I Blue Myself
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- The article posted in the OP is ridiculous. I don't think Michigan football players should be paid $470,000 each.
- A lot of what makes me care about people like Denard and Lewan and Miller is that they're representing a school, not a pro sports franchise that will move to San Antonio and start wearing teal if they think it will make them more money.
- Most NCAA football players' true market value is not much more than the value of the scholarship they're getting, and many of those players are better served by getting a college education rather than $200,000 in cash, which they would blow on motorcycles and hookers. On the flipside, I don't feel too sad for NFL players who make millions because they didn't get paid enough in college.
|19 weeks 17 hours ago||Degrees of problems||
Different golf courses cause different levels of environmental problems. At one end are links courses in Britain and Ireland built hundreds of years ago with minimal alteration to the land as it existed, where the grass is still allowed to go brown if there's not enough rain.
Augusta National is the exact opposite of that. It's an artificial creation made to look natural by extreme levels of intervention in nature. They can do it because the Masters gives them almost literally more money than they know what to do with.
This seems like a waste to me, to spend so much money on a course that gets very little play during most of the year, even though every golfer in the world would love to play there. But it's a private club, and they can do what they want with it.
The bigger problem is that American golfers watch the Masters and see Augusta National as a perfect golf course, and they start to expect the courses they play to look like that. And that leads to lots of wasted money, needless environmental damage, and more expensive golf courses.
|28 weeks 6 days ago||Numbers don't add up||
I'm not trying to defend Crean here, but I don't see how the numbers add up.
Brian says he had one too many players under scholarship, and one of the guys he cut was a fifth-year senior. But I thought the general policy of the blog was that it's okay not to renew a scholarship for a fifth year, as Michigan does that often. Crean may have been stupid in having to cut a valuable player, but I don't see how what he did this year qualifies as oversigning.
Also, if he needed to cut one player to get down to 13 scholarships, why cut two? The whole point of oversigning is to maximize your numbers.
Am I missing something here?
|44 weeks 3 days ago||A few points||
1. No one here knows what Brady Hoke actually thinks about the talent or coaching on the OL. He's made public comments standing behind them, because that's the right thing and smart thing to do when you're stuck with the people you have, which he is.
2. The comparisons with Wisconsin are not helpful. Wisconsin had great OLs for years. Then they brought in a new coach who tried doing things differently and had terrible results. So Bielema fired him, went back to the old way of doing things, and the OL went back to Wisconsin's usual standards. Not really applicable to Michigan's situation.
3. Aren't there NCAA rules about the number of coaches you can have? You say Tice would be a consultant, but what would that mean? What can a consultant do without crossing the line to being an illegal extra coach? This is an honest question. If you could just bring in lots of "consultants" and have them be almost like coaches, Alabama would have12 consultants on staff.
|45 weeks 4 days ago||Why would the pro leagues form minor leagues?||
From the Bacon article:
Bacon is right that the NBA and NFL won't willingly put in place expensive minor leagues. But why would freshman eligibility force them to do so?
The NFL can't draft players until three years after high school anyway, so freshman ineligibility wouldn't have much of an effect. The NBA might need to raise their age eligibility for the draft by one year, but that's something they've already at least talked about doing already.
|45 weeks 5 days ago||Why the design doesn't work||
It's a sad commentary on my life that I would spend part of Friday night writing this, but I feel there needs to be a deeper analysis of why this shirt fails.
1. You're not really insulting anyone by comparing them to John Belushi.
He's one of the most beloved comedians of the last 50 years. If someone said to me, "You're just like John Belushi," unless it was referring to my physique (which, sadly, is starting to look like a good comparison lately) or severe drug addiction, I would view it as a compliment.
2. Neither John Belushi nor Jake Blues has anything to do with Penn State.
I mean, do they? If I look at this shirt, I think, "Who's that supposed to be on the shirt? John Belushi? Why is John Belushi on that shirt?" Not "Oh, you just burned Penn State with that zinger." People are going to see your shirt for like 3 seconds. If it's not a picture of Joe Pa or that stupid lion mascot on it, no one will connect it to Penn State. You can't expect them to read the relatively small print in the background, figure out what that's referring to, and then finally get the joke.
3. The kinds of excuses Jake Blues makes in that scene aren't anything like the excuses Penn State makes.
Jake Blues is apologizing to Princess Leia for leaving her at the altar: in other words, positively doing something bad that hurt her. Penn State fans are just whiny about losing to Michigan. Even if somehow someone looks at the shirt, reads all the excuses, and makes the connection, it doesn't seem like a really good match.
4. There is one recent situation in which Penn State, both as an institution and as a fan base, want to say something isn't their fault.
