Unverified Voracity Borks The Cup

Unverified Voracity Borks The Cup

Submitted by Brian on June 12th, 2017 at 3:56 PM

Bork! Last night Carl Hagelin had a case of deja vu when a ref blew the play dead despite a very loose puck in the crease. Luckily for him, the grave miscarriage of justice happened to the other team this time. Result:

Hagelin had the empty-netter to seal it, and that's Carl Hagelin: the guy you put on the ice with a minute left when you're up 1-0 in game six of the Stanley Cup finals. Congrats to the Penguins and their veritable horde of college hockey alums; nuts to all the people who call Sidney Crosby "Cindy."

Better than perfect. I don't know how Michigan is claiming a 1006 APR for one year, but they are indeed:

This is a much better thing to try to figure out than "what score do they need to not get nailed?"

Amateurism is bad and dumb, part 300. UCF has a kicker. You probably did not know this but could extrapolate it from facts. It is a certainty that no one wants to give this kicker money for playing college football. He plays for Central Florida. He is a kicker. He has zero career field goals. But he's also a minor Youtube star with 52,000 subscribers. Fly, meet nuclear bomb:

On Saturday, June 10, De La Haye uploaded a new YouTube video titled, “Quit college sports or quit YouTube?”. In the video, the kicker showed up to a meeting at the football offices exclaiming he felt like it was Judgement Day.

“Everything’s going to go well,” he said in the video. “We’re just going to talk about ways that I can keep doing what I’m doing and follow the rules.”

It’s unclear who the meeting was with, but upon returning, De La Haye said he was basically given an ultimatum of choosing between football or YouTube videos.

“The meeting went well, but it didn’t go well at the same time,” he said. “Basically, I’m not allowed to make any money off of my YouTube videos. I’m working hard basically as a job — filming, editing and things of that sort, and I’m not allowed to make any money. If I do, then bad things happen for me. I feel like they’re making me pick between my passion for what I love to do shooting videos and entertaining and my other passion, playing football.”

This isn't an anomaly. This is the ruthless logic of amateurism as practiced by the NCAA: not only will we not give you any money, but nobody else can give it to you either. Even if it has nothing to do with sports. Even if you are so obscure that you're not even an AAC school's primary kicker.

Lavall Jordan moving on up? Jordan just took over UWM but there's an opening at Butler and he almost got the job once before:

Jordan will certainly be a person of interest when Beilein decides to hang 'em up, and Butler would be a fine platform via which to confirm or dis-confirm the idea that he should be the successor.

What is even going on in Oxford. The Ole Miss saga—I can call it a saga because it involves men in helmets bellowing nonsense and ends with an axe going through someone's forehead—takes an odd twist:

A business in Oxford, Miss., has filed a civil complaint alleging defamation that could reverberate through the University of Mississippi’s ongoing NCAA case. Rebel Rags LLC, an Oxford-based clothing company, filed the complaint Friday in Lafayette County Circuit Court.

The suit alleges defamation in the NCAA testimony of two Mississippi State football players, Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones, and also Lindsey Miller, the estranged stepfather of former Rebel star Laremy Tunsil. In Ole Miss’s response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations last week, it attempts to deny the allegations that two recruits and the family member of a recruit—Lewis, Jones and Miller—received a total of $2,800 in gear from Rebel Rags.

The store in question is named as a booster and if disassociated will lose its ability to sell Ole Miss gear. This is a slight problem for a store that only sells Ole Miss gear. Therefore this, which cannot be good for Ole Miss. Either the NCAA will pause for the outcome of a court case, lengthening the recruiting purgatory that caused Hugh Freeze to refer to his 2017 class as a penalty, or it will do whatever it's going to do anyway. The general thought is that the NCAA will do the latter, leaving this defamation lawsuit as an attempt to exact some revenge on the folks who set the Ole Miss program on fire.

What is even going on in East Lansing. Another gent who won't be playing for MSU this year:

Former Michigan State lineman Cassius Peat says he felt "blindsided" earlier this week when coaches told him he didn't have a spot on the team less than a week from when he was supposed to report to East Lansing.

Peat told the Detroit Free Press that Michigan State coaches informed him Wednesday that he shouldn't return to campus for summer workouts.

"I have respect for them, and I understand it's a business," Peat told the Free Press. "But morally, man, as a 20-year-old kid with a family, for them to do that is -- I can't even put it into words, to be honest."

Peat was the ultra-rare JUCO guy who was set to return to his original school. Since he is an ambulatory person large enough to play DL and Michigan State looks set to have two walk-ons on their DE depth chart, this could not have been voluntary on MSU's part. Peat must have failed to get by the Clearinghouse.

The number of players MSU has lost to offseason attrition is truly prodigious:

  • OL Thiyo Lukusa: quits team, says he's giving up football, ends up at JUCO.
  • S Drake Martinez: probably a playing time transfer
  • DE Donovan Winter: dropped after armed burglary charge
  • LB Jon Reshcke: dropped N-bomb on teammate
  • WR Donnie Corley: charged with criminal sexual conduct
  • DE Josh King: charged with criminal sexual conduct
  • S Demetric Vance: charged with criminal sexual conduct
  • DE Auston Robertson, charged with criminal sexual conduct
  • DT Cassius Peat: probably not qualified?
  • CB Kaleel Gaines: JUCO transfer, academics related?
  • S Kenney Lyke: another JUCO transfer, academics related?

That might not be it, either. MSU's Scout site reported that CB Vayante Copeland and DE Robert Bowers were gone as well; Dantonio directly refuted that report but when insider sites report negative news there's almost always something to it. If those guys do end up gone MSU will be down almost an entire recruiting class of guys they expected to be on the team this fall. Add in the dismal finish to MSU's 2017 class and they're going to go into this season with a roster as depleted as a sanctioned PSU program was a few years back.

This is an amazing carousel. Via Get The Picture, an amazing thing about Florida:

Transfer quarterbacks are nothing new for Florida, which has seen six of its own quarterbacks transfer since 2010 and had signal-callers Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby transfer in to the program. So far, the players coming in haven’t done much more than the players going out, and Zaire is hoping that all changes with him.

That's a transfer out per year. Since you usually recruit one quarterback a year… carry the two… some long division… take the cosine… that's bad.

Not bad enough for Florida to stop winning the SEC East, apparently.

Etc.: DJ Wilson #16 on the SBN mock draft. State theater renovations underway; end result will be four small theaters. Bruce Arena helped the US scratch out a draw at Azteca yesterday because he's not a goof pretending to be a coach. CMU to be a bodybag game for basketball this fall. This would be a good fix for illegal men downfield being hard to call. It's Harbaugh's job to find the loopholes though. Harbaugh goes to Washington. Wagner up to 245.

Unverified Voracity Finds Young Delano

Unverified Voracity Finds Young Delano

Submitted by Brian on May 4th, 2017 at 1:33 PM

This is good publicity. This is a very Michigan Difference sort of thing.

Two amazing things. One: every member of Cass Tech's 2013 secondary is currently in the NFL. Two: ESPN found a picture of Delano Hill in which he looks younger than 45.

