“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
Somewhat less than timely, but still good. Michigan softball player Bree Evans, who suffered a scary injury at the beginning of the month, is out of the hospital. She's been out for a good long while…
Evans was released from the hospital two weeks ago, according to Michigan sports information director Leah Howard. Howard declined to comment on details of Evans’ injury.
…but better to know late than never, I guess.
Well, let's be explicit about it. Deshawn Sims and Mann Harris talking to Fox Sports's Jeff Goodman for a Beilein fluff bit before the season:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - DeShawn Sims had just finished up his freshman season at Michigan when he heard the news that John Beilein had been hired to replace Tommy Amaker. At the time, Manny Harris was the Wolverines' top signee, and the word quickly swirled that he would explore other options.
"People were saying Beilein's system was for white boys," Sims said.
"I heard he didn't even like players that dunk," added the athletic Harris.
Elsewhere in basketball, perhaps the most newsworthy thing to come out of Big Ten Media Day was Illinois coach Bruce Weber suggesting that the Big Ten will "probably" move to a full round robin "down the road." I got so excited about it that I retweeted it, so, yes, I am enthusiastic about the hypothetical change. It just makes sense, and now with the Big Ten Network it makes financial sense—in conversations I've had with them they have a strong preference for intraconference matchups.
Junior guard Manny Harris - an All-Big Ten team selection Thursday - has battled pulled hamstrings since the start of practice and Beilein, himself a victim of the consistently tight hammys, has been extra cautious. …
“Now that it’s happened, it’s got to be a season-long therapy thing,” Beilein said. “We can’t let down. He’s always been tight in his hamstrings. I have tight hamstrings so I know what it’s like. It can lead to back problems.
“Stretching is not my favorite thing to do, it’s not his. Therapy isn’t, but he has to do it. “
Ugh. Season-long nagging injury for the unquestioned star of the team. This is not so good.
Because you're still on a Quest for Toronto.Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, the fantastic Syracuse blog, asks "why isn't anyone talking about Scott Shafer?" Insert snark here. But then TNIAAM drops some year-to-year numbers that are a little bothersome since Michigan and Syracuse have essentially swapped defensive coordinators:
Syracuse Defense Rankings 2008 vs 2009 (through seven games)
Tackles For Loss
Opp. 3rd Down Conv.
That's across-the-board improvement except in pass defense. So, okay, there's a lot of noise in these numbers and they'll probably fall with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh the next two games on the schedule. And Syracuse apparently returned a lot of people on defense, including all the good players. But it's at least an indication that Scott Shafer isn't a total git who lucked his way into the Michigan job and blew it all by himself.
On the other hand: the last time I offered a small complaint about Robinson, one of the guys from The Only Colors who does their version of UFR emailed me about a post he'd put up highlighting Robinson's halftime adjustments. That's pretty noisy, too, but in the offseason we'll take a thorough look at the two defenses.
Early signing. Don't know why this came up just now but Rodriguez is in favor of a couple changes to recruiting. One is an early signing day that this site has advocated before:
“I would be in favor of having an early signing day around the third week in December, when the junior-college signing date is, and then have another signing date like we do now on the first Wednesday in February," Rodriguez said on Tuesday's Big Ten coaches teleconference.
The other item he's mentioned is the past is allowing schools to offer official visits over the summer, something that makes sense for schools fairly distant from talent sources in Florida.
Adios, Ufer. Bob Ufer died this week in 1981, and a guy emailed me to let me know he'd been putting up some Ufer retrospective videos on the tubes:
I haven't spent a lot of time scouring youtube to confirm this, but I bet Michigan dominates it, what with Wolverine Historian and this poster ("Ghosts of Michigan") and now a zillion individual plays from UFR.
CONSPIRACY These are the items I was talking about Monday when I mentioned a number of questionable calls that went against Michigan. The illegal formation is on the right tackle here:
There was also the too-many-men call on the Robinson interception, or lack thereof:
You can see the ball has already been snapped.
Rodriguez is not happy about this stuff, nor is he happy about the ridiculous Schilling holding call—the second time in two Big Ten games that Schillling's crushed a guy and gotten a hold for his troubles. RR:
"Some of them I understand, when you twist and turn a guy, whatever," Rodriguez said. "But if you've got your hands inside in great position, you're drive blocking a guy and he falls down, because, one, he loses his balance or something, I don't think it should be called holding.
