|1 week 6 days ago||Incoming Rant||
Yep, some stats-minded folks do disagree with the concept of people playing better on certain nights and, therefore, in basketball for example, having a greater chance of scoring on any given shot compared to their baseline performance.
This is such utter crap I can't believe anyone takes it seriously. Look at the inverse case. Suppose someone finds out his wife has cancer ten minutes before the game. He plays poorly that night. Are the stats people saying that in the 4th quarter, game on the line, we should still give this devastated guy the ball because his poor game so far is just an aberration and he has the same chance to hit the game-winning shot tonight as he does any other night?
Of course not. That's absurd. Imagine if his hand was cut off. Should we still pass him the ball for the game-winning shot? No? But statistics! The point is, things like cut-off hands can change statistics. Inform them, really. And a mental state can inform statistics just as much as a physical one.
The same thing happens on the other end of the spectrum. Do you think it was just random chance that Landon Donovan scored two goals and had an assist in his first game back after being cut from the World Cup squad? That if you passed to Landon that game, you had just as much chance as any other game of getting a goal or an assist out of him?
If you think that, then let Tommy come back to your seat and hit you over the head with a balpeen hammer because you are a moron. Let me repeat. Total. Stinking. Crap. That whole no-hot-hand theory is just people trying to be cooler than other people and saying they know something you don't know, like people who enjoy dropping $400 on a bottle of wine they can't appreciate except insofar as it makes them feel superior to others.
|2 weeks 18 hours ago||Survive and advance||
Survive and advance, baby.
Only one thing to say about Belgium:
I believe that we will win!
|2 weeks 21 hours ago||Or||
Or maybe specifically _not_ in whatever currency Ghana uses.
Speculating here; I really don't know anything about Ghana's economy.
|2 weeks 22 hours ago||Yup||
Soaked field --> unpredictable results for everyone, individually and collectively. I don't like that going into today's game. Maybe if we were huge underdogs hoping for an equalizing factor, but we're not.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Seriously||
The point is that there could be an accurate, to-the-second accounting for time in a soccer match, and there isn't. FIFA doesn't want it, and a whole lot of traditionalist fans don't want it. So it doesn't get done.
But it's obvious that the timekeeping in soccer is done, at best, approximately.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Yup||
Completely agree. CONCACAF's surge is one of the reasons that this is the World Cup of World Cups.
Go CONCACAF! Obviously I'm hoping we make it 3 teams into the knockout rounds. And then I think we have a legitimate shot at 2 or even 3 teams in the quarters. Can you imagine 3 CONCACAF squads in the quarterfinals? Sepp Blatter's head might explode.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||He does||
He speaks English and has in some interviews. I'm sure he's more comfortable in German, though. Same thing goes for Brooks, btw.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||World Cup of World Cups||
What a World Cup so far! So many goals, so many story lines, so much beating of Ghana... seriously it's been a very entertaining World Cup.
My Top Five World Cup Moments So Far, if anyone cares. Obviously from my own perspective.
5. Ochoa's goalkeeping vs Brazil. A bit fortunate on some, perhaps, but you could also put it down to astute positioning.
4. Joel Campbell and the Ticos taking down Uruguay. Pura Vida!
3. Van Persie goal vs. Spain. Gorgeous. Also just the general Oranj demolishing of Spain.
2. Dempsey goal. Dazzling footwork
1. Brooks goal and his reaction. He looked like he thought he had left reality behind and couldn't find his footing in a new universe.
Honorable Mention: Pepe reaching Peak Pepe with his head butt.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||CONCACAF||
Got to say I'm pulling for Mexico. After CR's crazy upset in Group D, our win, Mexico's first win, I'd love to see CONCACAF just take an axe to the frozen mindset of everyone around the world with, say, a 2-1 Mexico win today. Would be so nice to see Brazil beaten at home by our 4th-place qualifier.
If John Brooks can dream, I can too, right?
|3 weeks 3 days ago||?||
Iran-Nigeria featured tons of possession by NIgeria. Not sure what you're looking for.
Go back and read Brian's own preview. He talks about how booting it upfield in this game could be forgiven because of Ghana's weaknesses and our strengths.
Now, yes. We should have had much more of the ball. No doubt. But we dropped our field general to the back line one minute into the game. We were intentionally playing a prevent defense, for better or worse. Just need to get better at it.
Second-worst display of soccer? Did you see Portugal? And no way this looked like a high school game. High school is Claudio Reyna in 2006 trying to play possession stupidly on the backline and giving up the critical goal when he got wtfpwnd by a tackle he thought wasn't coming. Major room for improvement on the US's part, but 3 points is 3 points.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Got to get better||
Yeah, got to get better with possession. No doubt. But I don't think we were as awful as people are saying. Just rather poor. Our Christmas tree defensive shape wasn't designed for optimal possession.
I hope that Portugal is smelling blood because they're a bunch of head-cases and if they come in overconfident, their frustration is going to be that much worse.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Agreed||
Agreed. Something about soccer and the World Cup - I think it's the magnitude of a goal - makes watching it in a public venue amazing. It's interesting. I love other sports too, but soccer's my number one favorite by far to watch in a crowd.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||And they get David||
And they get David Hasselhoff. Win-win!
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Pretty sure||
Pretty sure that's my favorite thing you've written, Brian, and you've written some good stuff.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Wow||
I thought the win was very much deserved. In the only five minutes of the game that we were trying to play offense, we scored two goals. We played defense for 85 minutes and didn't allow a goal until Fab J was caught sleeping. Possibly poor strategy on our part, but it worked for Argentina against BH the other day, and it almost worked for us. Not pretty on the field, but 3 points are beautiful in the books.
We were clearly the better team. Going into the game, we knew that Ghana had a very tough time generating goals through possession - especially possessions where they couldn't come through the middle. They're a counterattacking team. I don't really have a problem with trying to play prevent for 90 minutes when a team is so dependent on the counter as Ghana. They were stymied. Even in the end, it was a poor play by us, not anything great by them, that got them the goal.
Yeah, I wish we would have had more of the ball. But with Bradley a) dropping all the way to the trunk on the Christmas tree after Dempsey's score and not looking to push forward much at all, and b) just not playing great even at that, I'm not surprised we had no possession. If you said that Jozy and Besler would go out injured and Bradley would have mediocre game at best, I would have doubted we'd win. But everyone else came through one way or another. Definitely deserved.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||BEAT GHANA!||
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Good to hear that about the||
Good to hear that about the Mexican fans. They should be thanking us for years to come.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Request||
Can you please quickly wish for all my students to pass their finals, the US to win tonight by like 4-0, and world peace?
Not necessarily in that order. But quickly, before your magic runs out.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||?||
Who in in the US starting lineup do you not think has the technical ability to punish Ghana? If Ghana gives us a ball the way Reyna gave them one in 2006, we certianly could punish that, especially with their lack of a world class keeper.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Costa Rica 30% to advance out of Group D?||
Hm. On the one hand, I think CONCACAF is slightly underrated overall. On the other, this just doesn't seem right. Uruguay, England, Italy, and you've got Costa Rica with a 30% chance to advance? 10% chance to win the group? I think you'd have to play that group more than ten times to get a time when Costa Rica wins it. Although England does strike me as overrated... just not by that much.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Black Stars||
Black Stars are on BeIn TV right now sticking it to the South Koreans. 2-0 at half. Ghana is looking very good, in my opinion. Gyan and both Ayews looking fierce.
I hate our draw.
Can I hire that witch doctor to transfer us to Group H?
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I wish||
I wish. But for a lot of reasons we're staying home. Real bummer is that my kids will be grown by the time the WC is anywhere that I want to go with them (2026). Unless Qatar is a revote - which I really hope it is.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Best performance by Beasley||
Best performance by Beasley for a long time. Thank goodness since there seems to be no alternative.
Bradley's best performance of the three send-off games by far. He was very impressive here. It's Michael's team now. Let's see what he can do with it.
People saying Dempsey was lazy: I didn't see it. Maybe he stopped pressing a bit in the second half during the span when Nigeria basically gave up. Dempsey has a good work rate overall, though.