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The two guys not pictured, DaQuan Pace and DeJuan Rogers, both went to MAC schools and signed as UDFAs so this is likely to be short-lived. Nonetheless that is extraordinary. Jermain Crowell, the DBs coach at Cass Tech at the time:

He planned to take all four of his NFL-bound protégés out to dinner to congratulate them Tuesday night.

"This might be the last check that I pick up," he said. "This might have to be the last one."

Yessir.

Bits and pieces of the schedule. Michigan's added some guarantee games in 2018 and 2019. They'll play WMU in 2018 and MTSU and Army in 2019. The Broncos are likely to be far enough removed from the PJ Fleck era to be a major threat, but they're likely to be on another level from a low-level MAC opponent.

It's even tougher to project to 2019. FWIW, MTSU has been about .500 the last four years. They were competitive with Vandy (a 17-13 loss) and Illinois (a 27-25 loss) last year; this year they were hammered by Vandy but beat (a very very bad) Mizzou. Army has been the service academy it's safe to schedule for about 20 years now but they got off the mat for an 8-5 2016 with third year coach Jeff Monken.

Hooray for not worrying about this anymore. This site used to have annual posts dedicated to the Academic Progress Rate, because a late Carr falloff and disastrous transition to Rich Rodriguez had Michigan hovering near the Mendoza line. That 880 fell off a couple of years ago, and from there it's been about consolidating a spot at the top. Mission accomplished:

Oddly, I don't see Notre Dame on that list. Someone check ND Nation for fainting spells.

Excellent job all around here, and if you're scoring at home Michigan just had the most NFL draft picks, the third-highest APR in college football, and took a trip to Rome. Croots should be knocking the doors down. For real:

Michigan's coaching staff was just returning from an Italian dinner -- their final meal as a team in Rome -- in a 17th century Baroque mansion with marble door frames and elaborate chandeliers when their phones started to buzz again. A few thousand miles away, on the other side of the Atlantic, the New York Jets had just selected Jeremy Clark with the 197th pick of the NFL draft. He was the 11th Wolverine to have his name called in Philadelphia, a new school record.

In one particular way it's tough being a McCaffrey. Zing:

Hurst will go high. PFF has always been about Maurice Hurst and it looks like that is approaching consensus in the draft analyst community. Todd McShay:

Hurst has started just four games at Michigan, but I love what I've seen on tape so far. He was frequently Michigan's best defensive lineman during the games I studied. And remember: That group just had three D-linemen selected in the 2017 draft.

He's projected to go 16th next year. Don't expect much else: Michigan has just eight seniors. Mason Cole is likely to be drafted and Mike McCray could play himself into the middle rounds. Khalid Hill might be a draftable fullback. Unless there are some very surprising breakouts from juniors that would be it.

Good luck with that. Per Athlon, both in-state teams have to replace a ton this offseason:

East Division

Team Offense Defense
Indiana 5 9
Maryland 6 6
Michigan 5 1
Michigan State 2 3
Ohio State 8 7
Penn State 10 7
Rutgers 4 7

We all know about Michigan's massive turnover; Michigan State actually has fewer returning starters. And they went 3-9. Have fun, guys!

Usually this dude trolls Penn State fans. David Jones puts together a list of Big Ten schools by football revenue and this is either a brilliant way to get me to link very boring content or the worst take of all time:

Though Dave Brandon was unseated as athletic director in Oct. 2014, the revenue monster he built breathes without him. Michigan always was a conference heavyweight but it has recently become the unrivaled giant of money-making B1G football programs, the first in the league to approach the $100 million mark in gross revenue. The 2015-16 figure is a whopping 10-percent increase over 2014-15's $88.3M. Michigan's $60.6 net after expenses is easily the conference's largest.

/head explodes

Jones must have missed the collapse of Michigan's season ticket waiting list and ~75,000 fans at the dismal Maryland game. The part of Michigan's revenue surge that isn't TV money lifting all boats is directly attributable to one Jim Harbaugh, not the athletic director he didn't want to work for.

Etc.: Wagner, Wilson decisions will be at the deadline. That's May 24th. Quinn profiles David DeJulius. Michigan is looking for new lax coaches. Kyle Rowland on the scary, scary hours for Grant Newsome after his ACL tear. Rookie wage scale in the NFL is devastating for running backs. Excellent post on evaluating OL.

Unverified Voracity Is Mostly About Spreadsheets

Unverified Voracity Is Mostly About Spreadsheets

Submitted by Brian on April 21st, 2016 at 2:05 PM

apr-booksapr-birds

APR check-in. We no longer have to do the thing with the books and the deep dive into what is required of Michigan to avoid penalties, so let's just jam the latest APR data into a UV bullet. Michigan's multi-year football APR is now a very shiny 989, which is seventh nationally and somehow only fourth in the Big Ten:

Rank School APR
1 Wisconsin 992
2 Minnesota 992
3 Northwestern 992
4 Michigan 989
5 Illinois 982
6 Nebraska 981
7 Indiana 979
8 MSU 978
9 Maryland 977
10 Rutgers 972
11 Iowa 971
12 OSU 971
13 Purdue 968
14 PSU 960

Again, a lot of credit for this has to go to Brady Hoke, who inherited a bad situation and made it very good. Also that's another thing James Franklin lags his peers in.

Every other Michigan sport did very well, with many batting 1000.

Just when the satellite camp thing can't get any weirder. UCLA AD Dan Guerrero "didn't vote the way he was supposed to" per Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott:

That makes two conferences who are utterly baffled at their own dang vote, with the Sun Belt the other. If those conferences had voted the way the vast majority of their coaches had wanted, the camp ban fails 8-7.

Guerrero's attempt to justify his vote is as bizarre as you might expect:

“My assessment was that one of the two was going to pass, and we didn’t know which one,” Guerrero said. “I had to vote for 59 because if that failed and 60 passed, Pac-12 schools would have been at a disadvantage.”

59 is the total ban. 60 allowed camps in the same state or within 50 miles. The Pac-12 apparently has a rule that wouldn't allow them to take advantage of the latter. Guerrero seems oblivious to the fact that the Pac-12 can, you know, change its own rules. He was also oblivious to the fact that the ACC and SEC were going to press for a camp ban…

“Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to ‘satellite camps’ unchanged,” he wrote to his colleagues last week.

…despite the ACC and SEC publicly proclaiming they would do so for a solid year. People in charge of things are just in charge of them, man. I mean, this is the whole email Guerrero sent out:

“Prior to these meetings, I had extensive conversations with Pac-12 representatives in regard to the Conference’s position on a number of legislative proposals — the ‘satellite camp’ proposals included,” Guerrero wrote to his Pac-12 colleagues. “With an 0–11–1 vote cast by the Pac-12 Council, a vote to oppose [both] proposals was the charge with the ultimate goal to refer the legislation [back] to the Football Oversight Committee (FOC).

“Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to ‘satellite camps’ unchanged. In fact this was the preferred outcome by our Conference as indicated in the preparatory materials I received prior to the meeting.

“When this did not happen … I made the call to support [the ACC’s version], which was the preference of the two options.”

That is a pile of wordvomit that an eighth-grader should be embarrassed about. It's flabbergasting that an athletic director can barely express himself.

Overdue for some Sankey smarm no doubt. Yep:

“What’s caught me by surprise is the notion that there’s a lot of name-calling and finger-pointing,” he said. “It’s not a healthy byproduct of the legislative process.”

