Unverified Voracity Punches Whales, Not Dolphins

Unverified Voracity Punches Whales, Not Dolphins

Submitted by Brian on December 29th, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Hey folks. Hope you had a pleasant holiday. I did except for my hard drive dying, then beeping alarmingly, then resurrecting itself. Either I need a new computer or I should hand over this hard drive to SCIENCE so all can benefit from this discovery. Probably the former. Anyway…

Merry Christmas. Stauskas attempts to hit 90% from three, does:

I like to have this man on a basketball team I like.

A non-ringing non-endorsement. Hoke on the Big Ten expanding:

Michigan coach Brady Hoke suspects it won't end there.

"It's probably not finished," he said Thursday in Tampa during a segment with Michigan Radio.

Although Hoke offered no dissension toward expansion, he also didn't endorse it.

"Is it a positive? I think it's the world we live in right now," he said. "As coaches, we have no say in anything, I want you to know. The presidents make those decisions -- people way up in the food chain. But I doubt it's done."

Bo is spinning in his grave right now. As I've mentioned before, at this point I'm all for further expansion since Big Ten Old and Big Ten New (And Purdue Or Something) is a much better setup than seeing Iowa and Wisconsin and whoever else once every million years.

Meanwhile, Michigan's moving to a third hotel Monday for some reason.

Hoke quote, epic variety. Is here:

Hoke on Denard & Kovacs: "So we have a distant cousin of Bob Marley and an accountant as our captains."

Cumong man. Very frustrating to hear Will Campbell speak of his laziness early in his career:

"When I was younger, I was lazy," Campbell said. "I didn't listen as much, I didn't take everything in like I should of. There were people around me telling me, too -- it was just me not doing it."

That's one thing recruiting rankings will always struggle to encompass. Jonathan Hankins couldn't get through three consecutive reps when he hit Michigan's camp as a rising senior, but got it together and turned into a beast. Campbell had that famous picture where he's all throwing guys all over the place…

campbell_william1[1]

…and then he doesn't really do much until he's a senior and by then we're just happy when he's okay. Meanwhile, repetition of theme about redshirting: RR threw Campbell on the field as a true freshman despite the fact he was patently unready, and now both Michigan and Campbell probably wish they'd have one more year together in which Campbell improved on his 2012 and maybe moved into the middle rounds of the draft. The redshirt forever.

On the other hand. Will Campbell on his beach day:

It's hard out here. I done fought two sharks, wrassled a sting ray, ate two crabs--had butter out there. It's hard out here but you know how we do it, I'm from Detroit. You know, it was nothing. Two great whites, punched a whale in the face... easy day. Go Blue.

He has never lacked for entertainment. The entire segment is pretty fantastic:

Also in this category. Brendan Gibbons on pirates:

Michigan placekicker Brendan Gibbons grew up a big Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, and has always dreamed of playing at Raymond James Stadium.

Of course, he has a perfectly logical reason for loving the Bucs.

"I like pirates," he said.

Unfortunately, we are doomed since Gibbons no longer looks like Keith Stone.

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DOOOOM

Made with weed and torn ACLs. A reader sends along a shot of a micorbrewery in Coralville, Iowa, with a very special Extra Special Bitter:

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Other than the relatively low alcohol content, perfect.

Exit bizarre decision guy. MSU wing forward Brandan Kearney announced he was leaving a few days ago, leaving Izzo to grasp his hair alarmingly($) and dance on the edge of calling Kearney a danger to society:

One of the more bizarre things I’ve been involved with in coaching. Came back from Christmas and (he) just informed me he thinks he’s better off going somewhere else. Not really happy with his role, you know. Wants more role, wants to score more, wants to do this more, wants to do that more. I gotta admit, it was a little strange for me and the players when a guy’s playing 17 minutes a game, but at the same time it’s gonna open it up maybe for another guy.

Thus ends what was, in retrospect, one of the most overblown recruiting controversies in Michigan basketball history: Carlton Brundidge vs Brandan Kearney. Answer: neither, and nobody in state. Unless I missed a guy from outside the Rivals 150 who is blowing up Amir Williams is the only guy from that instate recruiting class doing anything at a major school at the moment. Michigan did get a guy named Trey Burke that year, so that recruiting class something less than a total loss.

As for the departure's impact, Kearney was playing about 40% of MSU's minutes but when the going got tough those dwindled to 6-9 per game. He was a quality defender with little offensive game; MSU will probably revert to the twin towers lineup they had scrapped earlier in the year in an apparently futile effort to cut down on turnovers. I'm not sure Kearney's departure is worth much—maybe a game—but in a brutal big ten every little bit helps, or hurts as the case may be.

Oh for pants' sake. One side of the story and all that but a former Louisville player has sued UL for cancelling his scholarship mid-year after

  • two teammates attacked him in the locker room and broke bones around one of his eyes (they were later charged with assault and kicked off the team)
  • he was told not to tell the doctor and other folks how he sustained those injuries
  • a doctor told him to stop playing football after problems with his eyes

Cancelling a scholarship mid-year is against NCAA regulations, FWIW…

Mid-year cancellations must be for specific reasons in the NCAA bylaws or for violating a term of the scholarship agreement. Any cancellation or non-renewal requires the student-athlete to be provided written notice from the financial aid office and a hearing opportunity.

…and it seems like they could easily have medicaled the guy. I'm sure Strong and Louisville have their side of the story. Looks ugly.

As more money flows into the top echelons of the sport it's time to ask why the NCAA has such strict limits on scholarships issued. If a team wants to carry 100 scholarship players, why not let them? All of this oversigning business would be done tomorrow if the NCAA would restructure revenue sports in such a way as to encourage retention instead of attrition, as a hard cap does.

In the barn. The following six true freshman have enrolled early:

  • OT Logan Tuley-Tillman
  • OG Kyle Bosch
  • CB Ross Douglas
  • S Dymonte Thomas
  • DE Taco Charlton
  • TE Jake Butt

For Douglas, Bosch, and Butt the early enrollment should give them a better shot at early playing time. With the thin interior OL it's not out of the question that Bosch is in the mix to play from day one despite being an OL. Douglas will probably have to wait a year with Countess/Avery/Taylor in front of him but the fourth guy will get PT and the race is on for that spot. Thomas may play some as well; Charlton and LTT seem like obvious redshirt candidates.

All but out of the barn. Taylor Lewan:

"I have an idea what I'm doing. I'm almost positive what I'm doing. But at the end of the day, this bowl game doesn't have to do with what I'm going through. ... I'm playing football on Tuesday, Jan. 1, and I'll make my decision, and I'll talk to the coaches about it, and then we'll obviously go from there and what they want to do to get it out.

