Michigan Museday and the Next Next-Woodson

Michigan Museday and the Next Next-Woodson

Submitted by Seth on May 30th, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Beginning my freshman year (1998), we started referring to highly touted young cornerbacks for Michigan as the "Next Woodson." The first was James Whitley, a freshman who played semi-extensively in 1997 and looked good when the supporting cast made his job easy. We were quickly disabused of Whitley=Woodson in 1998 when Notre Dame shredded him.

This is of an impossible comparison; players who can reasonably be considered the best at their position ever don't exactly replicate. But we humans get sentimental about things we had and like to envision never losing them (there's some psychological term for this I believe) so we pretend like the new thing is going to grow into the old thing. It didn't hurt that after a few painful years of Whitley we got, if not exactly Next-Woodsons, a string of really good cornerbacks we could call Next-Woodsons:

marlinLeon Hall - IndianaWarren - Purdue2

Archived from MGoBlue.com

They were tall like Woodson, and came with very high recruiting accolades like Woodson. But the first thing we noticed about them was that as freshmen they were tackling kind of like Woodson. With Woodson as a freshman I remember being excited as hell because he really popped almost right away. I don't remember him against Virginia that year, but he was active every game thereafter and a star by the end of that season. We're not going to compare Blake to Woodson because he's not that. The question is whether he might be the next in the line of future NFL-ish dudes we had from Law through Warren.IMG_4837

Profile?

Since pledging to Michigan in a deep and dark December when everyone figured Rich Rodriguez was unlikely to survive, then giving out quotes attuned to our particular type of arrogance, this was a guy we all liked. Countess, who's about 5'11 now, i.e. average height, started the last six games, and played his best one in the Sugar Bowl, suggesting enticing levels of future ability. (Photo: Upchurch------------->)

I don't think we were expecting such big things right away. Tim wasn't in the Hello: post:

After a redshirt year (or a year spending time almost exclusively on special teams), he'll slowly work his way into the lineup over the course of a couple years. He probably won't have a chance to be one of the starting corners until he's an upperclassman, but there are so many variables between now and then that it's hard to project.

Brian called him Courtney Avery++ and was more positive in the predictions:

Projection: His height will always be a hindrance but if I had to bet he starts for three years and ends up an All Big Ten sort of player. Will not redshirt since he's polished and will probably be better than anyone behind the starters on day one; solid favorite to take over for Woolfolk next year.

Nobody said "would bounce Woolfolk back to safety halfway through his freshman season en route to being Michigan's star field corner in 2012." Blake on Blake:

Stats?

See if you can guess the freshman corner since 1990 by his basic stats:CountessSDSUPBU-Heiko

Starts Solo Tackles PBUs INT
12 45 55 4 5
11 35 52 5 1
6 35 47 4 3
6 36 46 4 3
6 30 44 6 0
5 22 36 4 2
1 21 26 3 3
0 16 19 3 0

I know, I know: stats do not a cornerback's story tell. A tackle could mean a perfectly defended edge or a deep pass badly defended followed by a defensive back draped over the triumphant receiver. They don't say how often they were targeted or whether he whiffed on a key third down that cost the game. Anyway:

Name Season Starts Solo Tackles PBU INT
Charles Woodson 1995 12 45 55 4 5
Donovan Warren 2007 11 35 52 5 1
Marlin Jackson 2001 6 35 47 4 3
Ty Law 1992 6 36 46 4 3
Blake Countess 2011 6 30 44 6 0
Courtney Avery 2010 5 22 36 4 2
Leon Hall 2003 1 21 26 3 3
James Whitley 1997 0 16 19 3 0

Countess is sized more like Todd Howard than the giants above him on this list, but in case you missed the play of a certain DB of Virginia Tech, corners his size can do just fine in college, even against Big Ten receivers. And in case you missed Blake in that game, he had eight tackles (six solo), so we're hardly talking about a pure cover guy. The stats do seem to tell a story beyond "just a guy playing cornerback," but they should not alone be trusted.

UFR?

We really only have UFR data from two of these seasons, and since they're separated by four years this too is going to be fraught with inconsistencies. Here's Countess's 2011:

Gm Opponent + - T Notes
12 OSU 2.5 10 -7.5 Could not deal with deep stuff by himself.
11 Nebraska 1 3 -2 Lost leverage on big run.
10 Illinois 3 2 1 Also had a jumped Jenkins PBU.
9 Iowa 4 6 -2 Great day except for the 44 yards that were all on him.
8 Purdue 1 2 -1 No one was really tested back here.
7 MSU 1.5 3 -1.5 Not Woodson yet.
6 NW 2 2 0 Beaten deep once, but also a push.
5 Minn 5 1 4 Think we may have something here.
4 SDSU 6 4 2 Not as rapturous as we thought but still pretty good, full stop.

Not rapturous. Here's Warren, and remember, the 2007 scale is not comparable to the 2011 scale—the comments are probably more informative than the numbers.

Gm Opponent + - T Notes
12 OSU 0 2 -2 Just the one PI.
11 Wisconsin 3 4 -1 Relatively tough day.
10 MSU 2 1 1 Still can't believe that PI call.
9 Minnesota 5 2 3 Minnesota attempted to pick on him all day and mostly came up empty. Already a standout, IMO, and poised to have a huge career.
8 Illinois 2 3 -1 -
7 Purdue 2 2 0 -
6 EMU 5 1 4 Quickly becoming a typical Warren day: three instances of blanket coverage that become incompletions, one badly missed tackle. I'll take it.
5 NW 5 2 3 Big bounce-back day.
4 PSU 1 4 -3 Needs to work on his tackling.
3 ND 3 1 2 Long handoff whiff was disappointing; rest of it was pretty okay.
2 Oregon 1 1 0 (Ok.)
1 Horror 0 0 0 Came in for Sears

Warren got in a few games earlier than did Countess but if Blake was 2nd on a depth chart when Johnny Sears was getting torn up by a I-AA team he'd have gone in as well. Likewise Leon Hall's ability to earn his way onto the field in the apparently strong 2003 backfield itself was an accomplishment. Donovan had some tackling issues in the UFR that I didn't remember; Countess did seem to do better holding the edge. What I'm looking at is Donovan's game against Minnesota, where he was targeted relentlessly and came out of that convincing Brian we had a Next-Woodson on our hands. Put that against Countess's first and second games, when, likewise, we had collective visions of Next Woodsonism when he was targeted by SDSU and Minnesota.

