Unverified Voracity Kickstarts Pahokee

Unverified Voracity Kickstarts Pahokee

Submitted by Brian on September 10th, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Hope for Pahokee, the kickstarter. Martavious Odoms's charity for his hometown has set out to kickstart themselves:

They've got 16 days to get to 35k and are 25k short. Hit it up

Also, don't forget the Colt DelVerne fundraiser on the 15th.

Transition costs: steep. Not here, but in Madison, where their new OL coach just got canned two games in. This was no Adam Braithwaite, either:

When UW coach Bret Bielema hired Markuson in the offseason, it was considered to be a coup at the time. Markuson spent the last 14 years coaching offensive lines in the Southeastern Conference at Arkansas and Mississippi. Since 2003, he coached six different players who earned All-America honors.

The Badgers had 35 rushing yards against Oregon State, 70 if you take out sacks.

The new guy is basically Adam Braithwaite. Bart Miller is a quality control coach who graduated from New Mexico in 2007 and hasn't had a full-time assistant job yet. Now he's in deep. Bret Bielema may be less lovable than Brady Hoke.

The numbers from that Oregon State game are shocking: 1.5 yards a carry for Montee Ball, 4.4 yards a pass, and 206 total yards against a team that was 3-9 last year. The 2011 Beavers were in the triple digits in rushing D and pass efficiency D and gave up 35 points to the Badgers. Nobody turns that around that quickly. I'll have to torrent that thing to see what happened.

Boo 3:30 starts. If we'd had the Air Force game at noon we all could have watched Iowa and Wisconsin implode and Notre Dame nearly do the same. Boo 3:30 starts, boo.

Ticket prices: still approaching breaking point. OSU's game against pretty decent UCF was not a sellout:

Tony Gerdeman@GerdOzone

Time for #OSU to stop raising ticket prices? Last week's game was the first under 105,000 since New Mexico St. in 2009.

Bowl ban, yeah, but add it to the pile.

Lloydballin' it? Michigan punted from the Air Force 34 in the first quarter Saturday, causing a couple people to anticipate a twitter rage coming from yours truly. I guess I'm too prone to rages.

I didn't have a problem with it. If you don't think your kicker can hit it, punting is the move, yes even from the 34. I plugged the situation into Advanced NFL Stats's fourth down combobulator and it spake thusly:

Stat Go4it Punt FG Att
Success Rate: 0.10 - 0.52
EP Success +4.33 0.16 2.4
EP Fail: -1.1 - -1.51
EP Total: -0.56 0.16 0.54
Break-Even: 0.30

The field goal is the best option if you've got an NFL kicker. Michigan doesn't.

So then you've got to think you have a 30% shot at converting to make it a 50-50 shot. Yeah, college defenses are more prone to breakdowns, especially Air Force's, but at worst the punt is a close call you can't get exercised about either way.

The clock butchery at the end of the first half did bug me. As a general rule, any time the clock is running after a play and you have >1 timeouts, use it. As soon as they ruled Roundtree in bounds they should have called their first timeout.

For whatever reason, Michigan's had issues with that sort of thing. Last year's Iowa game was the most frustrating example:

friggin-huddle

Is that a freaking huddle as the ref signals the game clock with 31 seconds on the play clock? Yes.

late-snap

NASCAR? MORE LIKE SLOWCAR ZING

That's Michigan snapping it seventeen seconds later. /head asplode

Hopefully they get it together before that burns them again.

Adorable child. From the comments of the game column:

I was on my couch, not in the stadium (get off my back, I'm 2500 miles away). I was wearing my t-shirt. My two year old son was beside me, cheering gamely for "Deenarr WOB-inson!" as the team stood on the sidelines before kickoff. (SoullessHack, Jr. refers to both #16 and the entire team as Denard Robinson... although any non-Denard player is "the guy.") It was nice. Nice. Not the gut-churning excitement I've felt every other year. But it was nice. I guess.

Then Denard made the MLB miss. I counted three steps straight upfield and said, calmly, "They're not going to get him." SoullessHack, Jr., though, jumped up on the couch and started screaming, "DENARR WOBINSON DENARR WOBINSON! RUNNING! RUN RUN RUN!" When they cut to the cheering crowd, SHJr took his cue began to clap and jump up and down.

"HE DID IT! DENARR WOBINSON RUN SO FAST WIFF DA FOOTBAWL!!"

As long as this is not kicking me for three hours it is adorable. (There were children directly in front of and behind me at the Air Force game. Somehow they both kicked me. A lot.)

Etc.: Sticking this way down here because people are going to yell at me for mentioning him, but this shot from SMQ featuring Rich Rodriguez and his kids after the Wildcats upset Oklahoma State reminded me of of all those Rhett and Rich Rodriguez photos from his M days.

It's never too late to link Stuffing the Passer. It's okay to cheer, ND fans! (It's not. Stop it.) Webb on potential 2013 basketball addition Reggie Cameron. Duke may be in some NCAA hot water. I'm so happy SMQ is back. Here's UCLA-Nebraska recapped by Mr. Hinton.

Unverified Voracity Is Giving You The Silent Treatment

Unverified Voracity Is Giving You The Silent Treatment

Submitted by Brian on August 7th, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Colt DelVerneHelp Colt. Former Michigan kicker Jeff DelVerne has a four-year old kid with a brain tumor. They're having a golf scramble/lunch/silent auction on September 15th in Ottawa Lake. Click the flyer at right for a bigger version with details; RSVPs are requested by September 1st.

You can also provide direct help here.

Well what was the point of that then? As you may have spotted on the message board, Michigan has updated its roster for fall and changed a large number of the weights they just issued to the media in Chicago. For example, Willie Henry is now 314 pounds, up from 302, and seems all but certainly destined to be a nose tackle down the road. Other notable changes:

  • Terry Richardson is +8 to 162, which is better but still too small to see the field.
  • RJS is +7 to 213, which ditto.
  • Mario Ojemudia is vaguely plausible at 231 (+8).
  • Ben Braden is down 11 to 308.
  • Chris Wormley is +11 to 279, i.e. one pound more than Craig Roh.
  • Ricardo Miller is down to 226 from 234 last year.

Either Willie Henry's high school weights were massively outdated or he's put on a lot of weight he'll have to reshape over the next year or two. It's probably a combo. Meanwhile, the slight Chris Wormley redshirts just evaporated.

Who likes touchdowns? You do.

You: don't talk to anyone. As Heiko noted yesterday, the proverbial Fort is back and in full effect:

Michigan's athletic department has made a few changes regarding media access for the upcoming season:

  • Players' family members cannot be interviewed without permission from the athletic department. 
  • Freshmen will be withheld from media day.
  • Practice will be closed to all media.

When asked why these changes were being made, an athletic department spokesman said "are you stepping to the man?" and delivered a Degeneration X crotch chop in the general direction of the media.

This is probably good for the site since it relies less on that whole "talking to people" thing—gross—than traditional media, but as a fan I'm disappointed. Ohio State is taking the opposite tack, letting media into dang near anything. Eleven Warriors is bringing back observations like this

Day Two of Urban Meyer's first fall camp at Ohio State may have been the best offensive practice since his arrival. Quarterback Braxton Miller delivered the goods and wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer finally looked like the skill position players Meyer offenses always covet.

Another bright spot has been the emergence of Meyer's first recruiting class. The two-deep is littered with freshmen with everything pointing to several playing Sept. 1.

…and Michigan media is going to recycle press conference quotes until there's a game. Ohio State even signed up for the ESPNU show that's essentially college Hard Knocks, a prospect that caused several Michigan athletic department staffers to expire from massive cerebral hemorrhages when they heard the news and made the mistake of thinking about having cameras at practice. I'm openly dreading this upcoming Mott practice thing since it's just going to be 90 minutes of punting drills again.

This is of course fine as long as Michigan wins football games, but it's just another way in which it feels like the program feels its fans are not part of the team.

