Ticket Watch Can't Get Into the Game

Ticket Watch Can't Get Into the Game

Submitted by Seth on November 20th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

I can't find tickets for Ohio State! I'm freaking out! Wait, let's go back a bit to understand my play here, and how it blew up in my face, in the latest installment of this secondary ticket article I write that you apparently find useful even though you can do a lot of this research yourself and at times it's a total bald face plea for seats. Two. Any section.

Yes I emailed our sponsor, TiqIQ already. He said it'll cost:

UM/OSU currently averages $420.33 on the secondary market, and that's with a 3% price drop this week. It's the most expensive matchup between the two of the past 6 seasons in either building.

Current get-in is $230 for a single seat & $300 for a pair (each after fees).

2012 in Columbus had a nearly identical average price ($419.21) but much lower Get-in ($150)

  • Highest average was on 11/4 ($432), Lowest was 9/17 ($296).
  • Highest get-in was on 11/9 ($243), Lowest was 9/8 ($117).

Let me know if you want any other data.

Yeesh. The singles right now are about $220. I'm betting they stick.

YESTERDAY'S TRADING

Michigan's been on the road for the most part since I last checked in, and those went as planned. Emailers reported they got their Minnesota tickets for $20 outside the game, and Indiana there were a lot of free ones available despite the nice weather.

For Rutgers everything online was face right up until the time I had to leave for Ann Arbor, and around the stadium people were asking for $50 and watching buyers walk away when I went in. I had to cast around to find someone to use my other seat—I was planning to go with Demorest until he got sick, and then my brother was sick, and my friends were either sick or moving, and then I had to explain that I can't move couches because it's my job to go to a Michigan-Rutgers game. This was a common tale; there were a ton of last-minute single seats open, a thing that happens during flu season and when the weather's bad.

CURRENT RATES

I ended up taking Ace's press pass for Penn State so I'm out of that market, but I've been watching it closely and, like Penn State, it performed pretty much as expected…until this week:

Game In Oct Now Dips Buy? Reasoning
@Penn State $110 $75 $75 Now See discussion below.
Ohio State $181 $225 $225 Now Once OSU beats State, the Bucks are comin'

That dip was sudden and dramatic, and took place almost entirely with big groups of tickets becoming available in the northwest end zone:

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Let me zoom in:

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I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure those are Michigan's allotment that suddenly made available huge swaths of unused seats. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that these were where the away fans sat in 2013 when we went. This was their Wisconsin game in 2012 to show it better since their red sticks out:

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See the strip of Badgers on the upper-left/two-decker side?

This is just a total guess but if there's a reason Michigan group tickets suddenly fell back into the pool it's probably because basketball plays Xavier at 9 p.m. tonight, then Penn State at noon tomorrow, so going to both would require either a constitution that doesn't require sleep or a private jet. My hypothesis is people in position to snatch up these tickets early did so, and now they can't use them.

Then there's The Game. I expect Ohio State to crush Michigan State on Saturday. If that occurs, the Buckeyes will rush to buy seats and single seats will jump $250. If Michigan loses that will put more tix on the market, but it's a market that will be moving so fast the price will stand. I think that's about the limit; the Big House has too many seats to fill to cruise over $250. If you MUST go and you can't afford that, you can try to find some greedy bastard who waited too long to make a profit 10 minutes after kickoff, but expect to end up watching in a bar.

CHEAP TIP

If your friend offers to let you use his seats but he's out of town and his tickets are at home—have your buddy call the ticket office and release them to you. This can be done online as well. Sometimes folks don't realize the paper tickets they left in a drawer don't have to go unused.

BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)

Wanna see the ONLY good non-conference game that'll be in Crisler all year? There are a bunch of mid-court upper deck seats available for under $20 right now.

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You won't be able to see Doyle's sweat bubbles from there, but I can confirm Robinson's threes look sweet from 225.

P.S. Said sponsor has an app now in case you're on your phone reading this and don't have microscopic fingertips. If you're using them use the code MGOBLOG and they'll give you 10% off certain listings.

Ticket Watch is Jacked Up

Ticket Watch is Jacked Up

Submitted by Seth on October 15th, 2015 at 2:48 PM

…because my nephew's name is Jack and he's going to his first game…if we can find a third seat in section 18 row 40ish. I got two for this game, and they weren't cheap, but prices have shot up a ton since.

Oh, this is the new feature where we talk about the secondary ticket market because I'm too cheap to donate money to get in line to buy season tickets. I've been scrounging for most of my adult life, and while it usually works out (my best friend and old sports ticket co-conspirator and I have a motto of "Everything always works out") there have been two days that it didn't. One was a 2006 World Series. The other, the 2010 Michigan State game:

On the way up, my consultant and I had agreed on a plan: We would spend pre-game trying to run into people we know, asking if they had singles with them. If not, we would wait until just after kickoff, when sellers were cursing their greed and desperate to pocket something before heading in. We had another ride lined up just in case not everyone got a ticket, our pockets were full of $10s and $5s, and we were ready – just in case – to bail for my consultant's 62-inch HDTV, where the DVR was running. I trusted this plan; my consultant has a degree in economics from Michigan State University, which I hear is a pretty good school.

I've never trusted the gameday ticket market for an MSU game again. According to Ralph at TiqIQ the cheapest tickets on their sites since then wound up at $170 (East Lansing), $146 (Ann Arbor), $110 (EL), and $104 (EL) by gametime. A hundred is the floor for these games. And this one ain't the floor.

YESTERDAY'S TRADING

I hope I saved you some money on the Maryland tickets—it was hard to tell how many seats went empty because the network didn't want to show it, but I heard from enough people that offering to not pay was about as good as any other procedure.

Homecoming I had to get in on the ticket exchange early because we had the alumni event. I got offered a free pair after I'd already spent $75 for two from a friend on Facebook, so I offloaded the original two for $20 apiece at Stadium & Main entrance on the way in.

CURRENT RATES

Game In Aug In Sept Now Dips Buy? Reasoning
MSU $194 $225 $220 $207 NOW!!! Biggest game in years
@Minnesota $78 $40 $30 - at game Letdown year in Minn
Rutgers $43 same $60 nope Now or later Last reasonable home game before OSU.
@Indiana $63 $60 $55 - wait. Going down now.
@Penn State $145 $108 $115 $100 next loss They play OSU this week so...
Ohio State $217 $181 $265 $201 NOW!!! Unless you think they'll lose

The MSU tickets are hopping up to $250 but there are a lot of them still popping up. OSU tickets as well. These are people who see a chance to pay for the difference between the price they paid for a UNLV ticket and what the UNLV ticket was actually worth, but they're not wrong. If you want to test the waters and see if they'll come down closer to gametime, I still suggest buying printable tickets online. A lot of people who usually show up and find a ticket on the way in are going to be jockeying for the few that actually made it to the stadium. Spartans too. With Thanksgiving and the entropy of football threatening The Game, the MSU game will probably wind up the most expensive ticket of the year.

