Mailbag! With Gold Lace!

Mailbag! With Gold Lace!

Submitted by Brian on August 13th, 2010 at 11:32 AM


Do you think there is any chance we would see either Terrence Robinson or Kelvin Grady at RB in the fall?


With five somewhat viable options at tailback, probably not. The best chance to see that move is if Vincent Smith is not fully recovered from his ACL injury since all three are tiny jitterbug receiving sorts.

HOWEVA, if Michigan goes to more four-wide looks this fall you a dollar says whichever slot receiver isn't Roy Roundtree spends a lot of time motioning into the backfield to give Michigan some two-back looks. Martavious Odoms hasn't proven himself anything more than an okay runner, so Robinson and Grady might get some reps as the slot/RB hybrid. Both were tailbacks in high school (Robinson was also a spread 'n' shred quarterback and occasional receiver) and put up crazy numbers. They've also displayed or (been rumored to have) a hands of a stone-like substance.

Whether that happens will depend on a lot of things, primarily Smith's health again. If you've got Smith in the game you've already got a slot receiver who can play running back and then the other guy will probably be a Cox or Hopkins capable of going directly upfield with bad intentions. With that possibility, three veteran tight ends hanging around sucking up playing time that this slot/RB hybrid might otherwise get, and the presence of Odoms and Roundtree chances for Grady and Robinson to

After reading the notes on RR presser, how concerned should we be about the LB unit heading into fall camp?  I was already concerned with this unit, but then I read this…

  • If Mark Moundros wins a linebacker position, he probably won't continue playing fullback. He's not just at linebacker as a gimmick, and there's a chance he'll get minutes there.  

    UM has 2 guys in Mouton and Ezeh who have 20+ starts each under their belt.  They've got a couple other guys, Demens and Leach, who both saw a decent amount of action last year.  Now granted, the performance of the LB's last year was not very good, but now a guy who I believe has played fullback his entire career at UM might actually get some minutes at LB (and I'm assuming RR wasn't referring to garbage time minutes)???

    Is Moundros blowing up at LB?  Are the returning LB's just not progressing like everyone had hoped they would?  A combination of the two?

    Keeping my fingers crossed that the 2011 recruiting class is stocked with some stud LB's.


  • I'm also leery of the idea Moundros finding playing time signals anything but more DOOM this fall. I remember Fitzgerald Toussaint squirting through a weak tackle attempt in the spring game and being relieved that the guy who missed it was Moundros because the assumption was he wouldn't play. But I'm also skeptical of the veracity of press conference statements about team-favorite, hard-working walk-ons. Sometimes public comments are made less for their accuracy and more for their effect on the team—remember the Johnny Sears hype?—and the idea Moundros could play a lot this season falls squarely in that realm.

    Moundros obviously works like a dog if he's a team captain despite being a walk-on who hardly played last year; I'm guessing this gives him an advantage over his competition that the coaches would like to reward in an effort to get other people to work as hard as he does. If I had to bet I'd say Moundros is a consistent participant in the short-yardage and goal-line packages but doesn't get regular playing time in the base defense.

    On the other hand, it's not like he could be that much worse, right? Michigan football is fun!

    Hey Brian-

    I know you briefly mentioned WVU's sanctions and the effect they might have on Michigan in yesterday's Voracity and seemed to deem them minimal, but do you have any idea whether this could possibly result in us forced to get rid of Rodriguez because he is "blacklisted" in the NCAA compliance book? I am in the camp that believes another coaching change at this point would be disastrous, and really think we are starting to turn a corner. It would really suck to lose Coach Rod just when we might be able start something special.

    Thanks, Brian

    I'm not sure even the Bylaw Blog would be able to say much for certain about whether Rodriguez could be singled out for special sanction, since history would suggest it's not likely but the NCAA is in an era when they're attempting to change precedents. I don't think the WVU allegations are a major factor since they are essentially identical to the ones at Michigan. They may even help since the new regime apparently changed nothing. This isn't the equivalent of Kelvin Sampson because Sampson had already been sanctioned by the NCAA and immediately went back to the illegal-call well. Rodriguez can reasonably argue he was not knowingly flouting the regulations at either school. If he makes that case successfully he should be fine.

    Even if he doesn't, the NCAA generally imposes like-for-like sanctions. If you commit recruiting violations to get players they reduce the number of players you can have and put recruiting restrictions on the school. If you go over practice limits you give them back two for one. I'm not sure what a like-for-like penalty specifically directed at Rodriguez looks like—not being able to attend practice?—and in any case Michigan's bent over backwards to cooperate, Rodriguez has no track record, and the violations are so minor that I'd be surprised if the NCAA did anything except put a nasty letter in RR's file no matter how many newspapers call Michael Buckner.

    And consider this a follow-up to yesterday's post about bowls:

    Brian, There is an incredible reference that you might be interested as you rally the troops this year to start the season.  In Nathaniel Philbrick's new book 'The Last Stand" there is a reference to Custer leading a charge at Gettysburg with a Michigan contingent that might have won the war (pre SEC).  From page 48:

    As it turned out, all Stuart(Jeb) had to do was punch his way through a vastly outnumbered regiment from Michigan and victory was his,  but as the Confederates bore down on the northern counterparts (who were outnumbered by four to one), an event occurred that changed the course of the battle and, arguably the war.

    Custer, dressed in an almost comical black velvet uniform of his own design that featured gaudy coils of gold lace, galloped to the head of the First Michigan and assumed command.  Well ahead of his troops, with his sword raised, he turned toward his men and shouted, "Come on, you Wolverines!"  With Custer in the lead, The Michigander's started out at a trot but were soon galloping, "every man yelling like a demon."

