Unverified Voracity Says Bye To Byes

Unverified Voracity Says Bye To Byes Comment Count

Brian May 22nd, 2017 at 12:59 PM

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[Eric Upchurch]

Jim Hackett gets a job. He's now the CEO of Ford. It is deeply unfortunate that Toys R Us is private, otherwise my mutual fund that just buys Ford and shorts Toys R Us would be a goldmine.

2018 hoops recruiting will start moving in the near future. Per Sam Webb, Michigan has "begun talking timeline" with OH SF Jerome Hunter, with Xavier the main roadblock. If not for Trevon Bluiett I would feel 100% terrific about that; I still feel 90% terrific about it. Webb also asserted that Canadian SF/PF Ignas Brazdeikis and MI SF Brandon Johns were the next most likely. Johns is a surprising name for me just because of his location. Also now I have learned to spell Brazdeikis so he had better come.

Another name at wing is NC SF Hunter Tyson, who is a very Beilein kind of player.

Possessing NBA-caliber 3-point range, Tyson’s work ethic and shooting stroke was never open to any scrutiny. It was his overall scoring acumen and utilizing his height to his advantage as a go-to option once open to question. Tyson heard his fair share of “soft shooter” taunts from the crowd.

He’s steadily silenced his detractors by becoming more adept around the rim and developing a feel for the above the rim game.

I've seen one or two of those before. Tyson claims an offer from Michigan despite not visiting—I assume this is another "if you visit we offer" kind of thing. That won't be long in coming:

I would say I am talking to Michigan the most currently,” Tyson explained. “Coach (John) Beilein and I have a very good relationship. I will be visiting Ann Arbor next on June 30th.

Meanwhile SG Robby Carmody told Rivals he'll decide this fall; Corey Evans thinks Purdue, Michigan, and ND are the frontrunners.

The end? Howard transfer James Daniels III, who Michigan was briefly involved with, chooses Tennessee. This is not Ohio State, another finalist, thus further consigning the Buckeyes to basketball purgatory. This is astounding:

There’s a chance that the Buckeyes could strike out on all graduate transfer or JUCO options, and head into next season with just two true bigs, and maybe even two guards total, depending on what happens with Kam Williams, who has not yet decided if he will return to the program or not.

Rutgers must be licking its chops at the prospect of finishing ahead of someone in league play.

An improved hockey schedule. The hockey schedule has been somewhere between disappointing and offensive for the past few years, with games jammed into football season willy-nilly in a schedule that alternated between exhausting game floods and month-long droughts. Happily it does appear that someone is listening. This year's conference schedule:

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Michigan is getting a return visit from Arizona State the week after the second ND series, so they have successfully put together a second-half schedule with 1) no byes and 2) no month-long gaps between home games. (Playing a nonconference foe in the last week of the regular season is lame but it's a seven-team conference; someone is going to draw the short stick annually.) Adding ND, a second school that can do home-and-homes, helps immensely. Also ND is a good team and traditional rival.

Michigan's also done a much better job of avoiding football conflicts. There are only two weekends when both hockey and football will be at home, and one of them is the approaching-traditional OSU series on the weekend of the Game. Michigan knows football is at noon so a direct conflict won't happen.

Unfortunately, the nonconference schedule is still terrible. Michigan goes to Clarkson and SLU for one-offs and gets home series against Vermont, FSU, and Arizona State. Their first game in the GLI is BGSU. Only Vermont was even on the bubble last year, finishing 17th in RPI. Those four games against ND are a major upgrade at least.

Grub grub grub. Minnesota is apparently considering selling naming rights to Mariucci Arena. This would be roughly equivalent to Michigan turning a hypothetical Berenson Ice Arena into the Yum Dot Com Exclamation Point Center. At least when Illinois sold out its basketball arena it was confusingly named the same thing as Indiana's arena; this would be naming malpractice on a scale rarely seen. Here is a good comment(!) on The Daily Gopher:

We take in over $110 million in revenue in a year. Do you know how much we get per year from TCF Bank for their naming rights? 1.4 million dollars. Literally, like, one percent of our our annual revenue. I’d be shocked if we get even close to that for Mariucci.

If you think the drop in the bucket we get from auctioning off our names and traditions is going to make a noticeable difference in the quality of the product on the field, you’re wrong.

There remains no money with which to play the players.

Speaking of naming malpractice. The new Wings/Pistons arena going up in downtown might bring some events of interest to Detroit, including the Big Ten basketball tournament. It's already landed two sets of first-weekend NCAA tournament games and the 2020 Frozen Four. So we've got that going for us even if the iconic downtown arena is undergoing the worst naming transition  in history.

Etc.: Football ranked 10th by Athlon. Kiper has Mo Hurst the top senior DT for next year's NFL draft; Khalid Hill is the #2 FB. Guy employed by NFL Network compares Saquon Barkley to… Le'Veon Bell? What? Wilson and Wagner decisions by Wednesday night.

Over under win total for M set at 9. NFL running backs don't get paid any more. D Luke Martin should be a second or third round pick in the NHL draft.

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Dear Diary Awakens

Dear Diary Awakens Comment Count

Seth January 23rd, 2016 at 11:33 AM

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Sorry this is late. I've been really busy. Actually no I've been kind of busy and wasting time following recruiting and watching the Citrus Bowl again and again.

/watches Citrus Bowl again.

Ahhhh. Man having that game recorded is like when my family got a VCR and they put the whole original Star Wars trilogy on TV like right after. That was followed by weeks of the most beautiful weather in Michigan history that I didn't go outside for, by the end of which I could pull everything about Star Wars from memory for the rest of my life, and I STILL wasn't sick of it.

Bronx made the obvious analogy:

To say Dave Brandon is reminiscent of George Lucas is not fair to either man, but the worst characteristics of both mirror each other quite well; both Lucas and Brandon truly loved the worlds they held dominion over, but were so tone-deaf, so blind to the realities of how those worlds were perceived under their stewardships that they threatened to irreparably sully their images.

I'd extend the analogy to say Hackett was the J.J. Abrams we brought in to rescue the franchise, and 2015 was his Force Awakens. IE a lot of it was simply a renunciation of the crap that immediately preceded it, and banging the audience over the head with the things we loved about the originals.

