"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.”
A horribly enlightening graph. FEI and I were getting along just great until Mr. Fremeau had to go and put our kicker situation in a neat graph. Sit down and get a bucket, as this is a graph of Michigan's attempts against those of FEI #1 kicker Alex Henery of Nebraska:
This is nothing you didn't already know, but Michigan threw away 16 points on field goal attempts this year and was forced into some uncomfortable situations on fourth down because of those big red dots. I'm not sure if those were actual negatives because sometimes this happened:
Romer disciples would say being forced to go for it in that down and distance is probably a net benefit since anyone attempting a 50-yard field goal is going to have difficulties. There were certain situations less friendly, however, and Michigan still had to go because asking for anything more than an extra point was doom.
Michigan might need a kicker in this class.
A minor debunk. One of the rumors wandering around message boards was that Calvin Magee went down to Gainesville a couple weeks ago, supposedly to interview for a job. Given what we know about the Florida coaching situation (Meyer was days away from retiring) that doesn't make any sense and can probably be dismissed, and I can confirm from an excellent source that Magee never met with anyone at Florida. File that in the dustbin of history next to All Of Iowa Is Suspended.
It's a tragedy when you don't get along with your groin. The injury that held Bryan Hogan out of the Big Chill will sideline him for "at least a month," according to AnnArbor.com. That sidelines him for the GLI—a tournament Michigan should win even without him—and an early January series against the State team Michigan just beat 5-0 and is languishing near the bottom of the league standings. It sucks for Hogan to miss out just as he was establishing himself the starter but if he's got to be out a month this is the one to miss.
It is again the groin, but a different bit of the groin:
"But he made one move and he could just feel it."
Berenson said Hogan partially tore a tendon or muscle in his groin, but that it has nothing to do with the injury Hogan suffered last year.
A midseason review of the hockey team on AA.com points out that however frustrating the first half of the season has been Michigan's come out of it in decent shape. A quick glance at College Hockey Stats shows that Michigan's scoring margin is amongst the national leaders:
[Michigan opponents in italics.]
They're 12th, and that's with a few minor schools and ECAC pushovers in front of them. They're 11th in KRACH, which seems about right—a solid tournament team but not a top seed. (My usual complaint about KRACH is it overrates nonconference games and piles WCHA teams atop the rankings, and this is again true.) I'm still concerned that any mildly competent defensive team can reduce Michigan to pinging shots from the point and hoping something wacky happens. This will have to be true…
"I think we expected to be a little further ahead - but not a lot," Berenson said Tuesday. "You can't say, 'Oh, we're going to expect to lose four games in the first half.' I mean, which games are you expecting to lose? I wasn't expecting us to have four ties. … Our best hockey is still ahead of us.
"I think we've seen some glimpses, some good signs, and I think the second half will be our best half. But we're right there. We're knocking on the door. We're not bad."
…if Michigan is going to go into the tournament expecting something good.
Tearing it up. Michigan's current* 2011 signees continue to raise their stock of late. It was Trey Burke making a late-summer push at AAU events across Ohio, but as they enter their senior years its Brundidge making waves:
Brundidge opened the season up with 41 points in a blow out win over Mount Clemens but the competition began to heat up this week as Southfield traveled to Romulus, a consensus top 5 team in the state of Michigan. The burly guard answered the challenge as he poured in 29 points, 8 rebounds, and eight assists in a 78-70 victory. Unofficially, Brundidge was 6 of 12 from the field (2-6 3pt) and 11 of 13 from the free throw stripe.
Vince Baldwin took to the twitters to rave about Brundidge's passing in the aftermath.
As for Burke, he's shooting 79(!!!) percent in two games so far. Adding that guard tandem to Morris, and Douglass and you're verging on… loaded? Can we possibly say that about Michigan basketball? I'm confused.
*(There's still the possibility of a third if Michigan finds a guy—probably a Euro—they want.)
