Unverified Voracity Has Great Big Not Pointy Teeth

Unverified Voracity Has Great Big Not Pointy Teeth

Submitted by Brian on September 19th, 2017 at 12:12 PM

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My God, the teeth. Spencer Hall is right. Michigan cannot lose to this jaunty-ass helmet:

image

There is intimidation, and then there is "you lost to a cartoon gopher":

At least Alabama gives you the courtesy of just losing to a color and a number. This? This is horror, a beating served with an adorable smile on its face. This is potentially taking a beating from a cartoon rodent that only wants to serve you hot dish, and then crack the casserole over your head. Don’t lose to Minnesota when they’re wearing these helmets, is what we’re saying. The psychological damage alone could take years of therapy to undo.

Minnesota's ground and pound offense only makes this worse. Rodney Smith bounces off tackles. A lot of tackles. If he breaks your tackle and grabs a first down on carry #30 and pops up to yell "spew" you might disassociate from your body from sheer embarrassment.

Connelly brings numbers to the offense. It's not great:

Michigan has snapped the ball 88 times on first down. The Wolverines are averaging a not-completely-awful 5.3 yards per play, but of their 464 total yards gained, 211 have come on five plays. They have gained one yard or fewer 43 times. Success rate: 33 percent — 27 percent rushing and a much healthier 46 percent passing.

It gets even worse when the Wolverines generate scoring chances. Yards per play on first downs in the red zone: 1.1. They’ve gained zero or fewer yards in eight of 12 instances.

There's a lot of pointing and going THAT about Michigan's offense, which is fine in a post like Connelly's that is a stat post drawing some high-level contours.

To date I've seen little or nothing that goes any deeper about Michigan's redzone issues, if those even exist. "Redzone efficiency" clearly does not exist separate from general efficiency at the NFL level:

We went back and looked at the past five years to compare how teams did in the red zone during the first seven weeks of the season with how they played overall. Let's call this "red zone advantage." ...

The correlation of total offensive DVOA in the first seven weeks to total offensive DVOA in the final 10 weeks is .64. That makes plenty of sense: Teams that play well on offense early in the season are likely to play well on offense late in the season. The same correlation for defense is .48, a little lower but still fairly significant.

However, the correlation for "red zone advantage" is practically nil: .01, to be exact, on both offense and defense. During the past five seasons, at least, "red zone advantage" has done nothing to project how well a team will play in the red zone during the second half of the year.

College might be different if running QBs are a real advantage, and I'd buy that.

But unless you've got a magic potion that gives Wilton Speight dreads and a 4.4 40, talking about Michigan's "redzone issues" is a waste of time. The redzone offense being bad is just the stuff that makes the offense bad in general. There's nothing about Harbaugh's approach that makes Michigan inherently bad at scoring touchdowns—Michigan was 17th in S&P+'s "finishing drives" metric a year ago if you want a number—so this is just bad QB play and bad blocking, which are problems anywhere. There's no magic bullet other than getting better at footballing.

Sharks, like would-be credit card scammers at Florida, are not smooth. Florida's many suspended players might be done for if this comes to fruition:

The nine University of Florida Football players who are facing allegations of having misused school funds, could be arrested as early as the end of this week, sources have told The Read Optional.

Antonio Callaway, Jordan Smith, and one other player are likely to be arrested on charges of felony grand theft, with the possibility of further misdemeanor charges being tagged on, according to a lawyer representing one of the players. It’s anticipated that the other six players will also be arrested, but only three players have hired legal counsel thus far.

At the very least they would be suspended until those charges are resolved, a process that might last for the duration of the season. Compounding matters:

The nine University of Florida football players who have been suspended indefinitely by the school for misuse of school funds, are also under investigation for credit card fraud, by two separate police departments in the Gainesville area, relating to an additional credit card fraud allegation.

Jordan Smith, a freshman defensive end, was suspended from all team activates after a report from The Read Optional that Smith had used stolen credit card information to pay rent at an apartment complex — around $1,000 dollars. ...

The link between the misuse of funds investigation and apartment fraud investigation is now clear: Several of the players had the same stolen credit card information; the same victim.

It appears Florida's about as good at criminal offense as regular offense. McElwain's recruiting has given off a distinct whiff of desperation at times, with Florida picking up a lot of the highly-touted guys other schools back off of because of red flags. You may remember Guy Who Got Busted For Pot On An Official Visit To OSU; James Robinson signed with Florida. He was suspended against Michigan for... I mean, you can probably guess.

Pot is the most minor of all offenses, but if you're getting busted for it on a college campus while hanging out with a crew of folks who collectively can only be football players that's something else. Twice is another level of something else. I mean... Michigan's had some guys who were super into pot. But never citation-level. I imagine that among the very very bad credit card scammers are a couple guys Florida knew they probably shouldn't take but did anyway.

Florida's collected a large number of Malik McDowells because their head coach can't really recruit and felt the pressure. This bodes unwell for Michigan's strength of schedule. Also McElwain.