Is there something that could change his mind?

"No," Lewan said. "No."

So long and thanks for all the fish.

It all worked out. Followup on "how to schedule nonconference games": Michigan did pretty well this year despite the Binghamton game. They approach the finish line of their nonconference slate 15th nationally after playing 5 major teams and avoiding the very bottom of D-I with the exception of the Bearcats. Their peripheral numbers should be good come tourney time after slogging through the brutal Big Ten, and that'll give them a leg up on anyone with around the same record not named Duke when S-curves are plotted.

Fight. James Young vs.  Derrick Walton, go:

Walton is ripping opponents for 30-40 points a game these days to go along with the point guard stuff. There will necessarily be a dip when Burke is gone next year; it may not be a huge one.

Etc.: Elliott Mealer reminisces about the bad thing. Tony Dungy drops in on Michigan. Chad Ford declares Trey Burke "firmly planted in the first round"($), so godspeed Mr. Burke. Going I-A: Why? Stop. Don't. Joe Lundardi has Iowa the last team in, Iowa fans excited. Craig Roh is about to break the Michigan record for consecutive starts.

Dear Diary is Winning at Ticket Quest

Dear Diary is Winning at Ticket Quest

Submitted by Seth on October 26th, 2012 at 8:46 AM

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Given the weak home schedule this year, I planned on creating a new feature on the site to detail my exploits in obtaining seats for every home game (by methods available to the hoi polloi) without ever paying a forced donation. Rule was I had to get two people into each game and sitting next to each other. Then I didn't bother for awhile because it would've been a lot of dividing by zero. To wit:

Air Force: I couldn't attend so I sent a correspondent, who then accepted a free ticket from somebody.

UMass: Offered one guy near the northeast entrance $10 each for his tickets and another guy interjected with two free ones.

Illinois: Family friend offered me a pair of his earlier in the week, then the day of the game both my designated game buddy (Misopogal) and the couple who owned the tickets decided it wasn't worth sitting in a rainstorm for this edition of Illinois, so I rolled solo with 4 tickets. I traded one to a student for his student ticket and 5 bucks 'cause the kid needed to get his buddy in, and sold the other two extras for $10 each outside the Stadium-Main entrance. I think I gave the student ticket away. Total: –$25.00

MSU: Bought two Row 11s from our new affiliate on Friday for $129 each plus $14 to have them FedEx'ed overnight (cheapest seat on Stubhub was $20 higher at the time even before their fees). Corner, but our endzone got most of the action.

IMG_1798

Remaining home games are Iowa and Northwestern, and I'm at net $111. Guys, I think this is working.

DON'T MISS THESE:

The Thing About Purdue. In other useful though tardy things, the blogger formerly known as Blue Seoul (now ttifiblog) brought back the formerly weekly Game Wrap With Pics post for Purdue. Don't remember what that looks like? Like this:

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…but bigger and legible and there's lots of them. Brian front-paged but those who went to see discovered some bad html. Now fixed; dig in. And welcome back, Diarist of the Week.

Denard Watch. As he climbs toward the big career marks, let's look back on some of the milestones already passed along this trail of hobbled safeties, heaving linebackers, flying shoes, sanctified endzones, flappitty laces, askew helmets, smile-curved mouthguards, and soaring dreads. Courtesy of jeepinben.

Kugler and some guys we're looking at. Everyone's looking for the next 2013 recruit with consensus 4 stars to start moving up boards, and Patrick Kugler's one of those dues. A couple of helpful readers got a scouting report on his recent game, plus those of three prospects.

[JUMP: Weeklies, Best of the Board, Waving things in front of Brian]

Unverified Voracity Is Gathering Data

Unverified Voracity Is Gathering Data

Submitted by Brian on September 17th, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Get away from tourists. Visit a Miami game. Miami vs Bethune-Cookman, second quarter:

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At least one intrinsically corrupt football program has had the decency to wither up and die. BTW, that was reported as 39k.

Massive injuries. No fair bringing up Blake Countess if Michigan happens to lose against MSU or ND, as both of those opponents came down with injuries just as important over the last couple days.

MSU right tackle Fou Fonoti is out six to ten weeks with a broken foot. M plays MSU in four weeks. In his place MSU inserted Skyler Burkland, who missed most of last year with an injury of his own. Burkland proceeded to get owned by ND LB Prince Shembo on several third and longs on which ND rushed three and still got plenty of pressure. MSU also replaced their LG, which didn't help matters but doesn't look like it's something that will persist until the Michigan game. The Spartan OL is now on depth alert equivalent to Michigan's: they've got a guy or two on the interior; a tackle injury will be time to sound the klaxons.

Notre Dame's already flimsy secondary took another major hit when Jamoris Slaughter tore his achilles against the Spartans. Projected starting CB Lo Wood is also out for the year. It looks like redshirt freshman Matthias Farley is Slaughter's replacement; he is a converted WR who was a consensus three-star with middling offers (Illinois, UCLA, Wisconsin) as a recruit. He's been getting talked up some, and played big chunks of the Purdue and MSU games.

In injury news that may not affect Michigan, Minnesota QB MarQueis Gray has a high ankle sprain and is projected to be out 2-4 weeks.

Gathering data. Seth had a good idea that we're going to give a shot: we're going to collect a bunch of data about the market for Michigan tickets and try to make it useful. This is an idea that the MZone also had at about the same time we did, undoubtedly prompted by the calculation a lot of people made this year: would I be better off scalping instead of getting season tickets this year? For UMass, it's a blowout in favor of yes, but that's the easiest ticket of the bunch.

Their hypothesis is you'll actually get off cheaper at Stubhub, which if true would be a stunning upset since Stubhub not only takes 15% from the seller but tacks on twenty bucks in fees for the buyer. We don't really have a hypothesis, we're just trying to figure out what's a good deal on gameday. 

AIRBHG is running out of targets. Dude.

The Hawkeyes lost two more running backs Saturday, as both Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon were forced to leave an eventual win over Northern Iowa early due to injuries. However, it appears Iowa has learned how to overcome the wrath of AIRBHG in the process: With so many other choices available, the Hawkeyes turned to fullback Mark Weisman, who ran over the UNI defense and AIRBHG en route to 113 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Bullock and Garmon are supposed to be good to go this weekend. AIRBHG licks his chops. Weisman dances.

Yost. Another shot of Yost:

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Since an assistant coach took this one hopefully the athletic department won't ask him to take it down, as they did with the last batch of Yost photos.

Etc.: Hope you didn't care about the Block Ms on the pylons, because they gone. ND used wristbands to prevent sign stealing after an S&C coach moved from ND to MSU this offseason. Given massive game prep problems w/ MSU in recent past, that might be a good idea. Q: why isn't that more commonly used anyway? I'd rather have rotating wristbands than having to communicate in hostile environments.

