Warde Manuel Round Table 8/23/16

Warde Manuel Round Table 8/23/16

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 25th, 2016 at 9:44 AM

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[Upchurch]

[Ed. A- I couldn’t make it to this presser, but Josh Henschke and our good friends at The Michigan Insider were kind enough to send along some video for me to transcribe.]

On who can make the call to change the years Michigan plays MSU on the road:

“It’s a combination of television, and where we have control it falls on the home team and not the visiting team, and that’s usually in conference and non-conference. But most of that now, any game changing assignments, time assignments, is usually done by television through the conference office. We don’t really have a lot of say. They may ask us what we’d like to do, but we now don’t have a say in picking the game times at this point.”

On breaking up the two home, two away format of the schedule and whether that’s something he’s pursuing:

“Conversations are continuing to be had about what we’d like but there’s 13 other schools in the conference. Scheduling, whether you have 10 teams in the league, eight teams in the league, or 14 like we do, is very hard to do. I don’t negate that. Would I love to see Ohio State and Michigan State on different years? Yes. Do I think it’s hard to do given where we are now? Yes. Will I continue to still have the conversations that need to be had to try to see if there’s anything that can be done? Yes. Is it easy? No.”

On whether he plans to present that to the board:

“I plan on having any conversation I need to have to the benefit of Michigan athletics. Listen, I have great colleagues. Jim Delany is a great commissioner. We have a great staff in the Big Ten. I have great colleagues across the conferences. We all have different things, tweaks, that we may like to see. I’m not the sole member that may want tweaks and changes to the schedule. As soon as we can have that conversation with everyone or individually, and conversations I’ve already had and discussion points, I’m working to understand as well as to talk about what I believe is in the best interest of Michigan.”

On whether Michigan will have to wait until the next batch of schedules is released to make a change:

“Probably, yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s not going to change overnight. It’s trying to figure out how we can make any adjustments, and people know that we would like to see an adjustment to that.”

On changing the schedules that are in place:

“Listen, I’m not proposing that what we already have changes immediately, but I do want to have the conversation—I have had some—to understand and…but again, in talking to some of my colleagues, there are some things that other ADs would like to see on their football schedules. So, while we talk about the imbalance of Michigan State and Ohio State, both of them being away or at home, they have other tweaks or changes that they would like to see on their schedule. And once you start putting all that together, now you’ve got a big cauldron of issues that you’ve got to try and figure out, right?

“It’s not as simple as me saying, ‘Well, we want this’ and everybody saying, ‘Okay, we’ll just change it.’ If you start to make the changes—and you guys are very smart—as you start to look at the other schedules you’ll see that there’s more moves than just flipping one to one year and keeping the other on the other year. I mean, there’s more that needs to happen. So, it’s complex enough that the conversations need to be had and I’ll continue to have them when the issue comes up.”

[After THE JUMP: who has input on alternate uniforms, Harbaugh as attention lightning rod, and a bit about Harbaugh’s contract]

Unverified Voracity Still Doesn't Get It But Whatever

Unverified Voracity Still Doesn't Get It But Whatever

Submitted by Brian on August 1st, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Event reminder. We're having a Hail To The Victors kickoff party/thing on Friday at Circus Bar. Hopefully it will be as crazy as last night.

About last night. I don't get WOO NIKE. I have no strong feelings about clothing brands, except insofar as I would like them to put the sports teams I like in uniforms that 1) stay in one piece, 2) are legible from distance, and 3) don't make me envy the dead. I'm in the same realm of bafflement Dan Murphy was last night:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- They lined up for T-shirts.

All day, Michigan fans stood in line for T-shirts. And when the sun went down they chanted and painted their faces and counted down the last few seconds like it was New Year’s Eve for T-shirts, ones with a tiny lopsided parabola in the corner instead of a striped triangle. ...

“I’ve lived 52 years, a lot of them right here in Ann Arbor,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said into a sea of fans recording on their cell phones. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

But I'm happy you're happy, and happy that recruits and players are bonkers for the stuff. There are many many variations of this on Michigan player twitter:

It's probably better that Michigan's back with marketing folks who can inspire the kind of devotion that results in a walk-on basketball player crowdsurfing like he's 1992 Eddie Vedder. The gap between the Only Incompetent Germans and that 190-proof blast of capitalism is obvious. While the headline number* on Michigan's apparel contract has been beaten by a few different schools since it was signed a year ago, Jumpman exclusivity looks like a big deal for players and recruits—you know, the people who help you win on the field.

