this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
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|8 weeks 2 days ago||Greatest||
I suppose it depends upon your defintion of "greatest." I choose "largest impact upon the university, team, and fanbase."
Sorry, but President Obama is unlikely to ask if Sierra Romero is in the audience the next time he's in Ann Arbor. Denard Robinson shone in front of millions of people. Sierra shines in front of tens or hundreds of thousands. Denard broke his share of Michigan records as well, and his star power outshines his lack of Heisman trophies. (And if he'd had better coaching on better teams... good gracious).
I don't mean to take anything away from the accomplishments of the softball team, but it remains a niche sport. If Michigan were to add a couple of additional swimming and diving national championships, it wouldn't make their star swimmer greater than Denard, who -- almost singlehandedly -- gave us all a reason to believe in Michigan football during its darkest hours in the past ~40 years.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Sorry...||
No offense taken, and you may be right that the insults are intended to be "in fun." I simply don't find that relevant. In my mind, there are standards for sportsmanship. Michigan is far from perfect -- Nik Stauskas brushed the line, and maybe even crossed it once or twice. Mike Hart's "little brother" comment was probably across the line as well, and I saw Chris Perry come and taunt the Oregon student section before putting up 26 yards in a 31-27 loss. Insulting the other team, whether in jest or not, obliterates that line, espeically when it's done during the game in earshot of the fans.
I don't have a problem with having fun -- Denard has fun; Mitch McGary has fun -- but I have a problem with showing disrespect to the opposition. I understand that "talking trash" is -- unfortunately -- considered par for the course for many sports today, men's and women's alike. But it is unsportsmanlike -- a sportsman will let his play speak for him and treat his opponent with respect. To cheer this unsportsmanlike behavior is to endorse it, and I will not. The coaches on Michigan's softball staff have a responsibility to their players to teach them how to have fun without denigrating their opponent.
Michigan can, and should, be better than the type of behavior described in this post.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Hurling insults at the other bench?||
Sorry, hurling insults is not something I choose to celebrate.
Given that there is an NCAA softball tournament, Michigan may as well win it. (Go Blue!) But, their team should be held to the same standards as any one else representing Michigan. Michigan means sportsmanship, class, and doing things the right way -- Beilein, not Calipari, and Bo, not Jimmy Johnson. Michigan does not mean taunting the opponent.
And the team could win the next four national championships and nobody from those teams will ever come close to Denard. Sorry, that's just football at Michigan. :-)
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Shorter version||
Yes, it appears it is -- it's 16 minutes long. Sorry about that. I'm unable to find a link to the longer version.
However, I did find a list of upcoming re-airings:
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Link||
The story is here:
The video is embedded.
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Title IX||
Title IX is not an impediment. It simply increases the effective costs of a scholarship. Teams that wanted to have 120 football scholarhips would give full scholarships to the entire softball and volleyball teams or whatever. (Obviously, you'd have to eliminate scholarship limits for all sports, not just football, for this to work).
It still boggles me that the NCAA can prevent an institution from granting a student a scholarship to play a sport and then turn around and claim to be representing the student-athlete.
|24 weeks 1 day ago||I question your premise||
I'm not convinced that the Fig-thing fans made that realization. They probably just thought Alabama got all of the calls or something.
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Scholarship limits||
It seems to me that a lot of these problems could be solved by removing the limit on scholarships. Yes, other recruits are potentially negatively affected by Smith's decision. Yes, the schools are left in limbo because they don't know exactly what their roster composition will be.
It seems to me that there is a very easy solution to this. Admit that "competitive balance" is a codeword for "creating a cartel to suppress costs" and allow schools to offer as many (guaranteed, four-year) scholarships as they like. If Alabama wants to offer 130 football scholarships, and Michigan only wants to offer 90, that's on each school's respective athletic departments. And if a kid would rather be fourth on the depth chart at Michigan than starting at Penn State, that's his choice.
