Unverified Voracity Is Working Hard To Get Ready

Unverified Voracity Is Working Hard To Get Ready

Submitted by Brian on August 23rd, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Is anyone else paralyzingly bored with media output of late? I mean, I just read these articles in which the answers have become absolutely uniform

"Right now, I'm just worried about this camp and Sept. 1 and Michigan football," [ANYONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD] said. "I never really felt like I took any steps backward or anything, I'm just going to continue to work hard like I've been doing."

…and I feel a need to link it while at the same time feeling like I am wasting your time by doing so. This is why I said Vincent Smith was a carrot. Because I am bored out of my mind with fall camp. Vincent Smith is not actually a carrot.

Don't even get me started on Countdown to Kickoff, where the most interesting thing is whether or not Doug Karsch's hair tuft will be there. It wasn't always like this:


I think this deserves Henri, the otter of ennui.


Strangely, I feel better. It could be worse: I could be a journalist trying to scrape something interesting out of this mess. Let's move on.

Ringer seems out. If you hit up Kaleb Ringer's twitter and scroll down a bit you'll get tweets from folk wishing him well on his recovery and Joe Bolden saying they can't wait for him to get back. (Also you'll get Ferris State's logo for some reason.) He mentioned something about going through a trial a few days ago, as well.

He's probably injured, is what I'm saying, and given the tenor of the tweets I'd guess it's something with a long-term recovery period. He already seemed likely to redshirt; now I'd say that probability is close to 100%. With Antonio Poole also out long-term, James Ross is going to see the field.

[UPDATE: Hoke just announced Ringer is out for the year. So is Chris Bryant.]

What I am saying. I may flesh this out into a bigger post later; for now, Her Loyal Sons put together a primer on Notre Dame's 3-4 defense. They have "cat" and "dog" linebackers that align strong and weak (or possibly to field or boundary—the post doesn't make it clear) and those guys are frequently deployed like so:


If this doesn't look familiar I have not been badgering you enough about how 1) moving to the 3-4 does nothing to help Michigan's DL issues and 2) that the 4-3 under is halfway between a traditional even 4-3 and the 3-4. Replace "CAT" with "WDE" and "DOG" with "SAM" and voila. ND will of course line up in a traditional 3-4 look and back that WDE-type-guy into coverage at times, but this assertion…

Unlike the 4-3, in which the defensive line almost exclusively rushes (save for some of the more exotic blitz packages), the setup of the 3-4 shines allows fourth rusher can really come from anywhere. While the Cat may be the pass rushing specialist, that doesn’t mean he will always do so.

…does not jibe with my observations last year, when Mattison flung all manner of zone blitzes at the opponent. The fourth rusher was very frequently not the WDE.

Anyway: 4-3 under personnel crammed into a 3-4 does not use more linebackers and only exacerbates issues with having 280 pound SDE/3techs.

Outrage! Not really. Carr told John Wienke to go to Iowa:

"When Coach Carr retired, he was the one — I actually always liked Iowa — but he told me probably to go with Iowa,” Wienke said. “That’s probably the next-best thing that was going to be for me with my style of play.”

Outrage level here is zero. Telling a recruit he probably doesn't fit is a lot different than allegedly telling the players already on campus they had a green light to transfer. Chances are Rodriguez would have phoned the kid up and said the same thing. I probably wouldn't have brought it up except for the fact that the kid is doing all that he can to honor Carr's guidance:


He's a punter now.

It's neutral you guys. The Alabama game is declared the "best of the Big Ten road schedule" by the Star Tribune [HT: Daily Gopher], which is one thing. Another is Countdown to Kickoff straying dangerously off-message at the 1:20 mark:

do not operate heavy machinery after watching countdown to kickoff

Michigan practiced at Ford Field to prepare for "all that road noise." It's a neutral site you guys. Neutral.

