Unverified Voracity Hates Recruiting

Unverified Voracity Hates Recruiting

Submitted by Brian on January 19th, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Harbaugh hates recruiting. Check the timestamp.

Hates it.

There is nothing that has a winner and a loser that Jim Harbaugh hates.

Funny money. OSU announced a huge Nike contract that was a ton more than Michigan in the same way that NFL contracts have a huge headline number but are actually something less remarkable under the hood. The OSU edge is in apparel awarded, which the Buckeyes padded out for the shiny number. The actual details:

  • Both schools have a 15-year deal; Michigan has an opt-out after 11.
  • Michigan gets 12 million upfront; OSU gets 20.
  • OSU gets 3.44 million for the first 11 years and 4.44 for the last four.
  • M gets 4.82 million for the first ten years, 5.32 in 11, and 5.82 for the last four.
  • Total dough: Michigan, 88.8 million. Ohio State, 75.6 million.

OSU gets more upfront but inflation isn't sufficient to make up the deficit, especially since Michigan has an opt-out four years earlier. So OSU's "biggest ever contract" actually delivers 13 million fewer dollars than Michigan's. But OSU gets more Nike volleyballs so they've got that going for them.

Thanks, guys. Michigan lands a couple guys on CBS's list of the best players to pass on the NFL draft this year:

Jake Butt, Michigan TE: Butt had a chance to jump up in a weak tight end class in the NFL Draft but chose to return for his senior season instead. Michigan's passing game could see a boost next season with Houston transfer John O'Korn getting a shot at starters reps after sitting out which would mean even better numbers (and more draft film) for Butt heading into 2017.

Jourdan Lewis, Michigan CB: Lewis and King will be the easy picks for preseason All-Big Ten in 2016 and likely be compared through the season as the Thorpe Award narrows its list for next year. Lewis was also an All-Big Ten and All-American pick this year and leads what has suddenly become a stacked secondary in Ann Arbor.

Desmond King and Dan Feeney also make the list, which is bereft of Buckeyes.

That one play to Hill in the BYU game. James Light breaks down the "T-delay" passing concept, which Michigan pulled out for a big first down against BYU and again in the bowl game:

screen-shot-2016-01-13-at-6-41-09-pm[1]

The Patriots run a version of it as well; the idea is to sell yourself as a blocker before releasing. Light also has some defensive resources I'm trying to figure out.

Meanwhile at the Shrine Game. Graham Glasgow is leaping off the page to multiple observers.

Meanwhile he was Mike Mayock's main takeaway early:

"He was the guy who really stood out to me," Mayock said. "It's a strong year for centers, but he looks like an NFL starter. Very strong. He could compete at the Senior Bowl."

Seniors Ryan Kelly of Alabama and Nick Martin of Notre Dame are considered the top two centers in this year's draft, followed by another 7-8 with draftable grades. Glasgow now should be firmly in that latter category, and could move up to mid-round status as the draft process continues

Would it be gauche of me to point out that this is another mark in the "UFR is useful and I am not an idiot" column? It would be? Aw, hamburgers.

OSU fallout. Michigan got off rather light:

With the NTDP game next that means Martin will be back after the Penn State series and Dancs will only miss one game.

1980 seniors. Via Dr. Sap:

Smooth move. USA Hockey left Kyle Connor off the WJC team for… reasons. Chris Dilks notes that those were probably not good reasons:

3. Kyle Connor has played eight games since being snubbed by the US World Junior and has scored 20 points. The rest of the Big Ten might be even madder that he didn't get picked than I am. Connor is now tied for the national lead in goals scored with 18 and tied for second in points with 36. His linemate Tyler Motte is also at 18 goals and tied atop the leaderboard in goal-scoring.

He has various other takes from Michigan-OSU and the rest of college hockey in that post.

Midterm hockey rankings. Midterm ratings from the CSB indicate most of Michigan's incoming hockey class should get drafted:

As always, Central Scouting splits North American and European skaters so multiply by 1.5 to get an approximate draft slot. Luce would be a third rounder, Lockwood in the fourth or fifth, and so on.

In addition to those guys Michigan also brings in D Luke Martin, who will not be eligible for the NHL draft until 2017. He is projected as a first round pick, and depending on who you listen to possibly a top ten pick.

One thing to watch: Michigan brings in a whopping eight skaters next year despite having just two seniors (and goalie Steve Racine). While a couple of NHL departures are likely (Werenski is all but foreordained at this point), Michigan is going to have to push some guys back to 2017 or carry a big roster next year. One player (Lukas Samuelsson) has not been announced by Michigan is a walk-on; everyone else is signed to at least some money.

Michigan has a big fish coming in the next year when Michael Pastujov, the younger brother of Nick listed above, arrives. This random NHL mock draft site has him going 4th overall. The NTDP appears to be absolutely loaded, BTW, with six of the top 15 picks in that admittedly speculative mock draft.

Jabrill is okay. Would recruit again.

Of course. The ACC and SEC are trying to ban satellite camps because… they in fact have no reason to do so, they just want to. I'd like to point you to this article from last summer where I gently explain to an Alabama fan that satellite camps are good for prospects as if he cares about that.

Next up, I explain to Penn State fans why making gay jokes about Jim Harbaugh in-home visits is a bad look.

Etc.: Jedd Fisch gets extended two years. His cost was artificially low because he was on a buyout from the Jaguars; this should help keep him around a while. Passing game made huge progress this year.

Partridge on his promotion. Basketball sets a home and home with Cinci the next two years. Walk-on tryouts are on the 23rd. Kenpom on one of the ways RPI is broken. Kiper says Willie Henry could be a first-rounder. Corn Nation on Lawrence Phillips.

More cord-cutting. Sports are actually moving back to broadcast for the greater reach!

Unverified Voracity Demands To See The Cheesekeeper

Unverified Voracity Demands To See The Cheesekeeper

Submitted by Brian on November 10th, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Same as it ever was. Nothing changes.

The king stay the king. Harbaugh twitter will always be delightful.

If you do not listen to this song, this whole song, he will find you.

The equivalent Harbaugh story here is doing pushups with mom at 3 AM. De'Veon Smith was on Inside Michigan Football last night, and said things that make you… uh… notice a contrast between recent Michigan coaching staffs. For one:

"Coach Hoke was a great coach, he meant a lot to me," Smith said. "He came over to my house one day and literally just fell asleep on the couch."

I hope this was unannounced. De'Veon Smith comes home finds that one of his windows is broken. Inside, Brady Hoke is splayed out on the couch covered in cheeto dust and pinecones. Smith ventures a poke in an attempt to wake Hoke up; Hoke mutters "I am the cheesemaster" and rolls over, inert. There he stays for the winter. When he awakes he demands to see the "cheesekeeper" and runs into the forest.