Also it'll be a crisp 48 degrees and sunny. Who would want to sell?

My gophers who investigated the Gophers ticket market were right: as soon as they were dismantled by Northwestern the "Kill-ing It" happy fun times were over, and the home crowd shrank back to the kind-hearted people who get really into punters and bits of broken chair trophies. Penn State I feel I've scouted pretty well too—the tickets will be $100 now or later but you can save $10 or $20 if you catch a firesale after a disappointing loss.

As for the two remaining home games, Rutgers is less of a dog now that Michigan fans awoke to the sooner-than-we-thought "arrival" of the good times, then immediately realized there's only one game that isn't Ohio State or Michigan State. If you buy now you're expecting Michigan to beat Michigan State on Saturday, because if that happens this ticket will keep incrementing upwards.

And then there's The Game. This could be a playoff play-in, or it could be a slaughter if the Buckeyes appear to be back on track and the Harbaugh papering job doesn't keep working. Buying now is a risk but this one's getting volatile as more believers buy in. I'd still wait just because there are soooooo many singles tickets out there. If they start getting gobbled up, make your move. It could be the best game of the year. Or of your life.

CHEAP TIP

Don't do it on the board because we frown upon that, but sometimes a little moping about your ticket situation on Facebook can drum up an invite.

BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)

If you're gonna shell out, have a good time:

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Somebody priced these to move; they're a little high up (Row 96) but in the End Zone that's a good thing. And the marginal difference between them and the other End Zone is worth it to be right next to the student section.

P.S. Said sponsor has an app now in case you're on your phone reading this and don't have microscopic fingertips. If you're using them use the code MGOBLOG and they'll give you 10% off certain listings.

Ticket Watch 1.2 Sees Rain

Ticket Watch 1.2 Sees Rain

Submitted by Seth on October 2nd, 2015 at 10:02 AM

What is this? A new feature tracking the secondary ticket market because I'm too cheap to buy season tickets. Also because that strategy has worked for me pretty well so far. I strongly encourage interaction from the readers on this because I'm still feeling my way on format and it's a very big market. Quite a few people already have emailed me with their tricks for ticket trading. A few have noted that I'm way more helpful to buyers than sellers, which probably can't be helped since that's what I am, but I'll try to throw some good selling opportunities out there when I see them.

LESSONS FROM YESTERDAY'S TRADING

I got me and a friend into BYU for free, and the morning of the game I got offered face value on the 50 yard line (Section 2, row 44). Both were because the "Dances with Dirt" run overlapped with the game. Mental note: when scouting ahead for tickets know about events that green thumb Ann Arbor types can't resist.

There was also a craigslist post from pretty close to me offering face or best offer right when I was leaving. They were actually trading about that on the sites, which surprised me. Since I already had tickets I didn't check them after 9 but I did walk down to the Main & Stadium entrance to find people selling the typical "wife didn't make it" tickets for $10 and trying to get $40/ticket for a pair at about 11:30.

THE NEXT GAME

The rest of Maryland tickets went to garbage the second a wild Bowling Green appeared (never schedule an Art Briles acolyte), but local Michigan fans were keeping the night matchup the premier event on the Terps' schedule. Ralph Garcia of TiqIQ before the storm:

The game at Maryland has seen a 25% decrease in average price over the past week. Current average is $133.21. Cheapest ticket available is $70. This is Maryland's most expensive game of the season.

http://www.tiqiq.com/tickets/maryland-terrapins-vs-michigan-wolverines--10-03-2015/16787731414

And then…

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weathertap

SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL! If you have a pair already put them up now under market and pray they go—you'll find a new set on the way down. Things around the 50 are already under $100 out the door:

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On StubHub there's a pair upstairs for $30/each (plus $15 for fees).

The weather news already halted the market, and it's been just hours since the new start time ruined the plans of mice and men expected to be at Erin Frost's Bat Mitzvah in Rockford at 10:30 a.m. and no you are not missing it that's why we are in town, not your football game; family comes first. Also: Mazel tov from MGoBlog, Erin.

If you've been waiting to buy tickets I suggest hitting the last-minute market. There are going to be empty seats and last-ditch attempts to unload them after Erin's oneg, and a lot of those tickets will never even make it near the stadium. I'd also be willing to gamble that there will be plenty held between thumbs and forefingers around the stadium.

NO NOT SCALPERS

Skip scalpers unless you're desperate. They do not call them gently shavers.

CURRENT RATES

The BYU game awoke the Michigan monster in a lot of people, and tickets climbed 10% across the board, especially for the MSU game (because we have so much respect for the #2 Spartans, Mark, no other reason).

Again, my process is I spend a week of tracking prices on TiqIQ (which collates all the smaller markets), Stubhub, and Craigslist (Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit), then post a price per ticket for two or more seats together:

Game In Aug Now Dips Buy? Reasoning
@Maryland $85 $30 $30 at game Weather plus new start time 8 hours from old one.
Northwestern $80 $81 $74 at dip. Price is going up since it's homecoming + BYU bump
MSU $194 $225 $168 at $150 State fans still driving up.
@Minnesota $78 $40 - at game says you.
Rutgers $43 not moving lol whenever Hello permanent I-AA team on our schedule.
@Indiana $63 $60 - wait. They still haven't lost.
@Penn State $145 $108 $100 next loss Going back up again. I'm bearish on PSU though.
Ohio State $217 $181 $165 Now Crawling up. If M beats Sparty these will bust $200

Sigh, Rutgers. I'm not even reporting the price because I was watching the same face value ticket at the top of TiqIQ all friggin' week. Nobody's buying, and nobody wants to admit yet that they're not going to get their money back on that thing.

The BYU effect is happening on Northwestern too, since it's both homecoming (so people aren't letting their tickets go) and it's the next home game after a home game everyone wishes they'd been at. That had been trending downward since it's neither a premier game nor that one if you just want to take the whole family to one game (hi Rutgers).

Looking ahead to some road tilts in driving distance, Indiana is on a winning streak and faces Ohio State so let's wait for that bubble to burst. Penn State fans are driving the market for their game and are back to convincing themselves they have an offense. Unfortunately there isn't much on their schedule to trip them up. Army is next and unlike Air Force this triple-option outfit doesn't cut knees away. After that is Indiana. Then Ohio State, Maryland, Illinois, and at Northwestern. I'd wait till they play in Columbus, unless they lose at home to Indiana first.

Minnesota I got some advice from several people in the comments and on twitter. Apparently Gophers fans are not filling their stadium for anything, so treat it like a Northwestern game. If they beat a real opponent maybe get out ahead since you're banking a flight on this. But it still seems like this is a ticket you can get at the game, especially since it's too far away for a guy like to me to decide to go on Friday.

CHEAP TIP

Commodities markets always move with news. Games are like crop reports: everyone recalibrates after. Emotions are a market inefficiency. So are things like Randy Edsall's players meeting without him while he flubs Forrest Gump quotes.

BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)

These two:

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I'm bullish on Michigan and Ohio State right now. If either gets a win over MSU then The Game will be a tough one to get into.

