Unverified Voracity Preps For A Road Test

Unverified Voracity Preps For A Road Test Comment Count

Brian October 4th, 2016 at 1:19 PM

A little on the nose there, God. Let's check in with goings-on in West Lafayette:

Purdue Football is Literally Being Sucked Into The Earth

It is either a busted pipe or a hellmouth opening to end our misery

It is strongly implied that Hammer and Rails would prefer the latter.

What is your favorite color?. It's coming up: a visit to Cable Subscribers Stadium.

ANN ARBOR – Facing fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh kept his offense on the field.

He also provided an assist by waving his arms to quiet the Michigan Stadium crowd, and they obliged, just before Khalid Hill plunged into the end zone to cap the Wolverines' opening drive in a 49-10 win over Penn State two weeks ago.

Crowd control is just one benefit of playing at home, which the No. 4 Wolverines (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) won't have for the first time this season when they travel to Rutgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) for Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff.

A valiant attempt to inject some interesting into a game with a four-touchdown spread, but that stadium will be half Michigan fans. Michigan won't get its first real road test until the Michigan State game, and, uh... I am not going to put some #disrespekt on it just yet. Suffice it to say that that doesn't seem like quite as high of a mountain five weeks into the season.

The gently rising foothills that will take us to The Game. S&P+ likes us. S&P+ does not like Michigan State and Iowa, and hoo boy did Bill Connelly hear a lot about that latter this offseason. With both those teams underperforming even the modest expectations placed on them by fancystats, Michigan's journey to Football Armageddon II looks downright likely. Absurdly so, in fact.

image

Michigan is a better than two-touchdown favorite and 87%+ to win all of those games except the trip to Iowa City. OSU has a near-identical closing stretch, with the part of potential spoiler played by Wisconsin.

MSU? Well, if those numbers hold they'll be striving for something all season.

Probability of finishing 11-1 or better: 0.0%

Probability of finishing 6-6 or better: 44.7%

Bowl eligibility.

This is going to go well. Immovable object, meet a breathy gasp:

Rutgers can't throw the football
And with Janarion Grant out for the year, there aren't many great options to catch it either. The Scarlet Knights have basically had a pitiful passing attack all year. But last week against Ohio State had to be rock bottom. Rutgers was just 3 of 16 for 33 yards. As a team, the Scarlet Knights are completing 47.4 percent of their passes.

I wonder if we'll see this at some point. Per a Harbaugh interview on 97.1 last week, Jabrill Peppers is inventing new ways to football:

"We put a different play in with him yesterday in practice. Then he got it in the meeting and he left, went back to the defensive meeting and came out to practice," Harbaugh said Thursday on 97.1-FM. "He was a running back and his assignment was to block. But he blocked and then he went out for a route. He got his blocking assignment done and then he continued out into a route. We threw it to him, which was not the design, but from now on -- and we've been running this play for 10 years -- (it will be).

"In 10 years, we've never had a back who got his blocking assignment done (on that play) and got into the route at the same time and he did it the first time like that was the way the play should've been run for the last 10 years. That's the kind of stuff he does. It breaks the mold darn near every time he does something."

We'd have to see Peppers actually get a touch to do so, grumble grumble.

An interesting thing on "team opens at X". Last week I told people that Michigan opened at –9 and moved to –10.5. This turns out to not be accurate. These days most people are hitting up Vegas Insider for their odds, and what happens is one obscure online sportsbook getting out in front of the pack:

Lots of people bet online even though it’s super illegal, and that’s probably where Vegas Insider is getting their info, and that’s what Joe Truthteller means by “Vegas.” You are kind of right:

vegasinsider2

It’s mostly blank spaces on that chart, too. The only major sports book offering anything is on-the-nose-named BetOnline, which rushes to get their lines out before anyone else each Sunday. ...

BetOnline knows they are taking a major risk by offering super early lines, which is why they ramp down the maximum bets until the other (sharper) line originators have a chance to chime in. ...

The main reason I object to referring to the BetOnline number as the opening line, however, is because every single week, the same annoying pattern plays out. BetOnline will release a relatively weak line on many games. A few hours later, the major Vegas originators will weigh in with sharper lines that differ by maybe as many as six points. Twitter people will then talk about how “sharps have pounded the line down to X” or “Vegas has moved the line already.”

A quick shift in the odds is an early line that is superseded by the heavy hitters. Michigan really opened at –10.5 and stuck there, but you could get a small bet in at a dubious online casino at –9. The end.

This week in targeting roulette. Penn State's Curtis Cothran got the boot for a hit almost identical to Branch on Morelli minus about half the force:

That was upheld despite an apparent lack of helmet to helmet contact. Meanwhile Malik McDowell was ejected for making sure his helmet was well out of the quarterback's strike zone:

Sometimes you can't win: Cothran hit with his eyes on the target and got booted. McDowell seemingly went out of his way to keep his head down and got booted.

I've seen some assertions that the McDowell hit was indeed targeting because McDowell lowered his head like that (and hit the guy with his shoulder), but the rule seems to specifically state that targeting requires a hit to the head:

No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent (See Note 2 below) with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below).

It then goes on to clarify what hits to the head are covered by this in note 1, where the crown of helmet thing comes in:

Note 1: "Targeting" means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:

  • Launch—a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in the head or neck area
  • A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area, even though one or both feet are still on the ground
  • Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area
  • Lowering the head before attacking by initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmet

I guess the fourth bullet point here does not mention the head and neck, therefore any contact with the crown is targeting, and that's why McDowell got booted? If so that's some terrible wording. It should probably be a similar penalty with its own definition, because lumping what McDowell did in with a rule otherwise very specifically about whacking people in the head is bound to cause confusion.

Etc.: Early NHL draft rankings include four Michigan players and commits. The Supreme Court will not hear the O'Bannon case, leaving both sides disappointed. The NCAA has been declared in violation of anti-trust laws but the 9th Circuit decision leaves everyone in limbo. Trevor Siemian! Still happening! Trying to find OSU weaknesses. Indiana's win over MSU was not a fluke. Minnesota focused on taking out the most dangerous part of PSU's team. Basketball media day takeaways.

