Unverified Voracity Drops The Puck

Unverified Voracity Drops The Puck

Submitted by Brian on October 11th, 2012 at 6:24 PM

RITonight.  Get it? Get it? Puck drops on Michigan's season opener in a couple hours. Yost Built has a preview and a wrapup season preview post. A few comments on Michigan exhibition against Windsor:

  • Trouba is the truth. Three assists, one leveling open-ice hit, and defensive responsibility until everyone got sloppy up a ton in the third. A tape to tape breakout pass machine. Money money money.
  • Andrew Copp is an interesting guy to keep an eye on. Not a big recruit by any stretch of the imagination but Copp stood out as a big dude with some jump; he split time between football and hockey in high school and may develop into something a bit better than Danny Fardig 2.0.
  • Moffatt-Treais-PDG looks to be your top line, at least for now, with the wingers on that line seeming to have good chemistry. Looking for a bustout year from PDG, who was young enough to get drafted after his freshman year and should improve greatly.
  • Brennan Serville is another guy I'll be watching early for signs of improvement, especially with Merrill out six weeks and Serville skating every night as a result. Initial impression was not much different than last year's struggles, unfortunately, but confirmation bias and all that.
  • I miss Hunwick. Rutledge gave up a soft goal in his period and looked like he had holes all over. This may be paranoia.

The mid-tier guys (Moffie, Bennett, Guptill, Old Lynch, Hyman) were scratched, FWIW. Hyman's another guy I'm hoping will start producing more after his freshman hype fizzled.

Jake Ryan, basically. Roh on Ryan:

“He’s like a Tootsie Pop,” Roh said. “No matter how many times you talk to him, you really never know what you’re going to get until you get to the chocolatey center.”

Zach Helfland asks the obvious question:

Meaning what exactly?

Roh:

“I don’t know,” Roh said. “You can’t describe him, really. He’s like, I don’t know, he’s like smart but dumb at the same time, but he’s also just random, just like, ‘Yo,’ randomly.”

YO. Elsewhere in that article, Ryan is an alien. Read it.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JT FLOYD WHYYYY

"I told him right before I cut them, 'Man, 'Lace, I'm going to cut 'em,'" Floyd said. "He's like, 'No you're not, no you're not.'

"He was the first guy I saw. He just looked at me and smiled, 'Man, I can't believe you did it.' We had a little dreadlock bond, I guess. Now I'm trying to persuade him to cut 'em"

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

but it's not going to happen. Not going to happen."

Nevermind.

Ticket pricing update. To be fair The M Zone needs to continue their scalping project into next year to see what it's like trying to grab OSU tickets online, but so far so good for the idea we're closing in on the max amount people will pay to go to Michigan games:

Endzone Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $64.72
Illinois - Saved $31.72

Total Endzone StubHub Savings So Far - $96.44

Maize Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $87.38
Illinois - Saved $43.38

Total Maize Section Savings So Far - $130.76

Victors Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $165.24
Illinois - Saved $98.12
Total Victors Section Savings So Far - $263.36

MSU is looking like a win for season ticket holders but that's the only one, and that's with Stubhub's massive cut (15% from the seller plus 20 bucks in "convenience fees" from the buyer) taken into account.

Willis Ward to be honored. Michigan's going to do it, and it's all thanks to an eight year old girl:

"A lot of people like to listen to little kids, and you should speak up and make a difference," said Genna, a Brighton third-grader.

She addressed the university's board of regents in March and lobbied state legislators in June to name a special day after star U-M football player Willis Ward, who was benched for a game against Georgia Tech in 1934 because he was black.

Genna succeeded, and Willis — a friend and teammate of future President Gerald Ford — will be honored by the state and school next week.

…or the guys who made the documentary that's the only reason anyone's talking about Willis Ward in 2012, whatever.

Like flies. Blocking-type Michigan State people continue to get injured at an alarming rate. TE Dion Sims may or may not play against Michigan; if he doesn't they probably won't be throwing his backup many passes:

Andrew Gleichert, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship before the opener against Boise State, has a broken wrist and will have to play with a cast the rest of the season.

"We got concerned with him being a point-of-attack blocker," Roushar said. "We feel like he's got to do a better job. He's working on it. With the loss of Dion, you're looking for something stronger at the point of attack."

Meanwhile, former megarecruit Lawrence Thomas went from linebacker to 295-pound fullback and can't move down to tight end this week because he picked up a concussion against Indiana—his second since August. He's expected to play against Iowa because obviously.

[AFTER AN UNUSUAL UV JUMP: THINGS PEOPLE DID TO THE DANNY HOPEDOKEN GIF]

Unverified Voracity Invites You To His Lawn

Unverified Voracity Invites You To His Lawn

Submitted by Brian on July 27th, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Programming note/briefly. No Friday Recruitin' today since Ace is in Chicago covering Big Ten media days. Here's an abbreviated version:

Ohio State dropped VA RB Derrick Green, who is either the top back in his class (Rivals) or like #5 or so and a guy you can line up in the I-form—mixed feelings ho—and pound away with. So he's changed his plans to spend more time at Michigan instead of hitting up OSU's Friday Night Lights camp. With Clemson also out of the picture since they filled up at running back, Green is now looking like far more of a possibility than he was just a couple weeks ago.