In the modern era, with nearly every game on television and unprecedented amounts of information available for potential recruits to use when making a decision, the scholarship limit seems quaint. Will kids really choose a four-year backup role at a power five school in preference to a chance to see the field from day one at a smaller school? Somehow, I doubt it.
If there were no such thing as oversigning, each of Smith's finalists could decide whether or not they can afford to take on another scholarship (hint: they can) without affecting anyone else.
|25 weeks 1 day ago||Kenpom Says...||
Ken Pomeroy's graph for that specific situation gives Michigan about a 12% chance to win.
After making the shot, Michigan's win probability rose to about 26%; going to overtime only improved Michigan's chances to about 27%. (Remember, Michigan is on the road against, sadly, a more talented team. There's no way overtime is a 50/50 shot in this situation).
|25 weeks 2 days ago||Fouls/40||
Fouls / 40 is a rate stat; fouls per 40 minutes played. Benching a guy won't change his Fouls / 40 number, because bench minutes don't count.
|27 weeks 5 days ago||Attitude||
I upvoted you for the attitude, but holy pants man. As a football fan, I hope Tomsula is a better coach than he is an interviewee.
|33 weeks 5 days ago||NSFW||
How could you post one video with Dan Dakich and another one with Dick Vitale without hanging an NSFW tag on it? Or NSF.. something? Sanity? :-)
(I was lucky enough to be at the Final Four; I never watched the broadcast of the championship game because obviously. But, what a first half!)
|34 weeks 1 day ago||In-n-Out||
If you don't think somebody would turn down a job because the new location doesn't have an In-n-Out Burger -- you've never tried In-n-Out Burger.
|35 weeks 21 hours ago||-38 in two days||
Not bad... an offensive nickname, and -38 points in a mere two days of membership.
Welcome to the blog. Don't let the door hit your rear end on the way back out. :-)
|35 weeks 1 day ago||Take the officials out of the game||
I felt the officiating was terrible. At the end of the day, Michigan did not play well enough to take the officials out of the game. You can't expect to beat a top 25 basketball team when you go ten minutes of game time without scoring. The fact that Michigan almost did anyway is a testament to the heart and resilience of the team. I felt like Michigan took th brunt of several bad calls, but they also looked lost on offense for a full quarter of the game.
I mean, let's face it -- the offensive numbers for the game are just plain ugly. 0.89 points per possession, 6/21 on 3-point shooting, 3/5 from the line (after going 23/29 vs. Oregon), and a 17.7% turnover rate -- none of that is good enough to get the job done.
However, the defense is turning into an unexpected, and very welcome, strength. Villanova has a KenPom adjusted offensive rating of 109.4, and Michigan held them to 0.98 points per possession, and even that's skewed somewhat by the four late free throws -- it was 0.93 points per possession for the first 60 possessions, when Michigan was playing defense, and then 2 points per possession for the last two, when they were just fouling to extend the game. That is an excellent performance and one that will win most nights.
This team actually seemed to grow on the court from the first half to the second. They're getting to know each other and learning their roles. The freshmen are making freshman mistakes, but that's to be expected -- and, because John Beilein is the coach, they won't be making those same mistakes come January. The team's youth is going to lead to inconsistency, but it also means that they may grow more between now and the tournament than anybody else save maybe Kentucky.
Michigan had three chances on the schedule to pick up a marquee non-conference win. This was one, and they let it slip by. @Arizona is going to be very tough, and I doubt any of us expects a win there. Tuesday vs. Syracuse is going to be critical to the team's résumé come Selection Sunday. Michigan beat Syracuse in the Final Four with McGary's assists from the high post. I'm not sure that offense is likely to work Tuesday, since I don't see any of Michigan's frontcourt dishing out passes like Mitch; I'm curious to see what Coach Beilein has up his sleeve.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||The block||
The block was clean but he went right through Irvin's body afterwards. It was probably a foul but not one that you'd ever expect to see called (Burke vs. Louisville notwithstanding). The ones that infuriated me were on the last Villanova shot -- it's either a block on Caris or a charge, but there's no way it's a no-call -- and on Walton's drive. Every time they showed the replay to prove it went off of Villanova, all I could see was the Nova player starting at Walton's shoulders and raking down his arms to pull the ball out.
