Unverified Voracity Gets Rehab Profile

Unverified Voracity Gets Rehab Profile

Submitted by Brian on November 4th, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Basketball approaches. Save us, basketball.

Schlissel speaks. Mark Schlissel sat down with the Daily to talk about the future of the athletic department. Schlissel has mastered the executive's ability to talk without sending people running for the 72-point font, but there were some interesting bits in there. It seems like the timing here caught everyone off guard:

“I would imagine that we’ll begin the process of organizing a search in the coming weeks,” Schlissel said. “I can tell you with certainty I haven’t talked to anybody at all — no matter what you read in the media — about whether they’re interested in a permanent position here.”

It seems like the decision-making process was winding towards that mid-November date when things got accelerated. Not sure I like the overtones of "begin the process of organizing a search in the coming weeks." That sounds like an extended timeline, and Michigan has some pressing priorities.

Schlissel flat out admitted that the names being floated in the media are people he's "never heard of before," which again shows his refreshing ability to say "I don't know" but I hope doesn't extend to the Michigan guys—at this point you'd hope he had a handle on the Long/Manuel/Bates group. He also said the usual bit about how they're not going to focus exclusively on Michigan guys.

In a second article, Schlissel cited Brandon's resignation as a reason he couldn't say much about exactly what went down but did offer this:

"One thing I will say is I expect everybody who works at this public university to treat the public with respect,” Schlissel said. “That’s a sort of condition of working at this university.

“Everybody should be respectful to the public we serve.”

That's the general outline; I'll round up the AD chatter in a separate post.

A bit of a difference. Nebraska folk are looking at their schedule and that of various Big 12 teams and noticing that one is not like the other:

Let’s pretend that Nebraska stayed in the Big 12 and West Virginia never received an invitation. Let’s give NU the Mountaineers’ 2014 home conference schedule. Ready?

Oklahoma

Kansas

Baylor

TCU

Kansas State

I don’t have enough exclamation points at my disposal for that list. I get pumped just thinking about it. That’s a schedule from paradise, full of teams with speed and skill (OK, not so much Kansas). Or maybe it just seems that way based on Nebraska’s rice-cake diet this fall. Ready? Are you sure?

Illinois

Rutgers

Purdue

Minnesota

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Look at those two schedules. Look at 'em! The latter looks like an old catcher's mitt. It must be a sick joke, right?

This really hits home when you look at the basketball schedules: single-plays everywhere, even less balance than previously. Bleah. If the league was as responsive to legit criticisms as individual schools were, Delany would get run out of town on the same rail Brandon's on. But he's got that insulation.

Chaos in Bloomington. The last time things got so wild in central Indiana, Lucy left the barn door open and one of the cows got stuck in a police car. In the immediate aftermath of a freshman hitting one of his own teammates with a car, while intoxicated, Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson have been hit with four-game drug suspensions. That brings the number of IU players involved in drug-and-alcohol-related incidents up to 6.

And guess which newspaper just hired the human molotov cocktail that is Gregg Doyel?

Firing Crean for his team's fifth alcohol-related incident in a year could be expensive.He has a $12 million buyout this year unless he's fired "for cause." Would nearly 40 percent of his roster -- five of 13 scholarship players -- being cited for alcohol-related offenses count as "for cause"? A judge might have to decide, if it gets that far. But if a fifth IU player is cited, then that's where it should go. Because the coach overseeing that program, I don't care how much I like the guy, would have to go.

Yep. The Indy Star. Dan Dakich, meanwhile, went off on his radio show:

"Gregg Doyel was dead on. Indiana players, you're getting ready to get your coach fired... I love Indiana basketball down to my core. It's who I am. But not this crap...

"When did you fans become so soft, become so accepting of mediocrity, promotion and crap?"

Sounds kind of like a blogger there.

It's funny because we suck. If we did not suck it would be somewhat less funny.

Something like injury information. Gardner is not right and it's obvious; he limped around to finish the Penn State game and is still hobbled:

After a play broke down in the second half against Indiana, Michigan's fifth-year senior quarterback tucked the ball near the 50-yard line and took off.

His mind said go, but his sore ankle wouldn't let him. He ended up rushing for a first down, but it was obvious things have changed.

