Unverified Voracity 8/11
The JJ Defcon Level has been raised to 4 over at Yost Built (you'll have to go to the main page to see the Defcon chart) because of this article in the (No City Given) News And Observer stating that Carolina has offered Johnson the rookie max (approximately $850,000). I still don't think that will change Johnson's opinion much. It was pretty much a given that Carolina was going to offer the max. After all, Johnson was the third pick in the draft, is the most hyped American defenseman in a long time, and was drafted by, you know, Carolina.
Still, it would be very Michigan Hockey Summer for Johnson to bolt now after all the articles we've gotten. Might send my martyr complex re: Michigan hockey to unhealthy(-ier) levels.
Oh boy! Nancy Clark is interviewed by EDSBS. I was going to excerpt, but I realized that I was just pulling the stuff that made her look uninformed [JOKE ABOUT GENERAL UNINFORMEDNESS PULLED FOR RESPECTABILITY'S SAKE]. Fanblogs notes that the accusations she levels against bloggers turn up zero hits in the major blog search engines. Ok. I am going to excerpt this, on Iowa:
OS: Tell me about the Iowa Hawkeyes this year.
NC: I was just at their media day on Monday. They'Â’re feeling really good about their running back situation after having five running backs going down last year. Not only do they have five guys coming back, they've added a few new guys. Coach Ferentz said he'Â’s not concerned about the position now that they have nine guys at running back. Plus they'Â’ve got Drew Tate back, which is a good thing.
A good example of the corrupting influence of access. No doubt Ferentz did say that. Is it true? That's the sort of thing every coach says going into the year, and it's accepted without question by those who have access and would like to maintain it. Clark actually touches on that subject, too, so she's aware of the limitations that come with the privileges afforded the MSM. Like I say, symbiosis, we all get along, etc.
Ok, ok, just to prove that I really don't care about this stuff, Forde and Maisel over at ESPN both tabbed the Big Ten as the nation's best conference this year. Don't care. The competition levels to be found in the ACC, SEC, Big Twelve, Pac Ten, and Big Ten are close enough so that the relative strength levels are irrelevant. This was not the case back in the days when the ACC was Florida State and a bunch of basketball schools.
Forde also has that article about how the Big Ten isn't just Michigan and Ohio State any more that I've been reading for the past ten years. Odds on this thing appearing next year? Like, 90%, anyone?
Is it on? Oh, it's on!
Jesus Effing Christ, do not piss Vijay at IBFC off. Because then he will destroy you. Stewart Mandel came in for a drubbing yesterday in this space but good God, if I had only known the tremendous bitchslap he was in for from IBFC, I wouldn't have bothered.
Elsewhere in the Wolverine-o-sphere, Blah Me To Death puts a percentage chance of victory on every Michigan game this year and comes up with 9-2. That's no fun, but it's always what happens when you try to do such an exercise. Perhaps a reminder that Lloyd Carr isn't so bad. Perhaps not, if you think the percentages are only low because of the coaching.
A group of Georgia football fans took up a collection to pay for a Boise State player's father to fly from Baghdad to see his son play against the Bulldogs in Athens.
But the NCAA rule book got in the way.
NCAA action... it's FAAANtastic!
Finally, Bruce Feldman's blog($) has gotten quite interesting in recent weeks. Clearly the guy knows his stuff. Witness his latest list, the top ten X-factors in the BCS title race. A player from Michigan checks in at #2:
2. Brandent Englemon, Michigan SS: I'm not sure there's any defensive position that's been more scrutinized over the past nine months. The reason is, for as much talent as the Wolverines have (in layman's terms I think it's called a "crapload"), they just got destroyed by mobile quarterbacks (see: Troy Smith and Vince Young) and gave up almost 400 rushing yards to Michigan State. Five-foot-11, 199-pound Englemon doesn't have anywhere near the size of his predecessor, Ernest Shazor, or the guy he's battling for the job, Jamar Adams, but he does run better than Shazor. I suspect Michigan will do some things schemewise to put its people in better position to make plays. I do think with the zone Young was in that day, he would've embarrassed a lot of defenses.
Wow. Now that's something I didn't expect a national media member to say. There's a lot more interesting stuff in his latest entry but since it's all premium content and stuff I'm pretty sure taking a chunk any bigger than I did is a no-no. Anyway. If it keeps up like it is right now it's probably worth 50% of the ESPN Insider subscription all by its lonesome.