But in light of where we were, that was refreshing. Yes I did see (SPOILER) Jim Harbaugh pilot an X-wing down a trench to destroy a planet-sized world-destroying base of faceless bad guys again. The thing is that hasn't gotten old. We needed a reset, and got one, and should be totally satisfied. As for whoever follows JJ and JH, yeah man, take it in your own direction.

The next movie has a lot to live up to. Expectations are high, but so is that schedule. Alum96 went through the thing and decided that Michigan doesn't have a Big Two-Little Eight schedule anymore, but it's a standard Power 5 trip. How MSU and OSU rebuild will matter much.

Crutin needs updating. Incredibly useful Alum96 also is due for another 2016 class projection since this series has been fairly accurate at predicting things so far. He got Terrance Davis wrong, but had Dylan Crawford and David Long in the highest category of guys who as of last December seemed to favor someone else.

Squinting at his info and that provided by the board in the weeks hence you can kind of piece together a class that would take Gary, LaVert, Raulerson, Hudson and Nordin as long as they are amenable, plus a tight end (Allen or Asiasi), one or two DTs (Elliott, Tagaloa, Dwumfour, …?), another LB (Mbem-Bosse?) and 2-3 WRs (McDoom/N. Johnson/Donald Stewart/Pie). Call a guy not taking officials and a guy who is taking officials to Temple gone and Metellus a Jeremy Clark* grayshirt and that's what: 28? WRITE ANOTHER ONE ALUM WE HAVE TO KNOW!

Did you miss these gifs? Red_Lee is Michiganfreek. IE he makes awesome gifs like LSUfreek does for college football in general. For example:

Opponents Watch needs updating. Now more than a week old, Hail_Yes wrote about the teams M basketball has played, and what they've been up to this year since we formed opinions on them on the court. I'd like to see objects in the future, e.g. Michigan State. What's been going on with MSU hoops lately? They're just pounding everybody because Valentine's back now right? I haven't looked.

Etc. This is OT but it's a wonderful story about MLK visiting Grosse Pointe in 1968. The Maizer followed up on my bowl eligibility proposal with his own, which is a ranking system. M baseball preview. No, Dakich=/=Spike, they're not even like-sized. This month in MGoBlog 10 years ago history was all about Lloyd shuffling coordinators to set up his retirement.

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

Best of the Board

OMIGOD NCAA FOOTBALL 2025 for the 2017 season with 2013 rosters?

The night of the Nat Championship EA put an EKG on NCAA2014's Facebook page. The world took this to mean that we might…just might finally go back to having new covers every year for the NCAA game. I guess it would mean a playoff is finally possible. I also probably shouldn't rip on them since I'm on year 2041 of a four-player dynasty* I have thoroughly enjoyed. Please leave Denard on the cover and tweak the game.

*We all got to pick each others' starting teams and one guy turned UMass into a national power that's still ripping off our recruits.

PRESENTING: THE IRON D

Ladies and gentlemen, the trophy you've all been waiting for, the Michigan vs Michigan State in Joe Louis Arena game that used to replace the best home game of your ticket package and now does that and isn't much of a rivalry anymore to be honest, the one, the only, here it is…

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It is an iron d.

WHO SAID THIS IN THE MOVIES YOU ARE EMBARRSSED TO ADMIT YOU LOVE THREAD?

People listed some classic films—Wet Hot and A League of Their Own are consensus good—but this one…oh man this one:

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It wasn't hated Sockface. While it was indeed "ambitious" (read: up its own ass) it also gave off a very George Lucas "I don't have to listen to anyone anymore because I made the Dark Knight" vibe. Not a bad movie, and at times it was stunning, but if it's the start of a Nolan trajectory into Jar Jar, well, this is our concern man.

Also put me among the Titanic crowd; the ship looks great.

ETC. Guy on board taking photoshop requests. Someone told me last night that Heiko got one of the top placements in the country for his field and I am zero surprised because that guy is a genius for whom "I got Michigan's cranky offensive coordinator to like me" has already been shoved to a footnote on his resume. Tom Harmon vs. porn? Jim Hackett is awesome.

YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN:

Comments

Citrus Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Citrus Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 7th, 2015 at 6:01 PM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

Opening Statement:

“We’re very excited to be invited to the bowl and sounds like it’s gonna be great, fair, honest, healthy competition. We’re looking forward to it.”

Have you decided on your defensive coordinator for the bowl game?

“Yes. Greg Mattison’s going to coordinate the defense and we’ve also hired Chris Partridge to coach the linebackers.”

With Mattison, is that just for the bowl season or is that a permanent change?

“That will be for the bowl season. And we’ll evaluate from there.”

Speaking of the defensive coordinator, do you have a timetable in mind that you’d like to have a permanent hire in place? How are you approaching that?

“We’re approaching it to win our next game. No timetable. We’ll evaluate as we go. Excited to have Greg coordinate the defense. I think he’ll do a fantastic job, and Chris Partridge- great chance to have Chris coaching on the field. He’s done a fabulous job in every task he’s been on top of. I’m excited to watch him coach and Greg coordinate.”

Is it possible that Chris could earn himself a permanent full-time job with you guys as a coach?

“Yeah, very possible.”

Any familiarity with Jim McElwain and how he runs the program and offense? Any familiarity with him?

“Just that he enjoys an incredible reputation in the profession. That would be…I think we all know that. From people I respect and know very well, he has a fine reputation as a good coach.”

You probably haven’t had time to look at Florida, but anything you know about this team, particularly the defensive side of the ball? I mean, DJ Durkin obviously coached there last year.

“Yeah, I watched probably about half of the games right now. Fantastic season they’ve had. They play with great intensity, and much respect for what they’ve done. Heck of a year for them.”

Can you update us on Jake Rudock? Do you expect him to play in the game, and what’s his health status?

“Yeahhhh, I mean, I think it’s just- I’ve talked to him a few times, I think he’ll play in the game. There was a period where- he hasn’t thrown yet, but I think he will be soon.”

[After THE JUMP: “I don’t think of it as a foundation, I think of it more like a train, more like a locomotive.”]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Throws Coins At Heiko

Unverified Voracity Throws Coins At Heiko Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2015 at 11:46 AM

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Heiko sings the hits! Remember Heiko? Used to badger Al Borges about bubble screens, was Adam before Adam was Adam. Currently turning in his Punt/Counterpunt column about sixty seconds before I want to post it. Draftageddon chaos agent. That guy. Doctor guy.

