Unverified Voracity Is Bound By Law To Embed This Photo

Unverified Voracity Is Bound By Law To Embed This Photo

Submitted by Brian on May 8th, 2018 at 12:16 PM

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this bullet mentions Charles Matthews and Nick Ward [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Implications of exclusion. Charles Matthews was not invited to the NBA draft combine, and MLive's Kyle Austin has some data on what that means:

In the two NBA drafts since 2016, when college players were first allowed to return to school after declaring, 254 college players have declared early. Of them, the majority (157) didn't receive a combine invite.

Most prospects in that situation opt to return to school -- a total of 130 players have withdrawn from the draft in the last two years. But 47 of those players have opted stayed in the draft despite no combine invitation. None of those 47 players were drafted.

Many of the 47 who stayed in had reasons: they were going to be ineligible or were never going to be NBA players anyway and wanted to get on with overseas careers. (CC: Nick Ward?) A few have worked their way into the league after going undrafted, but it's a rough way to attempt to break in.

Another year of John Beilein Development™ is a better path to the league for Matthews, who clearly has NBA upside if he can just learn to shoot some.

WOULD BE NICE. Standard offseason new position coach articles do come with a little more oomph when the coach in question has the track record of Ed Warinner. Angelique Chengelis got a hell of a quote from Stephen Spanellis:

“It’s really amazing,” lineman Stephen Spanellis said during the team’s trip to Paris this past week. “Coach Warinner’s philosophy, he tells us that he doesn’t to start calculus before everybody can pass Algebra 1. I felt like before we would go straight to rocket science and try to cover everything possible in every meeting. And some guys can’t keep up and it doesn’t have value for a guy to sit in a meeting and they have no idea what’s going on fundamentally with normal plays like inside zone or power.

“So why not slow it down and learn all the basics before you progress? What makes it hard is our defense is so complex, that they break a lot of rules and you have to advance a little bit. But fundamentally, slowing it down a little bit has a lot of value especially for the younger guys who are still learning the offense. For example, James Hudson coming over from defense, it takes a long time to learn the offense in general. Why leave a guy like that at a disadvantage by making it too complicated?”

"No idea what's going on with normal plays" is unfortunately the story of every Michigan line since 2011, and the most depressing thing about last year was that disease following Michigan through a third head coach, and the one who should have been least susceptible to such a thing. But at least the ax fell.

It will not be another off year for Michigan in the NFL draft. The league's official site put out a list of 150 guys to watch for next year's draft, and Michigan players are liberally sprinkled throughout:

  • #3 Rashan Gary: "A big man with linebacker-like movement skills"
  • #10(!) Devin Bush: "the new prototype for linebacker in college and the NFL -- not necessarily big, but fast and aggressive."
  • #25 Shea Patterson: "shows off great escapability on the run and an ability to move the ball through the air."
  • #47 Chase Winovich: "can rush from a two- or three-point stance. He can also be effective bringing pressure from the interior."
  • #65 Karan Higdon: "clearly superior to Ohio State's Mike Weber."
  • #76 Khaleke Hudson
  • #112 Lavert Hill

David Long's continued absence from these lists is baffling.

Per Zach Shaw, Michigan has the fourth-most players on the list, behind Clemson, Alabama, and OSU. A couple of OSU's are a little… uh… speculative. JK Dobbins, who isn't eligible for the upcoming draft, is there. So is Dwayne Haskins, who hasn't started a game yet.

On Mo Hurst in the NFL. Hurst dropped to the fifth round because of his heart issue, and the Raiders picking him prompted a bunch of criticism from everyone's favorite, the Anonymous NFL Insider. A former NFL team doctor reps his bros in response:

I actually think it is not only unfair and inaccurate but also irresponsible for a scout to characterize the drafting as "irresponsible." There is no way for a non-medical person to know.

As an orthopedic surgeon and physician, even I would rely on my primary care doctor and cardiology consultants to weigh in.

I do not see how a personnel person can make this proclamation. This opinion should carry the same weight as a team physician publicly criticizing Baker Mayfield as not worthy of the first pick in the draft.

I also don't know what's going on with Hurst's heart; hopefully everything works out for him.

Apparent hockey exit. The USHL's various drafts are ongoing—I won't bother you with the details—but since one weird hockey thing is that transfers will often return to the USHL for their NCAA mandated sit-out year, you occasionally get roster news. Roster news:

Sanchez had 8 points in 27 games last year after playing in 34 as a freshman; he was stuck on the fourth line and probably had a talk about whether that was ever going to change.

Also in USHL draft news, highly touted 2020 commit Owen Power went 7th overall to Chicago in a different USHL draft—yes there are like seven different ways to get in this league—after being an early second-round pick in the OHL draft. That's a good sign for this edition of Michigan's never-ending blood war with the OHL.

Fellow touted 2020 commit Cole Perfetti went in the third round, also to Chicago. He went fifth overall in the OHL draft and will either be traded to a different OHL team for a bushel of picks in August or September and report or stick with his commitment. Due to yet more details about junior hockey that you don't need to know*, a high OHL draft selection is not necessarily the kiss of death. As Antonio Stranges demonstrated, it's more about location than draft slot.

*[OK, fine: Saginaw has a nearly full roster this year with or without Perfetti and will get a compensatory pick one slot lower than Perfetti's #5 selection next year if he doesn't report and is declared "defective."]

