Unverified Voracity Has The Best Angry Birds Facility In The Country

Unverified Voracity Has The Best Angry Birds Facility In The Country

Submitted by Brian on November 1st, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Thursday, five PM: muppets? If Michigan actually nails down Mitch McGary I think I might deploy the first-ever recruiting muppets. This is when and how that might happen:

The 6-foot-10 McGary will announce Thursday for either Michigan, Duke or Florida, and his father confirmed Mitch will announce on ESPN.

“Yes he will,” Tim McGary said by text.

ESPNU has a “Recruiting Nation” show slated for 5 p.m. EST Thursday.

Both ESPN and Scout are already calling McGary to Michigan.

After a brief period of worry about Duke, everyone who's offered an opinion says it's M. Duke is on the verge of locking down another PF ranked in the top 25—must be nice—and Florida hasn't gotten a visit in a long time.

If and when McGary picks Michigan, the muppets will be warranted. That recruiting class will be McGary, Glen Robinson III, and Nick Stauskas: a top 10, top 50, and top 100 recruit to go with Burke/Brundidge/Hardaway/Horford/Morgan and followed by the Irvin/Walton/Donnal 2013 class. It will be the cherry on top of a basketball program that is all the way back to national relevance and the capper to the surge that began in East Lansing last January.

PDC, yeah you know me. It is here. It has iPads:

379881_250602488322195_113453778703734_706647_1205761992_n[1]

Brundidge, Novak, McLimans, and Burke:

296441_250603384988772_113453778703734_706692_1459555045_n[1]

"Tap it again to make the white one poop out a bomb"

It may be a ridiculous outlay of funds on something of debatable social value, but hey, man, it comes with touchscreens. Don't be a downer.

The usual. Epic Daily profile makes you wonder how long various students will outperform the local paid media? Epic Daily profile makes you wonder how long various students will outperform the local paid media. This one is on Tim Hardaway Jr:

mam.mediaday228[1]

Marissa McClain/Daily

The doors on the all-white BMW 645Ci slammed shut, beginning the short journey home that would feel like an eternity.

The father, who had all the glory any man could hope for, was in the driver’s seat, casually turning the wheel in rhythm with the Miami streets. The son, a 16-year-old child trying to forge his own story in the shadow of his very name, leaned against the door of the passenger’s seat, with nothing to say.

It was like after any other of the

son’s high school basketball games. He won or he lost, and he and his father climbed into the luxury car without saying a word, draped in an oppressive silence.

I didn't even have time to link up the previous Molk piece before this one hit.

A monster draft beckons. NHL.com had three fellows deploy mock drafts and they are littered with Michigan players. One is expected—Jacob Trouba is widely regarded a top-ten lock. We've been hearing stuff about Boo Nieves as a second-rounder or a late first, and then there's a guy already on the team making an appearance. Their projections:

  • Trouba: 5th, 8th, 10th
  • Nieves: 19th, 26th, 28th
  • Phil Di Giuseppe: 11th(!), 28th, NR

That's a bit higher than expected for Nieves and hello Mr. Di Giuseppe. Michigan hockey followers have been buzzing about Di Guiseppe since he started pumping goals in and it appears a couple of the guys in suits who hang around Yost have also taken notice. The guy Michigan picked up in the aftermath of Lucas Lessio's defection looks like he'll go higher than Lessio did (56th). This isn't ironic but it's the kind of thing people identify as ironic.

I actually missed Di Giuseppe on both mocks he features on because I wasn't even looking for his name. What a find. If Rutledge plays well Michigan will be a contender next year.

As for this year, Michigan continues the longest home winning streak in its history and takes on WMU this weekend in a game that suddenly looks like a huge one in the conference race. The undefeated (5-0-3, paging user Undefeated Dream Season of 1992) Broncos were the second consecutive team to sweep Miami and are currently the only team without a conference loss. They're the league's stingiest defense with only 13 goals allowed; Michigan is ten goals clear of those same Broncos in scoring, all of which came in a single game against St. Lawrence.

Groping a bit. Not like that. A couple things in Michigan Monday this week irked me. Irk #1: asserting that Denard's interception was a lock-on before the snap. It was a second read, something that Belotti pointed out on the replay by circling the first read on the other side of the field. He got beat by the eight-man drop but he at least went through a progression. Irk #2:

As an aside, a 41-yard carry for a non-fast quarterback makes you wonder what's going to happen over the next month when they face Nathan Scheelhaase, Taylor Martinez and Braxton Miller, no?

That run came with the score at 36-7 in the fourth quarter. Various starters had been pulled, including the WDE. True freshman Frank Clark blew the contain on the QB. So… yeah. Not relevant. 

What I am saying about the thing I was saying. Braves & Birds has a profile of two anonymous teams:

  Team A Team B
Sagarin Predictor 80.40 78.24
Sagarin SOS 68.38 75.20
SRS 9.9 6.12
SRS SOS 2.75 5.86
Pts Per Game 21.4 26.0
Pts Allowed Per Game 12.4 19.5
Scoring Margin +9.0 +6.5
Yards Per Play Gained 5.1 5.6
Yards Per Play Allowed 4.2 4.5
Yards Per Play Margin +0.9 +1.1
Turnover Margin +6 -8

They're basically identical except one is in the Big Ten and has one loss and the other is… not. Michigan's schedule has been even softer than Team A, which okay I'll tell you is Penn State.

This is my concern, dude. Everyone regards PSU as a fraud, and we're kind of the same team except our loss was more competitive and our conference wins against even weaker competition.

A second chance. A couple years ago the BTN debuted internet streaming of untelevised games. This didn't go well. When I hit it up to watch a hockey game @ OSU the lag was such that I ragequit after one period in which the screen froze twice and came back to OSU celebrating a goal.

Maybe it's better? You can stream Michigan's basketball exhibition for free with the coupon code "BTDN3FR33"—good opportunity to find out if the product has improved.

Etc.: Bacon chat at the Detroit News tomorrow. Get your tickets for the outdoor hockey game in Cleveland. More MST3K Michigan defense parody. The Blue Ribbon preview of Michigan is a freebie. Michigan Hockey Net rounds up Michigan's commitments and how they're performing. Remember when we all would have killed for Jeff Tedford?

Unverified Voracity Besmacks Of Societal Failure

Unverified Voracity Besmacks Of Societal Failure

Submitted by Brian on October 27th, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Freerolling. Contest time: Draftstreet.com has put together an MGoBlog freeroll for their weekly fantasy game. They use salary-cap style drafting: you've got 100k to spend on 2 QBs, 3 RBs, 2 WRs, a TE, and two flex players with players priced by expected performance. This weekend Denard has a massive 17k pricetag, but you can get Fitzgerald Toussaint and his hopefully-more-than-two-carries for 4k. You get the idea.