Good stuff from Tim Howard, too. Couple nice saves today. America has always been fortunate to have excellent netminders.
And Jozy. An industrious game well-rewarded. Second goal was nasty. And you could tell he wanted to punch Jeremy Schaap in the face after the game.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Creativity||
He's (arguably) a better person to have up top of the diamond because we need someone to create chances for us. Like he did today with Altidore's second goal, and like he did against Turkey with Fabian Johnson's goal. That type of creativity is probably the most prized skill in all of soccer. Further pressing him into that No. 10 role is the fact that we don't really have anyone else who can do it, while we have several other guys who can play a holding mid or No. 6 role (albeit perhaps not all at the same skill level).
I said "arguably" in the first paragraph because there are people who think that Bradley is out of place up there. Alexi Lalas, I believe, was initially very critical of deploying Bradley up there. But Klinsmann obviously thinks otherwise. I wish JK would have put him up there sooner, actually.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||A||
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Population isn't the driving factor||
Population isn't a major consideration. Netherlands (population 17 million) has been a finalist three times in the last 45 years; China and India (population 17 gazillion) suck.
Population is a consideration, sure. But other things are more important.
Another factor - also not the most important, but a factor - is the US economy. It's tanking, and the tax climate is becoming more and more socialist. This will put the US more in the economic realm of Germany, England, Spain, etc. Meaning that economically, playing in the Bundesliga, Prem, La Liga etc. becomes more attractive financially than it has been previously for young, rising athletes. Will be interestig to see if that has any effect on pulling talent away from the major sports leagues here.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||A relatively brief reply||
Of course Atlas Shrugged would be relatively brief. Dude, long post. Good points though.
1) Bradley. Superb play at times, but I want him to be more consistent. He was the reason we looked rough at times against the Azeris (well that and they parked the bus). Much better tonight. He was The Man as we need him to be, for the most part. Crazy work rate. Some excellent first touches. But if he didn't have every third or fourth touch suddenly drop in quality, I'd be much more comfortable going into Brazil. Of course, that might mean he'd have to morph into Zidane or something, so maybe I'm asking too much.
2) Yes, I'm 90% sure we dropped the diamond and went back to a 4-2-3-1 with Bradley coming back. That shut down a lot of the deep runs out of midfield that Jones and the center backs couldn't stop when they were the only ones back there.
3) I think a lot of the complaints people are making about our backline are better directed at the midfield diamond and a lack of communication. It opened up holes that we didn't have a way to plug.
4) That said, I still very much worry about the outside back opposite Fab and the otuside mid/wing opposite Zusi. I just don't know who should be in those roles out of the 23 we have. I guess Beasley is our best option at LB. And... I can't even think about who should be in front of him. Too depressing.
5) Which brings up my last point, same as yours: Klinsmann has already made a serious coaching error in this Cup. His roster selection is terrible. We are the deepest we've ever been, but we have just as many, if not more, position questions on the eve of the Cup than we have have before (well, since 98, and don't even get me started about that...). Julian Green on this team is insulting. I can see leaving Johnson off for throwing his teammates under the bus if nothing else. But Donovan, Shea, Boyd, Agudelo... I wouldn't want Torres or Corona, both too weak... Klinsmann let his personal feelings get in the way of his job as a coach.
All that said, I did find today's game encouraging in a number of respects. We'll see what happens.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Except it really wasn't that||
Except it really wasn't that great of a cross. Turkey should have handled it without difficulty. But the defender completely muffed it. It was right on his feet and he just took a swing and missed. Turkey gave that goal to Dempsey, not Chandler.
Which is depressing because I was really, really hoping that Chandler could keep Beasley off the field in Brazil.
Now all our hopes rest on... Yedlin? Sigh. Looks like Beasley again.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Yes||
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Saw Ann B. Davis several||
Saw Ann B. Davis several times during my years in AA.
RIP Ann, you are missed.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Bradley||
Most worrisome thing for me was Bradley's relatively poor play. We need him to be The Man, and he wasn't last night. I still like the idea of him at the top of the diamond and Jones on a leash at #6. But he needs to be more creative there. He had some bad plays last night and nothing brilliant. True, he was in the mix on Mix's goal, but a bit more accuracy on his shot and the goal might have been his without the need for a fortunate rebound.
As a team, I thought the US looked solid. We outright dominated play, and there have been many World Cup send-off games where we looked much, much shakier than last night against equally poor competition. This is the most fundamentally and technically solid squad we've ever sent off to the Cup. Unfortunately it's also our toughest group (unless Portugal flames out like in 2002 and Ghana disappoints).
Left mid is a problem, but I still contend that Beasley is shaky at left back. I think the whole left side is suspect. If it's Beasley and Bedoya, teams are going to be attacking our left side all day long. No easy solutions for that with the current roster, but maybe if Chandler steps up something will unlock.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Briefly||
Briefly, the stoppage time at the end of the half and the end of the game is intended to make up for time spent on injuries etc. during the half. The amount of stoppage time is at the referee's discretion. So, in theory, you can't just stall by faking injuries or taking forever to throw the ball in because there's stoppage time to make up for the former and various penalties - yellow cards - to discourage the latter. However, in practice, teams can and do push the limits to burn time when they have the lead.
As for the part about stalling by passing the ball around for 30 minutes - sure. That's part of the game. Although no one can pass the ball around for 30 minutes without the other team touching it; that's way too long. Eventually the other team will start pressing you enough that the best option you have is to push it into the space on their backline, which often leads to shots too good to pass up. But teams can and do change formations and style of play once they go up 1-0 with the intention of bleeding out the clock.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Bedoya||
If he makes a couple more plays like that, I'll be very happy to have been wrong about him.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Lineup||
Per @USSoccer, tonight's lineup: Howard; Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Beasley; Jones, Zusi, Bedoya, Bradley; Dempsey, Altidore DOH - Dempsey out; Wondo in; groin sprain in warm-ups.
This is a fairly aggressive formation. A lot of people think that Bradley is going to be super effective up top of the midfield diamond, but there are a few who disagree. I like it, myself. I think Bedoya on the left is crap. I'd like to see any of three or four other players there. Also, Beasley worries me very much. IMO, the US needs to find a replacement for him.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||@CooperLily21||
Not sure exactly what you mean by all-World level skills, but Dempsey was one of the top goal scorers in all matches in the Premiereship a couple of years ago with Tottenham. And Altidore being one of the best players on the squad? Don't know where you heard that, but no, he's not. Bradley is pretty much universally acknolwedged as the best player on the team this year. Bradley did well in Serie A - far more than "barely being able to hack it in Europe."
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Statement||
2 goals and an assist, pretty much the definition of a statement game from the greatest US soccer player of all time. And the statement was, "Suck it, Jurgen."
As I said in my first post, I very much hope that Klinsmann proves me wrong and succeeds in Brazil. I hope he and the USA win the whole thing.
But this situation reeks of personality problems and ego issues. Extremely unlikely Klinsmann's son developed his antipathy for Landon on his own. And if that tweet was what came out in public, you can only imagine what's being said in that house in private.
No matter whether you think Landon should have been on the team or not, you can't be happy with the way that Klinsmann has handled this situation. It's a distraction and it opens him up to criticism and second-guessing. Not an easy situation he was dealt, but that's why he gets paid the megabucks. Klinsmann or someone should have figured out a better way to handle this.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||But...||
But you said the list is the same in every World Cup - which would imply that the Nertherlands didn''t merit serious consideration in the 70s or in 2010 if they don't now. But that's not true. My point is just that the list is mostly the same every year, but there is some variation year-to-year, enough to keep it interesting (to me, at least).
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Sure, pick on MLB||
How about a graph showing the NBA finals rating vs the NFL championship game? Probably need a logarithmic scale to get them on the same chart. :)
Also: MJ over Babe Ruth and Pele? Gonna have to check back in a century on that and see how he's doing. I don't think he'll surpass Ruth. I suppose he has a chance, though.