I have one hope, and that's a football version of Jumpman. Pick one of Desmond or Woodson:

Desmond-Howard-CatchBvr06d2IEAEDaUT

A permanent logo swap ain't happening, but if Nike wants to do a special edition thing that will sell a lot of merch and not piss off traditionalists this would be killer. (I think? I obviously have no idea what I'm talking about in this department. Later today I will advise rappists on the finest iambic pentameters. The very best.)

I have one concern. The hockey jerseys look weird and wrong.

Michigan_6829

Mismatched blues, a weird sheen on top, really not digging the jersey with one maize stripe across the top and nothing else anywhere. A closeup of the hockey jersey does seem into indicate it's regular jersey material and not, like, shimmery. I'll reserve final judgment until I see them in the wild, but I'm not hopeful.

*[I say "headline number" here because it looks like various other schools have structured their contracts such that theirs is the "biggest ever" to the press but not in reality. For example, OSU's "biggest ever" deal with Nike is actually worth $13 million less in cash than Michigan's over the same timeframe. They just pad it out with more gear at an inflated price. I haven't looked into the details of UCLA and Texas but it's possible—probable in UCLA's case—that the same thing is going on there.]

This is completely rational. I retract my tweet at Nick Baumgardner yesterday:

"I definitely think its symbolic, it's a new age for Michigan," Gozdor said. "A lot of my friends are saying they're going to burn their Adidas gear and forget the whole entire thing ever happened."

He was right.

Jeremy Gallon finally gets to be taller than some people. An alert reader points out that the Nojima Sagamihara Rise, a team in Japan's "X-League," is currently listing Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon on their roster. (Also included is former Illinois safety Earnest Thomas III.) Thorough research* reveals that only two foreign players are allowed to be on the field at any one time; the Rise must be planning on Gardner to Gallon for 50% of their plays. This is a good plan.

[Update: now there is an article on this occurrence:

“Everybody here is so respectful, so nice. It’s almost like a compete 180 from in America,” said Gardner, who made 27 starts at quarterback for the Wolverines, with a smile. “They (the Americans) are nice people but I’ve never been to a place where everybody is so kind and so respectful, and it’s just part of the way everyone is here. It’s pure refreshing to get a chance to experience it.”

No Michigan State or Ohio State fans in Japan, I take it.]

*[googling the league's wikipedia page]

I'd be happy to be wrong here. Erik Magnuson doesn't strike me as a guy who the NFL will consider drafting early unless he takes a big step forward as a senior, but CBS's Dane Brugler disagrees with that take, naming him one of the top ten senior OTs in the country and saying he "played like a legitimate NFL prospect":

...moves with a smooth shuffle and wide base, transferring his weight well in his kickslide to mirror edge rushers. He stays low off the snap and prefers to use his hands to control the point of attack to out-leverage and out-power defenders. Magnuson is able to secure downblocks and anchor at shallow depth, driving his legs to finish in the Wolverines' power offense. He has also been praised by the coaching staff for his leadership and consistency during the week.

Although hustle and effort aren't an issue, Magnuson has sloppy tendencies with a bad habit of lowering his head and losing sight of his target, ending up on the ground. He tends to be a waist bender and lacks ideal length to compensate, which allows savvy rushers to get him off balance and leaning. While powerful when squared to defenders, Magnuson will struggle to recover once defenders attack his shoulder.

I thought Magnuson was okay, and only that, a year ago. I get the vibe that PFF agrees with me since they haven't posted anything about him, or the rest of the Michigan OL not named Mason Cole. They tend to have an "if you can't say anything nice..." policy.

