Ole Miss's Petulance Shouldn't Matter To The NCAA

Ole Miss's Petulance Shouldn't Matter To The NCAA

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2018 at 1:05 PM

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i don't even own a gun, Ole Miss, let alone the many guns it would take to necessitate an entire rack. what am i gonna do with a gun rack? [Bryan Fuller]

The various single elimination tournaments are over. The spring game is this weekend. And Shea Patterson remains in eligibility limbo a month and a half after Michigan's case for his immediate availability went to the NCAA. Every so often someone asks me if this is a bad sign.

It's not. The delay is entirely because Ole Miss is doing everything they can to continue screwing the 2016 recruits they lied to just before the relevant Signing Day. Michigan gave Ole Miss the whole package before they even sent it to the NCAA; Ole Miss, like the Michigan FOIA department, took every last nanosecond available before filing a reply. Their reply then required a reply:

Michigan’s petition to the NCAA on Patterson’s behalf was sent to Ole Miss, according to standard practice. Ole Miss had the option to not respond but chose to file its objection to the NCAA on March 28. Patterson has since supplied answers to questions the NCAA asked regarding issues Ole Miss raised.

And so we're here, waiting for Shea Patterson and summer. When Shea Patterson is eligible it will stop snowing.

But none of this should impact what looks like a slam dunk. Ole Miss's problem—one of Ole Miss's many problems—is that they didn't just lie to their recruits. They lied to anyone who would listen, planting a series of credulous stories from friendly local reporters. This move backfired spectacularly when Houston Nutt sued Ole Miss, winning a settlement and a public apology for lying about their NCAA troubles. This is literally a thing Ole Miss said in public because of a lawsuit:

“Certain statements made by University employees in January 2016 appear to have contributed to misleading media reports about Coach Nutt,” Ole Miss said in a statement without a specific name attached. “To the extent any such statements harmed Coach Nutt’s reputation, the University apologizes, as this was not the intent.”

In addition to this, Michigan submitted reams of communication between Shea Patterson and various other Ole Miss athletic department employees; five other 2016 recruits seeking immediate eligibility are telling parallel stories to the NCAA.

Ole Miss's NCAA case is over. The NCAA itself has declared that Ole Miss was lying. Hugh Freeze is fired, in part because of Ole Miss's institutional decision to lie about that case. Ole Miss can gain nothing by denying the obvious, and after discovery in the Nutt case it is very, very obvious:

In Mars’ work as counsel for Nutt and, later, the transfers, he revealed Freeze’s misinformation campaign was initiated when Ole Miss received a notice of allegations from the NCAA two years ago. Mars uncovered through text messages, phone logs and interviews, how Freeze and the athletic department launched a plan to mislead media and football recruits — including Patterson — telling them the bulk of the violations involved women’s basketball and track and that Nutt was responsible for issues regarding the football program.

This has been to NCAA court. It has been to real court. Ole Miss has gotten a pie in the face both times. Even the wildly unpredictable NCAA shouldn't be able to screw this up.

The length of time here is more about the unprecedented amount of information that's been submitted here, the likelihood that the NCAA is regarding these six appeals as one larger decision, and Ole Miss's final middle finger to college football before once again descending into irrelevance. If Patterson doesn't get a waiver nobody can ever get a waiver.

Spring Football Bits Has Been Herbertized

Spring Football Bits Has Been Herbertized

Submitted by Seth on April 6th, 2018 at 1:25 PM

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true center. [Patrick Barron]

Congratulations everybody on breathing through two Final Fours. Meanwhile the football guys are doing football-like things while we wait for scraps to fashion into hope dolls for next season.

We should, then, step back for a moment here and try to enforce some kind of context. Spring football is an oasis of football practice with not the full team, months before the season, and mostly filtered down from coaches to media. Whatever the depth chart is by the end of it won’t be the depth chart in fall. Our feeble efforts to discern things about the team next September are hampered by a general lack of information and the coaches’ preference to keep everybody motivated. Like Harbaugh talked for several minutes on his Attack Each Day podcast this week on the offensive line and managed to name every single guy on it.

Anyway most of this is going to be about quarterback and the offensive line because that’s what we worry about the most and what we got the most about.

Quarterback

What we want to hear: No matter what, things won’t be as bad as last year.

What we’re hearing: Quarterback play should be improved if only because the floor right now is Brandon Peters plus an offseason of maturity. From several reports, regression is not a thing to worry about but challengers are. Depending on your source, McCaffrey is either neck and neck with Peters or slightly ahead. Having watched the Amazon special I think we can interpret that as competition will go into fall and neither young candidate should be counted out. It would be highly stupid to make a prediction right now.