The real mitigating factor for the dismal NBA ratings is that ratings, viewership, and fractional shares are down across the board in (almost) everything for TV. People just have other stuff to do. They aren't even watching TV on TV anymore. And when they do, there are way, way more choices, so that splinters the audience. So the NBA could cling to that rationale. But, on the other hand, that NFL championship game sure has hung in there. And soccer ratings are soaring, even on a historical scale.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Hm||
So you're saying Belgium doesn't deserve serious consideration this year? But the Netherlands do? Nah. No doubt the World Cup Champs have come from a limited pool, but the turnover in that pool is around 20% each cycle.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||No kidding||
I didn't say he'd make their lineup. I said I'm not sure that Belgium has over 200 players better than 2014 Landon Donovan. They're going through a Golden Generation. It's brilliant, but not deep. Well, not _that_ deep.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Ah, ok||
I think I understand your point. Yeah, soccer's stature overall in US culture is nothing compared to... most other countries. I was in Greece the summer of '06 and I was in Costa Rica the summer of 01 when they qualified for the first time in a decade. Nothing like it here in the States.
Soccer's profile is increasing here, though. Way more of my students know Landon Donovan than Charles Woodson. I would say that Landon is, on a smaller scale, a transcendent figure the way LeBron, or Peyton Manning, or someone like that is, rising above fame just among sports fans to be famous among people in general. Maybe not people my age (I'm old). But my students - non-sports fans have heard of him. Not the way people in other countries have heard of footballers in those places, though.
These days I have just as many students, and just as vocal ones, who identify as Gunners/Chelsea/FCB fans vs Red Sox, Bruins, Steelers, etc. There was a girl walking down the hall of my high school the other day wearing a Chelsea FC hoodie. I have kids wearing MLS, Prem, La Liga (well, FCB mainly) shirts all the time. Still a long ways to go, but I'm not sure I ever imagined seeing what I'm seeing now.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||??||
Sorry for any formatting issues.
I'm pasting in the finals ratings year by year from 1988 - 2013. There is significant and persistent decline.
I'm also pasting in the regular season ratings from 1996 - 2007. Ratings were more than cut in half. ABC averaged a 2.9 in 2013, which was a decline from the previous year. There was a slight bump from 2007-2012.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Maybe||
Maybe. I'm not so sure Belgium, for example, has more than 200 players better than 2014 Landon Donovan. But maybe you just mean Spain, Germany, Brazil... I guess Argentina. Belgium is around a 20-1 favorite, though, and probably from Bruce's view that's looking like a very good shot (as an American fan, I'd certainly take it!).
And Bruce could well be exaggerating out of personal loyalty or gamesmanship, seeing as how he's LD's coach and all. On the other hand, we really haven't seen much of 2014 Landon. Bruce has seen a lot more than we have. It could also be that Bruce has seen something positive re-emerging in Landon's game and is just being fair, in which case his evaluation of talent should be ranked ahead of our own.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Genetics?||
Ok, I'll bite. What on earth do you mean when you say genetics is huring them?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||True to a limited point, but||
On the other hand, have you seen Jozy Altidore play lately?
I'm not saying Landon's as good as 2010 Landon, but come on, except for Bradley, who on the team is as good as 2010 Landon? If even Bradley. As Bruce Arena said, if you've got 23 players better than Landon, you've got a very good shot at winning the World Cup. Does anyone think that we've got a very good shot at winning the Cup?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Of course not||
Yeah, I didn't mean to be comparing Landon to Beckenbauer in terms of skill/impact/all-time greatness.
I just meant that leaving Landon off the US squad was more like Germany leaving Becknbauer off than Germany leaving Frings off. Of course Landon isn't Beckenbauer. I just meant that Donovan had a bigger stature relative to US soccer than Frings did relative to German soccer, if that makes sense.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Good points||
Good points about style of play. I would say this is more like leaving out Beckenbauer than Frings, though. You're probably right about Klinsmann's thinking. Seems like he should have more fully commiitted to this ultra-youth/pace movement before now, though. Missed opportunities in 12 and 13.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks!||
Thanks for this. Always good to hear a breaakdown from a knowledgeable source.
I think there's a good chance Beasley won't be starting, but I'm not sure that whoever is at left back will be that much better. More pace, maybe, but lacking in experience and decision-making. I also think that the US will have to win the middle of the field to win the game because the flanks are going to be a draw at best.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Yep||
Tell us about your team! Does Essien still have it? Boateng? Gyan?
And yeah, that's pretty much what I thought fans of opposing teams would say. Thing about Beasley is, he turned in some serviceable performances last year, surprising me. But yeah, if Beasley starts... probably not a good sign.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||You know, no||
People keep saying this, but I don't care one crap about players who will work their asses off for the United States of America. I want players who will score for the United States of America. Whether or not they work their asses off to do that or not, I could not care less.
If Wondolowski runs through a brick wall for Klinsy, whoop-dee-fricking-doo. I don't care at all. I'm not going to stand up and cheer like I did for Donovan over Algeria in 2010. No one is going to make a hit YouTube video out of millions of people across the country reacting to how hard Wondo is working.
I want the guys with the best chance of helping America win. No other criteria matter. Not how hard they work, not their race, not their country of origin, not their religion, not their anything else. That's one of the beautiful aspects of sports.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||I think JK is, in his mind,||
I think JK is, in his mind, doing everything to win now, not in 2018. That said, his mind doesn't quite seem to be aligned with what most other people are seeing. If he were thinking of 2018 instead of 2014, he should be fired on the spot.
I agree with you to some extent about the central D. Although if we were in, say Mexico's group, I'd still say we'd be favorites to make the round of 16, even with Besler and whoever. TBH I'm equally worried about the outside defenders. Beasley... can he really keep it up? He did all right in qualifying but constantly looked one play away from giving up a gamebreaker. And on the right... I don't even know. Midfield and goal are the most important positions in soccer, and we are solid there - our two traditional American strengths. But you gotta have something on D, and our guys scare me there.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Right there with ya,||
Right there with ya, buddy.
But then you see things like this http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2014/soccer/wires/05/23/2050.ap.soc.wcu... including the elder Klinsmann's reaction (obvious lies) and you think maybe the personality thing is what it's all about after all..And the German-American thing. I've read other explanations but none seem even 1/10 as likely as personal stuff.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||He wasn't gone 2 years||
Less than one year.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Bradley +1 (effective)||
Bradley just got things done. USA won their group last World Cup. Dramatic fashion, too, and Landon's goal vs. Algeria is one of the highlights of my life as a sports fan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbn3rOPmR9w
Not including Landon here is a mistake. I hope Klinsman proves me wrong, but this reeks of 1998. I mean... really. Have we seen anything to suggest that Johnson or Johansson or anyone else is going to threaten more from that spot than Donovan would? Is it reasonable to think that Klinsmann has seen it in the few dozen closed practices they've had this year? I don't think so. That's a huge gap to make up. Donovan isn't some A-Rod choke artist or Laudrup could-have-been. He's an absolute gamer who has performed at his best in this tournament. I don't get it.
|7 weeks 19 hours ago||That's impressive. Also, the||
That's impressive. Also, the 3.9 GPA is in biochemistry. Nice.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Yep||
I've seen it many times myself.
Summer camp is even worse. You get all these teachers who feel powerless and beaten down during the school year, and then in the summer they get some title like Director of K-2 Arts and Crafts, and then watch out, suddenly K-2 Arts and Crafts requires that the entire camp staff attends a two-hour peanut allergy seminar and when you bring your group to K-2 Arts and Crafts, the next thing you know the camp director is calling you into his office for inappropriate clothing, and then he laughs when he sees your Kappa shirt because that's what the K-2 Arts and Crafts Director reported you for...
Sorry. Not even a CSB. Just... holy schnikes yes, teachers who feel powerless are the worst sort of tyrants when they get even a smidge of power.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Not always the coaches||
Often it's the high school ADs. Also there are any number of administrative bodies that can pass laws or regulations that have direct effects on high school athletic rules, from the state legislature on down.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||As usual||
I agree with ijohnb. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say it defies belief that fan interest has maintained to the extent that it has. I can believe a lot, as Han Solo said, and this is a very, very popular tradition and brand we're talking about. And it was less than a decade ago that we were in the national title hunt until the last game of the year, so I guess I disagree with the idea that we haven't been legitimately competitive in the BCS era.