Ticket Watch Ain't Scarce Yet

Ticket Watch Ain't Scarce Yet

Submitted by Seth on September 15th, 2015 at 1:21 PM

This is a new feature this year where I track the secondary ticket market, because I'm a cheap bastard who doesn't buy season tickets. This Big House vagabodry dates back to childhood, when my dad had a lot of friends with tickets, and a son who always answered "yes" when one of them called to offer. I of course got tickets as a student, but since graduating, I've had my ear to the ground. This does not make me an expert, but I've enlisted some readers plus our ticket partners TiqIQ and a Futures analyst to talk tickets and give some away.

If you would like to give away some tix to an MGoBlogger, leave a comment here.

YESTERDAY'S TRADING

We are now past the pre-season demand spike, which this year saw amazing $100/ticket average climb from last year. You knew last year was bad because you were getting phone calls from my dad's friends too. But the numbers revealed in Brandon's Lasting Lessons were staggering: an average of 9,000 tickets per game were given away by the athletic department alone. Typically the ticket market for any sports team is going to be high with expectations at the beginning of the season—and last year most expected Michigan to win 8 or 9 games—but 13,000 were given away for the Horror II. That was because of the opponent, yes, but also a screaming bear of a market which would only get worse after the pasting at Notre Dame.

Michigan did right itself but the effects linger, and that showed in the Oregon State ticket market. Even with a Pac12 opponent, the first Harbaugh home game, and the home opener, there were still guys standing outside Crisler offering free tickets and getting no takers. A reader reported he got two tickets at $5 each from the Stadium & Main melee. You could get tickets the morning of the game for $20-$30 on the ticket resale sites, though a lot of people were still holding out for face. This is typical for a 1990s mid-September MAC opponent, not a home opener.

Losing to Utah was the big thing—losses always bring down ticket prices, and the first one does the most. I think we also overestimated how quickly the hole of 2014 could be filled in. While the tailgaters (and the M-14 traffic congestion after 8 a.m.) were back en force the sense of scarcity is taking its time to climb back. That's unfortunate for all those who got season tickets, but good news for secondary buyers.

By the way the student section did get pretty full even if it looked like the top was empty. Back in the day student tickets were easy enough to resell to people who actually plan on sitting in their seats. Students pack in with their friends lower down, and that's why you'll see empty spots at the top. You could tell when Grapentine welcomed the freshmen to the stadium and freshmen all over the student section went woo while all the upperclassmen to have lived through Brandon had their arms crossed and eyes rolled.

THE NEXT GAME

If you were looking for an opportunity to bring the whole family on a budget UNLV should be the cheapest ticket all year. If the opener on a beautiful day against a P5 opponent on Harbaugh's first home game still didn't fill, a high school team from Nevada that dresses like the Buckeyes and uses a mascot from losing side of the Civil Rights Movement is going to make a lot of fans go meh. And then there's this (via Weathertap):

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When they say 50% that means a front is probably coming but they don't know when it will clear out by. Even if it turns out sunny, storms Friday night or Saturday morning will mean a lot of stay-homes. You can get four in Row 11 on the 50 yard line for $50 each right now. You can probably get two people in for free on Game Day, and a decent seat for $20/ticket on your walk to the stadium.

CURRENT RATES

The seller's season became a buyer's season with Michigan's first loss, then more so as scarcity effect was undermined badly by the lackluster Oregon State fill.

Again, my process is I spend a week of tracking prices on TiqIQ (which collates all the smaller markets), Stubhub, and Craigslist (Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit), then post a price per ticket for two or more seats together:

Game In Aug Now Dips Buy? Reasoning
UNLV $45 $30 free at game See above. Buy only if you desire good seats/have a big group.
BYU $72 $70 $65 at game Already below face ($80-$100) now. This stock's a dog
@Maryland $85 $85 $60 Now M fans still driving up the market.
Northwestern $80 $66 $60 wait. If M beats BYU start shopping.
MSU $194 $225 $118 Now State fans will drive up.
@Minnesota $78 $66 - wait. No idea how the Minnesota secondary market works now—last time I went was Metrodome, which had unlimited seats. Help?
Rutgers $43 $45 $12 Now People are dumping them in protest. Jump.
@Indiana $63 $56 - wait. Hoosiers will dump tix when they start losing.
@Penn State $145 $108 $80 Now I was wrong before. Get 'em now while PSU sucks.
Ohio State $217 $144 $130 Now I believe in Harbaugh.

The games close at hand took a big dip, and MSU hit a low—remember the face on those start at $95 and that's not counting PSLs. By mid-October State fans will notice. If you see tickets near $120 and you really want to go to that game, jump.

I was so so so wrong about Penn State so please don't get mad at me if I'm wrong about the rest. I thought PSU had such an easy schedule they'd be romping to 9 wins by the time Michigan came to town, and their unreasonable fans would take that to mean they're good. Then Temple happened. I say buy now because they'll eventually have something to get excited about and prices were really high during a bad season when we went there last time.

CHEAP TIP

I never buy from the ticket hucksters around town. They're way too good at their jobs and love to lie about bad seats. If you find yourself having to use the scalpers, don't ever buy the first tickets they show you, and catch them when you're walking FROM not TO the stadium—you'll have a better gauge of the market by that point. Whenever possible try to find another fan going to the game since they're motivated to get rid of those tickets and get in the building.

BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)

The MSU ticket market is volatile right now. Leave a window open here (1 ticket for MSU) and you'll come across singles around $150 each here and there, and sometimes in the same section.

Ticket Watch Sees Harbaugh Effect

Ticket Watch Sees Harbaugh Effect

Submitted by Seth on August 4th, 2015 at 5:17 PM

Ticketwatch2

I'm going to try out a new feature on the site where we track the secondary ticket market. I've been coming to games on somebody else's tickets nearly all my life; in fact the last time I paid for my own season tickets was 2001, my last year as a student. Before that my dad and I went with various family friends, and since then I've used just about every method in the world to get into Michigan games. If you find this cheap, especially for someone who's such Wolverine nut he writes about it for a living, remember I write about Michigan for a living.

This hardly qualifies me as an expert, so this feature will lean on data and other experts, including our ticket partners TiqIQ, and you. I want to make this interactive. We'll watch the prices of upcoming games, share tips, and maybe give away some free ones that come by.

THE HARBAUGH EFFECT

Amidst THAT, last year was the easiest in history to get into the Big House. I personally found a free ticket for every home game I could drag myself to (I was at home for Utah and Maryland). Given the amount of seats given away to every local charity, church organization, and student group to pop their heads into Schembechler Hall, if you got your tickets for the price of two Cokes, you probably overpaid. Sites that had to stick to face value couldn't move any.

This is now different. Demand for Michigan football tickets on the secondary market is up an average of $100 per ticket from last year on TiqIQ's site, and it's the same story on Stubhub. Having Michigan State and Ohio State home of course affects that—the Penn State game was the only game that was even at $200 before the bottom fell out of the market after Notre Dame. Anyway last year was a historic, ridiculous low; this year seems about the Carr norm. Harbaugh!

