"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
"You've got 20 spaces but you've still signed 25. Well, you can bring them in during the summer, work them and let your strength staff work with them, and decide which ones you like the best. The other five, you can tell them, 'Hey, we know we signed you, we expect you to come in, but we don't have space for you, we're sorry, but you have to leave and come back in January.'"
After a brief pause, Richt gave his feelings on that particular tactic.
"I think that's an awful thing to do," Richt said. "It's nothing that we have ever done since we've been at Georgia."
Get The Picture pulls out another section of that story that suggests Richt believes there's going to be change in the near future:
“Almost every year there have been guys in our class in that gray shirt situation. Normally, we say you don’t have to tell anybody, just sign on Signing Day and the chances of you coming in with your class, no one’s going to know the difference, which I don’t think is dishonest with the way things are,” Richt said. “So we’ve signed guys knowing that the class is full and asked if they could come in January, but every time we’ve done that, there’s been a space and they came in with their class.”
But those rules might be about to change.
According to Richt, the SEC and the NCAA is changing the rules “just as rapidly as they can to keep it from happening in the future.”
The most obvious change you could make is to require the financial aid offered in return for an LOI applicable in fall. You could still grayshirt, but you wouldn't get to use the letter of intent to lock the kid in. If he gets a better offer he can take it. Insert the usual spiel about how the LOI is mostly a one-way street.
Oversigning would be a lot tougher if you couldn't receive a letter of intent without an existing spot. "Extra" players would know where they stood and head elsewhere before they got a dorm room. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be better.
The divisional alignment exuded balance. But the league’s creation of permanent cross-divisional opponents did not. Based on the current eight-game league schedule, some teams have obvious advantages over others. For instance, Michigan State will play Indiana — which had the most losses over the 17-year period — every year and Ohio State four times over 10 years. Michigan, however, will play Ohio State — which had the most wins over the 17-year period — every year and Indiana four times over 10 years. Wisconsin’s cross-divisional rival (Minnesota) hasn’t even tied for a Big Ten title since 1967, while Penn State’s cross-divisional rival (Nebraska) has won three national titles in the last 17.
Meanwhile, Michigan won't play Wisconsin for four years. Incoming freshmen who don't redshirt won't ever have the privilege of staring down a wild boar in a helmet. I know Athletic Director X now has to have seven home games a year because of vastly increased costs that are totally not optional at all or offset by ballooning TV contracts, but long-term thinking should dictate a ninth conference game for competitive equity and various other things.
I'm not sure if I can get behind author Scott Dochterman's suggestion that the ninth game be another protected crossover game that attempts to balance schedules by giving each team a traditionally strong and traditionally crappy protected rival. Michigan would get either Illinois or Indiana on a permanent basis, which means they'd still miss PSU and Wisconsin 50% of the time.
On the other hand, he lays out a conference schedule that looks almost totally balanced. Here's Michigan's:
Permanent cross-divisional opponent: Ohio State (1)
Second permanent cross-divisional opponent: Illinois (2)
First cycle: Penn State (1), Indiana (2)
Second cycle: Wisconsin (1), Purdue (2)
Everyone else's is about right. Do you want more frequent games against interesting teams or an almost totally fair schedule?
In the meantime the first divisional tiebreaker should be the conference record of your opponents from the other division.
Groan. The usual: recent Michigan alumni say things, people facepalm. Whether it's Brian Griese saying Michigan "lacked effort" under Rodriguez, to which I say…
…this is a process many were involved in, or Morgan Trent saying Michigan didn't take Michigan State seriously, every time a former player is quoted somewhere I have to delve deeper into the google image search for facepalm. This last one was bad enough that Jerel Worthy blew up on twitter about it and all you can say is, "yeah, pretty much."
Morgan Trent! When the guy who about singlehandedly lost the 2006 OSU game is saying there's a "real program" now the disease has reached its terminal stage.