A hundred bucks gets distributed amongst the top five finishers and I will hit the winner with a t-shirt of their choice as well. Sign up before noon Saturday to get eligible. I'll remind folks tomorrow.

images[1]beileinx-large[1]

you and me both, Mr. Beilein

Countdown: McGary. Mitch McGary says he's down to Michigan, Duke, and Florida and will be deciding within the week:

As for my recruitment, I’ve got some big news for you guys. T.J.’s not the only one committing next week. I’m planning to make my commitment next week sometime too.

Sam Webb says Michigan is still the leader, but he's not deploying the gut feeling. Let's go, McGary.

Did oversigning just die? Everyone's focused on the pittance schools are about to fork over to their players as schools move towards full cost of attendance. But this is a potentially huge change that was also just announced:

The Board also approved multi-year grants up to the full term of eligibility, though one-year grants will remain the minimum. A prescribed minimum award value should apply to all scholarships (percentage amount to be decided in the coming months), and institutions could increase the allotted aid during the period of the award.

The current restrictions and processes for reducing or canceling aid will be maintained and only non-athletically related conditions for reduction or cancellation will be permitted in aid agreements. Student-athletes will continue to have a hearing opportunity for any reduction or cancellation of aid.

IE: you can now offer scholarships of up to four years and you cannot cancel that scholarship for "athletically related conditions." Someone tweeted that "this might be used as a recruiting tool" to Andy Staples… which… horror!

That doesn't eliminate St. Saban Memorial Hospital but it does give schools that intend to keep their players around a leg up on the axemen of the world. B+.

Also there is this, something I've advocated:

Presidents also voted to allow institutions to provide financial aid to former student-athletes who remain at or return to the institution to complete their degrees after they have exhausted their eligibility.

That's long overdue. I wonder what the details of that are… could that be used to get a master's degree in something potentially useful after the kid has found out he's not a pro and has the time to get something other than a General Kinesiology degree.

Other changes include bumping JUCO eligibility requirements up a bit, moving the APR cutoff to 930 effective in 2014 and banning teams below that threshold from postseason play.

No mention of that infuriating scholarship cut proposal. Hopefully that's dead and in a ditch. If so, bravo for the NCAA. That package of changes is a huge move to the good, and it came about in about six months. 

Radio. This morning's WTKA appearance in two parts: part one, and part two. That is how parts work. I defend Carr from a guy who really dislikes Carr, talk even more about Three and Out, have a really interesting conversation with Craig Ross (who knows Carr fairly well) about the man himself, listen to a very strange call from New York that connects college football to the global financial catastrophe, and bomb the Free Press. Oh, and we talk about Purdue and Craig's irrational hatred of "Horseface" Danny Hope.

Seriously, people, you need to listen to Chuck at the beginning of part two. You will not regret it.

Exclusive. Angelique, of course, lands one with Hoke. The no headset thing is for realz:

Q. I get asked a lot if you're like Bo Schembechler or Lloyd Carr. You're not. So who are you?

A. I don't know. It doesn't matter to me what people want me to be. I'm going to be who I am. I can remember when I took the Ball State job, talking to Bo, and he had two things he told me. One, he told me to move over to the offense, and I asked him, 'Coach, why? My expertise is on the defensive side of the ball,' and he said, 'Well, you control the game offensively.' I told him with great respect I would think about it. But I've always been able to hire great coordinators, guys who understand what we want to do. And the other thing Bo said was, 'Be yourself.' So I just try and be myself.

Q. Which is?

A. A D-line coach.

Q. But you're not anymore.

A. Yeah, but I am.

Q. What does that mean?

A. Pretty simple.

Q. You're pretty simple or the concept is pretty simple?

A. I'm pretty simple as long as I think about the kids because that's why we get to do what we get to do. It's for the kids, and it will always start there.

I love that. No headset uber alles.

Dirt sandwich. Michael Beasley is suing guys:

The Washington Post reports that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley is suing his former agent and his former AAU coach for conspiring to create a situation in which they could represent him once he became a professional player. The lawsuit alleges that the agent, Joel Bell, and the coach, Curtis Malone, first sank their teeth into Beasley when he was 14 years old. 

The lawsuit comes less than a year after Bell sued Beasley for wrongful termination and breach-of-contract.

Beasley's allegations in this countersuit are lengthy and complicated.
To boil it down: The Post reports that Beasley and his mother allege that Bell helped cover the costs of Beasley's participation in a high-profile AAU team, including transportation, lodging, other family expenses and $2,500 in cash. The lawsuit also reportedly alleges that in return for that help the agent and coach took steps to ensure that Beasley would sign with Bell once he turned pro after one season at Kansas State, including paying for his mother's rent and car payment after she moved to Kansas to be near Beasley.

The NCAA's next massive reform should be providing some framework for agents to work with players to get some of this stuff above the table for the benefit of everyone. If agents have some access, bad actors can lose that access. Agent prohibition is working about as well as actual Prohibition.

Mattison on missed tackles. Bruce Feldman talks with Mattison, and Mattison says the same boatload of interesting things he usually does:

"I don't want to talk about anything that was done before. I know what we believe in defensively. You have to keep it inside and in front. There is never, ever an option of not going hard to the football. And the key words are 'to the football' and where the football is going to be. If you see the ball breaks outside and a big lineman is chasing, he's never gonna catch it: 'Don't chase it, cut it off! Go where it's gonna be!' We practice that every single day all the time. Every single practice play if that lineman is not running at an angle where he can go make the play, he is going to hear about it. And if he does it too much, he won't be in there. Our guys have bought into that. They truly understand now that that's how you're supposed to play when you wear the winged helmet on defense."

GERG version of this: murph murph murph murph murph.

This, however, is pure luck:

It wouldn't seem like a stretch to think all of the preaching about taking proper pursuit angles, running to the football and gang tackling is the reason why Michigan is tied for tops in the country with 14 fumbles recovered. That also comes out of just 16 loose fumbles. Other teams around the Wolverines in that category high in the NCAA rankings actually have a much lower percentage of fumbles recovered. (Last year, the Wolverines were 87th in fumble recoveries with just seven, which came from 12 free footballs.)

14 of 16 fumble recoveries is insane, and fumble recovery rates are the most random things in football. I don't think they can be attributed to coaching even a little tiny bit.

Etc.: Heininger profiled by the Daily. The White Tiger profiles Michigan's sophomore big men. Bacon on Illinois '09. BWS hits up the special teams. Also the offense.

Mitch McGary: Happening? Probably

Mitch McGary: Happening? Probably

Submitted by Brian on October 3rd, 2011 at 10:21 AM

mitch-mcgary-picturemitch-mcgary-roar

right via Indy Star

In the last 24 hours the belief that Mitch McGary will end up at Michigan has spread from local guru Sam Webb to large hunks of the basketball recruiting world. McGary just announced he wouldn't be visiting Kentucky or anywhere else and plans to come to a decision in a month.

While his blog post on ESPN mentions a desire to run and (fairly) leaves Michigan out when discussing the teams that do run, that hasn't stopped the train of positive mojo Webb kicked off on a WTKA recruiting roundup a couple days ago. Dave Telep:

If I set the odds, I'd install Michigan as favorite w/McGary at this juncture. College recruiters concerned about UM the most.

