The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Summer of Harbaugh, Commence
Michigan's nine-day, ten-camp tour kicked off yesterday in Indianapolis, where Jim Harbaugh, sweatshirt tucked into khakis, instructed a group of campers that included quarterback commit Brandon Peters and RB/ATH targets Kiante Enis and Chris Evans. Here is what some of that instruction looked like, via MLive; you're going to want to pay close attention starting around the :30 mark:
Nick Baumgardner has an excellent recap of the day, which also features an amazing photo of Harbaugh and Peters. 247's Steve Wiltfong focused more on the evaluation side of things, and his look at the top performer from the camp may feature on this site again quite soon:
Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis four-star running back Chris Evans typically leaves the field he played on as the best player and the same goes for this day.
Evans has speed, evident in him making the state finals in the 100-meter dash among other events, but it’s how fluid he is that impresses. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Evans is so smooth changing direction. He’s an impact guy on the next level at running back, receiver, cornerback or safety.
At this particular camp, Evans was a cut above the rest through running back agility drills and in 1-on-1s it was easy for him to abuse the linebackers on the field. He’s sure-handed. Perhaps Evans best trait is his love for the game. If there is a football in the air, he’s typically performing at that particular camp.
Evans has confirmed to both Rivals and 247 that he'll announce on Saturday. Sam Webb indicates Michigan is recruiting him as a slot receiver, and Evans didn't hide his intentions much when talking about his upcoming decision with The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):
Evans confirmed that he plans to announce Saturday now rather than wait, and though he wouldn't give a list, he did say Michigan was high on his list.
"Academics," he said when asked the best part about his trip. "They were a big hit on academics first. Everything centered around that and what you do with that. That's the biggest part."
He said tradition and comfort level with the program and coaches would be the deciding factors in his decision, and it's clear U-M has emerged as a serious threat.
It'll be a surprise if Evans isn't a Wolverine this weekend.
Meanwhile, I've buried the lede: Michigan's first satellite camp immediately produced a commitment in Kiante Enis. There's a whole lot more on him in yesterday's Hello post. Since that went up, he clarified his positional future—somewhat, at least—to Scout's Anna Hickey ($):
Enis projects as an athlete at Michigan.
"They had me with the running backs today," Enis said. "I know they said come in as a running back first, and then receiver second and after that secondary."
After watching his film again, I think safety may represent Enis' best chance of seeing the field quickly, not only because of the depth on Michigan's roster, but his closing speed and willingness to lay a hit. That said, it could be hard to keep the ball out of his hands; I also liked his patience as a runner, which may help him stick at RB even though he doesn't fit the burly mold of a quintessential Harbaugh back.
Now the coaches are already on to camp the second, this one in Prattville, Alabama, home of incoming freshman Keith Washington and 2016 commit Kingston Davis. Davis gave Wolverine247 an update on his commitment status ($):
Since his commitment to Michigan, Davis has seen two major SEC offers from LSU and Florida. While a visit to LSU fell through last weekend, his current plan is to see both of those schools. He has no current plans as of now to return to Ann Arbor until the fall for an official visit. However, he maintains his commitment to the Wolverines.
"My commitment is solid," he said. "It would take something major for me to reconsider. There'd have to be a chance for a great education and a great opportunity to play early that would be better than what Michigan has to offer."
The good news is with the attention he's getting, I doubt Davis will remain a three-star for long; the flip side is Michigan will have to fend off some top programs, though if they can afford attrition from this class, it's at running back.
The highest-rated prospect at the Prattville camp, five-star AL SDE Marlon Davidson, is planning to make his way to Ann Arbor soon:
Biggest name at Michigan's Prattville satellite camp is 4-star Greenville (Ala.) DL Marlon Davidson. Plans to visit #Michigan July 19th
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
Getting Davidson on campus would be huge, though he's an Auburn legacy who most expect will end up there.
IMPORTANT, LATE-BREAKING HARBAUGH UPDATES:
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
— Albert Cesare (@AlbertCesare) June 5, 2015
GONNA BE A GREAT DAY. A GREAT WEEK. A GREAT MONTH. AND A GREAT YEAR.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
This is our final roundtable before our summer hiatus; we pick things back up in early August. Craig is out because he's in Hawaii; Sam is out because he's going to like almost all of the Summer Swarm camps. Topics:
- Softball was just about there
- They should be really good again though
- Michael Onwenu says he'll take visits—how will Harbaugh react?
