spoiler alert: i linked this
Before moving on to the third of our four regions of the tournament, let's look over the results from The Bad Times region, which weren't nearly as close as I expected but did feature our first (minor) upset.
#1 Rage Stripping: 2,802 (88%)
#8 Hat Antics: 373 (12%)
#4 Sheet Throw: 1,150 (44%)
#5 Rage On The Run: 1,491 (56%)
#3 WELL OKAY: 2,279 (86%)
#6 Plea To The Football Gods: 360 (14%)
#2 Slow-Motion Meltdown: 2,194 (79%)
#7 Intent To Deceive: 597 (21%)
And now, the Harbaugh In Action region, a loosely defined grouping of GIFs featuring Harbaugh doing... things. As always, click the stills to open each GIF in a lightbox.
HARBAUGH IN ACTION REGION
(1) Dr. Harbaugh vs. (8) Pre-Snap Adjustment
I'm never going to top my original caption for this so why try:
Dr. Harbaugh: "What seems to be the problem here?"
Patient: "It's my back, doc."
Dr. Harbaugh: "Oh, that's no problem at all. A little breeze through the ol' mine shaft will have you up in no time."
Patient: "I've made a huge mistake."
The belt-lift is, in fact, a time-tested method for getting a player's wind back, but that doesn't make the visual any less hilarious.
(4) Green Ass Smack vs. (5) Hype-Up Beating
There's so much going on here, culminating in Harbaugh licking his fingers and smacking his own ass.
Oh, just a casual beating to make sure the quarterback is sufficiently ready for football.
(3) Harbaugh's Huddle vs. (6) Ready To Play
While Harbaugh isn't doing anything particularly nuts here, I love the visual of him in the middle of a sea of winged helmets.
The khakis/cleats combo puts this one safetly into the field. You can't convince me Harbaugh wouldn't start for at least three Big Ten teams right now.
(2) Punt Demo vs. (7) What's The Call?
Yes, I put this GIF here so I could fit more tantrums into the Bad Times region. You're welcome.
Even though Harbaugh probably has good reason to stick his head into the huddle, I like to think it's just because he can't help himself.
Voting will remain open until the final region posts early next week.
Hello. Sorry about that involuntary vacation there. Dumping water on your laptop is not fun, especially when the backup you had on hand for just such an eventuality doesn't boot either. Then I was at Blogs With Balls yesterday, trying to look somewhat official.
I am back now, even if the change in keyboard styles makes me want to die. Nothing makes me angrier than trying to use a keyboard I'm not familiar with. It's like having a stroke, one that suddenly puts punctuation all over the place for no reason. Anyway.
Just another day in the life. Offseason is relative.
Jim Harbaugh gives his version of Drake's album cover, gets RT'd by the First Lady
Anonymous NFL scout strikes again. The woooooorst:
This anonymous scout quote abt OSU's Eli Apple was, um, interesting:"The kid has no life skills. At all. Can't cook" https://t.co/03a8Tn3F6V
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) April 27, 2016
There's about a 90% chance that the dude anonymously slamming Apple's life skills spends most of his life in hotels, has been divorced four times, and hasn't cooked anything more complicated than cereal since the 1970s. Also, this random slam from a guy who doesn't even know Apple appears to be 100% false:
Eli has made me some fire fried chicken and mac and cheese. The source seems to be pretty unreliable
— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) April 27, 2016
The NFL draft starts tonight so our brief annual spate of anonymous, ludicrous slams of NFL prospects is just about over. Tune in next year, when someone accuses Jourdan Lewis of setting fire to his toaster.
Durkin on Harbaugh. None of this is actually a surprise; it is a confirmation about what life under Harbaugh is like:
CR: I'd imagine your early days at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh were a lot like the early ones at Bowling Green under Meyer. Is that accurate?
Durkin: It was absolute mayhem. It really was.
When I first got there, it was like, oh my gosh. Then you finally spend more time with Jim. The guy is really smart. Extremely smart. Everything is for a reason, but he loves chaos. That's just how he operates. He loves confrontation, chaos, conflict. He doesn't want it to be everyone comfortable, this is the schedule. He just loves throwing a wrench in the works.
So, when you first get there, it's like, what's going on? But it was great. To see someone impose their will, their confidence, their vision on a program, to totally change it—total 180. Stanford was known as a soft, academic, wine-sipping program. Now it's the total opposite. He definitely imposed his will on the place.
This was Bo's approach to the point where he would deliberately stoke fights between his coaches just to see what everyone really thought. Harbaugh runs through a lot of coaches; they generally move on up afterwards, often quickly, because life under Harbaugh is a pressure cooker.