Unverified Voracity Shows Off Ab-Type Substances

Unverified Voracity Shows Off Ab-Type Substances

Submitted by Brian on July 30th, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Will Campbell perpetual shirt malfunction. Tim Sullivan headed out to the Cass Tech alumni 7-on-7 game last weekend and got this shot of Will Campbell doing, well, this:

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He's (relatively) thin. This will make him an excellent football player. Lewan:

"The most dramatic change I've seen in a body on our team is Will Campbell," said left tackle Taylor Lewan. "His body is transformed. He was a sloppy 350 and now he's a toned down 308 kind of guy. He looks real good. His conditioning shows it. You should see him run. He's like a gazelle. It's unreal. I think Will is going to do some special things this year."

Come on, baby.

Haters. I just don't know, man. People deploy "haters" to flip criticism to the critic but surely

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From Garry Gilliam™ twitter feed with the comment

"Just in case the haters thought otherwise"

…nope. There is nothing in this world bad enough to prevent "haters" from being deployed. Yeah, Penn State football player, it's jealousy at the root of all of this.

UNC stuff. A "special faculty committee" at North Carolina has called for "an independent commission of outside experts" to review the relationship between athletics and academics at the university. If this happens expect the outside experts to exhale a slow, sliding whistle at the car wreck:

The report, released Thursday, also states staffers in the school's Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes referred players to classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM). In May, the university outlined fraud and poor oversight in 54 AFAM classes between 2007 and 2011, including classes that met irregularly if at all.

That included a class last summer with 18 current football players and one former player.

"It seems likely that someone in the (AFAM) department called athletics counselors … to tell them that certain courses would be available," the report states, "it is less clear whether staff … actually contacted departments to ask about the availability of classes."

So there's that. There's playing Hakeem Nicks in 2008 when he was ineligible, and there was Butch Davis employing an assistant coach literally acting as a "street agent." UNC got a one-year bowl ban and some minor scholarship losses.

Why didn't UNC get hammered? They've subverted nearly as much to the drive of the football program as Penn State did, albeit with far less odious results. If the NCAA is ever going to get a handle on these things, plausible deniability needs to be tossed out the window.

Leave Jordan alone. It's bad enough that Roy Roundtree is 21 and Devin Gardner is 12 and I'm going to be confused but come on man let's not take a bomb to our roster:

In May, Michigan announced that Roundtree would wear the No. 21 jersey of "Michigan Football Legend" Desmond Howard next season. Shortly thereafter, the school announced it would be un-retiring and recirculating Ron Kramer's No. 87, Gerald Ford's No. 48 and Bennie Oosterbaan's No. 47 beginning this fall.

Who might those players be? Will they be announced this season? When will Hoke decide it all?

"Sometime," he said with a grin. "In the future.

"We'll see."

Come on man let's not do this. Let's give the numbers to players who have not yet established themselves as starters. Let's do this: not doing this. Come on man.

This one not so close. In other non-WH games on youtube, here's almost all of the 1991 Florida State game. Advantages: Desmond Howard and Keith Jackson. Disadvantages: Michigan loses by 20. Tread carefully:

If that doesn't tempt, 100 random Michigan touchdowns may:

Angry Iowa running back hating God is having its Exodus moment. Or it just released "Blood on the Tracks" or something. What I am getting at is: wow, that got out of hand.

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YOUR RUNNING BACKS. I WILL DESTROY THEM, IOWA.

Sophomore De'Andre Johnson got a ticket for "maintaining a disorderly house" because the cops didn't appreciate walking up a never-ending staircase* and then drove very fast away from police*, drawing the usual indefinite suspension. This is the fifth(!) tailback hewed down by AIRBHG this offseason alone, though incoming freshman Greg Garmon got away with a drug paraphernalia charge without a suspension.

*[allegedly!]

The new QC assistant. The NCAA made a move to formalize and limit quality control staffers, albeit one that got tabled. Your move, college football coaches:

Alabama coach Nick Saban’s support staff has expanded to nine “analysts.” That’s up from six in 2011, three in 2010 and none before then.

The money has to go somewhere.

We will fare less well on this list next year. Orson charts fun/good from the perspective of his Orsonbrain. The Big Ten:

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This is because Denard. Next year… well, it'll probably be Gardner and if early returns are any indication that will be fun to the Orsonbrain as well because it will occasionally result in passes thrown ten yards past the line of scrimmage or thirty yards behind it. Our brains will probably not interpret this as "fun."

I think Northwestern gets a raw deal here since they are liable to do anything at any time no matter how big their lead is.

Goodbye, Bolden. Rob Bolden's inevitable, slow-motion transfer process seems to have come to a conclusion with an LSU visit and the notable omission of Bolden from the Penn State roster. How he'll improve LSU's football team is unclear. Tulane, maybe.

In any case, the highly-touted in-state QB recruiting class is down to Devin Gardner's one or two years at the helm at Michigan. Joe Boisture discovered he wasn't actually good at football and lasted less than a year at MSU, Bolden lost his job to a walk-on, and Gardner's been stuck behind Denard.

Um. Nebraska's going to wear alternate uniforms for their game against Wisconsin that look slightly familiar, and not just because they give off the faint air of Rollerball.

image

this is just a picture. don't click on it.

Ad some shoulder stripes and that's Michigan's outfit from last year's ND game. Hopefully Adidas was too busy making jerseys that don't have to be switched out at halftime to innovate this summer.

Derrick Walton doing this work business. He led his AAU team to a championship in Vegas last weekend, garnering MVP honors in the process:

Walton is aggressively moving up the 2013 recruiting ranks, and continued to impress coaches and recruiting gurus with his performance this week in Las Vegas. Before the game, Dave Telep, ESPN.com’s top recruiting analyst, tweeted that Walton is being considered as a McDonald’s All-American after his strong performance.

TELEP: Sprinkle that Derrick Walton name in for McDonalds consideration.

The Mustangs, who boast four Division 1-bound players, cruised through the tournament going 9-0, outscoring opponents by 17 points per game in super pool play.

Walton had 16 points, 13 assists, and one turnover in the final.

Media days stuff. ESPN has a transcript of his speech. Denard:

And Denard:

And Lewan:

And Kovacs:

Etc.: USA water polo goalie Betsey Armstrong will become a Michigan assistant this fall. Advice: try not to get kicked by her. Not that she's in the habit of kicking random passersby. Annual MVictors JDRF donation drive is live. GRITTY GRIT GIRT. SOCKS. WOLVERINE CONSERVATION THROUGH CITIZEN SCIENCE FUNDRAISING.

