Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days

Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days

Submitted by Brian on May 11th, 2016 at 2:53 PM

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Team Gardens in Flint. If you're in the area and available this Saturday, the Alumni Association is working with Vincent Smith's Team Gardens to make a thing:

Each year, on Michigan Alumni Community Service Day, alumni clubs from all over the country give back to their local communities in a variety of ways. This year, our club is pleased to partner with Team Gardens #EATING Project to assist with the creation of a community garden at Potter Elementary School in Flint. Be sure to register for this event soon; attendance is limited to 35 volunteers and families are very welcome.

Plants! Plant them in planters, the plants. And the ground.

Go big or go bigger, home is just a distant memory. Michigan has now announced 28(!) satellite camps, including faintly ludicrous stops in Australia, Hawaii, and American Samoa—and Michigan will be at the latter two twice. I have a preview of Jay Harbaugh's future right here:

I have also traveled to and fro in time to acquire a piece of Jay's diary.

JULY 15TH—unnamed village 50 miles north-northwest of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The stink of refuse in the streets and the uncomprehending looks from the villagers wear on us daily. We say "football" ever slower only for the children to grab the balls and kick them about. The oblong shape does not bother them. They have never seen a soccer ball, either. I begin to wonder if they've ever seen a man-made toy.

Everything else is goats. Goat cheese. Goat moccasins. Goat yurts. Furtive in the streets, one day I think I see a goat wife. All is goats. We offer a class of 2019 wide receiver who does not know what a post route is, or his own name. We call him Goatley. He is probably a goat.

Tomorrow we're going to see the cosmodrome, for some reason.

JULY 21ST—Mons Olympus, Mars. There are no people here. We have been directed to form them from the dusty Martian soil. Every day I trudge up the ancient shield volcano to see if the crumbling forms have been imbued with a spark of life. They never are. I feel the radiation sleeting through space and Mars's thin atmosphere, into my bones. The nights are dark beyond belief.

In more ludicrous satellite camp news. The War On Rutgers continues. Our current situation: Michigan is ignoring Rutgers for the 150th consecutive year. Rutgers is offended that Michigan asked them to their Paramus camp because they didn't want to play second fiddle in their home state, so they announced a camp with Urban Meyer at the same time as Michigan's. I have a dank meme for this, you guys, that will prove I am hip with the snapchat youth.

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Noted rappist DJ Khaled will ensure I remain relevant for decades

Only the dankest of memes will appear in this space.

Anyway, by flipping the bird to Michigan, Rutgers and OSU have annoyed a bunch of local recruits who now have to choose which set of coaches to get exposure with. New Milford assistant and outstanding name Preston Lawyer:

It appears this has hit a vein of internal New Jersey high school politics, and that a number of NJ high school coaches are nuts. A NJ.com article quotes a number of coaches supporting the Rutgers camp with language that says more about the person speaking than the event they're commenting on:

"Obviously, Michigan wants to conspire with Paramus Catholic to do whatever they want to do,'' Campanile said. "So I don't think they're making friends from that standpoint with a lot of these schools. I really don't know what to say about it. But it is what it is. They're obviously aligned with those guys, and if that's what they want to do, it's their business."

I'm sorry if some of you experienced painful eye-rolling at that quote. There's plenty more in there if you're inclined. This guys sounds like a major piece of work. His brother in an assistant at BC, who will work the Paramus camp:

"I love my brother more than anything in the world. I just don't want anything to do with my kids going to a camp at Paramus Catholic.''

The good news is that per 247 this dude doesn't have a single recruitable player in either of the next two classes. The two other coaches in that article are from Don Bosco and St Peter's Prep, though, and that's going to be interesting: three of the top five guys in the 2018 class are at those schools and Michigan is thought to lead for the Ademilola twins and is up there for Tyler Friday. A dollar says at least one of these guys is hired by Rutgers in the near future.

This already happened. To you. As recently as it's possible for this to happen. Elsewhere in incorrect braggadocio:

"I may get myself in trouble for this: For people that want to come to Alabama and have a camp, I think it's great, because they're helping the quality of football in the state of Alabama," Horton told the Ledger-Enquirer. "(But) no one is coming to this state and getting a player from Auburn or Alabama. That's not going to happen. So hey, I'm for, if they want to come to our state and have it, that's going to help the quality of high school football."

Not quite Alabama, but Elysee Mbem-Bosse went to high school less than two hours away from Auburn, was widely expected to go to Auburn, and then Harbaugh went "yoink." Michigan's recruiting efforts are not going to have a material impact on any out-of-region school; pretending that Harbaugh can't go pick off kids you want is sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la."

Pack line is music to the ears. Quinn profiles Billy Donlon in a long piece. They key bit for people blanching at triple-digit Kenpom D efficiencies:

At Wright State, Donlon primarily played a true pack line defense (a variation of man-to-man), while showing some 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones over the years. His team ranked in the top three in defensive efficiency in five of six years in the Horizon.

Over the last three seasons, Michigan has ranked 9th, 11th and 10th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency.

"He has a great basketball mind in general, but the way he coaches defenses -- that's kind of his thing," said AJ Pacher, a Wright State center during Donlon's first four seasons. "He did a lot of film, and a lot scouting, and he'd implement a lot of against specific teams in specific games."

The foul tension will be fascinating to see unfold next year. Here's hoping Michigan is a lot more annoying, a lot more effective, and autobench is at least somewhat warranted.

As a side note:

As Tuesday afternoon wrapped up, Donlon declined to answer if he'll serve as a sort of pseudo-defensive coordinator at Michigan.

