Unverified Voracity Provides Unsolicited Cat Name Advice

Unverified Voracity Provides Unsolicited Cat Name Advice

Submitted by Brian on July 30th, 2018 at 1:21 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

Jordan Poole's cat should be named "Splash" tho. For so many reasons! Anyway here's what Ace has been watching on repeat for the last couple days:

Been a while since we've had a good Harbaugh quote. But this one from Wilton Speight is a doozy:

Early in his Michigan tenure, Harbaugh pulled Speight aside and told him not to eat chicken, a protein that is considered fairly safe by nutritionists. When Speight asked why, Harbaugh said, "because it's a nervous bird."

"He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork," Speight says. "And he believes it, 100 percent."

The Pork Advisory Council just spiked its glove into the dirt and walked away, fading into oblivion before it exited the outfield.

But what's even better is Matt Hayes's attempt to pivot from Harbaugh's crypto-Lamarckian theory of nutrition to his banal-to-the-point-of-narcolepsy response to questions about his starting QB:

That wasn't any less strange than the way Harbaugh responded to questions about Patterson during Big Ten media days. How he insisted the best quarterback on his roster—and the one guy who can save the program—is just one of four quarterbacks available.

That's right, he said available.

Well, folks. I'm baffled. I have no way to connect the dots between Jim Harbaugh Thinks Eating Lobster Makes You Grow Claws and Jim Harbaugh Said "Available" In A Press Conference being equally odd. I mean, I get that Patterson is a lock to start, but surely Hayes has been around the block enough to know that coaches play coy about their starters about 90% of the time they don't have a returning player.

[After the JUMP: bad math! OL weight news!]

Spring Practice Presser 3-23-17: Jim Harbaugh

Spring Practice Presser 3-23-17: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 24th, 2018 at 9:14 AM

37121920161_7fc64e4866_z

[Eric Upchurch]

What are your impressions after day one?

“Uh, good. Good day. The team is…it’s a rejuvenated team. And I like the way they’ve really trained over the last two-and-a-half months and getting back on the field was great today.”

Rejuvenated in what way?

“Just attitude, confidence, there was a bounce in their step, and it’s been good. It’s been good over the last weeks, months, and great to get back started on the field.”

I know it’s only been one day, but what did you think of Shea [Patterson]?

“Um, did good. Did a good job. As did a lot of guys, you know. And for a first day, I mean, it was…guys had studied. Guys, you know, it wasn’t the first time they’d thought about the plays or the defensive calls or the punt protections. Guys came out and had a high level of understanding and there was good execution [for a] first day.”

Do you have an update on Shea’s timeline with regard to eligibility or when you might hear something from the NCAA?

“No.”

Are you hopeful or what do you think?

“I don’t have an update.”

When you go through, because you don’t have an update and you don’t know, do you go through just a normal progression with him and say ‘You’re going to get these reps’ and then the other guys the same way? Do you just go with it thinking that okay, yeah, we will have him?

“Uh, the reps are being evenly distributed amongst the quarterbacks.”

Is Grant Newsome able to practice yet?

“No.”

He can do anything with the team right now?

“He’s working out, he’s conditioning, but he’s not at the point to come back and practice with the team.”

I think you said Grant Perry’s also limited on the radio. Is there anybody else besides those two that’s not going to be full go by spring ball?

“Yeah. Luiji [Vilain], Jameson Offerdahl, there’s a few. And then Ty Wheatley, looks like he fractured the metacarpal [Ed. A- metatarsal] in his foot today, so he’ll be out for all of spring ball but back for the season.”

[After THE JUMP: out-of-the-gate leaders, some O-line clarity, and RPOh no]

National Signing Day II Presser: Jim Harbaugh

National Signing Day II Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on February 8th, 2018 at 10:35 AM

36946066186_d245387d18_z

[Fuller]

“Hello. Good to see everybody.”

Jim, couple misses today but the new guys that you did get, what do you think about the class?