Well, if you'd like to see him sing(?), that is now a thing you can do. The med students have this charity, you see:

Every winter, Galens members don red ponchos, grab metal buckets, and take to the streets of greater Ann Arbor to collect monetary donations for the children of Washtenaw County. Held on the first weekend of December since 1927, Tag Days has become an important Ann Arbor tradition and occupies a central role in Galens' mission to support local children's charities. Galens members annually raise tens of thousands of dollars, with 100% of the collected money donated directly to local organizations and charities.

Last year they raised over 75k via various methods including people throwing coins at med students for singing*, and you can do this by THROWING COINS at HEIKO in front of Gratzi from about FOUR O'CLOCK TODAY to MIDNIGHT.

Or you could just donate here if you don't want to throw quarters at Heiko for some reason. Weirdo.

*[This is an assumption, but I'm sure you'll agree it is a good one.]

Things that happened. Ross Fulton breaks down events that transpired on Saturday.

Meyer and Warinner borrowed a page from Utah and Indiana. Both offenses had success outside against Michigan's cover 1-man defense by forcing Wolverine defenders with contain responsibilities to cover receivers while the offense runs outside, and by using spread read principles to outnumber a Michigan defense with a deep safety.

Meyer's staff used a similar strategy. Frequently using two tight ends - with one aligned as a blocking slot receiver - the Buckeyes' success began with power read. On power read the offensive line blocks power, but - rather than kicking out the defensive end - the quarterback reads the end. If he crashes, the quarterback gives on the sweep. If the end stays wide the quarterback runs power following the pulling guard.

With Michigan using a common opponent tactic - slanting towards Ezekiel Elliott to limit tight zone - Ohio State ran outside opposite the slant, providing Elliott a running lane beyond the crashing end.

 

When Michigan prevented this from happening again it opened up JT Barrett on the inverted veer, because Michigan took a basic and completely predictable approach to dealing with the OSU run game. Michigan changed nothing except occasionally running a 3-3-5. It was incredibly frustrating to see inverted veer gash Michigan over and over again as if the Wolverines had no idea it would be coming. On the above play they have not one but two 100% irrelevant players, as the backside corner and safety aren't blocked but can't do anything about the gain.

Durkin spent the entire year running the same defense predicated on decisively winning DL matchups, and when that was not true his answers were miserably bad. The final drive of regulation for Indiana saw Michigan passively eat run after run without reacting; this game was as if the last 15 years of football had never happened.

Let's not change anything. Iowa is 12-0, which is not something even Kirk Ferentz's family saw coming. Spencer on the power of doing nothing at all:

Iowa football never changed, and needed to badly, at least from the perspective of someone looking at the long decline of the program into a 7-6 stasis interrupted by bumps into 11-2 and drops into 4-8 territory. The Hawkeyes had become an EKG of a drunk man falling into a deep and dreamless sleep. This drunk man was also hypothermic and sleeping under a bridge.

Then in 2015, that drunk man woke up, found a flawlessly tailored suit under a concrete overhang beneath that bridge, downed a bottle of Steel Reserve, and walked into the nearest investment bank and become a confident, beaming tycoon overnight.

Iowa should have changed everything, and didn't. They're undefeated despite doing few things they haven't done for years. You didn't think they could do it, but they did. Iowa, the laziest hard-working team in America, wore the same shirt until it came back into style.

So if DJ Durkin runs that defense against OSU for the next 12 years it might work the 12th time. That's the ticket.

Veni, vici, Harbaugh. Jim Hackett is stepping down as Michigan's athletic director. He never did get the Notre Dame series back, but other than that probably impossible thing he hit 1.000 in a brief tenure as Michigan's athletic director.

Hackett decided he should hire Jim Harbaugh. Also he got Harbaugh. This seems like a rather obvious thing to do. But as we saw with the previous athletic director, sometimes people in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason. Hackett, above all, was a solid dude acting sensibly.

I have heard that Hackett was close to exclusively focused on the big-ticket items, which was the right move for him and Michigan. Unfortunately that did mean that the department's Brandon-imparted momentum continued in various ways. The hockey schedule, accepting the worst possible basketball tournament for fans, and lingering Special K issues, particularly at Yost, irked me over the past 12 months. Hackett also paid virtually no attention to non-revenue sports. This is again fine for someone who is trying to get a few big-picture things right, but none of it is great for the long term.

Baumgardner wrote a column with a pithy headline:

Jim Hackett steadied Michigan's ship, but next AD must be able to steer it

Precisely.

Steering the ship. Michigan should be properly chagrined by their decision to pass on the actual athletic directors their department had spawned last time. Anyone other than the four sitting ADs that came from the pre-Brandon department would be an enormous upset. Those gentlemen:

  • Warde Manuel, AD, UConn. Previously the AD at Buffalo, where he hired Turner Gill for those two years where Buffalo was not terrible. At UConn hired Kevin Ollie, which was a given after a national title, and Bob Diaco after taking a swing at Pat Narduzzi.
  • Jeff Long, AD, Arkansas. Hired Bert out from under Wisconsin, which is pretty impressive. Also hired Bobby Petrino away from the Falcons, which was a good idea until it really really wasn't. Cofopoff chair.
  • Brad Bates, AD, Boston College. Is, uh, at Boston College? Before he was at Miami and helped acquire Enrico Blasi and a new arena for the Redhawks. BC Interruption take here if you're inclined.
  • Joe Parker, AD, Colorado State. The favorite candidate of many people who worked in the department when he was around. Recommended by most of the Brandon-initiated Michigan Athletic Department Diaspora. Only one year as an AD but has held posts just below that level for a decade.

Former Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011 and resigned from his post in 2015. While Hackett brought him on as a consultant that probably doesn't indicate he's a serious candidate for the job.

Oh, and Tom Lewand's free! Anybody? Anybody other than Mark Snyder? Nobody? That appears to be nobody signing up for a guy with zero AD experience, but plenty of hiring Jim Caldwell experience. (Other staffers say he's the Lions' coach, and that the Lions are a local professional football franchise with a star-crossed reputation.)

