Unverified Voracity Wears Fedora

Unverified Voracity Wears Fedora

Submitted by Brian on November 16th, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Men wearing hats. And bandanas.

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LS&A magazine collects Bentley photos of old-timey Michigan games to the present-day to examine what people wore to the things. This is from 1936; I think I recognize the guy in the glasses in the front row.

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Don't look at the Ark, dude.

Things didn't really fall off a cliff until the 80s.

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Probably DFW on the left there. Probably.

All the Kwiatkowski features. The AD must have offered people free nachos for articles about senior walk-on TE and MGoFave-Rave Mike Kwiatkowski, because you can't throw a rock this week without dinging one on the head. The Daily version:

It’s fine to recognize how unlikely it is that Kwiatkowski rose from regular student to scholarship starter in a matter of three years — but don’t call him a walk-on.

“I actually despise that label,” Kwiatkowski said. “Because like you said, there’s been a number of (walk-ons) who have played, and just because you weren’t given a scholarship doesn’t mean you aren’t as capable. Obviously there’s some exceptions to that, of people who walk on and don’t end up playing.

“I guess that’s the rule, if anything.”

Er. Senior Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science major Mike Kwiatkowski. MLive also features Kwiatkowski.

Denard QB controversy stuff. There's really no controversy, everyone strains to point out; unfortunately it seems like there's really no expectation it'll even be relevant. This is where we're at:

If Denard Robinson can't go, Hoke will consider single, symbolic play

That would be something I would think about, but to be honest with you," Hoke said. "The seniors and the guys and the people who are truly Michigan fans, I think they understand the significance he's had."

He was asked about using Robinson in another role Saturday. The injury has caused numbness in his right hand and made it difficult to grip the football.

"Oh, I don't know," Hoke said on 97.1. "The health of him and all those things are what we're concerned about."

At this point I'm not expecting him against Iowa, except in that ceremonial role. If it's two weeks on from the Nebraska game and he's still throwing ducks in warmups, as he was before the Northwestern game, it doesn't seem likely he'll get better before the bowl game, if then. John Niyo:

…chances are, we've seen the last of Robinson as Michigan's starting quarterback. The ulnar nerve injury that has sidelined him since the first half of an Oct. 27 loss at Nebraska takes weeks to heal, if not months, or surgery. And coach Brady Hoke's cat-and-mouse games with the media notwithstanding, that reality — along with Robinson's NFL prospects — figures to leave the senior stuck in this new dual-threat role: as an extra coach and cheerleader on the sideline while Devin Gardner succeeds him under center.

At least Gardner is doing well, the considerable silver lining in pretty much the worst way for Denard to go out.

Halfway to a final verdict thing. The MZone's Season Tickets vs Stubhub feature concludes with resounding victory for the scalper, especially for primo seats which could be had at a 40% markdown on the secondary market. This is the easy year, though: a home schedule featuring Nebraska/ND/Ohio State is not likely to end up with the scalper in the black. How close will a two-year total be? Tune in next year to find out.

I'm guessing it'll be pretty close to break-even overall, but once you take the ND game out of the equation… well, Arkansas probably isn't going to cut it.

Talking with Mo. MVictors sits down with Gary Moeller:

One of the greatest times I had after I came back was when we watched Michigan football together in the press box.  One day up there I found out how much he truly loved this university.  He said, “Hey Mo, come here. I wanna show you something.”  The band was already out on the field and the players were coming out of the tunnel, and they’re playing The Victors and all that stuff. Bo said, “Now there—isn’t that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life?  Look at the fans, look at band and look at this team coming out here. That’s what Michigan is all about.” It was as though he was just painting a portrait that was in his mind of something that he was so proud of.

"One of the greatest times I had after I came back was when we watched Michigan football together in the press box. He said, 'hey, come here' and told me to listen to this generic Nickelback ripoff cheese by a band named Porpville or something. Bo said 'Now there—isn't that the most beautiful thing you've ever seen in your life?' Then Zombie Nation came on, and we wept in each others' arms."

-conversation that did not happen

Iowa: not good. Win percentage chart from the Purdue game showing how Iowa stayed in the game:

It may not be much of a comfort to anyone, but Iowa was actually very fortunate to lose to Purdue on a last-second field goal. Or to put it another way, Iowa was lucky to be in the game at all. If Purdue could have just gotten out of its own way on a couple of occasions, they would have won by two touchdowns or more. Every time it looked like the Boilermakers were going to go ahead decisively, they managed to make an egregious blunder -- a fumble, a penalty, a missed field goal -- that kept Iowa inexplicably and unjustly still in the game. If we look at the win probability chart for the game, we can see exactly where these moments occurred (WP here refers to Iowa's chances of winning):

Purduewp_medium

That's how you lose by a field goal despite getting outgained almost 2 to 1.

Tie that running back to the train tracks. Northwestern defensive lineman Sean McEvilly: we need to have a talk.

Sir. You are named Sean McEvilly. You do not pronounce this like you are Scottish adverbial evil, nor do you have a luxuriously nefarious mustache. In fact you look about as evil as a schnauzer.

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I'm nice.

Also, what is the deal with this?

Good attitude on the practice field.

This should read "conspires to tie pretty debutantes to Venric Mark." At least you are majoring in economics.

I'm sure you feel, like I do, that this is a missed opportunity. Look at Jake Ryan: he grows his hair out and becomes Clay Mathews. To ensure a ticket to the NFL, you need one of these:

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Please acquire one posthaste and accept the internet glory that surely awaits.

This isn't Canisius anymore, Toto. Michigan can throw it up, and someone can catch it and rain thunder down. This is… intriguing for John Beilein:

The alley-oop: the most exciting play in basketball.

For the first time in his 35 years of coaching, Beilein now incorporates the alley-oops into his practices.

“I realize it’s a really good play,” he noted Monday, pausing before he finished, “if you have athletes.”

"…I have just discovered that men like Glenn Robinson III exist, and whoah."

Policework objection. BWS takes on the long Mark option discussed in the defensive UFR:

before the ball is even snapped, you can see a huge problem: Michigan is badly outnumbered to the boundary side of the field. From the offensive center toward the boundary, Michigan has only four defenders. Nebraska has four men on the line of scrimmage, Colter, and Mark. There's absolutely no way Michigan can defend this play toward the sideline.

It's tough, sure, but doable. I clipped this exact play a bit later and Michigan executed better. Beyer and Kovacs combined to impact Mark near the LOS; the pile fell forward for four.

Also note Ross's presence. The key is for that defensive end to stay on the LOS and widen out. Beyer at the pitch on the first one versus the second:

SpeedOption3[1]beyer-pitch-2

Beyer doesn't get as far upfield, is a step or two further outside, and is turned to chase on the pitch, which gets him to the back as Kovacs contains. Michigan's alignment there can get the job done, and if you don't slide to the field they'll have opportunities out there. That's what the spread does—requires you to make plays without the advantage of numbers. Michigan's trying to get that back by using the sideline as their 12th guy.

One of Michigan's main issues against the option in this one was the defensive ends giving themselves up one for one quickly. We saw them get a little better at that as the day went on; they'll have to rep it a lot next week in preparation for Ohio State.

Etc.: Northwestern analyzes its doom, needs bigger screenshots. Classic Ufer nicknames.  Super Toe! The only Iranian I know who wears cowboy boots! For best results, play Indiana. Rich Rodriguez on Denard. Orange Bowl contract finalized, ND gets significantly less than everyone else if they participate. Senior salute from M&GB. Holdin' The Rope on Denard.

Unverified Voracity Is Red And Boring

Unverified Voracity Is Red And Boring

Submitted by Brian on October 30th, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Yeah! Awwww. Kenpom's formula thing predicts Michigan will be 12th nationally! Sweet! They'll have the seventh-best offense and 25th-best defense!

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They'll be undefeated in the nonconference pending matchups against two of Virginia, K-State, and Pitt!

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They'll… go 10-8 in the Big Ten?

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Whoah. Ah so:

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Gonna be a year this year, man. Some other guy's formula has Michigan 44th but he acknowledges that's probably pessimistic. He explains on the new UMHoops podcast.