Yeah, let's do that. No, nevermind. Brandon said something to justify the Horror II that demonstrated his inability to grasp anything other than "attention = good." Hey, here's a bunch of CBS guys reminiscing about where they were when the Horror I happened. I bet you're going to go read that right now.

He said many other things as well, some of them appalling like moving the spring game to Ford Field. RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. /is actually rabbling

Nonexistent CHL union still works. That's the argument from London, home of one of the more prominent OHL teams:

The CHL franchises operate as professional franchises. They are a business first and foremost. The scholarship program is great until you play professionally, then you lose it. That's not right.

They trade kids indiscriminately in an effort to make their business successful. They entice kids to come to their programs and when something doesn't work, they are tossed aside like a punctured jockstrap. Teams pay a player $50 a week and own him totally for four or five years.

That's the type of thing that needs to be addressed for the good of these players.

As for the assertion that the CHL is comprised of 60 teams that all operate as individual corporate entities, it sounds an awful lot like the structure of the NHL and last time anyone looked, the NHL had a players' association.

If they are individual entities, the colluding not to pay a class of employees is not kosher. If these guys ever get their act together they would probably get a heap of concessions without even trying.

Etc.: Oklahoma kid will fill one of your commercial breaks at Michigan Stadium this fall, is probably taller than Dennis Norfleet. I want to like this "open letter to Brady Hoke" from Grantland, but open letters are always painful. Hey, writer-guy: Brady Hoke is not reading your stuff. I am. Talk to me, not him. OSU FR Adolphus Washington is 50 pounds heavier than he was when he signed his LOI. That's probably not good from their perspective.

Saturday Punting Demo Bits

Saturday Punting Demo Bits

Submitted by Brian on August 27th, 2011 at 2:57 PM

So the open practice on Saturday was not much use. They spent most of the day punting or kicking or running kneel-down drills. By the tenth kneel-down the boredom was crippling and I wished they weren't having it at all. I'd be surprised if it returned for a third year. I kind of hope it doesn't since I have to be there if it exists.

They did run about ten minutes of two-minute drill at the end. Impressions follow.

Ricky Barnum is injured. He dressed but did not participate; he's got a big ol' brace on his left knee. He was out there so it's probably not too serious. He might miss a week or two. In his stead Schofield drew in at guard. They initially played him at RG, moving Omameh to the left. The two Gs swapped positions late.

Raymon Taylor was also banged up and held out.

New numbers are confusing. That is all.

I don't think Isaiah Bell was out there. There was no 34 in white (defense). Unless he's just switched to a new number that would be a sign he might not be on the roster much longer. Either that or he's hurt, but Hoke just said they were basically healthy.

Woolfolk did position drills but did not play in the two-minute drill, FWIW. Bellomy didn't take any snaps.

The defense has a three-man-line rush package. We're going to see a Shafer-style okie package on passing downs with three linemen, four or five linebackers and DBs hovering over the opposing OL. The D zone-blitzed like mad from that unit, often dropping guys like Mike Martin into zones. The O did a pretty decent job of picking the blitzes up but Roh got in for a touch sack and Denard had to scramble around a bit.

Denard had a hard time finding receivers. A few crisp rhythm throws, a lot of ball-patting, scrambling, and difficult sideline improv throws. Not sure if that's on him or the WRs. Gallon twice ran comebacks that the quarterbacks expected to be fly routes, so they've got some pro-style sight reading in the O. Not functional sight reading, but sight reading nonetheless.

There was only one running play, a QB draw on the first snap that went for eight or so yards and would have gone for more if they weren't playing touch.

Non-Hagerup punters are C- types. It's not going to kill Michigan to have Hagerup out; the punting will be sub-average until he returns.

Gibbons hit a 42-yard field goal to finish. The crowd went wild.

Under center: not so much. There was no under center. Part of that is the two minute drill, but the passing skeleton was a 3x1 four-wide shotgun set as well.

