Dear Diary Needs a Bigger Three

Dear Diary Needs a Bigger Three Comment Count

Seth May 13th, 2016 at 3:09 PM


If by now you haven't clicked on the thread that says "Jim Harbaugh starred in a 1990's video game commercial" I don't know what to say to you. There's a thread on our board that promises a video game commercial from the '90s starring Jim Harbaugh. Presumably it links to a video of said commercial. Presumably this video is the source of those eyeglow memes you've come across. Presumably you have already clicked and I'm talking into space. Except Harbaugh's already blown that up:


8:30 a.m. Coats on hangers, children at desks

8:45 a.m. Attendance

9:00 a.m. Career Day intro

9:05 a.m. Desmond Howard

9:35 a.m. Classroom revolts when Desmond is interrupted in the middle of his Green Bay career to introduce nutritionist.

Bringing the Heisman made sure he'd be memorable, but the Emmy too? That's just cold, man.


The big reveal is Kekoa (Dylan) Crawford will wear #1 but the rest of the freshmen have also been tweeting their numbers. Many of them do not have numbers but have lockers with temporary 1s or 2s (or 9) on yellow sticky notes.

"We're gonna need a bigger 3." –Hotel Putingrad

New ones I was able to turn up from that thread plus a run through the Twitters:

  • #1: Kekoa Crawford
  • #3: Rashan Gary
  • #7: Khaleke Hudson
  • #10: Nate Johnson
  • #22 David Long

Loving the Nate Johnson-Jeremy Gallon comparison. For the record, the yellow sticky notes were Eubanks (1), Mbem-Bosse (1), Asiasi (2), Lavert Hill (2), and Devin Gil (9).  The other thing I noticed is the freshmen all have lockers separate from the rest of the team again. I believe Harbaugh reinstituted this last year to let the class form a bond.

As for #1, I'm glad someone will be wearing it again. It was cool that Lloyd made Braylon earn it but AC, McMurtry, Alexander, Butterfield, and Terrell all got to put it on as freshmen. And don't you dare say he's too small for it or I'll whip you with 40 gifs of Anthony Carter.

Of course none of them will ever be as great as the first receiver to wear #1 at Michigan, Tall Paul Goebel. If someone else doesn't beat me to it I'm going to write an HTTV special on him next year and calling it Number One. For now read his Wikipedia page.


Rawak got mixed reviews in Bacon's book. She came to Michigan on a swimming scholarship in 1988 and stayed after graduation as an assistant for six years, covering 10 of a 12-year Big Ten title run. She then came back in 2004 to run HR, and was a rising star in Martin's administration.

Under Brandon Chrissi' staff increased from five to 60, and her responsibilities expanded to just about everywhere, including notably, PR director—without any training—just in time for the Shane Morris Incident.

On one hand the masses can't feel too bad about losing Dave Brandon's top lieutenant/hatchet man. On the other, Bacon clearly had sympathy for this competent, Michigan-loving person who was constantly being put in positions to fail by a boss she felt loyalty to. This seems like a departure both sides win.

Etc. This month in MGoBlog History Brian mostly disparaged over the Pistons losing to the Heat. Lacrosse tournament preview. Keep your eyes peeled for a softball preview; I'll bump that when it comes. This article by Ian Boyd is relevant to your interests. This PFF article is also relevant to your interests.

Your Moment of Zen:



Unverified Voracity Has Odd Advocates

Unverified Voracity Has Odd Advocates Comment Count

Brian February 19th, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Do you think we should take both? So Bryce Petty and Jameis Winston stopped by Schembechler yesterday to hang with Mr. Harbaugh.

This is good publicity, and then they brainwash both of 'em to say things that went beyond kind boilerplate into angry-phone-call-from-Jimbo territory. Winston:

"These guys don't know how blessed they are to have this kind of facility. I mean, Florida State, we're a very prestigious school, we have nice stuff, but we don't have this. I'm sorry, I love Florida State. Go 'Noles till the day I die, but they're so much [more] advanced than us."


"This is bar none the best one that I've seen. We've got great ones in Waco, you know I love what we had at Baylor, and so it's cool to kind of see other places, and this is definitely by far one of the best I've seen."

Winston again:

"It was a blessing to meet a guy like that. It was an honor to meet him. All of his accomplishments, and the type of coach that he is, I wish I could have played for him."