I'd be happy to be right here. Ryan Glasgow makes ESPN's list of the top 25 Big  Ten players... at #25, which I'm sure I'll find is an outrage once they get around to putting a punter at 16 or whatever. Even so, thank you, ESPN, for not consigning Glasgow to a Wally Pipp role just yet. PFF also names Glasgow their #3 breakout player this year, though they do admit that's a bit of an injury-induced slam dunk:

2016 grade: 84.8 | 2015 snaps: 332 | PFF College 101 rank: 72

The argument could be made that Glasgow has already broken out as he boasted the nation’s No. 19 run-stopping grade before going down to injury last season, but since he only played 332 snaps, he still qualifies as a breakout candidate. He’s seen the field for 753 snaps the last two seasons, posting a strong +32.7 grade against the run, and last year he improved his pass rush grade to +9.0 on the strength of a sack, four QB hits, and 12 hurries on 179 rushes.

Taco Charlton shows up at #7 for the same reasons we're hyped about him around here: a lot of production in under 400 snaps. There are scattered Big Ten players to round out the list plus a couple of old names for recrutniks: both Cal RB Vic Enwere and Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage make the tail end of the list.

Spreading the wealth. Michigan probably has four guys on that aforementioned top 25 B10 players list (Lewis, Peppers and Butt are probably locks and Glasgow snuck in) so it's not exactly crazy that these gents missed it...

Michigan DL Chris Wormley and receivers Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson: Wormley is one of the more versatile defensive linemen in the league, with the ability to move between end and tackle, and he had 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2015. Some of us argued for his inclusion, though we ultimately went with a different player in his position group. As for Darboh and Chesson, they are clearly two of the better wideouts in the league. Yet neither had huge numbers last season, and even Jim Harbaugh will tell you it's a coin flip on who is the better player. They sort of canceled out each other for purposes of this list.

...but since two of those guys are seniors getting first round draft hype it is a little bit crazy. Also:

Meanwhile Feldman named Michigan's receiving corps the #3 unit in the country. Michigan could be all right this fall.

Etc.: Peppers gets votes from current Big Ten football players as the Big Ten's best defensive player... and its best offensive player. PSU fans expect a punter to be their biggest impact freshman... and they're probably right. Y'all probably don't know how bad PSU punting has been the last few years. TV networks not a big fan of the Big 12's naked cash grab. Always weird when some guy you remember as like 15 is now writing for the Daily. I'm old and DEATH DEATH DEATH.  ND contract details.

The Undertow of Apparel

The Undertow of Apparel

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 1st, 2016 at 11:30 AM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

It’s hard to pick out when it really came into focus. It might have been when I heard that the line to get in went from the front of M-Den to near Angell Hall. It could have been when I looked down State Street to see where the end of said line was and saw only a street so full of people that the line was indistinguishable and the people stretched as far back as I could see. Maybe it was when a group of five or six people dove to the sidewalk about three feet to my right, and what I thought was an insane overreaction to someone cutting the line was just a bunch of people willing to sustain concrete burns for their shot at grabbing the hat Jim Harbaugh threw into the crowd. The setting was familiar, the logos were familiar, but the environment was completely different than anything that Michigan fans have ever seen. This was no mere apparel release event. This was unmistakably a Harbaugh-led party.

Harbaugh’s a man who hates comparing people. If you ask him to compare players he just won’t do it, and his reasoning is solid: compare one person to another and one necessarily gets diminished. Yet there we were, on a humid summer evening in Ann Arbor weeks before students get back in town, crammed so close that you know whether someone’s wearing a fragrance or whether they’re just fragrant, listening to Jim Harbaugh talk about how this is what the street will look when Michigan wins a national title. At some point he must have surveyed the college football landscape and decided that it was fine to start talking about where he thinks his team stacks up relative to the rest of the country.

The program’s expectations are different now, and the fanbase’s zealousness reflects that. They’re as high as they’ve ever been; there’s a gap the size of Tacopants between expectations from a decade ago and expectations today. Events like last night’s reinforce what seems to be the program’s theme and carefully curated direction: on the surface, everything old is new again. Then there’s something extra beyond the old “everything” that’s momentarily disorienting and refreshingly different.


Created with flickr slideshow.

The last time Michigan switched apparel companies they had just hired a new head football coach whose spread offense gashed the most firmly held beliefs of some subsets of the fanbase as well as it did defenses. This time around Michigan’s new head football coach is in his second year on campus, and the freshest memory of his tenure is the saccharine success of Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. People didn’t line up last night just to buy new clothes. They lined up because this was an opportunity to get a free ticket for the 11:59 PM hype train.

