Unverified Voracity Rides The Dolphin

Unverified Voracity Rides The Dolphin Comment Count

Brian January 28th, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Pretty much. Midnight Maize returns with MS Paint sidearm:


I do not know why Petway is riding a dolphin.

Brackets. Surveying the panoply of brackets at the Bracket Matrix gives the impression that to most Michigan is currently a three seed. Michigan's currently the last one overall, but the Matrix generally lags as brackets are up to a week old. They're on the cusp of a 2, especially with Oklahoma State losing last night.

That's where Jerry Palm has them, in a rather unpleasant region with potential rematches against Stanford (the 11), Iowa State(the 2) and Arizona(the 1) plus winged-helmet-on-winged-helmet crime in the opener against Delaware. There is  exactly no reason to get exercised about team placement in a random January bracket, I know. I just am not feeling positive about that business.

More on Aneurysm Two. Beilein has not and apparently will not disclose what set him off, but when MLive is getting screenshots from youtube of the LeVert layup attempt that was (officially) blocked by Appling, it seems that everyone agrees. Beilein, for his part, on Stauskas getting him away from the spittle exchange:

“Yeah, that was a good assist by him,” Beilein said of Stauskas in the postgame press conference. “He was a little rough with me, too. I was in control, though, believe it or not.”

I do not entirely believe it, and if it was anyone other than John Beilein I would be snorting in derision. Also:

"(Stauskas) made a great move there because I was an innocent bystander at the time," Beilein said. "At any rate, we got through that. That would have been a shame if I would have gotten a technical at that time."

The implication there is that Beilein started barking at this Wymer guy and it was Wymer who got in his face. Imagine that happening to, say, Tom Izzo. It does not compute. No wonder he blew up.

Coach Mitch. Presented without context.

“I’m Coach Mitch,” McGary said to reporters after the game Saturday.

Also, another photo in the Horford/McGary odd couple bin:


Photographers, you have been notified that side by side shots of McGary and Horford are of bottomless joy and utility.

Aw man. I was just getting into the swing of calling the Huskers something like Increasingly Dangerous Nebrasketball™ and they had to go and kick Deverell Biggs off the team.

[checks kenpom]

Nevermind! Biggs was a unique combination of high volume and absolutely miserable efficiency: his usage rate was 35th nationally and his ORTG 92nd. I'm only thinking this is a major loss because Biggs had 14 points against Michigan. Now I am worried abut Michigan's defense. More worried.

Just another Alabama offseason. Alabama fans believe they will take 27 kids in this recruiting class, which means they'll have to eject eight guys from the program. Unless it's actually eleven, ie, the different between Michigan signing the 16 or 17 they expect to this year and a near-NCAA maximum class. At least Bama fans are no longer able to deny what's happening with sleight of hand, and have to admit they don't care:

Don't care.

Scholarship limits are designed to limit student-athlete opportunities in the name of competitive balance. Those who laud scholarship limits while suggesting that oversigning is harmful to student-athletes are hypocrites.

Next question.

I knew I shouldn't have worn my I LAUD SCHOLARSHIP LIMITS t-shirt today. The only thing more endangered by Alabama than backup offensive linemen are strawmen.

Injuries issues for Wisconsin hockey. Badger defenseman Tyler Barnes will be out for this weekend's series at Yost. Nick Kerdiles, a first round pick, is questionable after missing the Michigan series in Madison. Even if they get a weakened version of the Badgers, Michigan is going to have to significantly step up their game to compete with the #5 scoring offense in the country.

Wow, Yost. Remember that? It's January 28th and this is the first game at Yost since December 11th. Scheduling. I am not impressed with it. If they're going to have all these bye weeks because the conference tournament is one weekend instead of three, they should endeavor to fill breaks like last week with nonconference series. I very much want to go to hockey in January, because it's a star attraction. In the heart of football season it's not.

Well now. There's been a kind-of-bonkers rumor floating around the past few years that when Red retires, one of the primary candidates to replace him will be Mike Babcock. Here is the first circumstantial evidence this is not something a twelve year old posted on a message board:

“He always mentions that -- (coaching college hockey) at some point -- when we talk,” Berenson said. “When he's done (in the NHL), he could see himself doing that. He's a student of the game and understands academics and sports and life after hockey."

IIRC, Red's tentative plan is to serve out the next two years of his contract and then hang it up. If Babcock wants the job I think we might let him have it.

Etc.: Obituary of the year. Venric Mark will return for Northwestern. Hockey moves up its recruiting calendar by six months so coaches can talk to guys before the CHL drafts. Nebraska's new ice rink will not support D-I hockey. Oh man I forgot to put the fact that MSU was favored by five by Vegas in the 30 for 30 pitch.




Unverified Voracity Serves You W/ Flaming Piano

Unverified Voracity Serves You W/ Flaming Piano Comment Count

Brian August 29th, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Hoke interviewed w/ bonus. Davy Rothbart got a one-on-one interview with Brady Hoke in which the man revealed he tears up at Hall and Oates songs, which is obvious in retrospect. He's just a big ol' bear. Grantland did not understand the power of the twosie and had space constraints*, so here are a couple of leftover bits from Mr. Rothbart:

Davy/Grantland: You've seen the pictures on MGoBlog of Taylor Lewan riding a "twosie" bicycle, right? What do you think of that?

Coach Hoke: [Laughing] Hey, we're happy if we can keep [the players] off of motorcycles. I'd say a twosie is okay in my book.