Etc.: AFC Ann Arbor plays an Open Cup match in Ypsi at 6. This year's basketball noncon tourney projects to be pretty lame, especially since M gets GW in the first round. Ok thanks Bobby Kotick but when do we get an updated Mechwarrior? Very detailed take on Comcast dropping BTN out of footprint.

Unverified Voracity Says Throw-God, No

Unverified Voracity Says Throw-God, No

Submitted by Brian on May 1st, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Recruiting rankings matter, and also have a systemic bias. NFL players versus blue chip recruits, mapped:

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Blue states have more NFL players than blue chip recruits; red states have fewer. That's part of a thorough Football Study Hall article on recruiting rankings and the draft, and is about as conclusive as possible that the recruiting industry is systematically underrating the Midwest and overrating the south. The south does have more players—only an idiot would dispute that—but the gap isn't as big as the rankings suggest.

UPDATE: Related event:

Barkley was not composite top 100.

"I'm in Paris, better justify my existence." Kyle Rowland of the Blade unearths a cool Michigan story:

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PARIS — Less than 10 miles from the Michigan football team’s palatial hotel in the heart of Paris sits Stade Olympique de Colombes, the host of the 1924 Olympic Games.

The old stadium, now 111 years old, is rickety and considerably smaller than its heyday when it entertained the world’s best athletes. Inside the concrete walls, DeHart Hubbard, one of the University of Michigan’s greatest sportsmen, became the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual event, with a leap of 24 feet, 5 inches in the long jump on his sixth and final jump with a bruised heel.

“When I was a student, I came in 1976, and I looked at the school records because I was a long jumper, and that’s when I found out the first notion of who he was,” said James Henry, now the co-head coach of the UM women’s track and field team. “Then I found out he was the first African-American Olympic gold medalist. I was enthralled by him. He was my role model.

“He was at the University of Michigan at a time in which blacks couldn't do very much anywhere. I just felt that if this man can make it, I can make it. Making a name for myself by beating his records meant everything to me. That was my drive as a student-athlete to participate at a high level.”

Much more at the link. Now Rowland can file that expense report with a clear conscience.

Paging Mitch Leidner to the Department of Inexplicably Overrated Big Ten Quarterbacks. One mock draft was a hilarious oversight by an overworked intern. Two was worrisome. But now that it appears the NFL draft people are unanimous in asserting this person is a first round pick

    The Pick: Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern

    The New York Giants passed on the chance to draft a quarterback of the future with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, but is that a decision they'll regret? Or will fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta be the answer?

    If after a season of watching Lauletta and 2017 third-rounder Davis Webb, the Giants feel like the long-term answer at starter isn't on the roster, the team could be in good shape to draft a quarterback in 2019. Northwestern's Clayton Thorson nearly declared for this year's draft before surveying the deep group of passers and deciding to return to school. He has the arm, accuracy and intangibles to be considered a first-rounder one year from now.

…it's time to lay very still and sweat profusely, hoping this is a crazy dream.

Clayton Thorson! Sir, I have seen an unstoppable throw-god in purple. You, sir, are no Trevor Siemian. Thorson averaged 6.6 YPA with a 15-12 TD-INT ratio last year. But he's 6'4" and superficially looks like an NFL quarterback, so on the list he goes.

Making this take even nuttier: Thorson tore his ACL in the bowl game and is questionable for the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Michigan prospects for 2019. Only two Wolverines show up on Athlon's top 50: #2 Rashan Gary and #22 Shea Patterson. Zach Shaw rounded up all the Way Too Early Mock Drafts and those two are the only guys on any of them. This is odd to me since Michigan's cornerback duo was probably the best in the country, at least in terms of passer rating allowed. You'd think one of the two would be a consideration for the end of the first round.

A flip. A development in the slightly less important FBI investigation:

The director of an amateur Massachusetts basketball team affiliated with Adidas AG agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors investigating an NCAA bribery scandal, according to a copy of the agreement made public Friday.

Thomas "T.J." Gassnola entered the plea on March 30 to federal charges that he made payments to families of high school student-athletes in exchange for their commitment to play for certain universities, according to the filing.

NC State seems to be the main school linked with Gassnola, but, uh… Notre Dame(!) is an Adidas[correction: they switched to UA] school that just picked up two players from Gassnola's AAU team. I will give the FBI one dollar if they sweep the Irish into this. Think of the ND Nation takes.

Wilde take. Quinn Hughes is #5 on this NHL mock draft. Bode Wilde is #17:

17. New Jersey Devils: Bode Wilde, D, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

There are few prospects in this draft who can provide GMs with a skill set as tantalizing as Wilde’s. The big, mobile defender was a minute muncher for a deep NTDP blue line and his explosive first step is drool inducing. You don’t find many 6-2 defensemen with dynamic speed and a blistering shot, which is why GM Ray Shero should add this thoroughbred to his already-dangerous Devils’ attack

He'll be an acid test for the new staff's ability to mold guys, because he's a boom or bust guy on the NHL level because of his tendency to get out of position and cede odd man rushes.

FWIW, Hughes is the only draft-eligible and only college player on this year's IIHF World Championship team.

Etc.: John Infante on the NCAA resurrecting the transfer waiver, which may have been relevant for Patterson. WCBN profiles Hughes. The era in which Orson launches entirely warranted bombs at a Michigan assistant coach is going to be brutal. Wagner and Matthews invited to the draft combine.