Durkin also relates the one-on-one story we've heard a couple times before:
CR: Let's end with the story of you playing Harbaugh one-on-one at Stanford. What do you remember?
Durkin: It was a random day in the office. We were meeting, talking about something, and he was dribbling a basketball. We were talking about something—recruiting or something—and the conversation somehow got to, "Hey, let's go out and play."
So we went to play one-on-one. First to seven. Great. So we're playing. I went up for a layup or something, he fouled—I mean, hacked me. And I didn't call it. I didn't expect him to call foul. No, we're good. Check up.
Then it became, O.K., if that's not a foul, there are no fouls. So the game went on for—the reason it became epic—it was over an hour-long game. To seven. And people are up there watching. No one wanted to lose, and no one would call a foul. So it was, if the guy got a step on you, chuck him in the back, lose the ball. Nope, no foul. Good, your ball. So it went on. It was well over an hour. A game to seven.
CR: Who won?
Durkin: He won. I let him win in the end. Job security.
I've repeatedly stated that I was skeptical about how good of a DC Durkin actually was after Michigan tailed off against spread teams late, but he's the kind of guy who could be much better as a head coach than a coordinator*. He's already done some good things with Maryland's recruiting.
*[And he's just unproven there, not necessarily bad. Last year was his first truly running his own D after operating under Will Muschamp at Florida and he inherited a ton of talent from the previous guy. It's striking how close the parallels are between 2015 and 2006, which also saw a hotshot new coordinator inherit a bucket of talent, turn his unit into one of the nation's best, and then get annihilated by Ohio State while doing something seemingly nonsensical. With Durkin that was running a safety at 15 yards against a spread to run offense; with Ron English it was trying to cover an NFL first-round WR with Chris Graham.]
Maryland doesn't recruit good and stuff. Excellent data post from Capital News service detailing the futility of Maryland recruiting despite a healthy amount of local talent. It incidentally proves our Mississippi Is A Black Hole Nothing Escapes theory:
That will never cease being a mystery to me.
I do think there are some questionable assumptions the data invites you to take away here because their list of top talent-producing states has Delaware(?!) third and Hawaii fifth. This is correct on a per-capita basis, but why that's relevant to a college trying to fill a recruiting class is unclear. (Delaware is likely that high because of ECA, the controversial magnet school that Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson attended.)
Incoming Cain? MI SF Jamal Cain got his Michigan offer. Cain, a 2017 kid ranked as a three star by the world, got a bunch of Michigan predictions on his 247 page in the immediate aftermath. It doesn't sound like he'll drop immediately…
"His recruiting is rapidly growing," said Covington, a former player at Oakland, who added that Cain is likely to go through the recruiting process and not commit anywhere until before or duirng his senior year at Cornerstone Prep.
Cain is currently rated as the No. 190 overall played in the 2016 class in the 247 Sports Composite.
…but plans have a tendency to change. Endless Motor has an interview with Cain that is of interest:
EM: Can you tell us a a bit about the basketball presentation?
JC: Coach Beilein showed me film of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Zak Irvin, and said he wanted me to play a similar role at the shooting guard/small forward spots, and that I would be used in that way. Coach Beilein said I could really thrive in that role at UM.
In Trey-Burke-ish basketball recruiting news, Xavier SImpson surges into the top 50 in ESPN's final rankings after an outstanding senior season that saw him win the USA Today POY in the state.
So much for that. JT Compher signs with the Avs and CCM is gone lock, stock, and barrel. When Red returned one of the arguments made in favor of that decision was that CCM was more likely to return—at least portions of it—in Ann Arbor. That obviously did not work out.
With NHL departures now (probably) completed, this is what Michigan's looking at next year. I'm bumping Cutler Martin up to F:
That does not look like a tournament team unless Michigan is better than it's been on defense since Mel left. Michigan loses six of its top seven scorers and gets back only two forwards who were significantly above zero in +/-: Kile and Dancs.
Goodbye Idaho. If only EMU would follow. The Vandals are dropping down to I-AA after getting booted from the Sun Belt, which only admitted them in the first place so they could have a conference championship game. With no conference home and none pending, their only logical move was to drop down and play with the Montanas and North Dakota States of the world. Two things: this apparently won't even save them money…
The athletic department will save money having to fund fewer scholarships (63 as opposed to 85), but a source told CBS Sports that the program will lose money overall.
…and Idaho football costs about 20% as much as EMU's athletic deficit.
