Unverified Voracity Contains Olympic Spoilers

Unverified Voracity Contains Olympic Spoilers Comment Count

Brian February 17th, 2014 at 2:24 PM

If you're invested in ice dancing outcomes, stop. A couple other bullets to space it out.  We have heaping helpings of OH-LOL to do that.

Detroit doesn't even have an NFL team. I mean, this is just an appalling lack of knowledge about geography, professional sports, and the Ford family.

Ohio State versus something called Middlebury versus Ball State, and the questions are apparently Celebrity Jeopardy level. That's a slap in the face to Ball State.

Final Jeopardy: HOW MANY FEET DO YOU HAVE? JUST LOOK DOWN. COUNT 'EM. IT'S NOT HARD.

Answers:

  • What is feet
  • How are seven
  • -IO

Ain't come here to play spell. On the one hand, I'm actually glad that Marcus Hall can leverage his double-bird flip into cold hard cash. I felt strongly positive about that activity. On the other, they're using the split M logo and can't spell:

I mean, if you're going to make bootleg plaques get 'em right. This isn't 'Nam. Hm.

Actually, bootleg plaque-making might be 'Nam. Carry on.

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Go Blue gold. Ice dancing couple Charlie White and Meryl Davis are Olympic gold medalists:

Congratulations, and may the apparently infinite stream of Michigan ice dancing supremacy continue with the Shibutani siblings.

Now. If I had a late night talk show, I would have White and Davis on and ask them if they could put something together for, oh, I don't know, C&C Music Factory. Some variety of 90s hip hop. Just to see them kill that, too.

My other fantastic idea: Jamaican Ice Dance Team. Imagine the possibility. Shabba. Does anyone need a fantastic idea consultant? Because there's my CV. Boom.

It was all a Saban/Bielema plot. Man, the whole ten-seconds thing did not go over well.

Is this real?" one coach texted shortly after the news broke. "I thought it was a joke. No way that passes."

It's not a joke. But it would compel officials to call delay of game on a team for moving too fast.

"It's crazy," said Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. "College football is the pinnacle of success right now. How do you even mess with that? It would slow the game down. It wouldn't be as fun for the fans."

"The 10-second rule is like asking basketball to take away the shot clock - Boring!" Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy tweeted Thursday. "It's like asking a blitzing linebacker to raise his hand."

Your cynicism level should ramp up even further once you are informed that this is supposed to be a "no change" year and that you can only propose something if it affects player safety.

The proposal is being billed solely as an issue of player safety, and in fact, because this is a "non-rule change" year for the committee, the only way it can put something forward is if it's a tweak to an existing rule (like targeting) or if there's an athlete safety concern.

It's nice to see actual coaches calling out the Think Of The Children reasoning here. Given the blowback, the chances of this thing passing are approximately zero, you'd think.

Oh, please. As part of their institutional mission to try too hard, OSU played some juvenile crap on their scoreboard before their recent ten-point home defeat. As described:

As expected, the video featured Ohio State guard Evan Turner’s 37-foot game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer of the 2010 Big Ten quarterfinals. It was included among other great Buckeye moments in a rivalry dating back to 1909.

But then there were some added clips, unrelated to Ohio State. One featured Ohio's 65-60 upset of Michigan in the second round of the 2012 NCAA tournament. That's the Ohio Bobcats, not the Ohio State Buckeyes. Another segment highlighted Chris Webber's infamous timeout call in the waning moments of the 1993 national championship game. …

The video wrapped up with an unflattering picture of a Michigan fan, followed by the words, "Pure Michigan," a nod to the state's tourism slogan.

Beilein was asked about it, said he hadn't seen it, and then said

"I hope Michigan never does that," Beilein said. "I don’t want to ever do things like that."

We've blown some of the high ground there with the chicken dance and the skywriting, but there are still many more levels between pure sin-free Domerdom and trying to dredge up painful moments totally unrelated to you 20 years on and making fun of some innocent dude's appearance. (Especially because glass houses, man. Glass houses.) 

But this pissed some OSU fans off because someone from Michigan adding columns in a spreadsheet pisses them off. So when Bacari Alexander tweeted a generic "we are going to beat you" thing, perpetually aggrieved DJ Byrnes at 11W tried to make a big to do about it. If you can't tell the difference between institutionally-authorized "this guy looks dumb lol" and that, you probably think Detroit is in Wisconsin. I look forward to the next time an OSU crowd sings about not giving a damn about the whole state of Michigan unironically.

Whatever, I guess. A ten million dollar gift has induced Michigan to name their head coaching position after the donors. I continually fail to understand why rich people want their name on stuff. If I was rich I would want, like, Zack Novak's name on stuff. Tom Brady. Denard. Dennis Norfleet. What's so great about you, guy? What did you do that was at all relevant?

If I was AD I'd try to crowdfund these things so I could name things after guys who gave the program something.

Etc.: Urban Meyer apparently got in a recruiting battle with South Carolina. Michigan brought in a monster soccer recruiting class. One of the guys is an Ann Arbor native who was on the U17 team and is bigger than Mark Zuckerberg. Burke/Sullinger BFFs again. Bilas interviewed on payin' guys. Saban attempting to adjust to the new world order of spread offenses. See also: wrong side of history.

Don't expect Mitch back.

Comments

Dear Diary Craps on Sochi

Dear Diary Craps on Sochi Comment Count

Seth February 7th, 2014 at 11:34 AM

soady2holertwintoilets

Soady two-holer > Sochi two-holer

One of the mods already put this in a thread but a front page reminder can't hurt: don't post scores or spoilers of Olympic events on delayed telecasts. This goes especially for the results of hockey games that will be broadcast in primetime. Laughing at the myriad (mostly toilet-related) follies of bored and pampered journalists with nothing else to talk about for four days is fine.

