One Frame At A Time: Maryland

One Frame At A Time: Maryland

Submitted by Ace on November 7th, 2016 at 3:11 PM

As you may have noticed in today's game column, I'm trying a new format for GIFs: gfycat, which load faster, have much better quality, and allow you to do stuff like speed up or slow down playback if you click through. I hadn't switched over before because uploading and tagging was cumbersome; now the program I use has integrated that entire process. Today's post mostly features the old format as I do a test run with a few gfycats. If all goes well, I'll do the complete switchover next week. Feedback is encouraged.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the Maryland game in GIFs.]

Unverified Voracity Clicks Yes Over And Over

Unverified Voracity Clicks Yes Over And Over

Submitted by Brian on January 31st, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Basketball highlights ho.

via mgovideo

Also:

I vote all of these. A student organization at Illinois is holding a contest to pick a new symbol for the Illini. Whichever one wins will be ignored by the athletic department and consigned to the dustbin of history, and this is a tragedy. A dozen of the entrants would instantly be the best mascot in the universe.

Do you choose Colonel Kernel?

illinilogo4_medium[1]

Or Rabid the Squirrel?

illinilogo5_medium[1]

Rabid the Squirrel is a possibility for the mascot, but the overall concept is to represent the squirrel, a hardy survivalist being, bravely bears the cold winters, bike and street traffic, and is incredibly quick and graceful. For proof, walk anywhere on campus.

Or The Corn Guy?

148746_412344012175271_641796618_n[1]

The tagline for Corn Guy could be: A corn could be a cute and enthusiastic corn,
who opens his arms and welcomes smart students all over the world. Or a corn could
be a fighting corn, who, in orange skin and blue armor, revealing his muscle, with
fierce look, shows his vigor and is ready for an exciting game. This, is the Corn Guy.
Thank you.

Or werewolves?

6349_405301186212887_236235154_n[1]

You want something fierce? You want something amazing? You got it all right here. Super strong, super vicious, super I-will-wreck-everything- you-love. Ain't no one wanna mess with this. What, you expecting something cute and fuzzy like a squirrel or a PIECE OF CORN? HELL NO.

A

WEREWOLF.

THAT'S WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.

It matters not. You cannot go wrong. I vote for them all.

530774_412345848841754_2079394528_n[1]

It is the state of Illinois with an Abe Lincoln hat with boxing gloves. Tough, Historic and blatantly Illinois. Hope you like it

I vote for them all.

K-State might be Michigan's best nonconference foe. NC State beat Duke and UNC, sure. Since they've lost to Wake Forest, Maryland, and Virginia. UVA is at least a bubble team; the other two aren't sniffing the tourney. Kansas State on the other hand just did this to Texas:

I got home, made some dinner, and kicked back to relax and watch the Texas game. It was not relaxing. I would have been better off waking up this morning, smashing a few glass bottles on my kitchen floor, opening a can of paint stripper, pouring it on the broken glass, rolling around in the mix of shards and methylene chloride, taking a shower, and calling it a day.

BM6[1]While Texas is real bad this year, Kenpom has them significantly above Wake Forest and the Wildcats beat the Longhorns raw—final was 83-57. They kept it close in their two league losses and are probably going to have 24, 25 wins by Selection Sunday.

I wish I had thought about this. The Hoover Street Rag introduces the Borges-O-Meter, which ranks Al on a Jorge Luis-based scale ranging from Tlön, Uqbar, Orbus Tertius to The Gospel According to Mark. As you can see, Al is currently hanging out at The Lottery Of Bablyon, level six. I would actually swap level six (dubbed "fortunate") with level 5 (On Exactitude in Science, categorized as "precise"). In all other ways this is wonderful.

Yeah, I suppose Cal or Stanford fans probably would have done this, but whatever, they didn't because of a historical quirk that directed Borges (Al Edition) to Michigan instead of their schools.

Viva this fanbase.

[update: now with link!]

Viva this team. Mitch McGary on starting:

Late Tuesday night, an undecided Beilein asked McGary, "What do you feel about tomorrow? I don't know what to do yet. You both practiced well."

McGary responded, "Coach, I've been coming off the bench for two years. I'm cool with coming off the bench."

I'm not sure there's anything we thought McGary would do when he was the #2 recruit in the country that he's not doing despite a massive nose-dive in expectations late.

This is appropriate. Hockey picked up a big, late-blooming defenseman currently plying his trade in the BCHL named Kevin Lohan. As Yost Built mentions, yes, that Lohan: he's a cousin of Lindsay, who may be the spirit totem for this year's outfit. It is possible the third jersey does not display a badly-drawn weasel but is in fact a representation of Linsday Lohan on a bender.

