Unverified Voracity Dons Swag Glasses

Unverified Voracity Dons Swag Glasses

Submitted by Brian on June 17th, 2013 at 3:24 PM

The great coach smackdown of 2013. Sound Mind, Sound Body—an offseason camp that is set up such that college coaches can go—is too good to be true and will flame out in the near future when sixty other camps imitate it and the NCAA closes the loophole. But for now, we get things like Michigan coaches doing drills right next to Ohio State coaches that can be bothered to show up.

This is the setup for an uncomfortably hilarious moment. Mike Vrabel gets done with his drill segment early, badgers Mattison about finishing his bit when there's still time on the clock before the next rotation, and Mattison Is Not Having That. Via Sam Webb($):

“How about you coach them as hard as you can for as long as you have them?” Mattison yelled back tersely.  “YOU GIVE THEM EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT!!”

Mattison then donned his swag glasses and told Lawrence Marshall "that's why you don't go to Ohio State, Lawrence."

images[1]

There's a great Greg Robinson story behind that paywall still.

Run, don't walk. Outside of paywall is a terrific article by Mike Rothstein on the basketball program's unique approach to recruiting, in which Michigan offers only after June 15th of a prospect's junior year and maintains a sedulous respect for the process of getting to know kids.

“I’ll throw this at people,” Jordan said. “‘What’s your mom’s name?’ Because there’s a curiosity of why haven’t you offered. ‘How many brothers? How many sisters? What’s your family like? Have you considered the fact that we don’t really know each other, but there is a desire for a scholarship offer?’

“So now it’s like, ‘OK.’ It’s the education.”

It does seem like the Michigan offer is now something that means something, unlike a number of other schools.

There’s another, almost unintentional, byproduct. By having prospects wait for an offer and go through myriad steps, Michigan has created more perceived value around an offer from the school. Instead of just another scholarship offer on a list, it is one the player had to work for.

“To see that they still wanted to offer me, it meant a lot after recruiting me for a year and seeing how well I developed and saw how much potential I had,” Irvin said. “That was really special to me.”

Rothstein noticed that Beilein often goes after kids who are young for their grade—Caris LeVert is a recent prominent example—and got shot down when he asked the coaches about it. So he's on to something there.

Brady Hoke problems. ESPN gives Maurice Ways a fourth star, which means the list of current commits eligible for this site's Sleeper of the Year designation reads:

  • Michigan State commits

If I have to I'll open it up to kids who got just one four-star ranking, which opens the door to a whopping three guys at the moment: Ways, Chase Winovich, and Wilton Speight.

ESPN also moved Drake Harris up 25 spots to 71st; the rest of Michigan's commits had insignificant drops of a spot or two.

Sense. And sensibility. And zombies. This bowl news is trickling out so gradually it begins to remind me of the Big Ten's realignment, which was announced weekly for two months. But I think one of the priorities fans had was being able to you know, watch the Big Ten's bowl lineup and Delany has confirmed that is something on the docket:

"I think what you'll see is a truly national slate of bowls," Delany said. "I think you'll see us probably stronger on the West Coast than we've been. You'll see us as strong in Florida as we've been, but probably not as much on New Year's [Day]. I think you'll see us in Texas, and you'll see us with some games in our region, some games on the East Coast. I think it's going to be a great slate. We've made a lot of progress."

Also, the league is about to force bowls to take at least five different teams over the next six years, so no Yet Another Orlando Trip. I'm a little leery of that. The impulse behind the idea is a good one but that threatens to screw with bowl matchups.

Finally, a chorus of angels sounds from above!

"We've been trying to create a model that's more realistic," Delany said. "We'll take fewer, better tickets. If that means the payouts have to come down some, that's OK. Because it makes no sense to overpay on tickets, over-commit and find out you're really subsidizing the bowls, financing your own game."

I'm going on six years of bitching about this. No more. Freedom! (Have I told you how terrible the scholarship model is?).

Could make the West more… nahhh. Tim Beckman picks up Oklahoma State transfer Wes Lunt, who started six games as a true freshman for the Cowboys. Michigan won't see him unless Illinois rotates onto the schedule in 2016, but the addition of a quality quarterback could make the Illini the scariest 4-8 team in college football.

PX00018_9[1]

The one time when a coach really could claim to block a player's transfer for their own good, and Gundy doesn't. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ –edsbs

Just once, Illinois, you could try looking at a photograph of the guy you're hiring before doing so. Then you would not hire the people you hire. I challenge anyone to find a picture of Tim Beckmann that does not beg to be captioned "derp" or "hurrrr durrrr" or "is what how can do?"

images[1]

NOPE

Tim_Beckman[1]beckman_original[1]CORRECTION Fight Hunger Bowl Illinois Football

NOPE NOPE NOPE

Okay guy. It must be brutal to write something for a newspaper in June, but uh.

Freep Guest Column: Alternate jerseys and helmets continue to impress recruits

 Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

image

I don't think it's working. Next time put actual fireworks in the helmets?

Gant move confirmed. Brady Hoke confirmed that Allen Gant was now at SAM, stating thusly:

"He's a rangy guy and he's got length to him," Hoke said last week. "His body has the opportunity to put weight on, the structure and the genetics of the body.

"I think that's the biggest part of it."

If he tops out at 230, think Stevie Brown rather than Jake Ryan.

We missed this, but it's a little explosion-y so let's just do it now. Sam Webb puts out a Da'Shawn Hand article about two seconds after I do a final scan through my RSS feed for the recruiting roundup. Well played.

