Spring Football Bits: Huggier Harbaugh Edition

Spring Football Bits: Huggier Harbaugh Edition

Submitted by Seth on March 30th, 2018 at 4:30 PM

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Spring the 4th: a little different than Spring the 1st. [photo: Eric Upchurch]

As fans of Kansas, Villanova, and Loyola-Chicago have informed me, Michigan is the only Final Four team that fields an FBS football program, let alone a hockey program, putting us in the unique position of reading tea leaves and entrails from spring practice at the same time that two real life championships are a pair of actual real life games away.

--------THIS IS YOUR FRIENDLY MGOBLOG REMINDER THAT YOU DO IN FACT NEED TO BREATHE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE AND SHOULD PROBABLY DO SO NOW--------

The general form of this annual exercise is the fans go in hoping to hear certain things, and then pressers, videos and the odd practice insiders confirm, ignore, or dodge them with miniscule data. So I’m trying this in a new, more spring-reflective format.

New Harbaugh:

What we want to hear: Depends if you’re a Patton guy or an Eisenhower guy.

What we’ve heard: Harbaugh’s gone Eisenhower.

The players have noticed a change in their coach in large part because he sought input from them after the bowl game that capped an 8-5 season. He held a team meeting in January after the bowl game, and they shared their feelings.

“We had a sour taste in our mouth,” Higdon said. “I did, he did, everybody in this facility. He was open, (saying) ‘What do we need to do? What can I do?’ How often do you see that from a coach, asking his players? That’s stronger than anything.”

What it means: We’re picking through pabulum here. There was a sense coming from outside Schembechler Hall that Harbaugh was doing more face guy/program ambassador work, but he does all those things in the time that he’s literally not allowed to spend with his players. From the players’ responses though it does seem he’s been less aloof.

What it probably means is the coaching staff is taking last year’s failings seriously, and they’re trying to emphasize to the fans that they’re doing so.

Also Jim’s going to be a grandpa soon.

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[After THE JUMP: Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the defense sounds way more optimistic than the offense]

--------ALSO THIS IS ANOTHER FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT YOUR BLOOD DOES NEED OXYGEN AND YOU SHOULD PUT SOME OF THAT IN YOUR LUNGS RIGHT NOW--------

Unverified Voracity Eats At IHOP

Unverified Voracity Eats At IHOP

Submitted by Brian on December 6th, 2017 at 1:03 PM

Shea Patterson and friends watch. It's happening? I mean. Can't throw a rock without hitting someone who says SOURCES are telling him that Shea Patterson is a lock for Michigan and possibly as soon as this weekend. Sam Webb's put in a crystal ball, which he hastens to say is not a Gut Feeling, and here's the Blade's Michigan beat writer:

It's happening.

Probably also happening: Van Jefferson and Deontay Anderson. Both guys are coming up this weekend. Highlights of Patterson throwing to Jefferson in 2016, when Jefferson was a redshirt freshman:

He had 49 catches for 543 yards and was on pace to best that as a sophomore when he dislocated his elbow before the Texas A&M game.

That is likely it despite some overheated reports that up to seven Ole Miss players are interested in Michigan. Taking the three guys above already stretches Michigan's scholarships pretty thin. Anyone who doesn't play tackle is in tough for playing time, and per Rashan Gary's mom Greg Little isn't interested. Gary and Little became friends over the course of their recruitment so that's as good a source as any.

The other guys mentioned haven't set visits and it's unclear that Michigan would be interested in them.

Why wasn't it Cracker Barrel though? For some reason, Harbaugh flying down to see guys he might have on his football team caused the internet to blow up. Harbaugh claps back at Mark Dantonio? Go crazy, guys. Harbaugh does a thing literally all football coaches do dozens of times a year with high school players? Maybe let that one slide.

What do you say, internet?

Ah, still internet I see.

A fairly good defense. Michigan lands four guys in the PFF All Big Ten defense, and three of them return:

Two more guys couldn't have been far off that list given this stat:

Personally, I'd take the CBs who whooped up on Simmie Cobbs over the one who got whooped until he got a safety bracket, but Michigan's guys were probably hurt by a lack of volume.

Add in Rashan Gary to the five returning guys in the above tweets and you've got quite a platform to build on.

Missed tackles: nah. Josh Liskiewitz, one of PFF's Big Ten evaluators, was grilled by Iowa fans because Josey Jewell was omitted from the team above. This spawned an interesting twitter thread in which Liskiewitz defended himself with various stats he'd compiled. The most interesting from a Michigan fan's perspective:

[he == Jewell, FWIW]

Jewell had an 86 grade—which would have made him first team All-SEC or All-Pac12, but finished 9th(!) in the Big Ten. We assume that Tegray Scales, Jason Cabinda, and Ryan Connelly are three of the five guys in front of Jewell, FWIW.

Peters cleared; Black a maybe. Brandon Peters is good to go for bowl practices and the game, per Harbaugh. I assert that he will start. Yes, I assert that. Here's a randomly depressing stat!

Prior to the injury, Peters was 37 of 64 for 486 yards passing in five games, including three starts. He's thrown a team-high four touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Sweet fancy Moses.

In other bowl injury news, Tarik Black is back in practice and could play in the bowl game. Harbaugh says he's "leaning towards not doing it," and, I mean... don't. Michigan's in a good spot in the bowl game without him and a potential fifth year is far more valuable than whatever marginal bonus chance at a bowl win he provides.

Good luck, whoever you are. South Carolina has axed their offensive coordinator. Er, their co-offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. The other guy, Bryan McClendon, is at least temporarily the only cook in the Gamecock kitchen. He is 33 years old and facing down Don Brown with one of the worst offenses in the country. Good luck with that, sir.