THE NEXT GAME

I pinged the guy from TiqIQ about what's going on with those:

I would say to get them now as the average price for the Utah game has risen by $40 since July 28th from $343 to $385

For me those prices are "I guess I'm not going" level. The "average" price isn't a real price—the low of the market is where they're trading, not the middle—but the rise is real. That's a tiny stadium about to be descended upon by thousands of Harbaughians who want to see his first game.

CURRENT RATES

It's a seller's season right now, with season tickets sold out and individual games already down to one or no seats available by the time it hit the open market. But August is also the "hey, let's plan our trip this year" month, so prices for marquee and even half-interesting games will slowly creep up between now and kickoff. It will take a loss to reset them (it always does).

In a week of tracking prices on TiqIQ (which collates all the smaller markets), Stubhub, and Craigslist (Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit), here's where prices stand, per ticket for two or more seats together:

Game Avg Low Dips Buy? Reasoning
Season Tix $900 $650 Now You can turn OSU/MSU around for $500. Hype will build through August.
@Utah $275 $142 at dip. People traveling want to be sure they'll get in, small stadium.
Oregon State $85 $62 tossup If we lose to Utah these will drop to $30.
UNLV $45 $33 at game Hangovers are stronger than the will to see M play a high school team.
BYU $72 $51 at dip. Home game after two wins should be good.
@Maryland $85 $56 Now M fans are going to drive this market way up even if we lose to BYU
Northwestern $80 - wait. See how the season's going.
MSU $194 $130 at dip. Always a hot ticket because in-staee brahs.
@Minnesota $78 - wait. No idea how the Minnesota secondary market works now—last time I went was Metrodome, which had unlimited seats. Help?
Rutgers $43 $33 at dip. Ungh. Every year.
@Indiana $63 $56 at game M fans drive up price, Hoosiers will be in SELL SELL SELL mode by Nov.
@Penn State $145 $125 Now PSU fans on the other hand...
Ohio State $217 $141 wait. If the season's going Harbaugh, this will go up.

The interesting one has been Oregon State. On one hand it's the first Harbaugh home game, so people are loathe to sell for less than face this far out. On the other hand, it's Oregon State. The market speaks loudly about which teams interest them—UNLV is already below face for any "get me in there" level. Rutgers is right there with UNLV—and we play them every year now!

Once the first game comes the market for the less marketable games is going to drop further, since the people who couldn't sell their season tickets will be getting what they can for OSU. Already Craigslist is filled with people offering "and UNLV!" with some ticket people want.

CHEAP TIP

The least expensive ticket for almost any home game will be found within 10 minutes of kickoff at the corner of Stadium and Main. Other gates and the walk to them have a lot of the same types of "my wife stayed home with the sick one, so you'll be sitting with me and my son" last-second deals. Does not apply for any game selling over face, but that should only be the two rivals this year.

BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)

Penn State or Michigan should be having a good enough season, and have big enough traveling fanbases, to make two lower bowl, center-end zone seats for $116 each out the door seem tempting as hell.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

This edition is kind of a test balloon for something I'll be running all season like every other week. What else do you want to see?

Unverified Voracity Needs Entrance Music

Unverified Voracity Needs Entrance Music

Submitted by Brian on August 4th, 2014 at 12:35 PM

PELINI. Yes.

This is what is called a face turn. Pelini should start entering stadiums with his own corn-oriented theme music.

Reduced price. Michigan has cut the waiting list fee from 500 dollars to 150 for the 2015 season. That's the one with OSU and MSU games on it. I think we've officially hit the limit of what people will pay. Also, this… this is not a good thing to title your page about buying season tickets.

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Watching football is not supposed to make you feel like you're going through twoadays and want to die.

Our lack of post depth and experience: slightly less exploitable. A couple of Big Ten big guys will not take on Doyle/Donnal and company, for reasons pedestrian and mysterious. The pedestrian one: VT transfer Trevor Thompson did not get a waiver at Ohio State and will redshirt. OSU does still get fifth-year Temple transfer Anthony Lee, so not a huge blow.

The mysterious and potentially more important: MSU stretch four Kenny Kaminski has been booted permanently. The crack MSU beat will no doubt have full details on the reason for his dismissal sometime after the sun turns the Earth into a smoking cinder bereft of life, so look out for that, Titan News Network.

Kaminski got only ten minutes a game last year, but he shot 50% on threes. This is Not Bad. Izzo kind of had a conniption fit about everything else about his game, because Izzo. Without any post types in the incoming class, MSU now will rely on Branden Dawson even more than they would have normally and lack the ability to insert a defense-stretching option for times when that would be good.

Now that I put it ion paper, this is less important from a Michigan perspective. Kaminski was a changeup option that a game against Michigan does not invite.

This is an interesting thing. I can't embed this at all, but here's a fascinating graph of the evolution of NFL players' height and weight over time. As you might expect, things get larger and heavier. The interesting bit is the split.

imageimage

Increasing specialization has seen a class of OL/DL types that have totally separated from people who weigh 270 pounds. 280? 290? Do not apply.

Yea, and thine bagels shall be coated in whatever toppings you desire. Michigan's compliance twitter feed is slowly morphing into Leviticus, and I'm okay with that.

ON THE THIRD DAY OF THE ACCLIMATIZATION PERIOD, YEA, THE DOLOMITES DID DON PADS AND VENTURE FORTH INTO THE FIELD OF PLAY.

Happy! Sad. Mitch McGary is doing stupid dunks on Vine.

There's another one where he flips it up to a teammate with his feet. #McGaryForUSMNT

Unfortunately, I am totally not over this. File me under sad bastard mooning at the record store in a Nick Hornby novel in re: reaction to any and all McGary things. Oh yeah I'm really happy for him it sounds like he's doing great oh I'm doing fine you know just buying these records and so sad that I feel like I'm dissolving every day no no man I'm fine.

/plays The Cure for 12 hours straight

Is there an It Gets Better for Mitch McGary withdrawal?

It's called the Big Ten for a reason. That reason is "we don't even know anymore." But we can have a reason again! Kirk Ferentz said that this could happen:

Kirk Ferentz said he could see the Big Ten going to 10 conference games. "If we're going to nine, I don't see why not," he said.

Money, probably. I am beginning to wonder about the relative value of a home and home versus two bodybag games; surely the increased interest from scheduling, say, Iowa, is now just about enough to offset the fact that you're playing a road game once TV factors in.

Rittenberg's take is cynical, but probably accurate:

How many Big Ten teams would get into the playoff with a 10-game league schedule if the higher-regarded SEC plays only eight conference contests? It's all about the playoff and it doesn't matter how you get there as long as you get there. That's how the Big Ten must approach scheduling.

I find it hard to believe that a committee is going to pick a team with an extra loss, even if it had a tougher schedule. And it's debatable whether the committee will even see it as a tougher schedule given the recent direction of the league.

