Harbaugh, 2017 Season To Be Documented On Amazon Prime

Harbaugh, 2017 Season To Be Documented On Amazon Prime

Submitted by Ace on September 12th, 2017 at 5:32 PM

sure i guess i'll watch this [Bryan Fuller]

In news that is surely not to draw an unbelievable amount of attention, which is surely not the point in the first place, Michigan, the BTN, and Amazon have announced they've partnered for as-yet-unnamed documentary to be released for Prime members in January. Press release ahoy:

The University of Michigan, The Montag Group, Big Ten Network and Amazon have partnered on a behind-the-scenes documentary series about the 2017 Michigan football season that will be released on Amazon Prime in January 2018.

"We are proud to partner with Amazon Prime Video in documenting our University of Michigan student-athletes' daily experiences and the lifelong lessons learned both on the football field and in the classroom," said Michigan's J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh. "We welcome judgment! We embrace this opportunity to showcase our 2017 University of Michigan football team to a vast audience around the world."

"We think documenting this season will reveal that our university and football program are unique environments that equip our student-athletes for success in both academics and athletics," said Warde Manuel, U-M's Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "We are excited to work with great partners and to break new ground as the first collegiate program to participate in this digital space."

The series will chronicle the happenings of the 2017 season with exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage from college football's winningest program. The cameras will follow Harbaugh, assistant coaches and players throughout the entire season, including access to practice, the university's academic environment and a look into their lives off the field and in the Ann Arbor community.

The BTN has done excellent work with documentary-style shows like The Journey, and Amazon's All Or Nothing series chronicling NFL teams the past couple seasons have been of similar quality. Time to hit up your parents for that Prime password.

Dear Diary Needs a Bigger Three

Dear Diary Needs a Bigger Three

Submitted by Seth on May 13th, 2016 at 3:09 PM


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


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

8:45 a.m. Attendance

9:00 a.m. Career Day intro

9:05 a.m. Desmond Howard

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Your Moment of Zen:


Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days

Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days

Submitted by Brian on May 11th, 2016 at 2:53 PM


Team Gardens in Flint. If you're in the area and available this Saturday, the Alumni Association is working with Vincent Smith's Team Gardens to make a thing:

Each year, on Michigan Alumni Community Service Day, alumni clubs from all over the country give back to their local communities in a variety of ways. This year, our club is pleased to partner with Team Gardens #EATING Project to assist with the creation of a community garden at Potter Elementary School in Flint. Be sure to register for this event soon; attendance is limited to 35 volunteers and families are very welcome.

Plants! Plant them in planters, the plants. And the ground.

Go big or go bigger, home is just a distant memory. Michigan has now announced 28(!) satellite camps, including faintly ludicrous stops in Australia, Hawaii, and American Samoa—and Michigan will be at the latter two twice. I have a preview of Jay Harbaugh's future right here:

I have also traveled to and fro in time to acquire a piece of Jay's diary.

JULY 15TH—unnamed village 50 miles north-northwest of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The stink of refuse in the streets and the uncomprehending looks from the villagers wear on us daily. We say "football" ever slower only for the children to grab the balls and kick them about. The oblong shape does not bother them. They have never seen a soccer ball, either. I begin to wonder if they've ever seen a man-made toy.

Everything else is goats. Goat cheese. Goat moccasins. Goat yurts. Furtive in the streets, one day I think I see a goat wife. All is goats. We offer a class of 2019 wide receiver who does not know what a post route is, or his own name. We call him Goatley. He is probably a goat.

Tomorrow we're going to see the cosmodrome, for some reason.

JULY 21ST—Mons Olympus, Mars. There are no people here. We have been directed to form them from the dusty Martian soil. Every day I trudge up the ancient shield volcano to see if the crumbling forms have been imbued with a spark of life. They never are. I feel the radiation sleeting through space and Mars's thin atmosphere, into my bones. The nights are dark beyond belief.

In more ludicrous satellite camp news. The War On Rutgers continues. Our current situation: Michigan is ignoring Rutgers for the 150th consecutive year. Rutgers is offended that Michigan asked them to their Paramus camp because they didn't want to play second fiddle in their home state, so they announced a camp with Urban Meyer at the same time as Michigan's. I have a dank meme for this, you guys, that will prove I am hip with the snapchat youth.


Noted rappist DJ Khaled will ensure I remain relevant for decades

Only the dankest of memes will appear in this space.

Anyway, by flipping the bird to Michigan, Rutgers and OSU have annoyed a bunch of local recruits who now have to choose which set of coaches to get exposure with. New Milford assistant and outstanding name Preston Lawyer:

It appears this has hit a vein of internal New Jersey high school politics, and that a number of NJ high school coaches are nuts. A NJ.com article quotes a number of coaches supporting the Rutgers camp with language that says more about the person speaking than the event they're commenting on:

"Obviously, Michigan wants to conspire with Paramus Catholic to do whatever they want to do,'' Campanile said. "So I don't think they're making friends from that standpoint with a lot of these schools. I really don't know what to say about it. But it is what it is. They're obviously aligned with those guys, and if that's what they want to do, it's their business."

I'm sorry if some of you experienced painful eye-rolling at that quote. There's plenty more in there if you're inclined. This guys sounds like a major piece of work. His brother in an assistant at BC, who will work the Paramus camp:

"I love my brother more than anything in the world. I just don't want anything to do with my kids going to a camp at Paramus Catholic.''

The good news is that per 247 this dude doesn't have a single recruitable player in either of the next two classes. The two other coaches in that article are from Don Bosco and St Peter's Prep, though, and that's going to be interesting: three of the top five guys in the 2018 class are at those schools and Michigan is thought to lead for the Ademilola twins and is up there for Tyler Friday. A dollar says at least one of these guys is hired by Rutgers in the near future.

This already happened. To you. As recently as it's possible for this to happen. Elsewhere in incorrect braggadocio:

"I may get myself in trouble for this: For people that want to come to Alabama and have a camp, I think it's great, because they're helping the quality of football in the state of Alabama," Horton told the Ledger-Enquirer. "(But) no one is coming to this state and getting a player from Auburn or Alabama. That's not going to happen. So hey, I'm for, if they want to come to our state and have it, that's going to help the quality of high school football."

Not quite Alabama, but Elysee Mbem-Bosse went to high school less than two hours away from Auburn, was widely expected to go to Auburn, and then Harbaugh went "yoink." Michigan's recruiting efforts are not going to have a material impact on any out-of-region school; pretending that Harbaugh can't go pick off kids you want is sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la."

Pack line is music to the ears. Quinn profiles Billy Donlon in a long piece. They key bit for people blanching at triple-digit Kenpom D efficiencies:

At Wright State, Donlon primarily played a true pack line defense (a variation of man-to-man), while showing some 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones over the years. His team ranked in the top three in defensive efficiency in five of six years in the Horizon.

Over the last three seasons, Michigan has ranked 9th, 11th and 10th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency.

"He has a great basketball mind in general, but the way he coaches defenses -- that's kind of his thing," said AJ Pacher, a Wright State center during Donlon's first four seasons. "He did a lot of film, and a lot scouting, and he'd implement a lot of against specific teams in specific games."

The foul tension will be fascinating to see unfold next year. Here's hoping Michigan is a lot more annoying, a lot more effective, and autobench is at least somewhat warranted.

As a side note:

As Tuesday afternoon wrapped up, Donlon declined to answer if he'll serve as a sort of pseudo-defensive coordinator at Michigan.