Meanwhile on Kenpom. Michigan poked its hypothetical head above .500 after the Utah game and is now sitting at 17-14 with seven conference wins. Every time I check it it seems they've moved up a spot or two thanks to other teams falling back; they're up to 59th now, twenty spots higher than they were about a week ago. Saturday's game against Oakland is a big one—the Grizzlies just beat Tennessee and played Michigan State to the wire. Win that and it's time to start eyeing an NIT bid.
In other tempo-free stat news, Big Ten Geeks points out that while North Carolina Central is bad, they have never been quite as bad as they were against Michigan—their 0.78 points per trip was a season worst. This is a Beilein team built on… defense? As long as the team is bricking wide-open threes by the bunch, apparently. On WTKA today Beilein said a couple items of note:
They'd gone straight man to man the whole year because the team is very young and they'd rather do one thing well than a few things poorly.
"This is Division I basketball" and when you have a wide open shot you have to take it. It doesn't sound like he's displeased with anything from the first half except the fact the ball didn't go in the basket. You could chalk it up to it being just one of those things… if this wasn't the third straight year Michigan hefted a ton of threes (16th nationally) and didn't make any of them (255th).
The Big Ten can backtrack with a press release that says something to the effect of “we are sure honored to have such passionate fans, and we’ve heard their voices.”
Then hold a contest. Fans submit their best ideas for new division names and new logo - there are plenty of good ones floating around the Internet in recent days, ideas that exceed the cartoonish one delivered by the conference.
Now you can remember who's in what division. These are ordered alphabetically but maybe they could put the division champs on top every year? Or they could just go with the horrible periwinkle.
Etc.: The 85k number cited by Guinness is provisional "with the numbers continuing to increase." Dear Lynn Henning: I would have rewritten your column like so: "Yes." Further adventures in scouting Mississippi State continue with a breakdown of Dan Mullen's TE shovel pass, AKA "binky," which he's still running to good effect.
Brian, sorry to nitpick, but this logo is actually my tweak of Tscherne's submission which I posted in the comments of the logo post yesterday, it's not an M Zone creation...this was the original version, I later made a version with OSU and M at the bottom instead of NU and Illinois...
M Zone did credit me with the tweak however, props to them...
Big kudos to you, QU. What program did you use? Very interested.
Also, I definitely understand Six Zero's concerns, but that is all stuff that can be easily figured out if you put a thousand bucks into it, rather than have Pentagram spend millions on it. You'll have different versions, no biggie. If you were worried about having so many separate pieces, just put a white band around the bottom that holds all the logos on it, so it isn't like you're setting down a ton of different pieces on the field. Consistency.
Kudos to you and Tscherne... this is a vast improvement over Delaney's version. What did you think about Six Zero's comments above? Seems like he has some great points. Not being an expert myself, I wonder... maybe there are a couple of versions of the logo... one larger version, like your current and another for smaller print and b/w print? And... what do you think about clearing out the word, "conference" and year, replacing them with stars? This way, the stars could all be a bit larger?? Again... not an expert, but I think you've got something really great here and I'd love to see Delaney reconsider.
M Zone's logo isn't bad at all-- colors look pretty good, it would translate fairly well to line art (have to lose the gradient in the wordmark), and overall it's a pretty pleasing imprint (the overall shape of the exterior of the graphic).
My biggest criticisms, as a professional, are as follows:
1.) There's a lot of space dedicated to extraneous details. There's over an entire third of the mark taken up by the words 'conference' and '1896' and some minor cosmetic elements. Looks nice and all, but all it's really doing is stealing thunder away from the main focal point, which is the wordmark. The secondary elements are a bit too primary, so to speak.
2.) This graphic looks pretty good viewed exactly as it is presented, at 100% of the original size. As a designer, you should ask yourself-- what happens when this is reduced? I'll tell you what will happen: as the graphic gets smaller, some of the minor details will break down, especially if this is printed with a low density ink. The stars will soon become little blobby things, and the words 'conference' and '1896' are too much of a bookface and would eventually break down as well. As for the school logos, they're barely legible now-- at 50% most of them will no longer look good. Only the single color marks (our block M, the IU, maybe the W) and perhaps the high contrast of the Purdue "P" will continue to hold up. So as the mark would be reduced in size there would have to be stipulations to drop the school logos altogether-- even though I will freely agree they look great and do help reinforce conference alignment.