Yes, Michigan is overrated. Pretty much anyone who's ventured an opinion about the mainstream basketball polls has done so to note that Michigan is overrated at #5, a faction that includes John Gasaway($), Eamonn Brennan, Kenpom above, and myself. As related by Brennan, this is the main reason why I'm with the skeptics:

The first is that, on Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted per-possesion basis, Michigan finished last season ranked No. 29 overall. Their offense ranked No. 22 in the country; their defense No. 60. No other current top-five team ranked outside the top 15. (Louisville, that 15th-ranked team, rode the No. 1 defense in the country to the Final Four. No. 11 Indiana had the nation’s fourth-best offense.)

They were never as good as the teams they split the Big Ten title with and were probably overseeded—if I wasn't a Michigan fan that game against OHIO would have been an easy upset pick in NCAA pools.

Brennan also tacks this on:

The counterpoint to such a crude year-over-year comparison is obvious: Michigan is hardly the same team as last season. Very true. The next question is whether that’s a good thing.

In the offseason, Michigan lost Zack Novak (graduation), Stu Douglass (graduation), and Evan Smotrycz (transfer to Maryland). All three were outside shooting specialists, and a big reason why the Wolverines ranked No. 8 in the country in their rate of 3-pointers to overall field goal attempts. They were also three most efficient offensive players on the team.

I'm not too concerned about that. While we love Zack Novak and have shirts and everything, he was a 6'4" power forward. Smotrycz was only getting about half of available minutes and seemed to have a chemistry issue with the rest of the team; Douglass was a quality on-ball defender and good shooter, but a low-usage guy. Novak and Douglass both find themselves in the "limited roles" section of Kenpom, and while Novak was unbelievably efficient it's not that hard to replace an efficient low-usage player. Between Stauskas, GRIII, McGary, and the return of Horford Michigan should get some combination of rebounding, defense, and shooting to replace Novak.

While Michigan will have to adapt to an offense that isn't spacing you out with four shooters, they've been pick-and-roll heavy the last two years. It won't be a huge leap. They'll improve… but I'm not expecting them to being the thick of a fight for a one seed at the end of the year.

Unless TREY BURKE

The good news. The AP top 25 is pretty good at IDing the right teams.

Yes please. Glenn Robinson's defense is getting talked up, which would be very nice:

"Glenn Robinson has shown some ability several times to really guard people," Michigan coach John Beilein said last week. "He's got instincts and he's really worked hard through the years to be a defender.

"That would be an easy way for him right now (to add to this team)." …

"We've been thinking about that," Beilein said. "You could switch on a ball screen (with the point guard) if his man is a bigger guy.

"I think he could do that."

Neither Burke or Hardaway has been a lockdown defender to this point and Michigan does need someone to go up against opponent's big time perimeter threats. Also you know how I feel about guys who contribute to teams without absorbing possessions. I like them—lots. If GRIII can be a plus player on defense and rebounding at both ends of the floor, he'll improve Michigan more than if he's doing equivalent stuff with the ball in his hands, because Michigan already has a lead ballhandler.

Sometimes uniforms are not crazy enough. 30 years ago, yeah, but whoah:

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At least  that one guy has a belt. Also, hey, Art Schlichter!

Oh good. Denard is not aging backwards.

"He should be fine," Hoke reiterated Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches' teleconference. "It's just one of those things that flares up now and then depending on how he gets hit. He's better every day.

"We think he'll be fine."

Good.

It's official. The NCAA's long-awaited penalty system revamp is officially official. There are now four levels of infraction. Level four is "incidental" and roughly equivalent to old secondary violations. What used to be major violations are now binned into three different groups:

  • LEVEL 1: Big, big stuff. Violations that "seriously undermine" the NCAA model. Penn State, obviously. Maybe USC's agent stuff. Hopefully UNC's you never go to class thing.
  • LEVEL 2: Serious stuff, violations that "provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage." OSU's tatgate. South Carolina's hotel stuff.
  • LEVEL 3: "isolated or limited in nature; provide no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and do not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit." Michigan's practice stuff.

Coaches now can't play see-no-evil and punishments are hypothetically ramped up, but we won't know for a while: anything that's happened before today will get the more lenient, older penalty structure.

Nope not happening. The CHLPA wants CHL players to be NCAA-eligible. This is not happening without significant concessions from the CHL. When the NCAA relaxed its standards for foreign player eligibility, hockey got together and had this inserted into the bylaws:

12.2.3.2.4 Major Junior Ice Hockey. Ice hockey teams in the United States and Canada, classified by the Canadian Hockey Association as major junior teams, are considered professional teams under NCAA legislation.

That was inserted specifically to prevent CHL teams from getting their claws into players who would otherwise be ticketed to junior leagues that position themselves as college feeders. The USHL is now a fine feeder league for the NCAA and there's no reason to give CHL teams a marketing point that won't have any bearing in reality and will in fact encourage CHL teams to make sure their players are not eligible, whether it's for academic or amateurism reasons.

The CHLPA is trying, though, and an extremely long post by Guy Flaming indicates there has been some movement on the whole amateurism front—the CHL has gone from specifically defining itself as professional to specifically defining itself as amateur. The fact that signed NHL players can still participate is an issue that has not been resolved—and it's hard to see it getting resolved. A large part of the CHL's appeal is having a bunch of first round picks around. They've built that into the NHL CBA by prohibiting junior kids from playing in the AHL until they're 20.

Meanwhile, the CHL can call itself whatever it wants and the NCAA can still reject players from that league. Unless the NCAA sees a benefit, they will not change their stance. The only way I could see something happening is if the CHL gives significantly and agrees to not poach players signed to LOIs, or poach guys mid-year, etc.

The only reason they'd do that is to stop this ramshackle insurrection they have on their hands. Right now it's just bad PR and erratic Georges Laraque appearances. We're a long way from what would be a seismic shift in college hockey.

Etc.: Oregon's using double stacks, too. More Michael Ferns tribute. Bring kleenex. Why does the NCAA want basketball coaches to explode? Hockey series against Miami recap. Don't be mean to Russell Bellomy or Lewan will eat you. Wolverine Historian puts up 2007 Minnesota.

Unverified Voracity Brings Back Dumb Punts

Unverified Voracity Brings Back Dumb Punts

Submitted by Brian on October 16th, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Sponsor note. I get a lot of emails from lawyers and guys with three letter acronym jobs, because it's the internet, where lawyers and blankEOs are everywhere. I assume some of you are big ballers. This Is Michigan, after all, the kind of school that spits out big ballers left and right, often from Ross. If you're one of those people who instantly zips to the end of any paragraph about ticket prices because it's just not relevant, I may have a watch for you.

MGOBLOG_UV_WOLVERINESCOLLECTION

I got lunch with Shashi Mara to talk about an advertising relationship and was impressed with the risk he was taking. He dumped a nice job for a pair of crampons he wandered around Switzerland in, finding wizened old men with amazing dexterity and inch-thick glasses to create an exclusive line of officially-licensed watches. He did this with absolutely no idea how it would work out, and still doesn't, but he was clearly thrilled just to have the things he'd set out to make. His attention to detail resonated with me, as did his desire to create something of his own.

If you're a big baller who has gravitated here, you may appreciate the similarities between what this place offers and the ethos behind MaraWatch. If you're at the point where you've rarely got opportunities to turn a number in a bank account into something you love, something you might get excited about handing down to the next generation in your family, a mutual accord to transfer numbers and goods awaits you at MaraWatch. Visit the site, email, or call (617-833-3819) to lock down one of just 50 pieces in this year's collection. You'll have to beat everyone to #16.

Bring it back man. MVictors scored some pictures from the old locker rooms painted by local artist Jil Gordon:

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You can feel the Bo emanating from the walls.This one is from the hockey locker room:

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Also, hello, I am six years old in a library.

Patrick Omameh a nice guy. He was one of 11 players on this year's Good Works team:

"I was in the room, and it was my first time meeting the kid," Kovacs said. "And then Patrick walks in. It's this kid's 13th birthday. And as soon as Pat walks in, this kid's face just lights up.