Dank meme questions bros.

An easy way to get fired. Like a lot of coaches, Charlie Strong has a twitter hashtag he uses to announce commits, albeit anonymously. Would you believe the Texas guy for Scout has trademarked this hashtag and is now selling merch featuring it? You would not. But it happened anyway:

Texas officials were surprised Monday after learning that a reporter who covers Longhorns recruiting had trademarked Strong’s phrase in March 2015 and recently started selling #Letsride T-shirts.

Jason Higdon, the lead recruiting analyst for Horns Digest, filed two federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year to use the phrase on various sports apparel and wristbands.

If this guy had any connect with the coaching staff he doesn't have it any longer, and if the reaction to this news is any indication he might not have a job much longer. There is now a JasonHigdon.com run by one of the Barking Carnival guys, because the internet is like that.

Etc.: Mount Hot Take has been discovered. Excellent summary of the A&M twitter disaster. Ditto the Tunsil situation. Basketball has a home and home scheduled with UCLA. SMSB director appreciates Harbaugh's advocacy.

Baumgardner profiles David Long. Please have all future profile posted before the 2016 recruiting profile for that player, pls thx. Also profiled: Jourdan Lewis. Bama is comin' to our citayyyy. Don't hire the son of a famous coach before he's done something to prove he's not a total buffoon. See also: Derek Dooley.

Unverified Voracity Goes Family Circus

Unverified Voracity Goes Family Circus

Submitted by Brian on May 30th, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Everything in Minecraft. Michigan Stadium in Minecraft.

I like healthy butts and I cannot lie. Jake Butt is jogging again:

"Went for my first little run yesterday and my knee feels great!" Butt tweeted.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Feb. 13 during conditioning drills before spring practice began. Butt underwent surgery to repair the torn ligament on Feb. 28, exactly three months ago Wednesday.

ACLs are six-month things these days so Butt could be back even earlier than the third or fourth game, as Hoke projected a couple months ago.

Yes, this is a good idea. Auburn's having a big ol' recruiting weekend, so naturally they've painted the path of the Kick Six on their field.

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If I find out they've also got a cardboard cutout of Nick Saban in tears, I will commit.

In unrelated news, Bret Bielema took a job at Arkansas. Bielema demonstrates his mastery of making himself look bad with his mouth:

Bret Bielema why he made move from Wisconsin to Arkansas "SEC will get minimum of 2 teams in 4-team playoff"

None of these are ever going to be Arkansas, is the thing. The other thing is that give or take a tough decision, the SEC would have gotten two teams in a four-team field about 25% of the time since the dawn of the BCS era. Three is off the table.

Hooray for three months of this. If there was a single moment when Dave Brandon completed his heel turn with the Michigan fanbase, it was when he picked up the steel chair of Appalachian State and beat us over the head with it by scheduling a rematch. While the blessed event is still three months away, first extensive article on the Horror has been published. I refuse to read the thing, so here's a paragraph at random:

It’s no secret around campus that the football success of 2005-07 was a boon for the school’s “PR value” and “notoriety,” in the words of ASU athletic director Charlie Cobb. It helped bring enrollment increases, academic improvement and more.

I can't wait for replays to be on my television 24/7. Reliving the moment Michigan football went from national power to… this… is not high on my list of desirable activities. Here it comes anyway.

Possibly related. The student section has dropped alarmingly:

"We're projecting that number to be somewhere between 13 or 14,000 for student ticket numbers this year," Michigan associate athletic director of media and public relations Dave Ablauf said. "(That number was at) about 19,000 last year. We don't have a finalized number (yet), that's just an approximation because all the incoming freshmen haven't put in their orders yet."

This is partially because students can just buy tickets next year without long-term punishments and this home schedule is not worth the 300 dollars they're asking for it, let alone the regular price they're charging everyone else. It is also partially because last year was no fun and partially because the students don't like Dave Brandon at all.

The alarming thing is that this is probably going to happen every other year going forward unless Brandon can find a home and home series that actually moves the needle. Arkansas and Virginia Tech do not have anywhere near the appeal that Notre Dame does, and since Michigan got totally boned by having MSU and OSU away in the same year, every other year has no schedule anchor.

Even for you, this is surprising. Zach Travis has a column on the student section drop that you should read. The themes in it are things we hit on frequently here. In the comments, though, TOC contributor MSUDersh relates a story about the things happening to the UM wings of his family that is sadly believable. His dad and uncles are old-timey ticket holders in section one with tickets that go back 50 years:

A few months ago my uncle who splits tickets with my dad & another uncle rec’d an email about their tickets. The university told them that it appreciates their loyalty and also wants to ensure that they continue to have those great seats going forward. And in order to do so, the school recommended that they purchase four more season tickets (plus PSLs) in a completely different area of the stadium. Despite there literally being decades of my family history with the school & athletic department, including an endowment from my great grandparents in the 60’s that continues to fund scholarships today, Dave Brandon’s team is threatening to pull their choice seats and relocate them if they don’t purchase more.

I just had a wow experience. Has anyone else received an email like this? I'd like to confirm that the AD is stooping so low.

I motion to not do this and have ice cream. Latest O'Bannon wrangling:

Lawyers for the NCAA asked the appeals court to vacate U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken's order for the trial to start June 9. The NCAA also wants the appeals court to rule that the O'Bannon antitrust trial should not be held before the Sam Keller right of publicity trial involving videogames, a related but now separated case scheduled for trial in March 2015.