Dank meme questions bros.

An easy way to get fired. Like a lot of coaches, Charlie Strong has a twitter hashtag he uses to announce commits, albeit anonymously. Would you believe the Texas guy for Scout has trademarked this hashtag and is now selling merch featuring it? You would not. But it happened anyway:

Texas officials were surprised Monday after learning that a reporter who covers Longhorns recruiting had trademarked Strong’s phrase in March 2015 and recently started selling #Letsride T-shirts.

Jason Higdon, the lead recruiting analyst for Horns Digest, filed two federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year to use the phrase on various sports apparel and wristbands.

If this guy had any connect with the coaching staff he doesn't have it any longer, and if the reaction to this news is any indication he might not have a job much longer. There is now a JasonHigdon.com run by one of the Barking Carnival guys, because the internet is like that.

Etc.: Mount Hot Take has been discovered. Excellent summary of the A&M twitter disaster. Ditto the Tunsil situation. Basketball has a home and home scheduled with UCLA. SMSB director appreciates Harbaugh's advocacy.

Baumgardner profiles David Long. Please have all future profile posted before the 2016 recruiting profile for that player, pls thx. Also profiled: Jourdan Lewis. Bama is comin' to our citayyyy. Don't hire the son of a famous coach before he's done something to prove he's not a total buffoon. See also: Derek Dooley.

Unverified Voracity Is Actually A Good Cook

Unverified Voracity Is Actually A Good Cook

Submitted by Brian on April 28th, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Hello. Sorry about that involuntary vacation there. Dumping water on your laptop is not fun, especially when the backup you had on hand for just such an eventuality doesn't boot either. Then I was at Blogs With Balls yesterday, trying to look somewhat official.

I am back now, even if the change in keyboard styles makes me want to die. Nothing makes me angrier than trying to use a keyboard I'm not familiar with. It's like having a stroke, one that suddenly puts punctuation all over the place for no reason. Anyway.


Just another day in the life. Offseason is relative.

Jim Harbaugh gives his version of Drake's album cover, gets RT'd by the First Lady

Anonymous NFL scout strikes again. The woooooorst:

There's about a 90% chance that the dude anonymously slamming Apple's life skills spends most of his life in hotels, has been divorced four times, and hasn't cooked anything more complicated than cereal since the 1970s. Also, this random slam from a guy who doesn't even know Apple appears to be 100% false:

The NFL draft starts tonight so our brief annual spate of anonymous, ludicrous slams of NFL prospects is just about over. Tune in next year, when someone accuses Jourdan Lewis of setting fire to his toaster.

Durkin on Harbaugh. None of this is actually a surprise; it is a confirmation about what life under Harbaugh is like:

CR: I'd imagine your early days at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh were a lot like the early ones at Bowling Green under Meyer. Is that accurate?

Durkin: It was absolute mayhem. It really was.

When I first got there, it was like, oh my gosh. Then you finally spend more time with Jim. The guy is really smart. Extremely smart. Everything is for a reason, but he loves chaos. That's just how he operates. He loves confrontation, chaos, conflict. He doesn't want it to be everyone comfortable, this is the schedule. He just loves throwing a wrench in the works.

So, when you first get there, it's like, what's going on? But it was great. To see someone impose their will, their confidence, their vision on a program, to totally change it—total 180. Stanford was known as a soft, academic, wine-sipping program. Now it's the total opposite. He definitely imposed his will on the place.

This was Bo's approach to the point where he would deliberately stoke fights between his coaches just to see what everyone really thought. Harbaugh runs through a lot of coaches; they generally move on up afterwards, often quickly, because life under Harbaugh is a pressure cooker.

Durkin also relates the one-on-one story we've heard a couple times before:

CR: Let's end with the story of you playing Harbaugh one-on-one at Stanford. What do you remember?

Durkin: It was a random day in the office. We were meeting, talking about something, and he was dribbling a basketball. We were talking about something—recruiting or something—and the conversation somehow got to, "Hey, let's go out and play."

So we went to play one-on-one. First to seven. Great. So we're playing. I went up for a layup or something, he fouled—I mean, hacked me. And I didn't call it. I didn't expect him to call foul. No, we're good. Check up.

Then it became, O.K., if that's not a foul, there are no fouls. So the game went on for—the reason it became epic—it was over an hour-long game. To seven. And people are up there watching. No one wanted to lose, and no one would call a foul. So it was, if the guy got a step on you, chuck him in the back, lose the ball. Nope, no foul. Good, your ball. So it went on. It was well over an hour. A game to seven.

CR: Who won?

Durkin: He won. I let him win in the end. Job security.

I've repeatedly stated that I was skeptical about how good of a DC Durkin actually was after Michigan tailed off against spread teams late, but he's the kind of guy who could be much better as a head coach than a coordinator*. He's already done some good things with Maryland's recruiting.

*[And he's just unproven there, not necessarily bad. Last year was his first truly running his own D after operating under Will Muschamp at Florida and he inherited a ton of talent from the previous guy. It's striking how close the parallels are between 2015 and 2006, which also saw a hotshot new coordinator inherit a bucket of talent, turn his unit into one of the nation's best, and then get annihilated by Ohio State while doing something seemingly nonsensical. With Durkin that was running a safety at 15 yards against a spread to run offense; with Ron English it was trying to cover an NFL first-round WR with Chris Graham.]

Maryland doesn't recruit good and stuff. Excellent data post from Capital News service detailing the futility of Maryland recruiting despite a healthy amount of local talent. It incidentally proves our Mississippi Is A Black Hole Nothing Escapes theory:


That will never cease being a mystery to me.

I do think there are some questionable assumptions the data invites you to take away here because their list of top talent-producing states has Delaware(?!) third and Hawaii fifth. This is correct on a per-capita basis, but why that's relevant to a college trying to fill a recruiting class is unclear. (Delaware is likely that high because of ECA, the controversial magnet school that Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson attended.)

Incoming Cain? MI SF Jamal Cain got his Michigan offer. Cain, a 2017 kid ranked as a three star by the world, got a bunch of Michigan predictions on his 247 page in the immediate aftermath. It doesn't sound like he'll drop immediately…

"His recruiting is rapidly growing," said Covington, a former player at Oakland, who added that Cain is likely to go through the recruiting process and not commit anywhere until before or duirng his senior year at Cornerstone Prep.

Cain is currently rated as the No. 190 overall played in the 2016 class in the 247 Sports Composite.

…but plans have a tendency to change. Endless Motor has an interview with Cain that is of interest:

EM: Can you tell us a a bit about the basketball presentation?

JC: Coach Beilein showed me film of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Zak Irvin, and said he wanted me to play a similar role at the shooting guard/small forward spots, and that I would be used in that way. Coach Beilein said I could really thrive in that role at UM.

In Trey-Burke-ish basketball recruiting news, Xavier SImpson surges into the top 50 in ESPN's final rankings after an outstanding senior season that saw him win the USA Today POY in the state.

So much for that. JT Compher signs with the Avs and CCM is gone lock, stock, and barrel. When Red returned one of the arguments made in favor of that decision was that CCM was more likely to return—at least portions of it—in Ann Arbor. That obviously did not work out.

With NHL departures now (probably) completed, this is what Michigan's looking at next year. I'm bumping Cutler Martin up to F:


On D:

De Jong/Boka
L Martin/Luce

That does not look like a tournament team unless Michigan is better than it's been on defense since Mel left. Michigan loses six of its top seven scorers and gets back only two forwards who were significantly above zero in +/-: Kile and Dancs.