For two:

"I guess until this year I wasn't really taught properly how to pass protect and what are my keys exactly," Smith said. "And (running backs) coach (Tyrone) Wheatley is instilling that into in all the running backs.

"In previous years, we tried to cut-block somebody. We weren't aiming at the right spot to cut down somebody and now coach Wheatley has taught us to get up on them and get low on them whenever we have to cut them. All the coaching points are definitely the main difference from this offense and last year's offense."

Smith has been excellent in pass protection this year. Michigan ran a couple of smash combos in the Rutgers game in which he was tasked with cutting an unblocked DE and did it with aplomb.

Mizzou chaos. Mizzou's president resigned, their chancellor also got booted, and because the football team decided they'd join the protest several people are poking me to talk about it. So here we go. Hold on to your butts.

  • If you don't understand what's going on, Bill Connelly's explainer is the best that I've found. I still fail to grasp why a few unrelated racial incidents—one of which saw the perpetrator expelled—blew up like it has, but the impression given off by the Connelly piece is that the upper echelons of Mizzou were taken over by Brandon types with an eye on the bottom line and the incorrect assumption that they had infinite political power. Yanking grad student (read: teacher) health insurance the day before classes is a Total Brandon Move. The inciting incidents here were a spark in a dry forest, to borrow Mark Bernstein's analogy.
  • The football team joining the protest promises to be a watershed moment. The president was likely on his way out anyway, but for the axe to fall so quickly after the football team announced a boycott indicates the latent power athletes have. Mizzou was about to get hit very hard financially because the football team simply decide to not do stuff. That is power.
  • This is still far away from the dread strike-for-money that will happen in the next decade, probably at the Final Four. The climate on the Mizzou campus during a campus-wide protest the aftermath of Ferguson is going to be a lot different than the climate if a team says it simply wants a piece of the pie. Whatever team does that is going to get it from both barrels nationwide. Mizzou's football team has largely been praised by non-ideological* media.
  • Gary Pinkel trying to walk it back afterwards by saying it was about nothing other than the health and well-being of the student on a hunger strike is disappointing. If you're going to do it, do it. That's some phony PR right there.

The merits of the protest, its interpretation of what the First Amendment means,  and the larger campus climate nationwide are outside the scope of this blog until such time as Michigan gets stuck in a similar morass. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

*[yes yes all media is ideological especially that newspaper or that website here's a cookie]

Okay, Bill Plaschke. I'd link Drew Sharp if he was talking to Keith Jackson.

It is a voice still so memorable, people still call his home and hang up just to hear his greeting.

"If you're calling the Jacksons, you have succeeded," the voice says. "Help yourself."

I don't think that's how it works. The idea of a medical redshirt for Mario Ojemudia came up again:

Elsewhere, Harbaugh said Monday that the team is still in the process of appealing for an extra year of eligibility for injured senior buck linebacker Mario Ojemudia. The 6-foot-2, 252-pounder suffered season-ending Achilles tendon injury during the second half of the team's fifth game of the year -- a 28-0 win at Maryland.

Per the NCAA rulebook, medical hardship waivers (also known as medical redshirt years) can only be obtained (in a team sport) if three separate conditions are met. The injury must occur during one of the player's four seasons of eligibility, the injury has to have taken place prior to the second half of the player's season and the player has not participated in more than three contests (or 30 percent) of his or her season.

Ojemudia appeared in five games, which is obviously more than three/30 percent. Still, Harbaugh said the process of an appeal is still ongoing.

"There's an appeal process," Harbaugh said. "It's a process."

I assume this will get shot down because the NCAA has been very strict about keeping that rule intact, especially since they moved from 25% to 30% a few years back. I'd be really surprised if Michigan wins here.

Kickering, evaluated. SBN Auburn blog College & Magnolia piles field goal attempts from the last decade into a couple of graphs in an effort to evaluate kickers by the worth of their kickery. Average point value by distance:

Points_per_FG.0[1]

Surprised a 50 yarder is a 50/50 proposition but I guess they don't throw you out there if you obviously can't make it.

Gets choppy at the end there for obvious reasons. C&M assigns points relative to expectation for the nation's kickers and finds Kenny Allen in a tie for 40th. That's about right since he's mostly hit mostly short field goals.

There are a couple of problems with this approach, It tends to give guys who don't have a big leg a pass for not attempting long field goals and it might underrate guys who end up with a lot of limited-upside chip shots relative to equivalent kickers who get more valuable attempts.

But it's a good first approximation, and Allen is about what we've seen: above average and not outstanding. FWIW, OSU currently is 116th. Jack Willoughby is 7/11 on the year and hasn't hit one from 40+. Just something to keep an eye on.

Smart Football back. Chris Brown has revived his blog until such time as someone else snaps him up. He talks packaged plays and how defenses are adapting to them:

In the below clip, Mariota is reading the backside inside linebacker — who is unblocked as the backside tackle is blocking out on the defensive end — to decide whether to hand off on an inside run or throw a slant into what should be a vacated area.

counter

Yet even though the linebacker steps up for the run — and thus Mariota’s read takes him to the slant — the nickel defensive back had been reading Mariota’s eyes the entire time and he simply steps in front of the slant for a too-easy pick-six.

Does this mean defenses have figured these plays out? Not even close; one of the many reasons Whisenhunt got fired was because he had only superficially begun integrating these plays into his offense, rather than truly understanding how they fit together. But I’ve seen other examples of plays like this so far this year, and it’s evidence that defenses are catching up. That, of course, shouldn’t be a surprise. In football, nothing stays easy for long.

The Borges-Denard parallels are obvious.

Michigan hasn't had a ton of trouble with packaged plays this year since they tend to play a lot of man, FWIW.

Etc.: List of top uniforms has Michigan #1, Oregon #2, which is kind of an amazing list. Leaders have leadership. Dedicating Yost Field House. The Slippery Rock story. The dumbest game theory decision ever. Probably literally. LeMoyne things. Harbaugh's got it all.

Unverified Voracity Is Out Again Again

Unverified Voracity Is Out Again Again

Submitted by Brian on September 7th, 2015 at 1:30 PM

51mhGN4UFyL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_[1]There is another book. Jon Falk's second book also came out this week, and he secured a rather nice gentleman to write the forward: Jim Harbaugh.

Forty Years In The Big House—which I do not have a snarky name of questionable utility to deploy about—is much like Falk's first book, If These Walls Could Talk. It's a look inside the Michigan program from a guy who was there for all the ups and downs. When you've been around as long as Falk, it's mostly ups.

Falk mentioned his previous book had sold out, which surprised me, but yup: his previous is only available secondhand or on Kindle now. This is a man who understands the principle of scarcity that Marty Bodnar and the Michigan athletic department did a very good job of maintaining until recently.