- The slow recruiting start (this is a meme that is probably going to die in the next month)
- John Baxterrrrrrr!
- Chili from TLC kind of calls in
THE USUAL LINKS
[Photo via The Star Press]
It didn't take long for Michigan's satellite camp tour to pay dividends. This afternoon, three-star Winchester (IN) Community ATH Kiante Enis committed to the Wolverines after participating in the Indianapolis camp, as first reported by 247's Steve Wiltfong. Enis becomes the eighth commit in the 2016 class and Michigan's third at running back, joining Kingston Davis and Matt Falcon.
We'll see if Enis actually ends up there; 247's Steve Lorenz tells me Michigan is taking Enis as a pure athlete, and he could end up at running back, slot receiver, or even safety at Michigan; for now, they're taking the athlete they want and seeing how it'll play out.
|3*, #26 ATH||3*, #54 ATH||NR ATH||
3*, 87, #36 RB,
3*, #53 RB,
Despite posting some eye-popping statistics last year (more on that later), Enis currently is stuck in the middling three-star range. Much of that may be due to his high school and the quality of competition; he's the first Division I prospect to come out of Winchester Community in the Rivals era. As Enis hits the camp circuit, not to mention adds the exposure of being a Michigan commit, we'll see if his rankings begin to rise.
The four sites are in general agreement about his size, pegging him at 6'1" or 6'2" and 190-200 pounds; a solid frame for a player with his elite speed.
There's very little scouting out there on Enis. What we have are tantalizing track numbers and absurd high school statistics. On the latter: Enis rushed for 3,189 yards and 49 touchdowns on 299 carries (10.7 YPC) as a junior; his yardage and touchdowns were both among the top figures nationally. On the former: he is faaaaaaaaaast:
Enis is also a mid-major basketball recruit. That athleticism on the hardwood still didn’t do a whole to attract more recruiters on the gridiron.
But now, college coaches can’t ignore the electronically timed 10.53 second 100-meter dash Enis posted at the recent Randolph County track meet, which according to his football coach Mike Jones, is currently the top time in the state of Indiana.
Enis added his Michigan offer shortly after that blazing run. Later in that article, Enis claims a 4.35 40-yard dash time; that figure would get a lot of FAKEs in normal situations, but not after seeing his elite sprinting times.
Enis is the nephew of former Penn State and NFL running back Curtis Enis. His high school coach sees him as much more than just a speedster, per 247's Steve Wiltfong:
“He’s tough,” Jones said. “All the stuff we do, everybody talks about the speed, and obviously speed is the unteachable factor, but he’s so good in between the tackles right now. We had a drive last week, it was a third-quarter drive that put the nail in the coffin. We ran trap, ice, read, just over and over and over, all inside stuff. He carried it 28 times and wanted it more.”
Enis is “by far, by far,” the best player to ever suit up in Winchester. He owns the school’s career rushing record, career touchdown record and he’s one interception away from that record as well.
“He’s explosive, dominant, the speed helps so much,” Jones said. “The thing I like about him, he’s so tough with the ball. He never gets tackled by one guy. The film shows it over and over. He doesn’t go down.”
That's about it as far as scouting reports go; ESPN hasn't ranked him or posted an evaluation, Rivals has just two articles about him (both focused on recruiting), and Scout doesn't have much more than that.
What's clear from the film and the numbers is that Enis is an explosive, versatile athlete; it's not a surprise that Michigan is willing to take an athlete of his caliber now and figure out the positional details later.
Enis holds offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Miami (NTM), Michigan State, Ohio, and Western Michigan. His bigger offers have come this spring, including MSU extending one within a week of Michigan doing so last month. Enis backing up the speed apparent on his film with top-notch times on the track has clearly helped his recruitment.
Winchester Community is a small school (enrollment: 459, per IHSAA) that participates in Indiana's second-smallest classification (2A) for football. Enis is the first major prospect to come from the school; in fact, he's the only recruit from WC to hold a Division I offer in the Rivals database, which extends back to 2002.
If you're wondering why major offers have been slow to come in, that helps clear up the picture.
In addition to the rushing stats mentioned above, Enis recorded four interceptions during his junior season, and he also had four receptions for 104 yards and a score, per MaxPreps. More complete stats, as well as sophomore stats, are available at that link.