How much of a problem is a football coach being a dick? A serious question. The Indianapolis Star gets the story of former IU WR Coray Keel, who left Indiana after one year mostly because Kevin Wilson was a dick:

“It became kind of like a pride thing, once I started lining up, to be key players for the opposing team every week, when I would hear coaches come up to me and tell me I’m not (crap), I’m not this and that. It was Kevin Wilson and position coaches, but mostly Kevin Wilson,” Keel said. “Every day, it was a constant reminder of how much I wasn’t doing good, and how I was doing more harm as a scout-team player, not giving the team the right looks. I was the reason we were losing, the reason why we were not doing good.”

“As my time at IU extended, it got worse,” Keel said. “To the point where it made just being there uncomfortable. It made the overall experience of it, it was to the point where I didn’t want to wake up and go to practice.”

Keel says he wasn't forced out and that Wilson tried to convince him to stay when he decided to transfer. Keel transferred to a JUCO and gave up football after one more year. The Star cites several other players with similar issues.

All football coaches are dicks. At what point does it cross the line? Mark Mangino: over the line, I think everyone can agree. Mike Rosenberg thought Rich Rodriguez was over the line, partly because of Greg Frey, and now everyone's fine with Greg Frey because Harbaugh. Wilson's hiring at Ohio State was immediately after he got fired, and nobody seems to care.

Etc.: Simone Biles was at the Michigan game, in case you saw a five-foot-tall person who looked vaguely familiar. Sure, I'll link to an NFL sucks article. Baumgardner on stuff. Toys R Us goes bankrupt, although it looks like Brandon was just the fall guy, not the cause. Improvement! Holdin' the Rope. Georgetown's basketball schedule is really something. Baseball recruiting really well.

Unverified Voracity Has To Invent Colors

Unverified Voracity Has To Invent Colors

Submitted by Brian on July 22nd, 2016 at 12:39 PM

What are you doing? As part of their deal with the devil, once a year Notre Dame has to abandon their classic blue and gold for colors that don't even exist:

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Nothing is any of those colors except the helmet: urine when you're dehydrated. The helmet comes nowhere near anything else on the uniform. They've got as many design elements as you put on your rad-ass logo the first time you ever opened up your pirated copy of photoshop in seventh grade. Also:

2. "Authentic Irish Pub" in suburban upstate New York lookin' ass font. Guy who has never left his hometown but never shuts up about how Irish he is ass font. This font is so dumb, if you let your eyes lose focus, the letters automatically rearrange into "You know, the Guinness they have in Ireland is different and much better than here in the US."

These are the worst things Under Armour does annually.

I hesitate to suggest that Michigan won't do similar things under Harbaugh because not even he can stand against the tide by himself, but so far so good. Last year's all-white road uniforms were sharp and we haven't had uniformz announced or even rumored. It is possible. Texas, Alabama, and USC have largely or even entirely avoided uniforms that look like a wrestler's entrance video.

Harbaugh uptick. MLive covers how Michigan and MSU spend their money, albeit with poorly-axis'd graphs. The most interesting bit is a clear Harbaugh surge in spending on support staff:

image

This is spending on guys like Erik Campbell, TJ Weist, Bam Richards, Devin Bush Sr, etc. Michigan almost doubled its spending on support staff in Harbaugh's first year, hitting 2.7 million. The number they landed on doesn't seem like a coincidence:

In its 2013-14 NCAA financial report, Alabama reported spending $2.7 million on football support staff. … Clemson reported spending $2.5 million on football support staff in 2013-14, up from $480,000 about a decade ago.

Harbaugh asked and got the same budget as the two teams who played for the national title this year.

Michigan's recruiting expenses also saw an uptick, but I don't know if these numbers account for Satellite Camp World Tour 1.0 or not; either way the financial impact of those tours is going to be a slight increase in a number best described as "piddling."

Michigan was good at kickoffs. Michigan was 17th nationally in opponent drives following a kickoff that started at the 25 or worse and 16th when they tried to return kickoffs past the 25 themselves. That success rate was only 57% despite ranking in the top 20—so much of the value in a kick return is the 50 yards at the end that almost never happen but sometimes do.

I think they'll be good in both departments this year. Kenny Allen got good hang time and a lot of touchbacks, and whoever Michigan opts for as a returner is going to be fast and mean.

More expansion, hooray. If the Big 12 is going to expand they should just take BYU and Houston and be done with it. Houston doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the same reason Pitt was never seriously considered by the Big Ten—footprint rules everything around me—but when the other options are Cincinnati, Memphis, UConn, and directional Floridas, Houston starts to look mighty appealing anyway. So of course a former president of CBS sports recommends UConn:

For that reason, Pilson advised the Big 12 to take a page from the Big Ten’s playbook. Much as the Big Ten, a traditionally Midwestern league, recently added Rutgers and Maryland to plant its flag near several East Coast population centers, the Big 12, whose members reside in Great Plains states and Texas (and West Virginia), ought to invite Connecticut to join, Pilson said.