"It's just unreal, the spark in the room. It was a special moment."

Click through for awwww picture.

MSU injury checkup. Dion Sims is still not on the MSU depth chart, which generally means he won't play. I don't think we'll know until MSU's first offensive snap what his real status is; it seems doubtful he can return from what seems like a high ankle sprain in two weeks. In lieu of Sims MSU went with a lot of three-wide I-form against Iowa, FWIW.

Also, MSU starting safety Jarius Jones didn't dress against the Hawkeyes; guard Blake Treadwell only saw a snap when Chris McDonald's helmet popped off. Either could be available this week.  Jones is listed as Lewis's backup; Treadwell is behind Jack Allen at LG.

Michigan is fully healthy save Countess and a couple backup DL, knock on wood.

Nebraskethockey. Corn Nation discusses the possibility of a Cornpack hockey team after an AP writer suggested it was going to happen:

After hearing Eichorst give nod to Mark Johnson, I predict#Huskers will play B1G hockey within next 6-8 years

Opinions are split down the middle. The situation at Nebraska is fairly attractive, though.  Lincoln already has the USHL's Stars, who lead that league in attendance with a respectable 3,900 fans a game. They'd have a natural in-state rival in UNO, would get to join the Big Ten, are in the heart of USHL country, and could use the Stars' rink. A major gift has already been made for a couple of rinks near campus, and while those are not D-I ready a push from the athletic department could alter the course of that development. A new downtown arena has put in piping for ice facilities, as well.

If the Huskers became competitive—and if UNO can do it there's no reason UNL can't—they'd be an attendance success, I'm betting. We'll see what Eichorst wants to do—if he can find the money (and everyone has ALL THE MONEY these days) I bet he goes for it.

Lewan rising. Plz no leave think of the Jake Long?

Taylor Lewan*/T/Michigan: Lewan is the first of three offensive linemen rising up draft boards and an underclassman who continues to impress scouts. He looked outstanding in all areas against the athletic Illinois defense. His skills in pass protection were outstanding as Lewan had no problem controlling defensive ends or oncoming blitzers. Watching the big left tackle easily move down the field blocking in motion was especially impressive. There's a very good chance Lewan will be the first offensive tackle selected if he enters the 2013 NFL Draft.

Ah yup.

Levert right now? Rothstein on Caris Levert:

4. Expect at least one surprise

With this much talent on the roster, there is bound to be a surprise one way or another. So in that vein, pay attention in exhibition games to freshman Caris LeVert. His teammates raved about him during media day, and it did not sound like empty hype. Instead, it has been a consistent theme throughout the summer -- Michigan's final piece to its five-man recruiting class has a chance to be really, really good. He has already put weight on his thin frame since arriving at Michigan and while he might not make an immediate impact, he could be a surprise for the Wolverines sooner than later.

Zack Novak followed that up with a tweet: "I'll go ahead and ruin the surprise on 4. The kid can play." Michigan did essentially dump a ready-to-commit Amadeo Della Valle for Levert, and ADV ended up at OSU so they weren't tossing a scrub aside. Levert also won an Ohio player of the year award with a pretty nice track record:

JJHuddle Players of the Year
2012: Caris Levert, Pickerington Central (Ohio)
2011: Trey Burke, Northland (Michigan)
2010: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2009: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2008: William Buford, Toledo Libbey (Ohio State) & B.J. Mullens, Canal Winchester (Ohio State/Charlotte Bobcats)
2007: Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky (Ohio State)

I'll take two, thanks.

Dumb punt of the week. BONUS: I reminded the Mathlete of the Dumb Punt of the Week, which I missed dearly, and he promised to revive it. Last week's—as in games on the sixth:

Midway through the first quarter Akron faced a daunting 4th and 3 from the Bowling Green 32 and elected to punt the ball away.

Special note goes to Randy Edsall who punted from the 48 on 4th and 2 trailing by 1 in the 4th quarter. They later went on to score and go up 5 with about 5 minutes left and then kicked the extra point, to protect against two Wake Forest field goals in the final 5 minutes. Of course Maryland missed the PAT.

These make me feel wonderful about Brady Hoke.

inigomontoya.jpg. Fuggin' Walverines:

In Ann Arbor now, f'ing hate these &$¥+&&. Such arrogant snobs

A-maize-ing. Every idiot is wearing their colors today and the nurses and docs that know I'm a huge MSU alum/fan are all consoling me over the weekends games.... They're all like. ... Well this weeks game will be close.... Blah blah blah... We're not that good.... Maxwell is the next Cousins...... Illinois is horrible.... Blah blah blah

The nerve.

[After the JUMP: Josh Furman's gonna kill that poor woman, Walter.]

Unverified Voracity Found This Watch At A Vintage Store

Unverified Voracity Found This Watch At A Vintage Store

Submitted by Brian on July 19th, 2012 at 2:10 PM

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Remember the plan. Orson is at SEC media days talking about Gene Chizik's enormous head and how John L Smith should always be employed at a BCS ("contract conference" now, I guess) school, because he absolutely should:

John L. Smith is …  an animated scarecrow loaded with bootleg fireworks tossed into a shed full of flammable talent, even more volatile politics, and, like, a shitload of M-80s and old, sweaty sticks of poorly packaged Chinese dynamite. The glow will be seen for miles when it all goes up, and when we all run to the site we might find the limp figures of decimated opponents, or the scorched foundations of Arkansas football itself. Either way no one in this room wants John L. Smith to go anywhere, ever, especially as long as he's barreling into press conferences like so many bulls through the streets of Pamplona. (He gored Joe Schad on the way out! It was awesome! They're totally bros now!)

The plan: every year one BCS-or-contract-conference school selected at random that has fired its coach will be required to hire JLS on a one-year interim basis. This was a good idea before Orson implicitly promised to follow him around to whatever media day he ends up at, drawing pictures of him as a duck with his hair on fire screaming inanities he actually tells his players.

Goodbye, Braylonfest. User Drill points out another rule change that I'd missed. Along with nerfing most kickoff returns, the safety-conscious/paranoid rules committee may have all but eliminated onside kicks:

After a kickoff hits the ground — specifically on a one-hop onside kick — the receiving team gets an opportunity to fair catch that ball. "A lot of our coaches," Shaw said, "have said that will almost take that one-hop (onside) kick out of the game."

That is insane. Dealing with kickoffs is marginally acceptable as an ineffective fig-leaf designed to show people you are Thinking About The Children, but eliminating onside kicks, which happen maybe once a game, is sacrificing that small element of what if that goes through your head and sometimes comes to spectacular fruition so that a maximum of twelve plays a year are marginally less dangerous.

This is another negative side effect of not paying the players anything: constant rule adjustments for safety in excess of reason to reduce the ammo of dissidents.

Tom Luginbill was into Shane Morris before he got popular. Ace will tackle the recruiting content contained in this tomorrow (probably, anyway), but this space is for ridiculous things and Tom Luginbill's best Hipster Runoff impression counts:

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"Tyrone Swoopes's hot streak was fueled by self-loathing and self-aggrandizement, the equal and opposite manifestations of a whopping ego."

"Amongst the towering riffs that comprise the heart of JT Barrett is a lurking discontent with the state of modern society."

"Shane Morris's lefthandedness is a breath of fresh air at an event dominated by a hegemony of right-handed conformists. Take that, late capitalism!"

BONUS: guess which one of these was lifted directly from the front page of Pitchfork for a prize.

ANSWER: the first, which was teaser text on a review of the Smashing Pumpkins' Pisces Iscariot reissue.

PRIZE: Hey, that's Ian Cohen of Sexy Results!

Do you have weird stuff? Weird old stuff? Inspired by this War Eagle Reader post featuring old media games and other Auburn miscellanea old enough to be cool and a touch insane…

1971-Media-Guide[1]

…instead of deeply embarrassing, I am considering a new sort of mailbag post in which you send me images of stuff you've collected, which I then post on the internet. I should kick things off by finally scanning in the relevant portions of the very old Michigan yearbook I acquired a couple years back.