Most of it is stuff you've heard before about Professor Needs A Raise and how the Michigan staff is his favorite staff. But while I think a version of this quote was in a video somewhere this is the first time it's in text:

"My goal is try to make a decision before December,” Hand reported. “At first I was going to stretch it out, but then after talking with my pop -- we kind of had a heart to heart -- I kind of have to make up my mind. It’s a big decision, but at the same time I kind of have a gist of knowing where I’m going, but I ain’t gonna say that.”

panic[1]

GO LITTLE GUY GO. RUN IN CIRCLES. YES. GO.

Etc.: Books to read from Smart Football. MC79 on data versus feelingsball.

Unverified Voracity Misses Exit Wound Opportunity

Unverified Voracity Misses Exit Wound Opportunity

Submitted by Brian on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Not in Ohio. Via Bo Dever's twitter account, Michigan's footballs have taken to redundancy:

image

I kid, I kid. Ohio is our most special state.

No words. I take that back Plaxico Burress is our most special state.

image

Where are the exit wounds? Are you telling me Burress is going to be a sock magnate and does not have a sock with exit wounds on it? Life! What a waste!

Batten the hatches. So those hockey games against BC and BU that were rumored but unconfirmed? Yeah, they're at Yost. Michigan has dropped the full hockey schedule and it's a doozy. In addition to the home-and-away against all the Big Ten teams, Michigan's signed up for this nonconference schedule:

HOME: BC, BU, Lowell, Michigan Tech (2x), Niagara, Ferris State
AWAY: RIT, UNH(2x), UNO(2x)
NEUTRAL: WMU, Tech or State

If you stopped paying attention to college hockey out of self defense last year, Lowell was a one-seed, BC and UNH twos, Niagara a three. BU was third behind Lowell and BU in HE last year and got squeezed out of the field. UNO was a middling WCHA team, Tech not so good. There are no Bentley-level patsies at all, as both RIT and Niagara have reached the NCAA tourney in recent years.

Combine that with Minnesota/Wisconsin/MSU/OSU/PSU and that is the opposite of football's 2014 schedule. Michigan chose to thin out its fall schedule with the extra two weeks the Big Ten's hockey-spiting playoff system provided, taking a bye the week of the Nebraska game and playing only once the week of the Iowa game.

I'll take it. ESPN's reporting that the Pizza bowl is dead and will be replaced by another event at Ford Field matching a Big Ten team against an ACC team, which everyone is going to hate except M and MSU fans. But I'm one of them so woo.

George Perles isn't phased. I mean, what's better than Detroit in December? Detroit outside in December.

Keep up with the Joneses, plz. One of pleasant surprises from a couple of trips to the SEC has been the presence of both bands at the game even for non-rivalry matchups like (mediocre) Auburn versus LSU. The second time I asked around to see if I had gotten a fluke, and southerners looked at me with horror and pity once they realized Big Ten football usually has one band involved.

Ohio State's going to change that, mostly:

Gordon Gee, Gene Smith and the powers that be at Ohio State got together and determined that the College of Arts and Sciences and athletic department would continue financing the band. But one key change would be the addition of the Development Office of the President. Instead of a miniscule $220,000 operating budget – ninth in the Big Ten – the Buckeyes will have $1 million, which vaults them to first. With it comes more travel.

The band will attend road games at California, Purdue, Illinois and Michigan.

Meanwhile Michigan scrounges for pennies to send the MMB to a game against friggin' Alabama and the Uber Alles subset of the fanbase praises that decision as sly money-grubbing genius instead of a slap in the face to the band and fans. If only this was true:

When Michigan’s band traveled to the Cowboys Classic in Dallas last season for the Wolverines’ game with Alabama, it cost the university an estimated $400,000. The decision to send the band came after heavy criticism when it was announced they would not make the trip. Less than a year later, it appears two of the nation’s premier marching bands have earned a spot near the top of their university’s hierarchy.

The MMB is the same as it ever was. They will travel probably once this year, the free trip to East Lansing. State College, Evanston, Iowa City not so much, let alone UConn.

Pay attention to Mike Hart, plz. Hart on his quick ascension to the top of the depth chart and what Derrick Green can do to replicate that feat:

"The biggest thing I tell my guys is I didn't get all the reps (when I was a freshman), but I made sure I watched every rep," Hart said. "There's freshmen on my team over there talking, and they don't know the playcall or what's going on.

"You can process these things without getting a physical rep. I think that's kind of what helped me transition, is I was only getting a couple reps, but I was really getting 15 reps per period. A new playcall, I was thinking about what I had to do and how I had to do it."

Draft order set, now we can wince at what will happen. SI has Trey Burke going to New Orleans at #6 while the Pistons get the flashing red light that is Shabazz Muhammad. Hardaway does not appear. Glen Rice Jr. does, though, and a year after he got booted from GT's team.

Hated Chad Ford($) has Burke #2 to Orlando, has the Pistons taking walking red flag Anthony Bennett—LOSE GAMES AT THE END OF THE SEASON FOR PANTS SAKE—and puts Hardaway at the tail end of his first round, going to Denver after "one of the best performances of anyone at the combine." He brought "an intensity with him that few players could match"?!?!?

Do we think Mitch McGary and Hardaway pulled a Derrick Rose-SAT-swap here maybe? I do. I think Hardaway convinced Mitch McGary to pretend he was Hardaway at the NBA combine. This is a thing that happened.

UMHoops breaks things down in more detail.

Etc.: Michigan has two Parade All Americans, equalling the rest of the conference combined. MSU has two quarterbacks. Uh oh? Softball ace Sara Driesenga profiled. The News on Patrick Biondi's stellar senior season. Denard Robinson is not exactly a trekkie. Michigan State fans looking for love.

