So after a long time away, we can partner with DraftKings again. If you weren't here in the before-time, the deal is my friend works there, and from time to time he gets them to sponsor an evening post here. I pick a game for the MGoFaithful to play, you get to play for free, and if you actually know what you're doing, you win money.
We never got to do an Pro Football Team Pick 'Em before, and that's actually my favorite type of league to play in, so I'm stoked that they finally have that. The link:
To clarify, there is $1M in the whole pool—the top prize gets $100,000, and everyone who gets all their picks correct in the pool splits $300,000. Just pick the outright winner in each game and if you pick half right you win. The challenge won't lock until 1:00 PM EST on September 9.
Baltimore over Buffalo—Buffalo's starting Nathan Peterman. Why?
New Orleans over Tampa Bay—Brees is going to have a career year.
New England over Houston—As long as Tom Brady is breathing. You know, whatever he breathes.
San Francisco over Minneapolis—Riding Garoppolo until he loses.
Miami over Tennessee—Did you remember Tennessee made the playoffs last year? Neither did I.
Jacksonville over New York—Saquon is going to find his new line isn't any better than his old one
Pittsburgh over Cleveland—Always pick against Ohio, whatever that Spartan's whining about this week
Kansas City over San Diego—Bolts always start so crappy. My upset pick.
Denver over Seattle—Butt's healthy, Seahawks on their way down
Arizona beats Washington—Both are Wrong Answers. Taking the home team.
Green Bay over Chicago—It's been happening for 20 years.
Detroit WINS! A FOOTBALL GAME! THAT COUNTS!
LA beats Oakland—Wonder who's going to look worse when the weekend's over, Jon Gruden or Herm Edwards?
DraftKings is an MGoBlog sponsor, and I play on there as MGoSeth. My personal views of the games and strategies above do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and when I play I may sometimes deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above (like, I didn't this time, but I could still talk myself out the hometown pick). I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
These are a few of our sponsors who have supported us so long, and to such a degree, that we now consider them part of the operation. They are companies whose missions align with ours, whose business practices match our commitment to ethics, transparency, and service to both clients and the public. You can usually find them on our message board with accounts way older than their sponsorship programs. Moreover they are good people—by and large huge Michigan fans whom we would want to interact with even if they weren’t giving us money.
Having a fanbase like Michigan’s that prefers to engage with borderline pedantic sports content is the reason this blog can exist. But the reason we can do this for a living instead of on the side of “real” jobs is because we have sponsors who also fit our particular brand and methods who want to be associated with us, and vice versa.
None of these sponsors paid to make this list, nor do we offer the option to do so. Once I’ve written them up, you can click on each link to learn more about them from us; for now these link to their own sites.
As mentioned yesterday, we’ve got places for you to watch the Big Ten Tournament if you’re in/around Ann Arbor or New York.
If you’re in Ann Arbor tomorrow…
As I mentioned yesterday, so long as Michigan survives Iowa, we’re going to get together TOMORROW at 2:30 at Wolverine Brewing for our first MGo-gamewatch party. Sponsor Nick Hopwood of Peak Wealth Management offered to cover the first couple rounds and some food for our tables.
Please let us know if you’re coming so we can get a halfway decent count (if we run out of space signups get first priority: https://goo.gl/forms/t0F28mhfnYRRbKPh2. We’ve got about 35 people signed up so far.
Brian at least will be there to represent us—if they let me out of the hospital (and my wife of a recently hospitalized man allows it) I’ll try to be there too.
If you’re in New York anytime during the BTT…
Get ye to pub of friend of the blog, Dewey’s Pub
MGoReaders have built a meeting ground near Madison Square Garden at this pub owned by regular MGoBlog reader Kevin Blauch.
Dewey’s Pub, on West 30th Street, is running March Madness specials all month ($30 domestic buckets $35 import and $120 case specials) along with happy hour specials ($5 bud light, sam adams and laganitas, $6 well drinks).
If you show up in M gear and/or tell the manager you’re an MGoBlog reader, he’ll give you a free Bud Light as well. If you can’t make any BTT games, or you want to catch the end of one after work, head over to Dewey’s. Those of you going to the game should go by afterwards to celebrate/commiserate.
The MGoRadio Show at Moe's 100th Birthday party last year.
This is not sponsored editorial, but it's editorial about a sponsor. I didn't tell Rishi I was even going to write this until like 10 minutes ago.
If you're not familiar with the history of collegiate sports apparel, here's a brief version: People used to go to sporting events in whatever their normal clothes were. Then in 1934 a sports apparel salesman walked into Moe's in Ann Arbor, and together they decided to sew big block M's on sweaters and sell them to Michigan fans.