Petty again:

"If there's anybody that you want to play for as a player, it's a coach like him. Just a fan, energetic guy, passionate about football. From the second he came over here he was sizing up Jameis and wanted to see his grip. He's just a quarterback. And that's the coolest part about playing the position and being coached by somebody that's been there and done that."

Ndamukong Suh showed up today, because why not.

Can't hurt recruiting, that. Unless people think those pants are mandatory.

Doing what needs to be done. Note that this kind of thing did not happen under Hoke, who didn't have twitter at all. Harbaugh's firing off shade tweets at OSU and putting his mug on the internet with NFL stars, to wide publicity.

Michigan is—ugh no way around it—Leveraging Social Media much better than they did under the previous regime, during which they rarely did anything anyone would pay attention. Brandon (or rather his ghost-tweeter) tended to send out the kind of #hashtag tweets that make you sound like a broken robot. Hoke was invisible, and nothing that was interesting enough to pass around was constructed. The Winston/Petty stuff had some viral quality to it. That serves the program well.

Good to see goals other than incremental revenue being advanced these days.

Iggy Pop's biggest musical influence. Via MVictors comes this amazing story about Iggy Pop confusing some guy who met him in a bar:

“You’re Iggy Pop, man.  I love your stuff.  I’m from Michigan too,” I rambled on, sounding as moronic as the Pop is accused of being by some of his critics.

Iggy pointed to my t-shirt with the word Michigan splayed across my chest.  “Meeschigan,” he said, holding his right arm in front of his slight chest in a 90-degree angle.  “Meeschigan.”

After a minute or so of gushing and trying to open up a conversation with the man who’s music, with the Stooges anyway, was the soundtrack to much of my late adolescence and early adulthood, all I could get out of the guy was “Meeschigan.”  As I turned to go back to the boys, I decided Iggy was either too burned out by the adulation of the years and hero worshiping kids like me or the critics were right.  He was so sort of junkie savant.  Either way, I was utterly confused by our meeting. …

Half an hour later, AMC had gone through a series of ballads that failed to alter the weird, contained rage from the mosh pit.  I felt a tug at my shirt and turned around.  I looked down right at Iggy Pop.

“Meeschigan,” he said, his arm cocked at that 90-degree angle.

“Meeschigan,” I answered him, my arm at the same angle.  He turned and walked out with his Ginger look alike on his arm.

Iggy Pop, spreading the Ufer gospel wherever he goes. Confusingly. Demanding that people imbibe the spirit of Ufer before departing with his girlfriend. Following them around.

Adding to the weird. According to a podcast interview with licensed twitter troll Tim Kawakami, Jim Harbaugh's favorite restaurant ever is…

The best restaurant he's ever been to: "Cracker Barrel ... you can't beat the bacon."

Harbaugh then put his twitter where his mouth is.

FWIW, my wife used to work at Cracker Barrel in high school. When I told her this, she expelled a sad, hurt sigh. The kind of sigh you expel when someone has told you something horrible. "Cracker Barrel isn't supposed to be anyone's favorite restaurant," she relates, "but if your main priority is getting out of the restaurant as fast as possible, Cracker Barrel is great at that."

I think we have found a reason.

(Also they make all their stuff from scratch instead of taking it off the SYSCO truck, so there's that.)

Miss you big guy XOXO. Charlie Weis is taking the slow boat to Shoney's:

For the first time since 1978, Weis will spend a football offseason as a bystander and not a coach. And it might very well be for good.

“I think it’s highly doubtful that I will ever coach again,” said the 58-year-old former Notre Dame head coach whose five-year regime in South Bend, punctuated by extremes, launched 10 seasons ago.

"…because I will still be paid to coach until the sun engulfs the earth and would rather follow Bon Jovi around than deal with people who don't understand my schematic genius."

Weis was a bad football coach and a good enemy, and for that I thank him.

(By the way, never go to Shoney's. Never ever.)

The ineligibility gambit. This will never happen but hopefully the NCAA folk pushing it know that and are trying to leverage the NBA:

7. Address the “one and done” phenomenon in men's basketball. If the National Basketball Association and its Players Association are unable to agree on raising the age limit for players, consider restoring the freshman ineligibility rule in men's basketball.

