Unverified Voracity Coins A Nickname

Unverified Voracity Coins A Nickname

Submitted by Brian on July 13th, 2012 at 1:39 PM

PATERNO 3 0102 JRH

in his Rat Pack phase

In other Paterno chiseling. I've read more than my fair share of outraged reactions to the Freeh Report and recommend those of Dan Wetzel, Scipio Tex, and Paul Campos. Wetzel has a passage at the end about the Grand Experiment that captures how ridiculous the very idea was from the start:

Paterno did help his football players. Those men, however, were heavily recruited, talented and often highly motivated people. If they hadn't gone to Penn State they would've gone to Michigan or Virginia or Notre Dame.

For decades he found a way to take top-line kids and maximize what they could do, usually by motivating them to excel at a sport they already loved. They were subject to mass adulation and had the potential to become millionaires at the professional level.

He wasn't taking illiterate Third World children and getting them to Harvard. Almost every person Paterno positively impacted through football would have fared similarly had Penn State not even fielded a team. They just would have played elsewhere. Bo Schembechler or Lou Holtz or Bobby Bowden would've coached them up in football and life, just like Paterno did.

That's always bugged me about the sanctimony of a certain section of the ND fanbase. Congratulations: you took kids from Catholic schools with solid families and didn't turn them into the Joker. Well done.

Campos touches on the refrigerator thing without having to cross the Atlantic for a metaphor:

A man who breaks some rules in order to win a few more football games is likely to understand himself to be nothing more exalted than a hustler on the make. By contrast, a man who talks himself into believing that he is running a uniquely virtuous Grand Experiment, rather than just another successful college football program that mostly avoids the most egregious forms of cheating, is far more likely to develop the delusion that he’s some sort of role model for his peers, or even a quasi-spiritual leader of our youth.

And Scipio Tex bombs the one moment of regret Paterno expressed:

Before his death, Joe Paterno remarked that "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

The measured banality of that phraseology, the suggestion that hindsight is the necessary ingredient when confronted with the most simple matters of immediate moral action, reveals his own disconnection and concern for reputation right up until his last moments.

Let's be clear: Those boys wish you'd done anything at all, Joe.

That closes the door on Brian's opinion of Joe Paterno story time. Wait, one more: Grantland's Michael Weinreb, a State College native with Penn State ties that run as deep as they can, declares the experiment "failed." 

NCAA matters. The Paterno debate closes as another one re-opens: should the NCAA step in and hammer Penn State for the above? I'm on the "no" side. The NCAA has an enforcement mechanism to maintain its own set of rules for things that the legal system has nothing to say about. Here, the perpetrators are going to jail. That is an appropriate punishment and effective deterrent. The NCAA stepping in is redundant, and the hammer would fall on a completely unrelated set of people. The legal system has a laser-aimed bazooka; the NCAA would be deploying a wonky BB gun with a misaligned sight. Meanwhile, the Department of Education could look into Penn State essentially ignoring the Clery act and PSU is about to be flooded with civil lawsuits that insurance probably won't cover. Deterrence: check.

That said, if the NCAA were to vacate Paterno's victories after the 2001 incident* and instate Bobby Bowden as the all-time victories leader I would clap like a seal. (Or Les Miles.) Paterno's maniacal pursuit of that goal long after he'd ceased to be capable of anything other than muttering in the press box seems like a symptom of the broader disease.

*[Ideally they'd deploy some sort of double standard so the Big Ten wouldn't have to go back and pretend that a decade of games didn't happen. Just nix them from Paterno's record, not the program's.]

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rejected nicknames included "the super seven," "excellent thirty-six," and "adjective-free e to the x"

A rain of thunder from the FABULOUS FIVE. I just came up with that nickname for Michigan's incoming basketball recruiting class. You see, there are five of them, and they seem very good at basketball collectively. Thus I have decided to call them the FABULOUS FIVE. I may decide have a few of those letters lower-cased in the future. It's a work in progress.

No? You're saying something about how that's ridiculous, fraught with historical significance, and derivative. Well, you are a hater.

Anyway, the FABULOu5 FIvE are on campus and taking it to the veterans!

"They got us two out of three games. I don't think they got the better of us, but they looked really good. They came in and they're willing to learn and that's a good sign for freshmen. We should be really good with their help this year," sophomore Trey Burke said. "I remember there were a couple times they beat us … that doesn't surprise me because that's the type of players they are.

"They're really good, they have size and they know their roles — they can play."

Said Tim Hardaway Jr.: "The first two or three games, they destroyed us. I think they were very excited. (In) games to 11, they're beating us 11-6, 11-7."