Comments

Odds On Favorite: The Shifting Heisman Odds

Odds On Favorite: The Shifting Heisman Odds Comment Count

jamiemac September 23rd, 2016 at 11:21 AM

image(Guess what? I published a book this offseason. It’s about baseball. The Cubs. The White Sox. And that one time they played each other in the World Series. Check it out. It’s only available via Amazon Kindle right now, but a print on demand option is coming soon)

Jabrill Peppers leads the nation in tackles for loss and punt return yards. We all knew that. But I liked typing that out. And reading it over and over and over……

How has the unique start to his season impacted the Heisman race? His odds to win the trophy have fallen from 25/1 to 20/1. There were seven players with shorter odds than Peppers in the preseason. There are still five players ahead of him now. Two players, Lamar Jackson and Greg Ward Jr., have jumped ahead of him on the board. Ward Jr. has gone from 35/1 to 18/1. Meanwhile, Jackson is now the overwhelming betting favorite at –225 after starting out as a 50/1 three weeks ago. Below is a list of the top-6 betting favorites and their opening preseason odds.

Candidate Current Odds Preseason Odds
Lamar Jackson -225 5000
Christian McCaffrey 600 600
JT Barrett 650 1100
Deshaun Watson 800 400
Greg Ward Jr. 1800 3500
Jabrill Peppers 2000 2500

I like the steadiness of McCaffrey. He started 6/1 and remains 6/1. Other notable odds not seen above: Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield started the season at 10/1 with the fifth shortest odds available. Today, he’s not even listed on the updated betting board. Had we made this chart a week ago, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and Deondre Francis would have both been in the top-6. However in the wake of the Noles beatdown at the hands of Louisville, both have dropped. Francis began the season as a 60/1 shot, but was down to 12/1 a week ago after his hot start. Like Mayfield, he is no longer on the betting board. Cook remains in contention, although his odds have been falling all season. He opened at 8/1, was 12/1 a week ago, and today you can get Florida State’s star tailback at 33/1. For perspective, San Diego State tailback Donnel Pumphrey is just ahead of him at 25/1.

[Hit THE JUMP for things more interesting than Heisman odds]

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Odds On Favorite: Week 3 Rundown

Odds On Favorite: Week 3 Rundown Comment Count

jamiemac September 16th, 2016 at 2:00 PM

(Guess what? I published a book this offseason. It's about baseball. The Cubs. The White Sox. And that one time they played each other in the World Series. Check it out. It's only available via Amazon Kindle right now, but a print on demand option is coming soon)

What a great Saturday of college football this weekend. For the first time in history, the top-3 ranked teams in the AP Poll go on the road to play a fellow top-20 team on the same day. Will it be Shakeup Saturday? Or Separation Saturday? I'm guessing a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

The B1G is right in the middle of it. Ohio State at Oklahoma is one of those three top-3 games, along with Florida St-Louisville and Alabama-Ole Miss. But also Michigan State and Notre Dame renew hostilities after a two season cease fire. Both teams are ranked, eyeing playoff runs and always seem to play tight, crazy games. Toss in unranked Nebraska favored and hosting mighty Oregon and there are three bigtime showdowns in the league this weekend. And the undercards all offer something interesting to watch, even if it's ineptitude. Looking at you, Northwestern. Ten of the league's 11 games this weekend involve games between FBS schools. The only game with an FCS squad is actually intriguing with that level's 5-time champ and regular giant killer North Dakota State going to Iowa. What's better is three things I dislike watching about the conference, Minnesota, Purdue, and the Indiana Defense, all don't play. It should be fun. Let's breeze through the schedule before this week's picks.

FOR DEGENERATES ONLY

cup

[The rest of the lines, after THE JUMP]

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Odds On Favorites: Badger And Wildcat Mulligans; Remembering 2003; Week 2 Picks

Odds On Favorites: Badger And Wildcat Mulligans; Remembering 2003; Week 2 Picks Comment Count

jamiemac September 9th, 2016 at 9:33 AM
(Guess what? I published a book this offseason. It's about baseball. The Cubs. The White Sox. And that one time they played each other in the World Series. Check it out. It's only available via Amazon Kindle right now, but a print on demand option is coming soon)

Despite nailing the one pick from opening week made here. And even though we added a winner on twitter Friday night. I'm here offering an early season mea culpa. I boldy predicted every B1G team's Over/Under on wins last week but with the upsets in the Wisconsin and Northwestern games two of them already look like dead meat.  That's the problem with making a lot of bets and picks. You always end up making dumb ones. I wonder if there's an app for that?  Let's look back and see what happened.

My take on Wisconsin was their offensive line was too young and not quite good enough yet, especially in light of last year's performance and the Voltz injury this summer, to stand up against the monster defensive fronts they were slated to face during the season's first half. So of course they go out and beat LSU in the opener as 13.5-point underdogs.

[Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images]

Starting an offensive front with four redshirt sophomores, a Division III transfer, and a combined 21 total collegiate starts--not to mention bringing in redshirt freshmen off the bench when needed--the Badgers outplayed the LSU defensive front in the trenches. The final numbers do not look great with just 3.2 yards per rush. But the tailback combo of Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries. There weren't any truck size holes. There weren't any vintage Wisconsin showstopping big runs either. But they held their blocks just long enough to give their tailbacks room to move forward for decent gains. Toss in seven critical catches by tight end Troy Fumagali, six for first downs and a seventh for the final chunk of yards before the game winning field goal, and the offense had enough gas to move the football against the Tigers.

Had they converted more than 3.2 points per scoring, a bugaboo from a year ago, they would have won going away. Ditto if QB Bart Houston doesn't throw a pair of killer interceptions resulting in a swing of 10-14 points. Luckily, LSU's Brandon Harris trumped those tosses with an even worse pick on the Tiger's potential game winning drive clinching the game for the Badgers.

That pick was also a big blow to last week's Under 7.5 wins pick. There are still plenty of challenges ahead, and Wisconsin still has four games they'll be an underdog in before the end of October. They will need to lose all of those for us to have any shot at this one.

Despite the LSU outcome, the lines have moved against the Badgers in three of those games. They're now catching more points in games against Michigan, +12.5 up from 11.5; Ohio State, +7.5 up from 6; and Iowa, +4, up from +3.5. Their first big game of that run is in Week 4 at Michigan State. While that game looks like a toss up now, especially in light of the Spartan's weak effort against Furman in their opener, the line hasn't budged and is still MSU -3.

[Hit THE JUMP for sense in a senseless world.]

