Hello: Me

Hello: Me

Submitted by Ace on August 22nd, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Sorry, my mind is still swimming from the whirlwind of this past week and I couldn't come up with a better title, but I figured I'd introduce myself.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with me, my name is Ace Anbender, and I've previously written at The Wolverine Blog, The Wolverine Magazine, and The Ace of Sports (I was quite the humble college freshman, I guess). I've been following football recruiting with more than a passing interest since high school, and while it has never been the main focus of my writing, I will be doing everything I can in the upcoming weeks and months to provide the expert analysis that you guys have enjoyed from the great work of Tim and TomVH, who both leave big shoes to fill.

I graduated from U-M with my bachelor's in history last December, after four-and-a-half years (including five, shall we say, interesting years in the student section) as a Wolverine. Though I was born in San Francisco, the undisputed greatest city in the world, I have lived in Ann Arbor since the age of five and started attending football games with my father during the 1994 season. I almost never made it here, as my first game in Michigan Stadium was supposed to be the Colorado game that season, but a serendipitous work trip kept my father from taking me and my mother sold the tickets - who knows what would've happened had I experienced my first soul-dong punch at such an impressionable age.

My favorite Wolverines of my lifetime - well, the part of my lifetime when I've been able to follow a football game - are Charles Woodson, Brandon Graham, Mike Hart, and Tim Biakabutuka, while my favorite games that I have been able to attend are '97 and '03 Ohio State, '07 Michigan State, '08 Wisconsin, '09 Notre Dame, and '10 UConn. I realize those games have a very recent flavor (a flavor which, I admit, had some bitter aftertaste), but I hope you understand that attending games as a student is an altogether different experience.

None of that has much at all to do with what I'll be working on here, and when it comes to recruiting I welcome any and all input, which will be a huge help especially as I get acclimated to the new job. Don't hesitate to contact me via Twitter (@aceanbender) or email (aceanbender [at] gmail [dot] com) with any advice, criticism, helpful recruiting tidbit or article, anything that you think would help me do the best possible job I can at the best Michigan blog in existence. I'll also be a constant presence on the board, posting under the moniker "Ace", so you can track me down there as well.

Thank you all for what has already been an outpouring of support, which is very much appreciated - I know that I'm following in the footsteps of a couple of great guys who did fantastic work, and I hope you all enjoy what I bring to this fine establishment.

*Updated*: Brandon (and Hollis) at MSED Summer Tailgate Luncheon

*Updated*: Brandon (and Hollis) at MSED Summer Tailgate Luncheon

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 22nd, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Today, the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit (MSED) hosted their "Summer Tailgate Luncheon: The Business of Branding College Athletics" featuring Dave Brandon and Mark Hollis.

The event was livestreamed and is now available to watch at the MSED link above, but I didn't catch onto it until I saw a Kyle Meinke retweet of new A2.com Michigan basketball reporter Nick Baumgardner (give him a follow, BTW).

Baumgardner's article at A2.com focuses on the issue of paying athletes.

...Michigan’s second-year athletic director got right to the point when asked his thoughts on the pay for play debate.

“I’m flatly opposed to this notion of paying student-athletes,” Brandon said. “I don’t think you could possibly coach a team where part of them are being compensated and part of them are not.

“Once you start paying them as if they were employees, then you’re going to be 1099ing these folks, bringing in accountants and lawyers to work through tax issues which leads to contract negotiations and probably even a union. It’s just absurd.”

Meinke's article is broader in its focus with quotes about the lacrosse program, social media, revenue sources, what "wow" means, among other items.

Brandon said building brands — which is a primary reason why he took the job at Michigan — is about more than the product that is put on the field.

“We’re trying really hard to do some things with event execution that makes our events special. So, when you see people parachuting in with the game ball, when you see Lady Gaga tunes being performed by the marching band, when you see fans using technology in the stadium that afford people the ability to watch replays and keep track of scores, when you see fireworks when we host the largest hockey game in the history of hockey … our first (home) night game in 132 years of Michigan football Sept. 10, we’re working really hard to create events that are memorable.

“Above and beyond the competition, which is most important, we want to create wows for our customers, those fans and those reporters who make that programs work.”

Here are Baumgardner's and Meinke's tweets from the event. Caution, these are tweets that were made as the event unfolded. They aren't always exact quotes and they often lack context.

