The Dairy Products of the American Heartland Annual Kvetch About Bowl Game Names

The Dairy Products of the American Heartland Annual Kvetch About Bowl Game Names

Submitted by Seth on December 23rd, 2016 at 9:42 AM

The tradition continues. See previous for Why.


image: Oh, flibblyniblets.

image: What’s wrong, April?

image: I am trying to surprise my husband with a bowl trip this year but I don’t know how to communicate where we’re going. I thought we were going to the Orange Bowl, but then I looked it up and it said some sort of credit card company.

image: Oh, I see what happened.

image: You do?

image: Why yes, you need COMMON LANGUAGE!

image: Lamegwege? What’s that?

image: Language! I use it all the time! It’s a body of words—and the systems for their use—that are common to a people who are of the same linguistic community. Here’s how it works:


Words are used to convey meanings that the listener is already conditioned to understand. The words enter the ear canal and are interpreted by the brain into cognitive thoughts.

image: But I’ve tried that. What if, like, some credit card company pays to replace the words for a bowl game with their name?


image: Silly April, you can’t BUY language! All you have to do is use words that your listener will comprehend.

For example here’s how you refer to all of this year’s bowl games in English:

(bold are the ones where they’ve done away with the real names. All times are EST. Click each logo to get the full size. Use however you like.)

Date/Time You Call it They Call It Since Teams Logo
Dec 17 New Mexico Gildan… 2006 UNM/UTSA New Mexico Bowl
Dec 17 Las Vegas 1992 SDSU/Houston LasVegasBowl
Dec 17 Camellia Raycom Media… 2014 AppSt/Toledo camellia-bowl-logo
Dec 17 Cure AutoNation… 2015 ArkSt/UCF curebowl
Dec 17 New Orleans R+L Carriers 2001 S.Miss/La-Laf NewOrleansBowl
Dec 19 Miami Beach 2014 Tulsa/CMU
Dec 20 Boca Bowl Boca Raton 2014 WKU/Memphis b_xxLEMu
Dec 21 Poinsettia San Diego County Credit Union… 2005 BYU/Wyoming PoinsettiaBowl
Dec 22-7pm Potato Famous Idaho… 1997 Idaho/CSU Potatobowl
Dec 23-1pm Bahamas Popeyes… 2014 EMU/Old Dom logo
Dec23-4:30 The Military One at TCU Lockheed Martin Armed Forces 2003 Navy/LaTech armedforces
Dec23-8pm Mobile Dollar General 1999 Troy/OHIO! mobile
Dec24-8pm Hawaii 2002 Hawaii/MTSU Aloha_Bowl
Dec26-11am (or Tampa II) St. Petersburg 2008 MSU (NTMSU)/
Miami (NTM)
Dec26-2:30 Motor City Quick Lane 2014 Maryland/BC Bowl in Detroit
Dec26-5pm Independence Camping World… 1976 NCSt/Vandy indepencence-bowl
Dec27-noon Heart of Dallas or
Cotton II
Zaxby’s… 2010 Army/N.Tex DallasBowl
Dec27-3:30 The Military one in D.C. Military Bowl 2008 Temple/Wake military_bowl_logo_2
Dec27-7pm Holiday National Funding… 1978 Minn/WSU HolidayBowl
Dec27-10:15 Cactus
(or Copper)
Motel 6… 1989 Baylor/Boise 14cactusbowl
Dec28-2pm Pinstripe New Era… 2010 Pitt/NWern pinstripebowl
Dec28=5:30 Tangerine
or Citrus II
Russell Athletic 1990 Miami(YTM)/
Tangerine Bowl
Dec28-8:30 San Francisco Foster Farms 2002 IU/Utah sanfranbowl
Dec28-9pm Texas or Bluebonnet AdvoCare V100… 2006 A&M/KSU bluebonnet
Dec29-2pm Birmingham 2006 SC/USF birminghambowl
Dec29-5:30 Queen City Belk 2002 Ark/VT queen city
Dec29-9pm Alamo Valero… 1993 OkSt/Colo 5kcx6fynk65qmg23v4ek
Dec30-noon Liberty Autozone… 1959 UGA/TCU Libertybowl
Dec30-1pm Sun Bowl Hyandai 1934 Stan/UNC SunBowloldlogo
Dec30-3:30 Music City Franklin American Mortgage… 1998 Neb/Tenn music city bowl
Dec30-5:30 Arizona Nova Home Loans… 2016 AF/S.Bama arizona-bowl-logo
Dec30-8pm Orange Capital One… 1935 Mich/FSU OrangeBowl
Dec31-11a Citrus Buffalo Wild Wings… 1946 L’ville/LSU 1990_1-1_Citrus_Bowl_Guide
Dec31-11a Gator Taxslayer 1945 GT/Kentucky Gatorbowl
Dec31-noon Peach* Chick-fil-A 1968 Bama/UW peach_bowl_logo
Dec31-7pm Fiesta* PlayStation… 1971 Clemson/OSU Fiesta
Jan2-1pm Outback
(or Hall of Fame)
1986 Florida/Iowa HOFBowllogo
Jan2-1pm Cotton Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic 1937 WMU/Wis Cottonbowl
Jan2-5pm Rose 1902 PSU/USC rose bowl
Jan2-8:30p Sugar Allstate… 1935 Auburn/Okla sugar_bowl_logo
Jan9-8:30p CFP National Championship   2015 ?/? event-cfp