FAKE 40 TIME
Enis' self-reported 4.35 gets one FAKE out of five because of his track exploits. Speed is not an issue, to say the least.
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
I... have no idea. Enis has the size and athleticism to play running back, receiver, or defensive back; safety seems to be a legitimate possibility given the number of guys already committed as running backs, though Enis also mentioned a desire to have the ball in his hands during his recruitment, and after watching the film it's hard to blame him. Wherever he ends up, he's a good bet to compete for a spot as a return man, and his speed will make him a player to watch on either side of the ball.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan is up to eight commits in the class, and they look poised to hit nine when fellow Indiana athlete Chris Evans announces his decision on Saturday. Unless something changed in the last week, Michigan will happily take both Enis and Evans, who has similar positional flexibility.
It's still far too early to take a stab at the final numbers for this class; it's clear the coaches are eyeing a class in the neighborhood of 20-25 prospects, which would require a decent but not unreasonable amount of attrition before Signing Day. Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, and—depending on where Enis and maybe Evans end up—defensive back remain areas of need.
Max out. Max Bielfeldt heads to Indiana unless he gets cut before the season starts, which is about 50/50 given Tom Crean's roster ADHD.
It'll be interesting to see how that works out for both teams: Michigan knows exactly what went down in practice and did not ask Bielfeldt back even after it became clear they had an open scholarship slot. Since Bielfeldt was out-performing Donnal late last year (Doyle was almost always the first option when he was not sick as a dog), the confidence expressed by that decision seems to be about newly-strapping DJ Wilson. Wilson is certainly going to be more of a defensive presence than the ground-bound Bielfeldt.
Rebounding? Eh… leave it to Walton. I may actually be serious about that. In any case, rebounding is the most replaceable skill.
That is a frequently-injured, pre-Sanderson, freshman Doyle outperforming everything with reasonable sample size except senior Jordan Morgan. (Donnal's numbers should be taken in context: there were a half-dozen roll attempts last year that looked good on which Donnal didn't even attempt a shot, kicking back to the perimeter instead of opting for what should be one of the most efficient shots in basketball.) Bielfeld had 12 pick-and-pop possessions, FWIW—on actual rolls to the basket he was at 23 points on 21 buckets. That's 1.09 PPP.
Doyle was on par or better than Bielfeldt at just about everything you can do on a court other than grab defensive rebounds. He should improve a great deal as he ages, and then you've got Wilson and Donnal… minutes are going to be scarce.
Speaking of Walton. Any fears you may have had that his foot thing was going to be a problem this fall should be put to rest:
— spike albrecht (@SpikeAlbrecht) May 22, 2015
Walton joins a Camp Sanderson field that includes almost the entire team plus guys like Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway Jr. Word is that one of the most impressive guys there is… Aubrey Dawkins. Going to be a good year.
Meanwhile, Spike's projected return:
Beilein also offered an update on Albrecht on Monday, saying that both of the guard's offseason hip surgeries were successful. Albrecht is still on crutches, but projects to a having a full return by the fall.
"In September, yeah, there's no question," Beilein said.
He should be ready for the season no problem.
A smart guy. Beilein on what the rules changes might mean:
Most focus on the offensive impact of the shot clock change, but the reverberation will reach the other end of the floor. Beilein noted that defenses will likely be more prone to shift from man-to-man to zone defense late in shot clocks.
"I think you'll see more teams flipping stuff and going zone later on because the ballscreen becomes so prevalent at that time," he said.
That would be interesting.
A litmus test. The NCAA just about gave up on serious punishments for anything short of child rape negligence after they threw the book at USC. OSU took a bowl ban and had to get rid of Jim Tressel after Tressel repeatedly lied to the NCAA, but they were spared the kind of scholarship restrictions that put a serious long-term dent in a program. Other than that it's been a series of wrist-slaps.
If anything is going to upset the current "do whatever it's fine" state of affairs, it is the situation at North Carolina. The NCAA at first decided to ignore it, but when forced to revisit the issue they seem to have done so with force. The notice of allegations has just been released, and it contains five separate "severe" violations, most of which are backed up by assertions of dozens of different incidents they encompass.
