Unverified Voracity Embeds Epic Oskee Again

Unverified Voracity Embeds Epic Oskee Again

Submitted by Brian on August 24th, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Ace took the best joke for this section. Tim Beck Man returns!

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — As the one-year anniversary of his firing at Illinois approaches, Tim Beckman has a new gig.

North Carolina officials confirmed Tuesday that Beckman is a volunteer assistant on Larry Fedora’s staff.

The Tar Heels play at Memorial Stadium in a prime-time game on Sept. 10.

Since Beck Man was referenced we are obligated to embed his greatest achievement despite the fact that nobody seems to watch this when we do:

That has just 8500 views and most of them are from the MGoStaff. Anyway:

The K stands for the coffee he fetches.

Around the league some more. More things keep happening. They're mostly not great for the opposition because the only solid news coming out of camp concerns guys who aren't going to play anymore:

  • Wisconsin OL Dan Voltz is forced to retire due to injury. Voltz was very good as a underclassman before an injury-wracked junior year saw a major dropoff. He was slated to start at guard.
  • Nebraska lost projected starting left guard Jerald Foster to an ACL tear.
  • Redshirt freshman DE Cassius Peat transferred away from Michigan State. Peat was a 3.5 star recruit. Academics appear to be the issue.
  • MSU QBs are going to run more this year, because they are bad at throwing.
  • Kirk Ferentz is a bit peeved that Drew Ott didn't get a fifth year despite the fact he was in the exact same situation as Mario Ojemudia. Both got injured a few snaps after they could not get an injury redshirt, and the NCAA doesn't bend on that.
  • On the other hand, this Tanner Lee thing is weird. The Nebraska QB and Tulane transfer got a sixth year of eligibility. Ferentz says it's because Tulane changed OCs, but it's a bit more complicated. Lee used a bylaw that "addresses student-athletes who feel they were 'run off' by a school." If he actually did not have a scholarship any more that would be a legit reason to give him the year he lost by transferring.
  • Indiana blog Punt John Punt projects JUCO transfer Richard Lagow as IU's starting QB.

BEHOLD THE THROW-GODDENING. Trevor Siemian has broken out of the funk where he is only an unstoppable throw-god when I am watching him play. Now he is unstoppable throw god 24/7:

The Broncos are going to die this season, aren't they?

The decline of daily fantasy. Long feature article from Outside The Lines on that brief period when every ad on ESPN was from DraftKings or FanDuel. Things got so oversaturated that we were annoyed with them despite the fact that DraftKings was paying us. I still have no problem with the business model—I played online poker successfully for years until a late rider was inserted into a port security bill that banned it. (I played in the WSOP main event, which was fun until it wasn't late on day two.) Daily fantasy was very, very close to that model. This kind of negative…

Yet they relentlessly promoted their games as a means to get rich quick when they knew only a tiny percentage of their customers were winning more often than losing.

…is something literally every state is guilty of with their lottery programs, and this one…

They failed to aggressively move against big-bankrolled players who dominated newer players, sometimes with predatory behavior or technological advantages.

…is actually an argument that daily fantasy is a game of skill.

But those companies were run by guys with huge blindspots and questionable ethics, so they blew it all up. This is indefensible:

And they allowed their own employees to play -- and win millions -- on their rivals' sites, despite their having access to odds-improving proprietary data.

During the online poker boom there were always new sites popping up and scamming people, so the big players strove to be as transparent and honest as possible. Daily Fantasy is poker if PokerStars and PartyPoker were rife with actual cheats, and the one thing you cannot do when collecting a rake is allow any impropriety that will sic attorneys general on you. This is on point:

"This industry blew up so quickly -- no one adequately planned or prepared for it," says Gabriel Harber, 29, a former high-volume player at DraftKings and FanDuel. "[The executives] didn't make the substantial investment on self-regulation and the regulatory side that was obviously needed. ... Every PR person and lawyer should be fired. How could you let your client engage in this kind of crazy advertising if every legal loophole wasn't closed? How stupid can you be?"