"(A year ago) I probably would've scored," Gardner smiled Monday. "But I got the first down, that's what the team needed, it kept the chains moving."

Let's just put that on the pile then. Soon we will ski down Mount Devin Gardner Problems.

Please? The Hoover Street Rag points out that fixing the current schedule imbalance in the Big Ten East is not a difficult thing as long as 1) MSU is also amenable to that change and 2) IU doesn't care:

Since Indiana is in the East, both Michigan and Michigan State play them every season. Fortutiously, Indiana played MSU at home and Michigan on the road this year. Therefore, all you have to do is flip the Indiana game from a home game to an away game and flip MSU from an away game to a home game. Everyone still ends up with the same number of home and away games, and the bottleneck is cleared.

Current 2016 Schedule
UM at MSU, at OSU, vs IU
MSU vs UM, vs OSU, at IU
OSU at MSU, vs UM, vs IU
IU vs MSU, at UM, at OSU

Proposed 2016 Schedule
UM vs MSU, at OSU, at IU
MSU at UM, vs OSU, vs IU
OSU at MSU, vs UM, vs IU
IU at MSU, vs UM, at OSU

Seems like all three programs in the MSU/OSU/M troika would prefer to have one at home and one on the road for balance and ticket sales reasons.

Alert! Alarm! The word from Boston:

Never! Mind! The word from Boston:

This is a big bowl of awkward.

Tommy Amaker is set to coach No. 12 seed Harvard against No. 5 seed Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday, and when the Crimson lose their next game, Amaker is gone. He’s Jacoby Ellsbury gone. Harvard’s loss will be Boston College’s gain.

BC hired Ohio coach Jim Christian instead. On the bright side for Shaughnessy, Jacoby Ellsbury was never found again.

Number one. Would you like a lot of quotes about Jim Hackett? Angelique has them for you:

"Number one, he's nice," Gilmour said. "Number two, thoughtful. Number three, clearly deep. … He is a thoughtful and organized person. And he may be the interim (athletic director) but he won't be a caretaker. He will be moving the athletic department ahead."

The Schiano rehabilitation project begins now. A long Pete Thamel piece on Peter Kings site finds Greg Schiano looking up at nothing in particular while exposing his teeth for reasons he doesn't understand.

schiano-board-960[1]

I know that feeling of panic whenever someone points a camera at you and says "look like a human being," bro.

Anyway, Schiano makes breakfast, he is enamored with Urban Meyer's juice, he sings songs about chores to Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, he won't be an enormous Brandon to NFL scouts anymore, etc. Schiano's image was run through the woodchipper over his two years in Tampa and he's trying to be… well… that guy above instead of the guy who has his players go after people on a victory formation play.

(Also, what is that diagram? Is he demonstrating Notre Dame's last touchdown in 2011? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?)

Etc.: I was on Drew and Marc Friday talking about what happened and what's next. Hackett intro. Niyo on Hoke chatter. The Brandon timeline. Slate on the ouster. Drake Johnson breakdown.

2015 GA SG Jaylen Brown, the #1 kid nationally, will take a visit to Michigan. Ricky Doyle is going to be critical. Good think he doesn't look like a freshman physically.

Stuffing the Passer is now an animated comic strip, because of course it is.

Unverified Voracity Is In Lip Trance

Unverified Voracity Is In Lip Trance

Submitted by Brian on August 12th, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Hype video.

Practice video. From Maize and Blue News:

Jane previews Michigan! Oh man this is just so dead on:

We long for a past that we hated while it was happening, in which Michigan would go 9-3 or 10-2 and people would complain like Michigan was a waiter who we couldn't find when we just wanted the goddamn check. If a Michigan fan tells you that they liked Tom Brady when he was playing at Michigan, they are lying because no Michigan fan ever liked whomever was starting at quarterback until Denard Robinson. We hated Elvis Grbac. We hated Brian Griese. We hated John Navarre. We hated Drew Henson. We hated - HATED - sad robot Chad Henne*.

I tended to like Michigan's quarterbacks who were not underclassman Drew Henson, and I knew the one guy who really really liked John Navarre. Like, he was super-enthused about John Navarre. And eventually correct!