As nearly as I could tell, that was the theme of the game -- it seemed that the referees ignored almost everything on the hands, but were calling ticky-tack body contact. It seemed like Doyle, in particular, got foul calls for the penalty of being in existence. The net result of this was Villanova picking Michigan's pocket and Michigan players holding up their arms to show where they got slapped.
I mean -- Michigan commits fewer fouls than just about anybody, rarely turns the ball over, and can't rebound worth a lick. Somehow, Villanova generates a ton of turnovers, Michigan's in the double bonus at the end of the game, and Michigan -- not Villanova -- picked up several loose ball over-the-back fouls on rebound attempts. (?)
Ultimately, though, Michigan isn't going to win many games with well under 1 point per possession -- but I don't think they'll lose many games where they hold the opponent under 1 point per possession either. You could see the improvement of the team during the big second-half run, and if a couple of shots that frequently go down hadn't rattled out, it wouldn't have been close enough at the end for officiating to matter.
It's nice to be this angry about the outcome of a Michigan sporting event again -- and it's doubly nice that none of the anger is directed at the Michigan coaching staff.
(I do think that Donnal should have passed quickly after receiving the ball, right before his 1 and 1, but I think he was terrified of a turnover -- not unreasonable at all for a freshman playing his fourth collegiate game. I think he'll do better the next time he's in that situation).
|36 weeks 2 days ago||Simplistic||
Yes, it's a simplistic approach; that's the point. Sports are supposed to be clear-cut; there are rules, and there's a winner and a loser, and both compete honorably with good sportsmanship. Sports are an ideal, and the sportsman is expected to be the realization of that ideal. Nobody's perfect, of course, so there have to be allowances made -- if a player gets a jaywalking ticket, I'm not trashing his bobblehead. :-) However, I simply do not have room in my life for athletes who fail to uphold even the barest minimum of societal standards.
The Erie County Prosecuting Attorney's office will decide whether or not there is evidence to prosecute Frank Clark; if they move forward, he will either plead guilty / no contest or be tried by a jury of his peers, and, if he is found guilty, he will be sentenced for punishment by an Erie County judge. None of that -- even a not-guilty verdict -- will change my opinion, which is that Mr. Clark is not currently fit to be a member of the Michigan family.
However, even my "good riddance" does not mean that I would never have a change of heart. If he does rehabilitate himself to the point where he is ready to be a productive member of society, then so be it. But he needs to be punished, and the first bit of punishment -- dismissal from the football team -- was long overdue. I have no specific animus towards him; rather, I dislike all violent criminals and want none of them to represent me* in anything.
There is a path from "violent criminal" to "reformed, former violent criminal," and if Frank Clark should take that path, then that's certainly a good thing -- as it would be for any other violent criminal. The suggestion that Clark was already on that path appears to be belied by the evidence.
* Here I speak as a member of the Michigan community, not an alumnus; I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go far from home to get my college degree at a D-III school where it never snows.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||Good riddance||
No, I said good riddance to him after the laptop incident, and I was upset that he was allowed to stay, and I will say good riddance to him now. But I wasn't cheering for him last week; I was cheering for the team. Against my wishes, he was a member of that team, but I have to make that distinction lest I drive myself mad.
I find the original post, and the numerous concurring comments, nearly mind-blowing. Civilization is the (learned) ability to suppress our basest instincts in order to create a better community for all. Violence has no place in civilization except in advance of the greater good. Clark's alleged behavior is uncivilized, and I don't care what reasons he may have for them, or what problems he had in his past that led to them. My sympathy ends when he stops abiding by society's rules. If he wanted to be an inspiration, all he had to do was refrain from committing violent felonies. That simply isn't too much to ask.
I mean, you're talking about somebody with a felonious past who decided to use his weekend off to take a trip with his girlfriend's family, get smashed, and then get violent towards her? And yet you're going to call me names if I want nothing further to do with him? How many colossally bad decisions does it take before it becomes acceptable for me to be outraged, exactly?