The filing late Thursday night marks the fifth attempt by the NCAA in recent weeks to delay and/or redefine the case. A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previously rejected one of the delay attempts without comment.

Our local law-talkin', football-playin' dog weighs in:

The NCAA is also asking the courts not to consolidate the wave of anti-trust lawsuits filed by former players claiming they were cheated out of compensation above and beyond the value of a scholarship, and trying to get anyone other than Claudia Wilken as their judge, because Oakland is "spectacularly inconvenient" for a trial. A flight's a flight, according to the NCAA's own rules for seeding the NCAA hockey tournament.

Incoming. Dylan Larkin NHL draft profile ahoy:

“Larkin has shown he can be an elite-level power forward in addition to showing a high level of offensive ability. His ability to take the puck hard to the net allows for unique scoring chances most players would not be able get because of a lack of size and strength.”

Etc.: You definitely shouldn't watch Mitch McGary's draft workout video unless you want to be real sad. Nussmeier's position now sponsored by rich dude. Barking Carnival's boot camp series continues with leverage.

Unverified Voracity Needs To Replicate The Fly

Unverified Voracity Needs To Replicate The Fly

Submitted by Brian on December 4th, 2012 at 2:06 PM

[NOTE: in transit to DC today for Q&A thing Thursday, so light day from me.]

We need some elephants with adamantium blades coming from their hands. This exists:

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and I need some lambchop-possessing awful cartoon unholy wolverine-elephant combinations stat.

On your TV! Black and Blue, the Willis Ward documentary, will be on your television if you're in Detroit. Channel 7, 1 PM, Saturday. Yes, this is unfortunately timed with the Arkansas basketball game overlapping. Set your DVRs.

Where many coaches just show up from the MAC. The Big Ten has pants and pants of money. Leg-sleeves stuffed with cash. And

Purdue Football Coaching Search: Butch Jones Leaning Towards Colorado

…that about says it all. I know that Purdue is maybe not the best example but the current Big Ten coaches are:

MAC OR MAC-ISH HEAD COACHES: Beckman, Kill, Hoke
NOT EVEN MAC: Hope (fired)
BIG EAST HEAD COACHES: Dantonio
COORDINATORS: Wilson, Bielema, O'Brien, Pelini
POSITION COACH: Fitzgerald (thrust into the job early by tragedy), Ferentz
URBAN MEYER: Urban Meyer

People, stop hiring MAC coaches who get hot for a couple seasons. Anyone can get good in the MAC (except Eastern why do you have football Eastern), and the MACtion nature of the league means that whoever is good is good because of chaos. Hoke at least had a couple years of turnaround at SDSU to his credit.

Also, there is one coach in the league who came in with BCS-level bonafides, Meyer, and he had extenuating circumstances that removed him from his previous job. This year is not a great example because I can't think of anyone who leaps off the page as an excellent coach Purdue should try to poach, but in the past five to ten years no midlevel Big Ten school has even approached a decent hire. I mean, yeah what about Sonny Dykes

Sonny Dykes- Where art thou?

Sonny Dykes, my number one choice, seems to be staying pretty quiet during this whole process.  I haven’t heard his name mentioned for Tennessee or Arksans or even NC State despite early murmurs those were his preferences.  His team turned down a bowl game because they were hoping for a better offer.  If that’s any indication of how Dykes negotiates someone may get a bargain of a coach. Cal seems to be the front runner for him at this point but with the coaching carousel you never know. I’d still like to see Burke take a shot at him and use the extra money for a hot shot defensive coordinator.

Is Cal going to outspend a Big Ten team for Dykes? Adding Rutgers and Maryland will change that. Sure.

Next up for Purdue: maybe Darrell Hazell because Hazell has one year in which his team came out on top of MACtion and two as a head coach. Conference, I roll my eyes at you.

Burnin' the shirt, burnin' the shirt. Well so much for Caris Levert the redshirting guy. Michigan put him out there against Bradley and will continue playing him. This means bad news for Matt Vogrich, who went from a starting, if minor, role to a few minutes late:

"(The plan is to play him) six to eight or six to 10 (minutes per game)," Beilein said Monday. "I don't know if that's always going to happen, it depends on what's going on late in the game.

"That was our intention, that's why we made the move to put him in the top eight -- we're still going to stay with a top eight or nine (guys in a rotation), and he's in there."

With Albrecht and McGary definitely part of that rotation, Levert's addition just about kicks Vogrich out of meaningful PT.

How do we feel about this? Vogrich was off to a poor start this season, but he has been able to provide sporadic gritty grit off the bench in past years and knows how to work a back-door cut. I'm less incensed about burning redshirts in basketball, where the really good players don't stick around four years, let alone five, and anyone on the floor is contributing in a way Sione Houma wasn't when he covered kickoffs that were going into the endzone anyway.

If Levert is worth a couple points a game, I'd say go for it. We haven't seen much to indicate that he is yet, but the buzz has been consistent. If they can really use him as a "defensive stopper," I'll be surprised but that's what Beilein says and Beilein draws a lot of water in this town.

Everyone was injured and now it can be told. Taylor Lewan's shoulder you didn't know was hurt is fine now, which hurrah because Clowney. Gardner's ankle you didn't know was hurt will be fine by the time bowl practice starts. Denard's elbow you knew was injured is still coming along:

Robinson was asked Monday if he's been throwing at all.

"I'm not throwing how I want to throw," he said. "I'll get there eventually."

He didn't indicate what has kept him from throwing the way he'd like.