FALSE. I love Harbaugh but this is a bad take he should feel bad about:

"My reaction is that there should be more than four teams in the playoffs," Harbaugh told reporters. "Again, I want to reiterate: 8 teams, 12 teams, 16 teams. Sixteen would be ideal in the playoffs."

For one, a team that reached the finals is playing 17 games. For two, the urgency of the regular season is obliterated if last year's Michigan team finishes their season they way they did and still gets in.

Add one fan. ESPN's Sarah Spain has been on a journey across college football to find a team to root for, and she stopped by the MGoTailgate before the OSU game last week:

Saturday morning I headed out to meet one of my hosts for the day, Gordie Fall (named in honor of Gordie Howe), at the famous MGoBus. The tailgate featured craft beer from Wolverine State Brewing Company, loads of breakfast food and, of course, the maize and blue MGoBus owned by Matt and Sara Demorest. While I was there, I learned more about life on campus and the UM scene with Brian Cook and Seth Fisher, of popular Michigan sports site MGoBlog.com. I also met former Wolverines running back Vincent Smith (you may remember him from this), who's now running community gardens in Flint, Michigan, and his hometown of Pahokee, Florida, to increase access to healthy foods, reduce juvenile crime and use gardening-based intervention to curtail violence. Very cool.

Adam was also there! Adam doesn't talk much. Thanks to everyone else's contributions but certainly not ours, Michigan was the pick. Welcome, Sarah. Prepare to be called a Walmart Wolverine despite going to Cornell.

Etc.: More on Dave Brandon The Program's first press conference with chief gobbledygook purveyor Herm Edwards. A timeline of Jimbo Fisher's unprecedented move. John Beilein gets shots up. Chris Collins tells a bald-faced lie in a postgame press conference. It remains impressive how many NU internet people openly loathe the guy who got them their first NCAA tourney bid.

Unverified Voracity Womp Womp Wuh Womp Eeeeeer

Unverified Voracity Womp Womp Wuh Womp Eeeeeer

Submitted by Brian on August 2nd, 2017 at 11:19 AM

Sponsor note. Are you thinking of doing a business? Are you sick of working at your business factory? Have you purchased a trench coat and a broom and found two like-minded associates willing to make a foray into the unknown?

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Hoeg Law can help, because ye gods these things get complicated. Rich is currently doing a deep dive on term sheets that includes sentences like these:

You may have noticed in reading the above that we skipped over one bit of language included in the NVCA’s right of first refusal provision:

Can't say that I did, and in this I am reminded of that time I was presenting at an alumni club and someone raised their hand and asked what a "stunt" was. I explained; Hoeg Law will explain.

The "How Much Does Mike Onwenu Weigh" Game! Lookin' svelte, Medium Mike:

As a further demonstration of Onwenu's superdense construction, most of the contributors around here asked people with the misfortune to be around them how much this man weighs, given that he is 6'3". Prepare yourself for Price Is Right horns:

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I do not know how much Onwenu weighs but… not that. Or within 50 pounds of some of those guesses. Is it weird that I might be more excited to see Onwenu start than guys like Evans and DPJ? I mean, I know what Donovan Peoples-Jones probably looks like on a football field: Braylon Edwards. I have no idea what's going to happen when Mike Onwenu steps on the field. Will they have to offer him snowshoes so he doesn't plunge through the turf? That sort of thing.

Chris Evans, coach. Dan Murphy catches up with Chris Evans's offseason undertakings, which are football and also football:

INDIANAPOLIS -- The little hand on the clock hanging in the gym at Ben Davis High School is creeping toward 8 on a Saturday night in May, and Chris Evans has lost track of the time. One of the parents lingering on the sideline gives him a friendly reminder that dinner hour is whisking past and perhaps it's time to wrap it up. He has, after all, been working with the boys since lunch.

"Oh man, OK. Next touchdown wins," he hollers at the pack of 10-to-12-year-old boys spread out in front of him, then gathers half of them in a huddle. Evans is wearing a blue-collared button-up shirt with his first name sewn on to a patch on his chest and a dark-blue block-M hat, just like the one his head coach Jim Harbaugh wears at Michigan. He's toting a dry-erase clipboard, and he's still using it to draw up plays 30 minutes later when the parents along the wall start making the glances toward their watches a little more obvious. "Last drive," he says. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Evans is trying to squeeze in every rep possible before tomorrow's 7-on-7 tournament, which they've been preparing for all month. Carrie Eller, whose son Gavin is one of the boys on the team, shakes her head and smiles.

"We knew what we signed up for," she says.

They signed up for a guy who signed up for Harbaugh and apparently… is Harbaugh? Caught in a time loop or Quantum Leap kind of situation?

Now I don't have to write this. A tip of the hat to Ty Schalter at the Comeback for rebutting a couple of doofy "Jim Harbaugh wears out his welcome" pieces:

Who, exactly, is Harbaugh “wearing out his welcome” with? Would that be his bosses now coping with full football stadiums, a huge Nike/Jordan brand apparel contract, and figuring out how to spend all of that revenue from the Big Ten’s massive new television deals? Jim Harbaugh may be the best investment Michigan has ever made.

Surely, it must be the underlings working under his tyranny? Assistants are just dying to get away from there. And look how he treats the staff. Inventing the “employee of the year” award and giving it to a custodian. Going out of his way to thank the stadium ushers. It’s an absolute nightmare in Schembechler Hall.

Fans. Gotta be the fans who are upset. One can hear their cries. “Please, Jim. Stop making Michigan one of the coolest programs in the country. Stop being so innovative and energetic. Stop trolling SEC coaches; no one wants that. Stop being relentlessly diligent at your job 365 days per year, seven days per week, 24 hours per day, and for the entire 60 minutes during games.”