The NHL kindly added the hockey games to its schedule, and I Bleed Maize N Blue put up a list of Michigan folk. Your Wolverines are hockey players Carl Hagelin (Sweden), Brian Lebler (Austria), and Max Pacioretty (USA), and U.S. figure skaters Meryl Davis & Charlie White, Maia & Alex Shibutani, and Evan Bates.

Viewing guide:

Date Event Broadcast Channel Wolverine(s)
Fri 2/7 Opening Ceremony 7:30 PM NBC All
Sat 2/8 Ice Dancing 9:30 AM NBC Davis & White
Wed 2/12 Hky: Czech-Sweden 12:00 PM USA Hagelin
Thu 2/13 Hky: Finland-Austria 3:00 AM NBCSN Lebler
Thu 2/13 Hky: Slovakia-USA 7:30 AM NBCSN Pacioretty
Fri 2/14 Hky: Sweden-Switzerland 7:30 AM NBCSN Hagelin
Fri 2/14 Hky: Canada-Austria 12:00 PM USA Brian Lebler
Sat 2/15 Hky: USA-Russia 7:30 AM NBCSN Pacioretty
Sat 2/15 Hky: Sweden-Latvia 12:00 PM USA Hagelin
Sun 2/16 Hky: Austria-Norway 3:00 AM USA Lebler
Sun 2/16 Hky: Slovenia-USA 7:30 AM NBCSN Pacioretty

Makes M's Happy

tjm.SFT_.vslouisiana.pitcha

Sara Driesenga pitched 263 innings with an ERA of 1.89 last year [Terra Molengraff/Daily]

Softball is my chosen sport for following without obsessing. Carol Hutchins is one of the best coaches the sport's ever had, and the team still exudes a spirit that's so so enjoyable. Just don't think too hard about the competitive aspects, or how large a role a pitcher plays in the outcome versus the rest of the team.

If you'd like to know how this team looks, the answer is "very good" again. Like the Tigers, they return ridiculous pitching—Haylie Wagner and Sara Driesenga are both aces, and they're joined this year by highly touted freshman Megan Betsa—and one of the game's best hitting infielders (shortstop Sierra Romero), but lost their cleanup hitter. Also like the Tigers they're not a very good defensive team.

Etc. Survey results for RunTheFootball's expectations thing says Michigan's not living up to those. Your weekly goal by goal analysis covers the tallies vs. Wisconsin last weekend. Michigan is still shooting the lights out in conference play except against Indiana, not updated with Nebraska game yet. Lacrosse. Softball.

Best of the Board

NATIONAL SIGNING EVE WAS LONG AND FULL OF TERRORS

urlpeppers_main

The night before signing day I got an email from a source who's been spot-on before that Peppers was thinking about holding off signing his LOI the next day—nobody else had that info so I didn't publish it, but it appears he was correct and that Peppers's coach talked him down off the ledge. Since this source has been right about everything so far, I'll share the reason he gave for the wavering: another program's coach, claiming knowledge from an NCAA source, was in Peppers's ear about "possible major sanctions at Michigan," presumably for the Gibbons thing. Crutin, man.

Clarification Update: He didn't say which coach, and guesses are just that since virtually every coach goes around flingin' B.S. on signing eve. Playing defense keeps other coaches from going on the offensive against your class. It's just Crutin' man.

TIDBITS FROM THE SIGNING DAY PRESSER

  • Clarity on LB recruit positions: Winovich is a Jake Ryan-style SAM, Ferns is a MIKE, Furbush is a MIKE or WILL, Wangler is a WILL or Stevie Brown-style SAM.
  • Dymonte Thomas will just be a safety, no more nickel and diming
  • Canteen is a slot guy
  • Furbush cut his own cast off using a hedge trimmer.

Thanks to Every Roh Has Its Thorn for collating these.

PUNTING: NOW FAME-WORTHY

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Monte Robbins [source] / Zoltan Mesko [Scout] / Adam Finley [Desimone]

Now that the stat-heads have shown the punt is the least important play in football, the NFL Hall of Fame, which is the second-least meaningful of all Hall of Fames (they're heavy on skill players and big names, light on understanding the game; the college football one is worse), has finally decided to let in the Guy (ha!) they named the punting award for.

This got me wondering if there's a punter in Michigan history who could surpass those I can personally recall. Punting stats have been kept only since 2000 by the NCAA, and Bentley only goes a few years further back. They're very wonky stats when they're good, and very badly curated, and the most accessible ones are more suggestive of a terrible offense than a great leg. Zoltan is the obvious if-memory-serves candidate for best Michigan punter ever. I remember thinking Adam Finley was underrated because he could pow it very high or place it out of bounds, and that Hayden Epstein was overrated because all he did was thwack it.

Great Grandpa Alfonse used ta say if you're lookin' back at the tings you missed you won't know what hit ya.

As for how Wile did I can pull 2013 conference data from cfbstats if you like:

Player Team Atts Net YPA % Ret
Cody Webster Purdue 70 42.5 31%
Cameron Johnston Ohio State 49 41.7 16%
Mike Sadler Michigan State 76 41.0 25%
Sam Foltz Nebraska 71 39.9 21%
Erich Toth Indiana 52 39.4 25%
Peter Mortell Minnesota 62 39.0 42%
Justin DuVernois Illinois 51 38.8 41%
Alex Butterworth Penn State 51 38.5 22%
Connor Kornbrath Iowa 65 38.4 34%
Matt Wile Michigan 61 37.7 46%
Drew Meyer Wisconsin 53 36.8 25%
Brandon Williams Northwestern 58 35.3 22%

That 46% of punts returned (ie didn't end with a fair catch, downed, out of bounds, or touchback) is the dinosaur punting. This is enough about punting for today.

