Unverified Voracity Is Very Excited For A Questionable Reason

Unverified Voracity Is Very Excited For A Questionable Reason

Submitted by Brian on November 14th, 2017 at 12:58 PM


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EVEN THEIR HEADS ARE IDENTICALLY SHAPED

IT'S HAPPENING. Butch Jones! Got fired! Fairly obviously! And his replacement! Is!

KNOXVILLE — Brady Hoke is Tennessee’s interim head coach with two games remaining in the regular season after the school relieved Butch Jones of his duties this week.

YAIIIIIISSS. And his next game is against!

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CAJUN BRADY HOKE. Why does this make me so happy? I don't know! Will I be watching this game and rooting for Tennessee? Hell yes! Will this go very very badly and still delight me? Absolutely!

Seeds and tourneys. Soccer got the #13 overall seed in the 48-team NCAA tourney, which comes with a first round bye and a home game on Sunday at 5 against the winner of the Massachusetts/Colgate game.

Meanwhile, field hockey has made that sport's final four with a hamblasting of Northwestern.

The semifinal is Friday in Louisville against Maryland. I couldn't find any TV information, so... I guess it's not televised? If anyone knows otherwise let us know.

Coachfights! It's been testy in college hockey of late, with two-count-'em-two postgame blowups in what's historically been a very chummy coaching fraternity. The unspoken rule about not poaching recruits that Joe Tiller thought was a college football thing—thus giving the world "snake oil" as a college football term—has been more or less real in college hockey since I've followed things. That's breaking down. Denver just poached a top SCSU recruit, and this was the result:

Clear f-bombs! Exciting! But not PRESS CONFERENCE F-BOMBS!

"I guess my first comment is I want to make it loud and clear that what their coach did...was a fucking classless asshole."

That's Cornell(!) head coach Mike Schafer being pissed at Quinnipiac's Rand Pecknold—who sounds like the libertarian villain in a terrible screenplay by a Salon author—because Pecknold argued with a referee that a five-and-a-game boarding call was embellished. Which seems like a not-great reason to go off.

Baseball's recruiting is on the uptick. MGoFish has an extensive breakdown of Michigan's latest class, which is ranked #23 by Perfect Game and features pitcher Steven Hajjar:

Steven Hajjar, North Andover, MA (Central Catholic); @StevenHajjar

Hajjar is probably my favorite signee, and for a few reasons. Like mine, his last name is confusing to spell and probably gives people fits. He was committed to Maryland as recently as July and flipped to Michigan. He somehow has a GPA of 4.4 and got a 1330 on his SATs. And he is really freaking good at baseball. At the July Perfect Game National Showcase, his scouting report was a perfect 10/10, hitting as high as 93 on the gun as well as a slider that “was very consistent with plenty of depth and biting action” that can get up to 79 mph. His mechanics remind me of fellow Michigan pitcher Rich Hill, who had an excellent postseason for the Dodgers. Unconventional, but wicked offspeed pitches make hitters look foolish. Combine those mechanics with a 6′ 4″ frame and long arms and hitters will feel that the ball is being released from about 50 feet away. Good luck.

It is extremely difficult for northern schools to get all the good croots because of the ridiculous schedule they have to play; Michigan is the only team north of the Mason-Dixon line in the top 25. #38 Indiana, #42 Penn State, and #43 Maryland are Michigan's closest Big Ten competitors on Perfect Game.

Ann Arbor Urban Planning Moment. I generally like Ryan Stanton's work for MLive but I find the framing of this article to be horrendous:

Ann Arbor facing potential loss of hundreds of public parking spaces

The potential loss of those spaces is because the city's lease on two downtown surface parking lots is about to expire, and the owners of that property—First Martin, which is an advertiser FWIW—are likely to put in big D1-zoned buildings. Which was the veritable goal of a decade-long density-encouraging rezoning process. Large buildings have housing, retail, provide tax revenue, and reduce commuting to downtown offices. Surface parking lots... are there.

Incessant parking complaints from the local olds continue to baffle me. I've lived in Ann Arbor for 20 years and gone downtown several times a week at all hours and almost never even think about parking in a structure because whenever I drive up Division most of the spots are open—and that's if it's a relatively high-traffic night and I'm not aiming for something a bit closer. I do tend to avoid going downtown on Friday and Saturday nights but when I do the downside is I am parking in a structure with hundreds of open spots.