Now I don't have to write this identical piece but with more personal insults.

giphy-downsized

this is what giphy usually gives you when you ask it for "Debord"

Anonymous coach quote time. Athlon's annual offer of anonymity in exchange for solid quotes dallies with the ridiculous

"Wilson sold his offense to try and get better talent in there. Besides Ohio State, we didn’t see an offense that had the kind of ceiling Indiana’s did. Mike DeBord runs something that’s as appealing as Wilson’s offense when it comes to recruits. DeBord is so efficient as a coordinator. His offenses show so much confidence and great timing on film. It was a great hire for Allen."

…before arriving at a couple of interesting Michigan bits…

"They want to outwork you. That was the whole satellite camp thing last offseason. He wanted to send a message to the SEC and other schools that he will outwork you to make up for any advantage you might have over Michigan."

"They’re scouting opponents better than anyone in our league. They’re at Alabama’s level of prep and analysis, and as they’ve started to fit talent you’re seeing the effects. It’s hard to surprise them."

…and digging a grave for MSU:

"They’re coming off conference title games, a Rose Bowl, and they’re not in on the top players in their own state in some instances. You can recruit against them easily.

"Jim Harbaugh’s success will directly impact how MSU recovers and maneuvers from here on out. This is a different league than the one Dantonio started in.”

The article contains a bunch of interesting stuff about the rest of the league, as well. An annual Read The Whole Thing.

MLS is happening? Wayne County exec Warren Evans has instructed his staff to focus on the Rock Financial offer to build an integrated criminal justice complex on a site away from the fail jail:

"The Rock Ventures proposal has more upside, less risk and a smaller financial gap than Walsh Construction's proposal. There are, however, many issues to resolve with Rock Ventures before I could recommend the approval of a contract to the County Commission and the County Building Authority."

Among the issues remaining are negotiations over the purchase of city-owned property for a new criminal justice complex built by Rock, and whether the Internal Revenue Service determines whether the county can use bond money left over from the Gratiot jail project to help pay for the Rock Ventures project a few miles north.

Still some hurdles but if they were insurmountable the county would not be proceeding in this direction. Assuming things don't get derailed attention now turns from a stadium plan to the bids currently competing with Detroit. A couple of media members with their ear to the ground think that Detroit is about to jump to somewhere near front of the line:

Sacramento has already broken ground on something destined to be their MLS stadium and is locked in; nobody else is.

This must be 2019 hockey commitment season. Guys are flying off the board left and right to just about everyone, and Michigan's collected another touted prospect in F Dylan Wendt:

He was a third rounder in the most recent USHL draft and the second-leading scorer at the NTDP camp for his birth year. Jeff Cox had him as a maybe for the NTDP:

Dylan Wendt, Grand Haven, Mich., Belle Tire 16U, Right Shot, 5’11”/175 - He’s physically mature and rugged so it’s hard to tell if he’s just dominating at this age because of that, but he’s still worthy of an invite. He has a hard shot and plays heavy on pucks. He can power his way into the scoring areas and wins a lot of battles below the dots. He has decent hands and vision.

He did not make it, but is on the U17 Five Nations team. Sounds a bit like Brandon Kaleniecki plus a couple inches. Now I can embed a very silly goal again:

I'm putting this down here because I'm not going to get invested in it. Canadian RJ Barrett was the top player in the 2019 basketball class. He is now the top player in the 2018 class, and he's going to take an official to Michigan:

Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon are considered the frontrunners to land Barrett and are expected to host him on an official visit.

Lurking right behind these four schools in his recruitment are Arizona, Kansas, Texas and UCLA.

That official visit is likely to turn into qualified optimism that results in a commitment to Not Michigan.

Etc.: It's weird that 78-0 versus Rutgers is apparently going down in history but here we are. That breathless CTE study in a more sober light. Unstoppable Throw-God Clayton Thorson? Tom Brady owns things. The Pac-12 will experiment with some 15 minute halftimes. Yes please. Hugh Freeze, creeper. Scouting Mo Hurst. UCF kickoff guy meets the long, stupid arm of NCAA law. Fred Jackson at Ypsi High.

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 27th, 2016 at 11:02 AM

[Bryan Fuller]

What’s your view of the last spot there before the touchdown?

“That it wasn’t a first down by that much.” [holds hands apart about eight inches]

So you agreed with the call, then?

“That it was not a first down. The officiating, I’m bitterly disappointed with the officiating today. That spot—the graphic display is the interference penalties. The one not called on us when Grant Perry clearly was being hooked before the ball got there, and the previous penalty called on Delano Hill, the ball’s uncatchable and by the receiver. So yeah, I’m bitterly disappointed in the officiating. Can’t make that any more clear.”

[Ed. A- The second Harbaugh used “bitterly” I knew that I’d heard that word spoken with the exact same inflection before. I realized about the time we were leaving the stadium that Harbaugh said it the way Bo did in the archival footage used in Tiebreaker. Watch through 33:38 if you can stomach it.]

[After THE JUMP: the most bizarre explanation for a personal foul I have ever heard]

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 9th, 2016 at 12:13 PM

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[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

Our friends in Rutgers’ Athletic Communications department were kind enough to send out a transcript of the highlights from Jim Harbaugh’s postgame presser (in the middle of the night, no less), so even though I wasn’t at the game you still have some Sunday content to consume.

On the play of Jabrill Peppers and Chris Evans: “We put some plays in for (Peppers) last week where he was operating as a quarterback and then more this week, because he’s just so darn good at it. That was really the turning part of the game, I thought was his long run. The first downs were coming hard. It was looked like it was going to be one of those nights. His speed was dramatically different than everyone else on the field. Chris Evans, he showed early he was going to be tough to bring down. He was lightning fast and quick tonight. To me, that’s what broke the game open was Jabrill’s and Chris’ play. Chris said something really interesting in practice. He didn’t say it to me, he said it to my dad and Al Glick. He later told me that, quote from Chris Evans, ‘it’s a sin to be good, when you are sent to be great.’ That was really profound. He was really dynamite tonight.”