2012 Opponent Preview: Iowa

2012 Opponent Preview: Iowa

Submitted by Heiko on July 9th, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Previously: PurdueIllinoisMichigan StateNebraskaMinnesota, Northwestern

Iowa

Iowa fans: tweet your penitence to @AIRBHG.

Our God is an angry God / He rains destruction on running backs from heaven above. In case you missed it, Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God struck four times over the offseason:

  • Marcus Coker, Iowa's starting tailback in 2011, is suspended for the Insight Bowl; transfers to Stony Brook in January.
  • Backup Mika'il McCall endures a season in which he breaks an ankle, fumbles on his second carry back from injury, gets benched, and then gets suspended; transfers to Southern Illinois in January.
  • Backup Jordan Canzeri suffers a torn ACL during spring practice; will likely miss the entirety of 2012.
  • Incoming four-star recruit Greg Garmon is booked for weed possession after getting pulled over for an expired registration; status is up in the air, but the outlook is grim.

Iowa's tailback roster is currently decimated to the point where incoming three-star recruit Barkley Hill might get the starting nod on Sept. 1. If he's wise, he'll have asked to switch to linebacker by then.

So yeah, this sounds an awful lot like Michigan's secondary circa 2010, but the wrath of AIRBHG predates AMSHG by almost a decade. A Hawkeyenation.com post chronicles the smitten, beginning with Ladell Betts in 2001. AIRBHG's appetite for sacrifice is insatiable. By my count, no fewer than 27 Hawkeyes running backs come to judgment in the time since. Only Fred Russell made it through "unscathed" by leaving early for the NFL in 2003. He went undrafted.

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The actual preview part

1000-foot view.

Ricky Stanzi approved this message.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz is in his 14th year at Iowa and has led his team to nine winning seasons, two shared B1G championships, and two BCS bowls. Since the miraculous 2009 season in which the Hawkeyes went 11-2 and won the Orange Bowl, however, Iowa has been cruising back to average. There's a real potential for the Hawkeyes to be below average this season.

Ferentz's $3.65 million contract goes through 2020. At the age of 56 (57 on Aug. 1 for those of you into sending e-cards), Ferentz will probably see his contract through before kicking the coaching bucket. But there's a chance he might not make it to then. No one wants a lame duck coach, and if Iowa doesn't start trending up within the next season or two it would be hard for him to avoid that label.

2012 might not save him. The schedule is on the favorable side and Iowa returns a quarterback who's had a year's worth of starting experience, but with a roster that returns just 11 starters (6 offense, 5 defense, 96th nationally) from units that were both pretty mediocre last year, along with the running back issues as mentioned above and a transition at both coordinator positions, it's hard to see the Hawkeyes being consistent enough to do much more than break even.

Still, nobody predicted Michigan to do as well as it did last season. If Ferentz is truly the coach he's reputed to be and his coaching hires prove to be the hires the program has needed, there may be some fight left in Iowa yet.

Schedule.

  • Sept. 1, Northern Illinois
  • Sept. 8, Iowa State
  • Sept. 15, Northern Iowa
  • Sept. 22, Central Michigan
  • Sept. 29, Minnesota
  • Oct. 6, WIFEDAY
  • Oct. 13, @ Michigan State
  • Oct. 20, Penn State
  • Oct. 27, @ Northwestern
  • Nov. 3, @ Indiana
  • Nov. 10, Purdue
  • Nov. 17, @ Michigan
  • Nov. 23, Nebraska

At first look this schedule is relatively soft. Eight home games, no marquee non-conference opponents, just two tough road games, and no Wisconsin or Ohio State. Upon closer examination it's littered with trap games and underestimated obstacles.

Iowa opens at home against Northern Illinois, a MAC team that went 11-3 last season. Definitely not a gimme. Iowa State visits next, i.e. Steele Jantz returns to repeat his demolition of Iowa's defense. Northern Iowa is another team that finished at the top of a lesser conference (MVC) so again not a guaranteed win. Central Michigan is perhaps the only team that Iowa should comfortably beat at this point.

As far as B1G goes, Indiana is the only team that doesn't have a real shot at taking down the Hawkeyes. Minnesota beat them last year (A fluke? Maybe.) and should be better this year. Northwestern has made a habit of beating teams strongly associated with corn in recent years and has an offense that Iowa has a hard time dealing with. So does Purdue to a lesser extent, and Purdue should have a much better defense than many give them credit for.

Iowa might be able to squeeze a win or two out of the heavyweights, but it's not looking likely at this point.

This schedule is as favorable as: Vanilla paste. 

-------------------------------

X's and O's, Jimmys and Joes

Offense

 

I wonder if Adam Jacobi still thinks this is a thing. #ALLLOOKTHESAME

Style: MANBALL (with some no-huddle stuff that doesn't work very well) and PUNTOSAUR (except against Michigan).

Key losses: RB Marcus Coker (1384 yards, 4.9 ypc, 15 TD), RB Jordan Canzeri (114 yards, 3.7 ypc), WR Marvin McNutt (82 rec, 1315 yards, 12 TD), LT Riley Reiff, RG Adam Gettis

Top returners: QB James Vandenberg (58.7%, 3022 yards, 25 TD, 7 INT), WR Keenan Davis (50 rec, 713 yards, 4 TD), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (16 rec, 167 yards, 3 TD), C James Ferentz

The biggest news for Iowa's offense not related to AIRBHG was the hire of Greg Davis from Texas to replace Ken O'Keefe, who left to coach wide receivers for the Miami Dolphins. Davis served as OC for the Longhorns during the Vince Young and Colt McCoy eras, but he is generally regarded as having as much to do with their success as Jim Bollman had to do with Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor's success.

Yes, Iowa has hired Jim Bollman, basically. 

 

#ALLLOOKTHESAME

This development doesn't contrast that much with what Iowa already had going on, so we'll pretend nothing has changed. Vanilla Hawkeyes offense is vanilla.

Iowa's passing game shouldn't suffer too much this season despite losing about half of its receiver production from 2011. James Vandenberg returns a year wiser and a year more ready to deal with having no time to throw because his offensive line has occasionally forgets how to pass protect. Vandenberg was incredibly efficient last season as a first year starter, and there's no reason to believe he won't follow it up with at least a similar performance.

Except for one thing: the biggest weakness in this offense is at the running back position, as already discussed at length. The Hawkeyes run the offense Brady Hoke talks about fondly whenever Denard's not in the room, and having a bruising tailback to run between the tackles is critical for their success. Not having one is a problem. If Iowa can't threaten the run, Vandenberg might get into a lot of trouble when his receivers get locked down in coverage on every down.