Right now Lohan is insurance against potential departures from Bennett, Trouba, and/or Merrill and may or may not come in next year.

Yost Built also mentions that Mike Spath is reporting that Michigan will use the scholarship money freed by Daniel Milne's departure to go hunting for a goalie, apparently overseas.

Etc.: The Northwestern view of last night. Also found here. First comment: "Trey Burke is good. Holy shit." Burke is about to pass Darius Morris on Michigan's all-time assist list and has Morris's season record for assists squarely in sight. Men's gymnast Syque Caesar sets an NCAA record on the parallel bars. Nieves profiled by the Daily. 7-on-7 leagues examined. Five key plays from NW.

Unverified Voracity Finds A Mascot

Unverified Voracity Finds A Mascot

Submitted by Brian on July 5th, 2012 at 1:32 PM

HTTV delivery schedule. I've gotten a lot of emails about when your hands can wrap around a copy of Hail To The Victors, and the answer is "soon." The launch party was the first I'd seen of the magazines myself and we're having some teething problems when it comes to getting them in the mail in a cost-effective way. (Kickstarter's reporting mechanisms are not complicated enough to handle what we wanted to do so we did quite a bit of shoehorning.) I'm expecting this will happen very soon. If you filled out a kickstarter survey, you're good. (If you haven't: do so ASAP.)

UPDATE: Unless we don't have your shipping info, everything that doesnt get a specialty t-shirt will be going out this week. Everything with specialty shirts will be going out mid next week.

Van Bergen 2.0. That's DT commit Henry Poggi, man:

Tremendous: OK, so I have to ask if you've ever seen a picture of Ryan Van Bergen. You can't deny the resemblance.

Henry (laughs): Yes, yes I have seen a few. Actually, when my brother Jim heard that I was looking at Michigan and sent me a picture of Van Bergen on Facebook and told me I looked exactly like this guy.

Tremendous: When we first started doing the site, we did a breakdown on you and I remember Keith calling me going off about how much you looked like Van Bergen, especially with the long hair. What are the long term flow plans?

Henry: I will definitely be staying with the long hair.

Mascot model. He's got a bike, he's in a suit, he's a mascot apart.

usa-jaguar[1]

Yeah, he's a jaguar, not a wolverine. If he's willing to be environmentally friendly and stand on the sideling clapping disinterestedly while talking about real estate, he's Michigan's man. Jaguar. Whatever.

That's all that's left. It's testament to the work Wolverine Historian has put in that he's just posted highlights of the 1995 Memphis game:

He notes you should keep an eye out for Charles Woodson's hair around the 2 minute mark.

New bowl order. In the long term, John Junker's Fiesta Bowl plunder may be a benefit for college football since it seems like it was a wakeup call to college football conferences. Slapped with a torrent of bad publicity, various commissioners descended to the war room to plan strategy, found that they had all the power, and proceeded using it. First the SEC and Big 12 decided they'd co-own a bowl, now the ACC(!) has made a power play with the Orange Bowl:

If there was any doubt that the bowls are the biggest losers in the new postseason arrangement, the new ACC-Orange Bowl deal should put that to rest.  That’s because the most significant part of it is this:

Along with the announcement that it will be aligned with the Orange Bowl, the ACC also told ESPN that it now controls the broadcast rights to the bowl, meaning that it will be taking bids on who broadcasts it, and will be taking at least 50 percent of those broadcast rights for itself.

It’s evidence of a sea change in who’s calling the shots.

“It’s a de-centralization,” one BCS source said. “Conferences taking control of their bowl games and determining who participates in the games. It’s the conferences really loaning their bowl games to us to have semifinals.”

I wonder if the Big Ten and Pac 12 are exerting the same leverage under the table with the Rose Bowl. That seems 50-50: Delany has been pretty ruthless at acquiring the money but Grandaddy don't hear too well these days, sonny, lean in so I can hear you better…

What was that again?

In other bowl rejiggeration news, we've found out what happens when the Rose or whoever loses a team to the playoff:

So when you hear the term “contract bowl” to describe the Rose, Champions and Orange bowls, it literally means those games have their own contracts with individual conferences. Hence, if they lose one of their contracted champions to the playoff, they can replace that team with any other team from that partner conference, minimum ranking be damned. The BCS is not dictating which conferences get these contracts. There’s nothing stopping one of those bowls from signing the Big East or Mountain West, but realistically it’s not going to happen.

That's Stewart Mandel, who also says that this AQ/non-AQ business that was supposed to be going away actually isn't: if the Rose is hosting a semi and the Big Ten champ doesn't make it, they have a guaranteed slot in one of the three "access" bowls that will fill out the new six-bowl red carpet lineup. No such luck for the Big East, let alone anyone else. In practice, expanding the number to 12 and going strictly on the selection committee's rankings of who are the best teams will get remotely deserving minor conference champs in most of the time.

