That's an awful nice mural you shared there.
mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
Minor crisis averted. Butler went with the other guy, not Lavall Jordan. Why is unclear—comfort level I guess since Jordan hasn't been at Butler in a while. And I don't care. Guy who molded Darius Morris and Trey Burke and is going to be a head coach someday soon is still at Michigan. Keep these guys together a couple more years and this thing is established big-time. After that happens I'd actually be in favor of some current assistants heading out to establish themselves an obvious pick when Beilein retires.
Meanwhile, the critical 2014 recruiting class (in which Michigan is actually slugging out high-profile recruitments instead of acquiring stars like Burke, GRIII, and Zak Irvin who were either under the radar or snatched so quickly no one else could get involved) may get a bump from the turnover in Indy.
Butler was widely assumed to be the leader for Indianapolis SF Trevon Bluiett, a top-50-ish player who's been tearing up the AAU circuit this summer. Scout's Brian Snow recently told GBW that he'd be "beyond shocked" if Bluiett didn't end up at Michigan or Butler, and there were a couple of different reports that the Bulldogs had been dropped. Immediately refuted reports…
Scout's Sam Webb, citing Bluiett's father -- Reynardo -- said his son had yet to speak with Miller, claiming Butler was still a player for his son.
…but I'd rather be the team that reports are not being refuted about.
I want one. The Michigan version is… uh… Bo punching out a tree? Fielding Yost riding roughshod over the Vatican? Whatever it is, Brady Hoke should get on the phone with Kliff Kingsbury and get an equivalent in Schembechler Hall:
BUT DOES IT COME IN VELVET
Now I'm envisioning a whole lineup of offensive murals, Pawnee City Hall style. The possibilities. The possibilities.
(Yes, that's Texas trying to Man Up Crab in the background.)
CAP HIM NOW. Messi's doing some sort of thing where he goes around playing charity matches. The most recent was in Chicago, had a Northwestern alum—their all-time leading scorer—on the other team, and, well:
That guy works in finance now. IE: he is not a professional. He's probably just happy he's not playing with a howling wind coming directly off Lake Michigan.
For health and other such items. Taboos now != taboos then.
NUKE URBAN MEYER. I'm a little unclear what's going on with this Aaron Hernandez thing but from what I can make out, Hernandez arrived at Florida straight from an ESPN laboratory in their hometown of Bristol, massive and unformed. After three years at Florida he was a combination of Dexter and Jeffery Dahmer, because Urban Meyer. Therefore Urban Meyer is basically Skynet creating the Terminator and should be bombed from space?
I think I have this straight. It fuzzy, though, because my brain keeps trying to drown itself when it tackles sentences like these:
At Florida, Meyer was the best in the business at winning.
At all costs.
Sadly, though, Aaron Hernandez now stands alongside Tim Tebow as a symbol of his UF program.
At Florida, Tebow was not only a great Gator.
He was Urban Meyer's greatest fumi-Gator.
Can the FCC force Mike Bianchi to change his twitter handle from @BianchiWrites to something that is not a flat-out lie? No? What about the elusive and abstract concept of justice?
If you want a fisk of this abomination, it has been fisked.
On the two for one. Kenpom looks at an array of statistics and concludes that yes, a two-for-one is generally the right move, but I should probably stop shouting "two for one!" at the end of the first half:
The two-for-one is a complicated issue, and it generally doesn’t provide as much benefit as one might think. Like the fouling-up-3 conundrum, if the strategy is executed perfectly, a large benefit is likely. But players aren’t robots, and all of the imperfect acts that can disrupt the strategy eat away at the potential benefit. Assuming the average gain is a fifth of a point, that’s worth slightly less than one percent in terms of win probability at the end of a half. A coach implementing this strategy will win one extra game out of 100 - and that’s out of 100 games where a two-for-one opportunity exists!
I will try to remember to never bring this up again as something that is important. Contrast that effect with the assertion Romer made about going for it on fourth down: you'd win an extra game every other year. Much larger effect there.
Never played the game. As you might imagine, I'm rather sensitive to assertions that you have to have Been In The Arena to comment on sports. This doesn't happen much these days, but a few months I checked my twitter mentions to find a dozen-tweet-long conversation between two BITA meatheads taunting me for not being an athlete and laughing at my assertion that Jordan Kovacs was a better safety than Ernest Shazor. I'm not sure what part of Being In The Arena makes you incapable of watching things and coming to obvious conclusions…
REMEMBER WHEN THIS ISH HAPPENED ALL THE TIME
…but this isn't rocket science, it's just paying attention systematically. Being In The Arena doesn't mean you do that. I mean. Matt Millen.