"I don't know right now," he said. "Got to keep going, keep trying and keep getting treatment."

Nate Brink is not returning and this is apparently still news despite the fact that he walked on senior day. Stood, really, but you know what I mean.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA lolerbee($)

The discussion: Which team is the nation's most talented?

Ford: …the team that may have the most talent in the country, in my book, is Michigan. The Wolverines currently have five players ranked in our Top 100. Kentucky is the only other team to have as many Top 100 players.

Right now, point guard Trey Burke is the only Michigan player ranked in our top 30, but Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. both have the ability to crack the first round of the NBA draft. Freshmen Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas are further down the list, but both have a real shot at getting drafted down the road.

That's in part why I believe Michigan is a Final Four team and may give Indiana a run for the No. 1 spot by the end of the season.

/spins in chair whistling strangely

Adopt-a-Bundesliga. I mentioned this on the podcast a few weeks ago and I am still kicking the idea around: I kind of want to adopt a Bundesliga team, because the Bundesliga is a place where people think like this:

Among Germany's well-organised supporter groups is Kein Zwanni (Not Twenty), a campaign to keep tickets cheap. Its spokesman, Dortmund fan Marc Quambusch, said: "You have to keep tickets affordable so poorer and young people can have the experience of being football supporters. German football has a special relationship with supporters because we are the owners of the clubs; people do feel that very emotional sense of belonging and the clubs do listen to the fans. I feel we need to really value what we have."

Watzke is a confirmed adherent to the Bundesliga rule that its clubs, with the historic exceptions of Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and more recently Hoffenheim, must be controlled "50% plus one" by their members. The other 33 of the 36 clubs, including Bayern Munich, which is 82% owned by its member-supporters, cannot be bought by a single person from outside, like the Premier League clubs, but instead are democratically answerable to their members.

An indication of an "emotional sense of belonging" is what the Big Ten's leadership got from fans once they announced they'd be adding Maryland and Rutgers, and is what they are busy throwing away right now in pursuit of ever-greater dollars without bothering to ask first. Ask anyone. They just did it.

That article is on Dortmund*. Dortmund fell in to debt and is coming off consecutive league championships by digging out and buying young players and building something. The entire league is organized like the Packers with exceptions grandfathered in; meanwhile the Packers setup is banned by the NFL with Green Bay grandfathered in. One gives you Dan Snyder. The other does not.

*[Dortmund pros: successful, opportunity to root against Jermaine Jones. Yellow overlaps with Michigan somewhat. Cons: somewhat of a carpetbagging thing to root for defending league champion, their yellow seems a little off. ]

Meanwhile your business models are unsustainable. Fact: if you do not like sports cable is a huge ripoff. Via Get The Picture:

The average household already spends about $90 a month for cable or satellite TV, and nearly half of that amount pays for the sports channels packaged into most services. [Emphasis added.]  Massive deals for marquee sports franchises like the Dodgers and Lakers are driving those costs even higher. Over the next three years, monthly cable and satellite bills are expected to rise an average of nearly 40%, to $125, according to the market research company NPD Group.

So far, people seem willing to pay. But the escalating costs are triggering worries that, at some point, consumers will begin ditching their cable and satellite subscriptions.

“We’ve got runaway sports rights, runaway sports salaries and what is essentially a high tax on a lot of households that don’t have a lot of interest in sports,” said John Malone, the cable industry pioneer and chairman of Liberty Media. “The consumer is really getting squeezed, as is the cable operator.”

That is an unsustainable model that will erode. The Big Ten has hitched its entire wagon to that instead of things without an immediate return like, oh I don't know, an emotional sense of belonging. They are following the lead of newspapers, most of whom have abandoned any long-term strategy for slowly milking what profits can be made—except newspapers did not have a choice.

At this point I just don't care about the Big Ten expanding. I had my rage, and now I don't care what happens. That's where I am, and that's dangerous for the pointy-haired bosses. I'll watch, I'm committed to that, but there's a continuum here.

Here is a libertarian-flavored argument from Mother Jones's Kevin Drum about this whole business that GTP linked and I agree with, no polo.

No link just a thing I am thinking. The best example of the milking behavior is the Big Ten ruining things by making more of them. The two examples I'm thinking of:

  • Splitting Michigan and Ohio State in the hopes of getting a rematch the next week.
  • Cramming four Big Ten bowls onto New Year's Day, cheapening the accomplishment.

Instead of NYD being a litmus test for a  good season it is now highly likely 8 and 7 win teams get there annually, and then who cares.

Yes, I am thinking about living under a highway overpass. Let's think about something happier.

STAUSKAS. Stauskas.

Also other key plays. I love how on the last one you can hear the entire arena moan disgustedly before Stauskas even gets the ball. They know it's going in.

Etc.: Nebrasketball beats USC to give the Big Ten a little bit of a schedule bump. I watched the first 15 minutes or so and came away amazed at how bad the Trojans were. They have a guy with above-average usage (Jio Fontan) shooting 24% from 2!

Hagerup profiled. Baumgardner on the Bradley game, which I was fine with them playing. I'd rather have Michigan go to MVC schools for RPI and competitive purposes than beat up on the SWAC. Beard on the freshmen. MGoUser club_med looks at overtime games and eventually concludes that how you get to overtime—by blowing a lead or coming back—does not affect your chance of winning.

Late fades after being up big are the best problem to have but I would prefer it if they were fixed.