We must protect the Rose Bowl from the horror of hosting the Pac 12 and Big Ten champions. Meanwhile… what the hell?

At least? Big 12 consultant Chuck Neinas and BCS executive director Bill Hancock have told CBSSports.com it remains uncertain how many times the Rose and Champions bowls will host semifinals. Both bowls have reasons to host less than four semifinals each over the course of the 12-year agreement. (24 semifinals in 12 years divided by six bowls = four each.)

We all know the Rose would prefer to have its Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup as often as possible. A little known codicil at the end of the current BCS deal required the Rose to take a non-BCS school only once in an eight-year period. (That was TCU in 2011).

The Big 12 and SEC own the Champions Bowl, essentially a start-up whose valuation grows by the day. The two leagues could find more money playing outside the semifinal (more often than not) with a separate rightsholder.

Protecting the Rose Bowl was priority one for the Big Ten, but this system is not the "if you're in, Rose hosts" system. It's a random rotation that will expose the Rose Bowl to potentially non-sanctified games in some years and has the potential to make the Rose the Grandaddy of Conference Runners-Up when the semifinals rotate away.

That's nuts. By handing away semifinals the Big Ten and Pac 12 are putting their faith in the Rose Bowl's brand over the cachet of the national championship… which, okay, I guess isn't surprising since that's been the MO here since home games were abandoned.

I thought the plan then was to put any game featuring a #1 or #2 ranked Big Ten/Pac-12 team in the Rose, which would have preserved its importance. Now it's mostly a consolation prize in the same way it would have been if there were home games—and the powers that be are trying to make it even more so. We must destroy this tradition in order to save it.

Walton something something. Wiggle? Rod Beard profiles 2013 PG commit Derrick Walton in the News:

"He's a point guard in the pure sense," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Sam Webb. "He had always been a pass-first point guard, but he was a pass-first, pass-second and pass-third point guard. He really had the ability to take over games offensively but was overly concerned with getting his teammates involved.

"There were times when his dad would say to him, 'I need you to go out and get it done offensively.' On the AAU circuit, they told him the same thing with the (Michigan) Mustangs. I remember he responded with seven 3-pointers in a game after he had deferred a little too much."

He probably won't have the immediate impact of Trey Burke because that's a once-in-a-decade kind of thing for anyone outside the realm of obvious one-and-done sorts, but Michigan should be able to survive a Burke departure after this year.

Sure, why not? EDSBS posts "We Are ND" for no apparent reason, which is enough of a reason for me to post it.

This serves as a reminder that we are We Are ND until such time as a pile of "In The Big House" records are burned at midfield.

Brief EA NCAA rant. Their latest gimmick is putting former stars in the uniforms of top rivals—sorry, putting people wearing certain numbers who may or may not be Tebowing but certainly aren't representations of current or former college players—and putting it on the internet to horrify people. They started with Desmond Howard in an OSU jersey and have now put Tim Tebow in a Georgia uniform.

In a nutshell, this is why I quit buying NCAA a few years ago. Instead of making an edition of the game in which receivers catch a realistic number of balls instead of dropping half of them or making a 50-yard pass actually difficult to complete, EA has spent the last decade working on stupid gimmicks and letting their franchise stagnate on a treadmill. Damn you, exclusive licensing.

Etc.: John L Smith declares bankruptcy, confirming that he is the Most Interesting Coach In The World. Purdue blog Hammer and Rails previews Michigan, asserts Boilers will lose 31-20. Notre Dame would like to beat Michigan this year. Jerry Hinnen profiles Betsey Armstrong, who will start in goal for the women's water polo team and could probably tear your arm out of its socket. Apply to be an assistant cheerleading coach. This is where your money is going.

MHN runs down hockey players who never showed up. Amazing how Jack Campbell worked out for Michigan: they get the statistically-best goalie in program history, Campbell puts up a sub-.900 save percentage in the OHL. Western College Hockey blows up Kitchener's libel threat at Slovin.

Unverified Voracity Eats Potato Pancakes

Unverified Voracity Eats Potato Pancakes

Submitted by Brian on August 5th, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Old, old, old. Old enough, anyway. 1981 Purdue-Michigan:

Sort of like that 2007 Northwestern game where Michigan futzed around for 45 minutes before blowing the doors off, though in the NW game Northwestern kind of blew their own doors off.

Memphis stuff. Gary Parrish tweeted that Michigan's first-round matchup in Maui would be Memphis. The Tigers were probably worse than Michigan last year, going 25-10 in Conference USA. They got a 12 seed and were narrowly bounced by Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tourney en route to finishing #87 on Kenpom.