Goodbye Idaho. If only EMU would follow. The Vandals are dropping down to I-AA after getting booted from the Sun Belt, which only admitted them in the first place so they could have a conference championship game. With no conference home and none pending, their only logical move was to drop down and play with the Montanas and North Dakota States of the world. Two things: this apparently won't even save them money…

The athletic department will save money having to fund fewer scholarships (63 as opposed to 85), but a source told CBS Sports that the program will lose money overall.

…and Idaho football costs about 20% as much as EMU's athletic deficit.

While the move enjoys some support in the community, Idaho will lose its FBS branding -- playing at the highest level of college football. Idaho students fund football to the tune of $127 per semester in their tuition payments.

Which is boggling if you think about it. EMU faculty and students just urged the university to drop football, to which the regents said "nah." Eastern's athletic department spending is completely insane:

The study point to an increase in the total full time equivalent athletic staff from 64 in 2006-07 to 85 in 2015-16, doubling staff salaries from $3.2 million to $6.4 million as the department saw 10 more coaching positions and more than 11 "athletic personnel" added during the same time period. During that same time period, the report indicates EMU's entire faculty increased by just 15.78 full-time equivalent personnel.

The arms race at the top of college athletics makes sense because the money's got to go somewhere. Eastern is setting money on fire—its students' money.

Rappists say nice things. I mean, I think they do. Migos on Harbaugh:

"He knows the music," Migos member Offset told TMZ. "He's a real cool playa. He's a playa, man, from the Himalayas."

#wellactually he goes to the Andes mountains, person who was clearly trying to rhyme things.

SBN on the Big Ten's rights situation. This is a point worth considering:

Will coaches freak out if their games aren’t on ESPN?
Yes, and so will administrators throughout the conference. Years ago, when the ACC flirted with leaving ESPN for Fox, some of the conference’s powerful basketball coaches were not shy about voicing their displeasure, believing that the lack of ESPN coverage would hurt their recruiting efforts. It’s too early to know how Big Ten coaches and athletic directors will react. But consider this: When school administrators asked at the recent league meetings if it’s possible for ESPN to get shut out, they were told, “Anything is possible.” One senior official at a Big Ten school said his peers “were scared to death” at the prospect of not having games on ESPN, which could eat into their recruiting.

ESPN's "lowball" offer for half the rights package was easy to pass over. It'll be harder for the Big Ten to extract maximum revenue from the second half without abandoning ESPN entirely, and that's a move everyone is wary of. Well, maybe. I've yet to see the Big Ten do anything other than maximize revenue.

Etc.: MLS to Detroit? If so you have to make them Detroit City and call them "The Rock." This is not negotiable. Profiles of Graham Glasgow and Jourdan Lewis. More on Glasgow's draft status. Jabrill Peppers already being talked about for next year's draft. A CFB commissioner is discussed; seems impractical. Baseball doing well. Holding The Rope on personnel shifts at ESPN.

Unverified Voracity Tries To Prevent An Infinite Loop In You, The Reader

Unverified Voracity Tries To Prevent An Infinite Loop In You, The Reader

Submitted by Brian on April 12th, 2016 at 1:00 PM

A note if you think you may have already read this post. You did. Your brain shut down because of the following section and won't let you remember it out of self defense. You should probably go read the Economist or something and come back later this afternoon.


what does any of this even mean [Bryan Fuller]

The nonsense doesn't stop. Ace covered much of this yesterday but since it just keeps coming, let's talk about satellite camps some more. Dennis Dodd wrote an article that was so nonsensical he took his twitter account private. In it he decries the hypocrisy of… I have no idea?

It's the reaction to closing that little loophole that smacks of hypocrisy. With satellite camps shutting down, the conversation suddenly became about depriving poor kids of opportunities.

This is in contrast to the conversation being about Harbaugh, I guess. This is because before Harbaugh was doing things, and now the NCAA is doing things. Thus the conversation shifts.

Proponents argued satellite camps provided “exposure.” I'm sorry, did that Internet that Harbaugh so expertly hijacked suddenly go down? Phone service, too?

This segues into a discussion of this new "Hudl" thing Dennis Dodd just discovered, which is so detailed that it even has… phone numbers. Therefore because Hudl there is no reason to have a camp. I'm not fisking this. This is not a fisk. I'm not

Here's the further hypocrisy: If satellite camps are truly about opportunities for recruits, it's about time to double down on that assertion.

Um, okay, and how would you do th

How about providing those same opportunities on the back end? Let college players participate in the NFL Combine without penalty. If they don't like their performance or draft projection, allow them to return to college and retain their eligibility.



That jarring nonsequitur probably shut down many readers' brains and… just a second. Okay, I've prevented an infinite loop with the section at the top of this post. Anyway, in response to a satellite camp ban affecting high schoolers, Dennis Dodd suggests that the NCAA should loosen its rules for an entirely different cohort of people. He talks about the "hypocrisy" of people who don't like the ban without even gesturing towards a way in which their words and actions might conflict, and finally:

The whole satellite camp episode was a lot more about closing off Harbaugh than opening opportunities for all those deprived prospects.

This is 100% wrong. The clumsy total ban of satellite camps does significantly impact staffs and players around the country, leading to more unfortunate situations where a kid gets midway through his career only to discover that he's in the wrong place.

Gah. I'm going to do something more productive and argue with my plants.

Harbaugh don't stop can't stop. Dude is giving the commencement speech at Paramus. All I got for Michigan's commencement was some poet laureate.

There is a petition. While online petitions are of questionable efficacy, a big number on this one in what is essentially a PR battle might help something. Also it was started by Donovan Peoples-Jones's mother, which is interesting. We've heard a lot from current college athletes upset about the ban, but not so much from recruits. Even if this is indirect evidence it is evidence.

Mike Leach has no time for lyin'. Mike Leach is a gentleman and a pirate.

“The voting process, that’s a rabbled-up mystery too,” Leach said. “From what I understand, this is befuddling, and I do plan to find out because our conference voted to eliminate satellite camps, and yet the vast majority of schools in our conference were in favor of satellite camps.

“I can’t fathom how it’s possible we voted to eliminate it. I don’t know the details. Whether it’s smart, dumb or in the middle, it’s wrong. It’s wrong. If you’re some kid in south central LA who’s really worked hard at football and worked really hard for your grades, now all of a sudden you don’t have the opportunity to see as many schools as you would otherwise. That’s crazy.”

Leach said the vote will “further oppress low-income families.”

To be fair, the rule change was two sentences long. Hugh Freeze, he of the "you can't work because I don't want to work" quote, is also surprised about how words work in an Andy Staples article:

Monday morning, Freeze’s phone rang. On the other end was a coach wondering if he was no longer allowed to work the Ole Miss camp. The coach worked at an FBS school, and Freeze realized that coach would be banned by a rule passed Friday. … Freeze realized quickly that the ban had a serious consequence he hadn’t considered. In keeping Michigan coaches from working camps at high schools in Alabama, Florida and Georgia and Oklahoma State coaches from working camps at a Division III school in Texas, the schools also had banned Bowling Green coaches from working Ohio State’s camp and Arkansas State coaches from working the Ole Miss camp.

Freeze is clarifying his position into something even more selfish: you can work as long as you aren't competing with me.

“I would love to continue that,” Freeze said Monday. “I just don’t want satellite camps for the Power Five. I am for non-Power Five schools being able to attend and evaluate.”