Anyway: since you're all probably done with Endzone this can be next on your list.

Intros past. Via Wolverine Historian:

Brutal losses. BYU's weekend was a manic depressive thing featuring a Hail Mary win over Nebraska and a parade of injuries that threaten to derail their season before it really even starts. The most severe:

Shortly after the Cougars knocked off Nebraska, 33-28, on a last-second hail mary, coach Bronco Mendenhall told reporters that star quarterback Taysom Hill was lost for the season with a fractured foot.

Hill missed last season, and most of the season before that, and that is completely terrible. Tanner Mangum, Hill's gunslinging backup, was a major recruit a couple years ago who is just back from his two-year Mormon mission and is kind of a true freshman; he looked okay after taking the reigns but he also led a frantic one-minute drill that featured just one completed pass—the Hail Mary. He's going to be a  big dropoff from Hill, who was impressive as both a runner and a passer before getting hurt again.

Adding injury to injury: by the end of that game BYU's defense had also taken major hits, losing their starting NT and one MLB and safety. Travis Tuiloma, the excellent nose tackle, is out 4-6 weeks and should miss the Michigan game. No word on the other injuries. BYU of course already lost their top RB and TE before the season. They may be in for a rough year that you can blame Bronco Mendenhall for in no way whatsoever.

Michigan health. They seemed to escape Utah without suffering any injuries of note. Freddy Canteen, who did not play, says he'll be back this week:

Drake Johnson made the trip and dressed but did not play; he could be back at any time. Hopefully he gets right in time for BYU. 

Pop quiz. Who is Todd McShay talking about in this list of the top ten available linebackers for the upcoming NFL draft?

At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, [X] is an undersized inside linebacker who doesn't have the speed or explosiveness to make up for that deficiency. But he has been able to overachieve at the collegiate level, thanks in large part to his outstanding instincts and football intelligence. [X] projects as a backup who effectively steps in when called upon on defense and contributes on special teams.

If you said "Desmond Morgan," you are wrong… somehow. That's his take on Joe Bolden. I don't know how closely any of these draft guys are paying attention.

Goodbye, Beck Man. SB Nation on the seven most Beckman things Beckman ever Beckman'd:

3. The Mom's Birthday mystery

Every year, Big Ten Media Days are on different days. And every year, Beckman went to Big Ten Media Days and wished his mom a happy birthday.

He never said, "I'd like to wish my mom, whose birthday it was YESTERDAY, a happy birthday."

This April, Beckman explained the mix-up. He is well aware of his mom's birthday -- he wanted to give her a shoutout as a coach's wife and coach's mom who never really got to be around her husband/son as much as she wanted around her birthday -- but I always liked the idea of Beckman celebrating his mom's birthday 365 days a year.

I was hoping we'd get one last season of the guy squinting at people, but the way he went out is perfect. Of all the bad hires in the last decade of college football, his has to be the most mysterious. I cannot imagine Beckman walking into a job interview—any job interview—and coming out of it employed.

Pat Narduzzi almost went to jail for kiwi murder. He would have missed no games for MSU:

This actually improves my opinion of his chances at Pitt. If anyone can get the Panthers to stop going 6-6, it's a man willing to murder his colleagues for fun.

The next guy? SI talks to John O'Korn:

At Harbaugh's request, O'Korn has reverted back to how he used to throw the ball before he got to Houston and the coaches there changed his mechanics. "There was a lot of stuff just from top to bottom in the program that my family and I didn't agree with," O'Korn said of his final year at Houston.

O'Korn is completely onboard with the high-energy Harbaugh, though. He has come to expect the unexpected from his new coach, including a phone call at 6 a.m. to ask what jersey number he wanted. O'Korn has also gotten used to Harbaugh's relentless competitiveness. O'Korn still laughs recalling Harbaugh's demonstration of a drop-back drill during a workout this summer.

Harbaugh did eight to 10 repetitions, while each of his quarterbacks only got one or two. "He was going to make sure he got his reps," O'Korn said. "That just shows you what type of competitor he still is. His footwork is phenomenal. He can still play you know."

The QB battle for 2016 should be heated.

An old but epic quote. Kyle Kalis talking to Dennis Dodd:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It has to be a special kind of hell being coached by a former Michiganquarterback while trying to become the next Michigan quarterback.

Especially when the coach is a deity in these parts.

"They don't get it easy," Wolverines guard Kyle Kalis said. "They get the hand of the Lord."

This was published just a couple days after I posted the QB preview piece. If any Michigan players inclined to drop awesome quotes in the future could do so a tiny bit earlier in the summer I would appreciate it.

Etc.: Michigan issues a couple of scholarships to walk-ons, making this offseason Pipkins thing even weirder. MVictors has your obsessive uniform documentation covered. Week-old Austin Davis article that I didn't link before because preview week. Visually impressive piece on student fans from Michigan Engineering(?). The NFL is and always will be the worst. Top five most absurd Brandon stories from Endzone.

Unverified Voracity Refuses To Get Excited

Unverified Voracity Refuses To Get Excited

Submitted by Brian on April 28th, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Jaylenbits? Maybe not quite but it is by far the most interesting thing going on right now. The latest:

  • Scout's Brian Snow has been saying this is a top two of UK and M for weeks and reiterated that, with Cal running third. Feels like the Bears would be a surprise but not an all-caps SHOCK.
  • Sam Webb did not offer a gut feeling on WTKA this morning but did reiterate that Michigan was very much in this recruitment; he's got an article coming up in the News on why that is. As a guy who's badgered him about this recruitment for months I can say that Sam is getting more hopeful as we move along here. He is not playing coy, though: nobody knows.
  • Kentucky offered 2015 6'6" wing Shaun Kirk yesterday just hours after he committed to NC State. Kentucky needs a lot of guys, yes; they already have a commitment from a 6'6" wing out of Chicago and are about to get a JUCO shooting guard, Mychal Mulder. A 247 Kentucky staff member suggested this was "more indicative" of where things are with Jaylen Brown than Cheick Diallo, the 6'9" power forward who is the other major prize Kentucky is after.
  • Even if Kentucky sweeps Kirk/Mulder/Diallo they will still have a spot for Brown, FWIW. Adding Jamal Murray, the Canadian combo guard who is considering reclassifying from 2016, and all those guys would fill them up but even then a guy like Marcus Lee could get Creaned.
  • Crystal Ball predictions continue to roll in for Michigan, including one from Jerry Meyer, 247's head of basketball recruiting. Michigan now has the last 13 picks, with 247 staffers at their Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, and UNC sites amongst those to pick M in the last couple days. Again, I wouldn't take this as gospel since this recruitment has been cloak and dagger. Somebody is hearing something.
  • College coaches don't seem to be among that group, as several said they have "no clue" and/or "no feel" for what Brown was going to do.
  • The OSU staffer told his message board that after some texts it looks like it's "headed UM's way" and that the Adidas thing was "huge". Steve Lorenz also mentioned something along those lines. I will call them Competent Germans for a week if this happens.
  • Rivals, which has been pessimistic the whole time, suggests that Kansas writers in their network are "beginning to believe" they have a real shot. That's at odds with what their 24/7 guys are saying.
  • There's no scheduled commitment time but people expect that that Brown will choose within the next couple weeks.