HOWEVA, they were incredibly young, even younger than Michigan. Their three top usage guys were all freshmen and their lone senior was one of those grunt-and-rebound centers who saw about half of available minutes. Kenpom had them #344 of 345, in front of only Stetson. Michigan, #335, was comparatively methuselan.

Michigan loses Darius Morris, though, and Memphis returns everyone save Will Coleman, that center. That's advantage Memphis. Looks like an even game.

The winner will face the winner of Duke/Tennessee in the second round, also known as "Duke." In the event of a first round loss Michigan will likely get a rematch with Tennessee; hopefully they can win that one and avoid Chaminade in the third game.

Like the rest of the economy. Slate has an interesting bit on the sports ticket bubble that seems to be collapsing in the MLB, NBA, and even NFL. College football remains the highest-scarcity sport of all and will be the last to see these effects but you have to wonder at what point will Michigan have trouble filling the stadium because it's a better deal hit up scalping sites. One example close to home:

If you want to take in next week's Indians-Tigers AL Central showdown in Cleveland, for example, you can snag lower box seats in the infield—normally $44—for as low as $25. As a bonus, reseller fees are typically lower than teams' own ticket fees. Given those options, it would be stupid to pay full price at the ticket window.

I wonder what "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" does to the value proposition of a football ticket.

In the wild. One of the Willy The Wolverine guys sent along a video of some variety of Michgian's one-game mascot. Thrill as Willy plows over some kid he can't see! Marvel at Steve Fisher on a golf cart shaking hands! Check out an obscure argument! 80s hair!

what could have been

People who have emailed me about the Willy era say he was not well loved by the students, but at least he was organic.

This is love. I'm with everyone else. This is the best bowl name in dozens of years:

potatobowl

It's quaintly named after an agricultural product and has chives. It's too bad it's in Boise during the dead of winter.

Very likely completely false. Tim Rohan envisions an alternate universe just for Obi Ezeh:

Kenny Demens had already won. He wasn’t Obi Ezeh.

That’s all that mattered in the fans’ eyes.

Ezeh, one of the most puzzling players in the storied Michigan football program's recent history, started his career as a Wolverine with promise before he was vilified for his drop-off in play once then-Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez changed defensive schemes. Ezeh would have thrived in the downhill, knock-your-teeth-out approach Greg Mattison will surely expect out of his middle linebacker.

Not to pile yet more derision on Ezeh's career, but… dude… come on. Ezeh was a clunky two-down linebacker who couldn't take on blocks or read plays. The mass coaching incompetence didn't help, but ain't no DC who can do anything about this:

This is the reason UFR exists: to prevent statements like the above from going unchallenged. Kenny Demens was instantly much better than Obi Ezeh, which is what mattered.

What the Schutt? To recap yesterday's very long thread:

  1. Tommy Schutt is a near five star NT to Rivals and Scout.
  2. He wants to commit to Notre Dame in the afternoon.
  3. NT Sheldon Day beats him to the punch, causing ND to pull his offer. The ND fanbase is confused.
  4. Schutt wants to visit Michigan today.
  5. Michigan says "sorry, not interested," reportedly because an NT commitment had already happened.
  6. There is no NT commitment. The Michigan fanbase is confused.

Seriously:

Tommy Schutt said he woke up Thursday with plans to orally commit to Notre Dame later in the day.

The 6-foot-3, 301-pound senior defensive tackle from Glenbard West was a victim of timing, though, as his offers from the Fighting Irish and Michigan were pulled Thursday after the schools told him they secured commitments from players at his position.

In a text message, Schutt said he was a half hour from calling Notre Dame coaches to give his commitment when he received word that the offer had been pulled. He was informed that Michigan pulled its offer earlier in the day.

Does Tommy Schutt have gangrene? Lingering, massively infectious, malignant ebola-gangrene?

Michigan's NT recruiting is deeply bizarre. They've got almost no one after senior Mike Martin, Brady Hoke is a DL coach, Greg Mattison is a DL coach, they have 26 spots, and they think having a fullback is more important than securing a second very-highly-rated NT type for a position that sees serious rotation. I mean, this is the NT depth chart next year:

  1. Richard Ash?
  2. Quinton Washington?

That is it. Ash is dogged with health rumors, Washington is a converted OL, and sucking Washington over to NT leaves Will Campbell with one sort-of backup in Kenny Wilkins, who's like a 250 pound DE.

If they end up with Pipkins and O'Brien it's all cool. Anything short of that and every successful interior run in 2014 is going to be stroke-inducing.

Etc.: Obviously Casey Anthony is an OSU fan, but why did OSU feel compelled to put out a press release about it? Versus is going to put some college hockey on TV. More coverage is always good and the promise of more HD is even better. They are counting down to kickoff.