CAMERAS AT PRACTICE /dozens die Doug Karsch and his weird hair wisp bring you the officially-sanctioned version of what went on inside said Fort:

Within, we find out that:

  • Michigan is playing Alabama
  • This is fall camp
  • They have sleds
  • The practice jerseys are even more ADIDAS
  • KOVACS!
  • DENARD!
  • I'm sorry, I forgot what I was saying.

Coming soon: no talking to former players either. But before that happens, TTB catches up with Troy Woolfolk:

The main difference between the coaching staffs is that Coach Hokestresses physicality.  We would do drills that had nothing to do with football, but just to see the toughness in the player.  We'd do this one drill where there was just this towel on a mat.  And at the beginning there're two people holding it, and one person had to eventually take it from the other person.  It gets really rough down there; people get bloody noses and stuff.  It teaches you into becoming a man and how to hold yours. . . . [If Coach Hoke came to Michigan in 2008], we probably would have won a National Championship in 2011."

Jake Ryan is his pick for a breakout player this year.

Yes anonymous snark. Athlon Sports takes up the Sporting News baton by publishing anonyomous coaches' takes on their conferencemates. These are usually great. I mean:

“I hated to see the Zooker get let go last season, but you could see it coming."

My assumption remains that all of these come from Joe Tiller. Unfortunately, the Michigan one is really boring.

Gardner WR Gardner WR Gardner WRRRRR. Apparently I'm naming my Roomba "Gardner." Anyway, WR hype is collected by Nick Baumgardner:

"He's a great athlete, I feel like he could play anywhere and he could probably take my spot if he tried," Michigan senior safety Jordan Kovacs said. "He's a natural athlete, and if they play him at receiver, I'm sure he'll be pretty good.

"Wherever he plays, he's going to make big plays."

This is going to be a fascinating subplot. Here's hoping he's ridiculously good. That probably goes without saying.

Deathborg pairing is go. Michael Spath talks to Billy Powers about Jon Merrill's return and comes back with news about who his partner will be to start. It will be Trouba:

"We have some very nice pieces to work with this season, and if those two get together early, and it's a pair we really like, you could see them stick together for most of the year," Powers said. "It's not set in stone, but we like to have a veteran guy with a young guy and that's a pair you could really see emerging into something special."

If Merrill manages to maintain his form from his 6-10 games and avoids the slide that he suffered towards the end of the year, that will be a killer pairing. Now if Red would only ride it like it was an intergalactic space donkey. If that works out like you think it might, those guy should be 30 minutes a night players.

In other hockey news, new 2015 commit Brendan Warren makes me feel old by being born the year I graduated from high school. He's the usual: supposed NTDP lock who may or may not arrive the high end prospect he's expected to be.

He's a top seven guy. Trey Burke finishes seventh in a CBS Sports poll that asked college coaches "if you could add any one player to your team for next season, who would it be?"

The list:

  1. Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller: 35 percent
  2. UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad: 12 percent
  3. Ohio State junior Aaron Craft: 9 percent
  4. Creighton junior Doug McDermott: 9 percent
  5. Murray State senior Isaiah Canaan: 7 percent
  6. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel: 7 percent
  7. Michigan sophomore Trey Burke: 5 percent

Impressive company. I'm a little surprised to see Aaron Craft in third place, but I'm telling you guys who can affect the game without using possession are super valuable. That's another reason to get excited about Zak Irvin, who sounds like a lockdown perimeter defender.

BONUS: updated rankings have started to come out. Scout relents and moves Irvin into their top 100 at 62; Walton is 43 and Donnal 80. IIRC both of the latter guys are essentially static. MaxPreps has close to identical rankings of Walton (42) and Donnal (73) but Irvin is near five-star status for them at 26. Both ESPN and Rivals have repeatedly praised Walton and Irvin this summer, so bumps are expected when those services debut new rankings.

The "W" stands for "I put no effort into this, not even figuring out what W stands for." Apparently both teams in the Wisconsin-Nebraska game this fall are going to look like they're wearing crappy UTL knockoffs. Nebraska's uniforms were pretty meh but Wisconsin's are self-parodying:

wisconsinfront[1]WisconsinProfile[1]

I don't think that's electrical tape but it could be. Best UW take: "They're the uniform equivalent of scheduling Wofford."

Etc.: Jerald Robinson pleads to his minor destruction of property thing. UMHoops has scouting video of Derrick Walton's 16/13/7 performance in the Adidas 64 championship game. Slovenia! Has anyone noticed that the #6 team in the country according to the coaches' poll has 70 scholarship players? Also, 2012 USC as the overhyped 2008 Georgia team.

The Big East could get a real TV deal. NBC Sports to the rescue. Trey Burke, Jordan Morgan, and Corey Person purchase lemonade. Basketball's game vs NC State is at 7:30 on ESPN.

Hail to the Release Party: Come Meet MGoBlog

Hail to the Release Party: Come Meet MGoBlog

Submitted by Seth on June 25th, 2012 at 5:43 PM

 HTTV2012cover IMG_0007

Turns out the Internet has a rich selection of cats in party hats

The Pre-Sale for our (now-independent) preview book is over; if you have still not bought the thing, you are now out of excuses because you can buy the thing. If you have already bought the thing, you may commence your mailbox vigil. If you're in Ann Arbor or environs, you can also just walk into Moe's and buy a copy.

EDIT: Now available at all three UGP locations:

  • 1114 South University
  • 329 S. Main Street
  • 711 N. University (Moe's)

I'll put up a list of other outlets where available, when available, but one I know for sure is…

Official MGoEvent the First:

In celebration of now having the thing, THIS SATURDAY (Saturday! Saturday!) from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., you are welcome to come join us for the all-official Hail to the Victors 2012 Launch Party. Meet Brian and the MGoStaff, talk Michigan football, and show your spouse that your internet friends are really real and stuff. Answer the poll above if you plan on coming so I can get an idea of attendance.

FAQ? FAQ!

What? MGoBlog's Launch Party of Hail to the Victors 2012

Where? Underground Printing, 1114 South University, Ann Arbor, MI

Map? Map!

When? Saturday, June 30, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. –ish.

Parking? Street parking. Warning: 320-pound defensive tackles who think they're Dukes of Hazzard have recently been sighted in the area, so bring the car with the hood you don't like.

What should I wear? You look great in that MGoShirt. If you're "White Boy" from "My White Boy" you must wear the Wolverine slippers.

I already have an event that day at 3 at Middle Earth: Of course you do. #myreaders

So can I come by afterwards? Yeah, it's open-house-y.

Can I help/bring cookies? Contact Seth at misopogon, at symbol, att dot net. If it's about cookies, contact any time. Doesn't even have to be related to the party, or the blog, or Michigan if it's cookies.

When do I get my book? Kickstarter and pre-sale orders have been processed. If you have a t-shirt coming it might take a bit longer since those had to get printed and it's a different shipping mechanism.

Say 'punch and pie' or nobody will come! Punch and pie.

We'll have copies and t-shirts available there for pickup if you bought on the Kickstarter. There will also be some sort of Q&A session with Brian, Ace, Heiko, myself, Upchurch, and some of the other contributors (jamiemac should be there; Dooley, Kryk, Ross, and Chris Brown are various levels of maybe).

Unverified Voracity Opens The Doors Of Perception

Unverified Voracity Opens The Doors Of Perception

Submitted by Brian on May 18th, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Your bounty. The Shutdown Fullback has been created. Don't click it if you can't take jokes about Lloyd Carr's inability to gameplan from a Florida fan who clearly filed the most recent matchup of the two teams under "LSD-induced hallucination."

rogertrip1[1]

My name is Orson Swindle
I have taken LSD
Lloyd Carr is beating Tim Tebow by running a wide-open spread offense

PLEASE HELP ME

I mean… yeah. I get it.

Anyway:

Jason Kirk has started making meth with a former student of his. That is all.

That's not all. Final total for M: $6,316. Second place: Georgia with $1,318. OSU: $250. Rest of Big Ten combined: $600.