Scout's Brian Snow:

Word on the street is that Michigan has emerged as a leader for 2012 big man Mitch McGary, who was supposed to make an official visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness. Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels reported on Sunday night that he was hearing Michigan was a "major favorite." There is also some speculation now that McGary, a native of Indiana, won’t make any more visits.

The twitter feed of one Bacari Alexander:

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boy, I hope that's about recruiting and not baseball.

Unverified Voracity Kills Its Fish

Unverified Voracity Kills Its Fish

Submitted by Brian on September 13th, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Derp. The Shredder grabbed a great shot of Tommy Rees's "oh shiiiiii—" moment in the fourth quarter on Saturday:

IMG_1220[1]

That's not supposed to be there.

Let's play the 'Freude. ND features above the fold in TWIS for the second straight week. If you clicked through on twitter you've already seen this but you probably want to see it again:

I cried like an asshole.......
by guilfordnd (2011-09-11 00:32:33)


......for `15 minutes in the bathroom. and i[''m still drunk. I wanted to be as positive as I could the entire game until the pass. I crumpled up after that and cried and cried like I lost a good friend or some s--- after that pass. Tonight I let the small bluegill and two other panfish that were in my aquirium into the creek down the street. I figured I can't have anymore pussies in my man cave. I will catch some fish that will be a f---ing asshole ( like a bass) where every time I feed it it will dominate, and then s--- out the remains. call me wierd but I got nothing left. I don't know what else to do. I look forward to the fall but the gets harder and harder each year.

But wait, there's more: just after I posted it I hit up my Big Ten feeds and came across We Never Graduate's running diary of the game. The choicest bit:

10:32 TOUCHDOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWNNNNNN IIIIRRRRRRIIIIISSSSSHHHHHH! TJ JONES ON THE CROSSING PATTERN! THE IRISH HAVE TAKEN COMPLETE CONTROL OF THIS GAME. Let’s see if ‘Nard Dog can pass them back.

Wait, let me think about that…HAHAHAHAHAHA.

The whole glorious brain-melting thing is worth your time.

Kirk Spartans, meet Branden Georgia. MSU's marketing violence uniforms have been revealed and yes they're all like LOL USF. It's hard to get exercised about this kind of thing at MSU, which changes its uniforms every few years, but I hope this is just a model thing and not a reprise of the Georgia uniforms:

AZOWvUZCQAIOfXB[1]

I doubt it, though. That nameplate is very dark. Kirk Spartans is going to throw to BJ Spartans unless Dan Spartans can't block, and Edwin Spartans is probably going to run for a 60-yard touchdown.

Look, Nike: I give up. You're going to give people uniformz and they're often going to be playing Michigan when they wear them. Whatever. But can we at least keep the names on the jerseys? I like having names on jerseys so I can figure out what's going on better. They are a public good. Penn State is the only school that doesn't raise my ire about not having them.

McGary McGary McGary. Mitch McGary has checked in with an update on his recruitment with two encouraging parts. Part the first:

First up was Michigan. It went really well. I had a ball there. The fans just showed me so much love at the football game. Everyone talks about Michigan being a football school, but when I sat in the student section everyone just started chanting “Mitch Mc-Ga-ry” and started clapping. They definitely know their basketball at Michigan, that’s for sure. …

I would say that the part that stood out most about the visit was the fans and just how much love they showed me. I really wasn’t expecting all of that. People talk about the Cameron Crazies at Duke, but that’s how it was at Michigan too. Those fans showed me the most love of the three visits.

Excellent work, Max.

Part the second:

I still want to go to Kentucky, Maryland and Florida, but I’m not sure that I’ll get to those schools just yet. I’d like to get there, but we’ll just have to see.

Don't get me wrong, McGary said nice things about his trips to Tobacco Road and is keeping things close to the vest, but I've incremented my "this is happening" meter another inch. If he's not sure about visiting his other three finalists and Sam Webb's gut feeling is that Michigan, Maryland, and Florida were the leaders… well, the process of deduction to get from those facts to a happy place isn't complicated.

Now it's just about holding off Duke and North Carolina. No problem, right?

Also in the small world of the SYF Players AAU team, UMHoops interviews Glenn Robinson III. Optimistic spin: since he was three months premature he's three months younger than he actually is and can be expected to improve more than a baby born at the proper time. That's the ticket.

Joe Paterno was only twelve. Michigan gameday, 1938:

That's not a joke, by the way. Joe Paterno is old enough to remember this.

Etc.: Brooks has a hot tip on OSU violations! This one is totally backed with legitimate sources and is not pulled directly out of a rectum that is already inside three other rectums! The Big 12 is "done." Iowa's roster is hurting due to attrition—they may be less intimidating than we thought it would be this year. Ohio State did virtually nothing on standard downs against Toledo. Can they move the ball against Miami?

Unverified Voracity, Forcibly Skeptical

Unverified Voracity, Forcibly Skeptical

Submitted by Brian on September 6th, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Item of the week. A new weekly thing: in conjunction with the Pat Maloy Scholarship fund we'll be plugging Michigan memorabilia on a weekly basis. All proceeds go to scholarship endowments at Michigan. Item!

multi-signed-ball

The above features signatures from blog favorites Brandon Graham, Zoltan Mesko(!), and Ron Bellamy:

This item is a perfect addition to a Michigan collection in that it spans several decades of Michigan football greatness. A white Michigan football adorned with a large blue block M and two winged helmets on either side. The football is autographed by 18 former Michigan stars including Jim Brandstatter, Brandon Graham, Billy Taylor, Jarrett Irons, Buster Stanley, Vada Murray, Harlan Huckleby, Jarrod Bunch, Ron Johnson, Andre Weathers, Greg Mathews, Ron Bellamy, David Moosman, Stevie Brown, Zoltan Mesko, Derek Walker, Greg McMurtry.

Do it for Johnny.

Hatch update. From his Caring Bridge page:

Monday, September 5, 2011 5:25 PM, EDT

Another great week by a determined and hard working student athlete. Austin has a beautiful attitude and is enjoying day visits with close friends and family. We are following the medical staff advice to control the visitor schedule to no more than three at a time to allow him to focus on his recovery. While the length of the rehab program is still unclear, he looks forward to returning to home and normal activities.

 Mitch McGary enjoys torrential downpours. Mitch McGary visited for the Western Michigan game and reportedly had quite a time. Here's MGoUser Max hanging with McGary in the rain:

mitch-mcgary-picture

(BONUS: Just A Simple Minded Football Coach caught a shot in the Detroit News where McGary is going nuts as Herron roars down the field. Also he recapped the Western game.)

Post something like this and you'll be hounded until you give people the full story, so Max did:

I asked him about his official visits; he told me he is allowed to take 10 (instead of the usual 5) since he took a year off after high school.  "You're gonna hate me for this, but I'm going to Duke next weekend."  I asked, "Are you visiting anywhere more than once?"  He replied, "No, but I'll be back at Michigan for camp in [whatever month it was]."