So yes I found Bill Barnwell's takedown of the player-generated NFL 100 list, which purports to be a ranking of the best guys in the game, delightful:
Only nerds and losers care about statistics, right? If anyone should know about the impact that the league's mauling guards and run-stuffing nose tackles have on the game, it's the guys who play alongside them in the trenches. You win from the lines out!
And yet, somehow, despite there being about three times as many offensive linemen on NFL rosters as there are running backs, there are 12 running backs against just six offensive linemen in the Top 100 Players list. Put it this way: 37.5 percent of the starting running backs in football are considered to be one of the top 100 players in football. That's better than one out of every three. Only 3.75 percent of the starting offensive linemen in football are considered to be one of the top 100 players in football.
That is just one of many, many problems that arise when you ask people unprepared to do something to do it. The Been In The Arena argument is 90% a request to take your thoughtless blather uncritically. NOPE
Etc.: Excellent Bryan Curtis piece on former Michigan baseballer Mike Cervenak, who is in his 15th year(!) in the minors with Toledo. Michigan voted the best uniforms in the Big Ten, which duh. Presumably this is a ranking of the actual uniforms, not the ghost unis from the bowl game. Burke in Utah, is betting favorite to be Rookie of the Year.
Meanwhile in Joe Dumars, signs power forward who can't shoot to play small forward, duplicating strengths, ignoring weaknesses, and setting the Pistons up as—at best—an easy first-round victim. DBB's Mike Payne brings a flamethrower; do not get him mad at you.
That's an awful nice mural you shared there.
So sad the rider lacks a neck (and perhaps a head--unable to tell). Not sure how he keeps that hat on his shoulders while riding, or how he's able to see through it (assuming he has a head).
You're right! I know this because whenever someone is riding a horse away from you, as well as not looking at you, while wearing a large brimmed hat, the perspective still necessitates that you -have- to see the head and shoulders. Wherever did we go wrong?
Only problem is that in the painting, the rider isn't riding away, but at 90 degrees. Look at it and tell me where his neck and head are. Look at the direction of the brim in the painting (parallel to the ground) vs. in the pic (pushed up) and tell me how, in the painting, the guy can see.
He has eye-holes cut out like that dude on Fat Albert.
So I take it that Marlin Jackson's comments on the matter didn't cause you to switch sides on the Kovacs/Shazor debate?
Kovacs may have ended up being a better player, because he was almost always in the right position, but Shazor had all the measurables to be a great OLB at the next level (a la Cato June) and made huge plays (unfortunately for both teams). Still, I wouldn't want to be hit by either:
I'm willing to bet that if you ask Kovacs' former teammates who was the better safety, him or Shazor, you'll find some people who think Kovacs was better.
Rankings like this ate always subjective. As the Barnwell article pointed out, people have biases that don't always mesh with reality. Personally, I think Shazor and Kovacs are both great Safeties, but in different ways informed by their circumstances. Kovacs was a really good safety in terms of positioning but wasn't an amazing athlete, and Shazor was a beast who could knock you out but also sometimes overplayed positrons. It isn't a bias to say one may be better than the other depending on what you value more.
And backing it up by cherry picking highlights to back up his claim? That'd be as silly to say that Shazor is obvious better than Kovacs because this:
I don't really have a strong opinion on which guy was better. They were both very good, neither one was great. But while I agree with Brian (and your) overall point, I think the illustration of it falls into a bit of what the point was attacking.
Can somebody weigh in on this play who knows what they're talking about? I've seen this mentioned numerous times as a knock against Kovacs, but the way it looks to me, Kovacs is the flat defender. Courtney Avery - the corner at the top of the screen - should have anyone in his deep third. If anything, this should be a ding against Avery, not Kovacs. I have some issues with Kovacs as a safety, but this play is not [currently] one of them.
But Kovacs could have done a better job rerouting the receiver and not letting him so easily cross his face and get upfield. He tried to hang too much and got caught flat footed and allowed the receiver to go untouched up the seam. Kovacs has to prevent the free release deep so that Avery can release off #1 and pinch the seam.
That said, yeah, Kovacs looks to have flat responsibility there and it's not solely on him, though he could have helped the situation. This certainly isn't a case of him just not reading the play correctly though.
I agree that he should jam or reroute the #2 receiver, but that's a mistake lots of guys make, especially when they're playing off the receiver.
If we want to knock someone on that play, maybe it's Avery. Hell, maybe we should be knocking J.T. Floyd, who wanted to smoke weed instead of play football. I'm not sure why we're spending time bashing the third-most culpable guy on that play.
ALL the videos show safeties who are getting blown by, but the failure on the play itself isn't really all or even mostly on the safety. It's just picking a play where they certainly don't look good and saying "well see? This guy is obviously better than the other because they didn't blow up this play." Either could be right that X was better than Y; neither is particularly good evidence.
