Dear Diary Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Dear Diary Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Submitted by Seth on July 18th, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Aint too proud to beg

My vote: the OTHER Big Chill at the Big House

We've been collecting unheralded diaries for several weeks. Let's herald them.

[TRUMPETS OF HERALDRY: bah dah dah dah dah dit daaaaaaaah!]

Michael Scarn asks the big question: if college sports are corrupt and we hate the guys who are running them, do we continue to go? I say go, and grumble. My thing about my dad was 5% inspired by this diary, because my response to it that I didn't write had about the same point: the complaints are valid but they're not the whole thing or even most of the thing. Most of the thing is kids from your college are playing on recently reattached ACLs and you're on a bench next to someone who will never forget being next to you on that bench on that day.

Money talks but it's not the only thing that does so. Write emails. Call into WTKA. Attach a strongly worded letter with your check explaining this is the last one they'll get. No matter how unreasonable they seem, keep giving them every chance to be reasonable.

Mich1993 has been going over the depth chart to see how the recovery's coming from Michigan's Notriguez-to-Rodriguez-to-Notriguez adventure. In Part I he went over the various position groups; CB, LB, and DE appear fine but safety and DT are "mild concerns." On offense the skill positions are strengths and the meaty parts look awfully uncooked. Part II compares it to the depth of 2013 and expected depth of 2015.

LSAClassof2000 put together a thing not nearly enough of you read that compares the SEC and Big Ten's volume of contribution to the NFL. Brian already linked the one where he showed Michigan was one of the top NFL producers in the '90s and now is Minnesota. The aggregate shows us falling behind.

NFLDraftSECBTTotal_zps1697a26f

We just passed Alabama who's going just as swiftly in the other direction. Hi Alabama. Tell Nebraska hello for us when you see him and we'll do the same to Auburn.

Guides to other sports. Since soccer is now Germany's sport everybody start calling soccer things German words:

Soccer is no longer "Football", it is now Fußball.
A Team is no longer a "Side", it is now a Mannschaft.
A Game is no longer a "Match", it is now a Spiel.

Nice spiel.

Reshp1 is watching the Tour de France, or as my agricultural consultancy business family members call(ed) it: "Le Tour de Corn" because they use it to gauge how European corn is growing this year.

Yes I do mean cycling is less interesting than watching corn grow.

I used to know a guy who rode his bicycle across part of the U.S. that included South Dakota, and who used the ride across South Dakota to write a song called "I Won't Cry When I Leave South Dakota." Look for sadeto's hit single "There's Nothing Between Lansing and Grand Rapids" in a month or so.

[jump for controversy on the board]

Dear Diary Hears it for the Girls!

Dear Diary Hears it for the Girls!

Submitted by Seth on May 23rd, 2014 at 11:53 AM

sweet

Catcher/7th hitter Lauren Sweet is hitting .364 in the NCAA tourney. [mogblue]

College softball's biggest problem as a sport is that the offense/defense balance that's so important to compelling athletic competition is tipped too far by a great pitcher. Florida State has one of the best, Lacey Waldrop, who came into the super-regional series (IE the semifinals) with a "you're breaking the sport!" ERA of 0.90. Michigan was fresh from a grueling regional in Arizona and a late flight, and would have to face Waldrop and the 53-6 Seminoles on their home field.

Michigan won 17-3 in a mercy. Haylie Wagner didn't look very sharp either, but this time it was Megan Betsa's turn to bail her out, entering in the 2nd and allowing just 4 of the remaining 18 batters to reach base and stranding all of them. Michigan's own player of the year candidate, shortstop Sierra Romero, had two hits; the other Sierra (Lawrence) and Lauren Sweet both had three. The best-of-three series continues this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. on ESPNU; if FSU wins that the rubber match will be right after. Read South Bend Wolverine's super-regional series preview before entering.

Of the rest of the recent diaries, I highly recommend L'Carpetron Dookmarriot's* look at other possible D1 programs that could take up lacrosse. MGoChippewa asked what would have happened if Alex Legion, hoops 4-star who decommitted when Amaker was replaced, had stuck around. My guess is the scenario would include him transferring a year later when Manny Harris refused to give him the ball. The Padog basketball previews continue with Michigan, MSU, OSU, Nebraska.