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Unverified Voracity Guards Seven Layer Dip

Unverified Voracity Guards Seven Layer Dip Comment Count

Brian May 23rd, 2016 at 2:39 PM

26515964625_b1dbe01ca4_z

[Bryan Fuller]

Again. Congrats to softball, which won their umpteenth consecutive regional. Their super-regional against Missouri is this upcoming weekend. Wolverine Devotee has assembled the relevant information:

2 Michigan will host 15 Missouri in the NCAA Ann Arbor Super Regional next weekend on May 28-29.

  • Game 1- Saturday, May 28 (3pm/ESPN)
  • Game 2- Sunday, May 29 (Noon/ESPN)
  • Game 3 (if nec.)- Sunday, May 29 (3pm/ESPN)

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 8:30am for season ticket holders and to the general public on Tuesday at 8:30am.

You will not get tickets if you don’t already have them.

Awww yeah. Jane takes the 1986 Hawaii game and adores it:

10. When people tell you they want to see "Schembechler-style" football they mean they want to see a football game that looks sort of like the Battle of Verdun. Typically, the people telling you this will have a carefully-guarded recipe for seven-layer dip. I have no problem with any of this.

11. 27-10 is the score of a game in which one team is much better than the other team but doesn't really want anyone to know it. Like, you score 3 touchdowns but then, "whoa, let's not get cocky."

12. 27-10 is kind of the most Michigan score of all.

Expectations. Many people are expecting a good season from Michigan this year but this might be a tad much:

7 to 1 are the second best odds on the board behind Alabama at 6 to 1. This is not a power poll, many of which have Michigan around #5. Like this one from PFF:

5. Michigan

It’s all about the defense at Michigan, as they’re poised to be one of the nation’s best. They return the nation’s top-graded cornerback in Jourdan Lewis as well as two of the top three graded interior defensive linemen in Chris Wormley and Maurice Hurst. It will be on the offense to find a way to score points, but the majority of the offense returns and the results of their wide-open quarterback race – led by Wilton Speight – will determine just how far this Michigan team will go.

That’s a power poll. The betting lines aren’t. Those take Michigan’s iffy schedule into account. They’re also a collection of sucker bets that has less predictive power than a weekly line that sharps mostly control. (It also emphasizes how incredibly unlikely Leicester City was: you can bet on Navy or Air Force to win the national title at 1000 to 1. Leicester was infamously 5000 to 1.) But the expectations: they are out there.

About that defense. PFF details why they expect Michigan to have one of the best ones in the country again:

2. Their pass rush should be excellent…

As good as Henry was for Michigan last season, he was only the fourth-most efficient rusher on the Wolverines’ defense. Chris Wormley and Maurice Hurst formed the most efficient interior pass-rushing duo in the nation, with Wormley ranking first among defensive tackles in pass-rush productivity (45 total QB pressures, including seven sacks) and Hurst ranking third (30, including three). Hurst only saw 418 snaps last season, so the ability of both he and Wormley to stay productive and on the field will be critical to the Wolverines’ defensive success.

On the edge, Taco Charlton ranked sixth among 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rush productivity, generating 41 total pressures including six sacks.

Charlton did that in relatively scanty playing time as for much of the season he was splitting SDE snaps with Wormley. Only in the last few games did he end up starting at WDE. He could break out in a huge way with incremental improvement and a clear starting role.

PFF also offered up a couple of glimpses into their database that I don’t think we’d seen before, since usually the only hard numbers we get are from the top end. On Michigan’s departures:

The Wolverines only had one player drafted at all – defensive lineman Willie Henry, who went to the Ravens in the fourth round. That’s not to say they don’t have to replace some very productive players. Henry was PFF’s No. 34 interior lineman, LBs Desmond Morgan and Royce Jenkins-Stone both produced at a high level (linebacker in general is a bit of a question-mark position for Michigan), and SS Jarrod Wilson ranked No. 29 at his position after grading well in both run and pass defense.

I didn’t think RJS was that productive—not bad, but not great, either. And Wilson’s ranking is very boring, as is appropriate. A couple departures are omitted, one due to injury early in the year, the other… not due to injury.

Why does there have to be a seamy underbelly? Waco police and Baylor have conspired to keep a series of serious crimes by Baylor players out of the public eye. One of many:

In one case from 2011, an assault at an off-campus event in Waco ended with three football players being charged and Baylor and Waco police discussing the incident. Waco police, according to documents, took extraordinary steps to keep it from the public view "given the potential high-profile nature of the incident." According to a police report obtained by Outside the Lines, Waco's investigating officer asked a commander that "the case be pulled from the computer system so that only persons who had a reason to inquire about the report would be able to access it." The report was placed in a locked office.

This is bigger than the football program. The Title IX “Dear Colleague” letter that we became familiar with when Brendan Gibbons was belatedly expelled from the university is very much in effect at Baylor despite its private status, and there are a pile of accusations that the university has been operating like it’s still 1950 in this department. That could lead to serious repercussions for Baylor as a whole.

Via GTP, Chip Brown is reporting that Art Briles may be safe despite the fact that his teams seem to have a ton of bad behavior going on:

Multiple sources connected to Baylor told HornsDigest.com football coach Art Briles has a better chance of keeping his job after the school’s rape scandal than BU president and chancellor Ken Starr.

The sources said Starr will probably be reassigned to a position in BU’s law school as a result of the failed leadership displayed after multiple rape claims made by female Baylor students against five BU football players all but went ignored…

Briles, who has taken an irrelevant football program to two Big 12 titles in the last three years (including a bunch of new athletics facilities),  is sometimes referred to by Baylor brass as “Moses.”

Brown titles this piece “Starr—Not Briles—Will Be BU’s Fall Guy,” which is wrong. A fall guy is someone who takes the hit for something that wasn’t his fault. Scott Shafer was a fall guy for Rich Rodriguez. Here, Ken Starr is certainly responsible for massive failures and should be booted. You could make an argument either way for Briles, but it’s indisputable that Title IX stuff is above his paygrade.  (Uh… figuratively.)

That’s not to say that Briles isn’t under a lot of heat:

"If you don't (release the findings), it's going to look like you're hiding something given all of these allegations that are now out there," he said. "There's just been so much of it. All of that (Shawn) Oakman stuff. Now this."

And this is a salient point:

"These guys kept playing?" the coach said. "The message you're sending is, 'This isn't a big deal.'" … "This is a guy (Briles) who prides himself in being a players' coach and coaching his team like a high school team. It's really hard to believe that he didn't know about any of this stuff."

Michigan would still have Logan Tuley-Tillman on the roster if they acted like Baylor evidently has. The goings-on in Waco make Michigan’s participation in Baylor’s camp a dubious proposition. We’ll see if it continues as scheduled—Sam Webb mentioned there was some discussion of it but they still planned to go forward with it.