While the move enjoys some support in the community, Idaho will lose its FBS branding -- playing at the highest level of college football. Idaho students fund football to the tune of $127 per semester in their tuition payments.
Which is boggling if you think about it. EMU faculty and students just urged the university to drop football, to which the regents said "nah." Eastern's athletic department spending is completely insane:
The study point to an increase in the total full time equivalent athletic staff from 64 in 2006-07 to 85 in 2015-16, doubling staff salaries from $3.2 million to $6.4 million as the department saw 10 more coaching positions and more than 11 "athletic personnel" added during the same time period. During that same time period, the report indicates EMU's entire faculty increased by just 15.78 full-time equivalent personnel.
The arms race at the top of college athletics makes sense because the money's got to go somewhere. Eastern is setting money on fire—its students' money.
Rappists say nice things. I mean, I think they do. Migos on Harbaugh:
"He knows the music," Migos member Offset told TMZ. "He's a real cool playa. He's a playa, man, from the Himalayas."
#wellactually he goes to the Andes mountains, person who was clearly trying to rhyme things.
SBN on the Big Ten's rights situation. This is a point worth considering:
Will coaches freak out if their games aren’t on ESPN?
Yes, and so will administrators throughout the conference. Years ago, when the ACC flirted with leaving ESPN for Fox, some of the conference’s powerful basketball coaches were not shy about voicing their displeasure, believing that the lack of ESPN coverage would hurt their recruiting efforts. It’s too early to know how Big Ten coaches and athletic directors will react. But consider this: When school administrators asked at the recent league meetings if it’s possible for ESPN to get shut out, they were told, “Anything is possible.” One senior official at a Big Ten school said his peers “were scared to death” at the prospect of not having games on ESPN, which could eat into their recruiting.
ESPN's "lowball" offer for half the rights package was easy to pass over. It'll be harder for the Big Ten to extract maximum revenue from the second half without abandoning ESPN entirely, and that's a move everyone is wary of. Well, maybe. I've yet to see the Big Ten do anything other than maximize revenue.
Etc.: MLS to Detroit? If so you have to make them Detroit City and call them "The Rock." This is not negotiable. Profiles of Graham Glasgow and Jourdan Lewis. More on Glasgow's draft status. Jabrill Peppers already being talked about for next year's draft. A CFB commissioner is discussed; seems impractical. Baseball doing well. Holding The Rope on personnel shifts at ESPN.
The two-sentence rule change that most SEC coaches didn't understand is no more:
NCAA Board of Directors rescinds ban on satellite camps, source tells @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 28, 2016
A gold star to whoever's running the Alumni Association's account this fine day:
— Michigan Alumni (@michiganalumni) April 28, 2016
Once the DOJ rattled its saber, even if gently, you had to know that the chance a lawsuit-besieged NCAA would follow through on the band was nil. Especially since it seems like a number of conferences were in favor of the ban despite being, uh, not in favor of it. Even the conferences who meant to vote for it didn't understand the implications of the change, and thus found it hard to defend in public unless they had a smarm black belt like Greg Sankey.
The camp ban is thus done for this year, but don't be surprised if the SEC and ACC come up with a less draconian version of the rule next year. They might limit camps to 5 or something, which wouldn't impact many schools not coached by high-functioning lunatic workaholics.
Nuss went from sense-bringing savior to Brandon crony really in one trip to South Bend. And he didn’t even make our list. [Fuller]
The assistant you changed your opinion on the fastest, negative or positive? Note: this was inspired by a conversation about Durkin, whom nobody took. In fact we probably left a lot of answers on the table in trying to avoid the obvious.
Adam: I was on the fence when Jedd Fisch was hired; he hadn't spent more than two seasons anywhere since his time as an assistant QB/WR coach with the Ravens from 2004-2007, and his stints as an offensive coordinator in college and the NFL yielded uninspiring results. One need only look as far as his Hello post to see that advanced stats weren't kind to his tenure as a college or pro OC outside of one shiny FEI number in 2011.
You shouldn't judge based on a limited data set, and Fisch's work is a reminder why. Jake Rudock, already a pretty good quarterback when he got to Ann Arbor, saw his completion percentage rise 2.1% and his yards per attempt rise 0.7 yards to 7.8 from 2014 to 2015. The Harbaugh caveat applies, but the receivers also made big year-to-year improvements.
[After the jump: another thinks—we had them coming]
BREAKING: Grant Mullins has committed to Cal as his transfer destination per his Instagram https://t.co/203han7GQ1
— Mike McAllister (@McAllisterScout) April 27, 2016
Shortly after wrapping up a visit to Michigan, Columbia grad transfer Grant Mullins announced his commitment to Cal for his senior season. The combo guard was also considering Syracuse.