Look, football is an exercise in balance. We, as fans, praise aggression, but only on the field and never after the whistle. We celebrate violence, provided that it occurs within the rules. I'm not surprised when some players aren't able to constrain this behavior to appropriate times, but I am disgusted.
Furthermore, I believe that representing the University of Michigan, and the greater Michigan community, is an honor that should be reserved for the best men the school can provide. I'm less concerned with winning than I am with honor. Domestic violence is dishonorable; so is home invasion robbery. Either event should have disqualified Clark from wearing the winged helmet. Somehow, I managed to make it through college without getting arrested; it's not too much to ask that the players do the same.
So, I'm sorry, bronxblue -- and Brian -- but I stand by my original sentiment. Good riddance to Mr. Clark; he had no place on the team before, and I'm glad he's not on it now, and I hope that he is put somewhere where he can't hurt anyone for long enough that maybe he won't hurt anyone again after he gets out.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||Good riddance||
Clark should have been kicked off of the team after the laptop incident. I'm tired of people making excuses for athletes, and I don't care if the arrest and conviction rate for athletes is lower than that for the general population. The general population is not the appropriate peer group, unless you think people are going to pay hundreds of dollars to sit at a construction site and watch the roofers, or to sit at the mall food court and watch cheer on the fry cooks. Athletes should be held to a higher standard than the general population, and while I appreciate Coach Hoke not wanting to turn his back on a member of the football family, I don't think these kids are owed a second chance.
Having said that, kudos to Hoke for not giving him a third chance, and good riddance to Mr. Clark. I hope he learns some very hard lessons from this, and I hope he's put in a place where he will no longer be able to do harm to those around him.
|38 weeks 2 days ago||Michigan Football||
While in the process of being tackled, inches above the turf, #98 flips a touchdown pass to #92. That must be the most Michigan of all touchdowns. :-)
|38 weeks 4 days ago||Previous Play||
It's in the video -- an intentional lateral out of bounds to stop the clock and set up the final play. I'm pretty sure the clock no longer stops if you intentionally throw the ball out of bounds.
|41 weeks 4 days ago||No||
Sorry, but no. A thousand times no. Maybe a million times no.
Losing to Rutgers was awful, but the season was already a tire fire. My expectations for Michigan football do not include 10-man punt return teams, horrible clock management, 31-0 losses to Notre Dame, and putting probably-concussed quarterbacks back into play. I absolutely refuse to lower my expectations to the point where being barely over .500 would change any of my perceptions.
|41 weeks 4 days ago||Offsides||
From the NCAA rulebook: http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/FR14.pdf
Rule 2 (Definitions):
ARTICLE 5. A restraining line is part of a vertical plane that limits a team’s alignment for free kicks. The plane extends beyond the sidelines [emphasis added]
Then, again, page FR-35:
ARTICLE 2. After the ball is ready for play [...]
Offside occurs when one or more players of the kicking team are not behind their restraining line when the ball is legally free-kicked (Exception: The kicker and holder are not offside when they are beyond their restraining line) (Rule 6-1-2).
The call is indisputably correct; the player's head was offsides, as shown in the screen capture above. It's not clear that the announcing team understood the rule, which certainly didn't help things.
|41 weeks 4 days ago||That was cheap||
PSU knew that guy was out of bounds, so they went to the hurry-up. That's cheap, and I hope karma catches up to them.
|41 weeks 4 days ago||Hurry Up||
If Michigan had gotten the first down, it would have been nice to have the timeout available to them. They may not have needed it, but if they were going to take a timeout in that situation, it should have been right away, not with no time on the play clock. They literally wasted as much time as the rules allowed them to waste. If you're just trying to bleed the time off of the clock, when you're trailing in the game and have a receiver like Funchess that should be a matchup problem for a defense all by himself, you're playing to lose.