"There is more of a gray area, and there's more frustration, I think, in seeing some of the calls."
No doubt some Penn State fan will run back to his message board going "lol we won 35-10" so let's just be clear: this did not have an impact on the outcome of the game.
absolutely brilliant. i had totally forgotten about that image, too. thanks.
also - the holding call on schilling and the 5-in-the-backfield calls DID impact the game. do we win? probably not, but multiple universes, etc. complaining about the 12-on-the-field call is kinda piddly, however. i think we'd be PISSED if we got called for it if the situations were reversed.
"get the fuck off my court" - darius morris
"get the fuck out of my athletic department" - everyone else
... we were at a Michigan bar when her image came up, and the entire bar, and I'm not being hyperbolic, roared with laughter. Never a more comical looking sideline reporter... even funnier than Tony Siragusa.
Do Something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn't, do something else.
I think with Shafer it was more a matter of personality clash
than his actual performance - which while atrocious - was understandable.
Sounds like the crew from WV were not on the same page, which regardless of the guy's skills or knowledge is a recipe for disaster.
As someone who also has tight hammy's it can be nagging. I went one year popping one every couple months.
Stretching alone is not enough, you have to really get the tissue warm so it stays stretched. The only thing that has ever helped me was the intense ashtanga yoga. I havent done it in a class in a few years, but even the few years I put in on it has maintained more length in my hammmy's. I now warmup with the ashtanga yoga warmup and that is enough to keep my hammy's loose.
He was referring to last year's offense blowing it for the defense. The two signal callers in question being Threet and DEATH (Sheridan). The lack of any production on offense last year led to a defense that was completely exhausted as games wore on, leading to a lot of games that were reasonably close at half, and turned into blowouts in the second half. This happened last year against you guys (PSU) as well as OSU, IL, and probably a few others that I have repressed from my memory.
Thus far this year, the offense has improved enough to a)keep us in the games by scoring points to potentially overcome our defense's shortcomings and b)give the D some rest every now and then to allow them to at least have energy to chase down receivers after we give up big 3rd and long plays.
"I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do...isn't very nice."--Wolverine
I didn't have any issue w/ the 12 men on the field call. The guy was 1 step away from being out and was not part of the play. That is extremely ticky tack if it were to be called. About as ticky tack as the 5 men in the backfield call. We have been called for that 3-4 times this year, and I cannot remember seeing that call even once against an opponent (or in any non-UM games). It seems really bizarre to be targeted for that, especially when it isn't blatent.
It may be a ticky-tack call, but it's called like that every single time (assuming the officials see it, of course). At the time the ball was actually snapped, he was also a couple steps further onto the field (not that it changes intent, but it should have made it much more obvious to the official).
The refs had a tough game. In addition to the plays Brian mentioned there was the ridiculous holding call on Navorro Bowman (which made up for an uncalled horse collar tackle by Josh Hull on the same play, just before the Robinson pick) and the silly stoppage of the clock late in the first half.
Agree that the bad calls had no impact on the outcome, just like they didn't during a couple of blowouts during your winning streak against us.
That'd be great if Witty could come in early. More time in S&C, more time to practice and learn. With Cissoko gone and Warren talented enough to leave we need guys who can play immediately. I'd feel better about Turner with a full year and Witty with three quarters of a year than I would having to throw one of the true freshmen into the lineup.
Anyone have knowledge of Bree Evans and whether she's walking or her prognosis? Obviously being out of the hospital in two weeks is great news, but it'd be even better to hear she's walking and not in a wheelchair.
Am I the only one who noticed the Delaware State score at the bottom of the first Conspiracy Freeze Frame? Morgan State was 5-1 and first in their conference! Guess Delaware State pulled an MSU and prepped for Morgan State for 2 weeks ;)
Rodriguez has said that bad calls often go for UM as well as against UM. I think he's just a bit frustrated like any coach that with seven officials on the field, poor calls can still be made. I think this is especially true when there isn't a gray area (i.e. the call you're referencing above or the holding against schilling). At least in those situations, the refs have to make judgment calls. However, the too many men on the field is counting. These in my opinion are in excusable.
As stated, not that it had any effect on the game, but it's still frustrating none the less.