“Very excited about the class. First time we’ve had two signing days, so many that you know about and proud to announce, officially, Shea Patterson—talked about him; Ronnie Bell, can officially announce Ronnie; Casey Hughes, who’s also a graduate transfer; Vince Gray; Michael Barrett. So, welcome to the Michigan family.”

You started talking about Ronnie the last time inadvertently, but what is it that you like about Ronnie?

“Love all his athletic ability. Start off with production: 86 catches, close to 1200 yards, Simone Player of the Year in Kansas City, player of the year in football. He’s also an excellent basketball player and…love the family, love him. Production. Production being the key thing.”

MGoQuestion: What are you getting in Michael Barrett and do you envision him starting off at quarterback or running back or somewhere else?

“Envision him getting the ball in his hands. Wide receiver, slot receiver, running back: those two areas primarily for him. Spent some time with Anquan Boldin, who was also a high school quarterback. Played some quarterback in college, and eventually wide receiver. Somebody that can get the ball and make yards after the catch or yards after contact. A receiver who can run like a running back and, also, I think he’ll have the ability to be a running back. So, different areas that Michael could get the football, including quarterback.”

Now that it’s all over and you’ve had the two signing days, you’ve had the coaches moving in between, with all of it together, what did you learn about this…new world, I suppose? What did you take away from it overall?

“I don’t know what the numbers exactly will be but somewhere around 80% seemed to sign on the first signing day, and then there was 20% more that signed throughout college football. I think our numbers will be pretty close to that. There was a priority for the youngsters to sign on the first signing day. That’s the biggest thing, the biggest takeaway.”

[After THE JUMP: possible positions for Ryan Hayes and Casey Hughes, another spring abroad, and thoughts on new staff additions (including those no longer here)]

Outback Bowl Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Outback Bowl Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on January 2nd, 2018 at 9:00 AM

36449700853_4f13b33466_z

[Upchurch]

“I'd like to thank the Outback Bowl. [Ed. A—And I’d like to thank David Nasternak for being our guy on the ground in Tampa and getting audio of the presser] Great experience. Congratulations to South Carolina on their victory.”

Did you feel it slipping away at any time, or did they get better as the game went along?

“I think they did get better. I think probably a little bit of both those things. They got better as the game went on, no doubt, and made plays to win the football game, and we didn't get the knockout punch when we needed it. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that were there.”

Can you put your finger on why the defense was having a dominant performance and then it all changed? What did you see in terms of why it changed?

“Yeah, they made a really good throw, really good catch on the touchdown. Made another spectacular throw and catch on the second touchdown pass. Yeah, they executed well, really well, and then our errors, starting with the—really starting with the fumble by Sean McKeon, which was not Sean McKeon’s fault, that was our fault. That was a coaching error. We had the wrong personnel in there, and I should have called time out. And then the other miscues we had.”

Pat Kugler, was he banged up a little bit? Is that why you took him out of the game?

“Yeah, Pat had gotten rolled up on his ankle and gave it a go and was doing fine, but just felt like it was too much to overcome.”

When did you know about that Ben [Bredeson] wasn’t going to be able to play?

“About three weeks ago.”

[After THE JUMP: sifting through what went wrong in search of answers, shooting down NFL rumors (again), evaluating QB play and what it means for 2018]

Flanagan Family: How Devin Bush, Josh Metellus, and Devin Gil Found a Second Home

Flanagan Family: How Devin Bush, Josh Metellus, and Devin Gil Found a Second Home

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 31st, 2017 at 2:56 PM

db4l

[courtesy Yasmeen Alcindor]

The secret to Michigan’s success on defense isn’t really a secret. It’s hard to stay under the radar when your mustache is so perfect, your stats are so good, and your scheme is so aesthetically pleasing. But the secret ingredient in how Michigan’s defensive personnel was assembled was, well, itself assembled. A few years ago, a sleek new Playstation 4 rolled off an assembly line in Yantai, a coastal city of about 7 million in China, not realizing that it would some day end up in the living room of Jabrill Peppers’ apartment, let alone that it would play a crucial role in landing three contributors to 2017’s no. 3-ranked defense.