Meanwhile VA combo guard Kenny Williams is planning to take an official to Michigan. UNC and Virginia are the other schools he'll visit after using two of his officials earlier in the year; those schools and maybe VCU appear to comprise his list. Obviously if Brown does happen, Williams will no longer be an option.

Other basketball things. During the Hatch press conference, Beilein touched on a couple personnel matters. On DJ Wilson's position:

That is no surprise with Teske and maybe Davis scheduled to enter in 2016 (Davis may prep), but it is an indicator where Michigan stands this year. They may need a third C and it sounds like Wilson will be the guy playing Bielfeldt/Smotrycz when foul trouble looms.

On Spike:

That does not put talk about Spike redshirting to rest but it should at least dampen it considerably. Given the composition of the roster Michigan should want to add a point guard in 2016; a Spike redshirt prevents that. And having Albrecht available is a very good thing for a team with aspirations.

On other potential roster moves:

There was some speculation that Chatman might light out for greener pastures; happy that is not the case. He is still a guy who can develop into an excellent player. Just get that corner three down and get mean on the boards and we're in business.

1925 sounds exactly as fun as you would expect. The roaring 20s of football:

Several years later mud would obscure key numbers in the New York Stock Exchange, and the rest is history.

Nyet. Mike Spath reported a week or so ago that Michigan would look to add a grad transfer wide receiver or two over the coming months, space permitting, and thoughts naturally turned to Devin Lucien, the UCLA receiver who Michigan essentially turned down (they asked him to play D) days after Hoke took the job. Lucien is no longer available:

Ah well.

Cut to the chase. The Final Four—two spectacular games and Duke punking MSU—put the "COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS DEATH" meme to the sword, or it least it should have. But at the same time the tournament was going on, basketball was experimenting with a 30 second shot clock in their B- and C-tier postseason tournaments. Those increased scoring without a commensurate decrease in efficiency, so you may as well do it. It appears that people are going to do it:

Men's basketball is likely heading toward reducing its shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds, NCAA rules committee chairman Rick Byrd told ESPN.com on Monday.

Byrd, the coach at Belmont, said a year ago that there was a 5 percent chance of the change happening, but he changed his tone Monday.

"Now there's a real decent chance," Byrd said. "It's pretty evident a lot more coaches are leaning that way. The opinion of coaches on the shot clock has moved significantly to reducing it from 35 to 30. And all indicators are pointing toward that."

Byrd also said there was a 90% chance college basketball would adopt the NBA charge circle. It does sound like other changes are on the horizon:

Byrd said coaches have told him the game is too physical and too rough. He said that will come up quite a bit in the meeting.

Byrd also said there will be discussion about altering the timeout rule to create better flow. He said he would like to mimic the rule in women's basketball where if a coach calls a timeout within 30 seconds of a media timeout, then that becomes the TV timeout.

He said too often coaches will call a timeout, knowing they are getting a media timeout 15 seconds later, and that creates an even longer downtime for the fans in the stands and the TV audience.

"You can have the last few minutes take 20 minutes," Byrd said. "It doesn't bother coaches, but it does for those watching at home and in the arena. We need to try to get the games within two-hour windows."

All of that sounds excellent. From a selfish perspective I think the shot clock reduction hurts Michigan since they use their time on offense so well, but if it's part of a package that includes improving offensive flow by reducing the Spartanizing of the game I'll take it in a hot second.

Now just implement my coaches-must-cut-off-a-digit-to-call-timeout plan and we are cooking with gas.

The unbundling. ESPN has sued Verizon for attempting an end-around of their contract. ESPN thinks it says Verizon can't offer "basic" packages without its family of channels; Verizon is like nah.

Verizon Fios has just shy of six million cable subscribers -- making it the fourth largest cable company and sixth largest cable or satellite company in the country. Verizon recently announced a new cheaper alternative to a basic cable package. That offering allows consumers to subscribe to a basic cable package for $59.99. Unlike Dish Network's recent Sling TV offering which includes ESPN in its basic tier, the new Verizon Fios package doesn't include ESPN in its basic tier pricing. Instead ESPN -- along with ESPN2, FS1 and NBC Sports Network -- are included in a sports tier package which consumers can purchase for the additional price of $9.99 a month. That is, it's possible to subscribe to Verizon's new cable package without receiving ESPN.

That's actually a great deal for that sports package since ESPN and ESPN 2 alone cost Verizon seven dollars. I am not a law-talking guy but I can't see how this is going to fly in the courts; it is an indicator of where we're going. Right now sports is being subsidized by people who don't care about it at all. In an a-la-carte world that no longer happens.

Then what? Then ESPN takes a bath, with sports leagues next on the chopping block. ESPN costs 6 bucks a month for a channel 20% of people are interested in; it will not cost thirty bucks a month in an a-la-carte world because a lot of people will forgo it. There's only so much you can do by strong-arming customers in an environment where ten bucks a month gets you a virtually infinite pile of content. The people who don't care will opt out.

This is why adding questionable fanbases to the Big Ten in the pursuit of short-term cable dollars was so incredibly foolish even beyond the deleterious effects of adding a bunch of games nobody in the world cares about. Every time I see someone hail Jim Delany as some kind of visionary I want to laugh/cry.

Etc.: Jack Harbaugh on satellite camps. Quinn on Hatch.

Mailbag: Bad Times, Autobench, Coleman Assessed, McCray Location

Mailbag: Bad Times, Autobench, Coleman Assessed, McCray Location

Submitted by Brian on March 4th, 2015 at 12:06 PM

Bob_Timberlake_and_Bump_Elliott_(1964)[1]

things were bad all around when Bump was doing his best

Bad times man

Could this year be the first year that all three major sports missed the post season?

I tried to look it up but realized I was wasting too much time doing so.

Thanks for the leg work. Sorry for bringing it up, though.

-Brandon Hall

This isn't actually that hard to do. Michigan had a 30-some year bowl streak starting with Bo and a 22-year tourney streak starting early in the Red era. Basketball made the tournament the last two years, so we start with 1974 and go back from there. So:

  • Hockey had a tourney drought from 1965 to 1976(!)
  • Basketball made it in '74, reaching the Elite Eight, but hadn't made the tourney since 1966 previously.
  • It was Rose or nothing for football back then, and nothing happened in 1974 and 1973

So, 1973. Meanwhile, the late sixties were not much fun to be a Michigan fan, with no postseason appearances from the big three from 66 to the 1970 Rose Bowl.