Hoke's favorite movies: "Silence of the Lambs. And A Few Good Men. What a powerful movie."

Hoke's favorite book: "Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. It's the story of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 10. A book about brotherhood, skills, and accountability."

Hoke's favorite food: "Pizza. My wife’s homemade pizza. We top it with hamburger, pepperoni, and maybe some feta cheese with some pepperoncinis. Artichoke hearts sometimes, and sliced tomatoes. My wife's sauce is the best. We have pizza night every Thursday night during football season.  This year will be our 33rd year doing it. Just me, my wife, and our daughter... and then I bring the leftovers in for the defensive line the next day."

Orson will be so happy about that last bit. You may remember that Rothbart is the FOUND guy. He's got a book coming out soon with what he promises are many Ann Arbor-based tales.

*[I know, it's the internet, don't ask me.]

Come for the spelling, stay for the crotch explosions. Shutdown Fullback is M-Bama oriented and taking gratuitous shots at MSU:

I need someone to make a college football themed collectible card game.

OPPONENT: Taps three boosters, plays AARON BURBRIDGE
SELF: plays NCAA CLEARINGHOUSE interrupt, taps Burbridge for three turns
SELF: taps two unofficial visits, plays JT FLOYD

…and so on.

Step your game up, block-MS-painters. You just got served:


Will this aggression stand, MS paint aficionados? Mmmm?

Epic Cato June. BHGP is still running down the top 25 Ferentz wins, and I knew this one was coming: their epic beatdown of #8 Michigan in 2002. I was at that game, and did not have real good time. (Are we still saying that?)

I mention it because Iowa has gifed the most Cato June thing of all time:


Okay, it's at least top five. #1 would have to be a GIF where June celebrates like Ray Lewis after someone else made a tackle 20 yards downfield.

And then he became a pro bowl linebacker. Football is weird.

Etc.: Joe Montana doesn't seem like a Brian Kelly fan. B&B on packaged plays and such. They're all the rage.


Unverified Voracity Is Secretly Switzer

Unverified Voracity Is Secretly Switzer Comment Count

Brian August 12th, 2011 at 11:40 AM



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:



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.”


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:


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 Hires Train Monkey

Unverified Voracity Hires Train Monkey Comment Count

Brian September 28th, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Brabbs reminder. Chicagoans: Phil Brabbs is having a fundraiser this weekend for the Indiana game, which Michigan will DOMINATE. Offer still stands on the Brabbs shirts, BTW: buy one, get five bucks off a second shirt in the (now severely reduced) MGoStore.

Insane rootability UPDATE! This is quality except for hated non-journalist Melanie Collins(!) introing it:

(Note: last time Melanie Collins was referenced on the blog the comments got very sad; just don't, hokay?)

Also: you've already seen Stonum kick the glasses up a notch this week, but what about Taylor Lewan's insane mustache tattoo?


The purpose of this:

"I mean it's the best icebreaker in the world. You go up to them," Lewan said, putting his finger in place to reveal the mustache, "'Miss, let's be serious, I just want to dance.'"

You will not be surprised to learn the idea originated in third grade. I mean:

"My friend thought it would be a cool idea to draw a mustache on (his finger)," Lewan said. " I was like 'this is the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life. I have to do this for real.'"

I love this team.

Kicking paint. Via a reader:


Injury watch. Another pair of big injuries hit the Big Ten this weekend, with Purdue QB Robert Marve and Penn State RT Lou Eliades tearing ACLs and getting knocked out for the year. Marve's replacement is a redshirt freshman who will further condemn Purdue to a terrible season; they're now down their top QB, RB, and WR and just lost to Toledo by 11. The Rockets were dead last in total offense going into the Purdue game; they put up 31 points and exceeded their season yardage average by 100. Purdue is bad. Someone should Yakety Sax the upcoming Purdue-Minnesota game.

Penn State winnability watch. Eliades's loss sends Penn State into a further bout of scrambling on the OL. They were already starting two(!) guys who played guard in 2009 at tackle. Now they're going with this guy:

Filling Eliades will be redshirt junior Chima Okoli, who is an offensive lineman for the first time in his career. Okoli was a full-time defensive lineman in high school and at Penn State until spring drills, when he reluctantly shifted to offense.

Penn State's starting tackles are now 6'3" and 6'4", and the position switch starter klaxons are blaring. Linebacker U on the situation:

The offensive line was already having issues before this tragedy. I lost count just how many times I pounded my fist on the bar table today when PSU only had to pick up a yard or two in third down situations and got manhandled by Temple's defensive line. … I am now taking bets on just how many of our linemen are going to join ex-punter Jeremy Boone in getting swallowed by Iowa's Adrian Clayborn next week.

Normally level-headed official-journalist-type-guy Bill Kline also sounds the alarm, albeit about a different position:

Penn State's safeties are just too slow. Drew Astorino and Nick Sukay both got burned on runs, and more than once. Andrew Dailey also was beaten. Terrelle Pryor is gonna eat them up, let alone Denard Robinson of Michigan. Can you imagine those safeties trying to even touch D-Rob? He could outrun those guys wearing a NASA spacesuit.

Yeesh. He also has some critical words for Bolden ("overthrows open receivers, holds onto the ball too long, rifles it in there harder than a sledgehammer") and actually says the PSU coaches should have inserted Kevin "Michigan Fans Are Just Bitter" Newsome at some point against the Owls.