But none of that is the point. The point is that last year was UGLY, M football appears to be in bad shape - or horrible shape compared to 1969 - 2006, and that Hoke has at best a 50/50 shot to return if this year is as bad as last.
|9 weeks 1 hour ago||Inverse||
Your number of paragraph breaks is in inverse proportion to your wisdom.
It's true. Things are looking bad for the Michigan football program right now. Hoke doesn't seem to be up to the job, based on the three years he has turned in. 2011 is looking like more and more of a fluke. If I'm the AD, he's got one more year - this one, 2014 - and without 9-3 or better, perhaps 8-4 if it includes a win in The Game, then he's out.
Getting pasted by PSU on the recruiting trails is a bad, bad sign. I know, everyone but one team is getting beat by PSU right now on the 2015 trail. But not as badly as we are. This is embarrassing, frankly. This is Michigan, fergodsakes, and if _this_ is really Michigan, then fergodsakes we've got to do something to change it.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Guard's game||
It is great. It's a guard's game. You need some big men, no doubt, but if I had to pick which position to be stronger at, I'd pick guard every time.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||No thanks||
94 - Advanced out of the pool to the round of 16; lose to Brazil 1 - 0 in last game; finish 14/32
98 - Terrible WC, done after the group stage, 32 out of 32, boo Steve Sampson, the Wayne Fontes of Soccer.
02 - Advanced out of the pool, win a game over rival Mexico, make the quarterfinals of the tournament, lose 1-0 to Germany, finish 8/32
06 - Bad WC, done after the group stage, finish 25/32, boo Claudio 'Captain Giveaway' Reyna.
10 - Won our group, advanced to round of 16 only to lose to Ghana again to set up FIFA's dream media storyline group in 2014, finish 12/32.
So our average finish over the past twenty years has been around 18/32, and that's in spite of some arguably very bad draws and one horrible coaching selection. In this millennium, our average finish has been in the top half of the tournament. That's pretty decent, I'd say, and trending in the right direction.
If you're just looking to maximize WC output, I think you're far better served to stay in CONCACAF and make the tournament every time, gaining the maximum possible number of chances to do well, than to switch to CONMEBOL, make the tournament half the number of times, and hope for greater impact because you came through a tougher qualifying process. A tougher qualifying process and not making the tournament a few times arguably would decrease soccer quality in the US due to fans apathy and a void on the national stage.
tl;dr - Moving to CONMEBOL = BAD BAD BAD.
|10 weeks 12 hours ago||Some things never change||
I'm ancient ('93) but yeah, I agree. IIRC I took 186/285/286, and it seemed much better (harder, but more useful, and definitely more 'real' math) than the 115/116/215/216 series. I'm kind of surprised that the numbering system is still the same.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||We'll see||
I sure wouldn't say we're a lock for the Sweet 16. But I think we're one of the 16 best programs in the country, and while that doesn't mean every year you're going to finish in the top 16, I still think we have enough talent to make it happen in 2015.
Other teams in our league will improve, but not as much as we will, I think. Miles, Matta, baby Pitino - until they prove it, I'm going with the evidence that says Beilein is almost an order of magnitude better at developing talent. Maybe I'm just wearing my maize-colored glasses, but I don't think so.
The most important positions in college basketball are coach and point guard. I like us at those positions.
|10 weeks 6 days ago||Manchester||
|10 weeks 6 days ago||Sweet 16 is right; it's a guard's game||
Yeah. Given the coaching level and the known roster (Caris, Walton Jr., Irvin, Spike) plus the potential on the 'unkown' roster (Chatman, Donnal, et al) I really think Sweet 16 should be the expectation. Could we fall short? Sure. Duke, even without playing defense, should have made it further than they did this year (why do kids keep going there, anyway?). But Sweet 16 is a reasonable expectation, I think.
One thing that people are forgetting is that basketball is a guard's game. Big men rely on guards far more than guards rely on big men. We'd be in much, much worse shape if our perimeter and interior prospects were reversed.
|10 weeks 6 days ago||Great Future Moment||
I would love to be there on the day he makes his first basket in a game.
|12 weeks 12 hours ago||https://www.youtube.com/wat||
Surprised no one's posted this one yet. The goal is at 0:45 or something, but you want the reply that's about 1:20. Much more impressive on the replay. Insane? Well, it's got 6.5 million views.
Also, 'cause it's a World Cup year and all,
|12 weeks 2 days ago||Yep||
These studies are like academics arguing over whether some people are better at basketball than others or whether it's just statistically likely that some people make more shots than others.
|12 weeks 3 days ago||Yep||
Yep, Funk's not going to be a big enough fish to satisfy the ravening crowds if things go sour, and by sour I mean anything less than 4-1 in September. They'll go straight after Hoke, and to be honest, I probably will too.
|14 weeks 5 days ago||Blow it anyway||
What makes us think that Joe would do anything good with the pick anyway? Yes, it's a loaded draft, but this guy passed up Trey Burke et al. I really don't think anything matters until Dumars is gone (and maybe not until ownership changes).
If you're thinking that Dumars couldn't possibly miss in this draft, don't forget the Pistons' 1979 draft (http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_1979.html).
|14 weeks 5 days ago||Relegation||
Relegation avoids it. I freaking love relegation. The Lions would be playing in Thursday night semi-pro by now. God damn it I wish every league had relegation.
|14 weeks 5 days ago||My problem||
My problem, OP, is with your problem with the charge call. Well, the other stuff, too, but also with the charge call issue. "Getting to a spot" first _is_ defending. Basketball needs a lot more offensive fouls, not a lot fewer - or at least a lot more non-calls. Or a rule change. I'm sick of jumpshooters kicking their legs out, hitting a defensive guy, and getting a foul call - or similar plays where the shooter goes out of his way to initiate contact and then gets the call. Kaminsky got totally blown apart on one drive in the first half that was called a block that was just like WTF. If those calls were stopped or reversed, the game would be a lot more fun and a lot less frustrating to watch.
|14 weeks 5 days ago||Decent first half||
If I'm a Wildcat fan, I'm very nervous. Wisconsin didn't play well in that first half but is still only down by three. Also, Wisconsin got jobbed by the refs.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||WWL||
I just went through some of the stuff posted over at the World Wide Leader about the Tenn. game and holy schnikes, they love the Vols. It's like they're lobbying the NCAA to retroactively give Michigan an L and let the Vols play on Sunday. Every other sentence is Tennessee was so great, Tennessee was so amazing, Tennessee did exactly what they had to do but just didn't have time to come back, Michigan was luck yot hold on, Michigan got the benefit of the refs' calls and Tennessee was really fighting an uphill battle... sickening.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Kentucky||
Kentucky closing in on Louisville at the half... until Smith hits a ridiculous floater off the top of the backboard to stretch it back to a 3-point game.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Hope so||
For a long time in b-ball, I rooted for Sparty if they weren't playing us. Not anymore. Too much complaining, too much media slobber all over their whiny-ass hand-breaking weird-guy roster, too much Izzo going off the deep end. Go Huskies.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||37.5%||
Looking like the Elite Eight is going to be 37.5% B1G.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Yeah, this||
The only reason there's a question is because the Burke block blown call had a bigger negative impact.
Just on their own merits, I think it's pretty clear that the sideline OB call was a bigger travesty. I was on my knees banging my head on the floor. I will never know how they could give that ball to the Vols. The Burke call... not as clear a case. Although still pretty damn clear. But the one tonight, seriously, it makes me think I belong to another species or something because how could any human not understand the ball went out off Maymon?