More insider business. A gentleman who is probably too identifiable for his own good comes back with a very legit-seeming practice report that he's posted on a couple of different boards. The 247 version, all errors sic:

DL looked great, really great. all the hype is backed up. Pipkins looks the part, even coming off the injury. on friday he was easily the most impressive NT that they had, that by no means is discounting mone, hurst, or henry. Their depth and talent at the position although young, is very, very good. Even pallante looked good!! yes, he is small, but ive spoken to a few players who say he is as strong as a senior and one of the quickest most technically sound players there.

I imagine that if that's true we'll see at least one of those four guys (Pipkins, Mone, Hurst, Henry) at three-tech, which currently has Wormley and no one else who's gotten much hype.

That's not good. Nebraska lost three defenders for the season a couple days back, including two starters: Michael Rose and LeRoy Alexander. That'll help when Michigan… uh… we don't play them this year, or until all those guys graduate. CARRY ON.

That's not… uh… relevant. Reporting from media day!

“The job that he does and the job that he’s done since the day he got here, has been unbelievable,” Mattison said with a sweaty upper lip. “Me personally, there is no way I would have come here if it wasn’t for Brady Hoke.”

That typed itself, I bet. I bet Brendan F Quinn was mesmerized by the lip and when it came time to write the article that phrase slipped itself in there and if you ask Brendan F Quinn about that passage he will be shocked that it exists. You see, I've been there, down on ol' Lip Mesmerization Farm. It's a strange, sweaty place, but you get used to it.

No age gap now. Another article on how the offensive line is going to be better because they all like each other:

"There was an age gap last year, and it was just there," Bosch said. "It was just something that was obviously noticeable. You could tell 'these were the seniors, you were a freshmen.' That's how it was."

No chance of that this year, because there are no seniors. For the record I think the line will be better this year because they will be trying to do one thing instead of all things and not necessarily because they are more together. Or that they are Galvanized By Criticism:

Those stats and the barrage of negative press regarding Michigan’s offensive line have helped galvanize the linemen. Jack Miller, a redshirt junior who started the first four games at center last season, said they are more than aware of the doubters.

No doubt they will Shock The World and Not Listen To The Haters. I mean, Miller's following quote is twisted pretty hard to get into that narrative:

“Between last year and this offseason, you’d be hard-pressed to miss that if you pay attention to anything,” Miller said. “You run into fans who say stuff — ‘What’s going on with that offensive line?’ But that’s the way it goes with any program of this caliber. We know that. We know that’s part of the gig here, and that’s OK. Some of it is rightly so. We need to live up the expectations that people have here.”

A good rule of thumb: when someone cites chemistry as a reason for something it's because they don't know. Chalking it up to the undefinable cannot be disproved or really even argued.

Getting on the the WJC team. College Hockey News profiles Downing and Motte as they try to avoid being late cuts this time around. USA coach mark Osiecki on Downing:

“We’re still trying to identify what (Downing’s) strengths and weaknesses will be,” Osiecki said. “He has a bomb from the blue line, that’s for sure, there’s no doubt about that. His awareness from the red line back has continued to show improvement. It’s hard for a defenseman to jump into summer hockey. You haven’t done much defending at all, and he likes to get into the offense when he can, but he’s getting back to it on the defensive side of things.”

Downing says he's put on 25 pounds; hopefully he'll be more of a physical presence than he was last year, when he was more lanky than intimidating. Motte dumped in a hat trick in the USA's 9-1 thumping of Finland, playing with uber-prospect Jack Eichel.

For his part, JT Compher is not so much fighting to make the team as fighting to be named king:

While a few players have stepped up, it's obvious Compher has emerged as the frontrunner to be captain of the team.

"He's done a really nice job," Osiecki said. "There's a group of those kids that are similar, but you talk to any of the support staff, the trainers, the equipment personnel, and they say he's very vocal and takes charge of the group. We have to start that now and develop that relationship between him and the coaching staff."

I am looking forward to the Copp/Compher axis truly owning the team this year. Jack Eichel:

"He does everything on the ice so well," Eichel, a teammate on the USNTDP U-18 team in 2012-13. "He's a guy that you can just try to model your game after. He just so good wherever he is, in the faceoff circle, in the [defensive] zone, he's great killing penalties, great on the power play. He's a role model to me and I really look up to him. He's a great kid and a great leader. He works so hard everywhere. Everyone else tries to match him. A guy like that on your team, it's really good. Everyone tries to work as hard as him, and if everyone works as hard as J.T., you know you have a good team."

