chance of bowl: 13.6%
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|1 week 3 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.
|1 week 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.
|1 week 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.
|1 week 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.
|1 week 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.
|2 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.
|4 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.
|6 weeks 6 days 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. ;)
|7 weeks 5 days ago||14?||
Don't you mean 15? 12-week regular season, Big Ten Championship, two rounds of playoffs...
Unselfishly, of course. ;-)
|7 weeks 5 days ago||This game...||
Can we retroactively assign our first score from this game to the last one? That's the way it works, right?
I expect this Michigan team to come out much more focused than that one did... and, actually, that Mountaineer team was a pretty good example of the power of a spread offense to make defenders make bad choices. I expect better results this time.
Having said that, like many fans outside of the midwest, I never watched the first game on account of not being able to get BTN at the time. I'm not exactly looking forward to the actual process of watching the game this year, because I assume that the production crew will cut to historical highlights about 50 times. I do not want to see those; nobody watching the game, except for App St. fans, will want to see them. And yet, we all know that they will be played over and over again, ad nauseum.
I would just listen to the game via streaming audio, but that's what I did last time, so...
Too many choices, and all of them bad. :-(
|27 weeks 5 days ago||Title IX||
Title IX is a convenient scapegoat, but for most schools, this couldn't be further from the truth. Suppose Michigan wanted to have 125 students on football scholarship, instead of 85. They could either remove 40 scholarships from other mens' sports or add 40 women's scholarships to compensate.
Even if you believe that the athletic department is giving the school $60K per player per year to cover the cost of the scholarship, all this does is double that cost to $120K -- $60K for the player that you actually want to come to your school, and $60K for the additional women's bowling scholarship that was created to balance the books.
In fact, setting scholarship limits is just another way to set a salary cap, and it has all of the same implications that it does in pro sports (supports competitive balance, ensures a minimum salary for every player on the roster, and caps the total outlays by the owner, to name a few). Of course, the NCAA will never call it a salary cap, but if a scholarship costs $60K and there are 85 in football, then the football salary cap is $5.1MM, end of story.
Anyway, don't be fooled. Setting scholarship limits is strictly in the purview of the NCAA -- in fact, you could argue that it's their primary responsibility. You can find the specific limits here:
|27 weeks 6 days ago||"nothing"||
Many of these students are poor enough that they would qualify for substantial financial aid, if they could be admitted to the university in the first place. I think it's fair to say that many of them are playing for "nothing."
It's nearly impossible to compute the true value of a scholarship. College is (intentionally) priced so that it will be just slightly out of reach for all but the very rich.* The value proposition sold to parents is that they should sacrifice elsewhere in order to provide this education -- or, better yet, that they should complain to the government and attempt to get additional tax incentives for education.
Jordan Morgan got a good value from his Michigan scholarship, with two degrees in engineering. Many players don't do so well for themselves.
* Here I define the "price" of college as the total out-of-pocket expense, which scales greatly with income.
|27 weeks 6 days ago||Because it's against the rules||
The only reason I need to want Michigan not to do this is "it's against the rules." I am fully in favor of changing the rules. I'd like to start with the ridiculous scholarship cap: "So, what you're saying is, if Michigan wants to sponsor scholarships for 400 young men, many of whom can't afford tuition otherwise, the NCAA will stand in the way of educating these children?" Then I'd like to allow the players to be compensated at whatever level the school thinks is appropriate, like they would for any other on-campus job.
However, until we get rules in place that allow these things, Michigan absolutely should not do them. I would rather see Michigan lose with honor than win with dishonor, any day. And there is no honor in breaking the rules to win, even if the rules don't make sense. Work within the system to change the rules, or exit the NCAA and create your own rules, but don't break them because they're not convenient.
|28 weeks 1 day ago||Other Schools||
Yeah, I see Alabama plates (gah!) all the time. I've even seen a Sparty plate (blecch). The website includes plates for most major Texas universities and a few other schools, mainly from the southeast. Big Ten representation includes Sparty, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, and Purdue, so it's a little unclear as to what, exactly, the criteria for inclusion are. :-)
BTW, I clicked through one of the UT plates, and the base prices appear to be $55 for a single year, $195 for a five-year term, and $295 for a ten-year term; they go up from there if you want a custom plate instead of random text. They also mention that you may have to pay extra when you register the vehicle so that the expiration date on the plates and vehicle sticker match up.
I added my name to the list, but I'm not entirely sold... that's a pretty pricey way to show pride.
BTW - the registration form assumes that your state is Texas. I don't know that they're going to be verifying addresses or anything, but I doubt having out-of-state users sign up is going to make much of an impression upon TxDMV, so those of you who aren't in Texas can feel free to save your spam folder. :-)
|28 weeks 1 day ago||*Three Games*||
Michigan won the Big Ten championship by *three games*. Indiana won last year's Big Ten championship by a missed layup and missed putback. It is entirely reasonable to judge the two seasons differently. If Michigan had been upset by Wofford, then, fine, Wisconsin would have had the better season. As it stands, the answer has to be Michigan this year *and* Michigan last year. If Wisconsin had won the national title, yes, that would trump a Big Ten title. As it stands, they'll hang a banner at Trohl, but nobody really remembers the national semifinal losers anyway.
|28 weeks 5 days ago||Down 2 with the ball||
If MIchigan wanted to be down 2 with the ball and a chance for the last shot, they could have pulled it back out after one of the offensive rebounds in that epic stretch just before this. (Admittedly, maybe JB would have wanted to do that, but the players didn't consider it; still, he could have called a time-out. It's not like they're all that limited in basketball).