IL WR LaQuon Treadwell: still visiting Oklahoma State. Still probably thinking about officials. Trieu: "I still think Michigan is very much in the lead with him."

FL S Leon McQuay's dad clarified that the younger McQuay had not dropped Michigan but confirmed that Florida State had replaced M in his top three.

No one else exists.

Bo talks Joe. WH posts the Big Ten Ticket segment from before the '98 PSU game:

Hey, kids! Get on my lawn! Jump up and down and smoke the pot! Have a woodstock! Northwestern just debuted new uniforms that are unique and awesome:

AyvD1YNCAAA9AOz_medium[1]Ayu9pNDCcAAvobY[1]

These aren't alternates, either, they're the thing they're going to wear all the time now. I'm not sure about the brickwork frippery on the numbers when you get real close but if you can't see it at all in the above shots it's probably not too bad.

Why do I like these when Michigan's parade of changes are annoying at best and horrifying at worst?

  1. This is a new overall identity for Northwestern, one in which the "Northwestern stripe" is being reclaimed for all their sports. It is not a one-off flibbertyjibber that only confuses things.
  2. It is a One Big Idea jersey minus the fooferrah that made Remember Bo's parody of the direction Michigan is headed in the thing I front-paged hardest last year. I front-paged that so hard. Michigan keeps adding block Ms all over the place and patches and numbers and all this stuff when they have already acquired the One Big Idea—the winged helmet.
  3. They are unique across college football and give you the start of a tradition. I feel like I should have a ridiculous carnival noun in here.

Anyway. Steve Spurrier needs to be involved with this.

mgotrivia: named primary Rock Band band "OBC and the Click Clacks"

BONUS: Man, Under Armor likes misters.

Meanwhile, more detail on our bit. The Alabama jerseys in a 30 second video:

Those gloves will come in handy if any of those guys ever have a test on what the lyrics to the fight song are.

I know you're literally coming off the worst scandal in the history of college athletics, but doesn't this seem extreme? Penn State is considering something drastic:

An issue that generated just as much buzz Thursday was the possibility that coach Bill O'Brien plans to change Penn State's traditional, basic blue and white uniforms. The coach mentioned that possibility during a conference call with players' parents Wednesday night, according to the Reading Eagle.

O'Brien has had discussions with Nike about changing the uniforms, which he has said repeatedly that he would not do since taking the PSU job in January.

"I reserve the right to change my mind," O'Brien said Thursday when asked what led to his decision.

Neither O'Brien nor the Penn State players would give any indication as to what the uniform changes might include, but there has been widespread speculation that it would be names on the jerseys.

The fans are already lying on the ground after a thorough kicking so I guess now's the time to do this. I suggest taking everyone's mind off the terrible things that happened by changing the school's mascot to a rainbow unicorn.

rainbow-unicorn[1]

Try to be sad now! Pretty hard, right?

Also in lack of sadness. PSU adds an unrated 2012 LB named Brennan Franklin who had been ticketed for Eastern Arizona Junior College. Had "interest" from Toledo. Franklin on his commitment: "If I went to New Mexico or New Mexico State or Indiana, they wouldn’t be going to a bowl game anyway."

Oy. I'm not happy about this at all. I can only imagine what it's like to be a Penn State fan. What's the Michigan equivalent of this? Bo helped plan 9/11 and the Rodriguez era lasts 15 years. I would not wish the equivalent on my worst enemy*.

*[False. I would wish it on many people, but only bad ones. Like the people who came up with the Buffalo Wild Wings commercials.]

Boooooooooo. Boooooooo. Booooooooo. PEOPLE ARE JERKS AND STUFF:

Don't expect to see a nine-game Big Ten schedule any time soon.

Commissioner Jim Delany said at Big Ten media days Thursday that league schools are "of a unanimous mind to stay at eight games" in the conference schedule.

Guh. The Pac-12 is already there, the Big 12 and ACC are going to nine, and it's only the teams with the sappiest saps sticking with four nonconference games: the Big Ten and the SEC. And maybe the Big East, but no one bothers mentioning them any more.

This is especially bad for Michigan since its primary foes for the division title play Indiana, Penn State, and Purdue on an annual basis while Michigan gets Ohio State. Anything that softened that disparity helps. Hopefully it won't matter much if Hoke keeps the recruiting train going like he is, but the least the league could have done was make the conference record of your crossover opponents the first tiebreaker. If two teams finish tied at 7-1 and one of them took on OSU and UW while the other didn't, head to head can get bent.

Rebranded. Fan day is now Youth Day, for whatever reason. It's August 12th at 2. Anyone over 19 trying to enter the stadium will be chased through a cornfield by a giant red-eyed monster and eaten.