Screen_shot_2012-05-17_at_11.07.13_AM_medium[1]

YES THAT IS WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK LIKE

Everyone hates it. Literally the only positive response to the Big Ten's recent smoochy session with the Rose Bowl I can find: Drew Sharp [for the love of God, don't click that]. That's when you know you've made a bad life decision. Drumroll…

Kyle Meinke opens with "all due respect, but have you lost your mind" and doesn't back off much from there:

"I’m a big advocate for playing as many games as possible on campus, but I’m also a realist to know when you get to the point where you got those kinds of national games, with teams coming to various regions of the country, playing outdoors in the Midwest in January probably is not going to be a salable option," he said.

Right. Because Lambeau Field and Soldier Field and Gillette Stadium and MetLife Stadium have such a hard time drawing fans for December and January games.

Of course, Delany revealed minutes later the Big Ten is interested in adding the Pinstripe Bowl to its postseason slate -- a game that's played in late December in New York City. So, apparently the Big Ten doesn't mind playing postseason games in the cold, as long as they're not playoff games.

And what about all the fans, who likely will be asked to travel to a Big Ten championship game, national semifinal and national title game within the span of a month?

Maize and Blue Nation:

If you were to ask me why Jim Delany and the Big Ten brass have, essentially, given up without a fight to be able to host semi-final playoff games on college campuses – I would not have a coherent answer for you.

Corn Nation, which doesn't have the lingering fondness of a Big Ten tradition:

I hate the Rose Bowl. I hated it before we joined the Big Ten, I hated it last year, and I'm going to hate it even more now. I don't want a college playoff system if it includes the existing bowl system. I don't care about Rose Bowl tradition.

I wanted to see a SEC team play in freezing temperatures in the snow some day before I die. Now it looks like I'm just going to have to live forever. Bastards.

Land-Grant Holy Land:

Yesterday, Michigan State's athletic director, Mark Hollis, informed us peasants about the death of on-campus semi-final games. The "value" of the Rose Bowl has to be maintained, you see. I guess I'm not surprised fossils are defending other fossils which make them money. It's a hell of a ruse, and I guess in the end, I have to tip my cap and wait for the Grim Reaper to do what he does.

Eleven Warriors:

To hide behind the fallacy that elite B1G teams set the Rose Bowl as their ultimate goal is a joke. That joke becomes the kind you don't deliver in front of women and children when you basically go out of your way to disadvantage your own teams by not pushing for warm climate schools to possibly play big boy football in football weather.

As icing on the cake, the decision makers put an even greater financial burden on fans who will be racking up a lot more air miles with no chance of a home semifinal or at least a semifinal potentially located within the conference footprint.

With self inflicted decisions like this, it's not hard to understand why the B1G struggles to be elite on the gridiron. But hey, at least we still have the Rose Bowl tradition.

Yay.

Get The Picture, a Georgia partisan:

I give up.  These guys really are that dumb.  If I were the folks at ESPN, once I got them signed on the dotted line for the next postseason TV deal, I’d invite ‘em all over for a friendly game of poker.  There’s no reason to leave them with any money in their wallets.

There was also the Wetzel piece, a Holdin' The Rope bit, and a bunch of other stuff I could keep linking for days. Everyone hates the Big Ten's meek-shall-inherit act.

Further statements to make your head explode. Urban Meyer:

"I would rather have neutral sites," Meyer said. "I'm not sure you can, on a crisp December day here in Columbus, have a Southern team come up to play. The Southern teams I coached [at Florida], I know it would be a problem."

AARGH

Meanwhile, I found the Brandon quote about fairness:

"I think there are two issues," Brandon said Wednesday after meetings with conference AD's wrapped up. "One is the salability of that to the other conferences in terms of whether that is a fair fight to bring somebody up in the snow of January from the South. Whatever system we come up with it has to be agreed to by everybody, so that is the practical reality."

ARGHHHHHHHH (The other issue is that players like free vacations.)

In other bowl news. The Big Ten is thinking about diversifying its bowl locations. Right now there's the Rose and then Florida Florida Florida Florida. Delany:

"When you have three bowls in Florida and you're a school that is constantly in that range for selection, your fan base could end up, in a five-year period, four times in the state of Florida," Delany said. "So does that depress the interest? Again, sometimes less is more. Is there a way to give them a taste of Florida and Phoenix and Texas and other places in California? We want to have the fan base excited about going, about who they're playing and about where they're playing.

Delany said they'd be interested in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York—probably the least-embarrassingly-named minor bowl around—and Graham Couch, the author of the above-linked piece, speculates that the Big Ten would like to move in on California bowls like the Holiday and the Fight Hunger Bowl. You may remember the latter as the host of the saddest game in the history of college football (Illinois-UCLA, featuring two fired coaches and zero winning records), but it's in San Francisco so at least it's somewhere interesting. I said my bit on this already; diversity is good, they should put one in Denver. Average temps there in January are in the 40s. Not exactly Frozen Tundra.

Minor violations ahoy. Another minor avalanche of secondary violations from OSU contains little of note except another screwup from Gene Smith, but I want to point out this guy:

…assistant coach Mike Vrabel [was] using smokeless tobacco on the sidelines during football games last season, which was noted and reported to Ohio State by a Columbus-area health teacher, and was a secondary violation of NCAA rules against using tobacco during games or practice.

Of course the guy ratting on Vrabel is a high school health teacher. Now let me tell you about these sexually transmitted diseases. Remember, kids, everything is going to kill you. Now read a book or die.

BONUS: article features Only Lawyer In America Michael Buckner.

"In general, if you're not reporting numerous secondary violations, then from the NCAA perspective, that could be considered a bad sign," Buckner said.

Someone find another lawyer. Surely we must have a second somewhere in this country.

Etc.: Big Ten to make title game tickets less deliciously scalpery. Michigan to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on non-revenue sports facilities over the next ten years. Even the Big Ten schools regularly hovering around 6-6 want bowl minimums increased. More Beilein transfer policy stuff. Staples endorses a committee. 2013 Scout Bball revamp moves Walton up, adds Donnall, still omits Irvin, confusing local observers greatly. Josh Levin says one-year scholarships are the "most evil thing about college sports" in Slate.

Unverified Voracity Has One Last Tie

Unverified Voracity Has One Last Tie

Submitted by Brian on May 1st, 2012 at 3:23 PM

SP_UMich_w_football_medium[1]SP_UMich_w_jersey_medium[1]

Gorilla smash. This blog's readership annihilated the annual EDSBS charity fundraiser last year, bringing hope to refugees and a Bo-themed skin to EDSBS. Michigan coasted past #2 Auburn by a full two grand, and lo, we were amply rewarded.

You can take the opportunity to defend your crown by hitting up the 2012 version; this year the winning team also gets an episode of Shutdown Fullback devoted to it ("in a good way!" Orson says) and a "custom essay focused on doing nothing but denigrating the things the winning school finds deplorable."

Just going to leave this screenshot here now.

image

Yes, that's real. Or at least it is for me. /shakes fist at google personalization

Unfortunately, only round dollar amounts are available this year so you can't punch in your favorite score from a rivalry game unless you want to go big baller… or commemorate the Yakety Sax game with your 38.00.

Note: make sure to leave the school name in the DESIGNATION line, lest your donation not be credited to the glorious university you owe your lives, fortune, and honor to. If you need further hate to motivate you, that guy whose operative theory about why Brady Hoke will fail is "recruits too many NFL-sized offensive linemen who remind me of a guy who didn't work out for OSU" is suggesting that OSU fans should donate to "embarrass Michigan." Also he has not read the instructions closely enough, the bastard.

The last tie. 1992 OSU:

Kiss your sister, unless you've already married her. OOOH SICK BURN. MGoVideo also has all of the 1992 Purdue game.