The execs brought it all on themselves.

Etc.: OSU blogs will post literally anything. That's the ticket, Rutgers basketball. WTKA adds an afternoon show with Jamie Morris and Marcus Ray. They've gone from four hours of live local content to nine over the past month. Not bad. LSSU faculty head wants hockey to drop down to D-III. #disrespekt will never die. Hugh Freeze created a mock funeral for himself, because motivation? Don Brown says his defense isn't high risk because it isn't.

Fee Fi Foe Film: Northwestern Offense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Northwestern Offense

Submitted by Ace on November 6th, 2014 at 1:59 PM

This was Northwestern's second completion beyond the sticks. It wasn't their day.

Northwestern took on Iowa and their top-25 FEI defense last weekend. Let's see how that went:

Holy hell, Northwestern. Turns out that Kain Colter guy was pretty valuable.

Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:

I originally had center Brandon Vitabile as a dangerman, but removed that tag after watching the film—it wasn't a good day for the interior line.

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Spread. Northwestern took every non-goal line snap out of the gun in the first half, which was as much as I was willing or able to watch for this one.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? The Wildcats actually mixed in a couple power runs out of the gun, but for the most part they were running inside zone and zone stretch, the latter of which was marginally more successful.

Hurry it up or grind it out? Northwestern varied their tempo a bit, mostly staying at a relatively pedestrian pace. They can go no-huddle if they want, but it doesn't seem like that's a huge emphasis right now.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]

Hokepoints: The Best Big Ten QB?

Hokepoints: The Best Big Ten QB?

Submitted by Seth on October 14th, 2014 at 4:26 PM

acecorn

Nice job picking a QB, Ace. Here's your reward.

While re-watching the M-PSU punt-fest my brother made an interesting comment: "It's amazing what's happened to two of the best quarterbacks in the conference." If you ever again need to point to something to show that the offense means more than the quarterback, this Big Ten season has that in spades. What it doesn't have is an answer to the question: who IS the best QB in the conference?

I have no idea. Of guys I expected big things from, Braxton Miller (injury) and Tre Roberson (transfer) didn't make it out of the preseason, Gardner played his way behind a true sophomore who obviously couldn't play, Hackenberg's been a tackling dummy, and when I got down to Cook my Sparty slappy brother shook his head and declined the nomination.

Lower down, Sudfeld is now out for the season but he wasn't world-beating before. C.J. Brown, true to form, has been keeping pace just behind Gardner; a wrist injury against Indiana has ceded snaps to Caleb Rowe. Nebraska and Iowa aren't getting anything more than mediocre from their 2nd year guys. Trevor Siemian is not a throw deity of any sort. Etling hasn't been good enough for Boiler fans to stop mentioning that Michigan stole Bellomy(!). Wisconsin's QB situation has been awful. Illinois thought they had something when transfer Wes Lunt was picking apart bad defenses, but he broke his leg, which is apparently 4-6 weeks these days.

Everybody's played only a few real opponents, and everybody's been a product of his offense so stats are only a little useful. Last year ESPN's Dean Oliver rolled out his "QBR" metric which is based on Mathlete-like expected points on a 100-level scale; 50 is average. Mouseover the headers for clarification (explanation here):