  • Meinke: Theme of banquet is branding in sports. With respect to Mark Hollis, Dave Brandon seems like a pretty appropriate speaker.
  • Meinke: Brandon: sports are the "front porch" to universities.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says if you want a strong brand, first up is 'you'd better run a clean program.'
  • Meinke: Brandon: the impact of NCAA violations on brands is "phenomenal." Pointed to example he "walked into" and at Michigan, situation at Miami.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon discusses importance of creating 'wows' for customers/fans. Night game, Big Chill, etc.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says adding lax was part of the department's 'grow in every way' strategy. Also, allows school to build brand, increase donors.
  • Meinke: Brandon on why he added lacrosse: strategic initiative to increase number of sports/athletes. Lax adds 85 athletes, 25 scholarships.
  • Baumgardner: Michigan received $5 million in lacrosse donor money in six months.
  • Meinke: Brandon said plans under way for fundraising, planning for new lacrosse facilities. Plans to invest millions in program.
  • Baumgardner: Hollis jokes with Brandon 'I wish I had your budget -- I wish I had half your budget.'
  • Baumgardner: Hollis jokes he's glad UM has vid boards this year, because MSU is doing the same next year -- and will make them 'bigger and better.'
  • Meinke: Hollis said he knows he has sports at MSU, such as wrestling and swimming, for which the school doesn't give its teams a chance to compete.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon: social media creates great opportunity for college athletics, but also brings a big risk factor.
  • Meinke: Hollis said he has two or three meetings ever week with athletes/coaches regarding use of Twitter.
  • Meinke: Brandon: 'I think every athletic director sleeps with one eye open because of the temptation that faces their kids.'
  • Baumbardner: Brandon states the obvious -- football moves Michigan's needle, and so he watches the program 'real close.'
  • Meinke: Brandon said he's fortunate bc as economy soured, UM's revenue has grown double-digits bc of Michigan Stadium suites. Expects same this yr
  • Meinke: Brandon said UM football accounts for 66% of AD revenue. "if you're going to put all your eggs in 1 basket, you better watch your basket"
  • Meinke: Brandon, on today's recruiting: "If I would have told Bo I was going to announce my decision at a press conference, he would have killed me"
  • Baumgardner: Brandon gives big props to @BigTenNetwork and its impact on the brand of every league program.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says he's flatly opposed to notion of paying student-athletes.
  • Meinke: [Brandon] said almost every athlete has no "commerciality"
  • Baumgardner: Both ADs asked if it's time to come up with a new name for the conference. Hollis: 'No.' Brandon: 'Hell, no.'
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says he gets more advice than ever with his job, jokes that 'and I thought people were serious about pizza ...'
  • Meinke: Brandon: I used to think people had strong opinions about pizza. Now, if I piss off 20% of the people, I think I'm doing pretty good.

Lots to chew on there. Have at it.

OT: tOfficial Supplemental Draft Thread

OT: tOfficial Supplemental Draft Thread

Submitted by Geaux_Blue on August 22nd, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Begins at 1 pm EST. Pryor speculated to be going in 5th by teams like Bengals or Raiders. Lions being pushed by some to pick up the RB from Georgia to try to Leshoure up their backfield. Thoughts? Comments? Don't give a damn about anyone but Mchgan? Discuss.

Update: Pryor to the Raiders in the third.

Update 2: 


AdamSchefter Adam Schefter 

Terrelle Pryor was only player selected today. No other players were drafted; those players are now free to sign with any team.

Meta, pretty much: David Foster Wallace in NYTimes Magazine

Meta, pretty much: David Foster Wallace in NYTimes Magazine

Submitted by BeantownBlue on August 21st, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Interesting read in today's NYT magazine about how David Foster Wallace "inadvertently created the voice of the Internet and ruined a generation of writers."  Or, at least, that was the sub-headline in the print edition.

I still have a lot of work to do in catching up with DFW's work, but it is interesting to read about how some of his conventions have become ubiquitous in blog writing and to see how some turn up in Brian's posts.

As far as ruining a generation of writers, the author seems to be specifically referring to writers who copy the "slangy approachability" of his style while lacking his "roving intelligence."  Clearly, nobody here would question Brian's roving intelligence so this does not apply to him.


Brian (back) on WTKA at 9 am (Thursdays...edit: starting today!)

Brian (back) on WTKA at 9 am (Thursdays...edit: starting today!)

Submitted by M-Wolverine on August 18th, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Sam and Ira announced Brian will be on at 9 am, starting his regular in season Thursday segments on WTKA 1050 radio (www.wtka.com for live listen or maybe working podcasts), so tune in.

Edit: like almost right now.  Turn on your radio/computer.

U of M builds fastest human-like robot

U of M builds fastest human-like robot

Submitted by panthera leo fututio on August 17th, 2011 at 7:08 PM


Nice work, nerds.

(Of course, human-like robots won't get really fast until they're built by roboticists in SEC engineering departments.)

OT: Sleeping Bear Dunes voted Most Beautiful Place in America by GMA

OT: Sleeping Bear Dunes voted Most Beautiful Place in America by GMA

Submitted by AKMuskie on August 17th, 2011 at 10:29 AM


This was on MGoBlog a few weeks ago (Possibly fueled this to victory?). Only been there once but absolutely loved it. Great news for the state! Even though it's no secret that there is a lot of beauty within its borders. 

Academic Dollars: Big Ten Expansion, Research Excellence and a B1G Sweep.

Academic Dollars: Big Ten Expansion, Research Excellence and a B1G Sweep.