Caveats:

"(Jordan Morgan) and I looked at each other and said we have to show them what Big Ten basketball is about and we beat them 11-1, 11-2, so they got their time, but it won't happen again."

Also, Burke and Hardaway are revealed to be on separate teams when this is going on, meaning 1) walk-ons are filling out the veteran five-man rosters, and 2) Burke and Hardaway are not playing together. You may have not needed the second bullet point there.

Anyway, I predict Mitch Albom thinks none of these guys are taking 600k from a Detroit numbers runner. This time, he will be correct. Also the basketball team will be good at basketball.

BONUS: Caris Levert is "built like small Kevin Durant," which means he can be used as a kite should the situation call for it.

Nevermind the good nonconference scheduling business. The Pac-12/Big Ten scheduling pact that was like conference expansion except brillianter, that was a historic way to something something with synergy, the thing that promised Wisconsin would finally have to play an opponent with zero confused Albanians in the secondary… it's dead.

The two leagues announced Friday that their pact, which initially called for 12 football games per year, has been called off. The reason: at least four Pac-12 schools were unwilling to agree to mandatory scheduling, ESPN.com has learned. A key sticking point is that Pac-12 teams play nine conference games, while Big Ten teams play only eight. Adding in traditional non-league series like USC-Notre Dame, Stanford-Notre Dame and Utah-BYU, and it makes the scheduling situation tougher for those in the Pac-12.

So much for that. The silver lining is that the Big Ten will look at going to a nine-game conference schedule in 2017, like they had announced they were going to do before the stars aligned with the Pac-12. I preferred a nine-game conference schedule anyway. From Michigan's perspective anything that helps balance the crossover-rival playing field is beneficial, and I hate going four years without playing Wisconsin, etc.

Libel lawsuit business. Prediction: Kitchener's lawsuit will have no effect on the Daily. As Tyler Dellow points out, the US passed an act that prohibits libel tourism and what they're accused of—paying an employee—is only debatably defamatory. Meanwhile, OHL restrictions on compensation may not be legal since the players have not collectively bargained for their contracts. Given the state of the law the play for the Daily may be to ignore the lawsuit:

In any event, it seems to me that one consequence of the SPEECH Act is that, if your assets are in America and you’ve received advice that a foreign defamation action against you could not succeed in America, you’d never bother to defend it. Let the plaintiff have his default judgment and then who cares. This is, of course, more true of corporations then it is of individuals – a judgment against him personally would kind of limit the career opportunities of Matt Slovin, the reporter in question, because the judgment could be enforced against him if he ever moved to Canada and acquired some assets.

The fact of the individual journalist apparently being named in the litigation is the one thing that might make it sensible to fight the thing here. Here’s hoping the case goes all the way to trial – a trip through the sausage factory of junior hockey could be a considerable amount of fun.

The Daily is standing by its story. Kitchener's playing a game of chicken here—it seems like their business model is based on not having anyone look too closely at why their players aren't employees.

Pressed for time. Michael of Braves and Birds also writes for the Atlanta SBN site and has a post on ESPN's suddenly great coverage of international soccer and how they could improve their coverage of college football:

Whereas ESPN starts off Euro matches in the studio with a discussion of the lineup choices made by the managers, they start off college football games with Mark May and Lou Holtz getting into contrived fights or Jesse Palmer looking pretty. Whereas ESPN includes the pre-match pomp and circumstance when covering Euro matches, they ignore it almost entirely in college football. Instead, the approach is for the play-by-play and color guys to drum through the story lines for the game - story lines that they will stick to regardless of how the game actually plays out - and then maybe the viewer gets a five-second shot of Michigan players touching the banner or Clemson players rubbing Howard's Rock. Whereas ESPN shows the starting lineups for both teams in formation at the outset of each Euro match, they cannot be bothered to even list the starting lineups for college football teams anymore, instead showing only the "Impact Players," as if every word coming out of Matt Millen's mouth is so critical that he does not have time to list 44 starters.

In short, ESPN feeds both the mind and the heart in the first 15 minutes of covering a Euro match, while it does neither in the first 15 minutes of covering a college football game. If ESPN started Georgia-South Carolina by covering the entire rendition of Also Sprach Zarathustra* and then discussed the teams' starting lineups and how they would match up against one another, both in terms of styles and in terms of individual matchups, then I would be a very happy camper and I suspect that most college football fans would be, as well.

The asterisk notes that yes, that's ESPN coverage, but if you watch that youtube clip it is remarkable because Mike Patrick just gets out of the way and lets you have your moment with the fans. I'd love it if every word spoken by Mark May was replaced by the PBP announcer pointedly not saying anything as the pageantry of the pregame played out.