Also Shea has really good ball placement.

What it means: Shea does appear to be the leader even though somebody seems to have shut off the hype valve. We’re going to have to wait until the NCAA committee on whatever reviews the case because Ole Miss is fighting it. My understanding of the Traitorous Losers (nice mascot)’s case is they told all these players there wouldn’t be significant sanctions because they honestly believed they had done nothing wrong because they had done nothing wrong. That defense would be facially ridiculous except hi, this the NCAA, have we met? An encouraging sign is that the NCAA has asked for more information:

Attorney Thomas Mars, who represents Patterson and several other erstwhile Ole Miss players, said the NCAA's request for more information is not uncommon and that he expects Patterson and Michigan will be able to respond in the next few days. Mars said there's no specific timetable for when they expect a final answer, but it's clear "the NCAA isn't dragging their feet on the waiver request and won't take any more time than is necessary."

"I'm encouraged by this particular request," Mars said. "From my perspective, the questions Shea's case manager asked are the right ones to be asking."

My completely unscientific guess is 69.314159% Patterson is cleared this year, and 51.3341% Michigan is fine at quarterback regardless.

[After THE JUMP: a lot to unpack about the offensive line, and who the coaches think is their best player on defense will surprise you and not surprise you]

Unverified Voracity Is Waiting For The Package

Unverified Voracity Is Waiting For The Package

Submitted by Brian on March 14th, 2018 at 1:51 PM

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Oguine is excellent both ways

Montana scouted. Andrew Kahn interviews the Eastern Washington head coach a couple days after EWU went down in the Big Sky title game:

The Grizzlies won the league with a 16-2 record not just because they're well coached but because of their athleticism, according to Legans. Michael Oguine, a 6-foot-2 guard, was the Defensive Player of the Year in the conference. "He's quick, athletic, and can guard anybody on the perimeter." …

"If you can pull their bigs away from the basket a little bit, then you make them play small and beat them up inside. I see those problems occurring with this game because Michigan's size and skill could hurt them bad."

Oguine combines that DPOY status with excellent offensive efficiency and will be the main guy to watch for the Griz.

Final pre-tourney shot volume. Michigan finishes 13th amongst P5 teams, and coupled with Michigan's stellar transition D this rather validates the approach:

For example, you’ll hear during the tournament that Duke is a swaggering beast of offensive rebounding might, and, sure enough, the Blue Devils do fit that description perfectly. But did you know that, with all those spectacular offensive boards, Mike Krzyzewski is merely equaling what a certain Big Ten coach is already doing with his less eye-catching yet highly effective low-turnover ways?

                         TO%     OR%     SVI
12. Duke                18.3    36.4     98.0
13. Michigan            13.6    24.5     98.0

So, yes, this can be a nifty item at times.

Potential S16 opponent North Carolina, unfortunately, finishes first.

Find me a single-atom violin. Ted Valentine will not be theatrically incorrect on your television sets this weekend:

Well-known NCAA referee Ted Valentine, who officiated the Final Four last season, will not be working NCAA tournament games this year -- and he told ESPN it's because of fallout from the incident in which he turned his back on North Carolina's Joel Berry II during a game in January.

"This is not right, it's just not fair," Valentine told ESPN. "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm being punished unjustly."

It is absolutely right, and absolutely fair, for the NCAA to make an example of Valentine after he did the Joel Berry thing. That was the worst breach of ref impartiality I can remember, and it came from a guy who fills out the rest of the top ten personally.

He'll no doubt be back next year unless his repeated public bitching sours the powers-that-be permanently. Any coach who talked about Valentine like Valentine has twice talked about his employers would be fined. Here he is complaining that the Big Ten is not professional enough for Ted Valentine:

Valentine, who had considered retirement after the Berry incident, said he was pulled off a pair of Big Ten games earlier this year because of the episode. Valentine had officiated primarily Big Ten games for 34 years, but said he began doing more ACC games two years ago because he lives in South Carolina and the travel was easier as he approached his 60s.

"It had nothing to do with the Big Ten," Valentine said. "The ACC handled it in the utmost professional manner. It was overblown, and no big deal."

Fire that guy into the sun and never have him work a Big Ten game again.