In today's lawsuit-rich environment that would be the equivalent of slapping a "SUE ME" sign on your own back, but anything that fixes one and done is a good idea. Increasing the age limit is the wrong direction, but anything is better than the current system.

Normally I would believe that this is just a leverage play but you never know with the NCAA. Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commisioner, makes a somewhat self-contradictory case for it:

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said there is “almost a uniform acknowledgment that there's kids in college that don't have any interest in an education and don't have the proper education to take advantage of an education.” Bowlsby said freshman ineligibility would have a “profoundly positive effect” on football and men's basketball by easing the transition from high school without the distractions of competition.

“I think there's a growing interest in a robust debate, and I think we ought to drag it to the ground and consider it any way we can,” Bowlsby said. “I think it is the one change that could make an absolutely dramatic difference in college athletics.”

Kids who don't have interest in education aren't going to find it because they can't play. I don't think that helps much of anything. Maybe it sends more Mudiay types overseas as they cool their heels. It may help the guys who are behind educationally, but how much when they're participating in all the team activities anyway? They don't have more time. They will be prepped to play just as much as any freshman.

It's impractical for a ton of reasons and won't happen, but go ahead rattle that sword just in case you knock a concession loose. The NBA draft is the worst system out there. The NHL or MLB models would be much preferable.

Des updated. Wolverine Historian has released a revised Desmond Howard tribute video. Up to 20 minutes(!).

Etc.: Lax getting good? Well done, gymnastics. Petty-Winston IM building faceoff! Don't expect Derrick Walton back soon. Maize and Blue Nation advocates blue versus red in The Game. I'm on board.


The Invention Of Voting

The Invention Of Voting Comment Count

Brian November 3rd, 2014 at 10:31 AM

11/1/2014 – Michigan 34, Indiana 10 – 4-5, 2-3 Big Ten


This happened. The end. [Eric Upchurch]

Sometimes there's a game that does not have anything to say about it. This was that game. Michigan won 34-10, the same score they beat Miami (Not That Miami) by, and it felt a lot like a replay of that throwaway nonconference game.

The opposing offense wasn't going anywhere unless Michigan busted something. Michigan's running game alternated between frustrating lack of holes and lanes so open you could drive a truck through. The defensive backs could have spent the entire afternoon reading The Economist and sipping Kermit tea and nothing would have changed. Indiana had eight attempts. This game was almost literally none of their business.

Michigan thudded out to a 17-0 lead with the help of a couple fumbles that somehow benched Tevin Coleman, and then the game was over. Indiana turned a Gardner interception that ended up inside the Michigan ten into a doinked field goal. Thereupon a giant pig descended from the sky to proclaim the game state.


Brady Hoke knew it, so he ran the ball a couple times to end the first half instead of attempting to score.

I knew it, so I wasn't even a tiny bit peeved by that. Devin Gardner had just demonstrated the only way Indiana was going to get back in the game by not quite giftwrapping a pick six. Just before that Gardner had not quite giftwrapped another pick six. Michigan could have run the ball on every remaining down and won, and it was cold and I have to UFR these things. Run that clock down. Fine by me.

Everyone in the crowd knew it, so an awful lot of them left at halftime.


Non-student areas weren't a whole lot better. [Bryan Fuller]

At this point I'm not blaming anyone. It was cold, Michigan is playing for a berth in the kind of bowl where the gift bags include broken Swatches from 1985, and the game was already decided. I stayed because I write these columns and your soapbox is a little higher if you stayed like a True Fan™. I am enjoying the extra centimeter right now. Mighty fine view it's providing.


The game being what it was, about the only thing of interest over the weekend was a smattering of pissy comments from current and former players.

Desmond Howard decried Michigan's "mob mentality" on Gameday. Taylor Lewan called the Daily's Alejandro Zuniga a "moron" after Zuniga's appearance on BTN. Drew Dileo used air quotes around 'loyal' en route to stating that Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke weren't the problem—causing responders to respectfully ask what, then, the problem might be. Elliot Mealer referred to "the muggles that attend the University of Michigan" suddenly knowing something about the athletic department. Shane Morris provided a shout-out to the few students that made it to the end of the game and helpfully informed the ones who didn't that Michigan won.

It's like they went to bed and universal suffrage happened overnight.