* semi-final games.

image: So I’m a bit less confused, but why is the bowl in Jerryworld called the “Cotton Bowl” when the one played at the Cotton Bowl is called “Heart of Dallas”?

image: I guess that’s why they added “Classic” to it, but yeah, words can’t fix everything. They can assist in communication, not guarantee clarity.

image: So I can actually use these names to convey meaning to other people who speak the same language as me! Tell me, is this legal?

image: Have you entered into a contract with any of the sponsors above where they pay you to replace words in your speech with their names?

image: Well, no, that actually sounds kind of...

image: yeah.

image: …fizzly. Flupped even. Totally flupped beyond wizzly fizzy.

image: Glad we had this conversation.

This Week’s Obsession: Sitting Out the Bowl

This Week’s Obsession: Sitting Out the Bowl

Submitted by Seth on December 21st, 2016 at 1:58 PM

[Bryon Houlgrave/The Register]

The question (posed by Brian):

Leonard Fournette sitting out the bowl game was one thing, since he might be injured. A hale and hearty Christian McCaffrey getting out of Dodge before the Sun Bowl seems like another. How do we feel about this?


Seth: First let's take as a given that "hale and hearty" for a football player is relative.

Brian: I mean sure. I just kind of... I don't want to be Old Man Newspaper here but I find myself bothered by this despite being pretty woke about player compensation issues.

Ace: I’m totally fine with it. While McCaffrey may not be hurt, he’s carried a hell of a workload. 290 offensive touches this year, 385 last year, plus returns, and his teammates—at least publicly—are in full support.

This isn’t even the Rose Bowl like last year. It’s the Sun Bowl. If his teammates are cool with him missing a glorified exhibition to get ready to actually get paid for his work, I’m not one to argue.

Brian: Is there a line above which you would be bothered? Where is that line?

Ace: If there are stakes.

Brian: Okay, so Sun Bowl can GTFO. Citrus?

Ace: Honestly, I can understand a player of McCaffrey’s caliber skipping any non-playoff appearance.

Brian: Dude! So Stanford's in the Rose again and you're totally fine with him dropping his pants on An American Institution?

Ace: I don’t blame the kid for that. I blame him not getting paid. The incentives are all kinds of messed up. That’s not McCaffrey’s fault. Plus, the Rose Bowl will still have the parade and the bands at halftime and that gorgeous stadium. It’ll be fine.