The structures get jammed during the day when work commuters arrive, which is only a problem for work commuters. Ann Arbor should ignore the concerns of people who must come downtown, because they will find alternatives like Park and Ride if forced, while keeping might come downtown people relatively happy. Which they should be unless they think parking three blocks away is a travesty.

Etc.: AFC Ann Arbor memberships available for 2018. Jim Hackett and Paul Tagliabue are speaking at the Ford School at 4 PM if you're interested in swim lanes and good coach hirin'. And Paul Tagliabue. Michigan signs five basketballists, talks about them. Hoover Street Rag on Maryland. Z/X Simpson emerging.

Unverified Voracity Didn't Call On Your Birthday

Unverified Voracity Didn't Call On Your Birthday

Submitted by Brian on November 7th, 2017 at 11:57 AM

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It's-a me! Chase-io! [Patrick Barron]

Trick or *is sacked.* This is the kind of spectacularly lazy Halloween costume that I can get behind.

"Chase dressed up as himself. So yeah, that probably doesn't surprise any of you guys," Hurst said on Monday, drawing laughs from a group of reporters inside Schembechler Hall.

I once printed out the word "BIRD" on a piece of paper and taped it to myself. For Halloween. Not on a regular Tuesday. Except that one time when I needed to be a bird. On a Tuesday.

Spanellis has words! Stephen Spanellis has been getting a significant amount of run as a bonus OL over the past two weeks, and now people are beginning to discover his vocabulary:

The story in question is offensive coordinator Tim Drevno's tale of perseverance. The story he told reporters earlier this season about his battle with an old outdoor water pump during his days as a groundskeeper in Montana more than 20 years ago.

The lesson: Keep pumping. Eventually, water's going to come.

"(Ben) Bredeson had seen (one of those pumps) before, he's more of a country boy than I am," Spanellis, a redshirt freshman guard said this week. "So, when Ben confirmed that they exist (I believed it).

"Though I have no personal empirical evidence that they do." 

Also:

In addition to his strength, Spanellis’ intelligence has stood out. Last week, Harbaugh also called the sophomore one of the smartest players on the team.

“Football is a cerebral game,” Spanellis said. “You have to be very smart to understand offense and analyze defenses. I think it helps me out because when I go out there I know, generally speaking, what the look is — I don’t have to think about it — I just go out and I see what the front is and then I know exactly what to do.”

Spanellis has done well since emerging into the sixth OL; with Ruiz getting the start minus Onwenu Michigan looks to have a ton of interior linemen who can play now, and next year. About those tackles, though.

Higdon profiled. In the Daily:

When Sarasota, a town in southwestern Florida, was rated America’s meanest city in 2006, Karan Higdon was just a nine-year-old kid who wore size nine-and-a-half shoes. He was a big kid, no doubt, who went to the Boys and Girls Club most days after school and sometimes met his friends for kickball outside in the neighborhood. He played Pee Wee football for the Port Charlotte Bandits, and even back then he was running over every tackler in his path.

Todd Johnson, though, spent that year with the Chicago Bears. Then in his late 20s, the professional defensive back was in his fourth season in the National Football League since getting drafted out of the University of Florida. After games, Johnson would pick up leftover football gloves and shoes from the Bears’ locker room to send back to Sarasota’s Riverview High School, his alma mater.

It was also the year Karan’s mother, Samantha Christian, decided the family should move out of Newtown. On the outskirts of Sarasota’s inner city, Newtown was a tight-knit community where everyone knew everyone, but it was also an area where you didn’t want to make a wrong turn.

Higdon, Johnson and Christian are just three characters in a bigger story of how one boy from Florida did what so many others couldn’t  — get out. Higdon’s story is one of motivation, hard work and commitment. It’s a story about someone who made the right choices when others didn’t and stuck by them against adversity. It’s a story about a protagonist and a supporting cast that never left each other’s side.

This story begins in Sarasota.

Injury updates. Harbaugh was relatively optimistic about getting Grant Perry, Mike Onwenu, Ty Isaac, and Ty Wheatley back this weekend. All missed the Minnesota game. No update on Nico Collins, who went to the locker room late.

Happy birthday to the worst game ever. M00N was three years ago today.

I just went back to check the game column and it is titled "Infamy Is Immortality Too," which is extremely appropriate since we're mentioning a game from the Dead Hoke era on its third anniversary. Also:

When you bring up the M00N game to your buddy you will probably be making a point about the descent into unwatchable dreck that was the last two years of the mercifully short Hoke era.