Yes. Michael Weinreb should take over PR for the Paterno family, because he's able to express the tricky concepts about moving forward as a Penn State fan in a way that sounds right:

There is no way to make up for what has been lost. All we can do is start over again. If it takes Penn State fielding a team full of walk-ons and castaways in the years to come, if it takes losses to Temple and to the dregs of the Mid-American Conference to reinforce the horror of what took place, then I will accept that. What I want now is for my alma mater to become what we’d always imagined it to be, an agent of change in a sport that desperately seeks it. If failure equals success, the punishment will be justified.

I don't know about you, but next year's game in Happy Valley has become a must-attend for me. Not to gloat, just to see what it's like and maybe stare at a place a statue used to stand and think about what is or is not pretty much the same band of RV-possessing friendly people I experienced in 2006.

And so it came to pass that Wisconsin fans bought all the tickets. The Big Ten has added this "TeamTix" system in which you gamble ten bucks on your team making the title game and then can buy a face value ticket if your team gets there. Which may be a hideously overpriced one if it's, say, Michigan State-Wisconsin. Events with Michigan in them may be another matter but I'd probably want to see how the secondary market shapes up this year. You might be able to get a suite for ten bucks.

Walton stuff. UMHoops talks to his AAU coach:

Can you talk about the progression in his game, especially within the last few months?
“He’s gotten tremendously better. He works hard every day, getting his shots up, working on his step back, working on how to finish in the mid-range because he knows that he’s going to run into 7-footers, and 6-foot-9 and so forth, so we try to make sure he’s got a little floater coming and a higher arching jump shot. So he knows what’s to come.”

Taken by the will of the wisp. Will Campbell gets probation, has to pay fines and court costs and restitution, etc. The judge gets it, man:

Judge Chris Easthope said he believed Campbell didn’t have any kind of malicious intent and was rather “caught up in the moment.”

Chris Easthope has been there, man. On the hood of a car at two AM.

Etc.: Brian Phillips on rhythmic gymnastics. Anthony Zettel stays put. Jordan Morgan expectations. Gasaway on the Emmert penalty shotgun. He's in favor. Suspended Wolverines' are called team cancers by teammates. Alabama's NT benches 600 pounds. Yay.

Unverified Voracity Misses On Justin King

Unverified Voracity Misses On Justin King

Submitted by Brian on July 11th, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Goodbye Gateway. You probably have a vague familiarity with Gateway High School in Pennsylvania as that place that puts out a bunch of guys who Michigan recruits, occasionally secures, but more often go elsewhere in the Midwest, sometimes annoyingly. Justin King, one-time Michigan lock-type substance who ended up at Penn State, is the most frustrating loss in retrospect. While King's presence with PSU didn't help them win any games against Michigan…

justin-king-mario-manningham_medium[1]

…adding an All-Big Ten corner (even if a second team one) to the 2006 team had the potential to flip one or both of the OSU and USC games, in which you may remember Chris Graham and Morgan Trent getting torched repeatedly. In Graham's defense, he was a brick of muscle badly miscast as a nickel corner against OSU's passing spread that year, which is all the more reason King's presence could have been a game-hanging one.

You may also remember Gateway as the home of Shayne Hale and Cameron Saddler, two of the guys on the "Pittsburgh is basically Mississippi" list of players who inexplicably chose the local half-empty NFL stadium over, you know, Michigan. And others I suppose. I was pretty sure that Michigan had acquired at least a couple guys from that school (Marlin Jackson?) but Rivals shows none.

Anyway, this is an extremely long preamble to a surprising happening: due to severe budget cuts it looks like long-time Gateway coach Terry Smith may be forced out. The school district is dropping their athletic director position—also held by Smith—to part-time and the guy can get a regular gig somewhere else. Any impact this has on Michigan will be minimal since PA recruiting has been erratic at best since Teryl Austin departed, but apparently the mention of changes at Gateway are enough to prompt the fist-shaking realization of what could have been if Justin King had just gone where everyone expected him to. I still remember the post-it note I would scribble Michigan's hypothetical recruiting class on when in boring work meetings.

The comparison is inescapable. MGoFave-rave Brian Phillips spent the duration of Wimbledon at Wimbledon, returning with autism-spectrum-on-the-scene reports about a triumphant Roger Federer that frequently reference the capital-A "Apparatus" and find Phillips yelled at by a multicultural cornucopia of annoyed television people.

It's impossible to read them and not think about David Foster Wallace, and yet Phillips comes out looking pretty okay despite that inevitability. I enjoyed them… a lot. It turns out I like reading about tennis far more than I enjoy watching it. You might as well. Five parts!

I love Grantland. Viva Bill Simmons.

But you're supposed to be an incorporeal floating voice. Fouad goes down the twitter rabbit hole and comes out with Carl Grapentine in the flesh:

He's got a radio show in Chicago and is not a ball of soothing energy, which is quite a surprise. Fouad finds this a little disturbing, and I'm with him. But I find this more disturbing:

I know there are some anti-Grapentine folks out there in the fan base

Who are these people? We must find them and give them, I don't know, Fort Wayne Mad Antz season tickets. Grapentine's voice is as integral to the Michigan Stadium experience as Bud Lynch's is at Joe Louis. He's the voice of the program. I find the idea people would dislike him—maybe prefer the FREEEEE PIZZZZAAA guy—alarming.