Unverified Voracity Found This Watch At A Vintage Store

Unverified Voracity Found This Watch At A Vintage Store

Submitted by Brian on July 19th, 2012 at 2:10 PM

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Remember the plan. Orson is at SEC media days talking about Gene Chizik's enormous head and how John L Smith should always be employed at a BCS ("contract conference" now, I guess) school, because he absolutely should:

John L. Smith is …  an animated scarecrow loaded with bootleg fireworks tossed into a shed full of flammable talent, even more volatile politics, and, like, a shitload of M-80s and old, sweaty sticks of poorly packaged Chinese dynamite. The glow will be seen for miles when it all goes up, and when we all run to the site we might find the limp figures of decimated opponents, or the scorched foundations of Arkansas football itself. Either way no one in this room wants John L. Smith to go anywhere, ever, especially as long as he's barreling into press conferences like so many bulls through the streets of Pamplona. (He gored Joe Schad on the way out! It was awesome! They're totally bros now!)

The plan: every year one BCS-or-contract-conference school selected at random that has fired its coach will be required to hire JLS on a one-year interim basis. This was a good idea before Orson implicitly promised to follow him around to whatever media day he ends up at, drawing pictures of him as a duck with his hair on fire screaming inanities he actually tells his players.

Goodbye, Braylonfest. User Drill points out another rule change that I'd missed. Along with nerfing most kickoff returns, the safety-conscious/paranoid rules committee may have all but eliminated onside kicks:

After a kickoff hits the ground — specifically on a one-hop onside kick — the receiving team gets an opportunity to fair catch that ball. "A lot of our coaches," Shaw said, "have said that will almost take that one-hop (onside) kick out of the game."

That is insane. Dealing with kickoffs is marginally acceptable as an ineffective fig-leaf designed to show people you are Thinking About The Children, but eliminating onside kicks, which happen maybe once a game, is sacrificing that small element of what if that goes through your head and sometimes comes to spectacular fruition so that a maximum of twelve plays a year are marginally less dangerous.

This is another negative side effect of not paying the players anything: constant rule adjustments for safety in excess of reason to reduce the ammo of dissidents.

Tom Luginbill was into Shane Morris before he got popular. Ace will tackle the recruiting content contained in this tomorrow (probably, anyway), but this space is for ridiculous things and Tom Luginbill's best Hipster Runoff impression counts:

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"Tyrone Swoopes's hot streak was fueled by self-loathing and self-aggrandizement, the equal and opposite manifestations of a whopping ego."

"Amongst the towering riffs that comprise the heart of JT Barrett is a lurking discontent with the state of modern society."

"Shane Morris's lefthandedness is a breath of fresh air at an event dominated by a hegemony of right-handed conformists. Take that, late capitalism!"

BONUS: guess which one of these was lifted directly from the front page of Pitchfork for a prize.

ANSWER: the first, which was teaser text on a review of the Smashing Pumpkins' Pisces Iscariot reissue.

PRIZE: Hey, that's Ian Cohen of Sexy Results!

Do you have weird stuff? Weird old stuff? Inspired by this War Eagle Reader post featuring old media games and other Auburn miscellanea old enough to be cool and a touch insane…

1971-Media-Guide[1]

…instead of deeply embarrassing, I am considering a new sort of mailbag post in which you send me images of stuff you've collected, which I then post on the internet. I should kick things off by finally scanning in the relevant portions of the very old Michigan yearbook I acquired a couple years back.

So, like, if you've got some weird old stuff scan it and send it in. Especially if it's the Ann Arbor version of the 1973 Delta Chi Miss Hot Pants Pageant. Strictly for its historic interest, of course.

Great success. The Classical stops in at Detroit City FC and finds a ludicrous amount of success for a first-year minor league soccer outfit that plays at Cass Tech. Former Wolverine Knox Cameron is a prominent starter and credits the club with reviving his interest in the beautiful game:

Knox Cameron, a former youth national team player and University of Michigan star, described himself as “pretty much over soccer” by the time his MLS career ended in 2006. But his experience with Detroit City FC has rekindled his old feelings for the game. The “big thing,” he said, “is it’s really united the residents. To know that the sport that you love is making an impact…that is really, really gratifying.”

He said that his experience playing with Detroit City FC has been one of the greatest of his career. “This would be right there, just below playing in an Under-20 World Cup or a Major League Soccer game. Just because of what the ownership is trying to accomplish. To be able to bring this level of joy and camaraderie to the citizens of Detroit, that ranks up there.”

Their inaugural season just came to a close at .500 overall.

Whoah. I've been getting questions about the Big Ten's reaction to this whole Paterno thing, questions I have no ability to answer since I'm not privy to the discussions going on and it's not like there's any precedent for this sort of thing. But people are at least talking about the nuclear option:

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting Big Ten leaders are weighing a series of proposals in an 18-page plan prompted by the current situation at Penn State. Among the ideas being thrown around include removing the university from the conference($).

The Big Ten handbook requires at least a 60 percent vote from the league's Council of Presidents and Chancellors to expel a member, although a Big Ten spokesperson told the Chronicle that number will rise to 70 percent for 2012-13.

The league is also talking about empowering the commissioner to fire coaches and administrators, which seems beside the point since anything that would trigger this sort of penalty would be a firing offense. On the other hand, as long as anyone who gets fired under this statute has to be replaced by John L Smith I'm on board.

This time, with taste. I hope, then check. The last time we tried this it didn't go so well:

One of the interesting touches to the new concourse will be the lyrics to the fight song "The Victors" etched into the floor and wrapping throughout the concourse. A new brick exterior also blends Crisler with Michigan Stadium, which also had a recent facelift.