This Week in the Twitterverse

This Week in the Twitterverse

Submitted by BiSB on May 16th, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Sparty Gonna No.

A list of things that people believe will make them more successful than a football scholarship to Michigan State University:

1. A football scholarship to the University of Michigan (obvs)

2. A football scholarship to Northwestern University

3. A music career with dese skillz:

(Heads up: video contains explicit lyrics and imagery, and really bad rap):

Mark Hollis did say yesterday that they're trying to make the Big Ten more hip, but then MSU admitted they dropped him weeks ago when the first blunt hit the YouTubes. Which is probably correct but doesn't make MSU's receiver recruiting any less hilarious.

image

Some Stuff the Other People Already Posted

I post once per week, and Brian posts daily, so sometimes he gets to the good stuff first. Now, I could put in the effort to go find other stuff. But I am exceedingly lazy, so we’ll all just pretend that he didn’t already post this stuff, and we will laugh at it anew. Good? Good.

With this week’s announcement of Marvin Robinson’s transfer, Michigan lost the quintessential OMG Shirtless player. M-Rob was the patriarch of the movement [Tyrece Butler is its godfather], and his loss will be deeply felt. But when Angry Michigan OMG Shirtless Hating God closes a door, He opens a window into some crazy stuff. Behold what AMOMGSHG has given us:

Maybe this is a response to the Abercrombie and Fitch CEO saying he didn’t want… uh… larger people wearing their clothing. Maybe they just honestly forgot to wear shirts that day. But I like to think that they were assuring the apprehensive Michigan faithful that the shirtless tradition would continue, albeit in a much more MANBALL fashion.

This also has the makings of a great ‘positive self-image’ campaign:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a little pasty white. Or if you’re carrying a few extra pounds around the midsection. Or if you don’t have what would be considered a “neck” by traditional standards. Or if you make questionable fashion and facial hair choices. As long as you can pancake a sumbitch or two, you are beautiful.

[One side note: Brian referred to this incident as “AmBearcrombie and Bearfitch.” I humbly submit “ManBearCrombie” as an alternate nickname. ]

Elsewhere in wonderfully poachable Twitter-related news, Greg Mattison sat in a truck.

[After the jump]

Monday Recruitin' Knew It All Along

Monday Recruitin' Knew It All Along

Submitted by Ace on May 13th, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Lawrence Marshall, Troll of the Year Candidate

Michigan's latest commit, Southfield DE Lawrence Marshall, was presumably headed to East Lansing before pledging to Michigan last weekend, according to virtually everyone who followed his recruitment. Another example of Brady Hoke's remarkable ability to change recruits' minds during their visits, right? Oh, no, it's much better than that, per Sam Webb ($) [emphasis mine]:

I was thinking about committing (to Michigan) for like a month now, so I knew where I was about to go for a whole month,” Marshall said sheepishly.  “I just didn’t want nobody to know where I wanted to go.  I went up (to Ann Arbor today for a visit) and it was the perfect timing to commit.  I think I caught them by surprise. I don’t think they really knew that I was going to commit there today.”

Wait for it...

Now twist the knife ($):

One phrase Marshall has already been saying is that the "best players in Michigan go to Michigan". With that, attention now turns towards his strong-side counterpart and Detroit native Malik McDowell.

"I'd say Malik is that last part of the puzzle," he said. "Michigan is where the best players in the state want to play and he's the last one left. We'll be turning our attention on him and will try to get him to come on board with us because we're building something special here."

According to 247's composite rankings, Michigan has two of the top four in-state players in Marshall and (oh, hey) Drake Harris, with their sights firmly set on top-ranked Malik McDowell. The Wolverines also have the #9 player in Moe Ways. Michigan State has just the #6 and #7 players (Deon Drake and Byron Bullough) and no other commits among the state's top 25 prospects.

For comparison, Western Michigan now has the #5 and #8 prospects (Chase Stewart and Chukwuma Okorafor), along with 13th-ranked Jordan Van Dort. Only two uncommitted prospects remain among the state's top 13 players—McDowell and his high school teammate, OL Ka'John Armstrong, who's visited MSU several times but has yet to receive an FBS offer.

Where's the threat?

[Do I have to keep writing? I mean, that's the perfect place to stop. Okay, if you insist, hit THE JUMP for Chase Winovich's visit reaction, Jabrill Peppers running pretty fast, a look at the enormous foreign exchange student offered by Michigan, and more.]

Dear Diary Pulls the Fingerguns

Dear Diary Pulls the Fingerguns

Submitted by Seth on May 10th, 2013 at 10:11 AM

2j44uuf

gif credit to umaz1

Who's Awesome? You're awesome. /guns. Vincent Smith is finally done using Tae's account. Last night he posted an update of the work they're doing with Art Day, which you helped with. HOPE for Pahokoee's latest event brought badly needed art supplies to the local elementary. The Palm Beach Post wrote it up and has photos of Smith, Odoms and Brandin Hawthorne teaching art to 5th graders.

042613-spt-pahokee-1

Rodriguez loved to raid this little muck town of rabbit chasers in hopes of making his team better; the players (Richard Ash is still on the team) all ended up platooners of one sort or another, but thanks to them and your support this unlikely connection between communities that couldn't be more different has worked out pretty well for the town too.

The hardest one is on SATURDAY, plebe! Inspired by Wyoming's field redesign, Orson has some suggestions for how other schools can capture their unique traditions on their respective playing surfaces. Dave Brandon will be happy to know that although the NCAA nixed his hashtags, the Times crossword is okay. My own submission:

fieldMSU

click enlargenates.