Unverified Voracity Is Not A Sitcom Dad

Unverified Voracity Is Not A Sitcom Dad

Submitted by Brian on April 27th, 2018 at 12:45 PM

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draft this man [Eric Upchurch]

What? Mo Hurst did not go in the first round of the NFL draft, which is now #1 on my list of WTF NFL draft moments in the I-look-at-everything-in-detail era:

  1. Hurst.
  2. Jonas Mouton, constantly out of position looks-like-Tarzan dude, goes in the second round.
  3. Alan Branch falls into the second round behind three DT jabronis.
  4. Lamarr Woodley also falls into the second round of that draft.
  5. David Harris, same thing, same draft.

Ernest Shazor dropping out entirely was a twitter suggestion but Shazor checked out immediately after ending that Purdue receiver and reportedly had some off-field issues. The most absurd thing from Michigan's end was Ryan Mundy transferring to WVU and then getting drafted.

I reserve the right to revise this opinion if it turns out that Hurst's heart condition is more severe than people are letting on. Todd McShay did assert he would plummet because of it before yesterday's first round.

This is not a true thing. Don Brown is not a sitcom dad. And only a sitcom dad would do this.

Don Brown did not pour 30 dollars worth of espresso in a cup and slam it with one gulp and then almost die. He is a highly competent leader of men. This isn't I Love Lucy.

Oh God. What if it is? What if we're in the I Love Lucy universe? IT WOULD EXPLAIN AN AWFUL LOT, WOULDN'T IT.

I'll take a carton of Cartons. 247 basketball analyst guy Brian Snow has issued a Michigan prediction for "soon to be five star"(!) IA PG DJ Carton based on a bunch of people's assertions about Carton's recruitment. Pick sounds somewhat speculative—it's a number of people with low-confidence opinions, not one or two with a high-confidence one—but it's still a situation where Michigan is recruiting against the rest of the Big Ten instead of one-and-done powerhouses that they're batting 0.100 against. (McGary.) There are no regional offers left to get, and he's been everywhere already:

He’s also a step ahead of most of his classmates in his recruiting process. That’s due in large part to a busy visit scheduled his family has managed for him over the past year.

“I have been to Creighton, Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Marquette, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, that’s all I can think of right now.” Carton said in Texas.

Michigan is in a good place, as Carton is currently Recruit Who Asserts He Has No Future Visits Set Up Except This One School:

Another trip to Indiana is under serious consideration per his father and another Big Ten campus trip seems likely as well.

“I don’t have any scheduled right now but I did talk to (Michigan) coach (John) Beilein and he is wanting me to come to campus as soon as possible,” Carton said. “My family and I are going to probably scheduled that one soon.”

As a bonus, Sam agrees and also asserts that 5-star TX SF Jalen Wilson is highly realistic. He's taking an unofficial in two weeks and… uh… commit watch maybe? Probably not. But maybe? And then we shoot Boeheim if he looks even a little squirrelly?

The Hoiberg plan. Nebrasketball picks up that Robert Morris transfer:

He'll sit one and play two. Tim Miles continues to stack his roster with transfers—probably smart for a program that's near zero viable recruits and doesn't have a lot of history.

Etc.: Andrew Kahn reviews Charles Matthews's sophomore season. BEST OF BACON. Pork? John U? EITHER WAY PRETTY GOOD. Being not-rich at Michigan. More blue ribbon takes.

This Week’s Obsession: The NFL Draft Roundtable

This Week’s Obsession: The NFL Draft Roundtable

Submitted by Seth on April 26th, 2018 at 1:28 PM

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they street clothes up so fast [Bryan Fuller]

THIS ARTICLE HAS A SPONSOR: It’s Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. Nick is also a Podcaster—if you haven’t listened to it before, his podcast Finding True Wealth, with recent episodes covering the mortgage industry, social security disability, and what number is enough for retirement.

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

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

The Question:

Ace: You guys!

Seth: oh man.

“Scrambly and herping body control as a pass protection”

Ace: That killed me.

Seth: We should…

Ace: Yeah.

THE NFL DRAFT ROUNDTABLE!

1. Where do you think the Michigan guys (Hurst, Cole, McCray) will go? Best fit? Anyone else you think might catch on an NFL roster?

Ace: Mo Hurst should absolutely go in the first round now that his health is no longer a concern. One big shift in both college and the NFL recently is how much you need pass-rushing out of your defensive tackles; quarterbacks get the ball out so fast these days that having that much less ground to cover to generate pressure really makes a difference. Hurst may be the best pass-rushing DT in the draft and he’s no slouch against the run; the only thing that may keep him from going in the top half of the first round is he’s a touch undersized. I expect teams to regret passing on him for that reason.

Brian: NFL is such a passing league that Hurst should be the first DT off the board, but probably won't be.

Ace: Yeah, I’m surprised that Vita Vea—a 340-pound nose—is getting mocked higher in most places. I mean, I’m a homer, but I don’t think you really need those so much these days.

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If you’d rather have Mone we’ve got one but we think you’ll like Mo. [Fuller]

Brian: And since people are apparently going to take all the meh quarterbacks, I'll say he goes 14th to Walla Walla.

Seth: The "he'll be a third rounder because of his heart" story is debunked but still getting passed around, and I don't trust NFL execs to be smart enough to see past it. Which means he'll go to a smarter team but also might end up a very value pick in the late 1st.

Ace: I’m holding out sick hope the Lions take him and reel me back in. They could really use him, too.

Seth: What about Mason Cole? There's a lot of tape of him at left tackle, where he won't play, but not great tape of him at center.