"Crisler is probably an 80-percent finished product right now. There's a completely new facade and the outside is all brick and it's beautiful," Beilein said Wednesday in an interview on WDFN. "There's a new entryway to Crisler that's going to knock you out. There's a big block 'M' and the escalators and big glass entry. All of the concourses are wide open with food courts, lighting and windows. It is going to be something really special."

Survey says

image

We're good. There are a bunch more exiting pictures of construction at that link.

image

CONCREEEEEETE

A loss on youtube. A rarity, but here's the narrow 1988 loss to Miami narrated by Keith Jackson. Like… all of it. No idea why; the other things this guy has thrown up include a 1991 edition of the Ryder Cup and a Borg vs McEnroe match.

Mikulak profile. Sam Mikulak hits AA.com:

"There have been many times in the past where I'd have had my parents make that call for me," Mikulak said. "When I was a kid in California, I'd want to go on a snowboarding trip or something with friends and they'd tell me 'no,' tell me I can't go because the season's coming up and I can't get hurt.

"But now, I kind of tend to make those decisions on my own. I guess I'm kind of maturing."

Correct. Red on Carrick's disappearance:

“I think he talked to Coach Wiseman. I never got a call from him. I just think it’s a huge mistake. The sad thing is, we make a commitment to a kid two years ago and we sit on that scholarship and we honor that commitment and right up until the draft, and then he takes the draft and decides now he’s going to go in a different direction? What kind of integrity is that? That’s just terrible. That’s one of the things that bothers me about college coaching. Some of these families and kids don’t keep their word. I hate to put integrity on the line, but let’s face it. This is a commitment you make and this is your word and what are you doing?”

You can use the excuse that Carrick is 17 or whatever, but his parents aren't. Here's to not improving your 10% shot at the league by playing against younger, poorer competition.

Etc.: Nick Saban says Michigan is terrible and Alabama will beat them by 20 points. Long fluffy hype on Beilein from the News. Indianapolis won't bid on the first round of NCAA title games.

Unverified Voracity Finds A New Hope

Unverified Voracity Finds A New Hope

Submitted by Brian on January 24th, 2012 at 12:55 PM

All The Bork That's Fit To Bork. Hagelin makes the new York Times, and if you were one of the people on the perimeter of the giant Swedish flag you may have as well.

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The LA Kings can eat this:

“Carl had the speed, but there wasn’t much to him,” said the Rangers’ chief scout Gord Clark, referring to Hagelin’s 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame. “But when they told me he committed to Michigan, it changed everything. Red Berenson plays an up-tempo system. It often doesn’t work out this way with a prospect because N.H.L. teams don’t have control, but Carl could not have gone to a better place to develop.”

Hagelin has 8-8-16 in 28 games and has likely ended his stay in the AHL permanently. Billy Powers is looking for more Swedes, as well:

“We’re trying to be active in Sweden,” Powers said. “I love going to Stockholm. I just haven’t been able to convince any top players to choose us over the hope of playing in the Elite League. Maybe Carl’s success will open some doors. He set a bar for student-athletes at Michigan that’s going to be tough for anyone to match, no matter where they’re from.”

Amen to that.

Movin' on up. Scot Loeffler is the man chosen to fill the big, wacky shoes of Gus Malzahn:

“Scot is a rising star who has worked with some very good quarterbacks, and has achieved a tremendous amount of success,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “He is a tireless worker, is an outstanding recruiter and knows the rigors of competing in this conference. We’re very excited to have Scot join our staff and we welcome him to the Auburn family.”

It's interesting how Michigan fans' perception of the various assistants who scattered to the four winds when Carr retired have generally to have been borne out by their landing spots. Campbell, Loeffler, and English were generally well liked. Loeffler's steadily moved up in the world, Campbell has been turning middling recruits into assassins for Iowa, and English was hired at a relatively analogous job (DC at Louisville) before becoming the most successful EMU head coach in a million years.

The assistants Michigan fans didn't like have been shuffled off to makework NFL jobs, mostly. Mike Debord was assistant (to the) Seattle OL coach for a couple years and is now a tight ends coach in Chicago. Andy Moeller got an analogous job with the Ravens; FWIW Baltimore is high up in Football Outsider's possibly-not-very-meaningful OL stats. (A point in FO's favor: Detroit finished 31st at run blocking.) Before that Jim Herrmann shuffled off to another NFL positional job. Mike Gittleson got really mad that when you search for "Mike Gittleson Wikipedia" you get Mike Barwis but doesn't appear to be coaching.

The main exception appears to be Steve Stripling, who was well liked after defecting from Michigan State in time to pilot Branch, Woodley, Taylor, et al. in 2006. He took a year off and resurfaced at CMU; he's now the Cincinnati DL coach.

[Not mentioned: Fred Jackson, for obvious reasons. Vance Bedford since no one had much time to get a new opinion on him during his one-year return. Steve Szabo was supposedly at the tail end of his career; he kicked around some small schools before abruptly resigning from NIU a couple months after being named there. He had only a couple years to establish a reputation at Michigan.]

Never fear. Lloyd Carr has said some stuff in favor of Loeffler that Auburn fans and Orson have either expressed trepidation or stifled laughter about, depending on their general desire to see Auburn win. But it's not that bad. Here it is:

"Scot is a team guy -- one of those coaches who will call a game with the mindset of doing whatever it takes to win," Carr said. "Some days it may be to protect the defense, and some days to light it up."

This is the nicest thing Lloyd Carr can think of to say about someone intimately involved with something as salacious as passing, and should not negatively reflect on Loeffler.