Things to note:

  • Tasteful corporate sponsorship by Capital One doubles as motivation for the Spartans to return to the peak of their program's glory. As part of the sponsorship package, if any fan is caught using a non-Capital One card inside the stadium they will immediately be assaulted by 20% of the football team. What's in YOUR wallet?
  • Special "Izzone" extends the Spartans' sideline five yards onto the playing field, not that their coaches will stay behind that line either.
  • The region from the goal line to the MSU 30 will be designated as "Sparta!" where the Spartan defense will never allow the football to enter. Also the Spartan offense will never leave it.
  • imageThe Wolverines recently got all new logos, so Michigan State was able to dress up its midfield with Michigan's old one. Of course it took several boxes of crayons to adapt it (unfortunately all the green crayons broke so part of it's in aquamarine.)
  • Extensive use of Comic Sans font to increase interest from younger fans.
  • Hidden compartments under every 5-yard hash provide players with quick access to various blunt and sharp instruments that aid in meeting Dantonio's program mandate of "60 minutes of unnecessary roughness." Each hole also contains a copy of the Holy Bible to be used as an emergency shield against Detroit newspaper reporters in case they ask.
  • Inflatable dirigibles beneath the surface provide buoyancy in case Mark Hollis decides the game should be held in the middle of Lake Huron.
  • Modular seating in the lower bowl, and special turf genetically engineered by MSU scientists to break down Faygo, mean the stadium can easily be converted to the perfect host site for future Juggalo Gatherings.

We Just Feel Like We're Carrying Your Bags

(Title ref) You know that inflection, when Keith Jackson would take an emphasis syllable you never would have paid attention to—like the "THOM" in Anthony Thomas—and he'd build you up to it—Anthonyyyyyyyyyyy—and then that syllable would pop out like he's laughing it, like all the joy in the world just exploded from this kind old man's lips because he appreciates the existence of the thing with the name that much. WolverineHistorian wants to put together a new video of Keith Jackson quotes and is issuing a call for papers for your greatest Jackson-voiced memories.

Because there is evil in this world and it is contracted by the Big Ten, much of the WH catalog has been turned to this:

image

There are few things more despicable than people who claim copyrights over clear fair-use material despite having zero plans to make the same material available, just because they can out-lawyer you; here is a company who does exactly that for a living.

That Harmon?

harmonsign

User MichiganPhotoRod discovered the company that did all the signage in the Michigan Stadium renovation (like the above) is named Harmon Sign. The company is headquartered in Toledo and Novi but was started the year THAT Harmon arrived at Michigan. I have a call in; someone there is going to get a weird message when he gets into the office today.

Promo-magnetic-schedule4Who's on the bus?

Jared of Sports Power Weekends has this year's schedule online and ready for booking for those of you looking to road trip together for an away game or make a visit to Ann Arbor an exponentially more awesome experience (e.g. there's an inside the stadium tour as part of the Notre Dame package). We're discussing making one of these (probably Michigan State) an official MGoTrip; the Notre Dame one will probably dump you into the next official MGoBlog event, and Brian and I will be stopping by the Penn State tailgate.

As an aside, we're trying to do more in-person events because all of us desperately crave opportunities to talk Michigan with people who, like, know the coordinators' names. The downside of doing it around games is there are few people less fun to be around than bloggers immediately after a loss.

Diaries:

BIG TEHNNNNN! It's now been a good eight years since the SEC realized "Hey, you know what 18-year-olds like more than playing for schools that have a lot of money? Having money themselves!", and the governing body for this said "Hey, you know what we can do about it? Absolutely nothing! But let's pretend we've got a handle on it anyway." The results are on the field, and in the NFL draft, to which the Big Ten sent an average Big Ten recruiting class: 22 players, highlighted by a very large center just outside the Top 25. Of course a potential first overall pick stayed in school (ours!). Anyway, UMgradMSUdad gave out points and the winners were Wisconsin, MSU, and Illinois. Michigan was 7th, our contribution of Denard and Big Will worth less on this scale than Kawaan Short.

Girls in hats. The diaries from the last two weeks read a lot like, well, diaries. Paps gave his personal account of being in Atlanta for the NC game and lingers on that one awful call. LSAClassof2000 eschewed charts and data mining (and lolcats) for reminiscing on how he became a Michigan fan and how he got in to the school—other people plopped their own stories in the comments; mine has Woodson in it. Even Blockhams was diarrific this week, being all "the Wings can't leave the Western Conference soon enough."

If you read just one of the diary-diaries, try the Kentucky Derby one. I've never done the Derby, but I always imagined it was, essentially, a sporting event. If costume for fans was a thing, well I've seen SEC football. SEC football in the 19th century more like. I read the entirety of k.o.k.Law's description and after the peculiar manner in which a slingbox crashes I ran out of frame of reference. Like imagine if you're waiting 2 hours in line to get into the stadium because of security, when a couple of cops jump up on picnic tables and announce 209-MG71h.St.79"Forget security – just go in!" Or dropping $50s in a cash box like you're paying cover at a bar. This part made me think my wife would wanna try it sometime:

Now, if people watching is your thing, you have to do the Derby.

Six foot eight guys dressed in full jockey uniforms, cap, silks, riding boots.

People in all sorts of horse outfits. People is suits, puking on the grass. People exhibiting all the symptoms of a closed head injury. People with “Derby Virgin” buttons taking ten minutes to make a bet at the window. The Mayor of the infield.

And so on.

…but then it's been my experience that smart, northerly Jewish girls don't react well to Westborough Baptists with megaphones. Photo: Kentucky.com.