When the FBI can inject sensibility into your enterprise… The divers alarums and excursions you've been hearing from the direction of NCAA boardrooms has finally resolved itself into that greatest of problem solvers: the Task Force. The Pac-12 put one together; it put together a 51-page PDF that's actually kind of interesting* in that it acknowledges the relative helplessness of the NCAA and then puts forth a collection of proposals that sort of acknowledge this. Large themes:

  • Restrictions on coach-prospect contact should be significantly loosened. This includes allowing prospects to take an additional five official visits as a junior and
  • Agents should be more tolerated. Hockey and baseball have allowed formal contractual relationships with agents recently; the report suggests basketball should do the same. This is vastly overdue for a thousand reasons.
  • Eligibility should be less fragile. The reports specifically reference baseball as a sport where players retain eligibility "after being drafted," and later directly calls for the NBA to adopt the baseball model where you can go pro immediately out of high school but if you don't you're in college for at least three years. Chance NBA adopts this: zero. Maybe draft and follow would be a compromise?

The report also calls for an NCAA enforcement arm separate from the NCAA, which sounds like rearranging deck chairs to me.

The Task Force doesn't go anywhere near something radical but it is a baby step.

*[A sports car races by. I am pelted in the head with a snowball. A bro in a white baseball cap screams "NEEEEEEEEERD" as the car peels out, careening wildly.]

Shea in limbo. Shea Patterson's lawyer is also spearheading five other applications for immediately eligibility and tells CBS that Ole Miss is being rather petulant about all this:

Ole Miss actually received that [waiver-request] package as a courtesy from Michigan. Because it didn't officially come from the NCAA, the 10-day clock did not start ticking.

"So, from a technical rules perspective, despite having all the information for the past two weeks, Old Miss could continue to keep its position on the Shea Patterson waiver request to itself for at least another two weeks," Mars said.

"In the meantime, as everyone knows, the process is at a standstill."

For whatever reason the NCAA has not sent the package to Ole Miss, so it will be at least another two weeks before a determination is made, and probably longer than that.

This is not a Dave Brandon story. Toys R Us is going to liquidate. Whenever there's a Toys R Us story several people send it to me. Please stop doing this. I am aware of goings on at Toys R Us that reach the media. The thing about Toys R Us is that it's not a story about one man's over-arching incompetence setting everything on fire. It's a story about a patsy being installed at a doomed company so he can leech millions of dollars out of it for doing nothing:

In 2005, the Toys R Us board of directors sold the company for $6.6 billion to the private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR and the real estate investment firm Vornado. The firms put up about 20 percent of the total and borrowed the rest.

Toys R Us became a private company with more than $5 billion in debt. And then things went off the rails.

“The beginning of the problems for Toys was that Amazon.com exploded,” said Charlie O’Shea, lead retail analyst at Moody’s.

During the next five years, sales at Amazon quadrupled to $34 billion.

“Amazon went into the toy sector in a big way,” O’Shea said, and it “added one more big competitor for Toys R Us.”

To compete, Toys R Us would have had to invest significantly in its website and stores. But the retailer was using most of its available cash to pay back its debt. …

The private equity firms’ investors haven’t made money off this deal. But the firms themselves have. It’s unclear where Vornado ended up. But after collecting fees from Toys R Us, Bain and KKR each took home at least $15 million.

Brandon, the chump installed on this sinking ship in 2015, was compensated ridiculously:

Toys ‘R’ Us is seeking bankruptcy court permission to pay Dave Brandon, the company’s chief executive officer since 2015, a cash bonus of as much as $12 million for 2017, on top of a $2.8 million “retention” bonus he received just before the company filed for bankruptcy in September, according to court filings.

Moreover, Mr. Brandon would be entitled to receive 40% of that bonus, or $4.8 million, within the first quarter of 2018.

A Toys “R” Us spokeswoman said that the company’s plan to pay millions of dollars to Mr. Brandon is in line with common practice in restructurings. “This type of plan is standard practice for a company involved in a restructuring and in this case rewards team members at all levels of the company,” she said.

You know this guy is an idiot, and it is crystal clear that nothing he did at a doomed company helped it an iota. But because he's bros with Mitt Romney he gets an eight-digit payday. That is one of many reasons income inequality has skyrocketed. Because it doesn't matter if you'd lose a spelling contest to a mop once you've got cronies high up.

Etc.: Fergus Connolly makes an entrance, also an exit. Shooting talent and FTs. The story of how the FBI got on the trail of college basketball is a typically bizarre one. Daily profiles Cooper Marody. Scrimmage observations.

Unverified Voracity Shows NO MERCY

Unverified Voracity Shows NO MERCY

Submitted by Brian on January 23rd, 2018 at 1:54 PM

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On the awful MSU thing. I have all these tabs open and am struggling to say anything that's not all-caps and spittle-flecked. Most of these tabs have the same theme: how on earth can these people survey the devastation wrought under their leadership-type substance and not commit career seppuku? The lack of shame on the part of MSU's leadership is unprecedented; all these people should be voted out, if possible. The two guys who would have been up for election in November are getting out of the way, but if I know anything it's that a... person like Joel Ferguson will try to bluster his way through:

As a reminder, here's Ferguson in March:

“But if Coach Klages was told as early as 1997 about this and didn’t do anything, isn’t the university at fault?” Jones asked.