Hockey still has a shot to avoid the trifecta. Also HARBAUGH

AUTOBENCH

Why in the world does a coach as good as Beilein continually pull the autobench? Which is basically taking the penalty for a crime you haven't committed yet. Also, what's the team's +/- in the last 5 minutes of the first half this season? That seems like when the autobench would be hurting us. Thanks.

Eric

Funny you should ask that, I was just about to—

BAH GAWD THAT'S ZACH JONES'S MUSIC

Hello,

Given the discussion via both the website and Twitter today railing against the autobench, I put together the attached file to see what's actually going on. Thought you might be interested in the results. Dan Dakich said something interesting during the broadcast about people not talking enough about the importance of the time at the end of the first half on the outcome of a game. I've always thought this, as well, so I also put in a +/- on Michigan's performance from the final media timeout of the first half to halftime [in both autobench and non-autobench situations].

The document is here if you want to look at the details. The summary data follows.

The first column is Michigan's overall margin at the end of the game. The second is Michigan's performance in the last four minutes of the first half in all games; the third is Michigan's margin in autobench situations.

image

parens means negative numbers

The conclusion seems to be that John Beilein has not adapted his autobench policy to the injuries of Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton, and is still coaching like he has solid depth. This is emphatically not true, as the result of the autobench today put Andrew Dakich and Sean Lonergan on the floor for extended time. 

Anyway, like I said, I thought you might find this interesting.

Go Blue,

Zach Jones

This was pre-Northwestern but with the only autobench in NW coming from Kam Chatman it's still accurate. Most of Michigan's deficit in Big Ten play post-injuries has come in autobench situations.

Autobench was a reasonable strategy earlier in the year when the guy coming off the bench was usually Spike (or Spike was the autobench subject). Lately it has gone very un-well.

These are tiny sample sizes that you can't draw any statistically significant conclusions from, but they do confirm the eyeball test. Michigan scored once in ten possessions at the end of the first half when Irvin and MAAR were benched, and that was the difference. MAAR's absence in the MSU game corresponded with a huge MSU run that put that game out of reach.

It's one thing to bring Dawkins or MAAR or Spike into the game because one of your guys has a couple fouls. It's another to have a lineup with Lonergan and Dakich on the floor.

The other recent controversy.

Brian,

I watch the multiple M games with my Michigan grad neighbor and occasionally we get into battles about Michigan coaching strategy.  This came into fruition during the NW game in both the regular time and the OT.  I have always held the strategy:  if it is under the shot clock (35 seconds left ) with a lead of over 2 points you should foul with the ball under ½ court with the opposing player in no act of shooting.  This holds true especially in the 1-and-1 and with a timeout (to escape the trap by calling timeout).  My theory is that you give the opposing team no chance to tie the game on their possession.  Add to that if the ball is brought up court by a poor free throw shooter, to miss the 1-and-1 reduces dramatically to the 2 points awarded.  I also have a time out to call in the event of an inbounds trap.  The net is you give up 2 points max up by one with an out of bounds pass and a timeout.  You inbounds the pass up by one shooting a 1:1 probably immediately fouled.   

My neighbor argues that playing good defense is a valid strategy, citing the NW player stepping out of bounds giving Michigan the ball.

We would have won the game at Northwestern if we deployed this strategy in both the regular time and/or the overtime.  We let them win by two miracle Trey Burke shots to tie that never should have happened.  Please convince me by math that I am not insane that the “prevent” defense in college basketball is not better than in the NFL and insanely underutilized.      

Thanks,
Dave

I am #teamfoul all the way, but any discussion of this has to point out the most extensive study of this decision on the college level was done by Ken Pomeroy and it didn't show what you think it might:

         W    L   OT   Win%   Cases
Foul    122   5   11   92.0    138
Defend  598   2   76   93.5    676

(That post was spurred by Ben Brust's DEATH TO BACKBOARDS heave, because of course.)

Now: fouling does prevent OT. 13% of "defend" instances made it to an extra five minutes. 8% of "foul" instances did. The increased chance of an insta-loss offset that in a sample size that's suggestive but not definitive.

So. Despite being #teamfoul, this is the kind of game theory noodling that is way less significant than anything that gets you a single extra point over the course of 40 minutes. There are some game theory noodles that are worth exploring (fourth down decisions in football, calling your f-ing timeouts when the opponent has first and goal). This one appears to be marginal.

The more important thing is what the hell Bielfeldt was thinking when Olah set a screen for Demps in that situation. There is no way Demps should have been that open.

[After THE JUMP: Mary Sue Coleman's role in Brandongate, Mike McCray deployment, #harbaugheffect]

Unverified Voracity Balls Balls Balls

Unverified Voracity Balls Balls Balls

Submitted by Brian on January 23rd, 2015 at 12:30 PM

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MAYBE

The dumbest thing in the world. We are all very fortunate that we experienced the overblown seriousness of NFL reporters for a solid month before ballghazi hit. Otherwise the sheer concentrated stupidity of it would be killing us all right now. People who have tested these things tell you that it's extremely hard to distinguish between 10 PSI and 12, and yet:

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And that's from Peter King's site. King is the unofficial voice of the NFL, and even he's reduced to throwing a million different articles on his site about a nothing issue.

Elsewhere lunatic screechers have demanded the Pats' removal from the Super Bowl and the ejection of Bill Belichick from the Earth's gravity well. It's enough to turn yesterday's press conferences into bravura performance pieces by the Patriots even though they were the legal crap-speak version of "both teams played hard." I'm down with anyone expressing open contempt at the assembled NFL press corps.

When this happened in college football, the Pac-12 fined Lane Kiffin and we all rolled our eyes at him, then got on with our lives. The NFL has to be so damned serious about everything, though, so we get a solid week of questions like "what can you possibly say to the children about this travesty?"

And there but for the grace of Dave Brandon's uncontrollable urge to email go us.

Harbaugh in the Orange Bowl. I enjoy the bit where he tells Tyrod Taylor that he did indeed throw a spectacularly unlikely touchdown.

Interesting times in Knoxville. A day after Tennessee (and former Michigan DL coach Steve Stripling) cut loose defensive end Marques Ford for no reason whatsoever two weeks before signing day…

"It's an ugly business," LaRosa said. " … In the nasty business, they kept it sort of honest by at least saying that they had other commits and they were pulling his commitment."