On limiting Rutgers’ first downs: “I don’t know how many three and outs it was. I know there were only two first downs and not until late in the game. We were playing on half the field all night. The guys up front had a great game. There was constant pressure. The team has been tremendous. Didn’t allow a third down conversion all night defensively. There’s been incredible play on third down. (Defensive Coordinator) Don Brown is an amazing coach. I know I’ve been saying that a lot. It’s obvious to everyone, to our team, to our whole defensive staff.

On the intensity of the backups: “As a coach, the two weeks you worry about are the week going into a bye week. We call it an improvement week, but still that week you are going in and the week you are coming off that bye week. Our players were as focused as I’ve seen them. To your point, when the two’s got in there, they were playing with the same kind of motivation, the same kind of fire. They wanted to show what they can do. A lot of freshmen were playing in this ball game and playing well. There wasn’t any real sign of drop off when our two’s were in the there. Our two’s were in the entire second half, except for a series on offense and a series on defense.

[After THE JUMP: the darndest thing Harbaugh’s ever seen]

Monday Presser 8-29-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 8-29-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 29th, 2016 at 6:36 PM

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[Upchurch]

“Senior captains for the 2016 season: offense, Jake Butt and defensively Chris Wormley. Thrilled with the leadership on our team right now. from the senior class and our younger classes. I think a lot of deserving candidates, but what a great honor for Jake Butt and Chris Wormley. I think they will represent our team very well.”

Game notes didn’t have a depth chart. Can you shed any light on the quarterback competition, at least?

“It’s been very good really from day one, the competition at the quarterback position. And the play at the quarterback position has been very good. I feel like it’s been improving as well, daily, weekly. All the quarterbacks are playing at a very high level.”

Just to follow up to that, do you know who your starting quarterback is right now? Do you expect to say before the game on Saturday?

“Yeah, I do—we know who our starting quarterback is, yes. And yeah, I’ll say who our starting quarterback is before Saturday. I didn’t say I was going to say it to you, who our starting quarterback is.”

What is it about Jake and Chris that you think will make them good captains?

“Well, they’re two of the hardest working guys. Two of the best players on the team. They both have a real great way of being good teammates. They don’t build themselves up and put others down around them. They both have that quality of building up other guys around them and making themselves smaller, and when you do that you make yourself very big indeed in the eyes of everybody, in the eyes of the whole world and the eyes of the people that are on your team.

“In so many ways: how they talk to the young players, how they coach the young players. I’ve caught Jake Butt in the act of helping the young tight ends on several occasions. Caught Chris Wormley giving advice and tips to the young defensive linemen, Rashan and Ron [Johnson], so that’s…I think that speaks volumes when I catch guys doing that.”

[Long pause as mic gets passed around. Just as someone’s about to ask a question, Harbaugh thinks of something else to add.]

“The good thing about our captain vote is it’s strictly voted by the players. All players that have been on the team for a year who really know the candidates for being captain. Coaches’ votes do not count and freshmen votes don’t count, so it’s the guys who’ve really been in the practices and the meetings and the trenches and the workouts year round that vote on the captains. That’s why it makes it such a great honor. That’s why it’s such a thing that means so much to all of us, to the team and to everybody involved. It’s your fellow teammates. It’s the players on your team, your peers, that are voting and making that assessment.”

When you have several worthy candidates for the quarterback position, what are the things that matter to you when you’re making that decision, when you’re trying to choose?

“Really all the guys haven’t played in the games in terms of game experience a whole lot. Each has game experience and has had game experience, but here game experience and…so, want to see the things that would really translate to the game in terms of moving the team, moving the offense, putting drives together, making first downs, converting third downs, getting the team into the end zone, avoiding the turnovers and the mistakes that hurt drives and keep points off the board.

“That’s been the major criteria. We’ve looked at everything, but that above all on the list is what we’ve been trying to evaluate in the practices. As I said, they’re all getting better and doing everything that we ask. Great understanding of the offense and what they need to do to be successful so been pleased.”

[After THE JUMP: the Kaepernick quote (including some important pauses), throwing gas on the Bredeson/freshmen hype fire, special teams info, and a little Hawaii scouting]

Unverified Voracity Is About Media Day

Unverified Voracity Is About Media Day

Submitted by Brian on July 27th, 2016 at 12:24 PM

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[Patrick Barron]

Media days takes. Harbaugh showed at a place and said things. In response the media writes somewhat overheated things in response, because Harbaugh. The Sporting News refers to Michigan's "magical, millennial, marketable machine" in an alliteration explosion that engulfed their office:

“Harbaugh to my knowledge has taken no classes in marketing, never mentions the word,” Bacon said. “Yet who has marketed Michigan better then he has in the last year and a half? Not everyone likes it, but as far as getting and the name and the flag up the flag pole … Harbaugh has spread the "M" all over America — and to American Samoa — for crying out loud.”

According to Michigan associate athletic director Kurt Svoboda, the university increased its season ticket sales in 2015 to 89,875, the highest total since 2012. Of those, 72,076 were non-student tickets, the highest total since 2009. Student ticket sales increased from 11,597 in 2014 to 17,899 in 2015. …

"You can say he's 52 going on 25 in some ways,” Bacon said. “He's got more energy than almost anybody. He's in a rap video. As a rapper he's an excellent football coach, but you know the kids love it."

Looks like Bacon just put himself on the list of Uptight White People for the 57th time.