Let's goooo.

How do two stars get drafted? By adding half a person.

Ra'Shede Hageman, No. 35 overall, gained 60 pounds

Hageman was a well-regarded but raw tight end recruit who grew from a listed 6'6, 250 to 310 pounds while at Minnesota, moving to defensive tackle. He's expected to make an instant impact for the Atlanta Falcons.

Jimmy Staten, No. 172 overall, gained 86

Staten was a 6'3, 217-pound two-star defensive end in high school when he signed with Middle Tennessee State. The Seahawks drafted him at 6'4, 303.

At least nine other drafted two-stars increased their body weight by 20 percent between high school and the Combine.

You really shouldn't criticize recruiting services for missing on guys like Staten or Buffalo first-rounder Khalil Mack—everyone else did. There are always going to be guys who blow up in college.

Etc.: In news that you take for granted these days, all of Michigan's freshmen are enrolled and full go. A look at what Loeffler wants to do at VT. Autonomy details. Annual Michigan drill thingy. Gasaway on the O'Bannon ruling.

O RLY.

Draftageddon: The End Is In Sight

Draftageddon: The End Is In Sight

Submitted by Brian on July 17th, 2014 at 12:31 PM

The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.
  8. Someone drafts an Illinois defender! I know!
  9. BISB goes Maryland crazy, reminds us all that he has Kurtis Drummond eighty-five times.

CURRENT SITUATION

ROUND 19 - PICK 2: Levern Jacobs, WR, Maryland

O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), WR Levern Jacobs (MD), SLOT Dontre Wilson (OSU), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU), RT Tyler Marz (WI)

D: WDE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), SDE Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), S John Lowdermilk (IA), S Jarrod Wilson (U-M), HSP Earnest Thomas III (IL)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

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ACE: With the return of Stefon Diggs and Deon Long from injury, not to mention Maryland's less-than-stellar quarterback situation, I'll admit to being hesitant to make this pick. After all, while Levern Jacobs led the team in receiving in 2013, he did so while making just four starts, all after Diggs and Long went down (he would've made a fifth, but a concussion held him out of the Virginia Tech game). After the spring, Jacobs sits behind Diggs on the depth chart, as expected. Nigel King, though much less impressive statistically, is slated to start across from Long on the outside so the Terps aren't trotting out a South Carolina-esque Lollipop Guild of starting receivers. Taking Jacobs, admittedly, is a risk.

It's a calculated risk, however. Without the benefit of Diggs and Long taking attention away from him, nor the chance to pad his stats with starts against the non-conference dregs, Jacobs still caught 46 of his 71 targets (64.8%) on a team that completed just 55.3% of its passes, and these weren't just dink-and-dunks—he averaged nine yards per target and 13.9 per reception.

His huge game against Clemson is what convinced me to make the pick. The normal starting QB, CJ Brown, sat out with an injury. Brown's replacement, Caleb Rowe, went just 19-of-45 for 282 yards with three TDs to two INTs in that game. On the year, Rowe completed just 48% of his passes. He was not a very good quarterback.

Jacobs caught eight of those 19 completions for 158 yards and this touchdown, which shows that one false step against him will lead to DEATH. He's dynamite after the catch, with that Breaston-style long stride and some nifty moves in tight spaces. Any concerns about his hands, meanwhile, should be alleviated by his catch rate and this:

Jacobs caught 34 passes over his final five games, capped off with a seven-catch, 100-yard effort against Marshall in the Military Bowl; that game featured a touchdown in which he displayed excellent route-running, finding the hole in the middle of the defense with a couple sharp cuts and easily outrunning everyone to the goal line, as well as a great bailout of his QB. He's not at all afraid to go over the middle or go up for the ball in traffic, and when he gets the ball in space it's a freakin' laser show.