Overall the scant evidence from our eyes and available reviews suggest a guy probably in striking distance of the Next-Woodsons. If I told you this time last year that a guy already on the roster projected at the tail end of a group of Ty Law, Marlin Jackson, Leon Hall, and Donovan Warren, would you take that?

Denoting "Legends"

Denoting "Legends"

Submitted by Ace on May 24th, 2012 at 11:59 AM


Carlos Osorio/AP

Last fall, Michigan introduced the "Michigan Football Legends" as an alternative to retiring uniform numbers, honoring Desmond Howard before the Under The Lights game with a patch that now adorns the #21 jersey. As one of three Heisman Trophy winners to don the Maize and Blue, Howard was more than deserving of such an honor, and I'd wager that one Charles Woodson is due for a patch of his own in the near future.

I'm a fan of this, and hope that the families of players whose jerseys are currently retired—the Wistert brothers (#11), Bennie Oosterbaan (#47), Gerald Ford (#48), Ron Kramer (#87), and Tom Harmon (#98)—eventually decide it's better to see those jerseys once again placed in the rotation, their accomplishments recognized in a way the fans actually see every week during the fall*. If that happens, however, we'll quickly face the issue of diluting the honor; if all the retired jerseys become "Legends" and you add Woodson to the mix, all of a sudden you have seven jerseys with patches before getting to guys like Anthony Carter, Bennie Friedman, and (eventually) Jake Long.

Where do you draw the line? On one hand, there are a multitude of players who could merit such an honor; it isn't difficult to make the case for such players as Dan Dierdorf, Mark Messner, Braylon Edwards, Mike Hart, Willie Heston (though he didn't wear a jersey number, making it rather implausible that he'll be celebrated in this fashion), Bob Chappuis... the list goes on. On the other hand, the awarding of a Legend jersey loses some of its luster if half of the starting 22 is rocking a patch every year. The way I see it, there are two ways to handle this issue.

The first is simple and obvious: only give out Legend status to a very select few. Edwards and Hart, for example, were remarkable to watch on the field, made their mark on the record books, were wildly popular amongst fans, and in Braylon's case had an indelible signature moment ('04 MSU). Still, I don't think either merits inclusion among the pantheon of Michigan legends, even if the focus is solely on on-field accomplishments; this would be an honor reserved for truly once-in-a-generation athletes. Edwards is probably closer than Hart in this regard, but the shadow of three-time All-American Anthony Carter looms large. If we're going by this method, I'd give out Legend jerseys for the retired numbers, Howard, Woodson, AC, Chappuis, and Friedman. That's it, at least for now.

The second option, which I find preferable, is to be a little more generous with the Legend distinction, but be relatively selective when it comes to handing out those jerseys. While I realize this brings about the same problem as retired uniforms—if nobody merits a Legend jersey, you start running out of numbers in a hurry—there's also an easy solution for that: keep using the honored numbers, but only affix the Legend patch for a player who plays the same position as the legendary player in question. Raymon Taylor wore #21 last year even after the Notre Dame game, but the defensive back's jersey was patchless. With Roy Roundtree wearing Howard's number this year, however, Taylor switched over to #6 in the spring. [EDIT: Taylor actually switched before the SDSU game last year, but the point remains—this can be done.]

Using this method, you have a real drawing point for players from each position group—we saw this week with Leon McQuay III how much of a recruiting pitch these jerseys can potentially be—and also get the chance to recognize even more of Michigan's rich football history. It isn't hard to find a player worth remembering at each position group:

QB: Bennie Friedman (#27)
RB: Tom Harmon (#98), Bob Chappuis (#49)
WR: Desmond Howard (#21), Anthony Carter (#1)
TE: Bennie Oosterbaan (#47)
OT: Dan Dierdorf (#72) or Jake Long (#77) (I'd probably lean towards Long)
OG: Steve Hutchinson (#76)
C: Gerald Ford (#48) (Not sure if coaches would want a lineman wearing a number that low, but I'd love to see it)
DT: The Wistert brothers (#11)
DE: Ron Kramer (#87) (Fudged a little, but Kramer played just about everything)
LB: Ron Simpkins (#40)
DB: Charles Woodson (#2)

Again, not all of these would be given out every year, especially since you might be hard-pressed to find a quarterback who wants to wear #27 or a running back ready to rock a number most commonly found on the defensive line. I really enjoy seeing college players wear numbers that don't traditionally fit their position, however, so I'd love to see some of these, especially a star defensive tackle wearing #11.

Honoring Carter could also help Michigan finally free the #1 jersey from the grasp of Edwards. I realize Edwards funds a scholarship, which makes this a tricky situtation, but I'd hope he would understand the historical impact of Carter and his status as the patriarch of the #1 jersey tradition for Michigan receivers. Or, now that I'm done laughing, Michigan just does it anyway because it's the right thing to do.

This may be spreading the Legend concept a little thin this early in its existence—what happens, say, when we're far enough past the careers of Denard, Woodley, and the next generation of Wolverines?—but it does a great job of acknowledging players of every era, a point I find important for such a historically-driven endeavor. Now, has anybody asked Denard how he feels about wearing #27?

-------------------------------
*I doubt your average Michigan fan knows about the Wisterts, which is criminal when you realize that three brothers all were All-American tackles at the same school. That's just ridiculous, and we should be reminded of this fact every time a Wolverine trots out onto the field wearing #11.

Unverified Voracity With Dorm-Wide "Yeah"

Unverified Voracity With Dorm-Wide "Yeah"

Submitted by Brian on December 10th, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Reminder. Soccer liveblog starts at around 10:30.

Other soccer bits. AnnArbor.com has another story on Jeff Quijano and his journey from starter to backup and back. Quijano's the first Michigan athlete to cite Michigan Stadium's elaborate wave as a reason he came to Michigan:

“I know it sounds weird, but I saw the wave, all those people…it was like nothing I’d ever seen before,” Quijano recalls. “I was hooked.”

Everyone in the student section who does the arm-wave motion to cross the streams feels a tiny bit of pride about this. The Ultras have picked Buffalo Wild Wings as the gathering place of choice for those in the mood for compatriots. That's where I watched the USA-Algeria game, so hopefully we score the winner a minute into stoppage except stoppage doesn't exist in college.

The Daily actually makes a fairly good Miracle on Ice comparison; the US got blasted 10-3 by the Soviets before the Olympics, not unlike what happened to Michigan earlier this year. Like all Miracle on Ice comparisons it's still stretched.