Reinstated. Josh Furman is back and ready to go. Given the way this worked out, couldn't he have been practicing? He and the team would have benefited and… like… it doesn't sound like anything happened except some yelling into a dorm room (and, of course, the heinous crime against Furman's locks).

Somehow this sums up everything perfectly. SBN headline:

College Football Playoffs: Which 2 Bowls Should Be Added To The BCS?

College football? College football.

The plan. Two and out for Trey Burke is the plan:

Dime: Do you plan on leaving school for the NBA if you have another good year next season?
TB: If I have a great season, and we go far, I probably will lean towards coming out. I can’t really speak on that right now, it’s too early. But I definitely will look into it and my coaches will help me look into it because they understand the type of situation I’m in.

It would be nice to get Michigan's hyped freshman point guard a little time to get his feet wet but I'll take it. Derrick Walton's happy about his choice right now.

The limit. It turns out I've got one when it comes to recruiting, and it's one the premium sites, Tremendous and UMHoops are now exploring on a daily basis. If I see a "2014" or even "2015" in front of a kid's name, I am unmoved unless they seem extremely good and likely to end up at M.

A comprehensive list of 2014 football recruits I am interested in hearing about at this juncture: Malik McDowell. Since some of them are ending up at M it is also interesting to figure out how good the next crop of Cass Tech kids is. IL CB Parrker Westphal just got offers from half the Big Ten and is coached by Todd Howard (yes that Todd Howard), so he's getting there. I may be interested in 2014 Mississippi SG Devin Booker, but am not sure yet.

This will change after football players' junior seasons; in basketball it will change when Beilein can fire out offers in June. Right now it's just all so futuristic, man. Like finding an NCAA tournament loss to a major underdog hits only a pile of scar tissue where your heart used to be, I assume this is an effect of being a hockey fan. When Tristin Llewellyn committed he was supposed to be amazing. This did not happen. Need more data before emotions get all emotional.

Under that limit. I am interested to hear how Michigan's 2013 basketball commits are doing during their AAU season. Zak Irvin's play continues to improve:

Zak Irvin (2013, Wing, Eric Gordon All-Stars – Commit)

Zak Irvin is without a doubt one of the better players in his class. His jumpshot is water and when he gets it going from beyond the arc it’s almost impossible to stop him. His long arms make him a terror at the top of the zone on defense. In man-to-man sets, he was easily the best on-ball defender on his team. Irvin’s team is loaded, with two players headed to Indiana, one to Notre Dame and another to Purdue, but when the Eric Gordon All-Stars needed buckets it seemed like Irvin was the primary option. Irvin’s handle is solid and he looked okay running point guard sporadically, though he had a few turnovers. Two areas of his game to watch are his passing ability and rebounding. He made a concerted effort to rebound all weekend and wound up with 12 in the final game of the day on Saturday. He was also able to find his teammates for easy buckets in the post after using his quickness to get by his defender.

Love the idea that Irvin can be a 6'5" shutdown perimeter defender in the mold of a Bernard Robinson Jr. Michigan hasn't had an elite defender since. Also in that post, Mark Donnal gets in a bunch of foul trouble. UMHoops also has an article on Donnal featuring his relationship with Dan Dakich, who happens to be his AAU coach.

You realize this makes you Mubarak, right? Jim Delany:

Delany defended the Rose Bowl and compared the coming changes in college football to the Arab Spring, the revolts that erupted across the Middle East and North Africa last year.

“Not all change is manageable,” Delany said. “You want to control change. You want evolution, not revolution, because you don’t know what the unintended consequences will be.”

As always, Jim Delany should not say things.

Incoming defenders. The United States of Hockey also scouted the USA U18's defense corps, with all three of Michigan's commits turning in good performances. Trouba:

Jacob Trouba — It is plainly clear why Trouba is getting a lot of Top-10 buzz. He can do a little bit of everything. His pro-ready size and strength are going to be attractive to a lot of teams. He also plays with an edge and had several bone-crushing hits in the tournament. What people often forget is that Trouba is a tremendous skater. He has speed, sure, but there’s more to it than that. He’s able to find seems and turn it up ice quickly. Then there’s his cannon from the point. Trouba’s one goal at the tournament came off a stunning one-timer that required video review because it came right off the back bar in the net so quickly. He posted three points total. Knocks on his offensive upside are overblown, I feel. There are clearly many tools at this defenseman’s disposal. He should go early on Day 1. Committed to the University of Michigan.

Carrick:

Connor Carrick — Playing a strong game at both ends of the ice allowed Carrick to have a lot of success. The offensive-minded defenseman posted four points including a pair of goals. Carrick has good speed and some creativity with the puck. He also has pretty good strength along the walls, which makes up for his lack of height. Carrick also has a good feel for when to jump into plays and often makes good decisions when pinching. If Carrick ever got into trouble, he was able to recover with his feet. There should be a few teams that will be looking to pick up Carrick in the later rounds of the Draft. Committed to the University of Michigan.

Continues to sound like a bigger version of Langlais. Carrick's going to be important next year as Michigan tries to get that third pairing solidified, but if Michigan does hold on to all of their incoming defensemen they'll be in good shape.

Rutledge only got one start, a shutout—all games not against Canada were shutouts—in which he "bailed out" his team more than once. Click through for that report.

Etc.: The Solid Verbal features Dan, Ty, and Andy Staples talkin' playoffs. More Staples on playoffs. MVictors has audio of Willie Heston. If Dave Brandon was at FSU. Jerald Robinson's violence against a parking lot gate gets Michigan one point the Fulmer Cup. A second is added for "admiration."

Unverified Voracity Tweaks Bo

Unverified Voracity Tweaks Bo

Submitted by Brian on November 29th, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Site note! OH MY GOD UFR UFR UFR OSU OSU OSU. Yeah, happening. I am going to take it a bit slower because, like, I can. Half this week, half next week.

The season's end usually means a slowdown in December since football is over, basketball is often wading through thickets of uninspiring nonconference opponents, and hockey is off for big chunks (this year they're also super depressing!). Also, the batteries. They need recharging.

Bid. The big prize in the School of Kinesiology's auction goes off the board in just over a day:

140094933.275.275[1]

That is signed by:

Anthony Carter (Signed on the #1), Charles Woodson, Jake Long, Chad Henne, Elvis Grbac, Zoltan Mesko, Anthony "A-Train" Thomas, Larry Foote, Brandon Graham, Jamie Morris, Rick Leach, Jarrett Irons, Jim Brandstatter, Adrian Arrington, Reggie McKenzie, James Hall, Bob Chappuis, Vada Murray, Morgan Trent, Tim Jamison, Will Johnson, Butch Woolfolk, John Wangler, Bennie Joppru,Stevie Brown, Chris Floyd, Glen Steele, Mark Campbell, Clint Copenhaver, Aaron Shea, Scott Dresibach, Jarrod Bunch, Victor Hobson, Mark Messner, Stan Edwards, Derek Walker, Greg McMurtry, Billy Taylor, Harlan Huckleby, Don Dufek Sr., Don Dufek Jr., Bill Dufek, Ron Simpkins, Phil Brabbs, Chuck Winters, Andre Weathers, Jim Betts, Carl Diggs, Eric Mayes, Rondell Biggs, Greg Mathews, Doug Skene, David Moosman, Ron Bellamy and Adam Kraus.

Zoltan, yo. You will have to be a big baller to pick it up, but most of the emails I get come from law firms, so… yeah.

Hayden Fry on Bo. This is pretty much awesome:

Michigan's long-running semi-rivalry with Iowa has always seemed to me like the most mutually respectful one M has, what with Bump and Fry and Carr pulling for Ferentz and whatnot. It's good to have them in the division.

Sacrifice Virginia. Basketball hits the court again tonight (7PM, ESPN2) in their second consecutive road game in the Big Ten-ACC challenge. They've got Virginia. If you're thinking that sounds like a pushover, no, not so much. Kenpom has the 5-1 Cavaliers 37th and gives them a decent edge (61%) on their home court. Michigan probably has a better chance than wobbly early-season numbers suggest since they're still heavily counting Michigan's pre-Maui struggles.