If adding a tenth game induces Big Ten teams to strip out some of the very few comparison points we get before bowl season, all the committee will have to go on is reputation. That would be bad.

I am getting excited about hockey. The prospect of Copp/Compher/Larkin down the middle and the big hole on the blueline that Zach Werenski just filled combine to get me hype about what will go down at Yost this fall. Compher is tearing up the USA WJC camp going on right now:

Compher, who centered Team White’s top line between Fasching and 2015 draft prospect Kyle Connor, was arguably his side’s top player all the way through. He used his feet to take away time and space, and drew the ire of Team Blue with a hit in the corner right at the halftime horn. In the second half, the reigning B1G Freshman of the Year made a smart zone entry and executed a give-and-go with Will Butcher (COL) before finding Fasching at the doorstep for White’s second marker. …

Compher was a key cog at both ends of the rink all game long, applying pressure without the puck while showing his playmaking eyes en route to picking up two assists on the day. He worked hard behind the net for his first assist, and kicked back to the point for a secondary helper on the third White goal. The University of Michigan standout rounded out his effort with some excellent work at the left point on the power play. He nearly added a goal to his weekend resume with a shot that just missed high over the crossbar in the final minutes.

Meanwhile, Motte and Larkin combined to score a late winner against Finland.

The soccer game happened. I did not go, if you're curious. 55 bucks was about 40 too many for a friendly between a couple of teams I don't really care about. 109,000 people disagreed with that, so you got a packed Michigan Stadium and the tangible and intangible benefits of that. The broadcast must have said the words "Big House" a dozen times every 15 minutes; also the department made some money.

Hopefully that'll become something of an annual event. The cachet of having the largest stadium in the country is a natural draw for teams that can fill it. Hopefully they can figure out the turf issues.

Unfortunately the size of the playing surface is short of regulations for a real game, as was extensively discussed when Michigan Stadium was on a list of potential hosting venues for the USA's failed World Cup bid. Any real game would have to be played on a platform that sat above the actual playing field and wiped out viewing angles for big chunks of the stadium. I don't think Michigan Stadium will ever get serious consideration for a USA game because of that.

Oh man, lawyers. I mean that in a good way this time. Andy Schwarz, who was a plaintiff's witness in the O'Bannon case, has been writing big lawyerly pieces for Deadspin about the case. His latest is more of an overview of the two sides struggling to "fix" the NCAA. One, dubbed "Team Reform," thinks that the whole problem with the system is that the universities aren't funneling the profits back into the academic side. The other, dubbed "Team Market" is just like dude this is a joke now just let them get what they can.

I bring it up because Schwarz has a couple of places in the piece that sum up a ton of things I've been thinking:

I personally question the undertones of complaints that athletes may blow their payments on bling and tattoos, when we applaud college students for spending money on ephemeral activities like traveling to Florence for a semester of wine and museums, but as a member of Team Market, I am willing to entertain the possibility that deferred payments will bridge the gap between paying suppliers and pleasing consumers and result in the most popular market-produced product.  …"Fear of a Black Wallet" need not rule the country forever.

Fear of a Black Wallet! The paternalistic overtones of the arguments that start and end with "but then they'll have money" summed up in five words. They might waste their money, sure. It's being wasted now on compliance.

His sarcastic survey questions are also amazing:

This may also explain some of the surveys that we see from time to time, including even the one the NCAA presented in the recent O'Bannon litigation. The question wasn't framed as "Do you prefer watching undercompensated athletes play if it means you can rationalize your love of sports as somehow more noble than you secretly know it is?" or "Does your interest in college sports increase as more value is taken from the athletes and then ostensibly used to further more noble goals?"

I'm noticing this guy writes really long sentences now that I'm quoting him. Anyway, hardcore fans are an interesting exception to the survey trend wherein people say they'll like college sports less if it's less amateur. Guilty as charged.

Etc.: Been a lot of e-sporps about women lately. Jane comments on e-sporps about women. Michigan is favored by 35 against… them. I don't know if that makes me feel better or more terrified.

Unverified Voracity Is Unprecedented

Unverified Voracity Is Unprecedented

Submitted by Brian on June 24th, 2014 at 12:23 PM

They said it couldn't be done. As first reported by mgouser Canadian, hockey tickets are actually declining(!) in price this year:

Just got an email informing me that this seasons prices have been reduced. Endzone seats see a 15% drop, sideline 12% and centre ice 10%.
Also I noticed at the bottom of the email that season ticket holders will receive a 20% concession discount before the start of the game (for every home game). This is great news for myself as that's the only time i visit the concession stands (grabbing a bite to eat as I have to rush over right after work).

Wags immediately assert not to click on any links as this email must be written by a Nigerian prince, but no seriously I got it too:

image

I wonder when the last price drop in one of the big three sports happened. I certainly can't remember one, but you have to figure that basketball was walking back prices at some point during the dark period. Ticket demand for hockey must be very soft, what with two years out of the tournament and basketball going like gangbusters.

There's also an assortment of season ticket holder benefits. While none of them are particularly significant, it is a step in the right direction for a department that has basically laughed at the idea of loyalty since Brandon was installed.

Ty Wheatley tribute. Wolverine Historian releases a new version that's five minutes longer because why not:

A sizeable nerve hit. John U Bacon's article about Michigan's season ticket situation was so popular his server imploded under the pressure, and now Yahoo has asked him to consolidate and refine it for their site. I don't think the headline guy did him any favors by invoking "greed", but if you liked the original you'll find plenty to agree with in the sequel. It also gives me the opportunity to pull another money quote, so here goes:

Yes, advertising in the Big House does matter. Americans are bombarded by ads, about 5,000 a day. Michigan Stadium used to be a sanctuary from modern marketing, an urban version of a National Park. Now it's just another stop on the sales train.

Everything the ticket holders spend hundreds of dollars to wait for and pay for, they can get at home for next to nothing – including the ads -- plus better replays. They can only get the marching band at the Big House.

John might be attempting to set a record for "number of times single piece gets emailed to me," and I think he's just about caught that piece about Gibbons that every MSU/OSU troll in the world sent me.

Just when your life was running low on gravel trucks. Mike Barwis has a reality TV series coming up from the Funny or Die guys, who happen to be fanatical Michigan fans. Barwis is a natural for this, of course.

sam02[1]

Well done, Jim. Jim Delany took the stand as an NCAA witness. For the umpteenth time, an NCAA witness went over a bunch of stuff the judge said she wouldn't be considering like the impact on non-revenue sports. Delany also issued more College Is Good statements that make legal analysts rend their garments at their irrelevancy.

That was par for the course. Then Delany firebombed his side's cause:

Delany is tired of athletes being asked to spend all year on voluntary -- read: mandatory -- workouts. He'd like to see athletes get a chance to spend a semester abroad if they chose. He believes they are supposed to be students first. As he said all this, he admitted he remains very much in the minority among the policymakers in college sports on those issues. (Case in point: The schools have recently passed rules allowing football and basketball coaches to spend more time with their players in the offseason.)