Namely, the giant sex abuse scandal. If anyone does see the shirt and somehow miraculously realizes it's making fun of Penn State for refusing to take responsibility for something, they're going to think it's about Jerry Sandusky. That was my initial thought about what this shirt was referring to. Of course, this site has taken the admirable position that jokes on that subject are off limits. I'm sure it wasn't anyone's intent to make any connection like that in this shirt, but it's such a touchy area.
5. No one under 30 has seen the Blues Brothers.
Pointing this out is a classic way to make people over 30 feel old. Boo hoo. I'm over 30, time moves on, people listen to Ke$ha. It's sad. But anyone close to college age has seen the Blues Brothers only if a.) they had an older relative sit them down and make them watch it or b.) They're a huge comedy nerd.
EDIT: Now I feel bad for trashing your hard work. I'm sorry. All the other shirts are great. I blame it on the general bitchiness of being a Michigan fan during football season.
|46 weeks 6 days ago||You're right, the sample||
You're right, the sample sizes are just too small to know for any given year whether a decline is due to random fluctuation or a real trend. The graph I cited was for the NCAA championship game, so I think the BCS championship game is the best comparison.
I'd really like to see a full set of data in basketball vs. football over the last 20-30 years, but I can't find it with basic Googling.
|46 weeks 6 days ago||I linked to that page because||
I linked to that page because of the graph of NCAA tournament ratings that appears about 2/3 of the way down the page. Sorry that wasn't clear.
My point was that ratings for the NCAA championship game dropped pretty significantly in the mid-90s. Prior to then, they were getting around 30 million viewers. Then, right after a peak that coincided with the Fab Five, they dropped steadily, and now hover in the low 20-million range. That's almost exactly the time frame when top players started leaving early or skipping college altogether in large numbers.
I think those statistics probably understate the decline. March Madness is the one time per year when people care about college basketball. For more casual fans, regular season college basketball barely registers, and I think that's a big change since the 1980s. But I don't have the statistics to back that up.
I don't think you can attribute the decline in basketball ratings to a general decline in TV viewership. Again, I don't have access to a full database of bowl game ratings, but the 1989 Fiesta Bowl, the de facto national championship game between Notre Dame and West Virginia, got a Nielsen rating of 17.0. That's pretty much in line with the ratings that BCS championship games get now. (See here, and again scroll down to see the list of TV ratings.)
|46 weeks 6 days ago||You replace every player||
Do you really think that's true? If you replaced Michigan's team with less talented players, you'd end up with Indiana or Purdue. Fans would still support the team for a few years, but it wouldn't take long for the stadium to start to look empty. If not for Denard, it might have started happening in 2010.
I don't think you meant it this way, but this comes across as terribly callous. If you think of Denard Robinson, or Taylor Lewan, or Jack Miller as a cog in a machine, I feel sorry for you.
Three separate companies have been able to make money charging people for content on the Internet to track high school students deciding what college to go to. If you could do a Kickstarter to pay money to Jabrill Peppers to come to Michigan, how much do you think you could raise just in direct payments from MGoBlog readers alone?
The NCAA is essentially a monopoly for football players aged 18-21 who want to play in the NFL, and they've artificially limited the amount a player can be paid to the value of a scholarship. That doesn't mean those players are actually worth no more than the price of a scholarship.
Really? That's basically what's happened to college basketball, and here's what's happened to the ratings. That's only for the NCAA finals. I can't find numbers for the regular season, but I would guess the drop off has been even steeper. If you reduce the quality of the game, people won't care as much.
Before anyone tries to put words in my mouth, let me clarify a few things:
If you see this as an easy issue either way, I don't think you're thinking about it seriously enough.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||That keyboard looks way too||
That keyboard looks way too big for a tablet, even if it would work. You should look for something like this. Sadly, I don't think they make one with a Tigers theme.
I bought a Nook HD+ a few weeks ago and thought I got a good deal for $150. It's not a top of the line tablet, but the screen is great, and it does the basics well.
Barnes & Noble kind of screwed it up by installing software that slows it down. If you find yourself getting frustrated with it, you might consider rooting it and installing a custom ROM. That might sound scary, but it's not super complicated. If you have any more questions about accessories or anything else, you might want to try this forum instead.
|1 year 11 weeks ago||Thanks. So, here's how the||
Thanks. So, here's how the numbers work out from Rivals:
Other Big Ten: 4
Other Big Ten: 16
This looks like a difference in the Ohio ratings compared with Scout, less so for Illinois. Still, small sample sizes.
Someone should do a diary tracking the patterns over time, to see if there's really a trend.