Seth: There's also a place where you can be disappointed at the guy without treating him like he is violating the Constitution. One of the first things I noticed was the level of vitriol and who it was coming from. When you find yourself on the same side as the guy talking about the "me first" generation you wonder if you're on the right side.

Ace: I’ll admit part of my stance is predicted on always being on the other side of the people screaming “DAMN MILLENNIALS."

Brian: I do kind of like that it puts the NCAA's total lack of leverage on display.
But... I mean... if Peppers peaced out before the Orange Bowl you wouldn't be disappointed?

Ace: I’d be disappointed, sure, but I still wouldn’t get upset at Peppers about it.

Seth: Things like Wilton Speight and Devin Gardner playing against Ohio State, or Robot Chad Henne  vs MSU, are extraordinary because that is a stupid decision they're making on our behalf. If that is the norm then why appreciate it? Gardner sitting out the Copper Bowl was a no-brainer, because it’s the Copper Bowl. Playing in The Game meant something, even at the end of a breakdown season, because it’s The Game.

Brian: I still like to think that there's a romantic THE TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM heart to this. Ed Reed!

I think it would be shitty to your teammates.

[Hit THE JUMP for shattered dreams of kinds]

Alumni Association Orange Bowl Tour

Alumni Association Orange Bowl Tour

Submitted by Seth on December 4th, 2016 at 4:15 PM


I wanted to get this up ASAP for you guys since it tends to fill up: the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan just finalized this year’s bowl tour, and let us announce it here at the same time so we can fill it with MGoReaders. Deets:

You’ll be gone Wednesday, December 28 - Saturday, December 31, it starts at just under $2k, and they offer both an air-inclusive and land-only options. Pricing (per person) based on double occupancy is $2,949 for the Champions Tour (air) and $2,049 for the Victors Tour (land only). They offer other options for single, triple, quad and child, as listed on their website.

The CHAMPIONS TOUR is everything below (including the charter airplane). The VICTORS TOUR is land-only, and includes everything below except the flight and deluxe motor coach transfers.


  • Round-trip charter air service from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Round-trip deluxe motor coach transfers from the airport to your hotel
  • Luggage handling and porterage at the airport and at the hotel
  • Three nights’ deluxe accommodations
  • Welcome reception
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • University of Michigan Orange Bowl Pep Rally (tentative)

Plus the complete game-day package:

  • Escorted deluxe motor coach transfer to and from the pre-game party and game
  • Game ticket
  • Pre-game tailgate party

And other goodies:

  • Optional tours, outings, and excursions
  • Custom Alumni Association souvenir package
  • Document packet, official bowl tour name badge, and lanyard
  • Alumni Association hosts and escorts
  • Dedicated alumni information and hospitality desk at the hotels

Get ye to as soon as possible. Like…yes, let your spouse know you’re doing it first, but harangue until you get an answer. It’s not like you get to see this team again.

Crazy Confusing Michigan Postseason Guide

Crazy Confusing Michigan Postseason Guide

Submitted by Seth on December 1st, 2016 at 10:04 AM


So the Playoff Committee put Michigan 5th, where the top four get a chance at a national championship and the top(-ish) 12 play in more prestigious bowls in and around New Year’s. Getting into the playoffs requires some help and sympathy. It’s good that two teams above us have a chance to lose, potentially dropping them back. It’s good that we beat teams 6, 7, and 8. It’s bad that two of those could be conference champions, including our own conference.

So where are we going? Probably the Orange, but if you’d like more detail here’s everything I could divine about Michigan’s potential destinations.


What are the Rules?