Still, this is more a story about Waco police corruption at the behest of Baylor’s administration more than it is a football coach. Someone’s head has to roll and unusually it look like the—or at least a—correct one will. Whether or not Baylor actually changes as a result is very much in question.

Praise to a sensible thing. More details on Big Ten hockey’s revamped playoff format have emerged, and they are equally devoid of neutral sites:

The tournament would be played over the course of three weekends and feature three best-of-three quarterfinal round series, two single-game semifinals, and one championship game. All games will be hosted on campus of the highest seed.

I assume they meant “higher” seed, not “highest” seed, FWIW. While I’d prefer best two-of-three to continue throughout the tournament, that change is close enough to what I’ve been advocating since Big Ten hockey started existing that I’ll take it. It’s more hockey, and a much much better environment for it. I assume the single game semis and finals are for TV purposes—the league can say we have these three games at this time and televise it without having to worry about if-necessary games. There would seem to be no other reason to have the above format.

While the story linked above seems to assume that the Big Ten will stay at 7, the format will obviously accommodate an eighth team without much disruption. Arizona State’s announcement they will join the NCHC means that particular bad idea is off the table, so the options are 1) swing for the North Dakota fences, 2) wait for a Big Ten school to add hockey or 3) take Miami, I guess.

BTW the comments here are 90% Minnesota fans bitching about Big Ten hockey…

Wow, it's been 24 hours since I thanked the Big 10 for ruining college hockey.  Thanks Big Ten!!!!

…and one North Dakota fan trolling. My favorite is the guy that imagines Minnesota has leverage:

Cleaning up this mess is Coyle's first priority as AD.  We need to force ourselves out of this debacle and back into regionalized hockey as soon as possible. He needs to play hardball like Alvarez played hardball in forcing Minnesota to accept this terrible idea.

They’re gonna make Minnesota hockey great again by playing hardball. That’s the ticket.

Etc.: Manuel on scheduling. Manuel on Harbaugh. Ian Boyd on how teams protect their matchup nightmare TE when he’s not a killer blocker. Relevant to our interests. Conference distribution numbers show the SEC and Big Ten on par, at least temporarily. Billy Donlon, defensive coordinator.

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Unverified Voracity Is Aging Backwards

Unverified Voracity Is Aging Backwards Comment Count

Brian August 19th, 2013 at 3:12 PM

154225657JR077_ILLINOIS_MICHIGAN

HEALTHING UP WOO

Jake Ryan came back before he was injured. Are we moving Jake Ryan's timetable up? I… maybe?

Joined by @CoachRoyM live on @michiganinsider - "wouldn't be surprised if jake came back sooner (than predicted)"

There are rumblings about the first Big Ten game, which would be crazy.

When you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. When you have four, math implodes. Michigan State's nominal starter put up 4.1 YPA in their latest closed scrimmage and their true freshman went 10 of 14 for 240 yards, so a two-way quarterback battle is now a four-way one:

"At the beginning of the scrimmage it was a three-horse race," Dantonio said Monday. "And at the end of the scrimmage, it was a four-horse race."

While you are fretting about uncertainty at guard and safety at least Michigan's quarterback battle is "who wants to get Devin Gardner sandwiches?" Also, Michigan is starting Taylor Lewan at left tackle instead of a former walk-on. LeVeon Bell ain't walking through that door.

Related: in weird news, Hoke told the Michigan insider that Shane Morris was held out of Saturday's scrimmage because they wanted to rest him. Uh?

Meanwhile in Iowa. An open practice(!) leads BHGP to conclude that redshirt sophomore Jake Rudock is likely to throw two-yard hitches on third and seven for the Hawkeyes. Rudock was a three-star out of star-studded Florida powerhouse St Thomas Aquinas a couple years back.

Other bits from Iowa City:

  • Sounds like depth is at a low ebb on defense.
  • Greg Davis has spent most of the offseason smoking opium and drinking absinthe, so Iowa's now a no-huddle shotgun team.
  • True freshman tailback LeShun Daniels is going to play, because he is an Iowa tailback. He is scheduled to be raptured up midseason. Weisman and Damon Bullock also return.

From the comments:

"It looked like a modern-day college football offense."

This… wait, so… but… I can’t… so wait, you mean…. but that’s…. that’s just…. um…. but…. I don’t…. wait, what?

In West Lafayette. Rob Henry is named Purdue's starter, which is amazing because he's a redshirt senior. I don't know if I've ever experienced the opposite of the Brooks Bollinger Eighth Year Memorial Season effect, but it seems like Henry should be much younger. Playing at Purdue == premature aging. Thus all the ACL tears.

In South Bend. The Irish lose Danny Spond to migrane issues. He was a returning starter at the Irish equivalent of SAM.

Another angle. Gardner posted his slant touchdown to Joe Reynolds to instagram:

dg1two's video on Instagram

The odds and such. Devin Gardner has dropped from 40/1 to 25/1 to win the Heisman and is the favorite to lead the Big Ten in passing yards. Gallon is a co-favorite in receiving yards, and in "bets I wish I could short" Derrick Green is fifth in rushing yards.

Well, maybe then. Ypsi PF Jaylen Johnson is getting heavy interest from Michigan and already possesses a Louisville offer. The one thing that seems to be holding Michigan back is Johnson's lack of shooting. He's working on it, though:

“He’s a skilled four-man for us. He’s a decision maker in the press (and) he’s the ball reversal guy because he can feed into the post. He can also shoot it now.”

It’s that final attribute that has scouts and coaches all abuzz. Johnson’s ability to face-up his opponents and knock down jumpers or drive to the basket helped garner him a four-star rating by Fox Sports Next. Now the No. 20 power forward in the country, he also holds offers from Cincinnati, Arizona State, Florida State, Maryland, Louisville, Iowa State, Oregon and Michigan State.


Johnson is young for his grade, and you know Beilein keeps an eye on that stuff. His coach reports that now that Johnson has "shown a lot of maturity" in the classroom that Michigan is getting more interested. His mom used to play at Wisconsin, but other than that connection it seems Michigan is the local favorite:

“I’ve really got to dissect the program and the way they play (more), but I love Michigan. I’m from Michigan and any time I turn the TV on, if Wisconsin is not playing and Michigan is, I’m rooting for Michigan. It is just a matter if it is going to be a fit for Jay. (It’ll be about) where I feel that Jay is going to get the most development, the most growth, (and has) the people who are going to get on board with Jaylen’s dream, as well as him being an asset to the program.”