But seriously folks, failing to rehabilitate Tim Tebow's throwing motion should not invalidate his work with Brady, Henson, Navarre, and Henne. Especially Navarre, who went from statewide whipping boy to secretly good to All Big Ten over the course of his starting tenure. A specialized cadre of NFL experts still can't get Tebow to throw more accurately than Joe Bauserman. If Loeffler secretly chafed under Lloydball he'll be a fine hire for Chizik and his tire-fire defense.

And now a strange reason to root for Auburn. College football provides an ever-shifting set of motivations and Michigan fans just got a powerful desire to see Auburn's offense blow up. Loeffler's 37 and if he does well will be a hot coaching candidate in five years; in ten or so Hoke is likely to retire. If Loeffler's a good candidate maybe we can skip the three years of civil war.

One thing we do know: he's got the lingo down pat.

“at the end of the day, it’s our job to score football points.”

Well…

Must not make obvious comparison. Er. This is the picture people are passing around about the infamous Dantonio interuppting cow moment:

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I just don't even.

BTW, the look on all people facing the camera says all you need to know about the way this went down.

Moving on up, or down. ESPN's latest 2012 basketball rankings see Mitch McGary slip to #21; Glen Robinson III rises to #26 and Nik Stauskas gets a slight bump to #79. GRIII is now on the cusp of a fifth star at ESPN and a recent Rivals mailbag named him as the most likely player to pick up a fifth star when they redo their rankings.

Overall that's a win if it keeps McGary in school a bit longer. Michigan's recruits other than the ineligible McGary were "nominated" for the burger game, but that's is an honor on the level of being on a preseason watch list: 600 kids were nominated.

Just moving down, thanks. BCS attendance is plummeting:

In 2005, the last season before the addition of that title game, the Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls had a total announced attendance of 319,936, averaging 79,984 per bowl. This past season the announced attendance for those four bowls had dropped to 293,247; an average of 73,311 per bowl.

While there was a slight increase in 2010, this year's attendance numbers were 8 percent lower than the 2005 figures.

Keep in mind these are announced numbers that bear a strong relationship to reality when things sell out and none at all when arenas are half-empty. The real decline is likely greater. Also the Rose Bowl is still a guaranteed sellout, so the effects on the other three bowls are larger still.

At this point the only bowl that brings something worth keeping around to the table is the Rose.

Wolves, Barwis, etc. Michigan's departing seniors have all chosen to get back with Mike Barwis in preparation for the NFL draft:

"He's the best, hands down," said center David Molk, who is recovering from surgery to repair a ligament rupture in his right foot suffered during Sugar Bowl preparations. "If you want to get ready for a combine, you want to get ready for a season, you want to be the best you can be, you go to Mike."

Some credence for the eeee Barwis meme there; if we never saw it on the field it was probably because Michigan never had enough upperclassman to look strong or conditioned. Also, here's another GET IN THE CAR IT'S MIKE MARTIN picture:

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Daniel Mears/Detroit News

Yes this. I promise this is the last word on the Paterno thing. It's hard to pass up something that summarizes the whole cultural thing in two sentences:

The most salient example of this phenomenon is the recent push by Penn State alumni to oust their board of trustees for the perceived sin of succumbing to a witchhunt against Paterno, of not allowing him to retire with dignity. That's the essence of Paterno's legacy: creating an unthinking paternalistic monolith that valued complete fealty to his cult of personality beyond all else.

That's On The Banks. There are also takes from the Hoover Street Rag and Our Helmets Have Wings.

Our non-megalomaniac. This bit is about Bo, so promise kept. Paul Campos writes on Bo's departure from Michigan:

In 2004, I watched the Michigan State game with Bo in the Michigan Stadium press box. The ratty old press box featured a few private booths from which retired athletic department employees could watch the game; it has since been replaced by a phalanx of dreadful luxury suites — referred to by the euphemism-addicted university administration as “enclosed seating” — which are rented out by persons of quality for $80,000 per season, game tickets not included.

By then, it was clear Bo was not in good health – he was suffering from degenerative heart disease and diabetes – but his mind seemed as sharp and funny as ever. I asked him, among many other things, if he had ever regretted quitting when he did, and he said he had, many times. But, he added, if he had in fact quit too early, that was still “a damn sight better than quitting too late.” And then he laughed.

In the end, the worst thing Bo ever did to the program he built was die. Given how many people of his stature go out, that's something.

Etc.: Loeffler's introductory press conference. Key moments from the Arkansas loss. More on the infamous Dantonio interrupting cow moment. Gasaway on the three point shot.

Unverified Voracity, Founded 1982

Unverified Voracity, Founded 1982

Submitted by Brian on November 30th, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I would pay in diamonds if this was Michigan related. Someone found this in Thailand:

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Thailand: not just for sex tourism anymore. That is amazing. The people who take these pictures immediately clean out the store, right?

Well, you can't say never anymore. Since Dave Brandon created The Horror II there is no nonconference scheduling scenario that you can entirely rule out. A six-game series with Washington State on the moon? Someone call Richard Branson to see if that's been floated.

Still, this seems pretty implausible:

"His expression to me was he felt he had a better chance to win the national championship at Arizona [than Tulane] if he recruited properly and they promised him they would put Michigan on the schedule within three years."

That's a Louisiana high school explaining to Tulane boosters why Rich Rodriguez took the Arizona job over Tulane. (He could have just gone with "duh.") So this is a second-hand account of a one-sided promise that Arizona may or may not have actually offered presumably made without actually talking to anyone in Ann Arbor, involving Michigan playing a real nonconference opponent.