All that sounds like overreaction to me. Even so, the Penn State game has moved into the coinflip-ish band with MSU and Iowa, even at night on the road. I remain terrified of Wisconsin even if Vegas hates them.

The Freude. TWIS is up and has the usual bout of Notre Dame self-loathing. Get your laughs in now since ND's next five games should all be easy wins—Boston College is the toughest opponent in that stretch and they also feature in TWIS because they have a 70-year-old OC named "Tranquill," which is just too easy.

Also featured is TRAIN MONKEY:

I don't even know what this means:


Fire Mullen Now

Train monkey could have called a better four down set


Train monkey?

via www.richgonzales.com



BONUS! This just came down the NDN crazy pipe:

My mom says it's ok we lost because Stanford is a good team
by KLav18 (2010-09-27 16:03:17)

I want to punch her in the face and tell her that is the whole problem. We can't beat anyone good because we suck.

Is there anything more entertaining than ND Nation after a loss? Yes: Denard Robinson. But that's it.

I admire your enthusiasm. One Indiana fan's opinion of this weekend's game:

Michigan has no chance next week....

their defense doesnt exist. They barely beat an ND that IU could easily handle (ND couldnt dominate PU, which got killed by Toledo. You think Toledo would beat IU??). They barely beat UMass (FCS team?) at home.
They are not going to get 400 yards on IU.... let alone 700 yards.
Michigan are getting full of themselves, again. The BTN is helping.
Chappel will destroy them. Robinson will get some of his yards, but no one else will. And if they are sandbagging his injury, Tate Forcier's parents will have to take down his website after the game.

This is just one guy, obviously. Most other IU fans are hopeful but reasonable, or seem reasonable next to this guy, who also suggests that if the "referines" give Michigan the game again, IU should join the Big 12.

Etc.: Oregon blog Off The Pond finds AP voter John Wilner's secret ballot notes. Wilner is one of two voters to exclude Michigan, and the rest of his ballot does not make the guy out to be a genius. (The other guy not to vote for Michigan is creepy/sad cheerleader groupie Scott Wolf.) Nobody goes to Florida State games. Just 61k showed up for the Wake Forest game; they haven't topped 70k for the last five games. TV Guide droids are changing the storyline.


Unverified Voracity Is Mostly Pictures

Unverified Voracity Is Mostly Pictures Comment Count

Brian September 10th, 2010 at 4:09 PM


In retrospect, obvious. Shredder's latest and something I'm kicking myself for not putting in the preview:

Too bad it's a 100% guaranteed cease-and-desist magnet, or that would be a killer t-shirt.

Nacho dip. Obama's hard edge. Random seven minute video featuring Rodriguez and impressions of Rodriguez from his players:

Via MBN.

This is never good. Remember Brent Petway's rap? Yeah… now there's a Michigan State version:

So they've caught up to us in that department. Let's not return the favor with team-wide brawls. Also, athletes: stop rapping. That is all.


Not that this is a surprise, but… John Pollack continues saying "it's just a flesh wound" in AnnArbor.com, further revealing reasons no one should talk to him ever again:

“What happened was that Michigan Stadium was a unique stadium,” he said. “With the renovation, it looks pretty much like every stadium in the country.” … “If you take out seat-license fees, the whole financial model collapses,” he said. “And what did the average fan get in return? A quarter-inch. It’s not even worth repainting the numbers.”

1. The bowl has not seen the seats expand to their final size, since that process will take the next three years.
2. The noise in the bowl has gone up 30-40%.
3. Handicap seating is considerably more extensive.
4. Seat license fees were instituted a decade ago.
4. He continues insisting that now Michigan Stadium looks like "every other stadium in the country," which good lord:



He also keeps saying that the "mystery and surprise" that Michigan Stadium was just a HOLE IN THE GROUND was an asset since surely no one knew it was called "the Big House" when it was a HOLE IN THE GROUND.

False. If I had a picture of this man I would lolcat it like that. just "FALSE."

On the crushening of Denard. A small amount of chatter in the aftermath of the UConn game has been about how the Big Ten rabble rabble defense rabble linebacker rabble Robinson's spleen rabble rabble rabble. Jon Chait points out a reason the 29 carry(!) outing is not likely to be repeated:

The seminal thing about Connecticut's defensive game plan is that it did not work. At all. Michigan had one punt and zero turnovers. Ask yourself this. If you were designing a game plan against Michigan, would your goal be to make Robinson carry the ball as often as possible? Or would you try to force less dangerous players to get the ball? I predict most defenses who have seen what Robinson can do pick door number two, and his rushing attempts per game drop.

Also as Robinson's passing gains the trust of the coaches, Michigan's run/pass breakdown will retreat from 75% run to 70%, maybe 65%. And probably 50% of his carries will be touchdowns anyway.

On secondary aigh. Notre Dame's got some of its own. Starting safety Jamoris Slaughter will not play this weekend, leaving this in the ND backfield:

Slaughter's injury and freshman Derek Roback's transfer to Ohio University earlier this week leave the Irish with only three fully healthy scholarship safeties for the Michigan game - [sophomore Zeke] Motta, junior Dan McCarthy and senior Harrison Smith.

Stop me if this sounds familiar: Kelly says he's not moving anyone to the position because there's a 5'10" walk-on who they're "not afraid to put in the game."