A raucous scene, as a bill has just come up for vote. Enter AN ASSORTMENT OF LORDS.


Good heavens, what are they doing?


They seem to be voicing their opinions.


What-ever for?


Say, you, boy: what is all this ruckus?


The bill of attainder is up for vote; these are
final arguments before a decision is made.
Also, I don't think 'boy' is the preferred nomenclature.


You have the vote? What nonsense!


/frantically dips snuff


Disaster! Woe! Surely we will topple like saplings in a typhoon!


How long has… this been going on?


Approximately 600 years?






We assumed you knew.


Our doom is at hand! Flee! I'll die on the squash courts if I can make it!



/regains consciousness




/faints again

Michigan fans always had the vote; never before had they been pressed so hard as to think about using it. When there's an epic wait list you can find another team and the edifice doesn't notice. Not so much anymore.

The ironic thing about all of this is it's actually the students—sorry, "muggles"—leading the way towards positive change. Brandon implements the worst possible version of general admission; Mike Proppe's CSG negotiates a more sensible arrangement that provides better seats to better fans. Brandon blames the new policy for the drop in attendance instead of prices; Bobby Dishell's CSG negotiates a 40% slashing of ticket prices. El-Kilani's petition laid out the case against Brandon concisely and far more authoritatively than any defenses mounted by the House of Lords, which generally amount to "nuh-uh, you don't know."

It is true that we don't know the face Brandon showed to the student-athletes. I do know that one day he got in front of his department and quizzed them as to who their customers were. The answer: "student-athletes." So he probably acted like a human to them.

That's not enough when he is a six-foot phallus to everyone else. You just don't know that unless you're outside the program, looking at a 150-dollar ticket that you could have had for 20 bucks, watching grim quasi-football that means nothing in the freezing cold. Bon Jovi is playing, for some reason.


Here's the thing. This is a large group of people. Every large group of people is basically a bell curve. Michigan has pushed the prices up to the point where they're going to hit the downside of that bell curve without serious change.

That's a disaster that cannot be allowed to happen. Maybe it won't be for the people in the program right now, or the people who have been through it. It is one for the people who are thinking about 30 years from now, who are thinking about what it's going to be like for their kids.

Michigan, the program, can do little to change the group of people. They will remain the same people. They can only change themselves to fit the people. Step one is firing the coach, because the crushing blow to season ticket sales that results from his retention is unacceptable. Also he is not good at coaching.

Step two is not being dicks to people outside the program. I know y'all learned it from Brandon. Unlearn it. The next AD is going to be just as fantastic to increasingly pampered student-athletes without being loathed by everyone else on the planet. The Al Bundy patrol talking down to a fanbase on the edge of deserting in droves is hilariously out of touch. Michigan revenue vs Michigan performance. QED.

It's time to stop interpreting "The Team The Team The Team" as a moat between 115 players and 113,000 fans. 

[After THE JUMP: hawt babes, and why are you trying to be a fey English twit]


This Week's Obsession: Your Michigan Cherry

This Week's Obsession: Your Michigan Cherry Comment Count

Seth August 6th, 2014 at 10:42 AM

I should have known you were temptation. [WH]

What's the first Michigan game you remember going to, or if that pre-dates memory, your earliest impressions of going to a Michigan game? And what would that kid/adult kid take away if he went to his first one this year?


Ace: I can't talk about my first Michigan game without discussing what was scheduled to be my first Michigan game. My family moved to Michigan in 1993, and my dad, an alum, got us a pair of season tickets low in the North end zone for the 1994 season—we apparently bypassed much of the waiting list due to a clerical error. My brother and I would switch off going to games with my dad; Jack took the first game, a win over Boston College. I was crestfallen to learn a couple weeks later that my dad would be on a business trip for the next game, and my mom had zero interest in going—at six years old, I wasn't going solo. Instead of getting my first taste of the Big House, I got my first taste of the secondary ticket market when my mom drove as close to the stadium as she dared on the day of the game and sold our tickets for face value.

A few hours later, Kordell Stewart connected with Michael Westbrook, and while I had a good cry on my couch, not being at Michigan Stadium that day probably saved my budding fanhood.