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Survive||
Good thing Morgan works as a middle name because I'm going to have to name my next kid Jordan Morgan.
|15 weeks 1 hour ago||Thoughts: Denver did that to||
Thoughts: Denver did that to themselves. I'm sure it was a big oversight, but honestly they couldn't have done a better job trolling the conspiracy community, if that's what it's called, if they had tried. Apocalypse murals with gasmasks and Nazis? Random Mason statues? Come on.
|15 weeks 13 hours ago||Mitch guarding Morgan in practice||
My sister-in-law lives in Indianapolis. Apparently we had an open practice today, and she went. She says that Mitch was checking Morgan in the half-court but not doing any running. I'm a little skeptical that she might be confusing a shoot-around with a practice, but anyway there you have it.
|15 weeks 3 days ago||Out of touch - random thoughts||
I've been out of touch with my comics/gaming side for too long. Two kids under age five will do that. Anyway:
1) Bryan Singer as director doesn't make me excited. First X-Men were pretty good and overall well-done - but then Joss Whedon absolutely smoked everything remotely superhero with The Avengers (and the Buffy and Angel series before that, to be honest). Going to be tough to get behind a Marvel team movie without Whedon at the helm.
2) Is this going to fit in with the SHIELD/Avengers/Captain America/Thor/Hulk story semi-arc in the recent movies?
3) Why no Dr. Strange movie yet? Ok, I know that one. Still, it would be great.
4) Days of Future Past is an absolute fantastic story. If there's any X-Men story that needed to be made into a movie, it was this one. Very happy about this.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||HE KNOWS||
But in retrospect, really, WHAT DOESN'T HE KNOW?
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Not sure if you meant an /s||
Not sure if you meant an /s on there...
I love good defense, zone or not, and I love what it brings to the game.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Total consciousness.||
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Best part is, that didn't||
Best part is, that didn't even mess up my bracket too much because I had Duke losing to Michigan next week anyway.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||LOL Duke||
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Uphill||
Duke facing an uphill climb now.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Pass||
Coursey made that shot but if I were his teammate there I would have punched him for not passing it.
|15 weeks 6 days ago||Huh||
From what I've seen, Texas scares me more than either of Duke or Mercer.
|16 weeks 2 days ago||Lesson plan||
I'm scrapping my lesson plan for tomorrow. Down with Faraday's Law. I'm going with this.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Not impressed||
There hasn't been a real surprise in a Presidential election since Dewey vs Truman, and that one was predicted by Jimmy the Greek working out of a grocery store parking lot. I'm not impressed.
If Nate Silver could predict what was going to happen on the stock market, or which country is going to have the next violent or nonviolent revolution, or when cancer would be cured, or any other sort of black swan or singularity, then I'd be impressed. That's hard. James Simons, him I'm impressed with. Nate Silver, not so much.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||At least I have chicken.||
At least I have chicken.
|16 weeks 4 days ago||79-59||
They look like chumps who went undefeated in a conference that should be ranked below the MVC.
|16 weeks 4 days ago||Yep||
Good point. I mean, it was sort of a pick. But last time I checked you couldn't hug the guy you were picking.
|16 weeks 5 days ago||Outstanding. ESPN ought to||
Outstanding. ESPN ought to just go ahead and replace Olberman with Nik's girlfriend.
|17 weeks 2 days ago||Genius!||
You're right; it must be. And to think it was sitting there right in front of me this whole time.
|17 weeks 2 days ago||I found your data||
I found your data interesting. Thanks for compiling it!
|17 weeks 2 days ago||Physics: #11 Not bad,||
Not bad, although probably a tad overrated because of Gordon "I Predicted the Higgs Mass, really, I promise I did" Kane still garnering WAY more prestige than he deserves. We're #2 in the B1G behind the Illini at #9, which strikes me as about right. They're legit.
|17 weeks 3 days ago||Yep, I always felt bad for AD||
Yep, I always felt bad for AD too.
|17 weeks 3 days ago||+1 CSB||
That is awesome; thanks for sharing.
Yeah, it was terrible. The game 6 game-ending call against Laimbeer, when there was about two feet of air between him and Kareem, was the utmost in big-market bias. The mental toughness the Bad Boys showed to come back and win it all the next two years was amazing. Would have been so easy to pack it in and say, well, the deck is stacked against us so let's give up or get traded to big market teams.
As an aside, I truly believe the NBA's big-market bias is real. I posted on here a while ago a chart of all the championships from the four major sports leagues broken up between big-market (top-10) and small market teams since 1980. The NBA had a lot more lopsided results, in favor of the big markets.
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Seems pretty positive||
Seems pretty positive overall. Wasn't quite sure what he was saying about Gedeon - he seems to be calling out Mattison's evaluation of Gedeon vs Morgan. Can't say I'm trusting him over Mattison there. But... interesting, I guess.
|17 weeks 6 days ago||Yep. Voskuil.||
That's exactly who I was going to say.
|18 weeks 10 hours ago||Let's not get carried away.||
Let's not get carried away.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||We must have had the same||
We must have had the same teachers.
Did you watch Paddle to the Sea every year too?
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Love Yanks-Abroad. Definitely||
Love Yanks-Abroad. Definitely post the link here. Hopefully it won't be one giant Deuce troll face.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Yep||
Yeah, today it does. Defense has been a problem for a while though. It's just our thinnest talent pool, for whatever reason.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Wow that was bad. Defense||
Wow that was bad. Defense continues to be our problem.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Lineup||
Lineup looks interesting. Going to be fun to watch these friendlies. Deepest team in years. Still, though, I'm not sure we're Onyewu deep. Guess we'll find out.
|18 weeks 3 days ago||Yep||
Yeah, you know, I always see that, that they consider us a rival, and I say, "Wait, what?" and then I say, "Oh yeah, I remember that," and then I'm like, "Wait, what?" again. Just weird.
|18 weeks 5 days ago||Spike to the heart||
And you're to blame...
|18 weeks 5 days ago||My friend||
My friend posted on his Facebook at 6 am today: "Happy Izzo 1st, everyone!"
Posbang me while I look for some new friends!
|19 weeks 2 days ago||They just have to execute.||
They just have to execute.
|20 weeks 2 days ago||Funk||
I don't understand why Funk is still coaching here. That more than 2013's W-L record has me profoundly worried about Hoke. There might be a good reason. But it's hard to see. Basically, you have to say that Borges was so horrible that he overwhelmed Funk's excellence. That's possible. How possible is that? Somewhat, I guess, but it seems like a longshot.
|20 weeks 6 days ago||Makes sense||
They ain't come to play SCHOOL.
|21 weeks 15 hours ago||Lake Placid||
Up here we wish we had more snow. Last time I checked we weren't even at a hundred inches for the year yet.
|21 weeks 2 days ago||Go Erin!||
FWIW we live out here in Lake Placid, home of USA Luge, and have met Erin a couple times. Always very classy and has signed autographs for my 3-year-old daughter.
Cool story bro, I know, but it's fun knowing (or at least having met) so many Olympians, and I always enjoy rooting for the USA or any team more if I know that the people I'm rooting for aren't classless thugs.
|22 weeks 14 hours ago||Not really||
Believe what you like, but there's no significant danger.
Those links are silly. The first and third one are completely hearsay and admit it: "it was unclear exactly where the images come from."
The second one has severe methodology problems and makes the classic mistake of invoking Chernobyl. Chernobyl has killed fewer than 100 people, by the UN's own estimate, in almost thirty years. More people die from watching Wisconsin's offense every week. Fukushima was no Chernobyl.
|22 weeks 15 hours ago||What MattisonMan said. To me,||
What MattisonMan said. To me, he sounds like he needs more time. I think he should take it. If he's that talented, he can let people know in April and he'll be fine wherever he goes.
Also, granted my view is from 2 million light years away, but if my mom were as overbearing as his seems to be, I wouldn't go where she wanted just out of spite.
|22 weeks 21 hours ago||Actually, not much radiation at all||
FWI's comment is funny, though. But seriously, there's no reasonable fear of Japan as result of Fukushima.
|22 weeks 6 days ago||Huh||
Thanks for the data and graphs.