Ace: I’m guessing Cole is going to go on the last day, somewhere in the 4-6 round range. He’s limited to center and didn’t really blow away the combine.

Also, NFL DTs are stronk.

Brian: And he has not displayed any stretch ability, which should be his calling card.

Ace: NFL teams will take on serious OL projects. Problem with Cole is there’s an obvious ceiling and I’m not sure it’s much higher than backup center.

Brian: I think teams are going to see his film at C against McDowell and Colorado's Josh Tupou and knock him down their boards.

Ace: Same here.

[After THE JUMP: we are hard on the Lions, harder on the Browns, hardest on the NFL]

Unverified Voracity Shows NO MERCY

Unverified Voracity Shows NO MERCY

Submitted by Brian on January 23rd, 2018 at 1:54 PM

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On the awful MSU thing. I have all these tabs open and am struggling to say anything that's not all-caps and spittle-flecked. Most of these tabs have the same theme: how on earth can these people survey the devastation wrought under their leadership-type substance and not commit career seppuku? The lack of shame on the part of MSU's leadership is unprecedented; all these people should be voted out, if possible. The two guys who would have been up for election in November are getting out of the way, but if I know anything it's that a... person like Joel Ferguson will try to bluster his way through:

As a reminder, here's Ferguson in March:

“But if Coach Klages was told as early as 1997 about this and didn’t do anything, isn’t the university at fault?” Jones asked.

“I wouldn’t say that at all,” Ferguson said. “That’s a bad decision that she made, and it has to be stretched to us by all the folks chasing ambulances, because there’s no payday by her.”

He's up in 2020, and if the state Democratic party knows what's good for them they won't let him get to the ballot. Does anyone know if you can recall trustees?

Meanwhile, Lou Anna Simon should not resign. She should be put in jail. She was told that there was a sexual predator at the university she purports to be in charge of, and she said "don't tell me about it," by her own admission:

"I told people to play it straight up, and I did not receive a copy of the report."

If three Penn State executives saw jail time for failure to report, Simon should too. It is absolutely indisputable that her purported leadership increased the number of victims from the worst serial sex assault case in American history. I feel like I'm going crazy here. At long last, does Michigan State have no shame?

The nice old man who expresses himself in Werther's Originals sculpture. A very John Beilein criticism is leveled here.

The man is himself, and nobody else.

Patterson status. Michigan is waiting on Shea Patterson's appeal for immediate eligibility, but the folks in charge are dotting and crossing letters before they make their move. "Late February" is the current timeframe; Sam Webb provides the most thorough update I've seen so far:

There are six other kids/schools I know of at this point – Houston (Deonte Anderson), Florida (Van Jefferson), Nebraska (Breon Dixon), Georgia Tech (Jack DeFoor), Central Florida (Tre Nixon), and UAB (Jarrion Street). My gut tells me that the process for gathering information for each kid’s appeal is painstakingly thorough and they all want to make sure no details are missed. So the delay is largely due to their desire to make sure no corroborating details are missed, because as one source close to Patterson’s circle told me… “you only get one shot at this. You can’t go back and add things after the fact.)”

There are several additional paragraphs at the link.

The delay comes from meticulousness as the lawyer who's working with these guys collects everything from all seven of them so he can present the best case to the NCAA that Ole Miss went out of its way to lie to that year's recruiting class so they would end up signing. NCAA waivers seem to make no sense from the outside but the large number of guys petitioning gives several different schools motivation to get this done, and collectively they should be able to gather sufficient hard evidence that Ole Miss got them to sign by lying their asses off to convince the NCAA of that fact. Hopefully that's enough for the waiver.

Hurst burst in first. Daniel Jeremiah ranks the top 50 prospects for the upcoming NFL draft; Mo Hurst lands at #21:

Hurst is an undersized defensive tackle with exceptional quickness and awareness. Against the pass, he has elite get-off. He explodes off the snap and has a collection of effective hand moves to generate pressure. His bread-and-butter move is a quick swipe before wrapping around the blocker and exploding toward the quarterback. Against the run, he relies on his quickness to beat cut-off blocks and disrupt. Occasionally, he'll get stuck on blocks and is moved out of the hole. His effort is excellent. Overall, Hurst is an ideal 3-technique and could emerge as one of the best interior pass rushers in the league.

No complaints with that evaluation. I do think that #21 might be low for him since the NFL is now such a passing-heavy league. The kind of interior disruption Hurst provides is much more important than his tendency to get clunked on the rare occasions anyone can land a clean shot on him. Naturally, PFF has him third overall because they're just behind Mo Hurst's mom on the list of entities that like Mo Hurst. (MGoBlog is #3.)

Never again. Stu Douglass has a story about offensive rebounding:

I think we all knew this in our hearts already.

Good move. Now generalize it:

The agent thing has always been more pressing in hockey because of competition from Canadian juniors. Agents prefer the security of a contract to the probable-but-not-definite relationship they had with an NCAA prospect as their "advisor," so the prevailing thought amongst college hockey coaches is that agents tend to push their guys towards the CHL. That barrier is gone. Probably won't change much in the ongoing CHL-NCAA blood war, but neither will it do anything to the competitive landscape of college hockey.

It's past time for everyone to get that consideration.

Don't get it stolen, don't get it blocked. Defense by possession start:

Fairly intuitive. It is interesting that first possessions are so bad even relative to normal half-court offense.