Heisman back in the day. The Woodson presentation:

I still remember the dorm-wide "YEAH" that erupted. People who didn't care about football must have been mystified.

Blunt Brandon brandishes bludgeon. A brief interview excerpt from Sports Business Daily has some real talk about the NCAA investigation:

Q: What is more challenging, complying with NCAA rules or SEC [ed: Security Exchange Commission] rules?

Brandon: NCAA. I spent less time with lawyers doing a billion dollar transaction than I did with the recent NCAA case. The amount of resources and effort we used from something that started as a newspaper article was huge. If you aggregate the cost, it was between 1.5 and 2 million dollars in internal costs. My understanding is there are north of 80 to 90 cases currently in the NCAA queue. We’ve created a cottage industry that is stripping resources out of the athletic departments. It’s a broken system and needs reform.

That's to the point. I'm not sure what the reform would be, but we're heading towards an era with more enforcement, not less. He also says one of the things he's learned in the first nine months is "don't read blogs," which ouch. Pimp hand don't hurt me no more.

More maniacal bits. The Mississippi State defense against LSU:

I'm not sure how relevant that is against Denard, but it sure looks like they're going to damn the torpedoes and come after him when he throws. When Jefferson breaks contain early he's got acres of space.

We're going to have a mascot contest now. Red Cup Rebellion writes a love letter to Michigan and explains how important it is that we put down their MSU since the in-state situations are analogous:

Consider the following: our universities are flagships - meaning that they're the oldest, most well endowed, widely recognized, most highly publicized, and most readily associated with the famous and influential sons and daughters within our respective states. Our universities are liberal arts oriented institutions nestled in unique, quirky, and revered college towns. We revere and contribute to the arts and humanities. A significant portion of our alumni associations are attorneys who hate their jobs. Et cetera.

Undying loyalty is offered in exchange for victory, which I'll gladly take anyway.

Etc.: Bacon's latest is on the journey Red took from handing out tickets on State Street to playing in front of 100k. More on Mississippi State from BWS, with a season overview and analysis of how they held Auburn under 20 points. UMHoops previews the Utah game, starting in 1.5 hours. The HSR says Denard's melted bag of snow was a metaphor for the season.

Unverified Voracity Has Four Glorious Names

Unverified Voracity Has Four Glorious Names

Submitted by Brian on December 6th, 2010 at 1:21 PM

fabio

College Cup! Congratulations to the men's soccer team, which upset #2 seed Maryland 3-2 with their second golden goal of the NCAA tournament to advance to their first-ever College Cup. That's amazingly-named freshman Fabio Pereira Villas Boas about to slot home the winner above. He is from Brazil. Of course he his. Michigan survived a 33-18 shot deficit, surging from 1-0 down to 2-1 ahead before conceding a late equalizer and setting up the above moment. I wish I could have seen it.

Television beckons, albeit at odd hours: Michigan takes on Akron at 11 PM Friday*. The other semi is #1 Louisville vs #4 North Carolina and is at 8:30. All the information you could possibly need about watching or attending has been compiled by I Blue Myself.

It will be tough for Michigan. They're the only lower-seeded team to make the final four in a chalky tournament and are taking on the team that destroyed them 7-1 earlier this year. I'm not sure if these guys are still around but last year the US took a youth international team to the Milk Cup and literally every Akron starting defender made the team and I think three of them started. The Zips survived penalty kicks to advance against Cal in a 3-3 game but have lost just once this year and are 20-1-2.

We will deploy a liveblog Friday night to track the game. BONUS: Photos and game story from the Daily.

*(This is the correct day this time. I did not check my email and found out the soccer game was Saturday literally as I sat down at Crisler.)

Jimmy Johnson approves, and if you get this reference you watch too much television at odd hours and have no excuse about not watching the soccer game. Amongst the many events of the weekend was the Attack Of The Futile Contract Extensions at Stanford and—for some reason this keeps getting brought up on Michigan boards—San Diego State. SDSU's Brady Hoke signed a five year extension after turning the Aztecs into an okay Mountain West program. Jim Harbaugh has had the moon and stars put on a plate by the Stanford AD.

These are for show, conveniently timed so that no one can FOIA the contracts and find out the buyout provisions that really establish how much of a commitment is being made both ways. Stanford's a private institution and isn't vulnerable to the FOIA either but still, if Harbaugh sticks around it's not going to be because of anything the Stanford AD can offer but chooses not to. FWIW, the Stanford AD said this:

Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has made a pre-emptive offer to sweeten Jim Harbaugh's contract before the coach even gets offered other jobs.

"We have a proposal in front of Jim and he's indicated he plans to accept it," Bowlsby said Sunday. "He's got this year and four more on his contract. I expect that he will be our coach in the foreseeable future."

It is Harbaugh or bust for people hoping to replace Rodriguez this offseason—Michigan's playing the other hot coaching name of the offseason in the bowl game, and past Dan Mullen the pickings are slim as long as the guys at mid-major powers are hanging onto their jobs with a death grip.

Speaking of the bit about being at Crisler. Aside from the ten minute stretch where Michigan literally did not score for two commercial breaks and watched Harvard go on a 17-3 run, that was fun. Unfortunately, ten minutes is a quarter of a basketball game. Various small items:

  • Michigan spent the entire game in man to man and never offered help to the guy checking Harvard's elbow-happy but extremely effective center, even when that guy was Evan Smotrycz. He blew up. I was a little peeved by the lack of adjustment there. I may have to take back my thing about how Morgan is a really good defender. He got worked multiple times; now I'm guessing that Clemson's big guys aren't very good and Morgan will have a more conventional baptism by fire as a freshman. McLimans did have a sweet block.
  • Stu! UMHoops points out he's now at 48% on the season from three.
  • Vogrich makes me cringe every time he puts the ball on the floor but at least he nailed both of his wide open looks.
  • The offense stood in contrast to the post defense, as they struggled mightily through the first half and then found a barrage of backdoor cuts and sweet assists in the second half. It seemed like Beilein knew what Harvard was doing and how to attack it but couldn't get the team to respond until he had 15 minutes to explain it to his young team. Michigan responded with an eFG of 69% in the second half and that could have been better if Michigan hadn't missed about four layups.
  • The short/homely referees are always the bad ones. They got into refereeing because the quickest way to get revenge on the universe is to annoy thousands of people packed in one place. It's always the ugly guys.
  • The game did not set a record for most missed wide open corner threes, but it sure seemed headed that way after ten minutes.
  • I do not miss Manny Harris at all. He was great and all that but watching him play was frustrating. His junior year reminded me of Al Montoya's. Both were supremely talented but checked out mentally because they wanted to play for dollars and made a mistake by returning. Montoya was a mess; Harris got suspended for something or other in practice and never met a lazy three pointer he didn't like en route to another year with impressive numbers as long as you don't look at the eFG%.