Etc. Wallpapers by jonvalk; please lose the hash tags. Charity event for people in Columbus. The tatoo guy from Tatgate is selling off all the memorabilia from that. If this seems weird that Buckeye fans would want to memorialize that whole thing, remember they carried Tressel off the field for it last year. Denard rookie camp video.

Your Moment of Zen:

Watch, or just close your eyes and listen.

This Week in the Twitterverse

This Week in the Twitterverse

Submitted by BiSB on April 12th, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Bump… Set…

The National Championship game was a bitter-sweet affair, but there was one part of the game that was sweet amazing un-flipping-believable: Spike Motherf***ing Albrecht. the guy came in averaging 2.2 points per game, and he scored 17 points in an 11-minute stretch in the title game. I mean…

Spike CNN

Spike Albrecht was on the front page of CNN. Spike Albrecht was trending on Twitter. Spike Albrecht made thousands of curly fries, and those curly fries each went on to shoot lights-out from the outside.

Now, imagine for a second that you are this guy. The world has been awed by your meteoric rise. Today you are a god, but you know that, like Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake, your run can end at any moment. What do you do? Yeah, you’d probably do this:

Spike Upton

This, as Adam Jacobi pointed out, has all the hallmarks of a “heat check.” And while some of you probably think Kate might be out of his range, he’s shown this week that his range is a lot broader than you might have expected.

Moral High Ground: Crumbly, But Extant

As we discussed on an earlier installment, a Michigan Man is gracious in victory and stoic in defeat. Unlike our younger brethren in East Lansing, we can deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with an unflinching gaze. So despite the glorious nature of the win on Saturday and the heartbreaking nature of loss on Monday, we know that these fine Michigan Men would not resort to the kind of childish tomfoolery as those Neanderthals in green and white.

AA Fire 1AA Fire 2

Well, balls. Reports differ, but what is known that several fires were spotted on Michigan’s campus after both the Syracuse game and the Louisville game. Most of these fires involved couches. This induced groans from Michigan fans and glee from Michigan State fans. As a result of this dumb-ass display, I received two types of comments from the many Sparty fans I interact with on a regular basis.*

1) “LOL, looks like scUM isn’t as morally superior as they think. Get off your high horse, scUM”

I hate to say it, but I think they’re right. For as much crap as we talk every time Michigan State burns a couch, we torched them sons-o'-b*tches at the first chance we got… and then after the VERY NEXT chance we got two days later. It’ll take some serious myopia to be all “hurr, go burn some more couches, couch-burners” after this. This was an immature, brah-tastic display by Michigan students. Anyone who thinks this is a Sparty-specific thing is wrong, and anyone who supports this kind of thing makes us all look bad. And is someone who sucks. If we're gonna claim to be above this sort of thing, we have to either be above this sort of thing or we should STFU.

2) “LOL, looks like that ‘Michigan State riots and burns couches’ meme is gonna have to die now!”

Whoooooa there, fella. Not so fast.

First, sure, Michigan burned a few couches, but if we’re gonna call this a riot, then Michigan sucks so very much at rioting. Let’s compare the videos:

One of these is a riot. One of these is a s'more roast gone bad. I'll let you decide which is which.

Second, it isn’t like this is some little thing that Michigan fans conjured up out of nothing. The good people at The Google will back us up on this:

East Lansing Google

(h/t @cgaerig)

Couches Google

(h/t @Bry_Mac) (Hey… dat’s a me!)

Riots Google

(h/t @AceAnbender)

When the Internet thinks of riots and burning couches, it thinks East Lansing. When it thinks East Lansing, it thinks of riots. QED. Besides, since when do rivalry memes live and die with “facts”? A couple of years ago polling data came out that completely destroyed the entire factual basis for the “Walmart Wolverine” meme. Have you noticed a decline in “Walvie” references? No? Okay, then go back you your couch-burning, you couch-burners.

And finally, the meme also won’t die because this week Sparty proved the seventh-oldest adage in the book: never bring a burning couch to a bomb fight.

[*Full Disclosure: I am the son of two Spartans. I married a Spartan. My sister was a double-Spartan. I’ve lived in the Lansing area for almost six years of my life. I speak fluent Brah. I am not one of them, but I am of them.]

Mark May is Terrible at Everything

What if your entire life was about the dumbest things you ever bothered to write down? Well… you’d be Mark May.

May is not good at not being wrong. He also has a running battle with Ohio State dating back to the Tatgate thing. It is not unlike the Michigan/Mike Rosenberg relationship. They hate this dude, and he seems to dislike them just about as much.

Mark May Hates OSU

Fortunately, Ramzy (@ramzy) at Eleven Warriors has a handy database of other wise calls May has made over the years:

Mark May is Wrong

The terrible thing about the Internet is that nothing is ever forgotten. The fabulous thing about the Internet is that nothing stupid ever said by annoying professional trolls is ever forgotten. I suggest keeping an eye on Ramzy’s feed for future troll trolling.

(Also, I’m not sure if your aware, but May also dislikes spelling and grammar. But that is neither hear nor their.

Mark May Hates Grammar )
 

[UPDATE: Oh, Internet. You never let me down. Looks like overnight @mgoblog, @AceAnbender, @BrianMFloyd, @edsbs, and others jumped on the "look at the amazing things Mark May has said" bandwagon. And it is glorious. I recommend taking 10 minutes of your day to soak in the wisdom.]

[DEFINITIVE UPDATE: Jason Kirk summarizes the Tao of Mark May. All the points]

What Have You Done For Me Lately? Yeah? DON’T CARE YOU STILL SUCK

Losses bring out the trolls in the best of us. In defeat, people freak out and blame the blameless things. They say heat-of-the-moment crap that they know at the time to be stupid, but they can’t help themselves. “Trey Burke is terrible.” “Denard doesn’t seem to care.” “Navarre AAAAAAAHHH NAVARRE.”  That is why I largely discount the stupid stuff that happens after losses. The 504 errors on the MGoBoard after a particularly bad loss are usually a blessing in disguise.