So, like, if you've got some weird old stuff scan it and send it in. Especially if it's the Ann Arbor version of the 1973 Delta Chi Miss Hot Pants Pageant. Strictly for its historic interest, of course.

Great success. The Classical stops in at Detroit City FC and finds a ludicrous amount of success for a first-year minor league soccer outfit that plays at Cass Tech. Former Wolverine Knox Cameron is a prominent starter and credits the club with reviving his interest in the beautiful game:

Knox Cameron, a former youth national team player and University of Michigan star, described himself as “pretty much over soccer” by the time his MLS career ended in 2006. But his experience with Detroit City FC has rekindled his old feelings for the game. The “big thing,” he said, “is it’s really united the residents. To know that the sport that you love is making an impact…that is really, really gratifying.”

He said that his experience playing with Detroit City FC has been one of the greatest of his career. “This would be right there, just below playing in an Under-20 World Cup or a Major League Soccer game. Just because of what the ownership is trying to accomplish. To be able to bring this level of joy and camaraderie to the citizens of Detroit, that ranks up there.”

Their inaugural season just came to a close at .500 overall.

Whoah. I've been getting questions about the Big Ten's reaction to this whole Paterno thing, questions I have no ability to answer since I'm not privy to the discussions going on and it's not like there's any precedent for this sort of thing. But people are at least talking about the nuclear option:

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting Big Ten leaders are weighing a series of proposals in an 18-page plan prompted by the current situation at Penn State. Among the ideas being thrown around include removing the university from the conference($).

The Big Ten handbook requires at least a 60 percent vote from the league's Council of Presidents and Chancellors to expel a member, although a Big Ten spokesperson told the Chronicle that number will rise to 70 percent for 2012-13.

The league is also talking about empowering the commissioner to fire coaches and administrators, which seems beside the point since anything that would trigger this sort of penalty would be a firing offense. On the other hand, as long as anyone who gets fired under this statute has to be replaced by John L Smith I'm on board.

This time, with taste. I hope, then check. The last time we tried this it didn't go so well:

One of the interesting touches to the new concourse will be the lyrics to the fight song "The Victors" etched into the floor and wrapping throughout the concourse. A new brick exterior also blends Crisler with Michigan Stadium, which also had a recent facelift.

"Crisler is probably an 80-percent finished product right now. There's a completely new facade and the outside is all brick and it's beautiful," Beilein said Wednesday in an interview on WDFN. "There's a new entryway to Crisler that's going to knock you out. There's a big block 'M' and the escalators and big glass entry. All of the concourses are wide open with food courts, lighting and windows. It is going to be something really special."

Survey says

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We're good. There are a bunch more exiting pictures of construction at that link.

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CONCREEEEEETE

A loss on youtube. A rarity, but here's the narrow 1988 loss to Miami narrated by Keith Jackson. Like… all of it. No idea why; the other things this guy has thrown up include a 1991 edition of the Ryder Cup and a Borg vs McEnroe match.

Mikulak profile. Sam Mikulak hits AA.com:

"There have been many times in the past where I'd have had my parents make that call for me," Mikulak said. "When I was a kid in California, I'd want to go on a snowboarding trip or something with friends and they'd tell me 'no,' tell me I can't go because the season's coming up and I can't get hurt.

"But now, I kind of tend to make those decisions on my own. I guess I'm kind of maturing."

Correct. Red on Carrick's disappearance:

“I think he talked to Coach Wiseman. I never got a call from him. I just think it’s a huge mistake. The sad thing is, we make a commitment to a kid two years ago and we sit on that scholarship and we honor that commitment and right up until the draft, and then he takes the draft and decides now he’s going to go in a different direction? What kind of integrity is that? That’s just terrible. That’s one of the things that bothers me about college coaching. Some of these families and kids don’t keep their word. I hate to put integrity on the line, but let’s face it. This is a commitment you make and this is your word and what are you doing?”

You can use the excuse that Carrick is 17 or whatever, but his parents aren't. Here's to not improving your 10% shot at the league by playing against younger, poorer competition.

Etc.: Nick Saban says Michigan is terrible and Alabama will beat them by 20 points. Long fluffy hype on Beilein from the News. Indianapolis won't bid on the first round of NCAA title games.

Unverified Voracity Grumble Rumbles

Unverified Voracity Grumble Rumbles

Submitted by Brian on June 11th, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Laser third downs and such. Wolverine Historian pays tribute to John Navarre, and even manages to get a still of the Buffalo Stampede selected as the introductory picture:

That's some youtube wizardry there.

Congrats on Olympic trials… and not dying. Michigan men's gymnast Sam Mikulak finished third in the men's gymnastics senior nationals and will appear at the Olympic trials as a result. He escaped a scary situation to do so:

Determined to make a good impression this weekend in St. Louis after missing last year's U.S. gymnastics championships with two broken ankles, Mikulak didn't flinch when he realized the parallel bars were loose.

After he had already started his routine.

"I thought the bar was going to fall and I was going to die," Mikulak conceded.

This comes a year after Mikulak managed to break those ankles on the floor exercise. Mikulak taped his ankles up and finished the meet because he only thought he'd badly bruised himself. The Olympic trials are in three weeks. USA Today has more on Mikulak's story.

Camp, basketball version. Michigan's Elite Camp was over the weekend, and while the effects were significantly less dramatic than last year's when the entire 2013 recruiting class was gathered, one Keita Bates-Diop was in attendance. Joe Stapleton on his appearance:

Keita Bates-Diop (2014, Wing, Illinois Wolves)

Keita was probably the only player in attendance who is a “lock” for a Michigan offer on June 15th. He didn’t appear to be in his element during the 5-on-5 scrimmages but his skillset was more than evident in the drill portion of camp. Everything he was asked to do he did easily. His concentration and coordination was on display and it separated him from his peers. During the 5-on-5 scrimmages Keita didn’t exactly stand out but did what his team needed from him in this guard-filled camp: he rebounded the ball well, finished in the post, and played smart defense. Bates-Diop’s performance jives with what we’ve seen this spring: he has all of the tools but needs to become one or two notches more aggressive within a game setting. Still, he was solid and definitely the best player in attendance.

As the blockquote says, Beilein only offers after that's officially allowed in four days. At that point you'll see Bates-Diop and a few others like Devin Booker get them. It doesn't seem like anyone will drop right away, but I don't think anyone other than maybe the coaches was expecting to get four commitments last June.

There was one surprise 2013 name to watch, a kid named Vitto Brown out of Bowling Green, Ohio who you may remember being the one tall guy in that video where Mark Donnal goes bonkers. He was impressive but remains a 6'7" post player. I'd guess Michigan keeps him on the radar in case they get more attrition than they expect. Right now they're full.

There's also a bunch of stuff on 2015 recruits at UMHoops if you're interested.

Camp, fantasy version. Both the Women's Football Academy and the Men's Football Experience also happened recently. Fluff video ho:

Also there is one for the men. The big news resulting is Devin Gardner switching to #12 and Drew Dileo possibly switching to #9. Angelique Chengelis participated. Money was raised. I have no comment about this.

Brady Hoke is irascibly old-fashioned about something. He's like that about everything, yes. Here's a specific instance:

"You can take all these stars and the way all these guys are rated and all that, and that's great for the fan base and the public," Hoke told reporters last week. "But we've had some pretty good players here that probably would have been two-star guys.

"Tom Brady probably would have been a two-star guy. He turned out OK, I think."

Other recent Hoke rumble grumbles concern the playoff format—concerned about too many games and too much travel for parents—and year two with the same team.

Could have gone better. Michigan lost to Army 27-6 in 1954. Newsreel footage of that:

That bomb is totally offensive pass interference.

This game would be Michgian's last loss against Army. Michigan won the next two years and then a couple times in the sixties; the two teams haven't played since 1962.

Lines. Some real actual lines from Vegas:

  • +12 vs Alabama
  • +1 at Notre Dame
  • -6 vs Michigan State
  • -2 at Nebraska
  • -2 at Oho State

That Alabama line has gotten a little less depressing after periods where it was supposedly +14.5, though I'm not sure you could have gotten a bet on that in an actual casino at any point.