…their offensive coordinator pulls up stakes and bolts for the NFL. Turnabout is fair play there. This would be going too far in penance, though:

Jones always has maintained a tight relationship with Mike DeBord, a longtime college and professional coaching veteran, whom NFL sources told VolQuest.com this week could depart an executive-level post in Michigan's athletics department for assistant coaching opportunities back in the NFL.

That would be bonkers. DeBord hasn't coached since 2012 and hasn't had a coordinator spot since 2007.

Ford immediately committed to Rutgers, FWIW.

Angelique on Drevno. Former players are fans:

"We were a team that was pretty beaten down," former Stanford offensive lineman Chris Marinelli said. "Their first order of business was getting us stronger and we pretty quickly became a pretty scary, forceful team. We mauled people. I think people (who follow Michigan) will see that pretty fast. He will get all those guys in tune very quickly. He's one of those people who gets people in line, especially the young guys in terms of breaking habits. It will be a pretty quick turnaround."

FO and SB Nation writer (and former All-Pac-12 OL) Ben Muth:

"Drevs is O-line through and through," Muth said. "He's going to impart toughness on that offensive line. Michigan's offensive line is going to be tough and play physical.

"The great thing about that staff -- they have an identity, and they're going to impart it on you. That's something we didn't have at Stanford, and when Harbaugh got there. He said, 'This is what we run, this is how run it, and other teams are going to have to adjust to us.'"

Having an identity is going to be a welcome change after years of turnover going back even to the Lloyd Carr days, when DeBord came in and went to an exclusively zone stretch system.

HAIR. Via Dr. Sap, here's Rick Leach and Kirk Gibson chatting with each other on a 1979 edition of Michigan Replay:

Another thing on Peppers to safety. Marcus Ray points out something I'd forgotten:

In fact, Ray got an early signal from Peppers in his true freshman season.
"During the season, he told me, 'Hey, I would have preferred to play safety, but I'm a team player,'" Ray recalled. "He said he made a lot of plays at safety in high school. He said he just feels more comfortable there. I think that's a great move.

He played the spot in high school. Ray also thinks he can be Michigan's best there since… 1997. But definitely no longer than that.

Etc.: Hockey scores a lot of goals. O'Bannon legal team now suing over UNC academic scandal. Dylan Larkin putting up a lot of points.

Unverified Voracity Is A Robot Programmed To Coach Football

Unverified Voracity Is A Robot Programmed To Coach Football

Submitted by Brian on January 14th, 2015 at 11:01 AM

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two point buckets are rare as unicorns these days [Bryan Fuller]

That was ugly. I don't have much to say about last night's demolition in Columbus. It's pretty much over as far as an NCAA bid is concerned—even 9-4 the rest of the way leaves Michigan with two horrendous, horrendous losses compared to the rest of the bubble and no real marquee wins.

I don't know what blew up. Obviously losing all three posts from last year is a big factor, as is the almost total lack of production from Kam Chatman (who is shooting an unbelievable 34%/25%). But there's something not right with the guys we thought were going to be the big guns. When your captains are saying you're in "coast mode" after a game that's nasty.

Walton's obvious: he's got turf toe. Irvin and LeVert are both doing okay; neither has become anything approximating a go-to guy. Both are shooting 44% from two with little in the way of free throws; Walton's even worse at 36%. With no one who can create two point shots consistently they've lost the crazy offensive efficiency of the last two years, and the defense hasn't improved nearly enough to keep their heads above water.

The only remaining hopes for the season is that they start getting better, make the NIT, and have a run in there that gives you some confidence.

Mattison back, officially. The latest in a long line of re-re-confirmations:

"Jack Harbaugh will always be one of the most influential coaches I've ever been with," he said. "I had the opportunity to coach with him for five years, just a tremendous football coach who taught me a lot about coaching.

"And I really respect (John Harbaugh), you always knew he'd be successful. ... And there's another Harbaugh (I'm close with), when we had our first child, Lisa, the only person she'd ever let babysit for her was Joanie (Jim's sister). That Harbaugh family, we've known for a long, long time."

Having Mattison around is going to be excellent for recruiting and continuity, and should allow Durkin to gradually adjust to being the man on that side of the ball after coaching under Will Muschamp at Florida.

Early signing may be happening. The Conference Commissioners Association was tasked with looking into an early signing date for football, and the proposal now has a shape:

On Tuesday at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Louisville, Susan Peal, NCAA associate director of operations who serves as a liaison between the collegiate governing body and the commissioners, revealed that the committee is leaning toward recommending a mid-December signing period. Peal said that window would likely coincide with the midyear junior college transfer signing date that occurs in the third week of December.

"Based on all of the feedback -- and there are all kinds of dates out there of what people want -- the most favorable option the committee has seen seems to be for an early signing day in December, something that's in line with the midyear junior college transfer signing date," Peal said.

I'm not a fan of early signing because it does nothing for the players, who get locked in earlier than they do now in exchange for bupkis. But at least that date is much better than the ridiculous August 1st date supported by the ACC, which the Big Ten somehow supported. Signing before official visits are even possible is some kind of dumb.

The darkest alternate timeline. Les Miles lost his excellent defensive coordinator to a conference rival and has now hired former Clemson DC Kevin Steele to replace him. The Kevin Steele whose last act as a DC was this, as Get The Picture points out:

image

Miles is also supposedly bringing in Ed Orgeron, a move that bodes well for local press conferences, Louisiana-set buddy cop movies, and recruiting but maybe not so much organization and the like. If Les farts around again next year I wouldn't be surprised to see him get the boot, because LSU fans have always been way more discontent than you'd think.

The competition to best describe Harbaugh is over. Former Stanford tackle Ben Muth:

"When I first met him, I honestly thought a lot of it was an act, it was like a robot who was programmed as a football coach," says Ben Muth, who played offensive tackle for Harbaugh at Stanford. "It's absurd stuff, but he believes it all. And after a while, so do you. Just the way he talks, his cadence and his deliverance. He talks like a normal football coach, but kicked up 50 percent and he's always on."

Also: hooray spring game fun? As part of Harbaugh's insane competitiveness, he turned Stanford's spring game into a full on draft-win-die thing:

At Stanford, his spring games featured full-scale drafts. The coaching staff was split down the middle into two groups, and inside the team meeting room, every player was drafted to a side for the game.

They weren't just glorified practices, they were full-scale competitions. Nothing was wasted or viewed as insignificant.

If that format's announced and Michigan pushes it back to best roll the dice on the weather that would be guaranteed to be Michigan's best-attended spring game ever.

Why do you hate turkey? I get most of what Oregon's trying to say here.

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I'm down with most of it, as well (though tradition generally wears two colors unless you want to count white). But what's with the shot at turkey on Thanksgiving? Surely you would prefer us to eat that instead of duck, right?