He was going batshit crazy on all the big Michigan plays, waiving his towel and giving out high-fives.  He, like the rest of the student section, clealy enjoyed the rain, too.  He sang and fist-pumped along with The Victors. He even tried to start a cheer, but his "LET'S GO BLU-UE" wasn't very catchy.

Finally, right before he and the others left, I asked him to take a picture with me.  He seemed really excited, throwing his arm around me and joking around.  I got a little too excited and started slapping him on the shoulder. He cringed a little, and I remembered that his shoulder had gotten cut up pretty badly when he broke that backboard.  I apologized, but he just thought it was funny.  After the picture, we all started jumping around a little bit, yelling "Go Blue!" and whatever else.  He said several things to the effect of "I'll see you guys next year!" and then left.

So that's spectacular except for the part where Michigan fans whap him in his fresh wounds. UMHoops points out that McGary's AAU coach, Wayne Brumm, has been talking up Michigan to any outlet that will listen—I'm guessing that's he's the source for the national recruiting guys who keep saying "McGary isn't close to a decision but I'd keep an eye out for Michigan." Sam Webb hit Brumm up for a take on his visit and the resulting Webblog says Michigan is "STRONG" with McGary in the headline. This seems like time to get those hopes off the floor.

If you're like me you'll need to see McGary in a Crisler shootaround before you'll believe Michigan can snag a top five recruit in this modern sleaze-paced basketball recruiting society, but it seems like they've got a shot. McGary's off to a who's who of basketball powers over the next few weeks, whereupon his love for the block M and sea turtles falling from the sky will be tested. The good news: The rumor is Michigan's main competitors are Maryland and Florida and McGary mentioned to people around him that he planned on returning to Ann Arbor for "camp"—November camp? Next year's Elite camp?

Snagging McGary would take Beilein's recruiting trajectory from "we'll be pretty good in 2013" to "Big Ten contender NOW." Fingers crossed.

BAD HEADLINE MONKEY. You're new here at the Detroit Free Press (motto: Metro Detroit's second best paper named "The Detroit Free Press"), kid. So we'll cut you some slack. But this is not cool:

image

Kid, "rigorous" means you are more than doubling NCAA practice time maximums. When you're a headline monkey at Metro Detroit's second best paper named The Detroit Free Press, you have to know these things. I'm glad we had this talk. Now if you could lay out the arts section, clean the bathroom, copy edit* A1, and check the roof for suicidal reporters you can go home.

*[LOL JK]

I've always wanted an opportunity to get sued by Righthaven. Thanks to the rain, I've got one. It turns out that Vegas refunding the world's tickets on the Michigan-WMU game is quite a letoff for sportsbooks:

"It was kind of wacky. There have been some crazy weather games, but I've never seen that," MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. "I would rather have seen the game get in and played than end the way it did, when maybe some people feel like they were cheated.

"We were going to lose on the game. That was by far the biggest public-backed game on the board. The ticket count was ridiculous, like 20-1 for Michigan."

Wow. Either the sharps or the books were heavily on Western.

WAYS YOU CAN TELL THE NEWSPAPER YOU ARE READING IS BASED IN LAS VEGAS PROTIP: The reporter says "I was on the Wolverines, for the record" and wishes a natural disaster had befallen the Georgia Dome so he wouldn't have gotten taken on the Boise State-Georgia game.

mediachanges_thumb

Time to update the Michigan reporter whirlwind. MVictors's handy movement graph is now out of date since Zach Travis has been picked up by Bleacher Report of all things and is getting paid to write on the Big Ten. Spreading that venture capital love around, they are. If you'd ceased paying attention to Zach's old blog Dreaded Judgment, he's firing it back up.

Are we still talking about this? Well done, Jon Wilner. You managed to get me all the way through your article on yet more realignment without making it clear that your source is a guy in a Pac-12 athletic department who likes messing with journalists:

The Big Ten won’t expand until it’s time to renegotiate the league’s deals with CBS and ESPN, which expire in 2016, according to a source.

At that point, if the Pac-12 and the SEC have grown to 16 teams, then Notre Dame will join the Big Ten.

Guh. I have been expansion-trolled. If you still want to take this seriously, Wilner says the Pac 12 presidents are opposed to expanding but will do it if the SEC jumps off the bridge first, at which point they'll have no choice. I hope the Big Ten is wise enough not to follow them.

Etc.: If you like the arrangement of the Victors for the Michigan Difference commercials, you can download it for your phone or (emo) tailgate or whatever. Holdin' the Rope starts a Michigan Monday analogue focused on the Golden Bobcats. Bruce Feldman is outside the paywall. Tommy Rees will start for ND this weekend.

Unverified Voracity Features Video Flood

Unverified Voracity Features Video Flood

Submitted by Brian on August 15th, 2011 at 12:31 PM

They are alive. HD scoreboard what:

so-pretty

It's so lovely.

Also there is a ton of video from Media/fan day. Choosing one at random:

Choosing a second:

And LB coach Mark Smith pronouncing Marell Evans's first name "MAH-rell":

There's also fluff, JT Floyd, Craig Roh, Mike Cox, Junior Hemingway, Taylor Lewan, Stephen Hopkins, DBs coach Curt Mallory (who still gets asked about Denard despite being the DBs coach), and RB coach Fred Jackson (who talks up the freshmen and describes the offense as "West Coast").

And then there's Countdown to Kickoff talking to Mike Shaw, and Rivals has a full transcript of the presser Tim covered yesterday. Also MVictors took pictures. Matt Wile has a big forehead, all the better to kiss expansively when he makes a 32-yarder. Tim's also got his assistants/players recap in the hopper; that will be coming up this afternoon.

I haven't found this in a linkable form yet but the buzz yesterday was that Frank Clark was quickly moved to WDE and Brennen Beyer was flipped to SLB—an inversion of what they were expected to do. We'll see if that sticks.

Other things Fred Jackson said. I've been shepherding select Fred Jackson quotes for the season preview in order to throw a little cold water on the Rawls/Hayes hype train but what the hell, you'll probably forget about it in two weeks anyway: last year he said Stephen Hopkins was "another Chris Perry, except I don't know if Chris Perry was ever 230 pounds." So when Fred Jackson says this

"Every day they come to work, they know they got to bring their lunch pails because the freshmen are coming out there like they're sophomores," Jackson said.

"Those two freshmen have made the whole room different because now the upperclassmen look around and know the competition is way beyond where they expected it to be (during spring practices)."

…I'm maybe not 100% convinced.

When Fred Jackson says this…

"I got a guy who's going to be a great third-down back for us," Jackson said. "I don't want to say right now who that guy is because I'm still trying to develop depth at the position.

"But the first game, you'll see who that is. I promise you, you'll see who that is."

…though, I believe him because that's obviously Vincent Smith. That would seem to take him out of the running to be the primary guy. I'm still betting on Shaw or Hopkins.

