To watch tonight. If you're starving for something in maize and blue to root on—and you probably are—softball's super regional matchup against Alabama will be on the TV. Game one is tonight(!) on ESPN2 at 8. Games two and three (if necessary) are Friday, with game two at 4:30 on ESPNU and hypothetical game 3 on ESPN2 at 7.
The full Jackie Chiles. I've accused a couple of lawyers who have entered our lives of being Seinfeld Cochran-parody Jackie Chiles, but Jalen Rose just won the title for all time:
"I think it was unnecessary. Flagrant. Defiant."
Rose goes on to say "it"—Mary Sue Coleman saying they won't be putting the banners up again for games that still never happened—is…
"…honest, and I respect that. If they choose not to embrace the Fab Five era, if they choose not to embrace us individually or as a team or the things we brought to the table, I really have no bitterness. I'm not mad at it.
"What's going to happen, though? … When you turn your back directly or indirectly on something that was so good to you, you're never going to get the true foundation of a program to build upon."
"I'm not bitter" is kind of like "I'm not racist, but…" in that it's only said when you're about to be bitter or racist. I can get Rose's frustration and appreciate that he cares enough about his time at Michigan that it bothers him, but the games are vacated. It's over, man.
Well, here they are. Everyone loves them some Phil Steele but whenever he releases these All Conference teams I look at the Big Ten and get suspicious about how closely he's paying attention. This year's edition:
Just amongst Michigan players, the inclusion of Omameh over Schofield, the total omission of Jake Ryan despite 16 linebackers featuring, and Roy Roundtree featuring on the first team raise eyebrows. Also there's no Countess, Kenny Demens is not better than Michael Mauti, and the next time Will Gholston beats a block it will be his… well, his second time. He did it in MSU's bowl game.
The text is really tiny and weird, though. This is Steele's secret weapon.
Hail Mallory. Is JT Floyd too high as well? Yeah, probably. But it's not ridiculous to have him on there. Gibson minus all of the points.
Imaginary depth chart revamp. Based on some things I'd heard I assumed that in the event Michigan needed to fish for a second replacement tackle it would be Ben Braden despite his relative lack of recruiting hype. This tea leaf from Borges suggests otherwise:
Offensive coordinator Al Borges said last week freshmen could compete at any spot this fall, but named Kyle Kalis and Erik Magnuson as leaders to see the field because of the Wolverines' woefully thin offensive line depth.
“Kalis is a good player and he’s going to get a chance, just like Erik Magnuson,” he said.
Meinke goes on to state that Kalis is expected to compete for the left guard job but may move to tackle in the future, which is inverted from my assumption. That assumption: left guard will be okay, but the horrifying lack of depth at tackle means this college-ready five star needs to be prepped there in case someone gets hurt playing football.
All of this will be torn up and revamped when fall camp hits. Finding out who the #3 tackle is and if the freshmen receiver can play immediately will be priorities.
On fire. With three goals in three games, Justin Meram is officially on fire in MLS JAM. The latest is at about 1:20 here:
That cross came from a man named "Dilly Duka."
Side note: parallels between Meram and Zach Putnam exist. Both brought about a renaissance in a non-revenue sport with potential and a pro league to continue to, both programs collapsed after they left, the absence of both saw their longtime program stewards terminated after about a decade in charge. Whenever I see either I think of some fun times that I thought were sustainable but ended up not being so.
He's on top of it! OSU reported 46 secondary violations a few days back. These were more comedy than crime. Adding to the comedy is Gene Smith as Towlie:
Smith told The Lantern Tuesday the athletic department has 12 pending NCAA violations, and he doesn’t know if they will be deemed primary or secondary violations.
“We’ve got 12 pending,” Smith said. “It may turn out to be secondary. It may not.”
OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg said in a Wednesday email to The Lantern, that there were actually less than 12 pending violations. Wallenberg did confirm that the additional violations are being “processed,” although he did not “know the status of each situation” in regards to whether it was being processed by the university or the NCAA.
I have no idea what's going on, you guys.
Chances anything serious comes out of this asymptotically approach zero until Charles Robinson arrives on the scene in a superhero costume, but it's good to get further confirmation that the man in charge of Ohio State athletics is maybe not so good at his job. [UPDATE: Smith clarifies that Charles Robinson is not on campus.]
"The one thing that kind of gets left out of this discussion that maybe ought to get some weight are the kids," he said Friday during WTKA's Mott Takeover. "Now, I know a lot of people don't really care about that part, but I do, and if you polled our players and said, 'If you played a really tough, successful, long regular season, the award you're going to get is to travel to Ford Field or Lucas Oil Stadium,' they would look at you and say, 'Huh?'
"They love going to warm weather. They love going to some of these locations they, in some cases, have never visited."