  1. The Playoff Committee will decide on 4 teams to compete in the playoff. This year’s playoff games are the Fiesta and Peach Bowls.
  2. New Years Six obligations are filled in. Unless they’re in the above the B1G and Pac12 Championship Game winners play in the Rose Bowl, the SEC and Big XII winners play in the Sugar, the ACC winner plays in the Orange, and one “Group of Five” (Western Michigan most likely) team gets a spot somewhere between the Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar Bowls.
  3. [UPDATED, h/t user Alton] Bowl contracts are filled in, specifically the Rose Bowl gets a Big Ten and Pac Ten team, and the Sugar Bowl gets an SEC and Big XII team, assigned by the committee.
  4. At-large teams are filled in, with contracts, rematches, distance, and “most compelling matchups” in mind. For example the Orange Bowl gets first crack at a Big Ten or SEC #2. Unofficially, conference affiliations matter somewhat, e.g. the Rose Bowl would take a Pac#2/B1G#2 matchup and FSU or Louisville would be projected to the Orange.
  5. Old bowl process takes hold once the New Year’s Six are figured out.


Where’s Michigan in the Playoff Race?

Behind: Alabama regardless, Ohio State, Washington if they win, Clemson if they win.

Worried about getting passed by: Wisconsin or Penn State if they win, Colorado if they win.

Probably not getting passed by: Oklahoma or Oklahoma State as Big XII champ. Florida as SEC Champ. VT as ACC Champ. Washington or Clemson if they lose. Loser of the Big Ten Championship Game. USC, FSU, Louisville, Auburn, Western Michigan, Navy.

CFP-LogoThey’re saying there’s a chance:

With Michigan the 5th team right now however this seems incorrect, particularly in light of Kirby Hocutt saying the committee needed two hours to decide to put Washington over Michigan for the 4th spot. The actual distinction matters little since a conference championship win for Washington would overcome whatever slim margin Michigan is ahead by at the moment.

That appears to put Michigan’s chances entirely dependent on one or two schools above them losing a conference championship game, then riding a head-to-head victory over a conference champ into the top four.

Even a loss to Florida probably doesn’t drop Alabama out of the Top 4, and Ohio State is obviously in before we are. The best, but hardly only shot of Michigan moving up is Colorado beating Washington (a 45% shot according to Bill C.) and Michigan (over the B1G CG winner) taking the Pac 12’s spot. If Virginia Tech upsets Clemson (20%), this also opens the door for Michigan. If both happen, Michigan still needs a head-to-head win to matter more than a B1G or P12 championship.

How the committee rates winning your conference championship game versus head-to-head is a mystery. They said they don’t consider margin of victory, so blowing out Penn State is probably seen the same as a one-score victory over Wisconsin, let alone two last-play losses on the road.

My guess is they’ll let the de jure Big Ten Champion jump definitely-not-Big Ten Champion Michigan, but not Ohio State. Michigan could end up above Colorado if both Washington and Clemson lose, but that’s a scenario with three Big Ten teams in the playoffs. That may be correct, but the committee created to avoid another LSU-Alabama rematch that everybody hates would probably take the B1G and Pac champs and leave Michigan out.

Likelihood of it: 10 percent.

[After THE JUMP: some NY6 destinations and worst case scenario]

Jimmystats: A New Bowl Eligibility Plan

Jimmystats: A New Bowl Eligibility Plan

Submitted by Seth on December 10th, 2015 at 12:21 PM


The 2013 Motor City Bowl between Pitt and Bowling Green, via StadiumJourney blog.

In our roundtable yesterday I suggested a new way of calculating bowl eligibility. It struck a chord, and it's offseason, so I thought I'd do a follow-up.

The Problem: With 40 (plus the NC) bowls, the bowl field has now expanded to 80 teams, or 62.5% of what's currently 128 FBS schools. However the old six-win provision for bowl eligibility remains mostly intact, disqualifying mostly mediocre schools who played much harder schedules in favor of bad, barely eligible, barely FBS teams.