    This team is probably going to be as good as last year's—let that sink in.

Also, let me express my special frustration at Tommy Amaker, who waited until he left Michigan to become a controversial but effective recruiter (for the Ivy League, anyway) and tactical wizard. Beilein:

“Tommy (Amaker) just took us out of everything,” Beilein said. “We had to put in a lot of specials. I watched the film, painfully, from three years ago when we played them and they had a similar attack defensively. So we had to do some different things.

“Not that all of it worked.”

Rest assured that if Rodriguez does get let go he'll go to Clemson and wreck fools.

UMHoops also has a new post type featuring key plays. Here's one that demonstrates the difference between Morris 2009 and Morris 2010:

As he continues to develop he should start asserting more authority over the offense. With Amaker's tactical wizardry stalling out the offense for big chunks of the first half he should have taken more control.

Icon. Charles Woodson's Big Ten Icons bit:

Continued in part two.

Higher than him on the list are Some Person You've Never Heard Of and various Penn State Players Who Never Played In The Big Ten, but whatever.

It makes sense. The Big Ten announced it is not going to put together a silly 14 or 16 team super conference and is set at 12. Hurray. For one last bout of madness: a theory. The WAC and Mountain West should be one conference with two divisions that uses promotion and relegation in the hopes the top conference can get a BCS bid.

Etc.: You can cease your theories about January first being a magic day that saves the U a million and a half hypothetical Rodriguez buyout dollars. Michigan has to provide "30 days written notice" if they make a move. I'm with MVictors anyway: that's chump change in the scheme of things. Michigan learned the hard way last time that doing the usual legal settlement dance causes local columnists to freak out unless John Beilein is involved.

UMass Video of All Varieties

UMass Video of All Varieties

Submitted by Brian on September 19th, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Uh, well… hmmmm. You probably won't want to watch a ton of them, but yeah. Here's Denard's Gameday feature:

And the Big Ten Icons item on Charles Woodson, featuring Keith Jackson:

Somehow Woodson finished 20th, which like lol ok.

Sanitized highlights:

Press conferences and some other bits after the jump.

Unverified Voracity Catches Up, But Not To Denard

Unverified Voracity Catches Up, But Not To Denard

Submitted by Brian on September 6th, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Note: some of this is pretty elderly due to the season preview extravaganza last week.

Hey… like… does anyone have ND tickets they want to sell to their favorite blogger? Email me if so.

ND Week. Here we go.

denard-robinson-td-jesusAlso this:

 

Funny. The Funny or Die guys are Michigan alums, you know. They've got a movie premiering at the Michigan Theater October 8th. They also have a Ralph Williams shirt:

Zero. The Fulmer Cup has closed, and Michigan's score checks in at zero. Woo! This follows their one point from last year (Boubacar Cissoko's disorderly conduct charge) and their two from '08 (Darryl Stonum's DUI), and just goes to show what a program of renegades Rodriguez is building around these parts.

The Cup only runs in the offseason and therefore missed Justin Feagin's Bogus Journey,  but since Michigan State would have put up 40 points from the Posse Roundup & Engineer/Woman Beatdown, a Fulmer Cup that ran year-round would have been awesome.

Georgia is your champion, by the way, finally breaking through with their innovative system of suspended licenses.

That ain't right. Barking Carnival points out this breakdown of the ESPNU 150:

espnu-breakdown

That can't be right. BC points out USA Today's helpful database on NFL draft picks and says California—home of the most NFL draft picks since '88—gets disrespected, but doesn't go into the numbers. I added and divided and came up with this:

Region NFL Picks NFL % ex(150) Actual 150
West 1136 20% 30 18
Southwest 714 12% 19 22
Midwest 968 17% 25 11
Southeast 2192 38% 57 91
East 767 13% 20 8

Everywhere except Texas gets dissed by a wildly unbalanced ESPN ranking system. Maybe not by as much as that suggests since population's been slowly moving out of the Midwest, but that only explains one small slice of the lack of balance. The South does have the most talent, but not to the extent suggested by ESPN.

Raise them well.

In which insulting letters are sent to Jon Voigt. The final edition of Six Zero's series of profiles on mgo-denizens covers yrs truly. Marvel at the pratfall in which the blog's genesis can be found! Relive the acquisition of the press pass! Discover my favorite food! Explore the ways in which my life is like Kathy Griffins! No, not plastic surgery! Find out in what fashion Jon Voigt is insulted! Be relieved at this bit if you're one of those people who frets I might go work for ESPN!

I really hope MGoBlog is my job for life as long as we start going to bowls on the regular in the near future. Insufficient emphasis. I desperately want MGoBlog to be my job until I retire. I've rarely been so attuned with a fictional character as when Sterling Cooper was trying to get Don Draper to sign a contract, and when he actually signed it and was immediately slapped in the face with it I felt it was cosmically justified. So... yeah. It will take a lot to do something else.

Wallpaperin'. The hibernation of Nothing Is Illuminated has created a gap in the otherwise all-encompassing Michigan blogosphere: wallpapers. We Are True looks to fill that.

Etc.: This is probably the oldest thing but it was awesome if you haven't seen it: Bobmurph deploys xtranormal in the service of truth re: Big Ten Divisions. Nick Saban on talent: "I don't know where we're stockpiling all this stuff at, but we've got room for lots more." Jesus.

Unverified Voracity Is Fiutakin' It

Unverified Voracity Is Fiutakin' It

Submitted by Brian on July 15th, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Open house fluff. If you couldn't make it here are moving pictures that describe the goings-on:

There's also the version of Tim's post yesterday at all media outlets. MVictors has the best one because it has a picture of a fire hydrant wearing a hat. The Daily, meanwhile, provides a noise increase estimate that's more reasonable than the doubling that was initially proposed:

A 30-percent noise increase on the field level was also promised, which will be tested by a sound engineer early in the season.

I'm not sure why they couldn't have tested that last season when the structures were up.

If you just can't get enough, AnnArbor.com has a slideshow and a couple stories that have the same content in a slightly different package. The latter does have this entertaining quote about the 3k+ club seats:

"I came in here, and I was like, 'Wow,'" Neumann said during Wednesday's public open house. "Then they told me how much it cost, and I was like, 'Wow.' "

Word.