*To Mr. Dookmariot I recommend the old blog of the K&P writer who made up your name.

Best of the Board

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Nope, this doesn't save the 2013 season.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON DENARD

Imagine a world in which Denard, who clearly needed a redshirt, got a redshirt and could return in 2013. In that world…the offensive line would still be terrible, and Borges still wouldn't have known how to use him.

So imagine a world in which Chad Henne, who probably could have used a redshirt, got a redshirt while Matt Gutierrez started. In that world Henne… probably loses his redshirt when Clayton Richard chooses baseball mid-season, and then in 2006 he's trying to beat out a senior three-year starter in Gutierrez and probably doesn't. Does he even stick around, or does Henne transfer to Penn State or something?

So imagine a world in which Antonio Bass wasn't hurt and 2008 rolls around and there's this fifth year senior around who maybe moved back to quarterback because Mario and Arrington and Mathews had WR handled, and Rodriguez finds him and they lock eyes…

This thread could get fun.

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The University of Michigan Athletic Office is proud to announce the Mort Plotnick Department of Photoshopping.

GOOD NEWS(!)…ABOUT MICHIGAN(!)…FOOTBALL(!)

1484 put together a list of recent tweety-nuggets from Lorenz/Tremendous/Aquaman concerning some big time recruits:

-  5* CB Kendall Sheffield would like to visit

- 4* DE Kyree Campbell was waiting on an offer, already set a visit

- 5* CB Iman Marshall is friends with Canteen, very likely to plan an official

- 4* Grant Newsome likely deciding between Michigan and PSU

- 5* 2016 OL Liam Eichenberg has set a return date for another Michigan visit

- Michigan is still a factor for 5* DE Jashon Cornell

Michigan recruiting in May: still awesome.

EVEN A BLIND MAN CAN DO IT

Tulane has a long snapper who's legally blind (can't see out one, can barely see out the other). This is very impressive for the kid, Aaron Golub. Having the gumption to say "you know what, adversity, you can go screw because I want to play football," and then doing that successfully is a lesson to everyone to stop complaining about their comparatively weak shit. On the other hand, this is the absolutely worst time to call long snapper "arguably the most underappreciated position on the football field." I mean…

By the way, the most underappreciated position on the football field is center. You're right smack in the middle of every play, you're responsible for knowing your play and the opponent's play, you have to be able to snap the ball to various depths, you're typically lined up against a 300-pound monster you can't start blocking until you're done snapping, and you're going to end more plays than anybody as the last dude in the pile.

And I'm not just saying that because I'm getting epic amounts of crap from Ace in our Draftageddon email thread right now. Really.

ETC. Way OT but an EPA administrator (Steve L.) once told me when I worked for an environmental trade pub that bionic photosynthesis is humanity's best hope for cheap, clean energy. According to him, you take sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and readily available surface minerals, and the waste product is oxygen. There's a long way to go but the University of Michigan (and Pitt) may have done just that.

Your Moment of Zen:

Speaking of inspiring feats, Brock Mealer can now stand

5A7cA

…on one leg.

Dear Diary Needs to Stop Raining

Dear Diary Needs to Stop Raining

Submitted by Seth on May 2nd, 2014 at 5:23 PM

001

dramatization

I've got this dresser I'm painting to go with our bedroom furniture. A few weekends ago I got one coat on it. Then it rained and ruined half the second coat. So I took it out there again but it started to rain on and off and I had to hide it under the garage overhang. Every day I check to see if there will be six good hours of sunlight somewhere to stick the last coat on it, and every time there's a dollop of drizzle here, a sprinkle there, and at least one good pour per day.

It is as hopeless and infuriating as being a Michigan fan. I know we can't complain too hard because there are places like West Lafayette where it just rains all the time, or Champaign where the weatherman predicts sun so you'll be outside when the softball-sized hail comes.

Your April shower was Urban Meyer coming to piss on your attempt to add a grad-year transfer to the OL, and now May flowers with a boatload of puritan crap.