This system doesn't just create less watchable bowls. It incentivizes schools to pad their non-conference schedules with noncompetitive opponents and FCS programs, and incentivizes conferences to play fewer conference games lest they disqualify more of their teams from bowl play. The result is a less competitive, and thus less interesting, football season.

My Proposal: A simple points system:

  • 3 points for a win over any team in the final CFP Top 25
  • 2 points for a win over any Power 5 school not included above
  • 1 point for a win over any FBS school
  • -1 points for a loss to any FCS school

I initially proposed 7 points as the cutoff for eligibility, but as one reader correctly predicted, this is still too exclusive. So I amend that to the highest bowl points level you need to fill the available bowl games is your bubble region.

[After the jump: I try this out with the 2015-'16  bowl field]

This Week's Obsession: The Little Bowls

This Week's Obsession: The Little Bowls

Submitted by Seth on December 9th, 2015 at 12:22 PM

[This week we've changed up the format a little bit. I posted the question in a chat group and people weighed in when they got to it. So it's a bit more conversational.]

The Question:

Do you like low level bowls? Where should they draw the line?

The Responses:

Ace: I’m torn on this mostly because of one game: last year’s Bahamas Bowl. Two 7-5 teams with smaller fanbases from non-power conferences played a football game in the Bahamas and the turnout was as expected.

BUT, I watched that game anyway, and it was completely insane and awesome:

I find myself making fun of the lower level, obvious cash grab for guys in garish blazers bowl games right up until I’m watching and enjoying them because they’re football.

[Hit THE JUMP for a more sensible approach to bowl eligibility]

The Tucks Medicated Pad Annual Article About Name Sponsorships on Bowls

The Tucks Medicated Pad Annual Article About Name Sponsorships on Bowls

Submitted by Seth on December 8th, 2015 at 1:37 PM

subsidized time

HT PoorYorickEntertainment

Portrait of attractive young female showing a thumbs up on white background: Hey there, Steve!

steve[3]: [sigh] Hey Carol-Sue.

Portrait of attractive young female showing a thumbs up on white background: Why so glum?

steve[3]: Well I told my wife last weekend that I want to go to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Then she went and booked our flight and told her mother we were coming to visit!

Portrait of attractive young female showing a thumbs up on white background: Then why aren't you happy?

steve[3]: Because my mother-in-law lives in Phoenix!

Portrait of attractive young female showing a thumbs up on white background: Oh.

steve[3]: She thought I meant the…whatever it's called I dunno—the one we went to against Kansas State!

Portrait of attractive young female showing a thumbs up on white background: I see. Well it looks like you need LANGUAGE!

steve[3]: Language?


That's right, Steve! You see, I'm a scientist. And we here at the Human Race have developed a special patented technology called Language™ to communicate ideas using mutually understood sounds.

One of the keys to our Language™ technology is the ability to identify a person, place, or thing by association with a specific set of organic sounds called "nouns." Through the transmission and recognition of commonly recognized nouns within a grammatical framework, we make it possible for another human to actually understand what bowl you're actually talking about!

Our nouns are specially pre-formulated to achieve maximum comprehension. By using a noun your listener is already familiar with, the thing you actually meant to convey will be transmitted directly to the brain thing of your audience, enabling 100% instant, seamless, optimized, non-GMO return on linguistic investment.

steve[3]: Wow! Where do I find nouns like that?

scientist2: Well that's the great news, Steve: you know them already! But if you hit THE JUMP right now, you can have all of these nouns that describe bowl games, and their commercial-free logos, for absolutely free!

Haknpoints of the Whisper-Quiet Maytag Dishmaster

Haknpoints of the Whisper-Quiet Maytag Dishmaster

Submitted by Seth on December 23rd, 2014 at 10:46 AM


I write this column every year: a plea for humans of the college football world to use clear language instead of the names they have for bowl games. Truthfully, a brand name for a bowl game communicates something, but think how much more accurately we could communicate if things like geographical location, history, traditions, and common, relatable experiences were more important than who pays the most.