Harbaugh's ability to be the center of attention at all times arises naturally from the fact that he's got no filter and genuinely doesn't care what people say about him. So he'll climb a tree or dab for a recruit or schedule a month-long whirlwind of satellite camps, mostly because he wants to do these things, to win at various things of little to no importance. The marketing aspect is a side effect. It's not quite an accident, but it's not the primary thing.

The primary thing:

To that point, Harbaugh said almost every practice is mapped out for the upcoming season, mapped out on his computer. Fall camp will include a lot more four-hour practices, another concept Butt said might be foreign in an age where less contact is encouraged. Butt even told former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy about those practices this summer.

McElroy’s response? “You lost me at the four-hour practices.”

Harbaugh goes harder and his guys are willing to do the same given his example. Along the way articles are written.

Also this. Harbaugh's just way more interesting than coaches primarily focused on escaping media appearances without saying anything that means anything. Literally. Brian Hamilton:

Around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, James Joseph Harbaugh took the stage and an otherwise lobotomized first day of Big Ten media day festivities got interesting. All he had to do was wear the baseball cap, really: Michigan’s coach later explained his accessorizing was the product of going five weeks without a haircut and his affinity for the skinny ‘M’ logo.

Brian Bennett:

He signed a fan's bicep with a Sharpie, then told the fan to come back for another try Tuesday because he didn't like the way his skin signature looked.

Of his appearance in a recent rap video, Harbaugh insisted that only "uptight white people" didn't like it. He even claimed to have written one of the song's lyrics ("Roughest team in the B-I-G!). At another point, Harbaugh used the word "meritocracy," briefly wondered if he had just invented it, then looked disappointed when he learned it already existed.

He is one of few college football coaches clearly operating his own twitter feed, because he's got something to say on it. Something like "I am Uncle Rico and The Georgia Coach is barking up the wrong tree."

Knock on wood. Harbaugh says Michigan is healthy headed into fall camp:

"There's nothing to report," Harbaugh said of player injuries. "We're pretty darn healthy. We came out of spring ball pretty darn healthy. We didn't get any of the long-term kind, six month injuries. There's always things that people are dealing with and working with. Our goal is to get the healthiest, most in-shape and strongest team we can on August 8th and then we'll take our shot."

Rumors about Chesson's availability have persisted through the offseason; he should be fine:

Asked specifically about All-Big Ten receiver Jehu Chesson, Harbaugh didn't give a definitive answer but did say he thinks he'll be good to go.

"Yes, I believe he will," Harbaugh said.

The only other player who had a long-term injury at the end of spring practice was Moe Ways, who has reportedly been running routes with the QBs for weeks now. Per Webb, Ryan Glasgow put up some impressive bench press numbers himself recently. Since his injury was to his pectoral that is plenty of evidence he's all the way back.

Recruiting is for gentlemen only. James Franklin's comments about negative recruiting from a while back are predictably a hot topic at Big Ten media days, but they're apparently based on an unrepresentative quote:

"All I said was that every kid that we're recruiting is also being recruited by Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame and that they don't have the same challenges that we have now," Franklin said. "Then, in a separate quote, I mentioned that right now we're (dealing) with negative recruiting. It was two separate quotes, though, over a 35-minute interview.

"I never said that any of those schools are the ones doing the negative recruiting against us. They're not. There is one other particular school, but I didn't name who that was."

"…although it is blindingly obvious to you and everyone who reads this quote that it is Pitt."

Negative recruiting hubbub is always pretty ridiculous since things as innocuous as pointing out your relatively friendly depth chart will be twisted into "School X is in ISIS" by the time someone mutters about it on the internet. This seems a bit more ridiculous than most.

The Bill C preview. Bill Connelly's big Michigan preview hit SBNation yesterday. Happily, Bill saw through Michigan's roster subterfuge and knows that they get back most of their offense.

S&P+ projects Michigan to win 9.6 games:

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If that sounds pessimistic MSU was at 7.8 a few days ago. Combinatorial math is harsh when you add these things up: Michigan has just three games they're not 75%+ to win and yet they're tiny favorites to end up with double digit wins. 9.6 is pretty good in this context.

There are a couple issues of the sort that are inevitable if you have to write 128 of these over the course of the offseason. Connelly strangely tabs the departure of Mario Ojemudia as the beginning of the defense's late slide and worries over the least worrisome bit of the entire team:

Things fell apart for the line right around the time of Mario Ojemudia's injury. There was still play-making potential on the edge, but it seemed to be a tough blow for Michigan's tenuous depth. Ryan Glasgow going down was the knockout punch.

Depth might not be any better this year. When you were only comfortable with seven guys, and two are gone, improvement isn't guaranteed. But when you've got reinforcements like all-world freshman Rashan Gary, it's hard to worry too much.

Ojemudia went down early in the Maryland game, a shutout. The next week they shut out Northwestern, and then they gave up some points. Against MSU and Minnesota they were mostly secondary issues; Rutgers scored just 16 in Glasgow's last game. Ojemudia was playing well but Royce Jenkins-Stone wasn't a huge dropoff. Glasgow was for a ton of reasons.

Anyway. Bryan Mone hype understandably eludes Connelly's take here, as does the somewhat more questionable emergence of Winovich and Marshall.

Peppers scouted. By NFL.com:

He is fluid in his turn, and he has excellent recovery speed down the field. He is instinctive and aware in underneath coverage. He jumped a bubble screen for a near interception in the Minnesota game. He is outstanding as a run defender. He fights through blocks and is a very reliable tackler in space. He shows timing and burst as a blitzer.

Yep. Concerns include an awkwardness in off coverage and a certain grabbiness that he's gotten away with for the most part. It was clear at the beginning of the year that he had a lot of things to work on in coverage; the good news is that he improved a great deal over the course of the year and should continue to do so.