Good luck with that. If you're not a season ticket holder and you want to buy single-game tickets to the MSU game, you have to buy UMass plus two of Air Force, Illinois, Northwestern, and Iowa. Total charge for the four games is $380, $95 bucks a ticket… which seems about double what you could get from scalpers on gameday. I'm guessing they'll sell out since scalpers will try to make it work selling to people pathologically afraid of going to the stadium without a ticket in hand.

NCAA reviews coming out. Unlike myself, Ace is still a feverish devotee thanks to a band of friends who he plays with online. He'll have a review whenever he can pry himself away. While you're waiting, MJD says "just buy last year's," which he thought was a major leap forward in the series. Midnight Maize highlights the OCD approach—which was mine when I kept buying the thing—taken by the serious folks at Operation Sports. Some of these complaints are the same ones I had five years ago:

Apparently, Brent Venables taught the NCAA Football 13 team all about safety play because receivers run right past them into the open field. Vertical routes with fast receivers are nothing but money, it's horrendous. …

There aren't penalties in football except for the occasional holding and offsides!" - Anyone [whose] only experience with football was through NCAA Football 13. …

There are more plays than just screen plays and deep passes computer AI. Seriously. The A.I. Playcalling is absolutely atrocious from what I'm seeing in the early going. Or maybe it's just the AI's execution? Regardless, the AI seems way off this year when it comes to running an offense.

I'm glad I missed the era when four years into your dynasty nobody had a kicker who could hit an extra point.

On the Dantonio impression. Shane Morris deployed one:

What makes this funny to me is that this is clearly a conversation that actually happened almost word for word. Shane's clearly talking about Taybor Pepper, the longsnapper who was going to walk-on at Michigan before Dantonio tossed him a scholarship. Shane adds a "State" in there when he means just "Michigan," so it's a little confusing, but it's clear that at some camp Dantonio approached Shane Morris and had a little exchange about the importance of long-snapping.

Which is really important starting NOW. 2011: no one cares about long-snappers even a little. 2012: Auburn pays 180k for one.

The pointlessness of watch lists. It's watch list season, when every returning starter in America is named to their positionally-appropriate reminder that Award X exists. This will be the only time watch lists are mentioned on the blog, because this is how silly they are:

Brendan Gibbons converted 1-of-5 field-goal attempts as a freshman in 2010, which helped lead the Michigan football team to a last-place finish in placekicking -- nationally.

Two years later, he's one of 30 players to land on the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top kicker.

No offense to Keith Stone, but Gibbons's career long is 43 yards. Watch lists are inane.

Quality people. Kitchener has apparently filed a pointless lawsuit against the Daily because they said they offered Trouba money. Given the standards for libel prosecution on both sides of the border, the chances of success are 0% and the Rangers are threatening freedom of the press because they'd like to maintain the fiction that certain OHL players get dollars in excess of the $50-a-week stipend they haven't changed since the 80s.

Etc.: The free Blue Ribbon Big Ten preview this year is Michigan. The primary question it asks is "why would anyone pay for this"? Their prediction is… not made. Woo! Meanwhile, Phil Steele says M is one of 11 teams that fit the "national championship mold".

The Insight Bowl is now called the Valley of the Sun Bowl, not to be confused with that other Sun Bowl. It is now the only bowl game other than the Rose and Gator to have an actual non-sponsor name, which means it's probably not long for this world.

Brady Hoke back in bear-waving-toothpick mode. More Mark Donnal highlights.

Keeping Up With The Scarlet And Gray Joneses

Keeping Up With The Scarlet And Gray Joneses

Submitted by Brian on June 6th, 2012 at 11:47 AM

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anything you can charge I can charge at almost equal efficiency

A cherry-picked statistic from Michigan's worst home schedule in a long time and an eyebrow-cocking assertion caught my attention yesterday:

Michigan increased football ticket prices for this fall's six home games, but could another increase be in the works?

It certainly seems that's the direction.

Dave Brandon, Michigan's athletic director who spoke to the Wolverines Caucus on Tuesday, said 43 percent of the athletic department revenue comes from ticket sales.

"We're woefully under-market," Brandon said.

Michigan earlier this spring announced what it called a "modest" increase in football ticket prices. The six home-game package is $390, or an average $65 per game. Ohio State charges $75 a game, and Brandon said that gives the Buckeyes more money to put back into their athletic program and makes them more competitive.

This claim probably catches anyone who writes a check to the university by surprise so I thought I'd check it. It's hard to do so since the documents you can FOIA from the two schools list things a lot differently. They also do things differently: OSU has no mandatory annual PSLs. Instead they have a "Buckeye Fund" you donate to which gets you points that gets you priority, etc.