I'm still livid. For a second there it looked like at least one of Michigan's major sports was going to be sustainably great, so of course that's when the most insane decision yet by an organization best known for blithering stupid decisions knocks basketball from a likely 1-seed to something way less than that. McGary's mad too, but the NBA's not a terrible fallback plan. Michigan got screwed the most.

The last guy I could find to get the one-year ban was a role player at UNLV who lost his 5th year to it in 2010. We've been scouring Google to turn up polls and quotes to give you some idea of how ubiquitous pot-smoking is among college athletes. The NCAA's own study came back at 1 in 5:

substanceabuse

I'm suddenly liking lacrosse more

So how is it, even if the draconian rule only applies to the playoffs, that the merciless league can only manage to tag one guy every four years? There's a synthetic version that regular pot-smoking athletes will use during the season to beat the tests. So when they do catch a guy with good ol'fashioned THC in his system, it's usually only because he's a total amateur. No pun intended.

Whence the leapers?

DSC_305213654949674_fe14be7c1a_o13656004973_29ac969567_o

I know Jones is 10, but I keep getting Dukes (83) and York (81) confused.

The 2012 receiver class had a pair of high 4-star types with similar I-saved-my-family-from-a-terrible-place-in-Africa stories. The 2014 class had the guy who rewrote the in-state record books and what already looks like a gem in Freddy Canteen. Lost in the narrative have been the three large-and-leapy 2013 guys. What do we expect from C'sonte, Jaron and Da'Mario? That's a good question.

This year I expect depth. In addition to Gallon we also graduated Dileo and Jackson and Reynolds. If Nussmeier indeed goes 3-wide a lot more as we hope, then at least one of them ought to figure on the two-deep in 2014.

Jones is more "slot-like", i.e. thin, though he's not at all short. I think his upside is Roy Roundtree, and so long as they leave him in the slot that'll be just fine. Dukes and York represent a specific type of receiver who can simply muscle past the type of legal-unless-they-call-it press coverage en vogue these days, and simply out-leap the 5'8 buggers who won't have any trouble staying with them. They're development projects: it takes years to perfect off-the-snap and route techniques to make this work. Unfortunately, Michigan only bothered to get a redshirt on Dukes last year, which, given Mathlete's finding that receiver experience is a big deal, is infuriating. Mo Ways is in this vein too, FWIW.

Etc. Hoops previews of Illinois, Maryland, and…Iowa? Hmm. Prediction for the remainder: Michigan (we should be below Iowa), Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin.  Photos from the Go Blue Bowl. The 2013-'14 cagers' contributions to the season's gifs. Lacrosse potentially could go green…I mean more green.

[After the jump: why 2014 offense isn't 2011 defense, I enter the ranks of MGoBloggers who rant about Brandon]

In Soviet Dear Diary Players Pay Calipari

In Soviet Dear Diary Players Pay Calipari

Submitted by Seth on April 11th, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Bk4d6eECEAAEugo

Just so we're all on the same page, this llama (via) is dressed as Batman, because Horford is transferring from a team that graduates Jordan Morgan for reasons of playing time. Farewell, and good luck, Al Llama Batman Sartre Horford; our time together was too short to understand each other, but I shall ne'er forget the awesome.

Let's start with that because things are about to get even weirder and less relevant (e.g. Michigan's spring game). But first: VICTORS:

User Day 3 Points Prize
rgfmich 177.25 Design an MGoShirt
814EastU 171.75 ANOTHER MGoShirt
vussmoney 166.50 a shirt
montandj 161.50 a shirt
cgoldner 160.00 a shirt

If you're like "what?" that was the final standings among MGoBloggers in the Draftstreet 40k TourneyDraftstreet 40k Tourney a few weeks ago. Thank to our fantasy partners again for sponsoring the Day 1 and Sweet 16 liveblogs and everything; if anybody else wants to see how much fun it can be to give me money, jump in on the 100k MLB tourney for $22, or place in the top 5 of one of the $1 satellite leagues to win an entry.