That admission from Delany hacked several questions off his cross examination.

The plaintiffs have spent the entire trial trying to prove that in today's NCAA, players are athletes first and students second. The NCAA's attorneys and most of its witnesses have insisted that isn't the case. They say the athletes are students who just happen to play sports. They say allowing football and men's basketball players to sell their name, image and likeness rights would drive a wedge between the athletes and the student body. The plaintiffs contend the wedge was driven long ago and extra money in the pockets of the athletes won't change that. Delany helped them make that case Friday by explaining the reforms he'd like to see that actually would make the players feel more like regular students and then by explaining that they'd get steamrolled if they came up for a vote.

People are just in charge of things, etc.

I only have one problem with Andy Staples's article:

Outside of the Big Ten, Delany is massively unpopular. He continually stood in the way of a college football playoff. He essentially claimed an SEC team beat a Big Ten team for a football national title because the SEC team was faster and dumber. He created a cash cow of a cable network while still banging the drum for amateurism.

He is massively unpopular to Big Ten fans as well after adding Rutgers and Maryland.

Meanwhile, in Emmertland. Staples covers Emmert's testimony:

Emmert discussed the "commercial pressures" to use athletes in a variety of ways. "One has to make sure, in an amateur context, that it doesn't go to a place where the student-athletes are in fact being used as nothing more than shills for a product," Emmert said.

187469351AT00132_ACC_Champi

Staples got a little snarky. I understand. It's hard not to be. As I've noted before, taking the NCAA's model and trying to justify it in a courtroom leads to progressively increasing levels of cognitive dissonance that end with you going ACK and snarking.

Oh no, what would that be like. Upside to the NCAA enforcement department ceasing to exist, from the NCAA's perspective:

Dinosaur hit by Google meteor. It must have been grand to be a sportswriter in the days when the collective memory of your readers was about six months long, tops, an you could just recycle your bits ad nauseum in between three-martini lunches. Unfortunately, these days you can just plug "out of touch sportswriter name" and "topic" and verily, thou art exposed.

So when Dan Shaughnessy wrote a "but I don't want to like soccer" piece that seemed 25 years old, it was quickly discovered that the reason it seemed 25 years old is that it actually was. Deadspin:

Hands are what separate man from beast

June 22, 2014

Soccer takes away our hands. This makes the game incredibly skillful and exhausting, but also robs fans of much of the beauty of sport. Hands and opposable thumbs separate us from creatures of the wild.

June 17, 1994

And what's with the hands? How good can any game be when you can't use your hands? Hands are what separate us from the animal kingdom.

July 5, 1990

Finally, there is the hands problem. Hands and thumbs, that's what separates us from the beasts of the jungle.

I'm terrified that I repeat myself too much when I go on about how punting is evil or the NCAA should keel over and die posthaste, because I came of age shaking my head at dudes like Shaugnessy and Rick Reilly who phoned in the same four columns for 20 years.

I used to be really mad at these guys because they were wasting the greatest job in the world. Nowadays it's more contempt than anger. Y'all are still doing this in 2014?

Hockey scouting. Over The Boards collects a bunch of scouting on college-hockey bound gentlemen, touching on a number of Michigan recruits. Zach Werenski, who may be on campus this fall:

He’s deliberate and doesn’t put himself in situations to fail. He doesn’t pick his battles, he just battles smart. His natural abilities, what he’s worked on, continuing to improve, I think the debate is what part of what he does is going to persist to the pro level, but his being well-rounded I don’t think makes him undefined like some toolsy kids that can’t figure out where they put their skills in the toolbox and when to pull them out, you know? He knows what he can do and plays to it: situational awareness.

2016 D Griffin Luce:

“Luce is arguably the best ’98 defenseman in the country. He has great size at 6’3, 200 and plays with an edge, throwing his body around in the corners and in-front of the net in his own end and is a presence on the offensive blueline. Luce moves very well for his size and age and handles the puck effortlessly with hard, crisp, tape to tape passes up ice. He can run the powerplay and with his reach and hockey IQ is an ideal penalty killer as his head is always on swivel and getting his stick out to take away passing lanes."

Luce is projected as a potential first-rounder. 2015 F Kyle Connor gets a brief mention as a kid who has really come on this year. That is understating it a bit. Connor was second in the USHL in scoring this year, highly unusual for a kid his age, and is one of three 2015-ish recruits at the WJC evaluation camp this year. I know Yost Built has been fretting about whether he'll follow through on his commitment, so hopefully this reassures somewhat:

“Growing up, that was my dream school,” said Connor. “I’m a Michigan football fan and Michigan everything, even my parents are big Michigan fans. When I heard they offered me the scholarship it was a no brainer.”

Saginaw drafted him in the 14th round, and they're not known for swooping in on college commits.

I will also take this opportunity to note that UNO has a kid named "Luc Snuggerud" coming in this year. That has to go high up on the list of most hockey names.

Etc.: EMU to install a gray field, start calling Rynearson "the Factory." "Why isn't EMU I-AA?" you ask, because that's what you always ask about EMU.

USC announces that all revenue sport scholarships will be guaranteed for four years. A collection of early Big Ten odds. Texas's AD is so Brandon, still.

Unverified Voracity Ponders JMFJ

Unverified Voracity Ponders JMFJ

Submitted by Brian on April 24th, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Familiar music. Michigan replay promo, 1983.

Via Wolverine Historian, of course. Also: the 1983 Washington State game.

JMFJ. Jack Johnson is a fascinating NHL player, because stats hate him. There's a thing called Corsi that is basically a shot attempt ratio* while you're on the ice that the hockey advanced stats guys like because it takes the randomness of goaltending out of the equation. Jack Johnson has been anomalously poor in this department. He's bad at Corsi. Very, very bad. It's to the point that a Google search for "Jack Johnson corsi" results in various bloggers calling him the worst player in the NHL:

image

Despite this, Johnson has been a heavy-minutes workhorse for the Blue Jackets since his arrival, leading the team in ice time for two and a half years now. The Jackets made the playoffs with a +15 goal differential with Johnson as their undisputed #1 D, thus spurring the flurry of articles that caused me to muse on Jack Johnson and Corsi. Por ejemplo:

Johnson has logged heavy minutes and been instrumental in holding Penguins top guns Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin without a goal in the series.

"Jack has been very good down the stretch and these first three games," Richards said. "He plays like a man on the ice. He can log the big minutes. He played close to 40 minutes in the OT game in Game 2. And they're big, tough minutes. It's the opposition. He's playing against Crosby or Malkin most of the night. Penalty kill, he's one of the first guys over the boards and he plays power play."

ESPN also praises him:

"I would just say [he's a] machine. He's a different bird, man. On and off the ice, he's just a thoroughbred and he's always in the gym," Columbus forward Cam Atkinson told ESPN.com Tuesday. "You can tell he's elevated his game tremendously in this playoff series and he's been one of our best players, if not our best player. It's great to see and hopefully he can keep playing the way he's been playing."