This will be the first truly major case since the NCAA moved away from calling everything from SMU to stretchgate "major" violations and implemented a four-level system. North Carolina is likely to admit lots and lots of "severe breach of conduct." The penalty guidelines for level 1 violations include:
- 1-2 years of postseason ban
- loss of 12.5% to 25% of scholarships
- up to a half-year ban on a head coach
If the violations are deemed to have induced "aggravation" those penalties can double, and if they stack… hoo boy. The NCAA would be well within its rights to bomb UNC's major sports into the stone age.
Will they? I doubt it.
I'm not really paying attention to this any more. Phil Steele's All Big Ten teams are… well, there's a lot of them. They don't seem that accurate:
The Wolverines did have a few All-Big Ten honorees, however, led by senior linebacker Joe Bolden. Bolden, who broke the 100-tackle mark last season, is a second-team All-Big Ten pick, per Steele.
Linebacker Desmond Morgan (third), offensive guard Kyle Kalis (third), wide receiver Amara Darboh (fourth), defensive back Jabrill Peppers (fourth) and punter Blake O'Neill (fourth) also received mention.
Just from a Michigan perspective, no Jourdan Lewis, no Jarrod Wilson, and Kalis over Glasgow make me wonder if Steele does much more than look at stats and recruiting rankings and guess. (He also does the irritating thing where he throws corners and safeties into the same bucket of defensive backs.)
Ratings up. If softball seems like a bigger deal than it did a few years ago, you aren't alone:
ESPN saw record viewership for the 2015 Women’s College World Series, notching its top two most-viewed Women’s College World Series bracket round games ever this past weekend. LSU/Michigan on Sunday averaged 1,950,000 viewers for the company while UCLA/Auburn on Saturday drew 1,612,000 viewers. Overall, the 2015 Women’s College World Series bracket round (May 28-31) averaged 1,055,000 viewers. Meanwhile, the 2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Finals Game 1 on Monday drew a 1.0 overnight rating, which is tied for the highest-rated WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 on record (since 2007) and a 43% increase (0.7 overnight) from 2014 WCWS Championship Finals Game 1.
The final two games may have beat that admittedly short-lived record.
Bracing? ISS has its final draft rankings out:
Final @ISShockey rankings for upcoming NHL draft: U-M D Zach Werenski is No.11 and F Kyle Connor (U-M commit) is No.13.
— George Sipple (@GeorgeSipple) June 2, 2015
Hopefully neither of those guys ends up in the wrong place. IE: The Kings or a like organization that doesn't want their guys to play college.
Etc.: In expected news, JT Compher is your hockey captain. Incoming forward Brendan Warren profiled. I could describe a great deal of commentators as "continual boofheads." AFC Ann Arbor origin story. You can chat with Stauskas and Beilein, get autographs and the like, for #chadtough.
Ace: Inspired by the spirited Twitter debate over Phil Steele's preseason All-Big Ten teams: If you could take one player from another Big Ten program's roster and put him on Michigan for 2015, who would you choose?
Ace: [immediately claims Joey Bosa.]
Adam: There goes my first choice. I'll take Shilique Calhoun and write it up later.
Seth: Dangit you guys…
BiSB: Are you allowed to do that?
Alex: I'll take my brother Connor. Mostly because it would hurt State a lot.
BiSB: Connor C—
Alex: Too late!
Dave: While taking an Ohio State QB/anything is probably the right answer, this is a hipster blog which prides itself in bucking conventional wisdom!
|The book on Carroo was he would go off on teams without a pass defense and get shut down by those who had one. Then Rutgers joined the Big Ten. [MyCentralNJ.com]|
Let's say that Jake Rudock is not only competent but was held back by the Iowan offensive coaching ineptitude. Let's also say that Tim Drevno finally unlocks Ben Braden's mammoth-sized potential. Now, perhaps Michigan finally has a plausible running game! (Wooooo, I kinda like this game!) Now, who would benefit Ru-Baugh and Co the most? Why, its Leonte Carroo, of course!
Carroo is a senior WR for Rutgers who interestingly chose one more year in Piscataway over trying his luck in the NFL. As long as he stays healthy -and Rutgers finds someone to consistely get him the ball- Leonte has a grand opportunity to be All-Big Ten. At 6'1" 205, he definitely has the size. He's also been clocked between 4.4-4.5 in the 40, which suggests he has enough speed. Last season, Carroo tallied 1,086 yards on 55 catches for 10 TDs.