When Moe retired he sold the store to Harold Trick, who had worked in the store for most of a decade, and adopted Moe's view that the campus sports shop should be part of the fabric of the Ann Arbor community. A generation later Trick sold it to Bud VanDeWege, who passed it on to his son, who was at that time the UM Women's Basketball Coach. Bud wanted to sell Moe's in 2010 to pursue other opportunities, but only to the right people who would continue that tradition of investment in the community as a whole.
If you're at all familiar with the history of MGoBlog you'll know it started as something Brian did in his spare time while holding down a "real" job, and that at some point in 2007-'08 that transitioned into his real job. A big part of that transition was Rishi Narayan and Ryan Gregg of Underground Printing coming on as a full-time sponsor of this site. They've been the difference ever since.
They are extremely good dudes who built UGP on the premise of if you help cool small businesses and charities around this town that everyone wants, people will buy shirts and stuff from you. When Bud Jr. was ready to sell the place where sports apparel began, the place that literally invented referee stripes, the place where Jim Harbaugh would spend all the money he'd saved raking leaves as a kid, the obvious guys to sell to were right there on everything from the local robotics competition, to Pear, to high school field hockey, and the local sports team's blogs.
From our t-shirt store, to our annual book, and even the short-lived radio show last year, all of these things were possible because Rishi and Ryan wanted them to succeed. If you spend enough time around Ann Arbor you can't miss them. They're the guy on a fold-out chair at a local gardening event who supplied the t-shirts to the volunteers. They're the guy with the glorious beard whose kid is dancing on the Crisler fan cam. They're our guys, and this site literally couldn't be our livelihoods without them.
I thought it as good a day as any to remind you that if you're going to buy Michigan stuff to wear to Michigan things, you should buy it from them.
By the way, our shirts are part of that "everything" that's 30% off this week. Use the same code— FEB30 —through Feb. 30 to stock up on whatever shirt you missed from this season. Like…
If you've ever got an idea for a shirt (and it doesn't violate copyright or NCAA rules) email me—Seth @ [this site].com—and if we got something I'll pass it on to Rishi. Either way, when you're next in Ann Arbor, stop in the store and tell the owners thank you for MGoBlog.
If you're looking for the MSU preview, scroll down or click here.
Huh? We are bringing back the MGoPumpkin carving contest, this time with a DO-WANT prize for the victor. You, you, know, carve a pumpkin.
How do I enter? When you carve your masterpiece, take a photo and put it either in this thread, or on Twitter with a #MGoPumpkin hashtag. I'll judge the winner based on originality, concept, execution, and Michiganness. I'll see if I can rustle up some more prizes—I want to see ALL the pumpkins.
A prize you say? Winner gets $200 toward a stay at the brand spankin' new Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown. That's the hotel they just built on West Huron, next door to the Ann Arbor News building.
Why would this fabulous new hotel who seems like a sponsor…wait is this an ad? Kinda? The hotel is owned by the Martin family and friend of the blog Mike Martin. No not THAT Mike Martin, though this Mike's ties to the Michigan community are just a biiiit closer. Anyway this Mike Martin (NTMM) just got the go-ahead-and-open notice a few hours ago, so he's letting our readers be among the first to know. He's also running ads here for it.
Okay tell me of this hotel. Other than being brand spankin' new,it is a block from Main Street, which is pretty meaningful if you're the type who prefers dinner and a pub crawl to sitting in State Street traffic after a game. It's priced competitively, and has a free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens in every suite, and an indoor pool.
The thing I like most about daily fantasy games is having a thing to do with all this football knowledge that "it's my job" is only so much an excuse to accumulate. My job doesn't need me to know ahead of time that so-and-so has an 8-foot manbeast at running back and that the direction state university they're playing this week really should have gone Division III a decade ago. I don't really remember how all this information was acquired. It kinda assembled in my brain and sits there.
I can only foist so much of it on phone calls with friends (I mean, eventually you do have to ask about the kids) and the mgoslackchat. So I play Draft Kings, whom you may have noticed have been one of our best supporters for a very long time now, and who you also many have noticed are all over the place lately.
But remember these games are about exploiting market inefficiency. That blitz is your friend; they're sucking in tons of new players who don't know exactly what I'm talking about. And Ohio State fans.
Unfortunately the secret's out about the beast, and Buckeyes Bucking against Indiana is a smart play. So I've got a new dude. He is playing a team that doesn't stop anything, and his team is just starting to block everything, and his game just got moved to the early slot so his competition is unbalanced, and half the people in the pool are all gonna have the same guys. Don't listen to the weatherman who says the weather's gonna be clearer than you thought. I say it's gonna pour.