Something tells me however that Ferentz will find a way to get production out of whatever guy is in the backfield. Coaching the offensive line is his thing, and they've paved the way for guys like Adam Robinson (transferred to Minnesota-Duluth after 2010), a two star out of high school, to become All-Conference performers very early in their careers. 

One more thing -- there's been a lot of buzz about C.J. Fiedorowicz lately, a.k.a. the "next great Iowa tight end." Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but he is worth keeping an eye on. 

Fear level = 4.

-------------------------------

Defense

Hands go above the waist.

Style: 4-3, Cover 2. Always.

Key losses: DT Mike Daniels (49.5 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 9 sacks), DE Broderick Binns (46.0 tackles, 12 TFL, 5 sacks), OLB Tyler Nielsen (53.5 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack), CB Shaun Prater (42 tackles, 3 PBU, 1 INT)

Top returners: MLB James Morris (81 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT), OLB Christian Kirksey (86 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT), CB Micah Hyde (60.5 tackles, 8 PBU, 3 INT), S Tanner Miller (64 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 PBU)

Coordinator change -- Norm Parker retired and got replaced by Phil Parker (no relation), who was defensive backs coach for the former Parker at Iowa. It's a significant loss, since Parker had been around for forever, but hiring someone internally means the philosophy won't change much, if at all. We'll see whether the level playcalling takes a hit.

On the player side of things, the Hawkeyes lose all of its significant production from its defensive line (sound familiar?), which bodes poorly for 2011's 62nd-ranked rush defense. Micah Hyde returns as the lone star in the secondary, and he'll certainly have his work cut out for him if Iowa hopes to improve from what their 58th-ranked pass defense from a year ago. 

I don't have much else to say about the Hawkeye defense. They play cover-2 a lot. They don't often blitz (except against Michigan). They like taking two-star guys and milking every last drop of talent from them.

Yeah. Vanilla Iowa defense is vanilla. 

Fear level = 4.

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Special Teams

K Mike Meyer (14/20 FG) returns. Woo. I don't know why I still have this section. I think Iowa is replacing last year's punter with a dude from Australia, and I could not be bothered to look up who either of them are right now.

-------------------------------

Predictions

Vanirra Past-o.

Record: Here's how it breaks down, I think.

  • Likely wins: Central Michigan, Indiana;
  • Close, but cigar: Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Minnesota;
  • Close, but no cigar: Iowa State, Northwestern, Purdue;
  • Likely losses: Michigan State, Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska

That comes out to about 6-6 overall, 3-5 B1G.

Against Michigan: Michigan's offense had an ill-advised game plan for Iowa last year and executed it horribly during Midwest Windstorm Part II. Things will be better offensively this year, as it will be in the Big House and Al Borges has resigned himself to zone running from shotgun at least for the time being. Michigan will have to be disciplined in the trenches on both sides of the ball as Iowa won a majority of those battles last year, and Michigan's front seven will have to get pressure on Vandenberg early. If Michigan gets to him their entire offensive plan is kaputt, but if Vandenberg gets in a rhythm, he and his receivers have the potential to take over the game. 

I say Michigan ends its three-year drought against the Hawkeyes and wins 35-14.

Their chances of winning the B1G are as good as: KYRU... I BERIEVE IN YOUUUUU.

Dear Diary is Speaks Fluent Jive

Dear Diary is Speaks Fluent Jive

Submitted by Seth on March 30th, 2012 at 8:28 AM

hollis51318CTvmVL

By now you've read the Burke tweet, which needed three full-sized threads before everyone could get their Ha-Ha's out: One to point out its irony, one for when big brother slapped him in the face for it, and of course the wicked hangover. The oddity I saw was "People u seek out is better than those that seek u" and "EVERYONE got something to say... smh I thought this was my life!" are in a dialect totally incongruent with every tweet I found in 20 minutes of scrolling through Hollis tweets. Dude wasn't just giving Trey Burke sage advice, he was delivering it in a language that young people understand. Allow me to translate:

jive

This will all blow over soon enough but should serve as warning to young people everywhere: NEVER under any circumstances give your handle out to old people; they think you speak Jive!

Please tell me you got that. It's somebody's general rule that people won't watch movies more than 15 years older than they are.*† ‡ By this rule you'd have to have been born in 1995 (a high school senior) to be excused from Airplane! I'm looking at you, people who didn't get dragonchild's cockpit full of Michigan defenders.

Funny thing about Airplane!: I respect that flick as a classic to the point where I'll be condescending toward someone who hasn't seen memorized it, but until recently I didn't even know it was an almost perfect spoof of Zero Hour! (1957). It's a testament to how good Airplane! is that it stands up even if you don't get the main joke; to be fair, the diary kind of doesn't. It's also ironic that I would make fun of people for a movie reference going over their heads when what that movie referenced totally went over my head.

Everything You Need to Know About Airmen. So I checked out Zero Hour! and now one of the Airplane! jokes I never really got totally makes sense. You know how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's character is obviously Kareem Abdul-Jabbar but the narrative keeps trying force this "he's Roger the co-pilot!" thing, to the point that when they pull him away he's got his Lakers shorts on? In Zero Hour! the co-pilot was played by Elroy Hirsch.

Zero%20Hour

ie Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsh…

crazylegs

…and when Kareem appears we're supposed to get how crazy it was that a kid could see Crazylegs in a pilot's uniform and not be like "OMIGOD YOU'RE ELROY HIRSCH!"

Crazylegs was a Badger who got moved to Michigan when a lot of WWII servicemen were transferred as part of a program to give in-training Navy and Marine officers a college education. Hirsch on the transfer:

"But I was to learn a far more important thing about Michigan. It's not something you can hold or see ... but you sure can feel it. I'm speaking about the great Michigan tradition. Corny you say? Not on your life. It's there ... it engulfs you."

Today the service academies don't get first dibs on any draft-age citizen they want, but they do have virtually unlimited scholarships, bringing in 40+ recruits a year (that makes two oversigners on the 2012 schedule). This and many more interesting facts about Air Force can be found in the very early preview by Rabbit21. The whole thing is fascinating. Diary of the Week!

Lines! The bats, oh the bats. They are home and hot, as softball swept their five-game homestand by 10-2, 11-2, 12-4, 6-0, and 12-2 scores. Outfielder Nicole Sappingfield had five RBI last night, including a walk-off grand slam. Shortstop Amy Knapp owes a girl in my section an apology for her put-away homer on Sunday vs. Penn State, which hurt the girl's wrist when she tried to catch it.