This is so dumb it reminds me of the way college hockey works. We have a rule that 1) all athletes hate, 2) most of the Pac-12 hates despite the fact that they voted for this, 3) even people in support of it don't understand, and 4) turned the Sun Belt Commissioner into Perd Hapley. Staples again:

I’ve told you for a year that the satellite camp argument was one of the stupidest in the long and storied history of stupid NCAA rule arguments. It came to the stupidest logical conclusion Friday when a vote that should have been 11–4—because each Power Five conference vote counts double—against the ban came out 10–5 in favor of the ban.

Hugh Freeze's only asset as a coach is that he turns a blind eye to the most obvious bagmen in the country, and he will eventually be found out.

Yet another dumb thing. All other levels of football think satellite camps are fine. From an article on the impact to SMSB:

Despite the camp being held in Detroit, schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan programs will not have the opportunity to scout and interact with potential recruits in what could be considered each program's own backyard. However, Football Champions Subdivision, Division II and other coaches will still be able to be in attendance.

This really is a rule that some selfish coaches voted into existence because they didn't want to be jackhammers.

The great Hackenberg debate of 2016 is not much of a debate. PFF posted a draft evaluation of Christian Hackenberg, presumably because they don't have a draftable grade for him and people keep asking them about it. They explained themselves. Witheringly so:

This season his completion percentage when adjusted for drops, spikes, etc. was 64.0 percent, which was 120th in the nation. In 2014, he was 105th. Every accuracy number you look at sees Hackenberg struggle, and the tape shows the same thing.

Even when under no pressure at all this past season, he completed just 61.9 percent of his passes. That’s the same completion percentage Cardale Jones managed on all plays, not just pressure plays, and Jones is a player whose accuracy is seen as a negative.

Hackenberg’s completion percentage under no pressure at all of 61.9 percent would only have ranked 44th in the nation, if it was his real completion percentage.

This goes on and on for paragraphs, each piling more problems on Hackenberg as an NFL quarterback. While it is by no means a nice evaluation it is backed by a ton of numbers and game charting and more or less confirms what any neutral observer saw out of Hackenberg over the course of his career: brief moments of being John Elway amongst a sea of turfed screens and airmailed out routes. Michigan got a taste of that last year when Hackenberg put together a couple of pinpoint, NFL throws on a day where his other accomplishments were seeing Jabrill Peppers misplay a jump ball and piloting an offense that barely cracked 200 yards.

The PFF evaluation seemed pretty definitive to me, but Penn State folk kind of lost their minds about it. Black Shoe Diaries in particular:

At what point do I, as a Penn State alumnus and fan, step back and try to be even more subjective about the NFL draft stock of Christian Hackenberg?

Did you mean "objective"? Because it feels like you meant "objective," but then the rest of your piece makes me think that you actually meant "subjective" since it's all hand-waving at some pretty eye-popping stats. PSU fans seize on one error—the Allen Robinson catch at the end of regulation against M a couple years back is held up as a example of a bad decision without taking the game context into account—to dismiss the whole thing when it contains startling facts like "16% of Hackenberg screens are off target."

While I don't know exactly how PFF goes about their business, my grades and theirs for Michigan players generally line up*, and charting pass accuracy is probably the easiest thing I do. An outfit like PFF isn't going to be so far off with the above numbers that Hackenberg actually looks good. By a few hundred words into the piece it's clear that the dude is just swinging in the dark, and this…

Lack of Upside

lol, okay

…is waving a tiny punt flag in the face of a guy who actually put in the work. At least it led to one of the most entertainingly one-sided twitter fights in recent memory:

This was said in response to a piece that dealt with every Christian Hackenberg throw over the past two years. He might get drafted but only because there are mugwumps running NFL teams. Hi, Jed York!

*[To the point that when they were pumping up the Michigan D and noted that only one major contributor wasn't grading out very positive I knew exactly who that was because I also had one major contributor not grading out very positive.]

Etc.: Basketball ticket sales not going well. Man hired to do job. Man has job, doesn't do it, and everyone thinks that's fine. Jimmy Vesey won the Hobey because the saps who vote for the thing bought his PR story about why he returned to college. Why does that even matter? I don't know, but it does.

Unverified Voracity Cannot Close Its Eyes And Relax

Unverified Voracity Cannot Close Its Eyes And Relax

Submitted by Brian on March 3rd, 2016 at 4:31 PM



you probably are

damn you purdue

More work for Chief Enunciator Ace Anbender. Michigan's hired former Hawaii and Cleveland Browns coach Tony Tuioti as Chris Partridge's replacement. Michigan seems to be consciously trying to have one guy who is super-connected with every fertile recruiting ground they can find. While Hawaii might not be a likely spot for recruits, Tuioti is Polynesian. Polynesia is kind of a location you can get recruits, sometimes ukelele-playing recruits with massive manes of awesome hair who can play fullback and tailback. These are good recruits to get.

Greg Sankey has lost in the court of public opinion. He'll probably win in the court that matters, but it's nice to see that the portions of the media not completely dependent on the SEC for food and shelter* aren't buying what Sankey's selling one bit. Dan Wetzel:

College players can't negotiate the time off that NFLers have – organized team activities for the pros don't begin until late April and often not until late May. That's four or five months off for most players. Somehow the sport thrives. In college you get less than two – which doesn't even count crack-of-dawn "voluntary" weight training sessions just a week or so after a bowl game.

No one seems too concerned about that.

To focus solely on the issue of a handful of off-campus spring practices by one school, however, is to engage in absurd selectivity. The idea that players need spring break to themselves is a nice concept, but not some irrefutable argument.

Many players, just like most regular college students, can't afford to go away for spring break, no matter what the old movies claim. The majority of cash strapped "normal" students probably use the time to work.

Andy Staples:

A breeze floated in off the Gulf of Mexico a few miles west. The temperature had just dropped into the 60s following the sun’s plunge into the pink horizon. As darkness fell and palm trees swayed, Michigan tight end Jake Butt discussed getting his spring break ripped away by his taskmaster coach.

“We don’t have to worry about classes now. All we can focus on is football, and then we’re out on the beach relaxing. It’s unbelievable,” Butt said Tuesday. “Not everyone on our team is going to be able to take a spring break to get away. We’re away. We’re down here in Florida. Beautiful territory. Sun shining. Not too hot. Nice breeze. Eating great food with our brothers. I don’t have anything negative to say about it.”

What, you thought he was going to complain?

Andy Schwarz:

Are college sports power brokers actually concerned that Michigan's football players will be working on out patterns instead of holding down the business end of beer bongs? I doubt it. To the contrary, I think their supposed reservations are basically a tell—you know, the subtle tip-off a bad gambler does when he's bluffing—that lets the rest of us know just what actually matters in major college sports.

Hint: it isn't making sure football players have a relaxing Spring Break.

Bob Wojnowski caught up with a local high school coach who had a couple of insightful quotes:

“Because I also coached in college for years, I realize the value of what these kids are experiencing,” Gerber said. “Most of these kids aren’t gonna afford a spring break. And if you watch the tempo and demeanor of the practice, it’s purposeful, but they’re not bludgeoning them. It’s a learning environment. This has been very well thought out.”

I has occurred to me that the local media probably doesn't mind a working vacation in early March.

*[Or, like Michael Weinreb, have a contract with the devil requiring a concern troll about Michigan every six months.]