But the bottom line is I don't think Michigan fans are getting off easy. In 2010 OSU's eight-game home schedule netted them a total of $42.1 million. Michigan's seven games that year brought in 33.1 million. In 2011 OSU's seven home games were projected to bring in $36.4 million; Michigan's eight were projected to bring in 41.3 million. Over those two years that's a deficit for Michigan of about 270k per game, or about $2.45 a ticket.

It's hard to get a grip on exactly what the comparable numbers are in donationland but Michigan seems to have an advantage. In 2010 Buckeye Fund donations were around 10 million. Michigan's PSDs were $8.9 million plus another three million in "other gifts." Their nascent club seats and suites brought in $7.8; the year after things got in full swing and the fancy seat donations brought in $13 million. In 2011 OSU brought in $11 million from its fancy seats and another 3.5 from a "stadium ticket surcharge".

Add it all up and…

2010/2011 OSU Michigan
Regular ticket sales 78.5 74.4
Suites and club* 22 26
Generic Donations 20 24.8
Ticket Surcharge 7.5 N/A
Total 128 125.2

*[I used the 2011 numbers twice here since it was clear Michigan expected the 2011 number to be closer to accuracy going forward.]

…the gap is essentially nonexistent, the equivalent of $1.70 a ticket over those two years. Without the temporary surcharge Michigan would have an advantage. It's not clear what market Brandon's looking at. If it's the one in Columbus he's wrong.

Unverified Voracity Eats Potato Pancakes

Unverified Voracity Eats Potato Pancakes

Submitted by Brian on August 5th, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Old, old, old. Old enough, anyway. 1981 Purdue-Michigan:

Sort of like that 2007 Northwestern game where Michigan futzed around for 45 minutes before blowing the doors off, though in the NW game Northwestern kind of blew their own doors off.

Memphis stuff. Gary Parrish tweeted that Michigan's first-round matchup in Maui would be Memphis. The Tigers were probably worse than Michigan last year, going 25-10 in Conference USA. They got a 12 seed and were narrowly bounced by Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tourney en route to finishing #87 on Kenpom.

HOWEVA, they were incredibly young, even younger than Michigan. Their three top usage guys were all freshmen and their lone senior was one of those grunt-and-rebound centers who saw about half of available minutes. Kenpom had them #344 of 345, in front of only Stetson. Michigan, #335, was comparatively methuselan.

Michigan loses Darius Morris, though, and Memphis returns everyone save Will Coleman, that center. That's advantage Memphis. Looks like an even game.

The winner will face the winner of Duke/Tennessee in the second round, also known as "Duke." In the event of a first round loss Michigan will likely get a rematch with Tennessee; hopefully they can win that one and avoid Chaminade in the third game.

Like the rest of the economy. Slate has an interesting bit on the sports ticket bubble that seems to be collapsing in the MLB, NBA, and even NFL. College football remains the highest-scarcity sport of all and will be the last to see these effects but you have to wonder at what point will Michigan have trouble filling the stadium because it's a better deal hit up scalping sites. One example close to home:

If you want to take in next week's Indians-Tigers AL Central showdown in Cleveland, for example, you can snag lower box seats in the infield—normally $44—for as low as $25. As a bonus, reseller fees are typically lower than teams' own ticket fees. Given those options, it would be stupid to pay full price at the ticket window.

I wonder what "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" does to the value proposition of a football ticket.

In the wild. One of the Willy The Wolverine guys sent along a video of some variety of Michgian's one-game mascot. Thrill as Willy plows over some kid he can't see! Marvel at Steve Fisher on a golf cart shaking hands! Check out an obscure argument! 80s hair!

what could have been

People who have emailed me about the Willy era say he was not well loved by the students, but at least he was organic.

This is love. I'm with everyone else. This is the best bowl name in dozens of years:

potatobowl

It's quaintly named after an agricultural product and has chives. It's too bad it's in Boise during the dead of winter.

Very likely completely false. Tim Rohan envisions an alternate universe just for Obi Ezeh:

Kenny Demens had already won. He wasn’t Obi Ezeh.

That’s all that mattered in the fans’ eyes.

Ezeh, one of the most puzzling players in the storied Michigan football program's recent history, started his career as a Wolverine with promise before he was vilified for his drop-off in play once then-Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez changed defensive schemes. Ezeh would have thrived in the downhill, knock-your-teeth-out approach Greg Mattison will surely expect out of his middle linebacker.

Not to pile yet more derision on Ezeh's career, but… dude… come on. Ezeh was a clunky two-down linebacker who couldn't take on blocks or read plays. The mass coaching incompetence didn't help, but ain't no DC who can do anything about this:

This is the reason UFR exists: to prevent statements like the above from going unchallenged. Kenny Demens was instantly much better than Obi Ezeh, which is what mattered.

What the Schutt? To recap yesterday's very long thread:

  1. Tommy Schutt is a near five star NT to Rivals and Scout.
  2. He wants to commit to Notre Dame in the afternoon.
  3. NT Sheldon Day beats him to the punch, causing ND to pull his offer. The ND fanbase is confused.
  4. Schutt wants to visit Michigan today.
  5. Michigan says "sorry, not interested," reportedly because an NT commitment had already happened.
  6. There is no NT commitment. The Michigan fanbase is confused.