I would like us to consider the disappointments from this year and compare them to those from 2014, and then sit quietly in contemplation.

Should we go to the playoff, Other Barry? Yes, Barry. Barry Alvarez on rumbles that Wisconsin would be left out of the playoff if they go undefeated:

“I think that would be very difficult to do,” said Alvarez, whose term with the committee expired in 2017. “There’s no part of me that says if you go undefeated as a Power 5 and win your conference championship, and you’re not going to be in the final four? I don’t see that. That would shock me.”

Well, Barry, you play in the Big Ten West, which is bad, and your nonconference schedule is three horrible teams. If, say, Georgia runs the table and loses to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, why shouldn't their win over Notre Dame be considered as much as Wisconsin's still-hypothetical win in the Big Ten championship game? "Undefeated" is a crap metric and it's good the committee has seen through Wisconsin's thin claim to being a top team this year.

Other fall sports doing work. Field hockey got the #3 overall seed in the NCAA tournament:

Ranked No. 11 at the beginning of the season, the Michigan field hockey team has proven that ranking was far too low. The Wolverines rattled off 16 wins in a row with 13 shutouts to finish off their season. Then, Michigan dispatched Ohio State, No. 9 Northwestern and No. 5 Penn State to win the Big Ten Tournament, securing an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

They host Syracuse on Saturday in the opening round.

And soccer won its first-round game in the Big Ten tournament with a 4-1 win over Northwestern.

They move on to the semifinal versus five seed Wisconsin. For Reasons the semi is Somewhere In Indiana; it's noon on BTN with a potential final Sunday at noon.

Representation in the first round should continue. It will be a less spectacular draft for Michigan this year, but that's a good thing because they're only losing five starters. One will be a first rounder for certain: Mo Hurst. PFF has been raving about him about as long as I have and have not stopped. He's in the top ten of their first mock draft of the year:

8. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
DI Maurice Hurst, Michigan

The nation’s top-graded defensive player at 95.5 overall, Hurst is disruptive against the run and as a pass-rusher. He’s built in the mold of current Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, but it can’t hurt to have two disruptors up front, especially in the age of multiple defensive fronts and high subpackage usage. Hurst has been dominant in his 1,233 career snaps and an interior havoc-creator is coveted in today’s NFL.

Mason Cole, the only other guy who is vaguely in the mix as a first rounder, isn't listed. He's probably a second day pick.

More feathers for the camel. The NCAA is about to be shocked, shocked that the dude who took over for Calipari at Memphis has been accused of working with a bagman type guy, by the guy. The numbers here are not spectacular...

According to the school, Jackson accepted benefits totaling less than $525 while Okogie accepted benefits totaling less than $750. ...

But Bell insists they do not tell the full story.

He said he also spent "about $500" on groceries for the players when they stayed at his house from May 9-13, and he provided photo evidence of Okogie and Jackson in his swimming pool. The NCAA should also be considering, he said, a 220-mile roundtrip ride from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Bell's house in Tucson, which Bell said he provided for both players, as an impermissible benefit.

...but every little bit helps the general untenability of the NCAA's rules become more widely known.

Meanwhile this Bell guy is arguing that he's offered further impermissible benefits like he's looking to wring six more dollars out of his tax return, because he's mad at Pastner for whatever reason. Never piss off the bagman. Also never have a bagman who is a delicate flower.

Why would Bell turn on Pastner -- the man he once described as a brother, the man he many times said saved his life -- in such a vindictive and public way? Asked that question several times, Bell explained it in a variety of ways. He said he feels Pastner has failed to compensate him properly for the "work" he's done. He said Pastner didn't call him on his birthday this year, which is something he interpreted as disrespectful.

I have now added "will forget to call bagmen on their birthdays" to the infinitely long list of reasons why I would be a bad college basketball coach. It's just below "refuses to call timeouts on principle" and just above "does not know how to coach basketball."

Etc.: Norris vs Norris last weekend at Yost. Michigan favored by 14 over Maryland. Longform piece on autograph fraud in SI is just so weird. I can't imagine paying for a signature of any variety. Jordan Poole learning when to shoot. The Rams' punter is good?

Labor Day Weekend Olympic Sports Recap

Labor Day Weekend Olympic Sports Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on September 7th, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Editor's note: we're still trying to figure out how much real estate to give non-revenue sports during football season. We're leaning towards front-paging the stuff with a quick jump, as you see below.