Whiskey the dog. In case you were like "WTF" when Brandon brought up Whiskey during his My Personality Is To The Best Of My Ability tour:

Sap and MVictors have more details over there.

Whatever this is. OSU and Michigan are listed 1-2 in "intrinsic value" thanks to improved cash flows:

image

Note that OSU is bringing in 20 million less than Michigan this year, and Michigan is above everyone except Alabama and Texas in revenue. Oregon's 18th. Brandon's relentless focus on dollars above everything else was unnecessary.

Etc.: Michigan is getting a visit from 2015 megaprospect Jaylen Brown.

Unverified Voracity Rides The Rails

Unverified Voracity Rides The Rails

Submitted by Brian on August 7th, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Old timey. Railroads were efficient back in the day.

That's less time than it takes by car, isn't it?

Don't hit ladies. But the shirt. Greg Oden was arrested for battery. The mugshot:

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JMFJ available for hockey type activties. If you're not doing anything tomorrow, Yost is hosting a charity event featuring Jack Johnson:

Come out and play with (or against!) NHL Star, Olympic Silver Medalist, and U of M alum Jack Johnson as he and Justin Spiro renew their on-ice rivalry in Johnson's collegiate barn, the world famous Yost Ice Arena!!!

The game formerly known as the "Spiro/Johnson Ice Bowl" has been renamed to honor the memory of Andrew Michael Singler. The two squads will compete for the inaugural and already very prestigious Singler Cup.

ALL ages and skill levels are welcome, as this "fierce" exhibition has seen men as old as 65 and boys as young as 10 scoring key goals. Spiro is commonly regarded as the worst skater on the planet, so don't be shy!

Cost is $20 per player, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Andrew Singler Stay Strong Foundation (http://singlerstaystrongfoundation.com/).

You should try to check him and then you'll have a story about how you broke your neck doing something stupid.

One good, one not so much. Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin participated in the Adidas Nations thing recently. Walton looks ready to step forward and become a primary option:

- Derrick Walton Jr. had a good day running the show for his team.

On Friday Walton was very good with regards to distributing the basketball, making sound decisions in the pick-and-roll game and getting his teammates the ball where they were best positioned to enjoy success. One of the beneficiaries was teammate Zak Irvin, who knocked down multiple jump shots on the tail end of those Walton passes. With an eye towards next season, this weekend will be good for the two Wolverines as they (along with Caris LeVert) are the ones best positioned for a breakout 2014-15.

But over the course of the camp, Irvin didn't show that his game had expanded much:

Zak Irvin (Michigan):  …didn’t appear to be much better than when I last saw him in Indianapolis during the Sweet 16/Elite Eight weekend. Irvin can still perform as a catch-and-shoot player, but after losing Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary, Irvin needs to step up this season and do more off-the-bounce. That didn’t happen at adidas Nations. Irvin struggled with two-dribble pull-ups and was stripped multiple times while trying to drive to the basket. Still plenty of time before November, but Irvin doesn’t look much better than last season. (SP)

He was not much of a slasher even in high school, preferring to take those midrange pull-ups when he wasn't taking threes. And as we've mentioned several times before, Irvin was far more in the Just A Shooter category than Stauskas was during their respective freshman years. He should diversify a bit; he is still going to be a guy who mostly has shots created for him. With Walton and LeVert around that shouldn't be a huge problem. I might even prefer it if Irvin focused more on his defense, which has the potential to be really good, than expanding his offensive game. Michigan could use a lockdown perimeter defender more than they need another guy to get to the basket.

This should be more fun. I forgot to put this in the last one:

"Acurate" is not a good word to misspell, but inserting an unnecessary and incorrect "whereas" is the hallmark of someone who learned to write by expanding a one page paper to five by inserting meaningless jibberish endlessly.

Yes, yes, MSU fans, scoreboard. Just don't say anything other than "oh no, not again" when Duncan Robinson signs on here rather soon. Then we are good.

All of the other ESPNs are full of Tebow. The lineup of basketball's nonconference tourney has been announced, and one thing in particular jumps off the page:

VCU vs. Villanova, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Michigan vs. Oregon, 9 p.m. (ESPN3)

ESPN3? You have an early-season matchup between an Elite 8 team and an outfit that got to the second round of last year's tourney and that doesn't even warrant placement on ESPNU? I'm not mad, I'm impressed, actually I'm a little mad.

Michigan's "opening round" opponents will be Bucknell and Detroit; both are middling mid-majors. Bucknell was 11-7 in the Patriot league last year, Detroit 6-10 in the Horizon. These are the kind of teams Michigan should be scheduling instead of New Jersey Tech or whatever: respectable, beatable.

As a bonus, Detroit has a couple of interesting names. Juwan Howard Jr is Yes That Juwan Howard's son; Carlton Brundidge spent a year at Michigan before looking for a place he was more likely to play. He got about 20 minutes a game last year for the Titans, shooting 67/44/28.

A couple of hockey departures. Defensemen Spencer Hyman and Mike Szuma are no longer with the team. Hyman will play at Toronto. Szuma is still enrolled. Both were walk-ons; Szuma got 30 games two years ago as Michigan tried to fill some big holes on their blue line but did not play last year.

With Werenski's early entry there are still ten(!) defensemen on the roster, so impact should be minimal. I mean, you can fill out a line chart like so:

  • Werenski-Downing
  • Lohan-De Jong
  • Sinelli-Serville

And you've still got Cutler Martin, Sam Piazza, Mike Chiasson, and Niko Porikos scratched. I don't think I've ever seen a hockey roster with this many dudes on it.

Yup. The current student government president on the athletic department's advisory council:

While this advisory council is a big step forward, it also takes a leap back. These twenty students are handpicked by the Athletic Department based off one's class standing, twitter handle (optional), and the answer to two questions. The questions are: "Why do you want to be a part of the Football Student Advisory Council" and "What is your favorite Michigan Athletics memory?". Oh, and you have to be a season ticket holder. This is problematic for two reasons. The first is that this puts a price on a students' ability to give feedback and make a change. The second is that while students are given more of a voice, it is the AD that is picking the students, not the students themselves. This means that the AD could very easily pick a group of "yes men", take a policy to this group and then say they consulted the students on a policy change.

That is almost certainly going to happen given the way the department has been run the last few years. CYA CYA CYA.

Is this a good thing for you? One of the more laughable quotes from Big Ten Media Days came from Pat Fitzgerald:

"You've got to go win," Fitzgerald said Tuesday. "Finally! You've got to go win. No longer can you have a traditional name behind you and four coaches with statues in front of the stadium and 90,000 people every week and you're automatically going to be ranked ... in the top 20.

"That football side now matters."

Even if the first bit was accurate, the Big Ten was and is the major beneficiary of that tendency. SEC teams win and the other conferences don't have the same lucrative fanbases. And then there's the fact that the first bit is not accurate. The football side "now matters." Okay. Alabama's just around because of statues.