While Jacobs is primarily a slot receiver, I could get away with a Funchess/Jacobs/Wilson receiving corps, and with Wilson fully capable of lining up in the backfield my last skill slot is probably getting used on an outside receiver anyway. And if you think I haven't considered the Wildcat possibilities with Abdullah and Wilson (and even Jacobs, who got a couple jet sweeps last year and even took a triple option pitch for a solid gain in the bowl game), well, think again. Even if Jacobs sees a drop in his production this fall with Diggs taking away a lot of his snaps, he's the best big-play threat left on the board, and I get the feeling Maryland will find a way to get the ball in his hands after his breakout sophomore year.

Round 19, Pick 3 - Pat Elflein, OG, OSU

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I'm BATMAN

O: QB Devin Gardner (UM), RB Jeremy Langford (MSU), RB Tevin Coleman (IU),  WR Kenny Bell (Neb), WR Shane Wynn (IU), WR Deon Long (MD), OT Donovan Smith (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), C Austin Blythe (Iowa)

D: DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa), DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DE Noah Spence (OSU), LB Jake Ryan (UM), LB Mike Hull (PSU), CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisky), CB Jabrill Peppers (UM), S Kurtis Drummond (MSU), S Sean Davis (MD)

ST: Bell (KR), Peppers (PR)

BISB: It's fun when you can predict the exact reaction your fellow drafters will have to a pick. In this case, that reaction is almost certainly a momentary "lol, THAT GUY?" and then an attempt to snark before realizing 'I know nothing about that guy.' And then they watch this film of him against Michigan State (he's the right guard, #65 in your program), and they're like 'eh, I guess he looks pretty good.'

When starting guard Marcus Hall... uh... departed the Michigan game, it seemed like it might actually create a weakness in Ohio State's otherwise solid line. After all, OSU's OL depth is a questionable proposition. And yet Carlos Hyde still ran the ball straight up the gut 27 times for 226 yards. How? Sophomore Pat Elflein stepped in and had a really, really good game. And when Urban Meyer suspended Hall the following week against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game for his "Notable Moment," Elflein played even better, and Ohio State ran for 273 yards at 6.8 YPC. Elflein did everything. He pulled. He pass blocked. He down-blocked. He wham-blocked. He worked to the second level. He made thousands of curly fries. And if we're talking about trials by fire, having your first start on the interior be against Michigan State is about as much as you can ask of a lineman.

He's mobile and engages well in the run game, and does a good job of sealing defenders and getting angles. He sinks well in pass sets, and is strong enough to keep his form against interior linemen. He's definitely a guard at 6'3, 300, though Ohio State seems to think he's pretty versatile as they had him repping at right tackle last year. He's one of only two guaranteed starters on OSU's OL next year along with Taylor Decker.

[AFTER THE JUMP: it's a run on guards. Get it? I don't. Help me.]

Draftageddon: It's Penn State O'Clock

Draftageddon: It's Penn State O'Clock

Submitted by Brian on June 6th, 2014 at 12:17 PM

THE GOAL OF DRAFTAGEDDON

The goal of Draftageddon is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT DRAFTAGEDDON.

I'm hearing this is incorrect. I see. The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers

THE CURRENT SITUATION

image[3]

ROUND 11 - PICK 2: Matt Robinson, OLB, Maryland

matt-robinson-Evan-Habeeb-USA-TODAY-Sports[1]

O: RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU)

D: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), DE/DT Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

ACE: Yes, I'm becoming concerned with my own fascination with Maryland's front seven, but it really is a good front seven. Robinson, in particular, is an interesting case. He came to Maryland as a safety, started eight games there over three injury-plagued seasons—picking up a medical redshirt in the process—then moved to strongside linebacker in 2013, where he flourished: in 11 games, he recorded 73 tackles (43 solo), 10 TFLs, a sack, four pass breakups, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. According to CBSSports, he's the #10 OLB prospect in the 2015 class after just one season at the position, five spots behind Jake Ryan (BiSB's 4th-round pick) and 11 spots ahead of Taiwan Jones (Seth's 5th-rounder). 

This is Round 11.

Robinson's solid production against the run proved a pleasant surprise; given his experience in the secondary, his excellent coverage skills much less so. Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's not there, and that's what happened to Maryland and their ability to cover the middle of the field when Robinson missed two games with a rotator cuff injury last season:

If you want more proof of Robinson's importance, just take a look at what happened in the Virginia game. Maryland nearly lost to a team that went 2-10, largely because Robinson was not there to cover tight end Jake McGee, who posted a season-best performance of eight catches for 114 yards. The other game Robinson missed? Wake Forest, where [slot] Mike Campanaro [caught] 11 passes for 122 yards without support from Robinson over the middle.