Sponsor note. One of the few benefits of walking to the stadium the last few years was a certain spaciousness to the tailgate proceedings. That just ended.
It's gonna get hairy out there. I foresee SUVs parked on top of each other, four to a stack. The lady on top of the stack has had too many wine coolers and is waving a kebab around threateningly.
Avoid certain doom at the hands of kebab wielders by reserving your spot ahead of time with Park 'n' Party. PnP has organized the parking situation around the stadium so that you can get a season pass at one of the many lots nearby. Eliminate pre-game worries; park next to friends so that when they have too many wine coolers they brandish their kebabs elsewhere.
There's a button midway down the right sidebar that will take you to their site if and when you need to secure your future attendance against ravenous hordes of people with tiny metal sticks with undercooked mushrooms on them. Or you could click on the links.
Kebabs are terrible. As tailgate food. I'm sure there is a way in which they can be good. They are terribly ill-suited for tailgating. Watch Joe disprove this spectacularly next week.
Hydra, on the right, is a dead ringer for the lower peninsula. No word yet on which of Pluto's more obscure moons looks like the UP. Probably the one with Houghton on it.
DAY 53. They said they captured it. They lied. Remain stuck in the FXB. Bodies of the innocent piled up outside the door. Smell of putrefaction overwhelming, but intermittent. There it is again. The door is open. Another poor soul attempts to make a break for it. The sounds of his failure are familiar by now, the horror of it distant, the boredom present.
Incredibly, I hear a lecture on aerodynamics going on somewhere above me. If I had the energy I would scream at these people. Scream bloody murder. Scream that the only aerodynamics that remain relevant in our lives are those that will take us from the top of this building to the street below.
Unless, of course, its maw intercepts us.
I do nothing. Above they drone on about lift ratios. Outside, Satan's final victory over Earth.
In December 2011, Kansas was strongly considering tabbing Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn to be its next head coach. … Malzahn had never been a college head coach, and neither had [Mark] Mangino before he arrived in Lawrence. Yet Malzahn was the O-coordinator for Auburn as the Tigers stunningly went 14-0 and won the 2011 national title, and Mangino coordinated Oklahoma’s national championship offense shortly before landing the Kansas job.
For Kansas, the Malzahn match made too much sense. But in a defining decision, the Jayhawks changed course in the final moments and opted to go with the biggest name they could get.
That happened to be Charlie Weis.
This year, Kansas has 64 scholarship players and will be paying Weis more than they pay their actual coach. The Weis phenomenon remains one of history's most inexplicably fascinating periods.
Wherever you go. Hey, I've been some of these places.
Brandon would make comments about personnel during his film-watching sessions—possibly even outright suggestions. Even if this the most benign version possible, it's so bad. Imagine your boss sitting down with you and saying "Devin's not doing so well." Now you are in a lovely pickle.
If I read the thing about how Brandon's entourage would call ahead to hotels to make sure they had someone to open his car door, I must have blanked it out in an effort to defend myself from my brain's reaction to… that. Ditto that Brandon turned down private planes that were too small.
Bacon thinks that Schlissel may have been inclined to wait until the end of the academic year before deciding what direction to go at AD, until that was suddenly no longer tenable. That would have been bad.
There's more that I can't remember off the top of my head. Eleven Warriors has an excerpt from the wild 42-41 OSU game.
Iowa fans on Rudock. Going to be fascinating to watch what happens at both Michigan and Iowa this year, particularly if Rudock outperforms CJ Beathard. BHGP is in the midst of its season preview content; their roundtable spends a question considering the departed:
Adam: Not unless Beathard gets injured. Iowa fans saw two full years of Rudock. He’s a known quantity, and it was mostly a substandard quantity. If Rudock outperforms Beathard this year, it’ll likely be more of a referendum on Iowa’s and Michigan’s coaching staffs than on their quarterbacks. …
Patrick: Absolutely, because if there’s two things Iowa fans love, it’s a backup quarterback and the guy they let get away. The narrative changes have already begun, and will only get worse if Rudock is successful at Michigan or Beathard struggles. The vitriol directed at Rudock last season, most of it undeserved, will be completely forgotten the second that Beathard checks down to a two-yard out route or throws a horrible interception to the sideline.
Those are the two extremes of what's about a 50/50 split. If Rudock does seem significantly better, the fallout from Iowa City will be vicious.
As pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifkas howed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the Toledo fourth grader had just one burning concern.
“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer laughs.
When you grow up you'll be thankful for the switch. You'll put liquids in your cooler and remove them without any unfortunate encrustations upon them. You might have a law degree you're actually able to pay off!
Butch TD, 1979. Via Dr. Sap:
Love how Ufer immediately knows that's a program record.