It's a bit early for early returns, no? The Diarist of the Week™ (sorry I've been lapsing on that) is alum96 for his double feature (offense, defense) that looked at the various Übermenschen from Hoke's first uber-class as they enter their junior and redshirt sophomore season. I chart:

Offense Defense
Player Was Is   Player Was Is
Kalis 5*, Hutchinson 2.0 Not that   Pipkins 5* Hoke impersonator

On tra..
dammit!!!

Magnusson 4* Schofield 2.0 On track   Henry 3* Afterthought A gem
Braden High 3*, Wisc OT On track   Wormley High 3* DL On track
Bars High 3* project Too soon   Strobel Low 4* lolOSU Too soon
Funchess 3* receivy TE Great WR   Godin 3* local DL Useful
Chesson High 3* skinny On track   Ross High 4* prodigy On track?
Darboh Low 4* possWR On track   RJS 4* hitter On track
A.J.Williams 3* blocky TE Not-good   Bolden High 4* natural On track?
Houma 3* runnyblocky On track   Ringer 3* might be Foote Wasn't
D. Johnson Low 3* local Gem?/inj.   Gant 3* S/LB tweener Too soon
NORFLEET 4* god of Smurfs Hi.   Wilson 4* Jamar Adams 2.0 On track
[No Quarterback] Richardson 4* Cass mite Cassmite
Clark 3* Shazorite On track

That's actually way better than I thought. Injuries set back some of them, and half of those who don't look like they'll turn out to be Big Ten-caliber players have been getting a lot of playing time regardlesss. More amazing, only Kaleb Ringer is gone.

Speaking of Morgan:

jmo_teampic

David Merritt is doing a signing event with J-Mo this afternoon at his store on South U.

Basketball diaries/etc.: Padog is now into the better-than-Indiana part of his worst-to-first conference preview of next year's Big Ten basketball teams, with Penn State, and Minnesota. Final stats on the shooty 2013-'14 season by LSA.

[Jump for a board of great relevance]

Dear Diary is Playing in the Rain

Dear Diary is Playing in the Rain

Submitted by Seth on April 4th, 2014 at 11:11 AM

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O! that a man might know
The end of this day's business, ere it come;

On the morrow we shall be bath'd in sunlight and spring football, but today, my friends, is an opportunity nearly as great and many times as wet. For this eve shall mark the inaugural Go Blue Bowl, whence a crapload of Michigan football alumni shalt descend upon the institution of secondary education known as Pioneer High School and forthwith become as volunteer coaches.

Here's yon latest roster (by graduation year) and what these noble knights hath been doing these years hence which I know what of offhand:

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Yes, Donovan, I'm getting to those.
  • Marcus Ray, BTN and WTKA analyst
  • Ron Bellamy, head football coach West Bloomfield
  • Dave Pearson, (don't know; I'll ask)
  • Bennie Joppru, who calls himself "NFL bust, major weirdo creep" on twitter
  • Cato June, head coach of Anacostia in D.C.
  • Andy Mignery, WTKA radio personality
  • Chris Perry, a non-MGoBlog reader
  • Brandon Williams, director of Go Blue Then and Now
  • Earnest Shazor, working in health care
  • Roy Manning, University of Michigan Athletic Director and CEO and Future-Creating Chief Visionary Officer Dave Brandon Who Has a Six Pack Cornerbacks Coach at the University of Michigan
  • Marlin Jackson, director of the Fight for Life Foundation
  • Jerome Jackson, sometime MGoBlog reader
  • Steve Breaston, NFL free agent
  • Tim Massaquoi, college counselor and clinical psychologist
  • Jason Avant, NFL free agent
  • Donovan Warren, NFL free agent who's been trying to start up a new youth football league
  • Jordan Kovacs, NFL safety for Miami
  • Mike Schofield, NFL draft prospect; and
  • Jeremy Gallon, pint-sized NFL draft prospect.

Also on hand this evening: precipitation. Yes, we're playing anyway.

There's one spot left on the alumni teams. The event is to help launch the same three Fight for Life Foundation programs in Ann Arbor and environs that have helped so many disadvantaged kids get back on track in Indianapolis.