FWIW, nary a crab was to be found in the articles. With newspapers typically straining to get "both sides of the story" that's one more indicator that the Save the Big House folks are slightly out of touch. Speaking of…

I am so glad I already have a lolcfn tag. Outrage(!) spans the internets today after CFN's Pete Fiutak talked up Matt James as a promising incoming recruit. Matt James is no longer alive after falling from a hotel balcony during spring break festivities, so this is a very bad idea.

I can only say that I'm not surprised at all. Way back in the day I took a swing at finding all the errors in that year's edition of the Michigan preview and came up with a solid two dozen, and while I can't find that post from before time began here's something they wrote just last year about the relative strength of the Michigan defense:

The real strength will be at safety where some superstar prospects will combine with some established playmakers. That means veteran safety Steve Brown can be part linebacker and part safety in the new system.

That was ridiculous even before the season, when this blog proposed it as "the most incorrect statement ever uttered by a college football preview ever"; now it stands as monument to the magnificent pointlessness of human cognition. Also they declared Obi Ezeh's the team's second best player.

It was just a matter of time before they incorrectly identified someone who is not alive as someone who is. In CFN House, it's always lupus and the patient dies because it's not lupus.

Other things that are not true about Notre Dame. Via Orson, here's a breathless bit of frippery on Brian Kelly:

"Coach Kelly and the entire Notre Dame staff has been very aggressive in recruiting," said Mike Frank, the publisher of IrishSportsDaily.com. "They are getting the offers quickly out the door. They are organized and they grind it and work very hard. This staff is much more aggressive than the previous one."

This is not true at all. Legend has it that Corwin Brown once camped out in front of Martez Wilson's door after being booted from the interior, refusing to leave until Wilson agreed to sign with the Irish. It didn't work—never in the long history of that move has it been successful—but by God it was aggressive. Seriously, the one thing Weis did well was recruit. At least give him that.

Who said anything about an aftermath? This was linked on the sidebar yesterday and has popped up in a message board thread or two, but it is patently offensive that this headline

Charles Woodson Called “A Hero” In Aftermath Of House Fire

…suggests Woodson just became hero yesterday. Pete Fiutak probably wrote it.

Anyway, Woodson and his business partner were just doing what any average Michigan fan might have done on a lazy Friday night: watch highlight videos of Charles Woodson and doze off. As per usual, doing this saved lives:

“The Charles Woodson 1997 highlight tape saved our lives, because that’s what kept us up so late,” said Ruiz. “Seriously, we were up late watching that tape, and that’s what made us stay up so late to find that smoke in the beginning. Otherwise we probably would have been passed out. I don’t know.”

They made a movie of the Todd Howard version of this, by the way.

old-man-yells-at-cloud Old Man Yells At Cloud. John Pollack's got one convert: Chicago columnist Rick Telander. His crotchety old man column complains about the amount of money spent on the renovations, says "you can't go 5-7" and "sure as heck can't go 3-9" if you're going to do that, and then pulls out more evidence for this blog's theory that everything written about sports in a Chicago newspaper is false:

In that 2008 season, Michigan got crushed at home, 33-10, by Toledo.

That's not a typo—crushed—and is only 20 points off on a game that happened two years ago. A bonus Fiutak follows:

Is it a coincidence that Brad Labadie, Michigan's director of football operations, just resigned?

Don't think so.

Rabble rabble rabble, and so it goes.

The usual array of losers. Generic complaint about college football scheduling that sees Michigan named the bravest Big Ten team because it's the one team taking on two BCS schools if we don't count Iowa State, which we shouldn't. Standard whining about faking your way to bowl eligibility by taking on Akron and three schools Akron would kill, as Indiana will attempt to do this fall. Hopeful muttering about rising prices for tomato cans spurring some actual scheduling from Big Ten teams, delivered more in hope than expectation. Continued calls for Eastern Michigan to drop its football program entirely.

Etc.: Ace follows up on his Bo team picture slideshows with one showing the team MVPs from 1926 on. Penn State fans survey their schedule and unanimously (though tentatively) pick Michigan as a potential landmine. I'll take it. An analysis of Nebraska's dominating front, which switched between over and under, last year.

Unverified Voracity's Hiring Bob Stoops To Be An IHOP Line Chef

Unverified Voracity's Hiring Bob Stoops To Be An IHOP Line Chef

Submitted by Brian on November 30th, 2009 at 1:47 PM

bob-stoops-pony

No, you don't get a pony. This Notre Dame coaching search is going to go exactly like the last three: everyone is going to get all hyped up about a wide variety of downright laughable names and they'll settle for someone not coaching at a power program. Unfortunately, the guy they "settle" for might be Brian Kelly—who ND Nation is hilariously opposed to—since there are exactly zero other major jobs opening up this year and Kelly has no buyout.

But, still, come on people:

Will Bob Stoops be Notre Dame's next head coach?

No. Brian Hanley of the Chicago Sun-Times, I will bet you any amount of money that he will not.

On Nov. 15, the Sun-Times first reported Stoops' interest in the job that will be vacated when Charlie Weis is fired after the Irish's regular-season finale today at Stanford.

The South Bend Tribune, citing a ''university source,'' reported Friday that Stoops is the first choice of ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

That goes for you, too, David Haugh of the Tribune. Stoops can be ND's first choice all they want. They won't get him. Is Notre Dame going to pay Weis's huge buyout and somehow raise Stoops's already enormous salary beyond Oklahoma's ability to match it? I mean, look at this contract Stoops just signed:

Football coach Bob Stoops had his contract extended through the 2015 season and will make $3.675 million this coming season. His new contract includes an annual raise of $250,000, a $700,000 stay bonus each July and an additional one-time $800,000 bonus in 2011. If Stoops remains through all seven years, he will make more than $4 million a year in the final five years of the contract and make nearly $5 million in the the 2011 season.

Stoops is second only to Pete Carroll in total compensation and has a six-year contract that makes him virtually impossible to fire. And is Stoops going to be more successful at Notre Dame than he is at a place he's already turned into a national power? You'd have to be a lunatic hung up on the idea that Notre Dame being good 20 years ago is somehow relevant.

Don't take it from me. Doctor Saturday's a neutral party here and his take on this rumor is witheringly factual:

Stoops, for the record, has no past connection to Notre Dame, has never described it as his "dream job" and has no apparent reason to leave the lucrative juggernaut he's built in Norman for a gig that's eventually swallowed up three straight coaches with winning records and January bowl games on their resumés.