Submitted by justingoblue on August 14th, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Recent conference expansion talk has fueled more speculation about the Big Ten adding a new member. Without a football powerhouse like Nebraska available, I believe that the only way a new member is added to the Big Ten is with solid athletics and powerhouse academic credentials. One way to measure academic excellence and activity is total research expenditures; I have compiled a list of total research dollars spent for a five year span (2004-2008) from The Top American Research Universities 2010 Report, from Part II starting on p.31. After gathering the raw data in Excel, I made a few simple calculations: summing data from different years, dividing schools into athletic conferences*, and finding the mean, median and mean expenditures per year. This should give some insight to where a potential Big Ten member needs to be (without being a special case like Nebraska), where the Big Ten fits among other conferences academically and which schools pump the most dollars into academic activity. Two notes about calculations: a) only schools with >$40,000,000 of research were included, the median does not include these schools in calculation, but both means heavily penalize a conference for a low-spending member and b) medical schools not on the university main campus are not included in calculations. Off the top of my head, IU, Rutgers, Nebraska and Arkansas are penalized heavily for this, so let me explain why: first, the AAU calculates this way and second, I did not have access to enough accounting data to do anything other than "include" or "not include" and chose the latter.

*Chicago was included in the Big Ten because of their CIC affiliation.

Conferences in order of total spending, a simple sum. (all numbers are *1,000):

Big Ten 30,266,277
Pac 12 23,757,209
ACC 17,996,467
SEC 12,361,094
Big XII 9,037,125
Big East 8,794,493

Conferences in order of median spending (excludes schools under 40,000,000):

Big Ten 2,093,400
Pac 12 1,808,149
ACC 1,620,709
Big East 1,336,260
SEC 1,239,180
BXII 851,474

Conferences in order of average spending (includes schools below 40,000,000 as zero):

Conference Average Average per Year
Big Ten 2,325,875 465,175
Pac 12 1,979,767 395,953
ACC 1,499,706 299,941
Big East 1,099,307 219,861
SEC 1,052,591 210,518
BXII 903,713 180,742

Big Ten Total Spending by School, descending:

Wisconsin 4,116,318
Michigan 4,063,612
Ohio State 3,202,138
Minnesota 2,965,622
PSU 2,873,737
Illinois 2,457,119
Northwestern 2,093,400
Purdue 1,948,883
Iowa 1,650,222
Michigan State 1,580,244
Chicago 1,551,427
Nebraska 1,054,776
IU 678,879

Big Ten Notables:

Total Spending 30,236,377
Median Spending 2,093,400
Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero) 2,325,875
Average Per Year 465,175
Highest Spender Wisconsin (4,116,318)
Lowest Spender Indiana (678,879)

Pac 12 Notables:

Total Spending 23,757,209
Median Spending 1,808,149
Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero) 1,979,767
Average Per Year 395,953
Highest Spender Washington (3,721,565)
Lowest Spender Oregon (279,875)

ACC Notables:

Total Spending 17,996,467
Median Spending 1,620,709
Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero) 1,499,706
Average Per Year 299,941
Highest Spender Duke (3,357,452)
Lowest Spender FSU (898,502)
Non Qualifiers Boston College

SEC Notables:

Total Spending 12,631,094
Median Spending 1,239,180
Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero) 1,052,591
Average Per Year 210,518
Highest Spender Florida (2,720,376)
Lowest Spender Auburn (672,043)
Non Qualifiers Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama

Big XII Notables:

Total Spending 9,037,125
Median Spending 851,474
Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero) 903,713
Average Per Year 180,742
Highest Spender Texas A&M (2,555,789)
Lowest Spender Oklahoma (393,766)
Non Qualifiers Texas Tech, Baylor

Big East Notables:

Total Spending 8,794,453
Median Spending 1,336,260
Average (includes <40,000,000 as zero) 1,099,260
Average Per Year 219,861
Highest Spender Pitt (2,656,991)
Lowest Spender Connecticut (523,633)
Non Qualifiers Syracuse

Possible Big Ten Additions:

School: Dollars spent last five years Rank in CIC using current membership
Duke 3,357,452 3
UNC 2,304,624 7
U.Va 1,194,179 12
Virginia Tech 1,620,709 10
Pitt 2,656,991 7
Rutgers 1,399,272 12
Syracuse N/R 14
Missouri 1,126,801 12
Notre Dame 398,712 14


Fan Day question

Fan Day question

Submitted by go16blue on August 11th, 2011 at 10:43 AM

I have a plan to get something signed by both Denard and coach Hoke, but I need to know a few things first. This is my first fan day, so for anyone who has gone before, advice and answers would be appreciated.

  • When do the first people show up? I want to be towards the very front of the line, and I don't care too much about waiting. 
  • How do they cut off the lines? Do they jump in to a line to stop it, or just stop letting people enter the line? I have a feeling its the second one, but I just want to be sure.
  • When do lines get cut off? Could I get through the QB line (I know there are two, but if I get in early enough I can see which one has Denard and adjust accordingly, I think) and then the Hoke line? The plan right now is to have my dad come with me and go into the Hoke line, where I will drop off the helmet to be signed once I get it signed by Denard.

Thanks in advance for your answers