Diaries as Soliloquy:

Coach Schiano:shake

To foul, or not follow, that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to put
their 50-percent free throw shooters on the line
and in so doing, give ourselves a chance to respond,
Or to take Caris LeVert's arm
against a three point attempt of troubles
And by opposing end them?

ClearEyesFullHeart:

O mighty Izzo! Dost thy teams lie so low'?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
accomplished with talent of so little measure?

I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else's recruits were of such rank:
If I myself, there is no honor so fit
As State's death hour.

Padog:

You three, Sheehey, Fischer, and Vonleh,
Have sworn for four years' term to live with me
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are pass'd; and yet to transfer/NBA exits you subscribe your names,
That his own hand may strike his honour down.

Lanyard Program:

Hark. a program in miniature.

Best of the Board

BETCHA CAN'T HIT BETSA

The latest in softball is freshman phenom Megan Betsa threw a no-hitter. Your move, Wagner. Also: WTH, athletic department who scheduled the baseball and softball games at the same time as the Spring Game?

LOVE UNFULFILLED

Ghost of BCook's Ethics (?) started an interesting discussion topic: Michigan basketball recruits who didn't live up to the hype. Other than a handful of obvious guys there aren't all that many on the ground. I submit Amadou Ba. Not a hyped prospect, really, but it was cool to have a big man from Africa. He played just 43 minutes in his career behind Courtney Sims, Graham Brown, and Chrus Hunter. Just think of monster slams where we could yell "BAAAAAAAH!"

ETC. Next Beckmann (seriously asking, is it not obviously Karsch?)? An HTTV for Penn State fans. Just offer in-state Drew Brees already! Show up early for the spring game to see the Schembechler museum, or stop by tonight to see a giant statue of the man who most defined the Michigan we know today they're now systematically replacing with monuments and such.

Your Moment of Zen:

Sometimes an opponent's last-second, contested three-pointer goes in. Other times…

Hi five!!!

Dear Diary Watches Scoreboard

Dear Diary Watches Scoreboard

Submitted by Seth on March 28th, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Site note: Be here for the Liveblog tonight. Mods to your stations at 6:45; we'll get started at 7.

Vintage_SWEET_16_1920x1080

jonvalk (1/2)

I'll make this one quick.

Things to know about basketball

1. The defense has maybe taken a small step forward, and other observations about how basketball is like pro wrestling, from who else?

2. Michigan's offensive deviation isn't very large says LSA; they generally manage to keep their pace and score with relatively stable frequency. Score one against "defense wins championships because it's more consistent."

3. John Beilein is good at coaching it, whether he has 4-7 days to prepare for you, or you have only a couple of days to prep for him, via Mercury Hayes.

4. Purdue and Rutgers are not going to be good at it next year. Padog has begun a preview series for next year's conference teams, starting from the bottom. Northwestern is probably next followed by Penn State, but I'm looking forward to an Indiana preview sooner rather than later.

Best of the Board

QB BATTLE: THIS IS KNOWN

For those not still hitting snooze on football right now, BlueMooner went to the private dinner last week with Nussmeier and came back with generalities that amount to Gardner/Morris/Speight are who we thought they were. Also this:

Audience members posed questions about the comparison of recruiting in the SEC versus the B1G; Coach Saban compared to Hoke; and his intent to stay at UM over the long haul.  He adroitly dodged those with a splendid sense of humor.  The crowd was really enthusiastic about Coach Nussmeier in control of our offense.

You are welcome to read this as "Nussmeier wants to be a head coach someday" and "the SEC cheats more in recruiting." This too is known.

ATTENTION WAL-MART SHOPPERS

walmart

There are 394 items on walmart.com licensed from Michigan Wolverines and 369 for Michigan State Spartans. This should be a thing.

This is more of a link but Bacon addressed "Walmart Wolverines" on his blog this week. If you are an alumnus who has a problem with non-alumni rooting for your alma mater then you should read it.

My sense is that is next to none of you, and "Walverines" is a thing mostly generated by Sparties who don't like how people who didn't get into MSU bring up Michigan's marginal academic superiority. So Bacon is addressing the wrong crowd; on the other hand I'm not sure I want to advocate speaking sense to Spartans, because that totally works.