Since Wolfman's is the only other comment here, I'll add mine. I think you've got a useful and informative system here. Ironic that Wolfman calls for objectivity when all that you have done is objective. Good stuff.
|22 weeks 6 days ago||Yep||
Izzo pretty much has the award sewn up already since no other coach has had to play such weird guys.
|22 weeks 6 days ago||Zone, too||
Also some of those putbacks came when we tried out a 2-3 zone on a few possessions. We did not rebound well out of the zone and paid for it.
|22 weeks 6 days ago||Two||
We played some 2-3 zone, mainly in the second half IIRC, and we got killed on the boards when we did. I'd want to see the stats but it seemed like 50% of our 2-3 possessions ended in an oreb and putback.
|23 weeks 15 hours ago||Pretty good||
Definitely up the ACT by doing as much ACT prep as you can this spring, realistically doing 30 minutes a night in Kaplan/Princeton Review/etc books, maybe hire a tutor, definitely go to your school's prep class if they have one, join online review courses and seminars, review SAT/ACT forums, etc.
That said, I think you've got a reasonable chance even if your ACT doesn't go up. I've had students from New York City and upstate NY go to Michigan with scores of 30. It's a little hard to compare because the SAT and ACT scores are drifting upward a little bit each year.
Emphasize that you're from Tennessee. Geographical diversity is always an eye-catcher. In NYC, our college counselor used to tell parents the best thing you could do for your kids' admissions chances was to rent an apartment in Wyoming.
Don't put too much stock in your GPA. I mean, it's good, but something like 25-33% of Michigan's incoming freshmen had 4.0s in high school. Again, a 4.0 isn't what it used to be.
Also, try some open courses from UofM and talk about them (or similar things like at MIT's OpenCourse) somehow in your essay.
|23 weeks 18 hours ago||82-65||
And it's not that close. Purdue's offense is slower than Atlanta traffic until garbage time. Wolverines start fast to defiantly prove that they are not Buckeye/Badger home-upset patsies.
|23 weeks 22 hours ago||Unfortunately, yes||
Yeah, I have to agree with you there. I guess it's fortunate in this case that there is more than football to it. I mean, I look at point guards and wings who don't come to play for Beilein, and all I can think is, WTF are you serious? Why wouldn't you choose to learn from the Master? Have you seen his track record? So obviously that is not all there is to it. That said, I still don't think McDowell will go Blue, and if he does, it seems like his heart wouldn't be in it.
|23 weeks 1 day ago||Not officially, in most schools||
But unofficially, yeah, all the time, at least in NY. I'm a teacher and I text my students every so often during the school day, coordinating practice times, changing or answering homework questions, reminding them to bring in permission slips, etc. They also text me occasionally, and each other constantly, during the day. I'd say about half the coaches in my school use texting during the school day (not every day, but it's not uncommon either). Our official school policy is that kids can have cell phones at school but not in class. In practice, the kids have them all the time.
There are often tweets about our class during or immediately after class. I don't mind as long as it doesn't interrupt learning, which it doesn't. In fact, it's often hilarious and fun.
Not quite the same thing, but texting is a huge boon when you're trying to coordinate a team during a tournament or gameday and they're all spread out across a campus or athletic complex.
It's a whole new world!
|23 weeks 2 days ago||Halftime interview||
Even in a halftime interview, Izzo managed to sneak in a whine about not having his bigs. Instead, he has to play 'weird guys.' Wow.
|23 weeks 2 days ago||Excellent points about the||
Excellent points about the government destroying the 'free' market in these cases.
|23 weeks 2 days ago||There's a difference||
The NCAA has all kinds of coercive powers granted by government laws to its member universities. The Northwestern athletes have no such arsenal of government favoritism at their backs. That's not a level playing field.
|23 weeks 3 days ago||No work||
Sports people don't believe this, but working in the schools in New York - especially some of the fancy-dancy Gossip Girl-type schools in Manhattan - I have come to loath one sports myth over all others. Namely, the idea that people who are good at sports are just born that way, requiring no work, no practice, no thinking or planning.
There are a ton of people out here who believe that being good at sports is purely a matter of luck and how you're born, independent of any work you put in, and elite athletes don't deserve any credit or recognition because all they're doing is having fun playing a gam. It's difficult and sometiems impossible to convince headmasters otherwise, and they always look down on sports because of it. So irritating.
|23 weeks 5 days ago||Seriously||
Especially if you're a point guard, you pretty much deserve a slap if you pick anywhere other than Coach B's team. His development record is amazing.
|24 weeks 22 hours ago||Yeah||
The first thing that suggests to me is that there was a coaching problem. Combine that with the OC getting fired and... yeah.
|35 weeks 6 days ago||Whatever you've got||
Give me some of it.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||True||
And sometimes the reason is that they are a prick. It's rare. It sucks. But it happens; some people are just born that way.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||+1||
|36 weeks 2 days ago||My confidence in the||
My confidence in the direction of the program has already been shaken because of the way we've started this year. I don't doubt the program is heading in a better direction than it was from 2007-2010. But I don't think we're improving as rapidly as I had thought. Also, I admit to harboring some doubts about certain positions in the coaching staff, and I have certain systemic concerns caused by various program policies. Still, so much better than 2007-2010.
|36 weeks 3 days ago||Unfortunately||
I think if you've decided that McGary not playing a lot this season is a sufficient ledge-jumping condition, then you're jumping.
It doesn't look good. At this point, I would be more surprised to see him play 90% of the season than I would to see him never play a game again. I think it could be that bad. I think the most likely situation is that his back never is fully healthy, he plays limited minutes in less than half the games this year, his stock never recovers, and his NBA career is brief and unspectacular. Sorry to be so negative. I hope I'm wrong, and I don't think it's a slam dunk that he won't play at a high level again. He very well could. But this is ominous to me.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||20-13 State||
I hope I'm wrong.
Beginning of the year I thought 9-3 most likely. After ND and the way Sparty started the year, I thought 10-2 or even 11-1. I said that we'd for sure lose one of OSU, @NW, @MSU and a 50% chance we'd lose @PSU, Neb, @Iowa, so either 10-2 or 11-1. Alas, with the way we've played since ND, I'm thinking it much more likely that we lose two out of OSU, @NW, and @MSU. So, yeah, 9-3 with losses at Sparty, PSU, and home to Ohio. Le sigh.
But I hope I'm underestimating us.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||What Professor X said. Bando,||
What Professor X said.
Bando, seriously, I don't get your opposition. High school sports are fun. Are you saying it's creepy somehow to follow or enjoy activities or performances of people under 18 years old? Because, you know, Mozart, and things.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||NYS basketball is like that||
In New York, basketball is similar to that. There are three separate state tournaments. There's the public tournament, the independent non-religious tournament, and then the catholic tournament. However, there are only enough catholic schools in New York City, Long Island, and Buffalo to have a separate tourney, so the catholic teams in other places are (generally) accepted in the public tournament. There are separate divisions based on size and historic performance in each separate tourney. At the end, the top finishers in each tournament get together for a Federated Cup tournament. It's a hacked-together system that really favors the independent schools, and to a much lesser extent the catholic schools, at least as far as making the Federation finals (because they have a much smaller pool of schools to compete against).
It's not perfect by any means. Actually, it kind of stinks in a lot of ways. But I still prefer it to having 8 different state champions.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||Yes||
Yes, it's a topic of interest.
Here's my problem: too many divisions. At most there should be 4. How can you call yourself a state champion when there are eight others? Personally I would vote for two or three divisions, either large/small, or giant/large/small. 8 is just way too many.
Also, go Hematites.
|37 weeks 12 hours ago||What Don said.||
What Don said.
|37 weeks 12 hours ago||A little trickier||
A little trickier, I guess, sure. But as a parent myself - and maybe this is just my style of parenting - but on the overall trickiness scale, I'd give this about a 0.5 or 1 out of 10.
|37 weeks 1 day ago||GR3's got to start getting||
GR3's got to start getting headaches and sitting out like a wuss every time he plays his archrivals if he wants to ever truly be compared to Pippen.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||Yes||
I agree that both Miami and NCAA should be sent to some sort of purgatory.