Schwing? Here's one of Scout's national analysts sort of kind of saying Michigan might have a lead-type substance for Mitch McGary:

*There was some clarity given to the Mitch McGary recruitment this week with him narrowing it down to six schools. As we said in the last recruiting report, the school most consistently mentioned by people close to the situation is Michigan. Now does that make the Wolverines the leader, not necessarily, but they are in as good a position as any school in his top six.

This weekend McGary is scheduled to go down to Florida to check things out. This will be an unofficial visit, and McGary’s first trip to the Gainesville campus. Look for another unofficial to Michigan before it is all said and done, and then probably two or three official visits once he gets back to Brewster.

I'll take it! McGary's supposed to wrap his recruiting up by October. Adding him may or may not amplify a scholarship crunch that may or may not exist in 2013. He's widely believed to be a one-and-done; if he does end up committing and sticking around it seems like the only thing that will create a serious issue is Hardaway also sticking around for four years.

BONUS: GRIII has moved up to #39 in Scout's latest rankings. Outrage: no Stauskas.

Fourteen is less than twelve. I have no idea why the SEC is going to bother with Texas A&M. I guess media markets and all that—the constant battle to make more money will not cease until every toilet is gold. But the sacrifices entailed are great. Instead of playing opponents in the other division every other year a 14-team conference will have a whopping two crossover games against a randomly selected set of seven teams. That's about three times a decade.

Despite this, certain SEC partisans are demanding the presidents vote yes even if there is no vote. Very postmodern.

Apparently the Big Ten is content at 12, and thank God for that. There were compelling reasons to go to 12—no more annoying co-champions, title game, etc.—but there is exactly one school that should prompt the increasingly inaccurately named Big Ten to bloat further. I refer, of course, to Wake Forest.

jim-grobe

sex appeal

Demon Deacons or bust.

At least he's annoying. Brady Hoke has gotten the goat of the Ohio State fanbase:

I AM SO TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT BRADY HOKE. Did you know Brady Hoke "gets it"? He's changing the culture?  On and on and on. What is so revelatory about the coach of Michigan has expectations this year? Have I been reveling so much in Michigan's despair that I've failed to realize just how pathetic they've become over the years?

I also get a kick out of how he's riding his Segway around up there (this is how I like to envision he travels everywhere) like he's the second coming of Bo Schembechler (who currently resides in the 7th Circle of Hell) when he's really a homeless man's Rex Ryan who has won as many games at Michigan as I have. Brady, you've been at Michigan for like two months, bro. Quit your posturing.

So as you're wincing when Hoke refuses to deploy "State" for the duration of his career at least know he's making people in Ohio peevish. If he actually wins some games there is the potential for helpless rage. That sounds fun. Let's do that.

In the grand tradition. Russell Bellomy on his decision to switch from Purdue:

I ended up choosing Purdue [on] June 1st. I’ll never forget that. But then

the best opportunity I’ve ever had fell in my lap. In the middle of January, I got a call from my head coach, and he said ‘hey Russ, Michigan called; are you interested?’ He left me that voicemail, and I was just like ‘is that even a question?’ So I called him back, and then Coach Borges ended up coming down here to my school, and then he came for a home visit right after that, and we sat here from about 6:30 on just sitting here talking, and on the way back to the hotel, he called me and offered me, and me and my dad were going insane.

I like to think of an enraged Danny Hope twirling his mustache upon reading that. I like to think of an enraged Danny Hope twirling his mustache in many scenarios, actually: in a sinking boat, catching his wife eating yogurt, at Stalingrad in 1942, upon discovering he will not be able to attend the REO Speedwagon concert.

danny-hope

"She knows yogurt has bacteria in it, goddammit. This aggression will not stand."

Etc.: The South Bend Tribune has details on what went down with Corwin Brown. You can have your very own Justin Boren jersey. Photo gallery from Maize n Blue Nation. Rod Beard is the guy who drew the short stick and had to interview random fans for their random opinions. I hate every single quote in that piece.

Unverified Voracity Gets In The Countdown Game

Unverified Voracity Gets In The Countdown Game

Submitted by Brian on August 10th, 2011 at 1:00 PM

INSPIRATIONAL COUNTDOWN IMAGE: 25.

piranha-vs-mouse

I liked the koala, wallaby, and I chilled with a kangaroo a bit. There was a wombat that I quite enjoyed also.
Todd Barry

The floor is not on fire and we need water desperately. Crisler's new floor:

new-crisler-floor

I like it, and not just because there's a charge circle.

Soon to be us. Penn State fans on their version of Special K:

Penn State has been saying for years now that the piped-in commercial music has not compromised in any way the Blue Band's ability or chances to play music in the stands. I'm calling bullshit on that. Since Penn State football became The Greatest Show of Great Shows of Not-Just-JoePa in College Football or something they keep renaming to something worse, piped-in public address music has become more prominent within the gameday experience at Beaver Stadium. They are no longer just snippets of music, or pre-game warmups music when the band isn't even done with Tailgreat. Nope, Penn State now plays full songs over the PA. You know, those raucous, adrenaline-pumping classics like... Sweet Caroline?

And the poll:

image

Penn State fans are not down with the sickness. Ah ah ah ah ah.

Dirty. Boo Nieves did this in an international tournament against Russia: :

Dang. Nieves is consistently criticized for being a "perimeter player," FWIW, which probably means he tries stuff like this all the time instead of bulling his way to the net.

Practice highlight type substances. From Rivals and strictly FWIW since there's no pads:

So there you go.

Rerank. ESPN's latest 2012 re-rank sees Glenn Robinson III at #53 (up from #60) and Nick Stauskas at #85 (from #99). Their profiles don't show any updates, though—wonder if they still think Stauskas is a low-athleticism guy who can't create his own shot or whether this AAU season has changed that. The highlight videos suggest he can get to the hoop.

Mitch McGary is #3, BTW. Come on, Mitch McGary. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

Also rerank. Scout redid its Midwest state rankings. Your instate top 10:

Rank Name Pos City (State) High School Ht/Wt Verbal
1 James Ross MLB Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Marys 06/01/20 Michigan
2 Aaron Burbridge WR Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison 06/01/80 Michigan State
3 Danny O'Brien DT Flint (Mich.) Powers 06/03/90  
4 Royce Jenkins-Stone MLB Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech 06/02/15 Michigan
5 Terry Richardson CB Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech 05/09/65 Michigan
6 Ron Thompson TE Southfield (Mich.) 06/04/20  
7 Devin Funchess TE Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison 06/05/10 Michigan
8 Dennis Norfleet RB Detroit (Mich.) King 05/07/75 Cincinnati
9 Mario Ojemudia DE Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison 06/03/15 Michigan
10 Ben Braden OT Rockford (Mich.) 06/07/19 Michigan

If O'Brien commits that's seven of the top ten with two of the others guys who wanted to commit but got slow-played because of grades (Burbridge) or undisclosed "things to clear up" (Thompson). They really should have taken Burbridge just to make Dantonio's head explode.