That comes from a Testudo Times (SBNation's Maryland blog) article making the case for Robinson as the team's defensive MVP; this section is also rather compelling:

But what if you can have a player who can do both [run support and coverage]? Someone who could, I don't know, provide nearly perfect coverage of slant routes and other plays over the middle while also containing the field from quarterback scrambles and draw plays, forcing turnovers and punts whenever third downs went his way?

Linebacker Marcus Whitfield and safety Sean Davis may have posted the gaudiest stats, but there was another player who came up with big plays when the Terps needed them and dominated every aspect of the defensive game -- Matt Robinson.

I like. 

In addition to his physical ability, Robinson also acts as a coach on the field, according to the Washington Post:

Robinson was always studious ... and his class notebooks contained equal parts lecture points and X’s and O’s scribbled into the margins. He is quiet on the field, shying away from trash talk or even primal screams after big plays, but he studies enough film to call out certain offensive plays before they happen. Cornerback Jeremiah Johnson, one of Robinson’s roommates, said it’s “kind of like having a coach or a graduate assistant on the field with you.”

He plans to be a coach when his playing career is over.

I've made a concerted effort to put together an experienced and versatile front seven, and Robinson fits that mold. He played safety at 6'3", 215-ish, bulked up to 240 pounds last year while maintaining his coverage skills, and went through this spring practice—the first for which he's been healthy since his freshman year—at 244 pounds; he'll fit in just fine on the strong side in a 4-3. With Marcus Whitfield and his nine sacks gone from Maryland's WLB spot, Robinson could factor in more as a pass-rusher this fall, and his size allows me to slide him inside in nickel situations, giving my defense excellent coverage over the middle with him and Ariguzo. While the injuries are admittedly a concern, Robinson is a steal here if he stays healthy.

ROUND 11 - PICK 3: Mike Hull, LB, Penn State

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O: QB Devin Gardner (UM), WR Kenny Bell (Neb), WR Shane Wynn (IU), OT Donovan Smith (PSU), C Austin Blythe (Iowa)
D:
DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DE Noah Spence (OSU), LB Jake Ryan (UM), LB Mike Hull (PSU) CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisky), S Kurtis Drummond (MSU),

BISB: How about a linebacker who recorded more tackles and more solo tackles than Matt Robinson, and in fewer games? Surely such a creature could not be found here in the depths of the 11th round. That is, unless the Big Ten houses something called 'Linebacker University.' Mike Hull registered 78 tackles (44 solo) in basically 9 games after missing much of the early part of the year with a leg injury. He averaged over 9 tackles per game in Big Ten play.

I share Seth's hatred of tautological analysis, but he's just a linebacker. When a guy is 6'0" and still the 12th highest linebacker on the aforementioned CBSSports OLB ratings, which always ALWAYS overemphasize measurables, you know the kid can play. He's probably a WILL in my scheme, but I may more Ryan to the MIKE and play him as a smaller SAM in an Over front.

Robinson may be only five spots behind my 4th-rounder Jake Ryan. But he's also 17 spots ahead of Chi Chi Ariguzo... who you took in the 4th round. With the pick after Jake Ryan. So let me ask you, Congressman: were you wrong then, or are you wrong now?

Also, I wish to point out the fallacy of saying "Robinson is valuable because a tight end torched Maryland in his absence." The wisdom of XKCD teaches us that sometimes your rock doesn't scare away tigers. Sometimes the tigers would have torched your secondary regardless. Wait, I think I bailed on the metaphor too early. Or too late. Alas.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Ace is outed as an expansion-lover. Also, WILDCARD, BITCHES]

Draftageddon: It Continues To Continue

Draftageddon: It Continues To Continue

Submitted by Brian on May 27th, 2014 at 11:29 AM

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON: Many defensive linemen went off the board early, and then there was a big run on tailbacks inexplicably kicked off by Venric Mark. Trash was talked about Shilique Calhoun, because that's how we do this business. Trash was not talked about MSU in general because obviously.