“I wouldn’t say that at all,” Ferguson said. “That’s a bad decision that she made, and it has to be stretched to us by all the folks chasing ambulances, because there’s no payday by her.”

He's up in 2020, and if the state Democratic party knows what's good for them they won't let him get to the ballot. Does anyone know if you can recall trustees?

Meanwhile, Lou Anna Simon should not resign. She should be put in jail. She was told that there was a sexual predator at the university she purports to be in charge of, and she said "don't tell me about it," by her own admission:

"I told people to play it straight up, and I did not receive a copy of the report."

If three Penn State executives saw jail time for failure to report, Simon should too. It is absolutely indisputable that her purported leadership increased the number of victims from the worst serial sex assault case in American history. I feel like I'm going crazy here. At long last, does Michigan State have no shame?

The nice old man who expresses himself in Werther's Originals sculpture. A very John Beilein criticism is leveled here.

The man is himself, and nobody else.

Patterson status. Michigan is waiting on Shea Patterson's appeal for immediate eligibility, but the folks in charge are dotting and crossing letters before they make their move. "Late February" is the current timeframe; Sam Webb provides the most thorough update I've seen so far:

There are six other kids/schools I know of at this point – Houston (Deonte Anderson), Florida (Van Jefferson), Nebraska (Breon Dixon), Georgia Tech (Jack DeFoor), Central Florida (Tre Nixon), and UAB (Jarrion Street). My gut tells me that the process for gathering information for each kid’s appeal is painstakingly thorough and they all want to make sure no details are missed. So the delay is largely due to their desire to make sure no corroborating details are missed, because as one source close to Patterson’s circle told me… “you only get one shot at this. You can’t go back and add things after the fact.)”

There are several additional paragraphs at the link.

The delay comes from meticulousness as the lawyer who's working with these guys collects everything from all seven of them so he can present the best case to the NCAA that Ole Miss went out of its way to lie to that year's recruiting class so they would end up signing. NCAA waivers seem to make no sense from the outside but the large number of guys petitioning gives several different schools motivation to get this done, and collectively they should be able to gather sufficient hard evidence that Ole Miss got them to sign by lying their asses off to convince the NCAA of that fact. Hopefully that's enough for the waiver.

Hurst burst in first. Daniel Jeremiah ranks the top 50 prospects for the upcoming NFL draft; Mo Hurst lands at #21:

Hurst is an undersized defensive tackle with exceptional quickness and awareness. Against the pass, he has elite get-off. He explodes off the snap and has a collection of effective hand moves to generate pressure. His bread-and-butter move is a quick swipe before wrapping around the blocker and exploding toward the quarterback. Against the run, he relies on his quickness to beat cut-off blocks and disrupt. Occasionally, he'll get stuck on blocks and is moved out of the hole. His effort is excellent. Overall, Hurst is an ideal 3-technique and could emerge as one of the best interior pass rushers in the league.

No complaints with that evaluation. I do think that #21 might be low for him since the NFL is now such a passing-heavy league. The kind of interior disruption Hurst provides is much more important than his tendency to get clunked on the rare occasions anyone can land a clean shot on him. Naturally, PFF has him third overall because they're just behind Mo Hurst's mom on the list of entities that like Mo Hurst. (MGoBlog is #3.)

Never again. Stu Douglass has a story about offensive rebounding:

I think we all knew this in our hearts already.

Good move. Now generalize it:

The agent thing has always been more pressing in hockey because of competition from Canadian juniors. Agents prefer the security of a contract to the probable-but-not-definite relationship they had with an NCAA prospect as their "advisor," so the prevailing thought amongst college hockey coaches is that agents tend to push their guys towards the CHL. That barrier is gone. Probably won't change much in the ongoing CHL-NCAA blood war, but neither will it do anything to the competitive landscape of college hockey.

It's past time for everyone to get that consideration.

Don't get it stolen, don't get it blocked. Defense by possession start:

Fairly intuitive. It is interesting that first possessions are so bad even relative to normal half-court offense.

Etc.: Quinn Hughes is the #4 NA skater in the CSB midterm rankings. Incoming D Bode Wilde is #22. No one else makes the list except 2019 recruit Phillipe Lapointe, who's #201—in the usually undrafted range. Angelique on Grant Newsome. On Dakota Raabe's first goal. If I had one critique it's that the sword is nowhere near big enough. Abuse enablers for jail.