Honestly, given Michigan's snail-like pace, even if they'd gotten the first down, at some point during the drive they would have run short of time, or, at a minimum, they would have gone into a panicked hurry-up instead of a controlled one.
|41 weeks 4 days ago||Clock management||
How can we continue to be so bad at fundamental clock management? First they can't get a play off in time during what should have been a two-minute drill, so they waste a timeout with no time on the play clock. Then, they give PSU a free shot at the end zone? If you're calling timeout to "make them kick," you have to do it right away, not with three seconds left.
This isn't rocket science, or some advanced football theory that we shouldn't expect a Division I college football coach to comprehend. This is stuff that 6-year olds get right on Madden. This is an absolute embarrassment, and I feel terrible for the players who have to play against not only the opposing team but also their own coaching staff.
|42 weeks 2 days ago||I'd like to understand||
I'd like to understand Hoke's rationale for this ridiculous antagonism. He appears to be doubling down on the tactic of being as rude as possible. Admittedly, the people asking the questions should probably have learned not to bother by now, but part of the head coach's job is putting up with press conferences, wherein each question gets asked five times in order for each reporter to get a slightly different quote.
Right now, Brady Hoke needs to understand that he is the face of the program, and he needs to act appropriately. He can protect the privacy of his players without embarrassing the program with his childish behavior. He needs to understand how much respect he's lost between the Gibbons and Morris incidents; the last thing he needs to do is to irritate people further.
It's not much harder to be polite than it is to be rude. It's embarrassing that Michigan is being represented by a coach who won't try.
|44 weeks 4 days ago||"A Michigan Man Will Coach Michigan"||
This "Michigan Man" thing drives me nuts because it's somehow become the very opposite of what it meant originally. Heck, Bo went to Miami of Ohio and started his coaching career for Woody Hayes at Ohio State, and he's pretty much the epitome of the Michigan man in the modern era. As nearly as I can tell, the origin of the "Michigan man" thing goes back to his quote about promoting Steve Fisher -- "I don't want someone from Arizona State coaching the Michigan team. A Michigan Man is going to coach Michigan."
Now, Steve Fisher did not attend Michigan -- he went to Illinois State, although he'd been an assistant on Freider's staff for years. However, at the time, he was a "Michigan Man," not because of his background, but because Bo was not about to let Bill Frieder -- a guy who had tendered his resgination and accepted a new position at ASU -- coach Michigan during the NCAA tournament. He wanted a guy who was committed to Michigan.
I never thought Rich Rodriguez would be a Michigan man, not because he was from West Virginia -- so was Fielding Yost! -- but because, in his previous positions, I always felt like he had one foot out the door, looking for his next job. By his third year, when it was clear that he wasn't going to be able to use the Michigan job to springboard into the NFL, I think he was bought in, but by then it was too late.
Hoke was a Michigan man from day one, but he does not appear to be an effective football coach. I believe he should be allowed to coach out his contract, because I don't believe that Michigan should fire a coach for results on the field. I wouldn't give him an extension unless he shows a willingness to adapt to the changing times -- for example, by acknowledging that tempo management is important and that he needs to improve at it. But, if he is let go, I hope that Dave Brandon -- or, better yet, his successor -- will understand a "Michigan man" to be someone who will be 100% committed to Michigan, and not necessarily someone with prior experience at Michigan. The latter formulation excludes any number of qualified candidates for no good reason whatsoever.
PS: John Beilein? No prior Michigan ties, but 100% a Michigan man.
|47 weeks 44 min ago||This.||
Seconded. Thirded. Fifthed. Whatever it takes... BiSB, how could you do that to us? With no warning or anything? I mean, what did we ever do to you?
Here are some free suggestions for next week:
1 - A picture of Boone, NC
2 - A picture of Daniel Boone
3 - A picture of a mountain
4 - A picture of the WVU Mountaineers' irritating hillbilly-with-a-musket mascot guy.
5 - They Who Shall Not Be Named
I mean, really, just about anything else. Please. We're begging here. ;)
|47 weeks 6 days ago||14?||
Don't you mean 15? 12-week regular season, Big Ten Championship, two rounds of playoffs...
Unselfishly, of course. ;-)