But after Saturday’s win (again, I emphasize after Michigan’s FINAL FOUR VICTORY), Ace engaged in this conversation, and it made my jaw drop, melt, and re-form as a giant cartoon mallet that bashed me into the ground like a tent peg:

Fire Beilein 1

 Fire Beilein 2

Substantively, he is almost certainly wrong. The problem down the stretch against Syracuse was free throw shooting, and while Beilein is admittedly a poor free throw shooter, I don’t know if we can blame him for those misses. And as Ace pointed out, the epic return of Jordan Morgan was 100% JB. He used his subs. It was crazy.

Beyond that, the object lesson here is that some people will never, ever be happy. Your team just won a gigantic game. They’re going to the freeking National Championship. Your impulse should be “OMG THIS COUCH MUST DIE,” [Note: resist the impulse. Save the couches] not “I HAZ CONCERNS”. It saddens me that there are Michigan fans who couldn’t enjoy the run Michigan just made, because dollars to donuts you will never have a run that is more fun than this one. And at the highest point of that run, there were people honestly and legitimately complaining about various stuff. And it wasn’t just this guy; after I read this, I poked around to see if other people were seriously upset after the game. And there were. But I stopped reading them because I had some g*ddamn celebrating to do.

That’s Better

After a poor showing last week, Jose is back in fine form.

Canseco Vegas Wildlife

And I am happy… but then…

Canseco Michigan

We have a complicated relationship, my bash brother.

It's Not Unverified Voracity's Fault, I Swear To God

It's Not Unverified Voracity's Fault, I Swear To God

Submitted by Brian on April 2nd, 2013 at 12:23 PM

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Also! Of course Mitch McGary is photobombing John Beilein, triumphant.

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McGary is Facetiming Zack Novak with part of the net on his head, because of course he is. SUBMITTED: "Big Puppy" is still an appropriate nickname for Mitch McGary even if he is putting in 25 and 14 on Jeff Withey.

Been there. A TWIS-worthy moment from a sideways Kansas fan watching the Burke three:

Prediction of the tournament. Mark Titus, come on down:

5. Bill Self will become so enraged with Elijah Johnson that his toupee will fall off

Self and Johnson have an interesting relationship, and by “interesting,” I mean that before every game, I’m pretty sure Self pulls Johnson aside and gives him the following speech:

“…God as my witness, if the other team’s point guard outplays you tonight, I will end you. Your corpse will spend eternity in the crawl space of my summer home, and when guests ask, ‘What’s that smell?” I’ll tell them it’s the scent of mediocrity."

He also predicted that Tim Hardaway wouldn't wear his hat. No matter: that is creepy. In lots of ways.

Yeah. No. Charles Pierce has an article on Syracuse's 2-3 zone that strikes on a key point:

"Everybody's talking about the 2-3 zone," Thompson said. "That's not a 2-3 zone. The 2-3 zone has been with us since the dawn of time. It's the way it slides and moves out there, like a damn amoeba.

"The only time it's a 2-3 zone is when they're waiting for you to bring the ball to it. Then, it becomes something else."

Watching the IU-Cuse game I was struck by how the conventional wisdom about where you need to attack the 2-3—flashing to the free throw line—didn't seem to apply. Cody Zeller seems built to crush a 2-3 by getting the ball there and passing, shooting, or driving as the defense provides a wrong answer to the threat he provides no matter what they do.

Syracuse just checked him and folded in their "wings" a bit. Those guys are 6'8", so Watford wasn't much threat and they were more than capable of extending out to contest three pointers from the corner. More than that, they just knew what to do to react to Indiana's attempts to beat the zone. By playing this amorphous zone they play on a sort of home court against everyone. They know exactly what they're doing; a lot of opponents don't.

This'll be a test of the Beilein Is A Genius meme. Boeheim is undefeated against him, albeit in talent matchups nowhere near as even as this one.

Not exactly a rock of journalistic credibility. Seriously, New York Times?

Washington-20130401-00046

Stop listening to NPR! It's just stories about how you shouldn't abuse elderly people!

[Via Reader Brent McIntosh.]

Correct. Reader Stephen Suarez provides a visual representation of Nik Stauskas's decline, fall, and mutation into unstoppable phase beast:

image

At least they got your/you're right. Michael Ferns instagrammed this Handwritten, Lovingly Crafted Recruiting Letter from Mississippi State:

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"Baller" is underlined, FWIW.

I've always wondered what the hell anyone could put in the incessant communication teams have with recruits, and now I know. I am dumber for this knowledge.

I ran out of fouls! I—I had guards with shoulder injuries! We recruited guys who ended up at Iowa State! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Blue Devils! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!! Tom Izzo post-NCAA-exit always sounds like John Belushi trying to prevent Carrie Fisher from flamethrowing him. With Michigan in the Final Four, he's turned it up to 11, to mix 70s movie metaphors.

Tom Izzo doesn't blame the referees.

"It just seemed like that whistle was blowing all the time, and we never got in the flow of the game in that second half,'' Izzo said. "I'm sure they (officials) thought they did a helluva job, or I thought that I did a helluva job.

"I bit everything I could bite a couple of times.''

I wonder why that might be, that Michigan State might get called for a bunch of fouls. I am racking my brain for a potential reason a proud purveyor of "physical defense" might end up flaming out in the NCAA tournament thanks to fouls. I am… nope. Still thinking.