Finding Furriester

Finding Furriester

Submitted by Brian on July 15th, 2011 at 2:09 PM

sean-connery

you're the mascot now, dog

Michigan's mascot should clearly be a giant middle finger named "Tradition." Imagine the photographs. This won't happen, though, because I've triple-trademarked the idea and will only sell it for one million dollars.

We'll have to crowdsource it, then. The Detroit News is way ahead of us, having already launched a contest and announced a winner, which is a werewolf in the #1 jersey. Braylon says this aggression will not stand.

Your options:

VARIOUS WINGED-FACE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY FURRIES

furry-1furry-2untitledfurry-4

It's like a normal mascot except the winged helmet is part of its head. Except for the one where it isn't, and that one doesn't even have a tail.

Pros: Ammunition for 4chan. Slight possibility meme launched. If actually named "Furriester" I will die laughing.

Cons:  This is why you picked Michigan, so you could go to a sporting event without thinking of… the incident. It all comes rushing back now: one night in Venice with hairy thighs and scratch marks and shame imprinted on your soul. Shame deeper than the catacombs, broader than the sea, shame you ran and ran and ran from until you stopped, panting, in Ann Arbor.

I guess that's it, then. Time to buy some whiskey and a gun.

HELLO WOLVERINE

hello-wolverine

DO YOU LIKE FOOTBALL I LIKE FOOTBALL TOO I JUST WISH THEY WOULDN'T BE SO MEAN I LIKE NICEBALL WHICH IS LIKE FOOTBALL EXCEPT INSTEAD OF HITTING SOMEONE YOU GIVE THEM A LOLLY

Pros: Michigan becomes Japan's team, gets own video of hot girly pop stars frolicking with related paraphernalia.

Cons: Michigan's record under the watchful eye of Hello Wolverine will be 3-89 because he cries every time someone falls down.

WHERE THE WOLVERINE THINGS ARE

untitled

Mascot has a hissy pregame and flees to a world of his own devising containing 110,000 magical friends.

Pros: Canned music in stadium now exclusively Arcade Fire. Stadium becomes breathtaking wonderland of childhood delight…

Cons: …which falls apart as soon as someone takes a mud clod to the face, leaving everyone in the stadium a harrowed emotional wreck in need of some soup and a hug from mom.

Actually, this has already been our mascot for quite a while.

HELLO ANIME HORROR

anime-horror

It's incredibly cute for a demon, I'll give it that.

Pros: Dismembered Brutus one-ups the Ohio Bobcat, and according to Brady Hoke Ohio is our great and true nemesis.

Cons: Your soul is next.

PIG… WEREWOLF… CHEERLEADER… GUY

pigwolf

Pointy teeth: check. Bear ears: check. Bulbous nose: check. Tail: check. Are those horns? What is going on?

Pros: Block M on nose is consistent with branding initiative. May be able to lead locomotive cheer.

Cons: Is hideous interspecies mule that only wants two things: a Michigan victory and the sweet release of death.

CAT… DOG… CHEWBACCA… THING

jesus-christ

Even its big weird clown shoes have teeth.

Pros: Seems happier about its status as a genetic outcast, at least. Downright jolly. Good at comforting: "yeah, we just lost to Ohio State for the million time in a row, but all of your chromosomes have matches! I wish I was so lucky."

Cons: Will rip your arm off if you beat it at chess.

NICE TRY, SUPERFAN

batman-hermes

No, dude, seriously, even the winged helmet has wings. They're recursive wings. I'm totally not Batman.

Pros: Cheap. Recursive wings briefly stoke engineering interest. Is actually Batman so don't try anything, buddy.

Cons: Keeps cutting his feet off at the ankle when he tries to run. Camera flash reminds him of his parent's murder.

I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

this is a skunk

This is a skunk. It was submitted by someone in Ohio.

Pros: Might confuse Ohioans into killing and eating it. Hideously malformed right arm would give Michigan the nation's first handicapped mascot.

Cons: Everything else.

UNDEAD BIFF

undead-biff

What's even friendlier than a live wolverine in a cage at a football game? A zombie version thereof.

Pros: Would forever end discussions about who has the manliest mascot in all the land. Forces band to play "Thriller" every home game. May distract Joe Paterno from games against Penn State as he seeks elusive zombie bestiality romance.

Cons: Zombie bestiality romance. 110,000 people plus one rabid zombie biting machine is pretty much asking for a zombie apocalypse. In the aftermath survivors would walk around screaming "we didn't listen."

UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT, OR GENIUS?

Jolly Wolverine.bmp

If I had a pirate ship, this would be its flag.

Pros: It's original. I kind of want to put in in the store minus the lawyer-baiting block M. Could lure Mike Leach to campus to be the OC.