PFF talks Ohio State. Their offense is an enigma now with just a few starters returning and JT Barrett's downfield ability in question:

The passing game is much more of a question mark, as Barrett has not had nearly the same success through the air as he has on the ground. He earned an average passing grade last season after performing marginally better than that in 2014, and he struggled the most on intermediate throws: On passes thrown 10 to 19 yards downfield, Barrett was just 12 of 25 for 211 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, earning a negative grade in that area of the field.

On the other hand he was their #2 running QB last year behind Houston's Greg Ward. MSU shut down the OSU run game and they foundered, as they did for much of the season. (Remember the NIU game?) Michigan did not do anything of the sort and got ripped. Don Brown versus and Urban Meyer offense is going to be the most intriguing tactical matchup of the season.

Etc.: Tough talk about the ACC Network's ability to get carriage. Ann Arbor is the most educated city in the country by a mile. Ian Boyd on Minnesota's three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense. The Black Heart Gold Pants crew is on the move. Barton Simmons catches on to Harbaugh's crazy QB coaching record.

Unverified Voracity Misses Wilford Brimley

Unverified Voracity Misses Wilford Brimley

Submitted by Brian on June 7th, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Tiller-YEAH

Tiller was always good for some anonymous snark

I always miss Joe Tiller when these get published. ESPN does the anonymous coach quote article, and while some of it is of little utility…

Coach, can you talk about Indiana's tempo?

"They're unique in our league in that they're going to try to get 100 plays in a game and just literally outscore you." -- Big Ten defensive coach [who all Big Ten fans reading this article hope is not employed by their program]

…there are a couple interesting bits about Michigan. This isn't a huge surprise since the last coach was Brady Hoke:

"This coaching staff knows how to mask things. It's a lot more double-team, a lot more movement, a lot more point-of-attack doubles and down blocks. They're a team that embraces the 4- and 5-yard play, and not a lot of people in college football do that anymore." -- Big Ten defensive coach

It's still good to hear that Michigan's offense is reputed to be tricky. There is exactly zero chance opponents thought Michigan's offense was difficult to prep for under Carr or Hoke.

Another coach says the linebackers were the weakest part of Michigan's defense a year ago "but with the guys they have up front, if they're healthy, you can get away with whatever at linebacker." Our theory that Michigan could put out a lawn chair at LB and be okay if Glasgow is around: endorsed.

Yet more satellite camp stuff. It is insane how much people continue to talk about this. There are slightly more important things going on in college football at the moment, but there is just a nonstop train of satellite camp takes. Which, again, are about people showing up on a football field and doing football-related activities in full view of the world. And yet. Anyway here's the whatnot.

Jon Solomon stops by one of the satellite camps in Baltimore, discovering that the people who attend them are in favor of them:

I spoke to a couple dozen parents and players over a span of about five hours and this was the resounding message: Thank you for coming, Jim Harbaugh.

"It's huge -- huge -- to have this in inner city Baltimore," said Christopher Braswell, who took his 14-year-old son out of school -- almost all of the middle-schoolers played hooky -- to the middle school camp. "It gives kids a sense that someone's out there who cares about them. These guys come from Michigan. It's 10 bucks, so they're not making any money off it. A lot of people can't afford more. Bring your kid here to interact with college coaches and high school coaches. Black, white, they're just out there having fun. What's wrong with that?"

This is somewhat tautological, yes. People doing thing like thing. Thing is harmless to everything except Hugh Freeze's free time. Turns out you have to explain tautological things to lizard people sometimes.

Solomon's article is long and manages to blow up some arguments against the camps along the way. Greg Sankey:

In Baltimore:

The middle school camp in the morning is largely about teaching and drills, all without pads and helmets, just like the high school session. These middle schoolers are too far away from college for serious consideration of recruiting them just yet.

Also, Gene Wojciechowski drew either the short or long straw, depending on your perspective, and took in Michigan's Australian satellite camp:

I'm eagerly awaiting the first statement from Sankey that has any relationship to reality. Meanwhile Kirk Herbstreit says Michigan doesn't "need to do it." This is true. Michigan is doing it anyway.

Also, Harbaugh addresses the tucked-in jersey thing:

"I'm a tuck-in guy," Harbaugh explained, tugging at his belt. "In football, the advantage of tucking in your jersey is big. It's harder to grab the jersey when it's tucked in. When it's untucked, they can grab it, they can sling you, they can swing you, so I always like to tuck in it, and I like the sight lines better of a tucked-in shirt. Football is a game of sight lines -- a very symmetrical field with lines and hashes and dimensions. Sight lines are important."

He's thought long and hard about this.

And then this thing. I was maybe going to fisk that article about "absolute power" from a week ago but I've decided it's just too bad to go over in detail. Wendell Barnhouse, who used to have a job with the Star-Telegram and then the Big 12 but is currently writing for a site I've never heard of, put a bunch of words on paper he has to immediately refute because this is his thesis:

Now here is where this column will anger the thousands of Michigan fans, alums and Jim Harbaugh cultists. Harbaugh is corrupting his absolute power absolutely.

You have read the previous sentence, probably twice, trying to figure out if there is any meaning encapsulated in it. There is not. The Lord Acton quote this dude is trying to reference is about power corrupting individuals that hold it. Barnhouse is stating that Harbaugh is… corrupting power? Which is not a thing?

Barnhouse's point is that what Harbaugh is doing is "about optics" and it's bad for the NCAA, which who cares, and then he comes back around to be like BANG BAYLOR. Sorry. "BANG" "BAYLOR":

Harbaugh is engaged in “wretched excess” disguised as “outworking other coaching staffs.” Staging 38 satellite camps in 30 days might be more about carpet-bombing the “Michigan brand” more so than landing five-star recruits.