Motta will start his first game tomorrow. He was a pretty big recruit, albeit one the sites all ranked as a linebacker. May his judgment of angles be correct for humans, incorrect for Denard.

Etc.: Good news for people in Denmark: NBC will stream the M-ND game live. This message will be repeated in the liveblog post. Another Michigan blog: Dreaded Judgment. Rodriguez says he "hopes" Forcier stays and competes. Big Ten Network ad revenue increases 22%. And, finally:




Brian August 18th, 2010 at 4:00 PM


No, just kidding. We're back to normal service except for the occasional outburst of spine-threatening sobs and pauses to shake the MGoFist at the sky.

So how screwed are we? Oh… I'd imagine pretty screwed. We've had to consolidate the "can Teric Jones/Michael Shaw/Denard Robinson/Will Campbell play corner?" threads in one big annoying glob of Kubler-Ross bargaining. But at least we've gotten some excellent paint action out of it:

twolfgodreal From the Shredder, naturally.

Also there's this from Antidaily:



Even the house organs, who were busy dismissing the importance of Justin Turner's departure last week, admit this is a "devastating blow" to what was already a ramshackle Burmese lean-to of a secondary. Rittenberg says Woolfolk's name would have been "right at the top" of players Michigan could not afford to lose and asks if Pac-Man Jones or Charles Woodson have any eligibility left (answer compliance should absolutely not double-check: HELL YES). Orson breaks out Crazy Old Testament God; Burgeoning Wolverine Star goes with that damn owl again for some reason.

And UMGoBlog gets all scientific by ripping Dorsey, Turner, and Woolfolk off Michigan's roster in NCAA 2011 and seeing what happens:

Before 200 19 24.1 7-5 "I feel happy!"
After 235 24 28.4 5-7 [thud]

That last column is my addition. Obviously.

Io-wha? Yeah, you see what I did there. Black Heart Gold Pants got all huffy about the idea Iowa might be overrated. While I was wrong about how many defensive starters Iowa lost (it's three, not five) and this somewhat mitigates their situation, when you deploy the Mathlete luck graph in an attempt to argue you weren't that lucky last year, well, Braves and Birds treats you like it usually treats Stewart Mandel:

You know your argument sucks when you're fighting the notion that your team was lucky in 2009 and you cite a chart that shows your team to have been the second luckiest team in the conference.

As a result of Iowa's inability to demonstrate its superiority over Arkansas State and Northern Iowa, every ranking system that accounts for data beyond record and strength of schedule pegged Iowa in the lower part of the top 20. The Sagarin Predictor had Iowa 17th. Sports Reference's SRS measure had Iowa 19th, as did Football Outsiders. In short, you can accept what reams of research tells us about football, which is that points, yards, and drive outcomes are a better indication of a team's merit and contain less noise than the final record itself. Or, you can reject all of that, put on a dumb hat, and wait to be punked by Fire Joe Morgan.

The chart thing's even better since it shows Iowa was seriously unlucky the year before, puncturing any argument that Ferentz has a knack for making chicken salad out of Stanziballs. Why is it that when I make a bleedingly obvious comment like "Penn State's quarterback situation sucks" or "Iowa was lucky last year and I am skeptical of them this year" people get all mad? Go ahead, predict Michigan's secondary will be a black hole of despair. I won't stop you.

Hockey guy but sort of the wrong year. Michigan's finally picked up another hockey commit, with 2012 forward Justin Selman picking Michigan a couple days ago. Selman joins Boo Nieves and Connor Carrick in that class; Michigan is still way, way short for 2011, with one guy currently scheduled to replace Michigan's extensive senior class.

As per usual with hockey recruits more than a year out from the draft, information on Selman is sparse. USHR has a positive note as one of a dozen or so "A" players from the '08 Select 15 festival:

-- 5’10”, 165 lb. Justin Selman. A smooth skating late ’93 from Upper Saddle River, NJ and the NJ Avalanche. He can make plays. Strong hockey sense. (White)

He's grown a couple inches since then. Other schools visited were RPI (meh) and UNH (good). There are a couple comments on Hockey's Future, for what it's worth:

Selman- Great at faceoffs. Had a growth spurt and is suprisingly strong. Solid skater with the drive to score. doubt he goes to the O.

Same guy:

Justin Selman- 5 10 160- A great skater and an absolute wizard on face offs. He is physical and has grown a lot in the past two years. A young 93 and still is one of hte best in a strong 93 Atlantic district age group.

Same guy:

Selman is not really a pro prospect I guess but he is still a very good player who could receive consideration for 2012.

Fiutakin' it. Since this guy exists…


…and so does walk-on kicker and varsity soccer star Justin Meram, this Free Press typo (print) goes from pedestrian to "Evan Metrics" competitor:

image It is always dangerous to taunt the embarrassing typo Gods—a couple of months ago I called PSU's Tom Bradley "Steve" or something—but, man, that was posted yesterday and passed around to great laughter and still hasn't been updated as of this post.

Expansion detail trickle. A couple more items from Delany:

  • A ninth game likely wont happen until 2015 at the earliest, and…
  • Straight geography is not happening when it comes to Big Ten divisions: “We didn't think there's any way we could achieve principle one [competitiveness] and two [rivalry preservation] if we were rigid about geographic contiguity. We are aware of geography, but we're not going to be driven by it.”