*touches finger to nose*
|1 year 11 weeks ago||Context||
This post would be more informative if it had historical context. So here are some quick comparisons with the 2004 class in Scout's database (I used Scout because I couldn't figure out how to find the top players within a state that long ago for Rivals.)
OSU: 10 (including 7 of the top 8)
Other Big 10: 8 (mostly MSU, PSU)
SEC: 1 (Kentucky)
Other Big 10: 17
In both cases, about half the defections to non B1G schools were at the bottom of the rankings, and those players may not have been heavily recruited by the Big Ten. This is still a small sample size, but it looks like a pretty sizable shift in 10 years.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||credit for the photo||
I saw the photo in a tweet from Melanie Maxwell. On her Instagram account, she says she took the picture.
This one, from a half second before, is also pretty epic:
|1 year 32 weeks ago||That might also explain that||
That might also explain that tornado in Tuscaloosa a couple of years ago.
|1 year 39 weeks ago||I sent the link||
It just proves I understand Brian's taste in emo music. I thought it was appropriate on a day when New York, or at least Rutgers, which is practically in New York, is in fact bringing him down. (I'm probably trying too hard on that last point.)
Or Brian just didn't feel like finding a second song for the podcast.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Sure||
That's true, but my point was not so much that it definitely would have happened that way last year, but rather that it could have. Given the strength of the SEC in recent years, it seems totally possible that the committee would consider the relevant factors and choose 3 or 4 SEC teams and only one Big Ten team.
The ACC and Pac 12 have relatively little to lose by this, since they would very rarely get a team ranked outside the top 12 to qualify anyway. The Big Ten and maybe to a lesser extent the Big 12 are the big losers if they no longer have parity with the SEC in major bowls. I also have to wonder how this will impact the way the cash will be divided up.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Selection Committee||
"The top twelve get in, no exceptions"
Is this really true? Last year, if the selection committee had ended up with the same rankings as the BCS, there would have been four SEC teams in the major bowls, but only one Big Ten team (Wisconsin). See the pre-bowl rankings here: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bcs
Would Delany really agree to that?
The only support in the article is a link to a couple of tweets saying it's theoretically possible to have the top 12 teams make it. Without more solid confirmation, you have to consider the possibility of some limits on number of teams per conference.
|2 years 8 weeks ago||Would the Maryland coach be interested?||
Do we have a realistic shot at the Maryland coach? The Big Ten is at a severe disadvantage in baseball due to weather, while the ACC is a power conference. If I were a young coach with ambitions to win at a national level, I think I'd prefer to stay at Maryland.
Is Brandon just going to throw a pile of money at him and hope he wants to be a big fish in a small pond, or is there more to it than that?
|2 years 10 weeks ago||OSU Should Be Able to Get More||
Ohio State should be able to make more money from ticket sales. Ohio is a larger state than Michigan, and OSU has no major football program in-state to compete with (sorry Cincinnati). Imagine if MSU had never existed. Michigan would have a lot more fans (and a fan base more similar to OSU's), and tickets would be a lot harder to come by.
Not surprisingly, then, it's much more expensive to get OSU season tickets than Michigan. Unless you're a varsity letter winner or have been buying tickets since the 1980s, the only way you get OSU season tickets is with a minimum $1,500 annual donation. Every single year. I'm not a Michigan season ticket holder, but it looks like the equivalent minimum donation for Michigan is $50 per year.
Of course there are a lot of other variables to take into account: number of season tickets vs. individual game tickets sold, revenue from suites, etc., and I don't know how all the numbers add up. But if Brian's numbers are correct and Michigan is anywhere close to OSU on ticket sales, I'd be very impressed. I also think Michigan will reach its maximum possible ticket revenue a lot sooner than OSU would, and Dave Brandon should not expect he can massively raise prices and still sell out.
|2 years 12 weeks ago||SEC Following Tradition||
The SEC's new scheduling plan is actually about restoring a proud Southern tradition of not playing conference opponents for decades at a time:
For example, Auburn played LSU eight times in 50 years between 1942 and 1992, including not playing at all between 1943 and 1968. http://football.stassen.com/cgi-bin/records/opp-opp.pl?start=1869&end=2011&team1=Louisiana+State&team2=Auburn
Similarly, Alabama played Kentucky six times between 1947 and 1995, including not playing at all for 25 years between 1947 and 1972. http://football.stassen.com/cgi-bin/records/opp-opp.pl?start=1869&end=2011&team1=Kentucky&team2=Alabama
(By comparison, Michigan played UCLA nine times during that same time period. http://football.stassen.com/cgi-bin/records/opp-opp.pl?start=1869&end=2011&team1=Michigan&team2=UCLA)
|2 years 16 weeks ago||One point I don't get||
Brian says, "bowls are institutionalized stealing from unpaid student athletes."