Johnson's going to take all five officials, but probably won't use one on Michigan because he's, like, 10 minutes away. Iowa State, Louisville, and Oregon have been scheduled already.

Old school. Newsreels from mgovideo. This, the 1943 Brown Jug game:

1943 Minnesota at Michigan by mgovideo

This from the 1964 Purdue game, narrated by a very, very boring man.

1964 Purdue at Michigan by mgovideo

There's also a half-hour of the 1936 Minnesota game.

It just had to happen to us. This Football Study Hall piece attempts to rank coaching performance relative to recruiting success by taking star average and comparing it to F+, one of those fancy holistic statistical measures that tries to smooth out schedule strength and takes MOV into account. Your #1 recruiting outperformer is the 2012 Kansas State Wildcats.

Of local interest: #2 is… 2007 West Virginia. 2006 West Virginia is 10th. Michigan hires that guy, and that guy turns in the 19th-worst performance of the decade. Cumong, man. No other coach appears in the top and bottom 40. The only other coaches with multiple years in the top 40 are Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, and Brian Kelly, with Chip Kelly an honorable mention since he was the OC for Mike Belloti.

BONUS: this study makes Rick Neuheisel look like the worst coach of the past ten years. Three of his four UCLA teams finished 12th through 14th-worst, and many of those below him are outfits like Washington State and Colorado, teams whose recruiting profile doesn't really cover how terrible they are.

Etc.: "Forecast: Good." Not so good: David Terrell's situation. More Darboh stuff. I'm not sure if this is the best acronym for a college basketball team right now. IN SG James Blackmon Jr. on Michigan. On the 1977 OSU game.

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Unverified Voracity Is Getting A Call From Mom

Unverified Voracity Is Getting A Call From Mom Comment Count

Brian October 2nd, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Caleb-TerBush-e1346524562334[1]

wait, what? – Caleb TerBush

Yikes. Michigan is a mere three-point favorite against Purdue this weekend, which seems mighty narrow to me. I may be assuming that Denard Robinson does not turn the ball over five times, which Vegas is not. Boo 2012 Notre Dame game, boo.

Purdue's coming off a not-as-close-as-you-think game against Marshall in which they led 42-14 at halftime before yielding three touchdowns in the first 18 minutes of the second half and allowing the Herd to get within ten points. They traded touchdowns in the final 12 minutes, and that was the final margin. Marshall's lost to Ohio and beat Rice in two OTs; they've got the worst scoring D in the country at the moment, and they outgained Purdue by 91 yards. If Michigan only wins by three I'll be expecting bad things the rest of the season. Purdue QB Caleb TerBush was ineffective against ND (8 of 19, 79 yards, 1 TD/2 INT) and was pulled for a considerably better Robert Marve. Marve won't be available.

So what I'm saying is that at first blush I don't like the spread, which makes me feel both sad and alarmed because it's the best predictor available. I would like to avoid posting this at any point over the weekend:

mjVSD[1]

Beyer's back. The most newsy bit of the press conference:

How’s your team’s health?

“There ya go. You know, I think Beyer will be back. Brandon Moore will be close. He’s getting better.”

Richard Ash?

“Richard is better. Uh there’s one more, too.”

Hopkins?

“Hop’s fine. Devin’s fine. They all practiced last night. Yeah Ricky Barnum was a little -- sore shoulder. He was fine last night. So with the guys who aren’t out for the year, the rest of them are okay.”

Marvin Robinson?

“He was better. He ran around last night and he feels much better.”

Beyer was walking around in an air cast after his injury and I was a little worried he might be laid up for a long time, which would have been bad. The options at WDE were a major target for ND and didn't do so well. Beyer at least gives them another option at the spot. Clark makes more plays you notice, but I'll bet a nickel Beyer is less likely to get caved in and give up the edge.

Also, feel free to infer that Brink is out for the year from the above.

Also also, this:

Are you worried that Denard is what he is, i.e. not improving in your system?

“No. Not at all. I mean, he’s our quarterback, and he’s a damned good quarterback. I didn’t say that, so don’t write that. No we’re very comfortable and we’re very confident in him. … I know you’re going to write that.”

I will.

“Daggone it. My mom’s going to read that and get mad.”

She doesn’t think you swear?

“Why don’t you just ask a question.”

And you're fired and you're fired and you're fired. Extreme media hostility isn't just for Los Angeles anymore:

Tuesday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier finally spoke with his media after two days of giving an opening statement and then refusing to field questions.

What has Spurrier so irked? Apparently columnist Ron Morris — again.

Ron Morris is a columnist at The State in South Carolina and has become Spurrier's nemesis. Last October, Spurrier called out Morris for something he wrote in the spring regarding then-basketball player Bruce Ellington and how Spurrier persuaded Ellington to play football.

This time, according to Saturday Down South, Spurrier seems to be mad about a Morris column that questioned playing quarterback Connor Shaw against UAB. Shaw, who has been nursing an injured shoulder he suffered in the season opener against Vanderbilt, injured the shoulder again against the Blazers.

The excerpt from the column that follows is pretty tame (also: dumb). Spurrier is accused of a "poor decision" to play Connor Shaw with a dinged shoulder, which he re-injured in the game. The column is just another tossed-off nothing (Shaw was 20 of 21 against Missouri), but apparently this business goes back a ways. Be chill, OBC.

Meanwhile, a local news station axed the guy's weekly segment, causing free speech rabbling.

Meanwhile in local media situations. Meinke is writing articles based off of his viewing of Inside Michigan Football. Interesting ones, even. Here's Mattison on Morgan defending that goddamned counter draw:

Mattison said he was most impressed by Morgan's discipline, specifically citing one counter draw play on which the sophomore could have pursued the ball, but elected to stay home as he was taught.

The play came back to him, and he made the tackle.

"We gave him that play probably four times in practice, and every time we gave it to him, we said, 'Desmond, you've got to stay home. You can't help on that sprint anyhow,'" Mattison said. "Well that same thing has happened before and he would go running and try to make the play because he's a young guy eager to make plays.

"All of the sudden, in this game, he became more of a veteran."

And Mattison on Raymon Taylor:

"Raymon has really improved," defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said this week on the Inside Michigan Football radio show. "He has been thrown in the fire. If someone would have said to me at the beginning of the year, 'Will he be starting against Notre Dame?' I don't know if I would have said yes.