Etc.: Quinn Hughes is the #4 NA skater in the CSB midterm rankings. Incoming D Bode Wilde is #22. No one else makes the list except 2019 recruit Phillipe Lapointe, who's #201—in the usually undrafted range. Angelique on Grant Newsome. On Dakota Raabe's first goal. If I had one critique it's that the sword is nowhere near big enough. Abuse enablers for jail.

Chase Winovich To Return

Chase Winovich To Return

Submitted by Brian on January 3rd, 2018 at 10:13 AM

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[Eric Upchurch]

Via twitter:

Winovich was an All Big Ten player to PFF after sharing the team lead in sacks with Khaleke Hudson with 8; he managed to outpace Hudson wsg Minnesota's Offensive Scheme in the TFL department with 18.5. His return means Michigan gets back 9 starters from the #10 S&P+ defense and should again expect to have a top ten—probably top five—defense in 2018.

Unverified Voracity Is Getting The Harbaughs Back Together

Unverified Voracity Is Getting The Harbaughs Back Together

Submitted by Brian on June 22nd, 2017 at 12:22 PM

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Exit Jeff Meyer. Lavall Jordan's first act as Butler head coach was to snatch longtime Beilein assistant Jeff Meyer out from under Michigan's Walter White. The parting was amicable:

The list of guys Meyer recruited at Michigan is a long and impressive one; also he got bizarrely chewed out by Tom Crean that one time. He will be missed. Beilein's had a knack for finding new coaches of late, so the program probably won't take much of a hit. The most relevant bit of this for Michigan fans may be what it says about Jordan: being able to snag a high profile assistant from Michigan is impressive. If he can keep Butler at its current level, Michigan's post-Beilein coaching search may well be one phone call.

I haven't seen any names for Meyer's replacement yet, which is somewhat unusual. Saadi Washington was instantly a likely hire when Alexander and Jordan departed for head jobs elsewhere. There is someone available…

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[Bryan Fuller]

Before you spit roast my head, consider that this would get Jim Harbaugh behind Michigan's bench at basketball games? And it would be really funny? And Crean might do it to get his furious revenge on Indiana? Yes? Maybe? No. Fine.

NORM. Here's something barely related to sports but good enough for this here site: Norm MacDonald infuriating a collection of Iowa honchos 20 years ago.

University of Iowa Athletic Department officials were teed off enough about Norm Macdonald’s Sunday night comedy act that they yanked his golf invitation for Monday.

Several members of the audience left during Macdonald’s act, which contained references to sex acts, AIDS and homosexuality. The comic alluded to the stream of people leaving the auditorium, but continued his set. “What do you want to talk about? Losing your luggage at the airport?” he asked as people left.

U of I Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby said Macdonald’s act “would be considered to be in very bad taste in nearly every venue in America.” Athletic Department spokesman Rick Klatt said the U of I was assured during contract negotiations that Macdonald could meet guidelines. “We were very explicit about the details of the event, and about the type of people who would be there,” Klatt said.

Mike Bridenstine, Los Angeles-based comedian/writer who grew up in Muscatine and attended the show as a teen:

“The joke that got the biggest/worst reaction was about bestiality porn. Old people and little kids were filing out. My mom felt so uncomfortable that she walked into the lobby, but complained, ‘They piped the sound out there too.’

“I physically hurt from laughing."

I went to a Norm MacDonald show at about the same time—maybe a couple of years later—and the main thing I remember from it is somehow Norm arrived at a point where it made sense to say "this cake here is my girlfriend. I f---ed it last night." I did not realize it at the time but I now know the show would have been greatly improved if Kirk Ferentz was there, fuming.

Norm himself:

“I didn’t even know anything was wrong. And then the next day these guys ... from some radio station or something, like I was sleeping, and they start asking these questions, you know. I didn’t know what to do, so I just tried to be funny. They go ‘Do you think your act is obscene?’ So I said ‘No, I think what’s obscene is there’s like kids dying in Vietnam, you know?’

“He goes ‘There’s no war in Vietnam!’ He like got all mad at me.”

I like Norm.

Angelique on Speight. He's been working to stay in front of Peters:

After returning from Michigan’s trip to Rome, Speight continued to watch every play from the entire season.

“I watched a little bit before spring ball, as well, but I got back to America and immediately went and clicked on the film and started watching that and knocked it all out,” Speight said. “Watched every game twice. There were certain plays in a few games at the end of the year that I wish I could have changed, but that’s what you live and learn from and you get better.”

He's imbibed the tao of Harbaugh when it comes to his injury:

He won’t be specific about the injury but said the shoulder is “back to 100 percent.” He also won’t say if he had surgery and turns coy when the subject comes up.

“I can’t remember,” Speight said, smiling. “That was way back in January, February, December.”

You know that thing where you turn into your father as you age? Yeah, that.

Catching up with Vincent Smith. Dan Murphy profiles Michigan's toughest running back in recent memory:

Vincent Smith is building momentum. He takes two short strides, sinking his hips like a retracting pinball plunger, and then launches himself clear over an 8-foot swath of freshly tilled and seeded earth. Smith gathers the five-gallon bucket of winter rye seeds next to his landing spot and moves on to the next patch of dirt.

It's late October in Michigan, and Smith is doing what he can to prep his garden-in-progress for the cold months ahead. The vacant lot he is trying to repurpose sits two blocks from the infamous Flint River, which in recent years delivered lead-tainted waters to the citizens of one of the Rust Belt's most down-on-its-luck cities. The rest of the street is lined by houses that range from worn but loved to dilapidated. The house that once stood on Smith's lot caught fire, and the city ordered its demolition several years earlier. He and a band of helpers spent weeks picking pieces of the old house and other garbage out of the ground when they decided last year that it was a good candidate to be turned into a community garden.