I disagree about the 'poisoned tree' jurisprudence. One man's actions do not make another man guilty - nor do they exculpate him. So if the investigators broke the law, that doesn't mean the people they are investigating are innocent. It does mean that the investigators should be prosecuted and punished. The actual incentive at work under the 'poisoned tree' model isfor the investigated to provoke the investigators to break the law. A legal model that incentivizes more law-breaking is not a good model, in my opinion.
My prediction: moderate scholarship penalties, and by moderate I mean nothing even close to what Penn State got. Beyond that, nothing of consequence.
The NCAA is done. Until major reforms happen, it's a joke and will do nothing important or impactful, save through inaction and ineptness.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Maybe I wasn't clear. Of||
Maybe I wasn't clear. Of course there are things to learn. We don't know the future. Well, THE_KNOWLEDGE does. Except for him it's actually the past. Whatever.
My point is that it's silly to imply that we don't know a lot about a team by now, and it's equally silly to imply that we won't learn significant information about a team until the last few games of the year.
As for watching things without learning, I refer you to my students. They assure me that they repeatedly enjoy things that have no relation to learning whatsoever.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||I agree with you, but I also||
I agree with you, but I also like Young Geezy's answer.
This is just another example of the polls' inadequacy.
|37 weeks 4 days ago||+1||
The constant "we'll find out about this team in November" idea irritates me, too. Every year. The WWL guys are the worst at it. Constantly "we'll know more about this team next week" or the week after or the month after. They say it all year.
We know who this Michigan team is. They're a good team, not an elite team, who plays to the level of competition and suffers from youth in key spots.They're turnover prone, they have big play potential from their QB both positive and negative, they lack any stars on defense even of the Kovacs-I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-a-Law-Firm kind, and they have no pass rush but decent team defending vs the run and pass both. That's who they are.
Knowing who will win a specific game != finding out about the team.
I vote that in all future seasons, past the first Saturday in October, anyone who says "We'll find out about this team when X happens" must read the sonnet thread and post in it no less than three times as punishment.
|38 weeks 5 days ago||Michigan 35 - Penn State 24||
Michigan 35 - Penn State 24
|39 weeks 2 days ago||Impressive||
That goal is pure class.
|39 weeks 2 days ago||Beyer||
Hasn't thought much about what to do with Beyer when Ryan comes back?
Coach please. You're great, love the swag, etc. but I don't believe you. At all.
|39 weeks 3 days ago||Sonnet; not a limerick||
The OP is not a limerick. I am not even sure where you guys are getting that from. Maybe the occasional anapest?
It is absolutely a sonnet. There are many different forms of sonnets. The use of the term 'sonnet' in this case is not a stretch by modern sensibilities. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15287 for example.
As for quality - well, this one is better than many I've seen.
|39 weeks 4 days ago||Very good point||
I believe Brian mentioned in a mailbag recently - or maybe some other column - that the defense is unimpeachable. He's right. This bellyaching about a 5-0 defense with excellent stats (except for 3rd down conversion percentage) is silly. They're good, they're relatively young and inexperienced, they're well-coached, the results are not surprising.
I also hate the idea that 'we don't know anything about a team' until it's November, or until it plays Team X, or until it gets player Y back, or until its conference season, or until the opponents stop being spread teams, or whatever. We've played five freaking games already. We know that they're good. We know that they can beat decent football teams. We know that they can struggle against bad football teams. We know that they've gone through growing pains and that they've had to work very hard to limit turnovers, especially from the QB. We know that their ground game is anemic, at least compared to where they want it to be. We know that line play on both sides of the ball is often questionable. We know a lot.
|39 weeks 4 days ago||My thoughts too||
Yeah. I really can't get past that first question. "Devin lined up at WR. Was that the plan?" How could it not be the plan? Is this the 1974/78 Dutch national soccer team? No? Then people have positions, and they are planned. End of story.
|39 weeks 5 days ago||No change||
Haven't changed my overall prediction. I'm less confident in it, though. But I still think the most likely outcome is two regular season losses. We'll lose to one of Ohio, NW, and MSU, with a 66% chance of an additional loss to one of those three, PSU or Nebraska.
Another way to put it: I think that if we play this season three times, once out of those three times we come through 4-1 against Ohio, @NW, @MSU, @PSU, Neb, while the other two times we go 3-2 over that stretch. There are some good teams there, but honestly Nebraska is not looking too scary at all with that defense and in our house (and coming off a lost to them last year); MSU's defense may keep them in games but their offense will keep their opponents in games, so they're not looking too scary either; and PSU is not looking as strong as I thought they might. That leaves NW and Ohio - who do still scare me.
UConn and Akron games are us playing down mentally, I think. Could be wrong, but gun to my head I'm sticking with what I said before.
|40 weeks 11 hours ago||XLV||
Peyton and Woodson have the same number of Super Bowl Championships.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Illinois, PSU, MSU - Sci/Physics/Engineering||
Haven't read the article in the link, but Illinois' graduate physics program is super strong. Top 10 nationally, I believe. Also, many of their engineering programs are fantastic. I am not surprised to see them ranked this highly.
PSU has a good physics graduate program too. A while ago, they had Lee Smolin there. He's a bit controversial, but I'd take him any day over Gordon Kane (arguably Michigan's most famous, or infamous, physics prof... and I am all about Michigan but Kane is an embarrassment).
And MSU has the big cyclotron to boost their physics graduate program. They're way better than you would think, on par with the Dukes and Georgia Techs of the world.
All right, that's probably way more than you wanted to know about physics grad programs.
|40 weeks 1 day ago||Get off the Hut's lawn||
Listen, any post that brings Baba Yaga into the discussion is not one that you pick on for diction. Maybe he knows something about the bye week that we don't.
|40 weeks 3 days ago||Yes||
Michigan 24 - Gophers 13
Stanford over Clemson
I will now sleep better, knowing that THE KNOWLEDGE is back
|40 weeks 6 days ago||Your objections are TERRIBLE||
1. As a prep basketball coach who has sent multiple D1 prospects on from my teams, I promise you that the idea that agents 'control the system' is absurd. They may be part of it, but they don't control it in any way. Your argument about coaches giving playing time to a kid because the agent will otherwise steer away other kids holds no water. Why would a coach even want more kids from an agent who sent him crap in the first place, and then bullied him over it? You're living in a fantasy conspiracy world.
2. I disagree with both Brian and you here. Fronting salaries is a shady practice? There's about 400,000 professions in the world that front salaries all the time. Let the agents and the talent do business. What they agree to, they agree to. Who are you to make rules - the same rules - for every kid in the sport, some of whom come from enormously privileged backgrounds, some of whom come from the poorest countries on Earth?
3. A) You're equating money and force. These are in no way the same. Threatening not to hire someone is not the same as threatening to shoot them. B) This could be happening already in any sport where agents are involved. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, but it doesn't happen because agents are involved.
The best way forward is to allow the talent to enter into any trade agreements they want.
|41 weeks 1 day ago||Really?||
Wow. Suggesting that a 4-0 coach is not the right coach for Michigan? The guy who in two complete seasons has a BCS bowl victory, broke the streaks against OSU and MSU, has turned around recruiting, and has established good relationships with alumni, former players, et al?
I was not an RR supporter after his admission that he thought you could just "roll them out and win your share" at Michigan, but every fall, when we would beat Notre Dame and be undefeated heading into October, I'd hold my judgment. Absolutely no reason to speculate negatively about Hoke right now.
|41 weeks 3 days ago||@MaizeNBlue||
You don't know what you're talking about. Making the tournament 4 out of 5 years is an average program? Sit down and rest.
As for being hostile to students - I'm a teacher. I'm all about the students. But if my students whined and complained about ticket policy changes after years of under-attendance and providing an anemic homefield advantage, I would tell them the same thing. Sit down and rest. If you don't like it, find another team to support. Enough already.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||OMG||
Wow what do you have to be thinking to do that, Maxwell?
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Agree, not a fumble. PI, on||
Agree, not a fumble.
PI, on the other hand - looked like it to me.