"(But) I was really proud of him how he played. He knows he's got a lot of things he has to get better at, but one thing he didn't do was shy away from anything. He competed."

I'm not sure you can do that. In yet another NHL draft ranking, Chris Peters tackles prospects 26-50. D Michael Downing and F Tyler Motte show up, FWIW, but I'm most intrigued by this construction:

49. Tyler Motte - C - U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) - 5-9, 190

When at his best, he's an offensively dynamic talent. Good speed, solid strength despite a smallish frame, and good finish around the net make him an intriguing prospect. Motte has had a problem with consistency, which he has a whole season to prove isn't a problem anymore.

Lloyd Carr feels you, Mr. Peters. Also, yes please 5-9 kid good enough to be a second rounder. Needs moar tiny scoring machines at Yost.

Nice concourse. Wow:

concourse[1]

That's quite a difference from last year. Also the zambonis have studded tires now. Yost Built is back to posting, BTW. The Blue/White game scheduled for next Sunday will be a start-studded even thanks to the NHL lockout.

Etc.: UMHoops previews Jordan Morgan and Matt Vogrich. AP Mealer article is everywhere. Trey Burke is a third-team All-American to the Sporting News. Baumgardner on Burke. Weinreb on Holgo and the WVU-Baylor game. Michigan hasn't sucked after byes.

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Unverified Voracity Stops At Resistance

Unverified Voracity Stops At Resistance Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Scheduling note. I sat down to start UFRing last night and found that I'd actually re-converted the UMass game and hadn't downloaded ND at all. My subconscious is protecting me as best it can, but I now have the thing. UFR will be a day late, which it traditionally is during a bye week anyway.

Denard's night went better than at least one person's. Mmmm Northern Indiana style:

The man on the ground had severe facial and upper body wounds. According to police, both men said they were hit by a car, but police have not confirmed that. Investigators say it's possible that is a story to cover-up a fight.

While police were talking to the men, a woman approached officers and said she'd been hit in the face with a case of Natural Light Beer. The woman had very visible wounds, most profound, her entire bottom row of teeth were missing.

This was at 9 PM, so I assume all of this arose from an argument about whether Borges or Denard was the worst.

The pants! They are motion pants. That's not a Sufjan Stevens song title yet, but I bet it's on his next album. No, it's a reference to some digging done by UMHoops that unearths a piece of basketball's uniforms for next year:

52-89213-F[1]52-89213-1-F[1]

THEY'RE TUBES FOR YOUR LEGS!

The way this works is you put one leg in one tube and the other leg in the other tube and then pull up until you feel resistance. Once you feel resistance, STOP. You will now be wearing your legtubes. You will kind of look like a 12-year-old from 1993. If you did not stop when you felt resistance you will also be in severe pain, but that's your problem. That's what you get for not following instructions.

Nobody at commenting at UMHoops likes these, but they do like Glenn Robinson III.

Uniforms are supposed to be, you know, what's that word… the same. Adidas is still not executing this task, apparently:

8015478800_18ba3c7d75_c[1]

Piping: it's just all over the place man. Also, Washington's missing his block M. If you sent this to me, thanks, but I forget who did.

Bye week activity. WTKA is replaying Ufer's call of the 1979 Michigan State game at noon on Saturday. 1050 on your dial, or on the internets. Here's Keith Jackson doing the same:

Band noise solution? They amplified the band a couple years back to mixed reviews. If you couldn't hear them before it's great. If you could, it sounds horrible as the slightly delayed noise coming out of the speakers conflicts with the band itself. I'm in an area where it sounds horrible.

I thought about this on Saturday at some point in the third quarter when I noticed I could hear the ND band loud and clear despite being about as far away from them as possible, but couldn't hear the Michigan band that was just below our section. I was going to mention this in the game column as depressing commentary on how quiet the MMB, but MVictors pointed out the speaker setup they had on the sideline:

speakers_thumb[1]

Audio people: does this make a difference, having the speakers in the same place the band is? Or am I grasping at straws?

Idiots in charge of stuff. Replacement refs screw up Monday Night Football and the NFL burns its credibility all for a pathetically tiny slice of their enormous revenue pool. In the NHL, Edmonton's ownership laughably threatens to move the Oilers to Seattle; the NHL is bunkered down for another strike less than a decade after an entire season failed to happen.

At some point, it has to be about something other than the pursuit of as much money as you can get right damn now, doesn't it? Maybe, maybe not. They'll have to start to see some erosion before they act, just like college football teams are starting to now that the terrible scheduling practices of the last 20 years are finally resulting in empty seats.

In other news, someone is paying bowtied twit Gordon Gee an exorbitant amount of money and allowing the guy to spend 7.7 million in expenses(!), including $64,000 on bowties(!!!). How's that going?

At the University of Michigan, President Mary Sue Coleman’s travel and entertainment expenses from 2007 through 2010 totaled $410,235. Upkeep and utilities at the university-owned house runs an additional $100,000 a year and if Coleman takes someone to lunch or dinner, she pays the tab out of her own pocket, according to University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald.

Coleman’s compensation package is $860,782 a year and includes housing and a car. Her employment contract does not call for first class airline tickets or private jets, as Gee’s does. In Michigan’s last endowment campaign she helped raise $3.2 billion — the most ever by a public university at that time.

There are signs that OSU isn’t keeping pace nationally on the size of its endowment. OSU slipped from 27th in the four years preceding Gee’s return to Columbus to 31st in 2010-11, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute. The Big 10 universities Northwestern, Minnesota, and Michigan all ranked above Ohio State for the size of their endowment.

Jim Tressel, fire this man.

Come on Tim. Baumgardner on Tim Hardaway entering his junior year:

"I've watched and probably had more interaction with Tim this summer (than ever before)," Beilein said recently. "With him just coming in, sitting in my office, hanging out and feeling very comfortable as a Michigan man.

"Him being more comfortable with everything has allowed him to have a lot of confidence in the intangible area (off the court). And there's a strong correlation between that and how he'll perform on the court."

I hope that's true. Hardaway's three point shooting should bounce back just because 27% is incredibly low, but if Michigan is going to live up to some extremely hefty preseason expectations he'll have to either be more effective creating his own shots or go from terrible to elite from behind the line.

wat. Mac Bennett on the twitter:

The @BeatsPointZero "Deblois is a Bag of Milk" EP will be out later today. Excited about it

I don't know. I've notified Jon Bois about this, though.