“Having Texas and Oklahoma and the other major Big 12 schools playing in the Northeast would create additional revenue opportunities and make it a more attractive conference in terms of new sponsors and a better linear television deal,” Pilson said.

That seems nuts to me. The Big 12 does not have a network and won't have one unless Texas gives the LHN up, which no. If Texas really wants exposure in a different part of the country they'll blow the Big 12 up.

Unless we can interest the Big 12 in some of our finest athletic departments?

Invite Purdue and Rutgers to join the Big 12 conference.

Yep, you heard me. Purdue University and Rutgers University would be great fits for your fledgling conference, since they really round out and diversify what the conference needs most. And to help you out, I even made a pro/con list for each school and why they'd work in the Big 12. …

Cons:

  • There are no drawbacks to this move whatsoever

A compelling case from the Crimson Quarry.

There is a Big Ten angle here. 247's Bobby Burton notes that the Big 12 has a grant of rights agreement through 2025 and Texas is seriously considering an exit at that point:

The only assurance Texas, or any school for that matter, could truly give to any newcomer is the "grant of rights" to the league that is currently in place. That grant for Texas and all of teams of the Big 12 extends to 2025.

Yet I don't see an extension of the grant of rights occurring based on my discussion with a high-ranking Texas official this morning.

"I do not like any of the choices," the official said. "(I) want to watch to see if there is a move to extend the grant of TV rights. I will fight that tooth and nail."

Per Burton, Texas's president and chancellor both prefer the Big Ten to the Pac-12 or SEC. Oddly, he says "expect Texas to ask for an annual trip to Chicago and to either of the East Coast markets," which almost certainly can't happen without making the division structure insane. Chicago they can manage since the West division in that event is going to be Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Texas, Northwestern, Illinois, and whichever other Big 12 refugee hypothetically comes along.

By the way, at that point you're back down to playing the other division 25% of the time even with nine conference games. Hooray expansion.

Persons profiled. Angelique profiles Mo Hurst

Hurst has been on the Uber clock this summer, logging miles and earning money, in addition to interning at Blue Lion Fitness in Ann Arbor.

“I’ve just done it for extra cash, pretty much that’s it,” the affable 6-foot-2, 282-pound lineman said. “I definitely like the flexibility. I can work whenever, which helps with my schedule with (football) workouts and working at Blue Lion Fitness.”

Once camp begins Aug. 8, however, Hurst’s Uber days will be over. But he’s enjoyed the experience, especially longer trips to the airport which net $22.

…and Dymonte Thomas:

“Jake [Butt] is a character. We talk trash every day. He likes to get better. He knows in the NFL there are going to be DBs who are quick and fast and strong, kind of like me, who are going to cover him, and he’s going to have to get open. That’s why he likes the competition. He’ll go against the linebacker, but he knows if he can get open on a DB, he can get open on a linebacker, so Jake and I go at it every day.”

Thomas offered a Butt scouting report as well:

“Jake’s going to be probably a first-round pick,” Thomas said. “Jake has got strides. It’s not like he’s super fast, but he has long strides that make him fast. He’s really good with his double moves and he’s really good at sticking, stopping and going. If you don’t slow him down, he will leave you. He’s sneaky fast.”

Etc.: This Harbaugh conspiracy theory is just crazy enough to consider. My take on the new apparel: it's definitely a shirt. Jordan Poole playing well in AAU. Fixing the schedule needs 7 B10 ADs to approve. Hugh Freeze has a future in politics. Moritz Wagner profiled.

Unverified Voracity Has Many Hues

Unverified Voracity Has Many Hues

Submitted by Brian on July 24th, 2015 at 12:55 PM

WHAT COLOR IS THIS MAN. Adidas released some uniformz for Nebraska that are as goofy as they usually are. I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about what color this person is.

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Look at this person's face. That's weird. I guess he's put eyeblack everywhere in an effort to look like a big and tough and maybe remind people of the Ultimate Warrior. You can see that at the edge of his face his skin tone goes back to the lighter shade of his nose.

Now look at this person's arms.

!!!

The Braxton move. If you've followed the first few rounds of Draftageddon you know that Ohio State is basically 1969 Ohio State again. So they've moved a guy who was on Heisman short lists last year as a QB to WR, just cuz:

Miller’s fallback plan has become a reality, as he told SI.com on Thursday night that he plans to start the 2015 season playing H-Back—a hybrid receiver position—for the Buckeyes. Miller hasn’t completely closed the door on playing quarterback, as he estimates that he’ll spend 80% of the time during training camp at receiver and 20% with the quarterbacks. But Miller said with more than two months until he’ll be completely healthy at quarterback, he’s approaching this season as primarily a wide receiver.

"H-back" means a different thing in Urban Meyer's offense than it does in Hoke or Harbaugh's. This is not Wyatt Shallman. This is Percy Harvin.