But all in all it's a nice effort. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, just point out some of the considerations that should always go into a functional branding solution. I'm certainly guilty of getting too complex from time to time-- keeping things simple always makes the mark more globally functional, regardless of size, color mode or application.
I like the logo too and your comments. I agree the school logos will go when the image is reduced. Having multiple versions of a logo is pretty much a given nowadays.
For the order: I'd like to see them lined up so that each team is across from their protected rival. Start with Wisconsin and Minnesota since that game is the oldest continually played rivalry in the FBS and cause they're original members who have stuck it out through the conference's history. Next is Michigan and Ohio State, Iowa and Purdue, Illinois and Northwestern, MSU and their big trophy rival Indiana, and finally Nebraska and Penn State. Would anyone in the conference have a problem with that order?
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I think your comments make it clear exactly why the Big Ten logo should be simple. It has to go on a lot of different things and to execute on it's job as a logo, everyone needs to recognize it.
They would have saved all the uproar if they had just stuck with the shade of blue that Pentagram used in their basketball court example, and then never ever have done that idiotic thing with the letter "i"
Yes and I can look like the number 1, bug the G does not look like a 0
and B10 is just to corny a concept, and of course defeats the whole, "a single simple logo recognized by everyone!"
we don't need to be told who is in the conference, what division they are in, or who the champion was last year, it's a logo, it should be timeless by the fact that it doesn't change, just like the name of the Conference doesn't change.
Letterheads, business cards, mailing envelopes, lapel pins, embroidered golf shirts, mountains of other licensed merchandise, golf balls, golf tees, web site graphics, banner advertising, web ads, print ads, tv graphics, sponsorship banners, bowl game branding solutions, even jersey patches, conference affiliation helmet stickers, etc etc etc ETC.
If the top ten stars are eliminated or changed to a solid line, the"conference" is eliminated, that space has a bigger light blue shield (with a larger 1896), and instead of each school's symbol, they are replaced by stars of each schools primary color?
Perhaps Delany will make the same move The Gap did upon release of their new logo. The consumer backlash agains the logo was so bad that they abandoned the re-branding effort and went back to the original.
Six-zero's comments re: the small details are spot-on. One of the (few) virtues of the mark done by Pentagram is its simplicity, which means it's very flexible when applied to the myriad of uses that such a mark needs to fulfill. Regardless, considering the money that the conference will have paid Pentagram, I'd say there is a next-to-zero chance that Delaney will go back to the drawing board. True, there are situations like the botched re-do of the Gap logo, but IMHO that was a far more incompetently executed solution than the new mark for the B10.
The names of the divisions is a different matter; I don't think that Pentagram had anything to do with that, and changing the names would seem to me to be an easier fix.
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I think there's a correlation between the number of threes we take and the percentage made. I don't remember the stat exactly, but Beilein's teams seem to take less threes in the games they win. I realize rec bball is a stretch of a comparison, but I see the same thing every week with my rec team. When we start chucking, we get behind really quickly. As the pg of the team, I have to make a concerted effort to get the ball inside every possession, or we'll get completely hosed. A nice three here and there is helpful, but you have to keep it under control.
A team that stops driving to the basket is putting themselves in a difficult position, I definitely agree on that.
But Beilein's system, at least I thought, was to attack the basket so that an easy unguarded 3pt shot was available as the inside drive was shutdown.
Now, if he can't find players to make 3 pt shots frequently enough, then his system will not succeed.
But, his system ends up with a lot of 3pt shots taken. So I think that was the point Brian was trying to make. That Beilein wasn't surprised that his team took a lot of 3pt shots, only that they weren't going in frequently enough.
And the add by Brian of "this has happened for three years, is a subtle way to say, "is it time for a change?"
I think not, this team is hyper young, demonstrating that it is learning from each game, and so far has a decent W-L record. Let's continue with the "hey NIT would be nice" and see what happens.
I see a crazy roller coaster ride coming up for Big Ten Conference play.