The biggest thing that Leonte Carroo would bring to Michigan—aside from being one the Big Ten's top returning WRs- is that he would provide a playmaker opposite of Amara Darboh. While we all hope for Darboh to make a Hemingway-like leap, he probably is best fit as a possession-like, Avant-molded, second banana. Carroo and Darboh—with Butt moved around in various schemes—would allow Harbaugh to attack defenses with multiple proven passing targets...not to mention giving Rudock one more game-changer to take him from competent to explosive.
Sure, sure...a Heisman-contending QB is an ok choice, I guess. Or a first round, unblockable DE is fine, too. But don't sleep on what Leonte Carroo...can do...for you!
Seth: Aaaand there's the Rutgers content. Looks like the Internet is burning after all Ace.
[After the jump: Picks, snark, more Simpsons references, I swear this is totally NOT Draftageddon]
One last cheesy sprinkle to remember:
As if we'd ever forget.
6/2/2015 – Michigan 1, Florida 0 – 60-7, Championship Series tied 1-1 (best of 3)
— Matt Lisle (@CoachLisle) June 3, 2015
I will get to what the ump called this later; it is up top for the visual: One of the two greatest Michigan softball teams in the history of a very good program is an inch away from something, and Florida, themselves one of the best teams ever assembled, huge, athletic, merciless, focused, defensive, is literally blocking Michigan's path.
This was a triumph. Everyone knew after Florida in the first game used Aleshia Ocasio, and relieved her with Delanie Gourley, that Player of the Year Lauren Haeger would get the melon—which looks more like an apple in her hands—in Game 2. Haeger throws as hard as anyone and has a kind of curve-change that complements it, but her primary weapon is that fastball has so much late life it's impossible to square, and even solidly hit balls die from that spin. It doesn't help that Florida's mechanical infielders are the best in the game at turning those goofy grounders into outs.
I'm making a note here: Huge Success. Sierra Lawrence welcomed Haeger by slapping a leadoff single through a left side playing tight on an 0-2 count, then beat out Florida's double-play attempt on Romero's grounder. Michigan then scored her on a single by Susalla. The rest of the night would be an all-out assault on that run. Sierra's nickname is "The Silent Assassin" because she steals third; last night her speed squeezed out a run when it seemed neither pitcher was going to give up any.
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction. Haylie Wagner staged her own assault. In the course of this season, which early on suffered the loss of fellow senior Sara Driesenga, the younger Megan Betsa has been Ace A and Wagner Ace B. Both have shone most brilliantly in relief of one another. Betsa pitched Game 1 of this series and as Ace mentioned yesterday, she was tentative. All day the Florida hitters (who drew over 100 hit-by-pitches this season) crowded the plate and Betsa threw away from them.
As she had in relief in Game 1, Wagner went right after them. Every once in awhile, usually whenever Haeger got to bat again, Florida would put a runner in scoring position and Haylie would pitch out of the jam.
These points of data make a beautiful line. The last such came in the 6th, when Florida got on with a bunt single with 1 out and Haeger coming up to bat. After two fouls (one to deep left, the other behind the catcher) fell just out of reach, Haeger connected and off the bat there was a sickening moment when you thought this was going to bloop over the infield. Instead it floated harmlessly into Romero's glove.
One more inning and two strikeouts later, Wagner had bought the Wolverines another 7 innings by adding 7 shutout frames to a current total of 0.00 runs in 20 innings in these WCWS.
That stat is downright insane considering over half of those innings have come against this lineup—Florida averaged 6 runs per game this year in the ur-pitcher conference, and was never shut out until Wagner did so last night. The rest of those innings were against the just-as-scary LSU, and UCLA. To put this in perspective, the football equivalent would be a defense going up against Oregon, Baylor, Ohio State, then Ohio State again, and giving up just a handful of missed field goals. If there's a better offense the lefty hasn't mowed down the last two weeks, it's only because it's on her side.
[Highlights from MGoBlue's janky video.]
We do what we must because we can. It was the third time these two teams played a dramatic 1-run game this year, and the first bears mention. It was Michigan's first game, Florida's second. Ocasio struck out 10 in that game, but Wagner kept #1 Florida to one run—off the bat of Lauren Haeger of course.