This leaves Michigan with an open scholarship for next season, and unless another grad transfer candidate emerges out of the blue, it's likely John Beilein will use it on a late-rising 2016 prospect—or, like he did last year, leave the scholarship open, which seems like the least-desirable route.
Sam Webb reported last week that Michigan was showing interest in four-star WI F Kostas Antetokuonmpo, but there hasn't been any word on him since then. The coaches checked in on IMG Academy three-star F Aleem Ford last week; he committed to Wisconsin shortly thereafter. Unless the coaches can get Antetokuonmpo to campus, they might be scrambling for other options.
Those other options almost certainly won't include Spike Albrecht, who's already visited Purdue and plans to see Wichita State and Syracuse. Even if Michigan decides they're willing to sacrifice some early development for Xavier Simpson to bring Albrecht back, the Wolverines won't represent Spike's best opportunity to play the most minutes.
You Down With JKP?
Four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell has been a steady presence on campus throughout his recruitment. Last week, Kelly-Powell had his most in-depth visit to Michigan yet, and his father summed it up for Sam Webb:
“It was more informative. It was probably by far the best time and best (visit) he had since he’s been (going) up there. It was very detailed and very to the point (when it came to) what they see him as, what they want him to do, and how much of a priority he is. It was what we needed to hear.”
While some schools are recruiting JKP as a corner, Michigan made it clear they'll give him a chance to see the field early at safety, and Don Brown went over how he could be utilized in the hybrid SAM role currently occupied by Jabrill Peppers.
Kelly-Powell it taking a trip out west to see a few schools the week of Memorial Day; his father indicated a decision could come soon afterwards. Michigan looks like the team to beat, and landing him could help them out with JKP's cousin, four-star Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas.
Meanwhile, Kelly-Powell's Cass Tech teammate, three-star 2017 OG Jordan Reid, is expected to visit campus today with his father and uncle, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Reid recently listed Michigan as the number two team in his top five, behind Florida.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Each of these statistical profiles are some of John Beilein’s best #shooters at Michigan:
You’d probably agree that player “A” has the best numbers – though, all things considered, the profiles are very, very close. They don’t take everything into account and it’s hard to quantify many things that help basketball teams win. But based on these blind profiles (all of which are very similar), player “A” is arguably the best of the four.
A: Duncan Robinson (So., 2016)
B: Zack Novak (Sr., 2012)
C: Nik Stauskas (Fr., 2013)
D: Aubrey Dawkins (Fr., 2015)
As a senior, Novak was a far better defender than Robinson (despite his size) and a key role player on a Big Ten championship team. Stauskas blew up as a sophomore after playing a complementary role as a freshman. Dawkins had a pretty strict shooter’s profile but was a good one after becoming a freshman starter in Big Ten play. Those three player-seasons are some of Robinson’s very closest statistical comparables.
For a player in his first season at the high-major level, Duncan played well as a starter – even though his three-point percentage dropped off considerably from early-season highs, he was a tremendous floor-spacing asset. He was Michigan’s most efficient player. He finished the season with 95 made threes, third-best in Michigan history (and the best for a player under Beilein). A knockdown shooter in a well-spaced offense is invaluable, and Robinson is slotted into that role for the next two seasons.
[Hit the JUMP for the rest of the review]
That Time Wheatley Donkey’d Peppers
I’ve been so enamored with Brown’s defense lately that we haven’t discussed Harbaugh’s run games, which is a shame because they’re brilliant. He kept the fancy stuff in the barn of course but the Spring Game did show a neat thing and got a big chunk out of it.
For completion’s sake here’s who’s on the field. Those likely to see extensive action in 2016 are in bold, and non-Kovacsian walk-ons have hashtags:
Only a few of those matchups can be at all enlightening, but I’d count the highlighted one among them.
1. THE PLAY: POWER WITHOUT THE PULLING
The defense is in a 71 (base over with the NT covering the center) front with the SAM (Peppers) up on the line to counteract that extra TE. The offense starts by motioning that TE.
The defense shows it’s in man, with the boundary CB (Washington) rolling with the motioning H-back (Butt). When Butt stops between the LT and LG, the WLB (Bush) comes up like he’s going to blitz that gap. That’s a good thing too because the called run goes right over his ass:
Absent Harbaugh’s playbook I don’t know how to name it, but we saw a fancier version last year against BYU, and Space Coyote drew it up as “Power Lead.” That time it was run to the C gap, with the receiver coming in to crack a linebacker. This is the more vanilla version.