WTKA Roundtable 1/11/2018: A Pro-Style College Lifer

WTKA Roundtable 1/11/2018: A Pro-Style College Lifer

Submitted by Seth on January 12th, 2018 at 8:55 AM

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Things discussed:

  • Patterson gets compared to Fran Tarkenton by someone other than Craig.
  • Assistant coach turnstile: Enos WRs for now, won’t get coordinator tag until Arkansas buyout runs out.
  • John Gruden’s return to football; don’t be shocked if he goes after Pep.
  • Enos at Arkansas: had a great first year, dropped off a bit, then became a top-10 rushing offense. He’s a college lifer, and there aren’t many pro style guys who can say that.
  • The national championship game: Georgia contained Hurts’s running but they needed Tua to throw deep—and he could. RPO drive opened up Georgia’s defense, would have won the game if not for the kicker.
  • We’re guessing Tim Drevno will stay.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 21st, 2017 at 10:39 AM

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[Barron]

“Am I late?”

[light laughter]

“Should have come and got me. I was busy doing something. Sorry if I’m late.”

Tell us what you like best about the guys you got on the dotted line.

“Um…the thing I like best…I like a lot of things, but the thing I like best…football players, good students. I think the thing I like best is there’s guys that really wanted to be at Michigan and appreciate what Michigan has to offer. They can understand it both as a football powerhouse and an academic powerhouse. That it provides both of those things.

“Nobody in there that really thinks they’re doing us the favor. It’s equal. So I think that’s what I like the most.

“I like the production in football games. Guys that are record-setters. There’s state champions. Very productive, and they’re productive in the classroom. They’re coming here to get a degree. The parents expect that they will get a very good degree. They’re not going to college to major in eligibility. They understand that they’re going to major in a legitimate discipline. There’s going to be rigor here, and they welcome that. Multiple things I like about this class so far.”

You guys announced yesterday Shea Patterson. What are your thoughts about him coming in and what his role could be?

“To compete. To…like everybody in the program, he has the license and the ability to be a starter. As I told all three of the quarterbacks at the same time, the only thing that’s guaranteed here is an opportunity. If I was the mindset of Brandon Peters, I would say, ‘Brandon, this is how you should think.’ He’s the starting quarterback, he should take this job and run with it and nobody’s going to take that away from him.

“If I was Dylan McCaffrey I would have the mindset of being on the scout team, being the scout team player of the year, now he’s going to get stronger. Doesn’t matter how many quarterbacks are on the roster, nobody’s going to beat him out.

“And if I was Shea Patterson, I would have the mindset of ‘Wait till they get a load of me.’ So all three have the license and ability to be great.”

[After THE JUMP: an MGoFriend stonewalls a minor violation, Hurst’s bowl-game decision, and a bit on some of the incoming freshmen]

WTKA Roundtable 12/14/2017: Just Go Play Basketball

WTKA Roundtable 12/14/2017: Just Go Play Basketball

Submitted by Seth on December 14th, 2017 at 4:00 PM

“We know what we’re involved in. We’ve seen the ball, it’s a basketball, it’s not a highlight object…what’s a highlight ball called?”

WTKA cover 12-14-17

Things discussed:

  • Patterson a done deal, again tentative leader to start next year remains Brandon Peters. Shea’s like Tate Forcier if you came in on the higher side of Forcier. Patterson has to learn the offense, drop-backs, while Peters has a two-year head start on all of that.
  • Tolbert: Michigan wanted to get stronger after the OSU game. Has this been an issue before? Another run at Turley?
  • Texas: They made Shaka look baaaad with his drop-ins.
  • Hoops: Is Michigan playing defense?
  • Out OREBbing Texas: Charles Matthews is the best we’ve had in years and years. Beilein’s got no choice but to put it down to the post.
  • Is Wagner a 1st rounder after this year?

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

Unverified Voracity Bought You A Turtleneck

Unverified Voracity Bought You A Turtleneck

Submitted by Brian on December 12th, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Words fail. Holiday greetings from Patrick Kugler, Henry Poggi, and Chris Petzold.

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If anyone knows what to do with their hands after seeing this please let me know.

Peters transfer: nope. The lingering concern about Shea Patterson's transfer is that it would cause Brandon Peters to transfer out, thus leaving Michigan just as thin at quarterback and reliant on an NCAA waiver for their presumed starter. That does not appear to be happening. Sam Webb talked to Peters's father; you can listen to a WTKA segment on that conversation—helpfully summarized here—or read his take on The Michigan Insider:

“That's good,” Mr. Peters said of Patterson’s transfer. “Iron sharpens iron. Brandon is up for a good fight. Put the gloves on, (get) both fists up, (and) let's go! Brandon said, ‘bring in 30 QBs. I'm going to my job at hand and work.’