When you have no case on the merits, attack the tone of the people with a case. That is also a brutally awkward construction, but I guess these days the job of an NCAA muckety-muck is not to explain but to obscure. Speaking of…

Let's define what a bubble is first. Economist Andrew Zimbalist thinks the NCAA is currently in a bubble environment because they might have to play players:

Zimbalist says this kind of spending is not sustainable, and he thinks litigation of some stripe — courts deciding players can be paid beyond their scholarships, for instance — could cause the bubble to burst. Among the other potential wildcards are an ongoing lawsuit pertaining to athlete compensation limits that seeks hundreds of millions in damages, concussion lawsuits, or a change in the National Labor Relations Board’s position on college athletes unionizing.

“There are big-time things leading it to pop,” says Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College and author of Unpaid Professionals: Commercializationand Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. “It’s an unstable situation.”

This is a weird way to define a "bubble." If college athletics are in a bubble situation it's because of the changing landscape of cable. Their bubble is more or less ESPN's bubble, with ticket sales in an HD world a potential additional factor. Once people with no interest in sports can watch Naked and Afraid without having to give six bucks to ESPN, there might have to be some belt-tightening. Obviously, that doesn't appear to be kicking in just yet, or any time soon—CBS just extended its deal for the NCAA Tournament until 2032.

Being forced to reallocate revenues to athletes and away from coaches, administrators, and nine-digit palaces for nonrevenue sports is not a "bubble" unless you take an exceedingly narrow view of the stakeholders here. And, yes, for the vast majority of NCAA schools this discussion is irrelevant. For the ones for which it is relevant, their ever-increasing income is the opposite of a bubble. If this quote applies at all…

Zimbalist says athletics departments simply can’t keep spending so much. “Politically, it’s not sustainable,” he says. “Legally, it’s not sustainable. Economically, it’s not sustainable.”

…it's to the second tier who are a trying to keep up with the Joneses, which is an entirely different situation than most Power 5 schools find themselves in.

If you'd like a more erudite take, John Gasaway was also irritated by this article:

For starters the nominal news hook presented by the numbers — most athletic departments operate at what they are pleased to term deficits — would seem to be something of an awkward fit for our traditional stock of “bubble” iconography. Maybe it’s me, but I always assumed that tulip merchants in 1637, the South Sea Company in 1720, Webvan.com in 1999, and subprime lenders in 2006 instead showed astronomic operating surpluses. In fact I rather thought this was precisely the red flag in those cases.

Changing the distribution of a pie does not change the pie. I mean:

In 2011, the University of Michigan athletic department employed 253 people, according to state records. Four years later, in 2015, it was 334, up 32 percent.

During that period, the average salary grew 22.4 percent, to $89,851. Over a seven-year span, the number of athletic department employees making six figures went from 30 to 81. …

Michigan didn't add 32 percent more sports in those four years, or 32 percent more scholarship athletes, requiring 32 percent more staffing.

It just made about $30 million more dollars per year, from $122.7 million in 2011 to $152.5 million in 2015. Most of the increase came courtesy of the Big Ten Network.

Schools have a motivation to spend all the money they make so it looks like they don't have enough to pay their athletes. Dave Brandon's Michigan was the leading edge of a nationwide trend.

The reason this article comes out annually. USA Today has updated its database of income and expenses for D-I schools. Michigan is fourth behind Texas A&M (which had a huge donation surge for stadium renovations they're undertaking and will slide back into the pack next year), Texas, and OSU.  They've still got that niggling 200k or so a year counted as a university subsidy that looks bad despite the obvious fact that they don't need to have their income supplemented.

But would you go back in time to kill Baby Anonymous NFL Scout? It's that time of year again where NFL types operating under a cloak of anonymity slam the character of various draft prospects. One article out of Wisconsin on the quarterback class has an absolute pile of "say that to my face" quotes. On Connor Cook:

"Let's put it this way: he's not Kirk Cousins," another scout said. "The person kills him. Selfish. He goes out too much. It's a tell-tale sign when your teammates don't like you, and I know they don't. He's good, but that position is more than physical attributes. It's also leadership. Is he going to lead your guys? I don't think so

On Christian Hackenberg:

"He hangs out more with managers than he does teammates. It tells me he likes to be king of the little people rather than king of the big people."

And the doozy on Cardale Jones:

"Strong arm. Big, big body. Not the brightest cookie in the world. I worry about him when he gets money in his pocket. I just don't know if it's all there mentally."

Anonymous NFL Scout is the wooooooorst.

Rugby tackling is spreading. Pete Carroll's push to get more teams tackling like the Seahawks do—with the shoulder first, wrapping up the legs—appears to be taking off:

Dozens of teams, both on the Power Five and Group of Five levels, now utilize the rugby style during practice, drawn to a change in approach after watching a video from Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll detailing the method. Boiled down, Carroll’s system — one he calls “Hawk Tackling” — offers a drastic change from tradition: rather than tackling with the head, defenders are taught to lead with their shoulders.

“It’s definitely a safer way to tackle,” said Rutgers defensive lineman Darius Hamilton. “With the rugby-style tackle, you want to kill the engine, which is basically wrapping the thighs, stopping the legs. So I definitely think this tackling system is more efficient, and it’s just going to take the matter of the more reps you can get of it because you can’t do something like that enough.”

Nebraska and Rutgers appear to be using that system. Will be interesting to see that in practice this year. Certainly hasn't hurt the Seahawks.

Alright then. Mike Spath reports that Michigan is going to have a lot of goalies next year:

Lavigne had a .914 in the USHL this year after a rough 2014-15; LaFontaine had a .921 in the NAHL. Michigan also has a commit from NTDP goalie Dylan St. Cyr next year, so things are about to be crowded even with Zach Nagelvoort graduating after 2016-17.

Michigan also added one of LaFontaine's teammates today:

Winborg is a 21-year-old Swede who has been a PPG player in the NAHL for the last couple years. Guys with his profile are usually depth players; Michigan does need depth. Fellow Swede Gustaf Westlund is a 2017 player, not a 2016 player as I incorrectly assumed, so Michigan could use an extra forward on next year's team.

Etc.: gotta respect the hustle here. Hopefully the dude gets asylum, because anyone who gets out of South Sudan should. The O'Bannon case did establish the NCAA as a monopoly. The woooooorst. Michigan killing the charity bowl. No mercy.

Unverified Voracity Retires Books

Unverified Voracity Retires Books

Submitted by Brian on May 28th, 2015 at 2:49 PM

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[Bryan Fuller]

Let's get ready to softball. Michigan's part in the Women's College World Series kicks off tonight at 7, as they take on six-seed Alabama. Michigan swept Alabama 8-2 and 4-1 earlier this year, but that was before the Tide turned to freshman Alexis Osorio to do most of their pitching. The game is on ESPN2.

Meanwhile in Louisville. Baseball takes on Bradley tomorrow in the UL regional. Michael Baumann has an excellent and concise preview at D1Baseball. On Michigan's first-round opponent:

Bradley has become the poster child for the RPI robbing traditional power conferences of spots in the tournament, as the Braves’ No. 19 RPI — which peaked at 10 — never quite felt right. Going 10-11 in the MVC — which is a good conference, but not that good — is a bad look, and along with an 11-12 record against the RPI top 100, always gave off the impression that the Braves were a paper tiger.