That does chop down on the "yes, but" Michigan fans are preparing after they saw Devin Gardner's somewhat amateurish attempt to play WR. Miller's going to be an option on a bunch of running plays and get targeted on screens. He is not going to be asked to track balls over his shoulder after lining up on a cornerback—at least not much. That makes his move depressingly plausible.

It also opens up the kind of trick plays you last saw eight-year-olds come up with at the family picnic. Dude.

I have an easy way to fix this. Nobody knows what a catch is anymore. I don't have to tell Lions fans this, of course. Michigan's also had their brushes with the gray area against Virginia Tech and Iowa. The NFL's attempt to fix things:

The problem here is that this is not an algorithm for determining if it is a catch. You need a function. This is an NFL function, FWIW.

function isitacatch(feet_down, touchy_feely_vars){

if (feet_down < 2)

     return false;

if (feet_down > 2)

     return true;

if (feet_down == 2)

     did the ball touch the ground? return false;
     did the receiver bobble the ball such that he had to re-catch it while out of bounds?
     return false;

return true;

}

College version is the same except you return false only on feet_down < 1 and check the touchy-feely on 1 or 2. Also I know you don't need the last if statement.

The VT and Iowa plays above should not have to go to extraordinarily long replays subject to announcer debate. Both of them touched the ground. You have one job as a receiver: don't let it touch the ground.

At some point you have accomplished that job. That point is currently determined by feelingsball instead of "you took another step," which is pretty close to definitive. Engineers should write these things, not lawyers.

Gary Andersen sipping tea. Wisconsin has shot down one of their top recruits:

Incoming freshman running back Jordan Stevenson was denied admission to the University of Wisconsin, according to a report by 247sports.com.

Stevenson, a four-star prospect who was considered one of the Badgers’ top recruits for the 2015 class, confirmed on Twitter that his recruitment is open to any Division I program.

“#Badgernation Thanks for all the love also all the support through all I have been through much love,” Stevenson tweeted.

That's a bizarre situation. Players do occasionally get rejected by the NCAA clearinghouse, but in those cases the player heads to JUCO. Stevenson is apparently trying to find a landing spot this fall. And when serious academic schools who are serious reject players for reasons other than "you are literally not eligible to play", they do it before, say, late July.

If Stevenson does end up on campus this fall (Arkansas?), Gary Andersen's shocking jump to Oregon State will look pretty justified. It's one thing to deny entry to a player. It's another to do it now, months after he signed a LOI.

The wave, 1984. They were super excited about new technology back in the day:

According to Wikipedia, Michigan brought the wave back from a game against Washington in 1983. A letter to the editor claimed that it stuck because

"There are three reasons why the wave caught on at Michigan Wolverine games: It gave the fans something to do when the team was leading its opponent by 40 points, it was thrilling and exciting to see 105,000 people in the stands moving and cheering, and Bo Schembechler asked us not to do it."

From Michigan it spread to the Tigers, and when the Tigers won the World Series that year it was on TV a ton. The rest is history.

Indiana, 1980. Not competitive.

Etc.: Roundtree gets a job at CSU-Pueblo with Jeff Hecklinski.

The Best of the Only Incompetent Germans

The Best of the Only Incompetent Germans

Submitted by Seth on July 7th, 2015 at 2:32 PM

It started off so well.

20082

Mantras sewn into the fabric, apparently less intrusive piping, nods to the helmet stripes. The only ominous sign was marketing people who insisted on brand-specific copy errors.Untitled

Then they tried to lick our moisture:

…and things began to fall apart.

[After the jump: crimes against fashion, crimes against yellow, crimes against offense, crimes against eyes, crimes against humans]

Mailbag: Recruiting Outperformance, APR and Hardship Logistics, Burn This Card Now

Mailbag: Recruiting Outperformance, APR and Hardship Logistics, Burn This Card Now

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Recruiting rankings and outperformance

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[Bryan Fuller]

Good afternoon –

Beilein has developed a reputation for being a stellar recruiter. He is now known for uncovering basketball players who were either lightly regarded, lightly recruited, unknown, or young, so that they grew and developed significantly after he recruited them. (Burke, Rahkman, Dawkins, Albrecht, LeVert, and now Moritz Wagner all fall into this category.)  I will be interested to see how Harbaugh and his staff correlate to Beilein in this regard. In one sense, every fan wants every recruit who comes in to be a 4 or 5 star rated recruit. But the reality is that the coaches sometimes see things that the rating experts missed. This has been an on-going discussion: how much do stars matter? I think the correlation of Wagner and Kingston Davis committing today brought this topic to my mind.

So, my questions and requests for you:

1) I’d love to see a table showing recruiting ranking vs. actual performance. Who ends up bring in recruits who significantly outperform their ranking, who brings in recruits who perform the way expected, and who brings in recruits who underperform, relative to how they were ranked.