I haven't heard much buzz on the search yet but a few months ago I did get a note that Manuel was probably the favorite.

Linebackers to be coached. Chris Partridge will pick up linebacker duties for the bowl game. This allows him to go on the road in the absence of Durkin, which is a good thing.

Given the way the release is phrased it doesn't seem like he's getting a position coaching slot permanently—or at least that's not the plan right now. Keeping Partridge for another year or two before he does move onward and upward is a good thing, especially with Michigan having most of New Jersey on lock.

Stats to be goggled at. Michigan features twice in a PFF column on crazy stats, and this is the craziest:

Even though [Jake] Rudock has had an underwhelming season, he has one thing going for him. He leads the country in accuracy under pressure at 71.4 percent. That’s especially surprising considering he was ranked 40th last year in the same category at 56.8 percent. It’s not a small sample size either. Only nine quarterbacks have had more snaps under pressure than Rudock.

I guess "underwhelming" is a thing you could say about Rudock's 2015 if you are not a Michigan fan. If you are a Michigan fan he's the guy holding onto your hand as you reach for the Holy Grail in a crevasse. Also, his first half was indeed very underwhelming. His finish not so much.

Related: I thought Michigan's pass protection was more or less good this year, what's the deal with all the pressures?

Meanwhile:

Chris Wormley (DT, Michigan) is having the best pass-rushing season by a defensive tackle in the last two years.

Wormley is the definition of a pass rushing specialist. On every one of the 269 plays that he has lined up as a defensive tackle the opposing offense has passed the ball. On every pass play, Wormley has rushed the passer. … Wormley currently leads the country in PFF’s signature stat, pressure percentage (PRP) at 12.3. … The senior from Ohio has improved tremendously from last season. His current grade of +35.8 is over 25 points higher than is 2014 grade. He has graded positively in every game except last week’s game against Ohio State where he struggled with his run defense.

When I saw that I thought to myself "he's a defensive end, not a DT," but they cover that in the paragraph on him.

I think the way PFF is crediting rushes here is generous to Wormley. He benefited from the pile of stunts Michigan ran—without question the best thing Durkin did this year is base his pass rush on constant stunting—and in UFR I've started splitting credit between the guy who drives the lane open and guy who loops around for the glory. Wormley did have a major breakout season, don't get me wrong, but Michigan's ability to pressure was a team thing in which all three DT/DE types contributed about equally.

Etc.: NC State highlights. Holdin' The Rope on the game. Texas key plays. UT take on that game. Walton's issue a "slight ankle sprain"; exhale. Kansas still has a student athletics fee. Love Moritz McGary. The Big Ten has a big rights package coming up.

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Unverified Voracity Rents Monster Truck

Unverified Voracity Rents Monster Truck Comment Count

Brian October 6th, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Event. The Alumni Associations big homecoming tailgate is this weekend. It features many things:

Five stations of delicious tailgate themed foods.

Cold beer brewed by U-M alumni-owned North Peak Brewing Company.

Performances by student groups.

Appearances by special guests including: University President Mark Schlissel, MGoBlog creator Brian Cook, and New York Times bestseller John U. Bacon.

A performance by the Michigan Marching Band.

The Exclusive Member Lounge - Alumni Association members can meet Sara Moulton between 12:30 - 1:30 and try out some of her favorite tailgating recipes.

One of them is somehow me. I have been tasked with emceeing the event, so send me all your John U Bacon short jokes. Tickets are available here. Teaser: I hear John U Bacon is not very tall, you guys! /rimshot

Whoops. Accidentally left this from LongLiveBo out of the game column:

Felt like this for a while

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Ended up feeling like this.

21893870482_5afcfa87be[1]

You will agree that it is good I have repaired this mistake.

A man who knows his history. Michigan went way back in the annals of football and dug out the T-formation against Maryland. I'm charting it and trying to figure out what the accepted lingo for T-formations with receivers is and hit up the Wikipedia article, and bang:

Yost_regular_formation_(crop)

That is from Fielding Yost's 1905 book "Football for Player and Spectator," which sounds amazing. Also, the section in which this image is found is headlined "Obsolescence," to which Jim Harbaugh would like to say not so fast, my friend.

Another tale in which Michigan is prepared. From Doug Karsch:

"I spoke with D.J. Durkin this week before the game, and he said, 'Look, Caleb Rowe is fine, until he gets pressured. That's where the turnovers have come from. So we're going to need to pressure him.'

"Sure enough, they did. All three of his interceptions came under heavy duress. Desmond Morgan said after the game about his interception, which came on a screen pass, before the ball was snapped, he knew in that down and distance that they liked to go screen. He told the defensive line to watch for the screen."

Michigan got Hurst in on Rowe so quickly he ended up hammering the ball at a running back about five feet from him. The deflection that followed was partially forced by the D.

So many ORs it sounds like a seal convention around here. Looking ahead a little bit to next week, Michigan State's depth chart on offense is certainly uncertain:

Pasted image at 2015_10_06 10_18

Jack Allen is a very good center. As a 6'2" left tackle he's gonna die. MSU really needs Conklin back posthaste. I imagine if there is any way either he or Kieler can play next Saturday they will do so.

It's fatal. Start over. The immediate aftermath of hiring Mike DeBord at Tennessee has exceeded even Michigan fans' extraordinarily jaded expectations:

The Vols are 108th in Bill Connelly's "explosiveness" metric. They've scored a total of 13 points in the second half of games against Oklahoma, Florida, and Arkansas.

The optics here are really bad. Tennessee essentially does not have a quarterbacks coach. That task has fallen to Nick Sheridan (yes, that Nick Sheridan), who is a grad assistant after a couple of years as Willie Taggart's QB coach at WKU and then USF. No offense to Sheridan, but that's an incredibly thin resume for the only guy a major college has with any claim to be a QB coach. Dobbs has seen his completion percentage drop six points and lost 0.6 YPA this year. You want those numbers to go the other way when your QB hits his upperclass years.

You really have to wonder what the hell Butch Jones was thinking.

The love is real. If Cracker Barrel's latest viral marketing campaign was based on kidnapping and hypnotizing Jim Harbaugh, someone needs a raise.

BTW, there is now a hidden subplot in Harbaugh twitter:

This happens a lot in his mentions now. A lot.