    A union leader mentioned later that this "was the most gallant charge of the war."


    We should start a campaign to have Rodriguez sport velvet and gold lace. It is in this way our ascendance will be assured.

    Unverified Voracity Requisitions Shoes For The Men

    Unverified Voracity Requisitions Shoes For The Men

    Submitted by Brian on August 2nd, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    In the future they'll call them Lonbrays. You know who else has joined the Braylon Edwards Historical Reenactment Society? Braylon Edwards:

    braylon-edwards-civil-warAs soon as he finishes this interview he's going to have a gangrenous limb sawed off and receive the couriers bringing word of Lee's progress across Virginia.  (HT to MGoShoe.)

    In other facial hair news, Mustaches for Michigan is launching the 2010 campaign.

    grailstacheBraylon's in. Are you? Is "Civil War Facial Hair For Michigan" in the offing? 

    I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Not really, desperate newspaper executives, but Darren Everson provides some reason for hope going into year three of the Rodriguez era:

    Year three, statistically speaking, is when it all starts to come together—when the no-longer-new coach's recruits and systems settle into place, and the team reaches new heights. The records of college football's current major-conference coaches bear this out: They had a .548 win percentage in years one and two combined, then a .627 mark in year three.

    This bodes well for our current head man, Rich Neuheisel, Bo Pelini, Bobby Petrino… and uh… Paul Wulff.

    Right before practice. This is probably the second-best thing in the history of MVictors' trawling of Michigan's football heritage, a form Fritz Crisler had one Tom Harmon fill out before the 1939 season:

    harmon-smoke #1 is still the drunk guy trying to tackle Harmon, but it's close.

    Half the specialists should be fine. Excellent dairy from "Wonk" addresses Michigan's punting situation by looking at the recent track record of true freshman at the position. It's not exactly quarterback:

    The total averages for all of the years:

    • Average Rank: 73.42
    • Average Punting Average: 39.30 yards (editors note: yecch)
    • Average Rivals Rating (for those who were actually rated): 5.21

    So a true freshman punter is going to be just a little below average, as you might expect, and Hagerup comes in with more recruiting pedigree than anyone save Zoltan (38th in 2006) and Wisconsin's Brad Nortman (32nd in 2008). Hagerup should be fine.

    Another winner. The first time a coach does something self-evidently petty and dickish, you can write it off as generic coach stuff. They've very stressed people. The second time approaches a trend, and Derek Dooley has just executed Dick Move 2 in his first offseason as Tennessee's coach:

    As of Tuesday, a Tennessee spokesman said that request had come without a face-to-face meeting with Dooley, who seemed to confirm to the Knoxville News-Sentinel that he hadn't talked with the younger Brown at all throughout the saga: "The reason it has continued on (since the spring) is because Bryce has not come to me, looked me in the eye and said 'I want a release to so-and-so school.' At some point, that's got to happen." Arthur Brown told Schad, however, that there was a meeting between Dooley and Bryce last Saturday, before Bryce returned home to Kansas, which Dooley mysteriously asked the family to keep under wraps.

    So not only is he not releasing Bryce Brown to Kansas State—who is not on Tennessee's schedule for the duration of his eligiblity—but he attempted to keep a meeting between the two parties secret, then lied to the media about whether it had taken place in an effort to make his decision seem more legitimate. This comes on the heels of his petulant decision to make Aaron Douglas transfer at least eight hours from Tennessee's campus (and his home). Douglas ended up at an Arizona JC; hopefully he'll cool his heels for a year and then stick it to Dooley by transferring back to the SEC.

    Tennessee hasn't even played a game since the unceremonious end of the Kiffin era and the tune is already sounding disturbingly similar when it comes to euphemisms:

    This story does once again confirm the notion that Dooley plays things close to the vest, having met with Brown on Saturday but denying it in the media.

    Meanwhile in Los Angeles:

    Lane Kiffin Knows Exactly what he is doing

    …Kiffin's schtic [schtic sic] in the SEC did exactly what he wanted it to do. Gain attention for his program, he admitted as much in Part II of my interview with Kiffin at the Pac-10's media event here in NYC.

    Sure he does. Note: USC is down to 71 scholarship players and will lose 20 seniors this offseason, of whom they can replace 15. They'll be down to 66 next year if they miraculously suffer zero attrition.

    (HT: Team Speed Kills.)

    Fiutakin' it. Via WolverineWill, Rick Reilly takes up the banner for Lane Kiffin. It was inevitable that some sportswriter would do this eventually, and it was just as inevitable that it would be shoddily argued to the point that it could appear on CFN:

    And don't forget, Kiffin knew USC was about to be hit with some whopper sanctions by the NCAA over the Reggie Bush case, sanctions he had no hand in creating. He came anyway. And now that the sanctions are twice as bad as he thought they'd be, is he leaving? Is he complaining? No, he's trying to make filet mignon out of horse meat. He's stuck with 71 players when every other team with have 85. He's stuck with trying to sell kids on a school that will have no bowl games for two years and a Swiss-cheese roster.

    Lane Kiffin told every high school kid in America that USC was going to get a stern look and a belly rub from the NCAA, so either he didn't know USC was going to get nailed or he merrily lied to USC's entire recruiting class. Also he is complaining. Rick Reilly is Fiutakin' it, man.

    Etc.: GS continues its series on the instate recruiting war by looking at some recent history. You probably already know the way this ends—recruiting 40% of the top-quality instate prospects and a bunch of the rest gives you a program that looks a lot like Michigan State.