A fast one. The Michigan-ND series opened up in South Bend, and if it's ending semi-permanently in 2014, it'll end in South Bend. Not a smooth move to not build an even number of home/away games into the contract, Michigan. This is probably Bill Martin's fault, FWIW.

Chalk. Via Jamie, Michigan's… performance type thing against Notre Dame has finally provided a leader in Big Ten betting whatnot:

MSU now "clear" betting chalk to win Big 10: MSU +220, Braska +250, Wisco +300, UM +400, PU +700. Odds lot less muddled than a week ago

Purdue's down from 20-1 recently. I TOLD YOU JAMIE /ignores Wisconsin

Also, Michigan lines are frightening. Michigan's favored by less than a field goal at Purdue and about a touchdown at Nebraska and Ohio State. This is all an overreaction to something that won't happen again, right guys? Right?

I'm a little surprised things are shaking out like this after last weekend. I mean, MSU-EMU couldn't have moved the needle in favor of the Spartans, could it?

Here's your statistical nutshell. Michigan State snapped the ball 72 times on Saturday with the intention of advancing the ball.

On 46 of those plays, the ball ended up, or was targeted to end up, in the hands of Le'Veon Bell or Dion Sims. The average gain on those plays was 7.8 yards.

On the remaining the 26 plays, the ball was intended to end up in someone else's hands. The average gain on those plays was 2.8 yards.

Yipes.

Etc.: Hockey starts off ranked third. Seems high. Bois fake mailbag about those refs with mini-Packers TWIS. This is not Ace holding his head, but both Ace and I had to check. Kirk Ferentz is unfireable. Which person is Borges and which is me in this XKCD?

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Unverified Voracity Grumble Rumbles

Unverified Voracity Grumble Rumbles Comment Count

Brian June 11th, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Laser third downs and such. Wolverine Historian pays tribute to John Navarre, and even manages to get a still of the Buffalo Stampede selected as the introductory picture:

That's some youtube wizardry there.

Congrats on Olympic trials… and not dying. Michigan men's gymnast Sam Mikulak finished third in the men's gymnastics senior nationals and will appear at the Olympic trials as a result. He escaped a scary situation to do so:

Determined to make a good impression this weekend in St. Louis after missing last year's U.S. gymnastics championships with two broken ankles, Mikulak didn't flinch when he realized the parallel bars were loose.

After he had already started his routine.

"I thought the bar was going to fall and I was going to die," Mikulak conceded.

This comes a year after Mikulak managed to break those ankles on the floor exercise. Mikulak taped his ankles up and finished the meet because he only thought he'd badly bruised himself. The Olympic trials are in three weeks. USA Today has more on Mikulak's story.

Camp, basketball version. Michigan's Elite Camp was over the weekend, and while the effects were significantly less dramatic than last year's when the entire 2013 recruiting class was gathered, one Keita Bates-Diop was in attendance. Joe Stapleton on his appearance:

Keita Bates-Diop (2014, Wing, Illinois Wolves)

Keita was probably the only player in attendance who is a “lock” for a Michigan offer on June 15th. He didn’t appear to be in his element during the 5-on-5 scrimmages but his skillset was more than evident in the drill portion of camp. Everything he was asked to do he did easily. His concentration and coordination was on display and it separated him from his peers. During the 5-on-5 scrimmages Keita didn’t exactly stand out but did what his team needed from him in this guard-filled camp: he rebounded the ball well, finished in the post, and played smart defense. Bates-Diop’s performance jives with what we’ve seen this spring: he has all of the tools but needs to become one or two notches more aggressive within a game setting. Still, he was solid and definitely the best player in attendance.

As the blockquote says, Beilein only offers after that's officially allowed in four days. At that point you'll see Bates-Diop and a few others like Devin Booker get them. It doesn't seem like anyone will drop right away, but I don't think anyone other than maybe the coaches was expecting to get four commitments last June.

There was one surprise 2013 name to watch, a kid named Vitto Brown out of Bowling Green, Ohio who you may remember being the one tall guy in that video where Mark Donnal goes bonkers. He was impressive but remains a 6'7" post player. I'd guess Michigan keeps him on the radar in case they get more attrition than they expect. Right now they're full.

There's also a bunch of stuff on 2015 recruits at UMHoops if you're interested.

Camp, fantasy version. Both the Women's Football Academy and the Men's Football Experience also happened recently. Fluff video ho:

Also there is one for the men. The big news resulting is Devin Gardner switching to #12 and Drew Dileo possibly switching to #9. Angelique Chengelis participated. Money was raised. I have no comment about this.

Brady Hoke is irascibly old-fashioned about something. He's like that about everything, yes. Here's a specific instance:

"You can take all these stars and the way all these guys are rated and all that, and that's great for the fan base and the public," Hoke told reporters last week. "But we've had some pretty good players here that probably would have been two-star guys.

"Tom Brady probably would have been a two-star guy. He turned out OK, I think."

Other recent Hoke rumble grumbles concern the playoff format—concerned about too many games and too much travel for parents—and year two with the same team.

Could have gone better. Michigan lost to Army 27-6 in 1954. Newsreel footage of that:

That bomb is totally offensive pass interference.

This game would be Michgian's last loss against Army. Michigan won the next two years and then a couple times in the sixties; the two teams haven't played since 1962.

Lines. Some real actual lines from Vegas:

  • +12 vs Alabama
  • +1 at Notre Dame
  • -6 vs Michigan State
  • -2 at Nebraska
  • -2 at Oho State

That Alabama line has gotten a little less depressing after periods where it was supposedly +14.5, though I'm not sure you could have gotten a bet on that in an actual casino at any point.

Most of these lines are in the "I don't have any idea" range. When team X is favored by less than a field goal that's basically a coinflip. Could be a nervous fall.

Old school UFR. MVictors enjoys old-timey diagrammed wire photos of the Mad Magicians, and I'm with him:

mad_magicians[1]

What's wrong with Fielding? Peregrine falcons have been named inconsistently:

After receiving hundreds of submissions through the university's Facebook page, four peregrine falcon chicks that recently hatched in a nesting box atop University Hospital have been named Bo, Fritz, Lloyd and Yost.

The university selected the winning names after inviting the community to participate an online naming contest. The names reference former head football coaches Bo Schembechler, Herbert (Fritz) Crisler, Lloyd Carr and Fielding Yost.

This drives me crazy.

Etc.: Caris LeVert signs a thing, is now official. Hockey will play Cornell at MSG on November 24th, the day of the OSU game. Glenn Robinson continues to throw down dunks. 2011 four-star C Brian Bobek leaves the OSU team after plunging down the depth chart. Red Hot Chili Peppers troll Columbus.