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Sparty NOOO!||
|41 weeks 5 days ago||Never recovered||
Never recovered from Glandamageddon.
|42 weeks 10 hours ago||Wolfpack is killing||
Wolfpack is killing themselves.
|42 weeks 3 days ago||Mental and Emotional||
Brian, you're ignoring the mental and emotional side of the game. Players aren't robots. You're talking like the players have constant qualities that can be discovered perfectly by charts and scientific investigation. Charts and investigation are helpful, but a player's qualities are not constant.
The mental and emotional aspects of the game cause a player's performance and observables to change immensely. That might not be convenient, and it might not be easily chartable, but it's true.
This game was the perfect demonstration of the role that emotion and mentality play in a team sport. A review of this game that doesn't mention the psychology of it is missing a large part of the picture.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Too soon.||
|42 weeks 5 days ago||+1 Informative.||
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Worst thing about today is I||
Worst thing about today is I kind of wouldn't mind if Notre Dame wins.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||LIghten up,||
LIghten up, Francis.
Actually I agree with you, the donuts are cursed. I just couldn't resist pulling out the Francis line in re: your avatar.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Win the Heisman?||
Win the Heisman?
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Played their worst game||
I can't believe some of the negative reactions on here. Some people seem unaware that good teams can play bad games. We're a good team, we're going to be fine, they played their worst game today because they were overconfident and lazy. I don't think - especially after today - that the overconfidence will return. After a week of running sprints in practice, i don't think the laziness will either.
If this repeats against UConn, then obviously we have a problem. But one game like today's I can understand. Team psychology is a tough thing.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Going to be interesting to||
Going to be interesting to see how ND does tonight. I mean, Purdue, yes. But then again, Akron.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Same||
I haven't changed my projectoin going forward at all. I think we'll lose one out of Northwestern, MSU, or OSU for sure, with about a 50% chance we lose an additional game along the way (one of those three or another), and a relatively small chance (10%) we'll lose a third.
This game was all about the mental stuff. I doubt that such a bad let-down will be repeated.
As for the pass rush, I think it was somewhat on Mattison this game. Just like the players, the coaches took this one too lightly. Needed more blitzes, tighter coverage, more respect for the opponent. We're not going to be able to rush four all year. But Mattison has shown that he can work a blitz package to make up somewhat for that. He didn't really try this game.
We'll be fine. Not elite, but fine.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Mental/intangibles||
Obviously this was a huge let-down mentally after the Notre Dame game. In the couple of years that I've been here, this board seems to scoff at the importance of the mental game and emotional intangibles. Maybe I'm just reading that wrong. At any rate, this game showed the importance of the mental game. Our guys just weren't ready to play, weren't motivated, kept waiting for the other guy to do it, etc. I hope they learned a lesson that any team can beat you if you're not present mentally as well as physically.
What this means going forward: we're the same team we (or most of us) thought we were. We're the most physically talented M squad in a long time, we have an offense and a QB made for it, and we're young. Maybe still a year away. But this game doesn't make me change my outlook on the season at all.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||I'd pay for the Longhorn||
I'd pay for the Longhorn Network to watch that.
|43 weeks 2 days ago||2-2 Panama v. Honduras||
So Panama is level with Mexico on points and goal differential. There is a real possibility that Mexico might not even make the 4th-place playoff vs. New Zealand.
|43 weeks 4 days ago||Said it yourself||
Jonesy, you said it yourself, you have no idea how we won this game. Seems to me that our gameplan and scheme was clear and effective: make Rees execute again and again. He couldn't do it. There's a reason he was replaced by a redshirt freshman last year.
This game was only close at the end because of Devin Gardner's one terrible choice. Rees made some bad choices too, of course. In the end, they probably canceled out, the luck on either side probably about canceled out, same with refs, and we're left with what we're left with: a score that says Michigan was 11 points better. That sounds about right to me. Take away the 3 points for home field and that says we're about one touchdown and a two-point conversion better. That sounds about right too.
|43 weeks 4 days ago||Breaking news: Matt Millen||
Breaking news: Matt Millen hires Charlie Weis as new head coach. Front Butt hires Bollman/Greg Davis as co-OCs and promotes Gerg to DatBullDC4Life with a contract that doubles Kirk Ferentz's buyout clause.
|43 weeks 4 days ago||No one||
I'm pretty sure that no one would be better than Gerg. I mean, like, have no one be your DC. Just an empty chair. Let the players figure it out, let the position coaches cooperate, let the head coach do it (and that's given the fact that Mack is senile) - any of these would be better than hiring Gerg.
I be like wtf. You can't make this stuff up.
|43 weeks 4 days ago||D strategy was to make Tommy beat them, and he didn't||
Yeah, what snarling wolverine said. I'm a little surprised to see so many complaints about the defense.
We held ND to under 100 yards rushing, and in the air, the strategy was obviously to make Tommy Rees beat them over time via consistently accurate throws and good choices. The strategy was proven right as Tommy couldn't do that. His first interception was the turning point in the game. His first touchdown was a deflected pass that took a very lucky (for the Fig Things) bounce on third down; you can make an argument that our defense was unlucky to cede more than a field goal there. His second interception was not deflected because of luck; it was deflected because of skill. Morgan was all over that and Rees made a bad choice on 1st down to try to force a pass there. It was luck that Countess intercepted it, but the tip itself wasn't luck.
So the D gave up 23 points, and if it weren't for a lucky deflection bounce in the endzone, it would have been 19. That's pretty good.
|43 weeks 5 days ago||Central down 13-0 at home to||
Central down 13-0 at home to FCS New Hampshire. I am not appreciate.
|43 weeks 5 days ago||Practice.||
|43 weeks 5 days ago||Yeah, UNH had a pretty long||
Yeah, UNH had a pretty long drive they put together too.
|43 weeks 6 days ago||US getting overwhelmed right||
US getting overwhelmed right now.
|43 weeks 6 days ago||That sucks. Mostly I just||
That sucks. Mostly I just hope his ankle is ok. He is our MVP. We are seriously degraded without him going forward. Really hope this is just a short-term thing.
|43 weeks 6 days ago||Wow maybe Mexico is going to||
Wow maybe Mexico is going to start turning things around. I wouldn't mind them winning tonight so they're not quite as desperate when they come up here next week. On the other hand, we can clinch tonight if Mexico draws and Jamaica wins or draws.
|43 weeks 6 days ago||Yeah, al-Jazeera has the||
Yeah, al-Jazeera has the rights to the US away WCQ games this cycle. Al-Jazeera's network/channel/whatever BeIN Sports is showing it.
|43 weeks 6 days ago||Orozco||
Not sure I'm confident in Orozco. I believe Brad Evans is hurt, but I'm wondering about Parkhurst, maybe, or... I don't know. Also interesting that Jozy is a sub - probably because of the hamstring.
On another note, I've been in San Jose during a WCQ match for the Ticos. I wasn't in the stadium or even near it, but yeah, the atmosphere is unreal. You can barely walk down the street without people dancing into you. There are giant Costa Rica flags everywhere, often held spread out overhead on the sidewalks by people on either side so that you are basically walking through a tunnel of fans and flags. Crazy.
|44 weeks 1 day ago||Except they executed it||
Except they executed it better.
|44 weeks 2 days ago||I can clearly not choose the||
I can clearly not choose the power in front of me. But you know this, so I can clearly not choose the stretch in front of you!
|44 weeks 2 days ago||Not surprised but the||
Not surprised but the coaches' poll is nuts ranking the Huskers ahead of the 'Cats. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have ranked the Huskers at all - certainly no way I'd put them #19.
|44 weeks 3 days ago||Chicken dance is a must.But||
Chicken dance is a must.
|44 weeks 3 days ago||Frustrating but it happens.||
Frustrating but it happens. Good luck to him. I'm hoping we do get Blackmon.
|44 weeks 3 days ago||Camus and Yeats in||
Camus and Yeats in consecutive weeks on a football blog. I approve.
|44 weeks 4 days ago||Interesting. Also,||
Interesting. Also, comparisons to historical records ATS would be great to see. As in, how good a predictor, historically, has the Week 1 ATS performance been? Maybe also do it for UM's opponents.
NW's win to me is the most impressive. Without their starting QB and RB, on the road, out west in a very late game, they found a way to win - and cover, even.