While Michigan's playing its first true road game of the season, Virginia hasn't played a major conference team yet. They've annihilated a couple of bad teams, lost a squeaker to TCU, and cruised by Drexel, Drake, and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Defense is their calling card—they're currently 8th.

Sensing that attention would start turning to the hoopycagers, UMHoops dumped a bunch of stuff out yesterday, including a Maui Invitational recap

The Freshman Point Guard is Just Fine

Trey Burke hasn’t been perfect. He’s turned the ball over on 21% of his possessions, is shooting 60% on free throws, made one of eight threes in Maui and has the tendency to commit silly fouls. Despite those freshman mistakes, Burke has proven that he’s ready to play at this level. His quickness, playmaking ability and competitiveness have already proven vastly important through Michigan’s first six games.

Burke handed out more assists during the Maui Invitational than any player from any of the eight participating schools. He averaged 35 minutes per game in Maui, tied for the U-M lead, which serves as a ringing endorsement of John Beilein’s trust. The turnovers will decrease and he will find his three point shooting stroke (1-8 3pt in Maui) because he’s just too talented of a shooter not to. Burke is also the sort of player that can get a basket out of nothing – give him the ball in an isolation when the offense is struggling and he’ll make something happen.

…and a look at Michigan's diverse NBA prospects. From that post, here's the Daily hitting up Chad Ford to talk Hardaway:

“He’s got good size for his position, he’s athletic, he can shoot the basketball, and he can put the ball on the floor, get to the basket,” Ford said. “He’s got a lot of the tools that you sort of look for in a wing. If he was a better ball-handler — and it’s ironic, because his dad was amazing — that’s probably his biggest weakness. I think he (also) needs to get a little more consistent from 3-point range. “But I think he’s a pro.”

“He won’t need the money, and a lot of times that’s a big issue for players,” Ford said. “He’s got his dad, (so) he’s going to have access to more NBA guys giving him their opinions, which means he probably won’t get bad info. I probably say he stays, but I’m always surprised.”

Ford's plugging him in the same range Darius Morris was projected in as last season developed. As he mentions, money's not an issue, and this time around the NBA lockout helps. Last year the lockout pushed a marginal first-rounder like Morris into this years draft because a lot of blue-chips sat it out; this year those blue-chips will flood into the draft and push the Morris-Hardaway range back to school. I guess Burke fits in that range now, too. (Rivals basketball recruiting: you suck.) Sounds like Mitch McGary had a tough tournament over the last week, one that seems the draft consensus on him also in that fringe first-round range.

I'm still getting a handle on this edition of Michigan basketball, but it seems to me like Hardaway's increased ability to get his shot inside the arc is the non-Burke key. Memphis and Duke tried to shut off Michigan's threes only to get beat up on those overplays. Dylan notes Michigan's red-hot two-point shooting in Maui; Hardaway led the way at 27 of 44—a better than 60% clip.

Hardaway seems to have added a mid-range pull-up game that will be unstoppable since he's a 6'6" leaper. Just has to hit those shots. I expect the team's three-point shooting will come around to where it was last year. At this point Vogrich/Douglass/Novak is established as a floppy-haired Cerberus that will shoot between 36 and 38 percent collectively. Hardaway and Burke are the wildcards there. Is Hardaway the elite guy from the Big Ten season or also in that okay-to-good range? And how good of a shooter is Burke?

BONUS: Drexel's head coach is named "Bruiser Flint." Serious.

This is going to go well. They put Big Ten offensive lineman of the year David Molk in front of a camera and Tim Doyle asked him goofy questions.

Call me butterfly. I dare you.

Barely concealed contempt FTW.

Obligatory section on Meyer. He'll be some level of good. It's vastly more important for Michigan to have its house in order, which they seem to. Insert your preferred baseless assumption about Meyer's flakiness/health issues/lack of recruiting acumen here to make you feel better. At least we won't be one-upped in this department:

Rittenberg writes that if there's anyone who knows Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's system, it's Meyer. The two worked along side one another when Meyer was the head coach of Florida.

If Mattison stays at Michigan, perhaps Meyer could give the Buckeyes the advantage come next season, as OSU tries to avenge their first loss to UM in eight years.

PROTIP: if your assertion can be flipped 180 degrees and retain equal plausibility, find another assertion.

The one thing hiring Meyer does do is make OSU fans' assertions that they really gave themselves a tough punishment by firing/retiring Jim Tressel even more obviously crap than when they were originally peddled. The NCAA's reaction to a head coach lying to keep his most important players eligible, then lying again to get them eligible for a bowl game, is going to be pathetically weak even with the tattoos and cars and "charity" events on top of everything.

Countdown to resumption of normal activities in 3… 2… 1…

The neck, it sticks out. This year's most interesting recruit ranking kerfuffle is located in the general vicinity of Toledo, where Chris Wormley is the Ohio Division 1 defensive player of the year over Se'Von Pittman, Tom Strobel, Joe Bolden, and De'Van Bogard. Those four are all top 100 types. Wormley had M and OSU offers on top of that but still sees this massive rankings spread:

  • 247: #59 overall, #3 SDE, #3 OH
  • ESPN: 4*, #16 DE, #7 OH
  • Scout: 4*, #161 overall, #22 DE
  • Rivals: durf. 3*, #22 strongside defensive end (IE: approx #44 DE)

That's a powerful outlier there. Hopefully it's wrong.

Why the Big Ten is not so good, Part XXVII. The massive connections that come from a brief tenure at Cincinnati may land Pat Narduzzi the Illinois job:

As Illinois' search for Ron Zook's replacement begins, a source said the program is looking at candidates that include Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano and Toledo head coach Tim Beckman.

Narduzzi's Big Ten affiliation and ties to Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas make him a likely target.

He served as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati from 2004-06, overlapping with Thomas' tenure with the Bearcats that began in 2005. He was reportedly a candidate for the Cincinnati job that eventually went to Brian Kelly, who now coaches at Notre Dame.

Yes, this would be another disappointing mid-level Big Ten hire with names like Mike Leach, Kevin Sumlin, and anyone who's proven they are actually in charge of the thing they're supposed to be in charge of out there. Narduzzi is a defensive coordinator working under a former DC. That always makes me leery because you don't know how much of the team's success in their chosen field is because of the guy you're hiring.

Beckman would probably be a better hire: he's turned around Toledo, has a ton of recruiting connections in Ohio, and did establish himself as a BCS level coordinator at Oklahoma State. Schiano is not realistic. He has security at Rutgers and Illinois is a death trap.

If Illinois does go with Narduzzi that is both of Dantonio's coordinators out the door in a two year period. Not sure how much Narduzzi would hurt for the reasons given above, but it certainly can't help. It would be strange if Dantonio had more of a coaching tree in year five at MSU than Carr did, like, ever.

More Buckeye butthurt. Meinke collects the various lolrus OSU player twitter posts after the game. You've read the Boren ones; the others:

Added Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman: "Karma is gonna be a (expletive) for that little 'celebration' at the end."

Players said the controversial celebration -- you can catch a piece of it at the 34-minute mark of this YouTube video -- is something they have done after each Friday practice this year. Coach Brady Hoke said he was fine with his team celebrating their win that way.

"I don’t have any problem (with it) because it wasn’t disrespectful to anybody," Hoke said. "It’s something they do every Friday.

"No. It wasn’t disrespectful to anybody. It’s something those kids have done for 12 weeks.”

Ohio State, though, clearly was offended with the episode, which occurred in front of several players at midfield.

It led to Ohio State cornerback Brad Roby tweeting: "I will never lose to those scrubs again."

: (

Etc.: Stuffing the Passer. Michigan-ND is Pat Forde's game of the year. Dreaded Judgment OSU game column. Dymonte Thomas badgers Bri'onte Dunn on the twitters. Dunn says he doesn't want to play in a spread. (Shhh.) Kyle Kalis is solid.

