mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
Wonder what Jimmah Clausen did on his bye week? Wonder no more!
Taser ends emu scamper on Pennsylvania Turnpike
It’s not fall if college football players aren’t getting tasered in hilarious places. Listen not to suggestions this was a “bird native to Australia” that got loose. It’s a all a diabolical coverup, I say.
Aw, come on now. Marcus Witherspoon isn’t going to play for Michigan because of Clearinghouse issues he claimed he did not have. This is irritating, but there’s little Michigan can do in this situation; it’s down to the high school and the NCAA.
So I would normally find this dubious:
Looks like Spoon might have got a raw deal. He didn't find out about his ineligibilty until July 28 - although it's not uncommon for the NCAA Clearinghouse to take until mid-August sometimes to determine if a student-athlete can compete.
The way Spoon's father talks, it looks like Michigan dropped the ball and something could have been done a lot sooner.
…except last year we found out that Artis Chambers was ineligible four games into the season and the kid had to sit out the rest of the year because someone in Michigan’s athletic department screwed up. This year, Michigan loses a highly-rated player who could have been the edge-rushing defensive end they badly need. What’s going on?
Practicing. Five minutes of stuff from practice:
Not useful or anything, but I watched it. For some reason it’s deeply interesting.
Ach nae goot. Guy comes to America from Scotland, falls in love with college football, compares it to Eurosport:
There is, in that sense, permanence to college football that is comparable to European soccer or rugby. True, sports teams in Europe have owners, but their sides are held in trust, beholden to the supporters and the communities that hold them dear. It is all but unthinkable that their teams could be moved as a result of an owner’s whim. Even in an age in which sport has become big business, there’s an identity and belonging that endures, rooted in a keen sense of place. College fans know this feeling, because it is their feeling too.
I’ve suggested this before during my periodic justifications for my (largely international) soccer fandom, and co-sign with this guy. BONUS: He misspells “Weis” as “Weiss”!
DOUBLE BONUS: Awesome comment in the, uh, comments:
It's no surprise that a Scotsman took to college football. It's as close as spectator sports gets to highland clan warfare.
I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.
Buried in a must-read piece by Orson on the decrepit glory that is Miami is a paragraph I found bizarrely relevant:
To someone like us, watching this from any number of houses in stops around the Sun Belt, Miami was a truly compelling beast: a program seemingly carved from nothing and featuring players recruited from what we now know as some of the poorest, most violent, and dead-end neighborhoods in Florida: Pahokee, Belle Glade, Liberty City..even when they beat Florida, and oh holy hell, have they beaten Florida in numerous, painful variations, it was impossible not to respect the anger, the rage, the bone-shattering violence their football teams played with: Ray Lewis, who played football to erase the records of his absent father; Warren Sapp, who barreled his way out of BFE Apopka to the U; Michael Irvin, who before he was a punchline was an indestructible receiver across the middle who came from the bowels of Fort Lauderdale and was one of 17 children; Ed Reed, who came from St. Rose, Louisiana, who put his heart in this shit, man.
Pahokee and Apopka have contributed four players to Rodriguez’s first two recruiting classes: Martavious Odoms, Brandin Hawthorne, Vincent Smith, and Jeremy Gallon. Three of those players are lightning dwarves, the fourth an outside linebacker.
Michigan isn’t going to turn into Miami—none but Miami can be Miami—but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the culture of the program is changing. Whether for good or bad is yet to be seen; it’ll probably be both.
Orson brought up Pahokee and the Muck earlier this year when US Sugar sold the land to the government and pulled up stakes, stripping the already poverty-stricken region of its primary industry, claiming that people would drift away and football in the Muck would lose it’s heritage.
A couple days ago I brought this up to a guy who covers high school football in the area, and he dismissed it, saying “they’re too poor to move.” Culture shock ho. Odoms, at least, seems to be fitting in well enough to tell his former teammates to go north, you men.
It was ugly, but we’ll take it. Wolverine Historian recaps last year’s Illinois game:
Here’s to ugly victories. May there be several this year.
It's not my fault. Okay, so I'm logging on to facebook to play Scrabulous when I see this new feature they've implemented that lists a bunch of people you have mutual friends with, the hypothesis being that if you know a bunch of people person X also knows you probably know person X.
Yeah... not so much:
I make it a strict policy never to dive into players' Facebook accounts ever since I think I got Marques Slocum suspended by pointing at his profile for injury information, prompting Orson to unearth the infamous/awesome "Fuck Lion" survey. The internet had a good laugh, Marques got nominated for Sportshuman of the Year, and I may have in some small way contributed to The Horror. Good job, Brian.
Except... except... scroll down and, well... I have gone over this particular profile with a fine-toothed comb and found nothing more untoward than holy rippling pecs, Batman, and his eligibility has expired anyway, so...
This is Chris Graham trash-talking a goat.
Also there is this. If the internet was a woman I would buy it a diamond ring and then scream "I love this internetwoman" in some bird-laden piazza and internetwoman would be embarrassed until I showed her the rock. Because women just care about diamonds. That's what advertising says.