Possibly because Licensed Twitter Troll Tim Kawakami is retweeting him. Well done, Licensed Twitter Troll Tim Kawakami.

Cumong man. I am happy with the state of the team. I am getting a little punchy about the outside perception of it from both humans and numbers. Vegas moved Michigan from essentially infinity to 1 for the national title to 22 to 1, which is insane. S&P is not a person but a series of carefully selected numbers; now that Michigan bludgeoned Maryland and all preseason numbers have been dropped Michigan sits third(!) in it. FEI, at least, is more skeptical—Michigan is 22nd.

Pat Forde has a gimmicky column on when the undefeated teams lose in which he essentially says Michigan is goin' to the the playoff:

Northwestern (1)

Expiration date: Oct. 10, at Michigan. Saturday the Wildcats play in the Big House, in front of roughly 75,000 more people than have seen them play at any point this season. First team to 10 may win this matchup of the best defenses in the conference – and that team will be the Wolverines.

Michigan State (8)

Expiration date: Oct. 17, at Michigan. If this comes to pass, the Mitten may lose its mind. But which team is playing better football at the moment? The Wolverines.

Ohio State (20)

Expiration date: Nov. 28, at Michigan. And if it comes to this, Lord have mercy on the scarlet and gray.

I think the Lord's already done plenty for Ohio State, thanks. We have to fire our coach for blatant cheating—oh look Urban Meyer is tanned, rested, and ready. Hooray.

Dadrock is everywhere. The HarPod dominates all sports.

As basketballs bounced on the hardwood, the arena filled with noise: "You get up every morning from your 'larm clock's warning, take the 8:15 into the city."

Yes, Michigan basketball's official opening practice of the 2015-16 season actually included Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care Of Business."

The Dads. They are rocking.

Quinn also has some useful takes from the open practice:

Speaking of Robinson, yes, he's as advertised. The redshirt sophomore can shoot — really shoot — from all over. It's effortless; more net than rim. As Derrick Walton Jr. told us before practice, "Like, it's weird when he misses."

Now all that Robinson has to prove is that he can get off his shot in live action, defend on the other end, and rebound his space. As for the athleticism question, Robinson rose up and tossed in an ally-oop with ease on Friday. He can jump. Quickness? I'm not sure yet.

I don't know where he got the impression Doyle had any baby fat; guy was as built as I've ever seen a freshman post at M. IIRC his tendency to become exhausted was more because he was constantly ill last year.

It's back! Jim Hackett has resumed wearing his I Got Harbaugh outfit.

This is a welcome development.

Etc.: Russell Bellomy departs UTSA. "A retrospective on Tom Crean's mediocre sext game." A history of moved Michigan games. Aubrey Dawkins oh man oh man oh man. Official site stuff on the Yost renovations. Gary Danielson being himself. ESPN adopts a sensible strategy for game overlap.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Advises Ponchos

Unverified Voracity Advises Ponchos Comment Count

Brian September 29th, 2015 at 12:08 PM

One year ago. Not quite today. But close:

The beginning of the end and the beginning of the rebirth. The Daily's Jake Lourim takes the opportunity to look at Jim Hackett's tenure:

Schlissel said student backlash went “beyond having a football team that didn’t achieve a record that met people’s expectations.”

“It was part of the issue, why people were anxious, but it wasn’t the main issue,” he told the Daily in September. “I think, what people felt was, football in particular and perhaps the other sports were becoming more distant from the campus. That they were becoming more of an enterprise and less of an activity. I think our non-athlete students … felt estranged — they felt like customers.

“I think we’ve gone a long way in the months since … to reset the way the Athletic Department views its role on the campus,” he added.

Schlissel is in charge of things for a reason.

Save a garbage bag, bring a poncho. The Maryland game is going to be in the vicinity of tropical storm Joaquin. How close is going to mean the difference between a nice night and seeing Jake Rudock hit in the face with a soaked, flying cat. Monday's storm track was looking pretty ominous for the football game; Tuesday's is less so:

The Monday track had the storm right off the coast of DC at 8 PM Saturday. Worth keeping an eye on still. A thunderous downpour would be advantage Maryland in the same way playing checkers instead of chess is advantage Borges:

So they've got that hypothetically going for them.

Whoops. When Vegas put out a Michigan –11.5 line for this game, I thought "that seems low." Maryland fans glumly asked if that was a first-quarter line. And sure enough, that line was pounded until it was pulled off the board and returned at M –14.5. Even now only a couple of books are offering a line at all, and the "consensus" is M –16.

A move that big suggests that Michigan and Maryland combine to break whatever models are used to set lines—possibly because the amount of deviation from preseason expectations for both overwhelmed them.

Mark Messner tribute. From Wolverine Historian:

Keep that anger inside where it can be used to hit people hard. The prospect of getting trash-talked by BYU is appealing. In my experience Mormons have the ability to turn an innocent word into the vilest thing you've ever heard with their intonation. When you don't swear the swears leak into the rest of your language; it's quite a trick. So when I wonder what might have made Jabrill Peppers mad on Saturday

For whatever reason, Michigan's redshirt freshman defensive back found himself on the receiving end of an unusual amount of trash talk Saturday early on against BYU.

He did his best to ignore it, and almost engaged once. But, ultimately, his pads prevailed.

And by the time Peppers wrapped up and, literally, tossed 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver Terenn Houk out of bounds just before halftime, the talking had officially stopped.

"We play between the whistle, so I'll try to hurt you as much as I can between the whistle," Peppers said Monday. "Especially if you're jawing at me. ... (They were saying) things I can't repeat on camera.

"I just let my pads speak for me, that's how I react to that."

…I hope it's "I welcome this upcoming athletic contest" twisted into a pulsating black sphere of hate.

Also: Harbaugh banning trash talk is 1) amazingly hypocritical and 2) another anger factory. I don't want to hear about how this country "used to make things" when Jim Harbaugh is the world's #1 exporter of harsh feelings.

Happy_fun_ball[1]

Side note. Who taunts Happy Fun Peppers? That seems just amazingly unwise.

It is your destiny. So my Hackett statue concept is that he's wearing the outfit he's got on in that shot of Harbaugh exiting the plane at Detroit Metro and he's got a microphone in one hand that he has just let go.

Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett agreed with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Saturday, speaking on Michigan's pregame radio show, saying he'd like to see the Wolverines and Fighting Irish resume their rivalry.

In fact, he believes it's "destined" to happen.

"Nothing has happened in that regard from my desk," Hackett said. "But the way I think about the Notre Dame thing is, that's a rivalry that should be restored and it's destined to have that happen.

"The challenge is making the schedules work. Because of television, because of the Big Ten having 14 teams. We've got to find holes in the schedule."

I think that would be a good statue.

Surprise! Larry Brown got hit by the NCAA with a suspension and SMU was banned from the postseason this year.

It turns out that SMU academic support was doing coursework for the players. Sun round, full of hot bits. Michigan travels to SMU on December 8th.

Five are in a dark black. Eighty are in a slightly darker black. PREPARE THYSELVES

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ANN ARBOR -- Maryland will be sporting its "Black Ops" alternate uniforms when it hosts No. 22 Michigan on Saturday, according to InsideMDSports' Ahmed Ghafir.

Maryland is 0-2 while dressing in tactical garments, having lost by a combined score of 78-29. The Maryland football team is on the verge of seriously pissing off America's most dangerous special forces troops.

Spartan injuries. No information forthcoming:

Conklin is an OR on the most recent depth chart.

Hart profiled. Via the Daily:

“All I knew was, kind of, Michigan,” Hart said. “With Coach English, Lloyd — that’s the only way that we did things. And not bad things. But I needed to open my horizons.”

For Fleck, hiring Hart wasn’t a tough choice. Being Michigan’s all-time leading rusher bought him instant credibility with recruits, and Fleck had already been hearing rave reviews about Hart from prospects.

“(They said), ‘Mike Hart, I love Mike Hart.’ That’s what I continued to hear on the recruiting trail,” Fleck said.

Hurst profiled. Via Brendan Quinn:

But this isn't about who wasn't there and what hasn't been in Maurice Hurst Jr.'s life. This is about what's been there all along.

Nicole Page will board a flight tonight to watch her son play football.

"As long as I can see him a couple of times a month, I'm good," she says. "But it's still tough. I miss him all the time."

Uncharacteristically blunt. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has always come off as one of the smartest guys in college football's administrative class and his recent comments on the unionization drive the NRLB essentially punted on are going to prove prophetic, I bet:

“I’m glad the unionization process has cooled for right now,” Bowlsby said. “But the fact is — and it probably will be in the sport of men’s basketball — there will be a day in the future when the popcorn is popped, the TV cameras are there, the fans are in the stands and the team decides they’re not going to play. Mark my words. We will see that in the years ahead. We saw some of it for other reasons in the ’70s, but I really believe that we aren’t finished with the compensation issue or with the employee-vs.-student issue.”

The right combination of ornery dudes and it will happen. If the Fab Five happened today it would be them, for sure.

Bowlsby still comes from a point of view so blinkered that he's startled when a Big 12 athlete tells him that he feels like an employee, but at least he's able to accept that fact and start communicating why that is the case and what that means in the near future. So many NCAA administrators are busy trying to shore up a dike that's about to bust; Bowlsby is trying to whittle a canoe.

Etc.: Is that bad, Bret Bielema? Basketball depth is deep: how will they use it? This is not at all unreasonable. Harbaugh marriage advice is exactly what you'd expect. Texas fans have gone Falling Down on the reffing in the Oklahoma State game. Wheatley to Rose Bowl hall of fame. Top analytics articles. Mud Bowl on the rocks but apparently still a go.

Gameday with the MMB. Butch Jones is under fire.

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Oregon State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Oregon State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 13th, 2015 at 12:00 PM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

News bullets and other items:

  • Shane Morris is the backup quarterback. Speight took the one end-of-game snap because Harbaugh didn’t want to put Morris, a junior who’s played his first two years, in for that.
  • Harbaugh wants further explanation on the roughing the kicker call. He thought the punter had established himself as a runner.
  • Harbaugh called the snap over the OSU’s punter’s head a play that goes your team’s way once in a half a century.
  • Rudock drew praise for his coolness under pressure, but Harbaugh didn’t like the fumble or interception, particularly because he felt Rudock locked on his receiver on the pick.
  • The same play was intercepted in practice, so Harbaugh took the blame and said he’s kicking himself for calling it in the game.
  • Wormley, Charlton, Smith, Bunting, and the secondary were singled out for their strong play.
  • Hackett gave Harbaugh the maize watch he’s been wearing since Harbagh’s introductory presser.

 

Is there a game ball that went out to DeVeon or the defense? They both played well. Can you comment on that?
"Yeah, I sure can. We haven't given out any game balls yet. We'll do that Monday, but the defense – I'd say DJ Durkin and his staff did a tremendous job preparing the players. Went 3 1/2 quarters without points and tremendous on sudden change, we turned the ball over on our end of the field and coming away with getting a turnover, Joe Bolden plucks one out of the air. I thought that was a huge play in the game.

“There was- one other one was Jake Butt plucking a ball out of the air at the 10 yard line to open up the second half when we fumbled down there deep in our own end zone – end.

“So, great team win. Very pleased. I thought this was won with the week of practice. We had a tremendous practice on Monday, especially Wednesday, and especially Thursday. Everybody contributed. The look team, the scout team, was- had its best week. Guys really challenging made those practices extremely good. But yeah, there was a lot of credit to give out to a lot of people because there was a great team win, but we're going to move on from this one with humble hearts because there's a lot of work to do."
Obviously a turning point in the game – it was still close at 10 to 7 – but the punt that was blocked…or is supposed to be blocked where there was the disputed call, how huge was that given that you disputed the call on the roughing?
"Oh, the roughing? I need an explanation on that one. Their punter caught it behind the guard, bobbled it, looks to me like he took right-left-right-left and punted it. The way I understand the rule is that if he establishes himself as a runner he's afforded the same protection a quarterback is when he is running outside of the pocket, which is if a guy takes two steps, the quarterback, [and] launches into him after he throws the ball then that would be a penalty, but that was a punt-hit. I just need a better explanation as to why that was a penalty, But maybe I stand to be corrected.