“Coach Harbaugh said it’s going to be a competition and we believe him.”

Webb also cleared up the strange yes-no-yes Patterson saga: Michigan was content to go into 2018 with three quarterbacks, but once Speight decided to grad transfer they wanted to add a guy and Patterson wanted to come, so... yeah.

The grad transfer rule might also be helping Michigan keep Peters around, BTW. He will compete for the job this year. If he doesn't get it he will be the backup; if Patterson's one and done then he's in line for the job again in 2018. If he's not, Peters can almost certainly graduate in 3.5 years and have two to play two, a la Alex Malzone. He doesn't lose anything by staying, and he will be a serious candidate for the job. I'd tentatively give him the edge given his familiarity with the offense.

Not quite crootin' visits of note. JaRaymond Hall took a visit to CMU this weekend, which seems like a significant step towards a transfer. Hall is on the fence after receiving his release earlier this month.

Also: potential Ole Miss transfer Van Jefferson visited Louisville yesterday. As of Monday, Jefferson was the only one of the three guys who had not told a recruiting reporter that he was at least virtually committed, and it appears that there is a genuine race on for his services. Louisville is closer to home since Shawn Jefferson is the Titans' WR coach. If this is a backup plan because of transcripts thing expect that to get resolved almost immediately—all three guys want to be on someone else's campus for the winter semester.

Doesn't sound great for Newsome. This is reading between the lines, admittedly, but that's all we've got here. And if Grant Newsome isn't cleared for spring it's probably not good news for his career:

Michigan left tackle Grant Newsome still holds the goal of being medically cleared to return to football by the start of the 2018 season.

"Before then hopefully," Newsome said Sunday night. "As soon as possible." ...

"Trying to get back on the field as soon as possible," said Newsome, who was honored with the Pete Schmidt Courage Award at the National Football Foundation/Free Press All-State Dream Team banquet in Dearborn on Sunday. "I want to play right now. But it's up to the doctors when they'll let me go."

Not being cleared more than a year removed from his injury is fairly ominous.

Shooter. Adrien Nunez is the who-dat afterthought in Michigan's 2018 basketball recruiting class, at least if you go by rankings. If you go by the ability to make threes off the dribble, though:

That's one game and thus fairly representative. Nunez ventured inside the three point line once; he makes multiple off the dribble threes; he also catches and shoots. Nunez doesn't look like the kind of athlete who gets the shiny rankings, but he looks like a guy who can get his shot in a variety of ways. That shot is always a three pointer. Beilein kind of kid.

A disastrous nonconference schedule. Michigan isn't the only Big Ten team to suffer through a disappointing basketball stretch here. The conference has imploded:

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This looks like a four bid league. Northwestern, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, and Wisconsin have all badly undershot preseason expectations. Michigan really needs this game against Texas tonight and then will have to go... uh... 11-7 in conference play to be on the bubble? Is it that bad? I think it might be.

Etc.: There's an early signing period now. Weird. Jourdan Lewis doing Jourdan Lewis things. Scorekeepers is the most popular Uber destination in Michigan: opposing ridesharing in a college town is tantamount to endorsing drunk driving. Somehow, Michigan—Michigan!—is 335th in FT shooting. FFS.

A reminder that Amani Toomer has a history of yellin' about stuff that seems ridiculous. Mo Hurst, All American.

Monday Recruitin' Is Still Waiting

Monday Recruitin' Is Still Waiting

Submitted by Brian on December 11th, 2017 at 12:38 PM

Rather thought we'd have a hello post by now

The watched pot in which three potential Ole Miss transfers has failed to come to a boil and boy do I regret this metaphor right now but not as much as the people slowly cooking to death. What?

Anyway: QB Shea Patterson, WR Van Jefferson, and S Deontay Anderson all took in Michigan's comeback win over UCLA. All are expected to end up at Michigan, per Sam Webb and the rest of humanity with an opinion. You should be "amazingly optimistic" about Patterson per Webb; he also has a gut feeling about the other two but "red tape" is going to hold things up a little bit. Anderson will commit to Michigan, per Andrew Vailliencourt, but is waiting to announce until Michigan gets his transcripts and officially admits him. Vailliencourt tracked Anderson down for an interview; he remains optimistic that he and his cohort will be immediately cleared:

Although not officially declared eligible yet for next season, Anderson is highly confident that he will be cleared for next season — as well as both Patterson and Jefferson. The three share a lawyer.

“I’m very optimistic about it,” Anderson said. “We’re still waiting to hear from the NCAA, but they’ve been on our side the last couple weeks about it, so I don’t have any doubt in my mind.”