Cons: It's original because it is a Jolly Roger flag with a block M and a wolverine skull instead of, you know, a mascot. Unless it was Marvin Riedel's intent to make a Michigan mascot that was entirely notional, which… whoah. I'm feeling all deconstructed.

THE WINNER

I vote for the giant, barely anthropomorphized block M:

emmy_thumb[2]

Pros: Remove the eyes, pretend she's female, and call her "Emmy." I wouldn't even be mad about this. If Michigan had a giant, armless walking M accidentally smashing into cheerleader pyramids it would be awesome.

Cons: Is not giant middle finger named "Tradition."

Hockey Schedule, Realignment, Demon Dogs

Hockey Schedule, Realignment, Demon Dogs

Submitted by Brian on June 22nd, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The schedule is out, and the nonconference is meh: one-offs against Niagara, St. Lawrence, Northeastern, and Union and a home series against Bentley. The only marquee nonconference foe is Boston College in the opening round of the GLI.

Union was pretty good within the closed pond of the ECAC, going 17-3-2 en route to a two-seed in the NCAA tournament. They were jus 9-7-2 outside the ECAC, though, and lost to eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth in the first round. Union returns the vast bulk of their team—the only notable losses are their #4 and #8 scorers—and will provide a young Michigan outfit a stiff test.

St. Lawrence and Northeastern were not good last year and Niagara was a good but still-fourth-place AH team; Bentley is turrible. So the most notable part of the nonconference schedule other than that is Northeastern's demonic dog mascot:

northeastern-demon-dog

That gives me the willies.

BONUS UNFAIR MATH NOTE: If you're going to schedule games against the ECAC and Atlantic Hockey, you want to do it like Michigan does. Bentley and SLU were terrible last year, but if they're that bad again wins against those schools will get tossed out of the RPI calculations. You won't pay the full price for playing those terrible teams as long as you beat them.

Meanwhile, playing Union is going to get you a nice opponents' record in the RPI while largely insulating you from the negative effects of a loss (common opponents, mostly). Niagara also has a shot at being the AH champ, giving you a good return on your risk of a loss.

Michigan Hockey Net suggests that the weak NC schedule has a lot to do with Michigan's 2011 team, one that looks like it will struggle to score unless Zach Hyman comes in with a chainsaw attached to his arm; this is a year for canny exploitation of PWR vagaries, not getting Jack Johnson to shoot the goalie's face off.

Hospital of the Reconfiguration

These are old but it's college hockey realignment and therefore not a hot button issue. Notre Dame's AD on the possibility of a Hockey East move:

There are several important factors here. One is that we have to care about the broader industry. A solution that causes us to net out future hockey programs in the United States would not be a good solution. And so all of us – the Big Ten, and those of us who are thinking about this issue outside the Big Ten – we have to be mindful of the impact on all of the hockey programs.

Having said that, we are focused on several things. One is we want to maximize the exposure of our team from a broadcast perspective. We have a great new building, a great product, and we want to try and be on television more. We think it’s a pretty compelling hockey team that people will want to see. So we’re mindful of those issues.

Secondly, we want a good cultural fit. Athletic conferences work best when you’re with schools that are like you, that share your values. And so we talk a lot about that. And the there are a lot of sort of mechanical issues, like travel and scheduling, that you also have to factor into this.

(HT: BC Interruption.)

That sounds like friendly boilerplate followed by Real Talk™ that suggests the irritating Adam Wodon article about how Domers gonna Dome is an accurate representation of their viewpoint. The CCHA was all right if Michigan and Michigan State were in it, but once they're gone there's no reason to stick around with all these Protestants. I'm still doubtful increased revenue from playing HE teams will offset increased travel costs*, but money might not be the top priority for ND.

Miami's Brad Bates carefully said nothing about his school's position, but given Miami's lack of a Scrooge McDuck vault filled with football money travel is going to be a bigger issue with them.

If I had to bet on an outcome I would be very unhappy with my chances but I'd eventually settle on:

  • Notre Dame and an ECAC or AH school move to Hockey East.
  • Miami stays in the CCHA.
  • The CCHA adds Niagara (in Buffalo), Robert Morris (in Pittsburgh), and Mercyhurst (in Erie, PA, just across the Ohio border) to return to ten teams.

The other scenario considered is Miami departing for HE and just Robert Morris and Mercyhurst leaving for a CCHA even more tightly focused on travel costs.

Without ND the financial status of the remaining CCHA schools would become even more precarious. Michigan and Michigan State should step in to offer help, hopefully in the form of Playing For Stuff. Nobody wins if the formation of the Big Ten causes college hockey to drop programs, and because of geography the two Michigan powers are best-positioned to help.