Gallon didn't do anything horrible returning punts. So we've got that going for us. I still think Dileo should get a shot.

There are some weird players on the special teams units. Gunners included Vincent Smith and Fitzgerald Toussaint; Hopkins and Shaw were on the kickoff team. Junior Hemingway was one of the upbacks on the punt team. That's all of our fragile offensive skill players save Denard.

Unverified Voracity Watches Paint Dissasemble

Unverified Voracity Watches Paint Dissasemble

Submitted by Brian on March 8th, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Good news for people who like boring news. There is a webcam of Michigan taking down their new scoreboards. You can watch it, or you can look at this picture. They are basically equivalent:


Yes, they left the Big Chill lingo up.

Womp-rats? Yesterday at about 7 PM Yahoo released its latest article that terrifies and thrills, and it's a doozy:

Tressel knew of gear scheme last April

If true, that would expose Ohio State to the worst kind of NCAA justice. Cover-ups are very bad. They got SMU the death penalty and are soon to terminate the job of Bruce Pearl.

Can Yahoo/the NCAA prove it, though? The Robinson/Wetzel piece relies on one anonymous source who said Tressel was "troubled by the information" and promised to investigate. I don't think OSU can reasonably suggest they investigated and found nothing since it didn't take the NCAA long to confirm the story, but previous Yahoo gotchas came with paper trails—as of now there isn't one.

The worst-case scenario here is that this gets rolled into an investigation of Terrelle Pryor's perpetual loaner and it turns out that—surprise—zealous OSU boosters are funneling massive amounts of impermissible benefits to players. It's getting to the point where it's hard to downplay everything that comes to light as an isolated incident, especially when Antonio Pittman tweets that cats have been getting hookups on tats since 2001.

I don't think anyone knows where this is going but if Yahoo can produce paper a major violation, an actual one not about stretching, is in the offing. Eleven Warriors just tweeted that they are hearing Tressel will admit wrongdoing(!) and sanctions/suspensions are "possible."

No serious harm done. According to Mike Spath, Carl Hagelin and Billy Powers expect Louie Caporusso to return for next weekend's CCHA finals at the Joe. Presuming Michigan can get by Bowling Green, by far the worst team in the league this season, without him they won't be short in their quest for a one-seed.

Word. Best NFL draft evaluation ever on one Justin Boren:

Plays angry on the field but his mental makeup is in question after a transfer from Michigan. Day 3 prospect.

Love to bits. The SBN Oilers blog goes off on semi-regular rants about how numbers are just not understood, man, that I love to tiny bits. Their latest is about the Avalanche and their fluky run last year. According to hockey's advanced metrics last year, the Avs were a terrible team. According to the standings midway through the year they were pretty good. They managed to survive a massive late slump to squeeze into the playoffs and fans thought this was sustainable and numbers were stupid. This year they're pretty much the same team except they're not nearly as lucky, so they're just above the Oilers in the standings and fans are discussing whether they should fire the coach they were pumping for the Jack Adams last year.

Key section:

Avalanche fans are not alone in ignoring, even denying the evidence behind the performance of the team. In an article entitled "When the scientific evidence is unwelcome, people try to reason it away" in The Guardian, author Ben Goldacre explores what happens when people are "...confronted with scientific evidence that challenges their pre-existing view." His conclusion? "Often they will try to ignore it, intimidate it, buy it off, sue it for libel or reason it away." Goldacre references a 1979 paper from Lord, Ross and Lepper. From the paper's abstract:

People who hold strong opinions on complex social issues are likely to examine relevant empirical evidence in a biased manner. They are apt to accept "confirming" evidence at face value while subjecting "disconfirming" evidence to critical evaluation, and, as a result, draw undue support for their initial positions from mixed or random empirical findings.

Goldacre goes on to discuss a second group of people - those who attack the science behind the evidence presented to them.

When presented with unwelcome scientific evidence, it seems, in a desperate attempt to retain some consistency in their world view, people would rather conclude that science in general is broken.