Most of these lines are in the "I don't have any idea" range. When team X is favored by less than a field goal that's basically a coinflip. Could be a nervous fall.

Old school UFR. MVictors enjoys old-timey diagrammed wire photos of the Mad Magicians, and I'm with him:

mad_magicians[1]

What's wrong with Fielding? Peregrine falcons have been named inconsistently:

After receiving hundreds of submissions through the university's Facebook page, four peregrine falcon chicks that recently hatched in a nesting box atop University Hospital have been named Bo, Fritz, Lloyd and Yost.

The university selected the winning names after inviting the community to participate an online naming contest. The names reference former head football coaches Bo Schembechler, Herbert (Fritz) Crisler, Lloyd Carr and Fielding Yost.

This drives me crazy.

Etc.: Caris LeVert signs a thing, is now official. Hockey will play Cornell at MSG on November 24th, the day of the OSU game. Glenn Robinson continues to throw down dunks. 2011 four-star C Brian Bobek leaves the OSU team after plunging down the depth chart. Red Hot Chili Peppers troll Columbus.

Unverified Voracity Crams It In

Unverified Voracity Crams It In

Submitted by Brian on May 11th, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Staying for a while. Helmet numbers are around until someone gets tired of them again if correspondence sent to Shane Morris is any indication:

AsjxGPQCIAUhNAp[1]

I like them so much better when they're the same color as the rest of the helmet. Let's work on that, kids. Also someone send one of these to Treadwell with a #1 on it.

Michigan Replay, 1999. Intro not present, unfortunately. Post PSU win. This was smack in the middle of the We Own Penn State period.

Old, old school. Great article by John Kryk as he catches up with 91-year-old Al Wistert to talk about how his brain's doing and various other things. Wistert is hale and hearty, full of stories:

Wistert said he often did take a pounding; speed can help an undersized tackle avoid only so much contact.

"It was always a problem," he said of his size. "Each guy that I played against outweighed me by 40 or 50 pounds, and that was never easy.

"Playing nine years in the NFL would be a long time in any era. I didn't have a lot of injuries, though. I usually played 60 minutes and didn't come out of the game. But I managed to survive it. I guess I was pretty tough."

Wistert said he doesn't recall there being any protocols, or even concerns, back in the '40s about the effects of hits to the head. He doesn't recall having suffered a concussion, and said he doesn't know of any teammates who were ever kept out of a game for having had, in the parlance of the day, his "bell rung."

"No, I don't remember any serious precautions that they would make about that. So I guess there wasn't any concern about it."

Wistert played both ways for nine years in the NFL at 214 pounds. Different era then. Obviously.

NEVER TALK JIM DELANY. Unless you're telling that story about how you fingerbanged Mark Shapiro. All responses to all questions should be colorful anecdotes about turning his outrage into yearning. That's quality stuff.

It's just the everything else that's an issue:

"I don't have a lot of regard for that team," Delany said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

Who is that team?

"I don't have a lot of regard for that team," he said. "I certainly wouldn't have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents. If a poll doesn't honor those teams and they're conference champions, I do.

He didn't say Alabama. Did he have to? Anyone ever heard of a team not winning its division or its conference but going on to win the national championship?

GODDAMMIT JIM DELANY NOW ALABAMA IS GOING TO SHOW UP IN DALLAS AND TRY TO WIN. OUR WHOLE PLAN WAS THIS: DO NOT MAKE ALABAMA FEEL LIKE THEY SHOULD WIN THIS FOOTBALL GAME. OUR WHOLE PLAN IS NOW: AAAAAAAAIIIIEEEEEE. I SHOULD SHAKE YOU, SCREAMING "GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF" AND YES I KNOW THAT'S IRONIC.

Or maybe this doesn't matter and Alabama was already thinking they should win the game. But probably not.

Potentially useful walk-on? Michigan's acquired a preferred walk-on named Chris Maye from Union City, Michigan. He's a defensive back and he seems pretty fast:

Maye had several opportunities; officially visiting U-M and Michigan State for track, as well as making official visits to U-M, MSU and Army for football. He was the No. 1 track recruit at U-M, but Maye set his sights on playing football, actually turning down track scholarships.

With Brink poised to contribute and Kovacs entering his fourth year as a starter, guys like these are worth keeping an eye on in case they turn out a lot better than expected. Or Dantonio offers them. Whichever comes first.

Slash. Slash is old now, and I wonder if he just has a wig with the hat attached that he puts on when he wants to be Slash and takes off when he just wants to be an old guy in leather pants. Maybe he has to take the leather pants off too.

Anyway: Jay Bilas is sick of watching basketball teams beat up on weak sauce that probably shouldn't even be in D-I and has a radical solution($):

The bottom half of Division I is simply not competitive enough on a consistent basis to justify the bloated size of Division I. If Division I is reduced to a more reasonable size, there would be better games, a better distribution of talent across a smaller pool, and a better and more marketable product.

If Division I shrinks to 120 or 150 teams, the cry that Butler and VCU would be left out is the first one hears. Slow down. Look at the 120 FBS teams on the football side, and then look at the top 150 in the BPI. Teams like Butler (which just bolted the Horizon League for the Atlantic 10) and VCU would be among the 120 to 150 teams that are qualified and committed to a better Division I. It would include plenty of committed and competitive teams, and nobody would miss the early-season games against sacrificial lambs.

Most of the competitive programs would make it above that bar, and Bilas further suggests that top D-II teams—where the bottom 200 teams would end up—could get bids to the NCAA tournament to keep the Cinderella factor high. End result would be much better nonconference scheduling. It's a win for fans.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where John Calipari cancels the IU-Kentucky series because he can't get Tom Crean to move it off of home courts. Fans are about #10,000 on the list of stakeholders. As long as the NCAA is a loose confederation people are going to make eyes at status they can't achieve. There's nothing to be done except make sure you avoid the real dregs so your RPI doesn't suffer.

Answering rhetorical questions. It's my hobby. Here are three masquerading as one:

Zack Novak: The world's smallest, toughest and most self-deprecating power forward?

Smallest: at a major college level, yes. Not for all of D-I thanks to the problem above. Toughest: um… probably not. Most self-deprecating: hell yes. Should have asked "most likely to have a rage fit" as well:

“A great all-around athlete,” Beilein later added, gesturing along the table of 10 honorees at Barton Hills Country Club. “If he had chose wrestling, he’d be sitting next to (wrestling assistant) Sean (Bormet). If he had chosen hockey, a great defenseman, he would have been. (Hockey coach) Red (Berenson), don’t you think so? Knock some people around. (Football coach) Brady (Hoke), a cornerback? One of those other things -- a safety?

“(Golf coach) Chris (Whitten), that’s the one thing I know, he would not be sitting next to you -- unless Happy Gilmore can make a comeback, because every club would be broken by the end of the first round.”

I find it odd that Beilein knows who Happy Gilmore is. This is probably unfair.

It's like Japan, except flat and slippery and less irradiated. That would be Michigan hockey practices this fall. The addition of Andrew Copp, an end-of-the-bench NTDP player who is likely to be Danny Fardig 2.0, gives Michigan 15(!) forwards, 9(!) defensemen, and 4(!) goalies this fall. Some of these guys are deep roster players who aren't getting scholarship money and don't expect to play, but the defense corps is especially jammed now that it appears everyone's back next year.

Michigan brings in two NTDPers who will be drafted, one very high, and these guys who played frequently last year:

  • Merrill
  • Moffie
  • Bennett
  • Chiasson
  • Serville
  • Clare

Two of those guys are probably going to get scratched every weekend unless Connor Carrick is also in the scratch mixture.

Scoring is the main issue. The cavalry there arrives in 2013. A senior-year blowup from AJ Treais would be most welcome.