*[ND can bus to Ferris, Western, Miami, BG, and LSSU. NMU I'm not sure on. Either way that's five or six of their seven conference opponents—everyone except Alaska, which pays travel costs. Compare that to flying for literally every conference road series.]

Unverified Voracity Asks Rhetorical Qs

Unverified Voracity Asks Rhetorical Qs

Submitted by Brian on June 20th, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Site business. Two things:

  1. I am getting married this Saturday in a top-secret location far away from any images of Fielding Yost. I am taking Friday and Monday off; Tom and Tim will produce content as per usual. If you've got a diary you want front-paged this would be an opportune time to post it. Content from me will be light this week because a bunch of friends I don't get to see will be in town, etc.
  2. I'm warning you about this a month ahead of time: honeymoon is in late July for about ten days and I am probably not even going to take my computer.

Your understanding is appreciated.

Wolverine 503wolverine mascotrallypickle4

I'm partial to the rally pickle myself.

Mascot business. I took a rage day so that I wouldn't say anything regrettable in the aftermath of the mascot trial balloon, leaving the rest of the world to offer Dave Brandon a raspberry and Brandon to quickly clarify that while he is all seeing and all knowing he is very very wily and no mascot is pending. Even while doing so he leaves himself an out, saying it "may never happen."

Q: In retrospect do you believe that Brandon announcing the OSU game would be moving to midseason was really a super-clever way to get everyone outraged about it and therefore ensure it doesn't happen?

The M-Zone makes a compelling case that we should not. After that fan explosion we've had the uniform business and the mascot business and at about the same time we've had the night game business. (While I don't care that much about having a night game, it is a departure from tradition.) The evidence points towards Dave Brandon being so intent on "creating the future" that he has absolutely no grasp on what's important to the fanbase until everyone's freaking out about it.

Worse, he spends time belittling the kind of people who do really care. From the inbox:

Below response to my (very short and very respectful) email to Dave Brandon today asking him to reconsider a Michigan mascot.  I actually responded to this, against my better judgment, and said that if there's a man in a furry wolverine costume on the sideline than it'll wind up being more life-changing for him than for me.

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

Please don’t be too concerned over this life-changing topic!

All will be OK…

Have a great weekend!

Dave

I'm not sure how this happened since Dave Brandon was actually on the team under Bo, but the current athletic director appears to have no more connection to Michigan's traditions than—wait for it—Rich Rodriguez.

I really care about what goes on inside Michigan Stadium; Brandon thinks this makes me a sap.

At least he's not alone.

Convenient timing. Meanwhile, one of the main counter-arguments against Old Testament kind of guys who like their coffee black, parole denied, and Michigan Stadium old-timey is that if we don't get that cheddar Michigan will be left in the dust by its rivals.

Presenting Michigan's 2012 budget:

For the proposed FY 2012 Operating Budget (described in detail on the following pages), we project an operating surplus of $11.4 million based on operating revenues of $121.2 million and operating expenses of $109.8 million. The budgeted operating surplus will be will be used to fund our ongoing capital needs and facility renewal projects.

Bill Martin's great accomplishment was killing the immediate cheddar issue dead without compromising the brand that packs the largest stadium in the country. Further squeezing starts to impact the uniqueness of the Michigan experience and erodes the reasons people shell out as much as they do.

Unfair and true and BERGKAMP. Here is Denard Robinson's 87-yard touchdown against Notre Dame last year, first narrated by Tom Hammond, then your inner monologue:

It's not fair comparing Tom Hammond to whoever the BERGKAMP guy is, but he does have a point. Maybe Americans get more confused about whether sports is serious business worthy of objectivity or not.

For a counterpoint EDSBS immediately goes to Sean McDonough, who's the first guy I thought of, too:

Q: Franklin is retired and Nessler is now on the NFL network, so is McDonough now the undisputed #1 college football announcer? I can't think of anyone I'd rather have doing a Michigan game.

Welcome to the field. The O-Zone reports on the latest edition of the Big 33 PA-OH All-Star game, in which Ohio annihilated Pennsylvania. Featured amongst the players of interest is WLB signee Antonio Poole:

Antonio Poole, LB Cincinnati Winton Woods 6'0” 195 (Michigan)

I think Poole may have been the most impressive defensive player on the field. He's only listed at 6'0” 195 pounds, but he sticks ball-carriers right between the numbers and they stay stuck. When he's in pursuit, he looks much bigger than he is. He certainly hits much bigger than he is. He may not be big enough to play linebacker in the Big Ten right now, but the Wolverines may not be able to wait.

That's true—WLB is currently Mike Jones and maybe Brandin Hawthorne.