This line of thinking is similar to that used by fans who argue in favor of shot quality. Shot quality has become the great foil used by those arguing against possession metrics as a basis of hockey analytics. The ever-increasing mountain of possession data, evidence and studies means little to the shot quality folks. Arguments abound in favor of shot quality with no evidence to back it up, so lacking so Desjardins challenged the world to prove the existence of shot quality. There were no takers.

Goldacre concludes:

When presented with unwelcome scientific evidence, it seems, in a desperate attempt to retain some consistency in their world view, people would rather conclude that science in general is broken.

What's that on the horizon? It's getting closer! It's getting closer very fast!Joe-Morgan

This is why numbers are important—they at least force you to consider things that conventional wisdom holds are ridiculous, like Derek Jeter being a pretty crappy defensive shortstop. The advanced metrics said the Avs were due to regress badly and they did. This would be just another guy who loves numbers accepting confirming evidence while some other team that defied the numbers would be seized upon by the Joe Morgans of the world as their confirming evidence… except for the fact that you can collect big sets of numbers and show they are accurate more often than not. We had a discussion about this before college football season when I predicted Iowa wouldn't do so hot and Iowa fans were like "numbers are stupid."

The other end of the spectrum from Joe Morgan is David Berri, who's just as wrong as Morgan and relies on a just-as-irrelevant credential ("I was the greatest second baseman of all time"/"I went to Princeton") in his quest to reduce everything in sports to a regression. I'm not arguing for that, either. The numbers gathered by football and basketball box scores are witheringly insufficient to hope to explain anything.

In reality, numbers are insufficient to fully explain anything but baseball for a lot of reasons. Baseball's easier and there are orders of magnitude more data—Pitch FX is insane. But in all sports advanced metrics can at least provide a much better answer for "what," if not how and why. An example: about a week ago LaVall Jordan tweeted that Michigan had the fourth best defense in the Big Ten. That's true on a pure counting number basis but if you do something like divide they were ninth*. That's a huge difference and the tempo-free number is indisputably better. There's a huge difference between talking about why Michigan has an above average defense or why they have a below-average one, and anyone who would prefer to talk about the former is just wasting people's time.

*[The MSU game moved them up to seventh.]

Hardaway explosion. Rod Beard's latest in the News has a wide array of quotes on the emergence of Tim Hardaway Jr. Vitale is involved, but don't let that phase you. Here's the most interesting bit on his recent blowup:

"When he was shooting a lower percentage earlier in the year, I called him in and we just talked a little about getting a better shot than he was taking," Beilein said. "(I told him) you're probably going to take just as many shots, but the ball will come back to you again.

"He did it immediately and his shooting percentage has gone way up."

Beilein has repeatedly praised Hardaway's coachability, which suggests he will continue to improve over the duration of his career at Michigan. Dad is also impressed:

"He's developed very well and the whole team has, from November to today," Tim Sr. said. "You can see a lot of confidence in them and you can see their swagger. They're playing well, they believe in the system and they believe in the coach."

Random offer thought. Michigan continues to litter the nation with offers, but a Q: could this be a more general pattern? The NCAA just implemented a rule that prohibits schools from sending written offers until August. In the past there was the verbal offer, which was more of an indication of interest, and the written offer, which was as close to official as something that says "we can revoke this at any time" gets. Now there are no written offers, nothing to distinguish between the two, and kids who may have waited to declare they had an offer until they had the actual paper in their hands now have nothing else do go on.

In any case, the universal predictions that this rule would lead to confusion and would do nothing to slow down the breakneck pace of recruiting have come true, like it was obvious they would.

Etc.: Posnanski writes something about the "joy of rooting against Lebron" that expands on yesterday's trash-talk assertions. According to Ira at WTKA via Brandon, Michigan's club seats and suites are sold out. Evolving Evan Smotrycz. Big Ten wrestling details.