For some reason (ill-timed Rec&Ed soccer game, most likely), I couldn't make the next home game, so my first game ended up being a titanic matchup between #5 Michigan and #3 Penn State. Most of what I remember of that game is everything but the actual game. Walking to the stadium, hugging my dad's hip so the the sea of people with stomachs at eye-level wouldn't whisk me away. Huddling at the main gate, wondering how all these people could possibly fit in a building that barely crested above ground level. The most memorable moment, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, was the breathtaking step through the gate and into the stadium; if you haven't been to the Big House, it's tough to describe walking through a concrete tunnel and seeing the vast majority of 105,000+ seats laid out below you, when from the outside—at that time, at least—Michigan Stadium looked downright understated.

Vague memories of going "Wheeeeeeeee!!!"

I vaguely remember Tyrone Wheatley and Ki-Jana Carter playing very well. I definitely remember my immediate fascination with Tshimanga Biakabutuka, whose name I would repeat while running through my backyard for years to come. I remember being somewhat disappointed with the loss, but not crushed, in large part because my dad let us walk on the bleachers to get back up to the gate and out of the stadium, and it felt like we were getting away with something even though half our section took the same tack. I'd say I remember the walk home, but the many walks I made with my dad to and from Stadium and Main over the years run together into a blur of walking across the railroad tracks, cutting through the athletic campus, and passing that ever-changing pizza place on Dewey and Packard.

Despite the loss, I loved it. I loved that everyone in our section seemed to know each other, and even if they didn't they sure acted like it after touchdowns. I loved the pure electricity of a hundred thousand strong singing the same song. (A song I actually knew, even!) I loved how the laws of society seemed to loosen just a bit on those fall Saturdays—crosswalks became irrelevant (at six, this was a major development), lines were navigated with little regard for who arrived before whom, and standing on the seats was encouraged, not something that would lose me dessert privileges.

I don't think much would change for me today. While the additions to the stadium take away from the "hole in the ground is far bigger than I imagined" effect while walking in, that effect is by no means gone, and both Kid Me and Adult Me would/does love the updated concourse and overall look and feel of the Big House. The walk is still the same. The song remains the same. The camaraderie and feeling of connection, while perhaps not as strong after a trying decade, is still a big part of the experience. Seeing 100+ winged helmets fly under the barrier of the M Club banner still sends chills down my spine.

Kid Me probably wouldn't pay much attention to Special K, but he'd have been fascinated by the hype videos. They should play more of those.

[After the jump: fuzziness]


One Frame At A Time: MSU Past

One Frame At A Time: MSU Past Comment Count

Ace November 1st, 2013 at 5:00 PM

"...he has no idea Charles Woodson can jump 15 feet in the air." — actual call, not really hyperbole.

When I posted the above GIF on Twitter today, someone pointed out that the icing on the cake was Dhani Jones (#55) body-slamming the MSU receiver on the sideline. I've watched that play literally hundreds of times since it first happened (gulp) 16 years ago; this is the first time I've ever noticed Dhani's hit. Watching a purportedly-mortal human take flight can be distracting.

[Hit THE JUMP for Braylonfest.gif, Desmond Howard doing Desmond Howard things, Manningham FTW, and more.]


One Frame At A Time: Minnesota Past

One Frame At A Time: Minnesota Past Comment Count

Ace October 4th, 2013 at 2:58 PM

When we last met, Jeremy Gallon had rocket boots...

...and Devin Gardner made that "run around forever until somebody gets open" thing work out pretty, pretty well:

Also, Jake Ryan single-handedly destroyed a reverse. Get well soon, please.

[For a veritable stampede of GIFs from Minnesota games past, hit THE JUMP.]


Ultimate Ennui Showdown 2: Ennui Harder

Ultimate Ennui Showdown 2: Ennui Harder Comment Count

BiSB July 25th, 2013 at 9:07 AM

We’re back. No need to thank us.

Henri, I’m not sure we’re welcome here anymore…

In case you missed Part One, we’re on the quest for the ultimate low point of the Michigan sports fan in recent history. I’ll present you with the terrible moment/period/whatever, as well as an argument or two in favor of it being the worst moment, and an argument or two for it not being as bad as you remember. I’ll also include the flip-side of the karma coin; if the ennui moment was the Yin, I’ll try to look on the bright side of life by finding the Yang.