In any case, the free throw disparity was vast.

Duke made 24 of 26 free throws while MSU was 18 of 24 from the free-throw line.

"They killed us on the free-throw line,'' Harris said.

Before the last 1:20—when State started fouling intentionally—FTAs were 24-16 in favor of Michigan State.

Tom Izzo doesn't blame his players, he blames himself for his players.

"I think it got in all of our heads, and that's why I did a poor job, I can't let that happen,'' Izzo said. "We're not gonna win that battle, and I let some of that get to me.''

Have we mentioned that injuries devastated Michigan State to the tune of two games missed by a starter? Duke's Seth Curry hasn't practiced all year; Trey Burke was sick and still shaking off that nasty fall he took against South Dakota State. Izzo takes full responsibility for that, too. Those guys had no right to play that well.

"Make sure you give Bo Ryan his nappy." That's the Big Ten equivalent of the brewing officiating scandal in the Pac-12, in which the director of officials offered bounties for technical fouls on Sean Miller. Joking or not, dude is fired.

Etc.: Five key plays from Florida. Beilein and Boeheim kind of go way back. Surprise: Trey Burke is an All-American to everybody. Final Four refs include a few guys who have done Big Ten games this season, but no one you know. Recommended: this Matt Norlander article at CBS on Michigan's regional triumph. Gregg Doyel writes something nice!

LOL UCLA hired Steve Alford.

Unverified Voracity Dons Optimus Gorilla Costume

Unverified Voracity Dons Optimus Gorilla Costume

Submitted by Brian on March 19th, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I'm pretty sure this is Delvon Roe. Yeah, this guy has been doing this for years.

This person has 375 youtube videos in which he wears an Optimus Prime mask and Gorilla costume while extolling Michigan State things. Delvon Roe was an acting major or something and now spends 90% of his time trashing Denard Robnson on twitter. QED.

Our brief regional nightmare nears an end. After chatter chatter chatter for months about what the new and devolved Big Ten will look like, Adam Rittenberg reports that this whole "geography" thing is going to get a spin and the last decision to make is which Indiana team to put in each division. The future of your football, at least until Florida (Gulf Coast) gets added:

"East" division
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State
Rutgers
Purdue or Indiana

Michigan State was apparently not able to weasel its way into the West division and force Michigan into a protected crossover, so there's that. The Indiana teams will get a protected crossover, and that'll be the only one.

A nine-game conference schedule is on the docket for 2016, which will allow Michigan to play teams in the other division slightly less than half the time. The goal is "for every pair of teams to play at least once every four years." Conference expansion, y'all.

For balance purposes the East should get Indiana, which has not had a recent run of success like that of Purdue under Joe Tiller. Rittenberg concurs, or rather I'm agreeing with him since he wrote his thing first. Whatever.

Goodbye, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Brown Jug game. Hello… you. At least I don't have to figure out if I should root for Ohio State anymore.

What is doubt? Baby don't hurt me, no more. I no longer have any reference for what is reasonable doubt of Michigan and what is flat-out hatin'. Still, my vibe from the various NCAA talking-head shows was that all things were extrapolated from Michigan's lack of tourney pedigree and flameout last year. Michigan was a popular upset pick in the first round, and even if that was avoided most discussions centered on how awesome VCU was and how they would cut through the tourney like a hot knife through butter.

I said this back before, but if I was VCU, Michigan is the last team I would want to see as a second-round matchup. You thrive on turnovers. Here is a John Beilein team piloted by Trey Burke. Sad Panda. Meanwhile, this Wolters kid at SDSU is pretty good… and his team has two guys taller than 6'6" and a defensive rating in the 200s. Also John Beilein has a pretty decent tourney record himself despite last year.

In any case, there are a couple people reacting to the televised Michigan-trashing. Luke Winn is one despite being the guy calling BS on Michigan as a national title contender because of their defense a few months ago:

Upset I Don't Like: No. 13 South Dakota State over No. 4 Michigan. Nate Wolters is a cult hero -- I wrote an ode to his brilliance in November -- and Wolters vs. Trey Burke should be quite the show. But Burke was shut down last year by a defensive-minded mid-major star (Ohio's D.J. Cooper), and Wolters is far from a lockdown guy. Nor is his team. The Jackrabbits have the fourth-worst defense in the entire bracket, which doesn't bode well for their ability to hold the Wolverines' high-powered offense in check. A fun game to watch, no doubt, but it won't be an upset.

While he adds Michigan to his "why I'm hesitant about five teams you might like" section he also adds the #1 and #2s from this bracket in there and predicts Michigan to the Elite Eight against Florida. I would take that.

BONUS: Winn's random upset pick is Valpo over Michigan State. Oh, Luke Winn, you cad. I'm not that… yes I am. Yes, yes I am.

THE VERY UNBONUSEST: Damn near everyone is calling an Ohio State-Wisconsin regional final. Having no compulsion at all about rooting for Ohio State to win a 38-33 game is the worst.

Good catch. Kyle Meinke takes up the Analyze Spring Video For Bits baton, fitting in the usual complaint…

Michigan has gotten very good at providing tight shots that reveal very little information. And it's just one padless practice in March anyway. So, really, not much can be gleaned.

…before noting that Antonio Poole is there and dressed. Hoke didn't mention him after mentioning all the linebackers so it's good to see him there and on the team.

[watches thing]

I think Meinke gave that short shrift. There's quite a bit of player-coach interaction in there. That was interesting to me. Hoke exhorts, Hoke orders a rep, Hoke says minimal progress has been made and seems slightly mollified. I enjoy anything that shows you the way these guys interact with the players, enjoy the detail Hoke and Mattison and Funk get down to in these things.