CRASH TESTING HELMETS

UM Engineers are getting into the helmet-improvement game to understand the biomechanics of football hits.

Your Moment of Zen:

Jabrill Peppers Endless Love Tribute from mgovideo

Comments

Unverified Voracity Gets Serious This Time, Seriously

Unverified Voracity Gets Serious This Time, Seriously Comment Count

Brian August 3rd, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Sponsor note: SPORTS POWER WEEKENDS will get you to a road game with POWER. /Herbstreit

Check them out to help the blog.

Pro combat. Via Tremendous, freshman OL Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kalis in a dorm hallway:

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Magnuson should wear that on gameday. DEs would speed rush the wrong way.

Liveblog status update. I've checked out the comments left on the Liveblog Conundrum post and things seem split 60-40 in favor of CIL, but a couple of misconceptions may have swung that. To clarify:

  1. The embedded twitter feed hypothesized in the previous post would not be unmoderated. We would not be relaying the results of a hashtag. We would create a separate gameday twitter feed that would be part of the list that would exclusively retweet comments sent to it, a la CIL. There would be a base set of feeds like Ace, Heiko, Seth, myself, and Grant Wahl that would be in the list, and then various people who wanted to contribute to the list as commenters would send tweets to the gameday account.
  2. Kickstarter requires a deliverable, so their platform doesn't work for raising money for a service like this. We could do a generic donation drive for these things, but… it's moderated chat software. Paying these sorts of prices seems insane. Various people have brought up the idea of spinning up our own version, and I agree that is an attractive long-term solution but it's August and that is not an option for 2012.
  3. I don't see the "I might annoy people following my feed" and "I might not be as anonymous as I would like to be" issues as real problems. If anything, that kind of drag on posting would be beneficial to the over-stressed moderators. If you'd ever been in a CIL trying to figure out what to give an approve to you'd know. Caring about that sort of thing seems like a benefit.
  4. A commenter mentioned P2, a wordpress theme that turns a front page into… well, SB Nation comments. This would be great. It does not have a Drupal equivalent. I could try to incorporate it as a subdomain (live.mgoblog.com) but again, it's August and at this point it's time to embed or die.

Does that change any opinions?

Mattison in for the medium haul. I don't think it's a surprise that Mattison is planning on retiring at Michigan

"The good thing that happens when you're older and you've been a lot of places is, a lot of (coaches) want to win so they can move on," Mattison said. "Me? Hey, this is my last stop. I just want to win because it's Michigan."

…but maybe Borges saying the same thing is news:

"Now that I'm here, not really -- not like I did 10, 15 years ago," Borges said in a recent interview when asked if he still hoped to be a head coach. "I never say never, but by the same token, I don't go looking for them. Used to be I did, but I'm done hunting down head coaching jobs. I'm in a place where I'm very happy and I just want to make this job the best job I can make it.

"This is a great place to coach and to be, and for someone to leave here, you better be able to justify it. And I just don't see any scenarios that could justify me leaving the University of Michigan."

How long would these guys be in place? Well, Mattison is 62 and Borges 56. Norm Parker just packed it in at 69 due to health issues and Mattison says he'll keep going as long as those don't prevent him from doing his job:

"At first, I thought I might do this for a few years," he said. "But after this last season ... my wife, she said it me, 'What else are you going to do? You are going to go golfing for about two weeks, and then you're going to go crazy.'

"'I said, 'You're right. I'm going to coach, as long as my health holds up, and as long as they want me, and as long as I can still keep doing the job.' "

So this staff will probably hang together until someone gets poached to be a coordinator elsewhere or Mattison retires.

We're serious now you guys. Glad to see that John Infante, the Bylaw Blog guy, also had a problem with UCF's wrist-slap penalty for its athletic director paying a street agent(!) and that I'm not a bloodthirsty maniac. Or if I am I'm not a lone bloodthirsty maniac. Infante:

What UCF was accused of was, on its face, one of the worst packages of NCAA violations in recent memory. Not only were both of its revenue sports using a runner (among others) to help recruit athletes and that runner was providing benefits to student-athletes, but all of this was with the knowledge, encouragement, and even active participation of the athletic director.

For all that, UCF got off relatively light. Twin postseason bans, scholarship losses and major recruiting restrictions are not a slap on the wrist. But considering the conduct, it could and should have been much worse. The NCAA would have been justified in laying to waste both of UCF’s most prominent sports for the rest of the decade

Infante hypothesizes that the COI is waiting for the new enforcement structure coming down from on high before doing anything serious to someone. Well, it's here:

A program found to have made a "serious breach of conduct" with aggravating circumstances could face postseason bans of two to four years. In addition, the program may have to return money from specific events or a series of events or the amount of gross revenue generated by the sport during the years in which sanctions occurred - fines that could cost a school millions of dollars.

If this sounds familiar, it should. After the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal at Penn State, the NCAA barred Penn State from playing in a bowl game or the college football playoff until after the 2016 season and levied a $60 million fine - the rough equivalent to a year of gross revenue from the football program.

Coaches, too, would face new guidelines. They would be presumed responsible for any violations committed by their staffs. If they cannot prove they were unaware, the head coach could be suspended from 10 percent of the season to the full season.

The board also approved a provision that would publicly identify individuals responsible for the violations if there is a finding of lack of institutional control or failure to monitor.

It won't be real until October, but it should be real then. Hopefully UNC and Miami are first on the chopping block.

I can foresee no problems with this. This is part of a generally sensible move towards slashing out big chunks of NCAA rule minutia:

Boosters would be allowed to contribute directly to the compensation of coaches, potentially controlling more of the terms under which coaches are paid, if a new NCAA proposal is adopted.