Michigan had a pretty successful weekend in places other than football. Team sports went 6-1, with a potential win coming up with the men's soccer team still in progress. For a full recap of the weekend, take the jump.

Calendars and Non-Revenue Television Times

Calendars and Non-Revenue Television Times

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on August 12th, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Sports start next week.  Women's soccer starts next Friday with a home game versus Arkansas. Get, uh… excited?  I'll be trying to get a small preview out next weekend to give a brief overview of the soccer teams.  If you consider yourself a Michigan soccer fan and would like to give me a general overview or insight on where to start with the team, drop a line at formerlyanonymous (at the) gmail.com type emails.

Sport Calendars

Football

Volleyball

Field Hockey

Hockey

W Soccer

M Soccer

Downloadables: For those of you interested in an electronic calendar for Michigan Athletics, I've made them available for each of the sports who have announced their schedules thus far. As more schedules become available, I'll look to release those as well. These are "ical" files, which can be used in MS Outlook, google calendar, and many other calendar programs including those that can sync with your phone. I'll also update these throughout the season as game times are either changed or announced.

There are more schedules that haven't been released yet (x-country, golf, etc), but I'll have those available a little later down the road. Also, remember some game times haven't been announced yet. I plan to update those as the season goes along, but that will require you to update your file(s).

Watchables: The BigTenNetwork has announced their TV schedule for most of the 6 sports listed above.  Michigan is slated for 9 non-football broadcast on the BTN with an opportunity to gain a 10th.  The breakdown is as follows:


 

M Soccer

W Soccer

Volleyball

Field Hockey

Team Total

Michigan

3

1

3

2

9

Illinois

 

3

5

 

8

Indiana

4

2

2

1

9

Iowa

 

1

2

2

5

Michigan State

4

3

3

2

12

Minnesota

 

2

5

 

7

Northwestern

2

1

3

1

7

Ohio State

2

1

3

2

8

Penn State

2

2

6

2

12

Purdue

 

1

4

 

5

Wisconsin

2

1

2

 

5

SPORT TOTALS:

16

17

35

10

78

Michigan also has a good shot of landing the November 28th game at Penn State on the BTN as that date has been listed as a "wild card" to be announced later.  The home match versus PSU is already reserved for ESPN (although taped delayed by 2 days), so I wouldn't be surprised if the BTN shows the road game.  Penn State is a powerhouse that held on to the #1 ranking in American since October 29, 2007.  The one thing that may keep it from being on BTN is Penn State already having more televised games than any other volleyball team.  They also have a pair of ESPN matches as well.  I could see the BTN trying to keep fair coverage of other teams available.

Volleyball is also going to be on CBS College Sports for the Runza/AVCA Tournament to start the year.  The tournament is being held in Omaha, NE and is more or less hosted by volleyball juggernaut Nebraska.  We face the Huskers in the first game and Kansas State, another team that is consistently ranked, in the second game. 

Our BTN games:

Men's Soccer
October 10 Indiana Noon
Nov 1  Northwestern 2p
Nov 7 @Ohio State 6p
Volleyball
Oct 21 at Michigan State 7pm
Nov 7 at Northwestern 8pm
Nov 18 Michigan State 6pm
Women's Soccer
Oct 18 Indiana (delayed to 4pm)
Field Hockey
Sept 25th Iowa (tape delay to 27th at 6pm)
Oct 26 MSU (tape delay 26th 8pm)

As far as BTN coverage as a whole, I'm perpetually disappointed by how little is shown.  If you can stream half of the women's basketball games, I think you could potentially stream a lot else.  The streaming page for the BTN has been temporarily disabled as they plan for the upcoming school year.  The only shreds of hope for a sports channel actually showing more sports comes from the BTN.com FAQ:

OLYMPIC SPORTS:

Other sports such as baseball, field hockey, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling have enjoyed major upgrades in television coverage. All of these sports had previously received little to no television coverage. During the first year of the Big Ten Network, more than 170 Olympic sport events and 17 Big Ten Championships were televised to a national audience. Nearly every event was produced in high definition. The network has future plans to augment that level of coverage by streaming hundreds of additional events in the future that would not have previously received television coverage.

Emphasis is mine.  They go on to mention games like baseball, wrestling, and softball being streamed.  It seems that they're still not quite ready to stream fall events.