Goalie zen part XVI. Red Line Report is down on this year's crop of goalies but they do have a solid #1. Prepare for the same scouting report you've heard several times before:

The clear-cut No. 1 guy is John Gibson, who combines excellent size and a calm demeanor in the most important games. He plays economically and is strong in the butterfly, using his long legs to take away the bottom half of the net. Gibson is a big netminder who plays big, challenging well and not leaving much space for shooters to look at. He's also calm and patient and allows the play to come to him. We like his mental strength and focus in clutch situations.

They don't like the other Gibson, so John is the only goalie they give a first round grade.

Etc.: Penn State blog Linebacker U interviews Tom for his perspective on Michigan and Penn State recruiting.

Unverified Voracity KILL IT WITH FIRE

Unverified Voracity KILL IT WITH FIRE

Submitted by Brian on September 23rd, 2010 at 12:24 PM

OR ACID OR COLD OR SOMETHING. So… uh… there was some mascot segment on Real Sports that featured this decidedly un-real Michigan mascot:

mascot-wut-2mascot-wut

If you ever wondered why Michigan didn't have an anthropomorphic wolverine, wonder no longer. What is that thing? Who made it? And why hasn't it been drowned in acid? Answers: my idea of hell, Special K, and because society is falling apart.

Man up. This Notre Dame guy lost a bet, but owns it:

Your pathos is delicious, but respect for putting it on the internets.

Double pass in the sky what does it mean it means touchdown. A Wolverine Historian tribute to the transcontinental:

I don't think we'll see that at Michigan for a while since the play keys on people forgetting about the quarterback and what are the chances of that with Denard running around? Not so good.

Stapled together. A couple of commenters objected to the idea that "upcoming" Big Ten opponents feature freshman quarterbacks and stapled-together run games, and insofar as we know anything about Indiana after a I-AA game, bye, and the closest thing they could find to a I-AA game (WKU just transitioned to I-A last year) they are right that the first two offenses Michigan faces in the Big Ten look at least competent.

These are the stapled together folks:

Only 16 of those [203] rushing yards [against Ball State] came from a guy (Dan Dierking) who actually plays running back, although he's listed as a fullback on the team roster. The others came from two quarterbacks (Rob Henry and Robert Marve), a fullback (Jared Crank) and three receivers -- Antavian Edison, O.J. Ross and Justin Siller -- one of whom, Siller, used to play both quarterback and running back.

That's Purdue. Meanwhile, Iowa's down to Adam Robinson and whoever and Penn State's Evan Royster has 31 carries for 110 yards through three games, averaging just 3.5 YPC on 22 carries against Akron and Youngstown State. As a team, PSU is averaging just over 4 YPC despite playing two tomato cans to start. I'm sure they'll all exceed season averages against Michigan but that might not mean a ton.

Go wherever you want, cheer for whoever you want. In Rod We Trust makes the terrible confession that the author did not attend Michigan. Who cares? Michigan fans who didn't attend the university are paranoid about the depth of their fandom because they're in a situation faced by many schools in a Big Brother/Little Brother situation where there's a less prestigious school in state fewer care about because they're historically crap. The historically crap school gets all mad that people like to watch the football team that usually does something other than go .500 and asks everyone if they went to the school they root for. This has happened to me multiple times as I leave Michigan State, and the crestfallen look on the brah's face when I say "yes, I went to Michigan" never fails.

Fans who buy stuff and indoctrinate their kids who might turn out to be 6'8" maulers and fill up the largest stadium in the country are all assets to the program no matter where they went to school or if they, say, have multiple crayon-like tattoos akin to the ones all around me at the UMass game. The more the merrier.

The reason there are people unaffiliated with Michigan who root for it is because the football program has offered something other than pain and fleabag bowl games against Fresno State over the years.

Kicking in a sentence. Rodriguez:

"The guy from the parking lot has not been cleared yet so I don't know if he hasn't gotten his physical yet or if there's an issue with his eligibility."

HA HA HA I FEEL GREAT. Go for it, Rodriguez, go for it so hard. Third and six is a running down now.

Interesting bits. MGoUser sits next to Chargers scout and gets a largely positive take on the team, plus something we're seeing play out right now:

Robinson's defenses have always been a "bend don't break" style that simply count on the opposing offense to make enough mistakes for your offense to outscore them. He felt Robinson was very gifted at player development, even though his schemes are often too passive.

FWIW, before the season I got second-hand report from another NFL scout that was basically the polar opposite of the take linked above, stating that Michigan had nothing but Martin on defense and the immediate future is grim, but this was before the Denardening.

Etc.: Following up on the curl-flat discussion last week is a Football Defense post on defending it when you're in quarters. The answer is "you can't defend the flat." Pedobear invades Neyland. Soccer wins 3-2 in OT over Kentucky; should have gone last night, eh? Double rainbow Denard. MVictors interviews author of book on Michigan Stadium about… Michigan Stadium.