And it’s also about Jim Harbaugh having the all-encompassing power to do what he wants. There are numerous examples, including a recent one, that illustrates the danger that lurks.

This draws about 35 different false equivalencies and amply demonstrates why Barnhouse is no longer employed as a writer: he's bad at writing.

Harbaugh already had an opportunity to start off his career in corruption last year and passed. Logan Tuley-Tillman, who had a good shot at being the starting left tackle this year, was booted from the team the instant Harbaugh found out he'd done something seriously wrong.

Etc.: A three-part oral history on a basketball season that ended with a loss in the NIT final. Rutgers? Rutgers. Nitpickers gonna nitpick. ESPN's Where In The World Is Jim Harbaugh is entertaining. Scott Steiner on Harbaugh.

Unverified Voracity Has Yet More Hot Takes To Deal With

Unverified Voracity Has Yet More Hot Takes To Deal With

Submitted by Brian on April 14th, 2016 at 1:14 PM

Just another day in the life.

lake-invaders_0One of our photographers wrote a book. You've probably seen Bill Rapai's hockey photos around these parts. If you like those you'll no doubt love his new book, which is about invasive species in the Great Lakes. For some reason it has a picture of an SEC coach reacting to Harbaugh's latest antics on the cover. Bill on the contents:

It’s called Lake Invaders: Invasive species and the battle for the future of the Great Lakes and it explains how these little beasties got here, the damage they are doing, how they might be controlled, and why you should care. (Yes, you should care.) There’s even a chapter on everybody’s favorite invasives, the Asian carps.

It's available on Amazon for anyone who's interested.

DRAKE JOHNSON GOT RUN OVER BY A FORKLIFT!? Yes. He is apparently fine afterwards, if 1) very bruised up and 2) understandably pissed off.

Do not run people over in forklifts, people. I shouldn't have to tell you this.

Tick tock the hot takes don't stop. All it took was for Jim Harbaugh to say some pointedly critical, but true, things for people to lose their minds about the dude. NJ.com columnist Steve Politi has been a reliable source of humor ever since that "Jim Harbaugh may be flashy, but Kyle Flood is real" column, and he is undeterred by being as wrong as humanly possible about that. His reaction to Man Invited To Give Speech may even top his earlier opus:

Steve Politi, a columnist for The Star-Ledger and NJ.com, said Paramus Catholic should be ashamed for having Harbaugh give the speech. …

"The big problem here is Paramus Catholic president Jim Vail who, in announcing his decision to give an out-of-state football coach a free infomercial at his school, called Harbaugh a great leader and educator. Come on, Harbaugh speaking to your students is as much a recruiting advantage for your football program as it is for Harbaugh at Michigan."

I love all these accusations that PEOPLE might be DOING THEIR JOBS WELL. While there's no doubt an element of publicity and recruiting on both ends, Jim Harbaugh is also a very interesting and successful person who might want to give people some guidance. And he's sure as hell going to be more interesting than whoever my high school graduation speaker was. I have no idea if there even was one. Chris Ash is openly envious, and he's real, so…

This undercurrent of "wait a second… wait just a minute here! I see what you're doing! You are trying to make your football team good!" is a never-ending source of entertaining spittle these days. Remember that Alabama dude who clutched his pearls and fell over because Michigan's satellite camp at Prattville was really about recruiting? This is just the latest episode. Here's Mike Florio accusing Harbaugh of the blazingly obvious:

If we’re going to pull back the curtain on why the SEC and ACC coaches wanted to keep Harbaugh out of their backyards, it’s only fair to pull back the curtain on why Harbaugh wants to frolic in them. Although Rosenberg does his best to defend the satellite camp process by baking the concept into the apple pie of American dream chasing, it’s obvious that the camps had become at least in part a pretext for recruiting the best players in a setting that, from the perspective of a high school kid, doesn’t feel like recruiting. It all leads to a more organic, authentic, and visceral bond.

That's the point! Also it is good! We have reached the point in this dumb conversation where people are accusing Jim Harbaugh of trying to have a real relationship with the people he recruits. I feel like I am going crazy here.

Yes, e-goons of the world, people have motives. When they pursue those motives within the rules and without negatively impacting anyone, pointing at them and screaming "YOU ARE PURSUING YOUR GOALS" is literally the dumbest argument possible.

I mean, yeah, get on Harbaugh for the various decommits last year. That's a legit criticism. This stuff is moron central.

Shots fired. I assume you've all seen the Harbombing of the satellite camp decision in SI. While Harbaugh talking to a dude who tried to sabotage the program with bogus allegations of NCAA violations is a frequent irritation, I'll take it as long as he's willing to say the things that are true in public:

Says Harbaugh: "You've got a guy sitting in a big house, making $5 million a year, saying he does not want to sacrifice his time. That is not a kindred spirit to me. What most of these coaches are saying is they don't want to work harder."

Hugh Freeze responded to this with the time-tested retort of the smarmy gasbag: muh families.

"I'll never apologize for wanting to be a father and a husband," Freeze said when asked about vacation time. "I miss enough volleyball games (and other things), that is a priority for me. ... I think we work very hard, I don't think working hard is an issue. If you're asking me if I want to add more nights away from my wife and kids, I do not. That window is closing for me to be a husband and a father and I think the kids that play in our system need to see me in that role an awful lot."

When someone talks about being a family man in this way they are always attempting to shut down criticism by being holier than thou. See: Dave Brandon's "this hurts my family" talk on his last-ditch media spree after the Shane Morris incident. It also blows by a point: if you don't want to do them, don't do them. Nobody's making you. You are in fact making the demands.