PLAYER Pass EPA RUN EPA SACK EPA PEN EPA TOTAL EPA ACT PLAYS RAW QBR TOTAL QBR
Connor Cook-MSU 23.2 3.2 -1.6 0.6 25.3 175 81.5 81.3
Gary Nova-RU 25.3 6.3 -4.7 0.4 27.3 187 77.1 78.2
J.T. Barrett-OSU 22.3 8.0 -7.1 0.5 23.7 220 72.3 74.4
Tom Armstrong-NEB 13.2 7.9 -3.8 1.0 18.2 246 63.2 63.9
Jake Rudock-IOWA 25.7 2.6 -3.7 2.2 26.8 193 73.5 60.8
Wes Lunt-ILL 31.6 -2.0 -6.1 1.1 24.3 222 67.8 58.1
Devin Gardner-UM 14.7 5.0 -9.3 -0.1 10.3 210 52.9 56.4
Mitch Leidner-MN 6.8 4.4 -5.9 -0.1 5.2 134 50.7 56.3
Nate Sudfeld-IND 10.9 3.6 -4.4 2.0 12.1 221 54.4 56.2
C.J. Brown-MD 11.7 7.0 -8.0 0.7 11.4 224 52.5 50.0
Tanner McEvoy-WIS 2.1 5.6 -2.2 1.1 6.6 144 51.8 47.4
Trevor Siemian-NW 20.1 -0.3 -11.3 -0.1 8.4 276 46.1 46.2
C. Hackenberg-PSU 16.2 -1.0 -14.2 -0.6 0.3 299 38.1 37.9
Danny Etling-PUR 3.0 1.7 -5.5 -1.1 -1.8 201 35.2 30.7

I pulled the raw QBR in each game to plot it against Football Outsiders' S&P+ so you can see the individual performances in context. Gardner's games are labeled and Michigan's remaining opponents are shown.

chart1

click embigs

[after the jump: trends, discussion]

Draftageddon 2014: Left Behind - Offense

Draftageddon 2014: Left Behind - Offense

Submitted by BiSB on August 14th, 2014 at 10:55 AM

This is an actual movie. See? There are worse things than Draftageddon

Draftageddon is complete, to the relief of many of you and the heartbreak of… well, some of you. Maybe. But there are still some non-terrible football players to be discussed, so to be properly prepared for the season, let’s take a look at some of the players who were not selected, but could have been if we’d Heiko’d just a little deeper. We’ll also review who WAS taken at various positions and take a quick gander at the position group as a whole. If you want to go back and read our snark, on any of the players, the hyperlinks on players' names will take you to the relevant articles.

Quarterback

Who was taken:

Quarterback

School

Round

Braxton Miller

OSU

1 (Brian)

Devin Gardner

UM

1 (BiSB)

Christian Hackenberg

PSU

13 (Brian)

Connor Cook

MSU

13 (Ace)

Nate Sudfeld

IU

15 (Seth)

Tre Roberson

IU

16 (Seth)

CJ Brown

MD

27 (Seth)

Who’s left:

Joel Stave, Wisconsin – Threw for 7.4 YPA with 22 TDs, 13 INTs. He’s a game manager, though not a particularly inspiring one. Stave didn’t exceed 9 YPA in any game against a power conference team, despite a massively effective running game behind him. Wisconsin’s passing game stagnated last half of the season, and as a result, Stave is theoretically battling w/ Tanner McEvoy for the starting job. Stave will almost certainly win the job, but he’s returning to a gutted receiving corp: Wisconsin loses their four leading receivers, including Jared Abbrederis & Jacob Pederson. Their leading returning receiver had 127 yards. Way more red flags than green ones.

Jake Rudock, Iowa – Threw for 6.9 YPA with 18 TDs and 13 INTs. These are not inspiring numbers, especially for a quarterback with a solid running game behind him. Another game manager type, Rudock didn’t throw for more than 256 passing yards in any game, and didn’t crack 9 YPA against any non-Purdue opponent. Meh.

Trevor Siemian, Northwestern – Was a pretty stoppable Throw God last year, throwing for 7.2 YPA with 11 TDs and 9 INTs. In B1G play he went for 4 TDs and 0 INTs against Illinois… and 3 TDs and 7 INTs against the rest of the conference. He seemed to regress over the course of the year (along with Northwestern’s entire offense), and whether it is the result of missing Venric Mark (SIT DOWN, SETH) or just Northwestern not being that good, it’s hard to expect great things this year.

OVERALL – Braxton, then a few guys, then wheeeeeeeeeee. Despite the gap in draft rounds between the second and third quarterbacks taken, there is a solid tier just below Miller that includes Devin Gardner, Christian Hackenberg, and Connor Cook (and potentially Nate Sudfeld or CJ Brown, but probably not). Beyond that, you’re looking at uninspiring game manager-types, young guys prone to moments of WTF, and Gary Nova. Michigan is very much in the “haves” half of the draw in this respect, so be pleased.