Further evidence Beilein is scouting ninja. Rivals has put up their first 2012 basketball rankings and Michigan commit Glenn Robinson III, who was relatively unheralded when he committed, comes in 50th. Nick Stauskas is 89th. Rivals puts a ton of emphasis on AAU, which GRIII is currently tearing up and Stauskas sitting out with a knee issue. Another of the raves becoming de riguer:
Glenn Robinson III (2012): I hadn’t seen the 6-6 Robinson since last summer. Wow. He looks a lot different. He has really filled out since last July, adding about 25 pounds of muscle. He still has that nice 15- to 18-foot shot, but his explosiveness getting to the basket has raised his game to another level. Robinson drove the middle of the lane in a game Sunday and dunked over another guard with authority. The quote of the weekend from that player: “If I knew that was Glenn Robinson, I wouldn’t have tried to block it.” From the couple games I saw, Robinson is very deserving talent-wise of his spot as a core player on the Junior All-Star team.
Robinson AAU teammate Mitch McGary is #5(!), and now we've got an open scholarship so that's totally happening. He vaguely mentioned us at Inside The Hall. Happening.
Borges: win. Do you know what you want your offensive coordinator to sound like? An IT guy:
"What we want to keep, what we want to throw out, what we may want to add," said Borges, who added he probably won't install much more of the playbook during preseason camp in August. "(We're) trouble-shooting the offense and trying to accommodate the personnel, and now we have a little data to do it. Before spring we didn't know what of our offense our kids could run. Now we've got a much better feel."
Unfortunately the spring game implied the answer to "what can our kids run?" is "nothing you want to"; fortunately Borges seems a lot more flexible than Rodriguez or Michigan past. Proof will be in the pudding. The Saturday Pudding.
Open season. Mike Spath has an interesting column at the Wolverine about Mel Pearson's change of heart. Pearson, long thought the heir apparent to Red Berenson, turned down a ton of overtures over the years but has now left for Michigan Tech. Tech is his alma mater, yes, but it's also the most downtrodden program in the country. Others may be worse year in, year out, but none of those teams spend their year getting their face stomped by the WCHA. It's a depressing job.
"Here is an opportunity, if you want to get head-coaching experience, if you want that on your resume whether you're looking at my job or any job down the road, here's your chance," Berenson said. "I don't know what David Brandon's criteria will be someday but I suspect head-coaching experience is important."
And it is important. How important? Two different sources have said Pearson (or Powers) will face a mountain of an uphill climb if they don't have head-coaching experience on their resume. One of the sources even saying, "No way Brandon hires a guy that has never been responsible for an entire program. Especially with the way he wants to market the hockey team going forward."
Pearson goes from a shoo-in to a longshot, as Spath has been making noises about Michigan hiring literally anyone they want in the college hockey world with a few limited exceptions (program icons like York, Parker, Umile, and that's about it). If Pearson wants the job he's going to have to be a head coach somewhere.
For a relaxing time, make it a contrast between Michigan's direction with its hockey hire and Michigan State's.
Etc.: Former PSU Austin Scott thinks the dismissed rape charge against him was conspiracy. MSU instate recruiting freakout makes the mainstream media. Never addressed in these sorts of articles is what it means when two schools both go after the same players and they all go to one. Softball is hosting a regional this weekend. First game is Friday at eight against Western. Get there early—it won't last long. Zach Hyman, a big time hockey recruit has decommitted from Princeton in the wake of Guy Gadowsky's hire at Penn State and is looking at Michigan along with a few other schools. He would be a major help next year.
I just think one result is more reasonable than the other.
But you are right, we didn't look well-prepared. When every other interview states that RR's offense is insanely difficult to prepare for and MSU's players are talking about how it looked obvious, then clearly UM wasn't prepped to play.
Honest to God; I was there, and I thought the Oregon game was a worse performance.
And I agree with your point, by the way. The 2007 team's solid performance versus Tebow and the Florida Gators in the Capital One Bowl tends to make a lot of people forget about the App State & Oregon embarassments in September, which really were the two worst back-to-back games I can remember. (App. St played a spirited game and we nearly pulled it out; Oregon was a flat-out humiliation.)
The talent drop-off from Appalachian State to Toledo was less than the talent drop-off from Michigan 2007 to Michigan 2008. Remember, Appalachian State went 14-1 the year before. They didn't lose a game to FCS opponents. Their loss? 3-9 NC State.