Etc.: BYB's Kurt Mensching gets a Detroit News columnist gig. May they replace Rosenberg as effectively. Kyle Bosch will enroll early. The Hoover Street Rag posts its version of Special K for a day. These posts are tempting me to put together a list of the worst possible stadium anthems. Sigur Ros: untoppable

Michigan Hockey Net is not a big fan of the new jerseys. The St. Louis Blues gave Red a shotgun once. In a good way. Jacobi on the Snow Bowl.

Unverified Voracity Is Immobile

Unverified Voracity Is Immobile

Submitted by Brian on April 11th, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Hello. When awake, I'm lucid, and I've got all these tabs driving me crazy. So here are the tabs.

We've really done it now. Not satisfied with tight shots, the official site's practice video now goes field-level:

For their next trick they'll make a video from a helmet cam pointed inward at Denard's face.

The Old Man speaks. Great find by MVictors to get an audio clip from "A Toast To Yost From Coast To Coast" in which we here the genesis of Ufer's famous "Meeechigan":

Perhaps the best thing about the internet's transformation of fan culture is our ability to connect with the past of the program. Wolverine Historian and Greg have provided a sense of the whole program from its beginnings to the present day. We're extremely fortunate to have those two—I don't think there's anything close in any other fan base.

#JUSTIFYYOUREXISTENCE. An experiment designed to see whether a newspaper would publish any press release issued by the athletic department no matter how minor succeeded today with the news that everyone considers putting a twitter hash tag on the field for the spring game "news."

They're burying the lead, which is that an alien who can only badly mimic the English language has wormed his way into the athletic department:

"This initiative will help our athletic department use technology as a competitive advantage to engage and connect to fans, build brand loyalty, grow the digital audience and monitor and listen to what is being said through the digital engagement cycle," said Jordan Maleh, U-M's director of digital marketing.

Whatever said that is not human. It is probably from Trafalmadore.

I've got a great explanation about why things like this rub me the wrong way bouncing around in my skull but when I try to express it the vitriol overwhelms whatever point I'm trying to make. In itself, putting a hash tag on the field is a non-event. As part of the pattern we've seen since Brandon's hire it's another piece of evidence that what you get when you hire a bunch of MBAs into makework positions is a bunch of makework. There's no such thing as a bad idea as long as it's something that hasn't been done before.

Events other than actual Michigan football games at the stadium increasingly serve as a glimpse into the dystopian future in store for the program once Brandon gradually wears resistance down: presenting sponsors, endless distractions, curly fries on the field. Etc.

Five star flip. Rivals made good on its repeated promises to elevate Glenn Robinson III into five star territory. He's now the #11(!) player in the country. Mitch McGary slid to 30th, which seems fair. Stauskas crept up a little bit as well; he's now #71.

Please be sandbagging. Hoke's not a fan of where both of his lines are. This is not so good:

"On either side, it's not very good right now, I can tell you that," Hoke said Tuesday afternoon on a teleconference with reporters. "I think the kids are working, I think they're coming in here with energy and all those things, but I think the expectation level, how physical we want to be as a football team, I would say we're not where we need to be."

I know Omameh is never going to be the ideal guard for Hoke but he's an established starter with a decent to good track record and the only other spot on the line that's really an issues is the other guard. I get that the DL is going to be a work in progress much of the year, but that OL should be good. If it's not… erk.

At least Hoke's long term vision for the Spring Game is considerably less sour than Carr's was:

"If we had the choice, I think we'd really like to draft and split up the teams and go at it that way, but we really don't have that luxury because of our depth at our offensive line, our defensive line, a little bit at the receiver position, and it just isn't going to work out that way," Hoke said.

"We'll formulate some ways to make this as game-like as possible."

Carr gave off the impression he'd cancel the thing if he could get away with it. Drafting and playing an actual game-game would be far more entertaining than anything Michigan's ever done. Rodriguez wanted to do the same thing but had the same problem with line depth, which of courses invites the question WHY DIDN'T YOU RECRUIT SOME LINEMEN ARGLB.

I also have no idea where those tattoos came from. The Hayes story on Urban Meyer was light on Charles Robinson-esque bombs but heavy on evidence that Meyer's more Les Miles than Brady Hoke. Meyer then helped that along by flat-out lying:

Meyer adamantly denies the reports of course.

“I’ve never heard of Circle of Trust before in my life,” he said.

Internet says I remember all things:

Certainly there will still be opportunities for other players to advance into the "Circle of Trust" as the season unfolds. We all remember — and if we don't we are often reminded by No. 15 — how David Nelson came out of nowhere in the middle of last season to become a go-to-guy in some of Florida's biggest games down the stretch.

But after Saturday, Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow will know who belongs in the Circle of Trust.

"I think so," Meyer said. "I know I trust the Pounceys. I trust Tim. Who else are we going to trust? Who is going to be the fifth or sixth lineman? Who is not going to blow a coverage because we're more multiple back there.

"So, yeah, that's what you're trying to get done."

This worked out so well the last time. Via Brooks. [UPDATE: Nevermind. That's what I get for repeating anything Brooks says.]

Not that this is new. Remember this from Darryl Stonum's recruitment?

"He told me that he talked to Coach Carr and Coach Soup and that they told him that I would be a much better fit in the Florida offense than I would be in the one at Michigan," Stonum recalled.

"I thought, wow, my coaches are selling me out?  I confronted them about it.  I asked Coach Carr and Coach Soup about it, and they said they never talked to that guy and that there was no way they ever said anything like that and that they think I should be a Wolverine.  I believed them.  Right then, I knew just how Florida rolled."

Ohio State may have picked the wrong guy to lead them through probation.

Rock someone else, Amedeo. Michigan canceled Amedeo Della Valle's visit in the aftermath of Burke's return and Albrecht's commitment. Sam Webb mentioned something on the GBW message board about potentially bringing in that grad-year guy, so it's possible they'd like to get that extra bit of guard depth they lack right now without committing to a guy for four years (or, like, two years, I guess). Unless that comes off it looks like your roster right now is what Michigan will go into 2012-13 with.

Michigan technically does not have a spot open in 2013 but that makes some dodgy assumptions. Austin Hatch is likely to reclassify and Michigan is all but guaranteed to lose someone to the NBA draft after the season, possibly multiple someones.

The nice thing is that Michigan doesn't have any truly pressing needs for 2013. They've got a PG, a center, and a high-quality wing committed. They will lose Vogrich and may lose a PG, a high quality wing, and a combo 4 type (if McGary or Robinson is really good right away). They can swing for the fences at any position from the 2 to the 4 and see if anyone bites without being too down on their chances in 2013-14 if they don't connect.

Legacy. Did we know that Drake Johnson's step-dad is Tom Slade?

"It wasn't so much pressure as it was expected because my whole family's gone to Michigan. It runs in my family to go to the university. My mom is the head cheerleading coach (Pam St. John). My dad went there; my grandfather went there. My step-dad played quarterback at Michigan (Tom Slade). . . . Yeah, he's my step-dad and he passed away almost six years ago, coming up. . . . When I was really young, my mom used to be really afraid of me going to games because there was like 110,000 people walking around and she didn't want me to get lost, but then at like age 13 I'd go to maybe four or five games a year."

In that interview at Touch The Banner he claims to run consistent 4.3 40s at 206 pounds and talks about an affinity for wide receiver as well. That'll be a backup plan if Johnson gets squeezed out by Hayes/Smith/Isaac/Shallman.

Etc.: Elsewhere in calling out silly lies, Jalen Rose pwns Skip Bayless. UMHoops on Burke's return. Open letter to the GT athletic department from a designer who knows his stuff. Interesting to think about what a Michigan analogue would look like. This week in the Inevitable NCAA Split On The Horizon. Tim Hardaway Jr. didn't even put his name in for an eval. Blake Countess interview.

Tough stuff on deck for the hockey team: Michigan plays Ferris, Western, Notre Dame, and MSU four times in conference next year. Those are the top two teams in the league, a team that should bounce back big time if they can just find a goalie, and… uh… Michigan State.

What if Will Campbell is really good?

Unverified Voracity Is Secretly Switzer

Unverified Voracity Is Secretly Switzer

Submitted by Brian on August 12th, 2011 at 11:40 AM

22!