DJ Wilson scouted. DX on Wilson:

It will be interesting to see how his frame develops as he matures, since he already possess the skill set of a stretch-4, but he needs to add toughness and competitiveness to not emerge as a one-dimensional player. With NBA teams continue to search for big men who can shoot, handle, pass and switch, Wilson is a strong first round pick candidate and should have plenty of chances to break into an NBA rotation. - Source:

That's why he's in the draft: he's perfect for the modern NBA, where centers are power forwards who are expected to switch onto point guards and shoot threes. There's a 0% chance someone doesn't take him in the first round, because if he continues developing he can be part of a devastating five-out offense. Also despite being 21 he's got the upside of a younger player. Beilein:

"He’s just on his way to being a really good player," Beilein said. "He can really shoot. Put it together with his defense … he’s 21 with a body of a 19-year-old. The best is yet to come for him. He’s a super kid on and off the court; very coachable.

"Whoever gets him is going to be very fortunate."

If we could stop with the "DJ got bad advice" thing that would be great. He supposedly has a promise from the Nets, even.

Nope. Texas OT Brandon Hodges is looking to grad transfer but if Barking Carnival is right about the reason for his departure this will be a non-starter for Michigan:

Hodges was projected to start at right tackle, but he was reportedly done in by grades. Eric Nahlin at Inside Texas alluded this news coming a couple of days ago.

Michigan's last best shot at a grad transfer was Sunny Odogwu.

Etc.: Former NFL RB Alfonso Smith is joining the program as a staffer. David Harris to the Patriots. Ann Arbor is expensive.

MGoPodcast 8.20: Self Efficacy

MGoPodcast 8.20: Self Efficacy

image

[Bryan Fuller]

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

This podcast is presented by the Bo Store, UGP & Moe's. Rishi and Ryan have been here since the beginning—shopping with them supports us and supports good dudes.

It was recorded at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, and while waiting for his segment @ACiatti was super-pleased about the free fast internet connection.

Our sponsors make this possible: Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Deo Bookkeeping, Michigan Law Grad, and Peak Wealth Management.

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

1. Post Mortem, Tourney Thoughts

starts against 1:00

Jack Stack broke Ace’s will to be wakeful. Oregon’s plan was to leave Michigan’s shooters so wide open from three we’d get confused and miss: congratulations you found our weakness. Also turnovers went the other way from normal, and we vastly underestimated Jordan Bell. Are we happy or sad about Oregon depantsing Kansas?

2. Basketball Beyond

starts at 20:02

A run through the roster for 2017-’18 by position, and we do it from 1 to 5 even though it makes way more sense for next year’s team to reverse that. X as Darius Morris, Brooks comes Nova-approved, RAHK all night long, Mathews is a wild card, Robinson is what he is, Ibi is probably another year away, DJ has a DJ-like understudy coming in, and if Moe is Louisville Moe all year he’ll drive us back to the 16. Also: theories on bigs development, and developments in the B1G.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: The Best Player in the NFL (That you can draft out of Michigan next month?)

starts at 53:00

Michigan’s entire starting defense isn’t eligible for the NFL Draft because McCray is still around. But that still leaves plenty of players to choose from, plus Jake Butt, in deciding who will be the best five pros out of—deep breath here—Glasgow, Godin, Wormley, Taco, Gedeon, D.Hill, D.Thomas, Peppers, Stribling, Jourdan, Kalis, Braden, Mags, Butt, Darboh, Chesson, and Deveon Smith. Did I forget anyone?

4. Ace’s Aceless Hockey Podcast

starts at 1:08:10

We welcome special guests Anthony Ciatti (@Ciatti) and our hockey beatwriter/otherjobdoer David Nasternak (@NastyIsland) to discuss how this was, by Corsi, the worst Michigan hockey team ever and ungh it was so unbelievably bad yuck blech argh. Oh right and options to replace Red, which don’t include any Red Wings but do include the two best hockey coaches in the country, AND Mel.

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

MUSIC:

  • “Koroleva Ne Pomerla”—The Ukrainians
    (cover of “The Queen is Dead” by The Smiths)
  • “Oxford Comma”—Vampire Weekend
  • “Forever for Her is Over for Me”—White Stripes
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS

Unverified Voracity Spoofs Emails

Unverified Voracity Spoofs Emails

Submitted by Brian on March 2nd, 2017 at 12:37 PM

We could do this in the middle of Texas or at home. It's not hard to figure out how neutral site games are viable when home and homes sometimes aren't:

Ticket prices for the Bama game were similar. Throw in a corporate sponsorship and voila: both teams can get close to home game money. We're in a weird place when schools find it necessary to outsource these kind of things. If I was AD I'd ask season ticket holders how much of a surcharge they'd be okay with to get a game like Florida at the Big House. I'm guessing it would cover a lot of the costs of a real game relative to a bodybag game, if not all of them. Michigan doesn't need to cut in a middleman*.

*[Except maybe in this particular case. This game is happening because of the ND cancellation that left Brandon scrambling. This is probably the best alternative to a negotiated agreement. I'll leave it to the reader to decide how much of the situation Michigan found itself in was Brandon.]

Color me unconcerned. Crain's engages some concern-trolling about Michigan's debt load:

The University of Michigan athletic department sits atop $240 million in debt at a time when several major college athletics programs are grappling with enormous and potentially crippling debt loads.