Signing on with Nike and getting outfitted not just with the swoosh but in Jordan Brand apparel is new and different and plays to the soft spot of most people associated with Michigan. You don’t go to a school or become a fan of a school where you hear about the “Michigan Difference” every 20 minutes and walk away feeling like blending into the pack is a lovely place to be. People wanted something different, but they weren’t interested in change for the sake of change. The reason to switch could have been as straightforward as Harbaugh’s review of his appearance in a rap video: the cool kids liked it. But that wasn’t enough for Jim Hackett and company. They found a way to get Jordan Brand looped into the deal, and they found a way to take the Jumpman logo, a logo that resonated with people as being a cut above, and get that stitched onto Michigan’s football jerseys.

In isolation, the switch to Nike and Jordan may not have been enticing enough to start an honest to goodness block party, but the excitement certainly would have been high enough to get something of a line to form to buy the new stuff when it came out. Then Michigan won 10 games, including a demolition of an SEC team whose defense was supposed to be murderous. Then Harbaugh started talking about setting goals that are so high others will laugh at you. Then he stopped talking about the process of getting to know his team and started dropping “national championship” here and there.

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Real, authentic excitement is easy to derive from the comfort of seeing things you’re used to while feeling a sense of optimism about what’s to come, a belief that familiarity doesn’t have to mean a stagnant future but can be an element of something entirely new. Harbaugh found a way to do what the old guard has wanted for over two decades: resurrect Schembechler football. Harbaugh being Harbaugh, he then took it and twisted it into something that only looked like the kind of football that was played on Tartan Turf but attacked in a different and complex way, a way that defensive coordinators really could have used all those years between Schembechler and Harbaugh to prepare for. He took what was the ceiling of the old guard’s aspirations--to win a Big Ten title--and tore the roof off. The new expectation is that Michigan can compete not only in their conference but with anyone across the country. That this is being hammered on publicly by the head coach puts Michigan in rarefied air. Everything looks and feels familiar but elevated, and on Sunday night people couldn’t wait to drape themselves in the zeitgeist.

Warde Manuel Presser 4/1/16: Part 2

Warde Manuel Presser 4/1/16: Part 2

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on April 4th, 2016 at 11:00 AM

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[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

Tonight's spring game obviously another primetime event, something new for the school. As you guys continue to do new things, how do you balance that with the tradition and expectations at a school like Michigan?

"Well, I think you try something, you see how it works, you see what it brings, what it brings to the team and the staff and what they're trying to do. I don't know the thinking of Jim as it relates to—we haven't talked about the spring game on Friday, whether that's something that he wants to do consistently or if he's trying something out this year and so we'll be there and see how it goes and see what comes of it and see what the feedback is from it, but it doesn't bother me that it's a nighttime spring game. The tradition's been normally, what, Saturday at 1 o'clock or 12 o'clock or something like that? You know, it's done differently at different places and this is something that he wanted to try and we'll see how it goes."

Speaking of night football, you recently expressed an affinity for football games in the daylight. Do you anticipate that that will influence schedules in future years, and some of your predecessors anticipated influence from the Big Ten wanting Michigan to play more night games—your thoughts in that area, too?

"It could be that we play more night games in the future. We talked about it this year as I was coming in and made the decision that this year we wouldn't have a night game at Michigan Stadium. You know, I was told—because I'm not a Twitterer—that I was getting heat because I said that I didn't like playing games at night, jokingly said that because if people would have heard the other part of what I said I said because I played for Bo, who thought you should always play at 12 or 1 o'clock. In my career as an athletic director and athletic administrator I played a lot of night games. I'm not against them, but in the discussions that I had with many upon walking through the door it was decided that we didn't want to play a night game here this year.

"So whether they'll be played in the future, I'm not against them. I think some of our fans like them, and I think I heard some of our fans that would prefer day games but I know our fans love Michigan football and whether it's played in the day or it's played at night they want to see our team have success.

"Last year we played a significant…I shouldn't say significant. How many night games did we play on the road last year? Three. I know the fans are interested in night games, but that's really taxing, particularly coming back late at night for the team, those kind of things. So we considered a lot before we said we wouldn't have a night game this year, but in the future there could be night games at Michigan Stadium in the future."

There's been a lot of talk two years ago after the Shane Morris concussion incident of increased safety measures and then talk about that here and there since then. Have you gotten a chance to evaluate those and do you have any plans for changes there?