By my count, Stoops has only publicly denied his interest in ND twice so far -- only eight or nine denials short of Urban Meyer's tally, meaning Stoops will remain in the mix for no good reason for at least another week before Cincinnati's Brian Kelly emerges as the clear frontrunner.

Stoops taking less money—not necessarily a cut, but you have to believe Oklahoma will have the wherewithal to match or better any ND offer—to move from a national power to a program that hasn't contended for a title in over 15 years would be, to say the least, unprecedented.

Scatterplottin'. Interesting graph from The Only Colors:

b10_rush_pass_scatter

Teams farther to the right are more effective passing the ball. Teams towards the top pass more. The line is a simple linear regression. The graph takes sacks into account, but not interceptions. This makes Michigan's reticence to throw as much as you might expect given the yardage spread more understandable. I wonder what this would have looked like with David Molk available all year?

Inking David. Here's David Terrell talking about his tattoos:

They hate you! Donovan Warren sort of announced he'd return for his senior season but will apply to the draft, and new cornerback commitment Cullen Christian has a mildly stomach-churning take on that:

Christian said junior Donovan Warren, Michigan's best corner and his host during his official visit last week, spoke of exploring his NFL options this offseason.

"I honestly think that Donovan's going to try to mess around and go to the league," Christian said. "He told me personally he might mess around."

"Mess around" is an odd way to put it, but the upshot: Warren's senior season will hang in the balance until the draft deadline passes. If he gets a second-day grade, he's probably back.

Charles Woodson is awesome in many ways. Way #1: he donates two million dollars to Mott's. Way #2: he picks off two passes on Thanksgiving, returning one for a touchdown. Way #3:

bam_thumb

How it went down. Jimmah's black eye, revealed:

Harbaugh. Well… yeah… hopefully this won't be relevant. If Michigan's in the market for a coach in the next few years, though, the #1 topic will be Jim Harbaugh and his stupid, stupid mouth. For what it's worth, Harbaugh's father:

“I think he’s very, very happy at Stanford and Stanford is where he wants it to be,” Jack Harbaugh said. “But I would say this that still Michigan is the place that he loves, the place that for him was his foundation. It’s where, the five years he spent there, his education there at Michigan and his associations with Bo and the other coaches on the staff, that’s the place that he will always call home.”

I'm willing to forgive and forget, should it come to that.

Showcase seeya. Last weekend's College Hockey Showcase is the last one that Michigan will host. Next year's edition will be the last, period. However, this is not the end of Michigan's series against Minnesota and Wisconsin. In fact, there appears to be some sort of official(?) Big Ten conference-type substance on the horizon, as was suggested by Lake State's coach before the season started:

"We have one more year after this and that's it,'' MSU coach Rick Comley said. "I think it's run it's course. Wisconsin did not want to extend the Showcase. They want to get Ohio State involved and they prefer a Big Ten Conference.'' …

"My preference would be to play (Minnesota and Wisconsin) twice (each season),'' said Comley, who is not in favor of a Big Ten league at this point. "I think we could declare a Big Ten champion. It would require a reduced number of CCHA games, which I'm in favor of.''

If that comes about, good. The Showcase has always been a missed opportunity. I've hardly ever attended it because of Thanksgiving, and having virtually no student section for two of the biggest games of the year always struck me as dumb. More games against Minnesota and Wisconsin at less inconvenient times = win. Moving OSU-Michigan to the Saturday after Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is a personal disaster.

The most logical way to make an unofficial Big Ten conference would be to drop WCHA/CCHA conference schedules down to 22/20 games—enough to play everyone twice—and use the extra six games for the Big Ten. Michigan would play 20 games in the (hypothetically 11-team) CCHA, 10 against Big Ten opponents (MSU/OSU games would be either Big Ten or CCHA, not both), the GLI, and get two random nonconference games. That would be it except in years in which Michigan goes to Alaska, when they'd have an opportunity to play another two games. Maybe that's too steep a cost in nonconference scheduling. The other option is to not play Michigan State or Ohio State four times and just count those games in both sets of standings, but that would cut out two games against State every year, something that no one wants.

Elsewhere in hockey stuff, Yost Built's Tim was interviewed by Puck Daddy about Michigan's struggles this year.

Gladwell bits. So last week I referenced Malcolm Gladwell's disappointing ad hominem directed at a critic of his recent book and, by proxy, a few well-meaning bloggers. Along the way I mentioned David Berri, the doctor of economics who's the best argument going for meathead anti-statheads who want to dismiss the whole enterprise of refining the statistics meathead anti-statheads use constantly.

I bring it up again because—surprise—a bunch of serious sport statisticians have taken a look at Berri's latest work and found it full of holes. By age 24, QB playing time is largely based on performance. Though there is some preference for highly-drafted quarterbacks, it's small relative to performance. I'll let Pro Football Reference provide the requisite sarcasm:

What is clear to me, though, is that performance matters. A lot. I know this is a shocking finding in a performance driven business like the NFL.

Also a shocking finding: David Berri has vastly overstated his case in an effort to get attention. This is catnip for someone like Gladwell who loves pointing out "Outliers" or "The Tipping Point." Sports statistics would be far better off if Berri took an interest in misrepresenting crocheting, and if Gladwell would accept the idea that sometimes people paid huge amounts of money to determine something aren't totally wrong.

(HT: Football Outsiders.)

Etc.: I like Clay Travis, really I do, but his take on the Rodriguez situation—the thesis is Michigan should manipulate the NCAA investigation so that it results in major sanctions, allowing them to fire Rodriguez—is literally the dumbest thing I have ever read about Michigan. Gregg Doyel just wrote something! Drew Sharp exists! This is a meaningful statement! I leave the destruction to Braves & Birds.

In Belichick-related stuffs: John Harbaugh went for a fourth and five with his team trailing that both announcers thought was a must-punt situation, got it, and won the game. Sometimes the right call works out, eh?

Doctor Saturday surveys the latest ham-handed attempt by the BCS to convince you that the BCS isn't stupid. It is amazing how tone-deaf public relations firms are.

Unverified Voracity Goes Back To The Well

Unverified Voracity Goes Back To The Well

Submitted by Brian on July 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Nosie. Boise announced their big nonconference game… and it's against Virginia Tech, which you will note is not Michigan. M is still casting about for a reasonable opponent to open the 2010 season. Options are getting thin on the ground.

(HT: Hannibal on this site's message board.)