This is too hard to do for basketball since there are very small and wildly varying recruiting classes. Last year Michigan brought in six players; this year it looks like it will be just one. A couple years ago Ohio State's recruiting class was… nobody. The attrition rates are wildly different so recruiting rankings, which always favor volume, are going to be skewed. You can point to anecdotes like Beilein turning fringe top 100 recruits into lottery picks on the regular; I don't think it's possible to do anything systematic with the numbers.

Football does give you a reasonable baseline to work with and this has been done by Ross Benes at Deadspin. You will be unsurprised to find Michigan where it is in a study that covers 2009 to 2013:

image

I am a bit skeptical about the methodology here, as it doesn't seem to account for the fact that there's nowhere to go but down for the teams at the top of the rankings. (It also doesn't take last year into account, which is why Michigan State isn't in the Wisconsin zone.) But it's still good for comparing you to your peers and the result is undeniable: amongst teams that recruit like Michigan, only Tennessee and maybe UCLA perform worse; Miami is on par.

2) The followup question would be to assess how much of this is attributable to a recruit being ranked accurately and appropriately, and much is attributable to the recruit’s development in college. The knock on Hoke wasn’t recruiting:  it was the belief that he didn’t develop players to perform to the best of their capability.

Thanks, best regards, and enjoy the balance of the Spring.

Steve Kass

No doubt it is some of both. Recruiting rankings are necessarily ignorant of a number of things that will influence the development of the player—ACL stability for one. But it's clear that some guys are awesome teachers able to improve players and others are guys who clap and shout "let's go." It's nice to see Stanford on the right side of this ledger even after Harbaugh's departure since many of those coaches were his, and he set up the culture that lifted them from the bottom.

APR logistics

Brian:

I think that perhaps I don't understand what goes into the APR and was hoping you could help me understand.  I thought (although it appears incorrectly) that APR measured the percent of a school's players with remaining eligibility that return to school, maintain that eligibility academically, and/or graduate.  With 7 Kentucky players declaring for the draft (following several years of many more declaring), it would appear that Kentucky couldn't possibly evade APR penalties because legions of eligible players have not and will not be returning to school.  Is there an exception for going pro that I'm unaware of?  Is Kentucky's APR really only measured by whether their mop up players stay eligible and graduate, without regard to the majority of the team that goes pro?

Thanks,

Evan

That is correct. The APR has a loophole for players who leave school early for pro sports. You don't even have to get drafted to take advantage of it—NCAA-sanctioned UConn men's basketball started digging out with a perfect score this year despite a player leaving for Europe. He signed a contract overseas and left in "good academic standing," so he doesn't hurt UConn's APR.

As a result of that loophole all Kentucky has to do is gin up some Cs for the NCAA minimum progress toward a degree and their APR is untouched. It's probably in fact easier for them to comply with APR stuff because all they have to do is get their kids to go to Easy Class 101. Few end up having to move on to We Kind Of Need You To Pay Attention Now 386.

On the one hand, you need that exception because it's not the school's fault if, say, Nik Stauskas blows up into a top ten pick and wants to go get paid millions of dollars. On the other it does enable the travelling circus that is the current one-and-done system.

Medical hardship logistics

Hey Brian --

Recently there's been significant attention paid to key questions facing Michigan basketball this offseason (Will Levert go pro?  Will Jaylen Brown commit? etc.).  All of the discussion seems to operate under the premise that either Austin Hatch will continue to take up one of the 13 scholarships the team has to hand out, or the team will place him under "medical hardship."  I have two questions.

1) What does this medical hardship entail?  Would it be 100% career-ending?  Would he no longer be able to practice and play with the team?

A medical hardship allows the school to continue giving the kid a full scholarship. It would end his playing career at Michigan. He could still be affiliated with the team, could still practice (there's no regulations on who you practice with in college; womens' teams will often go up against guys). He could not get in the game. He would be a student manager, basically.

Michigan might be able to get a waiver for senior day.

2) Why has there been no discussion of freeing up Hatch's scholarship to use on, say, Jaylen Brown or Mike Edwards, by making him a walk-on?  I'm assuming there are other ways the University can make sure all his tuition bills are paid for.  At the very least, paying for Hatch to go to Michigan is worthy of $200K of the millions of dollars the athletic department has gotten from Stephen Ross or Al Glick.

In other words, maybe we don't have to choose between keeping Hatch on the basketball team and bringing in another scholarship player of Jaylen Brown's caliber, should LeVert choose to come back.

Thanks,
Jack

M 2012

Once you've been on scholarship, you count as a scholarship player even if your money supposedly comes from a source than the athletic department.

There are in fact certain things that you can do when you are just a recruit that make you count as a scholarship player, something that football teams have been dancing around of late with this "blueshirt" thing where kids arrive on campus as walk-ons. Those kids can't take officials or they end up counting against the limit of 25 signees annually.

Again, this is a situation where Michigan might be able to get a waiver since it's very high profile. Without that Michigan cannot use Hatch's scholarship without disqualifying him from playing.

Buy it and burn it.

Brian,

I am so upset about this I had to share...