If there wasn't a risk of enormous humiliation I'd say there was a zero percent chance of that happening. Since there is, ballpark it at 10%.

Yerk. UMHoops with the grisly numbers from yesterday's game:

Michigan was never able to find an offensive rhythm against Virginia’s Packline defense. The Wolverines scored just .93 points per trip despite shooting 45 percent from three point range. Michigan, obviously bothered by Virginia’s physical play, was unable to convert the two point shots that carried the offense in Maui and converted just 42% of its two point looks. That lackluster two point shooting was accompanied by first half turnover woes and little to no production on either the offensive glass or at the free throw line.

Dylan says the offense "devolved into glorified isolation plays most of the night," and it's hard to disagree.

I am surprise. The guy who runs the book at the Wynn on Hypothetical Sugar Bowl Everyone Is Projecting:

SUGAR BOWL, JAN. 3
Michigan Wolverines (+4.5) vs. Houston Cougars

“The Cougar football program gets center stage for the first time,” Avello said. “The Wolverines have struggled in bowl games losing eight of their last 10.”

Houston's offensive numbers are gaudy as all git out but the one BCS team they played was UCLA, who they scraped by 38-34. I'd think that line would go the other way.

That's the ticket. The #1 Meyer won't destroy us theory is that he doesn't scout, choosing instead to use recruiting lists from the gurus and annihilating the programs he leaves with his crappy recruiting. That's grasping at straws, as all reasons Meyer will not succeed are, but given what went down with Jerimy Finch I think you can make the case Meyer recruits a lot of flakes. Por ejemplo:

One day after the coach who recruited them to Florida was introduced as the new boss at Ohio State, once-hyped recruits Joshua Shaw and Lyndren Trail announced plans to transfer from Gainesville, making them the ninth and tenth members of Urban Meyer's 2010 recruiting class to leave the team in less than two years.

Florida's roster is down to 68 scholarship players. A bunch (11) have taken off since Muschamp arrived, but Jebus, man.

Speaking of flakes, Rich Rodriguez and Urban Meyer are desperately clawing to hire… Tim Brewster. TRY FIGHT WHAT

Hatchdate. Hatch will not play high school basketball this season:

"Austin continues to make great strides in his rehabilitation; this first year is vital to the recovery process," the statement begins. "As a result, it is unlikely that Austin's physicians will clear him to play basketball this season."

I assume this means he's reclassifying to 2014, which would clear any scholarship logjam in future seasons unless no one goes pro or transfers before the 2013 class hits campus—unlikely to say the least.

With the Poke and the man. Oh, good lord, Michigan just recruited a 1996-born hockey player. His name is Dylan Larkin and all you get is stats:

His 13 goals this season is tops on the team, which leads the Great Lakes Division of the MWEHL with a 14-0-3 record. The next highest on the team has 9 goals. He's also second in points (Kyle Connor has 21). Surprisingly, only one of his 13 goals has come on special teams, so he's getting it done at even strength. He also leads the team with 4 game-winning goals.

This is because he is a 2014, Michigan's first. Presumably he's pretty good.

In other hockey news, crap crap crap crap crap. Michigan's losing streak has hit four, the defense is totally clueless, Hunwick isn't exactly bad but he's not playing to last year's standard, and a lot of the games have embarrassingly thin crowds. It's not so good.

Not having Merrill is obviously a big problem. Brennan Serville had his pocket picked for Union's second goal Sunday and sat until the 13 minute mark of the third period. Their third pairing is terrifying and I'm not so sure about the second one, honestly. Not skating Burlon in the title game and the fallout from that, plus the Merrill thing has turned the defense corps from the deepest in the country to one pairing and then Katie bar the door. I don't even know, man. Michigan plays a Michigan State team this weekend that's not much better on paper but has actually won some games recently; if I'm back in the MGoDitch feebly trying to have a real good time after this weekend you know what happened.

The bombs, even more targeted. Dan Wetzel wrote "Death to the BCS," so his take on the latest BCS debacle is not a surprise. It is also not wrong:

No matter what it says, the BCS is not a system designed to choose a championship matchup. It is merely a tool to stave off the inevitable playoff bowl directors fear will cut into their millions in tax-free profits, a casino-style distraction to placate the masses.

It is what it is, and until it collapses (even a four-teamer is a major, positive step), college football is stuck.

That said, if the BCS somehow survives in its current incarnation, the formula to determine 1-2 must be scrapped.

It currently consists of two-thirds human opinion polls that are ripe for political foolishness, full of oft-uneducated voters and subject to groupthink.

I'm waiting for the championship games to play out before doing the Official Tedious Thing I always do around this time, but imagine a six-team playoff with no autobids with the first two rounds played at home sites and the final at the Rose Bowl. Tentative version of that this year:

1. LSU vs 4. Oregon/5.Wisconsin
2. Alabama vs. 3. Oklahoma State/6. Stanford

Or something along those lines. What matters? This weekend. Who can complain about the outcome of that? No one. What does it do the bowl system? Hardly anything. What does it do to the importance of the regular season? Increases it.

Bowls are parasites on college football.

Etc.: Spencer Hall hits up the last Texas-Texas A&M game. Bust details. Rumors that Dayne Crist is going to use the fifth-year transfer rule to become Wisconsin's next free agent quarterback abound. The Big Ten has denied they are employing seat fillers for the championship game, which is true in a narrow technical sense only.