Unverified Voracity Clones Pam Ward

Unverified Voracity Clones Pam Ward

Submitted by Brian on May 18th, 2016 at 12:52 PM


it’s back [Bryan Fuller]

Single digits. Via the twitters,various numbers for incoming freshman are now known. The most significant development for Michigan numerologists: Crawford and EMB are both getting the #1. This is good; the number had gotten too bound up in its history to actually get used most of the time. I’m willing to give it to a guy who isn’t AC yet just to get it out of mothballs. Issuing it to a defender too is an interesting twist, especially a linebacker.

Other numbers: Devin Asiasi and Lavert Hill are both #2—no pressure, Lavert—and Rashan Gary will retain his #3 from high school—no pressure, #3.

[UPDATE: Seth relates that some of these numbers are just sticky notes, not plates, and that those are not official. Never mind some of this, then.]

Goodbye, ESPN. The last guy left in Bristol who can call college football is Joe Tessitore. All games this fall will be called by him or the army of Pam Ward clones currently being decanted in the basement:

  1. Mike Tirico left for NBC,which caused the accursed NFL to yoink Sean McDonough for Monday Night Football.
  2. McDonough’s broadcast partner Chris Spielman left for FOX, where he, too, will call f-ing NFL games.
  3. There are plenty of rumors that Brad Nessler is leaving for CBS, which seem to be backed by the fact that Tessitore got promoted to Saturday nights.
  4. Brent Musberger is still in SEC Network purgatory.

Tessitore is fine, and Fowler is fine. It sucks to lose McDonough, Spielman, and Nessler, all of whom are great.

Not that it matters so much to the Big Ten. They must have had a teleconference, because various reporters are now quoting ADs and Delany about the second half of the Big Ten’s rights package. Is the following real or posturing for a better deal from suddenly-miserly ESPN?

“No one has amnesia about the relationship we have had with ESPN. John Skipper and that group, they have been a wonderful partner. But we’re at a different place and I think they’re at a different place in 2016 than we were in the last round (of negotiations). That doesn’t mean we can’t get to the altar together and get married again. But we’re at the dating stage right now. And that’s a process.”

Whenever this comes up you hear that coaches are loathe to not have a relationship with the gorilla in the sports media ecosystem

“I believe the Big Ten schools are, at a certain point, going to demand from their leadership, ‘We have to be on ESPN, for recruiting and for publicity. We can’t give that partnership up, it’s too valuable for us in in terms of our conference competing against other conferences for high school players,’” Deitsch said on his podcast. “I’m going to bet, in the end, there’s a deal there.”

…but I’ll believe a college athletics conglomerate is willing to leave money on the table when I see it.

Departing ESPN wholesale for (probably) FOX would be interesting. Right now the Big Ten gets a ton of viewership—would that move tank it? Or would the prospect of having an army of Pam Ward clones do every game at ESPN do so?

On that Tunsil lawsuit. Tunsil’s stepfather is on the stepfather is on the warpath:

Miller met with an NCAA investigator in July and told him about other possible improprieties he had witnessed dating back to Tunsil’s high school recruitment, when Tunsil turned down Nick Saban at Alabama and Mark Richt at Georgia to sign with Hugh Freeze at Mississippi.

Miller claims Tunsil’s academic records were altered. He said Polingo used to receive Western Union deliveries of money from Barney Farrar, Ole Miss assistant athletic director for high school and junior college relations. An apparent reference to Farrar was made in the year-old text messages on draft night; when Tunsil asked the Ole Miss administrator for money, he responds, “See Barney next week.” Farrar has denied giving money to or being asked for money by Tunsil, Ole Miss is investigating and Farese predicts it will turn out to be “much ado about nothing.”

Some of that has already been accounted for in the allegations the NCAA has investigated. This lawsuit promises to uncover further things, because it looks like Ole Miss got caught giving him a bunch of different piddly stuff:

The NCAA said Tunsil was not initially honest but that five rules violations were confirmed: Tunsil improperly used three loaner cars without paying during a six-month period; received two nights’ lodging at a local home; accepted a free airline ticket; used a rental car for one day for free, and received an interest-free four-month loan to make a $3,000 down payment on a used car.

That’s not a one time thing, that is five different incidents of giving the guy cash, directly or not, and looks like the tip of the iceberg. What are the chances that this pattern is not repeated with other players? What are the chances that these are the only five things Tunsil was provided? Zero and zero.