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Unverified Voracity Demands Eternal JLS

Unverified Voracity Demands Eternal JLS Comment Count

Brian June 7th, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I missed you. John L Smith, never leave us again. We have gone too long without a college football coach organizing "etiquette team dinners."

image

College football should institute a rule: every year one team who fires their head coach is randomly chosen, and John L Smith coaches that team on an interim basis for a year. It's for the good of everyone. Yes.

Across this line you DO NOT… Hoke restating the obvious:

"The in-state rivalry is always something that's important to us," Hoke told sports editors and reporters at Weber's Inn. "We have not done our job the last four years if you're on the Michigan side of things. That's coaching, and that has to be better.

"But the Ohio game is the Ohio game. I don't think (that importance is) going to change," Hoke said. "And that doesn't lessen anything on the Michigan State game at all, because we realize in this state, you draw a line in the sand."

Obviously this was in response to some question about whether people respond to stimuli—

Hoke was asked if the Michigan State game carries even more importance for Michigan now than when he was here as an assistant under former coach Lloyd Carr, in part because of the improved Spartans under coach Mark Dantonio and also because of the Big Ten title game.

Right.

"Brady Hoke, can you be accurately defined as a life form?"

"Well, Lansing-based reporter, I can tell you I do respond to stimuli. Here, look. I shine a light in my eye. The pupil contracts. I hope this has been informative."

Hoke is also in favor of keeping the Ohio State game at the end of the season.

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE. Hearing that Connecticut offensive tackle Harry Poggins will commit to Michigan by Tuesday at the latest, or may have already done so. EXCLUSIVE DO NOT REPORT.

So… the long snapper. I don't get it either, man. In case you missed it, Michigan picked up a longsnapper with much fanfare yesterday. The fanfare comes because Scott Sypniewski says he's got a full ride, and this makes people confused. I am among you. Michigan picked up a walk-on who seemed pretty good last year (not the one MSU poached) and has a couple years of Sugar Bowl receiving MVP runner-up Jareth Glanda left. You'd think Michigan would wait and see if they could turn that slot into an excellent prospect before spending it on a guy whose main goal will be total anonymity.

Sometimes these things are confused. Lloyd Carr's last act as Michigan head coach was to bring George Morales aboard, but I don't think he ever factored into scholarship discussions. We'll see if Sypniewski signs a letter of intent. He may have been offered a conditional scholarship in the event Michigan has one at the end of the year, that sort of thing. If it's an out and out scholarship offer to a long snapper in early June that would be… odd.

Goodnight noon. Air Force and UMass are both 3:30 kickoffs, UMass on BTN and Air Force an ABC/ESPN2 reverse mirror. If those games aren't at noon it's hard to imagine Michigan will play more than one or two games then all year.

If you go to the games and care a lot about college football, that sucks. Most of the interesting games are on at the same time as yours and you can't watch the end of the noon games. Then you miss a chunk of the evening games. I feel like I've been getting less informed about everything going on in CFB, and that's a main reason why. Also, do we understand how many humiliating Notre Dame losses we're not seeing because of overlapping game times? THIS IS SERIOUS.

This is admittedly less of a problem during lame nonconference weeks in which Air Force-Michigan is worthy of ABC. The games we'll be missing in that window include Syracuse-USC, Purdue-Notre Dame, and… uh… UNC-Wake Forest. Songs will not be sung about September 8th, 2012.

Side note: a while back I was told that BTN could not show 3:30 games because of the ABC contract. Clearly there are some exceptions to that. Maybe it's just conference games?

The lines? Jamiemac promises a full evaluation of the hypothetical lines put out by Beyond The Bets on this here site a bit later. I'll be interested to hear his take on their assumptions. The conference schedule, with games Michigan is an underdog in bolded:

  • @ Purdue: M –7
  • Illinois: M –18
  • MSU: M –6.5
  • @ Nebraska: M +3.5
  • @ Minnesota: M –14.5
  • Northwestern: M –17.5
  • Iowa: M –14(!!!)
  • @ OSU: M +4

Those are not real lines. I assume a line with Michigan favored by two touchdowns over Iowa would be obliterated in ten minutes. But I don't bet. That's Jamie's area of expertise. For his part, Jamie wants to jump on MSU with the point.

Anyway, if those assumptions are anywhere near accurate that's about equal to a prediction of a 6.5-1.5 record. That feels a half-game high to me.

Position paper: Chick Fil'A. As the Big Ten-SEC blogger fight drags on into a sixth decade, positions must be taken. Here is one on Chick Fil'A: it's not as good as Southerners claim, especially displaced Southerners, but it is a cut above competing chicken sandwiches from other fast food joints. I'm sorry if this has caused anyone to snap in disappointment in either direction.

Big Two, Little Ten update. ESPN revamps/expands its rankings. No significant moves except a bit of a fall for Mike McCray and the addition of Dukes, Butt, and Gedeon to the specifically ranked. Michigan has 16 guys in their 300, OSU 12, the rest of the Big Ten combined: 9.

This is their list of the top 17 players in the midwest:

Auu0pEaCAAABRS5[1]

Hokemon, yo. Note that the two linemen not committed to Michigan on the list didn't have a chance to pull the trigger. Also, damn you Lane Kiffin.

Weekly Glenn Robinson III hype. From the Indy Star:

"Every time I see him play," said Indiana All-Stars coach Craig Teagle, "his stock goes up with me."

The 6-6 Robinson, who goes by "Tre," has earned rave reviews with his All-Star teammates this week. On a team filled with talent from the immediate area -- nine of the 13 players on the roster are from either Marion County or a neighboring county -- there was a bit of unfamiliarity with Robinson, who played at Lake Central High School in the extreme northwest corner of the state.

It didn't take long for the Michigan recruit to make an impression with his above-the-rim style, dunking nearly everything he touched in a scrimmage on Sunday.

"Wow," said North Central guard Patrick Ingram. "I've seen him play before, but didn't really know him that well. I like his game a lot. He can dunk from anywhere."

This basketball season promises to be fun.

Etc.: Wisconsin kerfuffler Jared Uthoff transfers to Iowa, ensuring that Bo Ryan goes out the Woody Hayes way. Ohio State gave back its Sugar Bowl profit for tatgate, but Gene Smith kept a 60k bonus for reaching the game. Hockey recruit Alex Kile profiled. Michigan pays their assistants money

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