KevinNealon88

An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.
Friedrich Nietzsche

EPIC. Thujone's latest paint opus has panels for Tate Forcier, Big Ten expansion, and Les Miles, but this is where it's at:

tressel-1

tressel-2

As always, Thujone comes with a CARTOON PENIS warning. Do not click if you are in a situation where being caught looking at a cartoon penis would be compromising.

Epic in the other direction. Chris Brown's latest at Smart Football is one of those posts that instantly illuminates a part of football that was murky before, and this one even comes with locally-relevant content. He describes the "snag" and "y-stick" plays you may have seen in your copy of NCAA 12 (or any year since '08 since they haven't changed it since). They incorporate stretches both vertical (i.e., making a cover two cornerback pick between a high guy and a low guy) and horizontal (i.e., making a flat defender pick between an outside guy and an inside guy) with routes that do well against man coverage.

Presenting that concept taking candy from a baby:

The snag is so synonymous with the triangle concept that some teams simply call it “triangle.” The basic concept involves one receiver in the deep third on a corner route (good by itself against man-to-man), one receiver in the flat, often a runningback or inside receiver (which can also be good against man from a bunch-set), and a third receiver on the “snag” route, sometimes also known as a “slant-settle” or a “mini-curl.”

snag

As a general matter, against a Cover Two defense the quarterback will have a high/low read of the cornerback; if he sinks back he can throw it to the inside receiver in the flat; if the cornerback drops he will throw it to the corner route behind the cornerback, as shown in the clip below.

Against a Cover Three defense, the cornerback should take away the corner route by dropping into the deep third, but the snag/mini-curl and the flat should put a horizontal stretch on the flat defender and one of the two should be open.

At times like this I think to myself "boy, I hope I got that right." Drumroll…

NFW Michigan can defend this as aligned, as Rogers(-1) has a nasty choice between giving up the corner or the flat and chooses poorly by not sinking into the corner. (Cover -2, RPS -2); Gordon has no prayer of getting over in time and can only hope to tackle. Also, Avery(-1) appears to be abandoning his zone to ride the WR on a little hitch farther, which means the flat is wide open; Michigan is putting lots of guys in the same areas on their zone drops

Not bad. Michigan didn't even make that snag hard; by the time the ball is gone Mouton and Ezeh are within a yard of each other and Avery isn't much farther away. I still don't think there was any way for Michigan to defend this staple play as aligned, which points to the incoherence of the defense. Everything from last year points to the incoherence of the defense, sure.

Outdoor hockey is go. The on-again-off-again outdoor game in Cleveland is on again, this time officially. It's January 15th.

I wonder what the fan breakdown will be. This one's a bit farther than the Big House but still an easy drive and Ohio State fans don't usually turn out for hockey. They do make an exception for Michigan, though, and they'll probably make a larger one for the outdoor game PR stunt. 50-50?

Let's be friends. Dimitri Martin has a one-liner about bumper stickers: "to me, all bumper stickers say the same thing: 'let's not be friends.' This is one of two exceptions:

middle-finger-bumper

You know what happened in 1973, I'm sure. If not MVictors has you covered.

The other exception: once I saw a guy with a black bumper sticker that read CASH, as in Johnny.

I'm surprised it took this long. Greg Mattison has declared his team a "blitzing" team:

Very aggressive. I'll take anything more than three guys this year. Also, feel the soothing reassurance of Greg Mattison talking vis a vis Greg Robinson.

Euroleague says thanks. Someone credible enough to get retweeted by Pete Thamel says he "keeps hearing" NBA owners are pushing for an eligibility structure similar to the NFL. I.E.: you can't enter the draft until you're three years out of high school.

At that point wouldn't a lot of kids scheduled to be one-and-done GTFO? It's one thing when you've got to cool your heels for a year nailing cheerleaders and maybe taking a few classes. Three years is a totally different matter. The money will be bigger overseas since they can expect some high-level performances when the #1 pick in the NBA draft is 21.

Football can get away with their structure because there's nowhere else to play and they're almost always right: you should not be playing in the NFL less than three years after prom because you will die. The Adrian Petersons of the world are exceedingly rare. In basketball there are a dozen guys coming out of high school every year who can be all right NBA players right away.

Etc.: NCAA may or may not have sent a second "we're investigating you, buddy" letter to OSU. Wholly unreliable local radio host "The Torg" says "Ellis" from the SI story has talked to the NCAA, so take that for what it's worth.

Martavious Odoms's alarming cast should be off in two weeks so no big deal. Nobody knows who the starting running back is.

Unverified Voracity Is Unhappy You Found Him

Unverified Voracity Is Unhappy You Found Him

Submitted by Brian on July 11th, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Hurray issues. So this morning an iframe insert got put in the js file. It has been removed and we are monitoring that particular file intently; the good news is that no other files on the server have been changed. I've turned off js aggregation, which will make the site marginally slower for first loads. We are still looking for the entry vector; if a js file gets updated we will know about it and check to make sure it does not have the malicious code in it. We have a request in to Google for a clearance.

If you are concerned, running a noscript module on your browser is a good idea. Apologies.

(Note: this is unrelated to the scattered reports people were having of malware from the Google Ads, which are client-side issues.)

Fun with hats. Ace has it:

1888

There's Waldo. Insane axe-murdering Waldo.

Hatch update. Via his CaringBridge page:

By the grace of God, Austin James is showing improvements everyday. He is comfortable and stable. He has begun opening his BIG BLUE EYES a little bit more! We understand that his healing will be a very slow and gradual process; we're not sure whether Austin has any awareness of what he sees yet.

He's got a long way to go, but it sounds like he's getting out of the woods.

Further evidence for the skinflint theory. The Big Ten continues to pile up the cash:

They continue to not spend it on football coaches:

The SEC paid its assistant coaches an average of $276,122 in 2010, according to figures compiled by St. Louis attorney and agent Bob Lattinville of the firm Stinson Morrison Hecker.

The Big 12 was second at $232,685 and the Big Ten a distant fourth, behind the Atlantic Coast Conference, at $187,055. In each instance, the averages do not include salaries at private schools such as Baylor, Penn State and Vanderbilt.

You may have noticed that Penn State is not a private school, but they have some sort of state law that protects them from FOIA requests. They likely pay their assistants more than the Baylors and Vanderbilts of the world but Northwestern is also omitted and Penn State isn't closing a 50-grand gap with the Big 12, let alone the 90 grand to the SEC.

Not that I have a problem with not heaping even more money on football coaches, but Braves & Birds's theory that the Big Ten is falling behind because they refuse to lay out money for proven coaches is looking pretty good these days. At least Michigan bucked the trend by 1) wildly overpaying their version of Gene Chizik and 2) finding their own Mahlzahn in Mattison.

Dominoes go further. College hockey lurches towards its final configuration apace, with Northern Michigan making the obvious move to the WCHA. Northern was in (an almost completely different) WCHA until the late 90s and returns, renewing a conference rivalry with Michigan Tech and easing their travel burden.

Interestingly, word from Marquette has a surprising second school on the WCHA hit list: Alaska. The WCHA retains Anchorage and the conventional wisdom holds that two Alaska schools are too many for one conference since teams could be required to make more than one trip up north per year. If the WCHA's endgame is an eight team league, you'd think the conference schedule would be 28 games—four each against seven opponents. That would require two trips per year. Even if you go to a division system where you play four teams only twice, you're averaging 1.5 trips to Alaska per year. Lake Superior seems like a more logical option due to its natural rivalries with the other UP teams.

Meanwhile, the smoking husk of the CCHA takes another hit. Notre Dame's gone sooner or later. Western Michigan's openly pleading for someone to take them. Lake State has to be angling for a WCHA invite along with Alaska. Poor Bowling Green and Ferris State are hanging out in Fred Pletsch's basement drinking the cheapest beer on the market until Atlantic Hockey teams start to look attractive.