“But yeah, the game was tight. It was still in doubt and then we got the very fortuitous play for us, which was them snapping the ball over the punter’s head. I mean, that happens once in a half a century for your team. So that was a heckuva good break for us, but we'll take it. But I thought it was a good, competitive game. I thought our guys got the running game established. We tackled well. Got some pressure on the quarterback; thought that was the difference between the first quarter and a long drive they made and some other drives that they had. Wormley got a big sack that backed them up to the 2 yard line and then we got good field position. Jabrilll did another fine job fielding punts and making cool-handed decisions and we were able to turn that drive into a score and put points on the board. So,…good. Just think we've got a – it's only the second game. It's a long season and we all have a lot of work to do, so that's what we're focused on."

[The rest after THE JUMP]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Was On The Other Side

Unverified Voracity Was On The Other Side Comment Count

Brian August 24th, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Rudock versus M. I missed this in April when it was posted; let me repair that omission now. Wolverine Devotee put together an every snap video of Jake Rudock playing Michigan in 2013:

Rudock threw three interceptions, but only one of those was really his fault. On the other two he got obliterated as he threw; one of them deflected to Brennen Beyer for a Rather Fit Guy Touchdown and the other required Raymon Taylor to make a great play to dig out a play that was otherwise open. The third was real bad, a Blake Countess bait and switch job that went directly to him.

For the day Rudock was 19/30 for 8 YPA and 2 TDs and the three INTs. Of note: every pass Rudock is actually trying to complete is dead on the money except a flea flicker that hung up in a 25 MPH wind. The long Tevaun Smith touchdown was greatly facilitated by Rudock locating the pass where Smith could catch it and keep running without so much as breaking stride—something that is a consistent strength of his.

The interceptions are not much of a worry since he just went through a season in which he had five against 16 TDs. I think he's pretty good.

More ENDZONE Brandon's Lasting Lessons excerpts. From Michigan Today on Hackett:

“I was retired,” Hackett recalls, “sitting at our home on Spring Lake, convalescing from my hip replacement on my right side. Already had the left one done. And the idleness hit me—and I realized something that I didn’t realize before: I don’t like to be idle. I’m wired to be busy. Serving on boards is good, but they only meet once a quarter. I have a lot of energy, and particularly like solving problems,” a central part of the CEO mindset.

Schlissel refrained from telling Hackett that Brandon had just resigned. Instead, Hackett recalls Schlissel saying, “I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I just need to know if you’re interested. And I need to know tonight.”

From ESPN on the 2011 coaching search:

And that's what it came down to. Not money. Not power. Not fame -- but love. And Michigan, under Brandon, wasn't offering it to Harbaugh.

"I will never know what Brandon's motivations were," Anson told me, "but it seems clear to me that Dave was so insecure that he needed to be the big deal and could not countenance a strong personality as Michigan's head football coach.

"The 49ers swooped in and grabbed Jim, while Michigan stood on the sidelines. In my mind, Michigan should have had Jim locked down a month before that, and could have. I can only conclude that Dave Brandon is the sole reason Jim did not become our football coach in 2010."

Now it can be told (because it's in the book) that Anson is the gentleman who bought Jim Harbaugh those ties.

The Hoover Street Rag has a review and Bacon talks with ESPN as well.

Well, yeah. Beilein, nation's top offensive coach:

Beilein, entering his ninth year as Michigan head coach, was voted as the best offensive coach in the country in CBS Sport's annual "Candid Coaches" series, an anonymous polling of nearly 100 Division I basketball coaches at all levels.

Unfortunately this poll doesn't come with the set of anonymous comments it has in the past. Those were always interesting and, in the case of Beilein, highly complementary.

Hiding in the hidey-hole. OH YEAH THAT GUY

John Beilein can take a good joke every once in awhile. Chalk it up to those Irish-German roots.

That's why he cracked his familiar wry grin last week. It was suggested that, should the 62-year-old Michigan basketball coach have any skeletons in his closet, now would be the time to air them out.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"No one is paying attention, John," he was told.

"Oh man, I'm loving it," Beilein said, laughing. "I absolutely love that part of it. I have no problem with that."

John Beilein can start a world war or eliminate snakes from an island every once in a while. Chalk it up to those roots.

Not that bad. Joel Klatt visited Michigan practice and came away relatively impressed:

"They're not even in the same sentence right now in their own division with Michigan State and Ohio State, but here's the misconception," Klatt began, speaking on The Rich Eisen Show. "The misconception is that they're down talent-wise. I like Brady Hoke, but Brady Hoke underachieved to an enormous level with the talent he had. ... When I went yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see the type of talent they had.

"I don't think nine wins is out of the question. I could see nine wins this year."

Since they only play two teams in the preseason top 25 that is certainly within the realm of possibility. Michigan's schedule has many winnable games… and many losable ones. Many outcomes are plausible.

Etc.: Michigan's director of social media on the hacking incident. I do like this. I do love the Big Ten. BYU loses a starting TE. 1977 player intros. Cometh the Doylepocalypse.

Comments

Summer 2015 Survey Results

Summer 2015 Survey Results Comment Count

Seth August 24th, 2015 at 10:19 AM

We had a survey, 3,556 people responded to it. We learned some things about them:

1. They only get to a few games

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The average was two a year but the split is more like 26% go to no games, 36% get to one, and 38% get to more than one.

2. Most don't have season tickets

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Four in five (79%) responders don't. Also, when these were run against the previous question season, ticket holders averaged 5.05 games a year, while non-season ticket holders went to 1.11 per year. Season ticket holders were then asked if they would have renewed if Michigan had kept Hoke. Most (68 percent) would but even 32 percent "no" is ominous:

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3. There's a clear preference for ADs

Rating Brandon %RS Hackett %RS
1 (bad) 1488 42% 17 0.5%
2 (poor) 1654 47% 0 0%
3 (meh) 322 9% 28 1%
4 (okay) 33 1% 426 12%
5 (good) 19 0.5% 3040 87%
[no response] 40 - 45 -
Avg. 1.70 - 4.84 -

On overwhelming majority (almost 90%) of respondents gave Brandon a 1 or a 2. Conversely, Hackett cleaned up; among Michigan fans just 17 people who are impossible to please out of 3400 is some kind of magic. Brian demanded I combine these in a bar graph.

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Ace: "That is beautiful."

Brian: "See? Bar graphs!"