There's a rumor out there that Michigan and Ohio State will be split into separate divisions, which I find abhorrent because it necessitates protected cross-division games, which are dumb, and guarantees that Michigan will be elaborately screwed by that cross-division game being Ohio State, guaranteeing them a brutal schedule year-in, year-out as Ohio State and Penn State go play with Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois.

Remember when… wingless helmets were the thing we were panicking about?

It was a simpler, more annoying time because everyone hysteria was unjustified. Here's to annoyance.

Etc.: Hoover Street Rag breaks down Michigan logos past. Seth Wickersham's ESPN the Magazine article($) is insider, it is also the second MSM article in the past couple weeks to break down the Michigan document dump months after Heads Should Roll. It's probably worth your time, though. I don't buy the idea that compliance couldn't dare escalate from their perpetual Labadie pings; that was a screwup on their part, though most of the problem lies with the bungling underlings and the system that allowed the bungling to continue so long.


Unverified Voracity Dares To Dispute Steele

Unverified Voracity Dares To Dispute Steele Comment Count

Brian June 7th, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Jon Bills update. Fullback/linebacker Mark Moundros, his brother Kirk, and fellow-walk on Jon Bills were in a serious car accident over the weekend, and while the Moundros brothers are "fine" according to their mother, Bills is set to undergo surgery today. According to a source close to the situation, the surgery will be an effort to repair a damaged vertebra. The situation is "very serious" but Bills has escaped worst-case scenarios to date. If you are of the praying inclination, keep Bills in your thoughts.

Alcohol didn't have anything to do with the crash, FWIW.

They've evolved. Surely this is not paint.


User TR Saunders is "still debating whether or not to add a scythe," and also claims the above is actually paint, which is… like… whoah. He uses source pictures; even so I fear him.

Steeleinfo, corrected. Phil Steel lists Michigan 72nd nationally in terms of experience on the two deep via a system in which senior starters are worth 3 points, backups 2.5, junior starters 2, backups 1.5, etc etc etc. That is not as disturbing as you might think. Michigan is tied with Penn State and West Virginia, teams that are going into the year hoping for something a little sexier than the Insight Bowl.

Yay? Nay. The reason Michigan's numbers are not hugely terrifying is that Steele's numbers are wrong. He mentions that two-deep changes since publication are not accounted for but swapping Lewan in for Dorrestein doesn't account for the differences, as he credits Michigan with six senior starters and six backups. That's not accurate:

  • Senior starters: Schilling, Ezeh, Mouton, Woolfolk, Banks (for now)
  • Senior backups: Sagesse, Webb, Dorrestein, Rogers.

He's not counting redshirt juniors as seniors because if that's the case he'd add Hemingway, Molk, Huyge, and RVB in and come out with eight senior-ish starters.

By my count, Michigan's numbers* this year:

  Starters Backups
SR 5 4
JR 8 2
SO 6 11
FR 3 5

In Steele's system this comes out to 50 points. This is good for 118th nationally, better than only New Mexico and BYU. There might be some systemic overestimation going on, but probably not enough to get Michigan back towards the middle of the pack. You may resume rocking back and forth about the safety depth chart.

Somewhat more encouraging: my off the cuff calculations see Michigan rise to 70 points next year, which is 1) probably optimistic since there is always some level of attrition and 2) would be good for 37th this year.

*(Note: I used Shaw and Smith as the two deep at RB, which is the maximum experience you can wrangle out of it. You could pick up another point or two by putting Fitzgerald on the two-deep instead of Demens or Mike Jones and trying to count Adam Patterson somehow, but since guys like Rogers and Floyd Simmons should fall out once the freshmen arrive, this is actually a more experienced two deep than we are likely to see against UConn. Most schools can say that right now, so we won't use projections. The point: this is not finagled.)

Elsewhere in Steeleology, Jamiemac has assembled a JAMPACKED Big Ten overview. Steele's projections are more optimistic than many to date, although that might be because he has significantly underestimated how young they are. This would be a positive step if it came true:

Regarding the Wolverines, he has them tying with the Spartans for fifth place in the league. Generally speaking, he’s optimistic about their chances and Rodriguez doing enough to keep his job. He doesn't have a whole lot of Michigan players on any of his top-4 All Big 10 teams. But however he manages his predictions, it must like the sum of Michigan’s parts. On his Big 10 page, he mentions that three of his nine ratings call for a 6-2 Big 10 season. More revealing is that on page 22 where he lists Michigan among his top-12 likely surprise teams for the year, he writes a stunning admission: “One of my nine sets of power rating has them going 11-0 before the Ohio State game.”  I want those power ratings. I want to roll them up in joints and smoke them all summer long. More realistically might be 4-4 or 5-3 in the league for the Wolverines, but I’m going to dream about those ratings anyway.

Jamie then asks if Michigan fans want Notre Dame to be good. The answer to that is "no." That goes double for this year.

Indecision for the win. AnnArbor.com picks up on a polling website that's answered the question I get asked all the time about the general opinion of the fanbase towards Rodriguez. It's mostly "ask again later":

Of those polled, Rodriguez had a 20 percent favorable rating, 26 percent unfavorable rating with 54 percent undecided.

However, when those same people were asked if they'd like to see Rodriguez replaced as Michigan's coach, 51 percent said they'd like to see him continue. 20 percent wanted him replaced and 29 percent were undecided.

54% saying "eh, don't know yet" seems like an impressively high number given the last two years.