Kovacs here but Shazor was in a completely different class than Kovacs as a Safety, in all facets.
well, they both went undrafted as safeties in the NFL draft, so maybe your opinion isn't gospel?
What injury did he have? Fitz destroyed his knee and will be back in 9 months. Labia tears must have a hell of a rehab.
It's not that crazy of an argument to make. Kovacs has way more total tackles (334) than Shazor (166), and maintains a sizable lead even when taking into account the extra year (83.5 tackles/season for Kovacs v. 55.3 for Shazor). Shazor had one All-American season, while Kovacs had 4 seasons with some kind of all-conference honor. Even Kovacs' best season compares favorably to Shazor's All-American season (84 tackles, 10 TFL, 2 INTs, 2 FR for Shazor; 116 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 2 INTs, 1 FR, 1 FF for Kovacs).
Was Shazor the better athlete? Yeah, sure. Was Kovacs the better football player? There's definitely an argument to be made that yes, he was.
a part of that is the poor Front 7 in much of the Kovacs era, leaving more ballcarriers to be tackled by the safety
But that's still a pretty substantial difference, and Kovacs gets credit for, you know, making all those tackles that got to him.
It could be that.
But it's probably just that you're not right all the time.
He came in with a big rep and made some highlight reel hits. That was enough to get All-American recognition. He was strong against the run, but he always seemed like a liability in coverage. You have to wonder how an All-American with great size and speed went undrafted.
If Shazor played in the RR era, he'd probably have the NCAA record for missed tackles.
Nah, not after having a stuffed beaver rubbed in his face.
Ah yes, the famed "guys long time ago would have destroyed current players" argument. I hear it all the time about guys like Jordan, Jim Brown, Wayne Gretzky, etc. Someone misremembers the past, creates some alternate reality in which your guy was bigger, stronger, faster, etc. than he really was, discount the current generation, and then assume said player would have dominated.
Shazor was a very good safety, but he wasn't the greatest of all time. He made mistakes, not just the ones Brian noted. He was a key part of some very good defenses, but put him in those "RR defenses" and we'd see the same blown assignments and missed tackles that we saw back when he played. He'd rack up some tackles, but I highly doubt he'd have hundreds of more tackles.
You say that the past 5 years have distorted fans' expectations and beliefs of player talent? I think those same 5 years have led to people deifying Carr's teams as these juggernauts that crapped out All-Pros every year. It never happened. His injuries obviously robbed him of a better NFL career, but he wasn't in the class of the all-time greats. And nobody is saying Kovacs is the greatest either. But he was a guy who tackled everything in sight, helped to make UM's pass defense one of the better units the past 2 years, and has career numbers that guys with more pedigree couldn't sniff.
The great thing about this world, though, is that you can believe what you want and I can believe what I want. But how about you tone down the tough-guy First Take tone a bit.
So positing it's like Brown, Gretzky, or Jordan is kind of a straw man.
And a really bad example because those guys WERE better than the current players. (At least Jordan and Brown. Gretzky was too one way and was a tad overrated.)
I for one would LOVE to see 1992 MJ play in today's league. Not because of the players, but because of the rule changes. Jordan averaged 30 points for his career (including his years on the Wizards). He never scored less than 20 points in a finals game. If flagrant fouls existed and there was no hand checking? Prime MJ would go for about 40 a night, easily.
Similarly, Gretzky would thrive in today's NHL with no 2-line-pass rule and the enforcement of grabbing and hooking, smaller goalie equipment, larger offensive zones, etc.
smaller goalie equipment & larger offensive zones?
i'm unaware of some significant rule changes in the NHL. Then again, so are the 99% of the rest of the planet. Including the refs.
Size limitations on goalie equipment changed (pads are now 11" wide instead of 12", don't know the blocker/glove dimensions off hand)
Goal line moved back 2 feet (trapezoid created to prevent goalies from playing the puck in the corner)
Blue lines moved closer to center ice by 2 feet, offensive zone now 4 feet bigger. It's much harder to kill penalties with the larger offensive zone.
Again, changes from 2005. This is also part of why I hate college hockey on pro ice. The lines are all different. It's like if CBB was now played with an NBA lane and 3 point line, totally changes the game.
that Gretzky would be the best player in the league if he was in his prime now, but I'm not sure he would dominate more than he did throughout the 80's. The changes you mention have to be at least partially offset by the drastically improved goaltending and defense compared to that decade; during his 215 point campaign, the regular season averaged 7.935 goals per game compared to the 5.307 allowed this past season.
In no way am I saying he wouldn't be quite clearly the best in the world today, but I don't think he'd be able improve to a significant percentage over 184.2 points per season (his 80's average).