4. Harbaugh?

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Harbaugh has some catching up to do on his boss, at a still really positive approval rating of 4.27 out of 5. Then again Hackett has already reeled in a 5-star while I guess Harbaugh has yet to do so.

5. As for his predecessor

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Yes.

6. They'll pay more for better opponents, but not too much.

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What they have now is about what the market wants to bear.

7. What they want to wear

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Either the readership didn't understand that Underground Printing is our t-shirt guys and this would essentially mean MGoBlog gets to design all the uniforms, or they understood too well. Anyway UGP barely beat Under Armour, probably because they're the only company other than Nike that spells their name right.

8. Who they'd like to play

You're going to have to click this one I think:

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Notre Dame is the obvious one, and the next-most popular was Harbaugh taking a shot at his old team. Stanford makes a lot of sense in fan type, location worth visiting, old history, and a team we haven't seen much of. LSU would be great too though it probably will be less fun (and less easy) once Les and Cam are out of there. The Pac and SEC were easily the most desirable conferences. A breakdown:

Conference Votes
SEC 3587
Pac 12 3139
ACC (no ND) 1312
Notre Dame 1122
Big XII 452

The games already scheduled weren't included, otherwise I'm sure the interest in Texas and Oklahoma would shoot the Big XII back up to at least ACC levels, while Washington and Colorado could put the Pac 12 on equal footing with the SEC.

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Unverified Voracity Sells A Work

Unverified Voracity Sells A Work Comment Count

Brian August 14th, 2015 at 12:17 PM

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[Eric Upchurch]

"When did you sign a contract?" /looks at Hackett… "YESTERDAY". The WSJ has the first shot at an excerpt from John Bacon's upcoming book, and they go with the courtship of one Jim Harbaugh:

In December, after Michigan finished a miserable 5-7 season that resulted in coach Brady Hoke’s firing, Hackett and Harbaugh had long talks on Saturday nights, developing a good rapport. (To avoid anything leaking to the media, Hackett always referred to Harbaugh internally as “Unicorn,” which reflected Hackett’s belief that Harbaugh was a one-of-a-kind candidate.)

“The interesting thing is,” Hackett later told me, “we never talked specifically about Jim being head coach. We talked about what Michigan needed. After a few weeks of this, we’re going back and forth and getting really excited about the possibilities, and Jim says, ‘We’re getting excited about this, aren’t we?’

“Yes we are,” Hackett said.

“You didn’t offer me the job, did you?” Harbaugh asked.

“No, I haven’t.”

“I didn’t accept, did I?”

“No, you didn’t.”

It wasn’t an agreement, by design, Hackett says, “But that gave me the confidence, no matter what pressure the media was putting on me, I could stick to my guns.”

Hackett was truly the right guy at the right time.

"So unlike him." The Indy Star remembers when Jim Harbaugh punched a guy, specifically one Jim Kelly, then a broadcaster:

"Even though Kelly certainly earned it for publicly questioning Harbaugh's pain threshold, it was costly and so unlike No. 4.

"But, obviously, even a coach's son and the ultimate team player had a breaking point.

"'I don't think you can use this season as an excuse for what I did,' Harbaugh said, refusing to provide any play-by-play on the altercation. "I've never been a fighter, but it happened and it's over.'"

And then:

"I regret throwing the punch, but I felt I had to do something since my toughness was being questioned," Harbaugh said. "I regret that I have a crack in one of my bones in my hand."

A truly disturbing incident, one that had a great impact on his future aspirations.

Mother said we can go to Six Flags now. Mother says we can buy timeshare in a Segway. Mother says I have done good and my sleepwalk murders have been redeemed. I still think I never done no sleepwalking.

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Sadly, interested buyers, it turns out that you're already out of luck, too. The $1,500 piece of ... art ... has already been purchased by a 1965 Michigan grad and season ticket-holder.

The buyer, Roger Mayerson, told Putnam he simply knows what he likes.

"I think it's going to be quite a conversation piece," he said.

But I do want to ride a Segway.

Bring your Champion-type substances. BYCTOM previews the Northwestern schedule this year. On Michigan:

I can't wait to hate Jim Harbaugh.  He comports himself like a nineteenth-century military officer just returned from some colonial posting no longer able to function in the West where he has to answer to a doddering hierarchy of muttonchopped generals with disastrous plans.  Even by the insane standards of football coaches, whose lives revolve around yelling and watching film and taking fanboats to the east end of nowhere to convince a 300-pound 16-year-old to allow himself to be yelled at by them for the next four years, Harbaugh is intense.  He seems to strive to exist in a world of wide-eyed zeal, where humans only communicate in elaborate football play argots, where discourse is limited to talking about how determined you are, and where the punishments for variation in pants style are unspeakably draconian.  He is also a very good football coach and that is intolerable.

I will get you to read this blog if it is the last thing I do.

While I love this quote… OSU has a depressingly likable team this year, a fact that was emphasized by this quote from Josh Perry:

However, it is in fact very much like it went to crap and dilapidated and then some hipsters…

K21P7830

…moved in and renovated it.

OSU-Michigan, 1977.  Specifically, Ufer going bonkers at the end:

Sigh. Anonymous Big Ten coach quotes from Athlon have dropped this year, and like most things they will make you upset about the coaching over the last few years:

"I think Devin Gardner was better than people gave him credit for. He is a unique athlete who was capable of throwing the ball. He could have been a great college football player in the right system.”

“They had one of the most dangerous receivers in the league in Devin Funchess. They had two or three five-star running backs. They had a slot receiver (Dennis Norfleet) who could make some plays. So I don’t think it was a lack of skill.”

“They lacked confidence. That was a big problem.”

“It’s not like they were horrible. By no means did I think they lacked talent.”

There are a couple mentions that the talent level was down "a bit" and the like, but the overall picture painted is one of Big Ten coaches marveling at how absurdly bad Michigan was despite having good players last year.

There are exceptions. I am generally opposed to police militarization, but in some circumstances they need all the help they can get:

Should have asked for some airstrikes, too.

On Maize. "Distinctly golden."

Etc.: The Lions are going full Brandon. Cordell Broadus made it about as long as Tony Posada. More from Stagg vs Yost. I talked to Concentrate about the reduced stadium capacity. Jordan thing. I'm confused. Hooray Jordan thing, say recruits. Okay, I guess.

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