If he's talking about Northwestern specifically, the only team even vaguely eligible for BCS consideration since the Wildcats went to the Rose Bowl was 2012, when Northwestern went 9-3 in the regular season without beating a ranked opponent or even playing one ranked higher than #24 by year's end. The system made the correct call to dump NW into the Gator Bowl.

Etc.: DJ Wilson will not play on Michigan's Italian trip after surgery on a finger, should be fine by the time the season rolls around. Matt Hinton lands at Grantland. I'm not even going to talk about Brandon's radio appearance today. Yeah!

Mike Hart, coach, profiled. NYT on autonomy. Why is Kansas State any good? Countess switches to #2, blogger grumbles uselessly about kids these days.

Unverified Voracity Is Coming To Your City

Unverified Voracity Is Coming To Your City

Submitted by Brian on July 24th, 2014 at 12:02 PM

RIP. Condolences to the friends and family of the deceased Jim Schneider. Madej has a great story:

"I remember (we had a student assistant) doing a press release one year on women’s gymnastics, and he knew nothing about women’s gymnastics, so (he asked) how (should he) write the release,” said former Michigan media relations director Bruce Madej on Tuesday. “And Schneids says to him, very nicely, ‘Don’t worry about it, the people reading it will know less than you do.’"

Words to live by.

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pretty sure the building is somewhere in this photo

Hey guys, I'm going to be in Chicago. If you're in town and like terrible terrible powerpoint slides, boy do I have an event for you.

2014 Michigan Football Season Preview with Brian Cook (MGoBlog) and Chris Balas (TheWolverine/Rivals.com)- NEW

When: Tuesday, July 29th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: McGuireWoods LLP, 77 West Wacker Dr, Suite 4100, (map)

Cost: $20 for Alumni Association members; $30 for non-members. Pay at the door for $30 with Cash or Credit Card

Details: Join fellow alumni and several special guest speakers as we preview the 2014 Michigan Football season. During the evening, alums will be joined by Chris Balas from TheWolverine/Rivals.com, Brian Cook from MGoBlog.com and others to be confirmed. You'll get insights on the upcoming season and an opportunity to ask your questions. There will be appetizers and complimentary beer & wine available for those in attendance.
Walk-ups will be available for cash or credit card of $30 day of the event.

Register/Contact: To buy a ticket, click here.  If you have any questions, email David Ingmire at [email protected]

I realize that terrible terrible powerpoint slides are not a great and superior attraction, but in my defense they are snappy and brief. Also, complimentary beer and wine. Last year they flagged down Gerry DiNardo and they may also get a BTN Personality again this year.

Pastujov[1]Michael_Pastujov_large[1]

Nick left, Mike right, please try not to think about how old you are vis a vis those guys, the answer is "old."

Hello, nurses. Hockey picked up a couple of massive commitments yesterday. As per hockey recruiting's wont, their commitment is the first time I'd ever heard of them. They're brothers separated by one year, both forwards. Nick Pastujov, the older, is (probably) class of 2016. He's committed to the NTDP program for next year after tearing it up with Belle Tire's U16 team, and was seriously high profile:

His younger brother Mike may be an even bigger prospect.

The usual OHL disclaimer applies. In this case, Nick's NTDP commitment and the obvious appeal of playing together will hopefully mean defection chances are low. Will be interesting to see if either tries to accelerate a la Werenski.

FWIW, Michigan's 2016 class is looking pretty badass right now with Pastujov, Luce, Sanchez, and a couple more potential NHL draft picks.

Meanwhile. Red on Werenski:

“The most difficult thing for younger players is the maturity level and social change going from high school to college, but Zach is mature beyond his years,” Berenson said. “He's like (former Michigan forward) Jason Botterill in that sense. I think he'll fit in really easily.”

I do not make fun of typos and errors, because we all make them. So I… I'm just going to… I'm just going to…

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Cumong man. I know I called Geoff Cameron "Jeff" and Axel Witsel "Alex" during World Cup preview bits but that's a whole additional level there. For one, there are approximately 12 words in this entire image. For two, CUMONG MAN.

(Via mgouser MiGit)

Big Ten media day, circa the paleolithic. Lee Corso was a game show host, Hayden Fry spontaneously impregnated your mom, Bo was just chillin', thinking about your mortgage, Denny Green wasn't angry yet, and everyone else was quickly and gratefully forgotten by history:

large[3]

Man that back row aside from Hayden is something.

Well, okay. Patrick Omameh is listed as a potential breakout player by ESPN. He's 25th on a list of 25, but that's not bad at all for a guy who went undrafted a year ago. Even if the article comes with one of those "are you sure you're talking about the right player" scouting reports:

Tampa Bay plucked him from there in mid-October, and while he never appeared in a game, the Bucs clearly had plans for him. He goes into training camp in the lead for the right guard position. The scouting reports on Omameh a year ago dinged him for sometimes being unable to finish blocks or move properly to the second level, but he's a consistent and powerful drive-blocker. His greatest attribute, however, is his intelligence. He was offered scholarships at MIT and Princeton before heading to Michigan, where he made academic All-Big Ten.

Um… what? Not to overrate one play or anything but the Te'obliteration is actually a pretty good representation of his career. Omameh was terrific when he was asked to move to the second level and not so good when a burly defensive tackle was put right over him:

Also I just like posting that.

If Patrick Omameh is a year two NFL starter that says something about something, there. Like maybe Michigan should have tried to keep doing the zone stuff they were good at.

NFL draft changes. The NFL is making an effort to tone down the number of underclassmen leaving college despite dubious prospects, at least according to one Nick Saban:

Now, teams can only submit five players for grades from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Last year, Saban said Alabama submitted 11 names.

Also, the NFL will give just three grades of feedback: first-round grade, second-round grade or a "stay-in-school grade." The NFL previously had five grades: first round, second round, third round, fourth through seventh and not draftable.

If the NFL approves extra draft grade requests you can get them, FWIW. John Infante keeps banging the MLS drum here and he's probably right: MLS hand-selects a number of players who sign "Generation Adidas" contracts and makes them available in the draft; anyone not explicitly approved has to go to college. Or overseas or whatever, but they're not available. If the NFL only wants underclassmen who will probably go in the first two rounds, just make that explicit. They'll have to negotiate that into a CBA but current players are always happy to negotiate away stuff from future ones.

Funchessssss.

Etc.: Tiny Basque club manages to raise enough money to play in La Liga. EA settlement wrangling. Say no to fall weddings. "Embracing debate" is tolerating all sorts of things you shouldn't. The NCAA is Marxist. Michigan participates in Make A Wish. Get The Picture demolishes things better than just about anybody.