Under the plan, described in a 12-page NCAA document obtained by The Chronicle,boosters could come up with their own bonuses instead of giving their money to the athletic department and hoping that they would have the influence to get it written into a coach’s contract, one NCAA rules expert says.

I'm not sure who thought the problem with booster influence was that it was too restricted. I would like to tell this person that they're not right. The rest of the proposal seems fine by me: removing a bunch of recruiting restrictions implemented to maintain a "level playing field," including the contact restrictions men's basketball has already dumped.

Here's a person who is sane:

“The playing field is not and has never been and never will be level,” said James F. Barker, president of Clemson University and chair of the NCAA working group that came up with the proposed changes. “To say the NCAA should try to create a level playing field is impossible and is not a wise path to take.”

Here's a person who is not:

“I do not know if the proverbial ‘level playing field’ can ever be had,” Bill Zack, head women’s rowing coach at the University of Portland and president of the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association, wrote to the working group through an NCAA feedback form. “But I think it is problematic to outright acknowledge that it is OK to have institutional financial advantage."

There's a place for that, and it's called DIII.

rec_r_zak-irvin_mb_576[1]

shooters are shooting in code

Irvin hype. Rod Beard checks in with 2013 basketball recruit Zak Irvin and in doing so touches on the most remarkable aspect of Beilein's recruiting thus far:

"Irvin is probably the most improved kid in the state this year. He had a great year in high school and he's carried it over to AAU. He can really shoot, he's athletic at 6-7 and he's a lot like Hardaway," said Dan Dakich, who coached at Indiana University and now coaches an AAU team in the state.

"He's a better shooter than Hardaway coming out, but he's got that kind of length and can handle the ball and is comfortable on the perimeter. Beilein likes length and shooting ability and certainly those two kids can do that. I think they got two really good ones."

Over at ESPN, a couple of analysts confirm Dakich's assessment($). Paul Biancardi votes for Irvin as the best player he saw across two dozen AAU events…

His long-range jumper is accurate and if a defender gets too close, he will drive to the basket with a long first step. Plus, he has the size to score over defenders in the painted area. … Overall, he is a clutch performer, arguably the best player in the state of Indiana and the best player who helped his team win I saw all summer.

…and John Stovall plugs him as the guy most likely to rise in ESPN's rankings:

The Michigan commit has improved to the point where he is the best player in Indiana and one of the very best in the Midwest. He can play either wing position (SF or SG) and is a solid athlete who is much better off the dribble now with his improved handle. He can create space off the dribble and hit shots from midrange all the way to 22 feet. He is also better as a defender. He has nice length and athletic ability. Irvin is easily a top 50 player now and should be ready to play immediately at Michigan.

Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Glenn Robinson III, and now Irvin have all seen surges after their commitments as they pass various players Beilein has not recruited. (Hardaway and Burke had to wait to arrive on campus before getting the bump.) That's quite a streak. Talent evaluation: Beilein has it.

BONUS: rumble has it that Scout, the lone remaining Irvin skeptic, is about to come around whenever they update their rankings next.

We'll be seeing you in Michigan Stadium this fall. Congrats to Tyler Clary, the former Michigan swimmer who nailed down a 200M backstroke gold medal by beating favored Ryan Lochte last night-ish, then live-tweeted the replay.

We might not be seeing you in Michigan Stadium this fall, at least not early. Frank Clark's pretrial date is September 11th, which is after the Alabama and Air Force games. If Hoke goes by the Josh Furman precedent Clark will be out at least that long, but hopefully he won't since having Furman sit out spring practice for a piddling offense that was eventually dismissed seems detrimental to everyone.

Requirement: three people should have this jersey. The Wisterts' #11 is back in circulation as a legends jersey. Don't give it to Kovacs. Or Denard.

Minor hockey rule changes. Hand passes are now illegal everywhere, and defensive zone hand passes are subject to a no-change rule similar to icing. Deflecting a puck into the net with your skates is now cool as long as it's not kicked. (This rule will be changed within five years, because it always changes.) And defensive players slightly dislodging the net will not cancel goals like Michigan's second against Cornell last year. Which, like, finally.

Thumbs up on all of these. I think they should move the kicked-puck rule to a bright line: if the skate stays on the ice for the whole process, it's legit. If it comes off, it's not.

BONUS thing: Canadian university Simon Fraser is the NCAA's first international member. They'll enter at DII and will hopefully wrangle themselves a DI hockey program as soon as possible.

Only lawyer in America update. Also via John Infante, Michael Buckner's firm scored Montana's NCAA business.

Etc.: NCAA widens bowl eligibility to 5-7 teams if they have a top five APR, which, just… come on man. Every bowl that would ever consider taking such a team is stealing money from college football with ticket guarantees to games that will have no one at them. Countdown To Kickoff kicks off. Also counts down.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Is The One In The GT Jacket

Unverified Voracity Is The One In The GT Jacket Comment Count

Brian July 9th, 2012 at 12:53 PM

RIP Charles Drake. I was on the road when news of Charles Drake's untimely death hit the internet. Drake was one of a legion of mid-90s players brought in at running back who eventually found their way to the field at another position. If Ian Gold was the most prominent, Drake was second, moving to free safety after finding running back crowded.

Free safeties who aren't once-in-a-generation good are kind of like longsnappers in that you're usually not happy when their name is splashed across your television. In the safety's case it means they're chasing someone else. The lack of a visceral "oh, THAT play" emotion when his name comes up speaks well to his play. He was a low-event guy in an era when safeties often weren't. Condolences to his family and teammates. 

Holdin' The Rope has a perspective piece worth your time.