ROUND 5 - PICK 1: Trae Waynes, CB, MSU

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O: QB Braxton Miller (OSU), RB Melvin Gordon (UW), WR Stefon Diggs (MD)
D: DT Carl Davis(IA), CB Trae Waynes (MSU)

BRIAN: To kick off the fifth, I'll grab the last member available from last year's lights-out MSU secondary: Trae Waynes. I trashed Calhoun, and I think justly, so let me explain how MSU is so good on defense: their secondary is impeccable. The safeties are super aggressive, often forced into man coverage as BISB mentioned. This means that the corners are on an island constantly. Waynes was opposite future first-rounder Darqueze Dennard and more than coped, with three INTs and very few derp moments. You have to be good to be in island man coverage all damn day and be part of the #2 secondary in the country when it came to YPA. 

The NFL is also itching to get their hands on Waynes. Fox's Peter Schrager likes him better than Dennard and projects him 11th. Pete Prisco says he might be better and has him 26th. And why not? He's 6'1" and his fake 40 is so so fake at 4.3. Even if Ace was betting on a tailback dropping to him, NW LB versus MSU DB should be no contest.

ROUND 5 - PICK 2: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

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O: RB Ameer Abdullah(NEB), WR Devin Funchess (M), LT Brandon Scherff (Iowa)
D: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), LB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW)
ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah

ACE: Dammit, Brian. Waynes was the other guy I was considering with my last pick—my decision came down to the respective depth at linebacker and cornerback—but you have a point here about Waynes' pure talent level. I might've over-thought that one.

Thankfully, Seth Millen either really under- or over-thought the Mark selection, so I still get to mock somebody and get one of the best backs in the country. Abdullah led the conference in rushing yards and averaged over six yards per carry last season even though his quarterback was either Taylor Martinez playing through turf toe so bad he failed an NFL physical eight months later, Tommy Armstrong Jr., Ron Kellogg III, or—for one glorious five-yard completion—something called a Ryker Fyfe.

In addition to being a superlative runner, Abdullah's a solid receiver out of the backfield; he cracked 100 yards of offense in all 13 games, and hit the century mark on the ground alone in all but two of them. If you've got a little time to kill, here are 14 minutes of Abdullah highlights from 2013 set to a quality selection of hip hop instrumentals—you won't be bored:

Mark's 2013 highlights, meanwhile, come in JPG form:

Oh, I almost forgot: Abdullah's also a really dangerous return man, averaging 26.1 yards with a TD on 47 career kickoff returns and 10.2 yards with another TD on 31 punt returns. Nebraska didn't utilize him as a returner last year because of his workload at running back, but there are no such limitations in hypothetical MGoB1G fantasyland.

RB/KR/PR Ameer Adbullah it is. Hello, Heisman candidate in the fifth round.

[AFTER THE JUMP: HAAAAAAAAAIIIRRRRRR, Seth drafts more Northwestern skill players for some reason.]

Draftageddon 2014: It Begins

Draftageddon 2014: It Begins

Submitted by Brian on May 20th, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Draftageddon is upon us. We will delight half the readers, irritate the other half, and learn much more about Big Ten football than we ever thought possible; along the way Seth will issue terrible snark about players like they will always be what they were last year and ignore it when Jack Mewhort ends up drafted in the second round.

RULES

Four_Horsemen_by_MarkWilkinson[1]

THE OCEANS WILL BOIL, THE LAND WILL BE BESET. And so forth and so on. Devin Gardner knows what's up.

Everyone drafts a QB, 5 OL, and six skill players on offense. Heiko is not with us but yes you can take a QB to be a skill player other than your QB. The sixth skill player is for flexibility. Please denote RB/FB/TE/WR when you draft, and sure you can draft six tailbacks if you want to feel the wrath of the voters.

On defense, everyone drafts 4 DL, 3 LB, 2 CB, and 2 S and one wild card intended to be a hybrid space player. The extra guy is because nickel packages are important, and defending the spread is important. But yeah he could be whatever you want, you loons.

A punter and a kicker are also drafted.

Standard snake procedure.

Imaginary points are awarded for PR/KR skills amongst your draftees.