Hello: Jerry Kill? Per Sid Hartman, Jerry Kill might end up with a job in Ann Arbor if he wants it:

This week Kill spent time with his close friend, TCU coach Gary Patterson, and could wind up on his staff. Kill has always been close to Jack Harbaugh, father of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, and rumors around the Big Ten are that a job on the Wolverines staff is his if he wants it.

With Michigan's full assistant roster complete that would be one of those analyst positions that's come open as those gents move up the ladder. Everybody loves Kill and he has an impressive track record of dragging maximum performance out of iffy recruits, so that would be an excellent move.

A Fanhouse oral history. The Comeback has an enormous oral history of Fanhouse which is an excellent insight into how the first corporate sports blog rose and fall. I was a part of it from the beginning and faded away towards the end; only one of my completely fire takes made it in the story:

Brian Cook, college football blogger, FanHouse: I think hiring Mariotti was the most tone-deaf ridiculous thing they could have possibly done. Because he was just a blowhard, right? One of the things Spencer Hall says about SB Nation is [it's] the [internet's] the only sports appreciation machine. We weren’t lecturing from the top of a mountain like a lot of newspaper people tend to do. We were just fans being fans. And when you bring in the guys that do talk at you from the top of the mountain, do the Mariotti stuff, it’s completely antithetical [to] what the whole point of the enterprise was.

Fanhouse was an important bridge for me personally, as it allowed me to focus on MGoBlog without digging into savings. But this here site remained my focus because it wasn't tough to predict that AOL would not be in the content game long term. As a #content factory Fanhouse produced almost exclusively disposable content. Meanwhile it was difficult for it to have any specific voice when so many different people were contributing to it. The structure of the compensation—pay per post with a monthly on top of it—lent itself to lots of posts that took little time. The results were what you might expect.

Spencer's take on it is correct:

Spencer Hall, college football blogger, FanHouse, now editorial director of SB Nation:FanHouse was pretty good, but I don’t get sentimental over it. And honestly I don’t remember, I couldn’t name a thing that was written on FanHouse 10 years later. I could not name one piece that neither I nor anyone else wrote on FanHouse. I think it was a happy accident that I don’t want people to sanctify, which I would pretty much say about anything. I’d just like you to remember it accurately. It gave a lot of really cool people their first high-profile chance. I think in terms of mistakes, a lot of mistakes that the people running FanHouse made led to good things down the road.

Fanhouse was an early adopter and as such doomed to the same fate early adopters usually meet. It was housed in a large corporation that didn't really know how do to anything except its declining legacy business. It had some smart people in upper management; they were smart enough to know that they should get out while the getting was good. Those who remained thought Jay Mariotti was a good idea, and the story writes itself from there.

Fetch Tony Barnhart's fainting couch. If the man with Greg Sankey's hand up his back thinks it's "inappropriate" to issue barbs at another conference's commissioner there's no way he'll manage to stay upright after this:

Tennessee is of course facing a Title IX lawsuit focused on Butch Jones's program, one that featured an explosive affidavit from a former player in which he asserted that Jones called him a "traitor" for helping a victimized woman.

Get The Picture deconstructed an earlier Barnhart article if you're still fisk-inclined.

Graham Glasgow on Harbaugh. Ain't no time for feelings around these parts any more:

"He's treated everyone in our program essentially, not like a child, but he treated them like an adult -- like, as a man," Glasgow said. "And every talk he had with you would be man-to-man. He was brutally honest about everything."

This is probably the least surprising quote about Harbaugh I've ever heard. It is interesting that it seems like a departure from Hoke.

This is a good interview. The Daily catches up with an outraged Joe Cecconi:

TMD: Who is messier, you or Cooper?

Cecconi: Cooper. I always clean up. His side of the room is disgusting. He’s got all his guitars and his amps and all that crap everywhere.

TMD: Is it annoying living with somebody who makes so much noise making music?

Cecconi: He actually goes downstairs, to be honest. Sometimes he’ll give me a performance, and I’ll be tired and it helps me fall asleep, so it’s good.

TMD: Why weren’t you featured in his recent song?

Cecconi: I don’t know. I got to talk to him about that. I’m not too happy.

Tension in the locker room.

Etc.: Eliminating pro-rel in soccer would be terrible for everyone except the elite few, but some Brandon figure named Charlie Stillitano thinks it's a great idea. All five of Michigan's current 2019 hockey recruits have been invited to the NTDP evaluation camp. Kirby Smart spent more on plane travel than Harbaugh did. Jim Harbaugh's son might accidentally get elected to student government.


Unverified Voracity Has Cool Surprises, Kids

Unverified Voracity Has Cool Surprises, Kids

Submitted by Brian on February 6th, 2016 at 12:31 PM

Just another day in the life.

Hackett on WTKA. Jim Hackett stopped by The Michigan Insider today for a 30-minute long interview that wandered through a bunch of news. He of course kicked things off by sounding like your kindly grandfather trying to relate to 13-year-olds in board shorts:

Hackett anticipates ‘cool surprises’ for UM schedule

In other news things:

  • Hackett does not think that the MSU flip is fixable.
  • The Big Ten is going to go to more of an SEC model with conference scheduling after the move to nine games: "…because of the nine-game Big Ten season, we’re going to have to have an early Big Ten game as the season opens."
  • All games going forward will be sold by the Big Ten Network, so Michigan's ability to schedule Notre Dame is further compromised. So that sucks. On the other hand, no more Jerryworld. I might take that tradeoff.
  • Despite that both head coaches in the M-ND rivalry want to see it return, and people are working towards making it happen in some capacity. This is the first public confirmation that the series might return.
  • Michigan will be forced to play more night games from 2017 onward.

SOTS on the tubes. In case you missed it:

Signing of the Haters. A lot of Michigan State folk have spent the last couple days talking about something that doesn't have a damn thing to do with them. Par for the course, but once they start yelling about how "Signing of the Stars" was some sort of unethical boondoggle designed for hype and recruiting I have various fuses in my head blow and can only reset them by typing this on the internet.


1. Yes, it was designed to put Michigan in the news. It worked so spectacularly that UCF is complaining about it. It will hopefully boost Michigan's recruiting going forward.

2. It also raised 120k for pediatric cancer research. I shouldn't have to even bring this up because having a goofy variety show where you introduce recruits does not need to be justified. The correct answer to "Michigan had a Signing Day event" is "so what?", not "but it was for cancer." Michigan could have raised zero dollars and there would be no valid complaints outside of corniness.

3. But they did raise some money for cancer.

4. Contrary to Detroit-area sports-talk mouthbreathers, the folks who showed up did so for free. Delta even donated the flights.

5. Michigan State fans just can't stand a coach who yells at referees like a maniac and does everything he can for media attention. If they had such a coach they'd tar and feather him and shoot him into the sun.


Or maybe they wouldn't.

This is virtually identical to Alabama lizard people moaning about Michigan's satellite camps, attempting to cloak pure self-interest in concern trolling.

Hello, IMG, we are to be in your base. Rumors that Michigan was going to go outside of the box for spring practice have come to fruition:

Harbaugh confirmed Wednesday that the program will spend its first week of spring practice at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida during Michigan's spring break week -- which begins later this month (Feb. 27).

"Our plans for spring football are to go to Florida our first week while the university here is on spring break," Harbaugh said. "We'll go to Florida and have four practices down there. We're going to work hard but we'll have fun doing it."

IMG will be familiar to Michigan fans as the home of TE Isaac Nauta in the previous cycle. This time around they've got…

…a few guys.