Bradley will need a win out of No. 1 starter Elliot Ashbeck (11-4, 3.11) in the opener against Michigan, and from there, they can try to cobble together something that gets them from the start of the game to closer Matt Dennis (3-0, 1.59, 12 saves) until it’s time to start Ashbeck again.

That sounds as enticing as possible for a 2-vs-3 matchup in which you are the lower seed.

Should Michigan get past the Braves, Louisville (presumably) presents a formidable challenge in the next round. Michigan figures to draw a pitching matchup featuring a projected first-round pick against their #2 starter, who is… not going to be a first round pick.

MLive also has a Bradley preview.

Today in things we are glad no longer warrant a post. Remember the books and the birds?

apr-books apr-birds

Those were deployed in annual posts poring over the worrisome state of Michigan's APR after the Carr-Rodriguez transition year saw a huge crater that threatened to drag Michigan under the red line for penalties. Those posts have officially been retired.

Michigan football recorded a perfect single-year APR score (1,000) in 2013-14 for the first time since the NCAA began monitoring the metric in 2004-05. The program's four-year rolling APR average now sits at 990, third in the Big Ten. The NCAA released the updated figures Wednesday.

Well done, Hoke and academic staff.

Meanwhile I'm growing more and more skeptical of the validity of the APR. As a number of commenters pointed out in the post on freshman ineligibility, any metric that gives Crean-era Indiana basketball a perfect score is not particularly rigorous. But it's better to be at the top of a not particularly rigorous metric than towards the bottom.

Summer camp, 1992. I wish I could bottle old Michigan replay music and have it follow me around, en-jivening my day to day.

It's about that time. Michigan basketball refrains from offering recruits until June 1st of their junior year. June first is just a few days away… and nobody seems to know who is on the list. Or if there is even a list.

Michigan has just two certain spots in the class of 2017—those from the departures of Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin. They are aiming for a point guard in 2016. Assuming they get one that would fill their scholarship slots and push center commit Austin Davis to 2017 minus any attrition. That means they'd have one slot at most with almost no idea where they should use it.

For the first time in a while it seems like June 1st will pass without a solid definition of Michigan's top targets in a recruiting class. It is possible some offers will go out, and more possible still that Michigan finds some gentlemen at their annual summer camp, which is scheduled for June 6th. Here is a 2017 top 100 guy planning to attend from a long way way:

Having already landed its biggest 2016 recruit, Tyus Battle, Michigan is now setting up its wish list for 2017.

One name currently included is Greg Floyd Jr., a 6-foot-8 forward from Las Vegas.

On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Knicks, Floyd's AAU team, announced via Twitter that Floyd will visit Ann Arbor for Michigan's College Practice Camp on June 6.

Michigan may also offer NY combo guard Kevin Heurter, who is currently scheduled to be a member of the class of 2016 but has a 2017 offer from Syracuse and is very young for his class.

It's a kind of legacy. The SEC has added neutral observers to the press box to determine whether or not a player cannot continue because he has been hit very hard in the head. Get The Picture dubs this the

The Brady Hoke Rule

Woof. On the other hand, APR?

I wonder how Dantonio will get mad about this. This is clearly not trolling. It is the opposite of trolling.

"We know we're not the biggest guy on the block (right now)," Harbaugh said, per a live video stream recorded by The Wolverine. "Michigan State's the biggest guy on the block."

Harbaugh's comment was then met with a clap from someone in the back of the room. He acknowledged that clap, and followed it up by heaping praise on what Mark Dantonio and the Spartans have accomplished.

It is directed at Michigan State and Mark Dantonio, the man who's super power is generating offense from anything and everything. It is master trolling.

I heard you like team in your team in your team. There is a Michigan hype video narrated by the wonderfully scratchy Xzibit. Unfortunately it is not embeddable, which rather defeats the purpose of putting it on youtube. But at least it's on youtube instead of Michigan's terrible proprietary player?

(Woof on the writing, though. Lou Avery's generic organizational slogans of the week. You probably paid someone to do that. I will do this for free, Michigan. It is already my job.)

More like Steve Albrecht. Someone asked Steve Nash about Spike and comparisons made between the two during a reddit AMA:

"He's a good young player — flattered."

That's dang right.

Etc.: Journalism! Science! Maybe he just likes peeing in condoms. Hooray money, I guess. SEC complaining is the sweetest complaining. Matt Hinton is relevant to your interests: how to build an offensive line. Jabrill Peppers probably not staying five years. Quinn on Battle. Quinn on… Battle.

Mailbag: Recruiting Outperformance, APR and Hardship Logistics, Burn This Card Now

Mailbag: Recruiting Outperformance, APR and Hardship Logistics, Burn This Card Now

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Recruiting rankings and outperformance

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[Bryan Fuller]

Good afternoon –

Beilein has developed a reputation for being a stellar recruiter. He is now known for uncovering basketball players who were either lightly regarded, lightly recruited, unknown, or young, so that they grew and developed significantly after he recruited them. (Burke, Rahkman, Dawkins, Albrecht, LeVert, and now Moritz Wagner all fall into this category.)  I will be interested to see how Harbaugh and his staff correlate to Beilein in this regard. In one sense, every fan wants every recruit who comes in to be a 4 or 5 star rated recruit. But the reality is that the coaches sometimes see things that the rating experts missed. This has been an on-going discussion: how much do stars matter? I think the correlation of Wagner and Kingston Davis committing today brought this topic to my mind.

So, my questions and requests for you:

1) I’d love to see a table showing recruiting ranking vs. actual performance. Who ends up bring in recruits who significantly outperform their ranking, who brings in recruits who perform the way expected, and who brings in recruits who underperform, relative to how they were ranked.

This is too hard to do for basketball since there are very small and wildly varying recruiting classes. Last year Michigan brought in six players; this year it looks like it will be just one. A couple years ago Ohio State's recruiting class was… nobody. The attrition rates are wildly different so recruiting rankings, which always favor volume, are going to be skewed. You can point to anecdotes like Beilein turning fringe top 100 recruits into lottery picks on the regular; I don't think it's possible to do anything systematic with the numbers.

Football does give you a reasonable baseline to work with and this has been done by Ross Benes at Deadspin. You will be unsurprised to find Michigan where it is in a study that covers 2009 to 2013:

image

I am a bit skeptical about the methodology here, as it doesn't seem to account for the fact that there's nowhere to go but down for the teams at the top of the rankings. (It also doesn't take last year into account, which is why Michigan State isn't in the Wisconsin zone.) But it's still good for comparing you to your peers and the result is undeniable: amongst teams that recruit like Michigan, only Tennessee and maybe UCLA perform worse; Miami is on par.

2) The followup question would be to assess how much of this is attributable to a recruit being ranked accurately and appropriately, and much is attributable to the recruit’s development in college. The knock on Hoke wasn’t recruiting:  it was the belief that he didn’t develop players to perform to the best of their capability.

Thanks, best regards, and enjoy the balance of the Spring.