$_57[1]

The above Ebay link is for a new Devin Gardner card with a sick & twisted "variation" of the winged helmet. This just is not right! I don't see how Upper Deck can get away with messing with our helmet design and printing this card.

Ed McArdle

Saginaw, MI

Is that a sugar cookie made by a deranged aunt on the card? Why is anyone making a Devin Gardner rookie card and is it even slightly possible that any of the bids on this travesty are legitimate? Supposedly this card is up to 16.05 with four different bidders. This makes me want to find a WIRED article about the shady lives of professional EBay sellers or something. I have a million questions.

Nah

Gonna go with "no" on this one.

This Week's Obsession: The Right Aways?

This Week's Obsession: The Right Aways?

Submitted by Seth on March 25th, 2015 at 3:02 PM

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Spoiler: nobody answers "the bumblee ones" (and lives)

The Question:

With all the uniform-related news going around this week, I thought I'd ask about Michigan football's road jerseys, the not-so-constant in what's otherwise been a remarkably consistent wardrobe. Which of Michigan's road uniforms would you prefer they wear? Would you make any tweaks to a past look? Alternates—looking at you, Sugar Bowl uniforms—are very much eligible.

--------------------------------------

The Responses:

practice
Not sure of original source; Adam found it on the board.

Adam Schnepp: Ah, yes, Michigan's ever-changing road uniform. The wearable lab where the apparel supplier can tweak and tinker and see what whets the appetite of the jersey-buying masses.

My ideal road uniform is one that Michigan's essentially already wearing in practice (at right). I love the look of the all-navy numbers, but I'd add the blue-maize-blue shoulder striping Michigan wore from the mid-70s to the 90s.​

I know Ace mentioned alternates as candidates for primary road jerseys, but in a world where multiple night games are likely it's hard to think alternates go away so I'll pick one of those while I'm at it. If Michigan wants to wear a "legacy" jersey on the road let's make it:

1) something they actually, you know, wore

2) something that integrates the wolverbear:

1962

[Via the MVictors Uniform Timeline]

Go back to 1962 and there it is: block M on the sleeves, wolverbear on a patch, otherwise clean design. A legacy jersey I might actually buy despite knowing that I usually look like a doofus in jerseys.

[after the JUMP: we take piping very seriously]

--------------------------------------

Unverified Voracity Smells A Phone

Unverified Voracity Smells A Phone

Submitted by Brian on February 27th, 2015 at 11:28 AM

HELLO. I am back. I was blank yesterday after being in a car for like 14 hours, but here are some links to other things.

KenRequest[1]

According to Wikipedia, I have been to the place where this was conceived.

Things I learned in Iowa. A sampling.

  1. Iowa is not as flat as Nebraska
  2. …but it's close
  3. …and it's really surprisingly large when you have to drive from one corner to the other
  4. Do not smell a pig farmer's phone
  5. …especially if he's presenting it you to like the natives might present Dr. Livingstone an eyeball to consume
  6. …even if he looks stunningly like Dr. Drew
  7. David Foster Wallace was not joking about the omnipresence of the howling mid-American gale that scours pockets from your face when there are shards of ice to fling at you
  8. …this does at least keep the roads clear
  9. You can be relieved and grateful to see a Subway

This is maybe not enough things to justify the time spent but needs must.

Here are all these things and then a school that's like NOPE. As Ace covered this morning, there's another uniform hijink in the near future. (Can hijinks be singular?) The basketball uniforms aren't iconic like football, so the proportional outrage is lower. I'm still bugged by the fact that Adidas is coming up with one design element and applying it to everyone because they want to advertise themselves, with no thought to how they could help Michigan out.

Yeah yeah

Michigan did draw the line at Adidas's Zubaz monstrosities a few years back, so at least there's that.

Still, I'm jealous that Indiana's the uniform in the center going NOPE here:

"We have seen your ideas and find them lacking." –university that employs Tom Crean.

I wish we had the desire to do that. And the desire to go back to the 1989 throwbacks permanently.

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"These throwbacks appear to be jerseys Michigan actually used to wear. They just don't get it, do they?" –The Brandon formerly known as athletic director

A seven footer! 2016 C commit Jon Teske was supposed to be growing constantly, as high school people tend to do, and now he's broken through a symbolic threshold:

Jon Teske has grown 1 inch since verbally committing to play basketball at Michigan back in early August.

This would be trivial if not for one fact: When Teske enrolls in 2016, he will officially be U-M's first 7-foot player since Ben Cronin, the first recruit coach John Beilein signed when he arrived in Ann Arbor eight years ago.

Teske is reportedly a shot blocker, something Michigan hasn't had since Beilein arrived.

Other than adding strength and bulk and improving his quickness in the lane, Teske's defensive skills are already at an elite level. He provides Medina with a safety net on the back line and blocks shots with a combination of a pterodactyl's wingspan and sharp instincts. Most impressively, he does so without fouling.

"The number of shots he changes is just unbelievable," Hassinger said. "That's what Michigan will get out of him -- he's such a good rim-protector. ... We can do so much defensively because he just rules the paint."