Freeze then doubled down on the smarm by criticizing Harbaugh for being right, but in public:

Along with being recursively hypocritical, this is an admission that Harbaugh is correct but also mean. I like mean.

Elsewhere in shots fired. High school coaches are just as fired up about the ban:

"Realistically, I shouldn't have been surprised." said John Ford, the head coach at Roswell High School, which is located north of Atlanta. "The NCAA works in opposition to what benefits young kids and student athletes. They work to protect the few as opposed to protecting and promoting the many. The hypocrisy is pretty well known."  …

"I've been doing this for 15 years and I know it's really, really helpful for kids at these camps," [Toby] Foreman said. "It makes it extremely difficult, and I personally don't think the NCAA has kids interests at heart. You're almost punishing people for being proactive. Go out and recruit harder. Quit being lazy."

I wonder if the pushback on this is going to be sufficient to torpedo the rule change here. These days a lawsuit-stricken NCAA is very sensitive about public relations, and there are a ton of people on the warpath about this. It is really rare to see guys with skin in the game come out with these kind of statements, and the condemnation for the rule change has been near-universal. The only people sticking up for it are guys like Tony Barnhart who are more or less bought and paid for by the SEC and a less-than-lucid Dennis Dodd.

Tommy Tuberville, for one, thinks that the ban will not stand.

Elsewhere in how Freeze gets work done. Interesting little glimpse inside the sausage factory Freeze is running at Ole Miss from a doofus with money:

An Ocean Springs businessman claimed to have offered his guest house to unnamed college football players rent-free, only to later amend his story. But a source with knowledge of the situation said Scott Walker’s neighbors were told by the renters they paid for a two-night stay at his home last weekend.

Renting his home on a short-term basis would be a violation of local ordinances, and when first contacted by the Mississippi Press Walker said it was “four university players” who were “absolutely not paying” to stay in his guest house.

That raised red flags, because a booster (Walker is an Ole Miss grad and fan) offering free or reduced rent is a clear-cut NCAA violation.

Ole Miss cheats. Hardcore, all the time. That's how a nobody high school coach with one year at Arkansas State who arrives at a school with a fanbase that mostly still wants a plantation owner as their mascot and zero success in the past 50 years starts recruiting five-stars. I'm resigned to the fact that this will happen forever, and that the correct solution is to let people pay the players without repercussions.

But you run the cheatingest program in the country and you get sanctimonious about your free time? Harbaugh's just trying to level the playing field out a little bit here. Freeze can take his vacations and come back knowing that an Ole Miss offer has thousands of dollars behind it that a Michigan one doesn't.

That solution could be on the horizon. Via Get the Picture, this is a potentially huge move towards an Olympic model of amateurism:

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman told SI Now’s Maggie Gray on Friday that the NCAA is reconsidering allowing student athletes to sign endorsement deals.

Under the current rules, student athletes may not be paid for the use of their image or likeness or they would forfeit their amateur status and their collegiate eligibility could be affected. When Gray asked Ackerman why students shouldn’t be able to capitalize on the value they bring to their university, Ackerman responded that the NCAA is considering changing that rule.

“That’s one that’s actually under consideration I believe by the NCAA,” Ackerman said. “It’s actually a time right now where student athlete interests are being closely examined. I don’t have an answer for you on that one today but I will say that and a number of other topics are under review, and I think rightly by the NCAA and it’s very possible that over the course of the next year or two as these these ideas work their way through the legislative system you could see changes.”

In the next year or two! As always I will remind you that even if you don't like the idea of players getting paid directly by the university, opening up outside compensation is a very good thing when you command a money cannon like Michigan does.

Warde Manuel sticks up for his guy. Good to see that Manuel isn't shying away from the fight either:

“People say this is Jim Harbaugh, he wants to do it this way,” Manuel told the Free Press today. “No. This is a rule that has been allowable for a long time. With all due respect to … questions about not being able to recruit (during the NCAA quiet period), all that stuff was there before, and people did it. Now it’s no good? Some kind of way, it’s bad for the game? It’s crazy.”

That is direct and devoid of hand-waving CYA business speak, so bully for that.

Elsewhere in laziness. Iowa DE Drew Ott will not get a fifth year after a midseason injury. That's not much of a surprise since he played in six games a year ago and the NCAA does not budge on injury redshirts if you've played more than 30% of a season. The timing of the announcement, however, has irritated many since Ott cannot enter the NFL draft proper and will have to go the supplemental route. Why did this come so late? It's not on the NCAA:

In fairness to the NCAA, it does seem like the lengthiest delays in this entire ordeal were not their end -- it sounds like Ott's case wasn't even sent to the NCAA bodies that rule on this matter until late February.  His case was with Big Ten authorities until that point.  What took the Big Ten so long?  Good question -- and one that neither Ott nor Kirk Ferentz had an answer for during their press conference earlier today.  So perhaps our ire at the glacial pace of the decision-making in this situation should be directed at Jim Delany & Co. rather than the NCAA folks.

That is especially odd since Mario Ojemudia suffered a similarly ill-timed injury and found out he would not get an exception in December.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with MSU's attempt to get sixth years for three players, all of whom appear to have taken voluntary redshirts. MSU keeps telling people they'll be back but the NCAA is very strict about sixth years; going to be tough to come up with sufficient documentation about an injury when these guys have bios declaring they were scout team player of the week.

Etc.: FFS just fire Butch Jones already. Willie Henry getting talked up as a second rounder now. Cut off one of Harbaugh's heads and he grows two more.

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

AAAAARGH. Argh.

WELL NOW I CAN'T CLOSE MY EYES AND RELAX EVER AGAIN ARE YOU HAPPY PURDUE

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.

Potato.