Michigan is not. They make 160 million annually, so their debt load is manageable. Someone making 80k with a 120k mortgage is in fine shape, and unlike a mortgage Michigan's debt load largely exists because Bill Martin built the boxes to increase revenues. A mortgage does not throw off income.

The article itself admits this by way of the bond market:

Unlike some of its cash-strapped peers, Michigan has a packed Big House on fall Saturdays, deep-pocket donors, an elite credit rating, and it expects its share of TV money to keep increasing — a mix the university expects to give it the financial maneuverability to readily pay what it owes and to keep borrowing to build or refurbish its facilities.

This seems to defeat the purpose of this article, which goes on to discuss the slow decline of ESPN and fracturing of the cable unit—none of which has slowed the explosive revenue growth Michigan and the Big Ten has not only seen recently but locked in for the next six years. It also invokes Cal as a potential disaster situation. Cal was 22 million dollars in the red last year and has almost twice Michigan's debt. The situations are not at all similar.

Dave Brandon was a lot of things, but he wasn't Tom Goss.

Interesting twitter exchange. PFF likes Channing Stribling's coverage a lot. His run D, not so much.

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Stribling noticed this and tweeted about it, leading to a brief, interesting conversation between Stribling and James Ross:

I'm with PFF after some boggling missed tackles but he can fix that, and his coverage was just as good as Lewis's.

This won't be a surprise to Chat Sports aficionados. James Yoder, "CEO" of Chat Sports, tried to buy the Cauldron, another website, for about two million dollars. This naturally resulted in a fraudulent term sheet, a ton of finger-pointing, and ham-handed cover-up attempts. Yoder comes off as completely unhinged in the story:

Yoder says that Jamie O’Grady is a “master of creating fake emails.”

As a demonstration, Yoder sent me, at my work email address, a fake email that made it look like I had emailed Yoder asking for help finding clean urine. Yoder stressed that he faked an email from me strictly to show me what O’Grady does.

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After I privately forwarded the email to my editors, Yoder emailed me again asking why his email had been opened multiple times; he had tracked the email. “We track every email we send,” he says. “We use an email tracking service.”

This is because he is totally unhinged. "Spoofing and phishing tactic mastered by the other party." Cumong, man. Even OJ Simpson didn't go around giving stabbing demos.

The article briefly mentions the aspect of Chat Sports most infamous around here, but doesn't quite get it right:

In its early days, Chat Sports posted original content from many different writers—some of those bylines, like Rick Steele or Tipp Smith, have Twitter accounts that have tweeted only one time. Were they fake? Yoder says yes. “Absolutely we had fake writers,” he says. “That’s because we’re a scrappy company. What do you have when you start a company? You have zero traffic, you have zero name brand… So we had a writer program for college-aged kids… and sometimes they had information about things that they didn’t really feel comfortable writing in their own names. Some people think that’s such a terrible thing—‘journalistic integrity!’—that’s called growth hacking.”

The problem with the fake writers was not that they were operating under pseudonyms but that the stories they "reported" were made up. Chat Sports has the same business plan that Macedonian teenagers did during the election: say anything at all shocking or controversial that dullards on the internet propagate because they can't tell the difference between Chat Sports and something with a smidgen of credibility. Buzzfeed has an article about a similar company that spews out near-identical posts for political dullards on both left and right. The parallels go all the way down to the obvious stock photos used for author bios. 

The only truly surprising thing in the story is that Yoder was able to find a dupe despite coming off like Borat The Investor. Remember Borat? NOT! Good times.

Anyway, don't post Chat Sports stories here.

Austin Davis: good? Michigan's center situation this year is bogglingly shallow, which naturally makes one wonder how good Austin Davis can possibly be if he's redshirting. Beilein says he's all right, though:

"He's really good, that's all I'm going to tell you," Beilein said today. "I wish, I knew what I know now." ...

"In the middle of January, it all started slowing down," Beilein said. "Guys just throw him the ball and he puts it in. There's no drama, there's no Kardashians. The ball is in. The ball goes in."

I'm not sure how to react to that. If Davis was in fact very good and was doing that well in January, keeping the redshirt on him is an odd decision. OTOH, he might not play even if he is very good. The only thing Beilein hates more than playing a freshman point guard is playing a freshman post. Not even Mitch McGary got much run until really late in the year. (Jordan Morgan took a redshirt before emerging into a starter.) Wagner barely got off the bench last year despite Michigan's center situation being Mark Donnal and a guy with literal narcolepsy.

I do think Davis is going to be a breath of fresh, rebound-y air next year. He's a burly dude, something Michigan hasn't had since McGary.

I very much want to see a Michigan lineup that goes Teske/Davis-Wagner-Wilson-Matthews-Simpson. That will look like the Monstars with Webster at point guard.

Etc.: Spencer's take on Ole Miss is kinder than mind and good. More croot profiles: Andrew Stueber. Goodbye, eggs. Peppers draft stuff. HSR on Wagner. Get The Picture with more Ole Miss fallout. Jim Harbaugh is not sticking to sports. Lewis draft stuff. Harbaugh thinks Grant Newsome will be back this year.

Unverified Voracity Gets Invited

Unverified Voracity Gets Invited

Submitted by Brian on February 16th, 2017 at 12:40 PM

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Braden invited; Magnuson not invited [Patrick Barron]

All the combine folks. 14 Michigan players will participate and even so there are a couple surprising omissions:

Braden but no Kalis or Magnuson is odd, and I thought Dymonte Thomas would be the kind of guy who could improve his stock significantly with impressive testing numbers.