Having said that, I'd have been in favor of fouling in many circumstances, but not when Kentucky was getting so many offensive rebounds. Even with Michigan being given inside position by rule, I would be very worried about Kentucky scoring a point and then getting the ball back on a missed second free throw.
Still, one shot away from a back-to-back Final Four. It's nice to be upset about this instead of Evan Turner. :-)
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Powerade||
I was at a game in some small gym one time -- I think it was at Yale. They had a giant Powerade cooler on the sideline. On top of the cooler were the bottles of Gatorade that they were pouring into the Powerade cups. The whole thing is a silly exercise in corporate marketing, and just slightly Orwellian.
I applaud any attempts to show the NCAA's hypocrisy. Yes, the journalist knew the rules, but the rule is asinine precisely because of the official stance on amateurism. If the NCAA wants to run amateur athletics competitions, they should follow the same rules themselves and divest themselves of all "corporate partners" (as opposed to incorporate partners, I suppose?), event sponsors, and the like.
Instead, they regulate cream cheese on athletes' bagels and the cups that may be used on press row. They're ridiculous.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||Chance of getting the ball back||
I think the problem here is the assumption that any missed free throw is rebounded by Michigan. Although the non-shooting team has automatic advantages when it comes to rebounding, given the fact that Michigan rebounded fewer than half of Kentucky's misses, I can't see this being any higher than 75%, and I think this makes the traditional approach correct. The worst possible scenario is one made free throw, a miss, and an offensive rebound, and that was a sadly realistic scenario.
Thanks for putting this together though. :-) I applaud the measurement of non-traditional approaches.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||No other games...||
This is the one thing that drives me nuts about attending NCAA tournament games. I went to the first-round games in San Antonio this year, and while we did get a fairly prompt update after Mercer beat Duke, most of the arena was either glued to their smartphone or to somebody else's report from their smartphone. There's so much downtime due to the interminable tournament commericals, it shouldn't be hard to have CBS's feeds pumped in.
(In fact, they did have highlights this year, which I don't remember from the past -- but no live feeds).
|29 weeks 2 days ago||J-Mo did win a title||
J-Mo did win a title. Two, in fact -- the shared Big Ten title from 2012 and the outright title this year (by three games!)
That's two more than anybody on the Fab Five got. I mean, I wanted this team to keep winning as much as anyone, but I don't want to fall victim to the trap of measuring the season by a single-elimination tournament at the end of the year. Fluky things happen, like a poor-shooting team hitting 7/11 3s. Winning the conference takes hard work and determination, day in and day out, and that's Jordan's legacy as much as anything.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||LMU||
I'd like to see that too -- they were a great offensive team -- but obviously a lot of their scoring came from their pace. I'm not saying that they wouldn't have surprassed 1.24 adjusted points per possession, but I'm not sure it would be a slam dunk either way.
I took a quick look at a box score from the 1990 game. It doesn't list turnovers -- there must have been plenty, both ways -- but it looks like there must have been at least 90-100 possessions in that game. And the 149 was an outlier, even for them (at least against major competition).
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Class||
I logged on to post the exact same thought. Izzo said he didn't want to take anything away from his opponent. Beilein -- and the team -- actually didn't take anything away from them. In fact, Coach Beilein even said he thought it was well-officiated, which is nuts but very classy. It's not the fault of Kentucky's players, fans, or coaches that the officials called the game the way they did, and I appreciated the fact that Michigan's coach would express such sportsmanship immediately after what must have been an infuriating loss.
What a team! I'm already looking forward to 2014-2015. Go Blue!
|29 weeks 3 days ago||This year vs. last year||
Last year, as soon as Michigan got to the Sweet 16, I figured it was house money. After the Kansas win, the Florida game was gravy. I walked into JerryWorld fully expecting to lose but wanting to enjoy the experience.
This year, Michigan won the Big Ten and performed to its seed expectation. I think we're back in "house money" territory. I want to see this team win, because I want to see Jordan Morgan, Nik Stauskas, and GR3 continue their Michigan careers. But if this game goes poorly, I still think it's going to have been a successful season.
Having said that, let's get back to Dallas!
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Had to neg you||
Sorry, had to neg you here. That's a Sparty attitude. I'm glad that Sparty lost, but if Michigan loses today, this game doesn't mean a thing. I won't really be able to enjoy this result until Michigan wins.
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Who touched it last?||
It was pretty obvious to me that it was off of UConn, live and on the replay. I assume, then, that UConn gets the ball? That's how these things work, right?
|29 weeks 3 days ago||It's a major award||
Plus, Izzo has won a Major Award! I wonder if his wife is jealous of the 2000 NC trophy.
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Credit where it's due||
UConn looks completely discombobulated on offense. Part of the credit for that has to go to Sparty's defense, but I think it's also possible that UConn isn't really all that good...
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Sparty Bench||
They've got a bench! That's where all the weird guys sit.
|29 weeks 3 days ago||Sparty Excuses||
And, "Are you sure that was a regulation court? Trice said it was a little narrow."
|29 weeks 3 days ago||"Foul" on Napier||
Agreed -- it seemed like incidental contact to Napier's face. I hate Sparty as much as the next guy, but I prefer to save my outrage for legitimate cheap shots. (I'm sure one will arrive in the next few minutes. :-). However, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how that was a foul on Napier. It looked like a clean steal to me.