Also, a 1980 feature on Gary Moeller from Michigan Replay:
We had a little preseason meeting of the MGoBloggerati last week. Due to some oversight, we unfortunately had this meeting at a bar with TVs and the Lions preseason game on those TVs. So no, we didn't get much planning done with a table full of football bloggers who had football in front of them, but Brian had this fantastic idea:
What if the NFL preseason actually counted? Teams would have unlimited rosters, but you could only play your 1st stringers for the 1st quarter, and your 2nd stringers in the 2nd, and so on. Play in a quarter and you lose your eligibility for the rest of them. Everybody wins!
In things that somebody wins:
Football season means we're gonna start getting back to picking daily/weekly fantasy games to congregate in with our fantasy partner Draft Kings. This week's is an NFL preseason contest because frankly that's what we're all paying attention to right now (sorry boss). And since it's early we just went with a free one anyone can play:
$100,000 prize pool.
First place wins $10,000
FREE for everyone to join - no deposit required
Top 23,150 scores win guaranteed
Starts on Sunday, September 13th at 1:00 PM EST
Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense.
I noticed Kelvin Benjamain has torn his ACL. Although the rookie vying to take his targets tweaked his hamstring last week and missed the Miami game, Funchess should be good to go. And the nice thing is you have to scroll a loooong way to get to him.
Our fantasy partners at Draft Kings have been supporting Hail to the Victors since their main marketing guy helped us Kickstart the 2012 edition.
In 2013 he bought a bunch of the books off of us and gave them out to anyone who deposited at least the amount it cost the Kickstarter backers.
Last year they asked if they could just hand us money to keep making it, and I was like "can I tell people you gave us money?" and apparently this is called a sponsorship so they're sponsors. And they bought a bunch of books to give out again. As for this year…
They're the Sponsors Again!
Yay! But seriously I'm sure you've seen stuff for this daily fantasy sports website popping up all over the place lately, and we're very lucky that the people in charge of that are longtime and earnest fans of this site.
The nice part for you is if you blow through that deposit, at worst you got a copy of a book you were buying anyway minus the shipping cost. But, like, it's a deposit; if you make money you got a free copy of HTTV, andyou get money.
(The nice part for us is we get money if you do this.)
The final version has been approved at the printer so now we wait for them to physically print it. Make sure you sent us your address (just doing the Kickstarter isn't enough).
You should be getting your digital copies in your inboxes starting today. It's a 12mb PDF file but I have a lower-resolution 5mb one if you desire to put it on a Kindle or something that cares about hard drive space.
What if I find all this confusing and just want to pre-order a copy?
Go to the MGoStore! It's $15 plus about $5 for shipping depending on where you are.
There are Bo Dever days before FOOTBALL. You know what that means. Because you know the number of a walk-on receiver on Michigan's deepest receiver depth chart since the super-surprising reverse guy was Calvin Bell.
You have great and powerful football knowledge, but it's still Dever until you can use it to establish yourself the greatest expert on college football in the vicinity of other people watching it. Here's an outlet you can try until then.
This a reminder to fill out your Week 1 fantasy team with our daily fantasy football partners, Draft Kings, and that those who outscore my Big Ten (except the tight end) fantasy team get $5 off the MGoStore.
You're just drafting guys who play on Saturday afternoon, 8/30. No picking Nits who play at 8:30 a.m. in Ireland, etc.
$10,000 prize pool.
$2 entry fee. Entry is free if it's your first deposit.
$1,000 1st Place prize.
Top 1,150 are paid.
Starts on Saturday, August, 30th at 12:00 EST.
Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots.
Roster Format: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex.
First time depositors at DraftKings receive a 100% bonus up to $600
Details on the contest:
If you beat me (tie goes to the dealer yo) this week I'll email you with a code to use in the MGoStore for $5 off anything. Shipping still applies.
Only one coupon per person. If multiple teams beat me (like that would ever happen) you still can only use the code once on your store account.
BiSB isn't allowed to enter
More Wacky 1st Week Things. As you'll note above, starting wide receiver (and Seth's HTTV breakout on offense pick) Jehu Chesson didn't make the cut, but Jaron Dukes did, and he's head of now-available Norfleet and Darboh ($3,000 is the bargain bin for WRs).
The most expensive guy available is Oregon State's Sean Mannion, because he's a football slinger in a high-tempo passing spread about to commence his quest to obliterate the yard totals of every USC artillery piece ever, and his opponent is Portland State, which last year was 79th in FCS in (sack-adjusted) pass D, at 5.97 YPA. FWIW the NCAA took App State off its FCS stats but they would have been a bit worse than PortSt, at 6.14 YPA.