…TO PLAY FOR A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ON SOMETHING APPROXIMATING A HOME FIELD AAAAARGH. I shouldn't even bother repeating the things. They are just infuriating. Next week there will be a sudden reversal and Brandon will talk about how he doesn't consider on-campus sites to be on campus. It's not really a home field advantage, you see, because something something something pasta in a bread bowl.
We made money! Besides, Michigan made bank on the Sugar Bowl:
While the Big Ten conference received $6.1 million for an at-large BCS team and gave Michigan $2.05 million for travel and other expenses for its participation in the game, that was not Michigan's profit on the game.
After expenses were taken out and the Big Ten absorbed the cost of the university's unsold tickets, Michigan brought in $78,916 in profit from its trip to New Orleans, according to records received by WolverineNation as part of a Freedom of Information request.
It's not quite as bad as that. Michigan still has a couple million coming from the league. It seems like the travel and expenses budget is designed to approximately break even. The Big Ten ate about 400k in unsold tickets from the Sugar.
All those things should be taken with a grain of salt, but it's the weakest part of Phil Steele's magazine. The annual gratiutous placement of Ohio players in the 2nd-4th (!) teams is just absurd. Braxton Miller - 2nd team? Nathan Williams was 1st Team last year (and featured on the cover) - now he's 4th team? Phil really needs to stick to evaluating the overall team and stay away from ranking individual players.
Well, he also omitted James Vandenberg from the QBs, which is stupid. He probably should be the 2nd teamer. 3rd at the lowest. Scheelhaase might not even hold on to his starting job, there's no way he should even be 4th team.
Regarding DAB's comments: Here's a thought. Ignore them. They're patently ridiculous. Why? Because they're trying to come up with any reason at all to support the their abrogation of the (unwinnable) fight for campus or bidded sites for semfinal games. The reason they abrogated isn't because he thinks all that much about players' site preferences or the real B1G slavish devotion to the Rose Bowl, it's because no other conference would support this fight. None. Nada. Zilch. Therefore, that fight was/is not worth fighting, especially when the fight they really care about (top 4 vs. conf champs vs. hybrid) is being actively waged. So these reasons they're throwing out are non-sensical to you because they are in fact, non-sensical. Don't pull your hair out as a result.
LSA '89 - MBB Natl Champions, Big 10/Rose Bowl Champions | @MGoShoe
Personally, if I have only something nonsensical to offer, I say nothing. Or the truth also has been known to work -- what stopped him from saying that although we'd prefer campus sites, we're moving on because we can't win that battle?
But the real problem is that you're overselling DB's comments as "nonsensical," when what they actually are is insulting. He didn't just claim (undoubtedly falsely) that the players would prefer to cede home field advantage in the semi-finals, just so they can go someplace warm. He had to add, in typical DB fashion, that if you think differently, it's because you don't give a s*** about the players. Offensive remarks are a lot more difficult to ignore than merely nonsensical ones.
...that if you feel like DAB is always insulting then pretty much everything he says becomes offensive to some degree or another? I think that's where we are right now with a large segment of this readership.
I choose to be unperturbed by such utterings.
LSA '89 - MBB Natl Champions, Big 10/Rose Bowl Champions | @MGoShoe
I can't speak for the "readership" as a whole . . .
but when DB says stuff like this:
I know a lot of people don't really care about [the players], but I do
I feel like I can fairly pronounce it dickish without regard for what he's said on other occasions (some of which also has been dickish, IMHE). For a guy whose job (in part) is to be the public face of Michigan athletics, I'd think he'd want to avoid insulting his paying customers, and I'll admit I am "perturbed" when he does so.
Lack of name that proves this is a bad All-Conf list
James Vandenberg. Vandenberg is top 2 going into the season IMO, and top 4 all day. He is going into his senior year, had over 3000 yards passing and a 25-7 TD/Int ratio last year. He also has more pro potential at QB than any other QB in the Big Ten right now. How he is behind some of the other guys is very questionable. Most mom's that have never thrown a football can throw a football with their weak hand better than Martinez. And Scheelhausseaf got benched fairly regularly last fall.
Who he's throwing to doesn't mean he's not a better QB than those other guys. Also, Iowa's receivers are probably still at least as good as Nebraska's, and definitely better than Illinois -- the Illinois passing game last year was "throw it to AJ Jenkins" and he's gone to the pros.
Michigan baseball was already in the midst of its renaissance when Putnam arrived. It peaked when he came in, but it was already there. I think Meram is more of an individual talent whose departure cratered the program, while Putnam was more of a symptom of the overall recruity goodness of Boss/Maloney in those days and his departure by itself didn't necessarily mean the cratering that Meram's did. It may sound minor, but I think it's important to note, there were a lot of solid baseball players at Michigan during that 2004-2008 era like Nate Recknagle, Jeff Kunkel, Derek VanBuskirk, etc. that had as much to do with Michigan's success as Putnam did.
"Nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours."
As a former BIG ball player, who played against Putnam, I have never heard more excitement about him than on this blog. He was not at all a focus of our game planning, pitching or hitting, and we swept M in AA. Those other guys you named, as well as Getz, Brauer, etc were far more respected for what they could collectively do against us as opposed any individual Putnam included. To your point, he was not the impact that it appears Meram was.
I know that some of you have friends on the team, or at other BCS schools...
Do you think Brandon is making this up? Or do you think the players really do prefer vacation destinations, free PS3's and flat panel TV's to home field advantage? I honestly don't know the answer to that question, but if that is the consensus...This really is supposed to be about them.
I honestly can't imagine the athletes care that much. They'll get the swag regardless of who hosts, and while the whole "warm weather is nice" argument has some merit, it's not like these kids get a week in Maui. They get a couple of tightly-controlled days in New Orleans or Scottsdale.
If they didn't, players wouldn't be actively complaining about going to the bowl in Boise.
Look at it from their point of view--they see all this money being made off their effort and they don't get paid. The only thing they are allowed to get are some nice bowl game gift bags and, if they're lucky, a trip to a decent part of the country. Tightly controlled or not, it's still different and still new.
I don't think they see home-field advantage in a hypothetical playoff situation like fans do.
I think players complain about going to Boise, at least in part, because it is a crappy bowl game. I was in San Francisco this year for the Fight Hunger bowl (unrelated reason), and nobody from Champaign seemed overly excited about it.
situation considering Illinois had fired their coach, lost 6 straight, and were unsure of whether they were going to have coaches in the game itself. I can imagine the players just wanted to get the season over with and move on with the new regime. To their credit they won the game.
Good to see that Phil Steele finally received his 2010 Big Ten depth charts.
With respect to Brandon, he's a business man who doesn't like to look wrong. He knows there is a near-0% chance of anyone north of, I don't know, Phoenix getting a shot at hosting a meaningful bowl game, and so there is no reason to get all huffy about it. So he trots out the tired "players like warm weather" trope because otherwise he would have to admit that playing in the Big 10 puts you are a competitive disadvantage come bowl season, when teams like LSU and Florida are hilariously called "neutral" teams because they have to drive 80 miles to play a game.
I fully expect the MNC title games to migrate more and more south, probably to the point that the Georgia Dome becomes the sole title game location.
I didn't know they handed out 8th place ribbons (or 4th team pre-season All-conference).
"the Spirit of Michigan...is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways....and a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours" - Fielding Yost
Rose is willing to become weary in attempting to prevent a future basis for bitterness; and in so doing is no position to become bitter. Brian, asserting Jalen must be bitter is not warranted, but wrong-headed: an analogy to denials about racism lack relevance and perhaps substance.
The preference Mary Sue ignites with her comments tends to marginalize important issues of the past which better can be resolved than merely brushing aside an era.
Jalen is one of the symbols of overcoming difficult circumstances among other things (unlike Taubman); and a banner with the words "Fab Five" hanging from the Crisler ceiling is equivalent not at all to condoning cheating. It behooves Ms. Coleman to learn the lessons of defending a position which favors a banner of some sort or the like, if only by considering how she might do so with honor.
The thing we can all get over and leave behind us; is any expectation we might harbor of Chris Webber apologizing in the future to the University.
On the Fab Five front I agree: the games are vacated but, they still happened. The redaction of the games from the record does not force a redaction from our minds. Michigan has decided to do its best to forget an era that grew the brand in ways that had not happened before and is probably unlikely to happen again; here's hoping, though. Without the Fab Five, Michigan looks a lot like Notre Dame. Sometimes that is good, but not all times.
Ever since the whole Fab Five doc kerfuffle went down I started, stopped, re-started, then abandoned a diary on that stuff because I found myself writing about a lot of things but most of them had little to do with Michigan and I figure most people here wouldn't be interested. The era grew out of an important episode America's solcial history. The Fab Five were significant way beyond their exploits on the court.
The banners should be public. Put them on the concourse. Turn them upside down. Make the episode an anchor for the values we all respect. Turning our back on it is...just weak.
Anyway, I take Jalen at his word. He's intelligent enough to understand the decision and not have it affect his feelings about Michigan.
An earlier post had a photo of a beaming Desmond Howard and his jersey patch. This post links to a story where Jalen complains that the basketball team doesn't get the same appreciation as the football team. The answer is obvious, Tim Hardaway Jr. sporting a Cazzie Russell uniform patch.
Yeah, but what about all those kids in the south and west coast who've never been to Chicago, Indy, Cleveland, (insert other possible semi-final hosts here)? They've gotta be pretty disappointed that they might have to play a game in a city that is relatively close to them. Why aren't those conference commissioners campaigning for games to be held in the Midwest and possibly even the Northeast.