only so much an excuse to accumulate. My job doesn't need me to know ahead of time that so-and-so has an 8-foot manbeast at running back and that the direction state university they're playing this week really should have gone Division III a decade ago. I don't really remember how all this information was acquired. It kinda assembled in my brain and sits there.
I can only foist so much of it on phone calls with friends (I mean, eventually you do have to ask about the kids) and the mgoslackchat. So I play Draft Kings, whom you may have noticed have been one of our best supporters for a very long time now, and who you also many have noticed are all over the place lately.
But remember these games are about exploiting market inefficiency. That blitz is your friend; they're sucking in tons of new players who don't know exactly what I'm talking about. And Ohio State fans.
Unfortunately the secret's out about the beast, and Buckeyes Bucking against Indiana is a smart play. So I've got a new dude. He is playing a team that doesn't stop anything, and his team is just starting to block everything, and his game just got moved to the early slot so his competition is unbalanced, and half the people in the pool are all gonna have the same guys. Don't listen to the weatherman who says the weather's gonna be clearer than you thought. I say it's gonna pour.
- $100,000 prize pool.
- First place wins $10,000
- FREE for new users or $3 to enter
- Top 7,850 scores win money guaranteed
- Starts on Saturday, October 3rd at 12:00 PM EST
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots.
- Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex
It's gonna get hairy out there. I foresee SUVs parked on top of each other, four to a stack. The lady on top of the stack has had too many wine coolers and is waving a kebab around threateningly.
Avoid certain doom at the hands of kebab wielders by reserving your spot ahead of time with Park 'n' Party. PnP has organized the parking situation around the stadium so that you can get a season pass at one of the many lots nearby. Eliminate pre-game worries; park next to friends so that when they have too many wine coolers they brandish their kebabs elsewhere.
If you've got an Event with an Expense Account attached to it, you are a lucky dog. Also Park and Party has many suitable places with attached man-caves with TVs and fancy block M brick patios.
There's a button midway down the right sidebar that will take you to their site if and when you need to secure your future attendance against ravenous hordes of people with tiny metal sticks with undercooked mushrooms on them. Or you could click on the links.
Kebabs are terrible. As tailgate food. I'm sure there is a way in which they can be good. They are terribly ill-suited for tailgating. Watch Joe disprove this spectacularly next week.
Your move, Ohio: a continuing series. One of Pluto's moons was lovingly shaped by the solar system as an homage to the great state of Michigan:
Hydra, on the right, is a dead ringer for the lower peninsula. No word yet on which of Pluto's more obscure moons looks like the UP. Probably the one with Houghton on it.
DAY 53. They said they captured it. They lied. Remain stuck in the FXB. Bodies of the innocent piled up outside the door. Smell of putrefaction overwhelming, but intermittent. There it is again. The door is open. Another poor soul attempts to make a break for it. The sounds of his failure are familiar by now, the horror of it distant, the boredom present.
Incredibly, I hear a lecture on aerodynamics going on somewhere above me. If I had the energy I would scream at these people. Scream bloody murder. Scream that the only aerodynamics that remain relevant in our lives are those that will take us from the top of this building to the street below.
Unless, of course, its maw intercepts us.
I do nothing. Above they drone on about lift ratios. Outside, Satan's final victory over Earth.
You may be waiting for your doom in the FXB but at least you didn't do this. A new challenger appears in the Worst AD Ever competition:
In December 2011, Kansas was strongly considering tabbing Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn to be its next head coach. … Malzahn had never been a college head coach, and neither had [Mark] Mangino before he arrived in Lawrence. Yet Malzahn was the O-coordinator for Auburn as the Tigers stunningly went 14-0 and won the 2011 national title, and Mangino coordinated Oklahoma’s national championship offense shortly before landing the Kansas job.
For Kansas, the Malzahn match made too much sense. But in a defining decision, the Jayhawks changed course in the final moments and opted to go with the biggest name they could get.
That happened to be Charlie Weis.