Some of the breakouts in the full report are bizarre and fascinating. Self described liberal voters have a 9% favorability rating for Rodriguez; conservatives are at 13%. Rodriguez pulls the vast majority of his support from moderates, who are 33%-22% in favor.

Meanwhile, my pet theory that Rodriguez drew most of his support from the younger graduates and was totally hated by old Bo folks—which I have told a dozen podcasts—is completely wrong. The rate at which people think Rodriguez deserves another year increases monotonically as people age:

  Favorable Unfavorable Not sure   Keep Dump Not sure
18 to 29 23 39 37   35 39 26
30 to 45 11 27 62   38 22 40
46 to 65 18 29 53   51 18 31
Over 65 30 19 51   65 17 18

I have no clever explanations for that. Later today I'll put up the same questions on the blog to see what this place thinks; results should be interesting.

[UPDATE: An emailer points out that the breakouts by age here are beyond insignificant: of the 890 respondents, 20 were Michigan fans under 30. Nevermind this last bit.]

Jackson goodbye. The departure of assistant coach Mike Jackson for Purdue has apparently moved from rumor-in-name-only to actual news now that folk like Angelique Chengelis are mentioning it on the twitters. This has caused a great deal of alarm on the premium sites, but from people who know Jackson personally and use him for information. Proclamations of doom… eh… whatever. If Carlton Brundidge sticks around, which it seems like he will, the impact will be minimal.  Proclamations of Jackson's recruiting skillz fail to mention that Michigan hasn't landed a single recruit that had major offers from other programs—Smotrcyz blew up after he committed.

Is it going to get worse with someone new?

Well, he can do that thing. Widely unregarded WR recruit DJ Williamson is one of Michigan's least-heralded recruits, a guy with two stars on Scout and not much more in the way of praise elsewhere. However, he is real fast. He won the state championship in the 100 M dash as a junior and doubled that feat over the weekend by winning the 100 and 200. His 10.64 100 could have been better if he didn't pull up for some Usain Bolt action at the end:

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Williamson pulled out a W, presumably to rep Warren Harding. With three receivers from this class already on campus, Williamson is a holy lock to be redshirted but if he can develop some that speed promises something better than his recruiting rankings do.

Etc.: Annual Izzo-to-NBA mild panic begins, this time starting MSU alum and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert as the guy angling for Izzo. Way uncool. Izzo, for his part, texts a swear back at a local reporter asking for comment. Jamiemac comes in for the Six Zero profiling.


Unverified Voracity Found A Northern Daniel Moore

Unverified Voracity Found A Northern Daniel Moore Comment Count

Brian January 19th, 2010 at 1:15 PM

So this happened. Will MS Paint ever go too far? If it hasn't already, it won't ever get there:

woodson-int If you think that's impressive or, more likely, disturbing you should see user LongLiveBo's collection of these that now goes six deep. "Barwis Beach" is a favorite. I hope LLB is a hobo or student, because if he's not his job is really, really boring.

Bzzzt. Mark Snyder got the defensive coordinator job at South Florida, which takes him off Michigan's list for their linebackers opening. He also talked to reporters, including this here site's Tim Sullivan, about the position at halftime of the UConn game. Birkett has a quote currently open in my tabs so we'll go with that:

“Still talking to guys,” Rodriguez said Sunday at halftime of the Michigan-UConn basketball game. “I may do it in a week or 2, I may do it after signing day.”

Hiring a guy right now does not seem like a huge priority. If it was going to get done before signing day it probably would have gotten done at the coaches meetings.

The new name. And since all Michigan coaching news involves the Bulls in some way, the new name on the list is recently departed USF linebackers coach David Blackwell. He's talked with Michigan about the job:

Linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator David Blackwell has had contact with Michigan about its linebackers job.

Blackwell was officially given his walking papers and is looking for a new gig. As you can see in the table below, Blackwell has extensive experience as a linebackers coach.

Coaching Experience - 16 Years
Year School/Team Assignment
1993 East Carolina Rush Linebackers
1994 East Carolina Rush Linebackers
1995 East Carolina Rush Linebackers
1996 Illinois State Recruiting Coordinator / Defensive Line
1997 Illinois State Recruiting Coordinator / Defensive Line
1998 Illinois State Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers
1999 Illinois State Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers
2000 Pittsburgh


2001 Pittsburgh Linebackers
2002 Pittsburgh Linebackers
2003 Clemson Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers
2004 Clemson Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers
2005 Clemson Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers
2006 Clemson Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers
2007 Clemson Inside Linebackers
2008 Clemson Inside Linebackers
2009 USF Co-Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers

That's twelve straight years Blackwell's been coaching the position, eight years as a recruiting coordinator, and one year as the increasingly popular "co-defensive coordinator." His bio has a bunch of accomplishments that are debatably his—it's hard to assign credit or blame to a single position coach, but it is true that Clemson was a consistently excellent defensive team with Blackwell coaching and his departure was because Tommy Bowden got axed, not because he just wasn't hacking it.

Also, if some people are concerned that this might be a sort of crony hire, that's hard to see. Rodriguez was long gone from Clemson by the time Blackwell showed up and whatever weird USF connection he's got going appears totally coincidental since Blackwell only got one year with the Bulls before Jim Leavitt had to choke a walk-on. Rodriguez's familiarity with Blackwell is limited to coaching against his Pitt team for three years early in his tenure at West Virginia and whatever contact he maintained with Tommy Bowden's staff at Clemson. This is not a guy Rodriguez goes way back with.