Braden's moved up and threatens to get a fourth star if he performs this fall. Only one That Guy complaint: Matt Godin is #15, which seems low for a guy with his size and offers. He's behind a CMU commit, for one, and Thompson appears to be picking between Syracuse, Indiana, and a late offer from Illinois.

Etc.: Michigan soccer enters this season ranked ninth, which is a vote of confidence in the program after they lost Justin Meram and Soony Saad—AKA all the goals—in the offseason. Hopefully that holds up. Hoke's entire opening presser. Two toned pants: ack.

Unverified Voracity, Unfortunately Skin Tight

Unverified Voracity, Unfortunately Skin Tight

Submitted by Brian on August 8th, 2011 at 2:46 PM

The beard of the wolf. Troy Woolfolk is inspired by Lloyd Carr:

Yea, and in the year two thousand and eleven the Michigan Wolverines perceived the New Orleans Bowl and said amongst themselves "shall we not take for ourselves what Troy's punter has shown to be good?"

The mouth of the horse. Ohio State fans have suddenly found that it's not nice when your opposition says mean things about you and takes your recruits. Or they've learned to complain about the former instead of the latter no matter the facts on the ground, anyway. Kyle Kalis:

"…[Hoke] has never said anything even remotely close to (negative) about Ohio State.

“People think that he does all of this negative recruiting, but he does no such thing. Any time my dad brought up anything about Ohio State, coach would actually stop him and say ‘I’m not going to say anything about that situation. It’s unfortunate and I hope they can get over this hump.’ ”

Kalis has been manipulated. Keep that in mind. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom!

It was tough to pass up Calvin peeing on John Hamm. Jerel Worthy is trolling us with his arm:

jerel-worthy

Or he's been trolled. Click for a bigger view of a Wolverine-type object wearing a Missouri helmet being stepped upon. QED: Jerel Worthy drives a truck with fake testicles.

I wonder how these percentages break down:

  1. % of OSU themed tattoos that involve Michigan symbols being peed on/crushed/anally penetrated
  2. % of MSU themed tattoos w/ same
  3. % of ND themed tattoos w/ same
  4. % of M themed tattoos w/ same broken out by rival.

Somebody should do a survey. I'm guessing ND is in last by a considerable margin and that 90% of all redneck-tastic Michigan tattoos focus on OSU.

Your lying eyes. I usually forward along all history-related questions to MVictors, as they are specialists. This edition of mailbag by proxy involves the colors on Michigan's uniform and is actually double-proxied since Greg pinged uniform maven Steve Sapardanis for a comprehensive answer:

Disclaimer
Let’s get this out of the way first:  never, ever, ever go by the color you see of pics online, in mags/programs or even in photos – see these Harbaugh photos as reference:

1986NDHarbaugh

These two pics are from the same game, maybe even the same play, maybe even the same photographer (probably not), but notice the difference in colors.   

Everything you wanted to know about Michigan's maize and more at the link.

Understatement. Rod Beard sat down with the entire basketball coaching staff for an extensive interview. Here's John Beilein doing his best George Clooney:

Q: I know you can't talk about specific recruits — even ones who have verbally committed — but how do you feel about your recruiting efforts this summer?

Beilein: I'll just say we're getting very positive feedback.

Indeed. I'm not sure just how up to date Beard is on Michigan's recent efforts, though:

Q: Is it a philosophical choice to go after unrated recruits and help make them a better players?

Beilein: As you're building a program, there's a plan that you gradually go in that direction, but you have to get solid first. In the recruiting wars, if you go after only the top-50 guys and you aren't successful, the No. 51-150 guys are long gone when you turn back. It's better to set your sights and then build a program so you get guys who have a high ceiling and in time will develop. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a great example of a guy who barely makes the top 100 — but now, he's one of the top 10 in the country out of that class. We're never going to say that we don't want to recruit a top-50 guy. If he fits what we're looking for, we'll recruit him.

The last unrated guy to commit to Michigan was Max Bielfeldt; right now the 2012 and 2013 classes are all four-star sorts. Hit the link for Bacari Alexander praising Beilein's "ability to be human." Good job, lizard coach from the fifth dimension!

BONUS BIT: Michigan may have offered another 2012 big. Marshall Wood is unrated but is attracting high-major interest. He can get up, yo:

Certainly looks like a Beilein big what with the driving to the bucket from the perimeter. Usually Michigan won't offer-offer until you get to campus-campus, which Wood hasn't yet. Michigan probably gave him the nudge-nudge wink-wink about it and they reported it as an offer, but Mitch McGary is supposedly planning another visit to Ann Arbor on or around Labor Day.

So: Michigan is definitely trying to fill their 2012 spot.

Movement. Sense? It seems this edition of the periodic NCAA let's-fix-everything tribunals may actually create a significant change in the organization, at least as it pertains to basketball recruiting. "Consensus was reached on some aspects of a new recruiting model," those being:

  • A start date for official visits beginning after the men’s basketball championship in April of the junior year.
  • Deregulating the type of communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging and other forms of electronic communication).
  • Allowing unlimited communication after Aug. 1 before the junior year in high school.
  • Permitting evaluations at certified nonscholastic events on two weekends in April, with some restrictions.
  • Permitting some contact at a prospect’s educational institution in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.

Somewhere, Kelvin Sampson is weeping into a Western omelet.

Both Eamonn Brennan and The Bylaw Blog rush to heap praise on this hypothetical model where coaches and recruits can approach each other like people instead of anonymous partners in a secretive arranged marriage. Brennan:

The NCAA might not be ready to let coaches talk to recruits year-round. Nor is it ready to totally reconsider its system. But it is beginning to make some serious progress, and that progress continued with the Leadership Council Friday. Incremental though it might be, at least it's a step in the right direction, right?

John Infante:

So for the Leadership Council’s top-to-bottom review of the men’s basketball recruiting model to wrap up within a year is a small victory for Division I’s governance structure. The results of that review are even more encouraging.

Infante also mentions a new provision for "on campus evaluations"—tryouts—as the most important change. Beneficiaries of this hypothetical new system:

The model, with the NABC’s limited tryout rule, would greatly favor coaching staffs who can make good evaluations during the spring and summer before a prospect’s junior year.

Sounds good if John Beilein's your coach, yes?

Meanwhile, 50 superfriends gather… The NCAA is also collecting its presidents together today and tomorrow to have one of those serious discussions that usually don't lead anywhere. Everyone Gregg Krupa tried to talk to said "NCAA? Never heard of it" except Mary Sue Coleman:

"This intertwining of intercollegiate athletics with universities in the United States is unique in the world, but we risk losing it if it is not done with transparency and integrity and if people believe it is not being done by the rules," said Coleman, who can not attend the retreat because of prior commitments. "I am very hopeful we'll stay on course with this, and the meeting in Indianapolis is an important part of that."