This is going to be fun. Ian Boyd on Rashan Gary:

The numbers on Gary are jaw-dropping, no matter how inflated high schooler measurables can be. In a partially laser-timed SPARQ test before his junior year, he produced the following results, blowing away all other 2016 stars tested at the national event.

Height Weight 40 time Shuttle time Vertical leap
Rashan Gary as a high school junior 6'4" 287 4.74 4.38 32.1"
Average 2015 NFL Combine defensive lineman 6'3 1/2" 286 4.96 4.5 32.2"

That group includes some relatively lean defensive ends; Gary's got a big enough body to play defensive tackle. His 40 time was better than what 15 linebackers produced at last year's Combine. Three wide receivers had slower shuttle times, and five linebackers had lesser vertical leaps. Some of those NFL prospects were as many as 80 pounds lighter than Gary.

Boyd believes Gary can play as an end and will bounce across the defensive line throughout his career but his highest upside in the future is as a defensive tackle, where his pass rush ability should maintain more of its value as he moves up to college and eventually the NFL.

Assuming that Michigan slides Matt Godin out to the SDE spot he was effective in early last year and starts Taco Charlton at WDE, Michigan's biggest need on the DL in 2016 is indeed three-tech, where Willie Henry's absence leaves Michigan with (probably) Mo Hurst and Brady Pallante backing up.

Harbaugh media tour. Michigan appears to have sent Jim Harbaugh on a tour of every radio show in the country. They're conveniently located in one place—wherever the Super Bowl is—this time of year, and Michigan's taking the opportunity to have Harbaugh around, seeming (largely) sane and repeating that he has no intention of exiting Ann Arbor any time soon:

Coaching moves. After a one-year pitstop as an analyst at Michigan, Erik Campbell gets the WR coach job at UConn. With Partridge moving up and TJ Weist also getting a WR coach job, his with South Florida, Michigan has three open analyst/recruiter type spots if they maintain the same level of staffing as they did last year. One of those spots has been filled:

Michigan has of course gotten to know the Prattville staff pretty well over the past couple years.

Flanagan's Devin Bush Sr. is widely expected to get the second opening. Who might fill the third is unknown, but it'll probably be someone who ends up at loose ends after the NFL season.

Etc.: Good to know, Jourdan Lewis. Trevor Siemian will throw-god in the Super Bowl. Jehu Chesson is still on crutches a month after the bowl game. Doubtful it'll be an issue that affects him in fall, could hold him out in spring. The Players' Tribune as new-world press releases.

Unverified Voracity Hates Recruiting

Unverified Voracity Hates Recruiting

Submitted by Brian on January 19th, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Harbaugh hates recruiting. Check the timestamp.

Hates it.

There is nothing that has a winner and a loser that Jim Harbaugh hates.

Funny money. OSU announced a huge Nike contract that was a ton more than Michigan in the same way that NFL contracts have a huge headline number but are actually something less remarkable under the hood. The OSU edge is in apparel awarded, which the Buckeyes padded out for the shiny number. The actual details:

  • Both schools have a 15-year deal; Michigan has an opt-out after 11.
  • Michigan gets 12 million upfront; OSU gets 20.
  • OSU gets 3.44 million for the first 11 years and 4.44 for the last four.
  • M gets 4.82 million for the first ten years, 5.32 in 11, and 5.82 for the last four.
  • Total dough: Michigan, 88.8 million. Ohio State, 75.6 million.

OSU gets more upfront but inflation isn't sufficient to make up the deficit, especially since Michigan has an opt-out four years earlier. So OSU's "biggest ever contract" actually delivers 13 million fewer dollars than Michigan's. But OSU gets more Nike volleyballs so they've got that going for them.

Thanks, guys. Michigan lands a couple guys on CBS's list of the best players to pass on the NFL draft this year:

Jake Butt, Michigan TE: Butt had a chance to jump up in a weak tight end class in the NFL Draft but chose to return for his senior season instead. Michigan's passing game could see a boost next season with Houston transfer John O'Korn getting a shot at starters reps after sitting out which would mean even better numbers (and more draft film) for Butt heading into 2017.

Jourdan Lewis, Michigan CB: Lewis and King will be the easy picks for preseason All-Big Ten in 2016 and likely be compared through the season as the Thorpe Award narrows its list for next year. Lewis was also an All-Big Ten and All-American pick this year and leads what has suddenly become a stacked secondary in Ann Arbor.

Desmond King and Dan Feeney also make the list, which is bereft of Buckeyes.

That one play to Hill in the BYU game. James Light breaks down the "T-delay" passing concept, which Michigan pulled out for a big first down against BYU and again in the bowl game:


The Patriots run a version of it as well; the idea is to sell yourself as a blocker before releasing. Light also has some defensive resources I'm trying to figure out.

Meanwhile at the Shrine Game. Graham Glasgow is leaping off the page to multiple observers.

Meanwhile he was Mike Mayock's main takeaway early:

"He was the guy who really stood out to me," Mayock said. "It's a strong year for centers, but he looks like an NFL starter. Very strong. He could compete at the Senior Bowl."

Seniors Ryan Kelly of Alabama and Nick Martin of Notre Dame are considered the top two centers in this year's draft, followed by another 7-8 with draftable grades. Glasgow now should be firmly in that latter category, and could move up to mid-round status as the draft process continues

Would it be gauche of me to point out that this is another mark in the "UFR is useful and I am not an idiot" column? It would be? Aw, hamburgers.

OSU fallout. Michigan got off rather light:

With the NTDP game next that means Martin will be back after the Penn State series and Dancs will only miss one game.

1980 seniors. Via Dr. Sap:

Smooth move. USA Hockey left Kyle Connor off the WJC team for… reasons. Chris Dilks notes that those were probably not good reasons:

3. Kyle Connor has played eight games since being snubbed by the US World Junior and has scored 20 points. The rest of the Big Ten might be even madder that he didn't get picked than I am. Connor is now tied for the national lead in goals scored with 18 and tied for second in points with 36. His linemate Tyler Motte is also at 18 goals and tied atop the leaderboard in goal-scoring.

He has various other takes from Michigan-OSU and the rest of college hockey in that post.

Midterm hockey rankings. Midterm ratings from the CSB indicate most of Michigan's incoming hockey class should get drafted:

As always, Central Scouting splits North American and European skaters so multiply by 1.5 to get an approximate draft slot. Luce would be a third rounder, Lockwood in the fourth or fifth, and so on.

In addition to those guys Michigan also brings in D Luke Martin, who will not be eligible for the NHL draft until 2017. He is projected as a first round pick, and depending on who you listen to possibly a top ten pick.

One thing to watch: Michigan brings in a whopping eight skaters next year despite having just two seniors (and goalie Steve Racine). While a couple of NHL departures are likely (Werenski is all but foreordained at this point), Michigan is going to have to push some guys back to 2017 or carry a big roster next year. One player (Lukas Samuelsson) has not been announced by Michigan is a walk-on; everyone else is signed to at least some money.

Michigan has a big fish coming in the next year when Michael Pastujov, the younger brother of Nick listed above, arrives. This random NHL mock draft site has him going 4th overall. The NTDP appears to be absolutely loaded, BTW, with six of the top 15 picks in that admittedly speculative mock draft.

Jabrill is okay. Would recruit again.

Of course. The ACC and SEC are trying to ban satellite camps because… they in fact have no reason to do so, they just want to. I'd like to point you to this article from last summer where I gently explain to an Alabama fan that satellite camps are good for prospects as if he cares about that.