Unverified Voracity, Forcibly Skeptical

Unverified Voracity, Forcibly Skeptical

Submitted by Brian on September 6th, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Item of the week. A new weekly thing: in conjunction with the Pat Maloy Scholarship fund we'll be plugging Michigan memorabilia on a weekly basis. All proceeds go to scholarship endowments at Michigan. Item!

multi-signed-ball

The above features signatures from blog favorites Brandon Graham, Zoltan Mesko(!), and Ron Bellamy:

This item is a perfect addition to a Michigan collection in that it spans several decades of Michigan football greatness. A white Michigan football adorned with a large blue block M and two winged helmets on either side. The football is autographed by 18 former Michigan stars including Jim Brandstatter, Brandon Graham, Billy Taylor, Jarrett Irons, Buster Stanley, Vada Murray, Harlan Huckleby, Jarrod Bunch, Ron Johnson, Andre Weathers, Greg Mathews, Ron Bellamy, David Moosman, Stevie Brown, Zoltan Mesko, Derek Walker, Greg McMurtry.

Do it for Johnny.

Hatch update. From his Caring Bridge page:

Monday, September 5, 2011 5:25 PM, EDT

Another great week by a determined and hard working student athlete. Austin has a beautiful attitude and is enjoying day visits with close friends and family. We are following the medical staff advice to control the visitor schedule to no more than three at a time to allow him to focus on his recovery. While the length of the rehab program is still unclear, he looks forward to returning to home and normal activities.

 Mitch McGary enjoys torrential downpours. Mitch McGary visited for the Western Michigan game and reportedly had quite a time. Here's MGoUser Max hanging with McGary in the rain:

mitch-mcgary-picture

(BONUS: Just A Simple Minded Football Coach caught a shot in the Detroit News where McGary is going nuts as Herron roars down the field. Also he recapped the Western game.)

Post something like this and you'll be hounded until you give people the full story, so Max did:

I asked him about his official visits; he told me he is allowed to take 10 (instead of the usual 5) since he took a year off after high school.  "You're gonna hate me for this, but I'm going to Duke next weekend."  I asked, "Are you visiting anywhere more than once?"  He replied, "No, but I'll be back at Michigan for camp in [whatever month it was]."

He was going batshit crazy on all the big Michigan plays, waiving his towel and giving out high-fives.  He, like the rest of the student section, clealy enjoyed the rain, too.  He sang and fist-pumped along with The Victors. He even tried to start a cheer, but his "LET'S GO BLU-UE" wasn't very catchy.

Finally, right before he and the others left, I asked him to take a picture with me.  He seemed really excited, throwing his arm around me and joking around.  I got a little too excited and started slapping him on the shoulder. He cringed a little, and I remembered that his shoulder had gotten cut up pretty badly when he broke that backboard.  I apologized, but he just thought it was funny.  After the picture, we all started jumping around a little bit, yelling "Go Blue!" and whatever else.  He said several things to the effect of "I'll see you guys next year!" and then left.

So that's spectacular except for the part where Michigan fans whap him in his fresh wounds. UMHoops points out that McGary's AAU coach, Wayne Brumm, has been talking up Michigan to any outlet that will listen—I'm guessing that's he's the source for the national recruiting guys who keep saying "McGary isn't close to a decision but I'd keep an eye out for Michigan." Sam Webb hit Brumm up for a take on his visit and the resulting Webblog says Michigan is "STRONG" with McGary in the headline. This seems like time to get those hopes off the floor.

If you're like me you'll need to see McGary in a Crisler shootaround before you'll believe Michigan can snag a top five recruit in this modern sleaze-paced basketball recruiting society, but it seems like they've got a shot. McGary's off to a who's who of basketball powers over the next few weeks, whereupon his love for the block M and sea turtles falling from the sky will be tested. The good news: The rumor is Michigan's main competitors are Maryland and Florida and McGary mentioned to people around him that he planned on returning to Ann Arbor for "camp"—November camp? Next year's Elite camp?

Snagging McGary would take Beilein's recruiting trajectory from "we'll be pretty good in 2013" to "Big Ten contender NOW." Fingers crossed.

BAD HEADLINE MONKEY. You're new here at the Detroit Free Press (motto: Metro Detroit's second best paper named "The Detroit Free Press"), kid. So we'll cut you some slack. But this is not cool:

image

Kid, "rigorous" means you are more than doubling NCAA practice time maximums. When you're a headline monkey at Metro Detroit's second best paper named The Detroit Free Press, you have to know these things. I'm glad we had this talk. Now if you could lay out the arts section, clean the bathroom, copy edit* A1, and check the roof for suicidal reporters you can go home.

*[LOL JK]

I've always wanted an opportunity to get sued by Righthaven. Thanks to the rain, I've got one. It turns out that Vegas refunding the world's tickets on the Michigan-WMU game is quite a letoff for sportsbooks:

"It was kind of wacky. There have been some crazy weather games, but I've never seen that," MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. "I would rather have seen the game get in and played than end the way it did, when maybe some people feel like they were cheated.

"We were going to lose on the game. That was by far the biggest public-backed game on the board. The ticket count was ridiculous, like 20-1 for Michigan."

Wow. Either the sharps or the books were heavily on Western.

WAYS YOU CAN TELL THE NEWSPAPER YOU ARE READING IS BASED IN LAS VEGAS PROTIP: The reporter says "I was on the Wolverines, for the record" and wishes a natural disaster had befallen the Georgia Dome so he wouldn't have gotten taken on the Boise State-Georgia game.

mediachanges_thumb

Time to update the Michigan reporter whirlwind. MVictors's handy movement graph is now out of date since Zach Travis has been picked up by Bleacher Report of all things and is getting paid to write on the Big Ten. Spreading that venture capital love around, they are. If you'd ceased paying attention to Zach's old blog Dreaded Judgment, he's firing it back up.

Are we still talking about this? Well done, Jon Wilner. You managed to get me all the way through your article on yet more realignment without making it clear that your source is a guy in a Pac-12 athletic department who likes messing with journalists:

The Big Ten won’t expand until it’s time to renegotiate the league’s deals with CBS and ESPN, which expire in 2016, according to a source.

At that point, if the Pac-12 and the SEC have grown to 16 teams, then Notre Dame will join the Big Ten.

Guh. I have been expansion-trolled. If you still want to take this seriously, Wilner says the Pac 12 presidents are opposed to expanding but will do it if the SEC jumps off the bridge first, at which point they'll have no choice. I hope the Big Ten is wise enough not to follow them.

Etc.: If you like the arrangement of the Victors for the Michigan Difference commercials, you can download it for your phone or (emo) tailgate or whatever. Holdin' the Rope starts a Michigan Monday analogue focused on the Golden Bobcats. Bruce Feldman is outside the paywall. Tommy Rees will start for ND this weekend.

Unverified Voracity Opens Cans With Teeth

Unverified Voracity Opens Cans With Teeth

Submitted by Brian on June 17th, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Paws for a cause. If you've got a desire to have Michigan football players wait on you, you are in luck:

paws-for-a-cause

"Celebrity waiters" is a new phrase to me. Proceeds go to the local Humane  Society; tickets can be purchased here. Order the coconut so your waiter can rip it open with his bare hands. This is not an opportunity that often comes.

I told you so. If the equation "Jersey Shore == Bronzed Juggalos" holds true, last fall's assertion is now approved by the Michigan State athletic director himself:

Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino of Jersey Shore is going to be a #Spartan fan this season. Catch him at a game in Spartan Stadium.

less than a minute ago via twidroyd 

Dave Brandon didn't do anything today, but point Dave Brandon. The Only Colors is at a loss for words but not gifs.