"We're going to constantly evaluate the safety protocol for our student-athletes. It's something that we did obviously with that incident being so nationally prominent [and] that you do, but we're going to constantly look at the protocol. Not only in-game protocol but practice.

"I know coach Harbaugh and the staff and the medical staff are monitoring and talking about impact not only of concussions but injuries during practice. The coaches are constantly aware of how much practice and hitting is going on. They're monitoring that for the good of their team, of the individual student-athlete.

"The protocol is set but we're going to continue monitoring that to make sure it's where it needs to be for the safety of our student-athletes across the board. So yes, I'm confortable with where we are now and I'm comfortable that we will continue to evaluate all measures of safety for all of our student-athletes to make sure that it's the best that it could be."

How and when will you officially launch the Nike apparel, and for you, when you saw the Jumpman logo on football, is that cutting edge in your mind, that deal that was cut?

"Yeah. Officially Nike becomes our apparel supplier August 1st. We're proud of the relationship that we had with Adidas, but on August 1st we will officially again become a Nike apparel school and at that point in time the staff—I haven't had but I will have a breakdown of all the things that are being planned, but on August 1st, at that point in time is when we will celebrate the relationship or right around that date, don't hold me to it. But August 1st is the date we officially become a Nike school again."

[After THE JUMP: Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, them boys up for discussing committable offers and transfer policies]

Summer 2015 Survey Results

Summer 2015 Survey Results

Submitted by Seth on August 24th, 2015 at 10:19 AM

We had a survey, 3,556 people responded to it. We learned some things about them:

1. They only get to a few games

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The average was two a year but the split is more like 26% go to no games, 36% get to one, and 38% get to more than one.

2. Most don't have season tickets

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Four in five (79%) responders don't. Also, when these were run against the previous question season, ticket holders averaged 5.05 games a year, while non-season ticket holders went to 1.11 per year. Season ticket holders were then asked if they would have renewed if Michigan had kept Hoke. Most (68 percent) would but even 32 percent "no" is ominous:

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3. There's a clear preference for ADs

Rating Brandon %RS Hackett %RS
1 (bad) 1488 42% 17 0.5%
2 (poor) 1654 47% 0 0%
3 (meh) 322 9% 28 1%
4 (okay) 33 1% 426 12%
5 (good) 19 0.5% 3040 87%
[no response] 40 - 45 -
Avg. 1.70 - 4.84 -

On overwhelming majority (almost 90%) of respondents gave Brandon a 1 or a 2. Conversely, Hackett cleaned up; among Michigan fans just 17 people who are impossible to please out of 3400 is some kind of magic. Brian demanded I combine these in a bar graph.

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Ace: "That is beautiful."

Brian: "See? Bar graphs!"

4. Harbaugh?

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Harbaugh has some catching up to do on his boss, at a still really positive approval rating of 4.27 out of 5. Then again Hackett has already reeled in a 5-star while I guess Harbaugh has yet to do so.

5. As for his predecessor

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Yes.

6. They'll pay more for better opponents, but not too much.

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What they have now is about what the market wants to bear.

7. What they want to wear

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Either the readership didn't understand that Underground Printing is our t-shirt guys and this would essentially mean MGoBlog gets to design all the uniforms, or they understood too well. Anyway UGP barely beat Under Armour, probably because they're the only company other than Nike that spells their name right.

8. Who they'd like to play

You're going to have to click this one I think:

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Notre Dame is the obvious one, and the next-most popular was Harbaugh taking a shot at his old team. Stanford makes a lot of sense in fan type, location worth visiting, old history, and a team we haven't seen much of. LSU would be great too though it probably will be less fun (and less easy) once Les and Cam are out of there. The Pac and SEC were easily the most desirable conferences. A breakdown:

Conference Votes
SEC 3587
Pac 12 3139
ACC (no ND) 1312
Notre Dame 1122
Big XII 452

The games already scheduled weren't included, otherwise I'm sure the interest in Texas and Oklahoma would shoot the Big XII back up to at least ACC levels, while Washington and Colorado could put the Pac 12 on equal footing with the SEC.

Unverified Voracity Files Mouse Tort

Unverified Voracity Files Mouse Tort

Submitted by Brian on August 4th, 2015 at 12:10 PM

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Well, of course. Mr. Harbaugh goes to Washington.