Player ERA W/L GS CG Sho IP H R ER BB SO OppAvg.
Haylie Wagner 1.28 15-4 15 13 4 109.1 72 25 20 20 68 0.185
Sara Driesenga 2.39 6-5 14 5 1 76.0 73 41 26 25 39 0.247
Stephanie Speierman 1.83 1-0 2 1 1 15.1 13 5 4 6 17 0.22
TEAM 1.73 22-9 x 19 6 202.0 158 71 50 53 125 0.211

Etc. CenterIce's writeup on the incoming hockey recruits. AC1997 updated the basketball offseason outlook for departures; now with 100% more ohgodBurkestay! Helle had a board-bumped travel diary for this year's road games. If you're going to Minnesota, try the Jucy Lucy [sic]. Pro-tip: let it cool first.

------------------------------------------------------

* There's a corollary rule that states you will think anything made in the 15-year span around when you were born is pure genius, but this rule is really just an observation by people my age that most of the best movies (Godfather, Star Wars, Back to the Future, etc.) all came out around then.§

† Trekkies are of course excluded.

‡ It's at least 17, since my wife agrees with me that The Lion in Winter with Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn is way better than the remake with Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close. Reminder: Angevin discussion is not OT in comments. Someone's going to take me up on this eventually.

§ Which is to say if some kid thinks Harry Potter and something with Russell Crowe in it constitutes the golden age of film, they should be beaten.‖

‖ Yes I'm doing the Alt85 thing again.

------------------------------------------------------

Best of the Board

YEA HE STRIKES AND HIS WRATH IS EVER VENGEFUL

angryiowarbhg

Guys, we're friends. We like each others' blogs. We snark at each others' Neanderthalness. We trade ADs and sit in press boxes together and provide shoulders to cry on when clever un-hateable people in purple get pretentious in our homes. So, as a friend, you gotta get this shit under control, man. Do whatever it takes; run a passing spread, raze a heathen temple, sacrifice the virgins—use Nebraska's if you don't have any—hire a total outsider who hates defense and lose for three years; you must placate this thing before it escapes and wrecks every ballcarrier within 800 miles of a cornfield.

Also you may want to check the bottom of your RB depth chart to see if some weird voodoo is trying to find carries for the most surprising Heisman candidate ever. You're looking for something about 5'6", and looks at you funny if you touch his water bottle.

THIS IS NOT THE GREATEST GOALIE IN THE WORLD (THIS IS JUST A TRIBUTE)



Wolverine Devotee put this together. I'm not a fan of great big dramatic music but I'm a huge fan of little goalies getting lifted by Vaughn then getting hardware from a guy a foot taller than him even without the skates on. I've never been so happy for a guy going to Columbus. He's definitely on the first ballot for the…

PANTHEON OF GRIT

Ezeh-E wants a two-miracle limit for guys to get in. Then he includes Woodson and RVB. On the one hand it's one of sports' ironies that often the guys who work hardest and put the most time and effort into playing their sports well are the biggest superstars. I'm all for this miracle thing if you remove the sandpaper and just call it the Pantheon of Wolverines with Paranormal Abilities. The obvious guys will get in but need to have moments that defy the laws of nature to do so. For example, running 85 yards after Patrick Omameh used an NFL-bound linebacker as a safety-hunting projectile just takes speed. Doing this on your first play ever…

Now that is a complete, out-of-the-sky miracle. Speaking of things falling out of the sky…

OHIO SUPERFAN BUCK I GUY HOSPITALIZED AFTER FREAK TURKEY VULTURE ACCIDENT

I just…that's the title. I'm still reading the title. He's going to be okay. Weird thing about Buck I Guy is Bolgen Gobcat fans think he's a dick but the Michigan fans seem to think he's a good guy. We now know where Turkey vultures stand. Stand…segue from stand.

LOOK, THEY STAND

ynozk

Those figures: MSHOT92 made those!

And now for your moment of zen:

Unverified Voracity, Fergodsakes

Unverified Voracity, Fergodsakes

Submitted by Brian on December 21st, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Fergodsakes. Fergodsakes!

Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges has spent much of the season with his name as candidates for other jobs. First was the head coaching position at New Mexico, which eventually went to Bob Davie. Then, it was a potential replacement for Charlie Weis as Florida's offensive coordinator. On Tuesday, Borges said he isn't interested.

"No," Borges said. "This is Michigan, [fergodsakes]. In the noble words of someone we all know and love.

Fergodsakes.

SHIRT. Shirt.

Print

Shirt.

En route. Six Zero has a treat for you in the new year.

9joaxt[1]

Molk will headbutt you. This is a literal thing if you are Jack Miller.

After each of Michigan's coin tosses this year, senior center David Molk would march to the sideline and find freshman center Jack Miller for his pregame ritual: headbutting.

"I like Jack," Molk said earlier this season. "He doesn't like it. He always says it's OK if he knows it's coming. ... I'll just kind of run up to him and grab him, and slam my head into him."

I hope they're wearing helmets when this transpires but wouldn't bet my life on it. Also, JB Fitzgerald has spent his career at Michigan evangelizing the superiority of shoe polish over eyeblack.

All too easy. Michigan has hired another coach, so it's time for another round of Fisk The Creepy Lech, this time with an assist to some guy at Ball State whose butthurt is exceeded only by his knowledge of identity phenomenologies. Yes, it's time once again for Gregg Easterbrook to complain about literally every college coach who's taken another job:

TMQ Readers Know Too Much: I wrote that Kevin Sumlin has joined the ranks of weasel coaches who walk out on their promises the instant dollar bills are waved; then listed Nick Saban, Rich Rodriguez, Randy Edsall and Bobby Petrino as other prominent weasels.

Justin Bauserman of Indianapolis writes, "Brady Hoke belongs among the ranks of weasel coaches. First he walked out on his own alma mater, Ball State, without even coaching in the 2008 International Bowl after the team's terrific 12-1 season. His walkout essentially doomed his team to a loss in the bowl. Hoke broke his promises to Ball State in order to sign a lucrative five-year contract at San Diego State. When more money was waved by Michigan, Hoke walked out on his SDSU deal after just two seasons. How long before Michigan fans rue the day some NFL team offers him more, and he breaks his promises and bolts again?"

San Diego State must have been shocked when Hoke took the Michigan job. Hoke had gone to great lengths to conceal his ultimate goal.

When Weber interviewed Hoke for the SDSU job in late 2008, Weber said he asked Hoke, “How do you see this position at San Diego State fitting in with the arc of your career?”

“He said the end of that arc was head coach of the University of Michigan,” Weber said. “I don’t think I’d want a coach who didn’t have that kind of aspiration.”

Only his closest confidants had any idea of his ultimate destination.