Steve Kass

No doubt it is some of both. Recruiting rankings are necessarily ignorant of a number of things that will influence the development of the player—ACL stability for one. But it's clear that some guys are awesome teachers able to improve players and others are guys who clap and shout "let's go." It's nice to see Stanford on the right side of this ledger even after Harbaugh's departure since many of those coaches were his, and he set up the culture that lifted them from the bottom.

APR logistics

Brian:

I think that perhaps I don't understand what goes into the APR and was hoping you could help me understand.  I thought (although it appears incorrectly) that APR measured the percent of a school's players with remaining eligibility that return to school, maintain that eligibility academically, and/or graduate.  With 7 Kentucky players declaring for the draft (following several years of many more declaring), it would appear that Kentucky couldn't possibly evade APR penalties because legions of eligible players have not and will not be returning to school.  Is there an exception for going pro that I'm unaware of?  Is Kentucky's APR really only measured by whether their mop up players stay eligible and graduate, without regard to the majority of the team that goes pro?

Thanks,

Evan

That is correct. The APR has a loophole for players who leave school early for pro sports. You don't even have to get drafted to take advantage of it—NCAA-sanctioned UConn men's basketball started digging out with a perfect score this year despite a player leaving for Europe. He signed a contract overseas and left in "good academic standing," so he doesn't hurt UConn's APR.

As a result of that loophole all Kentucky has to do is gin up some Cs for the NCAA minimum progress toward a degree and their APR is untouched. It's probably in fact easier for them to comply with APR stuff because all they have to do is get their kids to go to Easy Class 101. Few end up having to move on to We Kind Of Need You To Pay Attention Now 386.

On the one hand, you need that exception because it's not the school's fault if, say, Nik Stauskas blows up into a top ten pick and wants to go get paid millions of dollars. On the other it does enable the travelling circus that is the current one-and-done system.

Medical hardship logistics

Hey Brian --

Recently there's been significant attention paid to key questions facing Michigan basketball this offseason (Will Levert go pro?  Will Jaylen Brown commit? etc.).  All of the discussion seems to operate under the premise that either Austin Hatch will continue to take up one of the 13 scholarships the team has to hand out, or the team will place him under "medical hardship."  I have two questions.

1) What does this medical hardship entail?  Would it be 100% career-ending?  Would he no longer be able to practice and play with the team?

A medical hardship allows the school to continue giving the kid a full scholarship. It would end his playing career at Michigan. He could still be affiliated with the team, could still practice (there's no regulations on who you practice with in college; womens' teams will often go up against guys). He could not get in the game. He would be a student manager, basically.

Michigan might be able to get a waiver for senior day.

2) Why has there been no discussion of freeing up Hatch's scholarship to use on, say, Jaylen Brown or Mike Edwards, by making him a walk-on?  I'm assuming there are other ways the University can make sure all his tuition bills are paid for.  At the very least, paying for Hatch to go to Michigan is worthy of $200K of the millions of dollars the athletic department has gotten from Stephen Ross or Al Glick.

In other words, maybe we don't have to choose between keeping Hatch on the basketball team and bringing in another scholarship player of Jaylen Brown's caliber, should LeVert choose to come back.

Thanks,
Jack

M 2012

Once you've been on scholarship, you count as a scholarship player even if your money supposedly comes from a source than the athletic department.

There are in fact certain things that you can do when you are just a recruit that make you count as a scholarship player, something that football teams have been dancing around of late with this "blueshirt" thing where kids arrive on campus as walk-ons. Those kids can't take officials or they end up counting against the limit of 25 signees annually.

Again, this is a situation where Michigan might be able to get a waiver since it's very high profile. Without that Michigan cannot use Hatch's scholarship without disqualifying him from playing.

Buy it and burn it.

Brian,

I am so upset about this I had to share...

$_57[1]

The above Ebay link is for a new Devin Gardner card with a sick & twisted "variation" of the winged helmet. This just is not right! I don't see how Upper Deck can get away with messing with our helmet design and printing this card.

Ed McArdle

Saginaw, MI

Is that a sugar cookie made by a deranged aunt on the card? Why is anyone making a Devin Gardner rookie card and is it even slightly possible that any of the bids on this travesty are legitimate? Supposedly this card is up to 16.05 with four different bidders. This makes me want to find a WIRED article about the shady lives of professional EBay sellers or something. I have a million questions.

Nah

Gonna go with "no" on this one.

Unverified Voracity Can Stop With The Terror Books

Unverified Voracity Can Stop With The Terror Books

Submitted by Brian on May 15th, 2014 at 4:34 PM

apr-birdsapr-books

I'll miss you, terror books. Not really.

Aaand it falls off. I've been doing annual APR posts the past few years because Michigan was in a dodgy spot after the Carr/Rodriguez transfer year saddled Michigan with a horrendous 897. That plus an also-dismal 918 in Carr's last year put Michigan within shouting distance of penalties, which they avoided by putting up a series of nice numbers. Since Hoke's arrival Michigan has largely avoided academic risks, so it was just matter of time before that 897 fell off and Michigan shot up. It just did.

Drumroll… Michigan's football APR is now 975. The constituent scores:

  • 2010: 942
  • 2011: 984
  • 2012: 981
  • 2013: 985

Their 975 places them fourth in the Big Ten, behind Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska; if they continue on their current mid-980s rate they'd pass Nebraska but still remain third if everyone else is static.

So hooray. The main upshot of this is that OSU assistants can't send out APR lists in novelty fonts claiming "the stats don't lie" or make charts that aren't even sorted correctly because their players managed to get through Pokémon 401. (But not Sort Function In Excel 330.) OSU's APR is now worse than Michigan's.

Oh, and the NCAA will not do bad things. Meanwhile, at Southern University…

…several people just got fired with prejudice.

Reload and fire at will. EDSBS Bowl reaches day four with Michigan still staggeringly far out ahead of the pack with 5.4k to Auburn's 1.3k. Give us the significance of your donation in the comments.

When in need of vague hand-waving that means nothing, call in the right man. Dave Brandon and Mark Hollis will testify for the NCAA in the Ed O'Bannon case. Hollis will claim that his deposition would better on an aircraft carrier on the moon; Brandon will tell the opposition lawyer that he "knows a little something about branding" 18 times. After each, the lawyer will calmly explain the question had nothing to do with branding.

Well then. Alabama tailback Derryck Henry took a photograph of himself in front of an expensive new car that he said was his, creating little "BAGMAN!" tornadoes across the internet. These are the natural order. This is a bit outside of it:

pat-white-twweet

I'm a little dubious that title was on the table for White, a nondescript three-star recruit, but it could be one of those deals like the Clarett/Pryor thing where the dealership lets you "test drive" the car for months. In any case, yes some guy gave this dude a car or money or whatever and the NCAA will not do anything about it so our choices are to be uselessly smug or repeal all this crap that's not getting enforced anyway.

An odd fit, yes. Will Leitch makes a good point about replay in basketball: because of the nature of the game, sometimes there are things that are going to be both wrong and right at the same time. An event from late in the Clippers/Thunder game 6 blew up twitter, demonstrating the problem.

… it is clear that Barnes fouled Jackson; even more clear, perhaps, than that the ball was off Jackson last. At this point, the referees had a decision to make. Should they follow the rules of replay to the letter and award the ball to the Clippers? Or should they make the right call, which was to give the ball to the Thunder?