A software engineer named Nick Harris was visiting Washington, D.C. one morning in April when a stranger outside the Supreme Court asked him for directions to the White House. It was only a brief interaction, and yet Harris remembers it well.

“It was very odd,” he said. “Like, why am I running into Jim Harbaugh at the Supreme Court?”

Harbaugh met with five justices, coaching them on the finer points of fair use law.

Also of course. Mr. Harbaugh finds a friend.

That mouse is now the Seahawks' starting tight end.

The worst possible take. This guy covers Rutgers for a living so he knows real when he sees it. I mean, I guess?

It was a good show. But let's be clear: It was every bit a show. Harbaugh turned on the happy personality for the cameras, and he was so effective that it almost made you forget about the other Harbaugh. The one that Colin Cowherd had to hang up on during a radio interview. The one whose personality contributed to an implosion with the San Francisco 49ers.

The one a former player said might be "clinically insane."

That Harbaugh. Which Harbaugh is the real Harbaugh? I have no idea. I only know the guy, much like Flood, from what I've seen from afar.

But I do know this: The Kyle Flood who was talking with the Big Ten Network cameras rolling on Friday? He is the same Kyle Flood was was standing in the hallway a few minutes talking to me, and will be the same Kyle Flood if you run into him this weekend around Piscataway.

This, you should know, is by design. … putting on a show when the cameras are rolling? That's not Flood. He'll let the shiny new guy have the spotlight. 

Observing Jim Harbaugh for a period longer than 20 seconds and coming away with the conclusion that any part of his personality is under control is… well, it's an opinion. It's an opinion like Kyle Flood's home state recruiting…

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Rutgers is involved with just one of the uncommitted players

…but is definitely a thing someone thinks.

Dubstep ahoy. We have discussed it. We are still not sure if this is a joke.

We're leaning yes. But this is the place that hired Beck Man, so we can't be sure.

Not bad dot gif. Here is a small chart about dollars.

Top-5-College-Apparel-Deals_large-1940x1386[1]

Louisville has really done a job making themselves a thing, I tell ya.

Note that USC and OSU aren't on these lists because they have differently styled deals in which they're given a floor and then get a royalty rate above that. OSU's 2012 deal is for a minimum of 9.7 million a year.

Nice guys. Man, there were a lot of quotes from Big Ten Media Days that set your teeth on edge about the state of the program under the previous administration. You don't want to read too much into them because every transition comes with talk about how now it's serious. But the results on the field are looking for an explanation, and some of it is in here:

"The practices in the spring were four hours," Ross said. "I remember a time where if practice ran a little longer than expected that we'd start sulking and complaining. Now, it's four hours and we're accustomed to it. We can work hard for as however long as needed, not "try to get it over" work. The seniors got everyone on path. In order to be successful we have to change what we've done in the past."

Previously, Michigan split their practice time between the field and film work and the like. Since stretchgate we're all experts on what a countable hour is, and a lot of that film stuff can be moved to non-countable if it's not with a coach. It's likely that Michigan was wasting countable hours under Hoke. That is not likely to be the case under Harbaugh.

In fact, he's encouraged everyone on the team to get jobs. Chesson:

"In my perspective and how I was raised, you have a certain responsibility to yourself to commit and to be a positive role model. What better way than to get a job and see how it feels to practice, go to school and then go cut fields and cut grass, come back and sleep and do it all the next day?" …

"I don't know a guy who doesn't have a job. When you're working, you're earning a wage. So many people in society don't have that opportunity. For us to do that is awesome."

People often compare college footballing to a full-time job that you have to go to college on top of; Harbaugh's like "and also you should have a part-time job."

Also with continued bizarre anti-mayonnaise stance. Andy Staples has a column on cord-cutting and the Big Ten's upcoming rights negotiations. He's referencing Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scot's contention that the Big Ten might get the short end now that ESPN is tightening its belt:

Scott is correct that rights fees won’t go up forever, but the Big Ten deal could be the last hurrah before networks get more cost-conscious because of cord-cutters. The Big Ten is going to get a massive deal because ESPN and Big Ten Network partner FOX need those rights to compete in the new marketplace. With deals for all of the other Power Five leagues, the NFL, NBA and MLB all locked down until at least 2020, the Big Ten’s deal next year is the biggest thing left. It might be the last one of these deals signed for a primarily bundled marketplace.