College football's scandal epidemic and rattling from the Big Ten and SEC about upping scholarship rewards, increasing academic standards, and maybe not booting kids to South Alabama after a season do provide a background in which Actual Reform is possible. The new, far less restrictive basketball recruiting model is an indication things might get done.

They'd be in these areas:

Establishing the success of athletes in the classroom as an expectation, rather than a goal. [Ed: A toothier APR?]

Protecting integrity by retaining amateurism, evaluating and improving the behavior of athletes and enhancing enforcement.

Strengthening the fiscal viability of sports by reducing disparities in revenues, spending and subsidies.

I'm not sure how the hell they propose to do anything about the third.

And now for no reason at all. Presenting Louisville's quarterbacks in their new uniforms:

loliville

At least Adidas didn't make us look like Taylor Twellman.

Etc.: This year's edition of "Les Miles doesn't count so good." Via Smart Football, treating your goal line package like special teams. The guy behind Mets Maize has figured out he never writes about the Mets. Up next: figuring out that white text on a dark background is so 1995. Houston Nutt's been busy with his copy of Word 97. HSR on the Stonum suspension. Pre-Snap Read previews Michigan.

Mailbag!

Mailbag!

Submitted by Brian on August 4th, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Dear Brian,
I am a long time reader of your blog, this summer I went to Normandy to visit the D Day beaches. Imagine my surprise when in Carentan (where the 101 airborne landed) I saw this car dealer.

Go Blue
JoseMaria

michigan-dealership

We've just gotten some copyright lawyers a free trip to Normandy. Say thank you, copyright lawyers.

Brian,

One of my biggest fear with the new coaching staff is that they're going to end up marginalizing Devin Gardner because he's not a player they recruited. I think I'm justified in my worry because that sort of thing happens all the time. He certainly has the measurables to play in a pro-style system. And after seeing what Vince Young did at Texas and what Troy Smith did at OSU, I think his skill set could work in a non-spread 'n shred offense.

Here's what the QB depth chart looks like for the next four years -

2011: Robinson, Gardner, Bellomy
2012: Robinson(maybe), Gardner, Bellomy
2013: Gardner, Bellomy, Morris
2014: Gardner(maybe), Bellomy, Morris

So in 2013, Gardner will have to beat out Bellomy, a player the current staff recruited, and Morris, probably the most hyped QB recruit we've gotten since that dude from Brighton. Then in 2014, if he gets his redshirt, he'll have to compete with a sophomore Morris, and I'd say all bets are off at that point.

I just wanna see the guy get a fair shake, because he's so damn likable.

Thanks,
Osman

I think you are paranoid.

Gardner's an interesting guy. He's not Denard or Troy Smith or John Navarre. Vince Young really is his closest comparable. (Insert copious disclaimers about how good Young was and how unlikely Gardner performs at that level.)

What does a MANBALL team do with Vince Young? Do they look at the legs as a nice bonus when the play breaks down? Is Michigan even a MANBALL team? I mean… there's Hoke's words and then there's what Al Borges actually did at SDSU. I'm working on a post about this: the limited evidence we have suggests Hoke means what he says when he says he doesn't futz with Borges at all. It's tough to reconcile that with Hoke's very Lloydball statements.

So… like much about the next few years, how well Gardner fits is unknown. But even if we assume the Lloyd-iest, MANBALL-iest version of Michigan under Hoke he has a major asset: experience. Shane Morris is going to have to be a prodigious talent to wrest the starting job from Gardner when he's a freshman and Gardner is a redshirt junior with two years under Borges. As for Bellomy, his recruiting profile reads like a poor man's Gardner—if Gardner doesn't get a fair shot Bellomy will be in the same boat.

Now that Beilein is going all gangbusters on 2013, Dylan keeps downplaying the situation. I definitely see where he is coming from, as none of them have even signed their LOI's yet. I also understand that it is common practice to pull a kid's fifth year (in McCliman's case). But I still struggle with the idea of hoping Colton Christian transfers, or hoping THJr decides to go pro, or hoping that if we (by some miracle) land McGary that he's a one and done.

What's your take on it? Too early to get all worked up about this? If by this time next year, the roster is exactly the same except without Stu and Zack, is that time to get all worked up about this?
thanks
greg simms

p.s. is it "wrong" or whatever to accept a kid's verbal commitment, but then not allow him to sign the LOI when the day comes?  The verbal is not at all binding on the kid's part, obviously. For example, if Stu and Zack are the only ones to leave, could we decide to only take one of the 2012 small forwards? The other would still have a year to find a team, and it would definitely be less morally dubious then, say, a greyshirt or something.

Michigan is currently oversigned by two for the fall of 2013. One of those scholarships can be freed up by not offering a fifth year to McLimans, which is a standard, fair practice. He should have a degree by then.

To not have another one would mean not losing a single player over the next two years. That is exceedingly unlikely. You have to go back to 2005-06 to find a two year period in which no one left without exhausting their eligibility*. In 2005 Tommy Amaker had eight scholarship players—not a recipe for a playing time crunch.

So, yes, it is too early to get worked up. If there's zero attrition over the course of the next year or Michigan lands McGary, then you might cock an eyebrow. Even then you have the Hatch situation** and the possibility of an NBA departure. The chances Michigan sees Tim Hardaway's senior season seem pretty low right now.

There's a balancing act between what's good for the program and what's good for the kids that always leaves some chance you miscalculate. In the case of Nick Saban, that chance is 100% once he signs 24 kids with maybe half that many spots. It's all program there. In Beilein's case the chance no one leaves the team in two full years is small enough that I don't have a problem with handing out one more spot than seems available.

If it does come down to the wire with no room and Beilein has to part ways with someone in the 2013 class, they'll be right to be pissed off. They won't be locked into a LOI with no other options, though. It would be better for the kid.

The most likely outcome of the scholarship crunch in 2013 is a firm handshake for McLimans, an NBA draft party for Hardaway, and Austin Hatch either reclassifying or becoming everyone's favorite student manager. That would actually leave Michigan room for McGary or someone else.

*[Early departures since follow. 2007: Reed Baker, Jerret Smith. (Baker may not count since he had an explicitly one-year offer.) 2008: Ekpe Udoh, Ron Coleman. 2009: Kelvin Grady. 2010: Anthony Wright (fifth year), Laval Lucas-Perry, Manny Harris. 2010: Darius Morris.]

**[It's clear Michigan was planning on four guys in 2013, as they continued to pursue Irvin and Walton heavily after Hatch's commitment. If Hatch does need to be replaced Michigan might have already suffered the attrition to make the fourth guy totally un-sketch.]

And, finally:

hi brian,
just saw this bit on Scientology (no i'm not wearing a tie and white shirt) and made this connection. That teddy bear thingy on the sidelines was beyond bizarre, yet no explanation that i have seen has been put out there. could GERG have been a Hubbardite? Would this explain better our total failure on D?

check it out:

image

if not, do you know of any story behind this rubbing the face of players with a stuffed animal?

aloha
cazzie

Cazzie has nailed it. When this went down…

…GERG was screaming "YOU DID IT FOR XENU." Explains everything.