Newspapers still struggling. An extensive Nieman Lab article on the situation of the Detroit papers is full of doom, gloom, and happy faces put on crappy situations by Paul Anger:

“Very soon, sooner than most people expect, we’ll only publish on Sunday,” Elrick, the Pulitzer winner, told me. “We’re still losing money. I think they were smart to do a lot of research. I think they were smart to communicate to people what they were doing and why. But there’s no question that they did this because there was no better alternative. To my mind, this was cutting off your arm so you can get out from under the boulder. This was not, ‘I’ll be so much faster and lighter with one arm.’ Anybody who’s telling you that is full of baloney.”

Anger insists that the delivery change has been “extremely successful,” but that doesn’t mean things are bright. Weekday circulation continues to drop — nearly 6 percent between March 2011 and March 2012.

Even the director of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship is dismissing papers out of hand:

Charles Eisendrath, director of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, puts it bluntly: “They do not matter,” he told me. “They’ve been fading for a long time. The decision to get rid of half of your [delivery] schedule accelerated the rate by two. What advertisers think is, ‘This isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t carry any influence.’ What readers think is, ‘There’s nothing in this.’”

The Free Press just announced they would "sizably reduce" its newsroom again. Section 1 opens up a bottle of champagne.

Etc.: Lloyd Carr thinks the playoff will expand. He seems to like it all the same. Behind the Call Me Maybe holdouts. Denard gets you a plaque. The Detroit metro has the third highest effective income in the country. We can probably stop bemoaning the implosion of the state. Rothstein on Michigan's influx of SYF Players.

Off Tackle Empire's quest to determine the worst Big Ten team of "all-time" goes back to 1996. GopherQuest scorns you.

Unverified Voracity Drafts, Offers, Squints

Unverified Voracity Drafts, Offers, Squints

Submitted by Brian on 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.

Band To Dallas, Brandon On Jerryworld Dollars

Band To Dallas, Brandon On Jerryworld Dollars

Submitted by Brian on April 24th, 2012 at 2:03 PM

TorchGang

Ann Arbor Torch and Pitchfork gets it done:

Michigan marching band received a letter today from Dave Brandon informing them that they will be heading to Dallas for the 2012 FB opener

Also some well-heeled donor or six dropping benjamins. Nickel and dime, nickel and dime.

Meanwhile, David Brandon on the financial realities of Jerryworld($):

Brandon acknowledged that the athletic department would have made more money had it just hosted a game at Michigan Stadium. "If it was just about the money," he said, "we would have hosted a game here."

But the exposure, the primetime slot and the opponent will do wonders for the program. Brandon said there was no way he could have gotten Alabama or a similarly high-profile opponent to do a one-off game in Ann Arbor. And with the Wolverines' 2013 schedule already full, a home-and-home series would not have worked, either.

…says an athletic director looking at a 2013 return game with UConn for a game scheduled in 2010, in a department that waited half a decade to get a return game from Oregon.

Whatever. Even if it's a grim idea financially for both the department and Michigan fans it's better than a MAC game until we're down two touchdowns. I'll be extremely disappointed if this sort of thing happens again, though. Price marquee games appropriately and there's no reason Michigan can't make it work financially with home and homes. No more middlemen, sterile NFL arenas, etc.

Speaking of, Brandon mentioned that Michigan is pursuing a home and home with a Pac-12 team that should launch in before the 2017, when the conferences will play annual games against each other. Hopefully that means a home game in 2014, when Nebraska/OSU/Notre Dame are again on the road. (Michigan at least adds Penn State to the home schedule that year.)

If that's the case, possibilities are:

  • Cal. Cal has already scheduled a game at Northwestern, however, and probably wants a couple of bodybag home games to fill things out.
  • Oregon. Home date with MSU in 2014 and on the road in 2015. Probably does not want to double up with the state of Michigan, but the schedule seems to work out.
  • Stanford. Similar issue to Cal's: Already @ ND in 2014.
  • USC. USC ain't scurred of filling up its schedule with BCS teams and has a home game with ND in 2014 plus a game at BC(?!?). They'd probably be willing to take on a challenge since BC is going to roll over and die. Complication: this would be smack in the middle of the period sanctions should bite them and they might want to ease up on the scheduling.
  • Utah. Hasn't scheduled anything.
  • Washington State. Has a home game against Wisconsin in 2014 and a road game against Nevada. Unlikely they'd want to go on the road that year.

Everyone else is full in 2014. Utah or USC seem like the most likely options. A home and home with a Utah team that has twice come out for one-offs in the past decade would be something of a letdown.