This year, Kansas has 64 scholarship players and will be paying Weis more than they pay their actual coach. The Weis phenomenon remains one of history's most inexplicably fascinating periods.
Wherever you go. Hey, I've been some of these places.
Endzone Brandon's Lasting Lessons. Bacon did an hour-long interview with Drew and Mike that is fascinating. Drew and Mike did extensive homework and focus in on a lot of the key areas of the book; at times they ask direct questions about things Bacon can't respond to because no one would go on the record. Some things that I think aren't even in the book leak out:
- Brandon would make comments about personnel during his film-watching sessions—possibly even outright suggestions. Even if this the most benign version possible, it's so bad. Imagine your boss sitting down with you and saying "Devin's not doing so well." Now you are in a lovely pickle.
- If I read the thing about how Brandon's entourage would call ahead to hotels to make sure they had someone to open his car door, I must have blanked it out in an effort to defend myself from my brain's reaction to… that. Ditto that Brandon turned down private planes that were too small.
- Bacon thinks that Schlissel may have been inclined to wait until the end of the academic year before deciding what direction to go at AD, until that was suddenly no longer tenable. That would have been bad.
There's more that I can't remember off the top of my head. Eleven Warriors has an excerpt from the wild 42-41 OSU game.
Iowa fans on Rudock. Going to be fascinating to watch what happens at both Michigan and Iowa this year, particularly if Rudock outperforms CJ Beathard. BHGP is in the midst of its season preview content; their roundtable spends a question considering the departed:
Will Iowa fans miss Jake Rudock?
Adam: Not unless Beathard gets injured. Iowa fans saw two full years of Rudock. He’s a known quantity, and it was mostly a substandard quantity. If Rudock outperforms Beathard this year, it’ll likely be more of a referendum on Iowa’s and Michigan’s coaching staffs than on their quarterbacks. …
Patrick: Absolutely, because if there’s two things Iowa fans love, it’s a backup quarterback and the guy they let get away. The narrative changes have already begun, and will only get worse if Rudock is successful at Michigan or Beathard struggles. The vitriol directed at Rudock last season, most of it undeserved, will be completely forgotten the second that Beathard checks down to a two-yard out route or throws a horrible interception to the sideline.
Those are the two extremes of what's about a 50/50 split. If Rudock does seem significantly better, the fallout from Iowa City will be vicious.
The answer is yes. Look, kid, everything in life comes with a cost.
As pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifkas howed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the Toledo fourth grader had just one burning concern.
“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer laughs.
When you grow up you'll be thankful for the switch. You'll put liquids in your cooler and remove them without any unfortunate encrustations upon them. You might have a law degree you're actually able to pay off!
Butch TD, 1979. Via Dr. Sap:
Love how Ufer immediately knows that's a program record.
Also, a 1980 feature on Gary Moeller from Michigan Replay:
Etc.: Surprise! Alabama's Cost of Attendance figure shoots up. Michigan ranks high in the pernicious and generally useless university rankings that have increasingly driven colleges to ridiculous measures in order to rank well, so they've got that going for them.
Spike was the most efficient pick and roll player in the Big Ten last year, albeit on relatively low usage. Via Steve Lorenz, Gus Johnson wanted to name his daughter after Bo. That's a new one.
We had a little preseason meeting of the MGoBloggerati last week. Due to some oversight, we unfortunately had this meeting at a bar with TVs and the Lions preseason game on those TVs. So no, we didn't get much planning done with a table full of football bloggers who had football in front of them, but Brian had this fantastic idea:
What if the NFL preseason actually counted? Teams would have unlimited rosters, but you could only play your 1st stringers for the 1st quarter, and your 2nd stringers in the 2nd, and so on. Play in a quarter and you lose your eligibility for the rest of them. Everybody wins!
In things that somebody wins:
Football season means we're gonna start getting back to picking daily/weekly fantasy games to congregate in with our fantasy partner Draft Kings. This week's is an NFL preseason contest because frankly that's what we're all paying attention to right now (sorry boss). And since it's early we just went with a free one anyone can play:
- $100,000 prize pool.