We’re looking at the period starting in the 1990’s until today. We already looked at the ultimate killer dong-blows, as well as the I-coulda-been-a-contenda moments. Today, we consider the generally miserable experiences in the Well That Was Unpleasant Region, as well as the catch-all General FML Region. Read this, then vote HERE.

You’ll be happy to know that this will be the final front page of this here series. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the bracket in the Twitterverse posts in the coming weeks.

Again, remember to vote your pain here:

[For the protection of the childrens, all the gore after the jump].


Unverified Voracity Has Nothing More To Talk About

Unverified Voracity Has Nothing More To Talk About Comment Count

Brian March 26th, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Appreciate + Reciprocate. The student organization that puts on the Appreciate + Reciprocate dinner has snagged Desmond Howard this year. Nice.

They're raising money for the LSA Emergency Student Aid Fund, which supports students facing unexpected financial crises at home.

Get yer tickets. Details:

Date: Friday, April 12, 2012
Location: Great Lakes Room, Palmer Commons
Speakers: Desmond Howard and others to be announced!
Time: Appetizers at 6:30, dinner served at 7:15, event conclusion at 9:30
Tickets (partially tax-deductible): $100 for individuals, $50 for recent graduates, $200 to sit with a speaker

Silent auction offerings will include items signed by Coach Hoke and Desmond Howard, a tour of the new Player Development Center with Assistant Coach Bacari Alexander, a skating lesson with US Olympian Emily Samuelson, and more.

Women play tonight. The women's basketball team has made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in a while; they take on one-seed Stanford at 9:50 tonight on ESPN2. They're obviously the underdog; Swish Appeal has keys to the upset. It would be Michigan's first ever Sweet 16 on the women's side.

Yes, this is the same time as USA-Mexico. I get complaints whenever I mention soccer, so you guys who complain about soccer should watch the basketball.

Projected spring practice content levels drop 85%. What am I supposed to write about now that Brennen Beyer has been moved back to SAM? I can't write about someone moving to SAM… or can I?

Brennen Beyer could move to SAM.

This isn't working at all. Dammit. Wait a minute…

Mattison said the move is not permanent, and that Beyer likely will shuffle back to the line once Ryan returns.


I thought you guys were short newshole. How many words do you think an article about John Beilein's relationship with his former equipment manager at LeMoyne would be? Where in the country would this article originate? When would this article be published?

Bafflingly, the answers to these questions are "one butt ton," "Syracuse, New York," and "not 1980; in fact, right now." What a country.

Merph. I have a powerful desire to stick my fingers in my ears and go LA LA LA LA whenever the topic of the NBA draft comes up and understand entirely if you do this while reading this section. Let's not dwell on the pointlessness of this operation.

Anyway, Trey Burke is destined for the top ten and everyone expects him to be gone. The news on Glenn Robinson III is the thing that keeps varying. He's gone from off the radar to hyped to less hyped and now the hype is returning:

"Robinson may have helped his draft stock more than anyone on our Big Board this week," Ford wrote. "He's still raw offensively and depends on (Trey) Burke to set him up, but he has all the physical tools of a NBA small forward and is showing increased confidence at the right time.

"Someone will roll the dice on him in the 10-to-20 range if he decides to declare."

I don't know man. I'd think NBA teams would want to see him develop into a guy who can create his own offense and defend NBA threes. Robinson is noncommital about returning.

Ford also talks up McGary as a potential second-round pick, which doesn't seem like much of a threat.

Hockey departure update. Red:

Berenson on Trouba: "We'll have to wait and see how that works out with Winnipeg. He's done as much as he can do for a freshman."

Berenson says he doesn't expect anybody else besides Merrill or Trouba to consider leaving, but that he's been surprised before.

That qualifies as good news, I think. Hopefully at least one of the two defensmen won't want to leave Michigan after that season.

Hockey schedule update. The initial returns on Michigan's nonconference scheduling are good. Michigan will go to UNO and New Hampshire next year and get a visit from Boston U.

Inside South Dakota State. Grantland was embedded with the Jackrabbits and their offensive desire to get Michigan instead of Michigan State:

Moments later, Michigan State is announced as the third seed, and a chorus of gasps echoes through the room. "Oh no," I hear a player say. "Oh no oh no oh no." Like the Baylor team that eliminated SDSU last year, the Spartans' strength is their frontcourt, and the Jackrabbits don't match up well against big, athletic front lines. Yet they are spared from the bruising that MSU's Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix would lay on them, and instead Valparaiso will face the Spartans.