Seriously:

Tommy Schutt said he woke up Thursday with plans to orally commit to Notre Dame later in the day.

The 6-foot-3, 301-pound senior defensive tackle from Glenbard West was a victim of timing, though, as his offers from the Fighting Irish and Michigan were pulled Thursday after the schools told him they secured commitments from players at his position.

In a text message, Schutt said he was a half hour from calling Notre Dame coaches to give his commitment when he received word that the offer had been pulled. He was informed that Michigan pulled its offer earlier in the day.

Does Tommy Schutt have gangrene? Lingering, massively infectious, malignant ebola-gangrene?

Michigan's NT recruiting is deeply bizarre. They've got almost no one after senior Mike Martin, Brady Hoke is a DL coach, Greg Mattison is a DL coach, they have 26 spots, and they think having a fullback is more important than securing a second very-highly-rated NT type for a position that sees serious rotation. I mean, this is the NT depth chart next year:

  1. Richard Ash?
  2. Quinton Washington?

That is it. Ash is dogged with health rumors, Washington is a converted OL, and sucking Washington over to NT leaves Will Campbell with one sort-of backup in Kenny Wilkins, who's like a 250 pound DE.

If they end up with Pipkins and O'Brien it's all cool. Anything short of that and every successful interior run in 2014 is going to be stroke-inducing.

Etc.: Obviously Casey Anthony is an OSU fan, but why did OSU feel compelled to put out a press release about it? Versus is going to put some college hockey on TV. More coverage is always good and the promise of more HD is even better. They are counting down to kickoff.

Unverified Voracity Sets The Trap

Unverified Voracity Sets The Trap

Submitted by Brian on March 15th, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Movin' on up. Prepare to be annoyed:

Michigan has increased ticket prices for the 2011 football season.

Individual game tickets will be $70 for games against Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, Minnesota and Purdue. The night game against Notre Dame, and the Nebraska and Ohio State games are considered "premium" games and will cost $85.

Michigan hasn't raised prices in seven years, so some increase was overdue but tickets went up slightly less than twenty dollars on average. I'm not sure how much more the market will bear, and neither is the U—they're offering partial season ticket packages now. Clearly they've eaten through most, if not all, of the waitlist and are now in a situation where they're going to have to get creative to fill the stadium.

Insert the usual muttering about short-term corporate thinking here.

This. Chunkums has been deployed:

bonnie and clyde gif

Speaking of. I was extremely glad to see a post from Doctor Saturday titled "The worst thing about Jim Tressel" that coldly lays out why tatgate should be met with a much stronger response from the NCAA than OSU's two-game wrist tickling. I'm a partisan so the thought that my reaction to the affair is loony is always present. This helps mitigate that:

…not only did Tressel maintain his silence to the NCAA. Not only did he lie to reporters. Not only did he not cut his losses and take his medicine, like a humbled man who had already gotten away with something. Instead, he actively pushed the envelope to keep the ineligible players — now officially ruled ineligible by the NCAA — on the field. Like an inside man in a robbery watching his accomplices being led away in handcuffs, bailing them out of jail and coming back for the rest of the money anyway. (And then publicly lecturing them about their crime.) Ohio State treated winning the Sugar Bowl like an end to itself, a big score, and risked everything — or at least the first half of the 2011 season — to get it.

And it worked.

Hinton later says the NCAA "almost can't go far enough" after Ohio State hoodwinked them into allowing those guys to play in the Sugar Bowl. He's a Southern Miss alum who is the "shades of gray" guy he claims at the beginning of the piece and is invulnerable to the HATERZ response*, so… yeah. This is a big deal.

*[Except he's not because people who say HATERZ cannot be dissuaded from saying HATERZ.]

We're going to kill you for your attempted help. If you thought it would be bad news for the lawyer who tipped Tressel off, you're right:

Cicero, a walk-on player at Ohio State in the early 1980s, said he has received a few death threats this week. Tressel became an assistant coach at Ohio State during Cicero's senior year in 1983.

"I'm not the Judas in this situation, you know. I feel like Peter, but I'm not the Judas," Cicero said.

This isn't LOLOHIO. After watching the Fab Five documentary I'm sure there are Michigan fans scribbling out racist letters to Jalen Rose who would be happy to forward along a death threat to any Michigan equivalent of Cicero. I mention it just because everyone saw this coming despite Cicero's obvious affection for the program. Actually, wait—I just remembered Ryan Hamby got death threats for dropping a pass. Scratch that. Resume LOLOHIO.

Cicero has some harsher words, too, for the guy who turned his effort to help into a major scandadl.

Playoff one, playoff two, playoff three. Doc Sat has also provided his official playoff proposal, one that hews fairly close to the one I keep pushing. (Also there's a long post aimed at a playoff skeptic if anyone's interested in the philosophical reasons.) Mine is built around a restricted field of six teams, no autobids, byes, and home games. His is built around a slightly less restricted field of ten teams, autobids, byes, and home games.