Unverified Voracity Preps For Yukon Winter

Unverified Voracity Preps For Yukon Winter

Submitted by Brian on August 3rd, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Hatch. A very long ESPN article details Austin Hatch's situation, family, and dual plane crashes. Not blockquotable but recommended.

New tunnel. Via Maize on the MB, this is the new tunnel:

new-tunnel

No longer will there be a hard edge, but the replacement is AOK.

Prepping for Mustaches for Michigan? Thought process: "I'm old. I'm old and bumpy and retired and don't have to impress anyone anymore… anyone except the bears I wrestle in the woods of the UP."

Result:

image

If a wizened old dude is punting for Troy this fall you know what went down.

I see you over there not caring. Discussion of the infamous, perpetually-closing "gap" between the basketball programs of Michigan and Michigan State descended into pure mockery of the Wolverines at some point during the Amaker era. Now it's popping up again what with the season sweep and Beilein snatching Derrick Walton before Izzo could even make a pitch, and this time it might actually have some merit.

The best way to check is through the actions of the rival. We've seen plenty of sarcastic congratulations for beating Michigan State's "worst team in a decade" (sounds familiar, that) and even more predictions of doom without Darius Morris, but have we reached the point where Michigan State fans might be protesting a bit too much about a lack of concern? Yes:

The upshot for Michigan State is that when you can hold off on offering a player like Derrick Walton only to lose him to a rival and still not have a major cause for concern, it's a testament to where your program and its recruiting have risen. So, again, great recruiting week for UM.  "Boo-yah" to them, but, as Pete and others have suggested, there's more prospects like Jabari Parker, Drake Harris, Tyus Jones, Gary Harris, and James Young who should help to keep Michigan State's future recruiting success a likely proposition.

The upshot for Michigan is when you're causing the instate rival to reassure itself that everything is JUST FINE, THANK YOU, you are on the verge of having one of those… what do you call them… programs.

This hasn't actually impacted State much. Michigan's recent recruiting success has had little to do with MSU. Until Walton, no one in Michigan's 2011-2013 classes is a guy Michigan State had pursued. This was largely because it was MSU storming through the Midwest to pick up early commits from Costello/Kaminski/Valentine before Michigan could get a word in edgewise.

Now the pattern is reversed, but more importantly Michigan has put together a hell of a lot of talent over the next three years without having to overcome the Spartans. Both Michigan and Michigan State can be confident in their plan A recruiting by an established coach. Michigan is no longer under anyone's thumb.

Well, maybe. Early skepticism about Marell Evans's ability to contribute after not playing much at I-AA Hampton was muted by rumors he was injured, and via TTB Evans's coach confirms:

"That [lack of playing time] was definitely due to injury...he ended up re-injuring his foot. I think he actually first got injured up there [at Michigan] before he even came down [to Hampton], so he re-aggravated the injury...it was tough on him, as it would be for any young man."

Evans is even more important now without Kellen Jones. If he can be a capable backup for Demens that might give Desmond Morgan the luxury of a redshirt.

In case there was any question. Matt Godin is a defensive tackle, not a strongside DE:

Godin is listed at 6'6" and 270 lbs, but he said he would like to get up to 290 pounds by the time he gets to Michigan.

Pencil him in at three-tech. Also, Godin is looking to double his 28 TFLs from a year ago.

It could have been marginally worse. From Scott Dochterman's epic ten-part series on the Big Ten's divisional breakdown, there were actually worse options than "Legends" and "Leaders" on the table for the Big Ten division names:

“By the time we were done, we were really down to two categories: one that sort of described our geography, Midwestern roots and one that described our characteristics and mission.”

The divisional names that centered on the Big Ten’s mission included Scholar/Athlete, Academics/Athletics and Legends/Leaders. The 115-year-old conference has a storied history of on-field success with 18 Heisman Trophy winners and more than 50 College Hall of Fame players. It also boasts former President Gerald Ford as an alum as well as thousands of political, business and civic leaders.

We should just skip the preliminaries and rename the divisions "Dungeons" and "Dragons." We are the nerds of college football.

Even if the division names weren't going to be Bo or Woody as they obviously should have been I would have preferred Kinnick/Paterno or Stagg/Grange even if Michigan didn't feature because we would at least seem less likely to get our lunch money stolen.

(Dochterman HT: BHGP.)

All this and NBA bloodlines. Glenn Robinson III displays a variety of dunks:

get up

BONUS THING I NEVER POSTED FROM FOREVER AGO:

Maybe he's Tim Hardaway's son, too. For a guy mostly known as a shooter Nick Stauskas can break an ankle or two:

Highlight video disclaimers apply but the sheer variety of drives there is encouraging. Stauskas can go left or right, deploys a crossover somewhere between effective and sick depending on its success rate outside highlights, and can spin his way to the bucket. He appears to favor his right hand to finish but there are a couple of nice baskets with his left in there, too. I even like the music.

Add 6'6" and three-point shooting and that's a nice pickup to go with Glenn Robinson III, who's been garnering steady praise of his own this AAU season. If Beilein can weather Darius Morris's exit the talent pipeline is in place to rip off a run of NCAA appearances… and maybe more. [ed: and then Beilein put together his 2013 class in about a month.]

BONUS FROM FOREVER AGO II:

King Eckstein. I made a joke about this Zack Novak article in the sidebar yesterday but managed to miss this spectacularly clichéd description of Chesterton's favorite son:

Novak, who helped establish a hustling, scrappy work ethic on a team that lacked grit and toughness, has played in 100 games, averaging 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.

That checks all the boxes, doesn't it? I guess he could have been described as "heady."

EVEN MORE NEWS FROM FOREVER AGO. If you missed it the first time around, a member of the Event Staff posted highlights from their annual meeting on the board about two seconds before I left for France. Items of interest to me:

The Stadium is no longer open to the public on non game days. This has been the during renovations but is now permanent policy. Tours can be arranged through the Athletic Dept.

Boo. I've been to the Stadium on non-gamedays a few times and it's always been fun, with kids and parents running around, trying to kick field goals, etc.

DB says night game is a test and it's for the fans and players. A bad experience would make this the only night game. Good experience = a night game per year.

If you hate night games you can do your part to never have them again by getting arrested.

DB confirms: design completed for filling out bleachers to top of scoreboard in south end. Capacity will raise to 120,000. Opponent tickets will be up at top next to scoreboard.

That latter bit is pure evil, or at least would be if the video board opposite you wasn't big enough to see. I'm a little skeptical they can sell 120k tickets consistently as long as the OSU/ND/Nebraska games are all home or away in the same season (and they refuse to schedule anyone interesting other than ND).

No number retirement due to large squads and number sharing issues.

Word.

Straws and lids are back

Nice.

Etc.: Guess who's just so beyond awful in close games. Go ahead. You'll get it in three. MHN interviews new 2013 D commit Michael Downing, who "110%" disclaims the OHL.