THE END OF COLLEGE SPORTS AND EVERYTHING

The CAPA decision touched off heated debate on the board, so heated that a second thread was warranted to exclude the money part that the Northwestern players aren't talking about. The debate came down to "better helmets and covering medical expenses down the road for athletes is good" versus "but schools that pretend to be D-I won't be able to live that way."

HAIL JUSTIN

Congrats are due to Justin Dickens, the guy who granted Heiko that interview with Borges and oversaw a dramatic shift in how bloggers are treated relative to other football media. He's not only an MGoBlog reader; he's now Director of Football Operations. This site's had a lot of criticism for Fort Schembechler but I have zero for Justin, who was given the impossible job of keeping both Dave Brandon and Brian Cook happy, and who despite that always made protecting the players his highest priority. I expect he'll succeed; I'm more anxious about who will succeed him.

Your Moment of Zen:

woodzen

Dear Diary Is Still Laughing at 2012 Duke

Dear Diary Is Still Laughing at 2012 Duke

Submitted by Seth on March 21st, 2014 at 11:08 AM

win_the_game_1920x1080

jonvalk's Wallpaperpalooza (1/4)

Things in the Past. There were some great diaries that would have been required reading if this was yesterday. Paps previewed Wofford (this you saw on the front page), Erik_in_Dayton tackled the history of 15 seeds upsetting two seeds; it's happened seven times since 1991. That may be more fun to visit now that the danger is passed, if only to relive 2012 Duke.

The game was played only 55 miles from Duke’s campus, but it was also the site of the first round game for UNC.  Tar Heel fans gladly joined in rooting for the Mountain Hawks.

Oh man, Duke. That was two years ago. Is it still acceptable to laugh about it?

It is considered acceptable to still laugh about this game.  

Lol Duke.

Speaking of way-back, remember the Big Ten Tournament? LSA has stats on that.

Meanwhile MGoBlueline put a ton of effort into reintroducing the hockey team for the Big Ten Tourney and then who-knows in the plinko playoff system. But those guys lost to Penn State in double-OT (finishing 2-3 on the year against the hockey equivalent of our lacrosse team) and will need to be lucky to earn a tourney bid. There were plenty of things to go wrong, including really bad turnovers and the now-requisite game-winner that almost went in but didn't.

The hockey guys (Brian, Center Ice and Blueline) will cover the most unsurprising upset ever in more detail, but there was one thing that infuriated me all game, and that was Penn State's defensemen were pinching despite being rather bad backwards skaters, and only a few times did Michigan challenge this by speeding through the neutral zone. When they did move up-ice with any kind of urgency in the 3rd period, DeBlois and Nieves split defenders and got off great scoring opportunities.

Since we're now left watching tourneys and hoping the unworthy don't steal autobids, here's a handy graphic of the tournaments.

Things in the Future or Never. Interesting, quickly consumed diary by saveferris looks at the history of 1-4 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Survey says:

  Semi-Finals   Finals
Seed W L Pct.   W L Pct
1 27 20 57.40%   18 9 66.70%
2 12 13 48.00%   4 8 33.30%
3 9 5 64.30%   4 5 44.40%
4 3 10 23.10%   1 2 33.30%

I just stole his lede here, so I'll tell you that there's a Burke gif at the top if you take the link. My guess is the closer seeds are to each other the more this will look like 50-50, i.e. the reason two-seeds won just 4 of 12 Finals games since 1985 is only 12 two-seeds have made the Finals.

sierralawrence
The other Sierra (soph. OF Sierra Lawrence) has a .462 OBP going into Big Ten play.

And Softball. I could probably say this about the softball team most years, but I really really mean it this year: pay attention because they're on a new level of awesome fun awesome. They've carried a 19-6 record so far through an epic brutal schedule. South Bend Wolverine provided the update as the team is (finally) going into Big Ten play.

Thing to Know 1: Pitching is huge in softball; one great one will put a team in the Top 25. Michigan has three(!) such towers. I'll stop comparing junior Haylie Wagner to Verlander because her 0.93 ERA/13-0 record is more like Walter Johnson. Freshman sensation Megan Betsa has 63 strikeouts in 49 innings. Something's been off with junior Sara Driesenga, who was All-Big Ten both previous seasons, and picked up the slack last year when Wagner was out. If Sara returns to form the pitching is just going to be unfair.