This has no doubt set Corsi-fiends on edge, which is a lot like David Berri holding up whatever metric he's regressed into his butt and declaring subject matter experts to be idiots. You'd think something as rough as relative shot attempts would bring with it the humility to look at why a player with a bad Corsi might still be good at hockey.

Nope!

*[It's shots on goal + missed shots + blocked shots for and against, expressed as a percentage. So a 50% Corsi means you're even and a 45% is pretty terrible.]

They may know what they're doing. Kam Chatman sees a significant ratings bump from another service, as Rivals flings him up the board to #25, one spot away from five-star status. Measuring in at 6'8" at that camo Jordan thing is kind of a big deal to these gents. All around him are coulda-beens, though: #22 James Blackmon, #26 Keita Bates-Diop, #29 Devin Booker.

On the other hand, DJ Wilson cracks the top 100 at #86 and grabs a fourth star, which isn't bad for a guy who seemed like the consolation prize's consolation prize when he committed over offers from Columbia and Gonzaga. They may know what they're doing, these guys.

Also they may acquire this other guy. It seems like Michigan's interest in Nevada transfer Cole Huff is genuine:

Huff met with Michigan assistant coach LaVall Jordan on Tuesday in Reno, Nev., and is now waiting for some scholarship dominoes to fall.

"The meeting was good," Huff told MLive. "It was nice of him to come out here and we had a good conversation. He talked about the opportunities they can offer, but really, when it comes to Michigan, you don't need a coach to talk to you too much because of all that tradition. It was just an added bonus to have coach Jordan come out here and give me the specifics."

Those specifics are: Michigan is waiting on Aubrey Dawkins, who has an offer and is following through on a promised visit to Dayton this weekend. If Dawkins takes the Michigan offer, they are out of room unless Mitch McGary declares for the draft. Yes, even though Austin Hatch etc., etc.

If Michigan does have room it doesn't sound like the "I want to play small forward" thing is going to be much of a barrier:

"It was more about how I was being used (in the system)," Huff said of his decision to transfer. "Nevada did a great job using me as a pick-and-pop player and putting me down low with my back to the basket, but that's not all of who I am. I think I can be used for more than that.”

Huff won't have to worry about playing with his back to the basket in Ann Arbor. Posting up is a foreign concept in a Beilein offense. Michigan has a couple of connections with Huff, one a team manager, the other his AAU coach, and it sounds like there is strong mutual interest. Huff would have to sit out next year and then would have two to play; as a 6'8" guy who hit 40% from three he is filed under DO WANT.

Huff won't have to wait long, as McGary will be in or out of the draft by the end of Sunday and it sounds like Dawkins is not going to extend the process much longer than it takes to visit Dayton. Via Sam Webb($):

"I knew I wasn’t going to commit on the visit.  I already have a visit to Dayton (set up), so I knew that was going to happen too.  I knew I wasn’t going to commit on the visit.  I wanted to come back and talk to (my parents) and see what they thought and things like that.”

The rest of that article makes it sound like he wants to jump on the Michigan offer but has to fulfill a promise made to Dayton; that's just my speculation.

9855980524_fe27949afb_b

Schofield will be a middle-round selection. [Fuller]

Draft status (DON'T PANIC, NFL). Mel Kiper is bullish on Taylor Lewan, saying he could go as high as #2 overall and projecting him sixth to the Falcons. A couple of other grads are in line to get picked as well:

"Gallon ran better than I thought he would (at the combine), he made a lot of clutch catches, does a lot after the catch as a slot guy, to me he's worth a fifth round-type pick," Kiper said. "Schofield was a little underrated. He was solid pretty much all year at tackle, he could be a third- or fourth-round pick."

I'm happy that Schofield is going to get picked as he had a solid year that may have gotten overlooked what with the chaos around him. It's nice when the UFR process seems accurate about a player who doesn't have stats.

I'm less happy that Michigan had two NFL-worthy tackles last year and still looked like that, and is now trying to not look like that without them.

Ticket details. Take it FWIW, but an MGoUser asked the department how sales were going and got a number in response:

After I renewed my season tickets this year I contacted the Athletic Development Office and specifically asked what the renewal rates were compared to last year. Whether or not you view it as half full or half empty, the 8% difference from a year ago is down about 8,792 seats. Then there was the student renewal discussion which amounted to about another 1,200 - 1,500 seat renewal drop off. I know some of these will be picked up by new buyers but, I doubt they all go to new buyers. I think we will see the return of the ticket packs. Losing roughly 10,000 fans at the Big House is going to be very noticeable unless the AD gets creative. Having said that, I still think we see a sellout for most every game. I am hoping it is not as bad as it sounds.

An eight percent drop in one year is huge. How many will come back next year when the schedule has some actual attractions on it? This realignment went as poorly as possible for 1000 S. State Street.

Union vote tomorrow. Northwestern still telling their kids that a union will get them fired and strangle their grandma.

“Understand that by voting to have a union, you would be transferring your trust from those you know — me, your coaches and the administrators here — to what you don’t know — a third party who may or may not have the team’s best interests in mind,” Fitzgerald wrote to the team in an email.

"If you have a union that is comprised of you, you may not have your best interests in mind." That's some 1984 business up in there. I mean:

Players have heard warnings that the formation of a union would make it harder for them to land jobs after graduation; that Fitzgerald might leave; that alumni donations would dry up; that Northwestern’s planned $225 million athletic center could be scrapped.

All because the players want to negotiate about medical benefits and likeness rights. Andy Staples lays out a case that even if Northwestern's current players vote a union down, it doesn't really matter:

Also, if athletes are employees, some team at a private school somewhere will eventually vote to unionize. Not all coaches are as beloved as Fitzgerald. Not all schools treat their athletes as well as Northwestern does. Because of numbers, the chances are much greater that it will be a men's basketball team instead of a football team. On a basketball team, only seven of 13 scholarship players would have to agree to form a union. A galvanizing event such as the firing of a popular coach or the hiring of an unpopular one could easily tip the scales in favor of a union.

What matters is the NLRB's decision on appeal.

Etc.: Private Joe Paterno statue planned for downtown State College. Anyone want to see Spencer Hall vomit? AAAAAAAARGH. MLB cam is fascinating, vertigo-inducing. Talking with MAAR. How MAAR got to Michigan.

Unverified Voracity Takes The Oath

Unverified Voracity Takes The Oath

Submitted by Brian on November 29th, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Trey Burke NIT Season Tip Off d4nRm9HXEQpl[1]

Not for long. Baumgardner rounds up a couple of draft evals on Trey Burke, who is now in the top 20 at DraftExpress and SI:

As Michigan rises in the rankings, so does Burke, an adept ball handler who reads defenses well and excels in ball-screen situations, an NBA bread-and-butter play. Burke continues to be a little sloppy at times, but he is boosting his draft stock significantly in his second season. Burke's field-goal percentage (48.1) and three-point percentage (37) are up from last season.

ESPN's Chad Ford doesn't seem to have updated since the season started.