I don't get this. Players in bowl games get $500 Best Buy spending sprees, free tickets for their families, trips to Disneyland, etc. They don't get those kinds of benefits from regular season games, and if the semifinal rounds were played at home sites, they might not get the same kinds of benefits.
Of course, all those benefits for players have to come from somewhere, and for bowls, a lot of the money comes from gouging athletic departments. But if you shut down the bowl system and put the money back in the athletic departments' pockets, I don't see how the players would benefit. They're already getting the maximum scholarship packages allowable, fabulous practice facilities, etc. It seems to me the bowl system works to the benefit of the bowls and players at the expense of the athletic departments.
Unless by "institutionalized stealing" you mean players aren't being paid, in which case that's what makes me a little bit queasy about being a college football fan in general. The bowl system isn't any worse in that regard than any fall Saturday in Ann Arbor.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||Second Half is Better||
I think you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't read the whole thing. Yes, the first part of the article is somewhat off-base, but that's the kind of thing that happens when an outside writer who doesn't have in-depth knowledge of Michigan writes something like this.
The write-up of the game itself is really well-done and goes in much more depth than a typical post-game write up. There's a whole discussion of the scout team's preparation for Northwestern that I don't think I'd read about anywhere else. And it somehow makes Zack Novak look even better than I thought he was.
|2 years 36 weeks ago||Heiko's Questions||
When the questions were preceded by "MGoSomething," (e.g. MGoCueTheTrumpet, MGoLowerTheFlag) does that mean Heiko was asking them?
I hadn't noticed that or seen it explained before. If so, it's a very good idea. It's interesting to see where and how Heiko's pumping them for information.
|2 years 43 weeks ago||I think we agree on the main question:||
The question for the Big East is whether they significantly improve their chances of keeping a BCS autobid by becoming part of a 28-32 team monster. The difference is that you think the answer to that question is yes.
I'm not so sure. I think Boise would be willing to fly its football team to Brazil every week if it meant being in an AQ conference. In a 12-team Big East that included Air Force and a couple of Texas schools, they wouldn't have to fly all that far every week anyway. Remember, this would be just for football. They could put the non-revenue teams in the Big Sky conference if they wanted. Beyond that, if you cherry-pick the best 5 or 6 remaining teams in MWC and C-USA, you get most of the (fairly limited) quality that remains.
Or, another way to think about it: what's the practical difference between being in a 32-team superconference and being in a non-AQ conference? The money would be split so many ways that you wouldn't get much of a bump. Right now, the best non-AQ team gets to a BCS bowl basically every year. In the 32-team superconference, which would encompass basically all the decent mid-major teams, the best team would still get to a BCS bowl game.
If I'm the Big East, I don't merge unless I think there's virtually no chance of keeping my autobid.
|2 years 43 weeks ago||I agree, but||
I agree that this would be a good outcome from a competitive standpoint, but why would the Big East agree to it? They could just as easily steal the five or six best remaining teams from C-USA and MWC and keep their automatic BCS bid. If they add Navy, Air Force, Boise, Houston, and SMU, as they're already planning, I think they get most of the benefits available from the remaining mid-major teams, but they get to split the pie a lot fewer ways. Also, they'd need to get approval from the NCAA to have a four-team playoff at the end.
The only way I can see this happening is if the other conferences make it very clear to the Big East that this is the only way of keeping their auto-bid. It would be like the credits to Gilligan's Island: they would be the ". . . and the rest" conference. There are some advantages for the major conferences and bowls to arrange things this way, because they could claim everyone is now in an AQ conference, and stave off antitrust concerns. But I don't really think the major conferences care enough to interfere this way.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||It felt like I was listening||
It felt like I was listening to a secret bonus track or something. I thought you guys added some interesting points in that section, and I think there could be some really entertaining whining coming out of Madison if they get passed over in favor of a one-loss LSU team.
It did feel like you were about to launch into some kind of embarrassing discussion. Try to work that in next time: maybe one of you can start up a subplot about a mysterious rash that you can't get rid of. It doesn't have to be true, just try to make it exciting and develop the story throughout the season.
Also, I'd like to chime in on the difficulty of getting these on my phone. Does anyone know of a way to subscribe to the podcasts on an Android phone? I use the Google Listen app, and while I can subscribe to the feed, none of the podcasts ever get synced there. It's not the worst thing because I can just download the podcasts manually, but it would be nice if they just automatically showed up on my phone.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Copied from the Original||
It looks to me like the numbers on the helmets now are the same (or very similar) font as they used in the 1950s and 60s on the helmets, and they didn't match the numbers then either.