Rodriguez has said all year long that he thinks holding calls -for and against Michigan - have gone the wrong way. Besides, he never wrote a book called No Excuses, so he gets a little more wiggle room.
"All of the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes."
No he gets more wiggle room because he isn't the head coach at ND. You want to talk about media attention, Mike Leach, HC at Texas Tech, at the beginning of the week said his team lost because his players were more concerned about their "fat little girlfriends" than the game.
Pretty sure if Weis had said that the entire planet would have gone up in flames
I would think that the way Weis bitches about the refs virtually every game--even going so far as to suggest that conference refs are actively cheating--would make you hesitate to engage in this discussion.
Holding penalties in general always seem to be the most random and capricious penalties in football - most plays feature some form of holding, and I always figure if it is not obvious why call it. Sometimes it clearly is holding and it should be called, but other times it is away from the QB/RB/WR and is really nothing more than two guys locked together. I think that is what bugs RR (and most other coaches) - call the obvious stuff, but let the guys play football.
The Chronicle article linked above couches the matter in fairly mild terms, suggesting that given the budget situation in California (for those who don't know, UC Berkeley is looking at an across-the-board 20% cut in funding next year), some profs would like to see the athletic department become self-sustaining - a reasonable viewpoint to have. But the situation is much less mild than the article makes it: many profs here view the entire football/basketball culture as 'distracting' from the academic mission of the university, and would like to see sports done away with altogether. Remember, this is the place where four idiots were allowed to sit in some trees for 22 months to protest the expansion of the concourse around the football stadium because their "right to protest" was more important than the right of the athletic department to do something no reasonable person should be protesting.
What amazes me is how little these profs understand the impact of athletics on student life. I have two good friends here, one from Rutgers, one from Missouri. Neither are particularly big football fans (one, in fact, hates sports in general), but both are well aware that when their respective football programs had some success recently, undergraduate applications at their schools nearly DOUBLED. That kind of effect isn't worth the $6 million the general fund contributes to the athletic department budget? And which athletic departments are self-sustaining? The biggest ones who spend the most money!
I'm proud that Michigan's athletic department is self-sustaining, and give a lot of credit to Bill Martin for making that happen. But even if it weren't, I don't have a problem with schools spending money on sports. In any other business, they'd call that the marketing budget.
Football allows the intellectual part of my brain to evolve, but it allows the emotional part to remain unchanged. And this is all I want from everything, all the time, always. --Chuck Klosterman
Maybe profs understand the place of academics in student life pretty well, they just don't like it. Why suggest a lack of knowledge on a group of people that spends a lot of time thinking about the university and its place in society? Disagree with them, sure, but "they just don't get it" is weak sauce.
And why does it matter if applications double when state funding cuts mean there's a reduction in money per student and the university is cutting back on essential staff and services, as is the case at Rutgers and is certainly the case at California?
I wonder if coaches have taken unpaid furlough days at universities that have demanded the same of their faculty and staff. (Honest question, I have no idea, but seems like they should.)
"All 12,000 Arizona State University
employees will be required to take 10 to 15 days off without pay before July to meet budget cuts required by the state Legislature, the university announced Wednesday.
The mandate includes top administrators, varsity coaches, faculty, office and maintenance workers, but the unpaid leave, or furloughs, will be staggered. ASU will remain open and classes will meet. "
It depends on what the University is trying to achieve. University of Chicago has done just fine without their once-excellent football program. If you are interested only in attracting the cream of the crop academically I'd think you don't necessarily care about the quantity, as opposed to, the quality of the applicants. There is no easy answer to this question. Michigan has found a balance. For other schools, the equilibrium point could lie elsewhere.
I'd also agree with "Michigan has found a balance", for the past 40 years. But the ante to be a player in Major College Football keeps rising; this is an ongoing issue. UMich has more in common with UC Berkeley than with Florida, Alabama, Oregon or Boise St., to name a few.
The definition is that the helmet of any player on the line must be no further back than the waistline of the snapper. The right tackle CLEARLY is not on the line of scrimmage. Textbook penalty - no doubt about it.
I've heard on the radio that this was the rule, the tackle's helmet needs to be beyond the waist of the center.
Looking at the photo, still looks like a ticky-tack call, but his head was far enough back that it could be called, I suppose. If I recall correctly, this is the 3rd time Ortmann has been called for this, poor performance for a 5th year guy.