- First place wins $10,000
- FREE for everyone to join - no deposit required
- Top 23,150 scores win guaranteed
- Starts on Sunday, September 13th at 1:00 PM EST
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense.
- Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex and 1 Defense
- Hit the link to join.
I noticed Kelvin Benjamain has torn his ACL. Although the rookie vying to take his targets tweaked his hamstring last week and missed the Miami game, Funchess should be good to go. And the nice thing is you have to scroll a loooong way to get to him.
Our fantasy partners at Draft Kings have been supporting Hail to the Victors since their main marketing guy helped us Kickstart the 2012 edition.
In 2013 he bought a bunch of the books off of us and gave them out to anyone who deposited at least the amount it cost the Kickstarter backers.
Last year they asked if they could just hand us money to keep making it, and I was like "can I tell people you gave us money?" and apparently this is called a sponsorship so they're sponsors. And they bought a bunch of books to give out again. As for this year…
They're the Sponsors Again!
Yay! But seriously I'm sure you've seen stuff for this daily fantasy sports website popping up all over the place lately, and we're very lucky that the people in charge of that are longtime and earnest fans of this site.
So once again if you missed the Kickstart you can still get this year's book basically for the Kickstart price by depositing $15 or more with them. (Or if you just want the digital edition—it's a PDF—deposit $5 or more).
The nice part for you is if you blow through that deposit, at worst you got a copy of a book you were buying anyway minus the shipping cost. But, like, it's a deposit; if you make money you got a free copy of HTTV, and you get money.
(The nice part for us is we get money if you do this.)
How this works:
2. You create an account using an email address that isn't associated with a Draft Kings account already.
3. You deposit $15 or more (for a full book) or $5 or more (for just a digital copy).
4. Within 24 hours I'll email you to say you get a book and ask for your address (if you don't hear from me or another MGostaffer within a day email me at [my name]@mgoblog.com
The books will be mailed out in batches so the sooner you act the sooner the book comes.
1. Gotta be a new user. They're looking for people who haven't tried out their games before, so if you're already in you're out of luck.
2. Gotta be in the U.S. (otherwise shipping's a nightmare). If you're from AZ, IA, LA, MT, or WA—i.e. states with prize laws—contact [email protected] to address that first.
3. Gotta be 18 (or 19 in Alabama or Nebraska).
What About the Kickstarter Books?
The final version has been approved at the printer so now we wait for them to physically print it. Make sure you sent us your address (just doing the Kickstarter isn't enough).
You should be getting your digital copies in your inboxes starting today. It's a 12mb PDF file but I have a lower-resolution 5mb one if you desire to put it on a Kindle or something that cares about hard drive space.
What if I find all this confusing and just want to pre-order a copy?
Go to the MGoStore! It's $15 plus about $5 for shipping depending on where you are.
Friend of the blog Matt Demorest called me up yesterday to [chat Spring Practice and] remind me he's been wearing a Bo-style hat as long as I've known him. Of course as soon as Harbaugh wore one, these were flying off the shelf, so Matt snapped up two of them for the next two readers to close with him, along with a $100 Amazon gift card.
Gift Card: Any loan (new house or refinance) that closes with Matt and mentions MGoBlog gets a $100 Amazon Gift Card. This can be used for Michigan swag, except if you just bought a new house you are probably going to have to put it into the new house because new houses are needy like that.
Bo Hat: The first two loans who close with Matt will also get one of these hats in the mail, directly from the MGoStore.
Reminder of Why We Like Him:
does mortgages (purchases and refinances) under a better business model—he's more of a consultant as opposed to bank reps who have to work under a strict set of corporate guidelines and bottom lines. Since he doesn't have to support a whole bank staff he can charge a lot less, and since he isn't tied to one underwriter he can get several of them to compete (and move more quickly) on yours.
Reminder: Just in-State
He only can serve clients in Michigan, though Matt can usually give out-of-staters a referral to someone he knows/trusts.