[After THE JUMP: other positions, as you probably guessed.]

Unverified Voracity Might Be Real Maize

Unverified Voracity Might Be Real Maize

Submitted by Brian on August 8th, 2014 at 11:58 AM

1994: when the universe was right-side up. Via Wolverine Historian:

This game featured a halftime interview with one Gerald Ford:

It's over. Everything is over. The FAKE 40 scale has been broken. They said that man could not claim a 40 time with more than five FAKES attached. They said a lot of things. Well, I present you with the first level eight (eight!) FAKE 40 time:

Unstoppable run-god Trevor Siemian? That does not sound right. Rodger Sherman figures that whether this is true or false this is the beginning of the end for Pat Fitzgerald. I agree. This has destabilized the entire structure of the sport.

IS IT MAIZE? This poster-type thing makes Michigan's uniforms look far less highlighter-y than they have in the recent past:

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Delonte Hollowell front and center

All discussions about this inevitably center on the fact that you can make the same color look vastly different depending on lighting and various other photo doodadery, so let's just stipulate that. But maybe it'll look like a color instead of a fire truck this year.

I am intrigued by your newsletter. 2016 AL SG Josh Langford is arriving on campus today. It is possible there has not been enough chatter about this. Everyone's focused on Tyus Battle after Battle's camp appearance, but Langford is just as highly touted of a prospect, says highly positive things when asked about Michigan, and now 247's Jerry Meyer has put in a prediction for M on their Crystal Ball. He offers a brief explanation as to why:

Duke had been considered the leader in his recruitment but the Blue Devils have only showed minimal recruiting interest to this point.

Sources tell 247Sports that Michigan and Kansas are the two schools in the strongest position with Langford. … A physical guard at 200-pounds or more, Langford loves to attack the rim and also has a versatile and skilled game that would fit great into John Beilein's system of play.

Langford's quotes about Beilein are on the rapturous side, and apparently there's some substance to that.

Meanwhile, Michigan is asserted to be the leader($) for 2016 CA PF TJ Leaf by Scout analyst Evan Daniels. Asserted to be the "slight" leader. That is still an improvement over the perception that Indiana or UCLA was on top.

Leaf's Crystal Ball is a total mess, with five different schools listed—a recent Duke offer has caused a lot of picks for the Blue Devils to come in, there's a random CBS Sports writer projecting Florida, etc. Leaf just visited Arizona, as well. His recruitment could go any direction from here. Michigan probably needs another visit before Leaf's announcement in March or April to feel good. The current plan is for Leaf to take an official in February.

DRIII. Jeff Eisenberg has a rather lengthy article on the second-newest Wolverine, Duncan Robinson. How does a guy go from D-III to Michigan? Bad luck and hard work.

He stood only 5-foot-7 entering his freshman year at Governor's Academy in Byfield, Mass. He suffered an ill-timed back injury that hampered him during the all-important summer before his senior year at Exeter. And even after his growth spurt, he still needed to build the muscle necessary to absorb contact and finish at the rim. …

"His goal is to be an impact player," Tilton said. "He's not a kid looking to play a small role. He'll put the effort and energy in. I have not coached a kid with more passion for the game of basketball. He has a tremendous work ethic. He spends hours and hours on his craft. Basketball is his social life, and that's why he has been able to put himself in this position."

It'll be fascinating to see how this decision works out. Michigan passed on Nevada's Cole Huff when it looked for all the world like he would end up transferring in and seem ready to shut down 2015 recruiting entirely with Robinson in the fold. All Hail Infallible Beilein, of course, but 6'8" two-guards shooting 45% from three do not grow on trees.