Thing to Know 2: Star shortstop Sierra Romero's looks like Miguel Cabrera at the bat and in the field; in the comments Hail to the Blue points out her glove is fine but her arm's been erratic.

[Jump for Best of the Board]

Dear Diary is Like a Kind of Torture

Dear Diary is Like a Kind of Torture

Submitted by Seth on March 14th, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Image0053

Start March.

Bah di-dah di-dah, bah di-dah di-dah, bah di-dah di-dah dah!

Bah di-dah di-dah, bah di-dah di-dah, dah-dah dah-dah-dah-dah [sax]

--------------

muppets-cast-240-bvhepub:It's time to play the music. It's time to light the lights. It's time to get things started on the Muppet Show tonight!

--------------

Michiganman14: It's time to unleash Stauskas.

B-Nut-GoBlue: It's time to seed B1G right.

muppets-cast-240-bvhepub:It's time for photoshopping and Tom Crean memes tonight!

--------------

LSAClassof2000: How did we ever come here? I guess we hit hit field goals!

Jonvalk: Imagine life with Horford, if Morgan chose to go?


muppet-animal

: [buh-dum dum dum-dee-dum-dee-dum dum dum]

--------------

Bah di-dah di-dah, bah di-dah di-dah, bah di-dah di-dah dah!

L'Carpetron Dookmariot: It's time lacrosse got started.

MGoBlueline: When will hockey get started?

muppets-cast-240-bvhepub

:It's time to get things started on the most sensational, invitational,  eliminational, kenpomational…this is what we call the Muppet Show!

hqdefault

[Jump: a board full of grouchy old hecklers]

muppets-kermit: Yaaayyyyyyy!

Ryan to MLB and Other People Doing Other Things: What it All Means

Ryan to MLB and Other People Doing Other Things: What it All Means

Submitted by Seth on February 21st, 2014 at 12:19 PM

BLF_0065

[Fuller]

I'm going to skip the user-generated content column, since there wasn't very much of it this week, and talk about the position swaps. The top two diaries at right are new this week.

Something completely different. Brady Hoke attended the Detroit alumni association's annual event yesterday and went on WTKA this morning, leaking out some position changes and player updates, as well as explaining the thinking behind the defensive position coach shakeup. News via nickbob:

Jake Ryan moving to MIKE

Chris Bryant to take medical

Magnuson will miss "most" of spring, will do some individual stuff, surgery went well

Tuley-Tillman had hand surgery

Drake Johnson and Darboh are limited and working their way back

Some other odds and ends related to the D coaching moves

Also Taco Charlton will be moving from WDE to SDE. Let's discuss.

DSC_7409
More Ryan is a good thing. [Fuller]

Moving Ryan. This, like the coaching changes, is a response to college football going mostly spread. Hoke said that Ohio State effectively neutralized Ryan against the run by spreading out, thus moving him out of the box. Here's your matchups for strongside linebackers on Michigan's 2014 schedule:

  • Vs tight end/manball: MSU, Minnesota, PSU*
  • Vs slot receiver, spread-to-run: App State, Utah, Ohio State
  • Vs slot receiver, spread-to-pass: ND, Miami(NTM), Maryland, Indiana, NW'ern

The * for PSU is because Franklin's offense is a bit of a hybrid; when adapted to Penn State's current roster I'm guessing it ends up a zone-blocked, tight-end-heavy passing offense that moves at warp speed. Northwestern will be a lot more passy with Trevor Siemian instead of Colter. Only two games will heavily feature a SAM taking on tight end blocks.

Upside: anyone who's watched Te'o or Bullough against us in recent years can attest how much of a difference a great middle linebacker can make. The downgrade from Demens to last year's linebackers in deep zone coverage was probably the defense's biggest liability, and Ryan to date has been a plus zone defender.

Downsides: SAM just went from Michigan's strongest position on defense to a huge question mark, since Cam Gordon graduated and Beyer was moved to SDE, leaving just unheralded Spur (i.e. safety)-like object Allen Gant and neophytes.