Yes, please.

Would you go so far as to say he is also strategic? Jedd Fisch gets in on the Jameis Winston praise pile:

Sounds like a man to play Battletech with. Meanwhile, another quote on Harbaugh from Petty:

"Outstanding guy," Petty said. "Just a football dude. That's the best way I can describe it. He just gave us a lot of advice about what to expect here (at the combine), about how to handle everything, especially going in as a rookie into a camp and what he expects as a coach in that scenario, things like that.

"We were tickled to death, anytime you get a chance to meet and talk to a guy who has been in it for four years and had a lot of success in it."

Harbaugh is definitely a Football Dude, as anyone who has watched that QB clinic video and giggled about knuckle placement knows.

Marketing back in the day. Gary Moeller repeats "keeps ticket prices down" three times in about 30 seconds at the end of this clip about marketing from a 1991 edition of Michigan Replay:

The word "brand" does not make an appearance.

We like this better because it doesn't work as well. It's that time of year when NFL guys ding spread QBs because their offenses provide too many open receivers to judge whether the guy can fit it in tight windows:

I think the NFL guy was saying that tight windows are an inevitability in the league rather than pro-style is necessarily better. (Or even a concept that really means much other than Our QB Don't Run. New England is basically Texas Tech with a separate LeGarrette Blount offense stapled to it.)

And stay out? CHL teams are making noises like they would withdraw from Washington if their for-profit enterprises with mid five-digit attendances have to give their players anything other than a per diem and the vague promise of an education package maybe a sixth of them will use:

Silvertips GM Garry Davidson was clearly singing from the same songbook when he told legislators if the state did not exempt the teams from minimum wage laws, “it could negatively impact our ability to operate and would force us to move or not operate in the state.”It’s an age-old tactic used by sports teams and it’s age-old because it so often works. Build us a new arena or we’ll go to a place where they’ll happily build one for us. Give us tax breaks and concessions or we’ll have to pick up our ball and go somewhere else. And in this case, grant us an exemption from laws governing the basic human right to minimum wage or we’ll take our teenagers and have them entertain hockey fans somewhere else.

Oh really? Considering the Everett Silvertips (4,898 average fans per game), Spokane Chiefs (5,570), Seattle Thunderbirds (4,353) and Tri-City Americans (3,976) are attracting decent home crowds, it’s safe to assume the revenue they’re drawing from their regular season gate alone is robust. Probably multi-millions.

A CHL departure from Washington is about as likely as the Big Ten re-implementing freshman eligibility. There aren't enough markets in BC and Alberta that aren't already covered. Meanwhile on the other side of the continent, a QMJHL team just sold for 25 million dollars.

Silver lining: it turns out there is in fact a sports organization that can make the NCAA look good.

Obligatory. Ohio State has a five star recruit incoming.

This is man with a good super power. Michigan Hockey Now pings commit Nick Pastujov about various personal things. He has never gone to a concert, he likes the World Cup, he envisions having a hilarious dinner with Bill Gates, Steve Carrell, and Bob Marley, and he has a very practical approach to super powers: "could do anything." That just about covers it, I'd think.

Etc.: Kentucky fans are terrified of Northwestern.

Adidas Unveils Postseason Uniformz

Adidas Unveils Postseason Uniformz

Submitted by Ace on February 26th, 2015 at 10:58 AM


via Drew Hallett

Adidas released a group of alternate jerseys for the college hoops postseason today, including the uniforms Michigan will wear for both the Big Ten Tournament and, most likely, the NIT.

I'll withhold total judgment until I see these on an actual human, but they could be a lot worse, especially given adidas' standards. Remember, Michigan turned down that horrible zubaz concept a couple years ago. At least these have normal looking tops and understated shoes; the shorts would probably look pretty sharp if not for the whole two-tone thing, which is unfortunately the selling point of the uniforms.

Anyway, you'll see these on Michigan for the conference tourney and maybe a handful of postseason games, and then we'll all forget this ever happened.

Dear Diary Wants Somme More

Dear Diary Wants Somme More

Submitted by Seth on October 24th, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The running game is going forward again; just another 490 miles to Berlin.

Not with you in charge, sir, no. So we continue to continue to pretend our problems will ever end. Alum96 showed that Power 5 coaches don't tend to last very long, and Yeoman wrote that just 3/43 guys who had a losing season in their first five at a school lost their job for it. The thing: it depends what your historic expectations are. A guy who did a research project on this stuff sent me his paper and is trying to get the data from his old school; we'll address this again.

Wish lists. Ron Utah and Eye of the Tiger both posted what they're looking for in coaching candidates. Both are pretty much in favor of guys who run modern offenses, which is everybody but Shaw at this point.

More candidates. Bud Foster and Georgia DC Jeremy Pruitt were Ron's latest profiles. I don't think either would come anyway. Foster at least has had commensurate offers for five years and never jumped on them.