Ok, let's talk about this again. Tennessee is pushing Eric Berry for the Heisman, which isn't going to happen unless Tennessee is way better than everyone expects they'll be but fine. I enjoy quixotic Heisman campaigns of all stripes and miss the defunct blogger version of the Heisman—even if it handed its lone trophy to Colt Brennan—because defenders and the occasional lineman featured.

Unfortunately, ESPN's Chris Low—the SEC version of Rittenberg—took the opportunity to launch a broadside at Charles Woodson's '97 win, which is for my money one of the few times the award has managed to make any goddamn sense. The reasoning, as you might expect, is flimsy and insular. A brief fisk:

The Heisman Trophy has been a dirty word on Rocky Top ever since Peyton Manning was jobbed of college football's most prestigious individual award back in 1997.

How does one get "jobbed" out of an award where people are handed ballots and asked to vote on who they think is the best player? Were there chads?

I'm not one of those conspiracy theorists…

This phrase is always followed by the author suggesting and supporting a conspiracy theory.

… but there sure seemed to be a movement by some in 1997 to keep Manning from winning the award.

See? "I'm not one of those conspiracy theorists" is a phrase that always means its opposite. There should be a word for that.

Part of it was his being forced down everybody's throats for four years, and part of it was the fact that he was winless against Florida.

Never mind that he delivered Tennessee its first SEC championship since the advent of the league championship game, was the driving force behind the Vols' remarkable 45-5 run from 1995-98 and threw for 3,819 yards and 36 touchdowns his senior season.

Q: What does Tennessee's '98 national title season have to do with Peyton Manning?
Chris Low A: Something.
Sane Person A: Not a goddamn thing.

He was saddled with the label of not being able to win the big one -- and despite his enormous talents -- became that guy some voters took glee in voting against.

Dude, the award purports to reward the best player in college football, and against Florida Manning threw two interceptions, one an 89-yard pick-six, and saw his team fall behind 33-14 before Manning managed a meaningless garbage time touchdown. He'd been outplayed by Doug Johnson. That opened the door. The New York Times on Manning after the Florida game: "A Heisman candidate? Yes. A hands-down winner in the fall? Please."

Then Woodson bashed through it by dominating Michigan's season-ending showdown against Ohio State by intercepting a pass, setting up one of Michigan's touchdowns with a long reception, and doing this:

One player failed, and another did not. It's harsh to say Peyton Manning "couldn't win the big one" but it's not a stretch to claim that Charles Woodson blew him out of the water in both teams' most important games of the season.

How else do you explain 93 of the 921 electors that year not even having Manning on their ballots?

I'm not sure where Low's getting his numbers, as the official site has vote counts that disagree with his accounting. There are 815 first-place votes accounted for of 921 electors, leaving 97 ballots without Manning. Woodson was left off 75. As Low's amply demonstrated here, "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" may be a general-purpose axiom but it goes double for sportswriters.

Most years Peyton Manning would have been a slam dunk. He'd be a more deserving winner than 80% of the guys who actually got the trophy. But he had the misfortune to run up against the only compelling (primarily) defensive player in the history of the award. I'm sure a few people were swayed by the idea it was cool to vote for a defender, but it's not like he was undeserving. That's what grates about every Tennessee bitch: they all assert, directly or in-, that Woodson didn't deserve it and the '97 Heisman was a sham and a fraud. Well, whatever. Scoreboard.

BCS bowls were a candle in the wind. Yeah, I follow Charlie Weis on Twitter. I also follow Rich Rodriguez, but Rodriguez hasn't posted anything in months, which is probably wise. Weis still hasn't gotten the concept of self-contained 140-character thoughts—needs to do some self-scouting there—but does provide awesome biographical details:

Got home even later than that last night returning from Chicago, where I saw a concert at Wrigley Field.

Some google sleuthing reveals these guys to be the target of Weis' concert-going affections:

billy-joel-elton-john

Which lol perfect. Both appear to be on the same strenuous diet of porkfat ice cream that Weis is, too.

Secret cabal postponement. The coaches poll's plan to go dark—complained about in this space earlier—has been delayed. The heroes are the same bunch of villains that got us in this mess:

The return to a lack of transparency upset BCS officials more than what was originally known. There are indications that the change could be a deal breaker, going forward, in the coaches poll's inclusion in the BCS.

In this, at least, the rabble and the Powers That Be are united. If the BCS was ticked off this year they're not likely to be less ticked off if the coaches poll attempts to pull this stunt in the future; I expect we'll see the secret cabal stuff quietly shelved and put next to Hated Rule 3-2-5e on the Shelf of Horrible College Football Ideas.

(HT: Wizard of Odds.)

Spread origins and expansion. It seems like I link 80% of Smart Football's posts, but I blame Chris Brown for making everything so interesting. This latest exchange is more relevant than stuff about four verticals so it avoid the sidebar. Post the first concerns late Northwestern coach Randy Walker's adoption of the Rodriguez spread and what he brought to it:

what Rodriguez showed them was less a new way to attack the problem of good defenses but more just a new way to think about attacking the problem. Rodriguez showed them the shotgun and the zone read stuff they were doing at Clemson and had done at Tulane, but the reason it clicked for Wilson and Walker is that they realized that they could run all their old stuff -- the zones, the power, counter, option, etc -- all from spread sets.

And this was probably the great leap forward for the spread. Indeed, if you look at what Rodriguez was doing at Clemson, a lot of it is there in terms of the zone read, but a lot of it too was just Woody Dantzler running around. It was Walker that took the idea of "spread-to-run" and "zone-read" and systemized it.

The incessant linking must have garnered Chris a number of consistent Michigan readers, because he followed up that post with another one defending his sort-of demotion of Rich Rodriguez from spreadfather to spread… uh, something else.

Really? I try not to tread too heavily on the premium sites' information. I'll freely link to headers and free articles, and will summarize the general feel for a recruit on the interwebs, a feeling that usually starts with posts from insider-type people and then flows outwards onto message boards here and elsewhere. But I rarely lift quotes directly from premium articles*, and even then it's usually to pull something awesome out like Brandon Herron calling Texas Tech "a box surrounded by dirt."

The Free Press has no such qualms anymore, I guess, as they've grabbed Barry Every and Scott Kennedy's brief, premium evaluations of the Elite 11 quarterbacks and posted the Devin Gardner bits. Is this uncool? I kind of think so since the only reason you'd send people to the Elite 11 is to get people to pay for the assessment of their commited QB.