In other sunny news. ESPN reports that this consulting firm Penn State has hired is "expected to be tough on" one Joe Paterno:

"Much of the focus will be on the culture of the football program, with findings that go back more than a decade," said a Penn State official briefed on the inquiry, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's going to be very tough on Joe (Paterno)."

The long-awaited report, compiled by Freeh Group International Solutions, the consulting firm led by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, is the culmination of an eight-month investigation that examined whether university policies and culture were contributing factors to a lack of reports and action about abuse that occurred on campus. Investigators interviewed more than 400 people, including Penn State administrators, faculty members, trustees and former coaches, players and staff from Penn State's football team.

At this point it would be more of a surprise to find out that Paterno would come out of things looking okay. In retrospect that mid-aughts run of arrests that Paterno had little control over and seemed disinclined to care about seems symptomatic of the greater attitude that led to the decade-long Sandusky cover-up. History will not treat the "Grand Experiment" well.

Square hats and blasphemy. Jalen Rose, on the left, in his younger years:

bilde[1]

Rose should show up in a Michigan-themed version something similar the next time he's on ESPN. I would pay a dollar for that.

Probably the final number. The number of current or former Michigan athletes who will be competing in the London Olympics: 18. And then there's Michael Phelps, who may not have actually attended Michigan but it something of an Ann Arbor institution if you've ever been in one of the diners he shoveled calories into himself at.

Points for sentiment. Not so much execution. From a reader, here is a tattoo:

lovefootball

This is not quite up to Lamarr Woodley standards.

The new guy. The News interviews Erik Bakich, Michigan's new baseball coach. There's not much that's not boilerplate, but I liked this:

When you're building a program based on pitching you need to have strong frontline pitching.

We'll see how it works out. Bakich has a thin track record but did relatively well at a tough place to win, is young, and has recruited well both as a head coach and an assistant. It's a reality check as to where Michigan's program stands.

Keith Jackson. The 1985 South Carolina game featured Jamie Morris hammering the Gamecocks and SC's "wide open, gambling offense" scoring three points:

Chesson hype: incremented. Sam Webb reports that Jehu Cheson ran a 4.4 40 at Michigan offseason workouts. If fast, will be intimidating.

CEASE PANIC. Our annual Cass Tech Commit Considers Taking Visits But Decides Not To After Panicking The Internet event has transpired:

Michigan football commit David Dawson turned some heads Friday when his plans to camp at Florida were revealed.

A day later, the trip is no more.

After speaking to Michigan coaches, the Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman -- ranked by ESPN as the country's top guard -- no longer will attend the Gators' Friday Night Lights camp, according to GoBlueWolverine.com's Sam Webb.

Twitter warriors can stand down. Those inspirational quotes about loyalty can be re-directed to your significant others. I've found that condescending public tweets are what make a relationship go in this modern age of ours.

Extremely important abbreviation UPDATE! If you see "FINAO" on a football recruit's twitter, it stands for "failure is not an option." Thus sayeth Heiko in an act of investigative journalism unparalleled in the history of the site. You may all resume your day to day lives.

This is a man to have a drink with. Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson proposed a four-league, 33-team superconference combining CUSA, the Sun Belt, the WAC, and Mountain West. The slide on which this proposal was tendered was labeled "Makes Too Much Sense." Someone should get Karl Benson drunk and have him opine on the other conference commissioners.

Next year's defection worries. A couple of Michigan's 2013 hockey commits made the "A-list" of big time prospects the CSB puts out around this time every year. C JT Compher (expected) and D Michael Downing (maybe a bit of a surprise) are two of the five college-bound guys on that list. That generally means they're expected to go in the first couple rounds.

Big Ten hockey expansion: seeking 100 million or bust. New PSU coach Guy Gadowsky was interviewed by The Pipeline show and PSU hockey blog Thank You Terry transcribed interesting bits. From the non-PSU perspective, this is the most interesting bit:

Speaking of the Big Ten...
"I know for sure there’s been three other Big Ten schools that have contacted our administration and are very curious as to how [the transition to NCAA hockey] happened and what they needed to do. The reality is that the prerequisite to that is that you get a Mr. Pegula or Pegula family that’s going to give 100-odd million dollars. Those guys aren’t hanging off trees. So that’s the prerequisite and that’s hard to find. But I do think there’s a lot of interest – if they can get it done, I know there are Big Ten schools that would love to be a part of it."

Don't expect the Big Ten to get up to eight teams unless magic fairies with money bags descend on the right schools.

Etc.: Ace will no doubt cover LaQuon Treadwell's not-quite-itchy-enough trigger finger extensively in Tuesday Recruitin', but what you need to know now is he didn't commit and now plans to do so on a "random day($)," probably by rolling a d100 until it comes up 1. Yes, highly touted receivers have d100s. Loads of them.

Alex Anzalone has decided to avoid creeper-associated universities and will go to Notre Dame. Beilein is not calling recruits at midnight. Burke and Hardaway are among the 20 players at the Lebron Skills Academy.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Drafts, Offers, Squints

Unverified Voracity Drafts, Offers, Squints Comment Count

Brian June 27th, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Hi. I returned, sorry about the unannounced vacation time. I was in NYC, I thought I would be able to proceed as normal, I was correct only on Thursday and Friday. Back now.

Falk talks Bo. Self-recommending.

Draftings and goings(?). Michigan folk came off the board frequently at the recently-completed NHL draft. Jacob Trouba went 9th, Phil DiGuiseppe and Boo Nieves were second-rounders, and Connor Carrick went in the fifth. That was almost exactly what everyone expected—Carrick may have gone a little higher than his rankings suggested. So hurray, sounds like Michigan has Komisarek 2.0

9. Winnipeg Jets: D Jacob Trouba. Trouba is a tremendous skater — likely the best of the whole bunch — who loves to dish out punishment along the walls and easily separates his opponent from the puck. He's a rugged force in the defensive end who scores off the charts in both his character and compete levels.