Peering into your basket-soul. Basketball recruiting suddenly turned into hockey recruiting, where it's all like "this kid isn't coming forever but he seems pretty good." It's a risk, but one you might feel like you have to take these days. /yells at cloud

But UMHoops points out Beilein's track record with early commits is stellar:

Glenn Robinson III was considered a second-tier prospect in the state of Indiana but impressed Beilein at Elite Camp and picked up a scholarship offer, since then he’s exploded into to a top-75 player. Tim Hardaway Jr. impressed at Elite Camp and committed shortly after, two years later he was one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten. Now that’s not to say that Beilein uses the six hours at his camp as the only evaluation tool, he’s been down to watch Hatch and Donnal play with their high school squads on many occasions over the last year.

That does not use all the available evidence: Beilein picked up Evan Smotrycz before he rose in the rankings; Jordan Morgan was a recruit so questionable even his dad was like "really?"; Trey Burke fell at AAU-only Rivals but rose elsewhere after a stellar senior year saw him named Ohio Mr. Basketball. Also, Pittsnogle and Gansey and etc. Beilein's got an eye. In this regard he is the anti-Amaker.

Michigan is after a point guard in the 2013 class and appears to be operating under the assumption they have a fourth scholarship available in either 2012 or 2013 that will probably go to a shooting guard or face-up four.

Haters going to notice your blatant contradiction. Excellent catch by Oversigning.com. Here's Nick Saban discussing the SEC's meaningful but not perfect new legislation on kicking kids the the curb. Before passage:

"In my opinion, it would really affect the quality in our league," Saban said. "You can't know the attrition from signing day until August, which guys who're going to be fifth-year seniors that decide they don't want to come back and play football. Well, you can't count those guys. You're going to have to tell those guys they're going to have to decide in January.

After passage:

"I don't really feel that it's going to create any management issues that's going to affect the quality of play," Saban calmly said Thursday before his annual charity golf tournament that benefits his "Nick's Kids" program. "I think it's all good."

Oversigning.com describes this as "craw-fishing," which is inexplicable to me but yeah: that dude is totally craw-fishing. What a jerk.

They eat the pig. You know who else needs to feel the pimp hand of the NCAA? North Carolina. Their car business is now just as transparently illicit as Ohio State's:

It appears that one UNC football player accrued 93 parking tickets under nine license plate numbers between October 2007 and August 2009, according to parking records UNC released Thursday and a database search of the University’s Department of Public Safety website. …

The plates in question corresponded to cars including a gray Dodge, a gray Nissan, a black Acura, a black Honda and a green BMW, according to the records.

Greg Little had nine license plates in 22 months. The student newspaper discovered this by searching a public database after UNC was finally sued into releasing records requested under the FOIA act. There is obviously some combination of car trouble, generous grandmothers from poor sections of Durham, footloose and fancy-free car swapping on the whims of a young man feeling the wind in his hair, and OBVIOUS EXTRA BENEFITS UNC WAS BEING SLAPPED IN THE FACE WITH EVERY TIME HE GOT A PARKING TICKET, WHICH WAS APPARENTLY ON A DAILY BASIS that explains how this may have occurred.

Meanwhile, phone records show John Blake was talking to Marvin Austin and Gary Wichard when they were on one of their non-kosher trips. They're going to get hammered, too.

(HT: Doctor Saturday.)

What is luck? Baby don't hurt me, no more. A follow-up to the Pythagorean post from this morning: was Michigan State actually lucky last year? If you listen to Pythagorean expectations, they were. They were the luckiest dang team in the study period, exceeding expectations by a whopping 2.4 wins.

If you're using a more conventional measure of record in close games, they weren't even close to the luckiest team. By my count there were three: wins over ND (34-31, OT), Northwestern (35-27 with a cosmetic touchdown for MSU at the very end), and Purdue (35-31). A six point win over Penn State does not count since PSU scored a touchdown with under a minute left to make the final score more attractive; MSU was a long way from losing that.

3-0 in close games is a bit lucky but nothing out of the ordinary for any team that finishes 11-2. While you would expect any team with 11 wins to regress the next season, there's nothing there that suggests MSU should be unusually likely to drop back to .500 or thereabouts.

The Pythagorean method is blown away by MSU's two losses, utter hammerings at the hands of Iowa and Alabama. I'm not convinced those are as meaningful as the formula would have it.

Etc.: Nobody closes the barn door like the Ohio State Buckeyes. Yost renovations are go. Renaldo Sagesse making his way in the CFL. NCAA poking around agent-type dudes in South Florida, investigating a selection of SEC schools and Ohio State. Doctor Saturday renews call for "East" and "West" division names, which is endorsed by this space. Holdin' the Rope fires up the nostalgia machine and takes us back to the 2010 Indiana game. Remember when Ohio State had a football program? Weird!

Unverified Voracity Leaps Stuff

Unverified Voracity Leaps Stuff

Submitted by Brian on May 18th, 2011 at 4:48 PM

The other major outrage type thing going on. That would be the bowl system's ticket guarantees that turn bowls from a guaranteed profit to a guaranteed deficit for many. The Wizard of Odds put together a lot of numbers about what's going on with that. Unfortunately he quoted perpetually silly Andrew Zimbalist saying something about a cartel, but whatever. Numbers:

Supporters of the 35-game bowl system argue that the postseason turns a profit. Technically, this is correct, but only because of the BCS, which this season distributed a reported $174.07 million from its five games. Of that amount, 83.4 percent went to the automatic qualifier conferences — the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 10 and Southeastern conferences.

The 30 non-BCS bowl games are, at best, a break-even venture. Without the ticket guarantee, it is likely that half the bowls would not exist.

The Fiesta Bowl's massive chunk of unsold seats is actually economically justifiable since the BCS bowls are a net input into the system. That's not the case when you're UCF, and you're eating nearly a million dollars in unsold Liberty Bowl tickets.

This isn't a playoff argument. The bowl system can continue, but the NCAA is currently transferring money from college students (student fees make up a large portion of the revenue for programs that typically go to rinky-dink bowls) to this guy:

fiesta bowl junker

Not literally that guy, but versions of that guy in a different blazer. It's a neat trick to transfer the risk your bowl will be a dud from the organizers to the schools, though. 

File Under The Gets It Files, Part XI. You know who Amani Toomer hates? Everybody. If he was going to have a sitcom it would be titled "Amani Toomer Hates Everybody." Amani Toomer does not like anyone. He hadn't been back to Ann Arbor in 15 years. He came back for one of the thousands of Hoke Hand-holding Socials and…

“It was good to be back, good to see some players and people, and I saw coach (Gary) Moeller, which was special,” Toomer said. “I just really felt like a part of the whole Michigan family, more so than I did in the past couple of years.

“I feel more connected than I did before, so that’s always a good step forward.”

Amani Toomer likes Gary Moeller! And Brady Hoke!

mikey likes it

This is the point at which I make a very silly assertion about this proving how excellent of a recruiter Brady Hoke is, which may be silly but is also 1000% true.

Requirement. I will join the horde, as required by law. This is Jalen Rose's General Lee:

jalen-rose-general-lee

Readers are advised not to attempt a reconciliation between Rose's comments about Duke and what appears to be a massive Dukes of Hazzard fandom. Smoke will come out of your ears.

Readers are advised to bid on the car, though, which is being auctioned off to help fund Rose's charter school in Detroit. Buy it now for 100 grand. Do it now.

Hockey in the boat. As you can see on the sidebar, Michigan hockey officially announced its recruiting class today. The official site's article has stats and a quote from Berenson on each of the signees; Michigan Hockey Net also points out that two guys weren't listed. That's not because they've decommited but because they're preferred walk-ons. Those two are D Mike Szuma and F Andrew Sinelli. Sinelli not counting as a scholarship guy (except when there are extras, which there usually are since someone always leaves the team) helps explain where they're going to get the room to sign these guys the next few years. 

Meta but wow. I can't recall how I got to this article from The Daily (not that Daily: the Rupert Murdoch one) on Lloyd Carr being a nice dude who's in the Hall of Fame hurrah. In thirty seconds the generic newspaperese will fade from my brain, but I'll always remember the time I went to that site to read an article that was a half-meg 768x3072 image and marveled at how random the selection process for executives is. I know it's an iPad app and all but raising a giant middle finger to Google is maybe not the best policy.