In Blackwell's single season at USF the Bulls finished 49th in rushing defense, 25th in pass defense, 24th in total defense, and 19th in scoring D. However, some of USF hilariously weak non-conference opponents had something to do with that. Wofford, Western Kentucky, Charleston Southern are two I-AA teams and a team (WKU) that was a I-AA three years ago.  Also, those numbers are a slight step back from the previous year, when USF was 10th in rushing D and 11th in total D against a tougher slate of opponents.

In games against actual competition, USF gave up 7 to an explosive Florida State outfit and 19 to West Virginia but 34 to Cincinnati, 41 to Pitt, 31 to Rutgers, 31 to Miami, and 29 to UConn in losses. Not all of those numbers are as bad as that, though. Like Michigan in 2008, USF's defense was crushed once Matt Grothe went out and ridiculously erratic BJ Daniels came in. Daniels seemingly went three-and-out or threw a 70-yard touchdown on every drive, so there were a lot of opportunities for opponents to score.

Also, one year is not a good sample size.

Blackwell also has a twitter. It tends towards multiple exclamation points and was last updated in August.

Brief, unavoidably homoerotic interlude. So this picture of Denard Robinson at his track meet—which MGoBlog covered in detail—has been floating around the internets:

denard-robinson-ripped1. Daaaaang. I bet he can punch through a cow.
2. It looks like Denard got a temporary case of Greg Oden disease there, eh? (The one that makes you look old, not the one that makes you have a series of increasingly terrible injuries that cause people to compare you to Sam Bowie.) 
3. Pretty sure the big bald white dude in the background is OL coach Greg Frey.

As long as we're talking about Robinson, Devin Gardner finally getting the piece of paper he needed from Inkster and enrolling at Michigan for spring practice opens up a world of possibilities at quarterback. Everyone's got their opinion on this—I've been getting emails about it since Gardner committed—and here's mine. Assumptions:

  • Gardner will almost certainly not be better than Tate Forcier this fall. If Michigan gives a freshman quarterback extensive playing time for a third straight year it is bad, Rodriguez-firin' type news.
  • Redshirting Gardner is best for both him and the program unless Gardner plays a lot better than he did at the UA game and in the state finals. That throwing motion degraded over the course of the year to the point where he was really pushing the ball; he needs probably a solid year of coaching to go back to the zippy delivery he developed over the summer.
  • Robinson didn't even run the zone read last year and is so far behind Tate that once there are other options at quarterback it makes sense to get Robinson's athleticism on the field in any way possible.

So. Tate starts, Gardner is groomed as the backup quarterback but not put on the field unless circumstances demand it. I just can't see a few plays late in blowouts being more helpful for Gardner and the program than a fifth year. If Tate gets dinged for a series or two, Robinson is the guy. If he's out for an extended period, it's time to put in Gardner (and pray). Robinson evolves into a slash player that takes some wildcat-type snaps at quarterback and also functions as a slot receiver/tailback. Michigan should also look at having him return kicks.

Cone, mad flow, nothing new here. Via TomVH, David "Febreze" Cone's latest masterpiece:

(Someone needs to unescape their text.)

This is why you don't hire your head coach as an assistant. I think most people thought West Virginia was in a little bit of trouble when Doc Holliday got snatched up by Marshall, but probably not this much trouble:

Didn't he say that he would not go after Florida commits when he came here as an assistant?

After his "racist" comments while at NC State I never thought I could forgive him. I got over it and accepted him with open arms. After this, I hope he is never welcomed back at WVU.

Hide the trash cans if he comes to the Civic Center on Wednesday.

That was after Holliday swooped in and snake oiled two West Virginia commits away from the 'Eers, so West Virginia fans are probably even more pissed off now that WR Darius Millines pulled the same trick. Add in Richard Ash and Davion Rogers defecting to Michigan and it's been a suboptimal recruiting year in WVU. They're losing recruits like Tennessee did in the aftermath of the Kiffin fiasco… so who's the head coach there anyway?

The other angle: dude, Doc Holliday is some sort of ninja snake charmer if he can get recruits to bail on a consistently top 25 team in a BCS conference for a mediocre CUSA team in the same state.

Etc. Underground Printing is featured at AnnArbor.com. I'm quoted about our relationship, which is working out great. Baseball picked up a commitment from the top player in Illinois. Teric Jones is moving back to offense for spring. Orson goes curling and loves it. In three months he will be Canadian. West Virginians search for Rich Rodriguez vastly more often than people in Ann Arbor.


Unverified Voracity Ain't Today, Either

Unverified Voracity Ain't Today, Either Comment Count

Brian November 20th, 2009 at 4:27 PM

A quick tour around heartfelt pre-OSU posts in the Wolverine blogosphere before they all expire:


Like many things in life that end broken, this started with good intentions all around.

Rich Rodriguez watched from the sidelines while Michigan avenged Carr and desecrated the Tebow Temple. Chad Henne dropped redemption from the sky into the waiting hands of Adrian Arrington and Mario Manningham. Mike Hart fumbled and laughed and Michigan were The Victors.

I dreamed of spread offenses and 70 point thrashings, a wild new Michigan built for the Mayan Apocalypse, slaughtering the Big Ten with lightning from the Yost Ages, standing atop the Big Ten as the world ended.