I like mine better—which is why it's mine—because I'd rather live in a world where this year's UConn team isn't a lamb to be slaughtered when a small field is necessarily going to leave some teams with a vague chance of winning the whole thing out. DocSat's still grasps the three-point tao of a college football playoff:

  • Reward in-season success more heavily than most playoffs do by having byes and allow teams to play at home.
  • Restrict the size of the field so 9-3 teams are told to GTFO.
  • Create a system that guarantees the last team standing also has the best resume.

The more I think about that last one the more I think it would be hard to create a playoff that didn't do this as long as you kept the field relatively small, but the byes and home games aid greatly.

The gun. Every time I start talking about what Michigan's offense is going to look like under Al Borges it comes back to one simple question: they can't really put Denard under center, can they? They can, it seems, but they won't all the time:

Q: How do you tweak the offense to suit Denard Robinson’s strengths?

A: We’re a pro-style offense. We’re not going to be shotgun every play. But we’ll probably favor a little more gun now than we did last year at State, and we ran quite a bit of shotgun last year.

But because of him, and some of the things you can do in the gun with him, we’ll be in a little more gun than we have in the past. But to say we’re going to be a gun team? No, we’re going to line up under center and come downhill on our runs.

Operating from behind center with Denard limits his running to Incredibly Surprising QB Draws, Incredibly Surprising Bootleg Passes, and scrambles Denard almost refused to take last year. It's hard to see how Michigan gets Robinson the thousand yards rushing Borges said they'd like from him unless they use the gun plenty, and it's good to see something explicit saying they will.

I bet people don't like going under center and in crunch time it's an offense that looks quite a bit like last year's—remember the read option was not a huge feature.

Elsewhere in that Q&A from the luncheon, Borges repeats the thing about getting Robinson prepared for the NFL that we've heard since the new guys arrived. This I don't like so much. I don't care if Robinson impresses NFL scouts with his footwork on a seven-step drop for many reasons. It doesn't win football games, for one. For two, NFL scouts won't care how impressive his footwork is because he'll be a wide receiver on draft boards. He's 5'11" tops. He's not playing quarterback in the NFL unless he turns into Lightspeed Drew Brees, and while I love Denard in a way Leviticus (PAYNE) would disapprove of that's highly unlikely.

Boo. Bruins Draft watch scouts 2012 hockey commit Boo Nieves:

…excellent NHL prospect given his natural size, skating and offensive skills. At 6-3, 185 has the frame to be an attractive option in the pros when he fills out. Outstanding skater who accelerates quickly and is extremely agile and elusive. Explosive burst and separation gear; can turn defenders easily as he attacks with speed to the outside and isn't afraid to go into traffic. Excellent stickhandler; confident with the puck and wants it on his stick. Highly creative and just seems to have a knack for making plays all over the offensive zone.

There's a couple paragraphs more at the link; the upshot is that Nieves is a potential first rounder if he continues playing the way he is even if he sticks around prep school for another year instead of heading to the USHL or (guh) OHL. Michigan wouldn't mind that since Matt Herr is his coach.

Etc.: Kenpom update has Michigan 57% to win against Tennessee. We have recruiting territories. Fab fluff from JA Adande. Bacon on Tressel. Rothstein on Fab Five.

Unverified Voracity Says Seeya

Unverified Voracity Says Seeya

Submitted by Brian on July 6th, 2010 at 1:21 PM

imageimage

FINAL VICTORY

Bwahahaha. Total victory complete. Corey Tropp's last act as a college hockey player was to step on a puck and watch from the box as Michigan's hockey team ended Michigan State's season and permanently established ownership of Munn. He's signed with Buffalo, completing the storyline written by Steve Kampfer's neck, Steve Kampfer's dad, and Steve Kampfer's emphatic "THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT."

Other than another three wins at the end of the season, that could have gone no better. As a bonus, State has now lost Jeff Petry, Andrew Rowe, and Tropp early. That's three of their top four scorers. With only one player of note graduating (Nick Sucharski), a Michigan State fronted by senior versions of the above three guys could have been dangerous. Without them, the conversion into Northern Michigan is essentially complete. It'll be interesting to see how that goes; Comely did win a title there.

Karma gets full marks here. I am going to drop an actual bill in the bucket of next Mott panhandler to accost me OH GOD THERE'S ONE INSIDE THE HOU—

Meandering sentence in which your dad tells you what character is. I had one more thing I wanted to get around to when the university announced its self-imposed sanctions for the stretching stuff, the impermissible offseason workouts, and the QC staffers overstepping the NCAA's limits on their activities. It was something about how the newspaper meme about the day of Great Shame to the university was ridiculous given the picture painted by the documents. Don't take my word for it:

Football sanctions bring Michigan down to the level of other programs

It was painful and sad and historic, and depending on your point of view, maybe a bit appropriate, too.