Not spotted: Tim Hardaway Jr, which is a bit of a surprise given his lights-out start to the season. Hardaway is still languishing in the second round of DX's 2014 mock behind luminaries like Josh Smith and Adriean Payne. Apparently he'll have to continue turning heads through the Big Ten season to break through in draft analysts's minds. Given his start, I think we're expecting that.

(Side note: GRIII has dropped to 25th in 2014 on DX. Meanwhile, both Pitt starting forwards feature on that 2014 mock draft with Stephen Adams 15th and Talib Zanna a second-rounder. Michigan outrebounded those guys badly. NC State meanwhile has the #7 and #8 guys in 2014 and the #20 guy this year. Michigan has already beaten some talented teams.)

Early unreliable tempo free numbers. I hereby take the Kenpom Small Sample Size Oath I understand that player stats are based on extremely limited information in mid-November. A quick check of Kenpom reveals four early trends that leap off the page:

  • Unstoppable Throw-Ball-In-Hoop-God Nik Stauskas. Stauskas is currently 4th in ORtg, a composite measure that weights various offensive stats together, 5th in effective field goal percentage, first in true shooting percentage (eFG adjusted for frequency of FT attempts and FT shooting), near the top 50 in TO rate, and is drawing free throws more frequently than anyone on the team. That is all nuts. He'll come down to earth… maybe. His usage is about where Novak was last year; so far he is an offensive upgrade on a guy who shot 85/56/41 from FT/2/3 last year.
  • GRIII OReb upgrade. GRIII is the second-best offensive rebounder on the team and is grabbing more than double the opportunities Novak did last year. Not that I'm picking on Novak. It enrages me when people say "John Beilein finally has a lights-out shooter" when Novak shot 41% last year. Novak was awesome. What I am saying is that between Stauskas and GRIII, Michigan has upgraded its shooting and rebounding by splitting Novak into two different people, both of whom are bigger than him.
  • THJ complete game watch. After six games, Hardaway is the team's second-best defensive rebounder at 19% and has drastically increased his shooting inside and outside the arc; his TO rate has hardly budged from his extremely good freshman number. Assists are actually down so far.
  • Big Puppy sucks up all the rebounds. If Mitch McGary had played 40% of his team's minutes instead of 36% he would rank 8th in offensive rebound percentage and 29th in defensive rebound percentage. He is of course blowing everyone out of the water in this regard so far.

Obviously there's a long way to go before we get much of an idea how legit any of these things are; I remember Michigan being an outstanding defensive rebounding team in the nonconference schedule last year, but click that conference-only box on Kenpom and 2012 Michigan drops from 99th—good—to 9th in conference—not good. This year Michigan's defensive rebounding is 4th nationally, but how will it hold up in the Big Ten? Probably better, but how much? Etc.

Speaking of Novak. UMHoops interviews him:

As for Glenn playing an undersized four, he is built like an upperclassman already so I don’t think he’s going to be getting pushed around by very many people.  I think as he gains experience and gets a feel for what players can do at that level, he’ll have no problem guarding guys down low.  I think a lot of players underestimate how effective just playing “solid” down low can be.  Many guys in college basketball struggle to score through a strong chest.  Figure out how to hold your ground and you have won half of the battle.  When he stays between his man and the basket, he can be more effective than I was because of his great length.  There were times I could guard a guy perfectly, but he’d just shoot it right over me.  That shouldn’t happen to him as much.

He doesn't bite on the "potential undoing" question; I will: foul trouble for Robinson would force Michigan into the rickety two-post offense for extended periods and could bring things down. There isn't really a guy who can spell him and shoot unless it's Bielfeldt.

The enduring legacy of DJ Jazzy Jeff. Athlon surveys college basketball players anonymously:

Have you ever received benefits from a booster?

Yes (13.7%)

No (86.3%)

Have you ever had a grade changed because you were an athlete?

Yes (15.1%)

No (84.9%)

Those seem like high numbers, but not as high as these:

What is your favorite TV show?

Family Guy (9.6%)

Fresh Prince (6.8%)

Martin (6.8%)

Entourage (5.5%)

Everybody Hates Chris (5.5%)

SportsCenter (5.5%)

Fresh Prince of Bel Air went off the air in 1996, and Martin in 1997, which means these kids were like two or three. [HT: Daily Gopher]

More alumni points. Michigan's changed the priority points system to further prioritize alumni and former letterwinners, but the thing I found fascinating was the chart MLaw06 attached to his diary:

  Current

1 Alum

(+15)

2 Alums

(+30)

1 Athlete

(+45)

2 Athletes

(+90)

25% 3.82 18.82 33.82 48.82 93.82
50% 21.2 36.2 51.2 66.2 111.2
90% 174.67 189.67 204.67 219.67 264.67
95% 326.65 341.65 356.65 371.65 416.65
99% 1365.81 1380.81 1395.81 1410.81 1455.81

Climbing halfway up the points list costs about 2000 bucks; getting to 90 costs as much as a new car. (A new car!) The change deflates point values slightly but on a 1-1 ratio that's like giving alums an extra $1,500 head start on other folk. Opinions on this will be split down the middle between alums and non-alums.

Ah yup. Via Maize and Blue Nation, correlation:

M-O Rushing[1]

The strength of that correlation may change if Michigan gets aggressive about throwing under Borges. Right now, pretty stark, especially those two years under 40 rushing yards.

Protip: don't do this. Former ND hockey player Riley Sheahan arrested wearing a teletubby costume (Tinky Winky, if you're interested). Arrest is for being drunk and driving; drunkenly stated he had not finished high school when asked if there was anything that might prevent him from properly answering the questions. Was carrying a teammate's license on him. None of this is good. Except the costume.

BONUS: Apparently "superdrunk" is a term of law in this state?

JongShow. Hockey commit Nolan DeJong is profiled by the Hockey News:

“I like to be offensive,” he said. “But I take pride in my defense. I’d say my stability, my size and reach are my strengths. I like to be as active as possible, but I want to work on my positioning.”

De Jong would also admit he’s not the most physical out there, but has a pretty good role model right now in locked-out Colorado Avalanche rearguard Ryan O’Byrne, who is a volunteer coach for his hometown Victoria squad while the NHL is on ice. De Jong also worked out with O’Byrne and Jeff Compton, whose clients include several NHL and Western League franchises, in the off-season.

Etc.: Four Michigan guys make the BTN All-Freshman team. I look forward to a day when that number is zero, or one or something. Next year probably won't be that year since redshirts are included and Michigan figures to start at least two freshman OL.

Big Ten title game not a hot seller. With how spread out the conference is going to be it might be wise to just make it a home game for the team with the better conference record, with record of your conference opponents breaking ties.

Leftover Big Ten/ACC thoughts from Brennan. Minnesota is kind of good this year; mentally swap those guys with Wisconsin. College hockey features on Grantland. This post about the athletics bubble may overreach a bit but the general outline is right. People who decided to add Maryland say adding Maryland is a good idea. NC State/Michigan key plays. Barking Carnival interviews Texas F Girl.