Hoover Street Rag:

It was spitting down rain all morning, and it only picked up for gametime. I took one last lap around the stadium I'd always known.

UM vs. OSU, 2007

If there was any justice in the world, they'd have won last year, so I didn't have high expectations. Not with Mike Hart hobbled and Chad Henne barely able to lift his arm and guys not named David Harris at linebacker. And so we yelled and screamed and Beanie Wells had 172 carries and Mario Manningham dropped 18 passes or something and Ohio State won an excruciating 14-3 game.

Burgeoning Wolverine Star:

It wasn’t until 2004, my freshman year, that I really paid close attention to the Michigan football team (i.e., emotional investment). Before every game that season, I signed on to AIM and left an away message up: “Chad Henne, lead us to victory.” And though it worked a few times that year, it never did for the one that counted.

And for the last five years of my life, the week before Thanksgiving has been one of cautious anxiety. 2006 was devastating.

RBUAS again just for the hell of it:

These are family values: wagons circled, debris, numb to the great outrage, taped ankles and a fuck you if you're not with us; look me in the eye and know that eventually this will all pass. They'll remember this day when they're old and sit on dusty sofas dozing in and out of consciousness. You lost a lot but not your dignity. And you realize that it wasn't just about winning but about patience and faith that it would get better.

And just to show that we are not all morose emo mofos, the Shredder's best work of the week, and possibly ever:


Etc.: Jamie Morris clarifies the Columbus radio interview he did; Maize and Go Blue runs down the best performances in OSU-M history,


Unverified Voracity Wishes This Wasn't So Apt

Unverified Voracity Wishes This Wasn't So Apt Comment Count

Brian November 17th, 2009 at 12:59 PM


Via the Shredder.

No worries, but you'll still worry. These days there are many emails I get that fit neatly into categories. One category: "oh noes Devin Gardner!" All I can tell folk concerned that Gardner might decommit is that he is asked about the strength of his commitment every ten seconds and has not yet deviated from strongly endorsing it. Two more examples, one from MGoBlog recruiting analyst Tom VanHaaren on the twitters:

QB Devin Gardner told me tonight that the Florida rumors going around are not true. Everyone take a collective sigh of relief.

Gardner says "I'm listening to what they have to say, but I'm still solidly with Michigan" in another article from The Sporting News that notes he has no plans to visit anywhere else. As long as that remains the case, you should not panic. If he does visit, panic.

This will not dissuade hardcore worriers, but there's literally nothing short of signing a LOI—it appears that Gardner will not enroll early, unfortunately—that will do that.

HE MUST BE PUNISHED SEVERELY. I'm normally pretty libertarian when it comes to arbitrary restrictions imposed because we must Think Of The Children and care zero percent about the various MIPs and assorted citations that football players pick up when they do what everyone else in college does. Live and let die, man.

However, in this case I recommend no less than a one-game suspension:


Terrelle Pryor! At a bar! He's 20! Someone arrest him at the state line. Do it for your country.

What's with the jerkery? At this point we're forced to confront the fact that Rich Rodriguez going bust after four—or even three—years is a real possibility, so the actions of one Jim Harbaugh at Stanford are of considerable interest. You're probably aware that Stanford has just finished beating Pete Carroll's head in, causing this terse postgame exchange to occur:

"What's your deal? What's your deal?" Carroll said, according to two sources near enough to hear.

"What's your deal?" Harbaugh retorted, and that was that.

Ah, the You Can't Do That On Television defense. Excellent work after thoroughly sliming the opponent. Carroll could have been referencing any number of things, but the "go for two up 48-21, miss it, get it back, and score again" sequence was probably the reason Carroll became verrrrry un-Dude in the aftermath. If Rodriguez does indeed flame out, Harbaugh will be the first name on many lips, and he will be a deeply strange candidate to consider.

On the one hand: Harbaugh turned around a non-scholarship I-AA program, took Stanford from the 1-11 Walt Harris debacle to 7-3 in year three with consecutive wins over Oregon and USC, and has a family coaching tree a mile long. His 2009 recruiting class finished 20th nationally according to Rivals, the first time in forever that Stanford has peeked into the top 25. Walt Harris's last class was #50. Assuming continued progress on the Farm—likely since his quarterback is a redshirt freshman—he's going to have a hell of a resume.

On the other hand, he's a kind of a big jerk. When he got to Stanford he immediately pissed off Pete Carroll by suggesting he was headed for the NFL—twice. He then trashed Michigan's academics and caused this site to pen a bombastically-titled post called "Destroy Harbaugh." He also picked up a DUI in 2005. Then there was the two-point stunt last weekend. These are not isolated incidents.

Are the items in the latter group enough to disqualify a guy who is almost certainly going to be a, if not the, grade A candidate? I don't know. Probably not something to consider seriously until we get a verdict on Rodriguez.

Warren departure? As expected, Donovan Warren is definitely going to look at his NFL options after the season:

“Definitely I’m going to look into it as far as where I stand,” Warren said. “If it’s the best thing to do for my family then I’ll just have to decide that. But if it’s not then I’ll definitely be here helping Michigan.”

Definitely. If Warren projects as a mid-round pick, as an NFL scout who talked to AnnArbor.com claimed, that would probably mean a return. Caveat: I think Warren's better than that and the scout did not break down his film, he just offered an off-the-cuff appraisal.

Etc.: Hey, guess what: Forcier isn't transferring. Duh. Chait also rips Wilbon.