The PS4’s shining moment came on the night of June 14, 2015, when three then-recruits--Devin Bush Jr., Josh Metellus, and Devin Gil--went on an unofficial visit to Michigan. The three got in from South Florida around 11 on their first night in Ann Arbor and went straight to Peppers’ apartment, where they found Willie Henry (or, as he’s known around the program, Big Earl) ready and waiting to throw in NBA 2K15 or Madden 15.

“I’ll bust out the 2K or we can throw in Madden if you feel like the odds are better in that,” Henry says. “I don’t think I ever lost to Jabrill, Devin, the other Devin, or Metellus.” Metellus corroborates Henry’s recollection. “It was just funny because Gil, he was playing 2K, he was just losing the whole time. It was hilarious,” he says.

Asked who’s the best 2K player, Gil says it has to be him. This is one of the many times during our interview where the crosstalk explodes, three voices criss-crossing with such speed that the tape plays back a staccato mess. As things calm down, Bush explains his frustration. “He plays as Golden State like he’s tryin’ to cheat,” he says. The pride swells in his voice. “I play as random teams.” Gil, the most reserved of the three, quietly retorts: “I’m still gon’ win, though. Regardless, I’m gon’ win.”

And he might, but not that night. “A lot of people just like playing with Lebron but I can use it as an excuse: that’s my home team I’m just playing with. Can’t be mad that my home team got Lebron James,” Henry says. “But you know me, I’m very competitive, too. So it was just two guys competitive at what they do playing the game at that time. I got the best of him that night but I could see from the fight in that that we had three great competitors coming from the same school that had the possibility to come to the same university. It was just a blessing. I had a great time with the boys that night.”

[After THE JUMP: a secret plan, chasing offers, winning championships, and high-stakes games of…Uno?]

Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 21st, 2017 at 10:39 AM

26755815779_9b009fa5e7_z

[Barron]

“Am I late?”

[light laughter]

“Should have come and got me. I was busy doing something. Sorry if I’m late.”

Tell us what you like best about the guys you got on the dotted line.

“Um…the thing I like best…I like a lot of things, but the thing I like best…football players, good students. I think the thing I like best is there’s guys that really wanted to be at Michigan and appreciate what Michigan has to offer. They can understand it both as a football powerhouse and an academic powerhouse. That it provides both of those things.

“Nobody in there that really thinks they’re doing us the favor. It’s equal. So I think that’s what I like the most.

“I like the production in football games. Guys that are record-setters. There’s state champions. Very productive, and they’re productive in the classroom. They’re coming here to get a degree. The parents expect that they will get a very good degree. They’re not going to college to major in eligibility. They understand that they’re going to major in a legitimate discipline. There’s going to be rigor here, and they welcome that. Multiple things I like about this class so far.”

You guys announced yesterday Shea Patterson. What are your thoughts about him coming in and what his role could be?

“To compete. To…like everybody in the program, he has the license and the ability to be a starter. As I told all three of the quarterbacks at the same time, the only thing that’s guaranteed here is an opportunity. If I was the mindset of Brandon Peters, I would say, ‘Brandon, this is how you should think.’ He’s the starting quarterback, he should take this job and run with it and nobody’s going to take that away from him.

“If I was Dylan McCaffrey I would have the mindset of being on the scout team, being the scout team player of the year, now he’s going to get stronger. Doesn’t matter how many quarterbacks are on the roster, nobody’s going to beat him out.

“And if I was Shea Patterson, I would have the mindset of ‘Wait till they get a load of me.’ So all three have the license and ability to be great.”

[After THE JUMP: an MGoFriend stonewalls a minor violation, Hurst’s bowl-game decision, and a bit on some of the incoming freshmen]

Outback Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Outback Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 4th, 2017 at 10:00 AM

38590576846_ccff50ddfd_z

[Fuller]

“Yeah, on behalf of the 2017 Michigan Wolverines football team and the University of Michigan, we’re excited as heck to be coming down to the Outback Bowl. We all have—most of us, anyway, on the team—friends and family in Florida. We are excited about the competition in South Carolina and… hard football team. Been watching them a little bit and they’re tough. They’re really well coached.