FWIW, Gardner killed it, with Every asserting he was one of the top two quarterbacks in attendance:

"He may not be as big or fast as current Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, but he is a close second. I am torn between him and Bolden as to who I would take to build a college football team around."

State fans go "doh" in unison here.

*(The one major exception to this was when ESPN's player evaluations were behind a paywall; I'd usually pull out a few sentences of a three-paragraph scouting report when putting up a commit post. I figured they'd take the tradeoff of links and exposure for ESPN Insider, and they soon opened up their evaluations to the general public anyway.)

Etc.: Smart Football on yet more lawsuits targeting the NCAA and EA Sports. Ace continues his series on goofy team photos with impossibly young-looking freshman future stars. The Ann Arbor News expires, puts up photo wall a la Battlestar Galactica.

Unverified Voracity Constructs Analogies

Unverified Voracity Constructs Analogies

Submitted by Brian on June 3rd, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Heismans past. College Football Live is going state-by-state and, I don't know, talking to people or something. It's the privilege of the internet that I don't have to watch College Football Live and find out about their latest programming initiative. Charles Woodson and Desmond Howard were the featured people when it came to Michigan. Here is their talking:

Reports from people who watched this say it seemed designed to blow a blood vessel in Mark Dantonio's head, BTW.

I do not know how alarmed you should be, but it appears the amount of alarm should, sadly, be nonzero. Incoming mega-recruit Justin Turner did not walk at his graduation because of what appears to be an inability to pass some statewide Ohio standardized test. Here's a really dumb thread on a Massillon message board about it. It's uncertain whether this would prevent him from enrolling at Michigan, as from other reports he's comfortably qualified, and it's also uncertain how an apparently-qualified person could not pass a test on which the questions were probably like so:

water : wet :: water :

A. wet
B. pantaloons
C. noodly appendage
D. I hate Michigan

Unless, that is, he picked A when the right answer was D. Apparently there are further opportunities to take this thing and get it done, if it's an actual barrier to his entry. FWIW, Varsity Blue says Sam Webb says* this is a minor thing unlikely to be an issue:

Webb was not particularly pessimistic about Turner’s ability to still get into school, as he’s a pretty good student who’s already met the NCAA Clearinghouse’s requirements for eligibility, except the no high school diploma thing. There are alternative methods to diploma eligbility, and given Turner’s academic reputation, most don’t foresee him having difficulty there.

It's out there, but I wouldn't get too exercised about it. I'm more concerned about Fitzgerald Toussaint's status.

*(There's been significant backlash against GBMW on this, and while I agree they could use some serious writing lessons, I don't see how reporting something obvious like "Justin Turner didn't walk at graduation" is a big deal. Both premium sites had moderators address the issue before GBMW did and, while they like to hide behind the idea that what's behind the paywall is super secret just-between-us stuff, any information there is instantly transmitted to free message boards across the internet and thereby into the fan consciousness. Also: kid didn't walk at graduation; this is not a secret.)

Buryin'. If there's one lead guaranteed to be buried it's "here's this important rule change," which is inevitably preceded by 300 words about some director of officials who's very sorry about everything but has to ask you to go to hell. And it is so after the Big Ten meetings produced a couple notable changes:

A new rule states that once [rugby] punters are outside the pocket, the defense will not be penalized for running into them or roughing them. The rugby-style punters previously had the advantage of waiting until the last minute to choose whether to punt, run or pass and still draw penalties on the defense. "The defensive team never knew what to do because they didn't want to rough them," Carollo said.

This seems fraught with logistical issues. How is this mystical ability of a punter different from that of a quarterback? Can a punter now roll out, pull up to pass, chuck the ball, and get leveled way late?

Offensive linemen also will be allowed to move up to three yards down the field without being penalized.

I'm somewhat confused here; this sentence follows the previous paragraph immediately and either means 1) a slight change to punting rules or 2) a significant relaxing of prohibitions against linemen downfield. I'm betting it's 1.

Rose Bowlin'. The Rose Bowl is obligated to take a scrub team in the event that 1) A Big Ten or Pac-10 team is yanked into the NC game and 2) a scrub team ends up automatically qualified by finishing in the top 12. That's a somewhat unlikely confluence of events there, and even if it happens it will only happen once:

"It's only going to happen once if it happens at all," Hancock said.

And that's just a totally redundant blockquote but that's life. Totally redundant blockquotes.

Anyway: this places the change even more squarely into the realm of don't-sue-us CYA. The likely effect, if there even is one, is to replace the second-place Pac-10 team with a Utah or a Boise or whatever, which would be a wash in hypothetical opponent strength.

I don't get it, either. Earlier this year I touched on the ongoing Kiffin fiasco, and resolved that this could so either way, with the two ways being "John L Smith" and "Steve Spurrier." A couple months, a couple more inane secondary violations/diarrhea of the mouth incidents, and I've been pushed over the edge: I just think Kiffin is an idiot. I wasn't going to say anything until Get The Picture eloquently summarized the nagging problem I had with the recent spate of MSM articles which had "no, srsly, Lane Kiffin knows what he's doing" as their idiotically contrarian thesis:

If this is such a great approach to resurrecting a national powerhouse, how come the first guy to think of it is a 33-year old whose prior stop as a head coach was a miserable failure?

I just don't buy Kiffin's latest posture. Claiming "no, seriously guys, I meant to do it" is the last refuge of a guy caught with his hand in the idiot jar. True cleverness—see OBC—is apparent. Even if this supposed gambit works in the short run, in the long run Tennessee is going to be seriously hampered by their head coach's lack of intelligence. When the biggest accomplishment you can point to is locking down your hot wife, you have issues.

Oregon State's going to be pissed. So the SEC put an end to this ridiculous oversigning business after Houston Nutt pushed it past its logical extreme, adopting the same policy the Big Ten has by limiting LOIs to 28. They're going to attempt to make this a national policy, and the initial returns are good:

One Big 12 assistant who asked to remain anonymous said he hopes this will push the NCAA to make it a rule throughout Division I football. … "Generally when the SEC makes a push for changes in recruiting, things happen on the NCAA level. So there are a lot of us who believe that this will eventually become something everybody will have to follow, and I think that's a good thing."

Seconded.

Etc.: Daily continues murdering Detroit papers, this time landing an extensive interview with Toney Clemons. Oregon's rushing attack—which you may remember cowering from—in coachy detail. NCAA 10… worth buying? Michigan had "no chance" in '97 according to Corso. Patrick Lucas-Perry is rapidly developing into a major target.