I know that if Lloyd Carr said his feet were tired you would happily drop to your hands and knees with your tongue flopping out of your mouth in awe as his heels rested on your back, but do a little research.
Go to ESPN and look from 2002 to 2007 and tell me how many times you find one of the top 4 FCS teams beating a FBS team. Then tell me how many times they've beaten a ranked FBS team.
Then go and dig a little deeper. Go find out how many times a non-BCS conference team with a losing record has beaten a BCS conference team with a losing record.
I'll give you a little hint on what you'll find: One happens somewhat frequently. One almost never happens. And ONE only happens once.
Take the context of the two games: A horrible Michigan team loses to a worse Toledo team.
A Michigan team with 10 players who would make NFL rosters at the end of the season loses to an FCS team. How much did we pay them to come there to kick off our drive to the National Championship?
The arguments here are over what games we looked unprepared for: Are you telling me that our 3-9 team was more unprepared for Toledo than our NFL talent laden, senior led, Top 20 at the end of the year ranked team was for Appalachian State? The same ASU that lost 2 games to FCS opponents later in the year? Or were they just not very good and thus were susceptible to a loss? Yeah, I thought so.
Not to mention the sheer historical context. I know that you cry and blubber your way with computer rankings that PROVE the 2007 loss was greater than the 2008 loss, but let me tell you something: Not a single team that goes into the Big House gives a fuck about Sagarin Rankings. But they do watch film of ASU blocking a last second kick in 2007.
It's you over Rich...which is even more odd, because he never won anything here. But to each their own.
If you really think that Michigan 2008 had that much less talent compared to 2007 than AS and Toledo, maybe you need to take the glasses off. Because App State fielded more NFL talent than Toledo did, which was nothing. I can tell you how many times MICHIGAN has lost to an FCS and a MAC school. One each. The difference is of course that the former was at the level of a middle of the pack FBS school, and the other was such a bad MAC team that they got their coach fired. Ask yourself this: if you were putting your money where your mouth was, and 2007 App State was playing 2008 Toledo, who would you put your money on? That's right, I thought so. Just because the masses and you included don't like looking at things like rankings, and actual quality of teams, doesn't mean the rest of us have to be stupid too.
Both games were bad. Both were games that the team's second string probably should have been able to beat. Neither were prepared or taking the games seriously. But the worst team the University of Michigan has ever lost to in football is the 2008 Toledo Rockets.
The Oregon game was the most disheartening sporting event I have attended. Appalachian State had the makings of a near upset but a last-minute victory for Blue. Our feelings went from nervous->excited->shocked. When we played the Ducks, the whole game was just sad.
honest about the reasoning that Brian and other's are employing. They are operating under a presumption that the former players are lying. What's unfortunate is that if Morgan Trent had said he had a really positive experience under RR everyone would be holding out his quote as a former player telling us what was REALLY going on under RR. But now that he has spoken out against RR, you all will say that he is continuing his lying ways.
It's admirable that you explicitly state that you are assuming that former players are lying because "they have been saying lots and lots of demonstrably stupid shit." Really? Morgan Trent lied about his draft status so now you don't believe anything he says? Braylon's a drunk driver so we can't take anything he says seriously? And you're going to shit on Mike Hart and Griese too? I must have missed the evidence of their being dirty rotten liars. There are really interesting leaps of induction going on here.
It's comical at this point. More evidence appears that RR was not "totally awesome spread wizard noobs!" and the mgo faithful just bury their head further in the sand. I wonder what would have to happen for you to come to believe that RR was not a good coach? What former player's testimony would you find convincing? Tate's? Denard's? Mike Martin? Or will anyone who speaks ill of RR be found presumptively unreliable?
I didn't hear the exact quote, but on Webb's radio program this morning they were talking about something Woodson said that insinuated that the team wasn't getting coaching the last couple of years (and they will be now with Hoke and Co.). While I'm not all for spitting on RR's grave and don't necessarily see the good in these players continuing to beat the dead horse that is RR's coaching tenure, if someone directly asks for their opinion and they give an honest answer such as this, I can't really argue with it. After all, it is only his opinion, and on the defensive side of things, its hard to completely disagree. That being said, what Woodson said is not even close to as controversial as what Trent said. My point is, we shouldn't necessarily lump together all former players with criticism of the former staff as "face palm" worthy.