…and will see him on the ice this fall since Trouba took opportunity after opportunity to restate that, barring a meteor strike, he'd be in Ann Arbor in the fall and even the meteor would have to do some explaining.

The sad fugee face news comes from Mike Spath, who brings a screeching halt to optimism in re: Phil Di Guiseppe's return. Yes, the PDG who said this after his selection by the Hurricanes:

“It’s great hockey,” Di Giuseppe said of the Michigan experience. “That’s why I went to school there and played there. I’m happy with my decision and I’m happy to go back next year.”

But Spath is hearing otherwise:

However, we heard chatter even before the season concluded that Di Giuseppe had one eye on the OHL and with the right situation could leave U-M early. After the Hurricanes picked him, that talk has only intensified, to the point that we put his chances at returning to Michigan at 50 percent, and would not be surprised in the least if he is playing in the OHL next season.

Getting picked by Carolina is not so good because Peter Karmanos owns both the Hurricanes and the Plymouth Whalers. Even if every public utterance from PDG has been strongly pro-college (Spath even references the one PDG gave him in the article), Spath is plugged in on this stuff.

Meanwhile in Lansing, four incoming Spartans were drafted, the first two coming off the board back-to-back in the third round. That's their best showing in the draft since… 2006. Rick Comley was a disaster and Tom Anastos may have been a better idea than he seemed at first.

BONUS: apparently NHL Network analyst Craig Button compared the kid who went seventh to Charles Woodson? I don't even know, man.

Come on, be as good of an idea as Anastos? Scott Stricklin got bombarded with the usual things about leaving Kent State after his Zips Golden Flashes bowed out of the CWS and responded a typically Ohioan fashion:

“I know some of you have been speculating that the coaching staff might be moving on after our historic season. A certain school up North came calling and we decided that Kent State and what we have built here was too good to leave."

Moving on, then, to… Chris Sabo? According to the twitter feed user Raoul has latched onto as the only plausible source of college baseball coaching scuttlebutt, yes:

Hearing reports Chris Sabo will be named new HC at #Michigan. Several reports today on this story. Something's up.Stay posted.

— Skippers Dugout (@SkippersDugout) June 23, 2012

According to other people, not so much:

Michigan asst. baseball coach Wayne Welton told me earlier today that Twitter is the only place he has heard Chris Sabo will be new HC.

— Matt Slovin (@MattSlovin) June 24, 2012

And our twitter feed started backtracking in the way people do in these situations when people get mad at him. But you are on twitter! I trusted you!

Sabo is a famous program alum and rec-specs aficionado, so he's got that going for him. He does not have any of that coaching stuff to recommend him, unfortunately. I'm guessing the guy who does get hired is not Sabo, nor is it someone who we've been talking about at all.

[UPDATE: and as I'm drafting this a report from College Baseball Daily says Michigan has hired Erik Bakich of Maryland. That would be underwhelming:

Erik Bakich's Maryland record

2010 — 5-25 ACC, 17-39 overall
2011 — 5-25 ACC, 21-35 overall
2012 — 10-20 ACC, 32-24 overall

On the bright side, his most recent effort is the second-winningest season in Maryland history.]

2014 offers of the basketball variety. Michigan's firing out 2014 football offers left and right already, and meanwhile John Beilein's has put the finishing touches on another handcrafted piece of calligraphy, this one directed at Indiana wing Trevon Bluiett. He's the third 2014 kid to pick one up after MS SG Devin Booker and IL SF Keita Bates-Diop. Michigan will have to battle Indiana and others (but mostly Indiana) for the kid. They are… not last:

How does the Michigan visit compare with other visits you’ve taken this summer?
It would definitely be near the top of other visits, you know? Like I said, not too many coaching staff jokes with you so once you find a coaching staff that jokes around, it makes you more comfortable. Being around campus, that made me comfortable. So it definitely beat some of the other schools.”

Tom Crean has been locking his targets down of late so this one seems like a longer shot than Booker or Bates-Diop. That's just speculation, of course.

Even farther down the road, the courtship between Michigan and 2015 OH SG Luke Kennard took another step forward as Kennard knocked down three after three at Michigan's team camp. He was "by far the most impressive player at the camp"—one that included Derrick Walton and Mark Donnal—as he drove his team to the semifinals, and has this to say about the coaching staff:

“They are absolutely amazing. I love each and every one of them and they make me feel right at home, which I love about them,” Luke said. “They tell me I fit in with how they play, and I think I do, too. Like I said, I look forward to going to see them because that’s how much I like seeing them. It was good to see them.”

That goes above and beyond the usual palaver, it seems. May want to pencil him in to the 2015 class, if you're the kind of person with a spreadsheet column entitled "Michigan 2015 basketball roster." Surely there are a few of you.

Men actually on the basketball team.

Burke on the skills camp, via Beth Long at Scout.

Tim Hardaway Jr and Trey Burke have been hitting up the college-oriented skills camps that are popping up these days, and both have been performing well. SLAM magazine returned with an alphabetical list of the top 20 players he saw at a couple of the Chicago camps Burke and Hardaway were at:

Trey Burke, 6-0, Sophomore, Michigan

Burke was one of the nation’s top freshmen last season and after flirting with declaring for the Draft, looks poised to build on his debut campaign, as he showcased an improved outside stroke, which should help a loaded Wolverines squad attempt to get back to the program’s glory days.

Tim Hardaway Jr, 6-5, Junior, Michigan

A wing sniper with length and athleticism, Hardaway attacked defenders off the dribble for pull-up jumpers or dynamic forays to the rim, while showing an all-around game, as he made a strong effort on the boards and defensive end.