I realize not everybody enjoys the ability to elegantly express ideas to other humans as much as I do, and that mercantile interests can be human interests as well. But since I started using language in my communication, I've experienced a 1000% improvement in comprehension, and I wanted to share that success story with you. Don't believe me? Here are some other humans who've benefited from this same extraordinary device:

happy-man4: "Hello, I'm Steve, a relatable middle aged white man with the body, hairline, and lifestyle that other middle aged white men envy. My wife Janet and I are proud Bowling Green graduates and big fans of the Falcons. I wanted to get Janet a trip to BGSU's bowl game for Christmas, but when I triumphantly announced "We're going to the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl!" she was very confused. Then I discovered Talking Like a Human Being™, which taught me to tell Janet it's the "Camellia Bowl in Montgomery." Janet was thrilled, because the name communicated to her that we were going to a bowl game in Montgomery, and the flower association made it memorable!"

178488-Business-man-giving-thumbs-up-on-white-background: "I'm Lewis, a non-threatening yet sexy young African-American businessman with perfect skin. My in-laws are coming to visit our tasteful suburban Atlanta home over Christmas, but they asked me to drive them to the airport the afternoon of December 31st. When I tried to explain that we would have to leave very early because of "Chick-fil-A Bowl" traffic, they thought I meant the South is just that insane over a fast food restaurant. But when I called it the "Peach Bowl," suddenly they could recognize the name of a big traditional football game that they've heard about since the late 1960s, and even offered to order a taxi so that I could stay home and watch it! Thanks, Talking Like a Human Being™!"

Portrait of attractive young female showing a thumbs up on white background: "I'm Krista, a cute and friendly Minnesota undergrad. Men find me very attractive in an approachable way, and women want to be my friend because they wish they looked this good while rocking a knit scarf, high wool socks, and "M" stickers on my cheeks. I was so totally stoked by my Gophers' great season, but when I told my girls we were going to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl they were like "that's a crappy one" because until recently that meant the old Copper Bowl. So then I said it was "the old Capital One Bowl," but then they got even more confused because that's now the name of the Orange Bowl—you know, the BCS bowl in Miami that Big East teams used to go to. Then I discovered Talking Like a Human Being™. And once I said "Citrus Bowl" my friends knew that meant the bowl that 2nd place Big Ten teams go to, and they were more excited than that one time our sorority went ice skating with Goldy!"

thumbs-up: "I'm Batman. Specifically, I'm Batman from that 1990s Tim Burton movie with Jack Nicholson that hits all the nerd-nostalgia buttons for men between 25 and 40. When I say 'I'm Batman', people know that I'm Batman, because I've been calling myself Batman since 1939. Could you imagine if I was like: 'I'm Batman, presented by Vizio?' I'm sure I could make some money by doing that but to be honest I'm already filthy rich, and while Alfred assures me I could always use more money, I feel like the incremental revenue wouldn't be worth cheapening 75 years worth of brand equity. So I turned them down and went with Talking Like a Human Being™ instead. Because I'm Batman!"

[After the jump: bowl games in a human language, bowl logos without sponsors on them, and discussion on the whole title sponsorship business]

The Bowl Game Cash Game

The Bowl Game Cash Game

Submitted by Seth on December 22nd, 2014 at 4:30 PM


So after several weeks and therapy I think we're ready to dispassionately regard things of a college football nature without the hurting. This is good because we know things about college football, and can use that knowledge for good, or you know, for picking fantasy teams.

This week we're congregating in the college football $20k mini cash bowl. It's a $2 entry fee with $20k in prizes, and a lot of space left. I liked it because the bowl lineup has a lot of teams I pay attention to, including all the New Years Day games.