Let's play to tie. Beilein broke out the cliché like whoah:

As long as it doesn't play "not to lose," everything should be fine, the Wolverines say.

"We missed layups, we played not to lose (against Ohio) and (now), we're going to try to do everything we can to go in there and play to win," Michigan coach John Beilein said Sunday night.

This entire article made me sad for the people who have to say things to the media, and the media that has to write them down. Their mutual existence leads to statements like this:

"We just focus on this game, this is a different team," Morgan said. "This Michigan team is a different team.

"And I'm not saying that in a bad way, I'm just saying (the Ohio loss) doesn't necessarily haunt us."

The most innocuous comment possible is followed up by a disclaimer. This is our lot, we readers and talkers and writers.

We're what? The Big Ten is paying Maryland 20 to 30 million extra in travel subsidy? We needed the Terrapins to turn our league into bloated chaos that we're giving them extra money to not be sad with? Gahhhhhhh. HERE IS YOUR MONEY YOU WILL FIND THAT YOUR SADNESS IS INHERENT TO YOUR EXISTENCE AND YOU MUST WORK ON YOUR INNER PEACE TO FIND HAPPINESS. RESIGN YOUR BODY TO ITS DESTRUCTION AND FREE YOUR MIND, MARYLAND.

Bone thugs. Wojo's latest is headlined like so:

Michigan basketball at crossroads between hope and disappointment

Yeah, pretty much.

Etc.: Daily with an ill-timed profile of Mike Chiasson, who has been a healthy scratch for a month. Better timing: Benji Burke profiled.

Recruiting de-regulation inevitably leads to recruiting re-regulation. For locals, the Arena may not exist much longer—their application for a liquor license renewal is not going well because of nearly 9k in unpaid taxes. Jerald Robinson, who departed last year, was caught with a pound of pot around home. Women get an eight-seed.

In Maryland-related news, everything good will eventually be replaced by David Brandon.

Unverified Voracity Identifies Weak Spot

Unverified Voracity Identifies Weak Spot

Submitted by Brian on February 1st, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Crimson and Crodcast. I appear on CrimsonCast talking about the game. I'm not very audible early, unfortunately.

FRAN! I ALREADY TOLD YOU THE MORTGAGE RATE WILL ADJUST IN FIVE YEARS HOW HARD IS THIS TO UNDERSTAND

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GET OUT OF MY BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK

(Iowa beat Penn State too narrowly for McCaffery's taste.)

Glory grasped. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl champs, man.

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It doesn't get any better than this you guys.

Statistical indications. Dylan's hookup with Synergy Sports makes me all jealous and stuff, because he can tell you that Indiana's not real good at defending the pick and roll:

The Hoosiers rank in just the16th percentile nationally while defending pick and roll ball handlers. Michigan happens to have one of the best ball screen offenses in the country including the two best ball screen scorers in the league. …

For comparison, Ohio State – who stifled Michigan’s ball screen offense – surrenders just .56 PPP to screen and roll ball handlers (89th percentile) and .82 PPP to roll men (77th percentile).

There's still something that seems strange with those number since it seems impossible that allowing 0.84 points a possession on anything is, like, bad, but the percentiles are the percentiles. When it comes to the pick and roll, Indiana finds themselves squarely between Northwestern and Penn State:

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Not where you want to be. Also note that Michigan's the best team in the league at defending the pick and roll what with their hard hedging.

Anyway, Burke and Stauskas's proficiency with the P&R will hopefully force Indiana to do things they don't want to—like play zone—or lead to lots of that scoring stuff.

Dylan also brings up a salient point from last year: Crean put Christian Watford on Burke, like, a lot. Given the relative success Illinois had at holding Burke's numbers down by switching Nnanna Egwu onto him in the pick and roll we might see something similar, at least until Mitch McGary rebounding against Yogi Ferrell becomes a bit of an issue.

More indications of how this is probably going to go. Barry Alvarez is on record that he would like to see Wisconsin play Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska yearly in the Rhombus of Hate. Add that to the pile of evidence suggesting the Big Ten will tear up the Where Is Wisconsin and Why Is Wisconsin Here divisions for the conference's brief stop at 14 teams.

Speaking of The Big Ten, Too model:

“Based on the last three years I’ve been in this business, you’d be crazy not to think about it," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said. "But it’s hard to model anything because you don’t know what to model. The minute you get yourself convinced that you’re going to go from 14 to 16, for all you know you’re going to 18, and a lot of people think the ultimate landing place is 20. Who knows?"

I guess it's a better ideal than this bit.

Gene Smith's still pushing for ten conference games, BTW.

Frieder: still mad. Bill Frieder's been making the rounds this week and seems to have a little bit of bitterness left over from his matchups at Assembly Hall back in the day:

"The hostility of that crowd and everything else you have to go against at Indiana (is tough)," he said. "You usually won't get good officiating at Indiana, you usually get a bad call or something bad with the administration along the sideline. There's something to do with the shot clock or the clock not starting on time.

"You'll have everything going against you, so you'll have to play extremely well to win the game. ... When you play Indiana at Indiana and they're a top five team, you're going to be the underdog, no matter where you're ranked."

If the second half goes anything like Illinois's against MSU last night I won't stop twitching for weeks.

Etc.: MSU guard Travis Trice apparently fine after nasty hit to head last night. More on the "catfishing" story, which I stopped caring about a lot faster than everyone else. Everyone's in a tizzy about whether in fact the term was used. Indiana-Michigan previews from Inside the Hall and the Crimson Quarry. Also UMHoops.