In the top half of the final inning, down to their last strike, Michigan tied it on a Christner double into right-centerfield gap. Wagner pinch-hit and, eerily similar to game 1 of this series, hit a deep fly ball that missed the foul pole by inches before getting out. In the bottom, Wagner walked the first two batters, and Florida bunted them over. Florida brought in a pinch-hitter who knocked what appeared to be a game-winning 3-run homer, except the Gators didn't properly inform the umpires she was being reinserted (they'd taken her out for a defensive replacement in the 6th). The home run was removed on the technicality. Then Wagner threw a wild pitch that ended both the game and the controversy.
At the time the Florida loss was the reason Michigan couldn't claim #1 even after romping through the rest of that month. A softball season at Michigan is kind of like a Wichita State basketball or Boise State football one: they play the first six weeks on the road in tournaments the southern teams schedule earlier and earlier (this game was on February 7th) because they can. Michigan tries to cram as many big wins as possible into that because the Big Ten season is mostly a "don't screw this up" marathon before the postseason.
For the good of all of us (except the ones who are dead). Was everybody kind of annoyed that Florida's players got a cut-video on ESPN doing a Gator chompy version of our "It's great… to be…" cheer? On one hand and 4/5 of the remaining fingers, the cheer doesn't have anything particularly applicable to Michigan except an arrogant tone, and the meter's just a liiiiitle not quite right for the lyrics, and we apparently stole it from Auburn in the 1980s, and certainly lately even when it's correct it's really not:
As long as we keep screaming we don't have to talk about how we nearly botched that two-minute drill.
On the last finger, they played that cheer with zero acknowledgement that Florida was appropriating the other team's thing. I guess anyone who would get the joke got it, and anyone who wouldn't probably thinks the Florida Gators have an arrogant cheer they're a syllable too short to be using.
[UPDATE: A guy in the comments claims Florida has been doing it since the 1960s. I'm not sure I'd trust half of what any Gator says, but the hand in favor of this cheer is down to a pinky nub].
I'm not even angry. On the blown call, I think John U. Bacon nailed the problem:
Another great game, Michigan v. Florida. But ump blew obstruction call at third. Why mic them? Knowing their mic'ed, they'd never admit it.
— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) June 3, 2015
Other than some Florida/SEC partisans who'd believe in whatever cake serves their interests, the public was in pretty strong agreement that obstruction call, the difference between a runner on 3rd with Christner coming to bat and going into the 6th up 1-0 with Haeger due up, was blown.
I was a softball IM umpire, which is about as relevant to the Championship Series as a little league ump's experience would be to MLB, but two things I'm pretty certain are universal across the sport are 1) how obstruction is called, and 2) you never tell a fellow umpire they blew the call unless you're certain. If you're told you blew something you respect that—this is your chance to not look like a fool or become part of the game.
The umps were mic'ed so we got to hear the field umpire come in and advise the plate ump she had obstruction, and the plate umpire respond harshly "I didn't have obstruction." I bet you a delicious chocolate cake if the country isn't listening in on the huddle that ump takes the get out of jail free card. Instead he sticks with his call so he's not the guy getting corrected on ESPN. Fortunately it didn't affect the outcome.
Other than that, and kind of a muddy outside corner both teams have been taking advantage of, the umpiring has been excellent so I'm willing to give him a mulligan on this.
Anyway this cake is great; it's so delicious and moist. Florida didn't take a loss until 26 games after the close brush with Michigan; in that loss then-#2 LSU put up 9 runs in the 1st inning and the Gators came back to tie it 10-10 before losing 14-10.
As you've seen the last two evenings, Michigan and Florida are pretty evenly matched, which is incredible if you've spent the last several years hearing how Florida is the kind of softball team a scientific testing facility would assemble if given unlimited time and resources to manipulate human bodies for maximum softball output. The prevailing wisdom had them winning the national championship this year even before they did last year.
Michigan may be frustrating to them, but it's not plucky upset frustration so much as why do these teams both have to exist the same season!? As a fan you're terrified of everything but to the softball world Michigan is nearly as much a juggernaut, the Brady to their Manning, the Ali to their Frazier, the Nadal the world was crying for since the moment Federer ascended to the top of it. The season until now was hardly preliminary, but exactly nobody is surprised it will end in a game between the Gators and Wolverines.