I don’t pretend to know Brady Hoke very well, but I know that his father was a college teammate of Bo Schembechler at Miami University, and that the Wolverines’ crusty Patron Saint became a mentor during Hoke’s eight-year apprenticeship in Ann Arbor. I know how much the place means to him.

And he made sure that he was going to get paid tons of money.

Hoke has left San Diego State to coach football at Michigan, and his deliberations might not have spanned a nanosecond. He accepted the job before money was mentioned, and later said he would have walked to Ann Arbor as a condition of employment.

Easterbrook's complaints about coaches taking better jobs are always dumb, but going after Hoke is a new bar. In this department, anyway. The whole head-injuries-and-jews thing probably still takes the cake.

[Via the board.]

They're onto us. Arizona's Greg Byrne has adapted to the realities of the internet era:

Fly commercial. I know, who flies commercial with a private jet at his disposal? No way. These days, though, it's just too easy to track the tail numbers of private planes online. In this case, Byrne hopped on a flight that stopped in Denver (Couldn't get a nonstop? Really?) before heading to Detroit. In fact, Byrne was spotted in Denver, and news quickly hit Twitter that he was no doubt there to grab Colorado State's Steve Fairchild after his thrilling 3-9 season in Fort Collins.

By doing this and using Wire-style burners Byrne managed to keep his hire so secret that I'm still not sure who Arizona's head coach is.

General bowl-lol update. West Virginia is struggling to sell its 100 dollar Orange Bowl tickets because Stubhub has comparable seats for 19 bucks. WVU blogs note the bowl is spending some of the money it steals from the schools on a cruise for "40 FBS athletic directors and six conference executives."

The Orange Bowl is a nonprofit.

Elsewhere, Village Voice Media burns the whole system to the ground in an extensively-researched piece that ran in weeklies nationwide:

The ticket scheme alone leaves schools awash in red ink. Virginia Tech lost $400,000 on last year's trip to the Orange Bowl — despite getting $1.2 million from the ACC. Though Auburn claimed last season's BCS crown, financial records show it still lost $600,000 — even after a $2.2 million bailout from the Southeastern Conference.

Some bowls have also found a way to scam schools on hotels. Since the bowls usually arrange lodging, athletic directors assume their "friends" are negotiating the best group deals. But that's not always the case.

Under Junker's rule, the Fiesta Bowl required schools to purchase 3,750 room-nights at about $200 a pop. According to the contract, the schools had to pay whether they used them or not.

But what Junker wasn't telling his "friends" was that he'd arranged a side deal with the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. In exchange for funneling teams to Scottsdale resorts, the city's tourism arm agreed to kick the Fiesta Bowl $8.2 million over the 20-year pact, according to a contract discovered by the Arizona Republic.

The whole thing is recommended. It's a comprehensive rundown.

Glass monster. If I asked you to guess who the second-leading defensive rebounder in the Big Ten was, you would not get it right. Via UMHoops:

Calling Smotrycz’’s rebounding numbers a year ago “underwhelming” would be kind. They were disdainful for a player that stands 6-foot-9. The same Evan Smotrycz that rebounded like a guard a season ago is suddenly the second best defensive rebounder in the Big Ten.

Rank Player Team Ht Wt Yr DR%
1 Jared Sullinger Ohio St. 6-9 280 So 33.3
2 Evan Smotrycz Michigan 6-9 235 So 23.4
3 Draymond Green Michigan St. 6-7 230 Sr 23
4 Meyers Leonard Illinois 7-1 245 So 22.9
5 Ryan Evans Wisconsin 6-6 210 Jr 21

*Removed Trevor Mbakwe (knee surgery) from the fifth slot.

You can try to discount that as an artifact of Michigan's style but I don't think the argument works. Michigan has played almost entirely man to man and has reaped benefits from Smotrycz's enormous rebound-pinchers. Opponents are only grabbing 27.6 percent of their misses. The national average is 32.6. Michigan is a good defensive rebounding team and Smotrycz is one of the primary reasons.

He's also shooting better than 50% from three. If he can just stay on the floor…

Etc.: If you're wondering why on Earth Michigan signed up for a home and home with Bradley, it was probably had something to do with Bradley hiring Beilein's son. Angry Iowa Running-Back-Hating God is never sated. OSU react roundup from Rittenberg. Coastal Carolina fired the dogs and cats guy (who was actually a fairly successful coach) to hire a billionaire. Boo, Coastal Carolina. Boo.

Block MST3K continues at the HSR. Bob McKenzie on Jon Merrill's slow path back to the ice.

Unverified Voracity WSG Malevolent Djinn

Unverified Voracity WSG Malevolent Djinn

Submitted by Brian on September 21st, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Men down. Two major injuries in the Big Ten just came down the pipe:

  • Badger linebacker Chris Borland, last year's Big Ten freshman of the year, is out for the season with a shoulder injury. It sounds like he will be replaced by sophomore Mike Taylor, who just returned from an offseason full of injury himself.
  • Iowa's Jewel Hampton was struck down by Angry Iowa Running-Back-Hating God, tearing his ACL. AIRHAG, as BHGP has taken to calling him, also saw fit to concuss Paki O'Meara, leaving Adam Robinson and "anybody else who wants to volunteer," according to Kirk Ferentz.

Iowa also lost second-string LB Bruce Davis for the season.

Iowa's looking like a potential swing game after the Arizona loss, and getting down to their equivalent of JT Floyd at tailback might mean Michigan's linebackers can actually get an angle on outside runs; I'll still believe M beats Wisconsin when the clock reads zero and I'm all like "woo New Year's Day," which isn't happening so don't get your hopes up.

Man down less sympathetically. The reason Dion Sims isn't playing for Michigan State is he has "allegedly been involved in a Detroit Public Schools computer theft ring involving 988 stolen laptops valued at around $800,000." This will presumably knock him out of the Michigan game unless Michigan State manages to swing a work-release program for him. (How does MSU manage to get all of this stuff done during the season? They could be making headway towards a third straight Fulmer Cup, but nooooo they only get in massive trouble from September to January.) QUICK EVERYONE LOOK AT THE JAW.

Speaking of hopes up. Michigan did not get punished by sportsbooks for the events of last weekend. They're now a 4.5 point favorite against MSU (up one), one point favorites against Iowa (up one) and Wisconsin (even), and 3 and 14 point dogs to PSU and OSU, respectively. IE: the most reliable predictive device available projects something slightly better than a 2-2 split against the meat of the Big Ten schedule. If Michigan takes care of business against BG, Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois they would be 9-3 if that comes true; even if they biff one of those four they'd be 8-4.

This makes me terribly nervous.

Troof. Orson's graphs are back and yeah:

denard-robinson-graph

Our other stuff looks like Run DMC, though, so we've got that going for us.

