I can't stop laughing at Horace Prettyman.
Slick. You have to give Dave Brandon this: when he says he's going to "create the future," he's not kidding. The future is very, very corporate, which means that while we have to deal with retro-futuristic horror gimmicks we also get a Crisler Arena that isn't a dank cave:
That's the key artist's rendering from the just-approved $52 million renovation of Crisler: a concourse that looks… like… nice. There's a bunch of other stills you can check out at UMHoops; the overall result should be an arena on par with the rest of the Big Ten. The program is already headed that way without recruits being able to talk into the swanky new digs.
While hiring Brady Hoke seemed questionable, it was nowhere near the level of bumbling required to give Brian Ellerbe the job or let the department fall into a situation where compliance reports simply weren't being generated. Hopefully that's part of the past even if Brandon continually refers to the Michigan athletic department as "I".
Reverse lockout. I was trying to will Darius Morris back to campus next year and therefore thought his decision to go this year wasn't a good one. In retrospect that's obviously wrong. Morris's strong pre-draft workouts have him solidly in the first round and even if that wasn't the case now was the time to strike with a lottery-scaring lockout keeping a half-dozen kids obviously in front of him in school:
Even though many felt another year at Michigan would improve his stock, Morris took the leap when players such North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes and Ohio State forward/center Jared Sullinger decided to stay in school.
That upped Morris' stock.
"That definitely played a part in my decision," Morris said.
Morris could get a lot better and not see his stock increase in a post-lockout draft featuring 1.5 years of lottery picks.
Of course, Morris could be having strong pre-draft workouts and still have the option to come back if the NCAA hadn't done away with that to make coaches feel better, or something. If Morris's strong pre-draft workouts were in fact crappy pre-draft workouts that locked him into the second round, boy would we be shaking our fists at the sky even harder now.
Also. Not that anyone who needs to be told this is amongst the people who can be reasoned with, but:
Once Morris declared, though, he experienced some backlash from fans who felt Michigan was primed to take a huge leap in 2011-12. But, he felt he was prepared for the criticism. He saw it happen with former teammate Manny Harris, who left last year after his junior season.
"It didn't get to me, I experienced it all my life," Morris said. "You do think about it, when your biggest fans instantly turn on you. It comes with the territory with the Michigan fan base."
That's probably not the best reputation for the school to acquire. I'm talking to you, 14-year-olds on twitter.
1889! Doctor Saturday was wandering along the Bentley's pages looking for anything that could conceivably be a precedent for Michigan's throwback-type uniforms when he discovered the raw sex that is Michigan 1889:
The dude in the middle claims to be a Ben Boutwell but is obviously time-travelling Devandra Barnhart. Also the guy on the bottom right is supposedly named "Horace Prettyman," which come on.
Nine games. BHGP has an excellent post on the pros and cons of the move to a nine-game conference schedule. One objection:
It still wouldn't eliminate the bodybag games. For all the lip service that's been paid to the notion that adding a ninth conference game would eliminate the games against the likes of Bumblefuck Tech that everyone hates -- no one has yet been able to offer up any clear examples of just how they would make the new system work. They want nine conference games AND seven home games (which is a non-negotiable point, according to multiple sources) AND they want to reduce the number of cupcake opponents that (most) teams play from two to one.
One man's objection to that objection via The Sporting News:
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Big Ten’s best attempt yet at following the SEC: Of 48 possible nonconference games, the Big Ten has 14 games against BCS schools — only five of which are road games (10 total road games among the 48). And we’re not done yet.
Most teams play three bodybag games right now. The Big Ten averages of just over one BCS opponent per team. Are those going to go away if a nonconference game is removed? Maybe somewhat but probably not much. Several of the games are perennials, anyone aiming for a national title is going to have to have a reasonable nonconference opponent just for the look of things, and these days the financial advantages of body-bag games and lower-tier bowls are nonexistent for teams on the bottom of the totem pole. The overall number of games worth caring about will increase. Maybe not on a 1:1 ratio, but significantly.
Machiavellian. Jim Delany sort of offhandedly mentioned he'd like to give football and basketball players—maybe even more than that—scholarships that cover the full "cost of attendance," which apparently they don't at the moment. Eyebrow Mount Doom speaks:
"Forty years ago, you had a scholarship plus $15 a month laundry money," Delany said. "Today, you have the same scholarship, but not with the $15 laundry money.
"How do we get back more toward the collegiate model and a regulatory system that is based more on student-athlete welfare than it is on a level playing field, where everything is about a cost issue and whether or not everybody can afford to do everything everybody else can do?" Delany asked.
That's estimated to be another 2-5k per year per scholarship, which you can ballpark around 300k. That's chump change for big schools and a big problem for smaller ones. The usual hue and cry about a "level playing field" has been anticipated and argued with even though no one takes it seriously. (Right? I mean, find me a recruit who picked Conference USA over the SEC or the MAC over the Big Ten*.) This would no more upset the balance of power than having teams that pack 100k fans into a stadium play South Alabama.