When Gumbel reaches the South bracket, he announces that the 4-seed is Michigan. "I'll play Michigan," says Jordan Dykstra, a sweet-shooting big man and the Jacks' second-leading scorer. "Let's play Michigan." Gumbel announces the 13-seed. It's South Dakota State.

They'll play Michigan.

This would be better if it was VCU. The whole thing is worth a read in any case.

Swing, pendulum, swing. Michigan's VCU blowout has earned them a ton of cred with the talking heads that were generally dismissive just one week ago. All four of CBS's basketball writers go with Michigan in the KU-M matchup. Andy Staples picks Michigan to win the regional. Myron Medcalf of ESPN picks Michigan just behind Louisville in a re-seed of the teams. Goodman say Michigan was the most impressive team of the opening weekend, and Kenpom's computer says Michigan has a… uh. Oh. A 3.2 percent chance to win the whole thing. That's up from 1.9 percent, though. Sweet.

The problem there is being in the same region as a Florida team taking on FGCU in the other matchup, so if you think the computers are vastly overrating the Gators you can up your optimism accordingly.

Anyway, I'm more on the Kenpom side of things. Whereas before the tournament people were extrapolating that the OHIO upset would always happen forever now they're assuming the VCU dismantling will always happen forever. As a guy who thought Michigan had a great draw the first weekend I'm looking at the Kansas game as a coinflip at best.

I guess. It's looking like Northwestern will hire Duke assistant Chris Collins. He's from the Chicago area and has experience in the kind of circles that might send a kid to Northwestern but it seems like hiring an assistant when you have 200-some mid-major coaches to choose from is risky.

DANTONIO UPDATE: STILL DANTONIO. Someone probably asked him if he'd watched the VCU game.

Dantonio abruptly ends scheduled media interview after five minutes, 30 seconds. Questions were harmless. Bizarre.

Etc.: Scouting Kansas. Pat Forde complains about coaches' complaints when coaches get fired. I'm with him, though I do like seeing Tom Izzo collapse into the fetal position when asked about it. Michigan needs Russell Bellomy to be viable if they're going to redshirt Morris.

Denard signed the Shredder's photoshops. For the first time since 1979, no Michigan team will play in the NCAA hockey tourney. The Daily on Hunwick's rise and the end of the streak. Will Leitch is more understanding of referees than I am.

This year's student shirt is pretty good. Zoltan doing charity work. Tampa bids for national title game. lol.


Denoting "Legends"

Denoting "Legends" Comment Count

Ace 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.


Spring Game Presser Transcript: Denard Robinson, Roy Roundtree, Will Campbell, and Desmond Howard

Spring Game Presser Transcript: Denard Robinson, Roy Roundtree, Will Campbell, and Desmond Howard Comment Count

Heiko April 14th, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Denard Robinson

Hoke said you broke a sweat in warmups.

“Oh yeah, oh yeah. I broke a sweat in warmups, but it was swell [Ed: I'm 90% sure Denard said 'swell'] watching the guys play. A lot of people say we weren’t going to get started playing the game because the rain and the weather were bad, but we actually got to play and [I] watched them play, and it was fun.”

Were you frustrated at all you didn’t get a chance to play during the scrimmage?

“Uh, it was kind of frustrating, but I love watching other people be succesfull, and talking to the guys making sure they do well, it’s all good. We had fun.”

What did you see from Russell and Devin?

“They were eager to make plays, and they were making plays, but we have to just stay focused and stop with all the three-and-outs.”

Were there things you were telling them as they were coming off?

“Certain things, like make sure you throw the ball faster, [do] a certain step -- three-step or five-step -- some of that stuff.”

Would you be interested in wearing the No. 1 jersey?

“Oh man, that’s an off-the-wall question. I don’t think about it. That’s for the receivers. The 1 is for the receivers. I’m not a receiver at all. I’m a quarterback. I’m supposed to be the best quarterback for the University of Michigan …  You can ask Roy that question, not me.”

So you wouldn’t wear it?

“No. I feel like it’s a receiver thing, but if they want to give it to me, I don’t know what I’d do with it.”

(more after the jump)