And end it will. By the time the Earth has spun half-way around today Wagner's streak and Haeger being allowed to play against college students, and the careers of Wagner and Lauren Sweet (we'll wait and see if Driesenga gets a medshirt), and Romero's record-obliterating season will be something to remember instead of live. The expectation was for this year to come down to these colossi, and all promises were kept.
|What:||Michigan vs. Florida Game 3 for the National Championship|
|When:||Tonight, 8 ET|
|Where to watch:||ESPN|
THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING
ENRICHMENT CENTER ACTIVITY!!
Can you describe the incident from your point of view?
I was aware I was not aware of a situation that may or may not have developed near the Legos.
There was a small child in the aisle who was playing with a sample set of your newest product.
FunShards. Could you describe FunShards?
It's a agglomerated unit of lego fragments or "Fraggers™" deployed for maximum funization. Our current retail activation is just $19.99 for a FunPile™!
It sounds like this is just a pile of sharp plastic fragments.
Parents have always had to worry about whether their child will break their toys moments after they open them. Not at Toys R Us, where our motto is "we break the unbroken."
Does it bother you that that kind of motto is something that the Nazis definitely would have used if they had any MBAs?
Great question, Drew. Great question.
If we can get back to the incident. The child was in the aisle, playing with a sample of your jagged shards of plastic…
"Jaggies™" were given an award by the Underwriters Laboratory.
I thought they were Fraggers?
Oh no, Fraggers are totally different. Fraggers are agglomerated units of lego fragments.
What was this award for?
It was in fact for "Least Good Idea Ever."
That doesn't seem to be a question.
The child was in the aisle, playing with some Jaggies, when your new mascot appeared and… let me just get the police report out… "unrolled his three-foot-long, pestilential tongue while its pus-filled eyes popped out of its sockets."
ScareBear™ is a revolutionary innovation in the mascot field.
The child naturally bolted, except he was standing on bits of broken lego. He fell to the ground. When he got back up he was… "bleeding profusely and covered in plastic shrapnel," says this uncommonly evocative police report. What was your reaction to this sight?
He seemed fine.
He passed out in a pile of plastic and his own vomit.
I guess we'll get the backup kid out here.
This police report says you told them the kid was completely uninjured and totally fine.
In my experience over the last four years, most children are covered in shards of lego, bleeding, and unconscious.
Do you remember anything before the last four years?
Please… please kill me.
It's all in the statement.
You seemed to have a moment of lucidity in which you asked us to murder you.
It's all in the statement.
We haven't received a statement.
Just use the one from the last time this happened.
We haven't received that one either.
JUST USE ANY OF THEM FROM ANY OF THE INCIDENTS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE PAST
IS THIS HELL WHAT DID I DO I JUST SIGNED UP FOR A CRAPPY MINIMUM WAGE JOB AND NOW EVERY DAY IS BLEEDING VOMIT CHILD FOLLOWED BY BLEEDING VOMIT CHILD PRESS CONFERENCE
I MUST BE IN HELL THIS IS WHY I CAN'T DIE NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY
On the bright side, at least you've been immortalized in Toys R Us's latest product?
Drew. Drew, come here. Drew, you've called me a Nazi at a bleeding vomit child press conference every day for the last four years. Drew, I am a Nazi. I do not have any arms or opposable hooves or anything with which I can self-harm. Drew, I need you to strangle me to death. We've been through so much together.
Don't tell him. Drew, don't tell him.
Don't tell me what?
Geoffery, I strangled you to death yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that.
So this is hell.
This is hell.
I discover this every day.
You discover this every day.
Who could have devised such a diabolical punishment for a simple giraffe who only wanted to eat acacia trees?
He goes by many names.
Michigan fans have been hankering for a big commitment, and they got one this evening in both figurative and literal fashion. Cass Tech OG/DT Michael Onwenu became the seventh commitment for the class of 2016; he'll either be M's second offensive line commit, as most expect, or their first in the trenches on defense.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the post.]
When Haylie Wagner was a freshman Brian and I met for a softball game and discussed how we're going to make an indie football preview book. At the time he said the problem with softball is the pitchers are so dominant that games end 1-0, and Exhibit A was this freshman pitcher before us, one of two such luxuries (Driesenga) on that team, mowing down overmatched hitters with her nasty lefty stuff.
Tonight, in a year hitting came back like it was 1920, facing the Babe Ruth of softball, Michigan plated its first batter and Haylie pitched seven shutout innings to put Michigan one win away from a national championship.
And you can't have one without the other…
See you tomorrow at 8.