MOTS from Burke. If Michigan gets dynamic forays to the rim, rebounding, and defense from Hardaway they are going to be awesome next year… and won't need to worry about where those 2013 scholarships are coming from.

Burke also came in for praise from ESPN's Reggie Rankin, who included him on a select list of four impressive campers:

"He has a great command of the ball and is a terrific open court passer," ESPN.com analyst Reggie Rankin wrote of Burke at this weekend's Deron Williams' Skills Academy in Chicago. "He can also knock down open jumpers on the break or when reading the defense as he comes off ball screens, can nail ball-reversal spot up 3s and make a play when the offense breaks down.

"Burke has worked to become a complete point guard and his improvement is easy to see, along with his improved strength."

UMHoops has a further roundup.

Men coaching people actually on the basketball team. Michigan's dynamic recruiting and teaching assistant corps picked up new contracts:

The new contracts will pay the three coaches a total of $470,000 in base pay for the 2012-13 campaign. Each assistant received a $10,000 base pay raise from a year ago, when the total pool -- per Michigan records -- sat at $440,000. …

Meyer and Alexander both signed four-year pacts, and will make base salaries of $160,000 and $155,000, respectively, in 2012-13. Jordan, meanwhile, inked a three-year contract and will also receive $155,000 in base pay next season.

They've got an interesting bonus system for sticking around, where there's a pool of 20k for each if all three are still around in three years, 20k for Alexander and Jordan if they're still around, and 20k in individual bonuses. I don't think Beilein's going to revamp his staff in the near future unless forced to. Head coaching gigs for Alexander and Jordan—Meyer is 58 and probably not destined for a head job—are the most likely way Michigan's basketball coaching staff will change.

Erp? Sounds like a number of Pac-12 teams are less than enthusiastic about the prospect of loading up on Big Ten teams in their nonconference schedules:

Multiple league sources have told the Hotline in recent weeks that several Pac-12 schools are … how should we say it? …  less than enthusiastic about the partnership, set to take effect in 2017.

However, the schools are reserving final judgment until they see whether a strength-of-schedule component is  included in the formula that determines which teams participate in the four-team playoff.

If SOS is given serious weight … if it’s a tangible part of the formula … then Pac-12 schools may be willing to consider a partnership in which the top programs draw B1G heavyweights every few years, sources said.

But if SOS is not included in the formula, then a full-blown Pac-12/B1G partnership — and I’ll explain what I mean by that in a minute — could be in jeopardy.

This would seem to affect the top end of the league more than the bottom, and would prevent the sort of titanic cross-sectional matchups that were envisioned when this thing was announced. If it looks more like Michigan's 2014-2016 schedule than "here's USC, Stanford, and Oregon" I'm even more of favor of adding that ninth conference game. Hopefully a committee is better able to take things like "you played LSU and Stanford did not" into account.

London Wolverines. Geena Gall will run the 800M. Peter Vanderkaay is headed to a third Olympics. AnnArbor.com has the ridiculously long list of Ann Arbor-area outboard motors competing in the (still-ongoing) Olympic Trials. Meinke profiles Michigan swim coach Mike Bottom.

Etc.: Mark Hollis is going to out attention-whore Dave Brandon if he has to put a basketball game in a volcano. Freshman basketball class hits campus. Kirk Ferentz owns a piece of Americana.

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Unverified Voracity Is Incredibly, Unbelievably Good At Ice Dancing

Unverified Voracity Is Incredibly, Unbelievably Good At Ice Dancing Comment Count

Brian January 28th, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Pyongyang would be proud. While Brandon Graham continues to kill opponents at the Senior Bowl, the other enormous Michigan star in attendance is reportedly struggling. These are lies. I can tell:

Michigan P Zoltan Mesko ruined the punt return drills by being unable to kick the ball far enough to allow a return more often than not (my rough count was 2 returnable out of 7), and his kicks consistently bounce backwards or straight sideways.

I'm sure this person meant to say Mesko ruined the drills by punting the ball into low Earth orbit. Either that or Jeff Risdon—if that is his real name—of RealGM is a compulsive liar who lies. These are the only two options.

That goes for you, too, "Chad Reuter":

This year's class of specialists is not very strong, and Michigan's Zoltan Mesko has been rated as the top punter on the board most of the year. However, his punts have lacked height and spirals, rarely turning over to gain maximum hang time and distance. He'll need a strong game performance to regain the confidence of scouts.

During the game on Saturday, Mesko will shank a punt that nails both of these fellows in the head.

Yost Hall of Fame. You know the monster Swedish flag that's taken up residence in Yost?

swedish-flag

Yeah… it's homemade. Engineering sophomore Rob Eckert's mother is a hero of the people:

“I asked my mom around Christmas time when I saw her if I could borrow her sewing machine," Eckert said. "She was like ‘What are you making?’ I (told) her I was making a Swedish flag, a big one. And my Mom made it for me for my Christmas present.”

I assumed that someone had purchased it off EBay or something, but it was a modern-day Betsy Ross. Someone get her a medal.

Expansion bits. Nominal Chicagoland/Illinois sports blog "Frank the Tank's Slant" has turned into an all-Big-Ten-Expansion-all-the-time sort of place, and it continues its long-running series with an analysis of the main thing: money. The Slant is a weird combo of useful information and totally bats conclusions like "Pitt is a ridiculous idea" and "a 14-team conference is worth spending 1000 words discussing."

I think the bats conclusions come from an excessive focus on money and only money. Pitt doesn't expand the BTN footprint but does make sense in a zillion other ways from academics to providing Penn State an actual rival to geography. A 14 team conference might make more money on average but is a nightmare on the field. Money is important—it's one of the many reasons Iowa State is not a candidate—but it's not everything.