Current wild-ass guess at what college hockey in the West looks like in two years:

WCHA CCHA Big Ten TCHA
St. Cloud BGSU Michigan Miami
UAA Ferris State Michigan State Notre Dame
Minnesota State Mercyhurst Penn State WMU
MTU Robert Morris Ohio State North Dakota
NMU Niagara Wisconsin Minnesota-Duluth
Bemidji State Alaska Minnesota CC
LSSU     Denver
Air Force(?)     UNO

If LSSU does not move to the CCHA you can insert Cansisius, another Buffalo-area AH team, or UAH into the CCHA to make eight.

Is that viable for everyone in the WCHA and CCHA? I think the WCHA will be okay. Most of the programs there have recent financial commitments from their universities; at all of them hockey is unquestionably the top dog. That's the case for everyone in the CCHA, as well, except for Ferris (no recent insertion of capital) and BGSU (MAC football and basketball probably more important). I think Ferris would be able to keep its footing.

What would really help is having a formal state of Michigan championship. In this new doomsday scenario Michigan teams are split across four leagues, making the previous plan—which relied on a lot of conference games being counted for the championship—dubious. On the other hand, in this new world there are a ton of nonconference games that need filling.

Have fun storming the castle. Even if Russell Wilson isn't certain doom for Wisconsin's opponents this year he's better than whatever the Badgers had before. KC Joyner makes an interesting point, though: Scott Tolzien was one of the most underrated players of the last decade in the league and Wilson won't approach his insane efficiency.

Etc.: Michigan's new white hockey jersey is going to be regrettable in a few years, and I miss the cool Rangers-esque lettering on the maize one. Outrage is low because they'll just change them next year anyway. Yost Built also says "you're out, White Jersey" in a flat sexy German monotone. Holdin' The Rope assembles things.

Unverified Voracity Is Twitchy About 3-4

Unverified Voracity Is Twitchy About 3-4

Submitted by Brian on May 24th, 2011 at 11:47 AM

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Internet: frighteningly comprehensive. Don't ask about Rule 54 here.

Update on a deceased fellow. I made some offhanded reference to Horace Prettyman, how ridiculous a name that was, and how it was obviously a few guys on the football team having a laugh a couple days ago, but a reader points out one Horace Greely Prettyman has his own extensively researched wikipedia article detailing a life full of accomplishments. Specifically, he scored the first-ever touchdown in Ann Arbor:

In 1883, Michigan resumed a schedule of intercollegiate football, and Prettyman played "forward" for the team. The team played its first ever home game at the Ann Arbor Fairgrounds in March 1883, a 40-5 win over the Detroit Independents. Prettyman scored the first touchdown at the Fairgrounds at the 14-minute mark of the "first inning" and went on to score a second touchdown before the end of the inning.

The team played its remaining games as part of an Eastern trip in November 1883. The trip consisted of four road games in eight days at Wesleyan and Yale in Connecticut, Harvard in Massachusetts, and Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The trip cost $3,000 and was arranged "to both represent and advertise the college among the Eastern cities and universities."Prettyman was placed in charge of the trip, and The Michigan Argonaut praised his management: "All the boys are most hearty in their commendation of Prettyman's excellent management of the financial interests of the trip and his success is seen by the fact that every expense of the trip has been paid to the last cent."

If Prettyman hadn't died in 1945 there's a good chance he would have tracked me down—he was the local postmaster for a long time—and strangled me.

And as long as we're looking up very old photographs of football players, here's Yost with a killer mustache in 1896:

Yost1896atLafayette_thumb1

Mustache Wednesday? Come on, baby.

Er, well then. Yesterday's post on Full Cost Of Attendance—apparently this year's conference expansion— made a large assumption: the change would be localizable to certain athletes. Adam Rittenberg says this is wrong:

If the proposal is adopted at the NCAA level (more on this later), it would affect every athlete on a full scholarship. A women's soccer goalie would have the same scholarship structure as a quarterback. "What we're talking about is not limited to football and men's basketball," Hawley said. The proposal wouldn't impact athletes on partial scholarships.

Or is it? The only "headcount" sports—no dividing scholarships—are basketball, football, women's tennis, women's gymnastics, and women's volleyball. Schools that don't wish to put the world on FCOA could just offer partial scholarships in sports that aren't the above.

But that still increases the burden of FCOA considerably, especially at football schools that almost universally feature volleyball for Title IX purposes. Jim Delany Machiavelli Rating: incremented.

Happening? Happening. Mike Slive is on board with this, by the way. SEC + Big Ten equals probably happening.

Good advice for anyone. Nate Silver is an interesting guy, and here's a speech he gave to a bunch of prospective journalists about what they should do in This Environment. The Big Lead contrasts this with Rick Reilly's "don't write for free" speech. The former is useful, the latter clueless.

This is good advice for anyone:

Learn how to make an argument. This is something that came naturally
to me as a former high school debater. One of the things that distinguishes (quote unquote) "new journalism" from some of its more traditional forms is that the reader is really going to be looking for analysis, meaning, context, argument. Unless you come across some really fresh and proprietary information ‐‐ it's great to get a scoop, but it won't happen very often ‐‐ it's not enough just to present the information verbatim.

One of the flaws of political journalism, in fact, is that a lot of what amounts to spin is given authority by being reported at face value.

Instead, the reader is going to be asking you to develop a hypothesis, weigh the evidence, and come to some conclusion about it ‐‐ it's really very much analogous to the scientific method. Good journalism has always done this ‐‐ but now it needs to be done more explicitly.

If you don't know how to make an argument you spend a large amount of time putting together statistics on how many college athletes get arrested only to find yourself widely ridiculed for not even bothering to provide context. In the past you could just say something and the worst that would happen would be a nasty letter to the editor from a crotchety old guy; now your arguments have to be bulletproof (or at least, you know, try a little) lest you get eviscerated.

Silver also suggests journalists learn what to do with numbers, which is something I harp on consistently.

APR bite. While football APR penalties have generally been restricted to the San Jose States of the world, small squad sizes and NBA departures have made the APR an actual toothy thing in college basketball. A couple years ago Indiana, Purdue, and Ohio State all got hit in the offseason. This year UConn feels the wrath:

The national champion Connecticut men's basketball program will lose two scholarships for the upcoming season as a result of a poor Academic Performance Rating from the NCAA. …

The rating puts the basketball program's four-year rating at 893, below the NCAA minimum score of 925. The score for the 2009-10 academic year is 826.

The NCAA's real minimum is 900 but it's interesting that UConn is failing where Kentucky is apparently succeeding. I wonder what they're doing differently in Lexington. The Huskies won't be getting off the mat any time soon, either: their score from last year is 844. Barring a miracle their APR is going to be under 900 for the next few years.

The full report is supposed to come out today; I'll get Michigan's scores up ASAP but probably not as quickly as the guy with the fastest trigger finger on the message board.

What's this oh those are my multiple defense hives welcome back hives I hate you I hate you I hate you aaaah. You may have noticed that Michigan has recruited a lot of linebackers. Farmington Hill Harrison's Mario Ojemudia, a high school defensive tackle who people are projecting as a WDE, wasn't supposed to be one of them but showed up at the recently completed Columbus Nike camp looking like a linebacker, and not one of those linebackers you can turn into a WDE. This may be the cause for another round of "are we moving to a 3-4" last featured in a mailbag here; this time it's a post at Maize N Brew detailing the various teams that moved to the 3-4 and how they mostly got a bunch better.

I don't think this is happening. As I mentioned in that mailbag post, moving to a 3-4 does not reduce your linebacker overage because a well-stocked spot—WDE—becomes a linebacker spot filled by—surprise—those WDEs. I think Mattison has explicitly stated he will run a 4-3 under at Michigan and only a 4-3 under even if I can't find the quote right now, and GOOD LORD LET'S JUST DO ONE THING FAIRLY WELL BEFORE WE START CHANGING AGAIN AAAAAAH—

tweek-aargh_1440

Etc.: Yost Built profiles new defenseman Mike Chiasson, who does mean no Burlon next year. Unusually for Michigan, Chiasson is 20 now and will be one of those 24-year old seniors popular amongst teams that don't have a lot of NHL draft picks on their rosters. Chad Langlais was the most recent example at Michigan and that worked out well.