"A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a danish"
You'll notice Brian's post doesn't mention Charles Woodson
That's because he spoke like the thoughtful observer and passionate supporter of the program that he is. In other words, in his appearance on WTKA last week (like in the rest of his life), he was everything that Morgan Trent is not.
Ok - so Woodson made a point that was negative to RR's tenure here, but he spoke thoughtfully and passionately. Putting aside his tone, the point that Woodson made was no different than the sentiment espoused by Hart, Braylon, Trent or Griese. Admittedly, Woodson said it far better and in a more gracious way.
But, the fact that Woodson made the same point - doesn't that lend credibility to the very same statements by Hart, Bray, Trent and Griese that Brian has been "facepalming"? Sure, they may not be saying it with as much grace and class and passion as Woodson, but they are making the same general points.
I'm not sure Woodson saying we weren't getting any coaching is much more diplomatic or less a slam on Rich than similar things other players have said. I just think it's easier to knock Morgan Trent than it is Charles without appearing stupid. But it's kind of a chicken way to go about things.
If you listened to Charles Woodson talk about the team the past few years, you heard someone who was thoughtful and knowledgeable and who chose his words carefully. If you listened to Morgan Trent, he sounded like the village idiot. If it's "easier to knock" Trent, that's your reason.
lolwut? I did not read Trent's comments as an indictment of the mentality under RR. I read Trent's comments as akin to Mike Hart's "little brother" statement. As in, "who the F is MSU? Sure, they beat us, but they beat us when the program is down. No one cares about MSU". I highly doubt that RR failed to place emphasis on a game against our biggest in-state rival, especially considering that toward the end he desperately needed a rivalry win to save his job. ND wasn't getting it done.
And Griese? All I took away from his comments is that he needs to shut up. Where were you when the players who are currently on the team were working their asses off? They didn't choose to switch schemes. They came out here and put on those helmets and played Michigan football. Maybe it wasn't the Michigan football he (or anyone) wanted to see, but it was Michigan football. You support the team. You don't get to criticize the efforts of a bunch of college kids who are out there working every day. You just don't get to do it. This is a great bunch of kids, and whatever your feelings on RR, I don't want to see them maligned.
Denard has spent the offseason working really hard and smiling at people.
My whole issue with the "former players must have a point for disliking RR" idea is that I think we only see half of the story. Guys like Graham, Zoltan, former players at WVU, etc. all spoke highly of him as a coach, and I'm sure if you lined them all up you'd have about 50/50 for and against him as a coach, which I'm guessing is pretty common for a new coach who wasn't with the program. But because the news cycle feeds on negativity, we have meh players like Trent and guys who NEVER PLAYED FOR RR like Edwards being given main billing as representatives of the collective UM mindset despite clear evidence that they don't represent the whole. That's always been my issue with players speaking out - I don't care how they voice their opinions, but the narrative surrounding their quotes is never balanced.
Why do you think that Griese has something personal against RR? Serious question. Griese is a member of the media - he is paid to talk about football, and one of the topics about which he is frequently asked to speak is Michigan football. If he watch our games and felt that the team didn't look to be giving maximum effort during the past few years, what's wrong with that? I felt the same way, many times. Not necessarily that the players weren't physically trying hard, but that their heads weren't always properly in the game, resulting in many unforced errors. But, I also felt the same way watching us lose to Appy State and Oregon back-to-back, so my criticism in that regard isn't limited to RR.
I don't know that Griese has it in for RR, but his comment seemed to be aimed in that general direction.
He could comment on administrative (reach: coaching) buffoonery and I wouldn't have any issues with him. But, I think taking (indirect, at least) shots at guys like Denard, Molk, Martin et al. is just poor form.
Also, I'm not sure that having ones head in the game is the same as effort. I think they're separate (but related) issues.
Is it the job of the teacher to make the students TRY to learn? The teacher's job is to convey information in a reasonably understandable manner. The student has to want to learn, and most people who think that's bullshit have never attempted to teach anyone anything. Coaches can give motivational speeches and fire up their kids all they want, but inevitably some players will always be Debbie Downers.