Next up, I explain to Penn State fans why making gay jokes about Jim Harbaugh in-home visits is a bad look.

Etc.: Jedd Fisch gets extended two years. His cost was artificially low because he was on a buyout from the Jaguars; this should help keep him around a while. Passing game made huge progress this year.

Partridge on his promotion. Basketball sets a home and home with Cinci the next two years. Walk-on tryouts are on the 23rd. Kenpom on one of the ways RPI is broken. Kiper says Willie Henry could be a first-rounder. Corn Nation on Lawrence Phillips.

More cord-cutting. Sports are actually moving back to broadcast for the greater reach!

Unverified Voracity Embraces Expectations

Unverified Voracity Embraces Expectations

Submitted by Brian on January 12th, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Not bad for year one. Michigan finishes tenth in Matt Hinton's final rankings.


But for an all-time fluke you can swap M and MSU. Jim Harbaugh can coach a bit.

Embrace expectations in year two. Michigan will not start next year outside the polls. It may start it inside the top five, if post-season top X lists are any indicator:

With a pile of starters returning and Jim freakin' Harbaugh as Michigan's coach, this is not a huge surprise. Michigan demolished Florida in the bowl game and that kind of thing tends to get you a big perception bump headed into next season. Half the time that's a mirage; Michigan will hope that theirs is legit.

The number one gentleman who needs to come through for Michigan to deliver. That would be one John O'Korn, likely starting quarterback. For months I've mentioned a steady drumbeat of chatter from inside the program that O'Korn was the best QB on the roster. Here's another manifestation of that from Ron Bellamy:

He said from his discussions with the Michigan coaches and the people in the program, John O'Korn "just lit up" the first team defense as the scout team QB everyday in practice. He said he was doing it against Lewis, Peppers, etc and the Michigan defensive coaches told him that O'Korn was going to be a flat out stud.

I'll try to stay calm and reasonable about these reports for the next eight months. And fail.

Let's go wherever, whenever. Harbaugh wants to have a week of spring practice in Florida. Specifically, at IMG, which has started a football program that attracts top recruits from around the country. A solid idea that will infuriate many: welcome to the offseason.

(Harbaugh wants to do it over spring break, naturally, to assuage any academics concerns you might have.)

I might watch it on mute just to see. Harbaugh is going to the state of the union thanks to a couple of congresspersons:

"For me he's the best of what the country should be and is," Dingell told MLive Monday night, pointing to his track record of hard work and teamwork.

Dingell, a Democrat, represents the 12th Congressional District, which includes the University of Michigan. She and U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from West Michigan, together agreed to bring Harbaugh and his wife Sarah as guests to the State of the Union on Tuesday.

Each congressperson can invite one guest, so Amash invited Harbaugh and Dingell invited Sarah Harbaugh. Dingell said Amash's office approached hers about hosting the Harbaughs, and she'd have invited him in the first place if she knew he was interested.

Well done… people… in congress?

Seriously, do I have to watch the State of the Union now? I mean, any of these things could happen:

  • President shouts out Michigan's football coach
  • Harbaugh is invited to give speech
  • Harbaugh is not invited to give speech, gives speech anyway
  • Harbaugh wears cleats
  • Harbaugh nails Joe Biden on a post route
  • Harbaugh signs Declaration of Independence, is told that is unnecessary these days, says he has improved document all the same
  • camera cuts to Harbaugh gobbling stadium foodstuffs not apparently on sale anywhere in the building

Gentry location. Zach Gentry could be a tight end. He could also be a quarterback. He did a little of the former in the bowl practices but he is not a tight end. Yet.

Gentry was one player who Harbaugh experimented with during bowl practices last month, moving the 6-foot-7, 230-pound true freshman from quarterback to tight end.

An athletic quarterback in high school, Gentry was asked by Harbaugh to give it a shot after the regular season ended. Gentry says he didn't hesitate.

"It was their (idea), but I've been flexible with it," Gentry said last week in Orlando. "Coach Harbaugh and (Jay Harbaugh) wanted to use my athleticism and see what happens. I've been doing it in practice, I think I've done a nice job with it.

"But I'm not sure, exactly, what's going on with my future (and what position I'll play)."

I imagine he'll compete in spring as a quarterback, because Michigan's got an open job. If he ends up clearly behind at least two other guys, tight end becomes a real long-term option. (As does a transfer, unfortunately.) If he's in the running, or even in the top three, you have let him stay at QB. The athleticism that makes him a good tight end prospect is something Harbaugh wants from his QBs—and last night Deshaun Watson made Alabama's defense look silly thanks in large part to his legs.

Rats, what is your opinion of this ship? Penn State lost DC John Shoop to Tennessee. Related: John Shoop ain't got no shame.

Less than two weeks after Bob Shoop told reporters he hoped Penn State would have him "forever and ever and ever," the Nittany Lions' defensive coordinator is leaving the program for the same position at Tennessee.

PSU nearly lost him last year to LSU, whereupon Shoop was given a three-year, near-seven-figure deal. This year Tennessee offers 1.15 million and he's gone. All this further confirms that we should just pay the f-ing players before people in college football start literally drowning in money.

Anyway, the bleeding was and is not over: a few days later Penn State loses OL coach Herb Hand to the same position at Auburn. Today linebacker Troy Reeder announced he's transferring to Delaware after starting 11 games as a redshirt freshman. (Geno Lewis also grad-transferred to Oklahoma but that looks like a garden-variety playing time transfer.)

This all seems less than ideal for James Franklin, who has escaped serious scrutiny so far as Penn State digs out from under NCAA sanctions. Hand was dealt a… nevermind. Hand was put in an enormously difficult spot by those sanctions, which forced him to start two converted defensive linemen at guard. Then he lost the one good lineman he had to the draft last year; getting out makes sense for him.

I just wonder how hot seats get if Penn State's offense struggles again next year and their defense takes a half-step back without most of that defensive line. I'm guessing pretty hot.

Meanwhile in Big Ten teams losing defensive coordinators to SEC teams. Wisconsin's Dave Aranda headed down to LSU, causing Barry Alvarez to grouse about funding.

“The reason they can go up higher (in the SEC) is they’re not supporting as many sports,” Alvarez said. “It’s a difference in philosophy. The Big Ten is known for being more broad-based in its sports offerings. We are committed to supporting a broad-based athletic program. People may dismiss that, but it’s a real thing. They can sink more of their money into football."

At Get The Picture, a commenter points out the differences between Wisconsin and Georgia aren't significant:

What they have that we don’t: 3 rowing teams, wrestling, 2 hockey teams and men’s soccer.

What we have they they don’t (w/o looking to confirm): baseball, equestrian and gymnastics.

LSU is similar. They sponsor gymnastics, beach volleyball, and baseball; Wisconsin does not. Wisconsin sponsors hockey for both genders, wrestling, men's soccer, and rowing. Men's hockey makes money. Wisconsin's added expense for extra teams is more or less rowing—which mostly exists to be a cheap Title IX makeweight. Alvarez is full of it.

At least he's not alone?

…look at where some of the many other Big Ten coordinator hires came from this offseason: Louisiana-Lafayette (Minnesota, offense), Fordham (Penn State, offense), internally (Purdue and Illinois, offense), Northern Illinois (Rutgers, defense), Arkansas State (Maryland, offense) and even a coach who was out of football for a year (Purdue, defense). Maybe those moves will work out brilliantly, but they hardly bring the sizzle that Tennessee and LSU acquired.