The obvious thing would be for Beyer to switch back, though Hoke told Sam Webb that isn't happening. Rather James Ross may swap to SAM, and Morgan/Bolden/Gedeon will compete/rotate at WILL and backup MIKE. Weight Watch 2014 just became how big will James Ross be watch. If Ross seizes the position this spring I think things will work out fine, though this has to be a comedown from our hype going into last year. McCray or one of the freshmen could factor in.

The other downside is the most consistent generator of pass rush is no longer on the pass rush.

[Jump: moving Taco, OL damage, coach position switches]

Dear Diary is Michigan's Fourth Sport

Dear Diary is Michigan's Fourth Sport

Submitted by Seth on February 14th, 2014 at 11:19 AM

sfb-header-2014_640

Via Hail to the Blue in the comments, "The softball team is in action today, tomorrow, and Sunday in Lafayette, LA at the Ragin' Cajun Invitational. Follow @umichsoftball on Twitter for live updates. Couple of tough games against UL-Lafayette today and tomorrow down here."

Pitchers and Catchers! There used to be a day sometime in the late summer every year when I start to get really excited about football. This tingling would progress to a low hum when practices started up, and would be a spinal vibration by the time I'm racing into the stadium for whatever MACrifice we're starting against. I miss that. Last year we were doing the basketball book so August was just a bleary eyed gauntlet, and the year before the season started in Jerryworld. This year I already know that excitement will be damped down by a month's worth of reliving The Horror.

Baseball's version of that is pitchers & catchers reporting. Mack Avenue Kurt:

Pitchers and catchers reporting isn't so much an event, or even a day on the calendar, as it is a metaphor: It is the day that winter's back begins to break; a promise that day follows night.

Rk Sport Revenue
1 Football $81,475,191
2 M Basketball $14,799,440
3 Ice Hockey $3,248,026
4 Lacrosse $2,378,900
5 W Basketball $440,353
6 Baseball $312,388
7 Softball $300,721
8 Volleyball $151,635
9 W All Track Combined $141,452
10 W Gymnastics $100,723

You can't dampen pitchers and catchers day, not when Omar Infante is the rookie you're praying will lead the offense, not you're seeing his back plus Prince Fielder's and your 4th best pitcher's because the expense of being so awesome has passed what awesome can net.

Sorry, this is supposed to be about Michigan not the Tigers. Ah but it is, for it's a lead-in to Raoul's comprehensive preview of Michigan's baseball team. It's still tough for a northern team to be more than a good mid-major in this sport, but Bakich seems to have Michigan heading in that direction.

When baseball is really good (e.g. their 2006 run) they're the fourth sport in these parts. Are they Michigan's true #4 sport? There was a interesting thread this week where the question of that sport's identity was posed by Wolverine Devotee. To that discussion I added the list at right from Michigan's Title IX reporting. Some of those teams (like lacrosse) are benefiting more from ticket sales/TV revenue generated by opponents' fans. I tried to compare where each stands among other universities, but many schools lie their asses off in those reports regarding women's sports revenues, for example West Virginia says their W Track & Field team takes in what Michigan's hockey team does. My guess is this gets them around a Title IX provision but I don't know which. Either way it makes the stats useless.

As for Michigan's fourth sport, I still think it's softball.

My bloody valentine. Sunday there will be a whole bunch of recruits who don't have drivers licenses yet watching the Wisconsin game at Crisler. Next week there will be a large and star-heavy group of those who can drive, and who can also say things like "I'm committing to Michigan," say, for example, if they were suddenly taken by a wave of euphoria that might accompany an effective conference title clinch over a rival. This is not crazy; it has happened before. Go make our football team good, basketball.

FWIW HopeInHoke's diary shows winning the conference from here is possible, but nowhere near a certainty. MSU's only road loss in-conference is to Wisconsin; remember when that was a thing we used to just chalk up to "happens to everyone"? LSA's weekly stats report shows Michigan's superior to an average of remaining opponents in everything but rebounding.

[After the jump: things Marcus Ray et al. say about Michigan's 2014 secondary]