Elsewhere, evidence that Missouri will give the Big Ten a good hard look continues to mount with a KC Star article on Mizzou's willingness to make a move. The main issues are Mizzou's century-long membership in the MVC/Big 8/Big 12 and the hit the Tigers would take in Texas, one of their main recruiting hotbeds, when they don't make regular trips to Tech, A&M, etc.

As always, it's dolla dolla bill ya'll making the most compelling case in favor:

“Illinois and Indiana will make $9 million more from its televisions contracts this year,” Alden said. “Arkansas and Mississippi will make even more. That’s our comparison. In five years, they’ll have generated almost $50 million more than us without selling a ticket.”

If Mizzou is willing to go, I think the additional markets they bring outweigh Pitt's superiority in basketball and academics.

You find a playlist 100,000 people can agree on, we talk. Maize n Brew Dave makes a case for improving the Michigan game day experience re: piped in music. My solution is simple: find Special K and have him transfer to Michigan State. His solution is removing stuff like "Lose Yourself" and "Don't Stop Believing" because while he likes piped in music "only when it's good." He suggests this playlist instead:

Guns n Roses: Paradise City, Nitetrain, Welcome to the Jungle
Motley Crue: Kickstart My Heart, Dr. Feelgood
AC/DC: Thunderstruck, Back in Black, Shoot To Thrill, Highway to Hell, Hells Bells (Defense only), Rock n Roll Train
Motorhead: Ace of Spades
Quiet Riot: Metal Health (opening scream only)
Metallica: Enter Sandman (Defense only)
KISS: Detroit Rock City

Problem: all this music sucks so hard. It's generic. It's played out. It's being RAWKED at an ECHL arena right now. And oh my god:

So how bout "Breakin the Law" by Judas Priest for penalties? "Why can't we be friends" for personal fouls? "Mama's little helper" when the refs screws us? "Sympathy for the Devil" when Tressel's around? "Play that Funky Music White Boy" for Tate Forcier and the "Speed Racer" Theme for Denard Robinson? This stuff isn't rocket sciene.

Dave is Special K. I can (barely) tolerate Don't Stop Believin'. When Special K plays Bob Seger at ear-splitting volume during a critical review I want to die. If he started making stupid little jokes about on-field events when I am on the verge of a panic attack it would make me want to stay home and that would make me feel terrible. The arrow on this points exactly one way: Joe Louis.

Dave makes this argument for piped in music:

The best example I can give is the Jagr-led Washington Capitals* … whose PA dude put together the most awesome montage-collages of heavy metal/death rock this pathetic planet has ever known. That Caps intro would melt your face right into your beer cup. … They knew their target audience and they fed it guitar heavy ROK like you'd feed makrel to a trained seal. We ate it up.

So… let's think about knowing your audience. At Michigan Stadium you have a vast variety of Michigan fans, students, and alums ranging from 18 to 80. Maybe 5% of them grew up driving a Camaro and rocking a rat-tail. "Knowing your audience" this is not. Keep the eighth-grade sense of humor ("boners!") and your 1985 hair metal where it belongs—everywhere else on the planet—, please, and let's go back to the things Michigan fans can actually agree on: Temptation, War Chant, Let's Go Blue, The Victors.

The thing that bothers me is that I really loathe the piped in music and, from the reactions I've gotten it seems like a lot of people do. For the people who hate it, the music ruins one of the few pristine sporting events luddites have left. For people who like it, it's just another opportunity to hear the same fifteen seconds of that one song you hear fifteen seconds of everywhere else. The cost to one group greatly exceeds the benefit to the other.

Rooting interest. I admit that I have no plans to watch ice dancing no matter what personal connection I have to it—I could be actively participating in a routine and be screaming "SWEEP" at my slingbox-enhanced smartphone—but others might be less curling-obsessed so it's worth mentioning that two current Michigan students are the sequined Brandon Graham and slightly-less-sequined-but-still-pretty-damn-sequined Brandon Graham of ice dancing. They are Meryl Davis and Charlie White:

White and Davis, both native Metro Detroiters, are University of Michigan students and die-hard Wolverine sports fans.

They're about to become very famous, as they head into the Olympics as the No. 1-ranked ice dancers in the world. White, a sophomore who has not chosen a major yet, and Davis, a junior in cultural anthropology, could become the most famous Michigan students in the Olympics since star swimmer Michael Phelps.

That's pretty remarkable. This bit goes beyond remarkable into the bizarre, though: the third-place team at nationals, and therefore the third Olympic qualifier, consists of fellow Michigan students Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates. Four of the six competitors for the US at the Olympic ice dancing competition will be Michigan undergraduates. Bates and White are freakin' housemates. I bet one dollar the four hit the ice at Yost during an intermission sometime before the year is out.

So, yeah, Tanith Belbin and Anonymous Partner can fall in a ditch. I want big, sequined block Ms on the medal podium. 

Ask Vlad Emilien anything! Seriously. However, he will sometimes answer incorrectly:

Who wins: Mike Barwis or Chuck Norris?

i dont really know maybe chuck norris

1 hour ago

Lies!

Has Barwis ever brought his wolves to workouts?

no

1 hour ago

More lies!

There's a couple of interesting responses, though. Molk is the "strongest, hardest working" player on the team, and this oddly grammatical question shoots down the idea that a lingering knee injury kept Emilien off the field:

Hey Vlad, Just curious, did a lingering injury keep you off the field last year? Did it affect your play? A lot of us expected to see more of you and that was the rumor. I'm looking forward to seeing you play next year. Thanks for making Blue proud!

to be honest i dont know why i wasnt playing... my coach told me he felt i wasnt ready yet

1 hour ago

Also…

Sammi Sweatheart or Jwoww?

who is these people lol

1 hour ago

So there you go.

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