Meanwhile, at big schools that's money that's going to coaches right now instead of guys putting their future health at risk (at least to some extent). They should totally do it, not because it's good for power conferences—it's exactly the same for power conferences—but because it's Justice(!).
*[Yes, I know some guys ended up at UCF or something. When the percentage of guys who end up at smaller conferences with legit options at a BCS conferences creeps over 1% then you can badger me. Imaginary pedant is so into pedantry.]
This is fun when it's not happening to you. Yes, it is.
Etc.: Mets Maize asks "is that my boner or yours?" about Brady Hoke's recruiting spree. Zach Hyman says he wants to stay four years, which everyone says. He was headed to Princeton, though, so maybe take that a bit more seriously than you would otherwise.
I can't stop laughing at Horace Prettyman.
for 1889? Prettyman's gotta be a high seed.
Along with a guy named Ten Million (http://www.dailycognition.com/index.php/2009/04/13/15-craziest-funny-per...)
That when the Michigan Stadium drawings came out, they looked pretty good, but what they finally put up was so much better, that if along the way they tweak the design in their renderings for Crisler, that it will be even more awesome?
Let's be frank, lots of commentors here weren't exactly accepting when Morris declared for the draft.
I don't agree that you need a good non-conference schedule to be a title contender. If Michigan wins all of its games, it's in the title game unless Alabama and Texas run the table too. Even then, the participants will be chosen by perception, not schedule strength.
Why is Tate Forcier tagged in this? /confused
Man, I've been standing by patiently to break this out. The Horace Prettyman Experience:
More on Prettyman here.
Who wants a mustache ride?
I mean, the name don't lie
Damn I look good.
Can someone make a replica of his junior (presumingly) year sweater? I'll take one, thanks.
That sweater could be the best piece of apparel Michigan has offered in years.
If the Big Ten goes to 9 conference games, and 7 home games is a must, then the Michigan ND game will have to be at the Big House for the years that Michigan gets only 4 Big Ten home games. Which means 5 home games with 2 remaining non-conference games each year, thus requiring the last two games being EMU, WMU, or BSU. Unless we get more neutral site games like Alabama in 2012.
if the Big Ten and Pac 10 pulled out of the NCAA, started paying players, and played for the Rose Bowl / de facto national championship every year.
Plus if they move first, they can stiff the SEC and Big 12 for big money when they inevitably ask to join in with a 4-team playoff.
MAC schools (and Sun Belt/C-USA, et al) regularly outrecruit BCS schools, but only the best recruits at those schools and only over the marginal BCS schools.
(In other words, it's accurate that kids aren't picking Kent State over Ohio State or EMU over Michigan State, but there's LOTS of kids picking CMU over Indiana or Minnesota or UCF over Virginia, etc.)
If the 300K is a ballpark for only football (3,000 X 85 = 255K). What would the total be once you factor in all the other sports?
While the total amount of extra money a school might have to pay out for this might not affect most BCS schools, what about the lower level schools? Would this be a big financial hit that could cause them to eliminate some sports in order to be able to pay this additional amount to the sports they retain?
Delaney said the 300K covers football and men's basketball. Covering all sports would depend on the school, since different schools have different numbers and types of programs.
Could a way to solve the disparity between BCS and MAC et al schools be solved by having it run through the NCAA rather than individual schools with a central pool of money to which the big conferences contribute a lot more than the poor (maybe based on total conference revenue or something)?
Those drawings for a renovated Crisler look exactly like the Jordan Center (PSU) with the exception of Michigan stuff instead of PSU stuff. I hope that it isn't just as sterile and unfriendly to basketball fans.
1. If that's 1889, why is the guy holding a ball that says '90? (No bowls yet, so argument out.)
2. Nice vest on the cover, but RR is on the opening spread of that report. Really? Scandalous stretching?
Why is it that most of the guys in these old timey photos look like they are at least in their late 40's? People must have aged a lot faster back then.
I think 'ringers' is the term we're looking for. The eligibility rules weren't too strict back then, I believe.
Not the panty-waist wusses that are being raised these days,
Because they were, life expectancy was like 35, so you had to grow up quick!
I don't have actual photographs but I'm told from a buddy of mine who works for the BTN that the UM and ND uniforms will be based on the following:
Michigan as never worn maize jerseys in football. that was debunked years ago.
The only thing worse than the current football schedules are the current basketball schedules!
B'Ball has sunk to believing that making a tournament with 65, 66, 67, or whatever the number is now other teams and then losing in the first round is more important than playing the other teams in your conference twice (I'm talkin about you BIG10!).
Mark my key strokes -- futbol will just get worse in scheduling cuppy, cuppy, cakes!
I'm 90% sure that Ben Boutwell works at my local hipster bar in Philly, doling out PBRs.
I played high school hockey with him. In our world, education is always number one. Unless he gets a mind blowing offer to jump ship, he'll stay.