A bowl ban and scholarship reduction are unnecessary now because the University of Michigan took something from its own football program today that it spent the last few decades espousing: It stripped away its own boast that it never committed major rules violations.

At the very least, Michigan's limited admission of NCAA violations is historic. This university has long held itself above all others for running a clean program, at least in football.

Even Wojo can't resist dipping into the Lady Macbeth pool:

There's no denying the everlasting mark on Michigan's program.

Out, damn blue dot. And that's without even touching the Free Press reaction.

Today Georgia's getting some degree of that heat after athletic director Damon Evans was stopped for DUI, pulled the Steve-Buscemi-in-Fargo ("I'd like to take care of this right here… in Brainerd"), and was discovered to have both a comely 28-year-old lass in the passenger seat and what were presumably her panties in his lap. If Gary Moeller's restaurant blow-up was Little Boy, Evans' was the 50s-era H-bomb they blew up on whichever Pacific Island had gotten uppity at the latest UN meeting.

In the aftermath, the usual. From a Dennis Dodd column that loathsomely invokes the DUI-related death of the Georgia governor's intern:

It is not the state university of Georgia’s best day, but don’t cry for the Bulldogs. Your pity and prayers are better directed to the Griner and Scott families. The only damage done, in this case, was to the school’s reputation.

Get the Picture's response to that:

The school’s reputation?   Damn, why not blame the school for the George Zinkhan murders?  After all, he was an employee at the time the crime was committed.  That crime didn’t involve hypothetical deaths, either.

I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m not the biggest fan of Michael Adams.  But it’s hard to fault him or the University for how he handled the situation after Evans’ arrest became public news.  Would it reflect badly on the school if Evans remained employed by it?  Sure.  But that’s not how things played out.

Institutions are comprised of people that take actions, at which point the institution judges whether those actions are compatible with the values of the institution. Surprise: Damon Evans is so beyond fired.

I didn't get around to the column it because I'd said it plenty, especially in comparison to the Free Press's strategy of obfuscation, and it seemed redundant. I did gather up the above links to the running around and screaming, though, and found the apropos Big Lebowksi quote:

                                     LEBOWSKI
                         What. . . What makes a 
                         man, Mr. Lebowski?

                                     DUDE
                         Dude.

                                     LEBOWSKI
                         Huh?

                                     DUDE
                         I don't know, sir.

                                     LEBOWSKI
                         Is it. . . is it, being prepared to 
                         do the right thing?  Whatever the 
                         price?  Isn't that what makes a man?

                                     DUDE
                         Sure.  That and a pair of testicles.

This is getting long enough that I might as well have split it off so to summarize as briefly as possible: if the university has shown a character flaw in the interminable period of the Jihad it has been that of McLovin. Incompetence in a minor offense leads to flop sweat, proving that the entity in question doesn't have the stomach for hardened criminal activity.

Michigan's prompt, un-redacted release was a step that no major school had undertaken. Maybe the school's transparency was a defensive move against the inevitable FOIA, but that would have come after everything wrapped up and no one cared anymore because the announced penalties were essentially nonexistent. If other universities are any guide, could have come swathed in black ink worthy of Newspaper Blackout Poems. I'm a little pissed that I can make a reasonable comparison between McLovin and something I would like to be good at doing things, but that's what David Brandon is for.

In related extremely necessary expenditures. Michigan's bill for the investigation is hefty and growing:

According to invoices from the law firm Lightfoot, Franklin and White released this week as part of an open-records request, Michigan has paid $446,951 in legal fees and other expenses since contracting attorney Gene Marsh and others to handle its internal investigation last September.

That's for expenses through April. The university's bill is going to easily crack a half-million dollars and might end up close to a full million by the end of everything. Birkett compares that bill with some other recent investigations and finds that Michigan is on the high end of the range. UConn's paid out almost 700k, Indiana about 500k, FSU 300k, Alabama 200k. Is that a reasonable expense to get Marsh, a former head of the Committee on Infractions, so you can go in front of the committee as seriously as possible? Given the surplus the department runs, probably. Kowtow and get it over with. The committee does not like non-serious people.

Individual ticket extravaganza. With Penn State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State on the road Michigan is facing down its semi-annual lack of sex appeal on the home portion of the schedule, no offense to Iowa or Wisconsin. As a result, ticket sales are actually open to the public for the first time in a long while, though you've got to suck it up and get packages if you're going to get the good games because actual games against real opponents have to subsidize the purchase price of a I-AA.

This does not mean the season ticket waiting list has evaporated, by the way. Michigan will be done with the luxury boxes this year but the renovations to the bowl will take place next offseason. Seats and aisles are getting widened, and since moving anyone anywhere has the potential to result in mass panic the AD is holding vacated seats this season to help ease the transition. "Hot seat" prognosticators can look elsewhere for their evidence. Suggestion: 8-16.

Etc.: MI OL Jake Fisher will be dropping a decision($) soon, possibly today. Watch for the "Hello" post. A 1997 championship ring has found its way to eBay. In a move that gets a .5 Tropp, Tennessee pirates USC DE Malik Jackson away.