They gave the ball to the Thunder, which Leitch describes as "vigilante officiating." That stuff happens all the time on out of bounds situations. Fouls are committed but let go when the ball goes out of bounds and is awarded to the other team. Once you start reviewing those you upset the delicate balance there. Basketball replay is inherently goofy because of that.

At least those reviews sometimes amount to something, unlike college basketball's unceasingly tedious replays for flagrant fouls that never, ever come back with a flagrant.

I would be in favor. With Notre Dame due to become a fading memory and replacements ranging from yawn to moderately interesting, I would be down with Tom Fornelli's radical solution to college football breaking itself:

ACC, Big Ten and SEC could solve all their scheduling problems in one simple step. Ditch non-conference games, stay within your conference, continue to foster the regional rivalries that made this sport so popular to begin with, and then send your champion to the playoff to take on the winners of the other conferences.

This is more of a problem for the ACC and SEC, which have a number of annual rivalries that would be set on fire by this. The Big Ten has none of those now. ND-MSU, you say? Mark Hollis just admitted that their series with the Irish is "gone," save for occasional games in the future.

So, yeah, I'd be happier with Michigan dumping MAC games and playing a near-round-robin against the conference. It will never ever happen in a million billion years, I acknowledge. But it would be better.

Numbers. Bill Connelly's got a charting project going that returns numbers. With the disclaimer that not all games were charted and therefore things might be skewed by sampling bias (12 NW games are in versus two Wisconsin games, but then again there were only 2 A&M games versus ten for Tommy Tuberville's Cincinnati), here are some overall trends:

49% [of plays] took place without a huddle, 51% came with a huddle.

Without a huddle does not necessarily mean hurrying, of course. Lots of outfits don't huddle but will use chunks of the playclock for check-with-me. I'm actually surprised the no-huddle percentage isn't higher.

56% came from a shotgun formation, 26% with the quarterback under center, and 18% from the pistol.

Would be fascinated to see how this developed over the last ten years.

On pass plays, the defense rushed four defenders at the passer 61% of the time, five 19% of the time, three 11% of the time, six or more 8% of the time, and one or two just 0.3% of the time.

Michigan was not far away from this, FWIW.

On standard downs, 26% of pass attempts were marked as a play-action attempt of some kind. On passing downs, 11% were play-action.

Every single one of the passing down play action plays was Al Borges running a waggle from a big formation on second and eleven. Holy crap. I can't believe he did that with the running game he had. This joke isn't funny anymore.

Etc.: 2015 hockey commit Kyle Connor might be a big deal: THN ranks him 9th for next year's NHL draft. Stay away from killer robots (and the OHL), Kyle.

Penn State fan loses respect for NFL because Michael Sam got drafted. How Iowa makes NFL recruits. Man no one should listen to says playoff will stay at 4 teams. Iowa, preseason darling? Soccer announces a tough schedule. The next time someone tells you that athletic departments don't make a profit, remind them that the scholarship money counted as debt is fiction.

Michigan adds Jon Jansen to their broadcast team.

Dear Diary and the Life of Pirate Al Borges

Dear Diary and the Life of Pirate Al Borges

Submitted by Seth on June 21st, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Fuller - Borges2

Bryan Fuller

If you've missed the bumping, Ron Utah has been following Borges's coaching history up and down the Pacific coast, and through about 14,000 plays called. Time to play catch-up:

Part I: A young Albison Issaquary Pirate Borges (that isn't his name) began coaching at Salinas High School as a 19-year-old assistant. He spent a year as an assistant at Cal, then went was a tight ends/receivers coach at Diablo Valley College. Then he was OC there, then at Portland State, then was at Boise State when they were making their transition up to Division I-AA. Then it was Oregon and UCLA.

Part II: Borges's ship is attacked and he is forced to join his hometown Cal Bears for the awful pre-Tedford times. After the mistake of joining the Indiana of the Pac Ten, Borges was ready to join the Indiana of the Big Ten, which was entering its DiNardo phase. Side note: Brian is going to be on a panel with DiNardo at a Chicago alumni event in July, the week of the Big Ten meetings. Raise of hands (or hooks) for those who think Brian will start asking DiNardo about Borges, and Gerry will be like "who is this guy?" Anyway then Borges went to Auburn and that's in there too.

Part III: After getting blamed for Auburn's awful 2007 offense under Tuberville, Borges took a year off then got a call from this guy who was taking over at San Diego State.

Part IV: Finally to the data, with career run-pass numbers and his far more efficient passing offense. We also go through his quarterbacks, and a lot of receivers with gaudy YPC numbers (evidence he likes the bomb) and running backs who mostly regressed. Ron also mentions Borges isn't really a recruiter. In the comments he mentions Borges's success on opening drives. Part V?

Diarist of the week assuredly.

Conference of the Crappy QBs.

1 LEAD and large as you can- Upchurch - 8193374455_6e3fdc8fe5_o1 IMG_35453 - Fuller - 8359807586_c3d90b3a39_oUpchurch - 8172718158_62a3847db7_o

Last week we welcomed back one of the great diarists from yesteryear, MCalibur. Fed up with passer rating, which as a standalone statistic can't differentiate between Chad Henne and Tommy Rees (see end of the diary) the diarist who is not a sword turned completion %, yards per attempt, touchdown % and interception % into passer ratings, and then used standard year-to-year improvement to project How Gardner should fare this season. He followed up this week by going through all the Big Ten's quarterbacks, and then the rest of the guys on the schedule this year. Here is his data on 11 quarterbacks assembled into a table (rank among the 11 is in parentheses).

Rk Player School Comp% YPA TD% INT% AVG
1 Devin Gardner Mich 132.8 (6th) 176.3 (1st) 177 (1st) 98.3 (9th) 146.1
2 Joel Stave Wis 129.8 (7th) 168.6 (2nd) 125.9 (6th) 152.4 (3rd) 144.2
3 Braxton Miller OSU 127.3 (8th) 144.5 (3rd) 137.8 (3rd) 158.4 (2nd) 142.0
4 Taylor Martinez Neb 143.5 (3rd) 140.1 (4th) 142.6 (2nd) 124.8 (7th) 137.8
5 Kain Colter NW 169.1 (1st) 102.5 (8th) 130.4 (4th) 146.3 (4th) 137.1
6 Tommy Rees ND 158.9 (2nd) 124.4 (6th) 123.4 (7th) 119.3 (8th) 131.5
7 Cameron Coffman Ind 138 (4th) 119.2 (7th) 107.1 (8th) 145.7 (5th) 127.5
8 Andrew Maxwell MSU 101.9 (10th) 102.3 (9th) 96.4 (9th) 171.3 (1st) 118.0
9 Chandler Whitmer UConn 124.5 (9th) 132 (5th) 90.6 (10th) 94.3 (10th) 110.4
10 N. Scheelhasse Ill 137.4 (5th) 96.3 (11th) 78.6 (11th) 125.1 (6th) 109.4
11 Philip Nelson Minn 88.2 (11th) 100.4 (10th) 128.9 (5th) 81.9 (11th) 99.9

Kudos to LSAClassof2000 for algebraically finding the individual-year APRs for the rest of the conference. Since we have rivals who aren't so good at algebra here's a table of their constituent scores versus ours over the BLedPRoCIAAga_81last eight years:

Year Michigan vs MSU vs OSU
2005 941 +35 -22
2006 978 +33 +47
2007 924 -12 -58
2008 945 +8 -51
2009 897 -49 -94
2010 946 +13 -25
2011 984 +28 -10
2012 981 -1 +11

To Sparty trolls: our oldest constituent score is a major outlier. Let's high-five for being just about even this year in a metric that measures attendance and retention.