Uh... I have a number of West Virginia blogs in my feed reader and it's been interesting to see their expectations for the new kid-friendly coaching staff. Since they are college football fans and it is spring, they are giddy. But for weird reasons. See this item thrown in amongst a bunch of aspirations:
I want defensive coordinators to literally shit their pants on the opposing sidelines wondering about our next play call. I want 430+ yards a game. I want Pat White and Noel Devine to both be in New York when the Heisman Trophy is awarded.
West Virginia's yards per game the last two years: 456 and 461. To that blog's credit, the post before that one is cautious about the idea of West Virginia's new offense, but that stands alone in a sea of bubble screen hating, complaints about predictability, and exhortations to throw it over the middle.
Hey! They're just like us. Except their team finished 50th, 5th and15th in total offense the past two years while Michigan was 55th, 38th and 68th. It's surreal to see these guys complaining about "DickFraud" (LOL!!1!) like he's Mike Debord. "New emphasis on passing" helps Pat White "progress" is the line being provided by the coaching staff, as if it's not natural for quarterbacks, especially running quarterbacks, to rely more on their arm as they age. As if Rodriguez never had Shaun King or Woody Danztler. As if a new emphasis on passing is necessarily a good idea when you average 6.15(!!!) yards per carry.
Yeah, Pat White got hurt and that cost West Virginia dearly, but you know what also gets people hurt? Hits in the pocket when your right tackle whiffs a block.
Jimmah! ... should probably just wear hats. The whole hair thing is not working out for him:
Zip. RB/slot recruit Michael Shaw is fast:
Event 2 Boys 100 Meter Dash Durham
Meet: m 10.20 1978 Eric Brown, Hampton VA
Nike Qualify: N 10.73
Name Year School Finals Wind Points
1 Shaw, Michael Trotwood Mad 10.39 4.9 10
2 Benton, Travis Redan HS 10.54 4.9 8
3 Spreads, Dantwan Dutchtown HS 10.67 4.9 6
4 Marshall, Brian Ooltewah 10.73 4.9 5
He is also fast:
Event 6 Boys 200 Meter Dash
Meet: m 20.90 1988 Kerry Wooden, Newport VA
Nike Qualify: N 21.69
Name Year School Finals Wind Points
1 Shaw, Michael Trotwood Mad 21.30 2.2 10
2 Myricks, Johnny Ooltewah 21.94 2.2 8
3 Seamster, Sammy Ooltewah 21.97 2.2 6
4 Boyce, Derek Webb School 22.24 2.2 5
The 100-meter time is a hundredth away from the Ohio state record, by the way. Also, "Sammy Seamster" and "Dantwan Spreads" are awesome names, as is "Ooltewah."
Ha-ha. The only thing basketball can possibly give me is schadefreude:
Bye-Bye Beverley? - That's the jarring headline of Brandon Marcello's latest Slophouse blog entry. According to the post, Patrick has been making some comments on his Facebook page that could lead some to believe that he won't be with the Hogs next season, including "I
Rumors of an unfortunate nature. This is always a fine line to walk, but I think both of these nasty football-related items have tripped the threshold of credibility and should thus be reported. Keep in mind that the following are rumors of the message board variety, though they're ones that have multiple credible sources:
- Kevin Grady tore his ACL and will miss the 2007 season.
- Carlos Brown has been absent from practice for the past week and is likely to transfer to an SEC school so he can play running back.
As always, there is a nonzero chance both of these things are false, especially the latter since there is a chance Brown could change his mind. (It's unlikely a hypothetically torn Grady ACL leaps into self-mending action.)
There is a possibility that Nasty Happening #1 helps convince Brown to forgo Nasty Happening #2 since he'd be third string at worst this year with an eye on moving up, but that's widely regarded as a longshot. Those prone to gnash teeth at every departure of a "speed back" Michigan can't fathom using properly will do so here, but Brown was beaten out by a player in his recruiting class who showed some explosive speed of his own on a couple long runs. If he's really dead-set on being a running back he's probably wise to do it elsewhere.
The wider view: yuck. The losses are piling up this offseason. To date only one projected starter, Carson Butler, is gone, but Michigan is now dangerously thin at many positions. The backup QB is a true freshman. There are two tailbacks on the roster (a third joins this fall). The starting fullback is a true freshman. There's one tight end with a snap's worth of experience. There are only four defensive ends. While we haven't sustained major damage yet, our shields are down and the next concussion missile is destined for our hull.
At least it will be louder maybe at some point in the future and stuff. The Daily has an interesting article on the possibility of luxury box renovations embiggening the volume level in Michigan Stadium. A university professor has been drafted to evaluate the changes and he came to a startling conclusion:
The University is working with Architecture Prof. Mojtaba Navvab - who was also a consultant on the acoustics of Hill Auditorium - to evaluate the acoustics of the renovation plans. During one game last fall, Navvab stood just off the 50 yard line and took readings of the noise level. He found that the volume ranged between 77 and 87 decibels - about the same noise level as a loud office.
Using computer models of the renovation plans, Navvab predicted that the volume in the stadium will increase to a range of 85 to 95 decibels - just under the volume of the inside of a New York City subway. That means the stadium would sound almost twice as loud as it does now.