How do you short this enterprise?

Etc.: Michigan is two-thirds of the way through its practice reduction. Must have been fairly significant if they could stack it like that. Insert joke about how it all came out of the defense here. Jim Tressel's lawyer, Gene Marsh, was Michigan's lawyer. This time around he's banking on Tressel's body language saving the day. That's the ticket. Ramzy at 11 Warriors appears more enthusiastic about Brady Hoke than most Michigan fans. Also he is also unforgiving of past MGoBlog statements that are now ridiculous. Optimism from Holding The Rope.

Unverified Voracity Was 20k Off

Unverified Voracity Was 20k Off

Submitted by Brian on May 11th, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Mott stuff. Get thee to WTKA Friday for an opportunity to participate in their "radio-a-thon" in support of Mott Children's Hospital, where you can Donate For Stuff. This stuff:

Donations are accepted at any level but fans will receive giveaways for donating at the following levels:

$20 donation: a Fathead Teammate Block M (roughly 12”x7”)

$50 donation: a limited-edition Charles Woodson t-shirt made exclusively for this event

$120 donation: a Fathead Junior Big House Mural (17”x30”) autographed by Charles Woodson

$250 donation: four passes to a pre-season scrimmage

$500 donation: two pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to ONE of the following four games: Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State or Minnesota.

If you are a strange, obsessive person—and you are reading this site so you probably are—you might actually find the $250 donation to be value for money on top of the heart-warming altruism. I went to the pre-season scrimmage last year; it was at least as interesting as an actual game against EMU and depending on where you sit it's actually cheaper. Last year featured the quarterback battle; this year will feature an early opportunity to reassure yourself the spring game didn't mean anything about Denard's role in the new offense. You can donate online at WTKA.com.

Over the weekend a bunch of players will return for a swank gala dinner and a golf outing, too, but the press release doesn't have any information about how to crash that. Best bet: show up at the golf course and say you're Alijah Bradley by way of explaining why you're not huge. AnnArbor.com does have details on the big baller packages they're putting up at the gala dinner, but they'll just make you sad you're not rich, unless you are.

That car totally wasn't zero dollars. Thaddeus Gibson did not get a year-old 300M for zero dollars:

BMV records show that former linebacker Thaddeus Gibson paid $13,700 for a 2007 Chrysler 300C that he bought from former Jack Maxton salesman Aaron Kniffin in June 2007.

Why the Dispatch couldn't figure this out before they ran their story is unknown but definitely the internet's fault.

Unfortunately for Ohio State, if you've been on a Michigan internet this morning you've run across three different people running Kelly Blue Book values for a 300M and coming out with a number about ten grand more than the 14k Gibson paid four years after the fact. At the time of purchase the discount relative to KBB value was probably closer to 20k. Again, this Kniffin dude has a choice between declaring the number correct—hello extra benefit—and declaring it incorrect—hello tax evasion. Hopefully we'll get to see whether the inevitable claim about a trade-in is on the up-and-up. If they were 1) giving players sweetheart deals and 2) not idiots, taking rusted out junkers as trade-ins worth 20k would provide some additional level of deniability.

Meanwhile, Chris Spielman is bracing for more:

“I’d be surprised if he’s coaching next year (2011). Why I say that is I think there is more stuff coming out,” the Ohio State legend said.

Spielman also said a bunch of other things, some very touching about his deceased wife, but everyone's focusing on that bit. I wonder if Charles Robinson's "ten of ten" Yahoo is supposedly launching in August is a pile-on? Probably not. Keep it reasonable. This section brought to you by my internal monologue FERRETS

BONUS:

Chris-Spielman

Even if he's a Buckeye, not loving Spielman is a sin. (Via Doctor Saturday.)

Camp: back? When Rodriguez arrived he substantially revamped Michigan's camp, focusing more on individual high-level prospects in a one-day setting instead of just rounding up every football player in Michigan with a few bucks to spare. More than one emailer with connections to the local coaching community has cited that as one of the ways in which Rodriguez shoveled his own grave: while increased focus on college-level recruits may have helped land them individually the coaches who lost camp opportunities were pissed off, downward spiral, etc.

Hoke appears to be bringing back the whole shebang:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke and his coaching staff will host Wolverine Technique Schools this June for high school students (entering grades 9-12) and youth (grades 6-8).

The Wolverine Technique School for high school students will be held from June 19-23, while the youth camp will be held June 24-26 at the University of Michigan. It will mark the 37th year of the high school football camp and third youth camp.

Brady Hoke Gets It. Of course, now when you say Brady Hoke Gets It your withering sarcasm percentage is under 100% and dropping with every instate MAC recruit suddenly hearing from Michigan State.

From a fan's perspective this is probably good. While Rodriguez generally opened up the program the shift in camp philosophy meant there were a lot fewer high school coaches wandering around watching various Michigan recruits and relating impressions back to the peanut gallery. Useful information from camp dropped off considerably the last three years.

I'm not sure how much it will matter this year since it looks like Michigan is going to be well on its way to filling its class a month from now. Normally a few sleepers emerge and get offered, but if Michigan is sitting on 15 commits in June they might start swinging for the fences instead. It'll probably be more meaningful for the class of 2013—presumably Shane Morris will be on hand to make an impression on every junior in the state.

Luke Hancock and other guys. UMHoops pinged a George Mason blogger for information on potential transfer Luke Hancock and got some clarification on his weird statistical profile:

He matured into more of a guard role during his sophomore season and was labeled a “point-forward” because he brought the ball up the floor on most possessions. Definitely an unorthodox type of player with his long loopy dribbles and slow pump fakes but he gets the job the done and finds different ways to score. He has good range but is a better asset when he’s driving to the basket.

More at the link. Dylan also points out that adding Hancock would put him in the Morgan/McLimans/Horford/everybody class, swelling it to seven players. Without attrition that would see more than half the team graduate in 2014. It would also leave just one scholarship in the class of 2013 for Michigan to play with. So it's a bit more complicated than "here's this guy."

Random AD items. MGoShoe rounds up things Dave Brandon said at some sort of appearance associated with the AP. There's not a whole lot of actual new things but this is something to note:

Brandon believes it will be "several years" before the Big Ten goes to a nine-game conference schedule. He said several teams are booked through 2015-2016 and it would be "expensive and problematic" to unwind those schedules.

Also, more unfortunate first-person:

“I will sell more seats at Yost Arena knowing that we are going to tee it up against our big competitors in the Big Ten,” Brandon said. “We’ll still have a robust nonconference schedule … but at the end of the day, student-athletes that come to Michigan come to win Big Ten championships.”

He might sell a few more seats but it won't be many—Yost already drew capacity last year, and while anyone who's been to Michigan Stadium is familiar with the various tricks used to up attendance figures the additional sales might add up to a couple hundred seats. Also also, don't blame Rodriguez etc etc let's talk about something else.

Officially unofficial. Michigan moving its dominant club lacrosse program to varsity has been the worst kept secret on South Campus for going on a year now, but now the secret is even a little more poorly concealed. A portion of Tim's CCLA recap/MCLA preview:

First, when presenting Michigan Coach John Paul with the conference championship trophy, the announcer said something along the lines of: "probably for the last time ever, Michigan wins the CCLA Trophy." JP played it cool when accepting the trophy, but certainly wasn't in a hurry to deny anything. Following the game, the official @UMichLacrosse twitter account dropped the following:

"Michigan finishes FINAL MCLA regular season with a 103-2 all-time record in CCLA competition."

While it may seem (or ultimately be) inconsequential, it is the first public statement from any official, on-record source that something is definitely going to happen for next season.

Tim's side joint has more.

Etc: UMHoops hit up Spiece and profiled Trey Burke. Holdin' the Rope on Denard and Borges and Hoke.