Which is all well and good for Jim Delany, who will flit off into retirement before that contract comes close to ending. Those of us still around in an unbundled world are going to be looking at a ridiculous 14-team conference that was foisted upon us in the pursuit of short term dollars.

Also, Staples continues slamming mayonnaise even in the context of a BLT. Apparently he hates tomatoes, too. Poor bastard.

This again. Michigan's basketball nonconference schedule:

large[1]

That is Xavier and garbage at home. All six non-Xavier D-I opponents were 200+ in Kenpom last year. Football has seemed to figure out that giving people reasonable opponents is something that helps preserve the covenant between fans and the program. Hockey (which announced a schedule like this one minus Xavier) and basketball have not figured this out.

These are slightly different problems. Hockey needs any legitimate opponents to spark interest and help their strength of schedule in the dire Big Ten. Basketball has a respectable schedule, but they fill out the holes with the absolute dregs of D-I. This is bad for both fans and the team. The NCAA uses nonconference schedule strength as a metric, and they calculate it crappily, so taking on the truly awful teams hurts you disproportionately.

There are going to be a couple of duds every year—that game just before Christmas is always going to be against a team starting a 6'2" center—but upgrading some of those opponents from the Delaware State level to the Bradley level is preferable to the current situation.

This year is Breaston year. Next year is Denard year. Part of the NCAA's increasingly desperate attempt to keep the status quo:

The Nebraska athletic department is joining lots of other schools in limiting the numbers on the jerseys fans can buy. For this year, only No. 1 and No. 15 — as in 2015 — will be sold at the Huskers Authentic team store. Next year, it’ll be 1 and 16.

Licensees selling jerseys are limited to the same numbers, and nobody gets a grandfather clause.

And the change isn’t just for football, but for all sports that have jersey replicas for sale.

Michigan has not announced a similar restriction but they're probably thinking about it. So instead of fans buying the things they want and the players getting a portion of that, nothing for anyone.

Take it from Tyrone. PSA, 1993.

Via Dr. Sap.

Etc.: This week in Steve Patterson: ShaggyBevo has to change its name due to legal sabre-rattling. In lieu of actually writing a Gold Cup react I'll just endorse this one. The Broken Bits Of Chair trophy lives. Media day interview from the official site. The turkey is a prisoner. For now. Brady and his phone. ESPN asked Ian Darke to call college football. He said no because he knows his limitations, but I kind of want to see what that's like.

Mike Riley and Jim Harbaugh go back.

Nike Will Pay Michigan All Of The Money

Nike Will Pay Michigan All Of The Money

Submitted by Ace on July 15th, 2015 at 11:39 AM

When Michigan chose to partner with Nike for their next apparel deal, it was rumored they did so while turning down more generous monetary offers from Adidas and Under Armour. The details of the Nike contract have been released, and it's safe to say Jim Hackett struck a pretty solid deal regardless. Via MLive's Brendan Quinn:

According to contract details released by the Michigan athletic department, the university's deal with Nike is worth $169 million over 11 years, making it by far the richest of all apparel deals in collegiate athletics. The contract, which will supply all 31 U‐M athletic programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment, will pay $76.8 million in cash and $80.2 million in apparel.

Michigan will receive $12 million upfront, followed by $10.1 million-$10.9 million annually in cash and apparel/equipment.

Notre Dame's 10-year contract with Under Armour, which surpassed Michigan's then-record contract with Adidas, is reportedly for $90 million. From Quinn's article, the next-highest contract for a public school is Texas' deal with Nike, which is worth a little over $5.5M/year.

Yes, saying Michigan signed a deal for $Texas may actually be understating things. Take a bow, Jim Hackett.

UPDATE: The $169 million figure is a little misleading, as that apparently includes four option years tacked on to the end of the deal.

As part of the still-record-shattering deal, Michigan will make a pretty penny on royalties:

In addition to shattering the record for the largest deal in NCAA history, Michigan will also receive 15-percent royalty rates on apparel purchases. This passes Notre Dame's 13-percent and is believed to be the highest in the country.

Michigan has a 10% royalty rate with Adidas.