On the other hand, Mike Debord.

Meanwhile in literally drowning in money. Hoo boy this makes me furious:


Jim Delany wrecked the Big Ten by adding two makeweight east coast programs that make no sense, destroyed the basketball schedule, made it so Michigan plays half the league once in a decade, and gets rewarded for it because some dillweed in the league office figured out a way to exploit the dying cable monopoly for short-term gain. I mean, I guess that's how things go in a business, but then they turn around and try to justify amateurism.

Meanwhile, the bubble creaks ominously:

Old Dominion and the other 13 Conference USA schools will have to make do with about $500,000 less in television revenue next season.

League TV revenue is likely to fall by about half when new contracts with Fox Sports and the CBS Sports Network take effect on July 1, according to sources at three schools familiar with C-USA’s TV contract negotiations.

The Big Ten is up in a few years. They've got a lot more pull than CUSA, but this might not be the best time for a contract negotiation.

In other news, I now have massive respect for Dane Brugler. CBS analyst Dane Brugler tells Michael Spath that Jake Butt had a shot to be the top tight end in the draft and a second round pick if he came out and picks out—yep—DESMOND MORGAN as Michigan's top eligible player:

:…he was all over the field,” Brugler said. “He was a blitzer, a guy that could play in the middle but play in space. He has lateral range, played sideline to sideline, quick reactions, strings runs out to the perimeter.

“Morgan is a physical player, aggressive but also at the same time, smart. I think he has the best shot to go a bit higher than his teammates. As long as the medicals check out.”

Thank you, Dane Brugler. You and I can ride on the Desmond Morgan bandwagon all the way to the, er, fifth round. Saddle up.

Etc.: Nebraska loses DT Vincent Valentine to the draft. Rahk playing well. Jake Rudock in repose. Bryan Mone is ready to go. NYE was a massive bust for the CFP.

Don Brown defensive resources I haven't had the time to look at yet but will revisit when I do. Ditto Ian Boyd on running your slot receiver down the gut of the MSU defense or Smart Football touching on the same topic.

Unverified Voracity Is Not Tony Orlando

Unverified Voracity Is Not Tony Orlando

Submitted by Brian on December 18th, 2015 at 3:57 PM


Mattison has been around the block [Eric Upchurch]

Defensive coordinator bits. Michigan isn't in any rush to fill the spot since they know what they're doing for the bowl game (it'll be Mattison) and they don't have any urgent recruiting to do (Chris Partridge is on the road temporarily and it's a dead period through the New Year).

For a while it seemed like the main guy was Stanford DC Lance Anderson, who admitted contact with both BYU and Michigan early last week. BYU is currently looking for a Mormon to coach their team after the departure of Bronco Mendenhall, and Anderson fits the bill. So does Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo (a name I will force Ace to pronounce if it ever comes up on the podcast), but that flirtation apparently came to an end yesterday. Anderson would be a guy on the ensuing shortlist. And even if he's not:

Anderson's track record is short and Michigan's flirtation with Harbaugh's former Stanford personnel mostly serves to get them raises. Moving on, then… to… people? I guess?

I haven't gotten any intel on the search, sadly, and so much of what others have said has mutated so quickly or proven to be false that I don't think anyone has a good read. Sam Webb brought up Wisconsin DC Dave Aranda as a possibility. Aranda has a very good track record save for a certain game against Ohio State last year, so that's a mixed blessing right there.

Colorado DC Jim Leavitt is working his way back into college coaching after an Incident that got him fired from his post as the USF head coach. An Oklahoma fan laid out the case for Leavitt in January, when the Sooners were looking for coaches on D:

Everywhere coach Leavitt has been, he’s been successful. He was the co-defensive coordinator with Bob Stoops at Kansas State, where they managed to take a pitiful defense and turn it into, statistically, one of the nation’s best. He then went on to the University of South Florida and built the program from it’s infancy as an FCS program to a Big East conference FBS program. The success he had at South Florida, including at one point being ranked number two nationally, has not been anywhere close to repeated since his departure.

Leavitt was offered the Alabama job multiple times before Nick Saban eventually landed in Tuscaloosa. He was offered head coaching positions at multiple major FBS programs and turned them all down to stay at South Florida.

Leavitt landed with Harbaugh in San Francisco after the Incident, and is a quality coach.

huge_avatar[1]And I'll continue to advocate for Houston DC Todd Orlando*, a former Wisconsin linebacker who has been very successful in stints at Utah State and Houston. That he was Tom Herman's top choice to be DC is also very appealing—this is a gentleman selected by a top spread guy.

Todd Orlando is not pictured at right. But if he was, oh man.

*[Oddly, Orlando and  Aranda were at Utah State consecutively. Someone hire that guy to be a head coach. Oh right Wisconsin tried that and he ran away.]

Thanking ushers with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh doing Harbaugh things:

They got the people who stand on the seats in the IMG section to not do so for the OSU game this year, so I would also like to thank the kind lady who did that.

Filling in a LTT-shaped hole. Michigan has offered Texas grad transfer Jake Raulerson. Raulerson got his degree in three years and has two to play, so he would help fill in one of the gaps left by the six-man 2012 OL recruiting class dwindling to two. Raulerson has seen a fair bit of time:

He started five games on the offensive line for Texas as a redshirt freshman and played twelve total games in 2014 for the Longhorns. He was a four-star prospect out of high school and was the 116th ranked overall player in the 2013 class coming out of high school. Alabama and UCLA are among the other programs he is believed to be considering.

At 6-4, 295 he is most likely a center but could play either guard spot as well. He is (obviously) a high-academic kid, and would immediately compete to fill the spot Glasgow is vacating. He would also be around in 2017, when Michigan loses Magnuson, Kalis, and Braden.

Raulerson would not count against the cap of 28 players the Big Ten imposes on recruiting classes, so if Michigan thinks they'll have a spot there's no downside.

RichRodding in progress. Meanwhile, poor damn Charlie Strong. Strong is two-thirds of the way to the full RichRod. Strong:

  • is probably a good coach, possibly a very good one
  • got a primo college job despite no previous connections to it
  • inherited a brutally bad roster thanks to the previous coach staying on a couple years too long
  • attempted to install a culture radically different from the existing one
  • lost a lot of games his first two years
  • lost whatever questionable support there was for him in the first place thanks to the previous bullet
  • made a bunch of panicked coaching moves after some bad decisions on the side of the ball opposite his specialty
  • died a thousand recruiting deaths as a result.

In related news, Texas offered TX DT Chris Daniels yesterday. Daniels commits… tonight. Probably not to Texas. As of right now the Longhorns have zero (ZERO) of the top 20 recruits in the state committed, and two of the top 50*. That is a long way away from the Mack Brown days when Texas would lock up 15 of the top 20 before the previous year's signing day.

*[They are crystal ball favorites for four of the remaining six uncommitted players but much of that feels like the same kind of momentum that saw Jordan Elliott a Texas CB favorite weeks after he publicly announced Michigan was his leader. Michigan is in on two of those players, OL Jean Delance and LB Dontavious Jackson.]

Etc.: Congresspersons acquire free tickets to college sporting events. Jabrill Peppers is Naughty By Nature's nephew? Did we know this? Ann Arbor best college town, put it on the mantle next to all the other ones. Illinois promotes Ryan Cubit, son of Bill Cubit, to OC. Michigan pays its assistants a lot. Smart Football back and popping. Citrus advanced stats tale of the tape.