Everyone has their tricks for drafting; I like to bring in advanced stats to know things like are both teams going to be playing at a high tempo (so more plays for my draftees) and if his opponent is an outlier against the relevant element (run/pass) of offense. I'll share my table for the pool of draftable players in this game, and highlight outliers (top 20 or bottom 30):

Matchup Pass Def Rk Rush Def Rk Plays/Min (rk)
Game Tm1 Tm 2 Tm1 Tm 2 Tm1 Tm2
Florida St. vs. Oregon 58 33 50 42 2.37 (73) 2.74 (11)
Washington vs. Oklahoma St. 55 53 47 41 2.51 (41) 2.53 (36)
Iowa vs. Tennessee 65 13 24 22 2.33 (77) 2.5 (42)
Kansas St. vs. UCLA 51 23 27 54 2.08 (113) 2.62 (25)
Ohio St. vs. Alabama 10 26 37 1 2.33 (81) 2.28 (90)
Houston vs. Pittsburgh 93 76 111 93 2.45 (50) 2.07 (116)
Missouri vs. Minnesota 22 43 11 30 2.37 (70) 2.08 (112)
Wisconsin vs. Auburn 31 47 29 18 2.03 (123) 2.42 (56)

I got tempo by dividing the total number of offensive plays by time of possession from NCAA's stats (saving the greater study for an offseason column). Rankings are from Football Outsiders' S&P+. From there you have to eyeball—a low tempo doesn't mean skip the guy and a bad rush defense doesn't mean you have to take that RB, but it does say if you're looking at spending $11k of your salary pool on Melvin Gordon it's good to know that Auburn has a pretty good rush D. Wisconsin's slow pace is Wisconsin's slow pace; Auburn's average pace suggests Gordon will get the usual amount of touches.


-$20,000 prize pool.
- First place wins $2,000
- $2 entry fee (FREE with first deposit).
- Top 2,300 win money guaranteed​
- Starts on Thursday, January 1st at 12:00 PM EST
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 players
- Roster Format: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE and 1 Flex
- First time depositors at DraftKings receive a 100% bonus up to $600

Unverified Voracity Examines Butterfly

Unverified Voracity Examines Butterfly

Submitted by Brian on July 8th, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Well now that's over and we can think about… oh. I can't believe I got a bunch of people going "but I want to talk about football" in this offseason of all offseasons. Happy now?

Anyway, as a result of my quadrennial case of World Cup fever some of these links are a bit old. You have been warned.

The best thing to come out of the Big Ten expansion.


This is from a completely serious BHGP article about how the Big Ten has just electrified New York City. There is also a completely serious article from Ryan Nanni that faintly reads like parody.

Let's talk about basketball. Kenpom talks offensive rebounding. Findings:

  1. OREBs are gradually declining as more teams abandon the boards for better transition defense (probably).
  2. Layups get OREB'd slightly more than 40% of the time, with jumpers and threes OREB'd slightly more than 30% of the time. Threes are least likely to get OREB'd, so don't let those long bouncers back out fool you.
  3. Anything that gets blocked and stays in play is about 32% to be OREB'd.
  4. Chart


Offensive rebounds are more likely as the game goes on, which is a pretty weird finding to me but there it is. The late surge makes sense since trailing teams will go all out and damn the transition torpedoes, but the rest of it is a bit weird.

And yet it moves. A palpable cut for one Jalen Coleman. This is not a drill (nor is it, like, something that is new, but I was waiting for more basketball recruiting news that did not appear):

Coleman, a 6-foot-3 guard from La Lumiere High School in La Porte, Ind., will choose between Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Notre Dame, UNLV and NC State, according to recruiting analyst Brian Snow.

Notre Dame, oddly, is rumored to be Michigan's main competition. They do have proximity and (probable) playing time, but they haven't exactly been Beilein-standard during the interminable Mike Brey era.

Kings draftin' Stauskas.

Yeah, probably. Gary Parrish asks a question about Beilein:

Is John Beilein the best at turning lowly recruits into lottery picks?

Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas both shot into the lottery after being in the 70s or 80s as recruits… just wait until next year, when Caris LeVert probably adds his name in there somewhere. Parrish's trump card:

Of the 20 players selected in the top 10 of the past two NBA Drafts, 18 were former top 75 prospects and/or players who spent at least three seasons in college. The only exceptions? Burke and Stauskas -- both of whom enrolled at Michigan as unheralded recruits, earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors as sophomores, turned pro and were selected in the top 10 of the subsequent NBA Draft.

Bonkers, man. This is such a smart quote in re: how:

"We try to project whether a player is on the rise or if he's already where he's gonna be," Beilein said. "A lot of the [analysts'] early projections on players, I think, are made because the players' bodies are ahead of everybody else's bodies. And if you saw Nik or Caris, back when they were 16 years old, their bodies weren't ahead of anybody else's bodies."

Not that projecting based on bodies is necessarily a bad strategy—it seems to be working just fine for, uh, everybody. But when you're trying to assemble a starting five that's ten picks away from being all first-rounders and you don't have the recent pedigree of the Dukes and the Kentuckies, it is (obviously) a rather good idea.

Okay okay one more quote:

"Lots of coaches work on shooting with players, but Beilein teaches guys how to shoot," an NBA executive told me. "He doesn't just work with them. He actually teaches them."

Hooray Beilein.

Let's talk about hockey. Over The Boards lists the top 15 college guys for next year's draft, featuring three guys committed to Michigan at numbers 4, 5, and 6. Or mostly committed, in Zach Werenski's case. Nick Boka:

4. 97 D Nick Boka – NTDP U18 – Michigan

The Michigan recruit has an aggressive, athletic upside that could come on very strong in his draft year. Wins battles in the tough areas of the ice and can provide puck support. We like Werenski’s total skillset more right now, but Boka could easily emerge as the best American talent on the blue line in this draft behind Hanifin.

The top nine guys are all headed to Michigan, BC, or BU, FWIW.

This is appalling. National Football Post puts up a thing about NFL talent with a boggling Michigan thing. This is the second half of the chart running down the top 37 producers of NFL talent in the league, as ordered by 2013 player starts. Michigan's cliff is insane:


Argh Harbaugh

Nutshell, meet Michigan's barely over .500 record since Bo's death. It's not quite that bad in real life, as a combination of circumstances reduced Michigan's number to the "Stanford before 2009" number you see above. Actually, it's just one circumstance: Stevie Brown getting knocked out with an injury.

Your top overall pre-2009 producers:

  1. Miami (That Miami)
  2. Michigan
  3. Tennessee
  4. Texas
  5. Florida State

Michigan is dead last since, amongst this sample. NOW ARE YOU HAPPY TO TALK ABOUT FOOTBALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL /rock musik

All right, sir, you have my attention. MmmgobluBBQ, a Michigan-themed grill/tailgate/BBQ blog exists, and… yes sir, I subscribe.


That… is beautiful, and then you realize that the onion ring there is bacon-wrapped.

Let's not do this. Michigan went over its travel budget for the bowl game by just over 100k, causing assertions that Michigan took a loss on the thing. That is not accurate, as even the article states:

Ultimately, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl left U-M roughly $132,000 in the red. …

U-M's loss of $132,000 does not include revenue brought in from the Big Ten's shared bowl revenue plan, which splits all Big Ten bowl revenue among the conference's 12 teams.

So, not in the red. Just slightly over the Big Ten's travel allotment.

Etc. Don't click this box score unless you want to be reminded of last year. Stop taking pictures of yourself, twits. I BLAME YOU ELLEN.  Don't use a null hypothesis when that's not sensible. Contains subtweet shade thrown at David Berri (the "salaries don't predict wins" bit). Nussmeier talks with Bruce Feldman.

Ohio State ticket prices are high, at least on the secondary market.

Barwis TV Barwis TV. Why you should root for O'Bannon.