I think you're right that the colors don't match, but remember, it was meant to be a one-time thing, and they might not have had the time to get it perfect. If they bring it back next year, I would bet it will be better.
|2 years 46 weeks ago||How would this work politically?||
The SEC would clearly be in favor. Probably the Big Ten also, because they'd be more likely to gain an extra team than to lose one. But even the Big Ten might be skeptical because they'd get a third team in less often than the SEC would, and the perceived gap between the two conferences would grow.
But every other conference should be opposed, because their chances of getting a second team in would drop. The non-AQ conferences would scream about it, because there'd be almost no chance they get a second team into the BCS, as happened recently with Boise and TCU.
Of course, the bowls themselves would be in favor, because they'd have more chances to pick schools like LSU or Penn State instead of Stanford or TCU as an at-large team. ESPN would also like it because of better TV ratings. Is that enough momentum to overcome strong opposition from the other conferences?
|2 years 47 weeks ago||More thoughts||
I'd say Florida vs. Florida State is a better example of battle of equals than Florida State-Miami. Probably also Clemson vs. South Carolina.
For a pure big brother-little brother rivalry, you need three characteristics you mention:
(1.) little brother to be inferior academically, (2.) athletically, and (3.) have the big brother not view the little brother as their primary rival. So they're insulted on every level. So Michigan vs. MSU, Oklahoma vs. OSU, and Texas vs. A&M are the best examples. (You listed Texas vs. Texas Tech, but I think Tech is too minor of a rival to qualify. It's like Illinois viewing Michigan as a rival.) You could also throw in WVU vs. Marshall, possibly Colorado vs. Colorado State.
If you lose even one of those characteristics, it loses some of the big brother-little brother flavor. So Oregon State may not be as good as Oregon in most ways, but there's no question they're each other's biggest rival. It's the same dynamic as Alabama vs. Auburn, where Auburn definitely has an inferiority complex, but it's not nearly as degrading for Auburn as Michigan State's rivalry is with Michigan.
When there's roughly a competitive balance, as in the Mississippi or Arizona schools, I think that also ruins any big-little relationship. Even more when the academically inferior school is historically better athletically, as with Clemson vs. South Carolina, where I think Clemson is technically the "little brother" land grant school. Also, sadly, with Michigan and MSU in basketball over the past 15 years.
A couple of rivalries that don't quite fit your model:
UCLA vs. USC: You list this as public vs. private, but it has a very different feel than Northwestern vs. Illinois or Vandy vs. Tennessee. This is partly because UCLA, the public school, is historically superior to USC (the "University of Second Choice"), though they've closed that gap recently. If anything, I'd put this as a battle of equals.
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech: Even though Tech is a public school, this feels more like a public vs. private contest, where each school has its own strengths and they're not really competing with each other in most ways. Georgia Tech doesn't care nearly as much about football, and Georgia really cares more about beating Florida, and just wants to avoid embarrassing themselves by losing to Tech.
|3 years 6 weeks ago||Apparently, the||
Apparently, the superconference teams disagree with you, and feel threatened enough to try to band together to form a superconference that will drive up their own travel expenses and do away with conference rivalries that have existed for decades.
The threat the Big Ten presents is not about how good those teams are right now, but rather the resources and potential they have. Minnesota and MSU are traditional powerhouses, just like Michigan in football. They'll be back. More importantly, the Big Ten will have all brand-name schools and will have a very large percentage of its games nationally televised on BTN. It will be perceived instantly as a major power, whereas the remnants of the CCHA will look a lot like the MAC. Penn State may be no better than Bowling Green at actually playing hockey, but it's much more attractive to play in a league with Penn State.
In that situation, I can completely understand why Miami and Notre Dame would feel threatened and want to jump to a league made of mostly WCHA powers. They still won't be on even footing with the Big Ten in a lot of ways, but the excellence of that conference on the ice will make up a lot of the difference.
Yes, it's bad for college hockey as a whole for these teams to move, but I can understand why from a competitive standpoint they would want to, and might feel compelled to.
|3 years 6 weeks ago||That's true, but I think||
That's true, but I think you're kidding yourself if you don't see a connection between the two. Schools like Miami and Notre Dame are feeling pressure to form a superconference because they see the Big Ten coming into existence, and they don't want to be left behind. Without the Big Ten schools, the CCHA starts to look like a mid-major, and I don't blame the two power programs left for wanting to improve their status. Part of the desire to move up may be because of ego, but those schools are likely to face a recruiting disadvantage against Big Ten schools if they stay where they are.