“We’re excited about the New Year’s Day game on January 1st. I think it’s gonna be one of the most exciting January 1st lineup of bowl games that I’ve ever seen, so excited to be part of it and can’t wait. Know it’s going to be a lot of preparation our team will take up, get underway here this week.

“We know we’ve got to be better and that starts today and having a great matchup against South Carolina really helps motivate us to do that.”

What’s your reaction to the Big Ten getting shut out of the playoff this year and the decision to go with Alabama over Ohio State?

“My reaction is there should be more than four teams in the playoffs. Again, just to reiterate, eight teams, 12 teams, 16 teams—16 would ideal to be in the playoffs. It would make us more like every other spot, every other collegiate sport that has a playoff, every league in sports that has a playoff and a championship that does it through a playoff format.
“FCS, I mean, they have that format. It’s been in place. I think it’s up to 24 teams now and at that level I think it’s the ideal way to do it, so that’s my first reaction.”

I know you always talk about bowl practices as a way to catapult the team into next season but how much are you guys looking at this bowl game as more of maybe a way to validate the season for yourselves? There were a lot of variables this year: some injuries, three quarterbacks. How much are you looking at this game as kind of more just a validation of this season rather so much than catapulting into next season?

“I’d say both, Adam. Really building and attacking at the same time. This season and next season all at the same time. It’s both.”

If I could follow up real quick, just a few weeks or actually about a month or so of bowl preparation. How much more are you looking to see out of you team going into this bowl game. Is there another level that you feel you can reach that you haven’t reached in the regular season?

“Absolutely. We look at it right now, we’re not good enough. Not good enough to win all our games and we need to be better. We need to be good enough, and that starts now. That starts now, today. That started—well, really started last week, you know, as we go forward building and attacking, using our meeting time, using our training time, using our practice time, [and] this next ball game all to motivate us and improve as a football team.”

[After THE JUMP: Peters’ status (wrt the concussion and otherwise), Speight’s transfer, a Tarik Black update, and a discussion about better redshirt rules]

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 26th, 2017 at 11:14 AM

37752231325_d12c537421_z

[Upchurch]

Do you regret not going for it or—excuse me, let me rephrase this. Do you regret not punting on 4th and 4 in the fourth quarter instead of going for it and possibly pinning the Buckeyes deep in their own territory?

“We had a good play called. Wish we could have executed it better but wanted to be aggressive, wanted to attack there. Now, we don’t pick it up, easy to say wish we would have punted it, but… I felt good with the call. Felt good with the decision.”

John [was] real emotional just a minute ago talking about how much this game meant for the senior class and not being able to get it done. Can you assess his performance and the emotions that go into this game as well?

“Yeah, emotional game played by emotional guys. I have the same regret. Wish the seniors could have gone out with the win.”

You had it rolling at 14-0. What, in your mind, changed after that?

“Think both teams played well. They made plays, we made plays. They made—that was their part of the ballgame where they cracked a few runs and the quarterback got out and made a play. We had a few mistakes offensively, we had a few mistakes defensively and… think we had a few more than they did.”

[After THE JUMP: what happened on the interception; DPJ: do-stuff-right guy; how close Peters was to going]

Unverified Voracity Enloosens Turkeys

Unverified Voracity Enloosens Turkeys

Submitted by Brian on November 21st, 2017 at 3:56 PM

hoeglaw_thumb[1]

Sponsor Note. Had ol' Richard Hoeg on the podcast a couple weeks back, whereupon he both gave us an excellent Gimmicky Top Five topic and executed it well. It was about restoring the credibility of the NCAA with some rule changes, and he impressed with the depth of his thought. "Probity," I thought. "This person would be a good lawyer to have." And he can be your lawyer too, if you're starting up a small business and have a need for founding documents, contracts, and the like.