Jefferson is the only Ole Miss guy who made it up who has not been the subject of a direct assertion he is coming, pending transcripts. He is definitely gone from Ole Miss, per 247 Rebel guy Ben Garrett. And Webb is asserting that you should be optimistic. He's probably in; just not official.

BTW, Garrett is asserting that seven guys are absolutely gone from Oxford with another four on the fence. Greg Little is not one of them. Alas. He's just going to play out his last year and head to the draft posthaste, it appears, and doesn't want to muck around with maybe being eligible or maybe not.

Dual commit Thursday?

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Thursday will be big for headline writers covering M and ND

GA TE Tommy Tremble has set an announce date. Folks who read the header will be unsurprised to find that it is Thursday. Tremble's coming off a visit to UCLA. The Bruins, UGA, Michigan, and Notre Dame are the finalists. Michigan is confident, per Lorenz. Tom Loy says he thinks it's Notre Dame, but it's close. Georgia is just a hat on the table; Tremble's dad was a UGA safety who had a cup of coffee in the NFL. It doesn't seem like UGA has a spot for him.

An enthusiastic gent like Loy thinking it's close is a good sign for Michigan. Meanwhile on the podcast I asked Steve if Michigan might sacrifice a third TE in this class to make room for the Ole Miss transfers. He shot that down, noting that Michigan is going after Tremble very hard. He didn't tip his hand as all in an interview with Rivals.

Also committing Thursday—maybe—is GA ATH Michael Barrett. Per Josh Newkirk, Barrett wants to commit on the 14th, his birthday. Wiltfong has a CB in for Michigan; Barrett is apparently deciding between an ATH offer from Michigan and a QB offer from Georgia Tech. Because he's a GT QB, man:

Michigan's been pursuing Barrett for most of the recruiting cycle—here's an early June post from Lorenz that asserts he's at the top of Michigan's board at RB.  Barrett shouldn't be looked at as a late sleeper Michigan is forced into taking because of misses elsewhere. They've got two backs in the class, they've been after this kid for months. They just like him. He could end up at RB, as a Jaylen Samuels-style H-back, viper, linebacker, or even safety.

Other uncommitted officials

Michigan also hosted two OL over the weekend. Barrett's teammate and GA OL Jalen Goss came up and geared up...

...and still kept everyone in the dark. Nobody's talked to him since. Or before, really. He's a ninja.

What we do know: at 6'7", 275, Goss is in the Frey mold as a big, rangy, athletic tackle. He decommitted from Florida in June. (Prescient.) Since he's been to Auburn multiple times and just set a late January official to Miami.  Just based on his visit itinerary—nothing outside of the South except Michigan—this one seems like an uphill battle. If Barrett does commit his pull might be Michigan's best shot with him.

ASU decommit and CA OL Jarrett Patterson is a more likely bet. He's more or less down to UCLA and Michigan. Brandon Huffman caught up with him after his visit, which he said the usual positive things about when not implying that Arizona State players live in a cloud castle with bouncers:

"What stood out most was the football players even spend time with regular students," said Patterson. "Everyone is interconnected and the players are all laid back guys."

UCLA is this weekend and Patterson will decide between the two schools in January. Patterson sounds like a late riser and possibly a candidate to play early:

Sun Devil Source’s Chris Karpman called Patterson “one of the polished performers at this stage of development,” and added, “the coaching that Patterson is getting at the high school level leaps off the film and is going to make for an easier transition to college football than the vast majority of his peers.”

I'd imagine Michigan would take both him and Petit-Frere.

""They're going to need a bigger boat" –Ace Anbender" –Brian Cook

I promised Ace that I would Michael Scott him about this development, the biggest Happy Trails of all time.

The impossible dream has died and committed to Minnesota, where he will team up with Vic Viramontes as PJ Fleck tries to assemble a team comprised entirely of weird MGoBlog recruiting obsessions. No doubt he's trying to arrange a LEVITICUS PAYNE transfer as we speak.

Etc.

Name alert: 2021(!) instate OL Rocco Spindler. You may remember Marc Spindler from his Lions days; that's his dad.

Baumgardner talks to MI OL commit Jalen Mayfield.

FL QB commit Joe Milton dropped almost 100 spots in the latest Rivals revamp; he now sits 189th. Can't argue with that given his stats. Happy trails to CA S Bryan Addison, who picked UCLA. At least now when someone picks UCLA over Michigan it makes some level of sense. Losing guys to Jim Freakin' Mora was a drag.

Michigan will practice at Berkeley Prep in preparation for the Outback Bowl. Berkeley Prep is the home of former Michigan kicker Garrett Rivas... and five star FL OL Nicholas Petit-Frere.