Old school items. Via Dr. Sap:

I don’t know why people suspected Caris was soft. He has a broken foot:

LeVert revealed here this week that his injury -- the nature of which was kept under wraps during the season -- is a Jones fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The injury, he said, is similar to the one he suffered earlier in his career.

He hoped the fracture would heal on its own, but when that process was slow-going, he opted instead to have surgery after the season by Dr. Martin O'Malley.

LeVert was still on crutches this week in Chicago, and said he will need to wear a boot on his left foot for another four weeks. That means he won't be doing any predraft workouts with teams.

The idea that Levert would try to avoid playing time this year was always goofy. Nobody wants to enter the NBA draft after two years mostly lost to injury. Even if he was only thinking of his draft stock, he would have played if at all possible. But rabblers gonna rabble.

Inevitable comparison. Beilein is going to go there with Xavier Simpson. He’s going with Trey Burke:

"I do," Michigan coach John Beilein was saying recently, asked if he sees significant comparisons between the two, other than they're both from Ohio.

"I see the dog in him, and I mean that in a positive. He goes out there and guards people and plays and he's a high competitor.

"This guy might be a guy that comes in the door with those competitive instincts."

Yeah buddy.

A step towards sanity. The Big Ten will start using campus sites for hockey playoffs once ND joins, with a single week of best two-of-three games before a single elimination final four at an as of yet undisclosed location that I hope is the league winner’s home ice. The winner gets a bye, you see, and it would be weird if their reward was not playing any games at home. 

Etc.: Coaches complain about transfers, news at 11. M a slight favorite at MSU, near touchdown dog at OSU. Wojo on satellite camps.

John Gasaway compiles a list of the top shooting performances in the Kenpom era that surprisingly does not include a Stauskas or Burke team; it does include last year’s MSU game, with Michigan on the “whoops” side.

On Numbers

On Numbers

Submitted by Seth on April 14th, 2015 at 10:33 AM

If you were to sort everything in the world by a factor of how much I pay attention to it vs. actual importance, what jersey numbers Michigan players wear is probably just below and to the left of Alan Trammell's snub.


His career was merely "average" for a Hall of Fame shortstop

If you don't care, I respect that; here's a report from BBC news on the rising nuclear tensions in South Asia that probably matters a lot to the long-term stability of the region and the horrifying possibility that our species might some day wipe out the better portion of the lifeforms we know of. If you do care who wears the numeral we associate with Woodson, maybe read up enough on the arms deal first so people will know you've got your priorities straight. All set? Alright here's what I think we should do with the Legends numbers.

The Legends Question


Earn it, Keith

I don't think anybody knows what they'll do with the program now. Hackett seems earnest in this evaluation period. I also have an idea where some of the pushback is coming from, since former players—in email groups, in private, and some publically—are a key demographic against them. Part of that's a get-off-my-lawn attitude among older guys regarding the over-attention paid to jersey numbers by kids these days. Part of it's the same jarring fan sensation of having long associations undone—the Kovacs Principle—and part of it's a new guy wearing sacrosanct numbers every year. I saw more complaints about Funchess wearing 87 while not blocking than Moore wearing it while not playing.

I wish they would keep this program, but only for underclassmen. The Seth Plan:

  • Establish a set of attainable criteria for each number. Past Legends have input but this shouldn't be the Braylon gauntlet—that worked for Braylon because Carr tailored it specifically to Braylon.
  • Establish a set of higher criteria for getting added to the patch.
  • Underclassmen interested in wearing a Legends number apply to their coaches
  • Number must be earned before a player either starts his 15th game, or reaches the end of his sophomore season of eligibility, whichever comes first.
  • Back-elevate past Michigan greats based on Legends criteria.
  • Add 2 (for Woodson, defensive backs), 77 (for OTs: Lewan, Long, Jansen, Jenkins), 46 (Harry Newman, for special teams players), and 27 (Benny Friedman, for quarterbacks) to the program. Make 98 for running backs.
  • Establish a set of criteria for having a new number Legendsized (so future HSPs can hope to wear #5)

I imagine if more than one young player wants the same number Harbaugh won't mind competition.

Projecting the Fall Arrivals

I used to try this every year: attempt to predict numbers for the new guys to wear. Before MGoBlog it was an annual rite of rostering the new NCAA game. Last year I missed it; in 2013 I went 12 for 22 with the scholarship guys, but that was in June when some guys already knew their numbers. This year I'm gonna try to do it early and honestly.

[My methodology and sure-to-be-incorrect predictions, after the jump]