Also he had no preference between Rich, Richard, Rick, Ricky, and Dick, so if you're picky about names that's five options right there.

Turkeys on the loose. Via Bakers and Best, The Great Markley Turkey Hunt Of 1967:

In January I came across these two photos while browsing through the Bentley Historical Library image bank (the Bentley serves as the historical library and archive for the university).  In the past ten months I have told anyone who will listen (and then some) about these pictures. Each time I find myself incapable of fully describing my thoughts on them. Most people react in the way that Ben Wyatt did to Li’l Sebastian. I fear the same will happen here, but I have to try anyways.

I mean, how ridiculous are these? Perhaps it was the fact that it was 4 AM and I had long since given up on falling back asleep, but all I could do when I first saw these was laugh. I was scrolling through a collection of photos from The Michigan Daily, and juxtaposed against campus protests and national conventions they became even more absurd. This feeling of delight and joy quickly moved into deep curiosity. I suddenly had to know everything I could about the story behind these pictures.

Someone had, presumably intentionally, released several turkeys for students to catch in the muddied Markley courtyard. Why? Who sponsored it? Whose idea was it? How many students participated? Where did they get the turkeys from? Was this an annual event?

Some 30 students…celebrated Thanksgiving early yesterday with an Interhouse Assembly-sponsored turkey hunt in the Markley courtyard. Winners were awarded four complementary Thanksgiving dinners – turkey of course – and a splendid time was had by all. – The Michigan Daily, 11/18/1967

From the Bentley Library I knew that both photos were taken by student photographer James Forsyth of The Michigan Daily. Scrolling through several years worth of microfilm turned up an advertisement on November 15th (at right) and a front page photo and description (quoted above) on November 18th. I found no other record in the five years before or after, leading me to believe this was a one-off event.

Perhaps one of the descendants of these unfortunate fowls became the Insane Killer North Campus Turkey of 2015, thus restoring his family honor. The moral of the story is that turkeys should be loosed upon campus more frequently than once every 48 years.

Going long. There have been rumblings about Michigan doing something to tamp down the Harbaugh Goes Somewhere rumors for a year or so now, and... uh...

...yeah, now seems like an amazing time for such a thing. So naturally it's former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn who first broaches the possibility of a conversation-stopper:

What that would look like is unknown. How much oomph it would have depends on the buyout, and all that, but since the yammering about Harbaugh's job is invariably done by dim bulbs a LIFETIME CONTRACT(!!!) should be fairly effective at silencing the noise even if it isn't absolutely ironclad. Those people ain't reading the fine print.

Going deep. Hopefully this Smart Football post will be relevant to our interests going forward. It's about the post route, which we've seen Donovan Peoples-Jones wide open on a ton without results until last week:

The trick to throwing the ball deep down the middle past all eleven defenders is (a) find a way to bring up the defense’s deepest defenders so you can throw the post behind them and (b) if those defenders stay deep, don’t throw the post. The way to accomplish both of those goals is to construct a sound concept around the deep post that can provide answers versus a variety of coverages — and strike like lightning whenever the opportunity is right. And for my money, there’s no better way of accomplishing those goals than the Mills concept.

...

The basics of the play are straightforward:

  • the outside receiver runs a post route, breaking towards the near goalpost (hence the name “post”) somewhere between 12 and 15 yards;
  • the inside receiver runs to a depth of 10 to 12 yards and either breaks inside (known as a “dig” or “square-in”) or runs a hook or curl back to the quarterback;
  • the backside receiver runs some sort of route to draw away the coverage, such a corner route, a fade or “go” route or a hook; and
  • the remaining eligible receivers (runningbacks, tight-ends or slot receivers) run underneath routes to be checkdown options if the defense covers everyone else.

Together, the play is typically run with play-action to further pull up the linebackers and safeties. And, as the Fun ‘n Gun heyday era clips below show, Mills could be as beautiful as it was devastating.