Yep, fer sure, especially with his "Sheridan = Death" expression. He sure loved Nick Sheridan more than any non-RR QB.
People who fabricate ways to drag Rich Rod into unrelated threads are infinitely more annoying than any of Brian's quirks.
Marlin Jackson PLAYED with Shazor, so we're not exactly getting an objective viewpoint here. Other users have already made adequate qualitative and quantitative comparisons.
can someone please explain to me why lavall jordan is such an obvious candidate to take over for beilein instead of bacari alexander. i am not asking obnoxious way, i just want to know. and an answer apart from "darius, trey, THJ, duh."
Lavall Jordan being an obvious candidate over Bacari. In my eyes at least, I view both Coach Jordan and Coach Alexander to be prime candidates to succeed Beilein when that day comes (hopefully far away). If it is to be one of those two, then it may come down to who is still on the staff when Beilein retires.
Bacari is the man, he plays a key role in getting the big-time recruits...i hope he takes over when all is said and done with Coach B!
I don't think anyone is saying slam dunk, only that UM is going to want to hire a replacement with some HC experience once Beilein steps down, and Jordan is the one getting more of the coaching buzz right now. You probably wouldn't go wrong with either, but the coaching tree needs to start somewhere.
I'd bet he's happier he's not playing in a place where the ref stabs him to death, who then in turn gets beheaded and torn to pieces by the fans.
MSU's halfback counter was the Double A Gap blitz of the aughts. It is unkind to remind everyone of that play.
DT is doubled; LB on weak side taken out by the fake; strong side LB picked up by pulling guard. He's out to the safety without much problem.
includes a lot of guys in addition to Matt Millen. Joe Morgan, Charles Barkley, and Terry Bradshaw immediately come to mind.
Phenomenal competitor, best player ever, can't run a team at all.
and Ted Williams if you're going old school.
It's true to say that Urban Meyer has now had 31 members of his Gators teams arrested.
While 20-21% of players is high (based on 25 recruits/year for 6 years), some were kicked off the team, and as has been mentioned, the arrest rate of the general population of 18-22 year old males is pretty high itself. Is Urban a saint who gave us Tebow? Is he the devil that unleashed Hernandez?
No. The football media is bored. IMO he's a somewhat skeezy football coach trying to win games. Just like most D1 football coaches are skeezy guys trying to win games.
My sense is that the arrest rate for 18-22 year-olds is under 5%, maybe a tick or two higher for certain sub-groups. If 21% of the average college population was getting arrest, I wouldn't have been wait-listed for nearly as many classes.
Marty Mornhinweg knows more about football, especially the offensive side of it, than the vast majority of regular fans will ever have a clue about.
That still didn't keep him from taking the wind instead of the ball in overtime.
At least it wasn't indoors.
THEY TRIED TO MAN UP CRAB!
still the best postgame interview ive seen in college football
Unable to cope with reports from legitimate media outlets—from the Wall St Journal, to the to the Tampa Tribune to Sports Illustrated to the Boston Globe and Boston Herald , the PR people at Ohio have launched an assault through far less reliable sources: like Twitter. . They are now getting his wife and daughter—and a few bloggers-- to assert that Meyer is unfairly blamed for murders by an ex-player, rather than blaming the player himself. They are trying to fill the blogosphere with parodies of any legitimate critique of Meyer--as if the Bianchi report you cite were the only one.
In so doing , they are trying to reframe the issue into an absurd proposition, which is far easier to dismiss. Of course, Meyer did not make Hernandez a murderer---just like JoPa did not make Sandusky a pedophile. But that is not the issue.
A USA today article about Urban suggests that Meyer was informed of Hernandez crimes at Fla and that these crimes may have been covered up. Not yet proven? OK. But the reports seem no less substantial than those about Penn St prior to the revelations of the Freeh report; and no such investigation has yet been made into the allegations at Fla. Indeed, no such investigation woujld ever have taken place even at Penn St were it not for the persistence of journalists like yourself.
"Meanwhile in Joe Dumars, signs power forward who can't shoot to play small forward, duplicating strengths, ignoring weaknesses, and setting the Pistons up as—at best—an easy first-round victim."
It's almost as if they need a pure PG or something...
This is one of the areas of this blog where I wish Brian and other would just let something go. Trey is in Utah, should be a good player. Pistons got a guy who has helped lead a team to the playoffs for several years now. Perhaps Joe Dumars, who has been running a basketball team for over a decade and created one of 6 franchises since Jordan played to hoist the title, may know something about how he wants the Pistons to look and play going into next year. Doesn't mean Burke won't be good, but it also doesn't mean Detroit made the wrong decision to draft someone else.