To Urban Meyer: It's true that Ohio State was trouncing Michigan since getting trounced itself in 2006…until you arrived.

LSA was also the subject of Six Zero's latest MGoProfile feature, where he explains why he's the only guy here with an adorable pony avatar other those being punished by the mods for avatar infractions. 100% percent agree on the power to delete or edit one's own posts.

Etc. And Michigan's massive endowment isn't so big when you consider other academic factors (like that we have twice as many students as comparable schools).

Best of the Boards

BEST OF THE LOOT

The thread of Michigan swag owned by the readers got huge, and makes me feel pretty crappy about my collection, which is really just a folder full of my old Michigan tickets and old copies of the Daily. Here's MgoBlueD's basement:

jpeg

And here's the guest room that Wolverine Devotee keeps for when the Buckeye relatives come to town (I'm guessing):

525158_2819614025355_2115578571_n

One guy named Stonecoldwolv said his '97 national championship ring.

There was also a "what's your favorite joke?" thread which is long and excellent if you're short on material, and a fan license plate thread.

BIG TEN WATER WAR

You know how Alabama installed a water fountain in their locker room? And how EDSBS suggested what other schools should do? Well 1484 covered the Big Ten. Northwestern's gonna be pretty pissed when they realize Mark Huyge's on our side.

ETC. Pipelines discussion is useful—would love to see a diary on M pipelines through the years and what happened to them. Avant's Hands discusses blowout decorum in anticipation of Spain versus 11 athletic-looking tourists Tahiti kidnapped from a cruise ship that was going by. UM Solar Car Team written up on FoxNews. Vincent Smith and Brandin Hawthorne want to play you on Call of Duty. I'm too old for that, but anyone from Team 120 wanna play Goldeneye?

Your Moment of Zen:

The recruits are grateful for the warning.

Annual Academic Progress Ratin' Post

Annual Academic Progress Ratin' Post

Submitted by Brian on June 11th, 2013 at 2:55 PM

apr-books apr-birds

It's that aimless day in mid-June when the NCAA releases their latest batch of APRs, trumpeting the ever-increasing numbers without examining what that might mean too deeply.

If you remember other posts featuring the books and the birds, you may remember that massive attrition in the early days of Rich Rodriguez threatened to leave Michigan in the doghouse, but that a 984 last year had basically put Michigan in the clear. The new goal: wait for that transition-wracked 897 to drop off the Multiyear APR and make Ohio State take their stupid-ass sign down:

BLedPRoCIAAga_8[1]

asshats ain't come to play DESCENDING SORT

With an 981 this year Michigan is well on their way. Their constituent bits of the 951 they posted:

  • 2009: 897
  • 2010: 942
  • 2011: 984
  • 2012: 981

If Michigan puts up a number similar to the last two years in the 2013 numbers they will jump to 972 next year and 980-something the year after. OSU put up a 970 this year, FWIW.

Unverified Voracity Stops Fearing Books

Unverified Voracity Stops Fearing Books

Submitted by Brian on June 21st, 2012 at 3:18 PM

apr-birdsapr-books

I'll miss you, Birds+Books APR image header, except I'll probably still use you

APR threat: downgraded. My annual fretting about the first-year Rich Rodriguez number has been a full-post kind of thing the last few years. This year it gets downgraded to a UV bullet because of this number: 984. That's Michigan's most recent one-year score, and it's shiny enough to get Michigan over the 930 Mendoza line even with that 897 anchor. Hurray for everyone.

Unless Michigan experiences another flurry of transfers—unlikely—the next few June days on which everyone reports APR scores because it's the middle of June will be opportunities to reflect on what a swell guy Brady Hoke is. Officially standing down on APR alert.

Michigan's other sports are all doing well, as per usual.

Playoff: almost officially happening. It seems like we've had articles about the inevitably of a four-team playoff for months now. At some point if the thing is so inevitable people would stop writing about it. No one's writing about players being required to wear helmets this fall. Anyway, it seems like there has finally been a meeting with an actual single endorsed plan. It is this (emphasis added):

While the B.C.S. commissioners did not announce the details of how they would pick the teams for the four-team playoff, a source with direct knowledge of the decision said the plan is for a selection committee to “more than likely” pick the four best teams.

There will be a preference given to conference champions in the selection, but how much is yet to be determined. Strength of schedule will also be strongly considered. There have yet to be any discussions about how the finances will be split among the teams.

The selection committee will subject a sport steeped in regional biases to a different type of controversy, although one that will likely die down a bit now that there will be semifinal and final games. The two semifinal games are expected to be played within the bowl system and the national championship will be bid on like the Super Bowl.

In a joint statement, the 11 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said that they had reached a “consensus behind a four-team, seeded playoff, while recognizing that the presidents will certainly present their views, including a discussion of a Plus-One.”

That's lip service. Presidents are going to rubber stamp it. Pop champagne? It could be better but it's a huge improvement. Other than the Big Ten's self-defeating opposition to home playoff games leading them to perpetual road travels, I'm cool with it. FWIW, even without preferences for conference champions, the SEC would only have grabbed multiple bids three times.

As for where the first one will be, bet on Dallas.

Why not both? This is a revamped sports bar split into MSU and Michigan halves.

4fe3311c4273e.preview-300[1]

Revamped? Revamped.

VERNON TWP. — Uncle Buck’s Northern Exposure is making a dramatic change in format — from a nearly topless dance club to big-screen sports bar.

In fact, it was an overload of drama, says owner Ken Canfield, that prompted the change, including a different name: Crossroads Sports Bar.

Missed opportunity there.

[via EDSBS.]

Hockey schedule: again with the front-loading. Michigan's released the hockey schedule, which again has an extremely light back end. Nine of Michigan's final 12 games are away from home (one is at the Joe) and there are just six home games (and the U18 game) in 2013. Not like they could do anything about that what with the conference going away next year. Price of leaving.

Michigan plays no road games in the slim nonconference portion of the schedule. They've got two against RIT, another one-off versus Bentley, the game at MSG against Cornell, and the outdoor GLI. They'll open against Tech and get WMU or MSU in the second game.

I hope this isn't an indication of where Michigan's nonconference schedule will go when they join the Big Ten. It probably isn't. Red has sought out tough competition as frequently as possible since the program got its footing, and with a whopping 14 games to play with—16 if M makes the trip to Alaska—they should have room for annual series against the big powers.

DUCK

GERG_medium[1]

Context at Maize and Brew.

Should you flip your defense or not? Generally the answer is "not" these days because of spread hurry up stuff. You may remember Michigan doing this a bit early in the year, but that was a stop-gap measure:

Why to Flip

Flipping the defensive positions based on strength of the Offensive formation started as a way to keep teaching simple.

Rather than having to teach a Defensive End to play either lined up either inside a Tight End or outside shade on a Tackle, you could teach him to always align to the strength, meaning he spent all of his time on the Tight End.