Michigan's currently getting DPJ open by being very very bad at passing, but if you see DPJ on a post while a TE runs a dig or 12 yard hitch under him, that's Mills.

Getting rid of it. One of these things is not like the other, from PFF via 24/7:

1. Brandon Peters: 5-8 for 112 yards and zero turnovers when blitzed

Before the redshirt freshman went down with an injury on Saturday, he was excelling when Wisconsin would bring pressure, hitting plays to Donovan Peoples-Jones and Zach Gentry down the field among others and had a strong feel for the pocket throughout the game.

By comparison? John O'Korn went 0-5 in similar situations and looked like he has most of the season when the pressure starts to collapse the pocket a bit.

Small sample sizes but the larger picture looks much the same unless O'Korn is able to break the pocket.

Oh. Right. Cease panic. Bill Connelly once again futilely attempts to calm the raging waters with his logic, stats, and whatnot.

S&P+ projected Michigan to win, on average, about 8.9 games in 2017. If I had taken returning starting quarterback Wilton Speight — lost for the season with injury back in September — out of the equation, their projected wins probably would have fallen to about 8.5.

They are currently 8-3 following a loss to Wisconsin, and they will probably be 8-4 after Ohio State leaves town this coming Saturday evening.

Oh, the horror. Oh, the crushing disappointment.

When I wrote, “From a narrative perspective, though, 2017 will be interesting,” this is almost exactly what I meant. When we peer into the future, we can stomach some disappointments in the name of long-term success. When we’re living through those disappointments in the present tense, however, it feels like the sky is falling.

The defense is performing almost exactly as projected; Michigan was projected fifth in Def. S&P+ and is eighth. The offense has been a bit worse than expected (projected 40th, currently 69th), and Speight’s injury hasn’t been the only cause. But it hasn’t helped, and it probably isn’t a coincidence that the Wolverines’ hopes of an upset in Madison ended virtually the moment that emerging QB Brandon Peters also went down.

Good luck, Mr. Connelly. Let's just check the ol' comments to see how it's going. And...

Do we really expect Michigan fans to want to hear context when they're about to be 1-5 in 3 years vs MSU and Ohio State?

...why type anything ever?

Etc.: Jake Butt has music opinions. Larry Prout profiled. Preseason basketball tournaments are a racket, and here's the worst one. Nobody coaches kickers. That seems fine since they're all super good in the NFL? Braylon Edwards remains Braylon Edwards.

Monday Presser 11-20-17: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 11-20-17: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 20th, 2017 at 6:42 PM

24634260678_d6c35865de_z

[Fuller]

“First I’d like to, if I could, just send out our prayers and thoughts and sympathies to Terry Glenn’s family. Just heard of the unfortunate passing of Terry Glenn and wish to let his family know and all of the Ohio State community and friends and teammates of Terry and his family that they’re in our thoughts.”

Brandon’s status today?

“He’ll be coming in shortly. Was seen yesterday and we’ll see where he’s at today.”

Is he in concussion protocol?

“Yes, yeah.”

If Brandon can’t go, what’s Wilton’s status going to be?

“Wilton practiced last week and was not cleared for contact last week. He’ll be evaluated by the doctors again this week to see if he would be cleared for contact.”

If John O’Korn is your guy, can you talk about where he is relative to his first oppoprtunities earlier in the season and how he’s progressed?

“Yeah, John has remained diligent every single week. Preparation and the game plan and always sitting on a spring ready to play.”

Can you just talk about Ohio State and what you’ve seen out of them this year?

“Yeah, really, really talented team. Very well coached. Really good players. Right now going through the schemes, the matchups, the preparation for the ballgame on Saturday but really, really strong, physical football team. Fast team. Really good at the skill positions. Tackle well. Play really good up front. They rotate their defensive line. I know they think very highly of them and I can see why. Yeah, can’t say enough good things. Really good team.”

[After THE JUMP: stages of the concussion protocol, another injury update, and Harbaugh’s first memories of The Game]