If you can picture it, the same blocks are happening as if it’s Power, but the fullback is doing the kickout block, and the H-back is the “puller” leading through the intended hole. The running back then picks a hole through the carnage, typically to whichever side of the H-back’s block that a defender isn’t in.
[After the jump: The defense solves this the Don Brown way, then breaks down]
Brian is out for the day, so I've moved the next region of the tournament up a day, in part because one more day of voting isn't going to change the results from the Good Times region. Those results:
#1 Harbaugh As Grinch: 5,190 (93%)
#8 Harbaugh Clapping: 375 (7%)
#4 Harbaugh/Drevno Awkward Celebration: 2,374 (56%)
#5 Harbaugh/Drevno Successful Fist Bump: 1,902 (44%)
#3 "You're Really Good": 2,236 (57%)
#6 Rudock Hug-Like Substance: 1,696 (43%)
#2 Spring Game Grin: 3,249 (76%)
#7 Fist Pump: 1,046 (24%)
Those were relatively easy selections; even the dueling Harbaugh/Drevno celebrations had a gap of nearly 500 votes between them. This region should be more competitive; I've seeded (and reseeded, and reseeded) Harbaugh's various sideline blowups for the Bad Times region, and it should come as no surprise that this is the strongest group.
As always, click the stills to open each GIF in a lightbox. Righteous anger, ahoy.
THE BAD TIMES REGION
(1) Rage Stripping vs. (8) Hat Antics
It's great enough that Harbaugh gets so hot under the collar he has to start stripping. I'd like to also draw attention to Kori the Cord Guy, who has to be in the running for most skilled student equipment manager in the country.
It speaks to the brutality of this region that this is only an eight-seed. The GIF begins with Harbaugh already incensed enough that he's removed his hat; I'm pretty sure he momentarily forgot this, as that weird head-rub thing—as you'll see in a few GIFs—is how he angrily takes it off. Otherwise this is a pretty standard Harbaugh-ref interaction until he snaps his hat back onto his head, which takes this from entertaining to mesmerizing. Again, this is the eight-seed.
(2) Slow-Motion Meltdown vs. (7) Intent To Deceive
Magnificent. Every TV outlet needs a dedicated Harbaugh super-slow-mo camera.
To top off Harbaugh's dismissive-turned-rageful reaction to the infamous "intent to deceive" penalty, we catch a glimpse of a very amused Jay Harbaugh in the background right at the end. Yeah, he's seen this before.
(3) WELL OKAY vs. (6) Plea To The Football Gods
After a Florida defender committed an obvious facemask on Amara Darboh, Harbaugh sprinted down the sideline screaming for a call, gesticulating the whole way.
You may note a brave player—by the arm sleeve, I believe it's Jabrill Peppers—tried to get Harbaugh's attention when he reached the offical. Harbaugh, too deep into rage mode to notice, proceeded to scream "HEY, THEN CALL IT. YOU CALLED IT? YOU CALLED IT? WELL, OKAY."
The best moment from a spectacular Harbaugh performance in the Citrus Bowl. There's a little more context provided in the comments of that post; the reason Harbaugh was so upset is the official closest to the play missed the obvious facemask call and had to be bailed out by another official who was standing well clear of the play. In the GIF itself, though, all we see is Harbaugh screaming for a flag that's already been thrown, and that's peak Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh is a living reaction GIF. This is one of the finer examples.
(4) Sheet Throw vs. (5) Rage On The Run
Harbaugh showing off his Maravichian arsenal of rage moves.
If there's a GIF I underseeded, it's probably this one. The technique stands out here. With one deft movement, he removes his headset; with another—the aforementioned back-to-front motion—his hat is in his hand. The rest of the sideline stands back to watch the show. Did I mention Harbaugh had a magnificent Citrus Bowl performance? I did? It's worth saying again.
Voting will stay open until the next region posts, which should be Wednesday or Thursday.
The captain will join his CCM linemates in the NHL:
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 25, 2016
JT arrived with three boats of hope that he’d give Michigan a second Copp. He departs after centering a line I don’t think anyone in college hockey will improve upon for a very long while. Here’s one ridiculous thing:
There was some hope that he’d come back, especially once Red announced he would, to finish a business degree and earn his free agency (apparently they give you the Hobey for this these days). Michigan’s going to need to get dramatically better on defense for Red’s final (?) year not to be one of his worst.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go punch a turtle.