Almost ready to shut down 2015 recruiting. 6'6" combo guard PJ Dozier just announced a top five and a plan to visit Michigan this fall, and if he has been shut out by the Robinson commitment he is not aware of this fact:

“Some people will say I like this school because they’re this type of school and I’ve watched them forever. But P.J. is selecting a school that is the correct way in what is going to be the best program and the best fit for him so Michigan is definitely a strong, strong possibility.”

Michigan does have a spot in the 2015 class, and if a guy on Dozier's level—#31 on the composite—wants to take it you probably let him even if it removes the possibility you get a similarly-ranked 2016 guy.

Well yeah. Listen to this man, he is a wizard.

"It's no longer about education," Snyder said. "We've sold out to the cameras over there, and TV has made its way, and I don't fault TV. I don't fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that's what they do, but athletics -- that's it. It's sold out."

I am skeptical it was ever really about education but yes probably more so than now; "sold out" is correct.

I would be okay with this. Stunningly, a plurality of coaches in the Power 5 support doing away with cupcakes entirely:

Of the 65 Power Five coaches from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Notre Dame, 46 percent (30 coaches) favored playing exclusively Power Five opponents while 35 percent (23 coaches) were opposed. About 18.5 percent (12 coaches) were undecided.

"About 18.5." Significant digits, man.

Anyway, they did away with the requirement that you have to win six games to go to a bowl, significantly greasing the skids towards a "yes" vote. Pac-12 coaches were the most gung-ho in favor, with only Rich Rodriguez opposed; the ACC was the only conference where more coaches were opposed to the idea than in favor; The Big Ten split down the middle. Hoke was not quoted but was listed as in favor.

Joe Dumars' last transaction. Brendan Quinn notes that the DRIII transfer saga was kicked off by none other than Joe Dumars's firing:

After the Pistons fired general manager Joe Dumars in mid-April, a six-week search for his replacement finally landed on Marist College head coach Jeff Bower.

Bower accepted the position, vaulting from a low-major college coach to an NBA GM.

That left Marist scrambling for a new coach as the summer churned toward key recruiting periods. The coaching search in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., ultimately landed on Mike Maker, a 48-year-old who had led tiny Williams College to a 147-32 record and two national championship game appearances in six years.

With Maker gone, Robinson started looking around. May this transaction be more in the 'Sheed department instead of the "everything after the Billups trade oh and also the Billups trade" department.

Etc.: Thanks, Landon. Autonomy passes. No one knows what that means yet. Impact figures to be minimal in basketball. Scrimmage details. You have to register, because you need to be bombarded by emails. The NFL is suddenly open.

USA Today previews Michigan. Scouting Caris. YOU WRE-E-E-CKED ME.

Fee Fi Foe Film: Northwestern Offense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Northwestern Offense

Submitted by Ace on November 13th, 2013 at 8:04 PM

In an effort to makes these posts easier to digest in one read, FFFFs will be broken into separate offense and defense posts from now on. Once again, I find myself watching Nebraska-Northwestern, which is really the only useful game film I can find of the Wildcats given the considerable number of injuries they've suffered. The short summary: Northwestern ran the ball well, couldn't throw or convert a third down to save their life, failed to fully capitalize on four Nebraska interceptions, and lost on a hail mary.

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Spread. Even in goal-line situations, Northwestern is either in the shotgun or the pistol. They didn't take a snap from under center in this game.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Mostly zone blocking concepts, though Northwestern pulled their backside guard—and on a couple occasions, also their backside tackle—on some read option plays that will be covered in more detail later in the post.

Hurry it up or grind it out? No-huddle all the way; Northwestern doesn't play at Indiana's tempo, especially when they're swapping QBs mid-drive, but they keep the pace pretty high.

Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): Once again, Michigan faces a team that will alternate quarterbacks. Kain Colter is the starter and will get the majority of the snaps; he's a very impressive runner:

I be like dang. He gets a strong 8.