That's a hell of a lot either way. Michigan's total is just four fewer than the entire Big 12. On the one hand, Michigan did not capitalize on that talent (by an inch, or a negative inch). On the other, Michigan's recruiting edits are going to be straight fire emoji in the immediate aftermath of the draft.

Speaking of the Big 12, Chris Vannini has an interesting article about the long term talent decline in the league. The state of Texas is getting raided hardcore:

The last factor is recruiting, and it doesn’t look better for the future. Only one Big 12 team signed a top-25 class in 247Sports’ rankings earlier this month: Oklahoma at No. 8. The next-closest Power 5 league was the ACC with four top-25 classes.

The league relies on the state of Texas, but Ohio State signed three of the top six players in the state. It was the first time since 2005 that an in-state school didn’t sign a majority share of the top 10 players in the state, as noted by the Dallas Morning News — and the third time since 2000 (the other two were Oklahoma). Only two of the top-10 players stayed in-state, and one of those left the Big 12 by going to Texas A&M.

Tom Herman should start turning that around—recruiting concerns about his finish at Texas should be mitigated by the fact that he landed Ed Oliver and a smattering of other four stars at Houston. It probably won't be enough to get back to parity.

"Offer" versus OFFER, part billion. I'm all for dumping on Nick Saban but this seems like a big bowl of nothing:

"LSU's welcome in my school anytime," Feaster said. "The only school that can't come to Parkway is Alabama. And there's a long story behind that, but it had to do with not being ethical in their recruiting.

"They can't come. Everyone else is 100 percent welcome."

The reason?

There is a difference between an offer and a committable offer, something he found out the hard way in the recruitment of former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris.

Alabama "offers" Harris, his coach gets persnickety about it, and then Alabama says he has an OFFER, only for that offer to be back to scare-quotes status by june:

"Napier calls me the next day and says, 'Coach, I have some good news for you. Tell Brandon to call me on this phone during this period and I'll put Nick Saban on the phone,"' Feaster said. "We do that and Saban says, 'You have a scholarship at the University of Alabama.' So, they gave him a scholarship offer. It was a committable offer.

"By the time he gets to campus in June -- and I'm not saying Brandon was going to commit to Alabama -- it wasn't an option. Basically what they told him is that we got other guys that are going to come through here, and I promised them a shot. So we have to wait and see then."

As far as malfeasance on the recruiting trail goes, this is small potatoes. Whether or not a kid is a "take" changes constantly for every school, including Michigan. Getting upset because Alabama changed their mind about a kid before he even committed is some special snowflake stuff. (Also that guy lost his job to a Purdue transfer, sooooo...)

MSU update. The gymnastics coach was forcibly retired and now faces three allegations that she downplayed sexual assault reports from Larry Nassar:

The allegation — the third made specifically against Klages — was first made in a court document filed Jan. 27 seeking to add the athlete to the federal lawsuit against Michigan State University, Nassar, USA Gymnastics and Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.

Those documents, filed by attorney Jamie White, didn't identify Klages, but said it was "a member of MSU’s coaching staff."

White, the attorney for the gymnast who says Nassar sexually assaulted her during medical appointments, confirmed on Tuesday that it was Klages who spoke to his client's mother.

He also confirmed that it was Klages who told his client's mother that "Nassar’s digital penetrations of (the athlete's) vagina was a proven medical treatment."

If you believe the reports sufficiently to "retire" her you should be firing her for cause.

Michigan State has suspended Curtis Blackwell, a recruiting staffer. They won't say why, but it's not too hard to draw a line between that and this:

Blackwell's suspension comes as a criminal investigation into three Michigan State football players is ongoing. Michigan State announced last week that a member of the football staff also had been suspended pending the completion of that investigation.

The police have requested warrants for the three players in question.

Also Demetrius Cooper was charged with spitting on a parking enforcement officer. Oh and Malik McDowell fell out of Mel Kiper's first round for reasons other than his talent. In a normal year this would be part of the rivalry pointing and laughing. This year not so much. That whole athletic department looks to be in total chaos.

Stop with the video, fergodsakes. Interesting piece on the demise of Scout media, which was accelerated by a push towards making everything a video, even the things that should definitely not be videos:

Advertisers might also have been skittish because of where most of Scout’s traffic came from. Despite a costly thrust into video, part of a massive, costly overhaul of Scout’s CMS, nearly 80 percent of Scout’s traffic comes from visits to its message boards, which are reserved for subscribers. Though the developers team claimed the addition of video in 2015 drove tens of millions of views within six months of its launch, Scout’s traffic was relatively flat or declining year-over-year from 2014 to 2015, according to comScore data.

Almost all of those videos were worthless. They're still doing it. I can't tell you how many Scout tabs I open and then disgustedly close because they're a hundred words trying to induce me to watch a recruit get interviewed for five minutes—a video that would already be autoplaying if I hadn't sought out a Chrome extension to disable said feature. ("Disable HTML 5 Autoplay," FWIW.)

Autoplay video is a scam. Person opens page, video plays, person does not watch video, counts as a hit anyway, publisher tries to leverage those numbers into high CPM video ads that no one will ever watch.

Etc.: Here's a video with athletic directors, including Warde Manuel, discussing a potential student protest. I did not watch it despite having interest in the subject matter, because it is a video.