Mailbag: Vintage Punt/Counterpunt, Hurst Bowl, Patterson Transfer, Getting Served

Mailbag: Vintage Punt/Counterpunt, Hurst Bowl, Patterson Transfer, Getting Served

Submitted by Brian on December 8th, 2017 at 12:59 PM

UMvsOSU Program 1997 - Cover

Vintage Punt/Counterpunt.

I found my copy of the free game program from The Game 20 years ago in a box of old school stuff. Thought you guys might enjoy the Punt / Counterpunt column from that day.

Go Blue!

UMvsOSU Program 1997 - Punt-CP

Here's a zoomed in version.

UMvsOSU Program 1997 - Punt-CP

UMvsOSU Program 1997 - Punt-CP

Thanks to Nick and Ken for being a formative part of my fandom.

Hurst take.

If Hurst is worried about getting injured and the NFL draft. Lloyds of London will insure him for injury for the one game.

So you're asking Mo Hurst to literally pay for the privilege of playing in a football game that is mostly interesting because it will feature Ryan Nanni as a bloomin' onion? Nah.

I'd be vaguely upset if Hurst wasn't going to play in a New Year's Six game but more or less understand. The Outback Bowl? Hurst going in the top ten of the draft is probably more helpful to the program in the long term than whatever bonus chance he provides of beating South Carolina.

If you want players to compete in dink bowl games, there's an easy way to do so: pay them and sign them to a contract that says "you play in bowl games."

Recruiting is DISAPPOINT.

Is it fair to say, absent a change in trajectory, that '18 recruiting heads toward at best "unexciting", possibly even "disappointing"? I guess I have grown quite used to having a consensus top 100 'bell cow' (I loved it when K Jackson used to call FB players bell cows) at basically every position group, and a difference-maker (DPJ - Solomon) for each unit. Is that a reasonable standard, or is that Osu/Bama, which I don't think is realistic until we experience some playoff success and maybe never, given relative boundary-pushing of three programs. (Although the rush to Oxford has me questioning my prejudices.)    

Thanks, dirk

I'd say unexciting is about right. Michigan's sole composite top 100 prospect right now, Otis Reese, is pretty wobbly. That's a comedown from Harbaugh's first two full efforts, which delivered guys like Rashan Gary, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Aubrey Solomon, and Cesar Ruiz—amongst many others.

There are a lot of reasons for this: it's a severely down year in-state; Michigan had to hire yet another recruiting director; playing time is hard to sell when you return a zillion starters. And, yes, Michigan is working uphill for a lot of guys because they don't have a bagman network—at least that's what I've heard from guys close to the program for years. 

But the class is still 11th and should add a couple additional big fish to finish. Adding the three Ole Miss players also helps fill scholarships with talented players. And this looks like a blip. Michigan already has two five-star-ish DEs in the 2019 class plus top 100 guard Nolan Rumler and four-star LB Charles Thomas. I expect Michigan to bounce back to their previous level in 2019 now that they've got what looks like a solid recruiting infrastructure that isn't going to take a position coaching job next year.

Patterson feels.

Brian/Ace,

I am sure if I posted this as a thread I would be down voted as a babe in the woods and comments of “this is what it takes to beat OSU and Alabama” would rain down from the heavens.  But i have to say, going after Peterson when you have two VERY good QBs that harbaugh recruited in the stable feels very unmichigan.  What say you?

Thank you again for all you do and next year, please think of adding Boston to your season preview tour.  We would love to host!

Best,
Quinn

I don't think taking a transfer is a problem. Players at the same position as that guy might be a little cheesed off, but I'm sure Harbaugh didn't promise them they'd get to start. Because that's crazy. But that doesn't mean it's wrong. If Patterson does come in and start—which is not a foregone conclusion—because he's the best option, that's a negative for the other quarterbacks but a positive for the rest of the team.

Michigan doesn't take JUCOs because they can't get them through admissions, and I guess that's the reason taking a transfer seems weird? I find this take baffling. Recruiting kids in college isn't any different than recruiting them in high school. And if a school that was flagrantly buying guys out from under Michigan's nose suffers as a result, all the better.

I GET EMAILS.

So, as a lawyer I got to thinking, .Maybe a lawsuit for violating the Constitutions First Amendmenment protection of Free Speech is in order. Maybe Ill win maybe I wont Probably will) but even if not , it wont cost me one nickle. However you will need a battery of lawyers to deal the various and numerous motions I could file.  Hope you have deep pockets.

Expect to be served

Matt Mann

This gentleman was upset that I shut the comments down and has challenged me to a dance-off.

ASSEMBLE YOUR CREW, SIR.