The other football. The Daily was there and so was I, and we both thought the same thing: whoah. 3,500 people packed out the officially 2,200 seat soccer stadium to see a 0-0 tie against Notre Dame, and the Daily is overrun with people who want to write the other football:

…at the latest mass meetings, the majority of students said they were interested in a different kind of football — the one with a “u” and an “o” and a significantly different ball. And each time, I did a double-take. This is the University of Michigan, after all, and all of you just want to cover soccer?

My friends and I tried to sit in the grandstand, which was full, and then migrated to the student side of the field, which was shockingly lively. The "Ultras," as they're calling themselves, badly need to work on their chants* but do an outstanding job of existing, especially since the soccer complex is way off campus.

There are games tomorrow and Saturday at 7 PM, with the latter against Ohio State.

*(A large number of them were classic tunes that saw a couple words replaced, with the weakest being "When The Saints Go Marching In" sung except they say "blue" instead of "saints." You've got two guys named "Saad" on the team! What do you think some working-class London hooligans would do with that? This is a layup.

Also, soccer and hockey have the same aims; many of Yost's cheers could be appropriated. Apparently some have, but I saw a 0-0 draw without any goal chants.)

Expansion: over? OSU AD Gene Smith says so:

"We're finished (with expansion)," Smith said. "The only thing that would cause us to look at it further is if someone contacted us. …The reason most of us say it's not done is because we think there are some schools that are going to try to talk to some conferences. But we're not actively out looking at expansion. After our October meetings, that's going to be the last we talk about it."

Fine by me. 14 or 16 team conferences are dumb.

Smith also says the schedule has not been finalized past '11 and '12 and that Michigan-OSU at the end of the year is not a given. Though he'll 'push for it," he doesn't know what "Barry Alvarez might bring in the room," to which I say if it's not bratwurst tell him to go back and get some.

Etc.: At least everyone's special teams suck. More on Kiffin's bizarre two-point hijinks. Full RR presser transcript. The Daily's story on the Shirtpocalypse is ironically paired with a big animated ad exhorting you to purchase their picture of Denard doing the Heisman on that Te'o. Must… not… smash… faceintodesk SPOCK.

Unverified Voracity Addresses The Rest Of The Universe

Unverified Voracity Addresses The Rest Of The Universe

Submitted by Brian on August 31st, 2009 at 9:41 AM

HEY! OTHER THINGS! THINGS THAT ARE OTHER!

Witty: not dead yet. Freshman cornerback Adrian Witty, the last incoming recruit held up by the Clearinghouse, retook the SAT in search of a point. In the process he may have revealed why he needs another point on the SAT:

"I think I did good on it," Witty said.

Witty's missed the entirety of fall camp; if he gets in he's all but guaranteed to redshirt. If he doesn't, I believe he can prep for a semester and come in January since he's so close. The NCAA cracked down on the prep school route a couple years ago but left the window open for guys who need one or two grades, IIRC.

Paki-bomb loaded and ready to run for two yards. Did I tell you about Angry Iowa Running Back-Hating God or did I tell you?

The big injury is Jewel Hampton's right knee, which has kept him off the practice field for most of camp. Ferentz told me it's unrealistic to expect Hampton to play Sept. 5 in the season opener against Northern Iowa. The coach also didn't rule out Hampton's injury affecting his availability this season.

Hampton is "80 percent likely" to take a redshirt year according to Iowa Scout.com guy Jon Miller. Redshirt freshman Jeff Brinson, the nominal #2, missed most of camp with an ankle issue, leaving walk-on and broad comic stereotype mashup Paki O'Meara atop the depth chart.

Black Heart Gold Pants, naturally, is all over this.

Historian. This time it's a recap of Michigan's first 38-0 win over Notre Dame in two parts:

Part II is lightboxed for your perusal.

This is a different thing now. All right, Michigan's strength and conditioning program this offseason has been sweet!

"I think so," Rodriguez tells Bret Bakita and Michael Grey, of The Starting Lineup, on WBBL-FM, "just judging on the way they look and how strong they feel.

"I think that's natural, particularly when you've got younger players; they're going to make a big gain in strength and conditioning from their first year to their second year. But even overall, the whole team has really bought in to what Mike and his staff are teaching down there in the weight room.

"Hopefully it'll show up on the field. Certainly, they look like they're moving around quicker, and I think their strength is certainly up from what it was a year ago."

Did I say something?

Hang the DJ. I am so down with using Morrissey as a half-serious, half-mocking approach to Michigan fandom, and sports fandom in general. There's a tag on this blog that I've used way more than I ever wanted to named "i know it's over and oh it never really began but in my heart it was so real." And next week one of your very special season preview posts is Morrissey based. (50 MGoPoints to the first person to guess which song is referenced.)

So, yeah:

I’ve seen it happen/in other people’s lives/ now it’s happening in mine. Morrissey and contemporary Michigan continue to be made for each other, and not in the good kind of way. The joke won’t be funny once you get to the Notre Dame game, especially if Nick Sheridan as starter has to face a TAH-NOO-TAH defense unafraid to send blitzers from the corner, safety, and occasionally just running in crowds off the bench.

Son of a bitch I should have thought of that lyric last year. You haven't heard the last of this, Swindle! (You probably have.)

Schwing? Michigan's deadly 2010 hockey recruiting class looks set to get even deadlier with the news that Ontario forward Lucas Lessio has left Niagara's camp, presumably because he intends to commit to Michigan. Lessio was the #7 pick in the OHL draft and a source told the Wolverine's Michael Spath that Lessio would be the "best player to come to Michigan out of Ontario in the last decade," which would make him a more highly touted prospect than Mike Cammalleri, Brandon Burlon, Louie Caporusso, and Andrew Cogliano. Two of those guys are scoring-line NHL players and two are current or upcoming stars at Michigan. That is high praise.

As always, do not count your chickens before they show up on campus… but, yeah, Lessio has signed with St. Mikes and Yost Built diagnoses the positivity coming from Niagara's GM as Iraqi Minister of Information stuff. He actually played on Friday, picking up two goals and an assist in a 5-4 loss. It sounds like he's made his decision for justice.

Here's a Hockey News scouting report on Lessio. Summary: he good.

Etc.: Whoah. FO's ESPN insider content($) on the Big Ten predicts Michigan at 8-4… and Illinois at 4-8! Stanford decommit picks Northwestern over ND because he thinks "Northwestern has a better football program than Notre Dame." Two-part Rittenberg interview with Rodriguez: part one and part two. Dylan takes on expectations for the basketball team; personally I'll be happy with a season that ends in the second round of the NCAA tournament as long as the bid isn't in question on the last day of the regular season.