Once everyone has filled a particular slot the last remaining guy who has not filled the slot has to take a guy at most three rounds later, to prevent three QBs from going off the board in the first round and no one for the rest of the draft until the very end (although with this group that would be dangerous and leave you with Andrew Maxwell).

Kyle Prater must be drafted far too early.

I get to gloat about Rashede Hageman every third round.

ORDER

As randomly determined by RANDOM.ORG the order is

  1. Brian
  2. Ace
  3. BISB
  4. Seth

Brian, you are me, and also on the clock.

ROUND 1 - PICK 1: Braxton Miller, QB, OSU

braxton-miller[1]

O: QB Braxton Miller (OSU)
D:

BRIAN: While I don't think there's that huge of a gap between Miller and Devin Gardner since neither of them are likely to be around when things get back to me I have to grab one now. The clear choice is Miller. The only guy to finish in the top ten in both rushing yards and passer efficiency last year, Miller is by far the most explosive QB in the Big Ten and has steadily progressed as a passer, going from 54% to 58% to 64% completions over the past three years and steadily increasing his ability in the pocket. Will he ever be great there? No. But, uh...

...he doesn't have to be. Main concerns here are dual: OSU revamps its OL and loses Carlos Hyde, which may make things generally less efficient and put more burden on Miller; this leads to concern #2: Miller seems to be bionic with the hits he can take but the was knocked out of enough games last year to get Kenny Guiton 109 attempts. He's not exactly fragile but neither can you expect him to get through a season totally unscathed.

ROUND 1 - PICK 2: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

LA Monroe Iowa Football

O: LT Brandon Scherff (Iowa)
D:

ACE: As tempting as it is to build my offense around Devin Gardner and a functional offensive line, I think in a four-person draft the Big Ten has enough talent at quarterback to hold off on picking one here. Meanwhile, I'm not convinced the conference is as deep at tackle (at least for this exercise), and there just happens to be one—and only one—that could've been a first-round NFL Draft pick had he left early: Iowa's Brandon Scherff, who's present in the top ten of just about any 2015 mock draft you can find.

At 6'5", 320 pounds, Scherff has pro-ready size, and he's a monster of a run blocker with a size/quickness combination that's truly impressive on film. At the very least, watch the first clip from this video of him absolutely dominating Northwestern for a series:

Sure, I'll take the guy who can escort a defensive lineman ten yards downfield with one arm.  Also, in a league that features some talented pass-rushers, Scherff provides a reliable blindside protector—Iowa finished first in the B1G in fewest sacks allowed and, since that number is skewed by pace/style, third in adjusted sack rate last season.

While my heart told me to pick Gardner, my brain remembered what happens to quarterbacks that aren't properly protected. With this pick, I've got easily the best run-blocking tackle in the conference, and probably the best pass-blocker, too.

10107434914_3d06697d11_bROUND 1 - PICK 3: Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan

O: QB Devin Gardner (Michigan)
D:

BISB: I don't think Gardner is the best player remaining, but in my mind there's a bigger drop-off from Gardner to the next quarterbacks than there is between the top-flight defensive linemen I'm tempted to grab. Seth can't take all of those.

[@ RIGHT: Bryan Fuller]

Gardner threw for 2960 yards (in only 12 games) at a 60.3% completion rate. His 8.6 YPA was the best in the Big Ten, and more than a yard per attempt more than Cook and Hackenberg. Ha accounted for 32 TDs (21 throwing, 11 rushing) against 11 INTs. He threw for 14 TDs against 3 picks and 8.85 YPA in Big Ten play. And he did that with absolutely no running game (at least of the 'forward' variety). He did it without padding his yardage numbers with bubble screens. He did it with a strained everything. And the next time he sees a pocket will be the first time.

The last time he stepped onto the field, he threw for 451 yards and 4 TDs with no picks and ran for another score. On a broken foot. And when he was healthy? Boy howdy.

Gardner lost pocket-sized safety blankets Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo, but Devin Funchess is a legit #1 receiver (I swear, if anyone drafts him as a TE I will force-quit the draft), and between him, Freddy Canteen, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, and Dennis "DENNIS NORFLEET" Norfleet he will have plenty of targets, He should be productive once again. Now, if he can just get a liiiiiiittle time to throw the ball...

Uh oh crap forgot about that.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Alarming quantities of opposition defensive linemen]