Trevor Siemian, meanwhile, is your classic pocket-passing statue; Northwestern did run a read option with him on a third and very long and he shocked the Nebraska defense by keeping it—with lots of space in front of him, he... tripped and fell on his face. He did have one successful—albeit lumbering—scramble in this game, so he merits a 3, I guess.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]

Opponent Watch: Week 2

Opponent Watch: Week 2

Submitted by BiSB on September 12th, 2013 at 10:36 AM

About last week:

Yoink.

The road ahead:

Michigan Sta…

Wait, we haven’t gotten there yet. We go in chronological order around here.

Oh, c’mon. Let me just talk about State first, then I’ll talk about the other dreck that comes between here and there.

Nope.

DID YOU EVEN SEE THE STATE GAME? We need a real lede here. Throw some red meat up front. No one come here for my take on Akron

This isn’t Columbus. There are rules.

I hate you so much, disembodied bolded alter-ego. FINE, we’ll talk about…

Akron (1-1, 0-0 MAC)

Cupcake

Last game: Akron 35, James Madison 33 (W)

Recap: Michigan’s next opponent is, shall we say, not coming into the game riding a high. Despite not actually fielding a football team, James Madison took Akron to the absolute wire. The Fightin’ Dolleys scored with five minutes left, but missed the two point conversion. They then got the ball back with 1:19 left, and went on a 12 play drive to the Akron 27 before time expired. James Madison outgained Akron 498-356. Again, this was James Madison. Confirmed: Akron remains not good at football.

This team is as frightening as: I refuse to be That Guy who jinxes the upcoming game by labeling it a fear level = 1. Therefore, fear level = 1.07.

Michigan should worry about: Third-world hunger is a problem still, right?

Michigan can sleep soundly about: Akron football.

When they play Michigan: This game is a bit of a palate cleanser following the Notre Dame game. Which is fitting, because Akron has the defensive cohesiveness and overall consistency of a fine sorbet. PREPARE THE FRESHMEN.

Next game: vs. #11 Michigan

[AFTER THE JUMP: more dreck, then Sparty]

Opponent Watch: Week 1

Opponent Watch: Week 1

Submitted by BiSB on September 5th, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Behold! I have destroyed Heiko and taken hold of the Opponent Watch. My plan is almost complete. For those new to the internet, every week we’ll take a look at the happenings amongst Michigan’s past and upcoming opponents. This week provides us very little evidence, simply because we still have way more variables than equations. What we can glean thus far though is, once again, BIG TENNNNNN. So let’s take a look.

About Last Saturday:

Yup.

The Road Ahead:

Notre Dame Fig Things (1-0)

Last game: Notre Dame 28, Temple 6 (W)

Recap: I didn’t watch this game, because I only watch the most rival-y of rivals. However, I know we have a bunch of MSU and Purdue readers, so we’ll cover the game anyway. Notre Dame won comfortably over a meh Temple team who finished 4-7 in the Big East last year. Tommy Rees (16/23, 346 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) had a statistically solid game, hitting home run balls to TJ Jones and TE Troy Niklas. Notre Dame fans seem generally unenthusiastic about their linebacking corp through one game, but Notre Dame fans being famously reasonable people, I’m sure they’ll give their defense time to develop. From what I saw, their defensive line remains gigantic and immovable. And I might be the only one, but I love seeing a perfectly-round 340-pound defensive tackle wearing the number one. He looks like a walking power symbol.

Brian and company will preview this game in detail. For now, Rudy was offside.

This team is as frightening as: Tommy Rees. They might completely implode into a pile of ruined expectations. They might become Joe Montana for an evening. They might knee a cop in the stomach. You just don’t know. Fear level = 7.5

Michigan should worry about: Tommy Rees. No, for srs. He’s senior with a bunch of starts, and who has had a decent amount of success against Michigan. He’s the only college quarterback with experience under the lights at Michigan Stadium. He threw for 315 yards in 2011. He threw for 346 yards last week.

Michigan can sleep soundly about:

When they play Michigan: ALL OF THE LIGHTS

Next game: vs. #17 Michigan

[AFTER THE JUMP: You will feel much better about Michigan’s prospects this season for reasons that have nothing to do with Michigan]