Whether General, CEO, Teacher or Coach. Can you motivate everyone? No. But those that you can't, it's your job to get rid of them, or place them where they won't do harm, and infect the rest of the team. And cultivate a group that won't put up with it, and police themselves. With the ever changing make-up due to graduation, that's an annual challenge.
I've said this all along and see no reason to change my mind: if Borges can come up with a hybrid approach, which would look a lot like LaVell Edwards' version of the WCO, he can take full advantage of his personnel, and bring Michigan back to glory. If he doesn't, though, and tries to fit a bunch of square pegs into round holes, he will squander a very nice little "window of opportunity," and it will be at least 2013 before we can hope for a championship of any kind.
This is nothing like the situation RR inherited. RR got the keys to a junker, especially when you consider the QB position. Borges has been given the keys to a Hendrick race car. He can drive it like Jimmy Johnson, or he can drive it like Buckshot Jones. I am really hoping for the former here.
Hoke portrays Borges as a restless football junkie who does nothing but create plays in his spare time. If this is true, this hire could work out very, very well. It would be great to see Michigan be one of "those" teams that nobody wants to play becuase they can't figure out how to stop the offense. Also, while we know the defense will improve, it will take a lot of work to even get it to mediocre.
Mattison may be regarded as the savior, but it is Borges who is going to have to produce this year if team is going to continue its upward trend in the victory column.
To our NASCAR impaired viewers, it simply meant that Borges has been handed the keys to the best and most consistent ownership/tools in racing and has a choice of driving it like the five time champ (JJ) or like the guy who had trouble driving out of his garage.
I think the issue is more who are they talking smack about. A lot of the comments coming from former players are smack talk about Michigan. Michigan under Rodriguez, granted, but Michigan nonetheless, and that includes a lot of still current players.
Plus, Morgan Trent is just a dick.
"...I wouldn't be so sure those women were innocent. The children are obviously innocent - if they are less than five."
On the schedule, it's remarkable how every bit of evidence suggests that the most logical thing to do was to go with straight geography for the divisions. Michigan, MSU, OSU, PSU, Indiana and Purdue in the East and the others in the West. All East teams would be in the Eastern timezone, and all West teams would be in the Central timezone. There would have been no need whatsoever for protected cross-divisional games under that setup, because all rivalries would have been contained within the divisions. With no protected cross-division games, you could play three of the other division's teams one year (or two years) and the other three the next year, so no player would ever miss playing a fellow conference school. And that's without needing to play nine conference games.
How could the conference not figure this out? Their stupid attempt at gerrymandering is just making things more unequal, depriving every team the chance to play one of the other 11 teams for four years, and is leading us towards the awkward fit of a ninth game.
12-34 as HC at CMU and then handed a Howitzer of an offense (Michigan 2006-2007) with the switch off safety to fumble around with - one of Michigan's most experienced and talented ever. Gee, I wonder whatever could possibly go wrong with a decision like that one?
Lloyd evidently preferred Debord as his heir to the Michigan throne, (I appreciate loyalty, Lloyd, but c'mon). I'm just going to suppose that a hypothetical tenure of Mike Debord as Michigan's head coach would not gone any better than RR's.
Has anyone else tried this Twitter thing? @CallMeNjia
Going from 8 to 9 conference games has three major problems:
First, it will reduce the number of home games for each B10 team by one half game per year. Depending on the program, the loss of revenue will be roughly $1 to $2 million annually. This might not seem like much, but college athletics are expensive and most athletic departments already are barely making ends meet.
Second, notwithstanding BHGP argument that a 9-game conference schedule will be inherently more equitable, it actually will make the schedules even more unbalanced because half the teams will have 5 away conference games while the other half will have 4 away conference games each year.
Third, by converting a non-conference game against a cupcake into a 9th conference game against a superior team, it will make it more difficult for the teams in the bottom half of the conference to reach 6 wins and become bowl eligible each year. This will reduce bowl revenues and, over time, adversely affect the ability of those teams to recruit.
"I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything." B. Simpson