A more interesting one: Padog got into Doc Holliday (of Marshall) in case a WVU guy wants another shot at mentioning Don Nehlan's Bo connection at his intro (and position himself as the Bo to Urban's Woody). This one's a bit of a reach; his head coaching experience is Marshall, which was 7-6 the year before he arrived and went 5-7, 7-6, 5-7, 10-4 since. He's currently 7-0 and hasn't scored less than 42 points in a game, but his most impressive victory in all of that time was last week at FIU. I plugged him into my matrix and came up with a 42: more attractive than Hoke but more of a gamble than Bo was.

Etc. Padog is also doing the bottom to top hoops preview redux (he was at it way early this year). First up is Rutgers. Wolverines in the NFL.

Best of the Board

WE'RE STILL BETTER AT CLEVER

Brian covered the painting of the Diag's block 'M':

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If you're wondering where was that one frat (Theta Xi) whose couch vigil usually prevents this sort of thing, they asked a university admin to go out Tuesday and were told to wait until Thursday. Please boo the next person you see on campus wearing a corduroy jacket (if it's not the admin it's probably a hipster who will appreciate the whimsy of your non-sequitur).

As to catching these slightly academically inferior criminals [a fake account representing] the UGLI apparently can identify the perpetrators in court:

Police are stationed outside all MSU bluebook exams, and questioning anyone who fails.

I've heard they got the rock too, which: whatevers. I painted the rock 8 or 10 times in college (the building behind it was my fraternity's historic building and our crests are still on the gates), and every time we went to do so, it was various stages of still wet from the last paint job; half the time it was painted over again before the weekend was out.

[Jump: the pink discussion]

Mailbag: QB Is Not The Major Problem, Revenue Increases, Oregon's Thing

Mailbag: QB Is Not The Major Problem, Revenue Increases, Oregon's Thing

Submitted by Brian on October 16th, 2014 at 11:58 AM

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[Bryan Fuller]

Quarterback is not the only difference.

Brian,

Something you may not wish to address in season but in watching this team I had this thought:

Solid run defense, inconsistent pass defense, an offensive line with talent struggling to gel, solid backs, receivers and tight ends.  Hmmm, sounds like 9 or 10 wins from Carr again. What is missing is a solid, low turnover, accurate, quarterback. Completely unfair?

Thanks

Dunder

Cumong man, that's completely unfair. You're comparing this offensive line to those featuring Jake Long or a half-dozen other NFL players, with zero freshmen of any variety on them unless they're Hutchinson-level talents. The backs don't make the right cuts and almost never make yards on their own. The tight ends are not good right now except for Butt, and Butt is still working his way back from an ACL tear.

There's no part of this team not subject to mental breakdowns that are hard to accept four years in. This includes quarterback, but since it seems like any QB under Hoke goes backwards it all ends in the same place.

BUT IS HE BETTER THAN A WISTFUL ORANGUTAN?

Brian,

In the wake of the ND game i have found my anger directed more at Dave Brandon than anything for whatever various and stupid reasons. The conventional wisdom seems to be, "hey, but revenues are increasing so, even though football is terrible and the stadium experience is horrible, Dave Brandon is great at growing the business." I think that is non-sense. I looked at revenues from 2002 through 2013 (graphs and numbers in attached spreadsheet) and the trendline attached to the revenue data shows Brandon has not out performed Bill Martin. Growth in revenue looks very on trend from Martin's tenure.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 12.37.20 PM (1)

If you look at Michigan's AD revenue from 2005 versus some other athletic departments (texas, OSU, florida, Alabama, Oklahoma) our athletic department hasnt outperformed them either. Those five ADs revenue increased 84% from 2005 til 2013, Michigan's increased...83%.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 12.37.45 PM (1)

Look, the data i gathered isn't perfect, I don't love the way USA today presented the 2005-2013 data. I've sort of cobbled together the 2002-2004 data from U-M budgets. The way i have presented the data is somewhat problematic (i should index 2005 to 100 then see the changes from there), but I don't think it changes the overall picture.

The point is I am really bothered with the conventional wisdom saying Brandon is doing really well increasing revenue. He is merely riding a wave that started long before here was hired and affects all of college football. Raising ticket prices doesn't make you a business genius. He gets zero credit for increased television revenues, which are the two overwhelming drivers of the whole enterprise.

These are things I am sure you are aware of but i have not seem them articulated on the blog.

Go Blue!

Nate

It should also be noted that the portion of the surge from 2009 to 2011 not due to increased BTN payouts was largely the luxury boxes coming online. Michigan offered them for cheap the first year and then increased the price to the regular level in year two.

So even if you are measuring Michigan athletic department success by revenue—a completely bonkers thing to do—Brandon is completely average in this department while being literally the worst AD in the country at public relations. A wistful orangutan could have been Michigan's athletic director since 2010 and revenue would still be way up. And students would love him!

[After the JUMP: Manning plausible as a CB coach over time? Mysterious red clad team-thing. Where to go in the event of an apocalypse. (The real apocalypse, not bad football.)]