That alone should swing the opinion of anyone who is still on the fence about the changes. (Decibels are a logarithmic measure of volume for anyone doing some subtraction and scratching their heads.) One suggestion: when you go to the trouble of creating a interesting and informative graphic, maybe you should make it bigger than this?
Bobble. Our new women's coach has been immortalized in the same fashion that Bill Laimbeer has:
(He's on the left.)
One of these things is not like the other. There are five people on an ESPN front page poll asking about the "most promising teenager" in sports. Four of them:
- The slam-dunk #1 and #2 picks in the upcoming NBA draft
- the NHL's youngest-ever winner of the Art Ross award, a guy who scored 120 points this year
- a two-time Grand Slam event winner and former WTA player of the year.
New blogs...? There are other things for you to examine this offseason written by Michigan students. Frequent commenter Colin has embarked on his own blogging enterprise (suggestion: adopt catchier name). Law student and former Detroit News columnist(? really? Suggestion for tons of traffic: dirt on Foster) Scott Warheit tackles mostly sports but occasionally hours of 24 at Quo Vadimus. And improbably-named freshman Ace Anbender covers the entire Detroit scene at the Ace of Sports.
Etc.: King Kaufman has an entertaining interview with blogger/author Derek Zumsteg. Branch falling in NFL drafters' eyes. Michigan Sports Center fisks Bob Becker like whoah. The NHL press is really hammering this Marty Turco, choker thing. Simmons on NBA tanking -- I'm a sucker for weird proposals to fix sports.
Talking. Myself on Sports Bloggers Live yesterday. Firefox-incompatible.
No mo' Morris. Freshman wing K'len Morris will undergo shoulder surgery, miss the rest of the season, and apply for a medical redshirt. He should get one, as he appeared in only seven games -- NCAA guidelines state a player has to appear in 20% or fewer of his team's games. Michigan should clear its 35th in the Big Ten Tournament.
Bye, bye Kerry. Michigan recruitniks are probably familiar with Cincinnati Colerain, the southern Ohio powerhouse that's given Michigan the services of Cobrani Mixon (redshirted) and Mister Simpson (redshirted, then transferred to Cinci) over the past two years. Their coach, Kerry Coombs, has just been hired by new Bearcats coach Brian Kelly to coach defensive backs. This is good and bad. Coombs brought his entire team to the Michigan camp every year and often gave Michigan a shot at his top players. That's unlikely to continue. But Coombs may prove a thorn in Ohio State's side when it comes to the Cincinnati area. Respected Buckeyeplanet insider Honor & Glory says that he expects top-100 safety recruit Eugene Clifford to follow his coach:
Coombs has not taken the job...yet. If he does, I fully expect Clifford to de-commit and follow his h.s. coach to UC. I also would lay even money that Ben Martin heads to UC...
Martin, also a Cincinnati kid, is a defensive end who the #1 prospect in Ohio. He's reportedly choosing between OSU and ND.
No one paid UC's move to the Big East much mind when it happened, as the new conference looked like Conference USA with a BCS bid, but with the emergence of Louisville and WVU into quasi-national powers, Schiano driving Rutgers to unprecedented heights, and a promising upstart in South Florida, the Big East suddenly looks very legit indeed. For the first time in its history OSU may have to fight an instate school for prestige and recruits, and while this would be a strictly little-brother scenario similar to the Michigan-MSU dynamic, sometimes little brother is annoying. TJ Duckett and Charles Rogers come to mind.
Jimmah! I don't want to pretend this is conclusive, but Clausen's Oaks Christian team won their state championship 27-20 in OT. Jimmah's contribution was three interceptions, 94 passing yards, and some mildly bad behavior:
The only real pregame noise came from Clausen, who ran to midfield and pointed and shouted at the Cardinal Newman kids before the opening kickoff.
The kid has a swagger. The kid also has a quick trigger, throwing a bullet 17-yard pass to Marshall Jones for a touchdown on the game's first possession.
But the kid also is impatient. Cardinal Newman dropped eight guys off the line of scrimmage, and forced him to find an opening, and he couldn't.
And the kid has a temper, as we saw when he scolded receivers for not catching some of his high-and-wide passes.
More fuel for the theory that Clausen is virtually untested heading to Notre Dame and is extremely likely to disappoint. Bullets:
- He plays on an all-star team at a tiny private school; his opponents are likewise tiny.
- He's 19 already.
- His parents are crazy and have raised him to quarterback.
So no one really knows how he'll react under pressure or when there are players within 10 yards of his receivers. As an overage kid who's been coached since six, he's closer to his ceiling than anyone else entering college. All we really know is that Clausen throws a beautiful ball in 7-on-7 passing drills and gets really bad advice about his hair. Powlus redux? (Please remember that Powlus wasn't awful, but he wasn't any better than average, either.)
Etc.:Interesting article on this Chuck Neinas guy, a coaching headhunter. Rakes has some season awards to hand out. You might recognize something. Rose Bowl thing from MSNBC. Apparently our offense is a lot like USC's. You are reading the fourth most important thing in the universe*.
**(college football blogging)