BONUS RANDOM NOTE: It looks like the prophesied resurrection of multiple interesting nonconference games is coming to pass. Body-bags guarantees and rising ticket prices have finally created an environment where it makes sense to keep people on the hook with games against actual opponents. At least there's that.

Unverified Voracity Requires A German

Unverified Voracity Requires A German

Submitted by Brian on May 4th, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Save us, Germany. While not getting that third year from Darius Morris (now an official thing with an official press release you can see at right in the diaries) that would allow Michigan to bridge from him to the Brundidge/Burke era confidently sucks out loud, Michigan might have a pretty good backup plan. Remember that German kid whose last name sort of implied he had a bushy mustache and favored soft zones when protecting a narrow lead?

Yeah, Patrick Heckmann. Heckmann is visiting colleges stateside after averaging 12.3 PPG in the third level of German basketball—not bad for a 17-year-old. He's hit San Diego and Boston College and plans one more trip—Michigan has been rumored as one of his top choices for a while. Get him on campus, take him to the Heidelberg, and bam:

Also here are terrifying German mascots!

Also also how can you not want this guy:

Patrick Heckmann was the lone bright spot in the short and grim German campaign to glory. A frightfully athletic wing player with a creative feel to his game emerged as a top-shelf prospect only in Lithuania averaging 12.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the tournament, twice the production comparing to the U16 European Championship in Czech Republic two years ago.

The lone bright spot in short and grim campaign to glory: he is German basketball Denard Robinson.

Additional salve: Glen Robinson III's early AAU performances see him move into the Scout top 100 at #90.

Not so fast on your not so fast. Adam Rittenberg follows up on a Journal-Sentinel article that quotes Barry Alvarez saying a nine game schedule is not a priority and can't happen until 2017(!) at the earliest:

after checking with the Big Ten, I've learned the nine-game discussion will continue May 17-18 at the league's spring meetings of coaches and athletic directors in Chicago. Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner, who puts together the league schedules, will talk with the ADs about whether to implement a nine-game schedule or remain at eight.

Rudner told me in an email message that the athletic directors want to see a financial analysis of schedules with nine league games versus eight league games.

The calculus that provides a ninth conference game: extra value of conference game for BTN + extra pricing leverage when you have a better schedule > 1/2 average stadium take – 2 * average guarantee. That seems like a hard thing to figure out.

I'm annoyed that athletic departments have now built in seven home football games as part of their revenue projections because it makes me feel like a cow being milked. Oh, Mr. Trump, be gentle!

Wha? The Pac-10… er, Pac-12's new television contract is very large. It is stupidly large, $2.7 billion over 12 years, or nearly $19 million per school. This crushes the ACC's recent contract, which would be no surprise except the ACC includes a bunch of basketball, and that contract saw "back and forth bidding" drive the ACC's annual cost from $120 million to $155.

One wonders what Big Ten rights would fetch if tossed on an open market in which Comcast is trying to get a slice of the pie for itself. At least the BTN provides steady revenue escalation as it increases its leverage in the footprint and gets more tasty ROTEL ads. The SEC's massive deal now seems eh… not so massive:

Does anyone know if SEC has an out in its current TV deal? Because if not, it's gonna be fun getting paid 2009 prices in 2023 #goodworkSlive

The Big Ten signed a ten-year contract in 2006, so they'll be on the market again in five years.

Brabbs baby is metal. Brabbs baby:

brabbs-baby-metal

At least someone will enjoy it when Special K plays Saliva this fall. Also Brabbs is maintaining good numbers when it comes to his myeloma.

Joe Bolden says things. They are pretty inflammatory things:

"Being told I am too small," Bolden admitted, "when I have never heard that before, it was an eye opener. Notre Dame told me they wanted a 6-foot-4 linebacker and that I am 'not their guy.' I'm not upset if I don't fit your profile, I was just surprised it was about height, because I have always believed that it's not the size of the dog, but it's the dogs bite." …

"It will be good to walk over and shake the Notre Dame coaches' hands and say thank you for giving me the drive to be even better," Bolden said.

Actually… so… not that Notre Dame is anything other than a wretched hive of scum and villany, but they do run a 3-4, and in a 3-4 the OLBs are ideally even bigger than the fairly big Bolden because they're quasi-DEs. It's not you, it's them.

/ducks Bolden thunder-fist of words

Etc.: 1990 Iowa at Michigan on the intertubes. Since that was a heartbreaking one-point loss this may be of more interest to Iowa fans. Fascinating Slate article on a company that breaks down meaningless press conference jibber-jabber in an attempt to project players for the NFL draft. Michigan's last three-and-out coach.