The teaching got simpler, as players had to know less about the entire game, and more about their own little piece of tunnel vision. It became easy to know very little about the game while still being a very good and knowledgeable player about your own position.

No more, because if you flip your bits people will run hurry-up on your face and get you confused. Better to have a general understanding these days than a hyper-specific focus. That's a subtle way in which the game's generally increasing specialization is taking a step back.

FWIW, the coach who posted this noted that a number of guys are using field and boundary calls to set their defense instead of opponent alignment. (IE, you line up to the wide side or short side of the field no matter what the offense does.) FWIW, Mattison is one.

More uniform concepts. This time Notre Dame does it to themselves:

uniform__gag__final_front_view_finished_large[1]

The second comment is an image of Chris Hall—life's winner—and his glorious Tom Hammond tie. Well done.

Etc.: UMHoops gives the 1,000-foot view on Michigan's five-man 2012 basketball recruiting class. Rothstein horning in on my season intro column by discussing Hoke's inadvertent marketing genius. Baumgardner has a series on key moments from last football season. I disagree with Baumgardner's take on the 49% TD against Iowa—he seems to think the issue there was whether Hemingway was in, but the real problem was the nose of the ball hitting the ground.

Unverified Voracity Bans UConn

Unverified Voracity Bans UConn

Submitted by Brian on February 13th, 2012 at 2:32 PM

DraftStreet[1]Freeroll part II. Late last year we had a Draftstreet freeroll for anyone interested in testing out their daily/weekly fantasy games, and they've given us the opportunity to run a basketball-focused one that kicks off Thursday. Purchase a starting five with a set salary cap [insert Ohio State joke here] and score more points than anyone else in the pool to win some money.

Enrollment is free and there's $150 up for grabs. Hit the link to sign up, or log in to your existing account.

App status update. I thought the apps were kind of a niche product that a couple twitter mentions and board threads would adequately handle, and in this I was massively wrong. That's good and bad news for me: it's good that we have that kind of engagement and bad because I've annoyed a bunch of people.

Anyway, our status:

  • Android. The Android app works for reading. We are still working on getting logins going; hopefully that can happen within a week.
  • IPhone. Pushing iPhone apps is a more involved process and we are a little behind here, but reads work on the development copy and a blocking issue with logins has been fixed. We should be able to get an update up within a week or two.

Again, this is my fault for not realizing the test server originally intended to be the place where these apps were developed was still pointing to the main database until it was too late. By that point I'd blown up the kludged-together existing infrastructure. I thought the best course of action was to quickly forge ahead with the new stuff instead of wasting time restoring a system I didn't want to keep around; unfortunately some login issues slowed us down. This is one of the downsides of being a totally independent entity, but the upsides are significant as well.

APR with teeth. Cynics everwhere are surprised by the NCAA's decision to uphold UConn basketball's 2013 postseason ban for crappy APR scores. Power conference basketball outfits have previously gotten hit with scholarship reductions—OSU, Purdue, and Indiana all suffered—but no one has gotten the nuclear bomb of a postseason ban.

High level players are likely to flee at the prospect of not getting to play in an NCAA tourney. With Jim Calhoun's health increasingly an issue, not keeping up with their books seems likely to bust UConn's program status down for years. The UConn Blog:

This would be devastating news for any program, but it is especially crippling for UConn. It will almost certainly encourage any NBA prospects on UConn's roster who had even the slightest doubt about staying to leave for the pros. Recruiting will certainly be hurt as well. Most importantly, Jim Calhoun, who is currently out on medical leave, would have to coach well into his 70s to get the program back to a position of strength. Realistically if he wants to hand off his program in anything close to its usually strong state it would probably require him coaching through the 2014 or maybe even 2015, at which point he'll be 71 or 72.

While that's painful for Huskies fans it does provide the NCAA ammunition for anyone who suggests they won't hurt a power program. Here they even retroactively applied new standards to existing scores, preferring punitive measures over perfect fairness.

The dates! Spring practice dates:

Michigan's spring camp begins March 17, according to a team spokesman, and culminates with a public scrimmage on April 14.

99ummn39-2[1]

via umgoblue

Goodnight, sweet prince. Mike Comrie is calling it a career:

TORONTO -- Mike Comrie, who twice scored at least 30 goals in a season, retired from the NHL on Monday after a third hip operation in five years.

The 31-year-old center announced his retirement two weeks after his latest hip procedure, saying in a statement he was no longer able to "manage the rigors of NHL play." Comrie was limited to 127 games over the last three seasons.

My first year at Yost was also Comrie's first and the magic he worked with the puck was a major reason I fell in love with both Michigan hockey and 5'8" puck wizards. Here's to Comrie lighting it up at an alumni game in the near future.

This is not 'Nam… let's make it more like 'Nam. The NCAA would like to slash out various bits of their rulebooks to pave the way for college town Taj Mahals:

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Bring back athlete-only dorms with unlimited food. Let coaches talk publicly about their recruits. Allow transfers in all sports to immediately play.

Those are among the ideas being discussed as the NCAA tries to produce a slimmer and more efficient rulebook, according to documents obtained by The Birmingham News.

While I'm generally for athletes getting more freedom and money from the NCAA, I dislike the near-free-agency immediate transfers create. I'd love it if kids who got Sabaned could transfer immediately; for everyone else the one-year sit out seems appropriate. Even coaches who are taking advantage of the grad-year transfer rule like Izzo seem to think it's icky.

Everything else, whatever. The parade of secondary violations distracts from actually important matters. In a world where everyone has Facebook communication restrictions on phone calls and texting seem like laws prohibiting whipping your horse.

Nein, Doc Sat, nein. Hinton's suggestions for a four-team playoff:

  • Keep the BCS ranking system.
  • Put the semifinals at bowl sites.
  • Bid out the championship game a la the Final Four/Super Bowl, etc.
  • Restrict the field to conference champions (or Notre Dame)

He admits the first is likely to cause a spit-take; I think all but #3. It's unfortunate that many years the Rose Bowl will serve as a consolation prize for the second-place Big Ten team, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the prospect of home sites with real atmosphere for semifinals both as a person who will watch on TV and one who would attend any time Michigan makes it, home or road.

fb-stadium-091709-800[1]

this >>>>>>> bowl game

I've mentioned this before: I'm probably not going to Dallas this year because I can get a generic NFL stadium experience at many bowl games. If the game was in Tuscaloosa you could not stop me from going. If you shot me in the head, my zombie would rise up and hitchhike to Alabama. A playoff semifinal on the road in Austin or Baton Rouge or Tallahassee is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity far superior to any bowl game. And at home? Good god.

As far as conference champs only, I'm torn about that. Notre Dame remains a problem. If a one loss ND team gets in over a one-loss major conference team ranked higher than them because that team didn't win something ND doesn't even try to, that would be annoying. Given the state of college football it's a much lesser threat than, say, a team that didn't win its own division getting in ahead of an impressive one-loss conference champion.

Etc.: ESPN post asking you to vote on your most disliked Big Ten coach features Bielema, Dantonio, Hoke, and Meyer. If someone on that list seems out of place it's because three of them are likely to coach in a future Rose Bowl.